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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised



Caldwells


    State vs. Wm. Caldwell, assault with dangerous weapon, the grand jury returned "not a true bill" and defendant was ordered discharged.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, February 12, 1879, page 3


    SHOOTING AFFRAY.--On Saturday night about ten o'clock as Wm. Caldwell, who resides on Bear Creek, was about starting for his home from Manning's stable, he was met by a man named John J. Lathrop, said to be an old stage driver, and who had been trying to engage Caldwell in a quarrel during the afternoon. On the way down to the stable Lathrop fired two or three shots, probably from drunken bravado, and aroused Mr. Manning, who came from his house to the stable and found the two men engaged in a wordy row. He had hardly arrived on the ground when Lathrop drew a pistol and fired two shots at Caldwell, one passing through his coat and the other making a flesh wound in his left side. Manning wrenched the weapon from Lathrop's hand and found it to be his own, having been taken from the stable office, to which Lathrop had free access. Caldwell's wound is slight, which considering the fact the men were only a few feet apart, is almost miraculous. Lathrop was found on Sunday morning secreted in his house, and was arrested and lodged in jail by Sheriff Bybee. On Monday he was examined by Justice Huffer and discharged, as the Justice thought the evidence insufficient to procure his conviction.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 7, 1880, page 3


William Caldwell, 35, farmer, born in Missouri, father in Missouri, mother in Virginia
Margarette Caldwell, 32, born in Texas, father in Georgia, mother in England
Artemisia Caldwell, 14, attending school, born in California
John Caldwell, 10, born in California
Emma Caldwell, 8, born in Oregon
Samuel Caldwell, 6, born in Oregon
Willie Caldwell, 1, born in Oregon
U.S. Census, Manzanita Precinct (Central Point), enumerated June 5, 1880


A Serious Affray.
    A number of men working with a threshing machine near this place came to town last Sunday night and after imbibing considerable of the ardent announced themselves in readiness for anything that was on the programme. Shortly after this a row started between Wm. Caldwell, Chas. Dodson [see "Dotson," below] and Tom Curly in which some of the parties engaged received nothing more than bruised heads. After this, about eleven o'clock p.m., Charles E. Hanna, a clerk in Reames Bros.' store, arrived on the scene and making some remark favorable to Curly in the first trouble a row was started with him in which pistols and knives were freely used. During the affray young Hanna was shot in the face by Caldwell, just below the left eye, the bull ranging downward and lodging in the back of the neck near the base of the skull. After being shot and lying helpless on the ground, someone, said to be Chas. Dodson, a stranger here, rushed on him and cut his throat, inflicting a serious though not a fatal wound. Hanna was immediately removed to the U.S. Hotel and Dr. Aiken summoned and his condition at last account was so much improved as to give strong hopes of his recovery. Caldwell was arrested immediately by Marshal Payne and Constable Birdseye and lodged in jail, after which the constable and Sheriff Jacobs went to Cardwell's ranch, where the crowd was camped, and arrested Dodson. Both parties will have a hearing before Justice Huffer on Monday next, the trial having been postponed to that date on account of the absence of the district attorney and nearly all of our lawyers.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 16, 1882, page 3


Hanna Shot by Caldwell, and His Throat Cut by a Stranger.
    A shooting and cutting scrape occurred in Jacksonville on last Sunday night about 11 o'clock between Wm. Caldwell and Charles Hanna, in which the latter was shot in the head and afterwards had his throat cut. Hanna was shot just below the left eye, the ball ranging downward, and it is reported in the back part of the head. The most cowardly part of the affray was when another man, named Charles Dodson, a stranger there, rushed in and cut Hanna's throat after he was shot and had fallen to the ground. Although seriously wounded, Hanna's chances of recovery are better now than at first supposed. Both of the assailants are in jail.
Weekly Corvallis Gazette, September 22, 1882, page 3


    Wm. Caldwell and Chas. Dodson were indicted on a charge of assault with intent to kill.
"Grand Jury," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 18, 1882, page 3


    CUTTING AND SHOOTING AFFRAY.--We have received information of a serious cutting and shooting affray which occurred at the railroad front this week. It appears that Dotson [see "Dodson," above], the same cowardly assassin who stabbed Charley Hanna here some time ago, committed an unprovoked assault upon an old gentleman named Bannister. Mr. Bannister's son, a young man eighteen or twenty years of age, learning of this took Dotson to task about it and a fight between them was the result. Young Bannister was rather too much for his antagonist, and was pummeling him soundly when Dotson drew his ever-ready knife. Seeing the knife Bannister, being unarmed, started to run, when he was pursued by Dotson who stabbed him twice in the back, the knife entering just over the shoulder blade. After the second blow a bystander named Hankley knocked Dotson down with a club, whereupon one of Dotson's friend named Stephens shot Hankley, the ball entering the fleshy part of the leg. Both Dotson and Stephens then escaped to the woods, and up to the hour of going to press they have not yet been caught. People here will remember this man Dotson as the man who stuck a knife into Charley Hanna, and afterwards escaped the punishment he so richly deserved. If Judge Lynch could preside at the trial of a few of such fellows as this man Dotson, it would be a good thing for society. Dr. Aiken attended the two young men who were wounded, and says that they were all flesh wounds, merely, which, though quite painful, were by no means, necessarily, dangerous.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 19, 1883, page 3


    SHOOTING.--Just before the Times went to press the news was received that Wm. Caldwell had been shot and killed by C. W. Broback at Medford. The deceased had first assaulted Mr. B.'s crippled son, who started to this place after a warrant for his arrest. From what we can learn, Caldwell then became engaged in an altercation with the boy's father, and the above is the result. Caldwell has always been considered a desperado and no doubt was again the aggressor. Full particulars will appear next week.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 28, 1884, page 1


Another Tragedy.
    News was received here Thursday evening of the shooting of Wm. Caldwell by C. W. Broback at Medford in the afternoon of that day, Caldwell dying from the effects of the wound about three hours after getting shot. The facts of the case are about as follows: Caldwell was drunk and had several rows with residents of the place, several times drawing his revolver on those with whom he quarreled. Later in the afternoon he met [Fernando] W. Broback and asked him for $2.50 saying that he (Broback) owed him that amount in a gambling game some time before. The boy denied the debt and said he had no money even if he did owe it. With this Caldwell grabbed the boy by the throat and commenced twisting a silk handkerchief that the boy was wearing, choking him, and threatening to choke him to death if he did not pay the money forthwith. With this hold Caldwell led young Broback around for some time, every little while giving the handkerchief another twist, and only when outsiders interfered would he let the boy go. After this he met the boy's father, C. W. Broback, and commenced a quarrel with him, drawing his pistol but Broback was too quick for him and got in the first shot. Some say that Caldwell's pistol would not work from some cause and things would be reversed if it had. Deceased has been a resident of this valley for a number of years, has been in numerous shooting and cutting scrapes here and elsewhere, having also killed a man in California before his arrival in this valley, and was generally looked upon as a very hard case. His last serious trouble was his attempt to murder Chas. E. Hanna over a year ago for which he was tried but for some reason not convicted. He was about forty years of age and leaves a wife and several children. Broback gave himself up to Sheriff Jacobs immediately after the shooting but has not yet had an examination, a Coroner's inquest being held first. The sympathy of the entire community is with Broback and there are several residents of this place who will breathe easier when they hear that he is no more.
    Just before going to press the verdict of the jury was handed us by Justice Huffer, acting as Coroner, and is appended below:
MEDFORD, OR., MARCH 28, 1884.
    We, the Coroner's jury empaneled to inquire into the cause of the death of William S. Caldwell, find that the deceased came to his death by a gunshot wound from a pistol in the hands of C. W. Broback, and find that the said C. W. Broback was perfectly justifiable and acted in self-defense, and we exonerate him from all blame.
WILLIAM ULRICH, foreman
GEO. W. WILLIAMS,
JOHN BYERS,
WM. EGAN,
J. H. WILSON,
ISAAC WOOLF.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 29, 1884, page 3


Fatal Shooting in Jackson County
    William Caldwell was shot and instantly killed by a man by the name of Broback at Medford Thursday [March 27], says the Roseburg Plaindealer. It seems that a son of Broback owed Caldwell about $2.50, so he attacked young Broback and choked him very badly. Subsequently the father of the boy, meeting Caldwell, asked if his son owed him anything, and received the reply that he did, naming the amount. Broback then put his hand in his pocket to get the money to pay it when Caldwell said, “Do you want to shoot it out?” at the same time drawing his revolver. Broback quickly drew his pistol and fired, the ball taking effect just above the heart and passing entirely through Caldwell’s body and striking the ground back of where he was standing. Caldwell lived only a few minutes. Broback gave himself up. This Caldwell is the same party who shot and stabbed Charles Hanna, and for which he was recently acquitted at Jacksonville.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, March 30, 1884, page 4
 


    FULLY EXONERATED.--Shortly after the shooting of W. S. Caldwell at Medford last week, by Chas. W. Broback, the latter came to Jacksonville and delivered himself up to the sheriff. Justice Huffer, acting as coroner, then repaired to the scene of the tragedy, and after summoning the following jury, proceeded to hold an inquest on the body of Caldwell: Wm. Ulrich, foreman; Geo. W. Williams, John Byers, Wm. Egan, J. H. Wilson and Isaac Woolf. After hearing all the evidence the jury returned the following verdict: "We, the coroner's jury empaneled to inquire into the cause of the death of W. S. Caldwell, find that the deceased came to his death by a gunshot wound from a pistol in the hands of C. W. Broback, and find that the said C. W. Broback was perfectly justifiable and acted in self-defense, and we exonerate him from all blame." From the testimony given before the coroner's jury, it seems that Caldwell had some trouble with a son of Mr. Broback, over a debt, and handled him rather roughly. The father met the deceased soon afterward and signified his willingness to settle the boy's indebtedness. This did not satisfy Caldwell, who was under the influence of liquor and had had several quarrels during the day with other parties. He was informed that no difficulty was sought and then warned not to advance further as he came toward Broback. Retreating a short distance, he suddenly made a motion for his pistol, but the other, knowing the man, was too quick for him, and fired, the ball striking Caldwell above the heart. The later made several attempts to use his weapon, but it would not work. This alone saved Broback's life, for he indiscreetly walked off after firing, which gave his assailant ample opportunity to shoot him. Caldwell then went a short distance toward Dr. Geary's office and fell. A few hours afterwards he was dead. His remains were buried in the Phoenix cemetery on Saturday last. He was about 40 years of age and leaves a large family.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 4, 1884, page 3


HOMICIDE AT MEDFORD
    Wm. Caldwell was fatally shot at Medford last Thursday afternoon by C. W. Broback, one of the proprietors of the town site, and a prominent citizen of the county. The circumstances of the affair, as nearly as we can learn, are as follows: Caldwell, who was notorious as a quarrelsome, reckless and dangerous man when in liquor, had been on a spree for some time and on Wednesday had assaulted F. W. Broback, son of C. W. Broback, claiming that the young man owed him two dollars and a half. He caught the young man (who is a cripple) by a handkerchief which was about his neck, and handled him roughly, twisting the handkerchief and threatening to choke him to death unless he paid the money. On Thursday he was provoking quarrels with different people about the town and flourishing his pistol with conspicuous bravado. In the afternoon he was met by C. W. Broback in front of S. B. Hadley's store. Mr. Broback asked him about the money which he had claimed young Broback owed him, and, after some talk, put his hand in his pocket to get the money, he says. At this juncture Caldwell said "---------- you, do you want to shoot it out," and drew his ready pistol. Before he had time to shoot, Broback drew his pistol and fired, the bullet passing through Caldwell's left lung and out at the back. Caldwell tried to shoot, but could not operate his pistol, having battered it against the saloon and store counters so much during the day that it was out of order. After being shot and finding he could not use his pistol, he walked nearly a hundred yards before he fell. He was then carried to a tent in which he was staying, and Dr. Vrooman was called. The doctor found that nothing could save him, and within about four hours from [the] time of shooting he died. It is generally believed that if Caldwell's pistol had been in working order he would have shot and perhaps killed both Mr. Broback and Mr. Hadley, who was standing near them. Caldwell was well known in this county, having lived here many years and having taken part in numerous cutting and shooting affrays. His last before this was in Jacksonville something more than a year ago, when he shot Chas. Hanna. He has been badly cut and punished himself a number of times, and also had the reputation of having "killed his man" in California before he came to this valley. He was about 40 years of age and leaves a wife, an estimable lady, and several children. Mr. Broback, who was a member of the State Senate from Lake County some years since, is a substantial and respected citizen, and is sustained by the sentiment of the community in the unfortunate circumstance to which he was reduced by the necessity of self-defense.
 
    Justice Huffer, of Jacksonville, summoned a coroner's jury and held an inquest over the body on Friday. Following is the verdict rendered:
MEDFORD, Or., March 28, 1884.
    We, the Coroner's jury empaneled to inquire into the cause of the death of William S. Caldwell, find that the deceased came to his death by a gunshot wound from a pistol in the hands of C. W. Broback, and find that the said C. W. Broback was perfectly justifiable and acted in self-defense, and we exonerate him from all blame.
WILLIAM ULRICH, foreman
GEO. W. WILLIAMS,
          JOHN BYERS,
          WM. EGAN,
          J. H. WILSON,
          ISAAC WOOLF.

Ashland Tidings, April 4, 1884, page 3


    "The first death occurring in Medford [the first deaths reported were the children of a Mr. Raynes, reported February 8, 1884] was the murder [sic] of William Caldwell, the noted desperado of Southern Oregon, and the terror of the country," said Mr. [Joe] Thomas.
    "It seems that Caldwell had been making the rounds of the saloons, was drunk, and pretty quarrelsome. It was his habit to walk into a saloon, smack his gun on the counter with a loud whack and remark to the trembling bartender, 'Set 'em up!' and his orders were always respectfully obeyed, as Caldwell had the reputation of being quick with the trigger.
    "Caldwell slapped the young son of  William [sic] Broback during the course of a card game, and Broback in great anger shot him. Lots of people around town said it was a good thing that Caldwell's gun stuck, due to the smackings it had received on the various bars of the city saloons, or William Broback would certainly have been out of luck," Mr. Thomas continued.
    The murder occurred in 1884, and Broback was never even arrested. The coroner's jury exonerated him, figuring the country was well rid of the desperado.
    "Lots of people kidded Broback--told him they guessed he was trying to start Medford's first graveyard," said Mr. Thomas.
"First Xmas in Medford Is Recalled,"
Medford Daily News, December 25, 1927, page 1


    Hon. C. W. Broback of Medford, one of the best citizens of our valley, was in this place this week. A few spiteful persons are persecuting him, but to no avail, as public sentiment is with Mr. B.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 24, 1885, page 3


CARD FROM MR. BROBACK.
MEDFORD, Oregon, April 8, 1885
    MR. BROBACK--I take my pen in hand to plead for my fatherless [omission]--not myself. With my own work I can support myself; but I want to raise my children decently and give them a common education. I put my claim at $1,000. If you will compromise with that amount I will not prosecute you. I will give you till tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock to make up your mind. If you don't compromise with that amount I will prosecute to the extent of the law.
MRS. CALDWELL
    In reply to the above I have to state that if I am indebted to you on account of the death of your husband then I am a criminal, and your offer to compromise your husband's blood and honor and allow the perpetrator of such a crime to go free, and your husband's blood unrequited, ought to bring the blush of shame upon the cheeks of your advisers if not upon yourself.
    In the declaration contained in your letter to "compromise" crime for money, you hold up the character of yourself and the blackmailing villains to public infamy, thus warning all men not to credit them. A perfidy so notorious cannot be hid. It stands open to the public gaze. To accept your offer would be like a foolish dotard taking to his arms the bride that despises him, or who has placed on his head the ensigns of her disgust. It is kissing the hand that boxes his ears, and proposes to renew the exchange.
    A due sense of honor to myself and family and the community forbids me accepting the terms you propose.
C. W. BROBACK
Medford, April 21, 1885
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 24, 1885, page 3


    Mrs. M. Caldwell of Medford, as administratrix of the estate of Wm. S. Caldwell, deceased, has commenced suit against C. W. Broback for damages, on account of killing her husband, which she places at $5,000. As it was proved that Mr. Broback acted in self-defense, it seems as if Mrs. C. was being imposed upon by some enemies of this gentleman.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 1, 1885, page 3


    Mrs. Margaret Caldwell, widow of the late Wm. Caldwell who was killed at Medford, has brought suit against Mr. Broback for $5,000 damages. S. B. Galey, Esq., of Ashland, is retained by Mrs. Caldwell to manage the suit.
Ashland Tidings, May 1, 1885


    Margaret Caldwell, administratrix of the estate of Wm. S. Caldwell, deceased, vs. C. W. Broback, to recover damages.
"Circuit Court Docket: Civil Cases," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 2, 1885, page 3


    When ready for start for Lake County, Cal., this week, C. W. Broback of Medford was informed that a suit for $5,000 damages had been entered against him by the widow of William Caldwell for the killing of her husband not long since. While Mr. Broback did shoot and kill Mr. Caldwell, a judicial investigation declared him not guilty of any crime and he was discharged in consequence, the community in which he lived approving of the verdict. The case will come up for trial at the next term of court, and Mr. B. has set the date of his departure at a time after its close.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 2, 1885, page 3


    Martha Caldwell, administrator of the estate of W.S . Caldwell, vs. C. W. Broback; suit for damages. Motion to strike out part of answer sustained.

"Circuit Court Proceedings," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 30, 1885, page 3


    The Caldwell-Broback damage suit has been postponed until next term of court, and the latter will move to Lake County [California] in a short time, expecting to return at the next term.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 30, 1885, page 3

    The Caldwell-Broback damage suit has been postponed until next term of court. Mr. Broback has removed to Lake County, but will return when the case comes up for trial.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, June 12, 1885, page 3


    M. Caldwell vs. C. W. Broback--action for damages.
"Circuit Court Docket: Civil Cases," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 3, 1885, page 2

    It is ordered by the Court that Plymale & Angle be allowed their bill of $10.00 for mdse. furnished Mrs. Caldwell--indigent.
Commissioners' Journals
, vol.. 6, page 569, March 3, 1886


    It is ordered by the Court that the regular indigent allowance of Mrs. Wm. Caldwell be and the same is hereby revoked.
Commissioners' Journals
, vol.. 7, page 254, August 1, 1887

    Iradell J. Phipps to Maggie Caldwell; lot 6, block 24, Medford; $175.
"Real Estate Transfers,"
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 21, 1891, page 2

John C. Hutchinson's Estate.
    SAN JOSE, Cal., Sept. 10.--Lulu Blabon today petitioned for letters of administration upon the estate of her father, John C. Hutchinson, who died in Monterey County on August 19, 1895. The estate consists of property in Monterey and this county, and is valued at $5672. The heirs are the petitioner, Lulu Blabon, who resides in this city; Maggie Caldwell of Medford, Or., and Amelia I. Caldwell of Contra Costa County.
The San Francisco Call, September 11, 1895, page 4

78 G Street, Gold Hill, Oregon:

Margaret Caldwell, 52, widow, married 32 years, 9 children (7 living), born April 1848 in
    Texas, father in Georgia, mother in England
Everett Caldwell, 19, day laborer, born in Oregon, father born in Missouri
Frank Caldwell, 17, day laborer, born in Oregon
, father born in Missouri
Charley Caldwell, 12, attending school, born in Oregon, father born in Missouri
U.S. Census, Manzanita Precinct (Central Point), enumerated June 5, 1900


    Miss Maggie Doran, a granddaughter of Mrs. Margaret Caldwell, who has been visiting for the past month or two with Mrs. Caldwell, left for Walla Walla, Wash., last evening, where she will continue her studies for a trained nurse.
"Local Happenings," Medford Mail Tribune, July 3, 1908, page 2


343 North Central, Medford:
Margrette Caldwell, 61, widow, born in Texas, father in Georgia, mother in England
U.S. Census, enumerated April 16-18, 1910


OBITUARY.
    The Spokane Spokesman-Review of October 8 contains the following concerning the death of a former resident, mother of Charles Caldwell, formerly with the Pantorium Dye Works:
    "Mrs. Margaret Caldwell, aged 67, died October 7 at the Sacred Heart Hospital, following an operation for stomach trouble. Mrs. Caldwell had recently made her home with her sons, Charles Caldwell, proprietor of the Touraine Dye Works, Spokane, and Everett Caldwell of Reardan, Wash., although her home for years was Medford, Ore.
    "Other surviving children are Frank Caldwell, Marshfield, Or.; Samuel Caldwell, San Francisco; John Caldwell, Montgomery, Ala.; Mrs. Will King, Emmett, Idaho; Mrs. Louis Doren, Wellen, Ore.
    "Mrs. Caldwell was a native of Webster, Harris County, Tex. Funeral services will be held at Gilman's undertaking rooms at 1 p.m. Sunday, October 10."
Medford Mail Tribune, October 13, 1915, page 2


    GATELY--John S. Gately passed away at his brother's home at 1431 Cloverdale, Los Angeles, Calif., May 13th. Age 60 years, 11 months and 13 days. He was born in San Jose, Calif., May 30, 1870. Coming to Oregon in 1872 and going back to California at the age of 19 years. In 1906 he went to Montgomery, Ala., making that his home until 1928, when health began to fail. After that, traveled in search of health. He made one trip to the  West in 1915, at the time of his mother's death, Mrs. Margaret Caldwell. Leaves to mourn his loss, four brothers and two sisters, Mrs. Artie Doren of Medford, Mrs. Emma Bosterder of Emmett, Ida., Sam Caldwell of San Francisco, Calif., Frank Caldwell of Los Angeles, Charley Caldwell of Spokane, Wash., and Everett Caldwell of Pomeroy, Wash. He had one brother, Will, who passed away in 1897. Mr. Gately was respected by all who knew him. He was with the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Montgomery, Ala., for many years. Burial was in the Valhalla cemetery at Burbank, Calif. Mr. Gately's wife passed away May 12, 1911, in Alabama.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 31, 1931, page 3


EVERETT CALDWELL, EX-RESIDENT, DIES
    Word has been received here of the death of Everett Caldwell at 1 a.m. today at LaCrosse, Wn. He was born in Medford Nov. 22, 1879, and resided here until 1895. His last visit to Medford was in 1905 until last fall, when he was here for several weeks, being called back to Washington by the death of a son.
    Mr. Caldwell leaves three children of Washington, and two sisters, Mrs. Artie Doren, Medford, and Mrs. Emma King, Emmett, Idaho. Three brothers survive, Sam, San Francisco; Frank, Los Angeles, and Charles, Spokane. He had many old friends in the valley who will be grieved to hear of his death.
    Funeral services are to be held Sunday at Dusty, Wn.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 8, 1937, page 1




Last revised October 22, 2019