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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Royal Letters
Southern Oregon-related letters by Rev. Thomas Fletcher Royal and family. More Royal pages here.



Canyonville O.T. Feb. 28, 1854
My Dear Wife--
    You requested me to write to you when I got through the Canyon, and I am glad of it--for nothing would afford me more pleasure this morning except your society--and the smiling faces and sweet voices of our dear children. I mean, nothing of an earthly consideration would make me so happy as to be with my dear family.
    From Rogue River on to the Canyon I found some beautiful country--here and there a beautiful little romantic valley just large enough for a farm surrounded by high mountains and thousands of the most beautiful timber--these appeared the more beautiful to the traveler as he experiences the great contrast and sudden change in merging from a dense dark forest--or suddenly turning the point of some high mountain into an open sunny valley with its little farm and house and garden and spring and rippling brook.
    I also found some of the worst road I ever saw in my life--but it was reserved for the Canyon to outdo everything else that I ever saw in the shape of bad roads--the worst I ever saw was good when compared with it. It is bad enough always but perhaps ten times worse when I passed through than usual. The Canyon Creek which runs through it this way from about the middle was booming high from the incessant rains of Saturday and Sunday and the snows from the mountains--trees had fallen across it where the road runs in the narrow bed for a mile and no way to get round the rocks on each side, being perpendicular and only room in the passage for the water to run--the stream was rising and after I got through this narrowest pass I was still obliged to cross and recross the stream every half and quarter mile--and it had got so high that I dared not ride it so I drove my mare through and crossed on logs--it was so rapid that when it struck her side it washed her down every time till I thought she was about gone--but recovering she still made the land--the last time it swam her. But I am through safe and am well and comfortable. I could hardly sleep last night. The moment my eyes closed it seemed my mare and I were struggling among the rocks on the mountainside and in the foaming waters. How thankful I feel to the good lord for this merciful deliverance.
    I got to the mouth of the Canyon last Saturday and preached for them at the Canyon House on Sunday to a respectable congregation.
    My trip thus far has not cost me a cent.
    My dear loved ones, I wish I could see you this morning--but I must bid you for the present adieu.
    My dear, I hope you will pray much for me and especially for our next year's appointment. Take good care of the children--don't suffer them out of your sight--I have thought a good deal about them since I left.
    My love to James & Mary and all my good friends in Jacksonville.
Your affectionate
    Husband
        T. F. Royal
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 1



Gold River Valley Jackson Co., O.T.
    June 20th A.D. 1854
To all my relatives, brethren and sisters and friends dwelling in the Salt Creek and Horse Creek neighborhoods,
    My beloved friends, in addition to all that I have written, I feel that a few things more is due you from me, and as I have been here 8 months I am better prepared to give you information in regard to the country etc. than when I came here.
    You would no doubt be glad to know whether we are pleased or not in regard to this matter. I will not hold you in suspense, but will say we are pleased. I mean every one of us. Yet there are others who are not pleased, and if some of you should come you might not like the country. I am not astonished that some are dissatisfied. They come foolishly expecting all good and no evil, and when they find the bitter mixed with the sweet they are displeased. This country like all others has its dark as well as bright sides. We came here expecting to find a new country with its mixture of good and evil. In this we are not disappointed. Yet we do not murmur or repine at the evil but thank God for so many good things as we find here and thank God that the bad is no worse.
    I will now endeavor to give you in some measure a description of the country. I will in the first place speak of the good. I speak of this valley only, as I have been in no other. In the first place I think it to be more healthy than any of the western states. People here seldom have colds. Hardly ever hear a person cough. I think none of us have had anything like a hard cold since we left the States. I have not witnessed a death since I left Ill. I heard of some on the plains and one after I got here by sickness. I have not seen a person confined to their bed by sickness in this country, and I travel nearly all over the valley, about 50 miles in length, 25 in width.
    And 2nd, the soil or much of it is very good and some good springs and excellent mill streams, some delightful streams flowing down from the mountain. We have a plenty of excellent timber, pine, fir of different kinds, cedar or redwood, balm of Gilead, ash, oak, soft maple, alder, etc. The land is very productive and will produce all kinds of grain in abundance and vegetables of every variety. Roads are very fine here about 8 or 9 months in the year, first rate for buggy riding. This country is settled with a very cleanly, industrious, enterprising people such as you like to see, and many of them religious. We have 4 good schools and I think 4 or 5 Sunday schools. We have about one mile from this place a large hewed-log school house, shingle roof, plank floor etc., 20 by 24. A Sunday school celebration is to go off on the 4th in Jacksonville.
    Notwithstanding the valley is not very large, yet there is much more of it than I expected when I first came in, and there are other valleys still being discovered. One about 30 miles from here [is] said to be as large as this and is reported to be an excellent country and not a settler in it. D. Newcomb from Salt Creek lives about 8 miles from the valley and has been out and examined the country and brings a good report, and on his return a few miles from home killed 4 grizzly bear in one day. I will send you some of the meat in this letter. Brother Newcomb is one of my preaching places, and when I was there last they had for breakfast bear meat, blackmail deer meat and salmon. That was a feast, you may be sure.
    I find that there are settlements from one valley to another for hundreds of miles. The main road leading from Oregon to California runs through this valley and by my door, and it leads to Crescent City 100 miles; from this seaport near one thousand horses and mules passed here in one week, besides many droves of cattle, sheep, hogs, etc. At present there is no wagon road to that place, but one is now being opened, and then a mail stage is to run from Crescent City to Jacksonville and on to Yreka etc.
    Another advantage of this country is that the climate is very mild. Last winter is said to be one of the coldest winters known in this country, yet cattle done well without being fed. Cattle get fatter here on grass than they can be made in the States on grain. I think some of them would 'mind you of a very fat hog in Ill. and seem to be a burden to themselves as they walk. The much-dreaded rainy season passed off very pleasantly. I think it did not rain more than one day in ten, and the spring and summer before has been reasonable. Wheat looks fine where it was put in right and in good season. They sow wheat here from September till in March, early sowing is best. Crops of all kinds look well but would have been much better had it not been cut down on the last Saturday night in May by a severe frost. My corn and potatoes were at that time about knee high, but in a single week were cut to the ground. They were put back about 4 weeks. The season has been cool thus far.
    We have an abundance of gooseberries here this season, some strawberry, and had it not been for the frost we would have had an abundance of blackberries, raspberries, dewberries etc., but the frost killed them. Have some hazelnuts of a large size and serviceberries, plums, cut off plenty of grapes of good quality. We have plenty of fish in this country of good quality. Salmon in the creek on which I live, Bear Creek, they are not very plenty. Can't get up on the account of mill dams, but in Gold River they are very plenty and large, weighing from 10 to 50 lbs. or more.
    We also live in a gold country; thousands of men within a few miles of me are constantly digging for it. Many of them are doing well, some making a fortune in a few days while others do no more than make board. Wages have been from 2 to 3 dollars per day and board and from 40 to 60 dollars per day and board, but now in harvest time wages are about 4 or 5 dollars per day and 75 or 80 dollars per month and board. A good hand can almost always get work and good pay while a poor hand may go idle and hungry and almost naked.
    A large portion of the valley is prairie interspersed with small groves of timber. Our main body of timber is back in the mountains where it can be obtained in abundance without much difficulty.
    I have given you some of the good things of this country, and now if you please look at the other side of the picture. In the first place the valley is not as large as most people would like to have it and while some of the land is very good other portions of it is only middling and some of it very poor, also about 3 or 4 months in the year some of the country is very muddy. Difficult to raise or keep dogs here because if they eat the skin or fins of the salmon it is almost sure to kill them. Again the country is near two years last Jan. since the first settlement in this valley and that by baches, as we call them here. Hardly any families till last year. The fine houses and barns are not here or not many of them. The orchards with the exception of young ones are not here.
    And notwithstanding we think the country to be healthy in the general, yet people get sick here and some have died and others will die, and if they die without religion they are sure to be damned. Some had the ague last year and fever. Another great evil, there are many sinners here and they do very wickedly. Now if you want to know any more of the evils of this country you must come and try it for yourselves, for I have been thinking and thinking and can think of no more. Very little thunder or lightning. We have the sea breeze here every day, so the people here tell us, and it is very pleasant.
    Aunt Cloa has laid I think more than 60 eggs. We have got a few hens to do our setting. The owners of the hens find feed and we give them half the chickens. We have got 72 young chickens and two more hens setting. As we live on the road we can sell our butter at 50 cts. per pound, smearcase 25 cts. per pound, skimmed milk 50 cts. per gallon and could sell many other things at a good price if we had them. Flour has come down to 12 and 15 dollars per hundred. Beef has also come down to 15 and 20. I mean retail. Flour and groceries and every kind of goods is brought here on mules and consequently are high. Cooking stoves are from about 35 to 110 dollars.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library, typescript in Royal vertical file. Original letter is unsigned, but family lore records the writer as William Royal.



Jacksonville, O.T. Aug. 16, 1854
Dear Father and Mother;
    Some three weeks ago I commenced writing to you, but before I had finished was taken sick with bilious fever. Three days after Mr. R. was taken with the ague, then M. Gould, and sister Mary Royal. Stanley had the ague one week before I was taken, so you see we have all been sick, but Anina. F. is well, M.A. ditto, and M.E. ditto. Miller and Stanley have the chills yet. Mary closed her school one week while I was at the worst of my sickness. I am now doing my work, and between times trying to write. Even now, I have to rock the cradle with one foot.
    Nina and Stanley are in the schoolroom singing with the scholars. F. has gone two miles up the gulch to where he has an appointment to preach among the miners. I am going to wash out my colored clothes this evening after the sun gets down behind the mountain. School is out and it begins to be shady and cool. I must leave off and put my water on to heat while I get supper. Will write some more tomorrow.
    Saturday was engaged with housework all day. Sunday was taken up with preaching, class meeting and Sunday school.
    Monday, Aug. 21st. M. Gould missed his chill this morning, and I feel quite encouraged, hoping that he will soon be well. There has been considerable sickness in the valley, mostly bilious attacks, and ague in a very mild form, none having proved fatal. Health generally improving throughout the valley, though the emigrants all have to take a seasoning. Not an Illinois seasoning of nine months ague, but a slight attack of bilious or intermitting fever, as you will know when I tell you that we have not had a physician called, but have cured ourselves with simple water. You are surprised, but it is the most pleasant way of treating fever I ever knew. We have to be very strict in regard to diet in practicing the water cure, and use much discrimination in and judgment in applying the baths, in regard to when and how and of what temperature &c. &c. The cure is generally gradual, but sure. And after we are well we feel none of the ill effects of calomel and quinine, and other poisons in our systems. There is a hydropathy practitioner who came to town on business, and came to see us, but said we were doing well enough, the water was curing us, we need have no fears, we would soon be well. After he went home, he sent us a book which was quite a help to us, and by the blessing of God we are all well, except Olin. We may give you more particulars in the future of our success in this new "pathy." We did not do this to save expense, for there are good physicians here who are ready to cure us for nothing but we did it to save us from aching limbs and salivation.
    Aug. 28th. For the last week we have been having some fine rains, the first since the last week in June. It has now cleared off warm and pleasant, and vegetation appears much revived. Even the roses on my moss in the box in the window seem to bloom more beautifully than before. I will go and count the flowers for you now. There are nine. How homelike they make our room appear, and the morning glories which run up by the side of the door smiles to see us open the door in the morning before the sun is up. Here are the four o'clocks, all beaten down by the rain running on them from the eaves. With a little assistance they will soon be erect as ever. We have quite a variety of flowers yet after the grasshoppers have eaten all they want. Grasshoppers have been very numerous in this part of Oregon this summer. They have eaten up some of the gardens altogether. They came on the corn, but it soon got too hard for them. They are leaving now, or dying, I don't know which. They destroyed the large beans you gave me. They did not disturb the vines at all so we are having some nice cucumbers and melons. In market, melons bring from one to two dollars apiece. John, don't you wish you had a wagonload here to sell? But we can as well afford to pay one dollar here as you can there to pay twenty-five cents, though; money is somewhat scarce at this time. One reason for this scarcity of money is this: Some men spent all they were worth in the Indian war of last summer. There are $175,000 coming from government into this valley to defray those expenses. It is expected this next month. You know that is not a small sum to be brought into the twenty townships which comprise this rich valley. Another reason is that the water is not plenty in the creeks now, so but few miners can work. So soon as the fall rains begin, times will be more lively, and business more brisk.
    Flour is 15 cts. per pound, beef 15 and 20, pork 40, butter 1.00. Father Royal's big chickens $20.00 a pair, and half breeds $10.00. Common chickens, not so high. There are no ducks, turkeys or geese in the valley that I have heard of. So it would not be a place for you, Mother, unless you bring some along. We can get everything and anything you can get in the States, I mean in the eating line. 'Tis true we cannot have the good society here that you have there, at present, but in a few years we shall be able to compare favorably with you in that respect. There are now five schools now in this county, all kept by competent and pious persons. Our church in this place will soon be completed. In other parts of the valley there is talk of building churches soon. All seem willing and ready to give to build houses of worship.
    Wednesday Aug. 29th. It is clear, pleasant and warm today. Mr. Royal and I have often wondered if you got all the letters which we have sent you. We think you certainly did not, for you would have said something about the sage, the flowers and the news which we sent you &c. After this, have our letter before you when you write and answer accordingly, so we can know what news you have received, and what you have not. Did you ever receive the map of Oregon which we sent you, showing the mountains, counties, streams, townships, etc.? It had a great deal of writing on it by T.F. We have sent you a great many little things which I cannot now remember.
    This morning a young man came in and said: Mr. Royal, do you not want to take a ride? I have a buggy, and you have a horse, and if you like we will put the two together and take a ride out into the country. "Yes," says Mr. R. "I was just thinking of riding out that way on horseback," and "Mary, if you will dress up Stanley and Nina, I will take them along." Pretty soon Brother Bethel comes driving up, with the prancing little Arabian. Nina and Stanley run out to the gate to ride. But Pa says: "Spotty is too wild. She has not been hitched to a buggy for two years. The children will have to stay at home this time. But when Spotty gets used to the buggy again, you shall have a ride." So off they go, and will return in the afternoon.
    September 5th. Stanley still has the chills. We are sweating him this morning. Have kept the chill off so far. It is about ten o'clk. Mary, Nina and Miller are in the school room. Miller has become so smart that he can push open the door, and go into the school room alone. His aunt Mary says he is the prettiest and smartest child I have. Oh, how I wish you could see them as they cluster around the fireside, or play in the play house, or romp in the garden! Nina so delicate and ladylike, Stanley, a great robust fellow with his black eyes and curly hair, though the ague has made his face somewhat paler than it was. Then that good-natured Miller, so quiet, so mild, so lovely. Just now I think of a piece of poetry in the repository, which you may not have noticed, so I insert it.
Our Little Three.
One with curly auburn tresses,
    Of a glossy hue,
Eyes that kindle with expression
    Like a drop of dew.
When a cloudless sun is rising
    Over tower and tree
She is the eldest loving creature
    Of our little three.
   
Next a sturdy little fellow,
    Boasting of his size
See him there upon his tiptoe,
    Laughing from his eyes,
Roguish, rosy, loving cherub,
    Full of noise and glee
He is second of the number
    Of our little three.
   
Then a tiny pretty creature,
    Meek as early May
Tripping round its smiling mother,
    Like a lamb at play.
    Now does this not make you imagine you can see the little dears as they gather round their "big ma" as Stanley calls me sometimes. Or round the table to partake of our meals. While Pa says grace, Miller folds his little hands and keeps very still until the last word, which he responds to with a long breath. Now Miller comes and pulls at my dress. I must take him a minute. Now he is asleep, and I can write again.
    T.F. has gone over to the new mines today. Perhaps you don't know anything about that place. The new mines were discovered in June, and are quite extensive. There are now about five hundred men at work. A new town is growing up there which will soon be as large as this place. It is about five miles southeast from here.
    I often remember what you said to me the morning I left my father's house: "Now, Mary, write just as it is whether you have things comfortable or not." 'Tis true I have not so large a house as I have had in the States. But our house is about the size of yours. I have a good stove, and plenty of kettles and pots etc., and one fireplace, three tables, three beds, three chairs besides some stools, and aplenty to eat and drink and to wear. We have two cows, one horse, and two houses and lots in town worth three hundred dollars. These are little things to write about, but I know you are anxious to know about our material as well as spiritual welfare. I do not advise anyone to come here, especially a single man. All should marry before coming. We have enough baches here now. I would be glad if you were here as well fixed as you are there. But you know it takes a long time to improve a farm in a new country as well as yours is improved. You had better stay there if you are contented, where you can enjoy the fruit of your labors. But if you are not contented there come on, but you will not find so much vacant land as you expected in this part of the country. You may say, "Mary is homesick," but I say "nay," I am glad I have come and want to make Oregon my home while I live. If you were all here and not contented, how unhappy I would be. But as it is I know you are pleased with Illinois, a great deal better than I should be after having seen this country. I fancy I see you taking a walk out in that cool, shady orchard, and cannot but wish I was with you to have a good, long talk, but not to stay long from this bright, snug little home here on the hillside. But what about that railroad? Are we going to hear the clatter of the iron horse pretty soon over this way, bringing an invitation to come to a quarterly meeting or a camp meeting, to be held there. How do people feel about it? Are they going to give us a chance to come in five years and visit them or not? We get lots of news by way of the papers a long time after you have read and forgotten. More anon.
    Wednesday Sept. 6. The emigrants are just beginning to arrive by the Southern Oregon route, the same way we came. Indians not troublesome. All got along very well so far. This is a month later than is usual for the emigrants to begin to arrive. Soldiers and volunteers were sent out from this valley with provisions to feed all who should be destitute, or living on short allowances, and to guard them through the country most inhabited by hostile Indians. I know just how the tired, hungry emigrant feels to meet such aid. We feel as though we could never be thankful enough for the provision made for us, in this way, by entire strangers. May the Lord reward them.
    We hear that there has been considerable suffering on the old road, as there were no provisions made for the safety and for feeding the people on that route. By late Oregon papers we learn that a train on that road of four wagons, eight men, four women and several children were taken. The men were killed, all but one whom they supposed dead, and left him. The women and children were taken prisoners. A company of men are out after them.
    Sept. 15th. Our third quarterly meeting is to be held on the 23rd and 24th of this month. T.F. says he will write after that. Religious matters are prospering as well as could be expected under the present circumstances. We have had some trials, but when we "cast our care upon him who careth for us" we are always comforted and cheered, and what seemed trials are only blessings in disguise.
   

Here is a specimen of the leaf of the
laurel (madrona). It is a large tree, and
evergreen. It has berries on it in the
winter. Oh, how pretty it looks in the
winter.
   

    In looking over what I have written, I am constrained to say: It is nothing after all but such little things as I could think of between times of tending baby, doing work, etc., etc. But if I were there, I think I should be well paid for all my pains in looking at the fine flowers sent. I have written a letter to Mr. Bissel; expect an answer soon. Mr. Royal joins me in love to all our friends in and about Victoria. If you have any letters from the East of special interest, please send them on for us to read.
1. This is a leaf off of the bush of the mountain grape. I have not seen any of the berries.
2. Leaf of the thimbleberry bush. Thimbleberries are said to be very plentiful here some years.
3. [no description]
4. Don't know the name.
5. The wild lilac. We intend to transfer one of these to our garden in the spring. It grows almost everywhere in the timber. It is of a bright purple color, and sometimes is almost as blue as this ink.
6. A very pretty lily which blooms in April. It grows on the mountainsides, is of a bright red and yellow color.
7. There grows here a large splendid lily, the prettiest you ever saw.
8. The mock orange.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library, typescript in Royal vertical file. Apparently unsigned; written by Mary Ann Royal to her parents in Illinois.



Jacksonville, O.T. Jany. 18, 1855
Dear Father & Mother
    We are all well. Our meeting was protracted about a week. Eight were added to the church. The congregation here increases in numbers and interest. The Sunday school is still kept up--not much change. The day school had not been kept up since Mary left--no effort been made to keep it up. I have no time to spare from the circuit. Bro. Anderson is employed. I still have floods of persecution--the waves roll high. I cannot account for it--it is mysterious to me. Sometimes I think I am out of my place--and then I see that God has blessed and still blesses my labors, and I then take fresh courage. I feel that I am not worthy to receive such persecution for Christ's sake--for I am not holy enough. If I were sure it were for Christ's sake--then I could "rejoice and be exceeding glad." But I do not always rejoice--I often feel burdened and cast down and afflicted. Then I think perhaps these are the smitings of my Heavenly Father's rod. Well, I praise God for chastisement. But blessed be the name of the Lord. I can truly say that in the midst of the most overwhelming per[secution] I have always had a clear conscience. Yes--however dark and furious the storm without, I have always had calm and sunshine within. That is, with regard to those particular things, about which and for which I have been and still am persecuted. I have always felt perfectly clear. They are things which I not only did with a clear conscience, but under a sense of duty, or such things as have no existence at all, and are utterly false without even a foundation. I often wonder if they are my enemies, and wish to ruin me, why they do not make a better selection in aiming to get my bad deeds exposed. If they only knew me as well as I know myself they would not be puzzled in the least to condemn me. And when I think of my weaknesses and imperfections, I say to myself, "What a mercy that they have not been permitted to take advantage of these to secure my overthrow." Truly God has been round about me like a wall of fire. If I am only faithful I am sure it will all come out right. "God will cause the wrath of man to praise him and the remainder he will restrain."
    You recollect when we were traveling along alone on the plains, in the midst of dangers how secure we felt under God's protection--even our women were not suffered to feel the least uneasy and how perfectly composed we always closed our eyes at night to sleep, saying to each other--"The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him." And how remarkable it was that we felt so much more secure, than we had done, even with the large train and a vigilant guard of men around us. And how we used to walk along leisurely by our wagons through the day and talk about the wonderful manifestations of kind Providence in our behalf. And how happy we felt in these contemplations. Just so we feel now when we talk over our trials, and pray over them. O dear parents and brothers & sister, "Pray for us that our faith fail not." If all these severe trials here are intended as chastisement, our prayer is that we may be properly humbled under them and be brought nigh to God by them, and that we may have special grace, patience, and wisdom given us for this hour of peculiar need.
    I suppose Bro. Wilbur has told you that charges were preferred against me and that he will have an examination down in your country.
    Will you please say to him that if it will suit his convenience and that of the committee he may choose it will suit us best to have the examination about the 25th of February next. Brother S. H. Taylor cannot go before that time, and we hope to have it that soon.
    I hope to have your business matters here all arranged properly and make a final report and settlement at the same time.
    The weather has been so dry here and still remains so dry that the miners are doing comparatively nothing, and this has made dreadful hard times. I do not know what we shall do here unless we get rain soon. I get but little and yet my expenses are as great as ever. I have been compelled to use some of your funds or be distressed. I know under the circumstances you will justify me. I know it will not take long to get it back if we get water, for the miners are my friends and promise to help as soon as they can wash the the money out of the dirt they have dug out of the ground. I will try hard to get all collected that is due you and fetch it with me when I come. You need not feel the least uneasy about it.
    It shall all come out right by the blessing of God.
    We are anxious to hear how Mary got through and how she is pleased.
    Mary Ann intended to write to her this mail but has been too busy. We miss Mary very much here. But we hope she will be very useful where she is.
Your affectionate
    Son & daughter
        T. F. & Mary Ann Royal
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 1



Fountain Hill, O.T. Jan. 30th 1855
Dear Children
    We received yours of the 18th of this month. together with a letter from C.W.R. forwarded by you to me from Jacksonville.
    The above letters contained much information, a part of which was joyous. While other parts was grievous, we feel to rejoice with them that rejoice and to weep with them that weep, and our prayer to God is that he may sanctify the afflictions of all our children to their present and eternal good. We sympathize with you while passing through the fire and water, and while the storms of persecution rage against you I say we weep with you. We are sorry for you, and yet we do not sorrow as those who have no hope. We remember that it is said all are yours, and all things shall work together for good to them that love God, and we believe you love God. Then though we sorrow yet we rejoice with joy unspeakable, having more than a hope. A firm unshaken confidence in God that these light afflictions, which are but for a moment, will most certainly be for your good. You say that sometimes you think you are out of your place, out of your place as a minister of the gospel, while laboring for the good of souls, where Satan's seat is. No, no, verily, say at such times Satan get thee behind me. If to be persecuted is a mark of being out of place, then were all the saints of God, the Prophets and the Apostles and the Saviour himself out of place. This cannot be. 
    Paul says they that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. The Blessed Redeemer has said it is impossible but that offenses will come. If you do not bear these things aright you may be out of place, but if any man suffer as a Christian let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on his behalf.
    You may have been out of place in not preferring charges against your vile persecutor some time ago. If you should seek the praise and applause of men, particularly that of ungodly men, and seek not that honor which comes from God only, you might think of being out of place, or if you become worldly minded or covetous or proud of person, talent, dress either in yourself or family, then fear. Or if you shun the cross and thereby seek to save your life, you may lose it if you are not careful in the appointment of Leaders, Stewards, Exhorters, Preachers &c. or if you should pick up a dram drinker or any ungodly sinner from the gambling saloon or anywhere else and put him up in your new and beautiful church, to lead your devotions in the delightful and profitable exercise of singing, then let fear and astonishment take hold. When you if you should neglect to become well acquainted with and strictly observe discipline, page 53-71, 79 & 81 & 85 & 88, 89 & 132 on to 149 and then from page 1 to page 282. Then you may say with certainly I am out of my place.
    Feb. 2nd night before last Brother & Sister Wilbur and Brother Flinn made us a visit, just such a one as ought to be made by all Christians and particularly by [a] minister. They all prayed with us. Yourself, family and your whole work was remembered together with the whole district, naming almost every appointment. It was a time of Divine Power. Pray for us as we for you, that your faith and our faith fail not.
Your affectionate father and mother
    Wm. & Barbara Royal
[P.S.] Tell Anina and Stanley and Gould that Grandfather and mother want to see them very much. Tell them to be good children.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 1.  William Royal's home was at the foot of Fountain Hill in Umpqua Valley.


Fountain Hill O.T. March the 9th 1855
Our dear children
    You will now be informed by Brother Wilbur and the committee that the long continued and very unpleasant difference between you and S. P. Taylor has come to a termination. Brother Taylor I presume was never [illegible] up before in his life. In addition to your written testimony I proved by some that the letter was all true by myself and others that so far as we had means of knowing the truth of said letter that it was all strictly true with the exception of a very few unguarded expressions. I had him tell of his treatment to you and Sylvester when he went to you after reading the letter &c. &c. &c. &c. I then had arrangements to go to Burts' and take the testimony of eleven more of the family. Lyman and Omer were on hand but he cried and begged me not to go to Burts' I also informed him that he had made a number of false statements during the investigation and that I intended to impeach his own testimony and destroy it on that ground, but his tears moved my sympathy and I declined any further investigation.
    You will now learn that the result was most triumphant on your part. The decision of the committee was not made known until Tuesday about one or two o'clock p.m. The investigation closed on Saturday evening. I took Brother Taylor home with me and treated him kindly and he left on Sunday morning, not knowing officially the result of the whole matter and yet well convinced in his own mind from the testimony given that it must go against him.
    May the Lord save us from exulting over a conquered foe but may his unbounded goodness towards us humble us under his mighty hand. O may we lie low in the dust before the Great I Am.
    God designs that we shall be a holy people. He has to this end called us to pass through the great furnaces of affliction, one in the plains and the other in this Taylor matter, and he has been sitting as a refiner and purifier of silver on our souls that he may purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver that they offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. It is true you were more especially in the last furnace, yet when one member suffer all the members suffer with it. This is especially true when connected as Parents and Children, Brothers and Sisters. It is for us all now to examine ourselves and if passable to see what has been our loss and gain while passing through this painful furnace of affliction. Now let me tell you Mother's dream. You know she like Daniel is something of a dreamer of dreams. A few nights before the trial or investigation she dreamed that over about the Academy there was a great fire broke out and surrounded our white house. She thought there was a great smoke and we were all called to see the fire and a great many people gathered around to keep our house from burning; but directly the fire went out and the house was not burnt at all and persons standing by said that nothing was burnt but the trash about the house. I also dream a little. I saw also in my vision upon my bed about the same time of Mother's vision two large rattlesnakes lying together. At first I could not see their heads but soon one of them lifted up his head and snapped and bit at me and others and it seemed that I was left alone to fight the great snake. It tried but could not bite me or any others and I fought it until I had subdued and I think killed it. The other great snake had its head the other way going from me. Now the first I think represents T. the other G. who came as far as Patterson's and went back.
    Now I hope that on examination it will be found that our loss in passing through the fire consists only in the consumption of our dross and tin, wood, hay and stubble in something of no worth to us but contrariwise doing us harm, impeding our march to heaven. I hope we have become less worldly minded, more heavenly minded, less desirous of worldly honor, more anxious for that honor that comes from God only, less concerned about pleasing men, more anxious to please God, less anxious for the gold that perishes and more and still more anxious to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom. I trust that our gain has been an increase of faith, humility and holiness and consequently happier. I hope that while the Savior has been sitting as a refiner and purifier on our souls that he has been enabled to see his image more fully enstamped on our hearts that we may be the better and more fully prepared to say thy will be done.
    Now in regard to your course towards Brother Taylor you will be prepared I trust to judge correctly after seeing the decision of the committee and how they request him to make a suitable acknowledg[ment] to you and a public acknowledgment to the church.
    Pray much for him and his family. Look to God by faith for direction in your course toward him. Wait a little and see what he will do. Try to see what manner of spirit he is of. Deal with him very mildly in the fear of God and yet promptly save the man and his family if possible. Engage as many holy men of God to pray for him as you can and I think you would do well to give Brother Wilbur information in regard to what course Taylor takes and get his advice. He told Brother Wilbur that he intended to go home and be a better man. Amen; so may it be. I think you will do well to keep as quiet as the nature of things will admit. He may make an acknowledgment that will supersede the necessity of bringing him to trial. If so, so much the better.
    When I sat down it was my intention to write only a few lines, but you see I have got to the 4th page and not quite done yet. Now you would no doubt be astonished if I should say to you that Mother has been lately converted. As you know that she has been a pious woman for near forty years. Conversion I believe means a change. Mother has met with a great change in her mind in one particular point. On last Thursday while engaged in prayer to God she was powerfully convinced that our trip to Oregon was of the Lord and that she had been wrong in all of her misgiving on that subject. She says that she walked too much by sight and not by faith. She says that in reading the scriptures they seem different to her to what they used to be. They seem to be thickly strewed with promises applicable to us on the trip, and in our trials in this country she was greatly tried in her mind about this Taylor matter, but she is entirely relieved in her mind on all of these matters. She is greatly pleased with her new home. We all like the country very much.
    We have good meetings, good week and Sunday schools, good neighbors &c. &c. Your brother James has been for a few days considerably afflicted in his eyes. Jason's eyes I think are improving some. He is very studious and learns very fast.
Your affectionate
    Father and mother
        Wm. and B. Royal
To T. F. and M. A. Royal
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 1  For the cause of the difference between Royal and S. P. Taylor, see William Royal's journal, entry of March 1, 1855.


[September-October 9, 1856]
-- pages missing --
the other, five miles from here on the road. So we hitch up and start to meeting and find the congregation waiting when we arrive. Our church has no society here, but the people are mostly Brethren and Campbellites who are very much opposed to our people, who are Methodists. After service, we accepted the invitation of Brother Miller to go with him to dinner. (This is the Brother Miller who lives in Yoncalla, and who was always a kind friend to our folks in those pioneer days.) After dinner the men conclude that it will be best for me and the children to stay at home and rest as we have to travel tomorrow. While they are gone, the children and I have plenty of melons to eat. Brother Miller hitched up his little buggy, and he and T.F. go to meeting. About dark they return, and all are safe in the house, to remain until Monday morning.
    Monday 7th. All well, prospect of rain this morning, so we conclude to borrow bows and wagon cover to shelter us on the way. We expect to cross the Calapooia Mountains today. Nooned at Mr. Estes' at the foot of the mountains. Start over about two o'clock. Eight miles over the mountain, and to the next house. We are afraid that we will be in the night though.
    Evening. Over the mountain safe to Brother Cartwright's. Supper just over, but a few minutes bring some more steaming hot from the great stove in the kitchen. This is a tavern. Everything moves off in double-quick time here, for there is a great deal of travel on this road in the fall. We had two or three sprinkles of rain today, an uncommon thing for this time of the year.
    Wednesday 10th. Yesterday we traveled on a very good road, for a new country, until noon. Then we took the new territorial road, and found it very fine until we reached the Long Tom River. We crossed the bridge and drove up the hill to a cabin where a family resides by the name of Duckworth. We called for lodging, and were very kindly entertained by these strangers who are Protestant Methodists. We were up and off this morning in time to make a good drive this forenoon. We are now at the home of Brother Starr (Noah), a traveling minister of this Conference. I guess they are glad to see us, for when Br. Starr came out to the wagon, he said: "Sister Royal, I am glad to see you. Sister Starr is in the kitchen setting the table for dinner. The children are all out in the yard in the cool shade playing." T.F. sits in his chair, reading the last paper through his blue glasses, for his eyes are weak yet.
    Brother Starr brought out some fine large apples a few minutes ago, all ripe and sweet. Dinner. What do you guess we had for dinner? Chicken, corn, cucumbers, cabbage, coffee, cream, sugar, biscuit, butter and peaches. Kate will say: "Just such a dinner as Mary loves." Now we must go on further tonight. Brother S---- is going to start to Conference in the morning, and wishes me to stay all night. But no, we must go on ten miles.
    Thursday morning 11th. At Brother Hodges' this morning, the family are nearly all sick with something like the ague. I have been at work helping the lady to get breakfast. We are now out in prairie three miles wide. It seems something like Illinois. It looks very pretty by moonlight. We are now within five miles of Corvallis. We shall get a late start this morning.
    Corvallis, 11 o'clock, brings us to Brother Phillips. We just call to say: "How do you do?" Brother and Sister P------- both say, "Get out, and come in." But we both say no. We are in a great hurry and have no time for visiting. They say: "Now you are not going to leave here before dinner. We won't let you go. So get out and come in. We will soon have dinner ready." Brother Phillips is the agent for the American Bible Society in Oregon and Washington territories. He and his excellent lady have visited the Umpqua twice, and were at Conference last year, so I am pretty well acquainted with them. She is very lively and pleasant company. Seems like "our folks." She is from York State, just my age.
    Evening. Our early dinner was over about two o'clock, and we started on our way to Father Lewis', strangers to us. When we drove up to the house, they were just going to bed. But got up and received us very kindly. The old lady pressed us to have a warm supper, but we told her we would rather sleep than wait for her to cook supper. Bread and milk, and to bed.
    Friday morning. We have had our breakfast of good things, such as Oregon people have, and are nearly ready to start. No more writing now, for they are calling me to taste the good melons. There goes the old man with a large one for us to eat when we get to the top of Prospect Hill, where we can see a great deal of the Willamette Valley spread out as a map at our feet. The melons dispatched and we are off. Mother Lewis wants to keep Anina until we return from Conference. But we prefer taking the little group all along, to catch their shadows for Grandma Stanley.
    Two o'clock brings us to Salem. We call at the house of Father Leslie, one of the old missionaries to Oregon, when there were but few white people here. They are at dinner, and invite us to come in and be at home. So we rest and dress up all clean in the afternoon. T.F. visits the Willamette University in charge of the Oregon Conference, returns to Father Leslie's about five, and we drive over to Bro. Parish's to stay all night. Oh, how glad they are to see us. They come running out to the gate to meet us. We stayed with them last year on our way to Conference. Oh, how welcome they make us! They have a large, fine house, garden orchard and farm etc. We go in. Supper is over, but soon good Sister P----- spreads the table again. Said I: "Shall I help you, Sister?" She says: "Yes, you may peel some of those fine peaches for your supper." And suiting the action to the word, she placed by my side a large basket full of them, ripe and sweet. I peel a large dishful for supper. With sugar and cream and warm biscuit, tea, etc. we made out a hearty supper. We spend a pleasant evening with the family, and retire early to rest as we must be off in good season in the morning. The children, Nina and Stanley, sleep on the sofa in the parlor, and the rest of us in a bedroom adjoining on a bedstead worth a hundred dollars.
    Saturday 13th. Morning. We slept well last night. It is foggy this morning, and we shall not get an early start. I would like to walk about and see the fruit and flowers, but the grass is too wet. Now it rains some, just a sprinkle. Breakfast over, and we are ready to start at nine o'clock. Twenty-five miles to travel today. Just after we started this morning, we heard a noise behind us saying "All aboard!" So peering out from under our cover, we spy Brother and Sister Phillips (before named) in their carriage. "Brother Royal, where are you going to spend the Sabbath?" Answer: "At Baker's Prairie." "So are we; we shall have a fine time there together." Pretty soon, up came Brother and Sister Starr, on their way to Conference, also going to spend the Sabbath at Baker's Prairie. Three preachers and their wives there at one time. The like was never known there in that country place. About four o'clock, we arrive at Father Joslin's on the bank of the Molalla River, just at the edge of the prairie. We are acquainted here, having spent a Sabbath here last year. All very glad to see us. And the first salute is five or six large melons which are brought and laid on a bench in the yard. We soon dispatch one or two of the largest, and then supper is ready. We all eat and rest. After supper Fletcher and I conclude to go a mile further up the river to Brother Cross'. Three appointments are circulated for the Sabbath.
    Sunday 14th. Bright and early we begin to scrub children's faces and comb hair, for Sunday school is at nine o'clock and we must hurry. Nothing but going to church today, and singing &c. &c. &c. Evening. We have all been to church today and all day, and feel pretty much tired out.
    Monday 15th. Rainy this morning, but we have a good cover, and so must be in Portland at six o'clock this evening. So we bid goodbye to our friends here and are soon on our way.
    Noon. At Oregon City we are in such a hurry that we cannot stop. We will eat some of our melons which we have in the wagon, with our biscuits, and drive on. But, who is this? Why, it is Brother Hines. "How do you do, etc?" You must drive right up the hill here for dinner. You need not say a word, you must stop, you have plenty of time. The truth was this. We stayed with them last when at Conference, and they had been watching for us all day, determined that we should not pass, and saw our wagon and ran down the hill and got ahead of us and stopped us. We take in some of our large melons to eat after dinner.
    October 1st. Wednesday. We arrived home safe and sound last night after dark. We are returned to this place, as you have probably learned before this time. School commences this morning. I will stay at home a week to wash up and rest. Next week I shall go in to school. We received great kindness while we were gone on our journey of 200 miles. We never paid one cent of expense on the way, except for ferries and toll bridge. Fletcher has gone to school, and I must go to washing pretty soon. I will not go in to school until next week, when I get rested.
    Thursday 9th. I have just come home from Father Royal's. Mary and her new husband have just started for Rogue River, their circuit this year. I have been ironing, and helping to get her off. I thought of the time when I left home a bride to dwell among strangers. Seven years have brought some changes to us all. How much better has been my lot than that of some others. I have a kind husband, and good friends even here in Oregon. Father and Mother Royal are very kind to me. When we got home from Conference, it was after dark, but just as soon as Mother saw a light at our house, she and the girls came running with some supper for us. We in turn gave them some good peaches we had brought up from the Willamette for them. We brought them in a brass kettle, packed in some oats, 200 miles.
    Fletcher has bought a bass viol to use in the family. He is beginning to learn and to play pretty finely. Last Saturday, John's miniature came to hand. We thank him very much. It looks very natural. I would have known it anywhere. We send him a bookmark; the letters on the Bible are the initials of his name, J.W.S. I thought I would write them, for fear you could not read them. Why don't Kate write. I would like to see a lock of little Mary's hair. William's also, to put up in my little hair book. It makes me feel sad to think that perhaps before this letter reaches you my dear sister may be a widow, and little Mary fatherless. Be very kind to William in his affliction, and make all due allowance for him as you would for a child of your own, that you may have nothing to reflect on when he is gone. We thank you very much for the pieces of your dresses. I would like to see some pieces of Kate's and Mary's dresses. No doubt they are very pretty. I will send you some of ours in the next letter. This is so full or I would send them now. Did you ever get the letter containing a map of our farm? And the plan of our house?
    Your last letter told many things which I have wanted to know for some time. All about the old friends and neighbors here. We hear from Wm. Cullison occasionally. He is in Yreka, Cal. now, does not belong to the church, but is a good, moral man. We saw his partner in business a few weeks
-- pages missing --
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library, typescript copy, MS 161 folder 19. Letter written by Mary Ann Royal.


Crystal Lake Jan. 14th 1858
Dear children and grandchildren
    I feel as though an apology was due you from me for not writing you sooner and yet I hardly know how to frame one, only that I have been so long traveling through rains, mud &c. that when I came here I was very tired and have hardly got rested yet. Not only so, but I have still been kept very busy. I frequently preach and attend prayer meetings and attend to some other matters and keep tired. These hints together with my age I hope will be an acceptable apology.
    James informed you of the time of my arrival and safety of my trip, taking possession of the land and so forth. James and Jason are the householders here. Your mother and I are with them but anxious to return home just as soon as we can, as soon as the roads will admit of it. Our children here are very kind, neighbors good and good meetings, yet as our home is at Fountain Hill we want to be there as soon as we can so as to make garden.
    Is Brother Stark and John Miller in my house? If so and we do not get on as soon as we wish tell them that I would be glad to have them make some garden for me. Put in some lettuce, turnips, potatoes &c. for me.
    Jason is teaching school, has about 27 scholars. A sabbath school has been organized, J.L.R. superintendent. He gives good satisfaction, promises usefulness.
    I will now give you a copy of the bill of books which I received of Shipley and let you have when I was up last.
4 Webster's Unabridged $28.50
3 Dicks' Works  11.25
1 Gibbon's Rome 3.50
1 Webster's Royal Oct. Dict. [royal octavo] 4.12
1 Clay's Speeches 4.50
6 Academic Dict. 7.00
1 Ream letter paper 3.00
11 Quires broad blanks 3.00
18 Quires quarto blanks 1.62
6 Univ. Hist. 9.00
4 Mother Guide 1.62
3 Manly Character 1.50
3 Young Ladies' Counselors 1.65
3 Asbury only 2 received of Shipley and you the same 2.50
1 Lectures to Young Men .75
2 Josephus 3.75
2 Morris Sermons 1.70
1 Death Bed Scenes 1.00
1 Western Meth. 1.00
1 Pilgrim's Prog. .87
2 Signers Dec. 1.80
    The following is a bill of books which I got of C. S. Kingsley at the same time and let you have.
3 Harry Budd 2.10
2 Bunyan's gL 2.00
1 Bunyan's .50
1 Boyd's Pollok 1.13
1 Wesley's Sermons 1.80
3 Lonking's Notes 1.50
1 Watson's Theol. Dis. 2.75
2 Companion for the Afflicted 1.30
2 Watson's Institutes 9.00
5 Counceller's Plans 2.75
8 Counceller's glt. 6.00
2 Counceller's luk 2.00
1 Manly Character .50
3 Young Man Advised 2.25
2 Porter on Revivals .50
3 Child's His. of England 3.00
3 Heroes of Methodism 3.00
9 Introduction to Christianity 1.80
1 Alison's Europe 1.35
6 Brown's Concordance 1.80
1 Set Uncle Toby's Library 2.50
Part Set Toby's Library 2.08
1 Heroes of Methodism 1.00
1 Ladies' Counselor .75
    By some means in moving and shifting about I have misplaced the papers containing the Baptisms &c. &c., wonder if I left a part of them in the church record book. Did I or did I not leave my county scrip with you? I thought I did. If I did I have the balance here which I thought was lost. I was pleased to hear of the revival you had at your quarterly meeting. O may revivals never cease at the Umpqua until the people shall cease to sin, and may it not be confined to the Umpqua but may it spread far and wide until the last sinner shall be converted to God.
    We want to see you very much. Our love to all the friends. Grandma wants to see the children very much. Lizzy sends love to the children.
    Our love to you all.
Your affectionate
    Father and mother
        Wm. & Barbara Royal
T. F. & M. Royal
   

I will write you soon.
    J.H.B.R.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 1



March the 19th 1858
Dear children
    We thank thee Lord that you have been able to present to us as you say with another grandson and the more so because he bears in the name of his grandpa and also the maiden name of his grandma. Our prayer is and shall be that the blessing of God the father Son and holy ghost may ever rest upon him and all of our grandchildren.
    Your kind letter of Feb. 24th was to us a mixed cup of sorrow and of joy. Sorrow on account of Mary Ann's deaf affliction and of joy on account of the great grace of God bestowed on you while passing through the furnace of affliction. This affliction has been a sanctified affliction. We can say bless the Lord my soul and all that is within me; bless his holy name for what he has done for Mary Ann in giving her another son. May that son live to be a good man, a holy man of God and if according to the will of god a minister of Jesus Christ who you saw so plain in your affliction and who appeared so lovely and whom you loved and still love so well. May that son be a great blessing to the world. We give thanks to the most high for the great attainments Mary Ann made in holiness during her sickness. God has in this way been preparing you for great future usefulness. O may the Lord enable you both to be abundantly useful. Let holiness to God of heart and life be your constant theme. Cry aloud; share not; lift up your noise like a trumpet and warn the people.
    It was our expectation to have been home last month but in consequence of bad roads and scarcity of grain on the way and team poor we are here yet, and at this time Carry is sick and we cannot at present [leave] on that account. She has been unwell for some time but is now getting better, and we think will soon be well. We are very anxious to get back home and hope soon to be there. I sent my scrip to you in James' letter. Mister Flinn sent me word that he could send me $400 by Brother York. If you have got it you may pay Brother Gardner for me. Also if you can by any safe conveyance send enough to Brother Roberts to pay for my buggy you may please do it. He wrote to me about it and informed me that you was to get one. If so you can send the money with your own.
    Don't forget to have some garden made on my place for me and I will satisfy you for the same. Will you pay some attention to my fruit trees so that they are not injured. I have not been able to do much in my agency during the winter but am doing more now. Hope soon to be able to devote my whole time to this good work.
    We are very much pleased with James' wife; we think she is the one for the itinerancy, and we hope she will be a great blessing to him and the cause of God. She is willing to go anywhere or put up with any kind of fare; wants him to fill all of his appointments. She can stay alone by night or day.
    They have taken Lizzy so that our family is small. We want to see Nina, Stanley, Miller, Wm. very much. Our love to all. We often think and speak of you all. C. F. Royal is waiting for the letter to take it to town so I must close. Your parents in love and host
Wm. & B. Royal
T. F. & M. Royal
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 1



Itinerants rest near Portland June 11th 1859
Dear children and grandchildren
    Since I last wrote you I have been very sick, but through the mercy of God I am much better, yet very feeble. This is my first attempt to write since I was sick. My hand now trembles with weakness so that I can hardly write Mother and Jason. Well, on last evening we received Mary Ann's letter, were sorry to learn of your continued affliction. Our constant prayer is that it may be blest to your good that if in the mercy of God you should come out of this furnace of affliction you may say with the psalmist that it was good for me to be afflicted.
    This day your camp meeting and also Mr. Flinn's commences. We do not forget them in our prayers.
    We are pleased to learn that it is your intention to make us a visit shortly. We will be glad to see you all. Now in regard to my wagon, what will I do? I am not able to go after it. I think upon the whole that if you can you may sell it if you can. I am also anxious to sell my land at a reduced price if you can do no better. I want my business all settled up just as soon as possible. You may find it best to take some trade. Do the best you can and I will compensate you for your trouble.
    I enjoyed much of the divine presence in my affliction and since. Give our love to all the good friends. We have some prosperity on this circuit and in this neighborhood. We are expecting a good camp meeting. The health of this part of the country is good. The Columbia River is about at high water mark; crops will be much injured.
    Uncle Charles will lose much. I will suffer some. We had in the spring a fine prospect of much fruit but many of our apples have fallen off. Still we will have a tolerable crop. We have a few peaches and a few pears and a few grapes and a good crop of currants. Cherries and plums is a failure. Salmonberries ripe. Fine prospect of raspberries, black and dewberries; some kinds will be ripe in a few weeks.
    The conclusion of the whole matter is with us now and forever to fear God and keep his commandments. Amen and Amen.
Your parents
    Wm. & Barbara Royal
T. F., M. A. and all the children
June 19
Dear Bro. & Sister
    Father wishes wants you to come down as soon as you [can] conveniently as berries will be ripe sooner than he expected. They are ripening now fast.
    Father has sold Betty to Bro. Parrott last fall, but he has a horse that will suit you I am sure, but not a good match for yours. Please excuse this scrawl. I work too hard to write well.
Your Bro.
    Jason
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 1



Ashland Ogn. Oct. 7th 1878
Rev T. F. Royal
    Dear Bro.
        I come to you for advice. The Ashland Academy property is about to be sold & the Romanists want it. The school is in a flourishing condition but Bro. Skidmore borrowed money some years ago, giving a mortgage on the building & grounds.
    As a financier, Bro. Skidmore is not a success & the mortgage is to be
foreclosed.
    As it now stands, & is likely to remain if held by Protestants, this school is the educational center for a large area of country, say from Grave Creek southward 150 to 200 miles, & from the coast eastward 300 miles. The school is now run by capable men who hold a lease for four years, beginning with the present. Thus the running of the school is provided for that far.
    Now for a few questions. Ought not Protestantism to hold this "vantage ground" against "Rome"? Does not Methodism in Southern Ogn. & Northern Cal. need this school? Lastly, if friends could be found who would buy the entire institution & give it to the Ogn. Conference would it be a desirable present. Could we afford to take it as a gift. The school is now self-sustaining & should steadily increase in strength [and]  popularity.
    I should like to hear from you soon & will give further particulars if desirable.
    We have some wealthy friends in this vicinity & a few more can be found in the lake country. I would have the benefit of your judgment before giving our friends any
encouragement.
With kind regards to yourself & family.
    I remain
        Yours in Christ
            W. T. Chapman.
P.S. Please keep this matter pretty still for a while as we have enemies & rivals who would gladly forestall us if they thought we were making a move in the direction proposed.
C.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 3



Gold Hill Ore. Nov. 21st 1899
T. F. Royal
    Salem Ore.
Dear Sir
    At your request I send you a brief account of my adventure with Indians as described.
    I expect that you will find it somewhat incomplete and disconnected; all such I leave for you to rectify. I also grant you full privilege to use my name in connection, and if you can make a moral of it, set forth.
And oblige yours truly
    B. F. Miller
   
    In the spring of 1855 I was in company with J. M. Sutton and W. C. Wilson mining at Sterling, Jackson Co., Ore. ,There was a small band of Indians there who belonged to Elijah an old ex-chief who claimed to be the senior of both Sam and John. Among this band was an extraordinarily large and stout Indian, more intelligent than common, who boasted that he could outjump, outrun or throw down any other in the county. We
employed him, paid and fed him well. He became very friendly; indeed, we treated him like a white man. His name was Skookum Bill.
    Just before the general outbreak of the Indians, old Elijah announced to the whites that there would be a skookum wa wa ["important talk"] between him and Chief John of the Rogue Rivers [and] Chief La Lakes of the Klamaths that night and that all must be quiet so that he might be able to hear them as they would be a mile and a half apart on a high mountain. Elijah stationed himself on a hill near the town. Sometime after dark an unearthly yell was heard which fairly eclipsed any mountain lion that I ever heard; the noise came from the high mountain south of Sterling.
    Old Elijah was up and answered with such a voice as I never heard before, then the wa wa continued most of the night; the conversation was carried on in the Indian language and no white man could understand, but next morning a squaw went around and told the miners that it was the determination of the Indians to begin war against the whites on a certain day and that Elijah and his band must join them or they would be killed with the whites. This he refused to do and threw himself on the miners for protection. The next day it was discovered that Skookum Bill was gone; no one knew where. News soon reached us that the outbreak was general throughout California, Oregon and Washington territories. We fortified our little town the best we could but the Indians did not harm it. Business and travel was suspended for quite a while. There was a few stores, a livery stable, blacksmith shop and plenty saloons, but no post office.
    There was an express office kept by Daniel Kenney, and all the mail for this place was brought from Jacksonville to Kenney's office. We had been a long time without hearing from friends or any news. I suppose there were 200 or 300 men there and of course all anxious to hear the news.
    One day Mr. Kenney said I will give any man ten dollars to go over to Jacksonville and bring the express. No one seemed to regard [the] offer very tempting, but I needed the money and wanted a letter so I told him to give me an order and I would take the desperate chance. I mounted my pony and started; the distance 8 miles, all the way through rough mountains. While going down a long, deep canyon about half way to Jacksonville I suddenly met a band of mounted warriors armed and painted in [a] frightful manner. I saw it was no use to try to dodge or get away. The leader was a hideous-looking creature, so I faced up to him and saluted in jargon Clihiam six ["Hello friend"]. He returned the salutation and called me by my name At his motion all his warriors stopped. He then asked me if I knew him. I told him I did not. He said he was Skookum Bill and that he was painted for war and that those men with him were his own selected men under his command and that the Indians were exceedingly mad and they intended to kill all the whites. Then addressing me in jargon he said Niker cumtux miker. Miker tumtum kaw quaw niker. Niker wake tickay mimaloos miker. ["I know you. Your heart is like mine. I don't need to kill you."] He then asked me where I was going and what for. I told [him] to Jacksonville to get a letter from home. He said go and return alone. I said that I would. He turned and spoke to his men in the siwash tongue. They all gave a peculiar assenting grunt; I was told [to] hurry. Everyone stopped still and saluted as I passed. I arrived in Jacksonville got the express when a large crowd gathered around, excited over the circumstance. Col. Ross offered to send an escort with me but I would not agree to it, knowing Indian nature too well. I got back to Sterling [the] same day, got my $10 from Kenney besides a great deal from the miners. A short time afterwards Skookum Bill was killed by other Indians.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 3


Jacksonville, Oregon
    November 26th 1899
Mr. T. F. Royal
    Dear Friend
        My Brother Wesley [Kahler] being unable to answer your questions from his own knowledge & not having the time to investigate, he passed them over to some of the old pioneer men.
    But after a while they handed them back without any answers. So Mrs. Kenney suggested that he pass them over to the women, which he did.
    And we will endeavor to answer as many of them as we can.
    Jackson County was organized by legislative enactment Jany. 12th 1852 & officers appointed. County Commissioners N. C. Dean, James Clugage and Abel George, Clerk C. E. Alexander, Sheriff E. H. Blanchard.
    Richard Dugan Treasurer and T. McF. Patton, Prosecuting Attorney. These officers dated the commencement of their duties at the beginning of the year 1853. And the first meeting of the board of commissioners was in March 1853.
    In May 1852 (before the appointed officers assumed their duties) a miner named Plott was shot and instantly killed by one Brown. The miners and others collected immediately, and surrounded the murderer. Elected a judge and jury of 12, tried and convicted and hung him, erecting a scaffold for the purpose. As there was no jail or handcuffs, the prisoner had to be guarded all the week, and Mr. McDonough was one of the guards.
    Gold was discovered in Jacksonville by James R. Pool (partner of Clugage), a packer, as he was hunting his mule in December 1851. In February following the first house was built by Kenney & Appler for a store.
    In the summer of 1852 a partial survey of the town was made by H. Klippel & some of the streets named. The town was named Jacksonville by vote--the admirers of General Jackson outnumbering those who wanted to call it Annville in honor of Mrs. Lawless--the first white woman & landlady of the first boarding house in the place.
    The first sermon was preached by a Methodist minister named Jos. Smith in the famous "round tent," a gambling house & saloon. The first newspaper published in Southern Oregon was by Col. W. G. T'Vault in November 1855. The Sterling mine was discovered by Jim Sterling on election day June 1853. And the place took his name, though there never was any regularly laid-out town. The mines are still worked with hydraulic, and yield 100,000 dollars a year--approximated.
    Ashland: The first house [was] built by Hargadine & Pease on their land claim on the 6th of January. The 2nd building was the sawmill built by Eber Emery, [J. B.] Emery, J. A. Cardwell and Dowd Hurley, completed June 16th 1852, cost 8000 dollars, named Ashland Sawmill, in honor of A. D. Helman's former home (Ashland, Ohio), whose dwelling house was the 3rd building. The Ashland flouring mill, built by A. D. Helman, Morris & Co. was completed in October 1854 & dedicated by a grand ball, was the first mill. But the Eagle Mill, built by Thomas Brothers, was finished before the year closed. J. W. Collins claims to have raised the first grain in the valley, on the "Gordon place" about five miles from Jacksonville, which he located on in February 1852.
    The first wedding in the county was on Nov. 15th 1852, N. C. Dean to Miss Ann Huston, just arrived across the plains.
    Josephine Co. was organized from a portion of Jackson Co. by act of the Legislature which took effect in Jan. 1856. The first court was held at Waldo in the fall of 1856, Judge M. P. Deady presiding. The county was named for Miss Josephine Rollins, who is believed to be the first white woman, her father being a miner on Josephine Creek in 1851. Mining was done in Josephine Co. a year earlier than in Jackson.
    The first houses built in Jackson Co. were at the three ferries on Rogue River, Long's, Evans' and Perkins' & were fortified to resist Indian attacks, early in the summer of 1851.
    An Indian war raged for about two months that summer. A treaty was made in August, and Judge A. A. Skinner sent out here as Indian agent. Immediately on his arrival--in September perhaps--he located a donation land claim, which location was followed almost simultaneously by T'Vault, Ambrose, Dean, Hopwood, Colver, Tom Smith, P. Dunn, Barron, Russell &c.
    By Christmas more than 20 men had settled on their farms. But no women were here to winter.
    In the early springtime of 1852 the families began to come. First Mrs. Lawless then T'Vault family, Ambrose, Dairy, Hopwood, Griffin, Rice, Angel, Evans, McCully & families were all here by July 1852 to settle on the farms located the previous fall.
    A few vegetables were raised in half a dozen different places, though not sufficient to feed the multitude, and very small potatoes were ready sale at 60 cts. a pound--in the ever-memorable winter of 1852 & 3 when flour sold at one dollar a pound and very little to be had at that. And salt one dollar an ounce. You could not get a pound.
   

From Mrs Kenney.
    My Father [W. G. T'Vault] was pilot for Kearny's command from Vancouver to Benicia in the summer of 1851 and was with Captain Stuart when he was killed by Indians, where Phoenix now is. And he marked the spot where Stuart was buried.
    A few years later parties came out from Washington to remove the body to the burial place of his mother at Arlington. And Father was able by the mark to locate the exact spot.
    On the fifteenth day of May 1852 we arrived at Father's land claim, which he had named "Dardanelles" because the mountains closed in so narrow just below it. (Now the railroad bridge spans the river at that place.)
    We found the garden vegetables already grown that Father planted before he started [to Oregon] City after us. The turnips and radishes were so astonishingly large that he took a mule load (there were no wagons) to Jacksonville, to distribute among "the boys."
   

    Please excuse our tardiness; we have been trying to learn a few more facts for you, but will not delay any longer. We are all enjoying fairly good health & hope this may find you all well.
    Give our kind regards to "Brother James" & family, and also love to the O'Flyng family.
Yours truly
    Mrs. R. M. McDonough
        Mrs. E. Kenney
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 3
 

Jacksonville Ogn. Dec. 25 1899
Revd. T. F. Royal
    Salem
Dear Sir    Yours of Nov. 27th came duly to hand--I have been rather dilatory in answering but better late than never. I will now endeavor to answer your questions so far as I can to the best of my recollection.
    I was not in Capt. Mosier's company as I recollect, but I will state that I and a man by the name of Jack Pawpaw went over to Big Applegate to spend a day with an old friend, Ned Phillips, who was mining on Big Applegate. When we arrived at his cabin about sundown, we found him in front of his cabin door dead, killed by Indians. We immediately returned to Jacksonville, and the next morning there was a company went out and buried him. I did not go with the party. This occurred about 1855-56. [Edward Phillips was killed April 15, 1854.] As to who discovered the Rogue River mines I will state that I passed through Rogue River Valley in Nov. 1851. At that time there were two men, father and son, by the name of Bills. They were located on Big Bar on Rogue River and said that they were engaged in mining for gold and I presume that they were, for later this bar proved to be very rich in gold. This Big Bar is the place where the first battle was fought with the Indians in 1852. There was quite a number of Indians killed in this battle. One white man wounded. I was in this battle and also in another battle on Evans Creek on the same day.
    The Jacksonville mines was discovered early in the spring of 1852 by James Clugage and James Pool. They were engaged in packing to the Yreka, Cal. mines. They camped near Judge Skinner's place on Bear Creek. Their mules strayed from camp and while in search of their mules one of them whilst taking a drink of water out of the gulch discovered gold in the stream. This is Rich Gulch and runs through Jacksonville.
    The Sterling mines about 8 miles south of Jacksonville was discovered by a party of men by the name of Sterling, Cantrall and several others in 1854 and the mines took their name from Mr. Sterling, one of the discoverers.
    The locators of the town of Jacksonville was James Clugage and James Pool, the discoverers of the mines. They located donation claims which took in the present town site of Jacksonville. They afterwards divided their claims, Clugage retaining the town site.
    As to the first settlers in Rogue River Valley I would state that about the 1st of Nov. 1851 I with four others going to California crossed Rogue River at Perkins' ferry, located on Rogue River about one mile south of the city of Grants Pass. There was four or five men living there. They had their house stockaded so as to defend themselves against the attack of Indians. This was the only location in this county, but sometime in November 1851 Judge Skinner, the first Indian agent, located on Bear Creek about 7 miles north of Jacksonville. At Skinner's place is where Clugage and Pool camped when their mules strayed and led to the discovery of the Jacksonville mines. After the discovery of the mines in Jan. 1852 the country settled very rapidly. And it is hard to tell who the locators were, but I will mention a few. Major Barron at the old Mountain House at the foot of the Siskiyou Mountains--Pat Dunn, J. C. Tolman, E. Emery, Capt Thomas Smith, Martin Angel all located early in 1852 on ranches.
    The first sawmill was located on Ashland Creek. It was built by E. Emery & Helman. The first flouring mill was also located on Ashland Creek and is still in operation. Joseph Smith was the first preacher in Jacksonville.
    The date of Capt. Stuart's death I cannot give.
    Hoping that you can gather some information from this rambling statement
I am as ever yours sincerely
    D. Linn
P.S. With kindest regards to yourself and lady.
D.L.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 3



Pomeroy, Wash., Feb. 18, 1905
Rev. T. F. Royal
    Salem, Oregon
My Dear Old Friend:
    Your very kind letter has been received. I am very glad indeed that you have undertaken to write up something that will make a permanent record of the work done by the early pioneer "Trail Follower of Southern Oregon." Who could do it better? You came into Southern Oregon in about 1856 and have traveled the country from the Siskiyou Mountains on the south, through Rogue and Umpqua valleys, in fact all over Southern and Middle Oregon.
    You know the old mountains and passes, canyons, gorges, the valleys, creeks and rivers. The vicissitudes of pioneer life have undoubtedly stamped indelibly upon your mind many scenes and circumstances.
    Those days have gone by never to return, and you can only live them over again in memory.
    The history of the labors, sacrifices and struggles of the old pioneers should be written for permanent record, that the generations that follow may know what it costs to conquer a wilderness.
    Your long residence in Southern Oregon, your extensive traveling, and acquaintance with the people, your identification with the educational and moral development of the country will enable you to speak "as one having authority."
    You have preached out there in the mountains and valleys in many a log cabin and rustic school house, and many times under the shade of the mighty forest trees. You met the pioneers [in] their homes at their firesides. You taught their children in school trained in intellect and morals, and have seen them go out to fight the battles of life. You united their sons and daughters in marriage, and with your blessing bid them godspeed. You baptized and buried their children. You shared the joys, sorrows, labors, privations and sacrifices of those days. You know what it was to travel horseback through Oregon mud and rain when houses were few and far between, and roads were mostly trails and the mud bottomless. That Oregon mud, I used to think it was the "stickiest" and the Oregon rain the wettest. How we used to steam when, wet and bedraggled, we got in before a big log fireplace in the evening. After a day of travel over such roads in such winter weather, was there ever anything more like getting to heaven than getting into a comfortable home, with light of lamps, blazing log fire, and hospitable friends? You have "been there" and know all about it.
    There is hardly a mountain, valley or stream with which you are not familiar, and hardly any but that has associated with it some thrilling episode, some tender reminiscence or some cherished memory. I am glad you are writing a book, and I know I shall read it with profound interest and great delight.
    I too know something of the early days of Southern Oregon, and many of the things you saw I witnessed. For a number of years our paths and associations ran along near each other.
    Those were years of pleasure, years of joy, with touches of sorrow and crowded with activity and responsibility. They were years of planning and working, of character forming and seed sowing. As memory reaches back over them there is a certain charm and enchantment attached to them that time and distance only enhance.
    Some of the incidents of those days, many, have faded from memory; others come back as dim visions of a long passed dream, while others seem almost as of yesterday.
    It was back in 1854 in the autumn that my father John Kuykendall went up to the Umpqua Valley from the Tualatin Plains near Portland, Oregon. We had crossed the plains in 1852, reaching Portland late in the season. When we arrived in the Umpqua country we found the trail followers had preceded us. Father Wilbur and Rev. J. O. Raynor were already on the ground. We all remember Father Wilbur's large, manly frame, broad forehead, and noble, dignified yet benign countenance.
    I remember well how he built a home at Wilbur, toiling with his own hands, digging with mattock and shovel, trundling a wheelbarrow leveling the yard and making his home comfortable and attractive. I remember the little old log school house a short distance above his residence. He organized and started a school with your brother J. H. B. Royal as teacher, and to which the children of the pioneers came from all around a distance of from one to four or five miles.
    A little later in the spring following Father Wilbur had already begun planning for building the Umpqua Academy. He rode all over the valley among the people "talking up" the subject, and urging the importance of education and moral training for the young people. He started a subscription, heading it with his own name and several hundred dollars subscribed by himself. Nobly did the people respond, subscribing money, labor, lumber, or whatever they could give. Soon the project was definitely settled upon.
    In the meantime he was toiling like a hero felling trees, hauling logs, lumber, stone, using the "oxgoad," mattock or crosscut saw during the week and preaching to the people on Sunday.
    There was no church then in all the country, and Father Wilbur opened up his own home for meetings. There were Sunday services and the Thursday evening prayer meetings held in his parlor. Father Wilbur was an earnest, energetic, determined man and whether he worked, preached, prayed or exhorted, he went at it with all his might.
When the pioneers saw the same man that toiled and sweat during the week building a house in which to educate their children, when they saw that he was giving like a prince though a poor man, when they saw him open the doors of his own home to give them a meeting place and when he talked, exhorted and pleaded with them, with tears in his eyes, what wonder is it that they had faith in the man, and heeded his words? Many were brought into the church in those little meetings. Many a staid citizen of Oregon has when a boy felt the touch [of] the fatherly hand of Mr. Wilbur upon his head as he talked kindly to him and urged him to a better and nobler life. In the winter of 1854 and 1855 a number of prominent pioneer citizens were joined [with] the M.E. Church as a result of these meetings. Among those who united with the society about this time were Dr. Reed, S. W. Gardner, F. R. Hill, and a number of others. Sam Gardner, as he was called. You remember him well. Before becoming a Christian he was much more familiar with cards and games of poker than with the Bible. It was in the meetings in Father Wilbur's house where he became a Christian.
    The work of building the academy went steadily on after it was started. "The people had a mind to work," and did work and things were brought to pass.
    How full of incidents thrilling, touching, intensely interesting and fought with influence upon the future were those early days.
    I remember how my father, John Kuykendall, toiled and sacrificed to put money into the old Umpqua Academy that his own and his neighbors' children might be educated. When I think of those people who toiled so hard and sacrificed so much I cannot but say of all who are yet alive "God bless them every one." They were heroes and heroines, and their work was not in vain.
    The timbers for the academy building were framed and the day for "raising" was announced. What a throng gathered from all parts of the valley.
    It was an eventful day for the pioneers and they felt a commendable pride when they saw in the evening the two-story frame of the structure, with the belfry reaching still higher, standing all in place after a day of toil, good will and sociability.
    What an undertaking to build those days! There was no such thing as a planing mill or sash and door factory in the state of Oregon outside of Portland and probably none there. Everything had to be made by hand. No railroads, steamboats nor telegraphs.
    The "freight" for all that country was landed at Scottsburg and packed out by mule trains. It took nearly six months to get a reply from the East to a letter. It was under such circumstances that the first educational institution in Southern Oregon was built, the Academy building. The lower story was about finished before winter, and the school was moved from the little log school house into the new building.
    Soon after, in 1856 I think, you took the principalship of the Academy, and the pupils from the best and most intelligent families began to come in from Jacksonville, Ashland, Canyonville, Scottsburg, Yoncalla and all parts of the country.
    I can bear testimony to the faithful, earnest, intelligent Christian work done there for years by yourself and Mrs. Royal.
    It is certainly not going beyond the truth to say that many of the most brainy, intelligent, progressive men of the state "got their start" in intellectual life at the Umpqua Academy and many of them under your instruction and tutelage. I have been surprised on looking back over the history of the boys who went to school there, to see how many of them did well and made a niche for themselves in the world, and how few made failures.
    Umpqua Academy certainly was a great factor in the intellectual and moral development of Southern Oregon.
    I remember how solicitous you always were in regard to the welfare of the students, and how you watched over those who were far from home and restraining influences of parental authority. I have no doubt but that many, who at the time felt the restraints of the academy rules irksome, afterwards felt grateful for the influence they exerted.
    While there was much that was pleasant, cheering and inspiring in your work in that field there were sometimes disagreeable things also. The "kicker" in Israel had put in his appearance even at that early period, and unfortunately his "seed remains even to this day." I can remember some of the growlers whose principal business in life appeared to be: do nothing themselves and then "kick" at everything anybody else tried to do.
    They say rattlesnakes, owls and polecats serve some useful purpose in the economy of the Almighty, and we must defer to the opinion that such people have a use in society, even if we fail to discover it.
    Perhaps they are set by Providence like the boils of Job to try men's faith and test their characters. Be that as it may it was bad medicine to take at the time.
    I was greatly pleased a few years ago up in this country, on meeting one of those men that we used to know as one of the most inveterate grumblers, and worst to find fault with the school in all the land. It was "still in business" of the same old style but not at the old stand, for he had moved into Washington. He was saying "the schools nowadays were not like we used to have; not like the Academy at Wilbur, and the teachers not like Mr. Royal."
    The acknowledgment "sounded good to me" but struck me as being a good deal like strewing flowers on a neglected friend's grave.
    Ah, yes, I remember the old academy, the great rocks, the hills back of it, the stately pines and sturdy oaks, the spreading valley out in front and the winding river and hills beyond; the play ground, the little houses about and the little cemetery on the knoll where sleep the ashes of many pioneers who mingled their labors, prayers and tears in early days.
    Among my reminiscences of those days there rises up the picture of your father, white haired and bent with years, but active and earnest, trying to work for the betterment of those around him.
    I can remember very well of his reading Wesley's sermons in the pulpit and holding them up to the people as models of what preaching ought to be, and urging the people to live up to the Wesleyan teaching and doctrine. Your father certainly was a model Christian who modeled his life after the Wesleyan plan.
   

G. B. Kuykendall
    Born at Vincennes, Ind. Jan. 22, 1843. Came to Oregon in 1852, crossing the plains with parents in prairie schooner and ox teams. Arrived in Portland Oregon Oct. 19th. We wintered at Milwaukee, spent [the] following spring & summer at Tualatin Plains. Went to Umpqua Valley in fall of 1853. Spent first winter on Umpqua River just above Winchester and below the old Reed mill.
    Following spring my father [John Kuykendall] took up the old home place near where the Academy was built.
    I became a member of the church and Christian in 1856. Married Jan. 29, 1868, by Rev. T. F. Royal to Miss E. J. Butler, at residence of her father Benj. Butler. Graduated in medicine 1872.
    Been in active practice ever since. Now have one of the best-equipped offices in Pacific Northwest, with all the latest appliances for diagnosis and treatment, x-ray apparatus, static and Faradic electric apparatus, up-to-date instruments of all kinds, with latest books and periodicals on medicine and surgery. I go to New York or Chicago frequently to visit the hospitals and schools and keep in touch with modern progressive medicine. It has been my aim to always be liberal in giving, to aid every worthy institution. My father before me set me a worthy example in these things, and I have tried to follow it.
    My family have grown up around me, all are living, all in good health, and I believe are considered to be among the good and intelligent.
    I shall be compelled to close as the mail will soon be going out.

Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 5



Portland, Oregon Dec. 7, 1910.
Dear Son
    I am trying to write by electric light. If I could see the lines I might be able to write a letter.
    I am afraid my work is too much for you in addition to all your own heavy duties. I hope you will not let my work interfere with your district work.
    If my proposed book is not likely to be useful I hope it will not be [published]. If it is not to be useful I pray that it may be nipped in the bud.
    Terry has just been showing me some of his work in the drawing room of the high school. The tracing is very delicate and beautiful. Blueprinting is what he showed me. It is just as fine as you ever see on blue paper plans and specifications.
    Dec. 8th.
    I had to give up my electric light writing.
    It is so cloudy and dark that I can hardly write in the daytime. But I still keep at it. I am now writing up the early history of Jacksonville, Oregon Territory. The Oregonian of Nov. 6, 1910 had a whole page of Jacksonville history that was read before the pioneer reunion in last September. That was a good history for one side but the most important features of early history were left out, because the informant was not familiar with the facts.
    The paper claimed that the Methodist church, the first church in Jacksonville, was built jointly with the Methodists and Presbyterians. That is a mistake, as all the records show.
    I am giving the true history as all records show, without contradicting anybody.
    You saw the subscription lists when you was here--all given to build a house of worship for the Methodist Church--the lot was deeded to the Methodist Episcopal Church--the heavy subscriptions were by Methodist members, and not one who was a Presbyterian at the time, and it was dedicated by Methodist preachers for the use of the Methodist Episcopal Church. All other churches were invited to use it, and they did. There was no church but ours in Jacksonville when that house was built.
    After the Presbyterians organized, they used our church for several years. Other denominations used it also.
    It is so dark now at 2 p.m. that I must close. I hope you will enjoy this letter as much as we did yours to Miriam. I mean after you get it translated. A lady here says "In 5 years hence we shall have a Democratic President--and the millennium."
Goodbye
    Your father
        [T. F. Royal]
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 5



36 E. 80th Street, Portland, Oregon, Dec. 21, 1910
Rev. S. O. Royal, D.D.
    My Dear Son:
        The kodak came yesterday. We are all glad and thankful.
    Your Aunt Mary, Uncle Jason and your father had a meeting yesterday at your aunt's home, and thoroughly inspected the diaries you sent us for examination, and we beg leave to report--Here I slept till I was called down to visit with a friend. I am sleepy yet.
    12 M. I was about to say that we thoroughly endorsed the principal items in each diary. We especially commend the one kept by your uncle J.H.B. You may depend on that, as the standard.
    We think one diary was kept by our dear friend S. H. Taylor, who was compelled to travel with the Sabbath-breaking train till the soldiers met us; then he dropped back with us. He was a Presbyterian till I organized the Methodist Episcopal Church in Jacksonville, Ore., then he united with us and remained a faithful member till his death, many years afterward. He was the author of that printed copy from the Advocate.
    The one in your short paragraph was kept by Mr. Lakin [sic--Larkin?]. We are sure of that. He is all right.
    There was, evidently, another one kept by someone after S. H. Taylor left the forward train. In the main they harmonize as well as the four gospels in the New Testament. That was a mistake about the stolen horses "belonged to the church." There was no horses in either company belonging to the church. [Marginal note in ballpoint: "Dr. McKinnel's diary & his horses. VM."]
    Of course you will see plainly by comparing the diary of each with that of your uncle's that our little company came out far ahead, far enough for Father to locate on a land claim and circulate an appointment to preach, and actually did preach (at John Beeson's house), and afterwards went down a half mile and pitched their tents on Father's claim again when the old company came up and were invited to camp with us overnight, as they were glad to do. They had traveled that Sunday 4 miles in hopes of hearing the sermon but were too late (their teams being so nearly worn out).
    You will see how confused and troubled the big train was during their Sabbath desecration, and especially toward the latter end of their journey.
    We had no such troubles. Their teams were so worn out that they had to double teams often. Our teams came through fresh and strong.
    Mr. Lacon [sic--Larkin?] and two young men, his son and nephew Mr. Berry, at first were with the forward train and afterward fell back with us.
    If there is any apparent discrepancy I could make it all harmonize if I could see you and explain.
    IV p.m.
    I think I can write more plainly since lunch.
    Harold and Eolia have been out selecting fruit trees for their farm. They have ordered about 200 trees--more to follow. They are getting the choice varieties, such as are the most popular in the market. Harold and Terry will set them out and the nursery man will cultivate them the first year. I think there are 20 walnut trees in the present lot. English walnuts. Strawberries, gooseberries, grapes are to come later.
    We sent you by express a few potatoes from Harold's field.
    If you wish to raise that variety you can get seed enough from them to plant quite a large patch if you will economize as we used to when potatoes were scarce--save the eyes. I raised potatoes from the peelings on our government donation land claim.
    Hoping you will accept from us all our compliments of the season, I remain as ever,
Your affectionate father,
    T. F. Royal
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 5



  
Last revised February 29, 2020