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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

William Bybee

BY the subscriber, living near Table Rock, Jackson County, a dark brown steer, about 4 years old, star in forehead, white belly and legs, upper and underslope in right ear, branded JB on right hip, and AH on the left.
"Estrays," Roseburg Express, December 22, 1859, page 3

    On Sauvie's Island, Tuesday, Oct. 7th, 1862, Linda C., third daughter of James and Julia Ann Bybee, aged six years eight months and seven days.
"Thus the ruthless hand of Death
    Has nipp'd my flower in the bud;
Life's bitter cup she'll never sip--
    She's gone to dwell with God."
    Jacksonville papers please copy.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 8, 1862, page 2

    On the 12th inst., near Jacksonville, FLORENCE, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Bybee. Aged about 4 years.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 16, 1864, page 8

    DIED.--At the residence of her parents near Jacksonville, on Jan. 18th, LILLY MAY, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Bybee; aged 3 years, 4 months and 9 days. This is the second sweet child of the parents called from earth to heaven within one week.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 23, 1864, page 2

    December 29th, to the wife of William Bybee, a son.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 6, 1866, page 2

    BYBEE'S FERRY, on Rogue River, was saved. The wire rope stretched across the river last fall gave way on the north side of the river. It is not known to what extent it is damaged.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 26, 1867, page 3

BYBEE.--Near Jacksonville, Nov. 10th, to the wife of Wm. Bybee, a son.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 23, 1867, page 3

    PLENTY OF PORK.--Mr. Wm. Bybee started for California on Tuesday with a drove of about 250 fat hogs. He expects to find a market among the celestial population along the Klamath and in the neighborhood of Happy Camp.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 1, 1869, page 3

    BUILDING.--Mr. Wm. Bybee has hauled the material for the foundation of a very large dwelling opposite his present one. He expects to build a house that will last the balance of his life.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 8, 1869, page 3

    HOG DRIVING.--Wm. Bybee started on Monday for Happy Camp on the Klamath with a drove of about two hundred hogs. There is a large number of Chinese miners at that point, and they are death on hog.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 8, 1869, page 3

    ROAD CHANGED.--We notice that Mr. Wm. Bybee is changing the public road in front of his residence--locating it further east. We understand that the old road is not a legal one, never having been surveyed, but it has been recognized as a public thoroughfare, and much labor has been expended on it. This being the fact, it is presumed that Mr. Bybee will put the new road in as good condition as the old; especially as the change is a matter of convenience to him, and immaterial to the public.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 2, 1869, page 3

    JEFFERSON, son of Wm. Bybee, of this place, aged 6 years, on the 22nd October.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 23, 1869, page 2

    HOG DRIVING.--Mr. William Bybee started 300 fat hogs to Happy Camp this week. Jackson County is a heavy exporter of livestock.
State Rights Democrat, Albany, Oregon, November 19, 1869, page 3

    SAD ACCIDENT, AND DEATH.--On last Tuesday afternoon, at the Antelope school house on Antelope Creek, a fatal and heart-rending accident occurred. There had been public speaking at the school house, and the teacher, Mr. Farley, had given holiday for the afternoon. After the speaking Ryland Bybee and some eight or ten of his classmates mounted their horses and started for the creek, in a lope, with the intention of taking a bathe; they had not gone over two hundred yards when the horse of another rider ran against the horse young Ryland rode, causing it to stumble and fall upon its rider, crushing his chest and inflicting other injuries. He lived twenty-three hours after the occurrence of the accident, unconscious and without speaking. His remains were brought to Jacksonville on Thursday, for interment, and his funeral was attended by the students of the Jacksonville school, and a large concourse of citizens. He was a manly lad of fourteen summers, a bright scholar, a generous playmate and a dutiful son. His grief-stricken parents have the sympathy of the entire community in this great affliction. This heart-rending occurrence should prove a warning to boys against reckless riding.
Democratic News, Jacksonville, May 28, 1870, page 3

ALL THOSE WHO ARE INDEBTED to me had better come and settle within thirty days from this date. I have tried to get a peaceful settlement for over two years, and have signally failed. All accounts not settled within thirty days from this date will be collected by law. I will take cattle and hogs at cash prices for all debts that are due me. All those that I owe will please present their accounts, and a settlement will be made.
Sept. 17th, 1870.                                                        WM. BYBEE.
Democratic News, Jacksonville, October 15, 1870, page 3

    BOLD ROBBERY.--Last Tuesday night the house of Mr. Wm. Bybee, near this city, was entered by some unknown person, Mr. B.'s pantaloons taken from under his pillow, and about $83 taken therefrom. He did not discover the theft until morning, when he missed his pantaloons, which, upon search being made, were found in the kitchen.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 5, 1871, page 3

    The Times says: By far the most hogs slaughtered for many a year in Jackson County are being cured this season. More swine have been raised the past year, which makes bacon, hams, etc. considerable cheaper than was the case then. Considerable money has also been brought into the county from hogs by William Bybee, who has taken nearly 1,000 hogs to adjoining counties. This is a vast improvement on having to import hams, bacon, lard, etc. as was done heretofore.
"Oregon Items," Sacramento Daily Union, January 20, 1874, page 3

    William Bybee is buying bogs in the Jackson County market for the Virginia City (Nevada) market.
"Oregon Items," Sacramento Daily Union, April 22, 1875, page 4

    William Bybee, of Jackson County, bought 1,000 lambs from Frank Herr, of Siskiyou County, paying $700 for them.
"Oregon Items," Sacramento Daily Union, November 13, 1875, page 5

    Wm. Bybee has gone to Galice Creek to look after his mining interests. He has lately ordered a lot of hydraulic pipe for his placer diggings.
"Local Brevities," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 20, 1877, page 3

    The present sheriff of Jackson County comes of old Kentucky stock, and wan born in Clark County in that state in 1830. Raised to agriculture he remained on his father's farm until early in 1852, when he emigrated to California and struck his pick into rich gravel at Diamond Springs, where he made quite a stake. Not liking mining, Mr. Bybee came to Portland in 1853 and subsequently lived on Sauvie's Island for about a year, and then came to Jackson County. In the year of his arrival here Mr. Bybee was married to Miss Elizabeth E. Walker, daughter of Capt. Jesse Walker, by whom he has raised a family of seven children. Mr. Bybee is entitled to a front place among the enterprising farmers of Jackson County. He purchased the donation claim of Mrs. Walker, and has added to it until he is now the owner of over sixty-five hundred acres of land, a large portion of which is situated only one mile north of town, and on which his magnificent residence is built. He has been largely engaged in stock raising and driving, and for many years had full control of the hog business of this county, and his genial voice is familiar in many a camp across the Siskiyous. "Billy," as he is popularly called, was urged by his friends in 1876 to run for sheriff, but was beaten by Mr. J. W. Manning. In 1878 he tried it again, on the People's ticket, and was elected by a rousing majority that required no official count. Mr. Bybee is now extensively engaged in hydraulic mining, farming, stock raising and keeps a vigilant eye on the affairs of his office. His name in this county is a synonym for generosity. His home and hand are always open to the needy; no one ever appealed to him for charity in vain, and it is often remarked that "Billy Bybee" has done more for the general prosperity of Jackson County than any other of its citizens. In politics Mr. Bybee has changed from an ultra Democrat to an Independent, voting and thinking just about as he pleases.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 7, 1879, page 2

    Wm. Bybee of Jackson County has sent in the past 20 years 20,000 fatted hogs to the California market.
"Pacific Coast," Weekly Corvallis Gazette, December 17, 1880, page 2

    On last Tuesday morning, June 27th, Wm. S. Webb, of Jackson County, and M. M. Bybee, of Lake County, Oregon, came to Adin, California, looking for horse thieves who had stolen three horses from parties in Jackson County, Oregon. They had a warrant for the arrest of the thieves. The warrant was placed in the hands of Constable J. B. Blake, and he, in company with Webb and Bybee, started out to search for the parties, who were supposed to be somewhere in the mountains north of the Higgins mill. The two horse thieves were found about 11 o'clock a.m., in the woods nearly eight miles north of town, about a mile north of the county road. They had all three of the stolen horses with them. When discovered by the Constable's posse the two men were taking a comfortable nap, their guns and revolvers lying by their sides. Both were young men, one aged about 28 years, the other apparently 18. Blake and Webb, at a distance of about 60 yards covered the men with their guns and called on them to surrender. At the second call the two desperadoes were wakened and "got up shooting." For the next few minutes there was lively fighting, and some thirty-two shots were exchanged, the officers shooting fourteen times and the horse thieves eighteen times. After the first six or eight shots the younger of the two fell mortally wounded. The elder one never lost his presence of mind for a moment. He, as well as the officers, had secured shelter. After firing several more times he broke for the creek, and having emptied his gun and secured the dying boy's "navy," intended still to hold the officials at bay. But the revolver being defective he was compelled to give himself up. He had received a severe wound in the mouth which cut his tongue, passing out through the neck behind the ear. The fingers of his left hand were shot off; he was also wounded in the leg. The younger man had received two shots in the left temple, either one of which would have proved fatal. He died in about three-quarters of an hour after the affray, and was unconscious to the last. The names of the thieves are unknown, the living one refusing to speak them.
Sacramento Daily Union, July 4, 1882, page 4

    RIGHT OF WAY.--The following parties have sold a right of way to the railroad company for the considerations mentioned since our last report: L. Colver, $1; M. Briggs, $25; J. W. Bybee, $1.
"Real Estate Transactions," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 15, 1883, page 4

    WILL GO EAST.--With the pioneer excursion to the eastern states to leave Portland October 1st we learn of the following from Jackson County who will join the party: Wm. Kahler and wife, James McDonough and wife, Wm. Bybee, John Tice, and Cortez Myer of Ashland. Special arrangements and rates have been made, and going in a crowd together they will no doubt have a good time.

Oregon Sentinel,
Jacksonville, September 22, 1883, page 3

    WM. BYBEE: one of the largest land owners in Southern Oregon: resides near Jacksonville; was born in Clark County, Ky., 1830; came to Oregon in 1853 and to this county in 1854; was married in November, 1854, to Miss Elizabeth A. Walker. Children Ryland (deceased), James W., Florence (deceased), Lillie M. (deceased), Effie, Jefferson (deceased), Frank E., Alexander M. (deceased), Minnie I., Robert L., Minerva M. (deceased).
A. G. Walling, History of Southern Oregon, 1884, page 502

    LUCKY ESCAPE.--Ex-Sheriff Wm. Bybee went over to Josephine County last week to look after his various interests in that section and while in that vicinity he made it a point to call on Thos. Bybee, a nephew of his, with whom he had some business transactions, as they were partners in a ranch and crop in that locality. When driving into the enclosure Thos. Bybee came out and ordered Bill off the place, and for the balance of the story we submit William Bybee's own statement of the case which is as follows:
WALDO, Or., Aug. 10, 1885.
    On the 9th inst., I went over to Tom Bybee's for the purpose of putting my horses on hay there, the hay being my own. When I drove into the barnyard Tom Bybee ordered me to leave in very abrupt terms, calling me very hard names. Having an interest in the ranch and hay there, and not supposing that he meant to shoot me, I proceeded to unhitch my horses and put them in the barn and fed them my own hay. When I came out of the barn I started to go to my buggy, intending to get up in the seat and wait for Tom's passion to subside, when I intended to ask him to come out to the wagon and have a friendly talk about our business matters. I had gone but seven or eight steps toward my wagon when he fired on me from behind the chimney of the house, the ball striking my left leg about five inches below the kneecap and one inch to the left of the middle of the shinbone, coming out through the calf of the leg about four and a half inches from where it entered. The ball glanced on the bone. I will soon be all right again. I state this for the benefit of friends.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 15, 1885, page 3

    BOUND OVER.--Wm. Bybee returned home from Waldo this week, standing the trip quite well, his injuries not proving as bad as at first supposed. In the preliminary examination of Thos. T. Bybee for an attempt at murder, the defendant was bound over in the sum of $750, for which the bonds were given. Capt. H. Kelley of this place appeared as deputy district attorney in the case, returning home with Mr. Bybee.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 29, 1885, page 3

    J. C. Whipp, our enterprising marble dealer, has just received a large addition to his stock, and is displaying at the marble works in Jacksonville the largest line of monuments and tombstones ever offered in this market. One monument that measures 8½ feet from pedestal to cornice, is magnificent in style and workmanship; around an anchor with broken cable are entwined wreaths of ivory and forget-me-nots, in bold relief, and the whole finished in a style that makes it the handsomest piece of marble work in the valley. It is intended as a family monument to mark the last resting place of the six children of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Bybee in the town cemetery.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 31, 1885, page 3

    T. T. Bybee vs. Wm. Bybee to recover money.
"Josephine Circuit Court,"
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 7, 1885, page 3

William Bybee Arrested for the Murder of Him Nephew.
    GRANTS PASS, Or., March 27th.--The latest investigation into the murder of Thomas F. Bybee has resulted in the arrest of William Bybee, the uncle of the deceased, upon strong circumstantial evidence. Both men were in Waldo together on the day of the murder, William having a rifle loaded with buckshot, and showing a shell at one of the stores. William left town at 8 o'clock p.m., Thomas a half hour later. About 8:30 the men at William's farm heard a shot, and half an hour after he came in with his rifle and denied hearing the shot. Next morning the body of the murdered man was found lying in the brush with sixteen buckshot in the right side of the neck within a space of three inches, making a horrible wound. He had in his hand a revolver, clasped in such a manner as to show that it had been placed there by someone other than himself. The testimony of the wife of deceased showed that her husband never carried a revolver, and that William had threatened the life of Thomas in her presence on account of an old feud concerning land matters. The same affair had caused Thomas to shoot his uncle in the leg, for which he was under indictment. The accused is fifty-seven years of age, and has been a resident of Jackson County since 1857.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, March 28, 1886, page 5

    HORRIBLE MURDER.--As we stated in our last issue in an item taken from the Grants Pass Courier, Thos. T. Bybee was found dead in the road near Waldo not far from his home, death resulting from a gunshot wound, some sixteen buckshot having lodged in the right side of his neck within a space of less than ten inches and no doubt killing him instantly. Only a few months since it will be remembered that Wm. Bybee was shot in the leg by Thomas Bybee, the difficulty arising over some land troubles for which the latter was arrested and was under indictment at the time of his death. Wm. Bybee was arrested on suspicion, and at the preliminary examination held before Justice Kellogg at Kerbyville the following evidence is said to have been drawn out: Both men were in Waldo on that day, and in the evening William left town with a gun, Tom starting a half hour later--about 8:30 p.m. Shortly after this the men at William's place heard two shots and half an hour afterwards the latter returned to his home with the gun. Nothing further was known till next morning when a hired man at Tom Bybee's farm seen the owner's horse in front of the house unhitched and with saddle and bridle still on. Suspicion was aroused at once and the man at Mrs. Bybee's suggestion started for Waldo at once to see what was up when he found Tom dead in the road as above described. Deceased was lying on his back with a revolver in his left hand which was still fully loaded. The people in Waldo were notified at once and a coroner's investigation held, but that body failed to accuse anyone of the murder, saying that he came to his death at the hands of some party to us unknown. On Saturday, however, William was arrested on suspicion and is now in jail without bail on a charge of murder in the first degree. No defense was offered at the preliminary examination, only that Mr. Bybee pled not guilty to the charge. William Bybee has been a resident of Jackson since 1857, during which time he was always recognized as an honest, straightforward and brave man. He was twice elected to the office of Sheriff, filling the same most acceptably to all, and his many friends wherever he is known cannot yet make themselves believe that he would be guilty of shooting his worst enemy from ambush. We sincerely hope that Mr. Bybee can prove his innocence. He is now in the county jail here, having been brought over from Kerbyville yesterday by Deputy Sheriff Wilson of that county.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 3, 1886, page 3

    HE IS WATCHED.--A correspondent to Grants Pass Courier, from Waldo under date of April 2nd, has the following: "You are aware that there are a great many lies in circulation now concerning the Bybee homicide. That's the way; add insult to injury. A certain young man in this section is accused of causing much of the trouble between Tom and Bill Bybee. The same young man it was thought was seen sneaking around Mrs. Tom Bybee's house the night after the killing of Tom Bybee, and the tracks found in the yard correspond to his. This same young man is accused of burning Tom Bybee's hen house last fall during the absence of Tom Bybee. Look out, young man, you are watched by the people of this section. The people of this section demand the punishment of whoever may be guilty of the lowdown cowardly act of killing Tom Bybee."
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 10, 1886, page 3

    The taxpayers of Jackson County are somewhat anxious to know just why their bridge on Rogue River at Bybee's ferry should cost $10,000, when the one over the same stream at Grants Pass--which will be just as good--can be built for only one-half that amount. 'Tis kind of queer, ain't it?
"Local and Personal," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, May 14, 1886, page 3

Central Point Letter.
July 15.
    ED. COURIER:--I herewith send you Bybee's letter for publication, that the public may know why we have to change our appointment for our contemplated meeting from the north to the south side of Rogue River to the old meeting ground, to commence Friday, July 30th. Mr. Bybee told me last Friday that we could select any suitable place in the pasture to hold our meeting, which we did that day, but yesterday his letter came to hand, notifying us not to have the meeting there; therefore the change.
    [Mr. Bybee states in his letter to Mr. Peterson that he has stock in the pasture and thinks the gate would be left open and the stock get out, so he hopes "they will find some other place to hold the meeting."--[Ed.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, July 23, 1886, page 2

    The case of Wm. Bybee, accused of the murder of Thomas T. Bybee, on the 24th day of last March near Waldo, was resubmitted to the grand jury at this session of the court. This case was presented to the grand jury at the April term of court, and that body stood three for acquittal to four for conviction. Ever since court, it has been the opinion of the people that the votes of these three men were secured either by direct purchase, or otherwise. When the grand jury met last week, after hearing about two third of the testimony, it concluded it was warranted in asking the judge to resubmit the case, which they did, six being in favor of it. Up to Friday they remained the same, but all at once a change all together too marked came over four of them. On Tuesday when the evidence was concluded, the vote of the grand jury stood four for acquittal and three for conviction. As early as Sunday it became common talk on our streets that the jury had been bought, or enough of it to make it perfectly safe for the accused. Some of the jurymen were in almost constant consultation with the accused or his friends, and one of them who had no money when he came to town a little later was lavish in the display of coin, so we are informed. These four grand jurors are the worst enemies the accused man has in the county today, because their action does not exonerate him in the least from the charge against him; on the other hand it injures his case because, as a great many say, if he were indicted and tried and acquitted for want of evidence, then he would be exonerated. In short, but little doubt remains that four of the grand jury was secured by hook or crook to vote as they did. A deep rumble pervades the minds of our people. A blackened disgrace is fastened permanently upon our county, justice is screwed fast to the wall, civil laws suspended and the people left to protect themselves.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, November 12, 1886, page 2

    "Another grand jury of Josephine County has vindicated Wm. Bybee of the charge of murdering Thos. T. Bybee of Waldo, which had been preferred by a few prejudiced individuals. Last spring the grand jury empaneled for the April term of circuit court thoroughly investigated the matter and declared that there were no grounds for indicting Mr. Bybee. It was thought that this would be satisfactory to all; but some had not finished their persecution of this gentleman, and labored with all their might and main to have the matter resubmitted to the last grand jury for Josephine County, even going so far as to have one witness brought from Leadville, Colorado. An order for resubmission having been made, at the request of the grand jury, that body proceeded to investigate the case even more fully than its predecessor had done, also sifting the new evidence alleged to have been discovered. After several days' consideration "not a true bill" was again returned and Mr. Bybee revindicated. The vast majority are fully satisfied that he is not the kind of a man who would commit so heinous a crime; and, that he could have been convicted in case an indictment had been found on the ex parte testimony submitted, even his persecutors will not maintain. The expense entailed by reopening this matter was entirely unnecessary and should be taxed against those causing it, chief and most active among whom is the publisher of the Grants Pass Courier."
    In reply to the above, which we clip from the Times, we have to say that this subject is too serious to admit of trifling such as marks about half of the above article. In answer to the first clause we will say that John R. Spencer came to this county for the express purpose of prosecuting Mr. Bybee, and he said so publicly on the streets of Grants Pass, and the editor of the Times knows it. Mr. Spencer ordered Mr. Johnson to come out here from Leadville, and Mrs. Bybee furnished the money for him to come and return. Those who caused the resubmittal of the case were the grand jurors, who, after hearing the most important evidence in the case, asked the court so to do. With regard to the last charge, we have to say that we are perfectly willing to leave it with the people who were present as to whether or not we tried to influence a single witness or juror in the case in any wise whatever. We say emphatically and positively that we did not. Somebody committed the murder, and it was done in the neighborhood wherein we resided at the time, and what we did in the matter that seems to so much incense this manipulator is that when we were before the courts we told just what we knew to be facts and no more.
    No, that ain't it. A good many of our citizens told the "skimmer" while he was down here that he could stop sending them the Times, that they did not want it. One man said in reply to his remark that the people of Josephine wanted a good newspaper, that "we are pretty well suited with the one we have got." That's where the shoe pinches. The "skimmer" does not care a cent for Mr. Bybee, but he wants to distort this question so as to injure the Courier.
    If the editor of the Times knows so much about this case, will he please explains why the jury felt warranted to ask a resubmittal of the case when there was nothing in it. Mr. Nickell shows his cloven foot in the above article, when he says that "an order for resubmission having been made at the request of the grand jury," and then winds up by saying that the expense of the reopening of this case ought to be taxed to those causing it, chief among whom is the publisher of the Rogue River Courier, &c.
    In reply to this we have to say that Mr. Nickell published articles in his paper for the purpose of influencing the jury, and he was continually running up and down our streets howling in the ears of the grand jury that it would break Josephine County up to reopen that case. While this is a fact, we defy Mr. Nickell or any other man to show that we worked upon any of the jurors, or that we "fixed up" any evidence. Such libel as the above will do the Times more harm that it will us. What right has the Times editor to come down here and dictate who shall and who shall not be indicted. Had we been the chief promoter of the attempt to indict, we would have seen to it that the Times editor stop his communication with the grand jury. What right has a grand jury talking to parties interested on either side of a case anyway. Will you deny, Mr. Nickell, that you sought to influence the grand jury in this case? Will you deny that you worked with all your might upon them? Did you work in the same manner for Geo. Lewis? No, you had not a word to say for him. In reality you ought to be prosecuted for tampering with our grand jury.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, November 19, 1886, page 2

    In our article bearing upon the action of the late grand jury, after saying that that body stood six to one for resubmittal of the Bybee case, we went on to say that "a change altogether too marked came over four of them." We intended to say three instead of four, as one man on the grand jury was opposed to indictment from the start, so we were informed, therefore no change came over his mind.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, November 26, 1886, page 2

    Many handsome pieces of marble work have lately been put up in the Jacksonville cemetery. The lots of Mr. Beekman, and Mr. Linn, have been enclosed with substantial stone coping ornamented with marble urns and vases, much improving the appearance of that part of the cemetery. In the town cemetery a very elegant monument has been erected over the grave of Rowland Hall. The material is Rutland marble, and the style is massive and beautiful. The Bybee lot has also been enclosed with a stone coping and a magnificent family monument placed in position. The material is Rutland marble of a light shade; upon a double sandstone base is a massive pillar of the marble surmounted by a tapering column, upon which is an urn of oriental design, half draped. The marble is susceptible of a very high polish, and the finish is fern fronds and ivy, wrought in tracery. The six grave markers are of the dark marble upon a base of pure white marble. The most exquisite little piece of marble work marks the grave of Mr. Whipp's little daughter; it is a tiny cabinet with marble coping. The front is a scroll with rustic lettering; across the stone is a wreath of ivy and immortelles and above it is a dove in flight. The design is a rare combination of art and genius that cannot be excelled on this coast. The work has all been executed at the marble works of J. C. Whipp in Jacksonville.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 4, 1886, page 3

    Wm. Bybee lost a shotgun out of his hack in the vicinity of Wilderville last Sunday.
"Local and Personal," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, April 8, 1887, page 3

    William Bybee has leased his Josephine mine on Rogue River, Or., to J. M. Underwood of Indianapolis, the lease being under contract for sale.
"Mines and Mining," San Francisco Call, December 12, 1895, page 10

    When it went forth to the voters of Jackson County that Wm. Bybee had been named as Democratic candidate for sheriff there was quite a determination on the part of almost every dweller in the foothills that he should be elected, regardless of party or clique. The fortitude with which Bybee stood by his father in the management of his vast interests during the period of depression which has prevailed for ten years past is indicative of the proper stuff which should characterize the sheriff of Jackson County. Mr. Bybee is already familiar with the management of the office, having served as deputy under his father many years ago. Every voter of Jackson County who knows Billy Bybee loves him for his good qualities of heart and mind. To those who are not familiar with him, to newcomers and those who have not met him, by reason of his own affairs during the past few years we can cordially commend him as being absolutely above reproach, a man of the greatest personal magnetism, and entirely trustworthy and competent to discharge the duties of the office of sheriff.
"Democratic Column," Medford Mail, May 29, 1896, page 4

    W. S. Bybee, an old pioneer of Jacksonville, Or., died at the home of his nephew, William Bybee, late Tuesday evening, after a long illness. He was 76 years old. He left one son, Martin Bybee, of Lake County.
"Oregon Dead," Capital Journal, Salem, April 8, 1898, page 4

Death of Mrs. Bybee.
    Jacksonville, Oct. 3.--Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Bybee, wife of Wm. Bybee, died at the family residence, one mile north of Jacksonville, Sunday night, aged nearly 62 years. Mrs. Bybee was born in the state of Missouri, January 7, 1838, and crossed the plains with her parents in 1847. The family resided on Sauvie's Island until 1852, when they removed to Jackson County and took up a donation claim on what is known as the Bybee home place. Mrs. Bybee was married to William Bybee Nov. 16, 1854. Of their eleven children, only five are now living.
    Mrs. Bybee was one of nature's noble women. Amiable, loving, charitable, the embodiment of devotion to principle, industrious, she had a willing hand and cheerful heart for all the multiplied duties of life. Modest and unassuming, richly endowed with all the admirable graces that go to adorn womanhood, she was a living code of social ethics. The wisdom of living a pure and useful life could not be more forcibly emphasized than in the spotless life of Mrs. Bybee. While her name was not connected with any public charities, she never failed the needy nor turned away the sorrowing. No pen can pay just tribute to her sterling womanhood.
    A husband and five children survive her. The children are: J. W., now in the Klondike country; Effa, wife of Chas. Prim, the attorney; Francis E., who lives here and is engaged in farming and stockraising; Minnie I. (Mrs. Luy), who lives with her husband in Medford; and Robert Lee, the youngest child, who is now at the family home.
    The funeral took place from the family residence this afternoon. Interment was in the family lot in Jacksonville cemetery, Rev. S. H. Jones officiating.
Valley Record, Ashland, October 5, 1899, page 3

    Died--At the family residence near Jacksonville, Oct. 1, 1899, Elizabeth Ann Bybee, wife of Wm. Bybee, aged sixty-one years, eight months and twenty-four days. Mrs. Bybee had been ill for two years with heart trouble, but her condition appeared to improve and she was about her home Sunday in excellent spirits, but at 9 o'clock the final summons came and she expired suddenly. The shock was a great one to the family. Mrs. Bybee was known widely for her good deeds of charity and was a devoted wife and mother with innumerable friends and no enemies. She was the mother of eleven children, five of whom survive her and of whom the following are residents of the valley: Mrs. Chas. Prim, Mrs. F. Luy, Jr., F. E. and Robert and Wm. Bybee, who has been at Cape Nome but is now in his way home. The funeral was held on Tuesday from the home and was attended by a large congregation, Rev. S. H. Jones officiating.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, October 6, 1899, page 3

Life at Grants Pass.
Grants Pass Courier.]
    A season of agitation occurred Monday in the corner saloon, when August Fetsch, the proprietor, and Robert Bybee engaged in a dispute over a game of poker. It seems that Mr. Fetsch expressed doubts of Mr. Bybee's veracity and that Mr. Bybee then and there imprinted his digits on the countenance of Mr. Fetsch. This act seemed to displease Mr. Fetsch, who forthwith arose and smote. This procedure in turn aroused the displeasure of Bybee, who declared war. Mr. Fetsch made a desperate charge on Bybee's fortifications, but was repulsed with heavy loss. A fierce battle was waged but the parties were finally separated, greatly to their relief. Their performance cost them the regular price--$5 apiece.
Valley Record, Ashland, November 2, 1899, page 3

Winter Meat
    "William Bybee of Jacksonville was in town Wednesday on return from his annual hog drive to Happy Camp, Cal. The swine are assembled at his Bybee Bridge ranch on Rogue River, and are driven 110 miles, the last 30 miles from Waldo being over a mountain trail. The trip occupies about two weeks, and six men are needed to keep the procession moving. The drive this year consisted of 156 head, averaging 200 pounds, and was accomplished with the loss of but one hog. The price at Happy Camp was $7.40 on foot, or $9 dressed, netting Mr. Bybee a handsome margin. Mr. Bybee has been in this business for 41 years, and the miners at Happy Camp count on his supply for winter meat." (From Grants Pass Observer, 1900, which was reprinted in Nov. 30 issue of the Medford Enquirer, 1900, now in the possession of Boyd Hamilton of Ruch.)
Medford Mail Tribune, January 27, 1959, page 4

    William Bybee, of Soda Springs, is negotiating with a colony of Eastern people for the sale of his 1400-acre ranch on Rogue River. He owns over 4000 acres of land in Jackson County, which he intends to sell in tracts.
"Pacific Coast News," Sausalito News, March 9, 1901, page 1

One Teaspoonful Taken at Night Has Relieved Him of All Gastronomical Troubles.

    William Bybee, a pioneer of Jacksonville, has eaten sand for his health the past 20 years, and seems to thrive on it. He thinks sand is the only medicine in the world for stomach troubles, and is not at all backward about recommending it to his friends who are suffering from dyspepsia, or any other affliction of the digestive organs. "I was nearly dead from dyspepsia 20 years ago, and had lost all faith in medicine," said Mr. Bybee, at the Esmond yesterday, "when Mrs. Wimer, the wife of a miner on the Applegate River, in Southern Oregon, recommended sand. My body was paralyzed below the breast, and I was willing to take chances on anything. I began by swallowing a teaspoonful of dry sand on going to bed at night, and I soon noticed that I slept better than for years, though my appetite did not increase for a few weeks. I kept on swallowing the sand regularly until I was well. I have used it off and on, however, ever since, and I carry a vial of dry sand about with me as a tonic. When I happen to overeat or feel the need of a cathartic, I put a spoonful of sand on my tongue and assist it down my throat with a swallow of water. Sand is the only medicine I have taken since 1861, though previously my pockets were always full of powders and liquids, and my doctor and drug bills were large."
    How the sand cure originated Mr. Bybee does not know, but he thinks it evolved from the practice of some people in the Southern States, who swallowed small bits of gravel as a remedy for chills and fever. "The particles of sand act mechanically on the lining of the stomach and intestines," he said, "and they carry off the surplus mucus from the digestive organs. If small pebbles are swallowed they will remain in the stomach for some little time, until they become coated with mucus, which they carry off. As the particles of sand are almost as fine as flour, there is no danger of clogging the bowels, as there might be should the larger pebbles be used.
    "I use common river bottom sand, and I gather a few quarts of it at a time. When I get it home I wash it in several waters, in order to remove all dirt and vegetable matter, and then I dry it in an oven. I have recommended the remedy to hundreds of persons who could find no relief from stomach troubles, and where the prescription was faithfully followed a cure always resulted. I have in my possession now a letter from a wealthy man in Quebec, who says he owed his life to my remedy, and he wants me to go back there and live with him the remainder of my days. I do not care to take up with his proposition, however, as I tried change of climate for my health about 23 years ago, and I came near freezing to death back East. I am 71 years of age now, and I enjoy life in Southern Oregon, being in perfect health, and so I shall remain there the rest of my life. You can tell people that there is no risk whatever in taking sand, as it cannot possibly hurt them, even if it does no good. Sand is about as cheap a medicine as can be taken, as all it costs is the trouble of gathering and cleaning."
    Mr. Bybee has been engaged in mining and farming in Jackson County for many years and is the owner of the Bybee Springs, which have become quite a summer resort. He is possessed of several placer mining properties and about 5000 acres of land in Rogue River Valley, and with the fullest faith in his sand cure he realizes that he is a very fortunate man.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 5, 1901, page 7

    S. L. Bennett and daughter, Miss Artie, left yesterday morning for the Bybee springs, on Evans Creek. Mr. Bennett has been afflicted for some time with stomach trouble, and he goes to these springs in hopes that the water thereof may prove beneficial. It was the water from these springs which restored Wm. Bybee to good health, over thirty years ago. Mr. Bybee was a sufferer from stomach trouble and had taken treatment from many of the most prominent physicians in eastern cities, but no relief was given him until he accidentally discovered the merits of the water from these springs.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 10, 1903, page 6

    WILLIAM BYBEE. In the whole of Jackson County, Ore., there is no more extensive land owner than William Bybee, to whom belongs the distinction of having owned at different periods more than half of Jackson County, whose interests have been identified with his own since first coming to this locality in the spring of 1854. A native of the state of Kentucky, born near Winchester, Clark County, April 20, 1830, and reared upon a farm, he was the recipient of but a meager education, and in the spring of 1850 he started out to seek his fortune. At Cass County, Mo., he entered the employ of the government, in the transfer of freight to Mexico, continuing to work in that capacity for about six months. In the spring of 1851 he accompanied a train of government supplies to Larimer, Kans., and a few months later returned to Cass County. Having an intense desire to go further west and try his fortune on the Pacific Slope, Mr. Bybee, in company with eight others, congregated at Larimer, provisioned an outfit of several wagons, drawn by mule teams and started for the Far West in the spring 1852. Arriving at Diamond Springs, Cal., they spent the winter at that place in prospecting and mining, with only fair success, and the following spring pushed on to the vicinity of Portland, Ore., where they remained about a year.
    Mr. Bybee first came to Jackson County in the spring of 1854, and during July, August and September, with Jesse Walker and about fifty other settlers, he assisted in protecting the settlers from the raids of the Indians, whose depredations caused considerable trouble in that locality. They chased the foe a distance of about two hundred and fifty miles before subduing them, and then returned home and disbanded soon afterwards. Mr. Bybee bought a donation claim near Jacksonville, and before him was the gigantic task of clearing the land if he would cultivate the rich soil. By perseverance and patient efforts he soon began to prosper, and in a very short time added four hundred acres to his original claim. Subsequent purchases increased his farm to one of larger dimensions, until now he owns seventeen hundred acres in that locality. Here the greater part of his life has been spent, and during these years thousands of dollars have been spent in the improvement of his land. Stock-raising is his principal business, although a part of his wealth is the result of successful mining operations. For a period of forty-one consecutive years Mr. Bybee supplied the miners in this vicinity with choice porkers, which he drove to the mines himself, often realizing a handsome profit therefrom. By keen foresight all his savings were invested in real estate and more and more attention was given to stock-raising and buying and selling land. In addition to his splendid home farm, his possessions at this writing include twenty-nine hundred acres in the Rogue River region, fifteen hundred and sixty acres along Antelope Creek, and five hundred acres along Evans Creek, seven miles above Wimer. Fine mineral springs are located on the latter farm, which enhance its value exceedingly.
    As a representative citizen of Jackson County, Mr. Bybee has carried into the political field the same keen judgment and foresight which have always characterized his business transactions. In 1878 he was the successful candidate of the Democratic Party for the office of sheriff, and during his four years of service the duties of this office claimed his attention assiduously and were executed in a prompt and fearless manner. Few enterprises have been inaugurated in or about Jacksonville which have not had the benefit of his ability and profited by his influence and guidance. His extensive business interests have left him little time for fraternal societies, and he affiliates with but one order, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which he joined in 1860.
    The marriage of Mr. Bybee, November 16, 1854, united him with Miss Elizabeth A. Walker, a daughter of Jesse Walker, and this union has been blessed with eleven children. Riland D. was killed by a falling horse at the age of fifteen; two others, Florence and Lily, died from diphtheria; Jefferson was twelve years old at the time of his demise; Alexander also died young; and Maude was five years old at the time of her death. Those living are J. William, a resident of Alaska; F. E., who resides at Medford; Robert E., a citizen of Idaho; Effie, wife of Judge Prim, of Jacksonville; and Minnie, who is now Mrs. Fred Low. The beloved mother of these children passed to her eternal rest October 31, 1899.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Western Oregon, Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904, pages 300-301

Wm. Bybee Calls on His Friends of Pioneer Days.

    William Bybee of Jacksonville was in Grants Pass over Monday, coming down Sunday evening and returning Tuesday morning. While here Mr. Bybee met many of his old-time friends, for he is a Rogue River pioneer of 1854. Mr. Bybee is a Kentuckian and left his native state in 1853 for California, where he stayed for two years, when he came to Southern Oregon. Mr. Bybee at one time was the largest land owner in Rogue River Valley, his holdings being up into the thousands of acres. He yet owns several fine farms in Jackson County and other property, among which is the famous Bybee mineral springs. Mr. Bybee was at one time extensively interested in placer mining in Josephine County, and he built in the Illinois River district one of the longest and most expensive mining ditches ever constructed in Southern Oregon.
    For nearly 40 years Mr. Bybee bought nearly all the hogs raised in Rogue River Valley. He did not pack the meat, but drove the hogs to the various mining camps, where he sold them to local butchers and to Chinamen. His principal market was Happy Camp and the other mining camps of Northern California, though he drove some as far distant as to the camps in Nevada. Mr. Bybee says that his drover days were the most enjoyable of his life. With a band of from 200 to 600 head of hogs and teams hauling feed or a pack train when the road became a trail in the mountains and a half a dozen men to assist him, he would start for the California mining camps. Some of his trips over the Siskiyou Mountains were far from a pleasure jaunt. On one of these trips he had to break a trail with horses through four feet of snow for his hogs to travel on.
    Mr. Bybee was a drover in his boyhood and assisted his father, who was one of the biggest dealers of Kentucky, in driving bands of hogs, cattle and sheep to market in Virginia and South Carolina. Mr. Bybee expects to visit the home of his boyhood, which he has not seen since he left it 53 years ago this spring. He has a brother living at the old family home near Winchester, Kentucky, and he has a sister in Texas and he will pay each of them a visit. Though 76 years of age, Mr. Bybee is yet hale and hearty and good for many years yet of active life. The old Bybee home was one of the best known and most hospitable in all Southern Oregon, and many a pioneer of Rogue River Valley has a kindly remembrance of Uncle Billy Bybee and his noble wife, now gone to the beyond. The big old white house, of the architecture of days long ago, with its full two stories, and its spacious sitting room, dining room and kitchen and many bedrooms, that ample accommodations might be had for all comers, is yet standing in a grove of fine old oaks on the Bybee donation claim one mile north of Jacksonville, an historic reminder of the days when Rogue River Valley was being changed from a wilderness to one of the fairest valleys on the Pacific Coast by the work of such men and women as Uncle Billy and Mrs. Bybee.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, April 28, 1905, page 6

Bybee Ranches for Sale.
    From and after this date I will sell at the best advantage and for cash all, or any portion, of those two certain ranches known as the Bybee river ranch, at the Bybee bridge, on Rogue River, consisting of 1240 acres, and the Bybee Antelope ranch, consisting of 1560 acres. With the Bybee river ranch will be sold that portion of the crop upon the part purchased. This ranch is partly under irrigation, and more can be put under irrigation.
    Address me at Agate, Oregon.
Medford Mail, August 31, 1906, page 4

Honore Palmer Purchases Famous Bybee Ranch Near Eagle Point
    The finest fishing ground along the Rogue River, the stretch running from the Bybee bridge to a mile above the mouth of the Little Butte, is now the property of Honore Palmer, son of the late Chicago multimillionaire, who has purchased the Bybee ranch, comprising 1240 acres of rich bottom land, paying $37,000 for the same. Probably 200 acres are covered by the river in extreme high water, leaving a thousand acres which will be planted to orchard, to be eventually subdivided into five- and ten-acre tracts and placed on the market.
Originally Donation Claims.
    The Bybee tract is one of the best known in the Rogue River Valley and one of the most fertile. It consisted originally of donation land claims, which were acquired half a century ago by the late William Bybee, in whose possession the property remained until a few days before his death. The old Bybee homestead site is in the center of the tract, which, beginning a few hundred yards below the bridge, stretches along both sides of the river for approximately two miles. On the homestead a small orchard was planted by Mr. Bybee over 50 years ago. Though in the years since it has felt neither pruning knife nor spray, the trees are thrifty and laden yearly with fruit. The immense pear trees are annually literally laden down with giant pears of an unknown variety, that average from six to ten inches in length and weigh a pound apiece, showing the natural fitness of the soil, a deep valley loam, for fruit.
Famous for Fishing.
    At present the tract is leased to various farmers, and alfalfa, grain, corn and a miscellaneous crop are raised. Most of the land lies on the north side of the Rogue, though a narrow strip, reaching to the top of the bluff, runs along the south side of the stream. A heavy forest covers a portion of the land along the river, and it is estimated that $10,000 worth of cordwood can he cut thereon.
    This section of the Rogue is famous for fishing and is known to every angler in the West. It is here that Toggery Bill has made the famous catches shown in photographs that have gone around the world, and it is here that [Walter D.] Mansfield, the champion fly-caster, and other anglers of wide repute, have fought battles with the biggest and gamest trout the world produces.
Palmer's Third Investment.
    The sale was made by Dr. J. F. Reddy, who closed the deal while in Chicago, from whence he has just returned. It is the third investment the Palmers have made in the Rogue River Valley, the Weeks orchards. for which they paid $26,000, being the first and the Medford copper mine in the Blue Ledge district being the second. Other deals are said to be in prospect.
"Two Land Sales Total Transfer of 2090 Acres," Medford Daily Tribune, November 12, 1908, page 1

Noted Oregon Pioneer Dies at Jacksonville.

    William Bybee, one of the best-known men in this part of Oregon for more than 50 years, passed away yesterday morning at his home near Jacksonville, aged 78 years and 5 months, the immediate cause of death being stomach trouble and a complication of diseases.
    William Bybee was born in Clark County, Kentucky, in 1830, and came to Oregon in 1852, and to Jacksonville in 1854, where he took up a land claim, on which he resided at the time of his death. In 1864 he became associated with Jesse Walker and in the same year married his daughter, Miss Elizabeth Walker, who died in 1899. They had by this union 11 children, five of whom are now living, as follows:
    Mrs. Charles Prim of Jacksonville, Mrs. Fred Luy of Medford, William Bybee of Alaska, Frank Bybee of Jacksonville and Robert Bybee of Idaho.
    In 1878 Mr. Bybee was elected as sheriff of Jackson County and served for two terms. In the early days both he and Mr. Walker took an active part in protecting the settlers against the Indians. At one time he was the owner of more than half of Jackson County and up till a few years ago was always a large land owner.
    Mr. Bybee was a member of the Jacksonville lodge of Odd Fellows since 1860 and the members of the lodge will turn out to the funeral in a body. The funeral services will be conducted by Rev. Ennis Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock.
Medford Mail, November 13, 1908, page 1

    Recently I interviewed Sylvester Goodnight, for 37 years engaged in banking at Vancouver, Wash., and before that county auditor of Clark County and a teacher. His mother, whose maiden name was Nancy Jane Bybee, was the daughter of John Bybee's fourth wife and was one of his 21 children. She was related to William Bybee, well known pioneer of Jackson County. William Bybee was born near Winchester, Ky., in the spring of 1830. When he was 20 he landed a job with the government, freighting goods to Texas. In the spring of 1851 he was in a wagon train taking government supplies to Kansas. In 1852 he crossed the plains to California by mule team, and in 1853 came to Portland, where he stayed the next year. In the spring of 1854 he went to Jackson County and not long thereafter took part in the Rogue River Indian war. He bought a claim near Jacksonville and continued to buy land until he owned 1700 acres in that vicinity. For many years he raised stock. Within a few years he owned 2900 acres in the Rogue River district, 1560 on Antelope Creek and 500 on Evans Creek. He was elected sheriff of Jackson County in 1878 and served four years. He was married in the fall of 1854 to Elizabeth A. Walker, daughter of Jesse Walker. Mr. and Mrs. Bybee had a good-sized family. Their children are scattered from Southern Oregon to Alaska. One daughter, Effie, married Judge P. P. Prim of Jacksonville. J. W. Bybee, born in Jackson County in the fall of 1866, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Bybee, was one of the stockholders of the bank at Jacksonville. He owned an 800-acre farm one mile from Jacksonville.

Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, July 2, 1938, page 4

    Frank E. Bybee, 80, lifelong resident of Jackson County, passed away at a local hospital Friday evening following a lengthy illness.
    Mr. Bybee was born December 30, 1865, in Jacksonville. The family home is at the Bybee Corner on the Jacksonville-Medford highway. He was one of the oldest pioneers of Jackson County and had witnessed changes in the community during his long residence here.
    Left to mourn his passing are one sister, Mrs. Minnie Luy of Phoenix, Ore., and several nieces and nephews.
    Funeral services will be conducted from the Perl Funeral Home Monday at at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Father George R. Turney, rector of Saint Mark's Episcopal church officiating. Interment will take place in the Bybee plot in Jacksonville cemetery.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 31, 1946, page 14

    Haley's ferry operated here in 1853, so reads a sign on the south side of the river at the Bybee bridge. Back in the '80s this ferry was called the Bybee ferry, and a deed given by William Bybee and wife in 1871 to a piece of land states that the buyer or assigns shall not permit the use of any part of the land as a landing for any ford on Rogue River. Notwithstanding this, there was a ford used to cross the river and a lane running south from the Table Rock Rd. along the boundary line between the Nealon and Pickens farms. The ferry fare was 25 cents one way, so going to town by ford one could save 50 cents.
R. E. Nealon, "Table Rock," Medford Mail Tribune, June 23, 1959, page 16

Wm. Bybee Made History with Hog Drives Through Hills

    There are plenty of people in Southern Oregon who well remember Mr. Wm. Bybee, the energetic and wide-awake old farmer and stock raiser of Jackson County, whose principal farm was about one mile north of Jacksonville.
    While writing of the early mining industry of Southern Oregon, we think it would not be out of place to mention something of the farming industry of the country.
    One of the very notable incidences was when Mr. Bybee was engaged in raising and fattening a large number of hogs and driving them through Josephine County to Happy Camp on Klamath River, a business that Mr. Bybee kept up for a period of 30 years, his droves amounting to 150 to 400 a year. When not able to raise the number on his own farm he would buy of his neighbor farmers to make the required drove.
    It was a long and tedious journey by Wilderville, Kerby, up the east fork of the Illinois River, thence over the Siskiyou Mountains by trail to Happy Camp on the Klamath River.
    There Bybee had the entire drove engaged to merchants, receiving his pay on the spot in gold dust at so much per ounce.
    It was a well-known fact by many of Mr. Bybee's old-time friends that he would at times when he felt quite sure that the long end of the pole would stay in his own hands, indulge in a game of poker.
    One time a pair of "poker sharks" who belonged in the then old, lively town of Jacksonville concluded they would meet Mr. Bybee at the also then lively old town of Kerby, getting in a game and relieve him of at least a portion of his hog money.
    The game went off and Mr. Bybee proceeded on his way home the next morning with several hundred dollars added to his hog wallet.--From the Courier, June 6, 1924.

Grants Pass Daily Courier,
April 2, 1960, page 15

    The following concerns William Bybee, a former pioneer resident of the Rogue River Valley, to whom belonged the distinction at one time of owning more than half of Jackson County, to which he came and settled in the spring of 1854. He was a native of Kentucky, born near Winchester, Clark County, April 20, 1830, and reared on a farm. Mr. Bybee followed the farming business here, having a farm at Jacksonville, where he and wife made their home. Mr. Bybee was married Nov. 16, 1854 to Miss Elizabeth Walker, a daughter of Jesse Walker. This union was blessed with eleven children. One was killed by a falling horse at the age of 19. Four others died young, some with diphtheria, which at that time killed many children.
    Our abstract title shows that William Bybee at one time owned our farm, as also most of the land along the river from the old military bridge down the river for some two miles. We remember Mr. Bybee as an elderly man, with white hair, who generally rode a horse as he made daily trips from his home in Jacksonville to his different farms, one of which was located here where the Bybee Bridge is located. Before the river was bridged, Bybee operated a ferry boat there. In all, he had about half dozen farms, with a man and wife on each. To give a history of these old timers from the time they "fit'' Indians, until they passed on, would take a whole page, so we will taper off with this story:
    Jack Montgomery, an old stage driver, put up a little shack, just south of the county shops [the approximate location of the Medford Armory]. He sold candy, nuts and such, also he mixed up a concoction with hard cider which he said was good to drink, and gave samples to prove it. Some called his place a blind pig. One morning. Bill Bybee came along, this time in a one-horse buggy. Jack saw him coming, so opened the door and invited him in, offering him a drink of his mixture. Bybee told him in plain words that he didn't want any, which offended Jack, who called him a fighting name. Bybee lifted up the seat cushion and picked up a small Smith-Wesson revolver, with a rosewood butt, made just after the Civil War. He pointed it at Jack and demanded that he take back what he had called him or he would let the daylight through him. We asked Jack what he did about it, and he answered, "What could I do? He came from 'Keentucky' and would do just what he said he would."
R. E. Nealon, "Tablets," Medford Mail Tribune, February 22, 1963, page B10

Last revised March 11, 2024