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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Jackson County News: 1871



    SPRING FIGHTS.--Ashland is still ahead in the line of items in this class. Capt. Thomas Smith and Mr. Roberts, clerk in Hargadine's store, had a little skirmish with canes and appliances for reaching goods on the top shelves, a few days since. The Captain is said to have looked like a gamecock with his comb both "cut and bloody," after the affray. It grew out of a trifle, and hence we have little sympathy with either. There was a small fight in town last Sunday, between two strangers, names unknown. Both were too drunk to stand straight.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 24, 1871, page 3


    THE ASHLAND AFFRAY.--Booth, who was shot at Ashland last Saturday, is recovering. It is now hoped that he will get well. The affray grew out of a drunken row and fight at Phoenix the night previous. Burton shot four times--one bullet passing in just below the collarbone in front, and lodging against the skin at the back near the spine, another passing into his arm, near the wrist, and ranging towards the elbow. Burton was examined before Squire A. V. Gillett last Monday, and held to answer in the sum of $,1000, to appear at the next term of the circuit court for Jackson County.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 1, 1871, page 3


    SHOOTING AFFRAY AT ASHLAND.--On Saturday morning, 25th ult., about 8 o'clock A. D. Burton fired four shots at Stephen Booth, at Ashland, inflicting a serious wound in the upper part of the chest, the ball passing entirely through and lodging in the muscles of the back, from whence it was subsequently taken; another ball entered the wrist, and following the course of the bone lodged in the muscles above the elbow; this ball has not yet been found. An examination of Burton was had before A. V. Gillett, J.P., on the 27th ult., during which Dr. Greenman, the medical attendant of the wounded man, testified that the ball passed through the neck a little to the left of the upper part of the sternum and, dividing the windpipe, appeared at the back a little to the right of the spine, but that Booth can use his voice. The testimony further developed the fact that Booth had brutally beaten the deft. three or four times the night before, and had uttered threats against the life of deft. The defense set up was that the shooting was done in self-defense. The Justice held the prisoner to answer under $1,000 bonds, the following named gentlemen becoming his sureties: John P. Walker, Minus Walker, Jacob Wagner, J. M. McCall, John Wells, Eber Emery, Geo. Patterson, W. Cortez Myer, M. Michelson and A. D. Helman. H. K. Hanna, Dist. Atty., conducted the examination on the part of the State, and J. D. Fay for deft. Later: The ball has been extracted from Booth's arm. He is doing well.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 1, 1871, page 2


Southern Oregon.
    From the Jacksonville Sentinel of the 29th inst. we glean the following: A United States surveying party is at present engaged in making a survey of government lands in Jackson County.
    A Chinaman named Loy Shing, upon the complaint of Ah Wong, was arrested by Deputy Sheriff Foudray, for killing Wing Ching, one of the Gee Mining Company, on the 10th ult.
    B. F. Dowell, of the Sentinel, is expected home from Washington during the latter part of the present month.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, May 10, 1871, page 4


A "BLAWSTED DRUMMER."
From the Jacksonville Times.

    Californians have so often made themselves merry over the gaucheries of "Oregon Flats," that most of the denizens of that state imagine the term Oregonian to mean a fool. One of these gentlemen made his appearance here this week, and soon gave the astonished citizens of this village to understand that he was a superior sort of a somebody, and that Oregonians were "blawsted bawbarians, ye know." This individual's name is Thompson, and he spells it with a "p." He is a drummer for a San Francisco cutlery and meerschaum pipe firm and puts on more airs than he could if he were the firm itself. On the road he desired one of the drivers to drive slowly, as the "blawsted woads made him demnition soah." The disgust of that driver and his reply can be imagined. At one of the stations this fastidious Thompson inquired for a napkin, as he was "not in the--aw--habit, ye know, of dining--aw--without a napkin " Whereupon the obliging landlord went out and after a brief consultation with his wife, she put down the baby, and procured for the traveler a three-cornered article of infantine wear, sometimes denominated a napkin. Then--well, it's no use. Homer described the wrath of Achilles, but twenty Homers could not [have] described the dire indignation of that disgusted Cockney. He cussed the country from Maine to Texas, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific, by States, Counties, Townships, Sections and subdivisions. On arriving in town, he soon became conspicuous as a champion talkist; he talked to everybody until the people fled from him as if from a pestilence. He talked about everything and everybody, and when he could not find any adult victims, he cornered a little boy in the hotel and gravely entered into a theological discussion with him. So much talking necessarily produced thirst, and our friend patronized the various saloons so that upon the approach of night he thought he would astonish the denizens by his accomplishment in the saltatory art, as a kind of supplementary entertainment to those he had been giving through the day; so he "danced the dance that David danced," and several other dances which we never saw, nor heard of before, accompanying the same with no other music but his mellow voice. About this time a citizen entered, who had been paying his devotions to the god Bacchus, and our Thompson immediately seized upon him as a fit subject upon which to exercise his fund of jokes. He made him dance, he made him sing, he made him set down and arise again; he informed him that by one blow he could squelch the citizen utterly; gave him minute particulars of the manner in which he could use him up; called him opprobrious names, until the other party thought the thing was getting too monotonous, whereupon he gently drew a tremendous Arkansas toothpick, and held the same between his knees. Thompson (with a "p") gave one startled look at the carving knife, and went. He "did not stand on the order of his going, but went at once." He seemed to have urgent business in another portion of town just then, and left at a rate of speed which indicated that he feared to be too late at the appointment. He took the middle of the street, and before the gravel his heels threw up in the air had ceased falling on the roof of Helms' saloon, he had reached the U.S. Hotel!!
    A belated citizen caught a glimpse of him as he passed, and thought it was the shadow of some swift and large bird which the moon had cast upon the street. Thompson (with a "p") had vanished before the astonished spectator could recover his senses. Our sporting men say the time made by Thompson is unequaled, and there is a standing offer entered on the records of the Jackson County Agricultural Society to enter Thompson (with a "p") under the name of "Skedaddle," against any horse, mare, gelding, mule or jackass in the known world or China, Thompson and the other animal to go as they please--for a thousand dollars a mile. Or, they offer to match "Skedaddle" against time, for any sum from fifty cents up to $150,000; provided, however, that [James M.] Kendrick starts him with his butcher knife. The race to come off over the Bybee track next month.

Shasta Courier, May 20, 1871, page 2


    SHOOTING AFFRAY.--We learn from Dr. L. T. Davis, of a serious shooting affray which occurred near Rock Point, last Thursday. S. D. Taylor was returning from Rock Point to his place, beyond Mr. Neathammer's, and when passing by the place of the latter, Neathammer met him with a gun and fired at him, the ball passing through Taylor's right hand, and lacerating it so that amputation of all the hand except the thumb and forefinger was necessary. Drs. Davis and Danforth performed the operation yesterday, and report the patient doing as well as could be expected. Neathammer was arrested and taken before Justice Gall yesterday for examination, but we have not yet learned the result. The difficulty grew out of a lawsuit that had taken place between Neathammer and Taylor, and been decided against the former.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 3, 1871, page 3




Last revised May 20, 2019