Thomas Hart Benton Taylor
Novel Confidence Operation.Among the wounded at the Lovell Hospital was a man who called himself Thomas H. Benton Taylor, a soldier belonging to an Indiana regiment, who was shot through the hand during the Rebellion. At the hospital he received the kindest care of a young lady belonging to this city, who, as he expressed to us, saved his life. The constant companionship of this soldier and the lady finally led to their being united in marriage, and they came to this city to live, but after a short interval he represented that he could better secure a living if he knew the rules of bookkeeping, and wished to go to Poughkeepsie to study.
(From the Newport, R.I. Mercury.)
Having no money himself, he secured about one hundred dollars from his wife and went on his way. While he was there it became known that he was not a true husband, but probably a bigamist. After a while he came back, flush with money, and was employed as bookkeeper by one of our merchants at a very small salary, and continued in this employ for about one year, when he was employed by another. He had been in his new employ but a few months, when one day he received a telegram which read as follows:
"SALEM, INDIANA.--T. H. B. Taylor.--Your uncle died yesterday, leaving you $40,000. Come on and get the money."
The report of his luck immediately spread, and he commenced his confidence operations at once by borrowing $100, as he alleged, for the purpose of going to Indiana. He stayed but a short time away, and returned with some gold pieces which he showed to his friends, alleging that his uncle left $500 in gold which had been divided between the three heirs. Soon after a package came by express, marked with his name and denoting that it contained $3,000. About this time two strange men were seen with him, who stopped but one day, and dined at his house. He soon hired a large house and continued his confidence game by securing costly pictures and other articles to be placed in the house, and as he was now reported rich, had no trouble in procuring watches, jewelry, nice clothes, dry goods, &c., until his credit had secured him goods to the value of over $4,500. He represented that he wished these articles by a certain time, as he was then going to Indiana to get $20,000, and would return on Monday last and pay for them. The day before he started on his journey, he sold all the furniture in the house where he had been living for $200 cash. He then packed all the articles of value that he had received into a number of trunks, and left the city. He did not return as promised, and the following day those who had been made his victims found to their sorrow that he was a black-hearted villain. His wife, who is an estimable lady, was on a visit to some friends in Providence during the whole of his last operations, and first knew of his desertion by the receipt of a letter stating that when it reached her he would be on his way to Europe. It is now some ten days since he left the city with the articles secured, and no tidings have been received of his whereabouts.
The Cincinnati Commercial, August 14, 1867, page 5
RETURNED.--We hear that Mr. T. H. B. Taylor, whose departure from Newport some weeks since elicited considerable comment, has returned and taken rooms at the Perry House, where he is receiving calls from his friends.
Newport Daily News, Newport, Rhode Island, December 21, 1867, page 2
Jan. 7.--Thos. H. B. Taylor-Florence E. Booker.
"Hymeneal," Sioux City Journal, Sioux City, Iowa, January 8, 1871, page 4
Thos. H. B. Taylor, Woodville, wounded in hand, $18.00.
"Pensioners," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 1, 1884, page 2
THE UNDERSIGNED has given his son, E. H. B. Taylor, his time, and will not lay claim to any of his earnings; neither will he be responsible for any debts of his contraction.
T. H. B. TAYLOR.Pleasant Creek Precinct, April 6, 1889.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 11, 1889, page 3
T. H. B. Taylor was in the city from Woodville this week and gave us a pleasant call.
"Local and General," Medford Mail, June 10, 1892, page 3
Mrs. Thos. H. B. Taylor met with a very painful accident a few days since, being caught by a falling bank while she and her sister Miss Booker were running the giant in her husband's mines. T. H. B. and his son were both sick with the grippe at the time and the two hired men had quit work. Mrs. T. is all right again, able to attend to her household duties or run the giant, as the occasion may demand.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 5, 1892, page 3
T. H. B. Taylor and sons of Pleasant Creek are having a big run, with lots of water, and will doubtless make a nice cleanup in the spring.
"Mining News," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 3, 1893, page 3
T. H. B. Taylor and G. E. Roberts are canvassing Yamhill County for the Economy Flour Bin, and report having taken eleven orders the first half day they were on duty.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 9, 1893, page 3
T. H. B. Taylor is just completing the largest and finest residence that has ever been built on Evans Creek.
"Evans Creek Chronicles," Medford Mail, November 3, 1893, page 2
Evans Creek Chronology.DEAR MR. ED.:--I hope you will excuse me for not writing sooner, but the fact is I have been kinder under the weather (so to speak) and you will certainly sympathize with anyone who has been under such as we have had for the past two or three months. I went down to the Pass a few days ago to consult Dr. Kremer. I had a hard time getting there, you bet. I got along all right until I got just beyond the Tuff ranch, where I struck the Grants Pass level, where I run into a bank of fog so thick that I was obliged to get out of my vehicle and literally cut my way through; but as luck would have it, I had a hay knife with me. Just as I got into the edge of town I cut into some other fellow, and he said, "where in Sheol are you going?" I said, "what part are you in?" He said, "S.W. quarter, called Grants Pass." Says I, "there's where I wanted to get, but" says I, "what in Sheol are you doing now." Says he, "cutting some of this fog up into chunks and piling it up in the corner of my garden to use when the dry spell comes next June." Well, I finally got to the doctor's office and told him I was feeling somewhat. Says he, "Let me see your tongue"; then he felt of my wrists a few seconds in a thoughtful attitude. "Oh, I see," says he, "you need a new diaphragm." I told him I had a very good one, but I loaned it to old Mr. Scott last fall and he had never returned it. He said my lumbar region was out of fix, too. I asked him if common rough would do to fix it up with, "for," says I, "I have had considerable experience in the lumber business this fall (that house, you know), and find that it would only take a little No.1, S.P., S4S [first grade sugar pine, sanded four sides] to ruin the whole business." Oh," says Doc., "you are non compos mentis." I told him I guessed he was right. He said he could fix me all right. so he loaded up some blank cartridges he had (about 38 caliber) with powder and told me at early candle light to fire one of them down my esophagus. "Down where?" says I. But let me see, where was I? Oh, yes, I was going to give you the news from Tail Holt and Evans Creek generally. There isn't an empty house in Woodville; all three of them are full, and so was Mr. Whatshisname a few days ago. The Homestake mine has closed for the present. (I don't know whether they will get it or not.) I asked one of the partners, the other day, the signification of the name. He said an old crank located that ledge, that sometimes made a little homestake and he wanted some place to put it, where there was neither moth nor rust, and so forth. Farmers in these parts are jubilant over the prospects of there being rain sufficient to start the plow (with an oar); still some think that eight or nine days more rain would make the ground a little softer. A friend of mine told me, the other day, that while on his way from Gold Hill he was attacked by reptiles, ad libitum--whatever that is--from the most common garter up to the monster boy instructor (boa constrictor). He said the only weapon of defense he had was a "black bettie," which he wielded and slayed them right and left, but all to no purpose, for in spite of all some of them got into his boots. I have another account to give that happened in this vicinity but not this time. Watch this space for the next two or three weeks. But honest Injun, Mr. Editor, don't this weather beat the oldest inhabitant? In a practical mining experience of nigh onto twenty years it is the first time I ever saw it too wet to mine. The farmers in this vicinity improved the fine fall we have had, and most all have their seeding done in grand shape. At the last literary at Woodville they had for debate: "Which is the most enjoyable, happiness or misery." Misery, I believe, got away with it. After all, what is more enjoyable, when one has been in misery with pityriasis or psoriasis, than to lacerate our cuticular system with our own nails? The next question for debate, I believe, is, "Which race of people is the greatest blessing to our country, the Chinese or the Japanese." Let us hope the decision will settle a long mooted (and long tailed) question; and let us also hope that the privilege of the hog-eye-man remaining on our shores and polluting our air shall not be extended to exceed seven or nine times more, "and thereby hangs a tale." "'Tis finished."
THOS. H. B. TAYLOR.Medford Mail, December 7, 1893, page 2
This Is a Bear Story.DEAR MR. ED.:--As I promised you some time ago to give you details of a very nearly bad accident, I will do so now. I have called the following a "Black Bear Story" in order to prevent its being mistaken for anything in the ordinary--and the truth of which can be vouched for by several persons, fully as truthful as is the writer himself--so here goes: It came to pass on the seventh month and the 17th day of the month (about the time the gopher wood boat run aground) as one Wakeman--whose surname was Joseph, a Pharisee--and also a hypocrite--who sojourns on Pleasant Creek--and his mother's name was Joshua. While going forth to provender his camels, [he] heard something having a picnic with some of his pet pigs, so Joseph ran to his house and the first thing that he came in contact with was an ax, so he grabbed it and away to the rescue. The racket was in a clump of brush, consisting of vine maple, buckhorn, manzanita and greasewood (a bad mixture), so Joe rushed right into the fracas pell mell, not dreaming of future consequences. "Hellen blazes," says Joe, "it's a bar!" but it was everlastingly too late to consider now he had got so close he was afraid to run and his only alternative was to fight--gathering all his strength he aimed a tremendous uppercut at the intruder, which struck right where the bear was only a short time before, but it cut a big slit in the air and jerked the ax handle in two right in the middle. At this juncture the bear thought he smelled a rat, so he let the other pig go and give his undivided attention to Joe. Just then Joe made another pass at his antagonist with the stub end of his ax handle, which was parried by bruin with his right and simultaneously he shot out his left and caught Joe on the shoulder with a downward stroke which took Joe's jumper and shirt sleeve and some little calf skin along with the rest. Joe says just then he happened to remember what he had read somewhere, about "He who fights and runs away," and a live coward is better than half a dozen dead heroes, so he lit out for the "dearest spot on earth to me." The bear, in the meantime, having become somewhat bewildered as to which one of them to pursue, had lost considerable time, which Joe was using to the best he knew. Joe had not gone far before he met one of those slick madrona trees, about six inches in diameter and about 20 feet to the first limb; he thought he could make it, but he only got about 15 feet the first jump, so there he was--he says he never before felt as though he would like to rise in the world--he had never in all his life hugged anybody as tight as he did that sapling--he says he thinks if there had been a good coat of grease on it he could have stuck, but he began to lose ground. Joe says when he was slowly and surely sliding down that tree, he looked back over his left shoulder and saw that bear coming red eyed for him, he realized that "This world is but a fleeting show," he saw that there was only a few short, fleeting moments between him and eternity, he says he thought in a twinkling of all the awful things he had ever done, how he kissed Mary Ann Simmons behind the kitchen door at Squire Smith's candy pulling, how he had kept out a few eggs every day for two or three weeks before Easter and hid them up in the loft of the old log barn thereby deceiving his trusting and loving mother, then too, he thought how he had went to the school house and while ostensibly fixing up the fire, he had dropped a little cayenne pepper on the stove just as evenin' prayer meetin' was getting under way, but he thought there was perhaps one chance in about ten million for him so he let all holds go and down he came, and said "farewell vain world, I'm going home," and he started just as bruin made a grab for the most imposing part of his physical system, but Joe was too spry for him and away they went, Joe only a neck ahead. Just then he thought of his faithful dog and he began to call, "Here Tige! here Tige! here Tige!" The bear thought Sheol had broke loose in Georgia and give up the chase and turned in the opposite direction and was soon lost in the dank, dark woods. There was a picket fence in front of Joe's residence but he never saw it, and never stopped until he was in his mother's kitchen. Mother, says he, make me a cup of hop tea, for my nervous system has not had such a shock since old Roan run away with me with that load of pumpkins.
T. H. B. TAYLOR.P.S. Joe says there is no use talking, a durned cat with nine claws on each foot couldn't climb one of those slick madronas.
Watch this space for the next time and I will tell you about our new house.
T. H. B. T.Medford Mail, December 29, 1893, page 2
The Mail is under obligations to Hon. Thomas H. B. Taylor of Woodville, for a complimentary box of fine sea birds (?). Mr. Taylor has notions that are peculiar, and this time his peculiarities tallied very accurately with the one article most desired as a means of sustenance by the pencil pushers of this "once a week" family companion.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, January 12, 1894, page 3
Our New House.
Two little robins built a nestI suppose, Mr. E., I might have saved time and trouble by simply stating in the outset that our house was just like Jerry Nunan's. It is in respect that the foundation was built first and it was built outdoors. A foolish thing, you will say, to do, a fall like the past. But here it is: And it came to pass in the eighteen hundred, ninety and third year, after a very remarkable event that Taylor, a Pharisee, in the 50th year of his age, in the month Zip, which is the 10th month that he began to construct his house. And the house which he built for his wife, the length thereof was 24 cubits (Eng.) and the breadth thereof 12⅔ cubits, and the balcony before the house 2⅔ cubits was the length thereof according to the breadth of the house. And he built the house with bull pine studding and the outside he covered with No. 1 sugar pine rustic round about and the whole house he overlaid with Prince Metallic--that is, the top and the floor was overlaid with a heavy coat of raw [sic], and in the 1893rd year in the month Bul, was the house finished throughout, round about. That is to say, 18 years ago, come next cider making time, we landed right here in Oregon. I then promised Huldy Ann (that's my wife) that I would build her a house, and I have kept my word. I always do. Well, when I got ready to build I asked Huldy (I always called her Huldy when I wanted to be sweet) what shape she wanted her house. Says she, a [cross] with all the rooms facing the south. Says I, by God that might be done, but I couldn't do it. He is the only one [who] can do the impossible and says I, if you will read Judges l and 19 you will see that God could not drive the Canaanites out of the valley because they were iron clad. Says she, by God your mouth could be made a little bigger, but not without setting your ears back. Radder sargastick aindt it? but she was always a little that way. I remember when courting her one evening, I stayed a little earlier than usual, 2 a.m. I believe, I asked her if she knew "There's No Place Like Home." She said she did, but there were lots of people who did not. So when I got the skeleton up I invited Huldy over to see it. I explained to her that we had faced it sou-sou-east and sou-sou-west (my folks came over in the Santa Maria, hence these nautical terms). I asked her how she liked it. She said she liked the position all right, but said she did not fall in love with the name. I showed her where one part stuck out into the air a little more than the rest and told her that was what an Englishman would call the "hell." She replied that that was what it looks like. Really our house is, main 16x34, parlor L south side main 12x14, joins main 18 feet from east end, north L 14x16 (projected 14x28) joins main 5 feet from east end, all 18 feet wall. Main front room east end first floor 14½x15½, fireplace middle of west side. In this room is a circle top glass front door in northeast corner of east end, middle of east end is a two-light window, each light 25x32, and in south side a double window of the same dimension; a room exactly the size of this above is the east end main bedroom, doors and windows the same except on south side there is a single light 36x48. In parlor L the first floor is the parlor. It is lighted by glass front door in east side and two windows of the same size as in main, one in south and one in west. The room above this same size (12x14) is lighted exactly the same and is parlor bedroom. A glass front door lets you into hallway at the junction of parlor L and main, hallway leads direct through to kitchen and dining rooms. On the left side of hallway is a corkscrew or winding stairway with rather nobby manzanita newels. The west end of main is lighted the same above and below, with two large windows in each of the four rooms. In close juxtaposition to east end main bedroom and south parlor bedroom and west end main bedroom, is situated bathroom looking south. The tub is depressed or inlaid to a level with the floor, fringed all around with about three feet of oilcloth, so as to make precipitation (otter like) slick and easy. There is a balcony across east end main and also one on east side of parlor L, each supported by two insulated pilasters of oak, the base of which are enriched by manzanita plinths. We can have fire in every room in the house. The architecture consists of Ionic, Corinthian and composite, touched off with a little Doric. I might say mostly Doric; there are fifteen I believe. We have a Queen Anne parlor, but a Huldy Ann kitchen. She said she wanted the kitchen built on hygienic principles as there was where there was the most consumption. My boss carpenter said one day he was ready to put the socles on. I told him there wasn't one on the ranch.
'Twas in the damp fall weather,
They built it out of odds and ends
That weary they had scratched together,
Before the work was halfway done
By rain, the joints got out of level:
Says Cock Robin to his Huldy Ann
I think this weather beats the D---l.
I think so too, she angry said
Then blushed behind her wing
Says she, You're a naughty Robin
To make me say a wicked thing,
A wicked thing? you silly goose,
Do you think it fun to spoil our labor?
The only wicked thing on earth, my dear,
Is to misuse yourself or neighbor.
I know you pay your parson well
To point you out the narrow, thorny byway,
While he, perchance, for aught you know
May walk the wide and perfumed highway.
These words, my dear, I kindly speak
So you must take it no offense,
For Robert Burns once truly said,
What is not sense, logically, philosophically
and scientifically considered, is pure and
simple, unadulterated, A No. 1, hand-
Our house is causing some of the neighbors a good deal of trouble. Some thinks it looks nice but they are afraid it will fall over, it is so high, others say they don't see why we built such a nice, big house on such a poor digger ranch. Well, it is a little strange, Mr. Ed., but the fact is, our house is built partly from an old recipe; the plans and specifications, however, were not the handiwork of Hiram, the widow's son, but it was founded on a rock, just as right, and finally it was built expressly for Taylor & Co., to have and to hold, their heirs and assigns, until Gabriel blows.
T. H. B. TAYLOR,Medford Mail, January 19, 1894, page 4
The Evans Creek Theophilanthropist.
Some of Taylor's Hot Shot.An open letter to the People's Convention March 10:
FRIENDS AND FELLOW CITIZENS: As the time has almost arrived for the distribution of nominations, I wish to say, generally, I am in favor of letting the office hunt the man, but as I am living away up here in one of the rural districts on Evans Creek, where it is about all a sewing machine fiend can do to find me, I thought maybe I had better notify the office that I am open to propositions. Governor would be accepted and no questions asked, or, I was going to say, county treasurer, but as there is no treasury and the county away behind with Bloomer--and, by the way, Bloomer somewhat behind with me--I wish to be excused on that score. An M.C. would not be bad, or representative--if I only had to represent Jackson County, I think I am competent to do that, as it would not require any extraordinary brain capacity, witness the Bloomer hoax. But I am not going to be particular, if there is any vacancy and the people wishes me to fill it, I am at your service. I see some of my friends have me down on their primaries for assessor, Now that just hits me hard. I have a good horse and cart, and will soon be at liberty to go out among my friends to see who has the biggest mortgage on his farm, and how many are perfectly satisfied that the courts done just the square thing in the Bloomer bondsmen case. Then too, I want to see what kind of a set of fellows there is in this county who have voted that diabolical old Jacksonville ring in for, lo, these many years. There is certainly no excuse for them, unless it is, perhaps, that they wished to perpetuate the absurdities of their fathers. My friends, there is no politics in the panorama now before us, no more side issues will suffice to bring about the result that every taxpayer in this county and country ought to know needs to be. Candidly, my friends, it makes me tired to see a poor farmer work and toil from year to year with the single idea of raising enough grain etc., to barely pay his taxes and to eke out a scanty living for himself and family, and when you try to convince him of his error, to hear him say, "Oh, well, I guess times will change for the better before long." He might as well say, Hell will change while the Devil is still heaving in the brimstone, as to expect a change in the Jacksonville ring. I think it would be humiliating to the voters and taxpayers of this county when they seriously contemplate (if they ever do) the political chicanery that has been going on in their midst for the past twenty-five or thirty years, until the whole county is hopelessly in debt. Just think of it my friends! not a lucrative county office of any kind has been held by anyone out of the ring in the past twenty-five years!! Go to Portland or any other place in the state and ask any business man "Who is county or district judge?" he will say, "Why, let me see? Oh, I can't think who is this year, but it is either So and So, or So-So." Go into Jacksonville, court week, outline any case to Nunan, P. J. Ryan, Kubli, or any old resident there and ask them the result and they will tell you too quick. This is not a political speech, for politics cuts no figure in the outlook for the poor farmers and taxpayers of this distressed community. We are now left to the two alternatives, change or starve, either down political rings or go down with them; it does not (in this instance) matter what money is, as long as we have none of either kind; it is principle we are after. Think of the Bloomer bondsmen trying to shirk the responsibility they voluntarily took to secure the possibility of a failure of the county treasurer, and then think of a judge who would admit of a technical flaw to let them go. I ask all candid-minded people, if they all are not accessories to the theft? Those bondsmen said to the people of Jackson County, "Now, if Geo. E. Bloomer steals all the treasury of your county, we solemnly agree to pay every cent of it back." Now the court raises the question, "Did Bloomer steal!!" Of course Bloomer did not steal anything, he just took it! and as a matter of fact that lets the bondsmen out!! Now, I am not an office seeker, because as some of you know, I am only a common scrub farmer, not capable of holding an office, unless I could hold it by the tail (like some of the Jacksonville folks), but I will say this, if I should ever be the assessor of Jackson County there is some men I will assess for nothing and board myself, and if I ever am the assessor and I ever skipped anyone, it will not be the owner of one among the largest farms in the county (the owner being a rich man living in the East), as was done last year. My sight is not as good as it was, but it is not so bad but what I can see a little speck about the size of 1200 acres of land. No sir, if I skipped anyone it will be some poor fellow, living up on the side of one of these Jackson County mountains where he can hardly walk without the assistance of a Jacob staff, who has a wife and seventeen small children and nothing but a blind hog for next winter's meat. Hoping I have, in a feeble way, conveyed to you where I stand, and also hoping the people may for the time, forget politics and all join in brotherly strength, and once for all, do away with rings, I will begin to close. As I said before, this is not a political speech, and it is not published in a political paper, but that both are laboring in the interest of the taxpayers in this county, I think you must all believe. I should be glad to meet you in convention, but as I cannot, you have my best wish and my prayers also (such as they are).
THOS. H. B. TAYLOR.Woodville, Oregon.
Medford Mail, March 9, 1894, page 4
In a certain crooked county
There is a crooked town,
Where a lot of crooked shysters
Are always to be foun (d).
In this tenas crooked city
There is a crooked ring,
Who know lots of crooked ways
To do a crooked thing.
They had a crooked treasurer,
Who kept a crooked book,
He always gave a crooked smile,
When you wished to take a look.
He took a crooked notion— -
His crooks were getting thin,
So he hit a crooked railroad,
And took a crooked spin.
He left some crooked bondsmen
To straight his crooks all out,
But they were the crookedest lot of
That a crook could find about.
They hired some crooked lawyers
To fix up a crooked muddle,
And it was the crookedest lot of
They call it now the Jackson
But all those crooked lawyers
Told so many crooked lies
Before the crooked court,
That he shoost vinked his crooked eyes.
Says he, "Of all dees crooked pees-ness,
It makes me nodding crooked oudt.
But you must keep your crooks well in
Or some other crooks will find your crook all out."
So, says.this crooked court,
"This is a crooked, crooked mess,
And though I am a crooked court,
It out crooks me I must confess."
About these crooked bondsmen,
That they are crooks I do not doubt,
But these everlasting crooked crooks
Are bound to let them out.
So now the crooked farmers
Must crook their crooked backs,
To dig up the crooked six pence,
To pay their crooked tax.
So Mr. Editor, the above lot are about all the crooks I have in stock just now. I could have crooked some of those crooks a good deal crookeder if I had some of the Jacksonville ring to help me crook them. Hoping you will not get any of those crooks crooked up in your hair so you can't uncrook them. I will close by saying the above crooks are from an Evans Creek crook, the two first letters of his name being,
THOS. H. B. TAYLORMedford Mail, April 13, 1894, page 4
A Warble from Woodville.MR. ED.:--I thought I would tell you what is going on up in these parts. Well sir, last evening (Saturday), there was a social shindig up at Pap Wm. Herriott's mill, and it beat everything. Me, Huldy Ann, Mr. Whats-His-Name and wife, and in fact, everybody and everybody else were there; and if we boys and girls didn't have a jolly time, there is no one to blame but ourselves. We danced until we got tired and then rested up and went at it again. I don't know exactly how long we did dance, for the clock got such a shaking up that it stopped, and all the boys who had watches when asked for the time, declared their watches were so excited they could not keep correct time. Several asked we what time I thought it was? I told them it could not be midnight because the rooster always crowed at midnight this time o' the year, and then, too, says I, it's never late until the moon goes down, but I had just got home and got one boot off preparatory to turning in, when the hired girl rang the first bell. Yours truthfully,
THOS. H. B. TAYLORMedford Mail, April 27, 1894, page 4
THOS. H. B. TAYLOR, of Woodville, was in Medford one day last week and while here spent a goodly part of his time "joshing" with the Mail men. Mr. Taylor is nothing slow with the pen as our readers doubtless know, who read in this paper a couple of months ago his account of the crookedness in Jackson County. The gentleman is now preparing for an extended visit to his old home in York State, which place he has not visited since his boyhood.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, June 1, 1894, page 3
Taylor Heard From.
SPOKANE, WASH., JUNE 14, 1884.MR. ED:--I thought you might like to hear how I am progressing. I will say that am progressing about as rapidly as a church and part of the time like a crawfish. I met with nothing unusual until I met the Willamette at Portland. She is now quite unusual, being almost us broad as long. I had to take a boat from Portland to Kelso (50 miles down the river) to get a fresh start by rail. Nothing worth noting occurred until we arrived at Tacoma. There I met another delay of 14 hours. I left Tacoma on the morning of June 12th, and arrived here at 6 p.m., not prepared to see such a country as lies between here and Tacoma. After slowly sliding down the side of the Cascades, we struck a sand and sagebrush desert that vividly reminded of the country the Children of Israel traveled in for forty years and which the Good Book tells us, out of 3,000,000 souls there were only two left. If it really was a country like this I am speaking of, I am not at all surprised. It seems to me that about the only thing that could live here would be death and a mortgage, with perhaps a small amount of desolation. The day was quite warm, and the sand sifting silently, though surely, through the almost airtight cars was anything but delicious. Far away across the plains might be seen sand spouts shooting up into the air like smoke of torment. Every 15 or 20 miles we would come to a little oasis where some poor son of Adam was staying. I asked one of those what in blank nation he was living in a country like this for? He was on the fight in a minute, and said it was none of my blank business. I hardly expected a different reply, for I knew they all had SAND. One fellow said he was going to move out back further, for, said he, "The neighbors are getting too thick. Only last week a fellow moved in right over there only about 15 miles off." About every 20 or 30 miles the engine would give a toot to relieve the monotony and make believe we were coming to a station, but it would only be an extra large bunch of sagebrush and an extra big pile of sand. I heard the sound of but one rooster for a distance of some three hundred miles--and that was only an old tin weather vane on one of the water tanks to tell which way the wind blew, just as though anyone would care a bland cent which way it blew--it would fill your eves full of sand just as right. It seems to me that in a country like this death would be a welcome visitor--or at least life (what little there is) would be given up with but little reluctancy. Now about "Spokane"--it is a compound word with a double accent. The Spoke is accented lightly, then you can come down heavy on the "Can." You say Spo-Kan. The word was derived from what was left over from the Jargon, and signifies "give as little as you can for the money."
T. H. B. TAYLOR.Medford Mail, June 22, 1894, page 4
Taylor Heard From Again.
SPOKANE, WASH., JUNE 14, '94.DEAR MR. ED.:--You will remember I told you in my first letter that I was expecting to leave Spokane that day at noon. Well, when I was just ready to step aboard the train a young man gave me a gentle poke in the ribs and asked to see my ticket. After looking a half second, he says, "You can't go on this train." The ----- I cant, says I, "No sir, you will have to see the N.P.G.P.A. over across the river, and get another ticket." Well, I said some things that now I was sorry for, after I cooled down & little, I concluded to take a more philosophical view of the situation, and as long as I could not do as I liked, I thought I would (as Bob Ingersoll says) "do as I must." You see, in my haste I had not thought of the Spokane Falls--or rather, having seen most all the great falls in the United States of America, and being right on my way to the Great Niagara, I thought the Spokane Falls did not amount to a hill of beans, but having nothing else to do, I strolled down to the falls this p.m., and I assure you I was delightfully disappointed. In all the great falls I have ever seen--not forgetting some great political party falls--I have never seen anything to equal in picturesqueness and grandeur the Spokane. As I stood on the bridge viewing that stupendous cataract, a feeling of sadness came over me. I seemed to realize for the first time how insignificant science was to nature (though nature has done so little for some of us). I don't like to write about these falls as I cannot do them justice. The upper part of the falls are, as the Frenchman would say, magnificent. They are broken with here a fall, there an island, there a promontory and here another fall; they seem to join in a merry embrace, then go rolling, tumbling, seething in a boiling mass, then separate, then re-embrace, then glide smoothly along for a short distance, then make another plunge over the lower fall; for a distance of 150 feet it is one frothing, hissing, foaming, distracted mass of distraction. If I did not like Spokane for anything else, I should like it for its falls. The Spokane are unlike many of the great falls on account of the nearness of view. While the Niagara Falls are on a higher scale, you cannot approach them so perfectly as the Spokane. It don't seem to me now as I ever enjoyed a view of the Niagaras (and I have seen them often) with anything like the satisfaction that I do the Spokane today. I took my pencil and began figuring on the power that could be generated from that fall, and after figuring over all the stationery I had about me I gave it up. I saw the electric light plant that is run by a tiny bit of the power and I said to a gentleman, I should think electric light must be very cheap here. He replied, "I should say so. Why, when it is any way cloudy here they use it all day, for it is about as cheap as sunshine any way."
Yours truthfully,Medford Mail, June 29, 1894, page 4
T. H. B. TAYLOR.
MEDINA, N.Y., July 5, 1894.DEAR MR. ED.: Has it ever been your misfortune to realize to the full all that the above heading implies? It not, thou art surely blessed. But let this pass for the present.
I came back here to old York state ostensibly for my health--you will remember seeing me a few days before my departure and you will also remember how indisposed I was (to remain in Oregon). As I wish to be sincere with you I will tell you--confidentially, you know--that it was not altogether for my health. You see once upon a time (something over a quarter of a century ago), when I was somewhat verdant, I lived in this part of the universe; and there were also some others living here, too, and some of the opposite sex, and to tell you the whole truth I wished to see if there were any of them left. Of course I COULD specify some ONE more particularly, but time and space prevent. Well, when I stepped off the cars onto the platform there were scores of faces but not one familiar. I looked around a few moments, then thought I would wander through the old village and take a look at the old familiar spots; but what was my surprise to find that they, like the faces, had, alas, all disappeared. I stood as if spellbound--dumbfounded and almost horrified. All was so strange. I felt as if I had been a Rip Van Winkle and had been sleeping all these long years and had suddenly awakened in paradise or the other place, and for the life of me I could not tell which.
However I heard of that one particular one, and with anything but a buoyant spirit I started on my tour of investigation. I did not ask many questions for I wished to hear it all from her. I had already learned that this certain young lady was a widow, so I took some consolation in that fact. She was residing out a ways in the country; so I, with heartfelt emotion, trod softly the well-beaten path that led to the widow's cot. My intention was to play the book agent role. Presently I reached the door, with the latch string hanging out, but I gently rapped and soon there appeared to my wondering gaze--what? I hardly know. I made some awkward remark and thinking of nothing else to say for the moment, I asked for a drink of water and from that on conversation became general. After we had exhausted the weather and religious and political topics I said I once had a friend in this part by the name of--here I gave my name--and says I, "Did you ever know of such a person?" "What?" says she, "Know Bent. Taylor? Well, I should say I did. Why," says she, "Bent. used to be awful sweet on me, and folks said we were going to marry; but land sakes! I never thought of such a thing. Of course he was a nice, good kind of a boy but rather soft, you know. No, I don't know what ever became of him. Oh yes, Bent. must be dead years ago." I saw quite a number of small urchins standing round, and I said. "Are these all your children?" She replied, "Oh yes, and these are not all. I have eleven children. Yes, I married Bill ------ just twenty-seven years ago the 5th day of this month, and this (pointing to a gangle-legged young man, who, like some of our fruit trees, looked as if he forked too high) is our oldest son." "Is it possible?" says I; and says I, "You must have married quite young." "Oh yes, I did," says she. Then as conversation began to lag I took one more good look at her and took my leave. There was a feeling akin to sadness came over me. I thought I would walk along until I came to the first milepost and then and there bump my brains out; but when I came to it I could not do it without getting on my knees, and as that is something new to me I did not try the experiment, so I sat down and gave my thoughts full rein for a few moments. Thinks I to myself, is that cadaverous lump of deformity the girl I used to take to the circus, give taffy, etc.; and did I ever cider-press her to my boiled shirt and kiss that elongated cavity in her face and call it nectar? O, ye gods! if I ever did, Lord forgive all my sins and that, too.
But I must close. Is it hot here, did you say? Well, no. Were you ever in--in--that is, I mean, did you ever lie down on a tin roof to cool off, when the thermometer said 110? If you didn't it's no use to try to tell you.
TAYLOR, Down EastMedford Mail, July 27, 1894, page 4
Mr. Taylor on Traveling--and Chicago.T. H. B. Taylor, the versatile writer and good citizen of Woodville, is now visiting at his old home in York State. He writes of his preparation for his trip, the trip proper, Chicago and the narrow confines of "Noo York":
Dear Mr. Editor:--Let us recapitulate. I have perhaps become somewhat previous, so we will rub it all out and begin over.
One reason why I got through as well as I did, is, perhaps, my tending strictly to the advice my grandma gave me years and years ago; so when I left home I made me some little sachets and put a small piece of "fetty" in each and placed one in each of my coat pockets, and then I had a piece about the size of a chestnut (a horse-chestnut, I mean) which I carried in my vest pocket;--all these were to ensure health, for my aforesaid grandma told me that there was no telling--anyone was liable to catch the hieroglyphics or pneumatics or something of the kind, by traveling around with those "plaguey 4iners," --furthermore it makes room; whenever there began to be more than three in a seat, I would take out my little piece of asafoetida and give it a few gentle rubs up and down the leg of my trousers, and pretty soon someone would say, "I guess I will go into the smoker;" some would say something about the air being fixed, etc.. and soon I would have a whole seat to myself. I like to died one day, after trying the "fetty" hypothesis; there was a rather skookum lady only two or three seats from me and I saw she appeared to have either lost confidence or wanted to, and for the life of me I couldn't tell which; but when the conductor came around she was looking as though she would like to have a rod or two of barbed wire fence to chew. Says she, "Why don't you remove those Chinamen from that front car?" The conduc' savs, "Beg pardon, Madam, but there are no Chinamen there." Well, says she, "Do you permit the porter to sell that horrid Limberg on the train?" "No, Madam," says Conduc. "Well," says she, "I think you had better smash one of those jugs of fire extinguishers in this car, anyway." And there I was, with a whole seat and my sleeves, and in fact my whole anatomy, running over with mirthfulness.
Well, I got along without any other incident worth recounting here, until I got to--to--well, I can't call the name just now, but it was where Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over the lantern, some time ago. There I had to change cars, and when I went for my baggage the smasher wanted me to give up my check, but "I vas smart for dat" (for my grandma told me to never give up my check until I got to my destiny). I was just going to put a protuberance on that baggage man when along came a great overgrown dude, with an oversized drumstick in his hand and a big tin star on his blue coat. I don't know who he was, but I guess it was the mayor, or it might have been the city council; anyway he was or seemed to be of a good deal of importance. Says he to me, "You are from Skowhegan, aren't you?" "No sir," says I, "I am from Tail-Holt, Oregon, and am a ------ upright citizen." "I thought so," says he, "one of those fellows that blows out the gas." I did not know what he meant, so I said, "I guess so."
Changed, did you say? What, Chicago? Well, I should say! Why, when I was here last--or first, rather--there was only one street in Chicago--called Water Street, but it got to be awful thick water along about February or March, just after the frost came to the surface. There was a little "red front" grocery on one side of the street and a hash factory and blacksmith shop on the other. A Vermonter had got out there and put up a derrick right in the middle of the street and when a fellow got stuck crossing he would--for two bits--pull him out. The freighting business was all done with ox teams across Lake Erie. And now see what a place it is. I asked a man what were the two largest things on record, and he said, "Setting aside the whale and the flood, the next two were the Eiffel wheel and Montgomery Ward & Co."
But I am getting beyond again; so let us go back, or return, rather, to my landing in that hyas town. It ran something like this: "Hack-sir-right-this-way-for-the-free-bus-for-
raspberries-charcoal-any-old-tin-to-mend-fresh-fish-whitefish-codfish," and so forth. Fact, Mr. Editor; I had to ask a man what my name was, and he rather facetiously remarked that it would be Dennis if I did not look sharp.
This is a grand old country here in York. In fact its grandness makes me weary. Everyone seems to have something to keep their minds off the transitory things of this earth, earthy. As there are no poor-houses here the law makes it obligatory, when a man gets too poor to live here he has to choose between whether he will be willingly hung or flee seven ways for Sunday--he generally flees. I have been confined. since I came here to a very limited space of country. I try to get out in the country and just as I am beginning to look for green pastures by the running brook--slam I run up against another town. No Sir, they may talk about their "Down East," but give me the tall pine hills and rocky trees of the Italy of Oregon--namely, Tail-Holt.
The far away home of the jackrabbit
O, how I long to see;
And bear the buzz of the bedbug's wing
And feel the red-hot skip of the gentle flea.
Here the mosquito is almost ripe--
The thought of it makes my blood to chill.
I think I'll take my grip and start
Before he presents his little bill.
LATITUDINARIAN TAYLOR.Medford Mail, August 31, 1894, page 4
ANOTHER COUPLE GONE WRONG.The friends and acquaintances of Prof. Taylor will be grieved and shocked to learn of this false step taken in his heretofore exemplary life. Yes, Mr. Editor, and you, kind reader, you may regret, but don't say "I told you so!" or "It's just as I expected!" because you didn't expect anything of the kind. No more did we, but circumstances over which we had little control impelled us on to this downfall. In fact we were impelled forward by a pair of cussed mustangs, and I doubt if there is anyone who reads this that will feel any more grieved or shocked than we did when our specific gravity came in contact with Mother Earth; if there is, they have my sympathy. Speaking for myself, I will say cordially I hope I may never receive a greater shock, either mentally or physically.
Prof. T. H. B. Taylor and Sister-in-Law Run Away.
It was like this: Myself and sister started for Tail Holt, driving a pair of ponies, one of which did not seem to be up to my standard of progress, and in order to facilitate business I gave her a cut with one of Jones' best two-bit persuaders, and after the effects of that cut got into the circulation of that colt and she felt as if something was wrong somewhere, she let drive with her heels, and, whack! they struck the dash. She was on the starboard side. and that seemed to have a demoralizing effect on the bobtailed roan on the larboard, so he went into the air. About the second jump the tackle all unshipped, the rudder came down and we were at the mercy of whatever was to happen. We heaved to and tried to luff, but that roan had the sea way and kept it. We were going before the wind (that is, ahead of it) at the rate of twenty-seven knots an hour, and came to an angle (I might say an acute angle, for it was about ninety degrees) in the road, and the fallen rudder seemed to get tired of keeping right straight along in the road and it took a turn and we ditto. We both had a death grip an the main hawser, trying to land that roan, but nary land. So when our craft luffed out in the brush we took a turn in space and it was quite a large space where I struck and it shivered all my timbers from keel to stern and more, too. I essayed to get up after I struck the ground, but it was about the poorest essay I ever experienced. Just as I struck I saw more stars than are in the galaxy. I saw seventeen colored moons and Jupiter. I seemed to go into a trance. I looked, and behold, I saw a four-wheeled chariot, two wheels on this side and two wheels on that side and the hindmost wheels were large wheels like unto an oxcart, and the large wheels were trying to overtake the front wheels, and I saw the beast that drew the chariot. He was a stub-tailed roan and he had great horse teeth and he held the bit tight in his teeth, and there were sparks of fire flying out of his eye, ever and anon. Again I looked, and behold, I saw two living creatures in the chariot. They were holding on to something (as it were) for dear life. I saw them take a header into the beyond and as they jumped I heard a loud voice saying, "Whoa! January." When I came to, my sister-in-law was bending over me and asking me if l was dead, and I inadvertently said "I guess so." Well, the fact is, I know I should have felt better if I had been.
I am still lying in bed, this being eleven days, and I have put in all the spare time I had trying to think, what in the devil we held on to those lines for?
T. H. B. TAYLOR,Medford Mail, November 30, 1894, page 4
Thos. H. B. Taylor, of Woodville, is still lying in bed--from the effects of that team runaway of several weeks ago.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, December 14, 1894, page 5
An Alphabetical Fiend Again at Large.A was an archer and shot at a frog.
B is for Bloomer, who now goes incog. Also for bondsmen, for boodle and bluff--but of this combination we have had quite enough.
C is for corruption, that putrid old thing which largely composes that grand(?) old ring.
D is for donkeys with big loads on their backs, and also for farmers who pay the ring tax. It might stand for dollars the treasurer once had but they all flew away 'long with Georgie, to the bad.
E is the elephant who eats hay with his tail, led by the "Commish" while the hayseeds bewail.
F stands for farmers, for fools and for fun and all those who still vote the old gang to be run.
G is for grab and for gouge a good deal; if you want to know more interrogate
H is for honesty, which they tell us is best, but the gang furnish a precedent and gives us a rest.
I is for injustice which the hayseeds have all had--and always will have while they vote like their dad.
J is for Judas, for jugglery and jaw, which the court tells the farmer is nothing but law.
K is the kontempt we have for the judge who let the bondsmen off on such a rum-fudge.
L is for longevity iniquity can boast. The ring or the devil, say which has the most?
M is for mugwump, for muddle and manner and that is, they say, what's the matter with Hanner.
N is for nothing they will all have to say, like the boy the calf run over, on that reckoning day.
O is for "O, Lordy!" the taxpayer's prayer; if he don't change the tenor and happen to swear.
P is for primp. pomposity and pride, the phaeton in which politicians like to ride.
Q is the queer way they all have to do it; though it's a tough cud, the farmers must chew it.
R is for ringster, rascality and ruin; also for regrets which the voters are doin'.
S is for sinner, for sneak and for snare, and for snide and for sooners you can find everywhere. S will answer for sugar, also for soft soap, the halter the farmer puts round his own throat.
T is for taxpayers with their burdens. Oh, alas! so like Balaam's saddle horse the angel could not pass.
U is for united. the plebeians all must be if from oppression's yoke they ever would be free.
V is for the vultures who satiate in gore, who never stop to think or heed the supplications of the poor.
W is the working man, boots all out at the toes, who turns himself the old machine which grinds his own dear nose.
X is the cross we will all have to bear if we don't kill the crooks who are infesting our air.
Y is the Yankee tricks the politicians play on the credulous hayseed, from day unto day.
Z is for Zero, where all tricksters try, "Ver da don't got any snow."
The above lines by Prof. Taylor will not be published in book form but will be copyrighted, and can only be had by applying in person to
Yours truly,Medford Mail, December 28, 1894, page 8
T. H. B.,
Some Things Out of Joint.I must beg your pardon for this long delay, but, the fact is, I have been hors de combat (so to speak) for some time. I consulted Dr. Kremer a few days ago and after looking at my talk-a-phone a few moments he asked me if I had ever been troubled with somnambulisticness (he was way up on big words). I replied that I had never seen any of them since the war, but along in '61 to '65 when I was in Dixie I was bothered a good deal with them, more especially when I got on the third relief, which necessitates a fellow getting out of a warm cozy bunk at 1 a.m., and when it happens in one those balmy southern nights and not a secesh in forty miles, there's where your insomnambulisticness comes in. "Well," says he, "how do you feel generally?" "I generally feel pretty well, thank you, only not now owing to my epiglottis having slipped a cog; my trachea was not in good running order, causing me to deglutite about ½ a fish ball the wrong way at breakfast this morning. My epiglottis is somewhat contracted in places, having a kind of drawn-mortgage sensation sliding up and down it; otherwise I am feeling fine." He said I was undoubtedly suffering from a mild case of psoriasis or he said it might possibly be pityriasis, but in any event it would only be a matter of time when it would disappear, usually in say six or seven years. But I fear I am getting off of what I originally intended to write. Let me see, where was I. O, yes, I was going to say there were some reasons why I write even as early as I do. I have ever tried to be mild and considerate--almost amiable. I might say, lived up to the golden rule (of three). Tried to love my neighbor's wife as well as my own and (confidentially you know) come very near succeeding. Have been a father to the fatherless, and have been a husband to the widow, just as near as I could with any degree of safety. But now there are so cussed many things out of joint that patience is no longer a virtue. As King Richard said, it is "stale and I am weary of it." There was the tariff, the income tax, etc., and then along comes Mrs. Lease with her hypnotism. This is a little more than I can stand. I wonder if the average man cares a tinker's anathema whether hypnotism is an entity or simply an old woman's whim. If Mrs. Lease really wishes to do something useful and practical why don't she tell us some easy way to exterminate the green worm that is infesting our cabbage, tell us of some more pleasant and expeditious way of getting rid of the Colorado potato bug than catching them and biting their heads off, or better yet, demonstrate to us beyond reasonable doubt which is the mother of the chick, the hen that laid the egg or the one who sit on the egg for three long consecutive weeks, day and night, filled with many doubts and misgivings, never leaving her post until the climax. Hypnotism be blowed. Once on a time I heard Mrs. Lease say, while stumping this county, that the only overproduction that Kansas had ever had was an overproduction of fools. Whatever my doubts may have been on that subject then they are all dispelled now.
I was dining with a lady friend the other day, at the Josephine, in Grants Pass, and the air being chill we took a macaroni soup to start on. My friend poising a long piece on her fork said, "Prof. Taylor, I am a little rusty in my geography so I wish to ask, where do these macaronies grow?" "Well," says I, "it is a long time since I reviewed, so I am not absolutely positive but," says I, "I am quite sure they grow in the Argentine Republic, in South America." And says she, "Really I have forgotten but do they grow on a vine or a tree?" "Oh," says I, "they grow on a tree something similar to a peanut tree." "Thanks awfully."
You must excuse me now Mr. Editor. After all, I have not said what I intended, but I will have to quit now or I may cause you to--well to think something awful. Ko-pet-o-coke. Hi-as-till-ni-ka. [Stop this. I''m very tired.]
More anon,Medford Mail, January 10, 1896, page 7
T. H. B. TAYLOR,
Tail Holt, Ore.
Prof. T. H. B. Taylor and J. L. Scott were again busily engaged Monday in putting in another bridge across Evans Creek. Their first one was washed out last week.
"Evans Creek Events," Medford Mail, April 24, 1896, page 2
Prof. T. H. B. Taylor had his toe dislocated by a horse Monday. We did not learn whether the toe kicked the horse or the horse kicked the toe.
"Evans Creek Items," Medford Mail, May 15, 1896, page 2
Lack of Education in Common Things.It is almost overwhelming the errors made in common names and things. Now, I was just reading in my Encyclopedia Britannica the other day that the word "tinkers dam'' was all right, that it was a kind of paste to stop up cracks, to prevent the waste of solder, etc;, and to think that all these years I have been misled in this way! Often earnestly repenting for the ways I have of expressing my feelings and now to find out it was all a useless waste of time and energy. I tell you, Mr. Editor, in my judgment it is a little short of wicked to bring children up in this way. When I was East two years ago I guess I learned more than you could shake a stick at. A lady acquaintance said to me once, "Prof. T., what route (root) will you take on your return to the West?" And I said, "I guess I'll take a sassafras." (I was raised in Pike, you know). She smiled a great, large Down East smile and replied: "I suppose so" --I had never learned the proper way to sound the word and of course I was open to ridicule. As it happened this lady was a widow and of course she knew better than to appear to notice my error, and I want to say right here before I forget it, that next to a cyclone, a good sensible widow is about the most taking thing out. As a rule they are more or less informed on most things, having had more or less experience and seldom make a mistake the second time without knowing it; in fact there are in every family of small children, a crying need, and if I was a young man again--but what's the use?
I was going to say something in regard to our (supposed) school laws. There needs to be a radical change in them in many respects, one of which I now wish to call [to] your attention: A girl--almost a young lady, I might say--was compelled to quit school because the teacher, a gentleman too--or he pretended to be a gent--really insisted on her working vulgar fractions!
One of the oldest of the twins said to me the other day, "Prof, how large is a 12mo book?" "Why, says I, its--its a sheet of paper folded so many times." "Oh yes," says he; "I learned that much at school, but I want to know how many inches or feet long and wide it is." "Oh, don't bother me now," says I; at the same time thinking I was the biggest fool in Oregon, but, thinks I, I will head that kid off. So quite soon I went into my study, ostensibly for a paper, but really I went for Webster and what did I find? "A sheet of paper folded so many times." A few days ago I was in Grants Pass and I asked a book dealer, a lawyer, an editor and a doctor the same question and received the same answer. Well, thinks I, maybe I am not the biggest fool in the world after all. Even now, if it was to save my bacon, I could not tell the size of a 12mo book. A sheet of paper, I will assume, is as wide as a board and as long as a string and on this hypothesis I am going to try and work it out some day when I have more time than now. Just now I am quite busy and, Mr. Editor, I bet you couldn't guess, without having two trials, what I am busy at. If you remember the last time you saw me the top of my head was considerably defaced. Well, it is more now, and during this torrid spell we have just passed the flies have been playing toboggan on the waste places. The other day my housekeeper got 4 bits worth of tanglefoot fly paper and now in my spare moments I take the big rocker, the Medford Mail and perhaps some other good papers, seat myself in front of a full-length mirror and with a sheet of tanglefoot drawn snugly over the top of my cranium, I sit and watch the flies try to slide ever my (as they suppose) bald head. No sir, if you had three sides to your slate you could not even approximate the real solid enjoyment I am getting out of that racket.
But I must begin to discontinue this letter. Before I go let me tell you, a couple of my old acquaintances were lately remarried and they wished me to write a few appropriate lines to the occasion. They said they knew I could turn my head to most anything. They said for me to say something funny if I wanted to. I told them I could not write anything very funny for I had just lost my mother-in-law last week and if I wrote anything very funny folks would say I was not very sorry, so I wrote:
One more unfortunate
Weary of life,
Most too importunate
To be man and wife.
Speak of them tenderly,
With their gray hair,
Living so slenderly,
Almost upon air.
Alas! for the rarity of Evans Creek charity,
Since Adam's fall.
Hope in futurity in Nature's own purity--
And that's about all.Yours 10derly,
T. H. B. TAYLOR,
Tail Holt, Ore.
P.S. The fly paper above mentioned for directions inquire within, that is, after you pull two sheets apart there are the directions telling you how to do it. This is something like the notice put up at the ford of the creek: "When the water is over the sign the creek is not safe to cross." T. H. B.
Medford Mail, August 7, 1896, page 4
We Want a Boy.
This, Mr. Ed., you will see, if you have proper understanding of your grammar, is a simple declarative sentence. Third person, singular--spoken of; boy, masculine, because we are speaking of no one else. The mood will be only conjectural on your part--common case, we will admit--though with us just now it is objective; but let me caution you. We want a boy big enough to do chores right now--not only milk, but feed the hens and horses, pick up potatoes, slop the pigs, chop a little wood, bring in the wood and water, make fires and in spare moments hoe the garden, etc., etc.--one who can plow and sow and hoe my row and be a useful boy. We had a boy, a good boy, too, but we could not keep him. We did most everything to try to please him, but we failed. We used to get up at 4 a.m., feed, groom and harness the horses, pail the cows, feed the hens, slop the pigs, then come in and eat our breakfast off of the kitchen table, go out and hoe dogfennel awhile, then about 8 a.m. we would come in quietly and silently go up to his suite and gently tap for him to dress for breakfast. Sometimes we would in an unguarded moment speak rather loud and awaken him too suddenly, although we did never intend to be harsh; in fact, there is nothing of the kind in our nature, except, it may be we have a harsh cough, resultant from going in swimming when we were a mere boy, but as I was saying when we would awaken him too suddenly, he would start in to a sitting posture and for a few moments stare in bewilderment, then with one foot resting on the tiger skin on the floor he would sit for some forty or fifty minutes seeming in deep meditation as much as to say, "I wonder what I had better have the old gent work at today?" Then while he was breaking his somewhat prolonged fast, I would ask, "What shall I do today?" "Are the horses fed and harnessed?" "Yes, sir," says I. "Then hitch them onto the democrat. I will drive to the village and you may cut a little wood until I return." I often mildly remonstrated, pleading for him to consider my years, my gray hairs--what few I had--and my decrepit generality--but to no purpose. The other evening after I had my chores all done I asked if I could go and hunt jackrabbits a little while (8 p.m.) and he got in a passion and left me. This is why I advertise now. This time we want a different kind--one who is not too nervous--we want a boy we can call with a club at 4 a.m. and who can rise under the circumstances with a whistle on his lips and a smile in his eye, who can pail six cows, feed the stock, slop the pigs and hoe a couple of hours before breakfast and come in singing "Sure I've nothing at all to do."
So, Mr. Ed., if you see any such boys let us hear from you at once. We want a boy--not too smart, mind you--one is enough in a family--but an industrious boy is not bad, one who can take sass and not return it; one who can do almost a man's work, will be glad to get a small boy's salary. I would suggest that some nice widow's boy (no, see, I have the objective case in the wrong place again), I mean some widow may have a nice boy that would suit--I am prone to incline about 90 degrees in that direction anyway--then I have a desire to walk uprightly before all such, well knowing that though my failings are many to someone, "I shall be whiter than snow."
Lovingly hours,It is with feelings akin to nothing I know of that I recall these old familiar lines (of my own) on
T. H. B. TAYLOR,
'THE OLD HOME DOWN ON THE FARM."
When a boy I used to work, where I had no chance to shirk,
Far away among the tangled clover hay.
And the stuff I had to rake, 'til I thought my back would break,
And I never heard a word of any pay.
There were brothers young and gay, and if we stopped to play
Our father dear would make our jackets warm.
There I passed life's verdant morn, pulling suckers from the corn,
In my boyhood's sap-head life down on the farm.
Many pleasant days I've passed, since I saw that old place last,
Where pitching hay I almost broke my arm.
Oh, the place was awful hot, and I'd rather now be shot
Than be working every day out on a farm.
T. H. B.Medford Mail, August 21, 1896, page 4
More About That Boy.
You may think me a little hasty, Mr. Ed., but it now stands me in hand. I have had three fights--got licked two best out of three and had to run once--about that boy I was speaking about last week.
But I told such an infernal lie about it that I never dreamed anyone would take me serious. I have often heard my grandma say she never saw me serious but once, and that was the day I was born. My parents thought of making a minister of me, but in my youth they observed that I was so prone to tie tin cans to the dog's tail, give the cat snuff, etc., that they at last despaired, and then looking in the Bible they saw my verse was [Proverbs 21:]18: "The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous and a transgressor for the upright." So of course that gave me away entirely, and ever since I have been probing around in this unfriendly world trying to see if I could find anything serious, and up to date as I go to press I have it--found a single solitary one. Even an owl and a month-old hound pup look funny to me (and this is no pun). But I must quit lying; I see that. I bet though if I should accidentally tell the truth it would be hard to find anyone to believe it.
In regard to the boy: My previous article was all a joke. The boy and his parents knew this all right, but some of the neighbors did not exactly catch on, and some did not want to catch on, and of course made quite a talk; but the facts are: We did have a boy for a long time, who always gave the best of satisfaction, and I hereby, unsolicited, recommend him as being a very manly, upright, capable and industrious boy, whose character is unimpeachable. The boy left us on amicable terms with an offer of better wages--by us--to remain.
So in conclusion I will say: To all whom it may concern (and I can't help whether it concerns whom or not), I can't afford to be paying out money to do the amende honorable through the press every few days, and after this when you see any lies from my pen it shall be prima facie evidence that there is not a word of truth in them.
Yours very seriously,Medford Mail, August 28, 1896, page 5
THOS. H. B. TAYLOR,
T. H. B. TAYLOR, of Woodville, was a pleasant and welcome caller at the Mail office this week. The gentleman has been suffering from a severe attack of rheumatism, but is now convalescent.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, January 8, 1897, page 2
A Grave Question.DEAR ED.: I have no doubt that you have been wondering what had become of me for lo these many weeks. But the fact is, [I] have had quite a severe spell of disability, brought on, my physician says, mostly by not being at all well. I was getting on finely until a few days ago. I had the pleasure, or perhaps I should nay, it was for me, to attend the last sad rites of a friend, that has caused a decline in my spiritual and physical being. Several other young ladies and I were in a democrat wagon, and the procession was a long one. Up near the front was a team not quite fast enough for a hearse, and every now and again when the slack was taken up, it would snap the tail end of the procession like a whip. Right here I would like to respectfully suggest that a team too slow for a hearse should never be owned outside of a livery stable. But with the exception of a pretty bad headache (cause new hat) and a few jabs between the shoulders with a wagon tongue, we enjoyed ourselves as well as could be expected under the existing circumstances.
While driving along, for want of something more livening or interesting, the conversation turned on final dissolution and final disposition. One young lady, having just swallowed a handful of dust, as soon as she caught her breath, said, "Let the dead bury the dead; drive on your cart." One said, "Oh! a cold, damp grave, ugh!" Another said, "Give me cremation." "That's me," said I, "ice cremation [say it aloud], I mean." "Yes, said I, "give me cremation, for I have reasons most profound. They say anyone may (by custom) get used to most anything and our minister once had candor to say to me, incidentally, that a white heat would be comparable chilly to what some folks might expect on the last roundup." Another young lady said she would very much dislike to be put into a cold, damp grave, and then we all looked grave as we could, but there was a smothered smile crawled up my sleeve.
"I agree with you, Miss ------," said I, "I caught cold when I had the measles and have been troubled with more or less rumaticks since. I also have nasal catarrh and, owing to a large displacement on the place where the wool ought to grow, I am subject to colds in the head; consequently I am averse to be placed in a cold, damp grave, and if the time ever comes I shall kick." Then they all smiled aloud.
T. H. B. TAYLOR,Medford Mail, May 14, 1897, page 5
Tail Holt; Ore.
The Gold Hill News is authority for the statement that T. H. B. Taylor, the poet of Evans Creek, has been appointed U.S. statistician for Southern Oregon at a salary of $1500 per year.
"A Grist of Local Haps and Mishaps," Medford Mail, January 21, 1898, page 7
How Sweet the Gospel Sounds.DEAR MR. ED.:--I know you must have despaired of hearing from me anymore, and yet I am here. I should have written sooner, but the fact is I am just about on a standstill to know whether I had better write any more letters for your paper unless you make some radical change in your style of editorials. I now think no one should publish anything except a regular evangelical paper. This, I know you will think, is too sudden, but I am now just about convinced.
The good people of Woodville and Evans Creek generally have been having one of the most glorious revivals ever heard of. A Mrs. Ruth Sweet, an evangelist preacher, has been making a rattling among the dry bones down here for the last three weeks that is astonishing. Mrs. S. is a fine elocutionist, a good musician and a magnetic speaker. Quite a number of convicts--no, I mean there have been a large number of convictions taken place. Neighbors, who a short time ago were just aching to drive spikes into each other or pour hot lead into each other's ears, are now all peace and harmony. Even some who used to say that T. H. B. was a lying old hypocrite now say "an eccentric old gent." What a modification! I don't care what you say, Mr. Ed., it's nice just the same. Now don't be holding your nose in your hand and smiling out from under your hat brim. Reformation has got to start somewhere, and Ruth Sweet is the primary and prime cause thereof in this locality. Yes, she can talk your arm off, but you will sit on a hard board bench and listen for two solid hours and never know your arm was off--and penetrating? Well, you know kerosene. Why, she can look down into an old sinner's works and dig up all the deviltry that has been lying there dormant ever since way back in the '40s.
I can't tell you how it might have been with me ere this, had Mrs. S. not been a little indiscreet (as it seemed to me) in speaking of the amount of sin, etc., chronic and otherwise. She said, "Now, there were the thieves on the cross. One repented but the other was a son of a gun." No, she did not say that either, but anyway he was tough and now was along with the rich man--Mr. Gould, I suppose she meant. Now there was a nice little hope taken root in my heart and had two leaves, but that "cross" illustration just wilted the whole business like the east wind did Jonah's gourd vine. Owing to our relations having been so altogether pleasant, Mr. Ed. (our wives' relations, I mean), I think it nothing mere than right for me to warn you to never go to hear Mrs. Ruth preach unless you have come to a full determination, without any prevarication or mental reservation, to, if possible, overcome your lying--I mean lying awake at nights, cudgeling your brain to devise means to ameliorate the conditions of your needy fellow man, his widow and orphans--because, if you do, she will break you all up and you will feel just as though you wanted to say, "Lord, if I have taken aught of anyone wrongfully I will give it back with ten percent."
A free confession you know, etc. Well, when Mrs. Sweet came to my house I was fully determined to make her think she was in Klondike, i.e.; I intended to be as cold and austere as an ordinary railroad brakeman so I simply said "howdy" with a stoicism you should have seen to appreciate. I scraped the mud off my boots on the parlor stove, spat on the tiger rug, gave the cat a kick, and did every indecent thing I could think of, but it was no go. It was just like a big black cloud bucking against a ray of sunshine--the nearer the cloud the brighter the ray--until soon the cloud is vanished and all was sunshine--blessed sunshine. I'll bet if the devil should meet Mrs. S. he would take off his hat and give her more than half the road. She brings a burst of sunshine into the house even at 11 p.m. Why, our kerosene expense has dropped 50 percent while she is with us. One other most admirable quality--she never mixes religion and pancakes at breakfast. Stick a pin here.
Knowing as you do my natural aversion to widows, that I am opposed to them on principle, you will wonder at this when I tell you that Mrs. Sweet is a widow; but the fact is some of them are so altogether agreeable; they treat, us so darned nice it is just a little more than a fellow, as sympathetic as I am, can do to say anything about them but something nice. One thing more Mr. Ed., I want to give you a pointer. Mrs. S. says if you and I or any other old sinners are bound to go to hell, please have courage to go alone, don't advertise the thing but go off quietly alone and future generations will say, "They at least did one decent thing." After giving the suggestion careful consideration I promise it good. I neglected to say that Mrs. S. has a daughter and namesake, a charming young miss who is her constant companion and helper in the good cause. They are indefatigable workers and should be and are welcome everywhere.
To sum up--I don't want particularly to advertise Mrs. Sweet (a widow. Heaven forbid!) but having charity for all charitable people, I am not so narrow between the eyes but what I can appreciate a good, no matter what form it is in, and if anyone can do anything to make this world a little more fit to live in, to increase our scant supply of human joy, I say, Heaven bless them; Amen!
Mrs. S. has been speaking in my district every evening, rain or not, for the past week or ten days and to a crowded house all the time. When she calls hands up for Christ, more than half of the congregation is counted in, and mind you, this is in the community where I live and where before this, I was counted about the best Christian in it. So Mr. Ed. you can draw a line quite close, that is, if you can survey anywhere inside of 90 degrees. Mrs. Sweet's adaptation is remarkable. In fact she is herself remarkable in many ways. Why, she makes you feel welcome even in your own house--and that is something. If there is such a place and all who go there are equally good and happy without a sigh or tear, I tell you Mr. Ed., I should like to go there, darned if I wouldn't. Now, don't get it into your head that I am in any particular hurry, for I am not. But I mean when I can't go anywhere else, see?
Your incorrigible,Woodville, Oregon.
T. H. B. TAYLOR,
Medford Mail, February 25, 1898, page 5
Mr. and Mrs. E. H. B. Taylor, of Evans Creek, were in Medford last Saturday upon business and were pleasant callers at this office. Mr. Taylor reports that a new company has gotten hold of the Evans Creek mining ditch and proposes to push it to a completion this season. The ditch will be twelve miles in length and will require an outlay of $60,000 in its construction. It will open up a vast amount of rich placer ground, and the expenditure of the construction money will be a big help to the laboring men of that locality. Mr. Taylor is a son of Thos. H. B. Taylor, the renowned penner of prose and verse.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, May 27, 1898, page 6
T. H. B. Taylor and his sister-in-law, Miss Savray Booker, were in from Woodville Tuesday upon business.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, October 28, 1898, page 6
Mr. and Mrs. T. H. B. Taylor, of Wimer, left the Rogue River Valley last week for Red Bluff, Calif., where they will remain for several weeks, afer which they will continue their trip into Southern California. They expect to be absent about a year.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, October 28, 1898, page 6
I want the address of a person who is a good blackberry wine maker.
T. H. B. TAYLOR,Medford Mail, August 10, 1900, page 2
T. H. B. Taylor, the Woodville poet, has the Mail's heartiest thanks for a box of very fine blackberries--such as only Thos. H. B. grows--every one the pink of perfection and as sound as Mr. Taylor's advocacy of the yellow metal.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 31, 1900, page 7
Mr. and Mrs. David Ball, of Woodville, were in Medford last week upon a visit to Mr. and Mrs. D. W. Ingersoll. Both these families paid a visit to relatives at Eagle Point during the week. Mr. Ball has rented the T. H. B. Taylor place, near Woodville, and will farm it another season.
"Purely Personal," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 12, 1900, page 3
T. H. B. Taylor and family of Woodville have moved to this city.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 12, 1900, page 3
T. H. B. Taylor has removed from Evans Creek to Medford, and gone into business in the building west of Mrs. Palm's millinery store.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 29, 1900, page 3
Steam Feather Renovating.Pillows and feather beds washed and cured with steam. The feathers are taken from the house in the morning just as they are on the bed and returned about 6 p.m. the same day. Ticks are thoroughly dusted and resewed, or new ticks are put on when ordered. Feather ticking should not be washed. The principal object for doing this work is to properly cure the feathers, [and] take the animal matter out of the quill, which should be done before the feathers are used, as it absorbs the perspiration from one's body, and in it are the germs which the natural heat of the body and sun give life to, and they develop into a worm which in time totally destroys the feathers. There is no waste to feathers or down, and every atom of disease germ of whatever nature is absolutely destroyed, and they are returned to the customer perfectly dry, ready for immediate use, as light as air and pure as snow. Those who are interested in this work will please give this matter their attention. I shall personally conduct this work, and perfect satisfaction is guaranteed in every instance. All, and especially the ladies, are invited to call and see this work. Office next door to Mrs. Palm's millinery store on West 7th Street, Medford.
T. H. B. TAYLOR.Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 29, 1900, page 3
Steam Feather Renovating.
I have now completed my canvass of the city of Medford. I have aimed to call at every house. My books show that up to date I have renovated in the city of Medford 421 pillows and feather beds, and when to this is added the fact that there has not been one word of complaint it shows conclusively that my work is appreciated by the people.
To those who have not given the matter consideration, or who may think it unnecessary, as a professor of hygiene, I respectfully add a few professional don'ts. Don't expect too much of the sun. Don't think you can renovate your feathers by putting them out in the sun because your grandmother thought so. Your grandmother was a very nice person--so was mine. They probably did the best they could under the circumstances, but we should remember that tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis. All theory and practice to the contrary, notwithstanding, I say to you, don't put your feathers in the sun--for by so doing you only augment the trouble you seek to avoid. The sun's warmth to the feathers only softens the oil or animal matter in the quills, causing them to absorb more of the unhealthy exhalations of the body. It also gives life and vigor to disease germs, and more especially the vermin known as the feather worm.
Air your feathers, of course, but not in the sun. The benefit derived from the airing of feathers, however, is superficial only. Health is not an attribute--but a condition--and when the conditions are favorable, health is inevitable. While it is true that you may for a time enjoy reasonable health, regardless of sanitary conditions, it is also true that the time is limited. The value of health and happiness is not computed in dollars and cents, and if health and happiness is governed by sanitary conditions, then the renovating of feathers by steam is as necessary as bread and butter.
There is considerable work in Medford being deferred. To all those having this work I would say that my stay in Medford is quite limited, therefore leave your orders at my office or post office box 25, Medford, very soon. As I believe and know all the above to be true, I also have faith and honestly believe that
He who heard the raven's cryT. H. B. TAYLOR,
And had Elijah fed,
Will bless also the feather man
Who renovates your bed.
Medford Mail, March 15, 1901, page 2
Don't kick at the feather man's prices. Come down to the shop and heave coal; turn a two-horsepower crank for six or eight hours; get feathers in your hair and nostrils; get your teeth full of feathers; take a few thousand cubic feet of steam down into your vitals; pound dusty ticks till your arm drops off; eat a pound or two of dust and feathers and when your temper(ature) runs up to 400, stand on your head occasionally to let the sweat out of your boots. Then tell me how nice, how easy and pleasant it is to renovate feathers. T. H. B.
Medford Mail, March 15, 1901, page 3
Thos. H. B. Taylor writes from Ashland to the effect that himself and Mrs. T. (who Thos. H. B. claims to be the best horse of the two) are nicely situated and doing well. The best is none too good for these people--and they'd get it if the Mail had the distribution of the good things going.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, June 21, 1901, page 6
T. H. B. and H. B. J. Taylor have shut down their shingle mill this week for repairs.
'Evans Creek Items," Medford Mail, May 30, 1902, page 5
T. H. B. Taylor was up from Woodville last week. The gentleman is preparing for quite an extended visit to Newport.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, August 1, 1902, page 6
T. H. B. Taylor was up from Woodville Tuesday. He is preparing to operate his feather renovator again this winter. He will soon go to Grants Pass and later will come to Medford.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, October 24, 1902, page 6
T. H. B. Taylor has sold his place at Woodville and on Friday morning left for California where he intends to spend the winter and possibly locate permanently. While in Medford, before leaving, Mr. Taylor said all the placer mines on Wards Creek, Pleasant Creek and Evans Creek were being operated. A new ditch is being dug from the old Speer mill near Wimer and will be used to irrigate the ranches on both sides of Evans Creek. That portion of the country is noted for the alfalfa and with the additional acreage in hay, which will be put under the new ditch, as much if not more will be raised than is usually harvested on Applegate. Upper Evans Creek is becoming an extensive stock country, and the increased supply of hay will be used by the stockmen during the winter. For ten years Mr. Taylor has been one of the very best friends the Mail has ever had, and his leave-taking from Jackson County is a source of much regret on the part of the publisher, but we truly hope that success and good health may be his portion wherever he and his very estimable family may decide to locate. Thomas H. B. Taylor is a square, honorable man, and he will have to change his ways greatly if he is ever found different--and a truer friend to a friend never lived.
Medford Mail, January 2, 1903, page 6
T. H. B. TELLS OF HIS TRIP TO COOS COUNTY.MYRTLE POINT, Ore., Aug. 17.--ED. MAIL:--We have safely landed in Myrtle Point, Coos Co.--that is, we are alive and as soon as our bones are through knitting I think we will feel all right. We came down from Roseburg with a big four-horse team and driver, over the north fork, or ol 1 road [sic--ol' No. 1?], because they said it was the best. Well! I feel sorry for the other road. We got through with but few mishaps. Huldy Ann dropped off the seat once, about a 9-foot drop I think, and sustained a compound fracture of two ribs--I didn't know she had so many--but we were near a blacksmith shop when the accident occurred, so were not much delayed. I was sitting on a bundle of blankets on the hurricane deck and lost my equilibrium--I believe that's what they call it--and took a tumble down into a thicket of Coos County brush, just where there were a few Coos County logs hiding, and nearly dislocated my left hip joint, but the driver had taken a few lessons in osteopathy, so he tied me to the wagon wheels, unhitched his off leader, hitch«d it onto my leg and straightened out the bones and sciatic nerve--that's where my rheumatism worked--and I tell you I have felt better ever since.
I tell you, friend Bliton, this is God's country, all right. You remember how dry it was up there in July when I left. Well, when we got down here it was different. The grass and grain was looking up over the fences, and the farmers were quarreling, one with the other, about one's putting the first row of shocks over on the other's land to get room to shock his hay! When digging potatoes, they have to haul off five or six loads as fast as dug to get room to pile the sacks! Milk, did you say? Well, they send a man with a wagon out into the pasture with the cows, and when the milk begins to drip out of their udders the man just takes his bucket and goes along and says "So, Boss" and proceeds to lighten them up, and so on--I ain't sure, but I believe they run some sawmills with milk. Honest now, this is going to be an all right country when railroad navigation gets here. Mrs. T. and I are both well. We have received a round welcome here and our business indicates that Coos County people know a good thing when they see it. Real estate is rather on the boom--values are based on prospective rather than real worth. There are no idle men. There is much improvement going on in every direction. People are prosperous and must be happy. There's nothing small about Coos but the trees--thirty or forty feet through!
'Most everywhere I travel 'round,
I hardly ever fail
To see inside of every box
A copy of the Medford Mail.
T. H. B. Taylor.Medford Mail, August 28, 1903, page 1
We learn that T. H. B. Taylor has taken his steam feather renovator to Coos County to work. Mr. Taylor has been a resident of Jackson County for nearly a quarter of a century, and is honored and respected by all who know him. His work of renovating and purifying the feathers (pillows and feather beds) is endorsed by all physicians and by everyone who appreciates comfort and health. The Mail wishes to say that it considers Thos. H. B. one of its staunchest friends, and it will take great pleasure in recommending him to the good people of Coos County. They will find him honest and conscientious in all things, and what he promises he will perform.--Medford Mail.
"Local Items," Coquille City Herald, Coquille City, Oregon, September 8, 1903, page 3
Thomas H. B. Taylor, of Woodville, was in the city last week upon business. Mr. Taylor, a few weeks ago, purchsaed the old Osborn place, on Evans Creek, and is now residing thereon. There are 160 acres in the piece, 100 acres of which is good agricultural land.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, December 25, 1903, page 1
T. H. B. Resurrects Himself.Thos. H. B. Taylor, whose facile pen has so often enlivened the pages of this paper, dropped out of sight several months ago, and the editor of this paper was not surprised to hear from him at Long Branch, Calif.
Mr. Taylor doesn't blame us for losing track of him; fact is, he acknowledges that he scatters so much that he had almost lost track of himself. He had been trying California sunshine--92 and up--and it makes him long for Rogue River Valley. Furthermore he says:
"I have gained seven and one-fourth pounds in weight, but I attribute that mostly to the dirt I have had to eat. I notice I am getting a little more round shouldered. This I presume is on account of the extra 1200 feet of atmospheric pressure. Seems like that would double a fellow up some. Ain't it? Tell the folks where I am at and by that time I may be somewhere else. Excuse haste, for
You'd scarce expect much at my age,
While traveling through this pilgrimage;
Don't view me with a microscope,
But let my imperfections slope.''
T. H. B. TAYLOR.Medford Mail, May 6, 1904, page 1
Reminiscences of Sage of Evans Creek.A rousing Republican rally and speaking by the candidates was held at Wimer in the afternoon and Woodville in the evening of Monday, the 21st inst. Unfortunately for me I was not present, but I am told by an eyewitness that there was nothing uncertain in the manner the discussions were received. I did, however, have the pleasure of meeting on the steps of my front yard, at my country seat, Messrs. Ed. T. Staples, W. R. Coleman, Henry D. Kubli, Jas. Cronemiller and Gus Newbury. I received cards of all, but was sorry to find they were not all illustrated. I have a cabinet edition of pictures of distinguished persons and as I recall these above gentlemen I would say: In Mr. Staples I am reminded of Theodore Tilton. Mr. Kubli so much makes mo think of R. G. Ingersoll. Mr. Cronemiller keeps before me a remembrance of Thomas Paine--and Age of Reason, also. I have only a memory of Henry Clay and Mr. Coleman brought it up; and Mr. Newbury--I was trying to think of who he resembled--but my wife asked who was the tall gentleman in the ulster and I replied, "Why, that was Gus Newbury." She said: "How very much he resembles Lincoln," and I could not tell a lie, so I said, "I think so." But what's in a name? Who was it, John Brown or Dowie, who said, a cabbage by any other name would smell as sweet as a rose, or something like that?
Then these family resemblances do not count in the present instance. A lady friend of mine told me once on a time that she overheard two other ladies talking about me and one said: "Who does he look like?" and the other replied that I looked like the devil!!!
No joking, the voters of Jackson County are too well acquainted with the above candidates to doubt for a moment their ability or integrity.
If our seeds of oats we sow,Ni-ka hy-as klashe-six. [I (am your) very good friend.]
In good soil they're bound to grow;
And they'll make the old mare go
While the train is going by.
T. H. B. TAYLOR,Medford Mail, May 25, 1906, page 4
T. H. B. Taylor, who owns 160 acres on Evans Creek, three miles from Woodville, was in Grants Pass Saturday. Mr. Taylor is engaged in dairying, and is doing quite well in the business.
"Our Personal Column," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, July 14, 1905, page 3
Miss Sabrey Booker came down from Medford Saturday for a short visit with her sister, Mrs. T. H. B. Taylor.
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Taylor have moved into the Smithline house. Mr. Taylor has been ill for the past year and while improving slowly, he is still unable to work and moved to town to avoid the worries of farm life.
"Woodville," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, May 10, 1907, page 8
Died--In Jacksonville, October 31, 1907, Harry Taylor, beloved son of Mr. and Mrs. T. H. B. Taylor, aged 36 years. Death came as a relief, after months of illness, against which the loving care and medical aid availed nothing. He leaves a wife and two children, besides his parents and other relatives, who have the sympathy of a host of friends. The body was sent to Woodville for burial, Rev. Day conducting the funereal service. The floral offerings were many and beautiful.
"Woodville," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, November 22, 1907, page 6
Another New Industry for Grants Pass.Prof. T. H. B. Taylor, the veteran feather renovator man, of Jackson County, is now installing his steam feather renovating and deodorizing plant in Grants Pass and will be ready for business in a few days. The feathers (beds and pillows) will be called for at each residence in the morning, taken in the ticks as they are, and during the day will be perfectly washed with medicated steam, perfectly sterilized and deodorized.
Every particle of animal matter is eliminated and every form of disease germs absolutely destroyed. They are thoroughly screened and, fanned and dusted. Most perfectly hot air dried and returned the same day, all sewed, ready for immediate use, pure as snow.
Each family work is positively kept and treated entirely separate. New tickings will be furnished and put on the same day if so desired at reasonable price. Nothing but the best tickings used. A specialty made of converting beds into pillows, or vice versa. Beds and pillows evened up or changed to any size or shape desired.
Mr. Taylor says he has the best machinery and is using the most perfect method of steam renovating of feathers of anyone on the Pacific Coast. Mr. Taylor is a 30-year resident of Jackson County and also well known in Grants Pass. The Medford Mail has said: "Whatever T. H. B. Taylor says is a guarantee. He does a nice, clean family business. Everyone treated fairly."
As this is a sanitary matter, no doubt our people of Grants Pass will improve this opportunity. There can hardly be a doubt of Mr. Taylor's ability or integrity.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, November 20, 1908, page 4
PROF. T. H. B. TAYLOR WRITES OF THE 4TH ON EVANS CREEKIn the course of human events it becomes necessary to do quite a lot of things we would rather not. That is one reason why I am saying a few things here. Seems like I have read in a somewhat ancient chronology that "God hates a liar." Now in this one particular God and I are very much alike. I hope I may not he considered any way vindictive, for, as I recall, some men are born great (liars); others achieve greatness, while some others have it thrust upon them, either through environment, occupation or a natural tendency thereto and that is why I have compassion for your correspondent who wrote a brief article a few days ago on the Fourth at Woodville. His statements were all O.K. about a fine time--but about the baked chicken, etc., etc., all for 25 cents, he was a most inveterate, consummate, illiterate l-i-a-r that is, well, I am loath at times to call a man a liar, owing, of course, to his construction. I will say that he was very much mistaken or a dealer in the worst form of fabrication, if not prevarication, as you very pertinently remarked you could not see where we would get off for 25 cents. No sir, and it was just about all we could do to get off for 50 cents, which was the price that day at the Waldorf. The prime feature of the day was the drilling contest between Sam Sandry and team and Ralph Kitterman and Dick McDonald, which was a fine display of the art or science of drilling. They were badly handicapped in the first place by a very refractory rock being, as one was heard to remark, as hard as--an adjective, and in the second place by faulty drills; so they failed to make the stipulated depth of hole but to show you there are no hogs in Woodville, except one old sow and seven pigs, those stalwarts who shed their linen--part of it, you understand--and pounded those old drills in the hot sun for a full half hour--filling the air--and themselves full of disintegrated rock got their money, just the same. Ladies and cents, please remove your hats. All of which constrains me to remark that
If our seeds of oats we sow,Medford Mail Tribune, July 8, 1910, page 5
In good soil they're bound to grow.
And they'll make the old mare go.
While the train is going by.
An editor to concede, uphold and defend every right he claims, notwithstanding creeds, clans, customs.--T. H. B. Taylor.
"What Medford Needs the Most," Medford Mail Tribune, February 18, 1911
PROF. TAYLOR SEES WOODVILLE'S FUTUREProf. Thos. H. B. Taylor, of Woodville, who as a financier, capitalist and forecaster of future events has few equals and no superiors, says:
That future events do cast their shadows before, and only a very short time will demonstrate that Grants Pass, the county seat of Josephine County, situated in the northern part of the great Rogue River Valley in Southern Oregon, is destined to be the greatest railroad and commercial center of the whole of Southern Oregon. Grants Pass is now, and will be, the one supply point for a great agricultural, fruit, mining and timber section of approximately 80 to 90 miles in area; and with its four railroads--one already built, two under construction, and the fourth sure to be built inside of a year--with a direct line of only 90 miles to the sea coast through an immense timber and mining region, and a through line to all eastern, northern and southern points--what more could be desired?
The great irrigation system just recently acquired, and the street paving and many other municipal improvements, are more valuable and lasting achievements for Grants Pass; and of its future, in conjunction with its younger and smaller
suburb, Woodville, we hardly hope to prophecy.
Woodville, the young but rapidly growing metropolis of Evans Valley, is perhaps the most ideally located little city in the whole Rogue River country--a beautiful little sunny valley nestling at the foot of the Rogue River Mountains, bounded on one side by the swift, rolling Rogue River, and on the other by the sparkling mountain stream of Evans Creek. This is the home of the big red apple and Bartlett pear--no finer fruit belt in the state. The surrounding hills are streaked with the yellow metal and iron, copper, nickel, asbestos and coal abound. Several mines are already developed just outside of the city limits. Free gold is found in most all the streams, now, with all the wonderful fruit, gulches and in the gravel beds.
The great Hill line is now coming from Eastern Oregon. This Hill main line will come down Rogue River, following the west side, out through Sams Valley and through what will be the "Ramsay Canyon cutoff" to where it will strike Upper Evans Creek. It will follow a double track with the projected big Minnesota logging road on the east side of Evans Creek to Woodville, where it will form a junction with the Southern Pacific.
Here the Hill line will build an immense steel bridge across Rogue River and here the two great transcontinental railroad lines will build union yards, depot, machine shops, round house, etc., as it is an ideal location for a division point midway and near the great mountain chains. The Hill line will thence follow the south side of Rogue River to Grants Pass and on to the coast, namely, Crescent City.
The Southern Pacific will abandon its old line near Myrtle Creek and come up the canyon by old Canyonville, and through what is called the "Jumpoff-Joe cutoff," where it will strike Pleasant Creek, following down it to Wimer; it will cross Evans Creek and form a junction with the other two roads. There will be a three-track system to Woodville. The Southern Pacific will put in a double track system from Woodville to Grants Pass. They will simply run on into Grants Pass--same as now, only double that nine miles. The Southern Pacific will maintain a trolley line from Grants Pass to Myrtle Creek; then we will have also the electric road from Ashland in Grants Pass, which will make a junction of four railroads at Woodville. The big timber company will build an immense saw mill and planing and sash and door and box factory at Woodville. The city of Woodville have under consideration a city water and electric light system; power to be brought from Jumpoff-Joe Creek, a beautiful pure stream of water right out of the snow mountains--a gravity system with approximately 900 feet pressure, with water sufficient to supply a city of 50,000 inhabitants, with wood of the best quality in unlimited quantities, and coal to be had just for the taking; and with all these great bodies and varieties of ore lying at our very feet--waiting only the magic hand of man to bring them to light--there's no doubt that immense smelters and ore-reducing stamp mills, etc., will soon be in operation right at this important railroad junction at Woodville on the Rogue, in a very short time.
Little wonder that money men are quietly looking around Woodville.
Grants Pass, with all these advantages, will have just one more railroad.
This beauty stream--Rogue River--from Woodville to Grants Pass has no equal on the American continent, and who shall say how long it will be before this intervening space will be lined with palatial residences by eastern people seeking comfort, health and happiness in this wonderful climate--in the midst of the most ravishing mountain and river scenery--with an electric car line at their doors and where they can have strawberry shortcake for Thanksgiving; and where birds sing and flowers bloom in December.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, March 10, 1911, page 8
T. H. B. TAYLOR, of Rogue River, is the proprietor of a popular hotel at that place. He is a veteran of the Civil War and is familiar with pioneer life in this state, having lived on a farm near his present home for twenty-eight years. He was born in Marion County, Illinois, May 18, 1842, the son of Eben and Mary (Collinsworth) Taylor, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter of Tennessee. The parents removed to Illinois in 1846 and later settled in Missouri, where they resided during the remainder of their lives. They were the parents of seven children, but the subject of this review is the only one now surviving. T. H. B. Taylor remained at home with his parents until he attained the age of twenty years, receiving a good common-school education. Shortly before attaining his majority he enlisted for service in the Civil War, joining Company C of the Eleventh Indiana Infantry. He was seriously wounded in the battle of Pittsburg Landing, his injury being to the left shoulder. He was discharged from service on account of disability but in the spring of 1863 he re-enlisted, becoming a member of Company A of the Third New York Cavalry. While participating in the engagement at Petersburg he received an injury to his left hand and shortly afterward he was transferred to the Volunteer Relief Corps, serving in that capacity until the close of the war. He received his honorable discharge in Rhode Island in 1865, after which he went to Newport, where he remained for a year and then removed to Maine. After a residence of two years in that state he settled in Iowa, where he remained for five years. In 1872 he went to California and in 1876 he came to Jackson County, Oregon, and bought a farm in Evans Creek Valley, six miles north of Rogue River. At the time he purchased it this farm was in a very primitive state but by hard labor and continuous effort during the period of his occupancy he succeeded in placing the greater part of it under a good state of cultivation and erecting suitable improvements. For twenty-eight years he resided on this place when he sold the property and removed to Rogue River, where he erected the Waldorf Hotel.
In 1869 Mr. Taylor married Miss Florence E. Booker, a native of Maine, and to this union was born one son, E. H. B., who died in 1908. In his political views Mr. Taylor is affiliated with the Republican Party and has served on the school board. He is active in his endeavors for the upbuilding of the community of which he has long been an honored and energetic citizen. As a surviving veteran of the Civil War he is entitled to and has the respect in more than an ordinary degree of his large circle of friends and associates, by whom he is held in high esteem. There are no citizens of the town or county who are more highly regarded or have a larger list of close personal friends.
Joseph Gaston, Centennial History of Oregon, vol. 3, 1912, pages 365-366
’ T. H. B. Taylor [is] proprietor of a new hotel which he has but recently built and is now occupying in Woodville. Mr. Taylor is saying all manner of pretty things about the little town of Woodville, its people and its prospective growth into a town of considerable importance with its electric lights and public water system.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 16, 1912, page 2
Mr. and Mrs. T. H. B. Taylor, proprietors of the Waldorf Hotel of Woodville, were Grants Pass visitors Wednesday morning, returning on the afternoon train to their home.
"Personal and Local," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, March 15, 1912, page 5
A Rogue River Plea for WomanThis is a string I have been harping on for lo these good many years. Could I in justice say to my wife, "You are not my equal, you can't vote?"
A few days ago there was quite a large delegation--three auto loads--of women from the upper valley down here at Rogue River working in the interests of men. They called at the "Little Inn by the Way Side"--The Waldorf, and registered their names. This we consider an honor and shall keep that page as a souvenir.
Those women had no cigars, no bottles and I never heard one of them swear??? Gentlemen, please take notice--but they were a very business delegation, placing posters, handing out buttons and making short speeches in behalf of equal right. They asked me, was I going to vote for them? and I answered, yes by ----. I was going to make the reply very emphatic and I just remembered General Jackson and I said, yes, by the Eternal.
I heard a bunch of men--i.e., in the catalogue you know--as the Castilian would say--mucho malo hombre--or as I might say in my native language--hyas tenas mesache tillicum--talking on woman suffrage. One said, no sir I don't think women
ought to vote; another said, the good book says a woman should be silent. That was the limit and I said, Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis--and for thousands of years from palaces of the most enlightened Caucasians to the mud hut of the Mongolian and the red-eyed Hottentot that old pernicious barbarous St. Paul doctrine has been tolerated and even extolled and yet as a matter of fact it has enslaved more women, been a greater curse to all womankind than all else the world has known. Yet in this enlightened twentieth century we hear great big brainy men still advocating this stupid dodid coercion and didtto [sic], the non compos mentis. The scientists, let me see, well I can't just now be exact, but to be conservative I think it is one hundred and ninety seven thousand brain cells which may be developed, honest. I know some men who are strongly opposed to woman suffrage whom I am quite sure have not more than twelve or thirteen brain cells developed and those few not to any alarming degree.
No, gentlemen, this is no revolution but rather evolution, so let us not swell up with that old vain glory, swell after all we haven't any great [omission] to brag of; old Grandpa Chimpanzee was perhaps a nice old gentleman, probably did the best he could under the circumstances, not having had any more advanced precedent, and I don't doubt Grandma was treated with more consideration that the grandma of today.
Now, gentlemen, please let's drop that old gag, "Women can't be soldiers, they can't be a man under all circumstances," of course not, they don't want to be, they simply want to be on equal footing as far as right and justice goes. They want to help us menfolk to make this world a better place to live in, to reach a higher ideal, where frailty's name shall no longer be woman. And now, gentlemen, in conclusion I want to say when you go home tonight to meet that dear little wife who has been working all day doing all she could to add to your comfort and happiness and meets you with a smile just put your big strong arms around her and say, "You dear old bunch, I am ashamed that I have lived so long helping make laws and conditions so intolerable that it has become necessary for you to ask me to vote for you."
A Woman's Man,Medford Mail Tribune, October 23, 1912, page 4
T. H. B. TAYLOR,
Rogue River, Ore.
Mr. and Mrs. T. H. B. Taylor came from Rogue River this morning and left immediately for Kerby, to remain indefinitely, having leased a farm in that section.
"Personal and Local," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, March 15, 1916, page 4
Mrs. T. H. B. Taylor, who has been absent in Portland for nearly two months, has returned. Mr. Taylor, who has been batching during the absence of Mrs. Taylor, was rejoiced at the return.
"Kerby," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, April 28, 1918, page 6
It is with regret we are called once more to report the passing of another resident of our little city. T. H. B. Taylor passed away Monday morning at 3 o'clock at his house, the Waldorf Hotel. Mr. Taylor has been in poor health for months and his death came not as a shock, although few knew his condition was so serious at this time. Mr. Taylor is a pioneer resident of Rogue River, and he with his wife have run the hotel for many years. He is survived by his wife, one granddaughter, one grandson and a great-grandchild, besides a host of friends.
Mrs. F. W. Scott, Rogue River correspondent, Medford Mail Tribune, June 12, 1926, page 3
Last revised February 8, 2020