The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

A Tale of Two Abbotts
A cautionary tale for genealogists. The paper below confabulates two different James A. Abbotts into one, and goes through mental gymnastics to reconcile the obvious discrepancies between the details of the two lives.

I'll leave it to you to untangle the two Abbotts in the sources below; suffice it to say that one died in 1873, another in 1909. Further notes on the 1873 Abbott--who was not the grandfather of the writer--can be found here.

The Story Behind the Search for James A. Abbott
    The history on the following pages has been compiled over a ten-year period of research. The search has not been a steady one, as I have become discouraged, moved from one state to another twice, and had three children since I started. So, there have been times when there has been no research done at all. In June of 1983 I decided it was time to do some serious research and find out more of this man who was only a name to me .
    When I started this search in 1974, I didn't even know his name. My father rarely spoke of him when I was a child, and when he did, he seemed to resent the fact that his father died when he was only eight years old. He never took me to where James Abbott was buried, even though we lived within 75 miles of the cemetery where he was buried. As a matter of fact, he never told me his father's name. He did take me to his mother's grave, and as a child of 10 I had enough forethought to write the information from her tombstone down in a small book I always carried with me.
    My father, Theodore Roosevelt Abbott, was 43 years old when I was born in 1944. He died when I was 16 and I didn't start tracing his family until I was 30. Needless to say, a lot of years were wasted, and the many chances for information from family members was lost. When I wrote to my aunt, Ada (Abbott) Ramsdell, she said she thought her father's name was Alec or Elix Abbott. She was the only living relative who might know anything about the family, and as it turned out, most of the information she gave me was wrong (this was not her fault, as she was the baby of the family and only 2 years old when her father died). When I sent for my father's death certificate, his father's name was listed as Alex Abbott, mother's name not given. I suspect the A. in James' name stands for Alex or Alexander. To date this hasn't been proven.
    Aunt Ada also said that my grandmother's maiden name was Sarah Johnson, that her first husband's name was Johnson, given name unknown. This information also proved to be wrong, and it took me ten years of searching Oregon records to discover that my grandmother's maiden name was Darneille. Her first husband's name was Johnson, as Aunt Ada had said, and I was able to obtain a copy of their marriage license from Coos County, Oregon, in Jan. of 1984.
    A lot of people have asked me if I was sure James A. Abbott was my grandfather. After all, he was 70 years old when my father was born in 1901, and a lot of people thought that perhaps there was another generation between him and my father. The following history and the documentation I have has proven to me beyond any doubt that this particular James A. Abbott is my grandfather.
Sharon (Abbott) Prigmore
100 A Stafford Dr.
Las Vegas, NV 99115

    James A. Abbott was born 22 April 1831 in Jackson County, Indiana,1 parents unknown at this time.2 In stature, James was a small man by today's standards. He was 5'7," had a dark complexion, brown hair, and blue eyes.3 He apparently was a healthy man, for he said that the only illness he had ever had was smallpox.4
    No record has been found of James prior to the filing of his donation land claim in Douglas County, Oregon in 1853.5 According to it James was married on 1 Dec. 1852 in Gentry County, Missouri to Anne M. Shelby.6 He and Anne probably left
Missouri in April or May of 1853, as this was the best time of year to make the dangerous trek across the plains to Oregon or California.7
    James arrived in Oregon 25 August 1853, and had settled on his land claim in Douglas County by 21 September 1853.8 In October 1853 [sic], while crossing the Blue Mountain Range in Eastern Oregon, their eldest child, Foley O. Abbott, was born.9
    In 1855 the Rogue River Indians decided it was time to rid their country of the white people. James helped to organize, and was Captain of, a volunteer company. He fought to the close of the Rogue River Indian War that followed.10
    After the Rogue River Indian War (probably in 1858) James moved to Deer Creek, Josephine County, Oregon.11 By 1860, he and Anne had four children; F. O. Abbott (Foley Orlando, son, b. in 1853), W. N. Abbott (William N., son, b. in 1855), L. A. Abbott (Lollie or Lana, dau., b. in 1856),12 and Asahel S. Abbott (son, b. in 1858?).13 A William M. Abbott and D. P. Abbott (possibly his brothers), as well as a W. J. Turpin and Angus Weaver, were also living with him.14
    In the early 1860s before the close of the Civil War, negro slaves and their owners were to be found in Josephine County, Oregon. The Abbotts had four slaves, a negro man and wife, and their two children, little Lou and little Abe. The negro man was killed; James gave the boy, little Abe, to General Joe Lane of Roseburg, Douglas County, Oregon, and took the negress and little Lou north with them.15
    James was involved in an altercation with a colored man named Alfred Lorry (possibly his slave), on the 27th of July, 1862, in Kerbyville (near Deer Creek), Josephine County, Oregon. Lorry was intoxicated and in general was raising a ruckus. When James cautioned him to go home, Alfred became violent, grabbed James' whip from him and struck him with it. James was forced to draw his Bowie knife in defense of himself, killing Alfred Lorry in the scuffle that followed.16
[The report of the coroner's jury wasn't quite so eager to justify the killing. Would the writer have been so ready to forgive if she'd known this J. A. Abbott wasn't her grandfather?]
    In the fall of 1864 the enthusiasm of many militiamen began to wane concurrent with their enlistments. Because of this, and to prevent the drawing of men from the East who were needed to fight the Civil War then in progress, Governor Gibbs encouraged men to join a brand-new outfit to be led by Indian chaser Col. George Currey. The recruiting drives of the 1st Volunteer Infantry featured pretty young things singing patriotic ditties like "Stand Up for Uncle Sam, My Boy." Either their sex appeal or Oregon patriotism paid off; the regiment was duly mustered, and I Company reached Fort Klamath as a reinforcement in 1865.17
    In February 1865, General Alvord asked that Fort Klamath be shifted to his district of Oregon from its incongruous place in the California district of operations. Gen. Irwin McDowell then requested Governor Gibbs of Oregon to reinforce Fort Klamath with the newly mustered I Company of the 1st Oregon Infantry.18
    On 8 Feb. 1865, at Kerbyville, Jackson County, Oregon, James enlisted in the army as a member of I Company, 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry.19 On 4 April 1865 he mustered in at Camp Baker, Oregon.20 He was the company cook21 until I Company was sent to Fort Klamath.
    James gathered with the other Jackson County volunteers at moldering Camp Baker [It was only four years old, so it probably still had that new camp smell.] for speeches and presentation of a flag, before marching over the Cascades under the command of Captain Franklin B. Sprague. During their arduous trek they bolstered their government-issue rations with elk steak and fresh trout. The footsloggers were met at Williamson River by a cavalry detachment from Fort Klamath, which escorted them to Wood River and a welcome by Fort Klamath's commander, Captain Kelly. Captain Sprague had brought two subalterns and seventy-eight enlisted men with him, so it looked like an army to the cavalrymen of C Company, who were now down to a strength of only forty-five men.22
    In July, shortly after arriving at Fort Klamath, James was sent on detached service with the rest of I Company to help open a new wagon road from Fort Klamath to the Rogue River Valley, Oregon.23 During the opening of this road to Union Creek and the Rogue River, via Annie Creek Canyon (along the line of today's Highway 62), two of the men of I Company, John M. Corbell and F. M. Smith, rediscovered Crater Lake.24
    In Sept. 1865 I Company was sent to help establish Camp Alvord as a winter headquarters for moves against the Snake Indians of the Steens' Mountain area.25 To accomplish this, the soldiers had to build not only a road, but a poor excuse for a
corduroy road, across the miry and treeless area of the Warner Lakes by cutting tules, or marsh reeds, and laying them out as a roadbed. Much of the time it more resembled an artificial or floating pontoon bridge than a road. The men then had to haul wagons out of the morass by hand, when even the fort's tough mules bogged down.26
    In October 1865, the Indians cut the road between Fort Klamath and Camp Alvord. The closing of the road made direct communication by express rider with Fort Klamath impractical. Sprague left the fort with ten men on October 23rd to join with Captain Augustus W. Starr at Camp Bidwell for a joint move against the Snake Indians around Alvord. Captain Starr couldn't join him, so gave him ten men and an officer, doubling Sprague's force. On the 28th, after receiving the reinforcements, Capt. Sprague's detachment was ambushed, front and rear, by the Snakes in trenches. Somehow Capt. Sprague managed to turn his force around and dash for Camp Bidwell. Three days later, the Snake Indians struck Camp Alvord, killing a guard and running off sixteen head of cavalry horses.27
    When the Indians attacked Camp Alvord, James was there being treated for bronchitis.28 On the 1st of Nov., after recovering, he was sent to Fort Klamath on detached service. It's possible he arrived in time to take part in the "Bread Riot" of 1865.29
    "The sixty-odd soldiers had just completed the hard labor of a road gang. Building Camp Alvord with logs that had to be hauled a mile or two from the hills, then marching home to Fort Klamath through snow, mud and rain, had left them pinch-gutted from slim rations. At Sprague River Narrows their scanty supplies were further reduced by the raids of half-wild Indian dogs, and when they arrived at the fort they were not too distantly removed from starvation. So ravenous were the young men that they ignored orders and instead of delivering up their just-distributed flour ration to the post baker to be made into bread (the baker returning fourteen ounces of bread for every eighteen ounces of flour given him, to make the labor worth his while), they prepared to enjoy a great pancake feast in their mess using 'all' of the flour issued them. Ordered to turn in their flour to the baker as was customary, they refused and were arrested for mutiny. They finally complied with orders, but not before Major Rinehart had made an example of sixteen-year-old Pvt. James Corwin Fullerton, the first soldier to refuse to obey orders. Rinehart had him strung up by the thumbs with his toes just brushing the ground. As night fell and a snowstorm howled about the bastions, the rebellious troops heard the ominous rattling of rifles by the guards in company headquarters. They feared the worst. But before the would-be mutineers could plan genuine revolt or a surrender, Fullerton was returned to the guardhouse, where it was a case of standing room only, as almost the whole garrison was under arrest. The major then joined them and read the prisoners the Articles of War, advising them that the crime they had committed was punishable by death, but since the Civil War was over he was not even going to court-martial them. He released them with a warning, and so the Bread Riot ended on a peaceful note."
    James returned to Camp Alvord in mid-November and apparently stayed there until he returned to Fort Klamath in Jan. 1866. In March 1866, while on detached service to Fort Klamath, James was appointed Corporal.30 He stayed at Fort Klamath until July 1866 when he returned to Camp Alvord.31 He apparently remained at Camp Alvord until his unit was mustered out in July 1867.
    The most important role of the volunteers in their peace-keeping mission was the maintenance of the scatter of existing army posts in Indian country, and here the force had its work cut out for it. Patrols and reconnaissances had to be continued, for the real threats to Oregon settlements were not Confederate sympathizers, but hostile Indians. The latter were always alert to exploit any weaknesses they could detect in the defenses of the state's exposed settlements and ranches. Oregon's citizens knew that the mere presence of military power, the "showing of the flag," by forts and outposts and patrols, did more to keep the peace on the Indian frontier than all the treaties ever sent to Washington to lie unsigned in the Senate.32 As a child on Deer Creek, Asa, James' son, remembers when his mother put out the lights and locked the doors at times when an Indian "scare" was going the rounds. They were never harmed, however.33
    James' company was stationed at Fort Klamath to keep watch over the Klamath Indians, turned peaceful, and the Modocs who, for some reason, were largely off the warpath during the Civil War. Perhaps it was the very presence of Fort Klamath and the men who manned her that kept the Modocs in line.34
    The men of I Company, 1st Oregon Infantry, were marched to Jacksonville and mustered out of the service in July 1867.35 James is listed as being on I Company's Muster Out Roll in Jacksonville, Jackson County, Oregon on 19 July, 1867.36
    From Jacksonville, he and his family moved to the Idaho Territory.37 The 1870 census shows them living in Idaho City, Boise County, Idaho Territory, near the penitentiary. James and Anne now had seven children, having added three more to their family since 1860; Mary J. Abbott (dau., b. 1865 in Oregon), Edwin S. Abbott (son, b. 1867 in Idaho), and Eugene D. Abbott (son, b. Mar 1870 in Idaho). Asahel was not with the family in 1870 and his whereabouts are unknown.38
    From 1867 to 1874, things didn't go very well for James and Anne. For some reason, after nearly 20 years of marriage and seven children, it appears they had been divorced.39
    In 1880 Anne was listed as the wife of Asa C. Spooner, and had the three youngest children with her.40 James had since returned to Oregon, as he was found in the 1880 census in Flounce Rock, Jackson County, Oregon.41 He had married again, this time to an Indian woman by the name of Caroline.42 They were probably married in 1872 or 1873, as their first (?) child was born in 1874. They had three children; William Abbott, (son, b. 1874 in Oregon), James Abbott, (son, b. 1876 in Oregon), and Florence Abbott (dau., b. 1879 in Oregon).43
    What happened to James and his second family in the next ten years hasn't been determined yet. Sometime between 1880 and 1890 they moved to Bandon, Coos County, Oregon, as James was found living there in the 1890 Oregon Union Veterans census.44 Caroline and some of the children may have still been with him in 1890, for in 1898 he stated on a questionnaire he had to fill out to receive his next quarterly pension payment that he lived in Bandon, Coos County, Oregon, that he was a widower and his wife died 23 Sept. 1896. He also stated, however, that he had no living children at that time.45
    What happened to James' and Caroline's children, and if they had more after 1880, is still a mystery.46 Sometime between May 1898 and 1900 James moved to Fourmile, Coos County, Oregon. He was found living there in the 1900 census, and listed as a widower. Sarah Johnson was listed as his housekeeper.47 She was listed as a widow, and there were two children, Mary M. Johnson (b. March 1885 in Oregon), and Willie Johnson (b. Feb. 1889 in Oregon). Both children were listed as boarders in James A. Abbott's house.48
    1901 proved to be an eventful year for James Abbott and Sarah Johnson. On 27 Sept. 1901, at Fourmile, Coos County, Oregon, Sarah gave birth to a son. He was named Theodore Roosevelt Abbott.49
    In Coquille, Coos County, Oregon, on 15 Nov. 1901, James and Sarah filled out an affidavit for a marriage license.50 They were married on 27 Nov. 1901, at the house of I. D. Smith, the ceremony being performed by H. C. Allen, in Coquille City, Coos County, Oregon.51
    In 1901 (probably after their marriage), James and Sarah moved to Eagle Point, Jackson County, Oregon.52 In 1903, on the 9th of February a son, Charles D., was born.53 Three years later, a daughter, Ada M., was added to their family.54
    On 12 March 1907 James applied for an additional pension that Congress made available to the men who had fought in the Rogue River Indian War.55
    James didn't live long enough to enjoy his third family, for two years later he died, just before Ada's third birthday, on a Wednesday, the 14th of April 1909 at Elk Creek, near Eagle Point, Jackson County, Oregon.56
    He lived a long and hopefully a happy life. He crossed the plains to Oregon in 1853 when he was a young man of 22, fought in the Indian wars of 1855-1856, and served his country during the Civil War. He was married three times, and left behind him numerous children. (At least thirteen have been documented.) His life was at least as exciting and dangerous as other early pioneers to the Oregon Territory. He doesn't seem to have been involved in the politics of the day, but he was most certainly involved in the settlement of the Oregon Territory. He was a man who was highly respected by those who knew him. A tribute not to be taken lightly, when you consider that the men and women who settled in Oregon in the 1840s and 1850s had to contend with a great deal of hardship and personal danger.

Miscellaneous Information
    In a letter received from Ada (Abbott) Ramsdell in 1974, Ada said that her father's name was Alec or Elix Abbott.
    On Theodore's death certificate, his father's name was given as Alex Abbott. It is possible that James A. Abbott used his given name on legal documents; but went by his middle name, Alex or Alexander in his daily life. What the "A" in his name stands for has not been determined.
    In James' pension papers, there is an affidavit dated 9 Jan. 1932, and signed by Ace Summers, stating that Sarah's name is Sarah "E." Abbott. This is the first time that Sarah's middle initial has been given.
    On the widow's pension application that Sarah Abbott filled out in April 1909, she said that James had previously been married 16 April 1885. This could have been Caroline, his second wife. However, Caroline is listed as James' wife in the 1880 census, their oldest child being born in 1874. I would assume that James and Caroline were married about 1873, rather than in 1885. It is possible that there was another wife between Caroline and Sarah. If this is so, then Sarah Darneille Johnson was James A. Abbott's 4th wife and not his third.
    Sarah also stated that James' first wife died in 1887. Whether this was Anne or another wife not yet found hasn't been determined yet. Anne could have died in 1887. James himself said in 1898 that he was a widower and that his wife died in 1896. This should have been Caroline, but 16 years had elapsed since Caroline was found in the 1880 census with James, and the wife who died in 1896 may have been someone entirely unknown to me as yet. It is possible that Sarah was unaware that she was wife number three, and just juggled dates to fit the information she gave. This remains to be proven.
    To date, the widow's pension application that Sarah Abbott filed in April 1909 is the only document found that states that James A. Abbott is the father of Theodore R., Charles D., and Ada M. Abbott. All other information has only supported this
theory, and not verified it.

Compiled by Sharon Abbott Prigmore, 1 May 1984.
    I've tried to be as accurate as possible, but in this type of work there is always plenty of room for error. I can only guess as to what kind of life James A. Abbott must have led. Most of my information came from the histories I've read that cover this time period. What documentation I have been able to obtain was included in the text or the footnotes. Additions and corrections will be added to this history as new information is found.
    I am also interested in corresponding and exchanging information with anyone connected with this particular Abbott line. I can be contacted at 100 A Stafford Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89115.

1.   James' birth date was found on Oregon death certificate No. 1369, filed after his death in 1909.
    In Vol. 3, Oregon Donation Land Claim #1851, on file in Roseburg, Douglas County, Oregon, James said he was born in 1831 in Jackson County, Indiana.
    On his military enlistment papers dated 8 February 1865, James stated that he was born in Sangamon County, Illinois, and that he was 36 years old. According to this information he would have been born in 1829.
    In March 1907 on his Declaration for Pension for the Rogue River Indian Wars, he said he was 76 years old, and was born 22 April 1831, in Sangamon County, Illinois.
    James A. Abbott's military/pension records are on file in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
2. Johnson, Olga Weydemeyer, They Settled in Applegate Country, Bulletin Publishing Co., Inc., Grants Pass, Oregon 1979, p. 122:
    A Samuel Abbott (b. 1796) was possibly on the same wagon train to Oregon with James in 1853. His wife Elizabeth nee Heatherly died on the trail to Oregon. It is possible that Samuel and Elizabeth are James' parents.
3. James' physical description was found in his military enlistment papers.
4. James' medical history was found in his military enlistment papers.
5. Oregon Donation Land Claim #1851.
6. Oregon Donation Land Claim #1851. James gave his marriage date to "Ann M." (Anne), as 1 Dec. 1852 in Gentry County, Missouri. This is probably the only record of their marriage in existence, as no family records or other records have been found.
    Everton, George B., Sr., Handy Book for Genealogists, sixth edition, 1971, The Everton Publishers, Inc., Logan, Utah 84321, p. 129: The Gentry County, Missouri courthouse burned down in 1885 and they have no records prior to 1885 for that county.
    Grants Pass Courier, Golden Ed., 4/3/1935, fourth section, "Pioneers," p. 8, on file at the Josephine County Historical Society, Grants Pass, Oregon: Anna M. (Anne), maiden name Shelby or Selby, was found in a newspaper article about their son, Asahel S. Abbott.
    Anne's name was found spelled Ann, Anna, Annie, and Anne in the various sources quoted. For the sake of continuity in my text I will spell her name "Anne." Her name will be spelled in the footnotes as it appeared in the different sources.
7. If the wagon trains didn't leave before the middle of May, their chances of getting caught in the winter snow storms when they crossed the Rocky Mountains were great. On the other hand, if they left prior to the middle of April, the plains were too wet and miry from the winter rains and snow, making travel by wagon extremely difficult, if not impossible. There was also no way to feed their animals because the weather hadn't been warm long enough to produce the grass that covered the plains every year, and carrying enough food to sustain the animals through the difficult miles ahead was impossible.
8. Oregon Donation Land Claim #1851.
9. Grants Pass Courier, Golden Ed., 4/3/1935, fourth section, "Pioneers," p. 8.
    1900 Census, Rocky Bar Precinct, Elmore County, Idaho, file #7623-232, Sheet 4, Line 51, on file at the Idaho Historical Society, Boise, Idaho: Foley O. Abbott said he was born in Oct. 1853 in Oregon.
    Why the discrepancy between Foley's birthdate and the date James settled his claim hasn't been determined yet. It is possible James went ahead of the wagon train and settled on his claim before his wife and new son arrived in order to have some kind of shelter ready for them.
10. Grants Pass Courier, 5/22/31, on file at the Josephine County Historical Society, Grants Pass, Oregon.
    On James' pension application for his service in the Rogue River Indian Wars, dated 12 March 1907, he states that he served in 1865 and 1866. This should be 1855 and 1856, as this is when the Indian war occurred.
11. Jackson County, Oregon, Index to Deeds, Vol. 2, p. 118, on file at Southern Oregon Historical Society, Jacksonville, Oregon: On 29 Mar. 1858, a James A. Abbott sold his property in Jackson County, Oregon to a Samuel Mooney.
12. Grants Pass Courier, Golden Ed., 4/3/1935, fourth section, "Pioneers," p. 10: Margaret Knox, in her story of her early life in Josephine County, Oregon mentions going to school with a Lollie, Lana and Willie Abbott. Whether both girls were James' daughters and what happened to them is unknown. Neither girl was with James and Anne in 1870 in Idaho.
13. Asahel's age was given as 2 years in the 1860 Josephine County, Oregon census.
    Grants Pass Courier, 5/22/31, said: "A. S. Abbott was born on Deer Creek in 1859."
Grants Pass Courier, Golden Ed., 4/3/1935, fourth section, "Pioneers," p. 8, said: "A. S. Abbott, native son of Josephine County and veteran of Idaho's Indian wars, was born in a log cabin on Deer Creek, December 14, 1859."
14. 1860 Census, Josephine County, Oregon, file #805,055, Hse #216, Fam #200. Anne M. is listed as James' wife.
15. Grants Pass Courier, Golden Ed., 4/3/1935, fourth section, "Pioneers," p. 10: Margaret Knox, in her story of her early life in Josephine County, Oregon. Unless James and Anne moved before their move to Idaho in 1867, they probably took the negress and little Lou with them to Idaho. None of the negro family was found with the Abbotts in the 1860 or 1870 census.
16. An article on this altercation with Alfred Lorry is on file at the Josephine County Historical Society, Grants Pass, Oregon. Origin of the story is unknown.
17. Dillon, Richard, Burnt-Out Fires, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1973, p. 73.
18. Dillon, Burnt-Out Fires, p. 69.
19. 1890 Census, Oregon Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War, film #338,236, Bandon Precinct, Coos County, Oregon, p. 1, Hse #108, Fam #111: James stated that he was in I Co., 1st Oregon Infantry from 8 Feb. 1865 to 19 Jul. 1867.
    James' enlistment date was found in his military records. His enlistment papers were signed by Capt. Franklin B. Sprague.
20. James' mustering-in date at Camp Baker was found in his military records.
    His military records also state that when he mustered in at Camp Baker, he was paid $100.00 of a $300.00 bounty offered at the time, to induce men to enter the service.
21. James' military records state he was a cook in June of 1865.
22. Dillon, Burnt-Out Fires, p. 73: Dillon describes this trip over the mountains.
23. James' military records state: "July 1865 Absent on det. ser. opening new wagon road from Ft. Klamath to Rogue River Valley, Og."
24. Dillon, Burnt-Out Fires, p. 87 and 88 gives a detailed description of the initial discovery June 12, 1853 and Crater Lake's subsequent rediscovery by two of I Company's men: "Corbell and Smith clambered down its steep thousand-foot bluffs to the water's edge to gaze in awe at Wizard Island and Llao Rock. The entranced troopers named it Lake Majesty. Captain Sprague wrote a description of Lake Majesty for the newspapers, but the name did not take. It became known as Crater Lake after it was explored by five people in a knockdown wooden rowboat in 1869."
    Dates of orders in James' military records, when compared with Richard Dillon's history, strongly suggest that James Abbott was with I Company when Crater Lake was rediscovered by Corbell and Smith.
25. Dillon, Burnt-Out Fires, p. 86.
    James' military records state: "Sept. 1865 on daily duty cutting hay, procuring timber for huts, firewood and building quarters, etc." Since the road building was done in conjunction with the establishment of Camp Alvord, James probably helped build the road also.
26. Dillon, Burnt-Out Fires, p. 86.
27. Dillon, Burnt-Out Fires, p. 77.
28. Bureau of Pensions, Certificate #1035073, dated 14 Oct. 1891, found in James' pension records: A copy of his medical records was sent to the Bureau of Pensions in 1891. They show that he was treated for bronchitis while in the infantry, from 31 Oct. 1865 to 2 Nov. 1865.
    On his initial Pension Application, Certificate #1035073, dated 13 Oct. 1891, James stated that he was disabled by rheumatism from exposure and was treated at the Regimental Hospital.
29. James' military records state: "Absent from Camp Alvord on detached service to Fort Klamath, per Order 33, Camp Alvord, 1 Nov. 1865."
    "Returned from detached service to Alvord Valley 18 Nov. 1865, per P.O. No. 33 dated Headquarters, Camp Alvord 1 Nov. 1865. No account of pay and clothing received."
, Burnt-Out Fires, p. 86 and 87: "The punishment of the teenaged soldier was cruel but not unusual for the times. A drunken baker at Fort Hoskins, for example, was given a taste of 'bucking,' his wrists tied together and his arms drawn down over his knees and a musket passed over his arms at the crook of the elbows and under his knees, rendering him as cramped and
helpless as a trussed pig. He was released shortly, but not all soldiers were so lucky."
30. His military records state: "Appointed Corporal March 29, 1866 (vice) Stephenson reduced."
31. James' military records state for Nov. & Dec. 1865: Present--"Returned from det. serv. to Alvord Valley Nov. 18/65 per P.O. No. 33 dated Hd. Qrs. Camp Alvord Nov. 1/65. No acct. of pay and clothing received."
    For Jan. & Feb. 1866, the company muster roll at Camp Alvord states: "Absent on det. ser. at Ft. Klamath per O.S. 33, Camp Alvord, Nov. 1/65."
    James' military records state: "Nov. 1865 to April 1866, absent at Ft. Klamath, Ogn." "May 1866 absent at Fort Klamath."
    Fort Klamath's muster rolls show him present for the months of Jan., Feb., Mar., April, May and June, 1866.
    Camp Alvord muster rolls show James present from July 1866 to July 1867.
32. Dillon, Burnt-Out Fires, p. 3.
33. Grants Pass Courier, Golden Ed., 4/3/1935, fourth section, "Pioneers," p. 8.
34. Dillon, Burnt-Out Fires, p. 18.
35. Dillon, Burnt-Out Fires, p. 79: "Not until July 8, 1867, were the last Oregon volunteers relieved at Fort Klamath and marched to Jacksonville to be converted back into civilians."
36. James' mustering-out date was found in his military records. He received the second installment of $100.00 of the $300.00 bounty offered to the men at the time he enlisted in 1865. When he received the balance of $100.00 is unknown.
37. Grants Pass Courier, 5/22/31: "In 1866 A. S. Abbott went to Idaho with his family where he later distinguished himself politically and in civic affairs."
    This could hardly be possible unless Anne left with the children in 1866 and James joined her later when he mustered out of the army in 1867.
38. 1878 Census, Idaho City, Boise County, Idaho Territory, film #545,684, p. 21, Hse #306, Fam #515, Ann M. (Anne) is listed as James' wife.
39. No record of a divorce has been found yet, but since both James and Anne had new spouses in 1880 it is assumed, until proven otherwise, that they were probably divorced sometime between 1870 and 1874. Since they were living in Idaho in 1870, I'll also assume that they were divorced in Idaho before James went back to Oregon. It's also possible that James deserted his family and Anne obtained a divorce on those grounds.
40. 1880 Census, Placerville, Boise County, Idaho, 1 Jun. 1880, Hse #50, on file at the Idaho Historical Society, Boise, Idaho. Annie (Anne) is listed as the wife of Asa C. Spooner.
    The children, Josephine (Mary J.) Abbott born in Oregon in 1865, Lee (Edwin S.) Abbott born in Idaho in 1867, and Eugene D. Abbott born in Idaho in 1869 are listed as the adopted children of Asa C. Spooner.
41. 1880 Census, Flounce Rock Precinct, Jackson County, Oregon, file #1,255,081, p. 13, Hse #121, Fam #121. Caroline and the children are listed as Indians in the census.
42. More research is needed to find this marriage record.
43. Dillon, Burnt-Out Fires, p. 70: "In 1865 while I Company was assigned to Fort Klamath, there were problems that developed at the fort, which were under investigation by a Regular Army Officer, Capt. Joseph Stewart of the 3rd Artillery. It was hush-hushed and is unknown to this day. It may have been nothing more serious than the excessive fraternization of soldiers--and officers--with local squaws, which shocked a number of Indian Bureau officials."
    In the 1880 census, Flounce Rock Precinct, Jackson County, Oregon, film  #1,255,081, p. 15, Hse #131: Just 10 houses down from James and Caroline, there was a young boy of 14 (born 1866), named Frank Abbott, living with John W. Hull. He was working as a sheepherder for him and was listed as an Indian in the census. Except for James' wife, Caroline and their children, he was the only other Indian found in the area. The fact that his name was Abbott could be significant, in light of the story in Burnt-Out Fires, by Richard Dillon. It's possible that Frank Abbott was the son of James and Caroline, and this may have been one of the reasons for James' and Anne's divorce. At this time, this is only supposition.
44. 1890 Census, Oregon Union Veterans and Widows, of Union Veterans of the Civil War, film #338,236, Bandon Precinct, Coos County, Oregon, p. 1, Hse #108, Fam #111.
45. Bureau of Pensions, Certificate #721314, dated 15 January 1898 and signed by James A. Abbott on 28 May 1898: James said he lived in Bandon, Coos County, Oregon, that his wife (this should be Caroline), died 23 Sept. 1896.
    He also stated, on the same certificate, that all his children were dead. This statement was false, for two years later in the 1900 Census at Rocky Bar Precinct, Elmore County, Idaho, film #623-232 (Idaho Historical Society No.), his first-born, Foley Orlando Abbott, his wife and two children were listed. James had at least two children living in 1898, as Asahel S. Abbott was definitely alive when he served on the Idaho legislature in 1907 and 1908.
46. So far, current research hasn't located the whereabouts of these children. When James said all his children were dead in 1898, he may have been referring to the children of his second marriage only. Not a lie actually, but not the truth either.
47. 1900 Census, Fourmile Precinct, Coos County, Oregon, film #365, p. 211 A, Hse #22, Fam #22.
48. A marriage license is on file in Coquille, Coos County, Oregon courthouse, #A-551, for William Johnson and Sarah Darneille. The ceremony was performed by W. H. Hyde, Justice of the Peace, on the 13th of November 1883.
Johnson, They Settled in Applegate Country, p. 78.
Smith, H. C., Darnall, Darnell Family, Vol. I, p. 33.
    Sarah Darneille was the daughter of Oscar Darneille and Margaret Ellen Conner. She was born 24 May 1867 in Oregon. Her father, Oscar, had crossed the plains with his father Anderson Darneille and stepmother Mary Lane, arriving in Oregon 25 October 1853. His mother, Elizabeth Lane, had died before the family crossed the plains, and his father married her first cousin Mary Lane, in Tippecanoe County, Indiana in 1851.
Darnall, Darnell Family, Vol. 1, 1956, p. 34: Margaret (Mary M.) Johnson, daughter of William Johnson and Sarah Johnson nee Darneille, married a man by the name of Trott. She died in Coquille, Coos County, Oregon. Her son, Arthur Trott, raised his family in Bandon, Coos County, Oregon, and were personally known by this compiler, Sharon Abbott Prigmore.
    According to a letter received from Ada (Abbott) Ramsdell in 1974, Willie Johnson was supposed to have gone by the name of Harry Johnson, later changing his name legally to Harry King. This has not been proven, and it's possible that another brother, Charles D. Abbott, may be the brother who changed his name to Harry King. Arthur Trott and his wife Laverne also spoke of a brother who had changed his name to Harry King, but which brother I don't remember. There must be some truth in this, as this was generally accepted by family members, but rarely spoken of.
49. The birth date for Theodore R. Abbott was taken from Oregon death certificate, state file #4395.
    His birth place, a log cabin in the mountains (the remains of which were still visible in 1956), near Fourmile, Oregon, was shown to Sharon Abbott Prigmore by her father, Theodore R. Abbott.
    His birth date was also verified by him to her.
    In the 1910 Census, Eagle Point, Jackson County, Oregon, Film #7624-1281, 30th of April, 1910, ED #101, Sheet #5B, Hse #99, Fam #100: Sarah Abbott said that Theodore R. was 8 years of age, meaning he would be 9 in Sept. of 1910, making his birth year in 1901 as previously stated.
    In April 1909, Sarah Abbott filed for a widow's pension. On the application she stated that Theodore Roosevelt Abbott was born 27 Sept. 1891 at Bandon, Coos County, Oregon. Why Sarah said Theodore was born in 1891 is not known. All other information found says he was born in 1901.
50. Affidavit for Marriage License, on file at Coquille, Coos County, Oregon courthouse.
51. Their marriage license is also on file in Coquille, Coos County, Oregon courthouse.
    On her application for a widow's pension in 1909, Sarah said that she and James were married 27 Nov. 1889, by H. C. Allen, in Coquille City, Coos County, Oregon. A copy of their marriage license filed in Coquille in 1901 gives their marriage date as 27 Nov. 1901. Another copy of their marriage license, giving their marriage date as 27 Nov. 1901, was found in James' pension papers. It was sent by Sarah to verify their marriage when she applied for the widow's pension. Why there is a discrepancy in the dates is unknown.
    Smith, Darnall, Darnell Family, Vol. I, 1956, p. 34: Gives the name of Sarah Darneille's husband as John Abbott. The children Margaret and William are listed as his. Other children are mentioned, but not named. A man by the name of Livingston was listed as Sarah's other husband in the Darnall family history, but no record of him has been found. This information was given to Mr. Smith by Hynson Darneille, the youngest son of Anderson Darneille, and an uncle to Sarah.
    The letter from Ada Ramsdell states that her mother, Sarah, married a man by the name of Sam Mundy after her father's death. No record of t
his marriage has been found.
    Theodore Abbott also told me that his mother had remarried after his father died, and that he left home, lied about his age, and entered the merchant marines because he did not get along with his stepfather. I don't recall him ever mentioning his stepfather's name.
52. On 12 March 1907, on his application for the pension from the Rogue River Indian Wars, James said that he lived in Jacksonville, Jackson County, Oregon from 1867 to 1871; Bandon, Coos County, Oregon until 1901; and at Eagle Point, Jackson County, Oregon to 1907. He never mentioned ever having lived in Idaho.
53. The letter received from Ada (Abbott) Ramsdell, daughter of James and Sarah Abbott, and sister to Theodore and Charles, states that Theodore and Charles were born at Fourmile, Oregon.
    In 1909, on her widow's pension application, Sarah said that Charles D. was born 9 Feb. 1903 at Eagle Point, Jackson County, Oregon.
54. The letter from Ada Ramsdell stated she was born at Eagle Point, Jackson County, Oregon.
    On her application for the widow's pension in 1909, Sarah said that Ada M. was born 9 May 1906, at Eagle Point, Jackson County, Oregon.
    1910 Census, Eagle Point, Jackson County, Oregon, film #7624-1281, on the 30th of April, 1910, ED #101, Sheet #5B, Hse #99, Fam #100, shows Sarah Abbott, widow, with three children, Theodore R., age 8, Charles D., age 7, and Ada M., age 3.
55. Congressional Act of February 6, 1907; James' declaration for the pension from the Indian wars of 1855-1856 was found with the rest of his pension papers.
56. Oregon death certificate No. 1369, filed after James' death in 1909.
    On her application for the widow's pension in 1909, Sarah said that James A. Abbott died 14 April 1909 near Trail, Jackson County, Oregon.
    The Medford Mail newspaper, April 23, 1909, on file at Oregon Historical Society, Portland, Oregon, said: "On Wednesday of last week a young man by the name of Miller came out from Elk Creek for a casket for J. A. Abbott, who had died that morning." A James Miller was the informant listed on James' death certificate. He could have been the same Miller who came for the casket for James.
Josephine County Historical Society

Josephine County Historical Society
508 SW 5th St.
Grants Pass, Oregon 97526
2 May 1984
Dear Ms. Murphy,
    Several months ago you sent me information on the Abbott family. Because of the information you sent I was able to piece together a history of my grandfather, James A. Abbott. I am sending you a copy of this history as well as copies of some of the more important documentation I have collected. I have more documentation and if you would like copies of it; I'll send it also.
    In the information you sent me last November, there was an article from the Grants Pass Courier, Golden Edition 4/3/1935. It mentions at the end of the story of A. S. Abbott, another article written Oct. 29, 1934. Do you have that story, and if so, could you send a copy of it? I would be more than happy to pay for any copies if you would let me know how much they would cost.
    I hope this history will be of benefit to the historical society. I feel it's the least I can do, since you have been so helpful in the past. If you should have any ideas on where I might find more information on my grandfather or any of his family, I would appreciate hearing from you, as I am running out of ideas.
Sharon Prigmore
100 A Stafford Dr.
Las Vegas, NV 89115

Last revised September 27, 2023