AGEE, Roy Esco

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Left to Right (Standing): Margaret & Roy Agee, Edna & Lyman Elliott, Agnes Mundon, Ed Rucker, an unidentified friend, and teacher Winona McAllister; (on the ground) Shorty Daily & six-year-old Frances Agee.

AGEE, Roy Esco (1901-1979) [SS#558-24-1441], a Texas cowboy, third of 15 children. He and his wife, Margaret (1904-1966) [SS#555-30-3356], moved to San Nicolas Island with their 3-year-old daughter, Frances “Frankie” (1927-2001), in late 1929 to help Margaret’s parents oversee the sheep operations of Robert Brooks.

Son Roy Earl Agee (1935-2001) [SS#565-46-5233] was born while the Agees worked on the island. Margaret’s parents, Lyman and Edna Elliott, were island caretakers for, who held three consecutive island leases (1919-1924; 1924-1929; 1929-1934) through E. N. Vail. The Elliotts lived in a three-room house consisting of a living room, with a kitchen on the west side and a bedroom on the east. The ranch complex also included a bunkhouse—barn building and a sheep shearing shed. In 1933 Robert Brooks sold his interest in San Nicolas Island to Roy and Margaret Agee and Lyman and Edna Elliott.

Roy Agee died in San Luis Obispo December 12, 1979.

In the News~

June 11, 1934 [Revocable License]: “…Whereas, E. N. Vail disposed of his sheep, horses, equipment and other improvements on said Government reservation to R. E. Agee and L. P. Elliott, who are now, and for more than five years past have been, occupying Government reservation; and whereas the term of occupancy expires July 31, 1934… Now Therefore, in consideration of the premises, the Secretary of the Navy hereby grants to R. E. Agee and L. P. Elliott permission to occupy the Naval Reservation, San Nicolas Island, California, for grazing purposes from August 1, 1934.”

December 12, 1935 [LAT]: “Mercy Sea Race Takes Doctor to Lonely Isle. Across seventy-five miles of ocean, Dr. William A. Brown, 1205 West Jefferson Boulevard, yesterday raced in a Coast Guard patrol boat to pay an emergency medical call on 1 year-old Edna (sic) Agee. He found her in the ranch house on San Nicolas Island, farthest west of the channel group, suffering from dysentery.The appeal for a doctor was received by shortwave radio by a Redondo amateur operator, who telephoned the message to Dr. Brown. After giving the child preliminary treatment and leaving instructions for its further care, Dr. Brown returned to Los Angeles yesterday afternoon. He said the child is not in critical condition. The parents raise cattle on the island.”

December 12, 1935 [OT]: “Stricken Island Baby is Improved. A Los Angeles physician sped 70 miles in a Coast Guard boat to the aid of a 3 months' old boy, stricken with dysentery on lonely San Nicolas Island. Returned from his dramatic answer of a radio message for help, Dr. William E. Brown reported today that his patient, little Roy Agee Jr., will recover.”