1886-89: Love & Agency Business
By early 1886, Cyrus had been working at the Warm Springs Agency for nine years. One of the other workers there, Jason Wheeler, had a daughter named Mary. They fell deeply in love, writing romantic letters and poems for months while they were apart. Mary represented a return to happier times for Cyrus, as he attested in a Valentine's Day poem to her:
Oh! how sweet it would be, to be loved once again,
To forget the long years of deep sorrow and pain;
To know that one heart e'er beats truly for me,
As onward I journey o'er life's troubled sea.
The two would marry that November. Two years later, their first child, Clifford Wheeler Walker, was born.
Meanwhile, business at the Warm Springs Indian Agency continued. Cyrus was appointed Postmaster in the fall of 1886. Soon afterwards he began helping to investigate the murder of a Native woman at Warm Springs. He believed that the murder might be connected with inter-tribal tensions between the Paiute and Wasco peoples, who had recently been forced to live on the same lands.
The year 1888 marked Cyrus' 50th birthday. It was about this time that he began showing an interest in preserving the pioneer history of Oregon. In the decades that followed, he would make a name for himself in historical societies as the "oldest living white man born west of the Rocky Mountains."