Valley Growth Watched from Barneburg HillWhen residents of Rogue Valley Manor atop Barneburg Hill exclaim about their view, Mrs. Mollie Keene of 136 South Oakdale Ave., Medford, wants them to know they are not the first to appreciate it.
By EVA HAMILTON
Mail Tribune Staff Writer
From this same vantage point, three generations of Barneburgs watched events in the valley below many long years ago. The sprawling early settlement of Jackson County, the changing weather patterns, were appraised from Barneburg Hill.
Mrs. Keene remembers most clearly the coming of the railroad in . She was a Barneburg and with other members of the family, who resided in the house now converted into KBOY Ranch, home of the radio station on Barnett Road, Mrs. Keene climbed the hill to watch the construction workers.
Created Wide Interest
The meeting of the California and Oregon surveys were not in alignment, and construction of the last section created wide interest. [The Oregon and California Railroad met the California and Oregon Railroad--perfectly--twelve miles away, in Ashland, in 1887.] The hilltop was a "box seat" in the outdoor theater in which the Barneburgs watched the laying of the rails.
Mrs. Keene, widow of Dr. J. M. Keene, Medford dentist, is the last surviving member of that generation of Barneburgs. It was her father, Frederick Barneburg, grandfather of Harry Barneburg, a director in the Southern Oregon Historical Society, who purchased 160 acres of land southeast of Medford in 1860. From this purchase the Barneburg estate expanded to 1,685 acres, encompassing the area from the present Sacred Heart Hospital to the Hillcrest-Phoenix road.
At the age of 18, Frederick Barneburg made his first trip by pack train into the Rogue Valley from Missouri. [He more likely arrived by wagon train.] The gold rush to Jacksonville was on, and he planned to obtain property between Medford and Jacksonville.
Receives Word of Death
Before he had time to complete his investigation of donation land claims, however, he received word that his father had died in Missouri, leaving many debts. Frederick returned to his home state riding a mule from Sacramento, Calif., and arrived with his face masked with a beard and his belt filled with $20 gold pieces.
His mother opened a door, saw a man with a beard, riding a mule, failed to recognize her young son and slammed the door.
(That beard--he wore it the rest of his life--got the Southern Oregon pioneer into a more embarrassing situation when he went bear hunting with John Griffin. He awakened in their Dead Indian camp to find that a rat had played barber during the night. There was a part of the beard trimmed, and this didn't convert it into a Van Dyke; [as] his grandson recalls the story.)
Missouri had become a hotbed of pre-Civil War clashes during Barneburg's brief absence. He decided to pay his father's debts and return to Oregon. This he did in 1860 after marrying Electa Norton. He joined the 1860 train, composed chiefly of Furrys, Nortons and Barneburgs. He found the land he had wanted was taken, so he bought out John LaTourette, paying him $1.25 an acre.
The going was not easy, but Barneburg, who had come to the States from Germany at the age of eight, had learned to build the better mousetrap, so to speak.
Freighting was the popular means of deriving an income at the time. He soon learned that it was not profitable to drive empty wagons one way. He raised hogs, butchered them and made ham and bacon. When he set out for Roseburg and Redding for supplies his wagons were filled with hams and bacon, which he sold at the freight stops. This way he collected for the meat and again for transporting whatever supplies he brought back to Medford. He was able to stay in business while other freighters went broke.
Barneburg's biggest problem became the coyotes that threatened his stock. His greatest assets in combating this problem were two old hounds, Bugle and Fatty. Mrs. Keene remembers them well, and Harry Barneburg recalls many stories told about them by his father, Pete Barneburg.
Harry's favorite story, however, concerned a rooster and the coyotes. His grandfather had a rooster which he staked out as a lure to draw the coyotes into a trap. One morning he found a coyote in the trap and the rooster staked very close by. When the coyote saw the man, his captor, he apparently realized he had been tricked, lashed out at the poor rooster, which had come safely through the night, managed to reach him and tore him to pieces before Barneburg could intercept the attack.
The first Barneburg home was a log cabin just off what is now Black Oak Drive below Barneburg Hill. Harry Barneburg was born in a house built on the same property. The log cabin is gone, but the house in which Harry was born is still there.
The poet says, "It takes a heap o' livin' in a house to make a home." Webster's dictionary defines a home as "the house habitually occupied by a family." The Barneburg houses qualified as homes, all of them. Not just one, but two grandmothers lived with the Barneburgs--Mrs. Jemina Norton, mother of Mrs. Barneburg [and] Mrs. Anna Barneburg, mother of Mr. Barneburg. Mrs. Keene's house on South Oakdale meets the "habitual" qualification. She has lived in it for more than 70 years.
Return to Birthplaces
Mrs. Keene and her nephew returned to their birth places for brief visits Monday.
Barneburg pointed out the spot in Lawson Creek where he caught 13 salmon with a pitchfork 60 years ago when the water was high in the willows. He recalled how the water rushed through Muddy Creek in front of the house, now home to the M. C. McCartneys.
He commented that he predicted, when the new St. Mary's School was built in the area, that it would be flooded, and it was.
"I know those draws," he explained. "I've seen the water rushing through too many times to be mistaken.'
"Grandmother Barneburg was an enthusiastic gardener," Barneburg continued his recollections, referring to his great-grandmother. "Somehow her gardening didn't coincide with her son's hog producing. He imported a highly bred boar, and the boar chose Great-Grandmother's garden patch as a rendezvous. She loved to go to the garden with a lump of salt in her apron and eat cucumbers, right off the vine. When the imported boar moved into the cucumber patch she announced his days were numbered. She didn't kill him, but she did break his hind leg with rocks, and from then on he was confined to his pen."
Carriage House Gone
"It is all so different. The carriage house is gone, the fireplace is gone," Mrs. Keene, who will be 89 next month, lamented as she viewed her childhood home on Barnett Road.
From this country home Mrs. Keene moved with her parents to the South Oakdale residence she still occupies. Life was lighter and gayer. She remembers dancing on the freight cars when the Jacksonville railway was built, skating on ponds behind the house, and riding horseback all about the town. She attended school in the city school, which was converted into the Alford home on West 10th Street.
On Dec. 23, 1901, Mary Alice (Mollie) Barneburg married Dr. Keene in San Francisco. They returned to the South Oakdale house but she made repeated trips to San Francisco. Her contemporaries recall that she and her sister, Ida, bought their clothes in the city.
"They were beautiful women and they wore beautiful hats and all the furbelows high fashion then required."
Planted First Pear Orchard
Mrs. Keene's sister, Ida, married W. H. Stewart, son of J. H. Stewart, who planted the first pear orchard in the valley. Mrs. Keene helped pack the first carload of pears that went out of the valley. Her brother-in-law set out the Hillcrest Orchard, which was sold to Julian and Ethel M. Perkins. Perkins later sold it to the Hillcrest Orchard Co., R. H. Parsons, president.
Barneburg remembers many stories of Perkins. He owned one of the first automobiles in Jackson County. When he came to town he always wore boots. The reason was--whenever his auto frightened horses, Perkins climbed out and led the horses, pulling a wagon or a "surrey with the fringe on top," past the car. The roads were muddy. When he reached town he took off his boots and put on shoes.
The 15 acres constituting Barneburg Hill, site of the Manor, were purchased by Barneburg from Abraham Bish, grandfather of Mrs. Harry Barneburg--the price $1.25 an acre. The hill recently sold for $45,000, Harry Barneburg was told.
Below the hillside was a cemetery. It was on property then owned by David Ball. Several of the Ball children died in a diphtheria epidemic. Money was scarce, and Ball established his own little cemetery in a corner of his farm. The little girl's grave beneath a tree was surrounded by a white fence (Barneburg pointed out the tree).
"Those graves are still hidden under the grass beneath the oak trees," he insisted.
Harry Barneburg attended the same North Phoenix School his father attended. Describing the building, he noted that boys who smoke cigarettes in school furnace rooms today had their counterpart in the 19th century in lads who spit tobacco through holes in the schoolroom. His father bored a hole in the North Phoenix School for this purpose. It was still there, covered by two boards, when the school was razed in recent years.
All the Barneburgs were Democrats, Harry emphasized. "There was Virginia blood in their veins."
Dr. Keene, however, was an active Republican, personal friend of Jonathan Bourne, Jr., U.S. Senator from Oregon from 1907 to 1913. A postcard sent by the Senator to the Medford dentist in 1911 is among Mrs. Keene's souvenirs. It pictures a couple, one person labeled "Atlantic," the other "Pacific," in a caress. The caption reads "The Kiss of the Oceans--1915." This was by way of predicting completion of the Panama Canal in 1915. It was completed earlier. The first ship, history records, passed through Aug. 15, 1914.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 23, 1963, page B1
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The Barneburg Contingent.
CHAPTER I.Late in 1835 a stately minister of the Electorate of Hesse Cassel, grave parents and witnesses stood at the font of the state Lutheran parish, where the worthy pastor in his black clerical cassock duly christened their youngest "Friedrich" (Fritz) and with fatherly blessing dismissed the party to their homes in the "peace" which the Scriptures teach, but which does not always quiet earthly fears for a hopeless secular future.
Fatherland. Hanseatic League. Teaming in the
Mountains of Germany. Poaching.
The early "thirties" was a stirring period for the "Fatherland," as all Germans lovingly style Germany, for it witnessed the near completion of the "Zollverein," over which every active German brain was much concerned, and Peter Barneburg was no exception.
The christening and political questions were not his only anxieties; the prospective wants of his growing family were always a problem to which his cool, gothic brain could find no satisfactory solution.
Scolding was no part of the policy of these Cassel Hessians, for they heeded the advice of the pastor, who always counseled patient perseverance and mutual toleration.
The discouraging future never showed a 'silver lining to the cloud' until in 1837, when a ray penetrated Peter's brain.
"Ah, I have it, my dear," said he one day in that to them memorable year, "we'll go (auswandern) to the 'Amerika,' where is a-plenty land for homes with work enough." Anna demurred: "Peter must quit his raving; we are not rich enough; our small field and poor buildings will not give us much."
He was a practical cooper in all its branches, and the shop, like that of the blacksmith there and elsewhere, was a popular place to gossip and above all, for political discussion, because the Electorate was a famous hotbed of revolutionary debate.
He had apprenticed William, the oldest, to another cooper, and the next, John, to a tailor. The steerage tariff of those days was equal to the second cabin of the present--the nineties--with scarcely any of the comforts of 'below decks' of 1895. Then, too, the transatlantic liners of that period were but sorry sailing tubs--irregular in departure and more uncertainty of arrival. Hence steerage passengers often had to occupy sheds and warehouses near, awaiting the sailing day.
Every community of intelligent Europe has for far beyond a century's space sent many representatives to the Western Continent, and by occasional letters pretty well knew the main features of the New Land. Not only the letters, but occasionally, after reaching affluence, emigrants would return and spend many hours and days in recounting the advantages of the wonderful nation where all were equal before the law and could in time so be socially! In truth, America was better known than any nation of Europe not an adjoining neighbor.
Time and again had Peter gone down to the landing of the little Weser packet to interview the emigrants to the big and generous land beyond the great sea, and at each visit his anxiety grew.
Once he took Anna, but the experiment proved a failure and was never repeated until the final embarkation.
The "land agent" was busy, too, but the seller never realized full value unless he could conceal his final intentions until after the sale. In spite of the sacrifice each hoped soon to recover all loss in the Great Western Land. Peter did not succeed in hiding his intentions, and so on return the wife, Anna, set up a wail that with so little all could not go and be able to buy a modest lot and house. She got the promise--valid in those days--that the apprenticed boys should be brought with the first money earned. They must be left because of employment and good homes. Anna, womanlike, then urged all the real and imaginary evils of the New World. and even hinted at the possibility of meeting the bloodthirsty Indians! ('Inch' she called the savages in the dialect of Cassel. K.) Then Peter urged his final argument: "Anna, liebchen, there is here no hope, no chance; we're all slaves--poor laborers--the children can never have homes, always degrading poverty, while compelled to bow and cringe before the wealthy and noble, forever."
Of course the suffering mother lifted up tearful voice at parting from the dear boys--possibly forever! A valued German neighbor of the writer in sunny Kansas related that many in the Rhenish Provinces believed the tales of Indian atrocities which truly belonged to another century and were always localized. No doubt the same stories were staples wherever emigration was furnished to the New Hemisphere.
Peter's promises, made to keep, dried her tears, and all set about preparation. When the mind became fully resolved little delay was allowed and ere many weeks flew by the family was ready for the farewells of relatives and friends, while the worthy pastor reserved his final until the hour he saw them off on the little Weser boat which carried them to the great ship at the "Bremer Hafen."
At his last visit he spread his apostolic hands above them and in their hearts they believed a blessing had been received from that mysterious realm which knows no time--no tide--and may reach to the illimitable shores of eternity! Men seem to need such guarantees; let it so remain.
The discomforts of the steerage they anticipated and even seasickness was expected as soon as they encountered the swells outside the mouth of the river. When abreast of Heligoland 'below decks' was in throes. Before passing Land's End improvement was visible everywhere in regard to the stomach, but as soon as the open Atlantic was reached headwinds and cross purposes so baffled the vessel that it was six months (six weeks, more probably!) making the wharf at New Orleans, whither it had sailed!
Inside of two days at the levee of the city they were transferred to the open and more pleasant decks of a St. Louis steamer--glad to escape their months of prison life!
Here little Fritz toppled off the guards and the deck hands plumped after him. When brought aboard he was much swollen, and all said he was dead, but "Mother Anna" kneaded and worked the water out in streams and finally the vital spark came back. "Mother often told afterward," said Mr. Barneburg, "that a half-gallon of water must have run out. And, I guess, young folks stand drowning better than old." The importance of that life will be seen hereafter.
"Father worked a great deal for Clemens Huebner (a village magnate)," continued Mr. B., "at whose table he ate when no other workman was so allowed. He dealt only in wines of all kinds and had a big cellar full. He drove a team and wagon inside when he loaded or emptied and Father was so stout that he could, alone, heave in a common wine barrel! Run it up on skids! That wouldn't be any more than a common man could do! No, sir, he lifted it up bodily! Them wagons was stout--heavier than any army rigs I ever saw, and carried easy four to five tons Tires? Wide, of course, six to eight inches. The roads were pikes (macadamized) and Father called 'em 'Shosay' (Chaussee).
Two of my uncles followed freighting with them huge wagons, six horses apiece, which they loaded up at Huebner's (Heebner's) and started out (southeast) along what my parents called 'Teeringer Woods'; the word meant 'woods' anyhow. (Thueringer Wald--Thuringian Forest.) I guess they was really mountains by what they said; and they traveled along the 'Fightel, too, which was more mountains (Fichtel Gebirge.) Along both places they found awful steep and long pulls where they had to hire extra teams. It was a fine, big 'king's road,' where they kept horses to help pull up, but they didn't cost much, so Father said. Because there was no railroads, pretty much all freighting away from rivers was by these teams. The wagons would be only fairly started when they'd begin to sell one, two or three barrels at one place, and still at the same time they'd fill up with wayfreight and kept right on receiving and delivering as long as any profit was in sight or they got to a big river. The Donau? I guess that was it. Yes, it sounded like that. Passengers? Of course they'd carry anyone in not too big a hurry.
Sometimes they'd be gone two months--maybe longer, but I won't be sure. The teamsters were all mad when the railroad come, and a potter put some verses on his crockeryware:
'Der Tyfel (Teufel) hat dieFather and Mother would hardly ever tell us children much about the old country, but old Germans would come in and they'd talk of nothing else! I recollect an anecdote of deer hunters (poachers). Well, in Germany all woods are watched by an overseer that my folks called a 'Yayger,' who guarded them pretty sharply, was awful severe on game thieves, and would always take their arms even if they did not put the fellows in jail. Two brothers, Schultz, went well armed and soon dropped a deer. While one laid down his gun to butcher the animal the other watched behind a big tree. Pretty soon, sure enough, the overseer came and, picking up the gun, observed, 'This seems like a fine piece'; to which Schultz answered, 'But a better is behind that big oak.' On looking, he saw the muzzle of a gun, and it did not take many seconds 'to see the point,' drop the gun and make off!
Und um der Fuhren
(Satan the railroad invented,
And the carter's wage prevented.)
What? Yes, we'll get back to the Mississippi by telling that we reached St. Louis and went out to 'Highland' in Illinois, where Father soon paid for a lot and house and then shortly after sent eighty dollars to Germany to bring out one of the boys. I guess he must have paid for his 'time.' Then in a few months he sent sixty for the other boy. What Father worked at? Coopering.
By 1849 Father had learned American as well as any oldish man, understood everything and then got the California fever. He was coaxed out of it and instead moved to Iowa, eighteen miles west of Burlington, and settled at New London, not far from Mt. Pleasant.
In less than two years after going to Iowa came our great grief by Father getting 'winter fever' (typhoid pneumonia), lying so long that he had bed sores and never got well.
Right away after coming to America two boys were born, Aaron and Jordan.
Father rented land and sometimes hired a man to dig the potatoes, with the boys to help. Once he had a Swiss who talked an odd jargon, and so often said the words that I recollect them:
'Ich namy sie by die Ohre, wenn sie net die Kartoffel suver ooflassa.'
(Pick up them potatoes clean, or I'll pull off your ears.)
One uncommon circumstance was that we children all was, to almost a day, born exactly two years apart!
I almost forgot to tell of that old German that come over with John and soon after died.
In Germany him and my brother wanted to save expense in getting to Bremen by walking--for the Dutch are great on save!--which gave the old man 'Kalt brand' (chilblains perhaps) on his feet, which would not get well, and he finally died at our house. Father did try to coax him to have them cut off, but he refused.
Him and John walked several stund (stoond), they said, a stund being about three miles."
CHAPTER II."I guess Father must have had about six hundred dollars when he come over," resumed Mr. B., "for he wanted a fair start in America, and I feel pretty sure he paid for the property, because he had funds so soon to send to Germany. (At that date real estate was comparatively very cheap near the great cities of the West. K.)
Ambition. Futile Schooling. Consequences of the Death.
1853. Shooting Out an Eye. Going to H--on a
Clapboard! The Ragamuffin. The New
Gazelle. Homesickness. The
By some strange freak, Father decided that I must learn German first. So I studied it, to begin, one winter, could read a little and knew the German writing letters. Then he took another notion; that I'd better go at 'American,' as I was getting along in years.
Pretty much all work outside of the shop fell on me and so no time came for school until fourteen, when I had to be in a class with little children, which only made me ashamed! I went about three months, learning to spell a few words in the First Reader, but done no writing. When Father died I had to 'strike out' to make a living for the family. Each summer I'd hope to attend school next winter, but the chance never come.
An odd character now I recollect, and I must tell about him, for he was our near neighbor in Illinois. Caspar Bortus came from Hesse-Cassel, too, and had considerable money.
He was bright and learned in a few weeks enough English to do business, and one day, going with Father to a farm-stuff sale, he 'soaked' too much from a jug of whiskey--and it was dog cheap in them days--only two bits a gallon! Once he bid three and a quarter and imitating the auctioneer, he yelled out, 'Three and a quarter; make it three and a half!' and the crier took him up and 'knocked it down'; not alone that, but several more times when he tried his smartness; and Father thought he overbid himself in all near fifty dollars! When he sobered up and was told, he said, 'I don't care; I never before did have such fun!'
I recollect now, too, that in the fall of 1849, while a-preparing to move to Iowa, Mother and me took a load of produce to St. Louis to help buy a wagon for the trip. She always done the outside business; and I was fourteen. Then I remember, too, how conscientious was Father when a well-off man came for a barrel and the father couldn't find a five-cent piece for change. A few days after, he got a half-dime and wanted to go right off to pay the barrel purchaser A neighbor said, 'Why, Peter Barneburg! it's nonsense to take so much trouble; wait, he'll come along someday, or you'll have a chance to send! Besides, he's rich and don't care!' 'Never mind,' said Father, 'I can't sleep till it's paid.'
I'm their boy, but I must say they were the best people I ever met! Their word was so sure! Me? No, I am not 'church,' although I entertain all the preachers that need it. I once give a pretty good sum to a meeting house and the preacher said: 'Some who are not professing Christians have good traits; so has a horse.' I ain't got over that yet! It seemed to me that God was as much mine as anybody's if I behaved myself!
In 1853 Aaron and Jordan were big enough, had plenty of schooling and I concluded they could take care of Mother while I struck out for myself. At that date Benedict Arnold--curious name, ain't it? I've heard about the traitor of the Revolution! Of course it wasn't him! Well, he coaxed me to help drive a flock of cattle to Oregon. He didn't coax very hard! I had always had poor health, but somehow did not get excused from work, and I concluded the change and trip would do me good. He promised me my keep and I agreed to stand both his and my guard. There was four saddle horses and I never had to walk, but after the start so much guarding began to wear me. The men in the train saw I was getting wore out and so persuaded Arnold to 'let up' on me after we struck the Snake. What? Yes, Bill and his wife made a contract to drive a wagon, get wood and water and she would cook.
We had a little adventure at the Missouri. The ferry was a big, long flatboat moved by paddles--sweeps? That's the word.
The wagons and teams was all moved over the first day and the next we was to get at the loose stock. I guess we put on too many for what happened, because when we got out on the river a whirl storm struck us, we got drenched and water began to run over one corner, when Bill grabbed a plank, for he couldn't swim. Just then two men got buckets and began to bail, while the men at the sweeps worked hard and shot her out of the eddy.
All called it a 'mighty close call.' How? Yes, in them days had to organize or the train would burst up! Why, even in 1887 a lot of us (forty) concluded to see Crater Lake and the whole Klamath country 'browsing around' generally. They elected me Captain, and if I, or someone, hadn't been, we'd a-scattered!
Well, in '53 we chose Abe McCullough for our Captain. Buffalo chips? We never used them for cooking, but made guard fires; they'd keep warm, but made no blaze nor much coal. Abe understood it pretty well and made us take sacks and gather chips and sticks on the bluffs, enough sometimes to run our fires five days. Yes, several drove cattle, but Arnold had just half the whole number and so had the turn for him or his hand all the time! The settlements in Kansas? It wasn't called Kansas then, but Territory or just 'Plains.' After leaving the Missouri, three days I think, I didn't recollect any more settlements. What? No, I didn't observe much in the train, for you see I was about all the time with the loose animals and keeping them right. I ought to have looked around more, but was too anxious about the stock. Arnold never had any loss by my neglect; all got along well. (An acquaintance with this person shows him all conscience and care. K.)
The Plains was an awful place to get into 'rackets' (serious disputes) and I was lucky to keep out, but nearly got into one! Riding horses? Arnold had all good ones and I could have which I wanted. Stampedes? Yes, we had two; one on Green River; I never knew what was the start--began when someone, I've forgot who, rode into camp and the stock got scared. Well, all hands turned out and we got 'em stopped. The next came two days after, when we was camped on the brink of a hill and had begun to yoke up, one of my four riding nags, a frisky mare, took a notion to have a spree and run 'lickety split' around the camp. Before she got clear 'round every team that was yoked up started on a mad gallop, running over everything in their way, and upset three wagons. Such a squalling of women and children I guess you never heard! Why the fool brutes run I don't know, for they was poor in flesh and seemed about all tired out! Why, horses had run around and even through that train in camp often before, and they didn't seem to care!
But I got a joke on the folks when we come to Snake River. It was awfully riled up by the melting snow from the summits, and had lots of drift, some of it bunches of weeds, among which I noticed one big 'sucker,' eating bugs from the stems. It was my duty to get a bucket of water right away for the cook, to have time for settling. So when we stopped I got the water as soon as possible and then hunted up my fish lines. The boys asked what I was at and I answered that I was going a-fishing. 'You fool boy,' says they, 'you can't catch any fish when it's so riley!' But I went and dropped my bait just at the edge of a bunch of weed drift and hauled out an eighteen-inch fish, just as I expected, and was only fifteen minutes catching four more as big! Then I went back to camp as big as Pompey and 'had the laugh on them'! and our mess ate all the sucker it could stow away. Then the whole crowd took their lines and went over to the river, but didn't get a bite! They didn't think it worthwhile to ask the fool boy where the fish 'used' and he didn't venture to tell 'em! I went over again when they tried and saw then the fish sucking the flies from the weeds, but the emigrants did not seem to notice!
On account of the river being so high we had to pull over a high sidling bluff, where the wagons were held up to prevent upsetting. Did I notice Fort Hall? The building was 'doby, I think, and I guess there was a hundred soldiers.
Two days after that sidling bluff, a sorrowful accident come to us! I had seen a pheasant on some bushes and tried to get a shot with a 'horse pistol' loaded with 'swan,' but it flew too soon. I went back to camp and laid down to rest with the weapon partly under me. Some Indians had come into camp, and when they went away a fool boy came to me and said, 'I feel like shooting them s--- of b-----; I want to do some devilment.' He soon spied the pistol and before I could stop him it was snatched away and flourished around his head. I guess he didn't think it was loaded, for he cocked and swung it around again, this time towards Bill, and just at the place to hit him it went off and he fell. He wasn't killed, but an eye was out and the cheek gashed, one shot hitting the tongue.
That closed him up for any use on that trip, except maybe once when we was at the Mahogany Mountain, where I found a lot of nice-tasting wild yellow currants which I could pick a-horseback. Here we had trouble again on account of some horses straying off and men had to start early to hunt them. At hitching-up time most of the party went on, while a few were gone for the stock, and left Bill lying on a blanket. Some Indians come in to trade fish for ammunition; but that was forbidden, which made them mad, and they tried to pull his blankets away from him. He was carrying the big pistol himself then and when they made the motion he pulled the weapon on them. This made them jump back and draw a bow and arrow, a yaeger and a rifle at him; but it was only a second, for just then they saw the horses and men a-coming.
Doctor Griswold said, "Them fellows sha'n't escape,' and followed them a half a mile back, but they hit him before he could get a shot. Two days after he saw two Indians fishing and dropped both, as he told us afterwards, for the captain had forbid shooting Indians unless we was attacked. The train didn't see the shooting because it was in a bend of the river out of sight. He declared they was the same that threatened Bill and hit him, but I don't see how he could know! That was below where we was a-ferrying over a pretty full river with tight wagon boxes which we caulked up good with rags. It took us a long time because we had to carry over a good many young colts and calves that was too weak to swim. Then we swam over the rest of the stock. (The Owyhee is usually quite low at that season, and this must have been an exception. K.) Griswold said them two Indians fell into the river and floated off. I recollect that when on the divides of the northern Blues we could see off to the southwest a big, bold knob. "Greenhorn"? I don't know; don't recollect hearing any name.
But the circumstance I remember the best, coming along the Columbia, was stopping a day at Des Chutes (deeshoots) River and catching so many fine salmon! the best I ever ate--it seemed to me. We took our wagons around the side of Mt. Hood and of course it was awful rough. (In 1844 the Parker party under Applegate auspices made a road and the next year Joel Palmer came over and improved the same trail. K.) No, we didn't go up on Hood because we was in a hurry to get to 'Oregon' as they called the Willamette in them days.
I 'most forgot to tell you that one covered cart pulled by a yoke of oxen was in our train, which we called 'The Chariot,' and it was full of women and children, but I've forgot the driver's name. One thing about Hood was the splendid drinking water which came down from the snow. We hadn't had any very good for a long time. Arnold? No, he never agreed to pay anything. I told you what he promised. After we crossed the Cascades and before we got to Waldo Hills, which was about ten miles east of Salem, he hinted to me and Bill that we ought to give him fifty dollars for bringing us to Oregon, but we said we hadn't any money, but would watch stock for him till he was satisfied. So he made camp in them hills for several weeks, for the grass was the best I've ever seen, and soon the cattle was so fat and satisfied they'd come into camp every night, and we never had any more trouble with them. Salem? Oh, it wasn't much city, but was the biggest in the Territory. Finally I was a bundle of rags and barefoot, and Arnold got ashamed enough to buy me the coarsest shoes he could find.
Then I hurried off to find some work, for stark nakedness was looking after me pretty sharp, while Bill was unfit to work, and his wife was--well--beginning to be very anxious!
Shot kept working out of his face every once in a while and finally he lost two teeth.
Now I recollect the name of the careless boy that shot my brother, John Jewett, and he was the sorrowfulest boy you ever saw and couldn't do enough for Bill! His father was a preacher in Iowa, and I've heard an anecdote about him.
Once when he was a-preaching in a school house in that state some girls kept up such a giggling that he stopped short and said, 'First thing you know you'll be sliding downhill to hell on a clapboard'! I don't remember hearing any more about the boy after we landed in the Willamette. (In the early eighties his son drove stage--from Fort Harney to Canyon. K.)
Bill was married just three or four months before we started from Iowa.
Well, I soon found work at three dollars a week, got a small house in Salem, and there us three lived on what I could earn. No, we didn't live very high on them wages! but no one starved in our shanty, and I worked only about two weeks at that rate. After that, good luck begun to strike around our camp by getting a job at 'two fifty' a day, and then we made up for lost time and lived at top notch! That lasted two weeks and then come a job on the road at the same rate! When the road job was done Bill claimed that he was able to work; so both went down on the Willamette to cut ash wood on public land for a steamboat, the 'New Gazelle,' I think it was (Gen. Applegate corroborates. K.), at four dollars a cord without any contract. They loaded up at that price four times--paying always--and then proposed a written contract and 'three twenty-five' to which we agreed and worked right on. They took wood three times under the contract and then 'blowed up' the boiler, which sent them bankrupt, so we heard. They paid for all they took, but we had then a big rick on hand and concluded to stop. (This was the boat upon which "Robt. Shortess," the guide, was employed. K.) Then we had no work till another boat was put on and took all our wood; but so quite a spell of time was lost."
In February appeared the long-expected--all-absorbing--first baby to Mr. B.'s brother, and then that anxiety ceased. But with the new attraction came distresses, for the boy, Fritz, having had nothing but care and hardship since leaving the Iowa home, began to long for the sympathy of a deeply loving mother, and Sarah, like all inexperienced in those mysterious departments of incomprehensible maternity, also yearned for the wisdom and counsel of her own maternal fireside. But let Mr. B---- resume the story in his own style: "Bill's wife and me both got homesick, but he kept in first-rate spirits, saw everything at the brightest and tried hard to make us both cheerful and hopeful. The young fellows who had traveled in our train got short of money and come to me to borrow. They wanted to know how I happened to have funds and I told 'em I didn't work for deadbeats like they did! And it was a fact that they did work for men who had nothing, and of course got no pay! They? Oh, they paid. Arnold? Well, he done well, and as soon as his cattle begun to get fat he sold out very fast at fancy prices. He had no expense except salting. By spring, yearlings, calved when we started from the 'States,' sold for forty and fifty dollars apiece! Milk cows sold for one hundred and twenty-five! He had bought 'em for 'most nothing! I guess he had as much as nine thousand dollars in his pocket by the next May and then went home by the Isthmus or Horn, I've forgot which. He come for that speculation only. He didn't have any losses; I never see such a lucky fellow! Well, he didn't get any fifty dollars from us, nor we any more from him except our keep while we minded his herd on the Waldo Hills. The cattle was all branded and nobody seemed to steal then. He ought to have outfitted me good, but 'closeness' was struck in on him sure!
I 'most forgot to tell that I was on a job of hauling timber for the first woolen factory in Oregon, at Salem, to run by water power. The buildings may be all gone long ago. (Gen. Applegate corroborates. K.)
Arnold's cattle? Well, you see, it's this way. He had good judgment; every bunch of cattle wouldn't sell like his! It's all in the buying. There's Mrs. Karewsky at Jacksonville, who several years ago had an awful big lot of feed and no market. So she concluded to buy cattle and come over to 'Roxy Ann' to pick up some points.
I got in the buggy and we drove around my flock where I tried to show her the shapes of good, profitable stock. By the life, that woman picked up a cheap lot that would be dear as a gift! She'd'a made several hundred dollars to have given away or burnt the feed and let cattle alone!
She was well off and didn't mind the loss! Her first husband left her rich and the second (K.) did as much more. The last was father of her children and all three were Jews. She was very strict, but K---- was not. When sausages were in market and her gone he would cook and eat a lot! When she come back the smell would be so plain that she would fret and scour and wash until her religion was satisfied and he would be deemed a 'moral leper' until time and necessary washings would work purification!
That big idle mill? That was Karewsky's speculation to get his money back when the builder went bankrupt with some of K.'s money borrowed and in the concern. He got it for a song, fitted it up and then run it to make money, and did lay up the 'dead loads'! When he died she might have sold well, but put on the whole cost and couldn't get a bid, of course. You see, it had only 'buhr' stones, and she didn't know that 'rollers' must soon come in. The old buhrs ain't now worth any more than big boulders"!
CHAPTER III.The homesickness of the brother's wife and of Fritz did not in the least affect the latter's energy and perseverance, because it did not have the usual features. On the contrary he forthwith laid a deep conspiracy to make money enough to return to Iowa and begin independent farming! They had heard of Southern Oregon's mines and temperate climate; so when the spring of 1854 opened, five 'cayuses,' one of several breeds of Indian ponies, were bought and outfitted for the journey.
1854. Restless Soles. The "Bouncing" Overland.
Unique Beaver. Home-Brewed Hop-Beer.
Seventy Mormon Hand Carts. "Five Miles
to Water, but No Grass!" Unpaid
At that date Southern Oregon comprised only the corner of the Territory from the Cascades to the Pacific; all east of the mountains being a practically unknown wilderness as far as the emigrant trail along Snake, Burnt and Powder rivers. In those pioneer days the entire [Pacific] 'Slope' west of the Cascades had an abundance of the finest grass, green the whole year except in July, August and September, when it was fully equal to hay. Hence any stock would live well while all styles of pony would keep fat under mild treatment.
A crude saddle is not hard to make and a pack saddle is not bad to ride when filled with blankets and rope stirrups added.
Three animals were for riding and two for packing their baggage, which was a meager camping outfit; but the kitchen affairs must be kept separated from clothing and bedding because they are not a good mixture!
So when fitted up, these two brothers, with Sarah and the baby, 'lit out' for Rogue River. One old campaigner warned them, "You'll find the trail worse than any you ever saw," while some said it was only fun to see how much obstacle could be surmounted! They had seen difficulty and did not fear the conflict. Fritz, although a boy in years, was the equal of any in experience, reflection and judgment.
This peculiar, peerless boy, who never got into a "muss," reports the entire journey made with no adventure or episode worth naming; nevertheless he had no doubt been taught to look upon many an accident or incident with a stolid, German indifference. But he reports the valleys, particularly that of the Rogue River, as having contained grass so high that an animal lying down in it was invisible three or four rods distant! The Indian pony if well treated soon learns to stay near the new master's camp and seldom strays.
"No, I was too fast," added Mr. Barneburg, "something did happen, but not to us, for before we got to our journey's end some later comers who overtook us reported that 'Hardy Elliff,' who had one of the finest barns on the Pacific at the head of Cow Canyon in the South Umpquas, lost it the day after we passed, by fire, and it was chock full of hay and grain. He was getting rich fast--yes, he was awful thrifty. And Rogue River Valley, the finest prospect you ever laid your eyes on! grass everywhere from knee to hip high. There wasn't much cattle to speak of, but after awhile they got fat and then we had good eating--you never tasted better! (Exclusive and abundant bunchgrass does make exceptionally sweet beef. K.) When in later times 'bunchgrass' got eat out we fed early headed wheat which made beef almost as good as the 'grass.' Early cut wheat coarse ground makes good pork, too, and will put two and a half pounds on 'em every day!
Of course we struck for the town of Jacksonville and then Bill wanted to hunt his 'donation' of a mile square. Me? I couldn't take--I wasn't of age! There was lots of land and men had a big lot of it 'smuggled,' too, by planting corners outside of their rights. You could tell that by stepping it off, but they'd swear it was theirs!
Oh, they was holding for some brother or friend that was expected!
I wanted him to take in the bottom, but he was best pleased with a piece on the west slope of "Roxy Ann." The soil was said to be some 'gumbo' ('doby), but settlers claimed it was fine for crops and so we set in to improve till he had a house and big garden, and then I struck out to hunt work which seemed easy to find and got good wages. Once that summer I took a trip to Althouse and Crescent City with a fellow eighteen years old, but who was not the owner of our small pack train; who one day asked me how much was 'leven times 'leven' and I said, 'Hundred and twenty-one'; when he answered, 'You're badly mistaken; I've been to school and I'll bet you a dollar it's one hundred and thirty-two!' 'Well,' says I, 'put your stake in the jockey box and I'll go you. But I don't want your money; put it back in your pocket.' 'No,' says he, 'I'll be d----- if I don't bet; I'm educated and I know' He said it so slurring that I got aggravated. At our noon camp a man come riding up that we all knew was well posted, and we put it to him. He straightened it out and then the smarty said. 'The dollar's yourn'! I couldn't help saying, 'Been to school, have you'? But we didn't have any more 'jowers' (altercations).
The next year (1855) I set in with George Hoxie, a Dunkard preacher, at forty-five dollars a month and board until I had in his hands a clear two hundred and fifty dollars, and from that I was going into another contract. When he offered to pay I said: 'Don't you have some other place to put that money and give me a note'? 'Yes, of course,' says he, 'I can buy young stock.' So he give the paper at three percent a month! That sounds like big interest, but it was low then, and he made money out of it! I tell you business stirred in those days and ready money turned itself over in short order! Bear Creek? Oh, it don't look like early days at all, for then the banks were high, and it had plenty of long, deep pools with the water always clear, and lots of the nicest fish. Why, I could any time, unless in dead of winter, catch all the eighteen-inch trout I could carry, and we had fish dinners often. Wild ducks in the season, too--plenty of them--sometimes shoot them, geese and brant for the 'United States' Hotel in Jacksonville. and they'd give me a good price. Catching them trout was fun alive! I'd cast in at an overhanging bank and in a second it would be snatched and the fellow would dart off like a shot! I enjoyed such fishing, you bet! Creek's spoilt now with the sand and gravel from the hydraulic mines filling it up, and the fish don't like the water that's soaked up with 'mineral,' even when it looks clear.
Gold on Roxy Ann? No, never was in truth. In 1887 a prospector reported that he got a good 'color' of gold on my place by the graveyard and a 'Miller' offered to buy twenty acres for a dwelling house, as he said, and got C. W. Palm, a land agent, to come with him. I got suspicious and persuaded 'Deliverance Johnson' to 'let the cat out of the bag.' I wanted a neighbor and he could have had the lot, but I wouldn't have mining in my pasture. Besides he was mistaken; there's nothing but black bedrock anywheres about. How men could 'smuggle' land? Well, there was no government survey and so men could put corners where they pleased. Truax was a "No. 1" surveyor, and each knew where his own corner stood, but he wouldn't tell and then set up one himself further out, to hold all he could. There was no regularity of ends and sides and shapes, except any line must run to the main points--east, west, north, south.
Yes, I done some prospecting in 1855, or rather Bill and me. A big 'strike' or 'find' would start men off at midnight, if it took that time to prepare after the word came--struck by a kind of craziness. I wasn't excited, but we went over to Sterling after the big 'find' and made our camp up a creek entirely away from the rest. We found a little nugget shaped like an old-fashioned whiskey flask, and some 'colors' (fine scales), but didn't have faith, and sold out in five days. Well, sir, would you believe? That claim yielded twenty thousand dollars; the owner took care of it, and of course he is rich!
I went on farming until late in 1858, when I found myself able to get back to Iowa with twenty-three hundred dollars, and felt pretty rich. Sir? Oh, I considered myself only a boy and really did believe that much would do big things!"
Notwithstanding his twenty-three years, anyone acquainted can understand his modest opinion of himself! He and his brother had truly become more "Webfooters" than they then realized, as the sequel will show. The term "Webfoot" is applied to all who live in the territory west of the Cascades from the Sound to the California boundary, because of the great moisture of the winters.
"As soon as we begun to talk of return," resumed Mr. B., "we looked around for mules, because they bear the trip much better than horses--fully as well as oxen, and can get over the ground nearly twice as fast as cattle.
Waite bought Bill's ranch and so set him free. Charley Hamlin and Bill concluded they must have a wagon apiece for their families, while Hughes and me concluded we'd 'pack'--and them animals just 'more than traveled' and got to the Missouri in good order! But I'm going ahead of my story. Hughes and me had five mules; two for riding and three for packing, because we wanted the riders to carry only ourselves and also was planning to pack enough stuff to be comfortable. I'm going ahead again, for I might forget to tell that we was two months to Salt Lake and only one more to the Missouri.
The pack animals and teams did not have an easy time, because they were loaded pretty heavy. We waited until the first of June in '59, so that grass would be in good condition all along. Bill had a good light wagon, while Charley got an awful heavy army concern, to which he hitched his four, all the horses we had in the outfit. That heavy wagon he found a drag before he got to Salt Lake, where he sold it pretty well, and hitched to Bill's. From that time on they just flew; but here I am again away ahead of where I ought to be! because I've never told of the start and how we got out of Rogue River Valley. The trail led up Bear Creek and then branched off eastward up 'Emigrant' (the route laid out by the Applegate expeditions in 1846. K.) Creek. Yes, a stage route to Linkville leads around the south slope of Grizzly Butte, but that was laid out years after for the mail to Fort Klamath in winter; in the summer the better trail is up Rogue River. Our route up Emigrant was several miles south of Grizzly Butte and further on. We crossed the Klamath way above old Fort Goff; I didn't know much about it nor Walker, the man who once owned the ferry.
Our trail led pretty high up on Shasta, where we found a long stretch of snow, but it was hard and give us no trouble. The 'shoulder' this side of Grizzly? That's 'Hargadine.' The hump between Hargadine and Roxy Ann? 'Mathez.' Hardly any peaks and shoulders had names at first, and they was sometimes just blackguard and got new ones!
I tell you, it helps a man to have the miles marked off like the United States had done over the Humboldt route so that they could calculate mail mileage!
What the Diggers live upon? Well, they fish and hunt and dig camas and get bread root. Bread root? It's good; I like it after it's bruised and cooked. A 'camas'? Looks like an onion, but ain't, for it don't foul your breath. I don't like it; it's poor stuff. You can find them in good soil where hogs have not rooted and killed them out.
Did Diggers ever disturb us? Well, I ain't sure, but think they stampeded our mules one night on Humboldt. We had put 'em on lariats down in the bottom where grass was better than in camp on higher ground. They pulled their pins in the night, come galloping through and stopped three hundred yards beyond, a-waiting for the horses, but they wouldn't come; and you can recollect that a mule will never leave horses, which were near camp, between the mules and us. When the mules stopped they snorted. Then we spoke and had no trouble to catch 'em.
I don't recollect how we crossed Pit River, but we passed Black Butte (Black Rock?) and then came to Honey Lake. We went south of Winnemucca Range, striking the wild rye region on Humboldt, I guess over twenty miles from the Sink. The next day we had the stampede.
So far Sarah was in good spirits and done lots of cooking. Sarah's children? Four. Pretty fruitful? You're safe to say that, sure! Well, as I said, the grass was so good the animals just 'rolled' in it? Every three days we'd have the Overland Stage, one way or t'other, with four and six horses and a Mexican a-horseback to ride alongside to whip. The first time we seen them they was a long distance away, and we prepared to give 'em the road. When they passed no stop was made, but every fellow said 'howdy!' Two passengers were inside and the coach was on thoroughbraces. The road was fine all the way from Shasta to Salt Lake City.
Sage hens? Yes, saw lots of 'em and had some to eat; they're good when you know how to cook them; and are about as large as a small turkey. Grouse? Oh, they don't use anywhere but in the mountains, pretty well up!
That desert west of Salt Lake? Yes, we heard that a good day's drive would take us over; and seeing the sun was not very hot, went over in daylight, landing at grass and water before dusk struck us.
Certainly, mountains was always in sight across Nevada, and Utah ain't much else! But it was fun to see the stage hopping over the sagebrush roots, for, you see, the drivers never 'let up' for anything if only the team can go! When we got nearly to Camp Floyd a man on a mule met us and 'passed the day,' but went right on without any more words. We ought to have asked him some questions, but he wouldn't stop. There was nobody to tell us names of mountains and creeks, and I guess very few had any. So it would be pretty hard to describe where we went. In fact, we hardly ever found a crossroad or a fork, and so all we had to do was to keep the main, plain wagon mark. We did get off the proper track once before reaching the Humboldt, and got back to it at Rabbit Hole.
You've heard of the solidness of corn-fed pork, but in Salt Lake Bill bought a side of bacon that come from the 'States' and put it pretty well under things in the wagon, because we supposed it would be hard and we'd eat up our wheat-fed meat that was called not so good, but it didn't sweat or melt a bit! A few days after, I saw grease on the hind axle and said to Bill he'd spilt the wagon grease.' 'No,' says he, 'I hain't; the can is on the outside.' Well, we examined, and sure enough that 'States' corn-fed meat was leaking awfully while our Oregon bacon was as dry as you could wish!
That reminds me that some years ago 'Seph' Robinson come over and said, 'I want to see the inside of your hams, for they look good.' Well, we cut one and blood run from near the bone. It was fried and he said it was fine--almost like fresh pork! 'But, says he, 'that's too fresh; it won't keep!' Now, here's our plan. We dry salt our meat both sides up in turn, and other people leave the skin down always.
For smoking we never use a damp spell, but wait till we're sure it'll be dry long enough. When ready, we wash the salt off clean and let it have either hot or cold smoke--it don't make any difference here. In a dry spell that meat will shrink and drive the salt to the center enough to make it safe.
Bolognas. Yes, I like 'em but not from the shops here; they're too dry, and sausage is awful! Yes, I know pork is good in it, but did you ever try venison bologna? Let me tell you our way. I always have some shoats a-fattening; then when cold weather comes we go for our deer and always get from one to three. Then we butcher a fat shoat and mix his meat with the venison bologna and smoke 'em well and let the water dry out awhile. If you ever have a chance to try it you'll say you never tasted bologna before! But let me tell you something odd about them Mormons. After we struck their settlements, which was about four days before we got to the city, we found beer which was made by them from their own barley and hops and seemed to me as good as any I'd ever tasted!
Another curious circumstance was the unusual way the beavers acted, and there was lots of them. When the banks of the streams was bluff--several feet above the water--the animals would mine out into the land, but the grass would grow just the same. Now, if a mule or a wagon would venture on that ground, down they'd go! and we pretty soon learned to keep away. They didn't burrow where the bank shelved or sloped off, and that whole thing was in Utah.
No, we had no occasion to stay long in the city. Camp Floyd? I guess it's forty miles out of Salt Lake on the California Trail."
At this point the conversation diverged for a few minutes to the recent fishing in Bear Creek (1895), when Mr. B. resumed: "There's the spoon and triple hook that nabbed that big salmon in the creek yesterday. I knew she was a big one, and so played him a good while--over an hour. See, he bent one! I ought to have had larger sizes, but wasn't expecting such large game! He got away at last and was a full two-footer! The two sexes travel together to the spawning grounds. There she lays her eggs and he comes along and spreads his milt over them. It's heavy, looks like milk, and settles right down like lead over the spawn and hides them.
What makes those awful floods in the Klamath? I don't know, but everybody says that the rivers that empty into the lakes don't ever rise much, and I'm sure no big change comes in the lakes! I think the rises must come from cloudbursts below them! When Press' Burr built the bridge over Klamath it sagged so much when the scaffold was taken out that the commissioners wouldn't accept until Firman Anderson put in piers; and then it went out in four years! The bridges over Wood and Seven Mile, the feeders, was only three feet above common spring rise, and stayed there till they wore and rotted down!
Now, sir! I believe any poor boy can get well off if he's got pretty fair health. Why, there's John VanDyke, pretty well to do, he is, come to this country as poor as any of 'em; and not any more about him than any the rest of us! Well he rustled around, got a few cheap ponies and then went out of the valley, and I didn't hear anything but rumors for several years, when he came down all at once with a pack train and George Ernest as train boss, or teamster! Every pack animal had an 'aparejo' and George told me the outfit was worth $20,000 and John out of debt! 'But, Fred,' says he, 'the d---1 of it will be ever to get the money out of them!' I worked in John's train several trips to Crescent City, and I guess he made money every cargo!
An 'aparejo'? Well, they're ever so much better than pack saddles, for they ain't so hard to load, and because it's stout, solid leather; so when each animal's cargo is unloaded and laid on brush, sticks or stones to keep dry below, the 'aparejo' is laid over its own pile and keeps it perfectly dry. A pack saddle don't do any good that way, and if your things keep dry you've got to carry tarpaulins or oilcloths extra! Then again the aparejo is padded on the underside and the animal don't get sore in any way. It has a supported shelf sewed or riveted on each lower edge outside, and so the load has a rest which it don't have with the pack saddle. (Ap-pa-ray-ho.)
How a pack animal is broken? Well, we don't take much pains. When we start for a cargo we fasten a bag of sand on each side of the saddle or aparejo, which he can't well hurt, and spilling sand is no loss; he is pretty well used to it by the time we reach Crescent City or any other coast traders. He will bring his cargo in about as well as any of the rest.
Why I loaned money to that irresponsible fellow? Oh, it's this way: They give for security another fellow just as worthless, but they won't let him suffer! That's honor! If I take either name alone, I may whistle for my money! Lots of young men in this valley are trifling!
But let's go back to our journey. Just after we got up out of Echo Canyon we met seventy hand cart movers--all Mormon and the tiredest lot of men you ever saw! All had families and sometimes a woman would be riding. Most of the women and big children walked while the little ones rode. One man pulled at the cart while one or two would push. Of course they asked how far to water; when we answered, 'Five miles to water, but there's no grass!' A few smiled rather sickly, but not one looked happy.
When we got inside thirty mile of Fort Laramie we concluded to stop to kill some buffalo and jerk the meat. This we done by first parboiling in salty water, and then we laid it on a scaffold over smudgy fire, which not only smoked, but dried it right fast, too. Two young fellows concluded to go on to the Fort and draw rations, which government allowed to emigrants, and made a memorandum of what would be wanted. One fellow borrowed my revolver and both was to wait for us. The revolver man 'lit out' and was never again heard from! The other was there all right with the rations, but I didn't want any. I always said I wouldn't beg and I wouldn't go to the poor house, so I suppose I'd drift to 'Halifax' if I'd ever 'go broke'!
That reminds me that once when I was a-coming home from Aspen Lake with cattle, night caught me where Thad Powell was 'holding down' a claim for somebody and he said he had no accommodations. 'Well,' says I, 'there's no choice,' and he give up.
In the morning when I asked for his bill he said the accommodation was no good, and he couldn't and he wouldn't charge. He couldn't come that game on me, and I made him take some money! 'I guess he was about sixteen, and two years after he come to borrow sixty dollars--lots of money for a poor boy! My wife complained that he give no security, but I said I'd got the idea that he was honest, and I wanted to see how near I guessed! In six months he wrote and wanted an extension; this I granted. Not many months after I got a post office order from Dunsmuir in California, and pretty soon after the balance. He had made up the money working for the railroad. But we're a way off from the story again.
The day after leaving Laramie a dark cloud hung in the east, and a few sprinkles fell on us. The next day we came to signs of a heavy storm, and by a 'doby house a government wagon was clean bottom up! There was no sign of a cyclone or even much blow where we were!
That was even so! After Charley Hamlin hitched to Bill's wagon we just 'skinned out and never let dust catch us!'
At the Missouri I sold my mules for all I paid and went home by St. Louis on boats to New London, Henry County, Iowa; and found that the state had struck the hardest times she'd ever seen; lots hadn't paid their taxes for two years and didn't get sold out either! The state had a soul in them days. You don't believe in alienating land for tax? How can you help it? (New Jersey sells growths and use, but does not disturb the soil area; and hence in that state title remains forever intact. K.) "Well, I wish it was that way everywhere; for I'm always sorry to see real estate, a man's home, sold for taxes.
At Burlington I missed the stage, and so set out afoot to 'hoof it' the eighteen mile.
The folks hadn't yet gone to bed. I had a beard and got stout and they didn't seem to know me. I said, 'John, don't you know me?' He thought some time and then said, 'Not exactly, but you begin to seem like Fritz.' Then I concluded I wouldn't torment them, and so begun to talk our old home Hessian as near as I could, for I'd forgot it some.
That brought them all round except Mother, whose doubt was, 'It can't be Fritz, for he was sickly, and little and a boy; now this is a big, strong, hairy man. But he speaks in the old words and laughs just like Fritz. Will you stay with us now?' "
CHAPTER IV.Human nature is quite the same the world over, and it was not so much any doubt about the identity as it was the logical surprise and the natural hesitation of a great change which was not unpleasant to any. Judging from the narrative and the well-known deep affections of the German folk, tears mingled with laughter and incessant talk filled the hours until all well nigh forgot about the passing of time. But again we yield to Mr. B., who thus continued: "Why, we talked till after one, and I don't know how much longer we'd'a sat up if Mother hadn't noticed the hour, made us shut up and actually just about drove us off to bed!
The "Soles" Still Restless. "You'll Lay Your Bones in
the Shade of the Rockies," A German Colony.
Blizzards. Calamitous Stampede. Krebs,
the Centenarian. A Ludicrous
Next morning she told me that when I ran away--that's what I done, and I guess it's better to own up--they was on the point of sending the sheriff after me, and now she was glad they hadn't, for they got along well enough, while I had grown so stout and healthy! Sir? Yes, I assure you that was what they did do about them taxes! They couldn't pay and they didn't!
The people vote away their own rights? I know they do! A politician will holler and stamp and swing his arms around and he can have what he wants. A man talking wisely but quietly would get no 'show' at all! That's the way with preachers--'make a noise and carry on' and the job is soon done! Town and cities have their own way about schools and ain't dictated to by state law? Yes, I believe I've heard of that! Guess they think farmers ain't got as much sense as city folks! You can't seem to pound sense into some people's heads! Makes lots of officers and expensive machinery! don't it? Why, see here, the cities don't have all that red tape and expense? That reminds [me] of what city folks think of farmers. A dude of a town fellow got to be assessor when the Southern Pacific first come and marked us all down for forty-five to seventy-five dollars an acre! Well, I guess we was all fools to allow laws which give advantages to the cities, and the 'smarty' fellow was only going to put it on a little heavier and have us pay as near all the tax as possible! The judge told him he was a fool! Just as you say, the farmers give up and get led around by the nose, and lots believe they don't know any better than to pay the heavy end of the expenses! Maybe someday they will learn! They did once know? And so have gone back? That don't look like much hope! It's a fact some early farmers here, when there was few had property, got eat out with taxes and went bankrupt--had organization too soon. I think such things make some people crazy. Unjust losses drive some deranged. C----, at Ashland, immensely popular as a merchant, accumulated fifty thousand and went into other business and lost half by another fellow's dishonesty; but he had full half left. Yet he grieved until his mind went out of balance. Another that done well [Samuel Colver] bought of government the big Hargadine Butte, fenced it for pasture and it was fine. Tried angoras and wild vermin killed them. Then tried expensive horses and some of them died. Then his four-thousand-dollar stallion got poisoned and he sold out. He had a-plenty yet, but he grieved so much over the horse that he went loony, wandered around and next year broke in the ice on Klamath Lake and drowned."
In that surprise to the family his reticent nature is shown. He could not write himself and would not ask anyone to do it for him! The brother arrived ten days subsequently by team.
"Why I didn't buy a farm right away and settle down?" said Mr. B. "See here. I wasn't home many days until I saw that my 'pile' wasn't near as valuable as I imagined, for farms had risen in price. Then, too, I saw that the 'Pacific' was then lots better than Iowa, and it really wasn't two weeks till I decided to go back to Oregon! Then I began to look around for an outfit, and when the first 'norther' came down I could have started next day! I tell you it chilled my marrow! Yes, I could have bought and paid for a pretty good farm, but the homesickness was all gone and I couldn't stand the cold.
I didn't make much more than half what I should while in Oregon, for Sarah was melancholy and I stayed nearby half the time with Bill and helped him get fixed good to keep her encouraged! (What an unselfish soul! K.)
Like I always said, Bill wasn't homesick one bit--never was; and now Sarah was back in Iowa, she got a fever to go again to the Pacific! But it soon got in good shape, because Mother, John, Aaron and [a] good many neighbors concluded to go with us almost as soon as we decided! Mother and John had lived together a long time.
In November I run across a school teacher, Electa Norton, and pretty soon we made a treaty of peace to begin a life business on the first day of 1860.
Amongst them that concluded to go with us was a German cooper and musician from Burlington. Adam Schmitt, a good fellow who three years ago made the barrels that went into the Medford distillery. Then there was Musser and Miller and William Ulrich, a bright little boy who grew into a rustling man and is now the manager of the 'Southern Oregon Packing Company,' and a clubfoot German, I've forgot his name, who was a splendid ox driver.
But let me tell you how hard times was in Iowa in 1860. I concluded some of my money might as well be earning interest, although Mother cautioned me that money would be awful hard to collect even for the best of men. I took fifteen 'yellow boys'--three hundred--out of my belt and loaned to Gray, who was said to be worth thirty thousand, and had for security the mill owner and two merchants. When time to emigrate come I dunned for my money, and his answer was, 'I can't raise a dollar by any way I can invent!'--all was trade! He couldn't borrow--nobody could! The upshot was I had to take two hundred and eighty in 'shinplasters' for that gold loan! But I made it up in the outfit, for I got oxen, wagon and provisions for almost a song! Tough times they was, sure!
What John followed? He never farmed; just carried on tailoring; but he was one of the best nurses and doctors--scrub doctors--I ever saw in sickness and accidents. He always had medicine, but he laid in a special stock for the trip. A family? Yes, pretty large one. A few spring hacks were in the train for the women and children, but most was ox rigs. Oxen was plenty and big in them times, for Iowa was in the last of settlers' days and everybody most had had oxen for prairie breaking, which was now pretty well done for the start of farms. You see, cattle could work and live on grass, while it was out of the question for horses. I suppose that now you could find hardly a yoke of oxen to the township in Iowa--where we lived, at any rate!
It's a fact, our train had some of the finest work cattle you ever saw! We had a few unbroken, but it was no trouble, for we broke them one at a time in the 'swings.'
Bill's eye? He said that nothing pained him, but the one seemed as strong as two. If anything overtook him on the left he had to turn clean around; that was all the bother.
When the whole 'posse' met in Mount Pleasant they elected him captain and wrote it down in a book. They made but a short drive that day--always too many 'pickups' the day of starting."
William Ulrich was hunted up and his words were nervous and positive.
"Yes," said William, "I was quite young in 1860, and one of the earliest characters I recall was a tall old gentleman, no relative, who came to Father's in Burlington in 1857 and begged to be allowed to work for his board and clothing as long as my father would allow. We were in the soap line, for people need to be clean even in hard times! I can't tell as much of him as Adam Schmitt, who was in his company a great deal, but have an impression that 'Krebs' confessed to my father that he had been one of a gang of marauders (ghouls) that hung on the flanks of Bonaparte's army in order to rob the wounded and dead; but all that we ever saw of him was perfectly upright. I surmise that he was full eighty when we concluded to join the 'Overlanders' to meet at Mount Pleasant in 1860, and he wanted--to--be--one! Father first laughed and then got frightened. 'Why, Krebs,' said he, 'you are too old to stand such a trip! You'll just only lay your old bones in the shadow of the Big Rockies down, ain't it?' To which the old man rejoined, 'Well on, Chris, what's the difference, it's only die anyhow! and you're all the friend I've got! Bury me in a dry place, so--not true? Oh, but I can walk yet, you see?' Well, Father yielded from good nature and one liked inoffensive old Krebs anyhow. Of course my father himself was very German, and his good nature ruined all his business prospects and plans.
My parents were pious Lutherans; I am not. The worst I was ever cheated was by a preacher, 'Father N----,' who denied that I ever furnished fifty dollars in lumber to one of his churches. I think he intended to make me donate like everybody terrorized Ladd of Portland! Church people have bled him fearfully! and he a paralytic, too, of the well-known banking firm, 'Ladd & Tilton.' Father put up the first planing mill in Jacksonville, and let me go to school until he died, and then I had to help Mother 'rustle.'
My parents? From Berlin. Father left us in debt, which compelled Mother to sell in order to pay, and removed to smaller quarters. Adam Schmitt, my brother-in-law, helped her put all in good condition. Adam was a widower. One time he, my sister and several others went on a picnic to Crescent City, and on return sister introduced herself as 'Mrs. Schmitt!' It was the custom to make awfully expensive weddings and our folks were too poor! This ruse 'cut the Gordian Knot'! Father's name was Christian; Mother's, Barbara--a pious woman, if I am her boy!"
William was a famous "rustler," but worked too hard, injuring his health, and while ill peddled milk during a smallpox epidemic when all decamped who well could. He had no fear.
"But," resumed Ulrich, "you ought to have been here when the first rich quartz ledge was struck at Gold Hill! Men grew wild! A bucket of quartz would be half metal, and men acted like 'possessed.'
I? No, sir! No man ever gave me a cent. I've earned every dollar I ever had. I operated a bakery and sold six hundred loaves a day, besides pies and cakes. I sold my stand and traveled for the 'Farmers and Merchants Insurance Company' for six years at a good salary.
But I'll come back to the migration. Father fitted up two wagons with two yoke of oxen each, and old Krebs did go afoot every rod except once--crossing or near a river, I think. Men who, like Frederick Barneburg, paid attention to securing all the land possible, did well.
My mind was then rather immature, and Schmitt could give you more information."
William Ulrich is so well informed that one would almost imagine him a seminarian. But early one beautiful morning Mr. Schmitt was sought at the county seat.
Said he: "I was born in Wurms, Hesse Darmstadt, in 1833, and in my teens came to the United States, where I traveled with the 'Anion' and 'Germania' bands, and then settled in Burlington, Iowa. I knew Christian Ulrich in the latter place, who had with him a very old German six feet four inches tall, and claimed to have been an Alsatian and in Napoleon's armies in 1796, which would make him very old. Ulrich told me that Karl Krebs confessed that he first was a 'sinne honness'--scapegoat or scapegraces (ghouls)--who followed the army to plunder the dead; which of course was contemptible. In time they were caught and conscripted--he staying in the army until discharged, and then came to America. When the Mexican War broke out he enlisted--over seventy!--served all through and got a land warrant. Then he bent all energy to buying up all he could get till he had fifteen, and then in 1857 came to Burlington to lay them in Iowa. As bad luck would have it, he got drunk and someone stole every warrant and valuable paper! It was early spring, and when he woke he was lying in snow. When he found himself robbed he laid down another night in the same place! Then he 'lost all holts' and came to Christian Ulrich's as narrated.
He died about 1872 and was the most inoffensive man you ever saw! For several years before death he lost all exact memory and judgment, but would work well when told.
Several times I asked his company and regiment in the Mexican War, and his answer was always, 'I had no company and regiment; I was a general!' Christian Ulrich, if alive, could tell his whole story. We know his grave, and on Decoration Day it gets attention. What a pity his story was not written! Yes, he did walk the whole way except across Green River Desert, which we crossed in the night, and we made him ride for fear he'd get lost! All deemed him full one hundred and six at death. Early in 1860 a lot of us German Republicans wanted to carry Burlington for the party, and would have done so had not the railroad (C.B.&O.) 'colonized' four carloads of Irish. This disgusted and induced me to go to the Pacific with Ulrich and Barneburgs. Don't you see, the Germans become better citizens than most any other? They make money, pay debts and build up a country! Yes, Dutch millionaires! plenty of them!
My off ox was 'John,' and I'll tell you a joke. When I first went to yoke up and stood on the off side holding the yoke, the beast hit the yoke with his horns and scattered it and me around promiscuously! Then someone said 'Hold it in front,' which I did and all came under just right. So you see, my oxen taught me! I didn't forget! The nigh ox was 'Buck.'
My company (squad) had four yoke of oxen and one of cows, but the latter we didn't allow to work much while milking. Miller was my partner, and both had families. We had a tent which I used for sleeping and he the wagon. Partnership is poor business, but in our case was nobody's fault; it don't go good. We started 'April Fool' day; that's for being foolish partners!
Yes, we made Bill Barneburg captain. I recollect some names--Barneburgs, Lehenburg, Ulrich, John Miller, Henry Theiss (Tice) and Krebs. Seventy miles from Fort Kearny we had a stampede which hurt Henry Theiss pretty bad. We always drove all up abreast, which made it easier to unhitch and hitch.
Fred Barneburg had four horses hard to catch, and John Young had two yoke of wild oxen, while Theiss was driver of an ox team. On this morning Fred threw a stone at one of his horses to drive it into a pen of wagons, but it missed and hit one of Young's wild cattle, which bleated in a scared way and started every yoked team on a scamper. Theiss held on to his ox's horn and was run over by his own and one other team, while several other men were hurt. That mishap made us lie by two days till the hurt got better. Not far from Fort Laramie we had an awful blizzard one night which blew down our tent twice and we didn't try to set it up again, but let it lie over us, and it shed off most of the wet. Then the stock all ran to the shelter of the wagons and several had to watch all night that the stock did not crowd to tilt over the wagons or tramp one another to death. That night Mrs. Henry Schlagel was
taken down with a birth, and--you can imagine what a muss we had!
Near Sweetwater the rush by of the 'Overland' stampeded us, and I don't see why, for they had then passed us a great many times each way, and the beasts did not seem to care. But no harm came that time. When we got into the mountains further the high bluffs to the north stopped the blizzards, but we had several sleet storms, with enough wind to be uncomfortable.
Many of our men went to see the names on Independence Rock, and reported no dates earlier than 1845. While at the Rock an Indian chief, John, came to trade a fine horse to Whitehead for ammunition, but Bill forbid it, and then someone gave a gold watch in trade, which proved a bad move, for when we got to "Rabbit Hole" Colonel Landers was met, who called the animal, which 'nickered' and ran to him, with all signs of being glad! They compromised. After that, no one was anxious for trade with Indians!
At Stinking Spring on the east side of Green River Desert we laid by all day to let the animals fill up for a long, pushing night drive, because it would be destruction to stop on it; fortunately the grazing was fine.
Here, I say again, we made Krebs ride. Of course we rested the whole of the next day to let the teams fill up; and also grass was fine; every thorn has a rose! We struck Salt Lake City on the morning of the Fourth, and concluded to celebrate by trading and refitting; but I guess we'd have done the same on any other day! A good. many oxen were exhausted and we gave 'boot' for fresh animals. That was a good speculation for the Mormons, because the cattle would recruit inside of a month! I found an Englishman who had some vegetables and offered to buy, but had no way to carry them.
He said, 'Come in; I'll loan you a basket.' When in, I saw five women, whom he introduced as sisters and his wives! He saw my astonishment and said, 'You are surprised, I see! Well, we are used to it, and these women like the arrangement.' And by gracious they did look happy, sure enough! In reply to his question I answered, 'I am a cooper and a musician.' Then he said, 'Stay right here, for we need both professions badly. Beer? Yes, they had pretty good in Salt Lake, but the 'farmer-made' I didn't taste.
When I returned that basket he said, 'You are welcome.' (Mr. Schmitt did not explain, but, conventionally, this means "no charge"--"gratis." K.) At Goose Creek Canyon the Indians raided our cattle and got fourteen head, mostly the Mormon exchanges.
We left the Humboldt a long ways from the Sink so as to make Rabbit Hole Springs in a day by an old trail 'cutoff'; and the last camp I can recollect was on Sheep Rock, on the east side of Shasta, fourteen miles from Yreka.
Then we struck Jacksonville, and here I've been ever since, coopering and cultivating music. Fred was right--I made twelve hundred barrels for the distillery.
I tell you, music makes people happy, and it's ennobling. It is a language and expresses every feeling of the mind and soul.
Once William Linn, one of our best in the 'Silver Cornet Band,' died and at the funeral all eyes seemed dry; but I had said, 'Boys, we'll each take a bouquet; then we'll march around the grave--I'll lay down my flowers, then each in turn do the same to form a wreath.' After that we played a dirge, and every individual seemed affected, while some shed tears. Nevertheless, not one word was said! Music is a deep language.
I got the name of 'The first Dutch abolitionist in Jackson County.' (A badge of the truest and most sublime nobility. K.) Late in November, when news came of the election of Lincoln, I got a big old flintlock musket and had a jubilee! Several said, 'You're crazy; it's an awful calamity and will ruin America.'
My religion? I'm Catholic; my family, Lutheran. But I might tell of my one buffalo hunt while we waited on the wounded from the Barneburg stampede, which did not have the common ending and so was short. As soon as the hunters reached the uplands we saw a herd with the bulls all on our side, and before we got near enough to shoot they all began pawing dirt and shaking their heads. I said it was no use, I didn't want any more calamity, but most of the party went some further, and the buffalo did.charge and sent us all a-flying! We went to camp and left the bulls in possession!"
CHAPTER V."Adam's talk about the Mormons," resumed Mr. B., after a long interval, "makes me think of the move Father made in 1849 when we traveled through Nauvoo and saw the blackened and bare walls of the famous Temple: I don't recollect when it was fired.
Back in Rogue River Valley. Frederick Barneburg
Concludes. John's Nursing of Theiss. Lost
Men Eating Putrid Meat and Crickets.
Joe Smith was killed in Carthage? I'd always supposed he was shot in Nauvoo when the Temple was burnt! It was destroyed after the Mormons went clean away? Somehow I've got matters mixed! You knew some who were in the war and guarded the jail?
(Captain R. F. Smith of the "Carthage Grays" was in the siege of Nauvoo and ostensibly guarded the Carthage jail, in which were Hiram and Joe Smith, in the sixties, was the gallant colonel of the Sixteenth Illinois and was brevetted "Brigadier." Captain Dunn commanded the "Augusta Horse" and Sam Pray was captain of the "Hancock Cavalry." K.)
My brother John took care of the clubfoot German, Theiss, when he got hurt in the stampede on the Platte, and sponged him with turpentine. It took out all the pain. When he got better he said to my brother, 'Barneburg, I owe you my life, and will never forget you.'
Our train left a good wagon on the Plains and I can't recollect the reason, but I believe it was more than we needed, after feeding out all the grain and some provisions. But castaway wagons we'd see every few days.
When we got into Jackson County, Wait, who had bought out Bill, was anxious to sell, although he had made costly improvements. It's astonishing how dissatisfaction or homesickness ruins a man's judgment! That man offered to sell for less than the cost of his house alone, but he had entered a 'donation' for himself joining--all fine soil! Well, he took my bid of $1.25 an acre for all. Bill got a fine piece nearby and sold to me some time after for $1,000! He too was just sacrificing! Poor fellow, he couldn't see it. Then my ambition for land went on till I got more than I could handle.
Wait couldn't find any better opening, and then he saw his mistake and was a sick (chagrined) man!
Awhile after that I got sheep to run in the mountains and met some odd experiences with horses and ponies. Now, I really think a horse has mind and reason--I know he appreciates good treatment and he's always got the instinct to carry him home. At least twice I was lost in the brush, and the pony brought me safe home by the shortest route. I had several that wouldn't leave the camp-fire further than grass, and you can soon learn which to trust; in fact, if you treat them well, many are reliable.
Once when running a flock I had one that I would strip and turn loose as soon as the flock 'bedded down' and he would go off some rods to graze or browse. Always when I woke in the morning his head was near mine, and if my face was down his nose would be right on my head!
Once I bought a fine Spanish animal that weighed about 1,150, and folks said I'd wasted my money, for he was mean and balky! In a little while he was just like the trusty ponies and couldn't be beat for a buggy horse. Summing it all up, I guess horses are just what you make them, for all animals amongst the Indians seem much the same, although some are more lively and the bucks choose them by preference.
Nobody seemed to know much about the country east of the Cascades when I first come in, and two men that I saw concluded that they'd give it an exploring, but they spent all their grub and ammunition and begun to feed on crickets and grasshoppers. The older man had poor sight and the younger would steal his crickets. Then they found a dead animal in the water, where the under part was not so putrid, on which they lived until some strength come back; but the old man wouldn't stay and wandered off. The young fellow cut off the best meat of the carcass and struck toward the west, where he found a trail which carried him to where he could see Rogue River Valley, and soon after he met a man hunting, who set him all right. Some thought it possible that the younger in his weak-mindedness had killed the old man and forgotten all about it.
Horrible things happen to pioneers, and lots we can never know, for often none was left to tell, and sometimes it was so awful that those who escaped can't be persuaded to talk a word!
I want to tell you about 'running' sheep; that it's necessary to get them out early and keep 'em on grass late, or they won't thrive. Then your supplies come in daytime and the man wants to return right away. But you're out with the flock on the range and he don't know where to find you! When you are in the 'open' away from the camp corrals there is no trouble when night comes, for you just choose your 'camp' to suit yourself, lay down your togs, roll up in the blankets and the flock will gather around you and bed down as close as they can lie. When you learn a sheep's ways and do according, you are all right; but you can't force 'em; it'll be 'monkeying' sure!
Yes, we tried mining again from 1889 to '92; that time on the Klamath below the mouth of Ash Creek, where we made a good dam which cleared off the 'riffle,' and we took out quite a lot of metal; but we couldn't see any profit in such disagreeable work which made no better wages than anywhere else; so we sold at cost of improvements--$3,500. The new company put in an iron two hundred and fifty-foot level shaft, which raised lots of water to sluice off the shore bedrock to uncover riffles, but one of them Klamath cloudbursts broke their axle just as they found another gold riffle. Last year they put it a heavy wooden shaft and Loggett said they took out $2,500 in one day! It's all blind chance; where one makes, nine break; but it's awfully attractive, I tell you!
Yes, my want of education sometimes misled people. I had given Thornton, the merchant, two notes. When I went to make a payment I said to the clerk I wanted it paid on the smaller, and he asked what was the difference. I had sense enough to know that when a note was paid, interest stopped. When both were paid at due I told the clerk his figures was wrong. I guess he thought an ignoramus oughtn't say anything! We waited till Thornton came in from the woolen mill, and he went over the accounts. Then he opened the safe and handed me a twenty-dollar gold piece--the difference!
But, I'm a worn-out and tired man!"
No one, from his conversation, would surmise Mr. Barneburg's illiteracy; certainly his observation and memory of language have been unusually acute. It is almost unnecessary to say that his condition is infinitely above want, while in respect, when disabilities are weighed, he stands conspicuous, and his life may be considered a phenomenal success.
His home is under the frown of "Roxy Ann," a symmetrical dome of the Pit system of the Cascade Range, in a romantic residence overlooking the most beautiful part of the Rogue River Valley.
Reese P. Kendall, Pacific Trail Camp-Fires, 1901.
July 25th--Wm. Barneburg w, F. Barneburg
"List of Immigrants to Oregon," taken at Utilla Agency, Oregonian, Portland, October 29, 1853, page 1
DIED.Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, February 1, 1862, page 3
At Phoenix, January 18th, Mrs. MARY ANN BARNEBURG. Aged 31 years.
At Phoenix, January 27th, JOHN BARNEBURG. Aged 39 years.
All, in the full enjoyment of the Christian's hope, passed into rest.
Ordered that P. F. McManus be allowed the sum of Fifty-eight 08/100 dollars for supplies furnished S. P. Taylor as Guardian of Sarah Barneburg, wife of Wm. Barneburg, an insane woman. $58.08.
Ordered that Dr. M. Caldwell be allowed the sum of Thirty dollars, Medical attendance on Mrs. Sarah Barneburg, an insane woman and wife of Wm. Barneburg & certified by S. P. Taylor, her guardian. $30.00.
Jackson County Commissioners' Journals, session of May 29, 1862
Phoenix, July 7th 1862
To the Honorable County Commissioners of Jackson County now in session
I was informed that the Commissioners at a past session appointed me to provide the necessary comforts of life for Sarah Barneburg, supposed insane, and I have done so. Now I would respectfully say further that it appears necessary that she should be removed from this place, as she appears to be going about nights and is threatening to destroy life and property, and I think it necessary to remove her from here. The expenses up to this time have been comparatively small; I believe she would still make up clothing for herself and family if she was provided with a room and suitable provision somewhere where she could not see those that she is suspicious of. I cannot think her safe here at large. I wish to get her off tomorrow. Would you please inform me of your course by return mail. If I do not hear from you in the morning she will be sent along to Jacksonville. I fear the consequences of delay.
Yours very respectfullySouthern Oregon Historical Society Research Library, M38D Box 3
S. P. Taylor
Ordered that S. P. Taylor be allowed the sum of Six dollars for expenses incurred attending to the case of Mrs. Barneburg, insane.
Jackson County Commissioners' Journals, session of July 11, 1862
Ordered by the Board that Granville Naylor be allowed the sum of Forty-two dollars for Rent of House for Mrs. Sarah Barneburg. 42.00.
Jackson County Commissioners' Journals, session of October 15, 1862
Ordered by the Board that Thos. F. McManus be allowed the sum of Seven dollars for 200 lbs. Flour for Mrs. Barneburg, Insane.
Jackson County Commissioners' Journals, session of November 3, 1862
Ordered by the Board that Bradbury & Wade be allowed the sum of Thirty-four dollars for supplies furnished to Mrs. Barneburg, a County Charge. $34.00
Jackson County Commissioners' Journals, session of December 3, 1862
Ordered that Granville Naylor be allowed the sum of Twelve 33/100 dollars for rent of House in Gasburg for Mrs. Barneburg (use of W. Hoffman). $12.33.
Ordered that Granville Naylor be allowed the sum of Four dollars and seventeen cents for rent as above. 4.17.
E. D. Foudray is allowed by the Board the sum of Eight dollars and twenty-five cents for Bacon for Mrs. Barneburg. (Insane Pauper) $8.25.
Ordered that Allen Lee be and he is hereby allowed the sum of Eight dollars and Seventy-five cents for wood furnished to Mrs. Barneburg, insane Pauper. $8.75.
Jackson County Commissioners' Journals, session of January 3, 1863
Ordered by the Board that S.P. Taylor be allowed the sum of Four dollars for flour furnished Mrs. Sarah Barneburg and also the sum of Twenty dollars for services as Guardian of said Sarah Barneburg, an insane person. $24.00.
Ordered by the Board that Bradbury & Wade be allowed the sum of Sixty-five dollars and Ninety-five cents for supplies furnished Mrs. Sarah Barneburg, an insane person. $65.95
Jackson County Commissioners' Journals, session of March 2, 1863
Ordered by the Board that Allen Lee be allowed the sum of Twenty-One 46/100 dollars for supplies for Mrs. Sarah Barneburg, an insane person. $21.46.
Ordered by the Board that Granville Naylor be allowed the sum of Eighteen dollars for rent of dwelling house for Mrs. Sarah Barneburg, an insane pauper. $18.00.
Jackson County Commissioners' Journals, session of April 7, 1863
Ordered that Bradbury & Wade be allowed the sum of Forty-five 04/100 dollars for supplies for Mrs. Sarah Barneburg, an insane Pauper. $45.04.
Jackson County Commissioners' Journals, session of April 8, 1863
INSANE.--On Sunday next, two more insane persons will be started from this county for the asylum at Portland. Their names are Dennis Crawley and Mrs. Barneburg. The latter has been supported by the county for a long time. Her insanity is of a mild order. Under gentle treatment she is manageable; aroused or crossed, she is a fury. Crawley is perceptibly better, and has some lucid intervals.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 29, 1863, page 2
Ordered that Sachs Brothers be allowed the sum of Sixteen dollars for articles furnished for Mrs. Barneburg and Dennis E. Crawley (Insane).
Ordered that C. C. Beekman be allowed the sum of Three hundred and fifty dollars, Expenses of sending Mrs. Barneburg and D. E. Crawley to Insane Asylum.
Jackson County Commissioners' Journals, session of May 8, 1863
Ordered by the Board that Matthew Liddell be allowed the sum of Eighty-nine dollars for boarding, clothing and taking care of poor, to wit: Milly, Mary and James Barneburg 9 Weeks to date: $89.10
Jackson County Commissioners' Journals, session of July 9, 1863
Ordered by the Board that County Warrant No. [blank], issued by the Clerk in favor of J. C. Tolman, County Judge, for Fifty dollars, be confirmed and allowed by the Board; said Warrant on the proceeds thereof were forwarded to Hawthorne & Loryea of the State Insane Asylum, to be applied to the Sisters of Charity for the expenses of Keeping the infant child of Mrs. Sarah Barneburg, an insane person.
Jackson County Commissioners' Journals, session of August 7, 1863
Married.Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 30, 1864, page 2
On the 13th inst., in Phoenix, Jackson County, Oregon, by the Rev. P. M. Starr, Mr. SAMUEL M. ROBINSON to Miss HANNAH E. BARNEBURG.
Whereas Amos Lyman Barneburg, an orphan child who has heretofore been a County Charge and whereas H. P. Deskins proposes to take said child as an apprentice until he arrives at the age of 21 years, It is ordered by the Board that the said Amos Lyman Barneburg be bound by the Board of Commissioners to the said H. P. Deskins with the stipulation that the said H. P. Deskins shall cause the said apprentice to be taught some lawful calling and also to read, write & cypher in the general rules of Arithmetic and at the end of his apprenticeship to furnish said apprentice a suit of New Clothes, One hundred and twenty-five dollars in money and a horse, saddle & bridle.
Jackson County Commissioners' Journals, session of June 26, 1866
PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY MILL CO.--An association of prominent Grangers have purchased the Wimer Flouring Mills of Phoenix, and they propose in a short time to assume the management thereof. They filed articles of incorporation in the County Clerk's office on the 16th instant. The association will be known as the Patrons of Husbandry Mill Company. The capital stock is placed at $12,000, divided into shares of $100 each. The objects of the company is to carry on a general milling business--buy wheat, sell flour and grind. the following gentlemen are the incorporators: John E. Ross, J. N. T. Miller, Fred Barneburg, Jacob Ish, F. M. Plymale, Conrad Mingus, John S. Herrin, N. C. Dean, John O'Brien, James D. Buckley, L. Chappel, Thos. Wright, Wm. Ray, Jesse Dollarhide, John Watson.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 30, 1875, page 3
COLLISION.--On Tuesday as Fred. Barneburg was on his way to Ashland with his family he was met on a narrow grade of the road near Eagle Mills by a runaway team belonging to C. Mingus. A fearful collision was the result, by which both wagons were thrown up in a heap. Mrs. Barneburg and mother, who were on the wagon at the time, were seriously injured, the former it is feared fatally. One of Mingus' horses had a leg broken. At this writing we are without further particulars.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 31, 1879, page 3
Barneburg & Kincaid.
HAVING LEASED the shop formerly occupied by Mat. Shannon, we ask a share of the public patronage.
Staple produce or cash taken for work.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 1, 1880, page 4
A. A. Barneburg, while shoeing a horse last Monday, was forcibly reminded that this world is not a fleeting show by a well-directed kick from this playful animal. Barney now sports a cane.
"Brief Reference," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 1, 1881, page 3
Fred. Barneburg of Eden precinct, Jackson County, owns a flock of sheep, 276 in number, from which 2100 pounds of wool was sheared this morning.
"News Items," Vancouver Independent, Vancouver, Washington, August 11, 1881, page 4
MORTUARY.--Most everybody in Southern Oregon knew Peter Barneburg, for the last ten years a clerk at Reames Bros., and his rather sudden but not unexpected death last Sunday night from "strangulated hernia" will cause universal regret here. Mr. Barneburg came to the coast many years ago from Burlington, Iowa, and was well respected. His age was 54 years.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 18, 1881, page 3
A. A. Barneburg of Willow Springs carries his head in a sling, the result of getting burned while cutting a bar of red-hot steel.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 11, 1882, page 3
Aaron Barneburg, brother of Fred. Barneburg of Eden precinct, and his nephew, John W. (brother of A. A. Barneburg), are visiting relatives in this section, after an absence of fifteen years. They are now engaged in business at San Luis Obispo, Cal.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 26, 1883, page 3
We are sorry to announce that Fred. Barneburg of Eden precinct has lost a boy and girl, aged about six and two years, respectively, during this week, by scarlet fever.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 11, 1883, page 3
BARNEBURG--In Eden precint, May 8th, of scarlet fever, Hattie Hazeltine, aged 6 years and 8 months. On the same day, Frank, aged 1 year and 10 months. Children of Fred and Electa Barneburg.
"I take these little ones," He said,Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 18, 1883, page 3
"And fold them to my breast,
In my arms they shall ever be,
And God will give them rest."
FREDERICK BARNEBURG: lives three miles north of Phoenix; is a farmer; was born at Hesse-Kassel, Germany, 1836; came to America in 1838 and to this county in 1854; he was married January 1, 1860, to Electa Norton, a native of Iowa. Children Laura A., Samuel P., Daniel H., Ida J., Mary and John.
A. G. Walling, History of Southern Oregon, 1884, page 501
Fred Barneburg has bought the butcher shop formerly owned by Wm. Turner and will continue the business at the old stand. J. B. Griffin will have charge of the shop.
"Medford Brevities," Ashland Tidings, January 15, 1886, page 3
What promises to be one of the richest and most extensive strikes that has ever been made in Jackson County was made by John Robinson and John Slagle on the hills in the front of Granville Sears' ranch some two miles distant in the hills. The find is rich decomposed rose quartz, bearing free gold in abundance. The ledge has been traced on the surface for a distance of over 700 feet, and at a depth of 6 feet is five feet wide. In every piece of quartz can be found a prospect of free gold. We visited the ledge Wednesday, and found Messrs. Robinson and Slagle at work taking and sacking the quartz--the ledge laying in such a position that one man can take out several tons in a day. Several parties are interested in extensions on the same ledge, which has been traced for some distance. On the location notices were noticed the names of D. Miller, Wm. Robinson, F. Barneburg and J. B. Griffin. The above parties being also interested in the first strike.--Monitor.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 10, 1886, page 3
Jacksonville Times: James Barneburg, of Ashland precinct, had his collarbone broken not long since while using a clod pulverizer. The team he was driving became unmanageable and pulled the implement over him.
"Jackson County," Morning Oregonian, Portland, December 14, 1886, page 2
Henry Barneburg's new cottage residence on his farm 1½ miles east of Medford has just been finished by the contractor, I. A. Webb.
"Medford Doings," Valley Record, Ashland, June 13, 1889, page 3
Fred Barneburg will drive in about 200 head of cattle from the Lake of the Woods range to be fattened up at his fine farm, ready for shipment to market. The Barneburg farm turns out some sleek-looking beeves.
"Medford Doings," Valley Record, Ashland, September 11, 1890, page 3
Fred Barneburg last week brought in from the lake range 212 head of cattle, which he will fatten up for market.
"Medford Doings," Valley Record, Ashland, October 9, 1890, page 3
Fred Barneburg shipped two carloads of stall-fed beef to the Portland market Wednesday.
"Medford Doings," Valley Record, Ashland, March 5, 1891, page 3
Fred Barneburg maintains his position as the leading cattle feeder of southern Oregon, and the shipment made by him to Portland last week of ninety head of stall-fed steers was the best that ever left the valley.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 17, 1893, page 3
Fred Barneburg's 235 beef steers shipped to San Francisco Monday averaged 1328 lbs. apiece, which is undoubtedly the best band of beeves in the state. The Barneburgs are successful stock-raisers and nothing but the first-class article leaves the Barneburg ranch.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, March 1, 1894, page 3
Mrs. Dustin High has been paying her folks, Fred Barneburg and family, a visit.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, April 12, 1894, page 4
Mrs. Fred Barneburg and daughter, Miss Mollie, Mrs. Ed. Wilkinson, and Marv. [Harv.?] Taylor went to the midwinter fair this week.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, June 7, 1894, page 3
The Barneburgs shipped a carload of their fine beeves to Salem Monday.
Miss Mollie Barneburg and Mrs. John Barneburg were visiting Ashland friends this week on horseback. The ladies make a dashing appearance riding fiery steeds.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, April 18, 1895, page 3
Fred Barneburg was over on Little Butte Creek last Saturday. During a stay of a few hours on the river--and with rod and line--he succeeded in putting to land forty mountain trout. There is no person who dares to question Fred's fish stories--because that he tells them cheerfully--and a prevaricator, if cheerful, is welcomed almost anyplace--but the question at issue is: How many pounds of ham will pay a rancher for catching forty mountain trout?
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 3, 1896, page 6
Fred Barneburg, wife and daughter, Miss Mollie, and A. J. McLeod and wife have returned from the ocean at Crescent City.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, August 20, 1916, page 3
A. S. Hammond:--"Myself and family have been having a little outing up on the Santiam River. I have heard tell of fish actually extending invitations to be caught, but I never believed it until last week. Near where we were camped is a small lake and from it, in two days' time, I took 500 mountain trout--with hook and line. The fish would actually jump out of the water to catch my hook. This is no Fred Barneburg fish story, but an honest fact."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, July 16, 1897, page 7
Came to Oregon in 1860.
MEDFORD, Or., July 8.--Mrs. Electa Norton Barneburg died last night after several months' illness, aged 61 years. She was born in Windsor, O., in 1829, and married Frederick Barneburg in Iowa in 1860, coming to Oregon the same year, and had resided in Jackson County since. Deceased left a husband and six children. Funeral services will be held Tuesday afternoon at the family residence, Rev. Adolph Haberly, of the Presbyterian Church, officiating. Interment will be in the Odd Fellows' cemetery.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, June 9, 1901, page 4
Death of Mrs. Electa Barneburg.
Mrs. Electa Barneburg, wife of our respected townsman, Mr. Fred Barneburg, died at the family residence last Sunday at 11:15 p.m., after a painful and lingering illness. About a year ago Mrs. Barneburg had a severe fall from a table upon which she was standing, and it is thought that she injured herself internally at the time. Something like a tumor or cancer developed, and a specialist treated her for this disease, but last week other symptoms developed, and Mrs. Barneburg was too weak to sustain the added drain upon her already exhausted system, and she succumbed after several hours of unconsciousness.
Mrs. Barneburg was a native of Ohio. She was sixty-one years, seven months and twenty-one days old at the time of her death. Besides her husband she leaves six children, three sons and three daughters, all grown up, to mourn her departure. Mrs. Barneburg was a faithful and loving wife and mother. She was very much attached to her home and family--she was in fact a homebody, caring well for her home and loved ones. She has been for several years a member of the Presbyterian Church and lived a quiet, reserved and unassuming Christian faith.
The funeral services were conducted by her pastor, at her late residence, on Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock. A large number of friends and neighbors gathered at the home and followed the remains to her last resting place in the Odd Fellows cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Gore, of Medford, and Mrs. J. W. Robinson and John F. Miller, of Jacksonville, rendered several sacred and appropriate selections at the services, both at the house and at the grave. The floral offerings were numerous, and several pieces were elaborate and artistic, especially so were a large cross, a snowy white pillow, an anchor and a gathered sheaf. The sympathy of the entire community goes out to Mr. Barneburg and his family.
"There is a day of sunny rest
For every dark and troubled night,
And grief may bide an evening guest,
But joy shall come with early light.
"And thou who o'er thy loved one's bier
Dost shed the bitter tears like rain,
Hope that a brighter, happier sphere
Will give her to thy arms again.
"For God hath marked each sorrowing day
And numbered every secret tear,
And Heaven's long age of bliss shall pay
For all his children suffer here."
--A.H.Medford Mail, July 12, 1901, page 2
About Salmon in Rogue River.
I see in some of the different newspapers in Jackson County some writeups on salmon in Rogue River. The publications leave the impression that the large run of salmon which came up Rogue River in the year 1902 was on account of the hatchery situated at the mouth of Elk Creek. I wish to state for myself that this run of salmon was not due to the hatchery. I know that it was due to the natural propagation of salmon all along Rogue River from Grants Pass to Elk Creek. According to Mr. Berrian's own statement, he took charge of the hatchery in 1899, and it is impossible for the hatch of 1899 to be the run in 1902, for the hatch of salmon in 1899 is now in the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of Rogue River, and according to the best authorities the salmon from the hatch of 1899 will come up the river in 1903. And furthermore the salmon which are hatched at the hatcheries on Rogue River do not benefit a majority of the people along the river within Josephine and Jackson counties as to fishing with hook and line, for the reason that the salmon that are hatched at the mouth of the river from eggs taken in upper Rogue River and shipped to that point do not come up the river as far as Josephine and Jackson counties, because the salmon minnows go direct to where they were hatched and turned into the river when they come up the river to spawn, and therefore the majority of the hook and line fishermen and a majority of the people along Rogue River in Josephine and Jackson counties derive scarcely any benefit from the salmon that are turned into the river at the hatchery at Elk Creek. If we are to have salmon all along Rogue River within Josephine and Jackson counties it must be from natural propagation and not otherwise. And furthermore, we have no objection whatever to Mr. Berrian, superintendent of the hatchery on Elk Creek, hatching salmon eggs and turning the minnows from the hatchings into Rogue River at Elk Creek; in fact we wish him the very best of success.
FREDERICK BARNEBURG.Medford Mail, December 19, 1902, page 2
Uncle Fred Barneburg:--"When you curry a horse the wrong way he looks and acts like the dickens. That's what's wrong with this month of March. Someone has curried it the wrong way."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, March 23, 1906, page 1
Mr. Fred Barneburg was born in Hesse-Kassel, Germany, January 17th, 1836, and came to this country when a boy. In 1853, at the age of 17, he came to Oregon. After a time he went out to Iowa and resided in Henry County, where on the 1st of January, 1860 he was married to Miss Electa Norton and the following spring he and his wife came to the Rogue River Valley in Oregon, where they made their home. Of the children born to this union six survive--three boys and three girls--all of whom reside in Jackson County. Mrs. Barneburg died the 7th of July, 1901. Mr. Fred Barneburg was a man of unusual native ability and had a wonderful, retentive memory, and with educational advantages would have risen to eminence among his fellows in any walk of life. He was a man that bore an unsullied reputation wherever he lived or traveled. He was an exemplary husband, father and citizen, and such men are the bulwark of every great civilization. His word was absolutely reliable, and he was upright in all his relations with his fellow men. The poet hath said that "An honest man is the noblest work of god," and the Inspired Word says that "An honest name is rather to be chosen than great riches."
For years Mr. Barneburg has been a member, always in good standing, of the I.O.O.F.
On Tuesday morning he went to the Rogue River to fish, where he accidentally fell into the water and was drowned about 11 o'clock. The news of his death brought sadness to all hearts.
In the midst of our grief we take comfort in the thoughts:
What I do thou knowest not now;
but thou shalt understand hereafter.
Now we see in a mirror darkly;
but then face to face.
Now I know in part;
but then I shall know fully,
even as also I as fully known."
COMMUNICATED.Medford Daily Tribune, July 11, 1907, page 2
After 26 Years, Mr. Barneburg Returns--Wonderful Changes.
Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Barneburg, of San Antonio, Texas, arrived in the city yesterday. They came by the northern route via Seattle. Mr. Barneburg is the last of the living Barneburg brothers. One brother, Frederick, who lived here many years, was drowned in Rogue River a few years ago. Mr. Barneburg was here visiting 26 years ago--before this city was thought of. The changes since then are simply wonderful. Now a prosperous city, then only brush. Wonderful! Wonderful! and only 26 years.
Medford Mail, August 27, 1909, page 1
BARNEBURG PLACE SOLD FOR $22,000
Two Hundred and Fifty-Eight Acres Southeast of City Sold
to Local Real Estate Firm, Which Will Cut it Into Ten-Acre Tracts and Sell.
The S. P. Barneburg place, southeast of the city, has been sold to Aylor & Barnett of this city. The price paid was $22,000.
The land is well adapted to fruit-raising. The place consists of 258 acres, which the new owners will cut into ten-acre tracts and sell.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 7, 1910, page 1
Barneburg Cattle Bring Over $20,000Over $20,000 for his herd of 450 cattle was received recently by Henry Barneburg, who has disposed of his cattle interests to D. W. Parker of Klamath County. This is one of the largest individual cattle deals of recent years in this vicinity. Acquirement of interests in the Marshfield country and the fact that the recent hard winter has put a high price on cattle, which are needed by the cattlemen of Eastern Oregon to replace those lost, added to the fact that range is becoming hard to secure in this valley, led Mr. Barneburg to go out of the cattle business.
Ashland Tidings, May 24, 1917, page 1
MRS. LEVENBERG, PIONEER HOSTESS OF PHOENIX, DEAD
Mrs. Lizzie Levenberg, age 81 years, a pioneer of Southern Oregon, known to scores in the Rogue River Valley and Northern California, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. C. C. Lowe of Klamath Falls Sunday and will be buried from the Presbyterian Church at Phoenix, Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock.
Mrs. Levenberg was the proprietor of the first hotel in Phoenix, and the fame of her cooking extended from Redding to Roseburg, and from the Pacific Ocean to the Idaho state line. For years she held the honor of being the best cook within these lines. She was well and widely known in this city and valley.
Mrs. Levenberg was born in Germany, January 1, 1834, and came to America in 1837 with her parents, being among the first emigrants from the fatherland to this country. Her early life was spent in Illinois and Iowa, and in 1860 she crossed the plains to Fort Jones, Cal. Later she moved to Phoenix, where she operated a hotel until 1892. This hotel is one of the posts in the pioneer history of Southern Oregon.
Mrs. Levenberg is survived by two daughters, Mrs. C. C. Lowe and Mrs. S. B. Lowe, both of Klamath Falls. A brother, A. M. Barneburg, lives at San Antonio. Other relatives reside in this city and county.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 15, 1915, page 2
S. P. Barneburg and son, Harvey, of Medford, passed through Ashland the last of the week bound for Dead Indian and returned Tuesday with seventy-five head of cattle which they left at the Owens ranch, south of town. They stopped over Tuesday evening with Mr. Barneburg's brother, Henry Barneburg, in Ashland.
"Local and Personal," Ashland Tidings, March 2, 1916, page 5
BUGLE AND TRAILER IN A BATTLE ROYALI promised in my last story to tell you about a hunt and bear fight in which Old Bugle--Fred Barneburg's thoroughbred hound--had a hand and helped to save Trailer when he was in the closest place of his life.
By John B. Griffin
Fred Barneburg was one of the good old pioneers of the Rogue River Valley and was one of the first settlers and secured valuable land near Bear Creek. In those days he and Captain John S. Miller used to kill deer where Medford now stands. Fred was known far and wide and loved to hunt better than anybody, and was a great hand to take care of meat after he had killed it. I used to hunt a great deal with Fred and Dave Miller, and it kept me pretty busy sometimes listening to them both talking at the same time, telling how they came to miss an old buck or managed to bag him.
Fred was several years older than I and used to tell around the campfire of his early hunting days and his hunts in Dead Indian and around Grizzly Peak.
I remember of him telling me of seeing two large grizzlies in mortal combat. He and his brother Aaron were camped near Hoxie Prairie, now owned by William Myers of Ashland, and went out one morning armed with muzzle-loading rifles and upon coming out of the timber to the edge of the prairie were astonished to see two large grizzlies fighting savagely. It was immense to hear Fred describe the fight. How they would rear upon their haunches and claw each other, bite and growl and roll over and over on the ground, oblivious to everything around them.
Fred was so absorbed in the fight that he could only stand and look without a thought of danger, but finally upon looking around he discovered that he was alone, his brother Aaron having turned and run for camp as fast as he could go without even calling to Fred to come. This brought him to a realization of his danger and the folly of trying to kill them, and he too turned and fled and found his brother in camp.
Grizzlies in those days were dangerous. As they were plentiful and were not hunted much, it took a man with plenty of nerve to tackle one with the old muzzle-loading rifles. Sometimes a man had to have considerable nerve to tackle one with a Winchester after those firearms began to come into use. I know this by experience--having met one in the Siskiyou Mountains once while going around the side of a hill in a fog.
We were within forty steps of each other, and he looked at me and I at him (like Davy Crockett and the jay bird), but only for a few seconds, for he doubled himself up and, rolling his hair the wrong way, commenced coming, a little sideways at first, with his head down and champing his teeth. I was in open ground and realized that I had to fight. I jerked the gun to my shoulder and caught a bead. The bullet hit him back of the shoulder and ranged quarteringly but didn't get the heart. He then threw his head around and bit at the place, and I sent another bullet just as he straightened around again and this time caught him in the fleshy part of the neck, and then he came. Gee, but he was a big one, rawboned and poor. Then the lever began to work up and down and sent a stream of lead right at his breast--but he got within twenty feet.
As good luck would have it I struck him in the left shoulder, which caused him to fall down, and as the hillside was steep, he rolled over and over down through the brush.
I lost no time in getting out of there without waiting to see if my hat was on or not. I went back the next day and took Trailer. He took the scent and followed it for about a hundred yards and found him piled up against a bush, dead. I know that Trailer was disappointed, for after smelling him over he raised his head and looked around as much as to say, "What did you want me for?" I kept him with me all of the time on that hunt, for to tell the truth, my nervous system had received a shock that it took some little time to get over. [Griffin retold this story in the Medford News of July 15, 1936.]
I remember another story Fred used to tell about himself and John Miller, the gunsmith of Jacksonville, shooting a big buck out near Hyatt Prairie. The buck fell near a bluff or rimrock with thick brush all along the edge. They walked to where he lay and, leaning on the muzzles of their guns, stood looking down at him and Miller counted the points on his horns and said to Fred, "He is a seven-pointer." Just then the deer began to struggle, and before they had time to think was over the bluff and gone, leaving two sadly disappointed men to mourn his loss. They had only creased him.
Another time Fred chased a big buck and, going up to him, thinking him dead, set his gun down against a tree, took out his knife and just as he took hold of a horn with his left hand the deer began to struggle. Fred grabbed the other horn with the right hand and still held the knife. He was a stout man, but that buck came near doing him, but Fred finally threw him and cut his throat.
William Mathes, of Ashland, another pioneer, used to hunt a great deal with Fred and no doubt could tell all about it. On the hunt I started to tell of, we were camped at the Walker place on Dead Indian. It was the first of November. We had hunted four or five days and killed but four or five deer, Fred especially having had very poor luck, which was new to him as he was a splendid hunter and number one shot.
I killed a deer on the east side of Dead Indian Creek the fourth day and next morning took a horse and went after it, taking Trailer with me. Fred went out across the prairie and through Sarvis Glade and then down on the benches on the west side of the creek. The canyon is deep here and rough, only now and then a place where a man can get across. When I got down to where the deer had been hung up he had been eaten slick and clean by a bear. Trailer immediately took trail and started. I tied my horse and followed, but in a short distance overtook him. He had struck a very rough and rocky place, and it had not left a scent. I sat down on a rock and waited awhile and concluded to call Fred and get Bugle, knowing that he--being a full-blooded hound and Trailer only half--could track it. I called at the top of my voice, and sure enough he answered me. I told him to turn old Bugle loose and blew the horn, and heard him start, bellowing at every jump. Sometimes he would stop to listen and I would give the horn a toot and he would come again. When he got to Dead Indian Creek he had quite a time getting across, but made it and came on up the hill. In the meantime Trailer had worked it off the rocks and was going on. As soon as Bugle got there he took the track and away they went, down across Dead Indian Creek and out of hearing. Talk about music, they fairly made the woods ring. On they went, down across Dead Indian Creek and out of hearing. I followed and found a place to cross and kept down on the west side for three or four miles and finally heard them barking up a tree--still a long way off. I blew the horn to let old Trailer know I heard him and was coming. When he heard the horn he commenced to bark steadily and kept at it until I was close to the tree. When he saw me he wagged his tail as much as to say, "I've got him."
The tree was an ordinary-sized fir, and there was thick high brush all around it, which made it difficult to see him, and while I was backing around trying to locate him he discovered me and gave a big snort and commenced to snap his teeth. I saw him then, next to the body of the tree, partially hidden by the heavy boughs. I had to move around a little to get a good place to shoot from and he commenced changing his position and snorted and champed his teeth continually--I knew he was on the fight and a hard customer.
I waited a few seconds, and when he got still and turned his head down to look at me, caught a bead and fired full in the face, expecting to hit him square between the eyes, but failing on account of shooting in too big a hurry. The bullet caught him square in the side of the head and, running around the skull, went out in the back of the neck. I saw instantly it was a bad shot and had another load in quick as a flash, as it was a sure bet he would come down now.
He came hand over fist and as good luck would have it on the side next to me. I shot again and hit him in the shoulder. He stopped now and threw his head around and bit at the place where the bullet struck him, which gave me time to load and fire again, hitting him this time behind the shoulder. This shot caused him to let go and come tumbling down to the ground with a crash, but he was up again in a second just as the dogs piled on him. As bad luck would have it, Trailer was at the head and before the bear was up had him by the side of the head, something he seldom did. I am sure he thought the bear was as good as dead or he wouldn't have done it this time.
Quicker than a flash the bear had both paws around him and crushed him down to the ground and would have crushed the life out of him in no time if it had not been for Bugle, who showed his blood right then and there, for he sprang forward with a bellow without the least sign of fear, brave old dog that the was, seized him by the side of the head and the bear went over backwards, letting go of Trailer and throwing Bugle entirely loose. By the time the dogs were up the bear was up and backing against a bush. He stood them off.
I waited for a good chance now and shot him in the head at the butt of the ear, and he rolled over. I let Bugle and Trailer go after him now to their hearts' content. He was too big to hang up, so I dressed him and straightened him around so he would drain, then started up the hill to look out a way to get the horse down to where he was. I had proceeded about three hundred yards and was going through some open timber when I noticed the dogs raise their heads and sniff like they'd caught the scent of some kind of game. I kept them back, however--thinking it might be deer--as old Bugle liked to run deer pretty well. I kept moving along up the hill, and after awhile came to the edge of a thick patch of brush and studied a minute whether to go around it or through it. I decided to go through it, and hadn't got more than twenty steps when the brush cracked in front of me, and both dogs went by me like a shot and, after running three or four hundred yards, began to bay up a tree.
I went on up to where I heard the brush crack, and there on a big log saw where an immense cougar had been lying. As there was a little snow on, I could see his track plain. I went on around the sidehill and came in on the upper side of the tree, and there he was. He standing up on the limbs looking down at the dogs just like he would just as soon spring down among them as not. I kept behind a tree until ready to shoot and then stepped out where he could see me. He had his side to me and turned his head and looked, but not for long--a bullet went crashing through his brain and he rolled out of there dead.
I knew Fred would be delighted at the part Bugle had taken in the two chases, as he had been waiting to get him after a bear for a long time, and if he had kept Trailer awhile he would have made a fine dog. I wanted to keep him, but Fred couldn't bear the idea of giving him up and I couldn't blame him, for he was certainly a fine hound. I went to camp now and got there early, but Fred did not get in until after dark. I had supper ready for him. I asked him if he had killed anything. He said he had killed two deer. I told him then about the bear eating the deer, and he got interested right away and wanted to know how Bugle performed.
It fairly took his breath away as I told him about the dogs treeing the cougar, and that it was one of the largest I ever saw. Fred had seen a great many, and he thought that part of it was a mistake. I told him we would go get them in the morning and he would see. We took the horses and went the next morning and went to the bear first and after getting him loaded we went up to near the cougar and hitched the horses and walked up to where he lay. Fred set his gun down and leaned on the muzzle and stood looking at him for some time without saying a word. "Well, what do you think of him, Fred?" "Good Lord almighty, Griffin, ain't he a monster?" Fred said this in a voice that there was no mistaking he meant every word of it, and there is no harm in stating [it] in print just as he said it, for his old friends [who] knew him well and his way of expressing himself would be disappointed with this story, which is true, if this expression were changed.
I have some of the teeth and claws of this cougar yet. I brought the hide to Ashland, also one of the feet, and if anyone has any doubt of his size ask Ed Farlow or some other oldtimer there who saw him. This was the largest cougar I ever killed and [he] no doubt had killed hundreds of deer as he ranged above the Soda Springs at the mouth of Dead Indian Creek and was an old residenter when the deer trails were as thick as sheep trails. Fred and I were at camp two weeks and succeeded in getting eleven deer and the bear.
Poor Fred! He used to like to hunt better than anybody and often told me when we were out together that he was going to hunt as long as he could see the sights and then get him a shotgun, but when he got older he thought different of it and quit it entirely and took to fishing in Rogue River, which he followed up until at last it was the cause of his death; having gone over to the river above Bybee's Bridge he waded out on the cement and suddenly stepped off into deep water and was drowned. Thus ended the life of one of Rogue River Valley's highly honored and loved pioneers.
Oregon Sportsman, January 1918, page 34
NATIVE DAUGHTER OF JACKSON COUNTY DIES, CALIFORNIAMedford Mail Tribune, June 9, 1923, page 3
Mrs. D. H. Barneburg of Ashland, a native daughter of Jackson County, having been born at Sterlingville near Jacksonville, January 18, 1868, died Wednesday evening, June 6th, at a sanitarium in California and the funeral will be held at the Barneburg residence, 159 North Main Street, Ashland, Sunday afternoon at 2:30. Mrs. Barneburg's maiden name was Oda I. Comstock, being a member of one of the best-known pioneer families in Southern Oregon, and she married Mr. Barneburg, also a member of a prominent pioneer family, on the 28th of April, 1889. Mrs. Barneburg's parents and members of her immediate family are not living. She leaves beside her husband, D. H. Barneburg, her stepfather, Andrew Cantrall of Jacksonville.
Mr. and Mrs. S. P. Barneburg and Fred Barneburg were all so shocked over the appearance of the woman who was shot that they could scarcely eat their noon meal. Mrs. VanNuys came walking to the Fred Barneburg door and was covered with blood. Mr. Barneburg thought she had been in an auto wreck, and not until he reached the hospital did he know just what had happened.
"Barneburgs Shocked by Shooting Victim," Medford Mail Tribune, November 21, 1928, page 10
RECOVERY ASSURED FOR MRS. VAN NUYS
Recovery of Mrs. Willis C. Van Nuys, who suffered three scalp bullet wounds Friday morning when shot by her husband, who then killed himself, was nearly assured today, according to reports from the Community Hospital, where the wounded woman has shown gradual improvement since her arrival there. The body of her husband, who died from a bullet wound, self-inflicted through the mouth and head, was shipped last night to Turner, Ore., and was accompanied by the dead man's father, C. E. Van Nuys.
In a statement to Chief of Police McCredie Friday afternoon, Mrs. Van Nuys claimed there had been a quarrel and that her husband had become angered because of her physical inability to work as the result of sickness. However, Saturday afternoon, she said that her husband was intoxicated at the time of the shooting and that she did not know why he shot. She denied there was a quarrel and said that during the seven years she had been married to him that she had never lived with him for more than three months at a time.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 19, 1928, page 2
Mrs. Willis VanNuys, who sustained head wounds in a shooting affair on a farm near this city last Friday when her husband shot her and then killed himself, left yesterday with her son, Clarence Lewis, for Salem after having been a patient in the Community Hospital for the past week.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, November 23, 1928, page 2
MRS. BARNEBURG OF PHOENIX VERY ILLMedford Mail Tribune, October 23, 1929, page 6
PHOENIX, Ore., Oct. 23.--(Spl.)--Those who know Mrs. S. P. Barneburg will be very sorry to learn of her serious condition. She suffered a paralytic stroke on Tuesday, October 22, and is very low. She has had two very light strokes prior to this, and this being the third, the doctors do not give very much encouragement for her improvement.
One of Oregon's pioneer hunters returned to his native heath the other day when John B. Griffin, second white boy born in the mining camp of Jacksonville, Or., in 1852, revisited the Rogue River Valley. Griffin lives in Trinidad, Cal. now, but he gets back to his former stamping ground at intervals. He never tires of telling stories and anecdotes of the days when settlers had to hunt game in order to keep the family larder going.
One of Griffin's hunting comrades in their youth was Fred Barneburg of Jacksonville.
"Fred and I were out in the Dead Indian country rounding up several stray grizzlies," said Griffin--"It was when we were mere boys. As usual, we had a 'greenhorn' along with us.
"The prospect of hunting bear, cougar and deer in the tall timber nearly overcame him. As we lay around the camp the first night he asked questions galore. Some of the questions were good, one in particular. I have long remembered it.
"'Fred,' he asked, 'suppose I see a bear; where shall I aim at him, and what shall I do if he charges me?'
"Fred, record-holder as a slayer of more than 100 bears that year, in his slow way answered: 'The place to hit a bear is any place yuh can. He'll be leavin' Dead Indian when you see him, goin' to Klamath, an' there won't be much time to pick out fatal spots. Hit him an' slow him down. Then do the fancy shootin'.'
"'As for a bear charging yuh in these woods, yuh needn't worry none, boy. I reckon I've killed a few bear, an' only two of 'em ever charged me. Sometimes a feller will cripple a bear on a mountainside an' the darn thing will come rollin' down the slope. But he ain't chargin' none. Keep away from a shot bear an' yuh'll never be harmed.'
"Now the greenhorn had the right idea. There are certain spots on game animals well worth knowing when one lines up one's sights. I question whether one hunter in 20 knows where these places are, and whether he will remember to hold on these spots when he does get a shot.
"The next day the greenhorn shot his rifle dry and swore the buck he was shooting at had horns all over him. The 'buck' in question was really nothing more than a calf which had strayed away from its mother.
"Under conditions as they prevailed in the Dead Indian region, Fred's bear-shooting theory was correct. When we got a shot at bruin there, he was in full retreat. Few hunters can place a fatal shot in a retreating bear. Neck shots are good at close range. Don't shoot at a bear's head. His skull is hard, slopes back, and his brain is small. Head shots call for great skill to place the bullet in the brain."
James H. McCool, "Wild Life Lines," Oregonian, Portland, June 16, 1930, page 8
RELATIVE WRITES AN APPRECIATION OF J. BARNEBURG
The death of Jordan C. (Neil) Barneburg was a great loss to his community and to his many friends and relatives. He was a kind father and husband. He was strictly honest in all dealings with his fellow men. He had a bright smile and a cheerful word for all whom he met. Being a lover of music, he liked nothing better than to listen to his daughter play some of his favorite pieces on the violin. He took a great interest in his daughter's musical talent.
Jordan C. (Neil) Barneburg was the eldest of two children. Their father, Jordan Barneburg, died when they were mere lads. The youngest, George, died in Astoria when yet a youth. Jordan C. (Neil) Barneburg lived for some time with his uncle, Fred Barneburg, and family, two miles east of what is now Medford. After leaving his uncle's home he went to Astoria, where he was engaged in the fishing industry on the Columbia River. During the past 20-odd years he had been employed with the telephone company of Portland. He was the father of three children, two of whom, Ida and Neil, are deceased. Jordan C. (Neil) Barneburg is survived by his wife, Ada Barneburg; one daughter, Miss Berneice Barneburg; a stepson, Ralph L. Davis, and one stepdaughter, Mrs. William Byrnes of San Mateo, Cal. He also leaves a number of relatives around Medford, including the Barneburg and Furry family of Medford and Phoenix.
KENNETH F. BARNEBURG,Medford Mail Tribune, October 14, 1930, page 7
F. E. Furry of Phoenix was only six weeks old when his parents left Iowa in an emigrant train for Oregon. "It was the old Barneburg train I came in," he said this morning, "along with the Barneburgs, Ulrichs, Millers and Levenburgs. There were 60 wagons, and my uncle Fred Barneburg was captain. We landed at Phoenix, and I've been there ever since. My uncle brought a fine span of mares across the plains and I still have horses of that blood. We've kept the strain going for 70 years."
"Hamilton Watkins Drove Ox Team," Medford Mail Tribune, November 29, 1930, page 8
BARNEBURG HAS OX SHOES WHICH TROD 'BIG TRAIL'
Shoes that left their imprint in the dust of one of the first "Big Trails" across the plains as oxen trod their way from Iowa to Oregon are now on display at McPherson's store, through the courtesy of the Fox Craterian Theater, at which the romantic motion picture of the westward emigration opens today.
The shoes were worn by a yoke of oxen driven by Frederick Barneburg, one of Oregon's earliest pioneers. They are now owned by his grandson, F. E. Barneburg.
Frederick Barneburg made his first trip to Oregon in 1853, bringing a herd of horses. He returned east and made his second trip west the next spring, coming to the Rogue River Valley. He stayed here six years, then returned to Iowa and organized a train of relatives and friends, who accompanied him on his last trip over the "Big Trail."
Soon after his arrival he accumulated 1600 acres of land and made his permanent home, east of Jackson County fair grounds.
A portion of the property now owned by his eldest son, S. P. Barneburg, is known as Barneburg Hill and is one of the scenic spots of the valley.
Other relics of the long journey from east to west will be added to the display during the showing of the "Big Trail," at the Fox Craterian Theater.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 3, 1930, page 7
BARNEBURG RITES SET FOR MONDAY
Samuel Peter Barneburg, 69, a resident of the valley for the past 69 years, passed away in a local hospital Friday evening, July 31. Mr. Barneburg for the past few years had been in failing health.
He was married to Addie Henry in Ashland in October, 1884, and immediately moved to what is commonly known as the old Barneburg ranch east of Medford. Two sons, Harry and Fred Barneburg, both of Medford, were born to the union, who with the widow, Addie Barneburg, survive.
Mr. Barneburg also leaves two brothers and three sisters, Henry and John Barneburg, Mrs. Ida Clark and Mrs. Mollie Keene of Medford and Laura Nichols of Upton, Calif., also one grandson, Kenneth Barneburg, Medford.
Funeral services will be held from the Conger funeral parlors Monday, Aug. 3 at 2 p.m. Rev. D. E. Millard will have charge of services, and burial will be made in the Medford cemetery.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 1, 1931, page 3
BARNEBURG ESTATE APPRAISERS NAMED
An order was signed this morning by the county court, appointing W. H. Gore administrator of the estate of the late S. P. Barneburg, valley pioneer. John S. Orth, Wilbur Ashpole and F. E. Furry are named as appraisers of the estate. The last will and testament was made and filed before former circuit judge F. M. Calkins in 1920.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 18, 1931, page 4
ANCIENT SAMPLER PRIZE POSSESSION OF MRS. GRAFFIS
By Eva Nealon Hamilton
Telling the early story of a woman of old Germany, to whom many Southern Oregonians owe their "very good start in life," a sampler, brown with age, but with silk threads still holding true to pattern, was brought to Medford recently by Mrs. Donna Graffis of Phoenix.
Dating back more than 100 years to 1807, when completed by Anna Mueller, who was, many years later in a far distant land, to become known to all as "Grandma Barneburg," the sampler reveals the events in the life of the little German girl as well as her fine handiwork at loom and with needle.
Embroidered on hand-woven linen, now many shades off from white, appear flowers, a windmill, a dog, boys and girls and other characters, which held an important place in the mind of Anna Mueller, 13.
The sampler is now held in a frame, covered with glass, which protects it from further wear and was brought to Medford by Mrs. Graffis, granddaughter of its maker, to be photographed, along with other souvenirs, one of them a photograph of Grandma Barneburg, taken by Peter Britt, pioneer photographer at Jacksonville.
It shows a woman quite unaware of the frills on her jaunty bonnet, whose face carries lines of character and whose eyes reveal knowledge as well sympathy.
Mrs. Barneburg, whose name was spelled Berneburg in the old country, was born in 1797. In 1837 she came to America with her husband, bringing with her their testimonial of character, issued by the Evangelic Reformers' parish. The latter is still treasured by Mrs. Graffis. From Iowa the Barneburgs crossed the plains to Oregon and settled at Phoenix, then Gasburg, where the family has since resided.
Mrs. Barneburg took the profession of midwife and officiated at the arrival in this world of many, many babies, who as men and women today remember the stories told by their parents of the kindness of "Grandma Barneburg." She never lost a mother and she never lost a baby, was her boast, and she continued in her work until a short time before her death in 1884.
Other grandchildren, who with Mrs. Graffis survive her, and are well known in Southern Oregon, are: Mrs. Edmona Anderson of Phoenix, Mrs. C. C. Low of Klamath Falls, Jose Low of Santa Ana, Cal., Mrs. Ida Clark, Medford, Mrs. J. M. Keene, Medford; Henry Barneburg and John Barneburg of this city and Mollie Robinson of Lodi, Cal., and Aaron Barneburg of Crescent City.
She also has many great-grandchildren in this section, who treasure her handiwork and the many other souvenirs of her life in Germany and Southern Oregon, where she was a very prominent pioneer.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 22, 1933, page 3
ADDIE BARNEBURG TAKEN BY DEATH
Addie M. Barneburg, widow of the late S. P. Barneburg and pioneer resident of Jackson County, where she had resided for nearly 60 years, passed away at her home on the Barneburg road near Medford at 10:50 p.m. Monday.
Mrs. Barneburg had been ill for the past six years. She was born at Monterey, Cal., October 7, 1866, and was 69 years of age. At the age of 10 she came to Jackson County, and eight years later was married to S. P. Barneburg, also of a pioneer family, who passed away in 1931. Mrs. Barneburg was a member of the Christian Church.
She leaves two sons, Fred E. and Harry W. Barneburg of Medford, and one grandson, Kenneth Barneburg; also one brother, Wilson Henry of Igo, Cal.
Funeral services will be conducted by Rev. D. E. Millard at the Conger chapel at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, with interment in the family plot in Medford I.O.O.F. cemetery.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 3, 1935, page 1
AARON BARNEBURG, PIONEER, PASSES
Aaron A. Barneburg, 86, Rogue River Valley pioneer, who crossed the plains with his parents in 1852, passed away in Crescent City, Calif., Monday, according to word reaching friends here today.
Mr. Barneburg, who was a carpenter and contractor, left here several years ago to reside in California. Several relatives make their home in this vicinity.
Masonic funeral services will be held for Mr. Barneburg in Crescent City Wednesday. The Roeder Funeral Parlor is in charge.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 28, 1939, page 3
Barneburg Recalls Days When Range Grass Grew Luxuriantly
There is no search on for mountain pasture in winter in Southern Oregon, because herds are brought in from the range.
But that was not the case at the turn of the century, according to Harry W. Barneburg, who started riding range at the age of six.
The grass grew so tall and so luxuriantly when his father and uncle grazed about 1,200 head of cattle in the Medford area that between 300 and 400 animals were left on the range all winter, Barneburg recalled last week.
Comment on StatementsCommenting on recent statements regarding range conditions found here by early settlers, Barneburg agreed that cheatgrass and bunchgrass provided adequate feed year round for herds of cattle.
These native grasses filled the gaps in the forest now covered with brush, Barneburg said. The scene was more beautiful, as well as more productive, when a man could gaze through the forest with his view obstructed only by the waving grass.
His father, the local descendant of pioneers related, was the first cattleman to take his cattle into the Dead Indian region, where grass then grew "half-side high" on the steers.
"Now, cattle looking for feed in the area," he declared in jest, "have to climb up the trees and eat brush."
Brush in EvidenceThe only brush in evidence then was poison oak and chaparral, Barneburg said. The cheatgrass was so filled with grain and so nourishing that a steer was fattened to 2,020 pounds without extra feeding.
"Of course," Barneburg admitted, "we got just 1½ cents a pound for them, so weight was not so important as it is today."
The Barneburg range included Roxy Ann and Mathes Mountain and the south side of Grizzly Mountain, where Barneburg's father leased 5,000 acres. Deer grass was another one of the native grasses upon which the animals fed.
Now Canadian thistle in the higher reaches and star thistle in the valley invade the uncultivated ranges and destroy the natural grasses. There was none of this in the "old days" in the Dead Indian country or in the south Medford area where the Barneburg ranch was located.
Hold Cattle ExchangeEach fall the cattlemen held a cattle exchange to count out and identify each man's animals, Barneburg said. Cattle ranged as far south as Hornbrook, so Dave Horn of Hornbrook joined the Barron brothers of Ashland, George Owens and the Barneburgs in the roundup.
When these herds of beef cattle were so large, dairying in Medford was a pretty small industry, Barneburg commented. There were 15 or 20 milk cows, taken to pasture each morning by a couple of boys in the area now known as Crater Lake Avenue. Milk sold for 5 cents a quart.
The biggest entertainment of the week usually occurred on Saturday, when townspeople could count on viewing at least one "runaway" as farmers came in to do their shopping.
Horse TradingHorse trading was also popular at the hitching racks, one of which was located in practically every block, Barneburg said, referring to the early 1900s.
"What has changed this range grass situation in the hills?" Barneburg was asked. (Civilization, of course, has placed houses where cattle used to graze in the valleys.)
Civilization has contributed to the extermination of mountain grasses, too, Barneburg contended. Overpasturing has killed the grass, and brush has taken over the ground.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 9, 1964, page D8
Last revised January 30, 2024