Betseyannspikes, Girl Reporter

Who was Betseyannspikes? Beats me. We know she was a man, a miner, and old enough to know Chinook. Beyond that . . .

Student of the Old School.

Willer Springs Minin Camp.
April 14, 1893
    Mr. Edetor:--I wuz gist thinkin az maby yer wood like ter here frum heresabouts, and az thar is no one az seems ter hav the currage to skribble a fu lines to yer paper, I gist made up mi mind ter rite a short letter. Sez I ter mi self, Betseyannspikes? sez I, yer orter skribble ter that ar Medford Mail, an giv that ar gentlemen what nuze yer kin, kaze theze peple what's liven so far frum any whar, sez I, may hav kin folks sum whar in the wurld that wood be glad ter no uv thar wherzabouts, sez I thar's Jim Burdzy who ust to be shurif, and D. Mardon, hez minin on Kanes Kreek, he sez heel clean up mor'n a thozen dollers this spring in his plaster mine. Mackdugal iz worken on hiz plaster mine an haz a bull gang uv men at work in hiz mine, heez got a higolick pipe and the way it slings durt is a site. I guess he will hav a bushell of the yaller stuf when he get done kleanin up. Now Mr. Edetor it may seem strang ter ye of gittin a letter from one on mi age an secks, but yer remember yer sed in yer tuther paper, tuther day that ever boddy ort ter advertize in the Male, an sez I, Betseyannspikes, sez I, yer hav bin a widder fur so long, yer had beter take this opperchunity ter let yer self be nown, sez I. Oh! Ed. I furgot to tell yer that thar is goin ter be a splisen ["splicing"--a wedding], az we uzed ter call it in our yung days, over in bumblebes flat nex weak, sure an sartin. Now Ed. nex time I skribble I will give yer all the nuze heresabouts, and more tu, hopen yer will karect mistakes, I am yourn az ever.
Medford Mail, April 28, 1893, page 1

Student of the Old School.
Willer Springs, Or., May 2.
    Well, Mr. Edeter, I thot I wood gist skribble yer a few lins ter let yer no I am wel, and at home, and hope theze fu lines ma find yer the same. I am so ekseted over minin I don't no as I kin tel the truth er not. Since I skribled my last ter yer tha hav bin striken nu minds all over the kentry. I specks yer hurd afore this uv Mister Hurshburgur striken it orful rich, gist tuther side uv Bumble Flat, as how Mister J. S. Howerd, uv Medfurd, got so ecksited over it bekaze he thot it wuz on hiz land, and he kum down from Medfurd and slicked up some noteses on the treze notifyen everybody ter not trezpas on that ar land, kaze it wuz hiz. Necks time he kum down he fecht hiz kumpus and sited long the line, and he mist Hurshburgher's hole morn tu fete. They say the rock is rich, orful rich, and Mister Howerd haz sent sum uv the rock to the kimist tu hav it skandleized, and as sune az it kums back heel no what's in it. Ean Roten plowd all day an planted taters last Sundy and thot it wuz Saterday. Ean sez if he kan find the man az started the report uv him striken such a big pocket, the man will find hiz self at haf mast, heels upward kicken at the starze. John Hardin sold out his haf interest in hiz plaster mine in Macdugle's Flat, tu Mister George Haul, of Medfurd, but heze got haf interest in a nuther won gist as gude. Mr. Gorge Allen, uv Medford, iz down hear waren the back neeze of his breches out huntin for a pocket, and heal find it tu. Jurde Brown haz tuke Mackdugle tu raze, how sum ever, az long az Mack staze in the kentry. Yer orter se Dockter Braden, the man az owns the big quarts mill and assey offis, him and Bill Swinden is taren the gable end out uv Paddey's hill huntin fur the yaller stuf. Mr. Brient, who gist lives next house below Mackdugle's, iz hed over heals in the mud and water, plaster minen. He kleaned up a big wad tuther day, and iz ready tu nock the stufen outen hiz drum, and sez he wore a gold bage at the Jacksenvile turnamint 15th uv this munth. Well Ed. that ar weden kum off sure nuf. The man's name wuz Suten, and the gal's wuz Brown. Emit Suten and Elly Brown. Emit went and got him a spankin bran new wagen from Bill Nye Haze, as lives in Senterpint. Bill iz agent fur Franks brother, az lives in Portland least wize that what Emit sez. Wel Ed., thars bin no deths here since I rit afore, bekaze no one ken spare the time gist now, as ever body iz bizzy huntin pockets. Yourn as ever,
Medford Mail, May 19, 1893, page 4

Student of the Old School.
Willer Springs & Mackdugals Flat.
    Mr. Editor:--Tu day is Sunday, and I feal mour like rest thain eny thing elce, but how-some-ever, I kinder thot I wood skrible yer a few lines enny way, leest yer mite think I had run out uv sope, and koodent think uv eny thing ter rite about. Well, Mr. Ed. I spoze yer hav hurd afore this uv Bob Swindling, and Purry Notts, striken it rich? Yes, tha struck a big pocket jist back uv Jim Burdsies ranch, on the south, jist a weak ago ter day. When Betseyannspikes hern uv it she jist skined out over thar rite thru the brush ter see how big a thing the boys had diskivered. The boys wuz glad ter se me tha sed, and tha shuk my hand and squezed it a little, like boys du sum times, yu no. Well, tha askt me down in thar prospeck hole, an it dident take much skrutanizen to skriminate the gold frum the rock and dirt. I axked the boys how much gold tha tuk out, and tha sed tha spect about tu thouzen dollers, or sumthing tu that effect. I gess yu no Bob married Purry's sister. Bob told me what all hez goen tu du if he made a fortune. Sez he, I'm goen to put a condetion on mi house, and run a phizian thru it, then I'm goen ter hav a piazer in frunt uv the house, then I'm goen tu run a revenue out tu the rode, soze I can treet mi frends more hostile when tha kum tu see me. The tu Mister Chapmans kum over tuther day looken at the kentry. Tha seem to be gentlemen uv no smol kapitel, and kensiderable influence. I'de jedge frum thare apperence, bein so gentlemanly, kourteous and soshable, tha ar uv no mean fambly, and kan du az much bowin and skrapen az yer sitty folks. Well, Mr. Editer, it kinder strikes me that I hav skribled anuf fur this time, let me say tho, before I bring this tu a aklose, that thar haz bin tu more strikes made since the Swindlen & Notts find, rite klose here tu. I don't now how gude tha'se, but gess tha'll average with the rest. Bob Swindlen and Purry Notts is haven thur quartz krushed at the Dr. Braden mill. The resultz will be made nown, peraps in the next ishue. Lawze! I like ter furgot tu tell yer that John Hardin killed a big katamount, twixt Mackdugal's and Bumble's Flat. Mack sed it wuz a kross betwixt a panter and kuger. It measurd 4 foot long and more'n a fut and a haff high. If yer ever kum down this way Ed., kum and see me. Yours az ever,
Medford Mail, June 9, 1893, page 1

Student of the Old School.
Willer Springs & McDugal's Flat
    Well, Mr. Editor, if I hadent promest Miss Julyannsnible ter rite this weak fur her to the Medfurd Mail, purhaps I woodent uv ritten atall. You see Julyann wuz out prospecken tuther day and she wuz digen fur all tha wuz out, huntin fur a pocket. She sed she wuz ringen wet with swet and set down tu rest on a big bunch uv pizen oke, and the pizen settled in hur ize which allmost extracked her. When her ize iz allright she kin skribble az gude az any uv our secks, when the Peeple's Party wuz in power. I mean, Mr. Editor, that when The Mail wuz run by that party [and called the Southern Oregon Mail], that Julyann uster rite fur the paper, and she wuz a gude cumpozer tu. She tole me tu tell yer that McDugal and Johnny Mardon diskivered and lokated seventene quorts klames in one day, betwixt Kanes & Roten's kreek. Twazent a gude day for quorts neither. The water is dryen up in the hills and the prospeckters are kumen in frum all quarters. Sum report rich finds, uthers agin report hard luck and starvation. Jurde Brown tuk a hull lode uv little children out fishen, pracktizen fur the forth of July. Heze a deadly old nipper on suckers and krawfish. W. S. Gaul, one uv the old timers uv this kounty who kum tu this kentry in the fifties, but haz bin tryin hiz luck in furen kentrys, kem back a short time ago and is prospeckten in the Blackwell Hills fur pockets. Ean Roten, the champion pocket hunter uv the wurld, iz lame in one uv hiz feet. He sez it iz az krazy az a bedbug. He went tu see Julyann tuther day--I gess you no Julyann uster be a kinder uv a fambly fizsizshen, but she quit practizen uv late--but az I wuz goin tu say, Ean went tu see if she could du anything fur hiz foot. She sed he had strained it klimen mountens and tuck syattic surve bro spinal-men-du-get-it sumtimes, kauses paralasis. Yours az ever,
Medford Mail, June 23, 1893, page 1

Student of the Old School.
Willer Springs & McDugal's Flat
    My dear Ed.--I expect yer hav bin lookin fur me up thar afore this, and [I] wood uv kum ter seed ye on the 4th uv Juli, but Charlie Lambrit, az lives in Gold Hill, wuz taken to Portland to sot on the gran jewry, and left Martin Lindley ter take hiz place, and fur sum kauze or nuther, he never turnd up, and Wes Ingram, az lives in Willer Springs, sed it wuz tu late tu git a bild shurt on, and it seamed like everbody (I mean the old batches) had an exkuse uv sum kind or auther, and the fakt uv the matter iz, I dident turn up at the Fourth az I promest yer, but I dont want yer tu think hard uv me. I am glad Julyansnible got left tu on the Fourth, kaze she takes it so hard. You orter hear her go fur Frank Furgason and Winchester Huston fur sliten [slighting] her. I wuz down tu Gold Hill tuther day, and I kouldent hardly find the new post offise. Mr. Kridor iz the new post office master and it seams tu du him so much gude ter wate on hiz kussturmurs, and Mr. Deboy iz runnin a jewerly store and barber shop in the next room ter the post offise. He kinder made a mash on me, kaze he seams ter be in such gude humer all the time, and folks sez its nateral fur him. Miss Amy Morelock gave a burthday nite soiree at the Union Hotel in Gold Hill Frida nite. Uv korse none but yung peple wuz invited, but tha had a gude time gist az hard. I hurd that Ander Moon az lives in Sams Valley gist got back frum sum back woods county kanvassing for the flower bin. He duzent shine az brite as he did gist afore he started, tu give lite ter tha back woods kounty. He sez the peple druther live in darkness, kaze thar deeds ar eavil. He got tu orders gist the same. John Hardin went ter Gauls Creek tuther da, and fetcht a lode uv lumber fur his new house in Medfurd. I speckt heez goen ter put on lots uv stile when he gits ter be a sitty jude. Well Mr. Ed., I speckt yer hern that McDugal kleaned up fourteen hundred and eighty dollars in his plaster mine. Well Ed. if yer ever kum down this wa, kum and see me. Yours as ever,
Medford Mail, July 14, 1893, page 1

Student of the Old School.
Gauls Kreek & Bumblebeeze Flat
    My dear Ed:--It haz been some time since I last skribbled tu yer most valubul papper (The Medfurd Mail). Uv kourse you no why I've bin absent so long. I've bin takin lessins in chinucke [Chinook] langage, from Professer Schackmasty Schonschin, who haz purswaded me tu beleave I ort tu be a inturpreter fur the red men. Deer Ed, whil my encourse with yer paper haz bin uv a verry plezent and agreeable nature, so fur az my part uv it is konserned, and hope yourze iz the same, sorry ter inform yer, with this ishue ends eny further korrispendence at this place frum me. Before I kloze I want ter say I regret tu haf ter leave this quite naborhood. Wher I live is verry quite, no body in 2 miles of here, aint seen my best feller fur tu weaks. Professer Schackmasty wants me ter giv yer a few items in the old English stile, az it was taut by the old Hudson Bay traders on this koste afore the red man waz driven frum its shores by the never ceasing flow uv imigrashun. Now deer Ed., be karefull how yer rede it, Ize goin tu kommence: Mika kumtux chinucke wawa? ["Do you understand the Chinook jargon?"] Tenas oncotty nika hiack klattawa, copa Medfurd, hiyou wawa copa micika, nika tika momuch Illihee hias skukum muckamuck, hiyou olalles hias klose, skukum chuck, consic chickaman mika tika hoahoa okoke culton, mika kumtux? ["A little while ago I hurried away from Medford, plenty talking of yours, I want to work land, much powerful food, plenty berries, strong water, how much money you want to choke on, this is worthless, understand me?"] Hiyou mowich copa mowentain, hiyou momuch tipsue, nika nanage hiyou klutchman, pealta klattawa tenas siyah. ["Plenty deer from mountain, plenty trap fur, I see plenty women, soon go a little ways off."]  Yes they had lots uv children with them, sed thay wuz goin tu the huckleberry patch. I axt them if they had eny objeckshuns fur ye kymin along. They sed they wood like fur ye ter kum, but they woodent promis tu subscibe fur yer paper, bikaze they kant understand the debthe, hithe, lenthe and bridth uv yer wa-wa [language]. They have no use of rail rodes, irrigation ditches and minin corporation or nuze paper speckulashens, so Ed., if her kum, talk uv things komon, natural like you kno. Yours az ever,
Medford Mail, August 11, 1893, page 4

Student of the Old School.
Huckleberry Patch
    My deer Ed:--I arived hear all rite side up with kare. Plenty uv berries, but tha hint ripe az yet, plenty uv Injuns hear enjoying thar summer's exkavashun. The seanery in Bear Holler iz very fine. The medasine man is hear gatherin rutes and erbs tu make medasine fur winter pracktice. I do wish Perfessor Skot Morris wood kum up hear and teach us a fu lessens in rootany. I seed him onst, and think him a nice gentleman, and wuz settin mi cap fur him, but Prof Schackmasty Schonshin sed tu me, sez he: Betsey, sez he: you ort tu be ashamed uv yer self. Sez I, why? Sez he, bekaze Prof. Morris haz got quite a smart chance uv a family uv hiz own. Now deer Ed, yer ort tu seed my feathers drap. I never wuz nown tu interfear betwixt a man and his wife. My deer Ed, Salabuckleberry sends her kindest regards tu yer az follers: Nika tika, mika wawa kopa mika mowish Ed. Charco six, nika tika wawa copa mika. ["You me to talk with you, deer [sic] editor. Come, friemd, I want to talk with you."] If her kant rede this get Bill Nye's brother or Manafraidofabear [pen names of two other Mail correspondents--the former may have been George L. Hays; the latter was John B. Griffin] ter interprit it fur ye. Give Mackdugal my regards. Thar wuz a terable split up among the wimmen up hear tuther day, but I spect yer have hearn all about it afore this time. Yours az ever,
Medford Mail, supplement, August 25, 1893, page 1

Student of the Old School.
Huckleberry Patch
    My dear Ed:--I got your letter and wuz orfull glad ter hear frum yu, and tu hear yu wuz well, but I iz sorry yu kouldent kum up hear last weak tu our picknik. Miss Sallyhuckleberry, Miss Sitkum Chuck, Miss Halo Muckamuck and mi self had things fixt up orful nice fur yer. Tell Mr. D. S. Youngs tu kum with hiz shotgun. I've got tu snipes and a ground hog karaled fur him. I spect if Manafraidofabear wuz hear now we wood hav tu fix a skaffool [scaffold] up in the top uv a tree fur him tu sleep in, fur the bear iz thicker than grasshoppers in Kansas. Prof. Schonschin sends his regards tu Dave Mardon, az lives in the Willer Springs. We herd that Dave haz bonded hiz hul ranch to Mr. Chapman, uv Gold Hill, fur a rite smart chance uv money. Well, deer Ed, I kant think uv much tu rite this time. If yer ever kum up this wa kum and see me. Yourz az ever,
Medford Mail, September 1, 1893, page 2

Student of the Old School.
Huckleberry Patch and Bear Holler
    My deer Ed:--Sez I tu myself, Betseyann, sez I, yer ort tu rite again, becase the boys in the vally iz wonderin what's bekum uv me. I got yer last paper and wuz orfull glad tu here that Bear Hunter Youngs wore the gold meddle at the Medfurd shuten turnament. Tell him tu charco six nicky ticky illihee, nicka hiass skukum muckamuck nicka potalatch copa misiahka. ["Come, friend, I want land; I give plenty food to you."] Tell Skott Griffin, uv Tolo chuck ["water"], that i am kummin down thar this fall to trade him olallas ["berries"] for wapatoes ["potatoes"]. In the new version uv the english language, its kalled taters, or sumthing tu that effect. Now deer Ed, yer no me well a nuff ter no I don't want ter kritasize anybody, and have always had a resonabool amount u affection fur the nuter ganders [neuter genders] and if I have sed anything hereterfore that I iz sorry fur I am glad uv it and must ask furgiveness fur it. Oh, Ed, I must tell yer the nuze. Manafraiduvabear wuz up tu Mimaluce Injun tuther day huntin fur huckleberries and kudent find eny. No wunder, Sally Mockasin sed she wuz over thar and seed him. She told me that Manafraidofabear didn't get out tu hunt eny fur fear he'd see a tichfoot. It iz gitting so kold up hear I spect we will haft tu hunt winter quarters. Prof. Schonchin and me had a split up tuther day, and I think I will move back tu Bumblebees Flat, or down tu the mowth uv Galls Creek, neer Bill Nye Hay's place. I node Bill a long time and heze a jolly gude feller so he iz. I spoze yer have got squainted with Prof. Skott Morris afore this, az lives over at Aunt Yockies. I tell her Skotty is a nice boy, and if a man tramps on hiz korns, hede better look a leetle oude. If thar iz eny law Skotty 'ill fitch him round. I woodent rite sich long letters but it iz so fur down tu the vally, and we don't hav eny male karrier, and haft tu watch our chance tu get a letter ter yer. Oh, yes! there wuz a dandy dude uv a young feller up hear tuther day sprouten around Suzan Huckleberry. I axt him whar he wuz frum, and he winked one eye a little and pinted hiz thum over hiz shoulder and sed he wuz frum the Kapital and that night he skiped out. I am no detective, but I'll bet my old kaliker dress it wuz Bloomer, the Jackson county trezurer [who had recently absconded with county funds]. Well, Ed, if yer ever kum up this way kum and see me.
Medford Mail, September 29, 1893, page 1

    We have "seed" Betseyannspikes. Such an old gal as that! As a female, we rate her below par.
"Spikenard Sparks," Medford Mail, October 6, 1893, page 4

Student of the Old School.
    My Dear Ed:--It hez bin an orful long time since I skribbled tu yer most valable paper. The rezon wuz simply this dear Ed, I wuz taken down with that pleg taked grip, or suthen o' the kind, and kame ni dien az it wer. Well Ed., the nuze haz kum down here that Mr. Blumer, az ust tu be the kounty trazure of Jacksin Kounty, has bin shamefully negleckted. Mrs. Tellitall told me that she hurd that Sally Tattletail hurd Mr. W.A.N.T. Office say that Mr. Blumer wouldent of bin disgrased so if it hadent of bin fur hiz goin away without tellin everbody wher he's goin. It is time the county wuz sendin him that five thousand dollars it robbed him out uv, fur he mite be in need uv it. Dear Ed., I seed in yer last ishu uv yer valable paper a sitkum ["part of a"] letter from Tommy H. B. Taylor. From its ring, or tune, I'de jedge the writer hed bin taken lessons from Prof. Schack Schonschin, az taut me and the other squaz, last summer up in the shot o'-lil-lies ["berries"]. Ill-a-hee mika kumtux six? ["Do you understand me, friend?"] Well, my dear Ed., if ever yu, or eny uv yer force uv Mail klerks should kum slaunterin down this wa, kum and see me. Yours as ever,
Medford Mail, March 9, 1894, page 2

Student of the Old School.

    I guess you hav herd afore this that some of the populist of Jackson kounty who met in your beautiful city to celebrate their first preferential convention, to nominate their kounty officers for to take the place of the Jaxonville ring who has handled the rains fur the last fore thousand ears, and have got the kounty in such a deplorable condition that even Kounty Treasurer Blumer even got disgusted and skattered himself to the 4 quarters of the earth where no man knoweth of hiz whereabouts until this day (except his colleagues), and the kounty owing him $5,000. I kinder got an inspiration that he left that money with orders to place it in the Jaxon kounty official skool to help egikate his sucksessors in orfice. When I first red it in the nuze paper that the populist had a split up, or misunderstanding at their konvention, I jist made up my mind that it wuz one uv those fictitious make ups uv the Jaxonville Times, and I sez tu miself, Betseyann, says I, why don't they give the P.P.'s a rest? But since I hav seed so many letters published conserning their dissatisfaction, I kame to the konklusion that there iz sumthing dekumposed in Denmark. Now Mr. Editor, no party can stand and prosper unless they ad one klauze to their platform, viz, "womens sufferage." I have nothing to say against the People's Party, for they are in line with my views, but az I sed afore, there must be sumthing rong, bekase I understand that P.P.'s voted a resolution denouncing the Jaxonville ring, and they put it to a rizin vote, and some uv the Jaxon kounty officials voted tu. I would like to no when you are outside uv the ring?
Medford Mail, March 30, 1894, page 1    On the 26th the Talent Club passed a resolution that clarifies the controversy.

Student of the Old School.
Squaws Flat and Poor Man's Camp.
    My Dear Ed:--In akkordance with our previous arrangements, I take this opportunity of skribbling yer a fu lines, which, perhaps, ma be uv use ter yu, or some interest tu the gineral publick (I mean thoze who are interested in the mining industry). You ma not be aware uv the fackt uv the which I am jist about tu promulgate (kinder privately), bekaze there haz bin some terable round heded lize told in regards tu mines, etc. I wuz at Jimmy McDougal's tuther day and tuck a walk over tu hiz higolick plaster mines. Mack haz done lots uv work this spring and expeckts tu klean up a rite smart chance uv the yaller stuff this seazon. The same day I past by Mistersers Huston & Deen's mine, and they wuz running a higolick pipe in full blast. The ground that theze gentlemen iz worken is konsidered mity skukum rich, and jist a little further on iz the celebrated Willer Springs mines az iz owned by John Baker and West Ingram, tu old batches, uv which I don't take any stock in (the batchelor part), but thair mines keeps them frum starving, and that beats farming and hens az laze skrambled eggs. J. H. Morris, Phillips and J. R. Hardin kum down here tuther day, kinder fishin around fur suthin more az a Dulcet Duenna, fur tha seemed mighty well plezed with our mines. More sum other da.
Medford Mail, April 13, 1894, page 4

Student of the Old School.
    Dear Ed:--I jist want ter korrect a fu mistakes that appears onst in a grate while in yer paper fur the general publick ter gaze at. One appeared tuther day, supposed tu be ritten by Mr. Devil, a wether proffit. He sed a drouth wuz a flud uv dry wether, and if yer wanted it tu rain, in order tu fetch up the garden truck, yer must hunt fur a snake uv treemendous size, hang it on a fense and it wuz sure to fotch rain. Prof. Sconschin says the Devil is goin all 'round the kentry deceiving the people, in order tu make the fokes beleve he iz havin' an eazy time--don't yer no, Dear Ed., if that wuz the case, there wud be a big demand fur snakes in this kentry? Wy, people wud go tu Afrika minin' fur snakes tu ship tu Ireland. I jist beleve that when it gits reddy tu rain, it will rain, snakes or no snakes.
Medford Mail, May 25, 1894, page 4

Betsy Ann Still Lives.

    My Deer Ed: It has bin rite smart while since I kommunikated to your most valable paper. I speck your many reeders have wundered what bekame ov me. Tuther day when eye was visating Smithann Stubblefeald, Mr. Piledriver wuz riding long the rode klose to the house, and he seed me thru the winder and he jist jumpt off his hoss and kim rite into the house, and this was the first words he sed: "Why, bles my buttins ef here aint old Betsey Ann Spikes," and he acted tho he wuz terrible serprized and he bowed and skraped worser than an old hen skratchin fur grub worms, and made az much noize az a Kansas sighclone, an sez he, "Old Bess, wherein the nashun have you binn this here long time?" "Well," sez eye, "Pile," sez eye, "I've bin in the Yanky nashun busines"--old Pile useter bea yanka before he came out west to grow up with the mountains. That sorter kinder tickled him, and he axt me more questshuns than a fillydelfa Loryer kin answer in a weak. He sed he jist kem from Medford, one ov the livest towns in all ov suthern Oregon, and the Medford peple wuz fixen for a grand sellerbrashun, and tha wood leave nothen undone that kould be done to make it a slam-jam-lick-it-a-joe-brindle fambly afair. He axed me to be thar and take part in the ockasion, espesshully with Kalithumphyans, and reprasent our sex. Ov kours I am all ways willin and reddy to help on all ockasions that will help tu further the advancement ov our rizen gineration.
    Hopen to here from you soon, I remain yours as ever,
Medford Mail, May 24, 1895, page 7

Youngs on a Rogue River Rock.
    MY DEAR ED.--Onst more on this side ov eternyti I've bin purmited to skrible a few lines to your valable and nuzy paper. Jist now I am sitting where I can gaze up at that notorious Table Rock, where, so I've bin told by princes and burds, during the Rogue River Injun war 4 or 5 men put ten thousand red skins to flight. Ed, they say the Injuns jumpt off ov the rock 400 feet to the bottom and it ackually killed some of the little Indians--ten-ess papoose--kum-tix, mika Boston man?
    There wuz a man down here by the name of D. S. Youngs--heze from yer town I beleve--heze konsidered to be the lukkiest fisherman (outside of Fred Barnyburg) in the state. You remember he kitcht a shark last summer at Kresent City that wuz 45 feet long with a spoon. Somehow I never beleved a man kould feed a fish with a spoon till it got so tame he kould kitch it, but the skriptures says man is fearfully and wonderfoolly made so I guess he kin do most anything. I know he kin keep us wimmin from votin, but he kant keep us from writin ter the Medford Mail or any other male. Well, Ed., I must tell you something about the downfall of D. S. Youngs. He kame down here fur to katch a fish, well he came ny onto kasting hiz last line ov life. He waded out in the river and kast hiz line at the end of 400 feet--(gist given hiz own words). He felt a nibble at the bait, give a jerk, then the war kommenced; the rock was slick and the water wuz swift out where D. S. wuz. Well I'll give it in poorertry:
D. S. kould spell Mosouri homony,
    And had studied Oregon ekonomy;
But he went to the river,
    And as quick as a beaver
Sat down to study fishonomy--
    They tug; they strain; down, down they go;
The fish above and D. S. below.
    Yer see, Ed., D. S.' understandin kame in contackt with a slick boolder and that iz why he sit down in the river to study fishonomy. After two hours he land a whale of a salmon and when he got ashore, and seed me sittin there and kame up to me sorter bewildered and started to raze hiz hat and make a perlite bow but hiz hat wuz gone, it went down the river; he lookd sorter pleged but I sympathized with him in hiz bereavement and loned him my hunkerchef and he asked me my name, and when I told him he jist got me by the hand and sez he: Miss Betseyannspikes, my name iz der Shame Youngs. Yours az ever,
Medford Mail Tribune, November 6, 1896, page 4

Student of the Old School.
    MY DEER ED.--Onst more, on this side ov etarnity, I've been purmitted by a kind providence tu skribble a fu lines tu yer valleyable and nuzy paper. Ever thing looks green down here, how is it up there? I herd it hinted at that some peepel's eyze look green at the peepel's kounty kommittee meeting. Now Ed, I know sum folks say nawtty things about me, and say that I am an old hagg, and that woman iz getting beneath thar sphere that dablez in pollyticks, and most men wants to keep them thar. Now Ed, I've spent nights ov hard study on this subjeck and the reazon ov the unreazonable reazoning haz so enfeebled my reazon that with reazon I komplain, like Kaizer ov old, who haz a reckkord in the valley, ov the skulduggerry in pollyticks. Now Ed, what I wanted tu write you about iz this. I gist want to tell yer what I herd, and ax yer if it waz so or not. Yer know the further yer get away from where a story starts the bigger it gitz--especially if it ain't a good one. This iz what I herd, that the kommittee met at Medford, in Woolf's hall, last friday, and they had a program two hours long. The first thing, after the house waz kalled to order, waz a song by a little bird called Ren, and they sed it waz a nice singer az long az the audience kept in chord, but they sed one man's voice waz shaky and would make a diskord and that would stop the Ren (notwithstanding the man with a diskordant voice had taken several prekripshuns at the Medford drug shops tu cut the kobwebs from his throte). Finly he waz ordered tu stop trying tu sing az he interfurd with the Ren, but he kept chipping in and stopping the singing. Finly the man that had Holt on the chair sed, sez he, "That ar man must stop or I'll call on the long arm of the law," but jist then a man jumpt up az had orthority and sed, sez he, "Mr. Chairman, we ain't got time ter fool with the law and its arm, but if that feller opens that ar kave and lets out any more of them ar unearthly sounds agin we will jist pick him up boddaly and fling him out at ther winder." Then the Ren kommenced agin tu sing a solo, when the korerus joined in and the man az had the shaky voice waz seized by three other men and throwed out ov the hall into the aunty room; from thar the poor feller fell into the hands ov the sheriff who sent him slam jam, licketty Joe Brindle, head over heels down a rickety pair ov stairz tu the bottom, where he found himself all in a pile. At the same time thar waz a rumpus up stairz betwixt Houzzer and Kaizer--one ov 'em haz a reckkord in the valley, and tuther one haz a reckkord in the last legislater, leastwize that's what I've bin told. Next day the man with a shaky voice paid the city rekorder fur the trouble he had put the offersurs tu and went on hiz ways rejoicing. More next time.
        From your loving skribe,
Medford Mail, May 7, 1897, page 3

Populist Committee Meeting
    Last Friday was populist day in Medford, and the streets were thronged with those of our country's population who are of that faith. The whyforness of the gathering upon this date was a call made by Chairman Holt of the county central committee for a meeting of the committee. There was a full attendance of the committee, and aside from these others were a goodly number of prominent populistst from all parts of the county present.
    Hon. W. S. U'Ren, a member of the legislature from Clackamas County, was in attendance, and gave the audience, which had assembled at Woolf's Hall, a talk on populism, a resume of the situation at Salem during the holdup of the Oregon legislature, and particularly the initiative and referendum plank in the populists' platform. The gentleman's remarks were listened to with great interest, and his sentiments as expressed seemed to meet with favor by all in attendance. His especial point right now is the general introduction of the initiative and referenduim, and he not only wants this plank in the populist platform strengthened, but he asks that other political parties adopt it.
    During Mr. U'Ren's discourse there was an interruption by M. F. Eggleston, of Ashland, who persisted in propounding questions and monopolizing a good part of the time with the expression of his opinions. After one of these interruptions Mr. Eggleston was invited to take himself hence, and Marshal Churchman was called to enforce order. Mr. Eggleston was arrested for disturbing a public meeting, and on Saturday morning was fined $10 by Recorder Stanfield. During the excitement incident to the ejectment of Mr. Eggleston, Mr. [J. J.] Howser is alleged to have struck Editor Kaiser [of the Valley Record] in the face with his fist. After this things quieted down, and Mr. U'Ren proceeded with his remarks.
Excerpt, Medford Mail, April 30, 1897, page 2
Hobbie Mountain.
    MY DEAR ED.--I thot az I sot here on this rock I wud skrible you a few lines.  My mind is wandering far away to the distant Klondyke isay mountains, where the moose, elk and carraboo skip und play, unmolested by the crack of the hunter's rifle. Ive just thot perhaps somewhere there iz that Heaven the ministers talk about. You know they say the streets are paved with gold and the saints, or wage earners, shall walk on a sea of ice, most of us imagined we had to dye for to see that wunderfull place beyond the klouds, which I imagine iz nuthing more than the fog of Washington in the Sound kuntry, now, Ed? I dont glaim ter be an exigesys or a theologon, but Ive a rite tu my thery az a theriest, and the skripters sez thar iz no nite thar, now, Ed? Ide like ter no if that dozent korrispond with the Klondyke kuntry. You no the skripters dont say anything about thermomaters or any other modern appliances, used by astronomers now adaze. Professor sor de [Otto von] Bendeleben onst traveled all over Alaska and the British-American gold fields and sez he found a hul mountun of yaller gold. He speeks ov ice, snow and glacio formashuns and hidden tresures richer by far than anything yet diskivered, no angry gods thar, no river Gangus fur the Hindoo which ter cast inosent babies in ter be eat up by the alligators and krockadiles ter appeaze the wrath ov thar angry Gods. The most feroshus animales thar iz the moskiters and British mounted parlice, who is alwayze trying ter get thar bill in first afore yer are settled down komfortable fur business, but thay are ezy brushed off, you no. I want ter tell ye, people iz getting thar ize open to the fact that we dont have ter dye ter see the promiced gold fields of Alaska, but jist have faith in the stories told by the hundreds who haz bin thar and returned with the promiced reward of thar labors, and go and do likewise. As fer me and my pard, J. H. Miller, weze agoin thar--"in the spring, you say?" No sir, weze agoin in a boat part way, and the balance the way--we'll jist git thar and dont forget it.
        From yer loven
Medford Mail, August 13, 1897, page 5   In 1897, "hobby" meant "foolishness."

Who was Betseyannspikes? Another mystery finally solved:
    Hy-as ty-ee [i.e., big chief] Betseyannspikes John R. Hardin . . . is at home to all friends. His place embraces two and a half acres of land, and it is well cultivated and planted to fruit trees and shrubbery. He has a fine residence and is daily adding improvements to his splendid home. John is a miner in every sense of the word, and turns many an honest dollar to good use from that direction. His congeniality knows no bounds, and he continues to make new friends.
"Notes from East Medford," Medford Mail, March 29, 1895, page 8

And . . .

    On Wednesday of last week the citizens of Eagle Point were treated to a genuine entertainment by the Star Minstrels, of Medford. Notwithstanding the rain and mud, the fame of the company had preceded them, and by 7:30 the hall was quite well filled. Judging from the remarks made by different ones in the audience, the company covered themselves with laurels.  Messrs. Lynch and Frenna were spoken of as especially good, while John Hardin, nee Betsy Ann Spikes, was one of the leading characters and carried his part out to perfection.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail, February 18, 1898, page 5

Last revised October 28. 2019