The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Jackson County News: 1860

   THE JACKSONVILLE AND CRESCENT CITY ROAD.--Notwithstanding the snow and rain which has fallen, this road continues passable for teams with moderate freights. During the week a six-mule wagon team arrived in town from Crescent City, with a fair load of goods for some of our merchants, and the teamster reported other wagons which were soon to start with full freights from that place hitherward. This is very flattering for all interested, for if so new a road can be traveled during the winter by freighting teams, in course of time it will become so much improved that no interruption will ever be made in trips between the two points. This will further lead to securing a considerable freighting business to and from Yreka, as goods can be transported by this route cheaper, and with quite equal dispatch, than by way of Sacramento River and Shasta. There is no longer any important failure of the ocean steamships stopping in at Crescent City; trips are being now made regularly as upon any ocean line on the coast, and with equal safety.--Jacksonville Sentinel.
Daily Alta California,
San Francisco, January 26, 1860, page 1

    In Jacksonville, Oregon, about a month since, a man named Otterbury was stripped, tied to a tree, and thirty lashes were applied to his bare back with a rawhide for selling whiskey to Indians who were camped near the plains.
"Summary," Sabbath Recorder, New York City, January 26, 1860, page 135

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN That the CEMETERY GROUNDS have been completely surveyed, fenced in, and divided into appropriate lots. From and after this date, interments will not be permitted until application is had to Messrs. BURPEE & LINN, Jacksonville. Parties desiring to purchase suitable lots for
Vaults, Monuments, &c., can secure them upon application to the above-named gentlemen.
By order of the
Jacksonville, December 10, 1859.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 28, 1860, page 3

    Geo. M. Bowen, convicted of the murder of a Chinaman at Jacksonville, Oregon, was sentenced to be hung on the 10th February next.
"Yreka," Los Angeles Star, January 28, 1860, page 3

JACKSONVILLE, Feb. 5, 1860.
    DEAR STATESMAN--I have just returned from a prospecting tour on "Gold Hill" and vicinity. All the seemingly fabulous tales that have been told and published with reference to the richness of the gold quartz discoveries in that region are more than true. I saw myself not less than one hundred thousand dollars' worth of the gold-bearing rock lying in the corner of one cabin, which had been taken from the ledge in the last three days. Until a day or two past, the opinion has in part prevailed that the very extreme richness was confined to the surface, or detached portions of the rock that had been thrown up, probably from an immense distance below the surface, but they have now struck what appears to be the main ledge, and find it even more profuse in the precious metal than the detached portions had been. It defies description, and is probably very far ahead of anything ever before discovered. The estimate is that it will yield at least fifty thousand dollars to the ton. The lead where they have struck it is about twenty-two inches in width, that will pay at the above ratio. They have only just begun it; of course it is impossible to say how far it extends downward, as they have not gone farther than two or three feet down, as yet.
    Our ex-legislator, Suggs [a reference to Johnson Hooper's character Simon Suggs], alias Arkansas traveler, has spent most of his time in that region since the discovery, I am told, endeavoring to turn an honest penny by the retail of "rotgut," and occasionally by the "turn of the wrist." He boasts in his cups (tin cup of Minie rifle) that he is the smartest man in Southern Oregon, and Jo. Lane knows it; that if the Democracy of this county do not sufficiently appreciate his talent to nominate him for the legislature, he has only to intimate to Jo. that he wants it, and he can get the Indian Superintendency. I get this from a gentleman who heard him say so, as he says, and one, too, that has no earthly interest in misrepresenting. He merely spoke of it as some gas that he had been listening to a few minutes before; said he had been entertained for an hour with boastings of this character. He (old T.) also said Lane would sooner have him than any other man in Oregon in the Senate with him, but he was too low in funds to enter the arena with so many candidates.
    Gen. J. K. Lamerick was shot, and it is supposed mortally wounded, yesterday afternoon by a gunsmith here by the name of Wm. J. Berry. I do not know the particulars any farther than that it occurred in Berry's house. The ball entered just below the right eye, and passed through the head, coming out at the lower end and a little back of the left ear; it was from a dragoon revolver. Lamerick has been a visitor at Berry's house for a year and a half "last past."
    It was at first supposed the wound was not mortal, the ball not having passed through the brain, but it occasioned an immense loss of blood, and I hear this evening that he seems [to be] sinking rapidly, and strong doubts are entertained of his recovery.
    Very little is said here about politics. It seems to be self-evident that the Lane society will have their own way in this county. I understood tonight that a duel had been arranged between Mr. O'Meara and Pat. J. Ryan. Ryan, claiming that O'Meara insulted him in presence of some ladies, by criticizing something he (R.) had written in a lady's album, had challenged him to mortal combat. The challenge was accepted, as I learn, but before the thing was fully arranged the authorities got wind of it, and late last night arrested them, and held each to bail in the sum of $5,000, to cease hostilities. The news of the arrest I learn from Judge Tolman.
Truly yours,        A.
    P.S. Feb. 6th. Lamerick is a shade better this morning--some hopes are entertained of his recovery.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, February 21, 1860, page 1

    At Jacksonville, Oregon, Dec. 26th, killed instantly while engaged in mining, Mr. THOMAS ROBERTSON, aged 34 years, a native of New York.
New York Morning Express, February 20, 1860, page 2

The Ish Claim.
    This quartz claim, located near Jacksonville, Oregon, is perhaps the richest ever discovered on the coast. The Sacramento Standard is informed that--
    This remarkable claim was discovered in January last by an hostler in the employ of the California Stage Company, near Jacksonville. He literally stumbled upon it, while hunting for some horses belonging to his employers. Its location is not more than a quarter of a mile from the trail via Yreka to Fraser River, and thousands who went upon a fruitless voyage to that frozen region passed within that short distance of this undiscovered wealth. The discoverer had the claim recorded in the name of himself and another, and the Ish company, consisting of five men, purchased it for $4,000. The first day's work of an arrastra brought about $6,000, and that of the second day between $7,000 and $8,000. The yield has been so enormous thus far that the owners believe the quartz already exposed by them to contain half a million of gold. Whether this unparalleled richness is to continue to any extent, or is only the result of a single deposit, time, of course, alone can show.
    There is a circumstance connected with the discovery of the claim which is interesting. The hostler found exceedingly rich quartz above the ground. He would not, perhaps, have paid any attention to it if gold had not been plainly visible in it. Near the place, and it was not a place favorable for camping, was a tree, bearing upon it some initials, and the figures 1854. It is more than probable that some adventurer had found the treasure and had marked the lead by right of discovery. The Indians, who were at that time exceedingly hostile in that locality, must have made him one of their victims, for in no other way can we explain the fact that he never made a motion toward availing himself of the unbounded wealth thus accidentally opened to his gaze.
Shasta Courier, Shasta City, California, March 17, 1860, page 2

    THE ISH CLAIM.--We learn from a gentleman just from Jacksonville, and who has visited this extraordinarily rich quartz lead, that it still continues to pay fabulous amounts. He is of the opinion that it is of incalculable richness.
Shasta Courier, Shasta City, California, March 24, 1860, page 3

    COMMUTED.--The sentence of Geo. M. Bowen, convicted of killing a Chinaman some time since, has been commuted from death to imprisonment for life in the penitentiary. The Governor acted thus in answer to the petition of over 600 citizens. The provisions of the commutation are--that if the prisoner escapes, or is found at large within the limits of the state, then he is subject to arrest as an outlaw, and the original sentence of death will be executed upon him.
Oregon Argus, Oregon City, March 24, 1860, page 2

    George M. Bowen, whose sentence was commuted from hanging to imprisonment for life for robbery and murder of a Chinaman, reached the penitentiary last week in charge of the deputy sheriff of Jackson County. The fellow richly deserved hanging. He had lived, as we are informed, by robbing Chinamen, for some time, and at the same time the murder was committed for which he was tried and sentenced, he with others attacked a party of Chinamen for the purpose of robbing them. The Chinamen resisting, one of their number was killed by Bowen, but finally they succeeded in overpowering their assailants and succeeded in capturing Bowen, whom they sewed up in a blanket and carried to Jacksonville. His accomplices escaped.
"Domestic Items," Oregon Statesman, Salem, March 27, 1860, page 2

    REPUBLICAN COUNTY CONVENTION.--A Republican convention was held at the town of Gasburg, in Jackson County, on the 31st March, for the purpose of electing delegates to the Republican State convention to be held at Eugene City on the 19th April, and to take initiatory measures for the permanent organization of the Republican Party in this county.
    The convention was organized by electing Wm. C. Myers president and Chas. K. Klum secretary.
    J. M. McCall, E. L. Applegate, Chas. K. Klum, J. C. Davenport, E. K. Anderson and S. P. Taylor were elected delegates to the state convention.
    J. M. McCall, Chas. K. Klum and S. P. Taylor were appointed a county committee.
    The secretary was authorized to make an abstract of the proceedings for publication.
    Adjourned sine die.
    March 31st, 1860.
Weekly Oregonian, Portland, April 14, 1860, page 4

    SERIOUS STABBING AFFAIR.--On Thursday a serious affray occurred at Evansville, between John Cheney, a trader living there, and a man named Allen. It appears, from what we could learn, that the difficulty originated about Cheney loaning Allen a cayuse horse to go prospecting; Allen keeping the horse beyond the time agreed upon, Cheney had a warrant issued for his arrest; upon Allen's return to Evans' he offered to pay Cheney for the time he had overkept the horse, which Cheney would not agree to; high words then passed between them, Allen warning Cheney not to advance towards him, which Cheney disregarded and made use of a very insulting epithet, at the same time advancing for him, when Allen drew a large-sized bowie knife and inflicted two serious, if not fatal, wounds upon Cheney, the first taking effect in the left side of the neck, and on the second, on the shoulder, passing into the upper part of the lungs. A messenger was immediately dispatched to this place for Dr. Brooks, who promptly obeyed the summons and rendered the unfortunate man his surgical aid. Allen was arrested by Sheriff Duncan and lodged in jail. It is generally believed that he acted in self-defense. No complaint has yet been made against him.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 21, 1860, page 3

    RIVER MINING.--Two companies, comprising some twenty-five men, says the Marysville Express, are now actively engaged in turning Rogue River from its natural course, at Long Bar and Big Bar, for the purpose of working the bed of the stream.
Sacramento Daily Union, April 30, 1860, page 3

DISSOLUTION OF PARTNERSHIP . . . The copartnership heretofore existing between BAKER & BLOOM, in Jacksonville, Jackson County, Oregon, is this day dissolved by mutual consent. All who have claims against us will please present their accounts, and all who are indebted to us are earnestly requested to come and settle.
JACKSONVILLE, Oregon, April 14th, 1860.
H. BLOOM IS THANKFUL to the people of Rogue River Valley for their past favors, and still solicits their patronage for the future. He intends to leave for San Francisco in a few days for the purpose of bring up his
And will continue his business, at his old stand, in Dr. McCully's two-story fireproof brick building.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, May 9, 1860, page 4

    A company which went out from Jacksonville to look for gold quartz at Antelope Springs has returned. They found neither gold nor silver, but encountered several parties of Californians looking for the precious mineral. . . . An old darkey at Jacksonville was recently assaulted by a couple of Kanakas, who broke his leg and his jaw with a long-handled shovel. The green-eyed monster was the occasion of the assault. . . . The extremely rich quartz vein in Jackson County has been worked out; it will no longer pay with the arrastra. The vein will still pay with improved machinery, which is on the way there; until its arrival, work has been suspended.
"Domestic Items," Oregon Statesman, Salem, June 5, 1860, page 2

    The Sentinel says: R. S. Jewett, of the Twenty Mile House on Rogue River, has left with us some mineral ore specimens, the precise nature of which we cannot divine, and will readily submit them for the examination of skilled mineralogists. Mr. Jewett also left a piece of gold quartz taken from a newly discovered spot, which promises quite flatteringly. . . . The Sentinel reports new discoveries of marble, and also of mineral ores.
"Domestic Items," Oregon Statesman, Salem, June 19, 1860, page 2

    A new mining town on Rogue River, Oregon has been christened by the absurdly inappropriate name of Dardanelles.
Daily Appeal, Marysville, California, June 24, 1860, page 4

THE JACKSONVILLE SENTINEL.--This paper, published in Oregon, as we mentioned yesterday, has put up the names of Breckinridge and Lane, whereupon W. B. Freanor, one of the editors and proprietors, issued the following:
    "By the publication of the above article, and a difference of opinion entertained between Mr. O'Meara and myself, I regret to announce to the friends and patrons of the Sentinel that my connection with it ceases from and after today. Believing that Mr. Douglas fairly and legitimately received the nomination at the late National Democratic Convention, and moreover believing that he is the choice of the Democratic masses of Oregon, I considered that it was the duty of the Sentinel to sustain him as the regular Democratic nominee; hence my reason for withdrawing from the concern."
Sacramento Daily Union, July 28, 1860, page 3

    The Jacksonville (Oregon) Sentinel has hoisted the Breckinridge and Lane flag. Mr. W. B. Freaner withdraws from the firm in consequence.

"Yreka, July 26," Los Angeles Star, August 11, 1860, page 1

    FROM SOUTHERN OREGON.--The Jacksonville Sentinel, of the 11th, came to hand by the upriver boat last night.
    The Jacksonvillians can take the palm for hot weather. On the 7th inst., the thermometer stood at 100°.
    The Potter dramatic troupe were playing in Jacksonville.
    A grand trotting match, for a purse of $1,500, is to come off on the 5th prox. The competing nags are "Knob," a chestnut horse, and a bay stallion known as "Jake."
    The first hydraulic ram ever used in that portion of Oregon has been put in operation. It is to carry a stream of water running through their cellar to the livery stable of Messrs. Clugage & Drum. A ditch was constructed from the cellar to Third Street, where a shaft was sunk to the depth of some eighteen or twenty feet, and the ram placed therein. The water is forced from there to a large wooden tank, constructed for the purpose, to the upper story of Messrs. Clugage & Drum's building. Through the scientific and skillful engineering of Messrs. L. & B., the ram is made to work to perfection, and will undoubtedly prove a valuable and decided convenience to the owners of the stable.
    QUARTZ MILL.--A few weeks ago we mentioned that parties from Yreka were going to erect a quartz mill on the forks of Jackson Creek. During the early part of the week the machinery arrived here, and the proprietors are now busily engaged in erecting the necessary framework to put the machinery in. It is the intention of the company to commence crushing in about two weeks. From the well-known richness of the quartz on the creek, it would not surprise us much to hear of extraordinary large yields from the mill.--Sentinel.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, August 17, 1860, page 1

    FIRE IN ROGUE RIVER VALLEY.--A fire occurred at Ashland Mills, Rogue River Valley, Oregon, September 5th, says the Yreka Union, burning the post office and other property to the value of about $4,000. The post office was broken into and robbed of $25 in cash and about $35 in post office stamps, and then set on fire.
Sonoma County Journal, Petaluma, California, September 21, 1860, page 3

    ENCOUNTER WITH A GRIZZLY IN OREGON.--The Oregon Sentinel, of November 10th, relates the following:
    A German named William Brahmar, living on Rogue River, two miles below Bethel's Ferry, had a terrible adventure with a grizzly bear on the morning of Thursday of last week. He was out hunting, accompanied by his two dogs. When about two miles from his cabin, in the woods, his dogs started upon the track of some animal, which they traced to a clump of brush. Here they halted and soon commenced barking violently. Brahmar, thinking that they had discovered a black bear, hastened to the spot. Just as he came in front of the stump of an old oak tree, a grizzly came charging toward him with jaws wide open, growling and snorting. Our hunter raised his rifle, quickly aimed at the brute's head, but before he could pull [the] trigger the bear was within a few feet of him. Instantly he lowered his piece so as to hit the monster directly in the mouth, and pulled. The cap snapped. In a moment, quick as a flash, the bear rose upon his hind feet, caught Brahmar's right arm between his teeth, and with his forepaws forcibly threw his victim to the ground. Before letting go with his teeth, the grizzly had torn the great muscle of Brahmar's upper arm almost entirely away, thus completely crippling him. But the plucky fellow reached for his knife with his left hand. The effort was vain, and meanwhile the bear was biting and tearing his limbs and flesh fearfully. With great presence of mind, Brahmar then, as a last chance for escape from the clutches of his assailant, cried out for his dogs. They answered to his call, happily, and at once set to worrying the common foe. Finding himself thus unceremoniously attacked in the rear, the grizzly turned, left Brahmar and commenced to battle with the dogs. The lacerated man took advantage of this diversion and, gathering all his energies, rose to his feet [and] made a pretty fleet run for about two hundred yards, when he fell exhausted and lay panting, awaiting reaction of vigor. The dogs and bear continued fighting. The loss of blood and the severe pain of his wounds began to tell upon Brahmar, yet he managed to creep and drag his way to his own cabin, which he reached in two or three hours' time. The bear had tracked him for a part of the way, but was kept from close approach by the faithful dogs. Some men happened to be at the cabin when Brahmar arrived, and while some of them attended to him, the rest went in search of the bear. He had made good his escape, and the dogs, apparently well content to let him alone, had returned to their master's cabin. Dr. Brooks was sent for, and on Friday he dressed the wounds that were serious or severe. On Monday Brahmar was brought to town and is now at Dr. Brooks' hospital, where we saw him on Wednesday and received from his own lips a sketch of his fearful adventure. His body is bitten and lacerated terribly. He has over fifty wounds in all--twenty-eight of which are quite serious. More than two pounds of flesh has been torn from his right arm, and the great muscle is quite gone. It is doubtful if he ever recovers any use of this limb.

Sacramento Daily Union, November 17, 1860, page 3

Last revised June 10, 2019