The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

William H. Byars
Riding the mail on the Siskiyou Trail

William H. Byars

Memoirs of Wm. H. Byars, Former Roseburg Editor and Ex-Commandant
of Oregon Soldiers' Home, Tells of Precarious Service
in Southern Oregon and Bloody Clashes with Indians.
    The following story is taken from the memoirs of Wm. H. Byars, formerly editor and owner of the Roseburg Plaindealer, later commandant of the Oregon Soldiers' Home, and deals with the days of the pony express [unrelated to the famed transcontinental Pony Express] in southern Oregon. Mr. Byars carried the mail on this run during the years of 1856, 1857 and 1858. It was furnished the News-Review through the courtesy of Benton Mires of Drain, a stepbrother of Mr. Byars. It gives a thrilling picture of those dangerous and exhilarating days.
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    The mail routes from Oakland to North Canyonville, and from North Canyonville to Yreka, were established in 1850, but who the contractors or riders were prior to 1854 I do not know. Richard Forrest was the contractor and rider for 1854, and he employed a young man by the name of John Goodrich, who was on the line in 1855. Another young man named William Hickenbottom was on the road until I went on in 1856.
    Forrest's contract expired July 1, 1858, and a man named Monahan got the contract but sold out soon afterward to the Oregon & California Stage Company, who put on a daily stage line and had the mail service increased to a daily line. The Oregon and California Railroad as fast as it was built relieved the stage line and took over the mail line. This was not fully completed until about 1885. [The railroad was completed to Ashland in 1884, and to California in 1887.]

Oakland, Oregon
    The post office of Oakland, Oregon in 1856 was located on a high prairie surrounded by oak-covered hills about three miles north of the present town of Oakland. The postmaster was the Rev. Hull Tower, and the office was in his private residence, which consisted of two rooms--the kitchen, dining, sitting, parlor and living room and a bedroom. The office was in the first room. Oakland was the terminus of four mail routes. One west to Scottsburg and the coast, one north via Yoncalla to Corvallis, one northerly over [the] coast fork road to Eugene, and the other southerly via Winchester, and Roseburg to Yreka, California. These lines were all weekly routes, and all carried on horseback with an additional pack horse when necessary. The mail day was Friday of each week, and the hour was from 10 to 2 o'clock.
    The mail matter was all dumped upon the floor in the middle of the room, and was then sorted into four piles, each pile representing a mail route and a fifth representing the local office. Each carrier then secured his pile in a mail bag or bags, packed it on his horse and was off on his separate route, and the post office was quiet for another week.
Pioneer Post Offices
    The post offices supplied by the southern mail route were, first--Winchester, located on the south bank of the North Umpqua River, James Walton, postmaster; second, Roseburg, at the junction of Deer Creek and the South Umpqua River, the present location of the town, Richard Dearborn, postmaster; third, Round Prairie, located just south of Roberts Mountain, on the South Umpqua River, James Burnett, postmaster; fourth, Myrtle Creek, located on the stream by that name, Lazarus Wright, postmaster; fifth, North Canyonville, located at the north end of the big canyon, James Clark, postmaster; sixth, Galesville, on Cow Creek, Henry Smith, postmaster; seventh, Leland, on Grave Creek, James H. Twogood, postmaster; eighth, Gold River, located on Rogue River, "Coyote" Evans, postmaster; ninth, Dardanelles, across the river from the present town of Gold Hill, [William G.] T'Vault, postmaster. (This office was discontinued about the time I went on the road, in 1856.) Tenth, Jacksonville, [William] Hoffman, postmaster; eleventh, Phoenix, on Bear Creek; twelfth, Ashland, A. D. Helman, postmaster; thirteenth, Henley, located just north of the Klamath River on Cottonwood Creek, and lastly, Yreka.
How Route Was Served
    My home was four miles below Oakland on the Calapooia Creek, so Friday after getting the mail I traveled over the hills through Green Valley down Dodge Creek and over the hill to Sloan's Creek and down said creek to the home station. Saturday I made an early start, crossed the Calapooia on the Scottsburg road, and followed that road south over the hill to Camas Swale Creek, which I crossed at the town of Wilbur; thence on to the North Umpqua River, which I crossed on a ferry boat, and am at the town of Winchester, and the mail is delivered for the postmaster to select the mail addressed to his office, and the journey is resumed to Roseburg, where the mail rests overnight.
    Sunday the mail is received from the office and the old California road is taken, which at that time crossed Robert's Hill east of the present route then [omission?] miles to Round Prairie, Mr. Burnett's farm residence, the post office. After the overhauling of the mail you follow the road up the South Umpqua River six miles to the village of Myrtle Creek; the office is in the home residence of Mr. Lazarus Wright, one of the slowest mortals living. Myrtle Creek is crossed at this place, and the road continues on up the river to Yocum's, where the river is crossed by means of a ferry in winter time, and by ford when the waters are down. Nine miles from Myrtle Creek you come to Canyonville. The post office is in a small grocery store, and here again the mail rests overnight.

Canyonville, Oregon
    Monday--the road from this place leads through the big canyon. It crosses the creek some thirty-six times, and at one place follows up in the bed of the creek for one and one-fourth miles; thence over the mountain eleven miles from Canyonville to Hardy Elliff's place, in the valley of Cow Creek; thence down the valley eight miles to Henry Smith's ranch residence, the Galesville post office. About one mile below Smith's place at John Redfield's, the road crosses Cow Creek, and over Cow Creek Mountain, which is the line between Douglas and Jackson counties, to Wolf Creek at a point near the "Six-Bit Place"; thence down the creek about a mile to its crossing, which is the present location of Wolf Creek station; the road leads up Coyote Creek a short distance and then crosses another spur of mountain to Grave Creek, the home of Twogood and Harkness, the Leland post office. Here the mail rests another night
    Tuesday we cross Grave Creek in the morning and soon pass over another mountain and enter Jumpoff Joe Creek Valley at Widow Niday's place; thence on a couple of miles to the stream itself, which is crossed by ford. From thence the road crosses over some low hills, and through a narrow gap to the Geo. W. Harris place; thence a couple of miles through pine openings to Louse Creek and Wagoner's place just on the south side of the creek; thence after ascending a long open glade the road passed over a rather high divide and descended into the Rogue River Valley near Grants Pass; thence along the foothills to "Bloody Run," through "Dry Diggins" and over another spur to Evans Ferry on Rogue River--the road crossing, thence up the south side of the river past Savage's place on Savage Creek to the R. U. S. Jewett place, where another ferry was established. This is just below Evans Creek on the opposite side of Rogue River. From here the road passed on up the river crossing Birdseye Creek near David Birdseye's house, and thence by the Wm. Miller place to the home of F. Rosenstock, a station where the mail rested another night.
    Wednesday--The road continues on up the river about three miles to the Dardanelles. Here the river bends to the north and passes between Table Rock and Gold Hill. The road bears southeasterly up a long draw and over a ridge to Willow Creek near Willow Springs, thence it continues along the foot of Oak Hills and over low ridges to Jacksonville, the most wealthy mining camp in Oregon. The richest lode ever discovered in the state was the Gold Hill just mentioned. More mail was received at and sent from the Jacksonville office than any other on the route. From Jacksonville the road continued south up the Bear Creek Valley to Phoenix; by the Farm Springs and Eagle Mills to Ashland, a town with one small house and a mill, continuing on up the creek for eight miles more to the Mountain House and another night's rest.
    Thursday--From here it was called eight miles over the mountains and ten miles to Coles, near the state line, about five miles up the mountains (Siskiyous) and three miles down. The road is quite steep from both sides and quite hilly until it enters Cottonwood Creek bottom near Henley. The post office is on the west side of the creek, which is crossed by a ford. You reford the creek, which is only a short distance from its mouth, and the road runs up the river about a mile to the ferry, and then up over the hills to Surprise Valley and along its west margins to the crossing of Shasta River by a ford; thence over a low divide to Yreka.
    In regard to items of interest happening along the road, I will enumerate the few following, beginning at the south boundary of the state. The state line is just beyond Cole [sic]. The Coles, two brothers, located claims at that place and built a very neat house which was a roadhouse or hotel, and when I was on the road it was one of the best-kept houses on the whole route. About three miles from the Coles' and near the foot of the mountain was another well-kept house owned and kept by a man named Rockfellow. From his place to the summit of the Siskiyou Mountains was a steep climb for about three miles, and then a steep descent down into a canyon and over some spurs and on down to the Mountain House eight miles from Rockfellow's place. From the summit down the canyon was a lonesome piece of road and along which many crimes had been committed.
Indians Slay Teamsters    
    Just a short time before I went on the road, the Modoc [sic] Indians had attacked three teamsters [Harrison B. Oatman, Daniel P. Brittain and Calvin M. Fields], one of whom they killed; they also killed the nine yokes of oxen and burned the wagons after taking all they could get away with from them. The teamsters were loaded chiefly with flour, bacon and other eatables. The remnants were all over the grade in the creek, and [it] was not a pleasant place to pass.
    Sometimes the road across the mountains was considered unsafe on account of Indians and road agents, and I sometimes crossed after night. I recollect crossing one night coming north, and the night was dark as Egypt. It was about ten o'clock when I got to the summit. I had two horses--a pack horse and a riding horse. The pack horse was loose in the road ahead, and at the summit I got off to lead my riding horse down the steep part of the hill. He refused to be led very fast, and I turned him loose with the other horse and got in behind with a stick to encourage him to go faster. When we got opposite the old debris, where the man and oxen were killed and the wagons burned, there was a terrible racket in the brush and a big snort. The horses also gave a snort and broke on down the road as fast as they could run. I felt the hair raise the hat on my head, but I never waited to investigate, but nearly kept up with the horses, which I overtook about a mile down the road and rode on to my station--the Mountain House.
    I never knew what was the cause of the rumpus, but always thought it was a bear. Expect it was about as badly scared as I was. Another time I crossed in the early evening and saw two horsemen hide behind a clump of bushes. I could not go back, so had to ride upon them. I put my horses to their utmost speed and with my revolver in my hand rushed right past them. They immediately fell in behind and chased me for two miles up hill and down right up to the station, but before I could get off and around to face them they dashed by and were gone. I inquired all along the road next morning but got no information.
Battle with Snow
    I crossed this mountain one day with two other men in a big snow storm. The old snow on the mountain was from four to six feet deep, with a well-beaten trail, but the wind and new snow in many places covered up this old trail and whenever we got off of it we got in the snow so deep that it was impossible to travel. We had stopped overnight with Mr. Rockfellow, and it was eight miles over the mountain to the Mountain House. We had worked hard all day and were all about given out, as well as the horses.
    One of the men's names was Thompson, a brother of David P. Thompson of Portland. The other man's name I did not know. Thompson was not in good health. The other fellow was a big, rugged-looking man weighing 200 or more pounds. About four o'clock p.m. we came out into an opening and lost the trail. The horses refused to go further. Thompson could not [either], and I had worked until I could hardly stand up. The big man sat down and cried and said it was no use to try more, as we would never get out. His action so disgusted me that I was stimulated with new vigor, and I took the lead off to the right; down a steep mountain into a canyon and got into lighter snow. We almost slid down the mountain for a quarter of a mile or more, which revived our courage, and got us to the hotel about eight or nine o'clock.
    Another exciting time I had on the mountain was with a grizzly bear. He crossed the road a short distance ahead of me and I ran my horse up close to get a shot with my revolver. There was a deep canyon just close to the road which the bear had to cross, and it was just starting up the opposite bank when I rode up and delivered the shot. The horse saw or smelled the bear, and was about scared to death, while the bear, feeling the lead stinging his back, nearly tore the mountain down trying to get away and grunting like a wild hog badly scared.
    At the Mountain House, kept by a fellow by the name of White, at the foot of the mountain on the north side, is where I first met Joaquin Miller, in the spring of 1858. He was walking the floor and trying to conjugate a Latin verb. Nobody knew what he was talking about.
    Near this place is where the old emigrant road entered the valley. I came down by the soda spring along a small stream called Emigrant Creek. Eight miles below was Ashland Mills, the first post office in Oregon from the south. It was located on Ashland Creek, the present site of the city of Ashland.
Mystery Tragedy
    At that time there was but one small house at the place, other than the mill. The man and wife who owned the house [David and Celeste Sisson] kept a small wayside stopping place. Travelers generally in those days carried their own beds, and all they usually received were meals. About the time I left the road the husband was shot and killed from ambush. I never heard that the woman was in any way implicated or suspicioned, but the author was never known.
    The office in the mill was the post office, and A. D. Helman was postmaster. The mill was owned by him and a group of other farmers who lived near about. He operated the mill.
    Just about a mile below Ashland was the Eagle Mill and distillery. They were located on Bear Creek. There are also a number of hot springs which flow from the mountains on the west. These mountains are steep, rocky, and covered with dense undergrowth. Here was a favorite battlefield of the Indians, and many whites were killed near this place before the valley was settled. Here is where Lieut. Stuart was wounded and afterward died near Phoenix, which was first called Camp Stuart. [Captain James Stuart was wounded near Shady Cove.] The next post office was at Phoenix, then familiarly known as "Gasburg." The office here was in a small saddlery shop, and the postmaster's name forgotten.
    The next office was Jacksonville. The postmaster was Hoffman. He was the father-in-law of C. C. Beekman. Mr. Beekman at that time carried express from Jacksonville to Yreka. The distance was sixty miles, and he rode his horse that distance in one day. I frequently saw the miners and other citizens lined up for a block waiting for their turn to ask for mail. Mining was carried on right through the streets of the town.
Jacksonville Wild Spot
    Jacksonville was a wide-open town. Everything that was wicked was permitted anywhere in the town where space could be secured. Nearly every man carried a revolver and knife, and it was considered a greater crime to steal a horse than to kill a man.
    The next office on the road was Dardanelles, but before leaving Jacksonville I should say that early in 1858 a daily stage line was established between Jacksonville and Yreka.
    Dardanelles was at the home of [William G.] T'Vault. He was editor and proprietor of the Jacksonville Sentinel, a Democratic newspaper. He and family had moved into town. My night station was a few miles farther down the river at Rosentock's. This 
house, like all others between Dardanelles and North Canyonville, was surrounded by a stockade, which was constructed by digging a trench four or five feet deep around the house, generally in a square, and then setting timbers twenty or thirty feet long upright so as to make a bulletproof wall and then tramp them solid with earth, and cutting loopholes through for the purpose of firing on an approaching foe. Generally there was a small bastion at each corner with loopholes so that the sides could be protected. A majority of all the houses in southern Oregon were so protected.
Pioneer Landmarks
    Just south of the Dardanelles post office was or is the location of the famous Gold Hill--the richest quartz lead every discovered in the state, located in 1858. Across the Rogue River is Lower Table Rock, and at the mouth of Bear Creek was old Fort Lane. At the date of which I am speaking the lands between the Rogue River and Evans Creek was an Indian reservation. The spurs of the mountains on each side of the river put down abruptly to the stream and made many local places for Indian ambuscades so that many whites lost their lives along this part of the road, and in this vicinity most of the pitched battles between the whites and Indians were fought. The post office at Evans ferry, Gold River, was in a stockade on the north side of the river and had withstood several sieges.
Indians Shed Blood
    On the night of October 8, 1855, two men were killed and one wounded by the Indians near the mouth of Evans Creek, about eight miles above the Evans ferry. Early next morning the Gold River post office was attacked, and Isaac Shelton was mortally wounded. Then continuing north along the road to "Bloody Run," the Indians continued their destruction by killing J. K. Jones and wife and burning his house. Near where Grants Pass now is, several more men were killed, and on the summit of the hill south of Louse Creek they killed young James W. Cartwright and a companion who were traveling with a wagon loaded with apples. Mr. J. Wagoner, who lived on Louse Creek, had gone that morning with a Miss Pellet, a temperance lecturer, to the Sailor's Diggings in Josephine County, leaving his wife and four-year-old baby at home. The Indians burned the house, but the fate of the wife and child were never known.
Horrible Fate
    One story said that hearing the Indians coming she shut and barred the doors of the house, and the Indians not knowing who was inside fired the building, expecting to see those from the inside come running out. But the mother took her little girl in her arms, quieted the child until the flames burned them up. Another story was that the mother and child were both made prisoners. The child's cries irritated her captors and she was killed with a club. The mother was kept a prisoner, maltreated, and tortured for some time, but finally killed, that the horrors of her experience as a prisoner might never be known. It was said that an Indian killed had in his possession two scalps that were identified as those of the mother and child, but this story I think was never verified. [A letter written by J. S. Wagoner on January 26, 1856 reports that upon searching for his family in the remains of the cabin "nothing remained of them (but) smoldering ashes."]
    About two miles north of the Wagoner place and near the home of G. W. Harris, William Hickenbottom, the mail carrier, and a traveling companion met fifteen or twenty Indians. The Indians appeared to be very friendly and wanted to shake hands with the boys and in doing so tried to pull them from their horses. But as they were so near the Harris home, the Indians did not shoot, fearful of alarming the people at the home. Also knowing there were a large number behind them at the Wagoner place thought they had them safe anyway. Near the Wagoner place the Indians had captured a pack wagon train loaded with dry goods and groceries for the mines. The packers and drivers had escaped in the woods on horse and mule back and as the Indians were afoot they did not follow, but began eating and drinking and having a good time. Before Hickenbottom and his companion got within range the half-drunken Indians began shooting and raised their war whoops. This scared the boys aplenty, and they turned and retraced their steps to the north.
    When they got in sight of the Harris place they heard shooting, and, seeing the house surrounded, endeavored to steal by through the woods. This they had nearly accomplished, when the Indians discovered them and opened fire on them, while a part of the band tried to cut them off by swift running. The boys had a close call, but by lying low and using whip and spurs they soon got beyond the range of the Indians' guns, and spread the alarm from there on northward.
Story of Heroism
    The Indians had cautiously approached the Harris home, and called Mr. Harris to the door. When he showed himself several fired and he fell mortally wounded. His wife pulled him back into the house and closed the door. Harris only lived long enough to warn his wife to keep cool, repeat to her the formula of loading the gun, and advise her to shoot at every Indian coming in sight, but to be careful of her ammunition, and then died. Her little girl, Sophia, was with her. This noble and brave woman kept the Indians away from the house all day. The little girl saw among the invaders a young Indian who had worked for her father, and whom they thought to be a good friend.
    Sophia presented herself at an opening and called him by name, said: "You won't shoot me, will you?" At that he brought up his gun and fired, but his aim was not good and he only gave her a bad flesh wound in the arm. The mother, finding that her bullets were getting short, instructed the child, and she got the molds, melted the lead and ran up a good supply. The Harrises also had a little boy about ten years old who had been sent to a neighbor's that morning on an errand. To this day his end is not known.
    There was a thick willow swamp near the house--dry at that season of the year--in which Mrs. Harris secreted herself and child after dark, and where they were found next day by a company of citizens and soldiers seeking to relieve such as they. F. A. Reed, a school teacher, was also killed in his ranch near Harrises'.
    Jumpoff Joe, the stream some three or four miles north of Harris' place, was a rather swift and dangerous creek to ford, as I found it several times during the winters I was on the road. On one trip I caught two bears out of the creek and killed one with my revolver. The other got away.
Finds Skeleton
    Just at the foot of the Grave Creek hill on the south in the early spring of 1858, I left the road and crossed a small creek to the west, thinking I might find a few wild ripe strawberries. In crossing another small rivulet just below a large maple tree the water had poured over the roots and washed out quite a deep hole below. Looking in this hole I found a human skeleton. The flesh was all gone. The hair, which was sandy and very curly, indicated that it was a man's skeleton.
    I reported the find, but I think no legal notice was ever taken in the matter. There had been a man whose hair description tallied with that of the skeleton [who] had left Yreka, California with considerable money to go to the Willamette Valley to buy cattle, and who was last heard of near this locality.
Suicides by Freezing
    Near the top of this hill a German during the winter of 1856, during a snow storm at night, got discouraged, knocked the lock from his gun, supposed to be for fear the Indians might get it, and lay down by a log and froze to death.
    The post office of Leland, on Grave Creek, had the largest and best stockade on the road. James Twogood was the postmaster. The Indians killed his partner Harkness. The Indians called Twogood Jimmy Mox (Two) Close (Good), and it was said that a young squaw gave Jimmy a warning of the Indian outbreak at the risk of her own life. I think I told you before how Grave Creek got its name.
    Leland was one of the chief rendezvous and harbors of safety for the whites during the war. The road crossed Wolf Creek near the mouth of Coyote Creek. On my first trip over the road there was the body of a dead Indian lying under a fir tree near the crossing. "The Six-Bit House" was about a mile up the road and creek. This place belonged to a party named Turner. An Indian was caught with a stolen horse, and a bunch of whites were proceeding to hang him for the offense. It developed that the Indian owed this man Turner six bits--75 cents--and when the rope was around the Indian's neck and over an oak limb, the Indian being on his pony, this man Turner asked the Indian for the money. The Indian agreed to pay if Turner would stop the hanging. The pony was led from under the Indian, and the station got its name.
Battle Recalled
    It was a few miles west of here where the famous battle of Hungry Hill was fought--where the Indians in a two-day battle completely defeated the pioneers and regulars. There were about five hundred whites, but the number of the Indians was unknown.
    There were quite a number killed in this battle, and it was a miracle that there were not more. The next point of note was the foot of the north side of the Cow Creek hill, some four miles north of the Six-Bit House. Here, October 23, 1856, Holland Bailey, with a drove of hogs, four ox wagons loaded with goods and men sufficient to drive the same, were ambushed by a band of hostile Indians. Mr. Bailey was killed, his hogs scattered through the woods, the oxen shot down in the yokes, and the wagons and contents taken or burned. The drivers and herders saved themselves by flight. Just about this time Jimmie Twogood came along with his small pack train and two helpers.
    Jimmie was a favorite of the Indians, and they did not wish to kill him. So the Indians hid behind a big sugar pine log and let them pass. All except Barney Simons, who had stopped back to fix a mule's aparejo [pack saddle]. When the others started to run and the Indians began to yell, Barney's riding horse got scared and left him and the mule got terribly excited. Barney immediately guessed the situation, so he jumped on the mule's back and let it go. And he always said that mule ran faster than any animal he ever rode, and brayed every jump while the bullets whistled about his head. They ran through the creek and on up the road about a mile farther to the home of Henry Smith, whose house was surrounded by a stockade. It was also the Galesville post office, Smith being postmaster.
    At the crossing of Cow Creek was Redfield's residence with a young wife and one child. He happened to have his team hitched to the wagon, so they got in as speedily as possible and he also ran his horses to the Smith home. The Indians were in close pursuit and shooting as they ran. One bullet took lodgement in Mrs. Redfield's knee, making her a cripple for life.
Rescuer Is Killed
    The settlers and travelers on the road assembled at the Smith place, the Dan Levens place, and the Hardy Elliff place, all three being protected by stockades. The Indians burned all the other houses in the valley. They attacked the Smith place and the battle lasted for several hours, but no one was killed. No Indians appearing at the Levens place, a young man by the name of Johnson and another named Mynott volunteered to go to the top of a high hill nearby and reconnoiter. Before reaching the summit the Indians opened fire on them and shot Mynott through the lungs. He ran partially down the hill and fell. Johnson helped him up and tried to assist him on his way, the Indians shooting all the time.
    Another young man named John Fortune, seeing the trouble from the house, jumped on a horse and hurried to their assistance. He got there and Johnson picked up Mynott and placed him on the horse before Fortune, who speedily put his horse to a full fun and carried Mynott to safety. But Johnson had no more than placed Mynott on the horse than a bullet struck him, and he fell dead. The Indians, there in sight of all the garrison, scalped and desecrated Johnson's body, with much screeching and tantalizing epithets. They did not come within gunshot distance of the fort. The Indians only went in sight of the Elliff stockade and then they all retired down the creek where Glendale now is--where they made camp, and boasted and feasted for several days before doing other bloody work.
Roseburg News-Review May 30, 1932, page 3Byars rode the mail route on the Siskiyou Trail in 1856-1858. A 1968 Ralph Friedman article, below, identifies the original manuscript of this account as then being in the hands of Ray L. Stout.

The following account was written forty years earlier, and from a different point of view:

The Unrecorded Story of an Oregon Heroism.
    Few persons who reside in the peaceful valleys of Oregon can realize that only a short time since within the memory of many an old settler these hills and vales were populated with a race who waged perpetual warfare with those seeking new homes in this beautiful land. One little incident may revive the memory of many an old settler and recount old scenes that might otherwise be forever lost. In August of 1855 a youth not over sixteen years old [apparently William Hickenbottom] was employed by Mr. Richard Forrest as mail carrier on the route between Oakland, Oregon, and Yreka, California. This mail was carried every other week or twenty-six trips per year. One bright Tuesday morning this youth left his night station at Leland, or Grave Creek, and started for his next station which was near Rock Point--there was but one post office in that distance, that of Gold River at the crossing of Rogue River. He had crossed the divide from Grave Creek and entered the valley of "Jumpoff Joe," crossed that stream and wound around among the hills toward Louse Creek, where the circumstance occurred that I want to relate.
    All the early pioneer settlers along the road depended upon this messenger to deliver their mail, take their letters to the office and do other errands, therefore they always watched for his arrival and had many good words and other favors to give him, and he in turn looked upon them as his special friends. He had just passed one house, after pleasant greetings, when he was surrounded by a large number of Indians who professed great friendship and warmly shook him by the hand and at the same time tried to drag him from his horse. He pulled loose and went on until he came to Wagoner's house on Louse Creek, where he detected another band of the redskins in the act of firing the building. They discovered him at about the same time and immediately opened fire upon him.
    He fled back to Harris' place but was unable to reach the house as it was surrounded by the first party he had met, and they showered the bullets all about him, but he finally escaped and warned the citizens back along the road who nearly all escaped to their fortification. In the house--Wagoner's--was Mrs. Wagoner. Her husband had left home that morning to transact some business and left his wife alone with a "pet" Indian. This Indian saw the others coming and told her what they were doing. She immediately fastened the doors and windows and prepared for a siege. They wanted her as a prisoner and finally set the house on fire thinking that would bring her out, but this poor forsaken unprotected young woman, knowing her fate if captured, preferred the torture of the flames to that of the red devils howling on the outside. This pet Indian told afterward that the heroic woman, after the house was fired, washed her face, combed her hair before the mirror and then sat down in her rocking chair and sang until the smoke and flames suffocated her. Her heroism and fortitude surprised these savages, and they tried to save her when too late. She was more fortunate that some of her sister neighbors captured that day--whose final time has not yet revealed.
Capital Journal, Salem, November 12, 1888, page 4

The nonarrival of the Oregon mail is accounted for by the mail carrier being attacked and driven back by the Indians. He was riding in company with two other men, and when they reached the vicinity of Grave Creek four or five Indians came up and stopped them, and commenced talking; presently one of the Indians suddenly grabbed hold of the bridle reins of the horse which the mail carrier was riding. The animal reared and plunged so forcibly that the Indian loosed his hold and fell to the ground. The three men quickly retreated towards the canyon and escaped. The Indians fired several shots at them, none of which took effect.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, October 26, 1855, page 2

Hon. William H. Byars
    The experience of mankind has stamped with the signet of truth the popular saying that "success denotes merit," and when a young man attains a position of honor and prominence in a community, whether it be in the political or mercantile world, that fact should be taken as proof of merit of no ordinary kind, in the makeup of the one winning such honor and distinction. Such an elevation as that of Hon. W. H. Byars to the responsible position of State Printer argues that his past life has
been spent to good purpose, and that he has availed himself of his leisure time to store his mind with that fund of literary and political lore which stands him so well before the people of Oregon today. He was born in Des Moines County, Iowa, July 7, 1839, his father, Fleming Byars being a Virginian by birth and his mother, whose maiden name was Anna Deardorff, a native of Ohio. The father died in 1847, leaving the mother with one son and three daughters. In 1851 she was married to John H. Mires and in 1853 they crossed the plains and settled in Umpqua (now Douglas) County, where they still reside. The subject of our sketch carried the United States mails from Oakland, Oregon, to Yreka, California, in 1856-7 and 1858, and, notwithstanding the fearful condition of the roads, the almost utter absence of bridges during that time, showing conclusively that he was possessed of indomitable pluck and energy and a hearty, robust constitution. During the winters of 1858-9 and 1859-60 young Byars attended the Columbia College at Eugene City, and taught school at Fair Oaks, in his own county, during the summer of 1859. In 1860 he ran for the office of County Surveyor but was defeated. He attended Umpqua Academy during the winter of 1860-1. He spent the summer of 1860 prospecting for gold on the headwaters of the Umpqua river. The summer of 1861 was spent in teaching school at Fair Oaks, and in the winter of 1861-2 attended school at the Willamette University, and during the years 1862-3-4 he was in the Eastern Oregon and Idaho Territory gold mines. On March 15, 1865, he enlisted in Company A of the First Oregon Cavalry, and was elected Orderly Sergeant, in which capacity he served until mustered out July 26, 1868, acting meanwhile as an escort and guard for the surveying party that located the Central Oregon Military wagon road, running from Eugene City to the eastern boundary of the State. Entering school once more he graduated from the Umpqua Academy in 1867, and in the winter of that year taught school at Calapooia school house. The year following he was elected School Superintendent of Douglas County. He was married to Mrs. Emma A. Reed (nee Slocum) on December 23, 1868, and their family now consists of three boys and two girls. In 1869 and 1870 he was one of the principals of the Umpqua Academy, and in 1870 was the nominee of the Republican party of Douglas County for the office of Sheriff but was defeated at the polls. He moved into Roseburg in 1872 and in 1873 purchased the Plaindealer, then a Democratic newspaper published by W. A. McPherson, and at once converted it into a Republican organ, since which time he has continued its publication and has in a great measure assisted in making Douglas County one of the strongest Republican counties of the State. Mr. Byars is a practical surveyor and has acted as Deputy U.S. Surveyor for a number of years, and had several important contracts. Mr. Byars is a strong Republican and has been such ever since he cast his maiden vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. At the Republican State Convention held in Portland in April, 1882, Mr. Byars received the nomination of State Printer, and at the general election held in June following, he was elected by 2,438 majority over W. F. Cornell, the strongest man the Democracy could have nominated for that position. Mr. Byars is a quiet, unobtrusive gentleman, who rarely attracts attention. He is a good business man, however, attentive and prompt in the discharge of his official duties, and as honest a man as we ever met. He is a genial, whole-souled gentleman, and, socially speaking, stands high in the community. He is of low stature, heavy built, with a clear, penetrating eye, prominent features, heavy beard and hair and a strong constitution.
Frank E. Hodgkins & J. J. Galvin, Pen Pictures of Representative Men of Oregon, 1882

W. H. BYARS, who is numbered among the Oregon pioneers of 1853, is a native of Des Moines, Iowa, born July 7, 1839. His paternal ancestors were among the colonial settlers of Virginia, and his father, Fleming Byars, was born in that state and there passed his boyhood; the mother was a member of the Deardorff family of Ohio. Mr. Fleming Byars married Anna Deardorff in Union County, Indiana, in 1838, and went to Des Moines County, Iowa, and there followed agricultural pursuits until his death, in 1847; he left a wife and four children. Mrs. Byars afterward married John Myers, of Iowa, and in 1853 they joined the tide of western emigration and crossed the plains to Oregon; after a tedious journey of five months they reached the Pacific coast, locating on a donation claim in Douglas County. W. H. Byars was reared to the life of a farmer, and his educational advantages were therefore quite limited. He made the most of his opportunities, and by perseverance finally fitted himself to teach; he continued his studies at intervals, attending Columbia College, at Eugene, the Willamette University, at Salem, and afterward graduated with the first class at Wilbur Academy, Douglas County, in 1868.
    In 1862 began a period of interruption to his intellectual pursuits; he visited the mines of Idaho and for two years was engaged in the chief industry of that section, in hauling and packing supplies or digging for gold. Returning to Oregon at the end of two years he enlisted in Company A, First Oregon Cavalry, and for eighteen months was in the Indian campaigns in the eastern part of the state. He was honorably discharged at Vancouver, in August 1865, and returned to Douglas County, where he continued his studies until his graduation. After this event he taught in the academy and was elected County Superintendent of Schools for Douglas County. In 1870 he was elected County Surveyor, and two years later was appointed United States Deputy Surveyor under W. H. Odell, Surveyor-General, a position he filled until 1884.
    Mr. Byars removed to Roseburg in 1875 and bought the Plain Dealer, a Democratic weekly newspaper; he changed the politics of this sheet and continued its editor and publisher until 1884, when he sold out, after being elected State Printer, the duties of which office required his presence at Salem. He then purchased a half interest in the Statesman, W. H. Odell being the the other partner, and assumed its management and editorial work for eighteen months, after which he sold to the present proprietors. In 1888 he was elected City Surveyor of Salem and held that office until 1890, when, under the administration of President Benjamin Harrison, he was appointed United States Surveyor-General for the state of Oregon.
    Mr. Byars was married in Douglas County, Oregon, December 23, 1868, to Mrs. Emma A. (Slocum) Reed, a native of Kentucky. Six children have been born of this union: Ana A., wife of S. R. Thompson; William F., Alfred H., Mera B., now dead; John Rex and Vera M.
    Our subject is a member of Sedgwick Post, No. 10, G.A.R., of Salem, of the Masonic fraternity, the A.O.U.W. and the Salem Grange. He has always been a loyal supporter of the interests of the state and has done his share in the development of her resources.

Rev. H. K. Hines, An Illustrated History of the State of Oregon, 1893, pages 610-611

    A portrayal of life in the Pacific Northwest during the 1850s is given in the following story, which was found by W. F. Byars among the papers of his father, W. H. Byars.
    The post office at Oakland, Oregon, in 1856, was located on a high prairie surrounded by oak-covered hills about three miles from the present town of Oakland. The postmaster was Rev. Tower, and the office was in his private residence which consisted of two rooms--the kitchen, dining room, parlor, living room and a bed room. The office was in the first room. Oakland was the terminus of four mail routes. One went to Scottsburg and the coast; one north by Yoncalla to Corvallis, one northerly over the Coast Fork to Eugene, and the other southerly via Winchester, Roseburg, etc. to Yreka, California. These lines were all weekly routes and all carried on horseback with an additional packhorse when necessary. The mail day was Friday of each week and the hour was from 10 to 2 o'clock. All the mail matter was emptied out of the various pouches in a pile in the middle of the room and each corner was designated as a different mail route. Then the postmaster and several of the family, together with the various carriers, and perhaps a neighbor or two, surrounded the pile and, similar to an old-fashioned husking bee, proceeded to select and distribute the packages and letters until they were all gone. Then each carrier would refill his pouches with the mail assigned him, pack his horse and be off on his journey, while the postmaster distributed what was left for his office to the parties addressed.
    The first office on my route was Winchester, which was at the crossing of the North Umpqua River and at that time was rather a lively little town, rivaling Roseburg as a business center and for the county seat. I might here insert that Calapooya Creek was then the dividing line between Douglas and Umpqua counties, which gave Roseburg a decided advantage, and the additional liberality of Mr. Aaron Rose, the proprietor of the town, gave the latter an easy victory. Judge James Walton, now a citizen of Salem, was postmaster. He was a justice of the peace and proprietor of the Winchester Hotel. The office was in the bar room of the hotel--a very neat little office.
    Wilbur, a small educational village at which is located Umpqua Academy, is about 3 miles north of Winchester, but as it was within the five-mile limit, the town was not permitted to have a post office.
    It is five miles from Winchester to Roseburg; Capt. William Martin's donation claim and home is the first place on the road. His residence has the distinction of being the first Masonic Lodge room in the valley. The family went visiting on the evening of the lodge meetings. Next on the right is the old home of Gen. Joseph Lane, whose history as a Mexican and Indian war veteran, Territorial Governor, delegate to Congress, Oregon's first United States Senator, and candidate for Vice President of the United States, is well known. His remains lie in the midst of those of his family in the Masonic cemetery near Roseburg.
    Roseburg then, as now, was the chief town of the Umpqua Valley. It is located on the South Umpqua River at the mouth of Deer Creek, in a beautiful valley, surrounded by high hills. Mr. Richard H. Dearborn was postmaster and Samuel Gordon was his deputy. Mr. Dearborn had a general merchandise store and the office was partitioned off on Main Street. The building was a one-story box house and extended from Main to Jackson Street on the ground now occupied by the "Wilson" block. Mr. Rose, the proprietor of the town, owned and ran the only hotel in the place. Governor Gibbs and Chadwick resided here and Judge Deady had a law office in the town. Rufus Mallory taught school and found his wife here. W. R. Willis was elected justice of the peace and read law while in office. Smith Kearney was a familiar personage on the streets. John Kelly lived just south of the town. Dr. Hamilton had a little six-by-nine drug store. Deer Creek was spanned on the main street with a bridge that was carried away in a "freshet" in 1857. The creek was forded or swum until the bridge was constructed on Jackson Street the next summer. The Government Land Office was first located at Winchester, but afterward the building, as well as a number of others, was moved bodily to Roseburg.
    Round Prairie was the next office south of Roseburg, James Burnett the postmaster. The road at that time crossed the Roberts Hill about one mile east of the present road. This later road was located and constructed by General (at that time Capt.) Joe Hooker in 1858, from an appropriation of money made by Congress for the improvement of the Scottsburg and Camp Stewart Military Road, Hooker being detailed to superintend the work. Mr. Burnett kept the office in his private residence and his wife chiefly attended to the duties of the office.
    Six miles south of Round Prairie is Myrtle Creek. There was no town here at that time. Mr. Lazarus Wright owned the donation land claim, was postmaster and kept a wayside hotel. He was an ideal backwoodsman. The office was kept in the hotel and all the neighbors were welcome to assist in overhauling and assorting the mails. He was more at home with his gun and dogs than with the penmanship of the average postmaster of that day. A very good story got into circulation about the time in which Mr. Wright and another prominent pioneer, Mr. Sol Abraham [Southern Oregon's first millionaire and founder of Glendale, Oregon] were the chief actors. Mr. Abraham's version of the story was about like this: Late in the evening at the time of making his first trip to southern Oregon as an itinerant merchant, he was near the Wright home on Myrtle Creek. Near the road he spied a bright-looking striped little animal, the like of which he had never seen before, and therefore was unacquainted with it peculiar habits. As it appeared rather tame, and thinking it would be a nice pet, he concluded to attempt its capture. Rushing up to it he gave it a smart blow with his stick which knocked it over and, stooping to pick it up, he suddenly changed his mind, and let go unmolested further. Approaching the house, he asked for a night's entertainment which was readily granted, and he joined the family circle about the fire. Three or four hounds were in the room or loitering about the door. Mrs. Wright chased them away with the broom and remarked that "Them dogs have been killing another skunk." The absence of the dogs failed to remedy the matter. Mr. Abraham related his experience with the little striped animal. Mr. Wright then told him that in order to remove the offensive odor, it would be necessary to bury his impregnated clothing for several hours in the ground, and in order to make it practicable he would loan him a suit of clothes for the night. This proposition was accepted and the clothing was soon covered in a small grave not far from the house, and Mr. A. presented the appearance of a small boy in his big father's clothes, occasioning much merriment for the rest of the evening. Sometime during the night while the household were all asleep the cattle came down from the hills, and finding a mound of new-turned earth apparently determined to destroy it. At least when Mr. Abraham arose next morning and went out to secure his clothing he found the grave all horned and torn to pieces and his clothing scattered in fragments, no piece large enough to indicate from whence it came. The nearest point south where he could secure others was Jacksonville, eighty-five miles away. He was therefore compelled to negotiate with Mr. Wright. In this rig he went on his way rejoicing and was the funniest-looking Jew that ever traveled that road.
    Myrtle Creek was spanned by a plain wooden bridge which was carried away in 1861 by the high water and in replacing it a very exemplary young man, Mr. Roadman, was killed by the accidental falling of some of the timbers.
    To reach Canyonville, the next office nine miles south of Myrtle Creek, it was necessary to cross the South Umpqua three times. A trail, however, crossed over a spur of the mountains and two crossings were saved when the stream was high. Mr. Yokum kept the ferry at the upper crossing. His daughter, Miss Ruby, was quite a popular belle, for whom Smith Kearney, then a successful cattle drover, had a great admiration. Father Yokum objected to Kearney's attention to his daughter, and Kearney frequently rewarded me liberally for delivering letters and packages into the young lady's hands.
    The proper name of the post office at that time was North Canyonville. It was the terminus of the Oakland mail route, which was weekly. James G. Clark was postmaster and his office was kept in a small room of general merchandise including liquors, etc. His home was also a wayside inn, and his wife, "Aunt Rachel" as she was usually called, was well known as the kindest, motherly woman and the best cook on the whole road. Clark's place was abut one-half mile north of the present town, which then consisted of only three or four houses. It was then a universal camping ground, as immediately south of here the road entered the "Big" Umpqua Canyon. Mail day was usually a holiday for the settlers for miles around the office, and as the mail was due at Canyonville on Sunday evening a big crowd always awaited its arrival.
    On emerging from the canyon at the south end you enter the upper Cow Creek Valley about ten miles east of Glendale. Here at the time I write [of] was Camp Elliff--Hardy Elliff's home, a log house in a nice opening surrounded by a palisade. These fortifications were generally constructed on the same plan and were as follows: A ditch two or three feet deep was dug on the line of fortifications. Into this ditch were placed logs 10 to 12 inches in diameter on end and as close together as they could be placed, two smaller timbers were then set one on each side, to break the joint, and the ground was well rammed back in place to hold the timbers solid. Port holes were then cut at proper heights and sufficiently close together to accommodate the besieged. These were usually stopped up unless in use. A bastion was constructed at each angle in order to protect the sides. This property was first located by A. J. Knott, who afterward located near Oakland and still later became the proprietor of the Stark Street Ferry at Portland. [I'm not positive, but it appears to me that Mr. Byars' memory is flawed here. A. J. Knott was first in Canyonville, not upper Cow Creek. I do believe that distinction goes to Hardy Elliff.] All the places between here and Jacksonville not so protected were burned during the previous year by the Indians, and many people killed. After passing several blackened home places, the next is the home of Dan Levens. This place was attacked several times. Mr. Mynatt, a settler nearby, and some other parties went to the top of a hill close by to reconnoiter and were fired upon by the Indians. Mynatt was shot through the lungs and fell. Charley Johnson tried to bring him back but was about to be surrounded when John Fortune, jumping on a horse, ran to the rescue. Johnson helped Mynatt on the horse with Fortune and they escaped, but poor Charley fell and the Indians scalped him and mangled his body in plain view of the house, Rev. J. W. Miller being one of the witnesses. Fortune was afterward drowned in the South Umpqua River. He raised the famous race mare known as "The Fortune Filly" of Mandy. The next place standing was the residence of Henry Smith, near by a large stockade called "Camp Smith." Smith's house is full of bullet holes made by Indians' guns, the house having been attacked several different times. Smith was postmaster, and the name of the office was Galesville. Afterward Ben Sargent was appointed and the office was moved about ½ mile further west on the bank of Cow Creek. Ben ran a miscellaneous store. He afterward killed the justice of the peace of the precinct, as he said, in self defense, and as there were no witnesses, the explanation went. Just below this place is the crossing of Cow Creek, and the home of the Redfields. [One of their sons went on to fame and fortune as the inventor of the Redfield bomb sight and supplied the military during WWI and WWII. He then then went on to produce the Redfield rifle scope so popular in the late 1900s.] Mr. Redfield has but one hand, but is most excellent shot and a brave man. His young wife had equal grit and they stuck to their place until Bailey was killed and their house was attacked. In their escape to Camp Smith, Mrs. Redfield received a bullet wound in the knee that has made her a cripple ever since. They still won and live in the old homestead. [While at Camp Smith, their house and outbuildings were burned to the ground.] There were no bridges on Cow Creek, therefore those crossing frequently swam the stream. I did several times, carrying the mail over on a footlog.
    The divide south of Cow Creek about two miles is the dividing line between the waters of Rogue River and the Umpqua. At the foot of the mountain on the north side is where Mr. Holland Bailey, of Lane County, was killed, Oct. 23, the year before. He had a drove of hogs and several ox teams loaded with goods. The Indians were ambushed behind a sugar pine log near the road 50 strong. All the others escaped excepting Bailey. Their escape after the first fire was, perhaps, largely due to the fact that a pack train was just coming down the mountain and the Indians reloaded and remained quiet to entrap them. When they came along it proved to be Mr. James Twogood and his train. The chief and Twogood, or "Jimmy Moxclose" as he was called by the Indians [omission?]. The same day they burned all the houses in the valley excepting the three heretofore named. It is six miles over the mountains to Camp Bailey--"Six Bit House" as it is known. It was located in the big loop of the R.R. [The railroad didn't get here until the 1880s. It started south from Roseburg in 1882.] on Wolf Creek near where a big white oak tree now stands. It got its name from the following circumstance. Indian Charley was tried by "Judge Lynch" and was condemned to be hung for depredations he was accused of. The rope was about his neck and over a limb of this tree when the proprietor of the place demanded of Charley that he pay the "six bits" due for his dinner. Charley replied "Nika halo chickamin, wake memaloose nika potlach." (I have not the money, you don't kill, I'll pay you.) The pony was led from under and Charley was a good Indian.
    Many white men were as barbarous at the Indians. Near this place an Indian boy, belonging to a tribe in Lower California, with a pack train a bell boy (the boy to ride the bell horse) was shot off the horse of a passing train for no other reason than that of being an Indian. Near this place was fought the famous battle of "Hungry Hill." The whites were represented by Co.s A, B, C, D, Bailey's and Gordon's co's of volunteers and 105 regulars under command of Capt. Smith of the First Dragoons. The Indians had the selection of the ground. They sent out a small force who kept up a running fire with the advancing troops. Capts. Rinearson and Welton with their companies were assigned to lead, but their forces being soon augmented by stragglers from all other companies, they became uncontrollable, all rushing to the front with the eagerness to fire the first shot. There was a long, open hillside sloping to the west and terminating abruptly at a heavily timbered uphill slope, also covered with dense undergrowth. The Indians were well covered by this timber and brush, and they allowed the wild rush to reach almost the foot of the hill before they opened their fire. Their first fire was so fatal and so many men fell that it stopped the mad flight. Safety was sought behind the nearest trees to the rear, and the panic for retreat among many was as contagious as had been the enthusiasm for the charge. Soon an inglorious retreat was made by a large majority of the troops. The rear was held and the wounded cared for and brought [omission] many by the heroic few, augmented by the ignorance of the enemy as to their numbers. The loss was twelve killed and twenty-seven wounded. That of the enemy must have been much less.
    At the crossing of Wolf Creek, near where the hotel now stands, when I passed the road first lay the remains of an Indian who had been killed a short time before. He was a renegade and was waylaid and put to sleep at that place.
    The next office on the road was Leland at Grave Creek. James Twogood was postmaster. He and McDonald Harkness owned the place. Harkness had been killed a short time before by the Indians. His brother Samuel and family were now living on the place with Twogood. It was well protected by a stockade, and being the only house within thirty miles was a popular stopping place for travelers. This creek and the post office both derived their names from the same source--the death of a young lady which had occurred on the creek in the first train of emigrants that passed through the valley in 1846. It was something like this: The young lady's name was Martha Leland Crowley. Her friends were anxious that her burial place should be hidden from the knowledge of the Indians, who were crazy to obtain any wearing apparel belonging to the whites. After interment, every precaution was taken to hide her grave. Savage cupidity was great and his cunning soon discovered the hiding place. The body was exhumed, all raiments removed and the corpse left for a feast for wild beasts, which soon left only a few bones, to be afterwards collected by the passing stranger and reburied in their former resting place. The grave gave the creek its name, and Leland became that of the office. This creek was not bridged, but a single log spanned it a short distance above the ford and when the creek was "swimming" deep we coaxed our horses and mules to walk the log. I knew one contrary fellow which turned around once on the log, but in turning back, lost his balance and went to the bottom. He was loaded with 400 pounds of nails. Here I became acquainted with the first Chinamen I ever knew--two rollicking boys who were anxious to learn English and were ready to make a speech or sing a China song or do an errand for a white man. I thought I had a fine joke on the boys but I doubt whether they ever saw it or not. One of the men at the station killed a deer, a short distance from the creek, and told the boys if they would bring him in the hindquarters they might have the rest. The boys took a toting pole and a couple of bags and went for the deer. After a time they returned, one with the hindquarters balanced with a stone and the other with the forequarters balanced with another stone.
    That road passes over another range of mountains south of Grave Creek. Just after passing the top of the ridge the road formerly crossed a little creek that came down from the mountain to the left, and then followed down the left bank of the same for quite a distance. Just below the crossing is a log that holds a secret that never will be told. A young man was found by its side frozen to death in the winter of 1855-6. He had apparently given out and lain down and died. Before doing so he had knocked the cock off his gun and thrown it away, so the gun would be of no use to the Indians if it should be found by them. Who he was, where he came from and whither going, that log might tell. A little further down the creek is a rivulet that is dry in summer but quite a little steam in winter. Where it passes a maple tree it cut quite a hole just below it which made quite a pool of water during the winter months. In the hole, in 1858, were discovered the remains of a white man. From the appearance of his teeth he was supposed to be about thirty years old. His hair was rather long, of reddish hue and very curly. The same mystery surrounds this man as the one by the log. I was told by a party that a young man of that description, riding a black horse and coming from northern California, and on his way to Oregon to buy cattle, had never been heard from after he crossed Rogue River on his way north. The matter was never investigated. The widow Sexton's place was just on the west side of Jump Off Joe Valley. The road crossed that stream at a ford above the present bridge. It was seldom "swimming" but often deep fording. I killed 2 beaver on the flat just below the ford in the winter of '56. They were on an inspecting tour and I caught them too far from the creek to escape.
    The road at that time turned to the left and went entirely different than the present road to a point near Grants Pass. Abel George located at the Pass toward Louse Creek. The pioneer owner of the place was in the woods making rails on the day of the "outbreak" and, hearing the shooting at the Harris place, ran through the woods all the way to Grave Creek and thus saved his life. Just through the gap was the home of George W. Harris, who settled there only a short time before, coming from Damascus in Clackamas County. He was at home on the eventful 9th day of October, 1855. The Indians called him to the door and before he could retreat shot him through the breast. He lived only long enough to warn his wife about loading the gun, and that heroic mother and wife defended her home, dead husband and little girl until night. Then she silently stole away, taking her child with her, hid in a dense thicket of willows nearby and waited until relief came next day. The little girl looking through a crack saw an Indian with whom the family were well acquainted and who had always expressed great friendship. Exposing herself and calling the Indian by name, she said "you wouldn't shoot, me, would you?" Before she could dodge, he sent a bullet through her arm. [This sounds like a confabulation with the Jones story.] The little brother, sent on an errand to a neighbors, was never heard of afterward. A neighbor and friend of the family who had accompanied them from the valley, Frank A. Reed, a school teacher, was also killed at his home nearby. The mail carrier and another young man escaped in the following manner: They had just passed, in fact that place was in sight, when they met the Indians. They appeared very glad to see the boys and tried to pull them from their horses. After some consultation among themselves, they allowed the mail man and companion to proceed. They hurried forward by [and] when they approached the Wagoner place, at the crossing of Louse Creek, they saw the house was in flames and a large number of Indians were just starting north along the road. The Indians, seeing the boys, called out for them to come on; the boys, fearful for the worst, hesitated. That hesitation was their salvation. Someone of the band began shooting and soon the bullets were flying too close for comfort. The boys retraced their steps more hurriedly than they had come, and in approaching the Harris house they bore to the right and passed near the foot of the hill, when again they heard the bullets sing. The Indians had discovered their flight and were attempting to cut them off or stop them with leaden messengers. They soon gained the summit of the spur and passed out of range on the other side, this making good their escape, and fortunately were able to warn many settlers and travelers, who huddled together at Grave Creek, prepared to make the best defense possible.
    Wagoner was away from home that day. He had gone to escort a lady temperance lecturer to some of the mining camps over in Josephine County. His wife and baby girl and an Indian trusty were there alone. The Indian trusty proved treacherous or was compelled to be so. The Indians were very anxious to secure her as a prisoner and may have done so. A hopeful legend runs: That after securing the house and intimidating any from trying to enter, she arranged herself in her best apparel, and seating herself in the middle of the room with her child in her arms, she sang until her voice was drowned by the crackling flames--her home being her funeral pyre. Another more horrible story is that she and child were prisoners for many months, the child later killed on account of its annoyance and the mother refusing to eat, dying from excessive grief and starvation. [The captivity story is uncorroborated; it may be a confabulation with the Geisel story.]
    Just south from Louse Creek was a long, grassy glade through which the road ran toward the summit between Louse Creek and the small stream running through Grants Pass. The Knott and Ladd brothers were on their way to Jacksonville with a stock of goods, conveyed by a pack train and four or five wagons. They were in this glade when attacked and the Indians, having secured the road in front and rear, imagined they had the boys corralled. With due judgment, they cut the packs from the animals and the horses from the wagons, and leaving the oxen to care for themselves, mounted and rode away, but not in the direction the Indians had anticipated. The boys were well acquainted with the country and escaped by way of an old trail not used in recent years. They made their way to Evans Ferry and there joined a small company who had defended the house and themselves from an attack earlier in the day. In the wagons and packs were found, among other things, some liquors with which many of the Indians soon became too demoralized to continue their work and, through this circumstance, in all probability, many settlers escaped. Quite a number were found here early next day by a company of troops from Fort Lane and volunteer citizens and several were killed before they could escape to the nearby brush and mountains. On top of the divide is where young James W. Cartwright and Given were killed. They had a two-horse wagon loaded with apples from the Willamette Valley and were on the road to Jacksonville. Some eight or ten people were killed along the road at "Bloody Run," "Dry Diggings," and the Jones' place, between this summit and Evans Ferry. This was the next post office on the route. Mr. Evans was postmaster. The name of the office was Gold River. I usually crossed Rogue at this ferry. Jewett's ferry was three miles above near the mouth of Evans Creek and the west boundary of the Indian reservation. At this place two packers were killed on the morning of the ninth--the first of that memorable massacre--at the same time that Jewett's house was fired upon from across the river, but no one injured.
    Evans' ferry was the old crossing and a favorite camping ground for the Indians who were always on the alert to steal, rob or kill the careless or non-vigilant traveler. These rocks and rivers and hills might reveal the sequel of travelers who never returned. There was no settlement north of the river above Evans' ferry. Birdseye, Dr. Miller and Rosenstock were the chief settlers along the south side up to the W. G. T'Vault place but as he had moved to Jacksonville to publish the Table Rock Sentinel the office was discontinued about the time I went on the road. (Its name was Dardanelles.) J. B. White was making his home at Rosenstock's. He had a mining claim across the river, afterward located a homestead, started a small trading post, and later laid out the town of Rock Point. This is after the reservation was thrown open to settlement and the stage road was changed to that side of the river. The road leaves the river at Dardanelles and runs up a small stream for two or three miles, crosses a low ridge to Willow Springs and then runs along the south slope of a range of oak hills to Jacksonville. A prosperous mining town is located on Jackson Creek in a cove of mountains where the creek leave the hills and enters the valley proper.
    All the hillsides and gulches were dotted with miner's cabins and they were securing the precious metal with the "pan," the "cradle," the "Tom" and the "sluice box." Some were even carrying their dirt for some distance before it could be washed. Mr. Cyphers was postmaster, but afterward Mr. Hoffman was appointed to the place. The crowds about the office on mail day were immense and the postmaster, after assorting his mail, usually got upon a goods box and read off the names. If the party was in the crowd, his hand went up and the letter was passed to him. To get to the delivery window each person was compelled to take his turn and a string of men for half a block away was not an uncommon sight. C. C. Beekman had a news stand and carried express to Yreka, 60 miles over the mountains, a business fraught with many dangers. The next office south of here was Phoenix, familiarly called Gassburg, also Camp Stuart. A few years afterward Camp Baker was located a mile south of here on Stuart Creek.
The Goldendale Sentinel, Goldendale, Washington, February 6, 1948. Written sometime after 1882. Transcription and comments by Dale Greenley.

    BYARS, HON. W. H., of Salem, was born July 7, 1839, at Des Moines, Iowa, and came to Oregon in 1853. He attended Columbia College, Willamette University and Wilbur Academy, graduating from the latter in 1868. From 1862 to 1865 he was in the Idaho mines, and eighteen months in service in the First Oregon Cavalry. He was elected Superintendent of Schools of Douglas County, and in 1870 County Surveyor. In 1872 he was appointed Deputy United States Surveyor, holding the position twelve years. From 1875 to 1884 he was editor and publisher of the Roseburg Plaindealer. In 1884 he was elected State Printer, and for eighteen months was part owner and editor of the Salem Statesman. In 1888 he was elected City Surveyor of Salem, and in 1890 was appointed United States Surveyor General. He has been continuously a member of conventions.

Republican League Register, Reporter Publishing Co., Portland, 1896, page 187

    William H. Byars, who is also a newspaper man, was born in Iowa in 1839, the descendant of a Virginia family. He crossed the Plains to Oregon in the fifties with his mother and stepfather, John Mires, and settled in Douglas County. As a young man he became United States mail carrier on the Oregon-California route and during the Modoc War [sic] had some very narrow escapes from death. He was on the early government surveys through Oregon and Washington and still follows that line of work. His first newspaper was the Roseburg Plaindealer, which he purchased in 1873 and changed to a Republican journal. He was elected state printer in 1882 and while in Salem bought the Daily Statesman, which he conducted for several years. He was one of the founders of the daily and weekly Journal. Besides holding the position of city engineer of Salem, he was for a number of years surveyor general of Oregon with headquarters at Portland. He was afterward appointed commandant of the Soldiers' Home in Roseburg and served in that capacity four years. In the early seventies he was at the head of the Umpqua Academy and also served as superintendent of schools of Douglas County. At present Mr. Byars makes his home in Salem, where he follows his engineering profession. His wife is a native of Kentucky ; her father was born in Massachusetts and mother in Ohio. The family crossed the Plains to Oregon in the early fifties, settling in Douglas County.
"William Fleming Byars," An Illustrated History of Klickitat, Yakima and Kittitas Counties, 1904, page 400
William H. Byars, age 70
William H. Byars, in the field at age 70

Pony Express Days High Point of Long Service Life
Journal Special Writer

    The early days of the pony express [unrelated to the famed transcontinental Pony Express] in Oregon are recalled in an unpublished manuscript, "Riding the Mail in 1856," which is in the hands of Ray L. Stout, a retired Portland utilities engineer.
    Stout, now 83, himself the son of Oregon pioneers, compiled the "memoirs" of his uncle, William H. Byars, from original letters, work notes and travel journeys.
    Billy Byars was only 17 when he started carrying the mail--but in the wilderness he was every inch a man. His many experiences on the Oregon Trail in 1853 undoubtedly had taught him priceless self-reliance.
    Byars operated out of his "home station," on Calapooya Creek, four miles south of the post office at Oakland, Ore. It was located on a high prairie surrounded by oak-covered hills about three miles north of present Oakland.
    The Oakland post office, which occupied one of the two rooms in the house of postmaster Hull Tower, must have been quite an important one. It was the terminus of four mail routes. One went west to Scottsburg and the coast; one north via Yoncalla to Corvallis; one "northerly over the coast fork road to Eugene; and one southerly via Winchester" and Roseburg to Yreka, Calif.
    All lines were weekly routes. The postmen traveled on horseback with an additional pack horse when necessary. The mail day was Friday, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. All the mail that came into Oakland was dumped in the middle of the room and then sorted into four main piles, each representing a mail route. Local mail was tossed into a fifth pile.
    Each carrier then loaded his take into one or more mailbags, packed the bags on his horse or horses, and took off. The post office was quiet for another week.
    Byars had the southerly route, from Oakland to Yreka. It took him six days to cover the 150 miles. Each night he laid over at a post office or settler's house.
    There were then 14 post offices on Byars' route: Winchester, Roseburg, Round Prairie, Myrtle Creek, North Canyonville, Galesville, Leland, Gold River, Dardanelles, Jacksonville, Phoenix, Ashland, Henley and Yreka.
    More than a quarter of a century would pass before any of the still-existent villages was incorporated. Some have disappeared so completely that not a trace of their physical presence remains. Few of the hamlets were more than rude spots on the trail. Ashland, for example, then called Ashland Mills, consisted of a single mill and a single house. The mill also served as the post office; the house was also a "small wayside stopping place."
    In those days, Byars noted in one of his letters, travelers generally carried their own beds; probably he meant sleeping rolls, and all they generally received were meals.
    Jacksonville was the largest town--the only community of any significant size. The postmaster, [William] Hoffman, was the father-in-law of the legendary banker C. C. Beekman, who at that time carried express via pack horse from Jacksonville to Yreka.
    Byars vividly described the Jacksonville scene of 1856:
    "I frequently saw the miners and others citizens lined up for a block waiting for their turn to ask for the mail. Mining was carried on right through the streets of the town."
    Jacksonville was wide open. "Everything that was wicked was permitted anywhere in the town where space could be secured. Nearly every man carried a revolver and knife, and it was considered a greater crime to steal a horse than kill a man."
    In 1858 a daily stage line was established between Jacksonville and Yreka, and this shortened the mail route.
    Byars' route took him across deep and rocky streams and rivers, up and down harsh and slippery hills and mountains, through thickets untouched by blade, across glades stained by blood of both red and white men. Rain was sometimes a constant companion; he ran into snowdrifts and blizzards, and there were nights on the trail as "dark as Egypt."
    On the trail he came across angry bears, runaway teams, overturned wagons, corpses fresh and not so fresh, settlers and team masters scalped by outraged Indians.
    The times were rife with Indian uprisings in Southern Oregon. Villages were raided, homes sacked, barns burned, stock driven away, homesteaders shot down or impaled by arrows, wagon trains ambushed, and large-scale battles fought. A few miles west of Wolf Creek "the famous battle of Hungry Hill was fought--where the Indians in a two-day battle completely defeated the volunteers and regulars. There were about five hundred whites, but the number of Indians was unknown." [The rediscovered site of the Hungry Hill battle is west of Glendale.]
    The houses between North Canyonville and Dardanelles, near present-day Gold Hill, were built as fortresses.
    "The house," wrote Byars, giving a specific example, "was surrounded by a stockade, which was constructed by digging a trench four or five feet deep around the house, generally in a square, and then setting timbers 20 or 30 feet long upright so as to make a bulletproof wall and then tamp them solidly with earth, and cutting loopholes through for the purpose of firing on an approaching foe. Generally there were small bastions at each corner with loopholes so that the sides could be protected." The house was within the enclosure.
    "In fact," added Byars, "a majority of all the houses in Southern Oregon were so protected."
    In 1858 the mail contract was sold to the Oregon & California Stage Company, "who put on a daily stage line and had the mail service increased to a daily line. The Oregon and California Railroad as fast as it was built relieved the stage line and took over the mail route. This was not fully completed until about 1885."
[The railroad was completed to Ashland in 1884, and to California in 1887.]
    William H. Byars gave up the job of pony express rider in the latter part of 1858 and settled in Roseburg, where for about a year he served as superintendent of schools. Later, he took a post as surveyor general for the government and helped map vast areas of the Pacific Northwest.
    For ten summers his nephew, Ray Stout, starting when he was 15, helped Byars on surveys.
    After he lay down his survey tools, Byars became commandant of the Soldiers Home at Roseburg, serving in that capacity for about four years.
    The 20th century was coming to the close of its second decade when Billy Byars passed away, a distinguished-looking man with a flourishing beard.
    In his life span he had seen messages carried by ox team, horse, stagecoach, telegraph, railroad, telephone, motor carrier and airplane. He had mapped more townships and counties in Oregon than anyone else; he had seen cities rise from the seeds of tents and log cabins; he had witnessed trails widen to roads; and he had watched the change from the tallow candle in a lonely hut to tall hotels lighted by electricity.
    A rich, varied life--but what he remembered with greatest relish, in his days of summing up with eight decades spread before him, were those two years as a pony express rider, when the country was raw, death made every step a slippery one, and the only important thing in life was getting the mail through.
Oregon Journal, Portland, September 27, 1968

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For the Oregonian.
Mails in Southern Oregon.
Dayton, June 3, 1857.
    Mr. Editor--Sir: Allow me briefly to reply to your correspondent of May 19th, over the "two daggers" [he refers to a letter signed with a diesis--‡], who writes with gall and hails from the delectable mudhole of Laurel. It is plain he would have you and your readers believe that the mail service was and is neglected by the contractor in Southern Oregon. In a cowardly manner he intimated that there has been no arrivals of the mail at Jacksonville between December and the 13th of May. "Two daggers" knows that horseback service, once in two weeks, is all that we are employed to perform. "Two daggers" knows that we would perform weekly, daily or hourly service, if employed and paid for the same. "Two daggers" knows that at the commencement of the Indian war, our mail carrier and "cayuse horses" were repeatedly fired at and driven back. "Two daggers" knows that we were fined $72 because we failed to get through. "Two daggers" knows that we failed on another trip during the war, on account of high water and Indian blockade. "Two daggers" knows that we were fined $100 for that failure. "Two daggers" knows that since that time we have made but one failure, and that was on account of high water last winter, and for this we were discounted $50. "Two daggers" knows that on the schedule, time and corrections are made regularly at the termini, and that no mail matter is over left, that is, put into the mail bags. "Two daggers" knows that we have had as many as four mules on that route, three of which have gone under--one was stolen in Rogue River Valley, and packed to death by a far better man than "two daggers." "Two daggers" knows that if the people south of the Canyon will complain in the right direction, and in the proper manner, that they will be heard, and quite likely their grievances may be redressed. Now, if "Two daggers" don't know all these things, he knows nothing at all about the matter, and should reserve his bile to regulate his own puny system.
    We will now tell Mr. "Two daggers" something of the encouragement held out to the department to induce an increase of mail facilities by postmasters and others in Rogue River Valley. In the first place there has not been one single dime of the money due the department from the office at Jacksonville paid to our order since the 31st December, 1855. In the second place, there has not been anything paid to the department from any office on that route, between Grave Creek and Ashland Mills, since the above-named time. Let the people of Rogue River Valley ask the Postmaster General to order weekly service on Route No. 12721; likewise to have a route established between Crescent City and Jacksonville. We have used our best endeavors for both these, but we have failed. We have no doubt if those more immediately interested would, in place of growling about the blood of the horse on which the mail is packed, demand as American citizens those rights to which as American citizens they are justly entitled, they will not fail. Yours,
    Contractor of Route No. 12721.
Weekly Oregonian, Portland, June 13, 1857, page 2

    W. H. Byars has withdrawn from the Roseburg Plaindealer.
"Pacific Coasters,"
State Rights Democrat, Albany, Oregon, November 15, 1878, page 3

The Unrecorded Story of an Oregon Heroine.
    Few persons who reside in the peaceful valleys of Oregon can realize that only a short time since within the memory of many an old settler these hills and vales were populated with a race who waged perpetual warfare with those seeking new homes in this beautiful land. One little incident may revive the memory of many an old settler and recount old scenes that might otherwise be forever lost. In August of 1855 a youth not over sixteen years old was employed by Mr. Richard Forrest as mail carrier on the route between Oakland, Oregon, and Yreka, California. This mail was carried every other week or twenty-six trips per year. One bright Tuesday morning this youth left his night station at Leland, or Grave Creek, and started for his next station which was near Rock Point--there was but one post office in that distance, that of Gold River at the crossing of Rogue River. He had crossed the divide from Grave Creek and entered the valley of "Jumpoff Joe." crossed that stream and wound around among the hills toward Louse Creek where the circumstance occurred that I want to relate.
    All the early pioneer settlers along the road depended upon this messenger to deliver their mail, take their letters to the office and do other errands, therefore they always watched for his arrival and had many good words and other favors to give him and he in turn looked upon them as his special friends. He had just passed one house, after pleasant greetings, when he was surrounded by a large number of Indians who professed great friendship and warmly shook him by the hand and at the same time tried to drag him from his horse. He pulled loose and went on until he came to Wagoner's house on Louse Creek where he detected another band of the redskins in the act of firing the building. They discovered him at about the same time and immediately opened fire upon him.
    He fled back to Harris' place but was unable to reach the house as it was surrounded by the first party he had met and they showered the bullets all about him, but he finally escaped and warned the citizens back along the road who nearly all escaped to their fortification. In the house--Wagoner's--was Mrs. Wagoner. Her husband had left home that morning to transact some business and left his wife alone with a "pet" Indian. This Indian saw the others coming and told her what they were doing. She immediately fastened the doors and windows and prepared for a siege. They wanted her as a prisoner and finally set the house on fire thinking that would bring her out, but this poor forsaken unprotected young woman, knowing her fate if captured, preferred the torture of the flames to that of the red devils howling on the outside. This pet Indian told afterward that the heroic woman, after the house was fired, washed her face, combed her hair before the mirror and then sat down in her rocking chair and sang until the smoke and flames suffocated her. Her heroism and fortitude surprised these savages and they tried to save her when too late. She was more fortunate than some of her sister neighbors captured that day whose final time has not yet revealed.
Evening Capital Journal, Salem, November 12, 1888, page 4

    W. H. Byars has been confirmed by the senate as surveyor general of Oregon.
"Oregon News," Weekly Gazette, Heppner, June 19, 1890, page 4

Description of a Romantic Piece of Country in Klamath County.
    Surveyor-General Byars is kept very busy these days with routine office work, although but little surveying business is going on now owing to the state of the weather. With the advent of spring, and the opening of pleasant weather, there will be a reawakening of activities.
    Yesterday General Byars received notification from the land department of the acceptance of the surveying contract done by W. F. Briggs. This contract was for township 30 south, range 4 west. The field notes had all been carefully examined and compared with the accompanying plat, and the survey found very satisfactory in every detail.
    Some time ago Ben E. Peterman, who lives on what is known as Bear Island, which is located in Big, or Upper Klamath Lake, asked to have the land surveyed. The surveyor-general recommended to the department that the survey be made, and a letter has just been received authorizing that the work be done, which instructions will be carried out. The land comprising Bear Island is in section 19 and 24, township 36 south, range 7 and 8 east, Willamette Meridian, Oregon. Speaking of Klamath Lake and the island in question, Mr. Byars said:
    "I was on Bear Island myself, though that was a long time ago. It must have been fully twenty-five years ago, so that my recollections of the appearance of the island are rather dim and shadowy. Peterman, as I understand. makes his home on the island. Klamath Lake is a handsome sheet of water about thirty miles long, and the average width is seven miles. It is very deep in places--just how profound is not known, as the waters have not been sounded. So far as I know, Klamath Lake has never yet been surveyed by the government and a report made, as has been done with other similar bodies of water. The waters are perfectly fresh, though not very clear, for the reason that vast quantities of tules grow along the shores and extend for some distance out into the lake. This vegetation imparts a sort of flaggy, reddish hue to the water. The lake abounds in fish, such as salmon, trout, suckers and other varieties. It is an excellent place to fish, and I have spent a good deal of time along its shores."
    At his office, Mr. Byars has a large photograph which was taken a few days ago and forwarded to him. It seems that some person had taken up a homestead back in the mountains not far from Bridal Veil Falls. Over this land there arose trouble, and the person claiming the tract sent a photographer clear out to this place to take a picture of his improvements, in order to show that he had complied with the homestead law and done work on the tract. The photograph shows a small log cabin, which is almost buried under snowdrifts. On top of a huge stump, standing near the cabin, is a pile of snow several feet high. Beyond the cabin stands a dense, unbroken belt of forest, the branches of which are swaying and bending under a weight of snow. The wild mountain scenery and the deep snows combine to form a somewhat desolate scene. This picture was appropriately labeled "A Commencement," which indicated that a hardy and industrious man had taken up the land, built the rude house, made some other primitive improvements, and proposed to stay with it and grow up with the country. This instance is only one of thousands, which show that every available acre of land is being eagerly sought after, and that the process of settlement and clearing of farms is going forward with ceaseless activity.
Valley Record, Ashland, February 18, 1892, page 4

    Surveyor General W. H Byars was in the city today seeing old friends. He is about the only remaining Republican federal officer left in the Portland official building and is growing lonesome. When he leaves it he will go gracefully and with a clear record.
"Personals," Capital Journal, Salem, March 23, 1894, page 4

Successor Named to Hon. Wm. H. Byars.

    WASHINGTON, July 17.--The President has sent to the Senate the following nominations: David A. Wells, Jr., of Connecticut, to be second secretary of legation at London; John C. Arnold, to be surveyor general of Oregon; Geo. S. Stevenson, to be register of the land office at Vancouver, Washington.
    John C. Arnold, who was today appointed surveyor general, is a resident of Pendleton, Oregon.
Capital Journal, Salem, July 17, 1894, page 1

Will Run All Right on State Paper.
    W. H. Byars, superintendent of the Oregon soldiers' home, at Roseburg, spent Tuesday in the city, and took the evening train for Milton. He came up to take from Milton John Savage, an old soldier who is sick and will go to be an inmate of the home at Roseburg.
    Superintendent Byars informed the East Oregonian that the soldiers' home will probably experience no difficulty on account of the failure of the legislature to organize, as people have expressed a willingness to furnish all supplies needed on state paper to be honored when the legislature shall meet next time. It was the intention of the board to ask the legislature for an appropriation this session for improvements. Superintendent Byars said there is need of more quarters, for at least 100 additional inmates, and it was for this the special appropriation was to be asked. During the past two or three years, a hospital costing $8000 and a barn costing $600 have been built with no special appropriation from the legislature. This was done with money saved from the amount which has been at the disposal of the board for the conduct of the home.
    From the general government the home receives for each old soldier kept for at least one year $100 per annum. Many of the soldiers who are at the home draw pensions from the general government, and these are required by the board [of the] home to turn over all of this pension money excepting $4 per month, which amount the soldiers are allowed to retain for the purchase of such luxuries as they may desire.--Pendleton East Oregonian.
Daily Capital Journal, Salem, April 3, 1897, page 3

W. J. Shipley, of Portland, Succeeds Gen. W. H. Byars at the Home.
Roseburg Review, Jan. 24--
    The long drawn-out dissension in the Soldiers' Home management culminated last evening in the dismissal of Commandant W. H. Byars and the election to the vacancy of W. J. Shipley, of Portland. Nothing is known of the new official here, but he is said to be a Portland bookkeeper, an old soldier, and a protege of Trustee
Northup, who is just now the controlling spirit in the home management.
    The meeting was a very lively one, and the discussion at times acrimonious in the extreme.
    H. H. Northup presented the following resolution.
    It appearing that on the 27th day of Dec. 1898, Viola Mann, an employee of the soldiers' home at the hospital, who had been suspended by W. H. Byars, commandant, on the 5th day of Dec., 1898, was restored to her position by action of the board, and it further appearing that W. H. Byars, commandant, on the fourth day of January, 1899 when said Viola Mann presented herself to be reinstated to her position, refused to allow her to be reinstated. And said W. H. Byars, commandant, now declaring that there is no position for her to occupy, and other good and sufficient cause appearing at the time, it is therefore
    Resolved, That good and sufficient cause exists for the removal of said W. H. Byars as commandant of the soldiers' home of the state of Oregon. It is therefore ordered that said W. H. Byars be and he hereby is removed as commandant of the state soldiers home at Roseburg. Oregon, for cause.
    It is further ordered that said the Commandant cease to exercise all control and authority at said home at midnight on the 31st day of January, 1899.
    On roll call the resolution was adopted. Ayes, Northup, Holt and Caukin 3; Noes, Abraham and Sheridan 2.
    The election of a commandant to fill the vacancy required two ballots. Trustees Sheridan and Abraham having retired. The first ballot resulted, Shipley 2, Matthew Stewart 1. The second ballot, Shipley 2 and Stewart 1, when Trustee Holt changed his vote from Stewart to Shipley who thus received a majority and was declared elected.
    Miss Viola Mann was formally reinstated in the position of hospital matron to go on duty February 1, 1899.
    For the new laundry and chapel combined to John Hunter, of this city, his bid of $2,250 being the lowest of several that were submitted. L. A. Sanctuary was awarded the plumbing at $252, and the Portland Electric Co. the wiring and fixtures at $156. Trustee Sheridan was authorized to approve the bonds of the contractors. The site for the new building seems not to have been definitely selected--perhaps the excitement of the meeting was responsible for this little omission.
Daily Capital Journal, Salem, January 25, 1899, page 1

Why Byars Was Removed.
    Here is the action of the board, as introduced by Judge Northup:
    It appearing that on the 27th of Dec., 1898, Viola Mann, an employee of the
Soldiers' Home at the hospital, who had been suspended by W. H . Byars, commandant, on the 5th day of Dec. 1898, was restored to her position by action of
the board, and it further appearing that W. H. Byars, commandant, on the 4th day of January 1899, when said Viola Mann presented herself to be reinstated to her said position, refused to allow her to be so reinstated. And said W. B. Byars, commandant, now declared that he is not willing to reinstate her, and that there is no position for her to occupy, and other good and sufficient cause appearing at that time, it is therefore.
    RESOLVED, That good and sufficient cause exists for the removal of said W. H. Byars as commandant of the soldiers' home of the state of Oregon. It is therefore ordered that said W. H. Byars be and he hereby is removed as commandant of the state soldiers' home at Roseburg, Oregon, for cause.
    It is further ordered that said commandant cease to exercise all control and
authority of said home at midnight on the 31st day of January, 1899.
    Trustees Sheridan and Abraham voted against the resolution. Sheridan and Abraham retired and the other trustees, Northup, Calkins and Holt, elected W. J. Shipley, of Portland, to fill the vacancy.
    Miss Viola Mann was reinstated in the position of hospital matron to go on duty Feb. 1, 1899.
State Rights Democrat, Albany, Oregon, February 3, 1899, page 1

Recollections of a Speech Made at Oakland, Or., in 1855.
    SALEM, Or., Nov. 9.--(To the Editor.)--I have read with interest your editorial
in The Oregonian of today, under the caption of "The Slavery Question in Oregon."
Reference is frequently made to the article of Hon. T. W. Davenport in the Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society.
    There appear to be some points in the history of the events of that question that were not fully developed; or at least so it seems to me.
    I might say here that my people were formerly Virginians and Whigs. They had freed their slaves when they moved north and west. In 1855 I lived with my parents near Oakland, Or., and was 16 years of age; had just read the life of Isaac T. Hopper, and was a reader of the New York Tribune, and, therefore, well rooted in my anti-slavery beliefs. Sometime in the summer of 1855, General Joseph Lane and Colonel John P. Gaines, the candidates for Congress from Oregon, addressed the citizens near Oakland in a joint discussion of the political issues pending at that time. The meeting was held about one mile below where the present town of Oakland is located, in an oak grove, and the slavery issue formed a conspicuous part of the addresses.
    Colonel Gaines was the first speaker and, to my mind, made much the best speech. Several of his statements and stories are well remembered to this day. Upon the slavery question, he stated that he was from a slave state and was well acquainted with the good and evil of the institution. and that he wanted none of it here in Oregon; he could and preferred to do his own work or have it done by free labor. His speech surely indicated that he was anti-slavery for Oregon, at least.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, November 14, 1908, page 8

Date Believed Wrong.
    SALEM, Or., March 16.--(To the Editor.)--I am convinced that your correspondent at Medford is in error regarding the date of the construction of the Dollarhide Toll Road over the Siskiyou Mountains. The date should be 1858, instead of 1852.
    I base this statement on the fact that I was in the mail service from August 1856 to July 1, 1858, and crossed the mountain once a week during all that time. There was no toll road then, but during the month of June 1858 there was a large force of men working on this new road, but it was not open to travel until some time afterward.
    General, then Lieutenant, Joe Hooker located the present road through the big canyon in Douglas County the same year. The old road followed the bed of the creek for over a mile through a deep gorge.
W. H. BYARS.       
Oregonian, Portland, March 17, 1915, page 8

    WAITSBURG, Wash., Dec. 13.--(To the Editor.)--It is very gratifying to me to look through the Oregonian and read the letters telling of pioneer days, scenes and places I remember well. I was truly glad to see the letter from W. H. Byars, December 7, in regard to the pioneer town of Canyonville.
     I well remember the old town, as when a little boy riding behind an older sister, traveling on horseback, accompanied by my father and two other men, we passed through the town on our way to Jacksonville. That was in the fall of 1856. We went up the bed of the stream in many places, as there was no other way to go. It was the only road. That was about the beginning of the Rogue River war. [This would make it the fall of 1855, not 1856.] I surely recall the names of some of the old time stage drivers--Joe Clough, Tom Tindall and Dunham Hanks. Many times I have seen Tom Tindall, lash in hand, swing around sharp curves, with his six horses and coach, with as much or more ease than most of the expert auto drivers exhibit today without turning turtle. In after years I traveled through there many times. I remember well in 1865 a lot of us boys, as a company of volunteers with Comrade Byars at our head, landed at Canyonville about 10 o'clock one morning on our way to Eugene to be mustered into the service of Uncle Sam. We were a lot of homesick boys, as we had been in camp at old Camp Baker for some time doing our first guard and drilling. So when we arrived in the little town I was so glad to think I was getting near home, 30 miles away, that I forgot all about being a recruit. When I found an old acquaintance who was going to Wilbur, my old home, I did not stop for any ceremony, but I lit out. I stayed there until the boys came up and, as Comrade Byars was boss, I had no trouble.
Joseph Horace V. Grubbe, "Pioneer Days and Patriotism," Oregonian, Portland, December 15, 1915, page 8

William Henry Byars
    The immigration of settlers to Oregon in 1853 was not the largest in numbers, but it did bring many people to this state who later achieved distinction and during their lifetime contributed much to growth and welfare of their community and to the state. Among the many who came that year was the John H. Mires family from Iowa. The family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Mires, their son Austin and four children of Mrs. Mires by a previous marriage to Fleming Byars. The oldest of the five children was William Henry Byars, who was born in Des Moines County, Iowa on July 7, 1939. He had three sisters and one brother; Rebecca F. born November 20, 1840, Mary C. born October 3, 1842 and Elizabeth B. born January 14, 1845. His only brother Nathan O. died in infancy.
    William Henry Byars' grandparents were Fleming and' Fannie (McClure) Byars from Virginia. His parents Fleming and Anna (Deardorff) Byars moved into Iowa about the time it became a territory in 1838. His father died when he was nine years old, leaving the mother with four small children to support. Three years later she married John H. Mires, and their six children by this marriage were Austin born in 1852, Benton born in 1853, Anna born in 1855, Margaret born in 1857, Addie born in 1859 and John S. born in 1863.
    Iowa was one of the frontier states and in the early fifties was a jumping-off place for settlers bound for the Oregon Country. The Mires family joined the immigration of 1853, starting from their home in Des Moines County, with two wagons, seven yoke of oxen and about twenty head of cattle. Their company also included [two] of Mrs. Mires brothers, William H. B. Deardorff and John Deardorff, with their families and livestock.
    William Henry was fourteen years old when they started on their journey and like all young boys of that time was able and willing to do a man's work. Since he and his stepfather were the only men in his family he drove one of the wagons. After many months of travel, encountering the usual hardships and discouraging delays experienced by most of the immigrants, they arrived at The Dalles and from here they crossed the Cascade Mountains and into the Willamette Valley by way of the Barlow Road and spent their first winter in Oregon near Milwaukie, living in a log cabin with a dirt floor. They were hardly settled in this new home when a son was born on September 26, 1853 and he was named Benton, after Thomas Hart Benton, U.S. Senator from Missouri, whose influence contributed much to the extension of United States control of the Oregon Country.
    Early in the spring of 1854 the family moved on up the Willamette Valley, over the Calapooya Mountains and down into the Umpqua Valley. John Mires bought the squatter rights on the Robert Stewart donation land claim, located about seven miles southwest of the present city of Oakland. At that time this location was in Umpqua County, which came into existence by act of the Territorial Legislature on January 24, 1851 and continued as an independent county until it was merged with and became a part of Douglas County in 1862. John bought additional land and engaged in stock raising. This location was the family home for more than thirty years. Mr. Mires passed away in 1888 and his wife Anna in 1894. 
    In the same year that the John Mires family settled in Oregon another immigrant by the name of James H. Wilbur settled on his claim located at Bunton's Gap on the Scottsburg Military Road about three miles north of Winchester. James H. Wilbur was a Methodist minister interested in education and after building a home on his property began soliciting funds, labor and material to build a school building and set aside some of his property for that purpose. His devotion to his chosen profession and his dedication to the need of education in the new and growing country earned for him the title of "Father Wilbur" and [he] was known, respected and honored throughout all of Oregon.
     Fifteen-year-old Henry Byars made a small contribution to the building fund and also donated his time in hauling many loads of lumber used in the construction of the school and other buildings in the vicinity. This community became known as Wilbur and the school became Umpqua Academy. The first school building was made of logs and was located just east of Father Wilbur's home, and the first school was opened on April 17, 1854. This building was replaced by a larger  building and officially became Umpqua Academy when it was chartered by the Territorial Legislature January 15, 1857.
     In 1856, at the age of seventeen, Henry Byars signed up as a rider on the mail route between Oakland, Oregon and Yreka, California. At that time Richard Forrest had the contract to carry mail on this route and he hired young Byars as a rider, who continued in that capacity until Forrest's contract expired on July l, 1858, at which time a Mr. Monnahan was awarded the contract which was continued to 1860, when he sold out to the California and Oregon Stage Company, who put on a daily stage service and carried both mail and passengers.
    The Oakland post office, at that time, was located on a high prairie surrounded by oak-covered hills, about three miles north of the  present city of Oakland and in the private residence of the Rev. Hull Tower, who was the postmaster. This office was the terminus of four mail routes; one to Scottsburg and the coast, one by way of Yoncalla to Corvallis, one northerly along the Coast Fork of the Willamette River to Eugene and one south by way of Jacksonville to Yreka and known as the southern route. These were weekly routes, and the mail was carried on horseback with additional pack horse or horses if the volume of mail required them.
    Mail day at the Oakland post office was Friday, from 10 o'clock a.m. to 2 o'clock p.m. The mail was emptied on the floor in the middle of the room and then sorted into five piles, one for each of the four mail routes and one for the local office. Each carrier then took possession of the mail for his route, placed it in mail bags and secured on his riding horse or on an extra horse if the volume of mail required it and they were off on their respective routes and the Oakland post office was quiet for another week.
    The southern route was about 175 miles and required six days to  make the trip each way. This gave the rider one day's rest at the end of each trip. It was a long and tiresome journey. The roads were bad and there were raging streams to cross in the winter time, and over the mountains the rider often encountered snow five or six  feet deep.
    Henry Byars often crossed the Siskiyou Mountains at night, when an encounter with a grizzly bear or road agent was always a possibility. "One time," he said, "I crossed in the early evening and saw two horsemen hid behind a clump of bushes. I could not go back and had to ride upon them. I put my horses to their utmost speed and, with my revolver in my hand, rushed right past them. They immediately fell in behind and chased me for two miles, up hill and down, right up to the station, but before I could get off and around to face them they dashed by and were gone. I inquired all along the road the next day but got no information."
     Many of the streams were crossed by fording or on very flimsy bridges, and when the streams were at flood stage, young Byars on more than one occasion risked his life and that of his horses in crossing them. He vividly recounts one of these occasions in his memoirs. "One of the creeks was crossed by a single-log bridge and the water was running about one foot over the log, too deep and dangerous for the horses to cross. I removed the packs and saddles and, stringing a rope across for a hand support and removing my boots, I waded across on the log carrying the mail and saddles, which required six or eight trips. The water was cold and there was snow on the ground and still snowing. Then I forced the horses into the stream and compelled them to swim to the other side. They were unable to get out of the creek as the bank was too steep and high. I ran around and crossed but when I approached, they got back into the stream and there was a log projecting into the creek just below, against which they drifted and the current was drawing them under and they were nearly drowned. I went out on the log and with a strong stick pushed them from under and they swam back to the bank. I went to catch them, and they turned back into the creek. I was so excited and fearful of their drowning that I jumped into the creek and grabbed the ropes that were around their necks and got them back to the bank. Not being able to get them out, I went back across the creek to Mr. Redfield's house and got a spade, came back and dug a trench so that the horses could get out. They were about frozen to death but I, being hard at work and somewhat excited, did not notice the cold. I then tied them up and covered them with saddle blankets, took the spade back to Mr. Redfield, returned to the horses, saddled them, packed up the mail and rode to Grave Creek ten miles away. You better believe I made good time. I jumped off and walked or ran up the steep hill or I do believe I would have frozen."
     Henry Byars quit this mail route on July 1, 1858 and during the winter  of 1858-59 attended Columbia College at Eugene City, which was operated by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He taught a term of school at Oak Grove and in the fall of 1860 returned to Wilbur and enrolled as a student in the Umpqua Academy. He batched in a house located across the road from the Academy and it was from here he said, "I walked to Winchester and cast my first vote for Abraham Lincoln." In March 1861 John Dillard, County School Superintendent for Douglas County, issued a certificate stating that he had examined Wm. H. Byars and found him qualified to teach school for a term of one year.
    About this time gold had been discovered along the Salmon and Clearwater rivers in Idaho and many of the settlers left their homes and headed for the gold fields to seek a fortune. Henry Byars decided to try his luck at mining. Although there were mining operations much closer in the Rogue River Valley, the distant fields seemed greener. After prospecting for a few months with little success he organized a pack train and began delivering supplies to the miners. This operation brought him better returns than mining. After an absence of about three years he returned to Wilbur and in July 1865 enlisted in the United States military service and was assigned to Company A of the First Oregon Cavalry, under the command of Lt. J. M. McCall, who was under orders to provide military escort for a survey party engaged in surveying a route for the Oregon Central Military Road from Eugene City to the east boundary of the state. B. J. Pengra was engineer in charge of the survey.
    Byars' enlistment in the military service extended over a period of approximately one year, during which time he kept a journal, making daily entries during the entire period. At the time he joined the company, it was stationed near Eugene City and his first entry in the journal was as follows:

Camp Applegate, July 7, 1865
    I commence this as a journal of my life and travels while in the service of the United States. I am twenty-six years old today and am acting Orderly Sergeant of  this detachment. We are camped about three fourths of a mile east of Eugene City on a small island which lies just below the mill dam. There are forty-five enlisted men all under the command of Lt. McCall of the First Reg. Oregon Cav.
    Everything is active, getting ready to start on the expedition which is expected to start in a few days.

    The military escort and the survey party followed up the Middle Fork of the Willamette River, across the mountains and down to Fort Klamath. Then up the Sprague River and by Summer and Abert lakes and east to Steens Mountain. From here the expedition returned to Fort Klamath and the survey party was apparently disbanded. The military company however remained in this vicinity, providing protection for travelers and settlers, until it was ordered back to Fort Vancouver where it was mustered out of service in July 1866.
    Henry Byars returned to Wilbur and in the fall of 1866 he again entered Umpqua Academy as a student and in June of the following year he graduated with the first class, consisting of four students. The other three members of this class were; Annina T. Royal, Stanley O. Royal and Marigold S. Royal, children of T. F. Royal, principal of the academy. Shortly after graduating he was appointed County Surveyor for Douglas County, and at the June election in 1868 he was elected County School Superintendent for the same county.
    On December 23, 1868 he married Emma A. Slocum Reed and set up housekeeping in a rented house in Wilbur. A few years later they built a small home about a quarter of a mile east of the old Academy, where they lived for about four years. Here their two oldest children, Iana Azalia and William Fleming, were born. This home was apparently too small for a growing family, so they moved into the Wilbur home, where a third child, Alfred Henry, was born.
    While living at Wilbur he received an appointment as United States Deputy Surveyor and his first contract to execute public land surveys. For almost forty years thereafter he continued to take contracts for public land surveys more or less regularly, when not otherwise engaged. These operations ranged over a wide area in Oregon and Washington and specifically covered a large part of Douglas County, about a thousand square miles in Grant, Lake and Harney counties and several hundred square miles in Eastern and Western Washington. His last contract, in northeastern Washington, was completed in 1909.
    In 1873 Mr. Byars bought the Roseburg Plaindealer, a weekly newspaper published in Roseburg, and moved his family there. Roseburg had become the county seat, and here they lived for about ten years during which time two more children, Belle and John Rex, were born. In 1882 he was appointed State Printer and the family moved to Salem. Here their sixth and last child, Vera Mary, was born and Salem became the family home for the remainder of their lives.
    Two assignments called them away temporarily, the first in 1890 to 1894 when he was appointed United States Surveyor General with an office in Portland, and the other was in 1894 when he was appointed Commandant at the newly created Oregon Soldiers Home at Roseburg. From his assignment as Surveyor General, he acquired the title of General W. H. Byars and by his intimate friends was referred to as "The General." This appellation remained with him during the remainder of his life.
    Returning to Salem after his assignment as Commandant, he engaged in various engineering projects such as: engineer in charge of design and construction of the first city sewer system in Goldendale, Washington, assistant engineer on the location of the Lyle-Goldendale Railroad, city engineer of Salem and private and public land surveys. His last contract on a public land survey was completed when he was seventy years old.
    Mr. Byars was always an active participant in state, county, municipal and community affairs. After moving to Salem, he became a co-owner of the Oregon Statesman and was editor of that paper for two years. He was also associated with the founders of the Salem Capital Journal.
    He was a member of the Salem Chapter G.A.R., the First Methodist Church and the Salem Masonic Lodge. He was a staunch Republican from the time he cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln. He passed away on April 22, 1922 at the age of eighty-three years, leaving behind a multitude of friends and a long life of worthy accomplishments. Mr. Byars was a man of high ideals. Honesty and integrity were his principal attributes. The writer was frequently and intimately associated with him over a period of ten years, many times under the most adverse conditions and trying circumstances, and never once did I hear him use profane language or suggest an immoral thought. His philosophy of life is best expressed in his own words, in a letter to the secretary of the Umpqua Academy Association, expressing his regrets that he would be unable to attend the annual reunion of the Association on June I, 1918. In reminiscing about his early life at Wilbur and his association with the Academy he wrote, "There were many fine young people in the school with whom I formed attachments that have lasted ever since--a little laurel grove on the hillside was my sanctuary where I went twice every day to commune with God and to ask for strength to be and do good."
Unidentified typescript, Douglas County Museum file G-27(A)

Four Generations with Given Names of William Meet at Fossil.

    FOSSIL, Or., July 14.--(Special.)--At a reunion of the Byars family at the Methodist parsonage in this city, July 8, there were present representatives of four generations, all of whose given names were William. General William Henry Byars, of Salem, Or., who was born July 7, 1839, in Des Moines County, Iowa. He crossed the plains by ox team with his parents in 1853, settling in Douglas County, Oregon. He entered the United States mail service in 1856, and carried the mail for two years from Oakland, Or., to Yreka, Cal. He served in Company A, First Regiment, Oregon Cavalry, during the Civil War and served Douglas County one term each as county surveyor and superintendent of schools.
    William Fleming Byars was born February 26, 1871, at Wilbur, Or., and is now a resident of Goldendale, Wash. Rev. William Nesbitt Byars was born in Goldendale, Wash., April 10, 1892. He entered the service of the Methodist Episcopal Church as one of its ministers in 1914, and has served two years at this place.
    William Joseph Byars was born in Fossil, Or., April 14, 1917.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, July 15, 1917, page 45

Byars Suffers from Stroke of Paralysis
    General W. H. Byars, who celebrated his 82nd birthday last week, is suffering from a stroke of paralysis which occurred Sunday morning. The stroke resulted in the uselessness of his right side and limbs. He has so far recovered that only his right arm is affected, although he suffers with an occasional mental difficulty, due to the severeness of the shock.
Capital Journal, Salem, July 12, 1921, page 5

Salem Resident Who Served State Many Years Passes Away.

    SALEM, Or., April 22.--William H. Byars, 83 years old, who many years ago was prominent as a public official and newspaper man in Oregon, died at his home here late today. Mr. Byars served Oregon as state printer, surveyor general and as commandant of the state soldiers' home at Roseburg. He also was county school superintendent and county surveyor for Douglas County and held other public offices.
    He was the publisher of the Roseburg Plaindealer, later of the Oregon Statesman at Salem and next became one of the founders of what is now the Salem Capital Journal.
    He was a veteran of the Oregon Indian wars.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, April 23, 1922, page 9

By Fred Lockley
    The biography of an Oregon pioneer whose varied but successful career exemplifies the diversity of talent for which Americans, especially pioneer Americans, have ever been notable, is outlined by his widow. The tale here recorded my Mr. Lockley well illustrates the possibilities that waited upon earnest endeavor even amid the hard conditions of frontier life in the early-day Northwest.
    Mrs. W. H. Byars lives at Salem, Or. She is an Oregon pioneer, having crossed the plains in 1853. "I was born at Louisville, Ky., August 31, 1843," said Mrs. Byars when I visited her recently at her home near Marion Square in Salem. "When I was 6 months old my parents move to Port Bryan, Ill. There were six children of us--four brothers and two sisters. On coming to Oregon we wintered at Milwaukie; in 1853 it was a question which was going to be the more important city, Milwaukie or Portland. In May, 1854, we hitched up Buck and Spark, which had served as our tongue team all the way across the plains, and started for the Umpqua Valley. Buck was a big red ox and Spark was red with white spots. Of course we took along Whitey, our Durham cow that we had brought across the plains.
    "During the winter of 1853 I met a 14-year-old boy, W. H. Byars. I was10 at that time. Yes, I thought he was a likely boy, all right, but I had no idea I was going to become his wife some years later. An uncle of Mr. Byars, W. H. Deardorf, had taken up a donation land claim near Oakland, in what is now Douglas County. We decided to go there, because he reported there was plenty of land to be had, lots of wood, plenty of springs and streams, and the climate was good. When we got to the North Umpqua the total monetary possessions of our family amounted to 25 cents. Father gave the ferryman our last silver quarter for ferrying us across the North Umpqua, so we started even with the world and without a cent.
    "We stayed a while at Cleveland. A man named Gilliam ran a mill there. From Cleveland we moved to Wilbur. Four of my brothers and I went to school there. Rev. T. F. Royal and his wife and Mary A. Royal, now the widow of Rev. John Flinn, were the teachers in Wilbur Academy, where we went to school. And, by the way, I attended the wedding of Mary and Mr. Flinn. It was held at the Wilbur Academy. In the spring of 1860 I started teaching school in a cabin owned by Judge Riley Stratton, not far from 'Fen' Sutherlin's place. I received $20 a month and 'boarded around' at the homes of the pupils.
    "In 1856 I used to see Will Byars every few days. He carried the mail from Oakland, Or., to Yreka, Cal., a distance of about 175 miles. He used to stop at our house. In 1858 he went to school at the college at Eugene. His teacher was 'Pinky' Henderson. In 1859 he taught school six months at Oak Grove, near Oakland. The college building at Eugene had been burned, but they rebuilt, and after teaching six months he returned to Eugene to attend college. Professor Ryan succeeded Pinky Henderson as president of the college. When the Civil War broke out Professor Ryan went South and became a captain in the Confederate army. Later, while aboard the Virginius, in 1873, he was captured and executed by the Cubans. In 1860 Mr. Byars was a student at Wilbur Academy. In the spring and summer of 1861 he prospected in the Bohemia country. That fall he went to Salem and entered Willamette University. Dr. T. M. Gatch was then president of the university.
    "The winter of 1861 was the cold winter you hear pioneers talk about. The following spring was the big high water, the water coming clear up to the steps of the courthouse and surrounding the Methodist church at Salem. [The flood was in December 1861.]
    "In the spring of 1862 my husband took a boat from Portland for The Dalles. From The Dalles he walked to the mines at Florence, Idaho, and put in the summer working in the mines. He came back in the fall of 1862 and secured a school. In the spring of 1863 he bought some pack horses and ran a pack outfit from Umatilla to the Idaho mines. In the fall he sold his pack outfit and came back to the valley. The next spring he bought another pack outfit and took it up to the mines and sold it. In the fall of 1864 he went to work for his uncle, W. H. Deardorf, who was farming near the head of Camas Swale. On March 15, 1865, he enlisted in Captain J. C. Fullerton's company. The soldiers were given their physical examination by Dr. Colvig at Canyonville. They were stationed awhile at Camp Baker, in Jackson County. Within a few weeks of my husband's enlistment peace was declared and the Civil War was over, but he was not mustered out until 1866.
    "In 1867 he was elected school superintendent of Douglas County. Three years later he became county surveyor. Just 50 years ago he became editor and publisher of the Roseburg Plaindealer. After running the Plaindealer 10 years he was elected state printer and moved to Salem. When we came to Salem my husband bought a half interest in the Salem Statesman, which he ran for two years. With M. L. Chamberlain and one or two others he established the Capital Journal. After serving four years as state printer he was elected city engineer of Salem and was later appointed by President Harrison surveyor general of Oregon. After serving four years as surveyor general he was given the position of commandant of the Oregon Soldiers' Home at Roseburg.
    "My husband's mother became a widow when my husband was a small boy. She married a man named Miers. Austin Miers, an attorney at Ellensburg, Wash., and Benton Miers of Drain, Or., are my husband's half-brothers, and Anna Miers Banham of Tyler, Wash., and Mrs. Hamilton Cole of Spokane are his half-sisters.
    "Mr. Byars was my second husband. I first married Samuel Reed. You probably know my son Collins Lee Reed and of course you know Effie Reed, my daughter by my first husband, for you and she worked in the Capital Journal office together as printers. I married Mr. Byars December 23, 1868. My maiden name was Emma A. Slocum. Mr. Byars and I had six children. Four of them are still living. My daughter Ina married S. W. Thompson of Salem. Our son Will lives at Goldendale. Fred, our next boy, is a physician and lives at San Diego. My baby, Vera, married Ronald C. Glover. They live here with me.
    "When my husband was running the Roseburg Plaindealer he taught the printing trade to several boys who later became prominent newspaper men of Oregon. Among the boys who worked as printer's devils for my husband were R. J. Hendricks, now editor and publisher of the Salem Statesman, and his brother, Homer H., now a well-known attorney at Fossil, in Eastern Oregon. My husband died on the 22nd of last April."
Oregon Journal, Portland, August 5, 1922, page 4

By Fred Lockley
    Thirty-five years ago General W. H. Byars and Martin L. Chamberlain were the principal owners of the Capital Journal, at Salem. My father was editor and a minority stockholder. I worked in the circulation department. During the fall of 1888 I rode pretty well over the Willamette Valley on horseback securing subscriptions and collecting for outstanding subscriptions to the paper. In the summer of 1889 it was decided that I should go farther afield, taking in the coast districts and visiting the homesteaders in Coos, Curry, Tillamook and the other coast counties. General Byars brought in from his ranch a very stylish and well-broken riding horse, but when Mrs. Byars saw it she said it was a favorite of hers; so that was that. General Byars then had brought in an unbroken 3-year-old sorrel. We led it to Marion Square, while I followed with the saddle and bridle. To be exact, General Byars and the horse took turns leading each other, the sorrel walking most of the way on its hind feet and striking at anything in sight with its front feet. We finally got the bridle on and blindfolded the horse. We very cautiously got the saddle on, and I leaped into it. General Byars pulled off the gunnysack we had on as a blind. I thought I was a good rider. The horse thought he was a good bucker. The horse was right; for, after the sorrel warmed up it showed me some evolutions and fancy steps I had never before experienced, and I went high and lit hard. I still grasped the bridle reins, and as the horse reared back he jerked me to my feet, pulling his head around nearly to his tail, till he was bent like a bow. I jumped into the saddle again. I lasted longer this time, but finally was thrown. Once more I mounted the sorrel, and he bolted. I let him run. That evening I was so stiff and sore I could hardly lead my horse into the barn, but I was 30 miles on my way. I think, counting up and down as well as forward, we had traveled 50 miles.
    As we were saddling the sorrel in Marion Square, General Byars said, "The way this horse can jump stiff-legged reminds me of a ride I took down in Douglas County when I was a boy. My half-brother drove the cattle through the barnyard gate out into the pasture. I had climbed up on top of the crosspiece over the gate. As one of the 2-year-old steers was going through the gate I dropped astride of him. Talk about stiff-legged jumping. That steer could have given any bucking bronco useful hints about the art of unseating its rider. I hung on for a few hundred yards, but finally I met the steer as I was coming down just as he was coming up, and I went over his head like a stone out of a sling."
    General Byars was a most interesting talker. He was born in Iowa, July 7, 1839. His father, Fleming Byars, who was a Virginian, died when Henry was 8 years old. In 1851 his mother, whose maiden name was Anna Deardorff and who was a native of Ohio, married John M. Mires. In 1853 they crossed the plains to Oregon and settled in what was then called Umpqua County. In 1856, when he was 17, he went to work for Richard Forrest, United States mail contractor, and carried the mail on horseback from Oakland, Or., to Yreka, Cal. He stayed with this job till July, 1858. In the fall of 1858 he entered Columbia College, at Eugene, headed at that time by Prof. "Pinkey" Henderson. The college building had been burned down; so when he started to school an old hotel building was used for school rooms. In the summer of 1859 Mr. Byars taught a six months' term at the Oak Grove school. When he returned to Eugene that fall to Columbia College, a new stone building had been erected for the college and Professor Henderson had been succeeded as principal by Professor Ryan.
    Columbia College was run under the auspices of the Cumberland Presbyterians. A bitter feud developed among the founders of the college over the question of reading the Bible and conducting prayers in the classroom. Those who opposed praying in school were outvoted, and Rev. E. J. Henderson opened the college in the fall of 1856. Four days later the college building was set on fire and destroyed. It was claimed that the "anti-prayers" had set it afire.
    Then a new building was erected, but this also was burned by an incendiary. Those opposed to religious exercises in the school withdrew their financial support. The fight over this difference of opinion as to the management of the college was carried into business and social affairs, and the college languished and died. Shortly thereafter Professor Ryan, the principal, went South and became a colonel in the Confederate army.
    In 1860 Mr. Byars ran for county surveyor but came out second best in the race. He put in the winter of 1860-61 as a student at Umpqua Academy at Wilbur. He taught school that summer to earn money to attend Willamette University. He attended Willamette during the winter of 1861-62. Professor Gatch was his teacher.
    The discovery of gold in the Salmon River country, in Idaho, in February, 1862, caused a rush to that district of adventurous young men from the Willamette Valley. Mr. Byars took steamer to The Dalles, and from there went afoot to Florence, Idaho, where, after prospecting for three months, he decided to return to the Umpqua Valley. He taught a three months' term of school in the French settlement west of Roseburg. The next spring, 1863, he invested the money he had made in teaching in a pack train and went to the Idaho mines. He spent the summer and fall of 1863 in packing supplies to the miners in Eastern Oregon and Idaho. Late that fall he sold his pack train and headed for Portland, where he put in the winter of 1863-64. In the spring of 1864 he bought another pack train and took it up to the Idaho mines, where he sold it to good advantage and returned to Portland and was hired to drive some steers to Boise. That fall he came back to Douglas County and worked on the farm of his uncle, W. H. B. Deardorff, at the head of Camas Swale, near Oakland.
    On March 15, 1865, he enlisted under Captain J. C. Fullerton and was sent, in charge of Lieutenant "Paddy" McGuire, to Camp Baker, in Jackson County. The recruits were given the physical examination by Dr. Colvig at Canyonville. After six weeks at Camp Baker the recruits were marched to Eugene and assigned to Company A, First Oregon Cavalry, of which Captain J. C. McCall was commander. Company A was assigned to act as guard and escort to a surveying party of the Willamette & Eastern Wagon Road Company, who were locating a road from Eugene across the Cascades to the eastern boundary of the state. Among the members of the surveying party were General W. H. Odell and Mr. Pengra. On August 9 they met Paulina and his tribe and a treaty was entered into. They went by way of Summer Lake and Abert to Steen's Mountain. From there they followed Lieutenant Colonel C. S. Drew's old trail, crossing Honey Creek near where it enters Warner Lake and going to Sprague River, where they met Captain Sprague, with his company, Company I, First Oregon Infantry, who was en route to Steen's Mountain to build Fort Alvord. From there they went with the surveying party to the Klamath marshes, and thence to Fort Klamath to spend the winter.
    On June 4, 1866, 101 votes were cast at Fort Klamath, 98 votes being for the Republican ticket and 3 for the Democratic ticket. On June 18 Companies A and C, First Oregon Cavalry, were ordered to march to Fort Vancouver to be mustered out. They marched to Portland, where they went aboard the Fannie Troup for Vancouver Barracks, arriving there on July 12, and eight days later were mustered out.
    Mr. Byars returned at once to Douglas County and re-entered Umpqua Academy at Wilbur. With Nina Royal and her brothers, Stanley and Merigold, he graduated the following year. This was the first class to graduate from Umpqua Academy. Immediately after his graduation he secured a position as teacher in the Calapooia school on Calapooia Creek, where the Roseburg-Scottsburg road crossed the stream, and within a year he ran for and was elected to the position of county school superintendent of Douglas County.
    He was married on December 23, 1868, to Mrs. Emma A. Reed, whose maiden name was Emma Slocum. They made their home at Wilbur. In 1869 Mr. Byars was principal of Umpqua Academy. The next year he ran for sheriff of Douglas County, but was defeated. In 1873 he bought the Plaindealer, at Roseburg, from W. A. McPherson. He changed it to a Republican paper.
    In 1882 Mr. Byars was elected state printer. In 1874 he was appointed deputy United States surveyor under General W. H. Odell, and during the 10 years he ran the Plaindealer at Roseburg he put in his summers in the field as a surveyor. He moved to Salem in 1883 and served as state printer from 1882 until 1887. Shortly after moving to Salem he bought a half interest in the Statesman. Not only did he serve as state printer and carry on the Statesman, but he was also elected city surveyor of Salem; so, with the three jobs, he kept fairly busy. In 1890 President Harrison appointed him United States surveyor general for Oregon. After his retirement from that office he was appointed commandant of the Oregon Soldiers' Home at Roseburg.
Oregon Journal, Portland, September 19, 1924, page 8

By Fred Lockley
    In a recent article I spoke of an old-time friend of mine, General W. H. Byars, whose half-brother, Benton Mires, I recently visited at Drain. As my wife and I drove at 30 miles an hour over the smooth and ribbon-like highway along Cow Creek Canyon I could not help thinking of what Mr. Byars told me many years ago of his experiences while carrying mail through the canyon in the days when Oregon was still a territory. I am going to write, in somewhat condensed form, the story of his early experiences as a mail carrier in Southern Oregon.
    "The Oakland post office in 1856," said Mr. Byars, "was located on the high prairie, three miles north of the present town of Oakland. Rev. Tower was postmaster, and the post office was in his house, which consisted of two rooms. The first room served as the kitchen, dining room, parlor, living room, study and bedroom, and the other room was given over to Uncle Sam for a post office.
    "Oakland in 1856 was the terminus of four mail routes. One went to Scottsburg and the mouth of the Umpqua; one via Yoncalla to Corvallis; one by way of the Coast Fork to Eugene City; the fourth via Winchester and Roseburg to Yreka, Cal. At that time the schedule called for a once-a-week service, and the mail carrier on each route had a riding horse and led or drove a pack horse on which the mail was carried.
    "The mail was made up and dispatched from Oakland every Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The mail was dumped in the center of the room and each of the four mail routes had a corner of the room to itself. The postmaster, his family, the four mail carriers and any nearby neighbors who happened in would surround the pile of mail and throw the letters and papers into the proper corner, for in those days everyone knew everyone else. When all the mail was worked, the four mail carriers would bring up their pack horses, pack the mail securely, and start on their trips.
    "I carried the mail from Oakland to Yreka, Cal. Judge James Walton, later a resident of Salem, was the postmaster at Winchester, my first stopping place. He was also justice of the peace and proprietor of the Winchester hotel. The post office was in the bar room of the hotel. Because Wilbur was only three miles from Winchester it was not allowed to have a post office, for at that time no post office could be located within five miles of another post office. Captain William Martin's donation land claim was the first place I passed. The first Masonic lodge organized in the valley met at his home. On the evenings the lodge met the family had to stay overnight with the nearest neighbor. Next on the right-hand side of the trail was the home of General Joseph Lane. Roseburg was the largest and most important place on my route. At that time Richard H. Dearborn, later postmaster at Salem, was postmaster at Roseburg. Sam Gordon, his deputy, took care of the mail. Mr. Dearborn ran a general merchandise store in a one-story frame building. Aaron Rose, proprietor of the town site of Roseburg, ran the hotel, and Dr. Hamilton had a drug store in a small frame building. Judge Matthew P. Deady had a law office there, as did also A. C. Gibbs and S. F. Chadwick, both of whom later served as governor of Oregon. W. R. Willis was justice of the peace and was reading law at the time I was a mail carrier. At this time the land office was at Winchester, but it was later moved to Roseburg. I usually saw Smith Kearney on the street, and also John Kelly, who had a place south of town. The bridge across Deer Creek on Main Street was washed away by the high water of 1857, so I either forded or swam the creek till they put a bridge across Deer Creek on Jackson Street the following summer.
    "The next post office I served was Round Prairie, and James Burnett was postmaster. The road crossed the Roberts hill a mile to the cast of the present road. The road was changed to a line a mile to westward in 1858 by Captain Joe Hooker, the same Joe Hooker who was later a distinguished general in the Civil War. Captain Hooker had charge of building a road to Scottsburg, and also of the building of the Camp Stewart military road. Six miles south of Round Prairie I passed the Lazarus Wright ranch, on which the city of Myrtle Creek was later built. Mr. Wright kept a wayside hotel. He was a great hunter and kept the post office as an accommodation to the neighbors. I dumped the mail into a box in his house, and the neighbors came in and sorted it over for themselves. I crossed Myrtle Creek on a wooden bridge, which was washed away in 1861. To reach Canyonville, nine miles south of the Wright ranch, I had to swim or ford the South Umpqua River three times. When the river was high I took the trail that crossed a spur of the mountains, thus cutting out two crossings, and made the other crossing on the Yocum ferry.
    "Ruby Yocum was the belle of that part of the country. Smith Kearney, who drove cattle, was very much smitten with Ruby's charms. Ruby's father had forbidden Ruby to see Kearney, and when he sent letters to her Mr. Yocum destroyed them; so Kearney entrusted his love letters to me and paid me well to deliver them, while Ruby paid me in smiles and thanks. She was always on the watch for my coming.
    "James G. Clark was postmaster, and the name of the post office was North Canyonville. Aunt Rachel Clark, his wife, was the best cook on my whole route. Jim Clark, the postmaster, ran a combined store, saloon, post office and hotel. Where Canyonville is now located was at that time the campground for freighters, packers, miners and travelers. Just south of the camp ground the road entered the Big Umpqua. I was due at Canyonville Sunday evening, and was always greeted by the settlers for a score of miles around, who came in to help 'sort the mail' and learn the news. After emerging from the canyon of the Big Umpqua the road entered the upper Cow Creek Valley about 10 miles east of Hardy Elliff's house, which was 'forted up' and palisaded as a refuge from hostile Indians. It was usually called Camp Elliff. A. J. Knott originally took up the Elliff place. Knott later moved to Oakland and still later to Portland and became the proprietor of Knott's Stark Street ferry on the Willamette between Portland and East Portland. In 1855, the year before I started carrying the mail, most of the ranch houses between Elliff's and Jacksonville had been burned by the Rogue River Indians and many of the settlers been killed."
Oregon Journal, Portland, September 23, 1924, page 8

    I have been traveling a good bit of late on Oregon's wonderful roads and have been looking up the history of their location and of the incidents of their early days. As you go from Grants Pass to Jacksonville, you will pass the old-time post office of Galesville. In the early days it was known as Camp Smith, and the post office was kept by Henry Smith. It was stockaded as a protection from the Indians. The Indians attacked it during the Rogue River war. For years you could see the bullets embedded in the logs. Henry Smith was succeeded as postmaster by Ben Sargent, who started a store on the bank of Cow Creek, not far distant. Sargent killed the justice of the peace, and, as there were no witnesses, his explanation that he did it in self-defense was accepted.
    From the late General W. H. Byars, at one time surveyor general of Oregon, who in his youth carried mail in Southern Oregon, I have had the following incidents of trail life in the early days.
    "While I was carrying the mail the Galesville post office was moved to the house of Ben Sargent, on the bank of Cow Creek. As there were no bridges across Cow Creek, I had to unload the mail, carry it across on a foot log, swim my horses and repack the mail, at every crossing of the creek. It was six miles over the mountain to Camp Bailey, or the 'Six Bit' house, as it was then called. The first trip I made I ran across the body of an Indian who had just been killed. It was lying beside the trail near where the trail crosses Wolf Creek and near where the hotel now is.
    "The next post office was at Leland, on Grave Creek. James Twogood, called by the Indians Jimmy Moxclose [a Chinook literal translation of "two" "good"], and McDonough Harkness owned the place at Leland. McDonough Harkness had been killed a few months before, and his brother Sam and family had just moved on the place. James Twogood was postmaster at Leland. There was no other house for 30 miles, so it was a popular stopping place. Leland Creek was not bridged. A log had been felled and smoothed. When the water was swimming deep I coaxed my horses to walk over the log; at other times I forded. I saw a packer leading his horses over the log one day. One of his horses decided to turn around and go back. The horse was loaded with kegs of nails. He had a 400-pound pack, and on turning around on the log he slipped and went to the bottom of a deep hole like a plummet.
    "South of Grave Creek the road crosses another range of mountains. On the west side of Jump-Off Joe Valley was the Widow Sexton's place. In those days the road turned to the left of the present road and came out not far from where Grants Pass is now located. Abel George had a place on Louse Creek, not far from the Pass. At Evans' ferry was the next post office, though the name of the post office was Gold Hill. There was no settlement above Evans' ferry, north of the river, in 1856. Just across the river from Gold Hill was the Colonel W. G. T'Vault place, and the name of the post office at his place was 'Dardanelles post office.' He moved to Gold Hill to publish the Table Rock Sentinel; so the Dardanelles post office was discontinued. [The Sentinel was published from Jacksonville; the town of Gold Hill didn't exist until 1860 or so. T'Vault, who died in 1869, is not known to have ever lived at Gold Hill.] J. B. White, who lived with Rosenstock, had a mining claim, which he later took up as a homestead. He built a store on his place, and the settlement of Rock Point grew up on his claim after the stage road was changed to the south side of the river. [Rock Point is on the north bank of Rogue River.] Birdseye and Dr. Miller had places on the south side of the river near Gold Hill. The road in those days left The Dardanelles, ran up a small stream for a few miles, crossed a low ridge to Willow Springs, and ran along the south slope of the oak-covered hills to Jacksonville. When I first started carrying mail Mr. Siphers was the postmaster, but soon Judge Hoffman succeeded him. On mail day a big crowd gathered in front of the post office. When the mail was sorted the postmaster stood on a box in front of the post office and read the names on the letters. The men in the crowd were not allowed to force their way through the crowd, on account of the confusion. They answered their names or held up a hand, and their letters were passed back to them from hand to hand. [C. C.] Beekman, later a banker and Wells Fargo agent, had a news stand and also ran an express to Yreka, 60 miles over the mountains. Jacksonville was a wide-open town, and the hills and the banks of the streams were dotted with the cabins of miners. Gassburg, now Phoenix, and Camp Stewart were the only other places on my route to Yreka."
    These old roads saw comedies as well as tragedies. When Sol Abraham, later a progressive and well-to-do merchant at Roseburg, was carrying a pack, selling goods from door to door through Southern Oregon, he approached one evening the home of Lazarus Wright, on whose homestead the city of Myrtle Creek is now located. He saw in the road a beautiful little black-and-white animal, which seemed quite gentle. He had never seen anything of the kind before, so he decided to catch it and make a pet of it. He stooped over to pick it up, but suddenly changed his mind. A few moments later he came to the Wright house and asked if he could stay overnight. He joined the family circle about the fireplace while waiting for supper to be prepared. Lazarus Wright was a great hunter. He had a pack of hounds, three or four of which were in the room. Mrs. Wright came into the room from the kitchen to announce supper, and instantly seized her broom and chased the hounds out of the house, saying: "These miserable hounds have been killing another skunk." Driving the hounds out of the room did not remedy the matter, for the odor seemed to grow stronger and more offensive. Sol Abraham then confessed to trying to catch the pretty little black-and-white animal in the road. Mr. Wright, who was as tall and slender as Sol Abraham was the reverse, brought out a suit of his clothes for Mr. Abraham and took out his perfumed garments and buried them so that the earth would absorb the odor. Sol Abraham looked like a very small boy in his father's cast-off clothes. During the night the cattle came down from the hills and created considerable disturbance. In the morning Mr. Abraham went out to get his clothing, but he found that the cattle had pawed the earth away and had torn his clothing into shreds and fragments. The nearest place where he could get any more clothes was at Jacksonville, 85 miles away, so he had to continue his journey, peddling his goods, in Mr. Wright's ill-fitting clothes.
Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, September 24, 1924, page 10

By Fred Lockley
    When W. H. Byars and M. L. Chamberlain owned the Capital Journal of Salem, Or., I served as roustabout on the paper, my duties including the collecting of accounts, the securing of subscriptions and traveling on horseback up and down the Willamette Valley and along the coast writing up progressive farmers and pioneer residents of the state. W. H. Byars himself told me as interesting stories as I secured from anyone else. He was a native of Des Moines, Iowa, having been born there on July 7, 1839. His father, Fleming Byars, was born in Virginia and his mother, whose maiden name was Anna Deardorff, was a native of Ohio. William H. Byars crossed the plains to Oregon with his mother and his stepfather, John Myers, in 1853. He attended Willamette University at Salem and Columbia College at Eugene and was a graduate of the first class at Wilbur Academy near Roseburg in 1868. When he was 22 years old--this was in 1862--he prospected for awhile in the newly discovered gold fields in Idaho.
    Returning to the Willamette Valley, he served in Company A, First Oregon Cavalry, putting in a year and a half in Eastern Oregon, protecting the settlers from Indians. After the war he taught in Wilbur Academy and in 1870 became county surveyor, later becoming United States deputy surveyor. In 1875 he owned and edited the Plaindealer, a weekly newspaper at Roseburg. In 1884 he became state printer. He and General W. H. Odell purchased the Salem Statesman. In 1888 he became city surveyor of Salem. While in his early teens, he carried the mail in Southern Oregon. He was a mail carrier during the Rogue River Indian war, and he told me of many adventures he had in evading the Indians and in swimming swollen streams. He also told me about a fellow mail carrier, Isaac V. Mossman, who crossed the plains the same year he did--1853.
    Many of the old-time residents of Southern Oregon will remember Mr. Mossman. Mossman was a member of Miller's train. On Powder River Mossman ran across Eli Moore and Cribb Landreth, who had come from the Willamette Valley to purchase worn-out cattle from the emigrants. As Mossman had known both these men in Illinois, he quit the Miller train and joined his fortunes with them. While they were on Powder River, an emigrant train came along and camped near them. That night one of the women in the wagon train, Mrs. Driver, died. Her son, the Rev. I. D. Driver, later became one of the best-known Methodist circuit riders and evangelists in Oregon. Mr. Mossman and his two companions dug a grave and helped bury Mrs. Driver on Powder River. Mossman stayed with his comrades from July 4 till October, when on account of approaching winter they decided to drive the oxen they had purchased to the Willamette Valley. They camped at Lee's encampment, now Meacham, in the Blue Mountains, and later on the site of what is now Pendleton. While they were camped at this latter point, the Indians drove off some of their cattle, but offered to return them for $5 apiece, so they had to dig up the $5 to get their cattle back.
    Mossman parted company from his friends at Foster's and rode on in to Oregon City, where he arrived on the 20th of October. From Oregon City he came to Portland and landed a job helping to make a wagon road from Portland to Oswego. Later he worked in a sawmill at the mouth of the Tualatin River. In the spring of 1854 he bought an Indian pony and rode down to Tin Pot Valley, where Congressman W. C. Hawley some years later taught his first school. Tin Pot Valley is near Yoncalla in Southern Oregon. Mossman landed a job carrying the mail from Yoncalla to Scottsburg, on the Umpqua River. In 1854 Colonel W. W. Chapman of Portland, and his family, were living in what was then known as Fort Umpqua, which had been built as a trading post by the Hudson's Bay Company.
    In riding from Yoncalla to Scottsburg, he passed the claim and shack of Stephen P. Chadwick, who later became governor of Oregon and whose son has served for many years as superior judge in the state of Washington. Scottsburg in those days was a lively camp. The principal stores were run by Brown & Drumm, Ladd & Peters, Jack Nicholson and George T. Allen. In crossing Tom Foley's Creek, while it was in flood, his horse was drowned, so he carried the mail on into Yoncalla on his back. He stayed with his mail job till the late fall of 1853, when he went to work for William Parker. His first job was to drive a four-horse team to Dallas, the county seat of Polk County, to get a load of cats.
    He learned that Governor Curry had issued a call for volunteers for the Yakima Indian war. He at once enlisted in the Oregon Mounted Volunteers, which was being raised at Dallas. The commissioned and non-commissioned officers of the company were Captain A. N. Armstrong, First Lieutenant Ben Hayden, later one of Oregon's famous lawyers; Second Lieutenant Dave Cosper, First Sergeant W. L. Hayter, Second Sergeant A. B. Comegys, Third Sergeant J. L. Martin, Fourth Sergeant Sam Tetherow, First Corporal Dick Smith, Second Corporal Marcus Gilliam, and Third Corporal Isaac V. Mossman. This company left Dallas on the 16th of October, marched to Portland and camped in the oak grove at what is now the east end of the Morrison Street bridge. From Portland they marched to Vancouver, where they embarked on the steamers Fashion and Belle and were taken to the lower Cascades. They had to camp for some days at the upper Cascades, until two upper river steamers, the Wasco and the Mary, arrived. At The Dalles, Captain Armstrong was elected major, so Ben Hayden was elected captain. From The Dalles they went by way of the Klickitat Valley and the Simcoe Mountains to the Two Buttes, near the present town of Yakima. Here they had a skirmish with the Indians, who soon retreated. On the Wenatchee River, they captured several hundred Indian horses. They kept the best of them and shot the others. A few days later Steve Waymire of Dallas was wounded in a skirmish with the Indians. Later they returned to The Dalles, camping on Three Mile Creek. Having no tents, Arthur Chapman and Mossman did a little foraging and 'souvenired' an army hospital tent from the regulars, about 40 feet long, which proved to be large enough to shelter their entire company.
Oregon Journal, Portland, June 30, 1930, page 6

Last revised December 6, 2023