Cornelius O’Keefe

The Life, Loves, and Legacy of an Okanagan Rancher

By (author): Sherri Field
Foreword by: Ken Mather
ISBN 9781772032482
Softcover | Publication Date: April 16, 2019
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
160 Pages
$9.95 CAD
E-Book Price: $7.99 CAD

About the Book

An entertaining biography of cattle baron and land magnate Cornelius O’Keefe, founder of the Historic O’Keefe Ranch.

From humble beginnings to a life of prosperity in the heart of the Okanagan Valley, Cornelius O’Keefe is best known today through the historic ranch in Vernon, BC, that still bears his name. Established in 1867, the O’Keefe Ranch was at one time the largest cattle ranch in the region, with thousands of head of cattle grazing in the vast open ranges. By the early 1900s, the ranch had grown to over 12,000 acres, and Cornelius O’Keefe had built quite a legacy for himself. Known as a tireless worker who dabbled in a number of professions in addition to cattle ranching—from mining to operating a general store to being a postmaster—O’Keefe also had a full personal life. He married three times and had seventeen children. His family continued to live on the ranch until the 1960s, when it was opened to the public as a heritage site and tourist attraction. This concise biography brings the dynamic figure of O’Keefe to life and illuminates a fascinating period in BC history.

About the Author(s)

Sherri Field’s interest in the life of Cornelius O’Keefe began when she was a student at Okanagan University College and continued for the five years that she worked as heritage interpreter at the Historic O’Keefe Ranch. Her fascination with O’Keefe led to years of research into his long and prolific life, and eventually to this book. When she is not writing, Field teaches high school English.


"Field’s carefully researched book is a valuable contribution to the sparse literature on the Okanagan’s cattle-ranching era."—Ian Pooley, Ormsby Review