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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised




Russell Cook Dement

AGED PIONEER OF COOS COUNTY DIES FRIDAY
    The final curtain fell on a life that was more eventful and colorful than any story ever enacted on the stage when Russell C. Dement passed away at 9 o'clock Friday morning at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Eunice Braden of Hubbard with all his children in attendance at his bedside. Death came just a few weeks after his 88th birthday.
    Russell Cooke [sic] Dement was born at Hyattsville, on Duck Creek in Monroe County, Ohio, October 11, 1847. This little town has since been washed out by one of the Ohio's spring freshets, and never rebuilt.
LEAVES EAST WHEN YOUNG
    At the age of four he left the East and as he was wont to say "brought his parents" to Oregon. His was one of the first seven families to settle on Coos Bay in the days when wheat was legal tender in Coos County. He was the only survivor of his immediate family up to the time of his death.
    When he came to man's estate, reached the age of 21, he took up as a homestead the ranch on Upper Dement Creek now owned by his son Lester, and it was at this place that Dement started in the cattle business, which several of his sons have continued.
WED TO FAIRVIEW GIRL
    At the age of 27 he was married to Lucy Ann Norris at the home of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Norris, in Fairview. The couple lived at Coos Bay for a year after moving back then to the Dement homestead.
    It was about this time that he purchased the ranch at Norway now owned by J. H. McCloskey. Mr. Dement owned this fine dairy ranch for over 40 years.
    After a time Dement and his faithful wife moved to Bandon where they had bought property on the hill and built them the home later sold to and now occupied by George Topping and family.
MOVE TO BANDON
    Following their brief residence in Bandon, Mr. and Mrs. Dement returned to their Fairview ranch and purchased a home in Myrtle Point. This home was the large two-story residence next to the Senior High School building which was sold a few years ago to Union High School District No. 2. He and his wife lived at this site for approximately 30 years.
    Mr. Dement was one of the organizers of the Security Bank and was president of that institution for 15 years. When he resigned from this position a few months ago he remarked, "This banking business is cold-blooded and as you grow older you mellow--or soften--so I don't think old people fit for bankers."
IDEAS OF LIFE
    As a resume of his life Mr. Dement recently remarked, "I was never much of a politician, never held any high office, but was county commissioner for two years and tried to play the game fair both in my political and business life."
    It was only a few brief weeks ago that the deceased left this city and went to Hubbard to be with his daughters. Just a day or two prior to his leaving this city the Herald feature writer was fortunate enough to have had the pleasure of visiting with him for the greater part of a day and in that time obtained a story of his life which is more fascinating reading than any fiction ever written.
    The complete story of his experiences from the cradle to the grave will appear in these columns shortly.
SEVEN CHILDREN SURVIVE
    Surviving relatives of the deceased are: Two daughters, Mrs. Nellie Fearnley of Aurora and Mrs. Eunice Braden of Hubbard: five sons, Ray, the twins Ellis and Lester and Clair and Harry, all of Myrtle Point: two half-brothers, William Taylor Dement of Myrtle Point and Washington Clay Dement of Myrtle Creek in Douglas County, and a half-sister, Mrs. Carolyn Bird Moomaw, who lives near Hubbard.
    Funeral services will be held from Schroeder Funeral Home in Myrtle Point, Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. Interment will be at Norway cemetery.
Myrtle Point Herald, December 5, 1935, page 1

    
DEMENT BIOGRAPHY OF HISTORICAL VALUE
    On a street corner at the intersection of Myrtle Point's two main thoroughfares was where the writer first met Mr. R. C. Dement, then president of the Security Bank of this city, for this first meeting took place in the spring of 1932.
    Interested as he always was in the well being of others and their slant on life, he asked us many questions and later began to reminisce. "And when I first came to this country," he was wont to say, "Myrtle Point was a very different settlement from this present-day thriving city."  As he told more and more of the Myrtle Point of those days, we realized that this would make very entertaining and instructive "copy," and that our readers must indeed appreciate this picture being preserved for posterity. So the usual question, "Can't we take notes on this for a story?" But the old gentleman seemed to shrink within his shell at this inquiry, then.
ANSWERS REQUEST
    In the interim a curious thing occurred. Schiller Hermann, a reader who has many times commented very favorably on our publication, wrote us and remarked that he had noticed that we made a habit of relating incidents of pioneer days and that he felt sure we could not give our readers any more interesting a pioneer story than Mr. Dement could furnish of, if we could ever get him to talk of these days and their experiences. Coming as it did on the heels of our attempt to get this story, it made us redouble our efforts.
    Many, many times during the next three years this writer again asked Mr. Dement when he was going to take a few hours and tell us, notebook at hand, of his early impressions and experiences in this country. But always the interview was postponed until the idea was gained that the story would not be forthcoming for some time hence, if ever. Then one day came the information that he had resigned the presidency of the bank because he felt that he was "going soft on this job and no banker could allow himself to do that and retain his position as executive of the bank." And next, close on the heels of his retirement from business, Mr. Dement was going away to make his home with a daughter in the northern part of the state.
A PLEASANT SURPRISE
    Once more we approached the splendid old gentleman and asked, "Aren't we going to get that story?" But imagine our surprise when he said that if we would come up the next forenoon he would talk to us until he got tired and later continue in the afternoon until we had all the information we wished. But our greatest surprise was yet to come, for when we went to his home next morning he presented us with a notebook which he had started in February, 1934, after our continued persistence for his autobiography, and this story, with what he told us less that a week before his death, literally gives an account of his life from the cradle to the grave. Possibly the finest recommendation this story will have with Herald readers is Mr. Dement's reputation for meticulous veracity and never deviating from the truth, and best of all, that his story is quoted here in his own words:
NATIVE BUCKEYE
    I am jotting down a few things from memory. According to the records I was born Oct. 11, 1847, in a little town called Harrietsville on Duck Creek, Monroe County, Ohio. In 1851, when I was four years old, my parents, Samuel Maxwell Dement and Caroline Spencer Dement, both natives of Ohio, got the Oregon fever. Father sold out his little grocery store, bought a team of horses and light wagon and loaded the wagon with bedding, clothing, grub and camp outfit necessary for the trip that was not finished until one year later.
    Goodbye to relatives and friends, and with their 4-year-old boy Russell they were off. I remember those things that happened before we left my birthplace. My mother had a brother Joseph Spencer, at that time living in Missouri, and my folks planned to go that far and winter and make an early start for Oregon the next spring.
EN ROUTE TO MISSOURI
    I recall a few things on the trip out to Missouri. The team I remember, Gray and Jane; also that we crossed a railroad somewhere on the trip. And I remember we got some venison somewhere on the way.
    We wintered with Uncle Joe Spencer, and that winter Uncle Joe and some of his neighbors had the urge to go west so they formed a company as soon as the grass started in the spring. They were all raring to go, some to Oregon, some to California. I don't remember much that happened that winter in Missouri other that my first introduction to hog and hominy and good cornbread (no other kind), and blackstrap molasses.
TRADE FOR OXEN
    As the majority of the company were in favor of ox teams, they persuaded my father to trade his span of horses for oxen. So he did and secured two yoke of oxen, Buck and Berry, Tom and Jerry.
    In the spring of 1852, as soon as the growth of grass had advanced sufficiently to furnish feed for the stock, we were off. I don't remember the exact date. When they got on the main trail there were lots of wagons ahead of them. It was a big emigration that crossed the plains that year. I have often heard my father say if he had have known there were so many people on the road he would not have joined a company. The object of a large company was for protection in case they were attacked by hostile Indians. The emigrants were not disturbed that year that I ever heard of.
CHOLERA PLAGUE
    The disadvantages of traveling in a large company were many. In case of sickness our train would have to lay over frequently. In our train we had cholera, and a number of people died with it. They said I had it and pulled through just by a small margin.
    The dust was something awful. You can imagine 25 wagons hauled by at least 100 oxen and strung out on one narrow track, not saying anything about the loose stock that was driven along. And I am speaking of only one outfit, and there were many more like it. Several thousand people came to Oregon and California that year.
CAMP IN SEMICIRCLE
    The captain of our train was a man who had been across the plains before. His name I cannot recall. When we camped the wagons were all placed in a circle with the campfires built inside the circle. When we got in the Indian country the menfolks took turns standing guard. Since we had not seen any Indians, some thought it hardly necessary, but our captain said Indians often showed up when least expected, on account of the dust, and that all should take their share of the lookout. The team that led today would be the hindmost one tomorrow, and it would be a long time before it would be in the lead again.
    Very few realized the hardships they would encounter. Most all loaded their wagons too heavily. Consequently, after traveling a few hundred miles their teams began weakening. It became necessary then to lighten their loads. There being no secondhand store in sight, they had to unload at the side of the trail, and from there on the side of the trail was strewn with plunder--furniture, cooking utensils, bedding, now and then a broken-down wagon, very often a dead ox. That sight I can remember. (That wasn't shown in The Covered Wagon).
WAITED FOR GRASS
    Where the grass was plentiful, there was no water, and where there was water, the grass was eaten off short. Where the trail led through desert country, more or less alkali, when we did come to water, it would be so strong of alkali that it was not fit to drink. After the long day's drive in the dust the oxen would be so famished they would drink anything that was wet. A great many died from the poison.
    After many days' travel we came to the parting of the ways. One road led to Oregon, the other to California. Uncle Joe Spencer with his family and many others took the road to California--the Dements came to Oregon. We were delayed at some of the rivers but crossed without any mishap that I ever heard of.
WORKS AT TRADE EN ROUTE
    My father was a blacksmith by trade, which came in very handy. Wagons frequently broke down. Oxen got tenderfooted and had to be shod. While there were very few tools in the company, they made the best of what they had. It has been said, and truly, that necessity often is the mother of invention.
    About the first [trouble] was wagon tires. The woodwork of the wheels would shrink in the blistering sun, and there was no way to dampen them. At night, consequently, the tires would get loose and have to be cut, shortened and welded. To do that without bellows or forge was quite a trick. Still Father did it.
Myrtle Point Herald, August 6, 1936, page 1

    
EARLY PIONEER FINDS INDIANS FRIENDLY
    We didn't see many Indians until we came west of the Rocky Mountains. Then we didn't meet any that were hostile. In Grand Ronde Valley there were quite a number, and they were anxious to trade buckskins or anything they had for the white man's food or clothing. I still remember very well some dry peas. Father traded an Indian a pint of gunpowder for a pint of peas. Where the Indian got the peas I never knew. We were not in Oregon then by a long ways. We had the Blue Mountains yet to cross. Then from Burch Creek to Butter Creek, then to John Day, then Deschutes, long, long drives without water. At that time these streams were not named.
     Then the Cascades were next. By that time our team was reduced to one yoke of oxen, Buck and Berry. Tom and Jerry had met the fate of many others and laid out by the wayside. Then something had to be done. Buck and Berry in their worn-out condition were not able to haul the wagon over the Cascade Mountains. My mother was sick with what they called mountain fever and would not be able to walk any of the way, so they rested for a few days at the foot of the mountains.
MOTHER TAKEN ILL
    In the meantime, Father made a cart out of two wheels of the wagon, and in that cart Buck and Berry hauled my mother and just enough of our worldly goods for us to barely get along with.
    We came over the old Barlow Gate route through the Cascade Mountains. We brought up at Oregon City, the oldest town in the country, just six months and six days from the time we left Missouri.
MOVE TO MARYSVILLE
    Father got some work to do at his trade. We rested up for a while and Mother's health got better. About that time Father heard of a town they called Marysville and that he could get blacksmithing work there, so we moved what little we had up there. (The city is now Corvallis.)
    Now he had work and no use for the oxen, so my father sold old Buck and Berry. About that time there was big excitement over the gold mines that had been discovered in the Rogue River Valley. Early in the spring of 1853 Father hired a man with a small pack train to pack us out to Jacksonville. About all the provisions brought to the mines at that time were packed on mules and horses from Scottsburg, near the mouth of the Umpqua, or Crescent City. Schooners had been running in both places loaded with supplies for settlers and miners.
FILES MINERS' PICKS
    In Jacksonville we soon got located in a little board shack with [a] dirt floor. Father didn't do any mining to speak of, but worked at his trade and found plenty to do shoeing horses and mules and making tools, and sharpening picks for the miners. [The headline writer is in error; blacksmiths sharpened picks at the forge with a hammer, not with a file.]
    Then the Indian War, known as the Rogue Indian War of 1853, broke out. The Indians were led by Tyee John, the main chief of the Rogue River Indians. The volunteers were led by General Joseph Lane. It was several months before peace was declared. During that time Father belonged to the Home Guard, for which Uncle Sam gave him a land warrant for 40 acres of land.
SIDE RIDE TIRESOME
    I forgot to mention on our pilgrimage from Marysville to Jacksonville, about 300 miles we rode horse- or muleback. Not having a sidesaddle, Mother rode a man's saddle, and in those days and for many years after, women had to ride sideways. On a sidesaddle it was not so bad, but on a man's saddle it must have been very tiresome.
    It was my first experience riding horseback. I rode behind bareback. It took 10 or 12 days to make the trip. We camped on the way and cooked our food by a campfire. We passed through no towns on that trip. Jacksonville was the only town in the southern part of the Oregon Territory at that time, and it was just a mining town.
HEAR OF COOS BAY
    At that time ('53) Coos Bay had been heard of as a new territory to explore. So there was a company formed of young single men to go into the Coos Bay country and find out something of the natural resources of that part of the state. There were 16 or 17 in that company, of whom many settled in Coos County and became our neighbors later on. Perry B. Marple, Capt. W. H. Harris, Wm. H. Jackson, Billy Romanes, Wm. Duke, Geo. L. Weeks, John and Mart Davis, Chas. Haskill, John and Jim McVey, A. J. Pence and others I can't recall at this time.
    After making an exploration of Coos Bay and its tributaries, some of the company came back to Jacksonville and made a very favorable report, telling what they had discovered. They claimed Coos Bay would be one of the best harbors on the coast: that they had discovered coal in several places, timber, cedar and fir inexhaustible, and rich bottom land on the rivers and sloughs; that the bay was full of all kinds of saltwater fish and that the tide flats were the home of many shellfish, clams, quahogs, crabs and other kinds and plenty of game such as elk, deer and bear.
SEVEN FAMILIES MOVE
    Men of families talked the thing over, and seven of them concluded to take their families and move to Coos Bay. The families were Curtis Nobel and wife and five children, Kate, Elizabeth, William, John and Lyman: Dr. Foley and wife and two sons, Euphrates and Robert. These two lads were about 19 and 18 years old. Dr. Overbeck and wife and son Henry, just my age, six years: Mr. Belknap and wife and boy Jim, six years; Mr. Lockhart and wife and two little girls, Ella and Lilly, four and two years respectively; Mr. Tolman and wife who had no children. They didn't stay long and we didn't get very well acquainted; S. M. Dement and boy Russell Cook Dement, six years old.
    We didn't all leave Jacksonville at the same time. Those who had their own conveyance started first. We, like some of the rest, had no team of our own and had to depend on teamsters or packers to move us to the Promised Land.
NEW UMPQUA ROAD
    At that time they had made a road down through the Umpqua country, as far as Scottsburg, the head of navigation on the Umpqua River. The same man who had packed us from Marysville to Jacksonville now had a job packing freight from Scottsburg to the mines, and as he would be going down empty, Father made a dicker with him to move us that far on our way to Coos Bay.
    There was a scow on the river in which we and some others were taken down the river to the ocean beach and from there down to Coos Bay, about 20 miles. We were hauled in wagons drawn by--I won't say oxen, for they were mostly cows--belonging to Curtis Noble. He and a few others were ahead of us about two or three weeks, there being quite a number of young single men in the crowd.
TELLS OF SAND STRIP
    When we came to the bay we were on a strip of land, or rather sand hills, between the bay and ocean. Most all sand dunes, except some marshland near the bay, furnished very good grazing for the stock. A good thing that was, too, for on the east side, where the first settlement was made, it was most all timber and brush. There was very little open ground on the side next to the bay.
    When we came to the bay, the next thing and last lap of our journey was to get across the bay to where our friends had started a town which they had named Empire City. The only conveyance then and for several years after on the waters of Coos Bay were Indian canoes, in which some of our friends paddled us across. That was the beginning of something we had to get used to, for there was no other mode of travel. If you went anywhere on Coos Bay or its tributaries, you had to go in an Indian canoe. The whites soon learned to handle and make canoes, but with all the tools they had at their command, I never saw one that equaled the Indians' canoes.

Myrtle Point Herald, August 13, 1936, page 1


FIRST WINTER IN COOS TOLD BY LATE PIONEER
    The Siwash only had fire and shells--fire to burn, shells to scrape inside and out. He had no edge tools until the advent of the white man, and when he got edge tools he didn't know how to use them. If he had had to make a canoe with white men's tools, it would have been a failure.
SETTLE AT EMPIRE CITY
    Well, now we are across the bay at the new town of Empire City. Capt. W. H. Harris, one of 16 who came in the early part of the summer of '53, took a donation land claim and proceeded to lay out a site for a town that later on became Empire City. When we arrived, it was about the first of October 1853. There was only one building that resembled a house and that was a log house being put up by Mr. Noble with the help of some of the young men, and that was only up to the square, no arrangements having been made for the roof yet.
    They were lucky in one respect. There were plenty of white cedar trees standing close by--a new kind of timber to all. They soon learned that they could fall those large trees with an axe (they had axemen in those days), and with the old-fashioned crosscut saw without any rakers and handle on each end they managed to saw off logs. They found it fine splitting timber and quickly learned to split and rive out boards of most any length up to six or eight feet long.
PREPARE FOR WINTER
    It was a busy time for all to get some kind of roof over their heads before the rainy season set in. In order to get the best timber, they had to go some distance in the forest, and as they had no teams it was up to them to carry the timber out on their shoulders for their buildings.
    Well, they managed with their tents, and what they could build, to get through the winter all right as far as shelter was concerned. But the food supply was to be another story. The promoters of the enterprise had been informed that there would be a schooner loaded with provisions from San Francisco. Well, it didn't show up until spring. Provisions were very high in Jacksonville, and the people had brought very little with them.
SHORT OF FOOD
    While there was plenty of Siwash muckamuck, we ran short on white man's grub. Then in the wintertime there were lots of wild ducks and geese, all kinds of fish in the bay, tide flats alive with clams, quahogs and crabs, and not far back in the more open timber were plenty of elk. With all these things there was no danger of starving. I still remember when our flour, bacon, beans, sugar and coffee ran out our table looked a little lonesome. When the little schooner did come in the spring, it had many things we needed. Among other things were a few hogs and potatoes. I remember they were very small, and the chili beans took half a day to cook. Now we had flour, sugar, coffee and blackstrap or New Orleans molasses.
    We lived in the little shack that Father built most all winter without a floor. Finally, we got a puncheon floor that made it more comfortable. Everybody was busy getting out split lumber to build with yet that year ('53). There were rich mines discovered in the vicinity of the mouth of the Coquille--a very fine strata of fine gold found in black sand back from the river--evidently it had been ocean beach at one time. This was called the Randolph mine. Later there were black sand mines worked above and below the mouth of the Coquille River.
MANY MOVE TO COOS BAY
    Altogether many thousands of dollars were taken out of the black sand mines. In the summer of '54 there were several families in Coos Bay.
    John Yoakam and wife and six children, Drusilla, Susan and two little girls whose names I have forgotten and two boys, Jasper A., 6 years and George W., 4; R. Y. Phillips and wife and twin babies, Charles and Laura, under one year; John L. Henderson and wife, who had no children; Doc Boatman and wife, also childless, and a host of young single men, Glen and James Aiken, Pat and Jim Flanagan, George and Henry Carman and many others.
START MAKING TRAILS
    One of the first things to do was to make trails. The black sand miners had to have grub at that time. Schooners had not tackled the mouth of the Coquille but were coming in to Coos Bay frequently. It became necessary to cut out trails to Randolph and to the Coquille. These trails were barely opened, so a pack horse could scarcely get through. A log was seldom cut out. If it was too high for a horse to jump, they would cut around it. These trails followed the dividing ridges in order to avoid crossing streams.
    That spring and summer there was quite a lot of work done prospecting for coal. Father got quite a bit of work to do making and sharpening tools, upsetting axes and shoeing pack animals. About July 24 that year ('54) a man by the name of Thomas Johnson discovered gold on Johnson Creek, a tributary of the south fork of the Coquille. John Yoakam and my father took their blankets and some grub in a canoe and started for the mines.
JOURNEY TO MINES
    They paddled up the bay past North Bend and Marshfield (the white man hadn't a mark at either place at that time) on up Isthmus Slough to the isthmus, hauled their canoe across the isthmus, paddled and waded down to the Coquille River, then upstream about 20 miles to the junction of the Middle and South Forks. It not being practicable to go farther in the canoe, the took their blankets and grub on their backs and struck out for the diggings 30 miles away.
    The first night on the trail they camped where the trail crossed Dement Creek (a name given this creek later on). In addition to their blankets and grub, they had their old muzzle-loading Kentucky rifles. There they found quite a bit of open prairie country, so they laid over there one day and took a hunt and got acquainted with a tribe of Indians who were making their home on the creek, at that time the tyee of this band. Father asked the chief how many squaws he had. Two he said. Father named him David, after King David.
STAKE LAND CLAIM
    Father and Yoakam were very much taken up with the country. There was plenty of grass and plenty of game--elk, deer and bear. Father with his camp axe cut four small logs and laid them in a square, as you would when starting a log house. That was to show that someone had taken a land claim. Then they came back to Empire, reported what they had found and began to make plans to move to the Coquille country the following spring.
Myrtle Point Herald,
August 20, 1936, page 1


PIONEER PAIR SETTLE HERE AMONG INDIANS
    Mr. Yoakam, in the meantime, became interested in coal mines that were being opened up on the head of Coal Bank Slough, later called the Newport mines. Father and Mother began to plan how they were going to make a new home in the new country among the Indians. They didn't own domestic animals of any kind, and they had but little money with which to buy anything. Father took what little money we had and struck out afoot to buy two cows. He found cows in the Umpqua Valley very high, so he walked on down through the Willamette Valley as far as Oregon City.
DRIVE IN FIRST COWS
    There he met emigrants who had just crossed the plains. They had some cows they would sell, so he bought two for $120, tied them together and drove them up over a kind of wagon road to Camas Valley, then over an elk and Indian trail through the Coast Range to the Coquille Valley. He put those two cows on the place he had previously taken up on the South Fork of the Coquille, then returned to Empire. He had walked at least 575 miles and was gone over a month. Those were the first cows in the Coquille River Valley.
    The cows were named Flower and Browny. Flower was a small cow with crumply horns and in color spotted something like an Ayrshire and a good milker. Browny was larger, brown in color with a line back and high horns, nothing extra for milk.
ESTABLISH FIRST SCHOOL
    Now winter had set in, and moving was out of the question before spring. This was the winter of '54-'55. At that time there were about 10 or 12 children old enough to go to school. That was before Coos County was on the map. The parents hired Mrs. Esther Lockhart to teach the first school in what was to be Coos County.
    We had very few books of any kind, let alone school books. Mother had taught me my ABC's the winter before out of our old Bible that we brought across the plains. I remember what a time I had. She taught me the capitals first. They were not so hard, but when I had to learn the small letters, that was quite different. School books were so scarce that several children had to use one book.
MOVE IN CANOES
    Sometime about the middle of '55 we packed our worldly goods into two Indian canoes. Among other things Father had gotten hold of a sow and six or eight pigs. Well, he crated them up some way and took them, along with a few blacksmith tools and our household goods. We had our canoes well loaded.
    A young man by the name of Henry Sanford paddled one of the canoes and Father, Mother and I paddled the other. We made the head of Isthmus Slough the first day. There were some Indians there who helped us move across the isthmus 1¼ miles to the head of Beaver Slough. The Indians hauled our canoes by hand with some of the light plunder in them. When it came to the blacksmith tools, the squaws carried most of them. One squaw carried the anvil, weighing 125 pounds, on her back with a strap around her forehead.
NAVIGATION DIFFICULT
    Next we had Beaver Slough to navigate. About five miles, with trees and brush hanging over our heads and beaver dams every little ways, were something to contend with. We had not experienced these before. We were all day getting down to the Coquille River. There was a man camped at the mouth of the slough by the name of John Hill who was trapping beaver at that time. Father had to make several trips through the slough before he had all of our plunder safely on the banks of the Coquille. Then Henry Sanford went back to the bay.
    Father got a man by the name of Cunningham, who had at that time just located a claim where the city of Coquille now stands. Cunningham was a single man, and he helped us until we got settled on our place. We loaded our possessions into two canoes and were off upstream. Cunningham paddled one canoe and again Father, Mother and I paddled the other.
COWS HAVE INCREASE
    The first day we made as far as the Henry Sanders place, now Norway. Sanders was a single man. The next day we only paddled to John Dulley's place at the mouth of the North Fork. Here the Indians told us that the cows Father had driven in the fall before had gone back on the trail as far as Enchanted Prairie. Mother and I camped there while Father and Cunningham went out and brought the cows back. The cows had both had calves. One calf was missing. They supposed the wolves had gotten it.
Myrtle Point Herald, August 27, 1936, page 1


COURAGEOUS ORE. PIONEERS MOVE HERE
    Then we moved on up with our canoes as far as the junction of the South and Middle Forks. Our home was to be six miles farther by trail and still farther by river. On account of many rapids on the South Fork, it was not advisable to go farther in our canoes, though Father did hire some Indians to take his blacksmith tools on up the river in a canoe.
MAKE SIX MILES IN DAY
    A man by the name of Alexander Jones (single) had settled on what is now known as the Hermann Prairie. He had two pack horses and packed our bedding, clothing and camp outfit. The last six miles of our journey we had to walk. Father drove the sow and pigs, and Cunningham drove the two cows and the calf. Mother carried half a dozen chickens and I carried a cat. It took most of the day to make that six miles, our last lap.
    When we struck the first prairie, before we got to our home, we thought we saw two squaws digging camas. When they saw us they took their baskets on their backs and struck out for their camp, which was up Dement Creek a quarter mile above where Father had located his claim the year before. We followed the Indian trail through the prairie and down onto a little creek bottom which was heavily timbered.
INDIANS CALL ON SETTLERS
    About the time we got unpacked and a fire started, all of "David's" tribe came to visit us. Many of them had never seen a white woman before or a tenas Boston man ["white boy"]. They brought us some nice trout they had caught in a trap they had in the creek. I went with my mother down to the creek to clean the fish and prepare them to cook for our first supper at our new home. With the help of Cunningham, Jones and the Indians, Father got the blacksmith tools that the Indians had brought up the South Fork in their canoes carried up to our camp.
    The next thing was to build some kind of a house. There were some large alder trees growing in the little creek bottom. They cut down some of those and sawed them into about 12-foot lengths. The logs were split into quarters or small enough so they could handle them. With these pieces they built a square pen high enough to clear a man's head. Then they cut a white fir tree nearby and split some boards to cover the thing with, later cutting out a doorway, and when this house was finished they hadn't used a nail.
BUILDS SHOP NEXT
    While at Coos Bay we had picked up a very small cookstove and a few joints of pipe. When that was installed in our new home, our equipment for keeping house was complete. The next thing to build was a small board shack we called a shop. At that time there was quite a bit of gold being taken out of the Johnson Creek mines and all supplies had to be packed in on horses or mules, so Father got quite a lot of work shoeing animals, sharpening picks and mending guns. Altogether he picked up several ounces of gold, mostly coarse gold, when he was not working in the shop.
Myrtle Point Herald, September 3, 1936, page 1


FATHER AWAY WHEN INDIANS START RAIDS
    Getting out timber for a better house, he found some good white cedar nearby and with the help of a bachelor neighbor by the name of Elijah Morris, who had some carpenter's tools, split out enough of this white cedar lumber for a frame house about 16x24 with an eight-foot shed on the back for a kitchen and a porch on the front full length about six feet wide. They got it up, weatherboarded it with split boards and with a roof on, but no floor yet.
BUY MORE COWS
    It was getting along toward fall and Father had picked up enough gold dust to buy some more cows, so he got a young man by the name of A. J. Pence to stay with Mother and me while he made another trip to Oregon City. He borrowed a mule and saddle and a pair of saddlebags from Perry B. Marple and traveled over the same road he had footed it over the fall before. This time he bought four cows of the emigrants who had just crossed the plains. I don't remember the price he paid for those cows.
    When he got as far as the Umpqua Valley on his way home, he learned the Indians had gone on the warpath and had killed some people and burnt out several settlers in the valley. This was general, most all the tribes of the western coast of Oregon, Washington and Northern California taking part. This is known as the Indian war of 1855 and 1856. All the tribes, with few exceptions, were on the warpath to exterminate whites.
COMES TO FAMILY'S AID
    There was no way of finding out how his family and neighbors were faring on the Coquille, so Father left his cows with old man Day and son George, who had settled in Camas Valley and had some stock. There he fell in with Mr. Hoffman, who had been recently located on the Hoffman place at the junction of the Middle and South Forks of the Coquille. They struck out and came through the mountains in the night, not knowing what might have happened to the people on the Coquille. We hadn't been disturbed. This was now about the first of October 1855. R. Y. Phillips and three small children had moved from Empire City to a claim he had taken on Rowland Prairie about five miles above us on the river.
    Father talked the thing over with Phillips, and they concluded it would be best to move the families back to Empire City. In the meantime Father sent word to the people on the bay and a few of the young men came up to help us down. Mr. Hoffman and wife, who settled on his place soon after we came, moved out to the Umpqua Valley, where his wife had relatives.
DIDN'T FEAR LOCAL INDIANS
    I have often heard my father say he had no fear of the Coquille Indians and would not have left his home had it not been for fear that the Rogue or Umpqua Indians might make a raid through our part of the country.
    In moving down to Empire we only took our household goods, left the two cows, calf, sow and shoats and blacksmith tools and cabin and a better house not completed. We would have been perfectly safe to have stayed. The Indians didn't molest a thing we left.
Myrtle Point Herald, September 10, 1936, page 1


BLOCKHOUSE BUILT IN 1855 IS NEVER USED
    The latter part of the next summer ('56) the Indians were all moved to reservations except the squaws who married white men. At that time there were quite a number of white men who had squaws. There was a law passed compelling all these men to marry their squaws or let them go to the reservation. Most all married; some let them go.
ERECT BLOCKHOUSE
    Well, we got back to Empire all right. Then the first thing there was a company of volunteers of 25 or 30 young single men. They elected W. M. Harris captain. Then they build a stockade with [a] blockhouse inside so in case we were attacked we would have some protection, but as luck was on our side, we didn't have to move in. By this time it had become evident that Indians and white men couldn't get along together with any satisfaction, so there were reservations selected by the whites and preparations made to move the Indians to their new homes where the white man was supposed to let them alone.
    There was a sort of agency established at Empire, and a man by the name of Drew was sent there as agent to look after and take care of the Indians as they were gathered in by the volunteer company from the different parts of the country. I don't remember how many there were in all. They were all of the Coquille and Coos Bay tribes. The government had to feed them and furnish them with some clothing. When it came to food, there were no domestic animals for meat. Father had become quite a hunter by this time, and not being afraid of Indians, he contracted with Agent Drew to furnish the Indians elk meat at 10 cents per pound. He took Jack Pence in as a partner. There were no elk near Empire that they could get, but on the upper bay where there was marshland and on some of tributaries there had been forest fires and the country was more open.
MAKE LARGE CANOE
    The first thing they had to have was a big canoe. With the help of an Indian or two, they dug out a canoe that could carry a ton or more (with white man's tools the Indians were not much help). They soon got acquainted with the habits of the elk and the country most inhabited by them. I don't think they ever went out and came back empty handed.
    They had to paddle their canoe 12 to 20 miles to get to their hunting grounds, and then when they killed an elk it had to be carried on their backs to the canoe, sometimes not far, other times a mile or more. They would make a trip to the hunting ground once a week. The weight of these elk dressed amounted to, for yearlings about 150 pounds, cows 300 to 400, a big fat buck 600. Late in the summer of '56 Father and Pence killed one buck eight or 10 miles out on the Randolph trail that weighed 800 dressed. By this time, they had got hold of a horse each. They packed this elk in on those two horses at one load. One horse was never much account after that.
ESTABLISH FIRST SCHOOL
    That winter of 1856, my second term of school, a man by the name of Chick taught a three-months subscription school. This time we had a few more pupils and a few more books. I had a primer, first reader, and Sanders spelling book. And now our neighbors, the Siwash, were taken to the Siletz Reservation.
   Our next move was to get back to our home on Russell Creek. We piled our belongings into the canoe and struck out. Our experience was similar to our first trip, only we didn't have the Indians to help us over the isthmus. At this time (about the first of October 1856) there were four of us in the family instead of the three who made the first trip. I had a little baby sister about a month old. Her name was Nelly Ann.
Myrtle Point Herald,
September 17, 1936, page 1


COOS PIONEER TELLS OF FIRST LONG WINTER
    We camped out nights on the way. The third day we went as far as [the] Ephraim Catching place. The donation land claim he was living on is now the city of Myrtle Point, and he was one that had taken an Indian woman for a wife and had built of logs and split lumber a very comfortable shack to live in. He had an acre or two cleared and in corn and garden truck. Father made arrangements with Catching to go up to our place and help him finish the house he had started to build the year before. Mother, little Nelly and I were to stay with the squaw until they got the house so it would shelter us from the winter rains we expected soon.
    We lived with the Indian woman two or three weeks. She had never seen a white papoose before and was very much interested in the way it was taken care of, so different from the Indian way. My mother said she was industrious and anxious to learn the ways of the white people.
MOVE INTO HOME
    R. Y. Phillips had moved his family back to his place on Rowland Prairie a month before. He had some cattle and several head of horses this time. They had opened a horse trail so that stock could be moved over from Empire to the upper settlement on the Coquille. When Phillips moved his stock, Father had him take his one horse (old Charley) along. So when he got ready to move home he borrowed a gentle mare from Phillips (named Beck) that had been driven across the plains three years before. With old Charley and Beck and two pack horses from our neighbor Jones, we moved up to our home.
    I was nine years old, had a rifle and small single-barrel shotgun. There was plenty of game; we only killed it when we needed meat. Our nearest neighbors, the Indians, were gone, so it was a long lonesome winter. No newspaper, and no books except the Bible. Father had a violin which he brought across the plains, and he could play the old-time music to perfection. That helped to while away the long winter evenings.
OPEN UP SIXES MINES
    About that time, the Sixes mines were discovered by a man named Jake Summers. By the next summer there were quite a number of miners in there. They built a little town and called it Summersville, constructed out of split lumber or whipsawed--hotel, store and two saloons--a good day's travel from where we lived, over [a] mountain trail. All supplies had to be packed in on mule or horseback. The animals had to be shod. Shoeing horses, sharpening picks and mending guns gave Father plenty of work in his little shop. He picked up quite a bit of gold dust. At that time he had to make the shoes out of most any kind of iron he could get, and he also had to make the nails. It cost $6 to shoe a horse all-around.
    About this time my work began. Father made an axe for me of suitable size and gave me a few lessons in the art of chopping. Believe me, from then on, I had plenty of practice. By the time I was 12 years old, I had cut about all the wood for the cookstove and fireplace. It was all cut then with an axe. A crosscut saw was only used then to saw logs into board length, then it took two men to run one handle at each end. Never more than one in a neighborhood and it never in order, it seemed like. No one knew how to file or put one in order.
Myrtle Point Herald, September 24, 1936, page 1


PIONEERS USE BUCKSKIN CLOTHES
    All of our timber at that time we cut with an axe. I was 19 or 20 before I saw one man run a crosscut saw, then it didn't have any rakers. The first logs that were cut on Coos Bay for the sawmills were cut with a two-man saw, and to keep the saw cut open they actually drove in the saw cut wooden wedges with a niggerhead maul.
FARING WELL NOW
    In March 1857, the John Yoakam family moved up. Three children, Jasper, George and Martha, settled just above us on the creek. They lived with us 'til they got a cabin built. About that time, John Hill brought in from Douglas County two yoke of oxen, one yoke for him and one yoke for Father. Now we were getting pretty well fixed. Father brought the four cows in from Camas Valley that he had left there during the Indian War. That made six cows and the calf we raised the first summer, two years old now, and four or five yearlings. Mr. Yoakam had a few cattle and a couple of horses. We also had a few hogs.
    Up to this time we had depended on wild game for our meat altogether. Elk tallow for candles, bear fat for lard and the only fruit we had was berries we gathered in the woods that grow wild there yet. We dressed buck skins and made buckskin pantaloons and moccasins. As soon as we got some land in cultivation we raised vegetables and made some butter that we found a market for with the miners. Our hogs multiplied and did very well on the acorns and myrtle nuts. When finished up on a little corn they made good pork. It all had to be packed to the mines on horseback.
SET OUT ORCHARD
    The fall of 1857, Father and John Hill brought in from the Willamette Valley some fruit trees, then proceeded to plant an orchard. A few of those trees are alive now, 77 years this fall since they were set out. At this time there were four white families on the Coquille River, including ourselves, the Phillips family five miles above us, Yoakams [ad]joining places and Hoffman six miles below. Quite a number of young single men had taken claims and some had married squaws.
    The next year, 1858, Mr. Yoakam made a trip to Roseburg (not much of a burg then) with some pack horses to bring in flour for the next winter. The early settlers were raising some wheat. They had built a grist mill on Deer Creek and had flour for sale. While at the hotel Yoakam met two men who were traveling horseback looking for a place to locate a small colony. They were from Baltimore, came to 'Frisco by water and then bought their ponies. Yoakam told them of this new country that was just being settled and they concluded to come to the Coquille country with him. Their names were Dr. Henry Hermann and [Joseph] Usterhouse--I can't recall the latter's initials. Well, they were looking for a new country and they sure found it here, and were well pleased.
SETTLE HERE
    Dr. Hermann bought a bachelor out two miles below us by the name of Harry Baldwin. There was no land cleared on the place and only a very small shack to live in. Usterhouse settled a mile below where we lived. After a month or so they both took berth on a sailing vessel at Empire bound for San Francisco. Dr. Hermann went back to Baltimore.
    Early in the spring of 1859 he started for Oregon with a colony of six or eight families and a number of young single men. They came by water and the Isthmus of Panama and landed at Port Orford. A man by the name of Ned Fay hauled the party up the beach to the mouth of the Coquille, except a few young chaps who walked through on the trail. T. M. Hermann was on of those who walked. Then a boy of about 15, he was quite a curiosity to me with his city clothes, and I was as much so for him, clothed mostly in buckskins.
DROWNING OCCURS
    The families got to the mouth of the Coquille without any mishap, then they had to get boats and canoes to move up the river. On the way up, one of the Schroeder boys, a lad of 12 or 15, fell out of the boat and was drowned. That was a very sad affair, coming as it did right at the end of the long journey.
    Now sometime in the month of May, 1959, they were here in a wild, timbered country, the like of which they had never dreamed of. Right from the city, doctor, shoemaker, tinner, piano maker, cigar maker, blacksmith and carpenter, not a woodsman in the company. The land had to be cleared before it could be put in cultivation and that was no easy task even for a backwoodsman.
FIRST PIANO IN COUNTRY
    Mr. Schroeder brought with him a stock of shoes and boots. He also brought a piano, the first on the Coquille River and I feel pretty sure the first in the county. He bought part of the John Hill donation land claim and with the help of his sons soon had a shack of a house to live in.
    Dr. Hermann and his sons, and some young men that came out with them, proceeded to build a house all out of split timber, mostly red cedar. That house is a landmark and is in use at this time by George Hermann, a grandson of Dr. Hermann.
SUPPLIED WITH TINWARE
    The tinner took up land on the opposite side of the river. He had to build also out of the woods. He had brought with him some tools and some sheet tin and was soon able to supply the settlers with tinware.
Myrtle Point Herald, October 1, 1936, page 1


BRING FREIGHT AROUND HORN IN THE 1860s
    There was plenty of game, but these people knew nothing about hunting, and the guns they had were not suitable for large game, but there were quite a few of the earliest settlers that were from the backwoods states who had brought Kentucky rifles across the plains with them. At that time these were the best guns made--muzzleloaders, caplocks and some flintlocks. However, it was no trouble to keep the newcomers from the city in meat.
    Just the same, handicapped as they were, they pulled through, and the descendants of the Hermanns, Schroeders, Volkmars and Stauffs are among the leading citizens of the country. Usterhouse, Peggles, and a few others moved to California.
BRING GRIST MILL HERE
    Schroeder and Volkmar brought a little sawmill and grist mill combination. I think this mill and other heavy freight came around the Horn. The sawmill didn't amount to much, but the grist mill ground our corn and wheat for several years. It didn't have a bolt, therefore we had to separate the bran from the flour by hand. Then it made a very good coarse bread--[it] beat grinding it in a coffee mill.
    About 1861 Coos County was divided into school districts Nos. 1 and 2. All the watershed of Coos Bay comprised No. 1, and the watershed of the Coquille No. 2. Binger Hermann, then a boy about 18 years old, taught the first public school in Coos County in District No. 2. I was one of eight who attended that school. That was the summer of 1861. The year before, or the winter of 1860, I attended for about three months a private school taught by Dock Brockway on Rowland Prairie, five miles over the mountain from where we lived.
WALKS HOME WEEKENDS
    I boarded part of the time with the Chris Lehnherr family and part of the winter with the Phillips family. They lived on adjoining places. After school Friday evening I walked the five miles over the mountain trail, about half the distance through heavy timber. Saturday I would help cut and haul wood to last the next week with a yoke of oxen. Sunday evening I would walk back over the trail to school. I was now 13, and small for my age.
    The winter of 1862 was one to be remembered by all oldtimers. It was noted for cold weather, snow and high water. Our house was off the ground four or four feet above the level of the creek bottom land. About the last of November, '61, the hills and mountains were covered with snow to a depth of several feet. Then came a warm south wind. It commenced early in the morning and blew as hard as I have ever seen it blow. It blew down lots of green timber. At noon it was all over, and then a warm rain commenced. It was a steady downpour and lasted about 12 hours before it quit, leaving water all over the bottom lands and four feet deep in our house. We had a little smokehouse back of the house nearby on the hillside, and we moved everything we could into it. Mother and I were alone at the time. Father had gone to the Sixes mines the day before with a few pack horses loaded with pork to sell to the miners.
DEBRIS BLOCKS TRAIL
    The trail was so blockaded with fallen timber that Father didn't get home for several days. Up to that time we had not raised or prepared any winter feed for our stock. At that time there wasn't such a thing as a barn in the country. That spring, 1862, my mother took sick, and in May she passed away.
    Now my troubles began. All my life I had been right with my mother. She had taught me how to cook, which was a lucky thing, as Father knew nothing about it, and there was no one to get to help, so we had to get along the best way we could. I was in my 15th year and my little sister, Nelly, was in her sixth. It was up to Russell now to keep house, cook, wash and iron. Very little of the latter was done.
FATHER GOES TO IDAHO
    I also had to help with the outdoor work--cut wood, milk cows, hoe in the garden and cornfield. We got along the first year somehow. The spring of '63 Father conceived the notion of taking a few beef cattle that we had and some of the neighbors' and driving them to the gold mines in Idaho that had been discovered the year before. There was a big rush from the western coast to those mines.
Myrtle Point Herald, October 8, 1936, page 1

COUGAR PROVES CRAFTY MATCH FOR PET DOG
    Well, he took 60 head of fat steers. A young man by the name of Tom Hart, who wanted to go to the mines, helped him drive them out there. There was a family by the name of Grant that had settled on the river above us--a widow woman, one son, O. J. Grant, and a daughter, Julia Ann Grant. O. J., like all the young fellows in the country, got the gold fever and struck out for the mines. Father made arrangements with his mother and sister to make their home at our house. While he was gone that was a great relief to me to have someone to keep house and take care of Nelly.
ATTENDS SCHOOL
    Miss Julia Ann Grant taught school in our district that summer. My sister attended the school and I did part of the time; my being the only man on the ranch made my attendance at school somewhat irregular. We milked a few cows and made some butter the old-fashioned way with the old dash churn. We made some to sell. I took that on pack horse to the Sixes miners, two days' hard riding over the mountain trails to the mines and back.
    I was now in my 16th year and a good shot with a rifle--all muzzle loaders with cap locks, very accurate up to 100 yards. The only recreation I had was to go hunting on Sunday or get with other neighbor boys and go in swimming. Up to that time I had killed elk, deer and bear. I must tell of the first panther I killed. We had two pastures, one on each side of the creek. On the west side the prairie open land came down to the creek. On the east side there was a strip of timber and brush about 100 yards wide with a gradual slope up to the prairie. There was a fence on the east side to separate the pastures, no fence on the west side. The stock could get to the water without any trouble.
WATER IS SCARCE
    After the winter and spring [rains] ceased, the water on the east pasture got scarce. I would have to drive the cows out to water every day. I concluded I would fence in part of the creek at one place so I could open the fence and let the cows go to water when they pleased. I found a place where the creek bank was high and steep on the west side and where a tree of considerable size had fallen across the creek. The top connected with the steep bank on the west side. With my axe I cut poles nearby and soon built a fence or blockade on the log. This was the lower side of my project, and 15 or 20 feet above I got rails, cut and carried poles and soon had the job completed. This was 300 or 400 yards up the creek from the house.
    Now I shouldered my axe and started [home], proud of my job. As I went by I glanced at the log where I had done the first work on my project, and there lay a big panther. He had got on the butt of the log in the edge of the brush and crawled out there without my seeing him. The first thing I thought of was my dog, Scot, and he was not in sight. I knew he was somewhere around, as he was always with me. I called a time or two. The panther never moved. But we didn't have long to wait, the panther and I. Scot had been out in the woods, struck the panther track and followed him to the log.
DOG CORNERS PANTHER
    About the time the dog struck the log the panther saw him. He didn't seem to want to come over in the open where I was, nor did he want to face the dog. He was not long in making up his mind, however, and jumped quartering downstream onto the bank. Next jump he was on the fence, and there the dog nailed him and pulled him down, top rails and all. Though Scot was a large, powerful dog, he was no match for that panther except in courage. The cat knocked him loose and ran up a myrtle that leaned out over the creek.
    Now I am coming to the part that was most interesting to me. I knew the dog would keep the panther up the tree till I could go to the house for a gun. Grandma Grant was alone. Her daughter, the teacher, and my little sister were at school. I asked Grandma if she would like to see a live panther, and she said she would. By this time I had shot pouch and gun in hand, and we were where we could hear Scot barking. It was good walking up the creek bottom. The creek was very low. What water there was in it ran next to the bank. Where the tree leaned out far, the top was right over the gravel bar on the opposite side. We went down on the bar so Grandma could see the beast. I told her to stop where we were and I would go a little closer where I could have a good shot at his head.
Myrtle Point Herald, October 15, 1936, page 1


EXPERIENCES ON IDAHO TRIP IN 1860s TOLD
    When I was about ready to shoot, I looked around and there was Grandma right behind me with a big rock in each hand. What she intended to do, I do not know. She was perfectly cool. I shot the panther in the head and it fell out on the gravel bar not over a rod from where we were standing. I think that was my first panther. I had helped tree several before but someone else always did the shooting.
(End of Manuscript)
   
    After Mr. Dement had written the above manuscript for the Herald, he told the writer many more interesting and historic facts about himself and family and the times in which he was reared. These will be recounted here.
    The little town in southeastern Ohio in which Russell Dement first saw the light of day, Harrietsville, was later swept out by one of the many freshets suffered by residents of the Ohio River Valley. Harrietsville was located approximately 25 miles southwest of Wheeling, W. Va.
PARENTS' BIRTHPLACES
    Dement's parents were both born near there. His mother was born in Harrietsville and his father, who was of French and Scotch extraction, was born not far from there at the little town of Calais, named after his father's (R. C. Dement's grandfather) birthplace in France.
    As there were no pictures taken in Oregon in those days, the only remembrance he carried with him of his mother was the following notation in her own handwriting in a priceless old book, of which more will be written later: "Evil communications corrupt good manners. Caroline Dement, Oct. 20, 1855, Russell's Creek, Coquille Valley." This was written just before the family left the creek on account of the Indian war and went down to Empire where the next fort was.
TREK TO IDAHO
    The next spring after the panther episode and after Father had returned from his trip to Idaho and eastern Oregon, he again had the old lady Grant, her son Jay, father of the Grants now living at Gaylord, and her daughter Julia Ann Grant, who later married Jim Carman, stay on the ranch with my little sister Nelly while he and I started out with 150 head of beef cattle on the trail to Camas Valley with mines at Bannock (now Idaho City) as our ultimate destination. Buena Vista bar adjoined Bannock in the mountains there. Two or three hired cowboys accompanied us as far as Grand Ronde.
    We drove those cattle out over the mountains, down through the Willamette Valley and over the Cascade Mountains on the old Barlow Gate route. Samuel Barlow had made a road through there and put a toll gate on it. Our family had crossed over this road 12 years before this when coming to Oregon. There was no toll gate then.
Myrtle Point Herald, October 22, 1936, page 1


TELLS OF TRIP WITH CATTLE TO IDAHO
ROAD IS IMPROVED
    When we took the cattle back over the old Emigrant Trail, now the Loop Road, there was a good grade there and we didn't notice the mountains. When we came west originally, Laurel Hill, just south of Government Camp, was so steep that we had to let the wagons down with ropes.
    On this trip we went over the mountains, through the wheat country and on up to the Grand Ronde Valley where Father concluded not to market the cattle that season as they were not fat enough. So we wintered them in the Grand Ronde Valley. It was an exceptionally hard winter and we lost about 40 head. The next spring when the grass started up we started out with the cattle, letting them graze now and then at watering places. We drove them slowly, so they were in pretty good shape when we got them to a place about five miles east of Boise City. Here we sold some and drove the rest to the mines, a few at a time, until we had only about 60 head left, and these we took 200 miles to South Boise, were we kept them until winter set in. By this time, we had a chance to sell them and started for home, two summers and one winter after we had left Coos County. During this entire time we had never slept off the ground, and everything we had eaten had been cooked over an open fire. That winter we had a little cabin with dirt floor on which we slept.
LIVE OUT OF DOORS
    Everything we ate we cooked in a camp kettle and frying pans over the campfire. We baked sourdough bread in the frying pan. Food was high in that eastern country. Flour sold for $14 for a 50-pound sack and lasted two men three weeks. Sugar and coffee were proportionately high.
    After selling the last of the cattle and starting for home, we came down to Umatilla Landing on the Columbia, not far from Pendleton, and there we sold the saddle and pack horses and took a boat down to The Dalles, then over the portage and then on another boat went down to Portland. Propellers were not in vogue then, so the river boats were of the stern paddlewheel type. I decided to stay in Portland and go to school, so entered the Portland Academy, a Methodist Institution.
GOES TO FOREST GROVE
    At first, I batched alone and went to school, but after a bit I found another young fellow who decided to chip in with me, so I had a partner most of the winter. I attended school five months and then took a notion to go to Forest Grove. I didn't have much baggage. I went there with my batching partner, Willis J. Dean, who was acquainted in that country and had taught country school there. I went to a farmer's place about five miles north of Forest Grove and worked for him most of the summer. Dean taught school on Gail's Creek not far from where I was stopping, and I went to school to him for a while. He had a pretty fair education.
    In the meantime, Father went east via the Panama route, across the Isthmus, around to New York and back to Ohio, and in the spring of '56 he brought my stepmother from Ohio by water and across the Panama Isthmus. Very few went around the Horn at that time. There were boats plying on this side and on the other side of the Isthmus.
Myrtle Point Herald, October 29, 1936, page 1


EARLY SETTLER TELLS OF BANK ORGANIZATION
    After he had been home quite a while he wrote me in August and asked me to come home and said in the letter that he would take a horse to Roseburg for me to ride in over the trail. He sent me stage fare from Forest Grove to Roseburg, but I looked at that money and figured I could make $2 a day by walking, so I took my old carpet bag and what few belongings I had and walked to Roseburg in 5½ days.
    Father's second wife was Louisa Lovitt before her marriage. She was a cousin of my mother's and came from Duck Creek, Ohio, also.
TAKES SQUATTER'S RIGHTS
    I was 19 years old and worked for Father from then until I was 21. Then I took a squatter's right on Long Prairie, now owned by Lester Dement, and I worked out here and there for two years. I batched on the ranch when I was not working for somebody, and when I got a few dollars I would buy a calf or cow. I was about 23 when I sold my first cattle off the ranch, a small bunch of 14 or 15 head.
RETURN TO RANCH
    My wife knew I had taken up squatter's rights--we had been there with several young folks before we were married--and while we knew we could make a living on Coos Bay, decided that we would rather go to the ranch.  We lived out there seven years, most of the time four miles from the nearest neighbor, my father. Wm. Johnson had a place between mine and Father's and I bought out Johnson. In seven years, I accumulated quite a bit of property. I did well in the butcher business and invested it in other ranch land near my original homestead--sometimes five or six miles away.
    Then our oldest children wanted to go to school, so I bought a place down on the South Fork of the Coquille River just above Broadbent, where Fred Massey lives now. We lived there seven years, then I bought a place at Norway where the McCloskey Grove is now. I owned that place 40 years. We lived there about six years, but my wife's health was none too good, so we went to Bandon and bought the house where George Topping now lives. We only resided there two years, and several years later I sold the place to Topping, having rented it in the meantime. 
    We now decided to return to the ranch where Massey now lives and bought property in town, the big home next to the Myrtle Point High School. We lived there for over 30 years. Where the high school stands now was then a myrtle grove. Later we sold this property to the high school district, and the place has since been torn down and the land converted into an athletic field.
ORGANIZE COQUILLE BANK
    I was one of the six who started the First National Bank of Coquille City over 30 years ago. Others were: A. J. Sherwood, Coquille attorney and fine business man, since deceased; Linton Harlocker, father of Charles Harlocker, former Myrtle Point drugstore proprietor and now of Portland. (Linton Harlocker was county judge for a long time, county assessor for quite a while and sheriff for a time. He was always put in some public capacity, for he was a good man. He lived in Coquille.) L. H. Hazard, president of the Coquille Bank now. R. E. Shine, since deceased. He left this country and lived in Pasadena for a long time before his death. Isaiah Hacker was another organizer.
    We organized this bank, buying out a man by the name of G. W. White, whose son, Dr. F. M. White of Los Angeles, married my daughter Winnie, who died a few years ago. Sherwood was president at first, Hazard was cashier and I was vice president.
START MYRTLE POINT BANK
    Later Jim Flanagan and Joe Bennett started a bank here in Myrtle Point, which the called the Myrtle Point Bank. They ran it 10 years, selling it then to A. H. Black, who with his son ran it for two years. Black sold the institution to Augustus Adelsperger, who is now a resident of Marshfield.
Myrtle Point Herald, November 5, 1936, page 1


WAS PARTNER IN FIRST MEAT FIRM IN COOS
    Due to the act that a small section of this pioneer story was inadvertently omitted from this column last week we are starting with that section and retaining the continuity by repeating a part of last week's installment, both in order.
    I was 19 years old and worked for Father from then until I was 21. Then I took a squatter's right on Long Prairie, now owned by Lester Dement, and I worked out here and there for two years. I batched on the ranch when I was not working for somebody and when I got a few dollars I would buy a calf or cow. I was about 23 when I sold my first cattle off the ranch, a small bunch of 14 or15 head.
    These I sold to a man by the name of H. P. Whitney, who has no relatives in this country now. He came to Coos Bay and started the first butchering business on the bay. He bought my first cattle and I helped him drive them down to his butcher shop on his ranch at Pony Slough. On the way down he found out that I knew something about handling cattle and he didn't. There were no roads. Just trails and no bridges. If you couldn't ford you had to swim.
SOUGHT AS A PARTNER
    On the trip down, which took three days, he asked me how I would like to go into the butcher business. I told him I had no capital to go into any business, but he mentioned it again after we got there and said if I wanted to try it he would furnish me capital and not charge me any interest for the first year and if I didn't like it I could quit. He wanted me to buy cattle and drive them in for [omission?] he could sell them, as times were booming on the bay then. Lumbering was good, and they were opening coal mines all over the country.
    I hadn't much more than gotten home when here came a boy on horseback with this message from Whitney: Whether you'll go in with me or not, I want you to buy me some cattle and bring them down. There was no telegraph nor telephone in those days, and all messages had to be sent on horseback.
MARRIED IN 1874
    I bought him some cattle and delivered them and told him I'd go in with him. This was in 1873 and the next year I was married to Lucy Ann Norris, and my wife and I lived down there at Sutterville, where Whitney had built a dwelling, slaughter house and drying house. We wintered there the first year after we were married. Along toward the latter part of the next year, times dropped and the boom was over on Coos Bay.
    The first government surveyor, Truax, meandered the river as far and farther than ever would be navigable and a section back. I had taken up squatters' right on a creek which Truax had named Russell Creek. (Wright, who worked for Dement, called it Dement Creek.) On the old maps, Truax survey, it was called Russell Creek.
RETURN TO RANCH
    My wife knew I had taken up squatter's rights--we had been there with several young folks before we were married--and while we knew we could make a living on Coos Bay, decided that we would rather go to the ranch. We lived out there seven years, most of the time four miles from the nearest neighbor, my father. Wm. Johnson had a place between mine and Father's and I bought out Johnson. In seven years, I accumulated quite a bit of property. I did well in the butcher business and invested it in other ranch land near my original homestead –sometimes five or six miles away.
Myrtle Point Herald, November 12, 1936, page 1



PIONEER OWNED PROPERTY OVER ENTIRE COUNTY
    Then our oldest children wanted to go to school so I bought a place down on the South Fork of the Coquille River just above Broadbent where Fred Massey lives now. We lived there seven years, then I bought a place at Norway where the McCloskey grove is now. I owned that place 40 years. We lived there about six years, but my wife's health was none too good, so we went to Bandon and bought the house where George Topping now lives. We only resided there two years, and several years later I sold the place to Topping, having rented it in the meantime.
    We now decided to return to the ranch where Massey now lives and bought property in town, the big home next to the Myrtle Point High School. We lived there for over 30 years. Where the high school stands now was then a myrtle grove. Later we sold this property to the high school district, and the place has since been torn down and the land converted into an athletic field.
ORGANIZE COQUILLE BANK
    I was one of six who started the First National Bank of Coquille City over 30 years ago. Others were: A. J. Sherwood, Coquille attorney and fine business man, since deceased; Linton Harlocker, father of Charles Harlocker, former Myrtle Point drugstore proprietor and now of Portland. (Linton Harlocker was county judge for a long time, county assessor for quite a while and sheriff for a time. He was always put in some public capacity, for he was a good man. He lived in Coquille). L. H. Hazard, president of the Coquille Bank now. R. E. Shine, since deceased. He left this country and lived in Pasadena for a long time before his death. Isaiah Hacker was another organizer.
    We organized this bank, buying out a man by the name of G. W. White, whose son, Dr. F. M. White of Los Angeles, married my daughter Winnie, who died a few years ago. Sherwood was president at first, Hazard was cashier and I was vice president.
START MYRTLE POINT BANK
    Later Jim Flanagan and Joe Bennett started a bank here in Myrtle Point, which they called the Myrtle Point Bank. They ran it 10 years, selling it then to A. H. Black who with his son ran it for two years. Black sold the local institution to Augustus Adelsperger, who is now a resident of Marshfield. Between that time and the time that the Bank of Myrtle Point took it over there was another owner, whose name I do not recall.
    When the Bank of Myrtle Point purchased it, I took a little stock. I wasn't much interested then, but finally some insurance men came here from Spokane, Wash. At that time R. A. Annin was practically running the bank. When Adelsperger and I had some stock in the Myrtle Point Bank we had L. M. Supplee, who had run the Flanagan and Bennett Bank, come in and people all around town had an interest in it. When this Spokane outfit came, supposedly to buy us out, we all sold.
START SECURITY BANK
    In a year or so Supplee and I talked things over and we decided to start the Security Bank. Chas. Broadbent was running the Broadbent Creamery at that time and he took quite a bit of the stock. The rest was distributed between approximately 50 stockholders. The object was to get more people interested in the bank.
   The Security Bank was organized in 1919 and opened for business September 1. I was president of the bank for 15 years. N. G. W. Perkins was vice president from the beginning, succeeding me as president when I resigned in January, 1935, and L. M. Supplee was the cashier at first.
BANKING COLD BLOODED
    This banking business is cold blooded and as you grow older you mellow, or soften, so I don't think old people are fit for bankers. This was my reason for resigning at the age of 87.
    I never was much of a politician, never held any high office. I was county commissioner a couple of times and tried to play the game fair, and whether I have or haven't succeeded is for the people that I have associated with in business to say--not for me.
Myrtle Point Herald, November 19, 1936, page 1


DEMENT STORY INTERESTING
(Final installment of R. C. Dement feature story)
    There are two highly prized possessions in the Dement family--one an old violin, which was brought across the plains by the Samuel Dement family, and the other an exceptionally interesting heirloom, recording so many transactions of interest that it is impossible to enumerate all of them in these columns. However, your reporter has picked out the most unusual.
    This keepsake, which was valued so highly by R. C. Dement that he did not allow it to leave his possession for more than a few brief hours at a time, was a book which originally belonged to his grandfather. The covers of this book, which is 135 years old, are of pasteboard covered with leather, but the feature of its condition which Dement greatly bemoaned was that its leaves were of very poor grade of paper, scarcely better than the present newsprint.
    The first entry in this old-time journal bears the date of February 5, 1800. The book, however, is not quite intact, for when R. C. Dement's parents reached Oregon they tore a page out of the book on which to write their first message home to relatives back in the Buckeye State. It took six months in those days, Mr. Dement stated, to receive an answer to letters sent back east. Ink in those days was made by cutting alder bark ooze up fine, boiling it and putting copperas in it. This made a good ink, "not right black, but a purplish color."
    The first item in Dement's prized book was a business transaction, showing the mode of living then, wages never being over 50 cents a day. Salt was high and was sold by the cupful.
    Dement's grandfather was evidently sheriff at one time, and so this entry: Feb 4, 1800. In full of an execution versus. . . . Others of interest will be quoted and will impart to the reader possibly a closer contact with those times than he has ever previously gained. And the more especially, when he comes to realize that this book is strictly authentic and just what it purports to be.
    Whiskey at the first of the book sold at 25 cents a quart and sometimes as low as 50 cents a gallon. Raccoon skins, 5½ of them at 40 cents each. Buck's neck (hide) 25 cents; the heavier of these, after they were tanned, were used for half-soling moccasins. Coon skins were used for vests or caps. One entry reads" one "ham of bacon" (ham) 17 pounds for $1.
    "April, 1808: Making one pair of shoes and furnishing sole leather, 75 cents. Making eight pairs of shoes, $4. Plow irons, $6.46. One pair of moccasins, 50 cents. Making overalls, 50 cents. Graining deerskin, 40 cents." (This referred to taking off the substance that the hair grows in, which has to be done before it could be tanned. As long as it was on, it would get wet and stiff.) "Dressing" hide with knife. One buckskin; $1. Eighteen pounds of beef, 60 cents. "Wagonage" of cider and supplies to Chillicothe (Ohio), $1 per hundred; from Chillicothe to the licks, 50 cents per hundred. This wagonage was likely transported from Southeastern Ohio, the former home of R. C. Dement's ancestors, and the licks referred to the salt springs where people went to make salt and wild animals went to lick.
   "Barrel apples, $3.50. Two deerskins (rawhide) at the lick, 73 cents. Two bushels of salt, $4. One quart of cider, 12½ cents. Two barrels of salt, $30, sold coming up the river. Three empty whiskey barrels, $3. Silk handkerchiefs, $1. One hat, $3. One calfskin, 87½ cents; another 62 cents. Sheepskin, 50 cents. Cowhides ranging from $2.50 to $2.76. Deer skin, 50 cents. Taking depositions, 25 cents (still serving as sheriff, apparently), ⅛ barrel tobacco, $1. Issuing two subpoens, 20 cents.
    "1813--Half bushel flaxseed, 50 cents. 357 rails, $1.78½. (A working day then was from sunup to sundown.) One bushel of wheat, $1. (When Dement came to Oregon, wheat was used as legal tender and if you owed a man money, he had to take wheat at a dollar a bushel or cancel the debt).
    "September, 1816--Peck of buckwheat, 12½ cents. Bushel seed corn, 50 cents. One hog, $3. One axe, $3 and another $3.50.
    "1824--Five bushel of oats, $1.
    "1828--One yoke of oxen, $12. Chain and yoke, $3. Sharpening shears, 6¼ cents. Sharpening two shovels, 12½ cents, Putting on two pairs of shoes, 50 cents.
    "1833--One side of sole leather weighing 12¾ pounds, $4.25."
   This age-old book even contained notes, IOs, etc., and these were paid or renewed by some other arrangement, that was also noted in the book.
    Of these early days, Mr. Dement stated that "if you had any conveniences, you had to make them yourself."
    The wonderful esteem Mr. Dement has gained during his lifetime is evidenced by many anecdotes told of Myrtle Point's "grand old man" since his demise. One of them related how when Jim Brown of Myrtle Point, as a boy, went to work for Dement on the latter's ranch one summer for the agreed wage of $15 per month. When young Brown asked for a small part of his money at the end of the first month in order to purchase himself some clothes, Dement paid him off at the rate of $45 per month instead, exclaiming that Brown had been worth that much to him.
    Many more such upright deeds and acts of kindness have been related to our reporter, who has only lately come to reside in this section, so many more, indeed, must R. C. Dement's friends and acquaintances in this section among whom he had lived all his life have known of his fine character. Your reporter has yet to hear one disparaging word spoken of him, in life or death, which is most unusual in one who had risen to so high a station in his own community, and who had been fortunate enough to accumulate so sizable an estate.
Myrtle Point Herald,
December 3, 1936, page 1

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AFTER THE COVERED WAGONS
Russell C. Dement
    I am jotting down a few things from memory according to the records, I was born October 11th, 1847 in little town called Harriets Ville on Duck Creek, Monroe County, Ohio. This town was about 25 miles southwest of Wheeling, West Virginia, and was later swept away by high water.
    My parents were both born near there. My mother was born in Harriets Ville and my father, who was of French and Scotch extraction, was born at the nearby little town of Calais, named after his father's birth place in France.
    I do not have any picture of my mother. In an old book, in her handwriting, is this statement: "Evil communications corrupt good manners. Caroline Dement, Oct. 20, 1855. Russell's Creek, Coquille Valley."
    This was written just before the family left the creek on account of the Indian war and went to Empire where the fort was.
    In 1851 when I was four years old my parents, Samuel Maxwell Dement and Caroline Spencer Dement, got the Oregon feavor. Father sold out his little grocery store, bought a team of horses and light wagon and loaded the wagon with bedding, clothing, grub and camp outfit necessary for a trip that was not finished till one year later. Goodbye to relatives and friends and with their four year old boy Russell they were off. I remember some things that happened before we left my birth place. My Mother had a brother Joseph Spencer, at that time living in Masura [Missouri]. My folks planned to go that far and winter and make an early start for Oregon the next spring. I remember a few things on the trip out to Masura. The team I remember--Gay and Jane--also we crossed a railroad. I remember we got some venison somewhere on the trip.
    We wintered with the Uncle Joe Spencers that winter. Uncle Joe and some of his neighbors had the urge to go west. So they formed a company and as soon as the grass started in the spring they were all raring to go--some to Oregon some to California. I don't remember much that happened that winter in Mo. other than my first introduction to hog and hominy and good corn bread--no other kind and black strap molasses.
    As the majority of the company were in favor of ox teams they persuaded my father to trade his span of horses for oxen so he did. He secured two yoke of oxen (Buck and Berry, Tom and Jerry). In the spring of 1852 as soon as the growth of grass had advanced sufficient to furnish feed for the stock we were off, I don't remember the exact date. When they got on the main trail there were lots of wagons ahead of them. It was a big "emigrate" on that crossed the plains that year. I have often heard my father say if he had known there were so many people on the road he would not have joined a company, the object of a large company was for protection in case they were attacked by hostile Indians, the emigrants were not disturbed that year that I ever heard of. The disadvantages traveling in a large company were many in case of sickness our train would have to lay over frequently. In our train we had Cholery, a number of people died with it, they said I had it and pulled through just by a small margin. And the dust was something awful you can imagine 25 wagons hauled by at least 100 oxen and strung out on one narrow track not saying anything about the loose stock that was driven along and I am speaking only of one outfit and there were many more like it. Their was several thousand people came to Oregon and California that year. The Captain of our train was a man that had been across the plains before, his name I can't recall. When we camped the wagons were all placed in a circle, the campfires built inside. When we got in the Indian Country the menfolks took turns standing guard, while we had not seen any Indians some thought it hardly necessary but our Captain said Indians often showed up when least expected. On account of the dust all should take their share, the team that led today would be the hind most one tomorrow; long time before it would be in the lead again.
    Very few realized the hard ships they would encounter. Most all loaded their wagons too heavy; consequently after traveling a few hundred miles their teams began to weaken. It became necessary then to lighten their loads, there being no second-hand store in sight, they had to unload on the side of the trail and from there on the side of the trail was strewn with plunder, furniture, cooking utensils, bedding, now and then a broken down wagon, very often a dead ox, that sight I can remember (that wasn't shown in the covered wagon) where the grass was plentiful and where there was water the grass was eaten off short, where the trail led through desert country more or less alkali and when we did come to water it would be so strong of alkali that it was not fit to drink, the oxen would after an all days drive in the dust be so famished they would drink anything that was wet; a great many died from that poison. After many days travel we came to the parting of the ways; one road led to Oregon the other to California. Uncle Joe Spencer with his family and many others took the road to Cal.--the Dements came to Oregon. We were delayed at some of the rivers but crossed without any mishaps that I ever heard of. My Father was a blacksmith by trade which came very handy, wagons frequently broke down, oxen got tender-footed and had to be shod while there were very few tools in the company they made the best of what they had. It has been said, and truly, that necessity often is the mother of invention, about the first trouble was wagon tires. Wood work of the wheels would shrink in the blistering sun and no way to dampen them at night, consequently the tires would get loose and have to be cut, shortened and welded and to do that without bellows or forge was quite a trick. Still he done it. We did not see many Indians till we came west of the Rocky Mountains, then we didn't meet any that were hostile. In Grand round Valley, there was quite a number and they were anxious to trade buckskins or anything they had for white mans food or clothing. I still remember very well some dry peas Father traded an Indian a pint of gunpowder for a pint of peas. Where the Indians got the peas I never knew. We were not in Oregon then by a long ways. We had the Blue Mountains yet to cross then from Burch Creek to Butter Creek then to Willow Creek then to John Day then Deschutes--long long drives without water. At that time these streams were not named.
    Then the Cascades was next, by that time our team was reduced to one yoke of oxen--Buck and Berry. Tom and Jerry had met the fate of many others and laid out by the wayside. Then something had to be done. Buck and Berry in their wore-out condition were not able to haul the wagon over the Cascade Mountains. My Mother was sick with what they called Mountain Fever and would not be able to walk any of the way, to they rested up a few days at the foot of the mountains. In the meantime, Father made a cart out of two wheels of the wagon and in that cart Buck and Berry hauled my mother and just enough of our worldly goods for us to barely get along with. We came over the old Barlow Gate route through the Cascade Mountains. We brought up at Oregon City, the oldest town in the country just six months and six days from the time we left Missouri. Father got some work to do at his trade. We rested up for awhile and Mother's health got better about that time. Father heard of a town they called Marrys Ville and that he could get black smithing work there so we moved what little he had up there. The city now is Corvallis. Now he had work and no use for the oxen so my Father sold old Buck and Berry.
    About that time there was big excitement over the gold mines that had been discovered in the Rogue River Valley. Early the spring of 1853, Father hired a man with a small pack train to pack us out to Jacksonville; about all the provisions brought to the mines at that time were packed on mules and horses, from Scotsburg next the mouth of Umpqua or from Crescent City. Schooners had been running in both places loaded with supplies for settlers and miners. In Jacksonville we soon got located in a little board shack with a dirt floor. Father didn't do any mining to speak of but worked at his trade and found plenty to do--shoeing horses and mules, and making tools, sharpening picks for the miners. Then the Indian War broke out, known as the Rogue River Indian War of 1853. The Indians were led by Tye John, the main chief of the Rogue River Indians. The volunteers were led by Gen. Joseph Lane. It was several months before peace was declared; during that time Father belonged to the home guard for which Uncle Sam gave him a land grant for 40 acres.
    On our pilgrimage from Marysville to Jacksonville, about 300 miles, we rode horse or mule back. Not having a side saddle, Mother rode a man's saddle and those days and many years after, a woman had to ride sidewise. On a side saddle it was not so bad but on a man's saddle it must have been very tiresome. It was my first experience riding horseback. I rode behind on the bareback. It took 10 or 12 days to make the trip. Camped on the way and cooked our food by campfire. We passed through no town on that trip. Jacksonville was the only town in the southern part of the Oregon Territory at that time, and it was just a mining town.
    At that time--1853--Coos Bay had been heard of and was a new territory to explore. So there was a company formed of young single men, the purpose was to go into the Coos Bay Country and find out something of the natural resources of that part of the country. There were 16 or 17 in that company (many settled in Coos County and became our neighbors later on). P. B. Marple, Cap't. W. H. Harris, Wm. H. Jackson, Billy Romanes, Wm. Duke, Geo. W. Weeks, John and Mart. Davis, Chas. Haskell, John and Jim MacVey, A. J. Pence and others I can't recall at this time: After making an exploration of Coos Bay and its tributaries, some of the company came back to Jacksonville and made a favorable report, telling what they had discovered. They claimed Coos Bay would be one of the best harbors on the coast and they also had discovered coal in several places, and timber--cedar and fir in inexhaustable supply. Also the rich bottom land on the river and sloughs. Also the bay was full of all kinds of saltwater fish and the tide flats were the home of many shell fish--clams, quahogs, crab, and other kinds, and plenty of game, such as elk, deer and bear. Men of families talked the thing over and seven of them concluded to take their families and move to Coos Bay.
    The families were:
    Curtis Noble, wife and five children: Kate, Elizabeth, William, John and Lyman.
    Dr. Folley, wife and two sons: Ufrates and Robert; these two were about 16 and 18 years old.
    Dr. Overbeck, wife, one son, Henry, my age, 6 yrs.
    Mr. Belknap, wife and boy, Jim, 6 yrs.
    Mr. Lockhart, wife and two little girls, Ella and Lilly, 4 and 2 yrs.
    Mr. Tolman, wife, no children at that time. They didn't stay long, we didn't get much acquainted.
    S. M. Dement, wife Caroline (Spencer), and boy, Russell Cook Dement, 6 yrs. old.
    We didn't all leave Jacksonville at the same time; those that had their own conveyance started first. We, like some of the rest, had no teams of our own and had to depend on teamsters or packers to move us to the promised land.
    At that time they had made a road down the Umpqua country as far as Scotsburg, the head of navigation on the Umpqua River. The same man that packed us out to Jacksonville from Marysville now had a job packing freight from Scotsburg to the mines and as he would be going down empty, Father made a dicker with him to move us that far on our way to Coos Bay. There was a scow on the river in which we and some others were taken down the river to the ocean beach, from there down to Coos Bay, about 20 miles. We were hauled in wagons drawn by (I won't say oxen), they were mostly cows, belonging to Mr. Curtis Noble. He and a few others was ahead of as about two or three weeks. Quite a number of young single men in the crowd. When we came to the bay we were on a strip of land, or rather sand hills between the bay and ocean. Most all sand dunes except some marsh land near the bay that furnished very good grazing for the stock. A good thing that was, for on the east side where the first settlement was made, it was most all timber and brush. Very little open ground on that side next the bay.
    When we came to the bay, the next thing and last lap of our journey was to get across the bay to where our friends had started a town and called it Empire City. The only conveyance then and for several years on the waters of Coos Bay was Indian canoes. Some of our friends paddled us across. That was the beginning of something we had to get used to, for there was no other may of travel; if you went anywhere on Coos Bay or tributaries, you had to go in an Indian canoe. And the Siwash only had fire and shells. Fire to burn, shells to scrape inside and out. He had no edge tools, till the advent of the white man, and when he got edge tools, he didn't know how to use them. If he had had to make a canoe with white man's tools, it would have been a failure.
    Well, now we are across the bay at the new town of Empire. Cap't. W. H. Harris, one of 16 that came in the early part of the summer of '53, took a donation land claim that later on became Empire City; when we arrived it was about the first of Oct. 1853. There was only one building that resembled a house and that was a log house being put up by Mr. Noble with the help of some of the young men and that was only up to the square. No arrangements made for the roof yet; they were lucky in one respect--there was plenty of white cedar close by, a new kind of timber to all. They soon learned they could fall those large trees with an ax (had ax-men in those days). And with the old-fashioned cross cut saw without any rakers and handle one each end, they managed to saw off logs.
    They found it fine splitting timber. They soon learned to split and rive out boards of most any length up to 6 or 8 ft. long. It was a busy time for all to get some kind of roof over their heads before the rainy season set in. In order to get the best timber, they had to go some distance in the forest and as they had no teams, it was up to them to carry the timber to build with, out on their shoulders. Well, they all managed with their tents and what they could build to get through the winter all right, as far as shelter was concerned, but the food supply was to be another story.
    The promoters of the enterprise had been informed that there would be a schooner loaded with provisions from San Francisco. Well, it didn't show up till spring. Provisions were very high in Jacksonville and the people brought very little with them. While there was plenty of Siwash muckamuck, we ran short on white man's grub. Then in winter time there were lots of wild ducks and geese, all kinds of fish in the bay. The tide flats were alive with clams, quahogs and crabs. Not far back in the more open timber were plenty of elk. With all these things there was no danger of starving. I still remember when our flour, bacon and beans, sugar and coffee ran out. Our table looked a little lonesome. When the little schooner did come in the spring, it meant many things we needed. Among other things was a few hogs and potatoes. I remember they were very small, and chile beans that took a half a day to cook. Now we had flour, sugar and coffee, blackstrap molasses or New Orleans molasses.
    The little shack that father built, we lived in most all winter without a floor. Finally we got a puncheon floor that made it more comfortable. Everybody was busy getting out split lumber to build with. That same year, '53, there were rich mines discovered in the vacinity of the mouth of the Coquille. It was very fine gold found in stratas of black sand, back from the river. Evidentally, it had been ocean beach at one time. This mine was called Randolf. Later, there were black sand mines worked above and below the mouth of the Coquille. Altogether, many thousands of dollars were taken out of the black sand mines. The summer of '54 there were a number of families moved in and settled about Port Orford and further north along the coast. In early spring of '54 there were several families in Coos Bay.
    John Yoakum, wife and 6 children: Drusilla, Susan and 2 little girls--I have forgotten their names--2 boys, Jasper A., 6 yrs., George W., 4 years. R. Y. Phillips, wife and 2 babies, twins, Charles and Laura, under one year. John L. Henderson, wife, no children. Dr. Toatman, wife, no children; and a host of young single men; Glen and James Aiken, Pat and Jim Flanagan; Geo. and Henry Carman and a host of others.
    One of the first things to do was to make trails. The black sand miners had to have grub. At that time, schooners had not tackled the mouth of the Coquille but were coming in to Coos Bay frequently. It became necessary to cut out trails to Randolf and to the Coquille. These trails were opened so a pack horse could barely get through. A log was seldom cut out. If it was too high for a horse to jump, they would cut around it. These trails followed the dividing ridges in order to avoid crossing streams. That spring and summer there was quite a lot of work done prospecting for coal. Father got quite a bit of work to do making and sharpening tools, whetting axes and shoeing pack animals.
    About July '54 that year, a man by the name of Thos. Johnson, discovered gold on Johnson Creek, a tributary of the South Fork of the Coquille. Mr. John Yoakum and my father took their blankets and some grub in a canoe and started for the mines. They paddled up the Bay past North Bend and Marshfield. The white man hadn't a mark at either place at that time. On up the isthmus slough to the isthmus, then paddled and waded down to the Coquille River, then upstream about 20 miles to the junction of the Middle and South Forks. It not now being practical to go farther in the canoe, they took their blankets and grub on their backs and struck out for the diggings, 30 miles away. The first night on the trail they camped where the trail crossed Dement Creek (it got that name later on). In addition to the blankets and grub, they had their old muzzel-loading Kentucky rifles.
    There they found quite a bit of open prairie country. They laid over there one day and took a hunt and got acquainted with a tribe of Indians that were making their home on the creek at that time. The Tye of this band, Father asked how many squaws he had. "Two," he said. Father named him David after King David. Father and Yoakum were very much taken up with the country. Plenty grass, plenty game, elk, deer and bear. Father, with his camp ax, cut four small logs and laid them in a square as you would starting a log house. That was to show that someone had taken a land claim. They came back to Empire and reported what they had found and began to make plans to move to the Coquille country the following spring. Mr. Yoakum, in the meantime, got interested in coal mines that were being opened up on the head of coal bank slough, later called Newport Mines. Father and Mother began to plan how they were going to make a home in the new country among the Indians. They didn't own domestic animals of any kind. They had but little money to buy anything with.
    Father took what little money we had and struck out afoot to buy a couple of cows. He found cows in Umpqua Valley very high, so he walked on down through the Willamette Valley as far as Oregon City. There he met emigrants that had just crossed the plains. They had some cows. They would sell, so he bought two for $120.00. Tied them together and drove them up over a kind of a wagon road to Camas Valley, then over an elk and Indian trail through the coast range to the Coquille Valley. He put these 2 cows on the place he had previously taken up on the South Fork of the Coquille, then returned to Empire. He had walked on this trip at least 575 miles and was gone over a month. Those were the first cows in the Coquille River valley. Their names were Flower and Browny. Flower was a small cow with crumple horns, and in color something like Arshire (spotted) and a good milker. Browny was larger, brown in color, with line back and high horns. Nothing extra for milk. Now winter had set in, and moving was out of the question before spring.
    Now we are up to the winter of '54-'55. At that time there were about 10 or 12 children old enough to go to school. That was before Coos Co. was on the map. The parents hired Mrs. Esther Lockhart to teach the first school in what was to be Coos Co. We had very few books. Mother had taught me my A.B.C.'s the winter before out of our old Bible that we brought across the plains. I remember the time I had. She taught me the Capitals first--they were not so hard, but when I had to learn the small letters, that was quite different. School books were so scarce that several children had to use one book.
    Sometime about the middle of '55, we packed our worldly goods into 2 Indian canoes. Among other things, Father had gotten hold of a sow and 6 or 8 piglets. Well, he crated them up some way and took them along, with a few blacksmith tools and our household goods. We had our canoes well loaded. A young man by the name of Henry [Sanford] paddled one of the canoes, Father, Mother and I paddled the other. We made the head of Isthmus Slough the first day. There were some Indians there that helped as move across the Isthmus. One and ¼ miles to the head of the Beaver Slough, the Indians dragged our canoes by hand with some of the light plunder in them. When it came to the blacksmith tools, the squaw carried the anvil (125 lbs.) on her back with strap around her forehead. Then we had Beaver Slough to navigate--about 5 miles--with trees and brush hanging overhead, and beaver dams every little way, was something to contend with. We had not experienced this before. We were all day getting down to the Coquille River.
    There was a man camped at the mouth of the Slough by the name of John Hill, trapping beaver, at that time. Father had to make several trips through the slough before he had all of our plunder safely on the bank of the Coquille. Then Henry Sanford went back to the Bay. Father got a man by the name of Cunningham who, at that time, had just located a claim where the city of Coquille now stands. Cunningham was a single man and helped us till we got settled on our place.
    We loaded our possessions in 2 canoes and were off upstream. Cunningham paddled one canoe, Father, Mother and I paddled the other. The first day we made as far as the Henry Sanders place, now Norway. Sanders was a single man. The next day we only paddled to John Dulley's place at the junction of the North Fork. Then the Indians told us that the cows that Father had driven in the fall before had gone back on the trail as far as Enchanted Prairie. Mother and I camped there while Father and Cunningham went out and brought the cows back. The cows had both had calves, one calf was missing. They supposed the wolves had got it. Then we moved on with our canoes as far as the junction of the Middle Fork. Our home to be was 6 miles farther by trail and still farther by river on account of many rapids, it was not advisable to go any farther in our canoe, though Father did hire some Indians to take his blacksmith tools up the river in a canoe. A man by the name of Alex. Jones, single, had settled on what is now known as Herman Prairie. He had a couple pack horses. He packed our bedding, clothing and camp outfit the last 6 miles of our journey. We had to walk. Father drove the sow and pigs, Cunningham drove the 2 cows and one calf. Mother carried a half-dozen chickens and I carried the cat. It took most of the day to make that 6 miles, our last lap.
    When we struck the first prairie before we got to our home, we saw 2 squaws digging camas root; when they saw us they took their baskets on their back and struck out for their camp, which was up Dement Creek ¼ mile above where Father had located his claim the year before. We followed the Indian trail through the prairie and down on to a little creek bottom heavy-timbered. About the time we got unpacked and a fire started, all of old David's tribe came to visit us. Many of them had never seen a white man before, or a tenas Boston Man (white woman) [This is a translation error. "Tenas" is "small" in Chinook. "Tenas Boston" means "small white man," or "white boy," a reference to the young Russell Dement himself.]. They brought us some nice trout they had caught in traps they had in the creek. I went with my mother down to the creek bar to clean the fish and prepare them to cook for our first supper at our new home. With help of the Indians, Cunningham and Jones, Father got the blacksmith tools that the Indians had brought up the South Fork in their canoe, carried up to our ranch.
    The next thing was to build some kind of a house. There were some large older trees growing in the little creek bottom. They cut down some of those, cut them into about 12 foot lengths, split the logs into quarters or small enough so they could handle them. With these pieces they built up a square pen high enough to clear a man's head, then they cut a white fir tree nearby and split out some boards to cover the thing with. Then they cut out a doorway and when this house was finished, they hadn't used a nail. While at Coos Bay we had picked up a very small cook stove and a few joints of pipe. So when that was installed in our new house, our equipment for keeping house was complete.
    The next thing to build was a small board shack we called a shop. At that time there was quite a bit of gold being taken out of the Johnson Creek Mines. All supplies had to be packed on horses or mules. That gave Father quite a lot of work shoeing animals, sharpening picks, mending guns. Altogether he picked up several ounces of gold dust, mostly coarse gold. When he was not working out in the shop, he was getting out timber for a better house. He found some good white cedar timber nearby. With the help of a neighbor, bachelor, Elija Morris, who had some carpenters tools, they split out the white cedar lumber and started a frame house about 16 by 24 with an 8 ft. shed on the back side for a kitchen, porch on the front side full length and 6 ft. wide. They got it up, weather-boarded it with split boards and shaved it with drawknives. Roof on but no floor in yet; it was getting along toward fall.
    He had picked up enough gold dust to buy some more cows, so he got a young man by the name of A. J. Pence to stay with Mother and me, while he made another trip to Oregon City. He borrowed a pair of saddle bags of P. B. Marbel, traveled over the same road he had followed the fall before. This time he bought 4 cows of the emigrants, that had just crossed the plains. He paid the same price as before, $60 per head.
    When he got as far as the Umpqua Valley on his way home, he learned the Indians had gone on the warpath and had killed some people and had burned out several settlers in the valley. This was a general uprising. Most all the tribes of the western coast of Ore., Wash., and Northern Calif. took part. This is known as the Indian War of 1855-56. The tribes were all, with few exceptions, on the warpath to exterminate the whites. There was no way of finding out how his family and few neighbors were faring on the Coquille, so Father left his cows with Old Man Day and son, George, who had settled in Camas Valley and had some stock. Then he fell in with Mr. Hoffman who had recently located on the Hoffman place at the junction of the Middle and South Forks of the Coquille. They struck out and came through the mts. in the night--not knowing what might have happened to the people on the Coquille. We hadn't been disturbed. This was now about the 1st of Oct., '55. R. Y. Phillips, wife and 3 small children, had moved from Empire City to a claim he had taken on Roland Prairie about 5 miles above us on the River. Father talked the thing over with Phillips. They concluded it would be best to move the families back to Empire. In the meantime, Father sent word to the people on the Bay and a few of the young men came up to help us down.
    Mr. Hoffman and wife, who settled on his place soon after we came, had relatives (the wife's) living in the Umpqua Valley and they moved out there. I have often heard my father say he had no fear of the Coquille Indians and would not have left his home had it not been for fear that the Rogue River or Umpqua Indians might make a raid through our part of the country. In moving down to Empire, we only took our household goods, left the 2 cows, one calf, sow and shoats and blacksmith tools, and cabin and the better house not completed. We would have been perfectly safe to have stayed. The Indians didn't molest a thing after we left.
    The latter part of the next summer, '56, the Indians were all moved to reservations, except squaws that married white men. At that time, there were a number of white men that had squaws. There was a law passed compelling all these men to marry their squaws or let them go to the reservations. Most all married; some let them go. Well, we got back to Empire all right. Then the first thing there was a company of volunteers of 25 or 30 young single men. They elected a man, W. Harris, Capt. Then they built a stockade with block house inside in case we were attacked. We would have some protection, but as luck would have it, we didn't have to move in.
    By this time it had become evident that Indian and whites couldn't get along together with any satisfaction. So there were reservations selected by the whites. Preparations were made to move the Indians to their new homes where the white man was supposed to let them alone. There was a sort of an agency established at Empire. A man by the name of Drew was sent there as agent to look after and take care of the Indians as they were gathered in by the volunteer co. from the different parts of the country. I don't remember how many there were in all. They were all of the Coquille and Coos Bay Tribes. The government had to feed and furnish them some clothing. When it came to food, there were no domestic animals for meat.
    Father had become quite a hunter by this time and not being afraid of Indians, he contracted with Agent Drew to furnish the Indians with elk meat at 10¢ per lb. He took Jack Pence in as a pardner. There were no elk near Empire that they could get, but on the upper Bay where there was marshland and on some of the tributaries, there had been forest fires and the country was more open. The first thing they had to have a big canoe. With an Indian or two, they dug out a canoe that would carry a ton or more--with white mens tools--the Indians were not much help.They soon got acquainted with the habits of the elk and the country most inhabited by them. I don't think they ever went out and came back empty-handed. They had to paddle their canoe 12 to 20 miles to get to their hunting grounds, and then when they killed an elk, it had to be carried on their backs to the canoe. Sometimes they would make a trip to the hunting grounds once a week. The weight of the elk dressed out--yearlings about 150 lbs., cows 3 to 4 hundred lbs., a big bull and fat 600 lbs. Late in the summer of '56, Father and Pence skilled one bull, out on the Randolf Trail 8 or ten miles, that weighed dressed 800 lbs. By this time they had gotten hold of a horse, each. They packed this elk in on those 2 horses at one load. One horse was never much account after. That winter of '56, our second term of school, a man by the name of Chick taught 3 months, subscription school. This time we had a few more pupils and a few more books. I had a primer, first reader, and Sanders Spelling book.
    Now, our neighbors, the Siwash, were taken to the Siletz reservation. Our next move was to get back to our home on Dement Creek. We piled our belongings in a canoe and struck out. Our experience was similar to our first trip, only we didn't have Indians to help us over the Isthmus at the time. (This was about the 1st of Oct. '56.) There were four of us instead of three. I had a little baby sister about a month old. Her name was Nelly Ann. We camped out nights on the way. The 3rd day we made as far up as E. Catching's place. The donation land claim he was living on is now the city of Myrtle Point. He was one that had taken an Indian woman for a wife, and had built of logs and split lumber, a very comfortable shack to live in. He had an acre or two cleared and in corn and garden truck. Father made arrangements with Catching to go with us up to our place and help him finish up the house he had started to build the year before.
    Mother, little Nelly and I were to stay with the Squaw till they got the house so it would shelter us from the winter rains we expected soon. We lived with Indian woman 2 or 3 weeks. She had never seen a white pappoose before and was very much interested in the way it was taken care of--so different from the Indian way. Mother said she (the squaw) was industrious and anxious to learn the ways of the white people. R. Y. Phillips had moved his family back to his place on Roland Prairie a month before. He had some cattle and several head of horses. At this time, they had opened out a horse trail [so] that stock could be moved over from Empire to the upper settlement on the Coquille. When Phillips moved his stock, Father had him take his one horse (old Charley) along so when he got ready to move up home, he borrowed one gentle mare from Phillips (named Beck), that he had driven across the plains 3 years before. With old Charley and Beck and two pack horses from our neighbor Jones, we moved up to our home. I was 9 years old, had a rifle and a small single-barrelled shotgun. There was plenty of game. We only killed when we needed meat. Our nearest neighbors, the Indians, were gone. It was a long, lonesome winter, no newspaper, no books except the Bible. Father had a violin he had brought across the plains and he could play the old-time music to perfection. That helped to while away the long winter evenings.
    About that time, the Sixes Mines were discovered by a man named Jake Summers. By the next summer there were quite a number of miners in there. They built a little town and called it Summersville built out of split lumber or whipsawed--hotel, store and a couple of saloons. It was a good days travel from where we lived over a mt. trail. All supplies had to be packed in on mule or horse back. The animals had to be shod. Shoeing horses, sharpening picks, mending guns, gave Father plenty work in his little shop. He picked up quite a bit of gold dust. At that time he had to make the shoes out of most any kind of iron he could get. He also had to make the nails. It cost $6.00 to shoe a horse or mule all around.
    About this time, my work began. Father made an ax for me of suitable size and gave me a few lessons in the art of chopping. Believe me, from that time on I had plenty practice. By the time I was 12 years old, I had to cut about all the wood for the cookstove and fireplace. It was all cut then with an ax. A crosscut saw was only used then to saw logs into board lengths, and then it took two men to run one--one handle at each end, never more than one in a neighborhood and it never in order. Seemed like no one knew how to file or put one in order. All our rail timber we cut with an ax. I was 19 or 20 before I saw one man run a cross-cut saw, then it didn't have any rakers. The first logs that were cut on Coos Bay for the saw mills were cut with a 2-man saw and to keep the saw cut open they actually drove in the saw cut wooden wedges with a nigger-head maul.
    In March, '57, John Yoakum family moved up with 3 children, Jasper, George and Martha. Settled just above us on the creek. They lived with us until they got a cabin built. About that time, John Hill brought in from Douglas Co. 2 yoke of oxen, one for himself and one yoke for Father. Now we were getting pretty well fixed. Father brought the 4 cows in from Camas Valley that he had left there during the Indian war. That made 6 cows and one calf we raised the first summer, 2 years old now, and 4 or 5 yearlings. Mr. Yoakum had a few cattle and a couple of horses. We also had a few hogs; up to this time we depended on wild game for our meat altogether. Elk tallow for candles, bear fat for lard. The only fruit we had, was berries we gathered in the woods, they grow wild here yet. We dressed buckskins and made buckskin pantaloons and moccasins. As soon as we got some land in cultivation, we raised vegetables and made some butter that we found market for in the mines. Our hogs multiplied and did very well, on the acorns and myrtle nuts. When finished up on corn, made good pork. It all had to be packed to the mines on horse back.
   In the summer of 1856, Father and a couple of neighbors caught and raised six elk calves by hand. A year later they were getting to be a nuisance, so Father bought the neighbor's and drove the six head over the coast range into Douglas County. Traded them for six yearling heifers. The trade was made with Mr. Furnoy. He had the idea of making pack and riding animals of them. We learned later he wasn't very successful at this. The first one saddled broke away and cleared a six foot gate, headed for the timber. [This paragraph inserted by Ellis Dement.]
    The fall of '57, Father and John Hill brought in from the Willamette Valley, some fruit trees, then proceeded to plant out an orchard. A few of these trees are alive now and about 77 yrs. old this fall since they were set out. At this time there were 4 white families living on the Coquille River, including ourselves. Phillips family, five miles above us; Yoakums [ad]joining places; Hoffman 6 miles down below. Quite a number of single men had taken out claims and some had married squaws.
    The next year, '58, Mr. Yoakum made a trip to Roseburg (not much of a burg then) with some pack horses, to bring in flour for the next winter. The early settlers were raising some wheat, they had built a grist mill on Deer Creek and had flour for sale. While at the hotel, Yoakum met 2 men that were traveling horseback looking for a place to locate a small colony. They were from Baltimore (Maryland), came to Frisco by water, and there bought their ponies. Yoakum told them of this new country that was just being settled and they concluded to come to the Coquille country with him. Their names were Dr. Henry Hermann and Usterhouse, I can't recall the latter's initials [Joseph Osterhouse].
    Well, they were looking for a new country and they sure found it here, and they were well pleased. Dr. Hermann bought a bachelor out below us 2 miles, by name, Harry Baldwin. There was no land cleared on the place and a very small shack to live in. Osterhaus a mile below where we lived. After a month or so they both took berth on a sailing vessel at Empire bound for San Francisco. Dr. Hermann went back to Baltimore. Early in the spring of '59, he started for Oregon with a colony of 6 or 8 families and a number of young single men. They came by water and the Isthmus of Panama, landed at Port Orford. A man by name of Ned Fay hauled them up the beach to the mouth of the Coquille, except a few young chaps that walked through on the trail. T. M. Hermann was one that walked. A boy then, of about 15 yrs., he was quite a curiosity to me with his city clothes and I was as much so to him, clothed mostly in buckskins. The families got to the mouth of the Coquille without any mishap, then they had to get boats and canoes to move up the river. On the way up one of the Schroeder boys, a lad 12 or 15, fell out of the boat and was drowned. That was a very sad affair, and right at end of long journey.
    Now, sometime in the month of May, '59, they were here in a wild timbered country the like they had never dreamed of, right from the city. Doctor, shoemaker, tinner, piano-maker, cigar maker, blacksmith, carpenter, not a woodsman in the company. The land had to be cleared before it could be put in cultivation and that was no easy task, even for a back woodsman. Mr. Schroeder brought with him a stock of shoes and boots. He also brought a piano, the first on the Coquille River. I feel pretty sure, the first in the county. He bought part of the John Hill donation land claim and with the help of his sons, soon had a shack of a house to live in. Dr. Hermann, with help of his sons and some young men that came out with them, proceeded to build a house all out of split timber, mostly red cedar. That house is a land mark, and is in use at this time by George Hermann, a grandson of the Dr. Mr. Volkmar, the tanner, took up land on the opposite side of the river. He had to build also out of the woods. He had brought with him some tools and some sheet tin and was soon able to supply the settlers with tinware.
    There was plenty game, but these people knew nothing about hunting and the guns they had were not suitable for large game, but there were a few of the earliest settlers that were from the backwoods states and had crossed the plains and brought with them Kentucky rifles. At that time they were the best guns made. Muzzle loaders, cap locks, some flint locks, yet. It was no trouble to keep the newcomers from the city in meat. Just the same, handicapped as they were, they pulled through and their descendants of the Hermanns, Schroeders, Volkmars, Stauffs are among the leading citizens of the county. Ousterhaus', Peggles and a few others moved to Calif. Schroeder and Volkmar brought a little sawmill and grist mill combined. I think this mill and other heavy freight came around the Horn. The sawmill didn't amount to much, but the grist mill ground our corn and wheat for several years. It didn't have a bolt, therefore, we had to separate the bran from the flour by running it through a sieve by hand. Then it made very good coarse bread, beat grinding on a coffee mill.
    About '61, Coos County was divided into school districts No. 1 and 2. All the watershed of Coos Bay comprised No. 1 and the watershed of Coquille No. 2. Binger Hermann, then a boy of about 18 years, taught the first public school in Coos Co. in District No. 2. I was one of the 8 that attended that school. That was the summer of '61. The year before or winter of '60, I attended a private school about 3 months, taught by Dock Brockway, on Roland Prairie, 5 miles over the mountain from where we lived. I boarded part of the time with the Chriss Lehnherr family and part of the winter with the Phillips family. They lived joining places. After school, Friday evening, I walked home 5 miles over the mountain trail about half the distance through heavy timber. Saturday I would help cut and haul with yoke of oxen wood to last the next week. Sunday eve would walk back over the trail to school. I was now 13 and small for my age.
    The winter of '61-62 was one to be remembered by all old timers, noted for cold weather, snow and high water. Our house was off the ground 4 ft. or 4 ft. above the level of the creek bottom land. About the last of Nov., '61, the hills and mts. were covered with snow to a depth of several feet, then came a warm south wind. It commenced in early morning and blew as hard as I ever saw. Blew down lots of green timber. Was all over at noon, then it commenced to rain a warm rain. It was a steady pour-down for about 12 hours and then quit. Water all over the bottom lands, 4 ft. deep in our house. We had a little smoke house back of the house near by on the hillside. We moved everything we could into it. Mother and I were alone at the time. Father had gone to the Sixes Mines the day before with a few pack horses loaded with pork to sell to the miners. The trail was so blockaded with fallen timber he didn't get home for several days. Up to that time we had not raised or prepared any feed for our stock in winter. We lost some stock that winter. At that time there wasn't such a thing as a barn in the country.
    That spring, '62, my Mother took sick and in May she passed away. Now my troubles began. All my life I had been right with my Mother. She had taught me how to cook some things. Lucky she had, Father knew nothing about it, and there was no one to get to help, so we had to get along the best way we could. I was in my 15th year. My little sister, Nellie, was in her sixth year. It was up to Russell now to keep house, cook, and iron. Very little of the latter was done. I also had to help with the outdoor work, cut wood, milk cows, hoe in the cornfield and garden. We got along the first year somehow.
    The spring of '63, Father conceived the idea of taking a few beef cattle that we had and some of our neighbors and driving them to the gold mines in Idaho that had been discovered the year before. There was a big rush from the western coast to those mines. Well, he took 6o head fat steers. A young man by the name of Tom Hart that wanted to go to the mines, helped him drive them out there. There was a family by the name of Grant that had settled on the river above us. A widow woman, one son, O. J. Grant, and daughter, Julia Ann. O. J., like all the young fellows in the country, got the gold fever and struck out for the mines. Father made arrangements with his mother and sister to make their home at our house, while he was gone. That was a great relief to me to have someone to keep house and take care of Nellie. Miss Julia Ann Grant taught school in our district that summer. My sister attended that school and I did part of the time. I, being the only man on the ranch, made my attendance somewhat irregular. We milked a few cows and made some butter the old-fashioned way with the old dash-churn. We made some to sell. I took that on pack horse to the Sixes mines and sold it to the miners. It was 2 days hard riding over the mountain trail to the mines and back. I was now in my 16th year and a good shot with a rifle. All muzzle loaders with cap locks very accurate up to 100 yards. The only recreation that I had was to go hunting on Sunday or get with other neighbor boys and go in swimming. Up to this time I had killed elk, deer and bear.
    I must tell of the first panther I killed. We had two pastures, one on each side of the creek on the west side. The prairie open land came down to the creek. East side there was a strip of timber and brush about 100 yards wide. A gradual slope up to the prairie. There was a fence on the east side to separate the pastures. No fence on the west side. Stock could get to water without any trouble. After the winter and spring rains ceased, the water on East pasture got scarce. I would have to drive the cows out to water every day; I concluded I would fence in part of the creek at one place, so I could open the fence, let the cows go to water when they pleased. I found a place where the creek bank was high and steep on the west side and where a tree of considerable size had fallen across the creek. The top connected with the steep bank on the west side.
    With my ax, I cut pales [pickets] nearby and soon built a fence or blockade on the log. This was the lower side of my project. 15 or 20 rods above, I carried rails; cut and carried poles and soon had the job completed. This was 3 or 4 hundred yards up the creek from the house. Now I shouldered my ax and started home, proud of my job. As I went by I glanced at the log where I had done the first work on my project, and there lay a big panther. He had got on the butt of the log in the edge of the brush, and crawled out there without me seeing him. The first thing I thought of was my dog and he was not in sight. I knew he was somewhere around. He was always with me--his name was Scat. I called a time or two. The panther never moved. We didn't have to wait (the panther and me), Scat had been out in the woods, struck the panther track, followed him onto the log. About the time the dog struck the log, the panther saw him. He didn't seem to want to come over in the open where I was. Nor did he want to face the dog. He was not long in making up his mind. He jumped, quartering downstream on the bank. Next jump, he was on the fence and there the dog nailed him, pulled him down, top rail and all. Though he was a large powerful dog, he was no match for that panther, only in courage. The cat knocked him loose, and ran up a leaning Myrtle tree that leaned out over the creek.
    Now I am coming to the part that was most interesting to me. I knew the dog would keep the panther up the tree till I went to the house for a gun. Granma Grant was alone. Her daughter, the teacher and my little sister were at school. I asked Granma if she would like to see a live panther. Said she would. By this time I had shot pouch and gun in hand. We could hear Scat barking. It was good walking up the creek bottom. The creek was very low. What water there was in the creek ran next to the bank. Where the tree stood, it leaned out so far the top was right over the gravel bar on the opposite side. We went down on the bar so Granma could see the beast. I told her to stop where we were and I would go a little closer where I could have a good shot at his head. When I was about ready to shoot, I looked around and there was Granma right behind me with a big rock in each hand. What she intended to do, I don't know. She was perfectly cool. I shot him in the head--he fell out on the gravel bar not over a rod from where we were standing, I think that was my first panther. I had helped tree several before, but someone else done the shooting. [This is the end of Russell's manuscript. The balance is from the Myrtle Point Herald series, above.]
    The next spring 1864 after the panther episode and after father had returned from his trip to Idaho and eastern Oregon, he again had the old lady Grant, her son Jay, father of the Grants now living at Gaylord, and her daughter, Julia Ann Grant, who later married Jim Carman, stay on the ranch with my little sister Nelly while he and I started out with 150 head of beef cattle on the trail to Camas Valley with the mines at Bannock (now Idaho City) as our ultimate destination. Buena Vista bar adjoined Bannock in the mts. there. Two or three hired cowboys accompanied us as far as Grande Ronde.
    We drove those cattle out over the Coast Range mts., down thru the Willamette valley and over the Cascade Mts. on the old Barlow Gate route. Sam'l. Barlow had made a road thru there and put a tollgate on it. Our family had crossed over this road 12 yrs. before this when coming to Ore. There was no tollgate there then.
    When we took the cattle back over the old Emigrant Trail, now the loop road, there was a good grade there. When we came west originally, Laurel Hill, just south of Government Camp, was so steep that we had to let the wagons down with ropes.
    On this trip we went over the mts., through the wheat country, and on up to the Grande Ronde valley where Father concluded not to market the cattle that season as they were not fat enough. So we wintered them in the Grande Ronde Valley. It was an exceptionally hard winter and we lost about 40 head.
    That winter one of my jobs was to ride out and check the cattle to see that they did not drift too far. One day, making the usual circle, I was surprised to see, hanging from a juniper tree, a man. Was careful not to ride too close. Father explained that the vigilantes had no doubt strung up a highwayman, as stages to and from the mines were frequently robbed. [This paragraph inserted by Ellis Dement.]
    The next spring when the grass started up, we started out with the cattle, letting them graze now and then at watering places. We drove them slowly so they were in pretty good shape when we got them to a place about five miles east of Boise City. Here we sold some, and drove the rest into the mines, a few at a time, until we only had about 60 head left and these we took about 200 miles to South Boise where we kept them until winter set in. By this time we had a chance to sell them and started for home, two summers and one winter after we had left Coos County. During this entire time, we had never slept off the ground and everything we had eaten had been cooked over an open fire. That winter we had a little cabin with dirt floor on which we slept.
    Everything we ate we cooked in a camp kettle and frying pans over the campfire. We baked sourdough bread in the frying pan. Food was high in that eastern country. Flour sold for $14 for a 50-lb. sack and lasted two men three weeks. Sugar and coffee were proportionately high.
    After selling the last of the cattle and starting for home, we came down to Umatilla landing on the Columbia, not far from Pendleton, and there we sold the saddle and pack horses and took a boat down to The Dalles, then over the portage and then on another boat went down to Portland. Propellers were not in vogue then so the river boats were of the stern paddle wheel type. I decided to stay in Portland and go to school, so entered the Portland Academy, a Methodist institution.
    At first I batched alone and went to school but after a bit I found another young fellow who decided to chip in with me, so I had a partner most of the winter. I attended school five months, and then took a notion to go to Forest Grove. I didn't have much luggage. I went there with my batching partner, Willis J. Dean, who was acquainted in that country and had taught country school there. I then went to a farmer's place about five miles north of Forest Grove and worked for him most of the summer. Dean taught school on Gails (Gale's) Creek not far from where I was stopping and I went to school to him for awhile. He had a pretty good education.
    In the meantime Father went east via the Panama route, across the Isthmus, around to New York and back to Ohio and in the spring of 1865 he brought my stepmother from Ohio by water and across the Panama Isthmus. Very few went around the horn at that time. There were boats plying on this side and on the other side of the isthmus.
    After he had been home quite awhile he wrote me in August and asked me to come home and said in a letter that he would take a horse to Roseburg for me to ride in over the trail. He sent me stage fare from Forest Grove to Roseburg, $10; but I looked at that money and figured I could make $2 a day by walking so I took my old carpet bag and what few belongings I had and walked the 200 miles to Roseburg in 5 and ½ days.
    Father's second wife was Louisa Lovett before her marriage. She was a cousin of my mother's and came from Duck Creek, Ohio, also.
    I was 19 years old and worked for father from then until I was 21. Then I took squatter's right on Long prairie, now owned by Lester Dement, and I worked out here and there for two years. I batched on the ranch when I was not working for somebody and when I got a few dollars I would buy a calf or cow. I was about 23 when I sold my first cattle off the ranch, a small bunch of 14 or 15 head.
    These I sold to a man by the name of H. P. Whitney, who has no relatives in this country now. He came to Coos Bay and started the first butchering business on the bay. He bought my first cattle and I helped him drive them down to his butcher shop on his ranch at Pony slough. On the way down he found out that I knew something about handling cattle and he didn't. There were no roads, just trails, and no bridges. If you couldn't ford you had to swim.
    On the trip down, which took three days, he asked me how I would like to go into the butcher business. I told him I had no capital to go into any business, but he mentioned it again after we got there and said if I wanted to try it he would furnish me capital and not charge me any interest for the first year and if I didn't like it I could quit. He wanted me to buy cattle and drive them in so he could sell them, as times were booming on the bay then. Lumbering was good and they were opening coal mines all over the country.
    I hadn't much more than gotten home when here came a boy on horseback with this message from Whitney. "Whether you'll go in with me or not, I want you to buy me some cattle and bring them down." There was no telegraph or telephone in those days and all messages had to be sent on horseback.
    I bought him some cattle and delivered them and told him I'd go in with him. This was in 1873 and the next year I was married to Lucy Ann Norris, and my wife and I lived down there at Sutterville, where Whitney had built a dwelling, slaughter house and drying house. We wintered there the first year after we were married. Along toward the latter part of the next year, times dropped and the boom was over on Coos Bay.
    The first government surveyor, Truax, meandered the river as far and farther than ever would be navigable. I had taken squatter's rights on a creek which Truax had named Russell Creek. (Wright, who worked for Dement, called it Dement Creek.) On the old maps, Truax survey, it was called Russell Creek.
    My wife knew I had taken up squatter's rights--we had been there with several young folks before we were married--and while we knew we could make a living on Coos Bay, decided that we would rather go to the ranch. We lived out there seven years, most of the time four miles from the nearest neighbor, my father. Wm. Johnson had a place between mine and father's and I bought out Johnson. In seven years I accumulated quite a bit of property. I did well in the butcher business and invested it in other ranch land near my original homestead--sometimes five or six miles away.
    Then our oldest children wanted to go to school so I bought a place down on the South fork of the Coquille river just above Broadbent where Fred Massey lives now. We lived there seven years, then I bought a place at Norway where the McCloskey grove is now. I owned that place 4o years. We lived there about six years, but my wife's health was none too good so we went to Bandon and bought the house where George Topping now lives. We only resided there two years and several years later I sold the place to Topping, having rented it in the meantime.
    We now decided to return to the ranch where Massey now lives and bought property in town, the big home next to the Myrtle Point High School. Where the high school stands was then a myrtle grove. Later we sold this property to the high school district and the place has since been torn down and the land converted into an athletic field.
    I was one of six who started the First National Bank of Coquille City over 30 years ago. Others were A. J. Sherwood, Coquille attorney and fine business man, since deceased; Linton Harlocker, father of Charles Harlocker, former M. P. drugstore proprietor and now of Portland. Linton Harlocker was county judge for a long time, county assessor for quite awhile and sheriff for a time. He was always put in some public capacity for he was a good man. He lived in Coquille. L. H. Hazard, president of the Coquille bank now. R. E. Shine, since deceased. He left this country and lived in Pasadena for a long time before his death. Isaiah Hacker was another organizer.
    We organized this bank, buying out a man by the name of G. W. White, whose son, Dr. F. M. White of Los Angeles, married my daughter Winnie, who died a few years ago. Sherwood was president at first, Hazard was cashier and I was vice president.
    Later Jim Flanagan and Joe Bennett started a bank here in M. P., which they called the M. P. Bank. They ran it 10 years, selling it then to A. H. Black who with his son ran it for two years. Black sold the local institution to Augustus to sell them and started for home, two summers and one Adelsperger who is now a resident of Marshfield. Between that time and the time that the Bank of M. P. took over there was another owner, whose name I do not recall.
    When the bank of M. P. purchased it, I took a little stock. I wasn't much interested then, but finally some insurance men came here from Spokane, Washington. At this time R. A. Annin was practically running the bank. When Adelsperger and I had some stock in the M. P. bank come in and people all around town had an interest in it. Then this Spokane outfit came, supposedly to buy as out, we all sold.
    In a year or so Supplee and I talked things over and decided to start the Security Bank. Chas. Broadbent was running the Broadbent creamery at that time and he took quite a bit of the stock. The rest was distributed between approx. 50 stockholders. The object was to get more people interested in the bank.
    The Security Bank was organized in 1919 and opened for business Sept. 1st. I was president of the bank for 15 years. N. G. W. Perkins was vice pres. from the beginning, succeeding me as president when I resigned in January, 1935 and L. M. Supplee was the cashier at first.
    This banking business is cold-blooded and as you grow older you mellow or soften so I don't think old people are fit for bankers. This was my reason for resigning at the age of 87.
    I never was much of a politician, never held any high office. I was county commissioner a couple of times and tried to play the game fair and whether I have or haven't succeeded is for the people that I have associated with in business to say--not for me. I have two highly prized possessions--one an old violin which we brought across the plains and the other a book which originally belonged to my grandfather. The covers of this book are of pasteboard covered with leather, but its leaves were of very poor grade of paper, scarcely better than the present newsprint.
    The first entry in this old-time journal bears the date of February 5, 1800. The book is not quite intact, for when my parents reached Oregon they tore a page out of the book on which their first message home to relatives back in the buckeye state. It took six months in those days to receive an answer to letters sent back east. Ink in those days, was made by cutting alder bark ooze up fine, boiling it and putting copras in it. This made a good ink, not right black, but a purplish color. In those days if you had any conveniences you made them yourself.
"After the Covered Wagons," Oregon Historical Society Quarterly, March 1962, pages 5-36

AFTER THE PIONEERS
Ellis S. Dement
    Grandfather Dement was responsible for much of the improvement of cattle in the area. Originally the Coos County herds were gathered from everywhere, just as his were, and there was no particular breed. As soon as the railroad was built to Roseburg, he brought from Ohio a car of Shorthorn and Devon cattle. The Devon breed was highly prized in those days as work oxen. They were faster and less clumsy than others. The Shorthorn, then, as now, was a fine beef breed.
    Grandfather slowly added more land in order to reduce costly fencing, and when he died he owned 5,000 acres.
    When grandfather Samuel died, his land passed into the hands of four children by his second marriage--Taylor, Clay, Maxwell, and Caroline. Taylor later acquired the part containing the original homestead. Today this same old ranch is owned and operated by a son and daughter of Taylor, Wallace B. and Alice Dement. This is a real centennial ranch.
    All of father's original range holdings are now owned partly by my twin brother, Lester T. and the balance by myself.
    Returning to the early days, as time went on, markets for cattle developed in California and in Portland and Seattle. Buyers from various packing outfits would come in, dicker for marketable cattle, with the understanding that same were to be delivered, weighed up and loaded on cars at Dillard or Roseburg. This entailed about a ten-day job, for about a half dozen cowhands, to gather and trail over the mountains. A few shipments were sent south by boat out of Bandon and Port Orford.
    As long as father owned cattle, he at no time was ever able to get over four and one-half cents per pound for steers delivered at the railroad.
    There was quite a period of time, from 1870s into early part of 1900s that he was able to stock his ranch with steers of all ages from smaller ranches extending from the Umpqua River to the California state line along the coast. Leaving home horseback, he would make about a ten-day trip into Curry County, arranging on his way down the coast for ranchers along the way to have their cattle gathered on his arrival back with the herd. Arriving at the home ranch, these cattle were branded and placed on various prairie pastures, to remain there until mature and fat, three and four-year-olds.
    Father more or less retired from ranching in 1907, renting the range and selling the cattle to his older son, Raymond B. Dement, and his son-in-law, L. A. Braden. In the fall of 1911 I bought out brother-in-law L. A. B.'s interest and continued for another three years with R. B. D. as partner.
    By this time the dairy breeds of cattle were moving into the territory, and finding suitable kinds of steers for our operation was becoming more difficult. It was then that we decided to breed and grow more of our own cattle. What beef cattle type were left in the country were predominantly of Shorthorn extraction. I thought it a good time to try out the Hereford breed.
    Pure bred Hereford cattle in western Oregon, at that time, were few. I consulted E. L. (Dad) Potter of OAC, Corvallis, and was told that the Gray family of Prineville might have young bulls to sell.
    On my way to Portland, I stopped off at Forest Grove and looked over Alex Chalmers' Shorthorn herd. I bought a pair of yearling bulls and a few cows.
    From Portland to Redmond by train, stage to Prineville. There I hired a livery stable horse and rode twenty-five miles up Crooked River to Otto Gray's Bonney View ranch. He had a few young bulls but had just moved them the day before fifteen miles farther back into the hills.
    We saddled up next morning, looked over the bulls, selected two, and trailed them into the ranch that evening. Next two days were spent driving them to Redmond. I hired a boy to return the saddle horse to Prineville. I loaded the bulls in a box car, destination Roseburg via Portland and Forest Grove, to pick up the other cattle. From Roseburg I trailed the cattle seventy-five miles over the mountains to the ranch.
    Half blood calves by the Hereford bulls were quite an improvement over local native stock. In three or four years all our cows were grade Herefords. Mating these cows to good Hereford bulls from the George Chandler herd of Baker City, really began to show results.
    At about this time, father divided up his holdings amongst his five sons and three daughters. All range land going to the four boys, all dairy ranches going to one son and three daughters.
    In 1927 I had an opportunity to buy the Joseph A. Haines ranch. I had been renting it for fourteen years. This was first settled on in 1859. It's in northern Curry County. While not joining our other properties, the place does fit in very nicely. I have made it more or less into ranch headquarters. Buildings are old but were well built. Practically all lumber was made by hand. Barn frame was put together with oak pins. Square nails were mostly used in the house.
    For many years before they had a wagon road into their ranch, the Haines people used oxen for farm work. Sleds were used for hauling in wood, getting out fence material, and getting crops to the barns. Someone of the older generation made up a yoke to be used on a particular pair of steers that Joe Haines took considerable pride in--a well matched pair of roans. This ox yoke is still on the ranch, now used as a mantle piece. Made of myrtlewood, it is the biggest and heaviest yoke that I have ever seen. But this yoke of cattle at five or six years of age, became so big and clumsy that Joe decided that it was not practicable to continue on with them as work animals, so sent word out to my father, who at that time was a partner with a Mr. Whitney in the meat business at Empire.
    Arriving a few days later, after an all day's ride in a heavy storm, father was asked to put his horse up and to come into the house. Leaving the barn he took with him his saddle bags to dry out before the fireplace.
    Some of the younger members of the family were rather wide-eyed at seeing all the greenbacks that came out of that old leather bag, to be spread out on the hearth to dry. Those were the days before banks and anybody who expected to do any trading carried the money along with him.
    It took four days to follow that pair of oxen to Empire. There being no such thing as stock scales in the country at that time, weight of cattle was estimated. But once slaughtered and quartered up, those steers dressed out 1,100 pounds each. That made them weigh over a ton on the hoof.
    Our two sons, Russell and Samuel, coming out of the service in 1946, wanted very much to get into ranch business. Each having families coming on, I thought it a good time to turn the ranch over to them. I sold the cattle to them and leased them the ranch. They continued on a partnership basis for eight years, when Russell sold out his interest in cattle to Sam, who still operates the place. He runs about 450 head of cattle.
    Market conditions in late years have changed. For many years our own cattle went onto the North Portland market as grass fat steers and a few times topped the market. But this is not the situation today. Three and four-year-old steers, the butcher does not want--too heavy. And any cattle, no matter how well bred, if not grain fed, will not bring the top money.
    Feed yards are being developed all over the country and it just seems that the man with the grass ranch will have to resort to producing good quality feeders (calves or yearlings) and do his trading with the feed yard buyer, and preferably at the ranch.
    The labor situation in our operations has never been too much of a problem. My wife Cecile and daughter Aileen, along with other girl friends of the family, have, on many occasions, taken the place of many of the good cowboys and have done a remarkable job, especially during World War II, when both our boys were in the service.
    The whole Dement tribe from Grandfather "Sammy" on down to the fifth generation, have all been pretty much concerned with livestock. The four youngest have their own saddle horses and tack, and are helping to gather cattle off pastures that were first turned onto a hundred to a hundred and five years ago.
    Just how much longer this old ranch property may be held in the Dement name, only time will tell. There being as yet only one grandson and three granddaughters.
    Russell and Faye Dement's children are Daniel and Roxanne.
    Samuel Dement's children are Diane and Joan.
    In conclusion, I have enjoyed, after three score years and ten, the ranch type of life that I have followed. A few bad breaks along possibly, but the good breaks more than balanced off the bad. I have met and become acquainted with many fine people, and as far as I am concerned, our greatest assets, friends.
"After the Covered Wagons," Oregon Historical Society Quarterly, March 1962, pages 36-40


    RUSSELL COOK DEMENT. During the half century of Mr. Dement's residence in Oregon he has witnessed the growth and development of this commonwealth, the enlargement of its commercial interests, the improvement of its agricultural domain and the building up of cities that rival the long-established towns of the East. In common with the prosperity of the state has been his individual success, largely secured through his connection with the cattle business. At this writing he has more than five hundred head of cattle, six hundred head of sheep and about twenty-five head of horses on his range, which includes twenty-three hundred acres in Coos County and twenty-six hundred acres in Curry County. In addition he owns (but leases to other parties) a dairy ranch of one hundred and eighty-seven acres at Norway, stocked with forty head of cows. During 1899-1900 he built the attractive modern residence at Myrtle Point, where he now makes his home. At the opening of the town he bought seventy-eight acres adjacent thereto and later purchased twenty acres within the city limits, all of which he still owns.
    A resident of Oregon since 1852, Mr. Dement was born in Monroe County, Ohio, October 11, 1847, being a son of Samuel and Caroline (Spencer) Dement, natives of Ohio, the former born October 5, 1822. The paternal grandfather, William Dement, was one of the first settlers of Monroe County, Ohio, where he improved a farm from the wilderness and made his home until he died, at eighty-two years of age. During 1851 Samuel Dement started for the coast, stopping en route with a brother-in-law near St. Joseph, Mo. The journey was taken up with ox teams in 1852 and continued for six months through many hardships and much suffering from cholera and kindred dangers. After a short sojourn in Corvallis, Ore., he pushed his way on to Jacksonville, Jackson County, where he worked at blacksmithing. He also belonged to the home guards during the Indian war, known as Rogue River War of 1853. In the fall of 1853 he moved to Empire City, being among the first to settle there, and in March, 1855, moved on a donation claim on the south fork of the Coquille River, comprising three hundred and twenty acres. When Mr. Dement moved on this donation claim in 1855 there were no white families living nearer than sixty miles. Indians were numerous and there was one village (ranch) within one-quarter mile. During the ensuing years he was busily engaged in converting the wild land into a home and stock farm. He was one of the first to bring cattle into this section and the first to improve the common cattle by importing full-blooded Shorthorns, of which he was a great admirer.
    On account of ill health Mr. Dement was forced to abandon active labors. A visit was made to California in 1886 with the hope of regaining health, but a month later he died. He was sixty-three at the time of his death. Ever since the organization of the Republican Party he was a believer in its principles and a supporter of its platform. His first wife, who died many years ago, was a daughter of a Maryland gentleman who settled in Ohio and carried on farm pursuits there until his death.
    Besides his two sisters (both now dead), Russell C. Dement has three half-brothers and one half-sister. When he came to Oregon educational opportunities were less common than at present. The system of training in the log schoolhouse where he was a pupil was crude and undeveloped. However, after he was grown he had the advantage of a term in an academy at Portland, this state. Upon attaining his majority he began farming and stock-raising on a pre-emption claim of land near his father's place in Coos County, and this land is still in his possession, being used for a stock ranch. During 1873-74 he engaged in the meat business at Empire and Marshfield. On resuming ranch pursuits he settled on the south fork of the Coquille River, where he remained until 1882. His next purchase was also situated on the Coquille River, his object in making the change of location being for the purpose of living near a school. During 1889 he bought and moved to a ranch near Norway, this state, and from there went to Bandon in 1896, but two years later returned to the farm on the south fork of the river, his final removal being in 1899 to Myrtle Point.
    At Fairview, Coos County, Mr. Dement married Lucy A. Norris, who was born in the Willamette Valley, a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Boone) Norris. Her father, who was born near Baltimore, Md., removed to Missouri in early manhood and there married a descendant of Daniel Boone. Crossing the plains in 1844 he settled in Oregon City, Ore., where he followed the blacksmith's trade. In the building of the first mills in Oregon he was actively interested. Among his intimate friends was Dr. McLoughlin, the illustrious pioneer. Others of the men who made Oregon were numbered among his companions and friends. At his death, which occurred near Fairview on his home farm, he was mourned as a worthy man and progressive citizen. His widow is still living in Myrtle Point, and is now seventy-seven years of age. Of the children comprising the family of Mr. and Mrs. Dement, one died in infancy, and the following are now living: Nellie E., Eunice, Raymond B., Winifred, Ellis, Lester, Clare and Harry.
    On the ticket of the Republican Party, whose principles he supports, Mr. Dement has been elected to a number of local offices. At different times he served as school director, and he is now filling his second term as county commissioner. Whether in an official capacity or as a private citizen, all of his duties have been met with a quiet fidelity and tactful intelligence that are among his characteristics. It has been said of him that he possesses in an exceptional degree those qualities of mind and heart which win and retain friends.

Portrait and Biographical Record of Western Oregon, Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904, pages 803-804
    

       
Last revised December 16, 2018