The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Jackson County News: 1869

    J. D. Fay will deliver the oration at the Fourth at Jacksonville.
    The crops in all parts of Rogue River Valley will be lighter than last year.
    The plum crop in Jackson County has failed. The leaves have curled up, and the fruit has dropped from the trees.
    A Jackson County paper observes that A. D. Helman, of Ashland, is up with the times. He has sons named Lincoln, Butler, Grant and Colfax, the latter having come into this mundane sphere since inauguration.
    The Jacksonville Sentinel learns that an attempt was made on the 19th ult. to burn the store of George Nurse, sutler at Ft. Klamath. About the same time in the night, the stable belonging to Mr. Nurse was fired and totally destroyed. Two horses belonging to some Eugene City men were burned. A soldier who had been refused whisky is suspected.
    The subscribers of the Ashland Academy met at Ashland on Tuesday last, says the Sentinel, and decided on a site for the building near Mr. Thornton's, on the north side of the town. A building committee consisting of A. G. Rockfellow, J. W. Kuykendall, J. M. McCall, J. P. Walker and J. H. Russell was chosen. A sufficient amount has been subscribed to warrant the commencement of the building at once, and steps have been taken to procure material and otherwise inaugurate operations.
"Oregon," Oregonian, Portland, June 12, 1869, page 2

    A man named Oliver Evans committed suicide in Jacksonville, Oregon, under horrible circumstances. He was charged with incest with his own daughter, a girl of sixteen, and immediately went to the mountain and shot himself. The body was found yesterday, badly decomposed. The girl has confessed that the charge was true. He was a widower and leaves considerable property.
The Cariboo Sentinel, Barkerville, British Columbia, July 10, 1869, page 1

Justice's Court.
Jacksonville, Nov. 1, 1869.
State vs. T. H. B. Shipley--Affidavit for an assault with a deadly weapon.
    The defendant pleaded not guilty, and made the following statement:
    On November 1st, 1866, I was in the employ of Sachs Bros., in the town of Jacksonville, Jackson County, Oregon. I knew Mr. A. P. Owen, and the most friendly relations existed between us up to about half-past six o'clock p.m.
    Mr. Owen came into the store in the afternoon of said day, Nov. 1st, 1866, and asked me if I was going to attend the party that evening. I told him that I had not as yet determined whether to go or not. He insisted that I should promise him to attend, as he was going to quit party-going after that night. About six o'clock in the evening he came into the store, dressed, ready to attend the ball, and remarked to me, "Ship, let us go into the cellar and take a drink." We went into the cellar and took a drink, passing the usual social "good luck," after which Mr. Owen left the store and started for his partner. I was soon after called to put up a bill of groceries for someone, and while engaged at that Mr. Owen returned. He walked back into the store where I was engaged at my business--looking scornful and full of anger, so much so as to cause Mr. Samuel Sachs to ask him, "Al., what is the matter with you?" He replied, "That s-- of a b---- has been meddling with my business," pointing at me. I replied, "What do you mean," somewhat astonished at his remarks--when he boisterously exclaimed, "Shipley, G-- d--- you--you know you done it, you d----- s-- of a b----, and I am going to whip you this night, or Grundy shall" (meaning his brother). He then started to leave the store, and I followed him to the front door, demanding of him what he meant by abusing me so. He made no explanation whatever, but crossed over the street to the store of Glenn, Drum & Co., where he met A. H. Martin at the door, and commenced telling him that the d----- s-- of a b---- had told Hattie Thompson (his partner) that he was going to fool her, and that when he called for her she was not ready to attend the ball. I never made any representations whatever to Miss Hattie Thompson upon the subject. Feeling considerably excited, and knowing that I had been most barbarously and ungentlemanly treated, I walked back into the store and picked up a knife and put it into my coat pocket. I met a friend soon after leaving the store and told him about the affair, and he gave me his pistol. After mature deliberation, I concluded that I had a right to attend the ball, and started for my room to dress myself (that being at the hotel, as I boarded and lodged there at the time). At the ticket stand I met Mr. Owen and remarked to him, "Al., explain to me why you have abused me so tonight," whereupon he made for me most viciously, and I prepared for self-defense. I was surrounded instantly by a number of persons, my arms thrown above my head, and an attempt made to wrench my weapon from my grasp. Grundy Owen, at present Deputy Sheriff, grabbed me around the neck and bore a derringer against the side of my face, remarking, "Give up, you s-- of a b----, or I will kill you." I let go the pistol, and got away. How I effected an escape I am unable to explain. I got away, however, and passed out of the hotel and down to the corner of the Sentinel office, and around to Row's store, where Caro keeps at present. I remained there some time; I cannot tell how long. Presuming everything quiet and the way clear, I started to go to my room at the hotel. I walked quietly along down the street, and just as I passed the door of Glenn, Drum & Co.'s store, I heard running, and someone exclaim, "Here goes the s-- of a b----." On looking around I discovered Al. Owen with something in his hand which I took to be a gun, and knowing that he could shoot me before I could get away, I backed up against the door of the building, at present kept by Mr. Ullman, concluding to make the best defense in my power. The first lick he struck me was on the side of the forehead, cutting and bruising it considerably, and rendering me partially insensible. When I regained my thoughts, I found that I was some distance from the place where he first struck me, and still receiving blows upon my face and head. Knowing that his brother would be there in a moment, and my life at stake, I drew my knife and struck in self-defense. Owen exclaimed, "He has killed me, he has got a knife." I remarked, "It is your own fault; if you had left me alone I would not have done it." I stepped into the saloon and was asked by Asher Wall, who was behind the bar, to take some brandy. He remarked, "Take a drink quick and go. T. G. Owen was in here hunting you, swearing he would kill you." I left, and went to Mr. Brennan's and took a bed for the night, and next morning surrendered myself to G. M. Banks, City Marshal, who informed me he had no use for me. I have been in Jacksonville, Jackson County, Oregon, ever since.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November, 13, 1869, page 3

Last revised May 24, 2018