Notes on Willis John Dean
References on the life of Willis John Dean, 1843-1921, his friends and neighbors on Wagner Creek near Talent, Oregon, referred to in Mr. Dean's diary. Also activities at Stearns Cemetery and "infidel hall"--the Universal Mental Liberty Hall.
Click here for much more on W. J. Dean and his circle.
The U.M.L. Hall. Thanks to Jan Wright, Talent Historical Society, for this and other photos on this page.
"I remember of having ridden a race in June, 1863," [Thomas H.] Brents told his listener. "This was with the express rider for the opposition company. I rode the 225 miles in 28 hours and beat him out. Those were pretty stirring times."
On one trip out, Brents was carrying about $4,000 in gold dust in his cantinas. As dusk approached he sought a camping spot and soon found a beckoning campfire nearby. As he drew near, he recognized too late the occupants of the spot as an escaped convict from California, and two companions. Assuming a casual air, he tossed the cantinas aside and in answer to questions about their weight, he laughed and identified them as sad irons. His casualness fooled the trio.
Next day, he met up with the sheriff of Wasco County and a posse who asked if he had met Berry Way, one of his campmates of the previous night. Admitting that he had, the sheriff replied, "We're after him for murder."
"Pendleton Round-Up of 1912 Thrilled Old Timer in Stands," Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, September 20, 1953, page 18. Dean writes about Berry Way and corresponds with Brents in his diary. Grover C. Blake's Blazing Oregon Trails records the spelling "Barry Weh."
Willis John Dean
Once when the [Joe] Sherar party was camped at Cold Camp (southeast of Antelope) John Galligher, another pack train operator, was killed by Jim Berriway (or Barry Way) who was with him. Although Berriway hid the body, it was found and he was charged with murder in Canyon City. He was given the first trial in that camp, a man being named as judge and another as sheriff. A lawyer was hired for $60 to defend him, so anxious were the miners to adhere to the customs. The officials said that he should have a fair trial today and be hung tomorrow. He was. And in a new suit of clothes furnished by the miners. He was the first man hanged in Canyon City and what is purported to be his skull is on display in the museum there, thus pointing an easy, though not painless, avenue to fame.
Giles French, The Golden Land: A History of Sherman County, Oregon, Champoeg Press 1958, page 34
Canyon City circa 1890s
Arrest and Execution of Berry Way, the Murderer of Gallagher.
The following letter to the Mountaineer, dated Canyon City, June 7th, from S. B. Drury, contains the particulars of the trial and execution of this notorious murderer:
"On my arrival here from the Dalles on Tuesday, the 29th May, I learned the full particulars of the escape of the notorious Berry Way. He was arrested about ten or twelve miles from town, by McDaniels, Deputy Sheriff, together with Messrs. Cumings, Stocking and Pomphries. On Monday afternoon, he had an examination, but as the witnesses had not arrived he was remanded until their arrival; he was handcuffed and confined in a log house on Canyon Street, guarded by McDaniels and John Kingsbury. About one o'clock in the morning Kingsbury was taken sick, and McDaniels went after medicine for his relief but found the prisoner safe on his return. McDaniels, having been up the two nights previous, was worn out, and requested Kingsbury to allow him to sleep two or three hours and then wake him, when they separated. Unfortunately Kingsbury went to sleep, and McDaniels did not wake until daylight, when he found the former asleep and the prisoner gone. When it was known that Way had escaped there was great excitement in town, and many censured the Sheriff for not placing a stronger guard over the prisoner, and some went so far as to say that he had been bribed, but the sequel will show that he was accused wrongfully. Immediate search was made, but no trace of the prisoner could be found. The Sheriff then offered a reward of $250 of his own money, and $250 from the Sheriff of Wasco County, and for six or seven days used every effort to find the prisoner, but up to the 15th of May he could hear nothing reliable. On the evening of the 15th of May, McDaniels was informed that Way had been seen on Burnt River, and immediately, in company with Chas. McNelley, the sheriff started for Auburn, and on reaching that place was informed that the prisoner had been seen two or three days before in town, and it was supposed that he had gone to Boise. On the 20th of May they left Auburn for Boise River, and at Olds' Ferry were informed that a man answering Way's description had passed there. They then put out for Placerville, which they reached on Saturday, the 23rd, and were informed that the prisoner had been seen about a week before their arrival, and it was thought that finding he was pursued he had left for Bannock City. Leaving McNelley at Placerville, McDaniels proceeded on to Bannock City. On Sunday, the 24th, McNelley heard that Way was on Grimes Creek, about a half mile below Fort Hogem, and with four other men he started for that place in the evening and came upon the prisoner's camp early the following morning. McNelley went up to where he was sleeping, took from him two revolvers, and arousing him, told him he was a prisoner. Way replied, "All right; I am not going to do anything." The Sheriff replied that he did not "think he would." He got up, dressed himself, and after being tied was taken, together with his horse and provisions, to Placerville. Here he was ironed and word sent to Bannock City for McDaniels, who arrived on Monday the 25th. Way was then put in double irons and kept until Wednesday afternoon, when McDaniels, McNelley and three others started with him on their return to Canyon City, and after a week of hard traveling arrived safe. On their arrival, Wednesday morning, June 3rd, there was great excitement, and the cry of "Hang him!" passed through the crowd. He was confined in the second story of the Fashion Saloon, heavily ironed, and guarded by the Deputy Sheriff and McNelley--his two faithful companions for the last week. At three o'clock p.m. a meeting was called and Mr. Hare chosen chairman and Mr. Geo. Woodman chosen secretary. Mr. B. F. McClure stated to the people the cause of the meeting, and a vote was put whether they should give him a further trial or hang him on the evidence already in their possession. The vote was to give him a further trial, whereupon a crowd of some 400 men came and demanded the prisoner from the Sheriff, who refused to give him up and made a brief speech, stating that he was sworn to protect and see that the law was sustained and begged the crowd to disperse, which it did through respect to the Sheriff. Immediately afterwards, the Sheriff was seized by a crowd of men, and the prisoner was taken from the Fashion Saloon to John Fencasey's. The crowd then elected a sheriff, twelve jurymen chosen, and Mr. Geo. Woodman acted as counsel for the people, and Mr. Grey for the prisoner. The trial proceeded very orderly. Mr. Strowbridge, Justice of the Peace, before whom Berry Way was examined previous to his escape, stated that he had sent the written statements of witnesses to a higher court, at the Dalles, but he made a statement of the facts. There were several witnesses examined, and the prisoner's own statement taken, which was the most damning part of the evidence.
"The trial was concluded at about a quarter of 12 o'clock, and the jury retired to their room. After midnight and an absence of three-quarters of an hour, they returned with a verdict of guilty. It was put to a vote of the people whether they should hang him immediately or wait until morning. It was finally agreed that he should be hung on the next day, at 2 p.m., whereupon a committee of 26 gentlemen were appointed to take him in charge until the hour appointed for his execution.
"Thursday, June 4th.--The excitement today is very great; at least eight hundred men came in to witness the execution; the crowd, though great and excited, are very orderly. Three p.m. the prisoner is now being conveyed by an armed guard of thirty-six men to the gallows, some half a mile from town. When they arrived at the place of execution, there were at least 1000 persons present. He was conducted to the gallows by the guard, and the crowd very orderly opened and gave sufficient room for the prisoner and the guard. The prisoner was accompanied to the gallows by the Rev. Mr. Knight and the Sheriff. He was earnestly requested by the Rev. Mr. Knight to make a confession, when he made a few remarks, pleading innocent to the charge against him, and for which he was about to forfeit his life. He said that it was a hard case to be hung for a crime that he was not guilty of. He appeared very cool and collected, and seemed not to be afraid of his near approach to death. He fully exonerated the Deputy Sheriff and Kingsbury from all participation in his escape, which appeared to give great satisfaction to the people. At about 4 p.m., after a touching prayer by the Rev. Mr. Knight, the prisoner was launched into eternity. Thus Berry Way paid the penalty for the crime of which beyond all manner of doubt he was guilty. It is to [be] hoped that this may strike a terror through and deter the balance of his gang of villains from further villainy. The people of Wasco County at least owe McDaniels and McNelley their thanks for the persevering and untiring energy they have used in bringing this man to justice."
Oregonian, Portland, June 12, 1863, page 2
HUNG.--Berry Way, the man who murdered Gallagher near Canyon City sometime in April, was captured at Bannock City on the 25th of May, and taken to Canyon City. The miners collected, took him from the sheriff by force, formed a court and tried and sentenced him to be hung, which sentence was executed on the 14th inst. in the presence of about one thousand persons.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 17, 1863, page 4
Howard A. Black, Grant County Museum curator, with skull of Berry Way and hangman's rope, 1963.
HUNG.--Berry Way, the man who murdered Gallagher near Canyon City some weeks ago, was rearrested at Boise a short time since and taken to Canyon City, where he was taken from the sheriff by the citizens of that place, tried, convicted and hung.
Washington Statesman, Walla Walla, June 20, 1863, page 3
By the Rev. S. P. Taylor, at his residence near Phoenix, August 13th, M. H. COLEMAN to Miss S. A. GODDARD, all of this county.
[In 1865] I decided to stay in Portland and go to school, so entered the Portland Academy, a Methodist institution.
At first I batched alone and went to school but after a bit I found another young fellow who decided to chip in with me, so I had a partner most of the winter. I attended school five months, and then took a notion to go to Forest Grove. I didn't have much luggage. I went there with my batching partner, Willis J. Dean, who was acquainted in that country and had taught country school there. I then went to a farmer's place about five miles north of Forest Grove and worked for him most of the summer. Dean taught school at [Gale's] Creek not far from where I was stopping and I went to school with him for awhile. He had a pretty good education.
"After the Covered Wagons," by Russell C. Dement, Oregon Historical Quarterly, March 1962, page 31
In examining the Catalogue of Pacific University and Tualatin Academy 1866-67, the name Willis Dean appears listed in the Preparatory Program, but not among those attending the university. His name does not appear in any subsequent catalogs either in conjunction with enrollment in the Preparatory Program or in the University.
Personal correspondence, Alex Toth, Special Collections Librarian, Pacific University, December 14, 2004
MARRIED.Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 19, 1869, page 2
PURVIS-STEARNS.--By Judge Prim at his residence in Jacksonville, June 13th, 1869, Mr. James Purves to Miss Arminda Stearns.
The printers acknowledge the receipt of the usual compliments, which caused our devil to grow generous and wish them a long life and all sorts of blissful happiness, and hoped that many others might go and do likewise.
W. J. Dean, $9.96.
"Delinquent Tax List for the Year 1869," San Luis Obispo Tribune, January 15, 1870, page 2
ROBINSON-GODDARD--At the residence of Rev. Mr. Bonebrake, Sept. 15, 1874, by Rev. Mr. Bonebrake, R. B. Robinson to Miss Ersula Goddard--all of Jackson County. [Compliments received. We wish the young couple a long and happy journey through life.]
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 18, 1874, page 3
Emma, wife of W. J. Dean, died May 25, 1877, aged 34 years.
"[Headstone] Inscriptions at Santa Cruz, Cal.," transcribed by B. Frank Leeds, esq., The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, April 1896, page 187
Emma lies buried in Evergreen Cemetery, near Harvey West Park in Santa Cruz.
I have had under consideration the papers and the testimony in the matter of the survey of the Rancho Arroyo de la Laguna, Williams et al., confirmees. Under instruction from your office, dated Dec. 11, 1867, Dep. Surveyor G. H. Thompson, in Dec. 1867, and May, 1870, executed a survey of the claim under consideration, Mrs. J. C. Payne, Frederick Cook, Isaac C. Jones, E. L. Burrill, G. Fuller, J. Smith, W. J. Dean and others, claiming to be preemptors on the public lands, in their objections filed in your office January 28th, 1875, contend that the aforesaid survey is erroneous in that it locates the northern boundary too far to the north and the northern portion of the eastern boundary too far to the west, thus including on the north about 1,600 acres of the public lands which have been settled upon and occupied by them for the past five years under the preemption laws, and excluding on the east a corresponding quantity of land which belongs to the grant.
"Rancho Arroyo De Laguna," Weekly Sentinel, Santa Cruz, California, July 7, 1877, page 3
Illustration--"The Metric System," . . . . . . W. J. Dean
"Order of Exercises of the San Luis Obispo County Teachers' Institute," San Luis Obispo Tribune, August 31, 1878, page 8
GODDARD--On Wagner Creek, Sept. 22nd, 1878, Lloyd Bennett, youngest son of Carlos and Alice Goddard, aged 1 year, 10 months and 19 days.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 25, 1878, page 3
THE BENNETT PERSECUTION.
SEATTLE, Oct. 27.ED. INTELLIGENCER:--Through the columns of your paper I desire to correct an erroneous impression in the public mind, which a sermon delivered in one of the Seattle churches last Sunday evening must have conveyed. The pastor was requested by letter to give from the pulpit his views in relation to the imprisonment of D. M. Bennett for the crime of sending obscene literature through the U.S. mails.
The writer of said letter says (the letter was read to the audience) that, as "Bennett was tried in a U.S. court and found guilty by a jury of his countrymen, that ought to be satisfactory evidence of hs guilt," and that the 200,000 "petitioners who urged the President to release him were unbelievers, of course." He then asks: "Is this not overwhelming evidence that free thinkers would sustain and defend the dissemination of vile literature?" Now while the speaker, in his earnest manner, uttered golden words in favor of purity and against the circulation of obscene literature, yet he skillfully dodged the above important question. Right here is where his discourse tended, perhaps unintentionally, to convey a wrong impression. He simply assumes, without a word of proof, that D. M. Bennett is guilty and was justly sentenced. Surely he never could have examined the record of that infamous farce, improperly called [a] trial. Allow me to briefly state the facts.
D. M. Bennett was arrested for mailing a copy of "Cupid's Yokes," a dry physiological treatise on the marriage relation, in which the author (E. H. Heywood) claims that our present marriage system is imperfect, inasmuch as it makes the wife the legal slave of the husband, etc. There is much useful instruction in this book, although his suggestions as to the remedy are somewhat unique. Very few would fully endorse the author's views, yet who will deny that a free citizen of America has the right to publish and mail books containing unpopular doctrines? There is not a word of obscenity, properly so called, in that pamphlet, not one word capable of injuring the weakest mind. In support of this statement we have the testimony of scores of our ripest scholars and most eminent physicians, booksellers and jurists, including Attorney General Devens, who pronounced the book not in any sense obscene. Furthermore, it is openly sold in the leading bookstores of New York and other Eastern cities.
The animus of the prosecution may be seen in the following facts: Bennett was publishing a free thought journal, through which he was dealing telling blows against the follies and superstitions of the times. This paper must be crushed; its influence against Christianity was too great. Therefore, through Anthony Comstock, the U.S. spy upon the mail and a personal enemy of Bennett, he was arrested on the pretext of mailing prohibited matter. He was tried in the U.S. Circuit Court before one of Comstock's abettors, Judge Benedict, who peremptorily ruled out all important testimony on the part of the defense, and whose definition of obscenity and charge to the jury were such that they could not do otherwise than find him guilty. Under that ruling a large portion of our standard literature, including many important medical and scientific works, the leading poetical works and the Bible itself would be assailable.
In view of the above facts, and they are facts, I pronounce the imprisonment of D. M. Bennett a case of pure religious persecution, and one of the greatest outrages on justice and individual liberty ever committed in this country, and I doubt not that the venerable pastor would so conclude, should he take the trouble to examine this matter in detail.
W. J. DEAN.Daily Intelligencer, Seattle, October 29, 1879, page 2
Carlos Goddard is making fine cheese at his ranch up on Rogue River. He sells it in Jacksonville at 20 cts. a pound.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, August 25, 1882, page 3
Prof. W. J. Dean will give another lecture to the Liberal League Society this evening, at 7 o'clock. All are invited.
"Church Notices," Daily Post-Intelligencer, Seattle, March 18, 1883, page 2
LOSTINE, Feb. 15, 1880.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE OREGONIAN;
From the numerous letters of inquiry that reach me from Willamette Valley, and elsewhere, I judge that information in relation to this locality is largely in demand. As I cannot answer so many inquiries separately and do justice to the subject, I ask permission to reply to all collectively through the columns of your widely circulating paper.
Wallowa Valley lies well up in the Blue Mountains, in the northeastern part of Union County, fifty miles east of Grand Ronde Valley. It extends in a northwest and southeast direction, and is about forty miles in length, with a variable width of from four to fifteen miles, widening out toward the southern extremity.
The valley, to distinguish the different portions, is divided into lower, middle or Lostine and upper valleys; the latter is, by far, the most extensive. The soil for the most part is a deep, rich loam, and produces all the cereals and most vegetables in abundance; finer grain fields than I saw here last season are seldom met with, even in the fairest portions of the Willamette.
Like Grand Ronde, this valley is frosty, and tender vegetables, especially along the streams, often fail, though it is astonishing what an amount of frost they will endure without injury in this climate. Frost is likely to occur, immediately along the streams, every month in the year, but the foothills are comparatively exempt from it and nearly everything succeeds. For
this section cannot be excelled. The hills and prairies are covered with a rank growth of bunch, buffalo and rye grasses, which remain green and fresh until late in the season, owing to frequent rains. To the east toward Snake River extends an immense tract of high, rolling prairie, forming a splendid, well-watered stock range, most of which is also suitable for cultivation.
is found along the streams and in the mountains adjacent. It is abundant, convenient, and of the best quality, including fir, pine, tamarack, spruce, cottonwood, etc. The hardwoods, such as oak, etc., are seldom found.
The valley is drained by Wallowa River, which takes a northwest course and empties into the Grand Ronde about fifty miles from its mouth. This stream with its numerous tributaries and Wallowa Lake, which is a widening of the river in the upper valley, are particularly remarkable for the immense quantity and variety of fish with which they abound, especially red fish [sockeye salmon], a species peculiar to these waters. No finer fish can be found in the world than the latter, being acknowledged to be superior even to trout.
Not only the disciples of Izaak Walton, but those of Nimrod as well, can find rare sport here, for the forests abound with deer, elk, mountain sheep, brown and black bear, and last but not least, the festive grizzly. Inexperienced hunters are advised, however, to treat the latter with the most profound respect and to avoid as far as possible too great familiarity, as he is somewhat secluded and meditative in his habits and a too-hasty intrusion on his solitude may prove highly embarrassing to one unacquainted with the grizzly's eccentric ways.
Too short a time has elapsed since the settling of this valley, and too few experiments have been made to prove satisfactorily what kinds of fruit will thrive in this peculiar climate. As to the common small fruits, such as berries, etc., there can be no question, as most of them abound in a wild state and are of the best quality. I see no reason why apples, plums, cherries and other hardy fruits should not succeed as well here as in the Grand Ronde Valley, which is equally frosty, and where excellent fruit is raised--if late-blooming varieties are chosen and the trees kept mulched in the spring, in order to delay the budding as long as possible. Some of the more enterprising settlers have planted orchards and the trees have a thrifty appearance. A small nursery has been started in the upper valley by a gentleman who has had large experience in fruit culture in the northern states, and he sees no serious obstacle in the way of success here. The
of the valley at present is about 1500, and immigrants are constantly arriving. No other portion of the state, of like extent, has settled up more rapidly and by a more industrious and come-to-stay sort of people. There are, at this writing, six school districts, four post offices, two stores, two saloons (we don't boast of the latter, mind), several blacksmith shops, cooper shops (which supply hundreds of fish barrels during the red fish season), one chair factory and one sawmill. Our greatest need is a grist mill; at present we depend on Grand Ronde Valley for flour and haul it 50 or 60 miles. A flour mill would be a good investment, and it is hoped that some enterprising man will take advantage of the opportunity and erect one in time for next year's crop.
The usual squabble in regard to the location of a town site has already commenced. The upper valley will probably carry the day.
It is gratifying to note the present state of improvements, and then to reflect that less than four years ago Chief Joseph and his dusky warriors pitched their wigwams on the banks of these beautiful streams, claimed the valley as their own and fought for its possession. Who could blame them for fighting for such an Indian paradise? But the unfortunate red man "must go"--must give way before the advancing tide of civilization. The white man wanted this valley, and the Indian, taking a last, long, lingering look at his lost home and hunting grounds, was obliged to seek some new and more distant vale, to be again routed as his palefaced brother advances. The
of Wallowa Valley admirably blends the grand, romantic and beautiful, in this respect strikingly resembling some of the larger Alpine vales of Switzerland. The gently undulating prairies to the east, the precipitous chain of snowcapped mountains, with their summits sharply cut against the western sky; the timber-fringed river and creeks; the lovely bottom lands, and that gem of the mountain, Wallowa Lake, already recognized as a natural curiosity, and fast becoming a popular resort--all combine to give this valley a beautiful diversity of landscape, which renders it the pride of the settler and the charm of the tourist. But an impartial statement must include
for they are here, and may seem insurmountable to some. This locality is high, the upper valley having an altitude of over 4000 feet; therefore cold winters and late springs will be the rule. Feed must be provided for stock in winter, although most winters are open enough not to require it. Last winter stockmen lost heavily in consequence of deep snow and scarcity of feed. Whether they were made wise enough by that lesson to provide against a repetition of such an experience remains to be seen. Stockmen in Eastern Oregon generally prefer to take their chances. Thus far the present winter but little food has been required, though the weather at times has been extremely cold, and from two to eight inches of snow has covered the ground most of the time.
It is fifty miles to Grand Ronde Valley and twice that distance to Umatilla, our nearest river landing over a toll road; therefore to market grain from here would be out of the question. It is essentially
A STOCK COUNTRY.
Cattle, horses, hogs and especially dairying would prove amply remunerative. All things considered, the natural advantages are great and far outweigh the drawbacks, and in my humble estimation, no better locality for industrious immigrants seeking government land and pleasant homes can be found than Wallowa Valley.
W. J. DEAN
The Morning Oregonian, February 24, 1880, page 1
Occasionally lectures on science, literature or philosophy will be given by the best talent within reach.
"The Territorial University," The Puget Sound Mail, La Conner, Washington, August 6, 1881, page 3
Wm. [sic] Dean will teach the Eagle Point school, a Butte Creek correspondent says.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, April 13, 1883, page 3
W. J. Dean, a liberal lecturer, spoke on "Free Thought" in this place last night.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 9, 1884, page 3
W. J. Dean, the lecturer, did not meet with much success here Thursday night as the audience was quite small.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 10, 1884, page 3
Wednesday, 20 August 1884
W. J. Dean, a gentlemen seeking for a school came this morn to breakfast
He and Mr Lovelady who is getting better went with me to Ashland. I got some flour, & sugar and my boots mended, got home at four Oclock.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Wednesday, Sept 3, 1884
attended school meeting in the afternoon voted a tax of 5 Mills on the dollar for school purposes. The Directors have hired W. J. Dean & Miss Rosa [Waters] as teachers for the next six months.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
W. Beeson of Wagner Creek informs us that the district school there will reopen on the 15th. W. J. Dean, lately of eastern Oregon, and Miss Rosetta Waters have been engaged as teachers. A five-mill tax has been voted for the support of the school, which ensures a successful six-months' term.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 12, 1884, page 3
Monday, Sept. 15, 1884
School Commenced to day. W J Dean & Rosa [Waters] are teachers four of our Children went Emmett will go before long.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Friday 10 October 1884
Been nice day. A Jacobs brought the Hog back, because he thought It was diseased. Wm Dean & Smith spent the evening here.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
A Mr. Dean is teaching the Wagner Creek School having under his charge about 55 pupils. Miss Waters is assistant. All the pupils seem to be quickly getting the requirements of an education. Even the hogs about the place have become so educated that they climb a steep flight of stairs to the upper story of the schoolhouse and eat their dinners from the little tin buckets and baskets so carefully and neatly filled with pie and bacon by mothers for their children.
"Phoenix Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 18, 1884, page 3
Mr. Dean, recently from Washington Territory, is teaching the Wagner Creek School, with Miss Waters as assistant. There is a large attendance.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, October 24, 1884, page 3
Saturday, Nov. 8, 1884
I hauled 100 feet of lumber to Breezes shop for Mr Dean to have made into Cupboard for the school house 2.25
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Thursday 18 December 1884
Proffessor Dean and party are preparing for an entertainment at the school house.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Saturday, Dec. 20, 1884
We attended an exhibition at the School house, in evening which was excelent. Mr Dean, Nick, Mr & Mrs Breeze, Miss Rosa Allice & Charles Sherman, and John Robison being the performers.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Sunday 21 Dec 1884
I went down & brought Mr & Mrs Breese & Rosa, up to visit and then Mr True, Breese, & Dean road with me up to the Mill, they are going to start the Mill soon. We came home and had a good dinner, and then I took Breeses home.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Thursday 25 Dec 1884
Mr W J Dean to Read Ingersolls answers to Editor San Franciscan
Diary of Welborn Beeson
The dramatic and musical entertainment at Wagner Creek school house last Saturday evening was well attended, and the audience was highly pleased. The teachers, Mr. W. J. Dean and Miss Waters, are entitled to great credit for preparing such an excellent entertainment, and all who took part receive great praise for their admirable performance.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, December 26, 1884, page 3
Sunday 28 Dec 1884
Wellie Johnnie & I walked down and took dinner at Mr Breeses, Rosa walked home with us so has to be here to be ready to go to Jackson with Wellie and Mr Dean and I tomorrow to attend the Institute.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Monday, Dec. 29, 1884
Mr Dean, Rosa Wellie and I came to Jacksonville, the road was frozen thawed a little but is freezing to night. We attended the Institute and organized, with a good Audience. Mr Dean lectured on Modern Education, a good lecture. We are at Taylors.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Wednesday 31 December 1884
We attended the Institute untill three Oclock, then paid our board and got our team and come home got home at Six Oclock found all well. Nick and Emmett had been to the Shooting Match and secured three turkeys. Mr Dean eat supper with us and went home. Rosa is here.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Interesting entertainments are held occasionally on Wagner Creek under the efficient management of Prof. Dean and Miss Waters. Let the good work go on.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 2, 1885, page 3
A First-Class Lecture.
We devote considerable space this week to the masterly lecture delivered at the late teachers' institute by Prof. W. J. Dean of Wagner Creek. It is well composed and abounds in solid facts and excellent suggestions. Having been delivered in pleasing style by the author, it left a favorable impression on the large audience who listened to it. It is published by unanimous vote of the institute.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 9, 1885, page 3
The Wagner Creek district school, under the efficient management of Prof. Dean and Miss Waters, commenced a five-months' term not long since, W. Beeson informs us.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 23, 1885, page 3
The event of greatest interest here of recent date was the "commencement" at Wagner Creek public school, which took place on the 20th inst. Our school has made long strides up the "hill of science" since Prof. Dean has been the principal and Miss Rosetta Waters assistant. It is evident "by demonstration" that Mr. D.'s forte is in the school room. It would be capital well invested for our large and increasing district to build an additional wing to our present large two-story school house, and employ Prof. Dean as principal "to serve during the war." The exercises last Friday were an eye-opener to some of our old fogies. The forenoon session was devoted to review exercises. The afternoon exercises were of greater interest to the crowd of eager spectators. The school showed forth a remarkable disciplinary training. Everything moved like clockwork, starting promptly and smoothly at a tap of the bell. The music proved the efficiency of the instruction by Miss Waters. The excellent order and time observed by the pupils in marching and other exercises were remarkable, especially considering the short time spent in preparation. Then there were recitations and declamations "till you couldn't rest" for fun. Last, but not least, prizes were awarded to the most proficient pupils. If they did not reach the dignity of diplomas, they were highly appreciated, nevertheless. Finally Prof. Dean called for remarks from patrons and other visitors. Some twenty ladies and gentlemen responded, and the opinion was unanimous that the school had been a success. A petition signed by nearly all the patrons of the school (about 30) requested Prof. Dean and Miss Waters to stay with us.
"Wagner Creek Items," Ashland Tidings, March 27, 1885, page 2
Wednesday, May 20, 1885
In evening I went to meet W J Dean & John K Stearns to draw up Bylaws governing the Incorporation of the Build Hall, Company.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Friday, May 22, 1885
Meeting of the neighbors in regard to building Hall at our house, nothing done
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Saturday May 30, 1885
The neighbors met here to form a Corporation to build a Hall, on the Corner
next the School house. We did all the mind work, and J R Stearns John Purves,
W J Dean are the incorporators
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Saturday June 6, 1885
I am not well. I chored around home. a Meeting of Directors & building Committee of U. M. L. Hall here to night. Committee ordered to go ahead and
purchase lumber nails, etc.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Wednesday, June 10, 1885
I mailed to R. P. Earheart 2.50 for fees to Record Incorporation paper for U. M. L. Hall, cost to Register same 25 cts
U M L. Dr
to fees & sending same $2.75
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Saturday June 13, 1885
Boy’s hoeing Corn. Emmett went to Saw Mill to haul down first load of lumber for U. M. L. Hall
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Sunday, June 14, 1885
Everything growing fine to day. S M Robison & W H Breese called to talk about the Hall. I hauled a load felloe timber to Breese.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Thursday, June 18, 1885
Mr Dean Called and is issuing Stock in the U.M.L. Hall. We took 18 Shares.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Prof. Dean, Miss Rosa Waters, Miss Brittain and Mr. Sherman, with his son and daughters, of Wagner Creek, made the Josephine County caves a visit a few days since. They are well pleased with their experience and describe the underground recesses as truly wonderful.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 19, 1885, page 3
The Josephine County Caves.
A party of seven Wagner Creek people visited the Josephine County caves last week. The party consisted of Prof. Dean and Miss Luella Waters, teachers of the Wagner Creek school, Miss Ida Brittain and Mr. [Salisbury] Sherman and three children. They all entered the upper cave and enjoyed the weird, fantastic scenery of twelve different chambers of the cavern, and secured some fine specimens of stalactites to bring home with them, several of which were left at the Tidings office by Mr. Sherman. Messrs. Harkness & Burch, proprietors of the land in which the caves are situated, are making preparations to afford visitors better facilities for viewing the caves than are now afforded. They have had a number of men at work for some time, and have improved the mountain trails in that neighborhood materially. There will likely be several excursion parties to the caves from different points about the 4th of July.
Ashland Tidings, June 19, 1885, page 3
THE JOSEPHINE COUNTY CAVES.
Talent, June 22, 1885.
To the Editor of the Times:
Having, in company with a party of seven, recently paid a visit to the Josephine County caves, I judge that your many readers would be interested in a brief description of the same and the best way to reach them. We had more difficulty in finding where they are than any other party is likely to have; in fact, would not have found them at all had it not been for Wm. C. Burch, one of the proprietors of the caves, who happened along and acted as pilot. We had been searching for two days, and when he found us were three miles from where they are situated.
The Greybacks (this is the name lately given them), generally known as the Williams Creek caves, are situated on Greyback Creek, twenty-nine miles due south of Grants Pass and about the same distance southwest of Jacksonville. There are two caves, called respectively the upper and lower, and are on the side of a steep hill, one above the other, and about 150 yards apart; and from the constant current of air out of the upper one we judge they are connected. The lower one was discovered by Elijah Davidson in 1878 in a somewhat singular manner. He was chasing a bear which ran into the cave to escape pursuit. We are not told that the hunter followed bruin into his temporary den, but we feel safe in inferring that he did not. A clear, cold stream of about thirty inches of water issues from the lower cave, but as yet its source has never been reached.
Mr. Burch acting as guide, we entered its subterranean depths and cautiously threaded our way through numerous chambers of various sizes, some from 18 to 20 feet in height and breadth. Some of the connecting passages, however, are small and we had to stoop and even, in some cases, crawl to pass through, running the risk of getting wedged in; but by inducing the most corpulent member of our party (not the writer, I am happy to state) to take the lead, the rest of us were safe in following. This cave has been explored by several hundred feet in different directions, but its extent is as yet unknown, further explorations in many instances being prevented by the narrow passages. The proprietors, however, propose to enlarge all the difficult passages so as to render any part of the cave accessible to the most corpulent person.
To describe adequately the appearance of these cave chambers, the infinitely varied forms of stalactites hanging from the roof, stalagmites pointing upward from the floor, and the lime incrustations along the sides, would be impossible for a pen like mine. Spires, obelisks, Corinthian capitals, magnificent arches bristling with many-hued points, Hindoo idols, grim sphinxes, lifelike statues, coral fringes, piano stools, center tables, side niches, suggestive of peanut stands, icicles, fantastical carvings, scrolls, Gothic cornices, grotesque figures, elephant's ears, cupolas, domes, prismatic crystals, flashing back the light of our candles--indeed every varied and fantastic form that the imagination could picture, fancy or suggest meet the eye in making the tour of these cavernous depths.
We found the names of several prominent persons inscribed in the soft limestone, among others that of Prof. Thos. Condon, the most noted geologist on the Pacific coast. What a rare treat it must have been to one of Nature's pupils like Prof. Condon to study these varied shapes and with the magic glass of science read the slowly written history of their formation.
It seems to be an American habit to inscribe one's name in conspicuous places, though it has been by certain solemn wiseacres denounced as an impardonable display of vanity. We regarded the custom as time-honored, however, and would not depart from it; so future visitors will find thus immortalized the names of S. Sherman, Chas. and Allie Sherman, Lula Leadbetter, Ida Brittain, Rosetta Waters and your correspondent.
The upper cave is the grandest, though more difficult to enter. In this cave we find the Devil's pulpit--a fit place for "Old Nick" to preach his gospel--and a little further on Purgatory, a vertical cavern of unknown depth, which we had no inclination to descend.
The Dean party's graffiti in Adam's Tomb, Oregon Caves.
Each one of our party secured a choice collection of specimens, fair samples of which will be placed on exhibition at the immigration rooms in Medford.
The best route to the caves is via Kerbyville and up Greyback Creek to California Bar, the end of the wagon road, thence by trail four and a half miles to the caves; or via Williams Creek to Mr. Stevens' place, thence by trail nine and a half miles.
W. J. D.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 26, 1885, page 2
Prof. Dean, of Wagner Creek, has recently received from Philadelphia a fine, large field glass, or portable telescope--the most powerful ever brought to this valley. With its aid, the moons of Jupiter, and the great red spot mentioned in last week's Tidings, can be plainly seen.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, July 3, 1885, page 3
The heavy timbers and coarse lumber for the U.M.L. Hall are ready for the carpenters. B. C. Goddard is the boss carpenter and will soon begin the construction. The hall is to be 28x40 ft., and 14 ft ceiling.
"Wagner Creek Items," Ashland Tidings, July 3, 1885, page 3
Monday, July 6, 1885
Emmett & I Chored around. Wellie & Johnie got up a load for me to take to Medford towne Grand Pa helping them.
Been very Hot.
The Directors of the U.M.L. Hall had Meeting here to night.
I gave bond as treasurer. Recd from Sec $2.50
Paid out for Recording 2.75
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Prof. Dean of Talent has received a large portable telescope, the most powerful ever brought to the valley.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 10, 1885, page 3
Thursday, July 16, 1885
Mr Dean & I went to Medford and got the windows & Door’s for the Hall, and bought the Shingles for same at three dollars per M.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Saturday July 18, 1885
Emmett & Mr Dean went to Medford to bring up 12000 shingles for the Hall.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Monday, July 20, 1885
Mr Goddard, Breese, Holton Payne & Son, Mr Dean and James Purves and myself Commenced work putting up the U M L Hall in corner of lot next to the school house lot.
Been beutiful day Jessie is taking Music lessons from Miss Rosa Water.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
Tuesday, July 21, 1885
We all worked at the Hall, laid the foundation we put a number of Newspapers on the NE Corner Stone.
We are getting along with it tolerable fast. Mr Dean is the Main Spirit among us.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
The new U.M.L. Hall on Wagner Creek is to be dedicated on the 4th of October. The exercises will consist of short speeches, readings, music, etc., and a full programme will be published in due time.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, September 4, 1885, page 3
The Liberal Association of Talent will dedicate their new hall at that place with appropriate exercises on Sunday, Oct. 4th and on the following Friday--Oct. 9th--a dedication ball will be given in the same hall. The programme in full will be found among our new advertisements and everybody is invited.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 26, 1885, page 3
U.M.L. Hall, of Talent,
Will take place on
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4.
Exercises will commence at 10 A.M.
Introductory remarks by the president of the Association.
Address by Gen. E. L. Applegate.
Basket Picnic Dinner, served in rear room of hall or in grove nearby.
Afternoon session will commence at 2 o'clock. Exercises to consist of short addresses by A. L. Johnson and M. A. McGinnis of Medford; W. F. Benjamin of Roseburg; J. N. Hall of Central Point and others; timely interspersed with music by the Talent Glee Club.
COMMITTEE OF INTRODUCTION.--Mrs. Sallie Morton, Arthur Soule, of Phoenix; J. Fountain, Ashland; J. N. Hall, Central Point; H. Kinney, Medford; Andrew Hubbell, Jacksonville.
Don't forget your basket.
A dedication dance will be given in the same hall on the following
Friday Eve., Oct. 9th.
Tickets, including supper, $2.00. The best of music furnished.
WM. M. BREESE,
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 26, 1885, page 3
Dedication of Hall.Ashland Tidings, September 25, 1885, page 3
The dedication of the U.M.L. Hall of Talent will take place on Sunday, the 4th day of October next. Exercises to commence at 10 a.m. Following is the programme:
Introductory remarks by the president of the association.
Address by Gen. E. L. Applegate.
Basket picnic dinner, served in rear room of hall building or in grove nearby.
Afternoon session will commence at 2 o'clock. Exercises to consist of short addresses by A. L. Johnson and M. A. McGinnis, of Medford; W. F. Benjamin, of Roseburg; J. N. Hall, of Central Point, and others. Music by the Talent Glee Club interspersed.
Committee of Introduction: J. N. Hall, Central Point; J. D. Fountain, Ashland; Mrs. Sallie Morton and A. Soule, Phoenix; H. Kinney, Medford; Andrew Hubbell, Jacksonville.
All friends of Mental Liberty cordially invited.
Don't forget your baskets.
A dedication dance will be given in the same hall on the following Friday evening, Oct. 9th. Tickets, including supper, $2. Best of music afforded.
WM. BREESE, Sec'y.
The dedication of the new hall at Talent to the cause of Universal Mental Liberty will take place on the 4th of Oct. Gen. Applegate has consented to deliver an oration on the occasion. There will be a picnic, dinner and a good time is expected.
"Brevities," Jacksonville Post, September 25, 1885, page 3
An effort was made to have an excursion train run between Ashland and Talent next Sunday, to take people to witness the dedication of the new hall, but was unsuccessful. No train will be run.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, October 2, 1885, page 3
DEDICATION OF HALL AT TALENT.
TALENT, Oct. 5, 1885.
The dedication of the U.M.L. Hall on the 4th was an enjoyable affair. It being the first meeting of the kind ever held in Southern Oregon, people came from far and near, some from curiosity, no doubt, but most from sympathy with the cause of mental liberty.
The hall was well filled long before the time for the opening of the exercises, and when all had arrived many were obliged to remain outside and listen by the windows.
Exercises opened with instrumental and vocal music by the Talent Glee Club, following which were brief introductory remarks by the chairman, W. J. Dean, together with the reading of a short paper signed by the directors, setting forth the aims and objects of the association. After a song entitled "Lover of Truth, Awake from Thy Sadness," Gen. E. L. Applegate delivered a discourse on "Universal Mental Liberty." No abstract or summary could do justice to Mr. Applegate's speech. It was scholarly, replete with historical citations and intensely logical throughout. It should be issued in pamphlet form and carefully read by all who persist in considering free thought synonymous with vice and immorality. Following was "Picnic Song," a pleasing reminder that even free-thinkers cannot live on feasts of reason alone, but that cookies, sandwiches, chicken "fixin's," etc., etc., that come forth from the picnic basket should in no wise be ignored. Without delay the audience repaired to Mr. Beeson's orchard, where on the grassy lawn, the air redolent with the perfume of overhanging fruit, dinner was served. And we did all eat and were filled, and I don't know how many baskets full of the fragments were taken up. By the way, Mr. Beeson's dogs were all scared off the place by such a crowd, leaving a watermelon patch nearby dangerously exposed. But we didn't confiscate one watermelon--that one was left for manner's sake, and it wasn't ripe, anyhow. Mr. Editor, you should have been there; such occasions are rare.
The afternoon exercises consisted of short stirring addresses by Prof. J. N. Hall, Gen. Applegate, W. J. Dean, Father Beeson and a Baptist clergyman whose name I did not learn, followed by select readings by A. Hubbell, B. F. Myer and Father Beeson; also the reading of communications from W. F. Benjamin of Roseburg and Mrs. A. S. Duniway of the New Northwest.
The following resolution was passed: Resolved, that the address delivered by Gen. E. L. Applegate was an eloquent, clear and logical exposition of the subject of Universal Mental Liberty; that it was an address that should not only be heard but read and studied, and that he be requested to furnish a copy for publication to one or more of the county papers and also to the Oregonian.
The closing song, "Hail to Thee, Liberty," was sung with spirit and elicited hearty applause. The music, both instrumental and vocal, which was frequently interspersed was excellent. In fact the Talent Glee Club, consisting of the Breese family of this place, assisted by Dr. Kahler of Phoenix, produce music that any city of ten thousand inhabitants could justly boast of.
As far as could be ascertained all present were pleased with the day's proceedings, many of the ladies carrying away flowers from the vases as souvenirs of the occasion. Many and earnest were the congratulations we received on having reared so beautiful a structure and dedicated it to so noble a purpose.
W. J. DEAN, Assist. Sec.
Ashland Tidings, October 9, 1885, page 2
Oration Upon Mental Liberty.
The oration upon Universal Mental Liberty delivered by Gen. E. L. Applegate at Talent is a remarkable production, and for profound treatment and eloquent presentation of the great principles involved in the subject will rank with the great efforts of the eminent metaphysicians who have spoken to the world in this generation upon this or kindred topics. In clear delineation of the idea of liberty and in vivid exposition of the difference between a biased or faulty separation of the mind and the free and unfettered action of human intellect, it certainly has never been excelled. Gen. Applegate is at home in the field of philosophy or of metaphysics, and in this oration, or in addition to his striking originality of style and depth of penetration, has reached a finish in literary execution superior to that of many of his able speeches and orations. As the oration will doubtless be printed in some shape, no attempt at a report will be made at this time, and it only need be said that the oration is one to the logic of which no one of intelligence, whatever his faith or creed, can find objection.
Ashland Tidings, October 9, 1885, page 2
A REQUEST.--At the dedication meeting held at Talent on Sunday last the following resolution was passed by unanimous vote;
Resolved--That the oration of Gen. E. L. Applegate at the dedication of the U.M.L. Hall was an able, eloquent and logical exposition of the subject of Universal Mental Liberty; that it was an address that should not only be heard but read and studied, and that he be requested to furnish a copy for publication to each of the county papers and also to the Weekly Oregonian."
WM. BREESE, Sec.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 10, 1885, page 3
DEDICATION.--The exercises attending the dedication of the new Liberal Hall at Talent on Sunday last proved a grand success and were highly appreciated by a large audience present. The programme consisted as follows: Instrumental music; greeting song; introductory remarks by the president of the association; song; address by Gen. E. L. Applegate; picnic song; basket dinner; addresses by A. L. Johnson of Medford, W. F. Benjamin of Roseburg, J. N. Hall of Central Point and others, interspersed with music by the Talent Glee Club.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 10, 1885, page 3
The Wagner Creek school has resumed studies under the efficient management of Prof. Dean and Miss Rosa Waters.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 23, 1885, page 3
Bible Class Organized.
TALENT, Or., Nov. 3d, 1885.
MR. EDITOR:--Please let the Tidings circulate the news far and wide that a Bible class meets every Sunday at 11 a.m. in the U.M.L. Hall of this place. Your readers will perhaps excuse us for feeling somewhat elated over our enterprise when we inform them that, as far as we can ascertain, this is the only genuine Bible class ever organized in this neighborhood. All are cordially invited to join us in our earnest search for Bible truths.
Misses Rosetta Waters and Alice Sherman are assisting Prof. Dean in the management of the Talent school, which is in a flourishing condition.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 13, 1885, page 3
There have been a number of lectures upon spiritualism delivered at the U.M.L. Hall on Wagner Creek within the past two weeks. The lecturer is Paul Smith, who spoke in Ashland as a Universalist preacher several years ago.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, November 13, 1885, page 3
On the evening of November 22, there was delivered in the U.M.L. hall at Talent, by Prof. Dean, one of the most useful and scientific lectures ever listened to in Jackson County. A part of the professor's subject or text was: "Come, let us reason together." He spoke nearly two hours to a large audience, who paid the greatest attention and were much pleased with the masterly way that he handled the matter. Those who heard him are only sorry that the whole lecture cannot be published to the people throughout the land.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 4, 1885, page 3
Mr. Dean and Miss Waters are doing well with the Wagner Creek school, and intend, during the holidays, to have a school exhibition.
"Wagner Creek Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 5, 1885, page 2
As will be seen by announcement in another column, a grand Christmas Eve ball is to be given at the U.M.L. Hall on Wagner Creek. Preparations will be made for the agreeable entertainment of everyone who may attend.
Prof. W. J. Dean, of the Wagner Creek school, delivered an excellent lecture at the U.M.L. Hall about two weeks ago, his subject being "Charity of Opinion." It is reported as being an able and eloquent discourse, and its aim is one with which all can sympathize, the inculcation of a greater charity in our view of the people who differ from us in opinions.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, December 11, 1885, page 3
A G R A N D B A L L !
Will be given at the
U. M. L. Hall,
WAGNER CREEK, on
TICKETS, Including Supper, $2.
W. Beeson, J. Robinson, N. D. Brophy.
Public cordially invited.
Ashland Tidings, December 11, 1885, page 3
Reply to Anonymous "Christian."Ashland Tidings, December 18, 1885, page 2 "Christian"'s letter is now lost.
We notice in the issue of the Monitor of Medford, dated Dec. 11th, an article over the signature of "Christian," of Ashland. Now, while I do not know John Smith, nor did I see the article in the Tidings to which "Christian" refers, yet I must proceed to correct some of the errors that "Christian" has made in his article. "Christian" speaks of "reports" having reached Ashland, in regard to the Bible class and Sunday school held in the U.M.L. Hall. It may be reports have reached Ashland that are derogatory to the Sunday meetings held in the hall, for a person may hear almost any kind of reports, in regard to any thing whether it be good or bad. But before "Christian" should have published any such reports, he ought to have ascertained whether there was any truth in them or not.
Now, the truth is this: I was raised by strict Methodist parents, and attended Sunday school nearly every Sunday from the time I was eight years old until I was fifteen, and yet I never attended a more orderly, well conducted Sunday school and Bible class than the one now being held every Sunday morning at eleven o'clock at the U.M.L. Hall on Wagner Creek, where the children and all the members are prompt in their attendance and orderly and decorous in their conduct, and where knowledge and morality and everything noble and elevating is promulgated both by precept and example. "Christian" intimates that he has heard reports that innocents are led astray. I would say that there are about twenty-five children attending the class, accompanied by their parents, who are known throughout the county as being among the best citizens of the county, who have never cost the county a dollar in lawsuits, and have never been known to wrong a neighbor in any way. And these parents do not think their innocent children are being led astray, but rather are being led into a higher, nobler life, away from [the] superstition and bigotry that have deluded the ages of the past. Our door is open, and we invite all and everybody to attend our Sunday meetings and judge for themselves. "Christian" says he is not ashamed to own his name. Why then did he not put it down? Here is mine in full.
Talent, Dec. 15, 1885.
CORRESPONDENCE.Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 25, 1885, page 2
Talent, Dec. 18, 1885.
To the Editor of the Times:
I see in the issue of a local paper of a late date an article over the signature of "Christian." In answer to John Smith, in which he expresses a great deal of "pity for the better class" of people at Talent. Now, "Christian" claims, by his address, to live at Ashland, while I live at Talent, or on Wagner Creek; what is more, have lived here for nearly thirty-three years, and yet have failed to discover who this "better class of people" are that "Christian" alludes to. We have Spiritualists, Free Thinkers, Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Swedenborgians, Agnostics, Free Masons, Odd Fellows, Germans, Irish, Scotch, English and Missourians, and if I was appointed by our worthy President a committee of one to pick out the better class, after more than thirty years' acquaintance with the citizens here, I could not designate some a better class than others. But, to the point. "Christian" claims that by reports he has heard (I suppose Mrs. Blank's sister's aunt's cousin, Tabitha Ann Tibbit's grandmother must have been his informant), that the infidels of Wagner Creek met in the U.M.L. Hall on Sunday for the purpose of practicing Free Loveism, frolicking and dancing. (If they did I don't know as it would be any of "Christian's" business.) But as the hall is situated within two hundred yards of my dwelling, I will here say that a more orderly, well-behaved congregation of people do not meet anywhere in the United States on every Sunday morning to read the Bible and consult the passages found therein and consider the amount of credibility that must be placed on them being of the divine origin. There is also a class of about twenty-five children who attend, where morality and all that is noble and elevating is taught them, not only by precept but by example. The superstition of the past, when the race was in ignorance, is dispelled, and light and knowledge is encouraged to take their place.
Hoping that "Christian" and all others may think it worth while to attend the Sunday meetings at the U.M.L. Hall and there learn that we are not so bad as report says, I will close by signing my full name, which "Christian" failed to do.
Bible Class Organized.
TALENT, Or., Nov. 3d, 1885.Mr. EDITOR:--Please let the Tidings circulate the news far and wide that a Bible class meets every Sunday at 11 a.m., in the U.M.L. Hall of this place. Your readers will perhaps excuse us for feeling somewhat elated over our enterprise when we inform them that, as far as we can ascertain, this is the only genuine Bible class ever organized in this neighborhood. All are cordially invited to join us in our earnest search for Bible truths.
Ashland Tidings, November 6, 1885, page 3
The most interesting of entertainments is furnished by the literary society, which holds sessions Saturday evenings "rain or shine." We had a sham lawsuit last Saturday night, which took down the house frequently, by the comical way witnesses had of giving testimony. The case was the State of Oregon vs. Frank Elliott, for the larceny of a fat hog. W. H. Breese, prosecuting witness; W. J. Dean acted as J.P.; W. Beeson as clerk; S. Sherman, prosecuting attorney; with Prof. Trombly and Judge Truitt, colleagues. The defense retained Hons. Adams, Finley and Hicks. The hour of adjournment arrived before the evidence was all in, and the case will be continued next session (next Saturday night), when it will be argued by the able attorneys mentioned and others, perhaps, then go to the jury for decision. Our next question for discussion is: Resolved, that the Chinese are a curse rather than a blessing to the United States. Principals--Affirmative, Truitt; negative, Adams.
Limit of speeches, five minutes.
The Bible class at the U.M.L. hall is growing in interest each session. "Christ's Sermon on the Mount" is now under consideration. It must be acknowledged that it puts a Christian at a terrible strain to control his temper at times at the sacrilegious manner the Holy Scriptures are ridiculed. It causes us to fear and tremble for the welfare of our youth of this locality, and unless one is founded on the "Solid Rock"--Christ--we would not advise persons to attend.
PRO BONO PUBLIC."Talent Items,"
A CARD.--I have been the subject of an unprovoked and cowardly attack from a thing in human shape, claiming to be a citizen of Wagner Creek. I have been told that this seditious sediment of manhood stated at Talent, a short time ago, that he knew that I circulated a report and even sent a report to a county paper for publication to the effect that I was one of the committee in charge of the party which took place at the U.M.L. Hall on Wagner Creek, on Christmas Eve, and that much of the failure of the party was due to me being on the committee. In reply to this charge I would beg to say that if my reputation as an honest man and a gentleman will not compare favorably with this disgusting blot upon civilization, I will give up all hope of a future life. I will now state for the benefit of this monstrosity that I never circulated such a report, that I never sent such a report to a county paper for publication [and] that the whole business is a fabrication and a lie. I do not, and never did, own any interest in the U.M.L. Hall on Wagner Creek.
Talent, Or., Jan. 4, 1886.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 9, 1886, page 3 The newspaper bearing the "attack" is now lost.
The most interesting of entertainments is furnished by the literary society, which hold sessions Saturday evenings "rain or shine." We had a sham lawsuit last Saturday night, which took down the house frequently by the comical way witnesses had of giving testimony. The case was the State of Oregon vs. Frank Elliott, for the larceny of a fat hog. W. H. Breeze, prosecuting witness. W. J. Dean acted as J.P.; W. Beeson as clerk, S. Sherman prosecuting attorney, with Prof. Trombly and Judge Truitt colleagues. The defense retained Hons. Adams, Finley and Hicks. The hour of adjournment arrived before the evidence was all in, and the case will be continued next session (next Saturday night), when it will be argued by the able attorneys mentioned and others, perhaps, then go to the jury for decision. Our next question for discussion is Resolved, that the Chinese are a curse rather than a blessing to the United States. Principals affirmative, Pruitt; negative, Adams.
Limit of speeches five minutes.
The Bible class at the U.M.L. Hall is growing in interest each session. "Christ's Sermon on the Mount" is now under consideration. It must be acknowledged that it puts a Christian at a terrible strain to control his temper at times at the sacrilegious manner the Holy Scriptures are ridiculed. It causes us to fear and tremble for the welfare of our youth of this locality, and unless one is founded on the "Solid Rock,"--Christ, we would not advise persons to attend.
PRO BONO PUBLIC.
"Talent Items," Ashland Tidings, January 8, 1886, page 3
That Bible Class.
TALENT, Or., Jan. 10, 1886.
EDITOR TIDINGS:--Under the head of "Talent Items," in your issue of last week, allusion is made to the Bible class which is taught in the U.M.L. Hall, and the writer says: "Unless one is founded upon the solid rock (Christ) we would not advise persons to attend."
In connection with which this sentence is placed, it has the effect of positive advice to keep away from the U.M.L. Bible class. Permit me to say that owing to the confusion which conflicting creeds has made among their respective advocates and especially prevalence of power and every phase of oppression in all Christian countries [sic]. The patrons of the Universal Mental Liberty Hall are in the honesty of their hearts obeying the direction of St. Paul to "Prove all things and hold fast that which is good," and we kindly invite your mistaken informant to come and help us.
Ashland Tidings, January 15, 1886, page 2
Prof. W. J. Dean of Wagner Creek, the well-known lecturer, delivered one of his learned discourses at Central Point Saturday evening to a large and attentive audience which was well pleased with it.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 29, 1886, page 3
RELIGIOUS ITEMS.--Liberal Sunday school and Bible class meets every Sunday at 11 o'clock A.M. at the U.M.L. Hall, Talent.
Excerpt, Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 30, 1886 et seq., page 3
Prof. W. J. Dean, of the Wagner Creek school, gave an interesting lecture at Central Point recently.
In Memory of Paine.At the U.M.L. Hall on Wagner Creek, a meeting was held on the first Sunday afternoon after the 29th of January, in honor of the one hundred and forty-ninth anniversary of Thomas Paine's birthday, the great author that startled the world by first penning the words, "Independent Colonies of America." Prof. W. J. Dean delivered a most excellent address. C. K. Klum made some very appropriate remarks, followed by others. Good music was furnished by the Wagner Creek choir. On motion and a unanimous vote, Prof. Dean was requested to furnish the Oregon Sentinel with a copy of his address for publication. The meeting then adjourned, fully intending to celebrate one year hence in fine style.
W. H. BREESE, Sec.
W. BEESON, Asst. Sec.
A musical and dramatic entertainment will be given by the Talent Amateurs in the U.M.L. Hall on Wagner Creek next Friday evening, Feb. 19th. Admission 25cts.; proceeds for the benefit of the hall. The entertainment is in the management of excellent hands, and will be a genuine treat to those who can attend.
Entertainment at Talent.
On Saturday evening March 20th, a musical and dramatic entertainment will be given by the Talent amateurs at the U.M.L. Hall. The programme will be an attractive one, and the audience will be pleased. The price of admission will be only 25 cts. Proceeds for the benefit of the hall.
Ashland Tidings, March 12, 1886, page 3
The Wagner Creek district school, which has been conducted during the past year or more by Prof. W. J. Dean and Miss Waters, closed for the season last Friday, and in the evening of that day a public entertainment, or "exhibition," was given by the pupils and teachers. The school house was crowded, and everyone of the audience interviewed afterward reported the entertainment excellent--one which reflected much credit upon teachers and pupils, and gave evidence of excellent management and training in the school.
Ashland Tidings, March 12, 1886, page 3
Prof. W. J. Dean, of Talent, is mentioned as a candidate for county school superintendent.
Ball at Talent.
A grand ball will be given at the U.M.L. Hall on Wagner Creek on Monday evening, July 5th. Tickets, including supper, $2.00. Proceeds for the benefit of the hall.
The celebration ball and supper at the U.M.L. Hall at Talent last Monday evening were well patronized, a delegation of some twelve or fifteen couples from Ashland being among the guests. The Ashland people had a most enjoyable time, and are delighted with the hospitable treatment and pleasant entertainment accorded them by the people of Talent.
W. J. Dean has been appointed administrator of the estate of Thomas Morral, deceased. See his notice elsewhere.
Mr. W. J. Dean and Mrs. Ersula Robinson of Wagner Creek were married in Ashland on the 31st ult. Prof. Dean, from his prominence in educational work, is well known in the county, and the bride, a daughter of one of the old residents of the valley (Mr. B. C. Goddard) has a large circle of friends and acquaintances who are interested in her happiness and prosperity.
The Wagner Creek School opened last Monday with about sixty pupils on the roll. Prof. Soule, of Phoenix, is the principal, and Miss Fisher, of Jacksonville, assistant.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, September 17, 1886, page 3
Lecture at U.M.L. Hall.A free lecture will be given at the U.M.L. Hall on Wagner Creek, Saturday evening, Oct. 30th, at 7 o'clock, by Prof. W. J. Dean. Subject: "An Agnostic's View of Spiritualism," consisting of a review of the recent three lectures by Geo. P. Colby at that place.
Ashland Tidings, October 29, 1886, page 3
Some Ashland evangelists are to hold divine services in the U.M.L. Hall next Saturday evening and Sunday morning at 10 o'clock sharp (22d and 23d inst.).
"Wagner Creek Items," Ashland Tidings, January 21, 1887, page 3
Thos. Paine's birthday was duly remembered at Talent, where an entertainment in honor of the event was held last Saturday evening. Prof. W. J. Dean delivered an able lecture and there were other interesting exercises.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 4, 1887, page 3
TALENT, OREGON, March 1st. 1887.EDITOR REVIEW:--By the politeness of Mr. W. H. Breese, a neighbor of ours, we are permitted to read the Review. Mr. B., be it remembered, married Miss Lizzie Waters, of Frankville, and with her sister, Miss Rosetta Waters, now live in this place, and own good property in a live thriving station of the O.&C.R.R., in the valley of Wagner Creek, a southern tributary of Rogue River.
We (i.e. my family) know but little of the changes of our old home in Iowa except what we learn from the Breese family and the Review, which we have read during the last six months. We left Castalia in 1869. The pioneer settlers of Northern Iowa and Southern Minnesota will remember me as being the pioneer blacksmith at Castalia, in 1854, the first and only shop then west of Starving Point, now Monona. L. W. Smith, Esq. offered me an acre of land and board me if I would set up a shop there. I went over to Frankville to get Mr. Teabout to order a set of tools for me. He had just got a set for his own use, but had not yet succeeded in employing a blacksmith, so he sold me his tools and I set up in Castalia, but I soon got homesick and in the fall of '55 went back to Ohio. In September of 1860 I married an Ohio girl and settled on my farm near Castalia. In Sept. '61 I volunteered in the war, and in the battle of Pea Ridge, as all old settlers will remember, I was crippled, and now I am drawing $30 per month pension.
I see nothing in the Review about Castalians but a good deal about Postvillians. I sec "Jim" Roll has left and Mrs. Post has died, but nearly all the other names are unfamiliar except your own--Burdick.
When the Iowa printers were here a couple of years ago, I noticed the name in an advance Daily Oregonian of several familiar Iowans, among them that of Burdick of the Postville Review. I went to Ashland with high hopes and expectations of seeing somebody I knew. I found a Burdick, sure enough, but no Burdick that I ever knew. I asked him if he knew a Nelson Burdick, he said yes, Nelson Burdick was his grandfather. I remembered Nelson Burdick, Esq. as being my attorney who procured my first pension, but he (this Burdick) didn't know anybody else that I knew in the '50s or '60s either.
If "Pap" Shroyer is alive yet I would like to hear from him; also Enos Lambert, Cyrus Riggs, "Tom" Windell, Luscius Maynard, L. W. Smith, Doctor Harvey. M. S. Drury--all my near and dear friends.
Postville Review, Postville, Iowa, March 12, 1887, page 2
The anniversary of modern spiritualism will be appropriately celebrated at the U.M.L. Hall in Talent on Thursday, March 31st. Everybody is invited to attend.
An interesting meeting was held last Sunday at the U.M.L. Hall at Talent, which was well attended. The efforts of the late Henry Ward Beecher in behalf of mankind were discussed, and a resolution that he had done more good than all other preachers of his day combined was unanimously adopted.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 25, 1887, page 3
Horses for Sale.A colt and filly, aged three and four years respectively, are offered for sale at a bargain. Both have been thoroughly broken and are safe and sound. For further particulars inquire at W. J. Dean's farm near Talent.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 22, 1887 et seq., page 3
Liberal Lectures.S. P. Putnam, the noted liberal lecturer, will deliver a service of his lectures at the U.M.L. Hall at Talent during the forepart of next month. He will also lecture in Ashland probably at Jacksonville and Medford. Everybody is invited to attend, regardless of creed.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 20, 1887, page 3
Prof. W. J. Dean and family of Wagner Creek, who have been quite sick, are now convalescent.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 2, 1887, page 3
Meetings of an interesting nature are being held regularly at the U.M.L. Hall at Talent. S. Colver recently delivered an address on the effect of the national banking system on the laboring classes there last week.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 16, 1887, page 3
Samuel Colver, the prohibitionist, delivered a lecture at Linkville one evening last week to a fair audience. His effort did not prove popular, even among temperance people, as he is altogether too radical in his views and never makes any converts. The American people may be coaxed, but they can never be driven.
"Klamath County Items," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 14, 1887, page 2
John Beeson will reply to Gen E. L. Applegate's lecture on prohibition at the U.M.L. Hall in Talent next Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 14, 1887, page 3
All friends of temperance are cordially invited to attend W. J. Dean's lecture on Saturday evening, November 5th, at 7 o'clock, in the U.M.L. Hall, at Talent, when he will review some of the late lectures on prohibition and show up its inconsistency as a moral movement and the danger of its adoption to the liberties of the people.
Wm. H. BREESE, Sec.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 4, 1887, page 3
Wednesday, Nov. 16, 1887
We attended a debate between Professor Dean & Rev M. M. Norton on the divinity of the Prophesy's in the bible. Norton did away entirely with the doctrine of everlasting Hell fire as formerly taught by old baptist teacher
Welborn Beeson Diary
TALENT, Ore., Nov. 30th, 1887.EDITOR REVIEW:--When living in Iowa I was a subscriber of your paper for several years and since coming to this state I still have been a reader of it through the courtesy of Mr. R. Waters of your county who sends the Review to his daughter, Miss Waters, who is a member of my family. Of all county papers the Review has always been my favorite, because the spirit of liberality and fairness pervaded its columns. Many times when I read one of your advanced articles I have said "Hurrah for Burdick; he is making the world better,"
But, when you write on anarchy must say I do not agree with your definition; you simply give the definition of all government worshipers which is not correct. The true meaning of anarchy is self-government; to do without law; because you are not in need of law, you do right for right's sake.
Do you, Mr. Editor, believe the law makes people better? If you do you ought to be in favor of prohibition. Almost all governmentalists contend that we have a right to punish an individual for its effect on some other individual as a deterrent of crime. The prohibitory liquor laws, for instance, are enacted and men are punished for selling liquor, not because liquor selling is of itself a crime, but to prevent, crimes that are supposed to follow the drinking of liquor.
You say, "Anarchy is the law of mob violence and force and means only the survival of the strongest." Not true. An anarchist cannot steal the property of another, for the moment he attempts to do so he repudiates his anarchism and becomes a believer in government. No laws are needed to restrain or punish the anarchist. The restraint is for archist, not anarchist. When you say "Anarchy is only the survival of the strongest, without regard to law or justice," I say your god, "majority," is nothing but despotism. You must admit that it is not the majority that always or generally needs protection. Where the minority, the individual, tramples once upon the rights of the many the many trample a thousand times upon the rights of the minority, the rights of the individual. History confronts us on every side with the proof that the majority on all questions of reform was mistaken. Read the life of Jesus, Luther and the hero of our revolutionary war, John Brown, who [was] hung for an unpopular cause by the majority. It is the few always who are more nearly right and whose shoulders push slowly forward the car of progress.
Now, in regard to those seven condemned and murdered Chicago anarchists, which caused yon to write the article, I would say: They died for the emancipation of "wage slavery," as much as John Brown died for the emancipation of "chattel slavery." It was a battle between an unscrupulous, monopolistic press against anarchy. On one side, wealth, religion and respectability; on the other, the dissatisfied working men of the country. The real issue, if those men were guilty or not of the crime of throwing bombs, was lost sight of. The court decided you are guilty, because Wealth said hang them, that our property may be secure. Religion said, hang them, they are infidels. Respectability said, hang them, because we want no agitation, we want no change. In five years from now the people will look on the execution of these anarchists as a judicial murder.
In conclusion I would say, anarchy stands for liberty in its fullest, broadest sense. If you cannot live a moral life without a political idol, anarchy does not take your political gods away from you; simply do like those people who worship theological idols, pay for the fun out of your own pockets and do not force us to support your political idols and we will not object to your unsocial amusement.
Yours for liberty,
WM. H. BREESE.
Postville Review, Postville, Iowa, December 17, 1887, page 2
Fun at Talent.
The following letter from Talent, under date of the 8th inst., explains itself: Please accept the enclosed complimentary ticket to our ball, to be given in the U.M.L. Hall at this place next Monday night, Feb. 13th. It is to be a valentine party, and all who attend will receive a valentine. The supper will be given by the ladies of the society, and the proceeds will go to the Sunday school. We would very much like to see the Times represented by Mr. and Mrs. Nickell. We have secured the best music in the valley and anticipate a fine time. By order of the
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 10, 1888, page 3
Sam. Colver, who has returned from the Willamette Valley, lectured at the U.M.L. Hall on Wagner Creek last Sunday. His subject was the government of the insane asylum.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 10, 1888, page 3
Elmina's Dime Roll of Honor.
EDITORS LUCIFER: The anniversary of the birthday of Thomas Paine was observed by the progressive liberals of this place. The exercises consisted of singing by the U.M.L. choir, short speeches, select reading and a poem written for the occasion by Miss Rosetta Waters in honor of Thomas Paine.
The Hall was tastefully decorated with mottoes in evergreens and flowers and the Secretary was instructed to send a notice of the meeting to the liberal papers.
WM. H. BREESE, Sec. U.M.L. Ass'n.Talent, Jackson Co., Oregon.
Lucifer the Light Bearer, Valley Falls, Kansas, March 16, 1888, page 4
Prof. W. J. Dean , the well-known educator, and Jas. Purves of Wagner Creek called at the Times office Wednesday.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 11, 1888, page 3
S. P. Putnam, the noted liberal orator, who has few superiors on the platform, will speak at the court house next Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, selecting the following subjects: "Universal Mental Liberty" and "the American Republic." Everybody is invited to attend.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 1, 1888, page 3
Sherman sisters are conducting a hotel in the new building built at Talent by their father.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 29, 1888, page 3
In his "News and Notes," in Freethought, S. P. Putnam relates how Miss Rosetta Waters, of Talent, Oregon, was "by the logic of a majority," voted out of her position as a teacher in the public schools, because of her freethinking opinions, whereupon she "opened a voluntary secular school of her own, which has been so well patronized that the public school has hauled its colors down, and the law of attraction has prevailed over the power of the sword." Good! But suppose that the power that wields the sword had forbidden the establishment of "voluntary" schools, what then? Would not independence of thought have been rendered much more difficult? Would not emulation have been made almost impossible? As it is, must not Miss Waters and her friends not only pay all the expenses of their voluntary school but also help pay those of the public school in which she is not allowed to teach because she has opinions of her own which she has the courage and honesty to express? And this is the work of the State this is its justice; this its protection of the weak! But when we come to the carrying of the mails we find that emulation is killed by a prohibitory tariff upon all mail carried by private parties. In the issuance of money we find competition prevented and monopoly made inevitable by another prohibitory tariff ( tax), this time upon banks of issue. These are greater evils, even, than that of which Miss Waters was the victim, and for the reason that a way out was left partly open for her. Will not Mr. Putnam occasionally say a word in his own bright, breezy way against these two government-created and -protected monopolies, that of the currency and that of the mail carrying business?
Fair Play, Valley Falls, Kansas, July 7, 1888, page 2
Notes from Diary Tell Origin of Stearns Cemetery
Editor's Note: The following story about the beginnings of the Stearns Cemetery was taken from a diary kept by Welborn Beeson, of the pioneer Beeson family.
By ALICE BURNETTE
Mail Tribune Correspondent
TALENT--The Stearns Cemetery on Anderson Creek Road is named for the pioneer Stearns family, who arrived in Talent, then known as Fort Wagner, on Oct. 10, 1853.
On Oct. 28, 1857, Judge Avery P. Stearns was buried near "Uncle David Stearns' wheat field."
In November, 1862, Emma Stearns was badly burned by having her dress catch fire from a log heap.
According to Welborn Beeson's diary, the neighbors who sat up with her included his mother, Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Wagner, Mrs. Williams and himself.
At noon John Robison ran to tell the folks that Emma was dead.
They went up to dig the grave on Grave Hill, in Stearns' field. The coffin was made by G. Naylor and at 12:30 p.m. they marched to the grave. Ira and Beeson, John Mills and John Robison carried the corpse to be buried by the side of her Uncle Avery.
This information taken from excerpts from Welborn Beeson's diary shows the beginning of a family plot, which was later deeded for a community graveyard and named for the donor family.
In August, 1889, Beeson noted in his diary that he went with a Mr. Dean to help the trustees lay plans to plot the ground. Trustees were John Abbott and Ern Purves.
Later in August the four of them spent the day laying off the graveyard into blocks and lots.
Beeson wrote: "We laid off 171 lots, 8 by 20 feet. It is a beautiful plot of ground for a cemetery."
Later Beeson and Dean went to the graveyard to locate graves and to plot them.
A pathetic item from the diary says on Jan. 11, 1890, a little child died. John Briner and "Wellie" dug the grave.
The next day, a Sunday, the snow was nearly 15 inches deep on the level. The funeral of the little child took place and the corpse was hauled on a sled.
In April, 1890, the local men started fencing the cemetery.
Those who helped were Beeson, McCloskie, E. R. Oatman, Boyd and Frank Robison, N. D. Brophy, Clyde Smith, W. J. Dean and Ern Purves.
They dug all the post holes, set the front ones, and cut the right-of-way to the county road.
A few days later Beeson, Arthur and Allen Abbott and Ern Purves set the posts.
This first fence was of wood, the diary states, saying that Beeson went up to Abbott's to see about getting lumber hauled and to Klum's to get nails to make the fence around the cemetery.
Oscar Stearns helped on the cemetery fence. It was four boards high and had a good gate.
The last entry [in this volume of the diary] concerning the cemetery notes that a number of neighbors met on May 30, 1890, to grub brush from the cemetery. They worked until noon then met at Purves' Grove where the ladies had a dinner. After eating, they marched to the cemetery and put flowers on every grave.
Undated circa 1966 Medford Mail Tribune clipping
Prof. Dean of Wagner Creek had quite a religious controversy with W. W. Felts of Ashland, and didn't come out second best.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 31, 1889, page 3
An address will be made on the death of Wm. Gifford, late of Talent, at 11 o'clock, March 31st, in the U.M.L. Hall. Text: "If a man die, shall he live again?" Appropriate resolutions will be offered.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 28, 1889, page 3
Stricken in His Prime.
After a lingering illness, which he fully realized must terminate fatally, B. C. Goddard, Jr., peacefully breathed his last at twelve o'clock on last Monday night, at his home near Medford. With patient fortitude he endured the suffering incident to that most terrible disease, consumption, and when death came it was but to relieve his earthly tenement from pain. Deceased was among the oldest pioneers in the valley, having resided here since infancy, and one of the most familiar figures in the county. Ever affable and genial, a warm-hearted friend and a true citizen in the highest meaning of the words, he leaves behind him only the pleasantest of memories and vain regrets that he should have been so early called away from life. He leaves surviving a widow and three little children to mourn the loss of a kind and indulgent husband and father. Carlos was two days less than thirty-eight years old at the time of his death. A large concourse of friends followed the remains to their final resting place in the beautiful Jacksonville Cemetery on Wednesday.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 9, 1889, page 3
The aged mother of the Robison brothers, living on Wagner Creek, was seriously injured a few days since by a young stallion, which caught her by the arm and pulled her from the stile, breaking an arm and inflicting other injuries. At last accounts she was not expected to live..
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 16, 1889, page 3
Mrs. Susan Robison, who was so fearfully wounded by a stallion colt at the home of her son on Wagner Creek last week, died Tuesday from the result of her injuries. She was upwards of eighty years of age, and suffered excruciatingly up to the time of her death.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 23, 1889, page 3
A FUNERAL ADDRESS.
The following is a report of the address delivered by Prof. W. J. Dean, at the funeral of Mrs. Susan Robison, of Wagner Creek:
As we have met to pay the last tributes of respect to the remains of one who was loved by all who knew her, the question is pertinent: Whence the grief depicted on every countenance? It is not an occasion for outbursts of joy, but who shall say that death is always a time for tears? When a darling babe is taken from us, leaving life's journey untried; when a young man or young woman, large in hope and high in promise, is stricken down by the fell destroyer, or when one in the full prime of manhood or womanhood, with life's work but half accomplished, is borne to the grave, we instinctively feel that there is something wrong somewhere, and the oft-repeated, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away" is at best but a doubtful consolation; but when one who has far outlived the three score years and ten allotted to the life of man--one old in years and rich in good deeds, lies down to an eternal sleep, why should we mourn? Methinks in this and in other similar cases, if we analyze our feelings, we shall find that grief is caused not so much for the passing away of one ripe and ready for the harvest, as by the manner of death, the suffering, the agony preceding it, and that our tears are accompanied by a hope that human research will sometime discover that much, if not all, of human suffering can be traced to preventable causes. The deceased had long since crossed the bridge that spans the turbulent river of life, and was waiting patiently on the other shore, not for that grim and ghostly specter in the guise of which our imagination is wont to picture death--but for the cheerful, welcome summons to go hence. Grandma Robison, as the deceased was familiarly known, was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, May 11, 1806; married to John Robison in Rose County, Ohio, at the age of sixteen, her parents moving to the latter place when she was two years old, that part of Ohio being then a new or frontier country. In 1857 she with her husband moved to that portion of Iowa known as the Blackhawk's Purchase. In 1853, they with six children crossed the plains to Oregon, settling upon a donation claim on Wagner Creek, Jackson County, where she has since lived, that being in the time of the Rogue River Indian War. They were obliged to build a strong barricade of logs around their rude cabin for protection from Indian attacks, choosing this course rather than frequently fleeing, with their neighbors, to Fort Wagner at the mouth of that creek. A nephew of the deceased named Milligan was shot by Indians in the Siskiyou Mountains when the train to which he belonged was entering the valley, so the family was familiar with the dangers and hardships incident to frontier life. Having witnessed the growth and development of Jackson County from its earliest settlement, the personal reminiscences of the deceased would grace many a page in a history of this part of the state. Her husband, familiarly known as Uncle Johnny Robison, died in 1870, since which time the deceased has had a welcome home with her children, each deeming her presence an honor and a pleasure. It would be of interest to mention in this connection that the deceased was the mother of eleven children, of whom three sons survive her. Of living grandchildren there are twenty-seven, great-grandchildren, thirty-nine, and great-great-grandchildren, one. Grandma Robison, as testified by all who knew her, possessed uncommonly high moral endowments. She was actuated throughout her long career by the strictest integrity and an unswerving adherence to what she believed to be right, and indeed it may be truly said that what she believed to be right would not be a bad rule of life for her survivors to adopt and follow. Few were her enemies, if she had any, they must have been persons of whose merits no community would boast. She was charitable to a fault, and many a neighbor, far and near, could tender most grateful acknowledgment of her kindness, sympathy and self-sacrificing spent during sickness--how she was the first at the bedside of a sufferer and the last to leave it. She felt this acknowledgment in the many acts and expressions of kindness tendered by anxious ones during her illness, and spoke in feeling terms of the "dear friends and kind neighbors." Everything was done that could be done alike by physician, neighbor, friend and relative to relieve her sufferings and prevent the fatal terminator of her terrible injuries, and when death closed the scene the community wept as one person. As to her religious belief, I am not fully conversant. She was a member of the Phoenix Presbyterian Church for a time, but some years since she caused her name to be taken from its books. She had ceased to endorse some of the doctrines of that denomination. She could not believe that a God of infinite love and infinite mercy would condemn to everlasting punishment any of his creatures for committing a finite crime. She believed in a continual existence beyond this life but that it is a better state than this. Death to her had no terrors. She believed that acting in accordance with our best judgment in this life will prove the surest passport to the joys of the life to come. She did her duty here, and we can truly say that the world is better for her having lived in it. Let us cherish the hope that her belief in an immortal life of greater and grander possibilities and opportunities is not a vain one and that beyond the mystic river Grandma Robison will reap the fruition of her highest ideals.
Ashland Tidings, May 31, 1889, page 4 Reprinted in the Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 13, 1889, page 1
The following address delivered at the funeral of Grandma Robinson last week by Prof. Dean of Talent is so appropriate that we reproduce it entire:
As we have met to pay the last tributes of respect to the remains of one who was loved and respected by all who knew her, the question is pertinent, whence the grief? It is not an occasion for outbursts of joy, but who shall say that death is always a time for tears?
When a tender babe is taken from us, leaving life's journey untried; when a young man or young woman, large in hope and high in promise, is stricken down by the fell destroyer; or when one in the full prime of manhood or womanhood is borne to the grave, with life's work but half accomplished, we instinctively feel that there is something wrong somewhere and the oft-repeated "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away" is at least but a doubtful consolation. But when one who has lived far beyond the threescore years and ten allotted to the life of [a] human being--one old in years and rich in good deeds, lies down to an eternal rest, why should we mourn?
Methinks in this, and other similar cases, if we analyze our feelings, we shall find that grief is caused not so much by the passing away of one ripe and ready for the harvest, as by the manner of death, the suffering, the agony preceding it, and that our tears are accompanied by a hope that human research will sometimes discover that such suffering can be traced to preventable causes.
The deceased had long since crossed the bridge that spans the turbulent river of life and was waiting patiently on the other shore--not for that grim and ghastly specter in the guise of which our imagination is wont to picture death--but for the cheerful, welcome summons to go hence.
Grandma Robison, as the deceased was familiarly known, was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, May 11, 1806, married to John Robison in Ross County, Ohio, at the age of sixteen, her parents moving to the latter place when she was two years of age, that part of Ohio being then a new or frontier country.
In 1837, she with her husband moved to that portion of Iowa known as the Black Hawk Purchase. In 1853 they, with six children, crossed the plains to Oregon, settling upon a donation claim on Wagner Creek, Jackson County, where she has since lived. That being in the time of the Rogue River Indian war, they were obliged to build a strong barricade of logs around their rude cabin for protection from Indian attacks, choosing this method rather than frequently fleeing with their neighbors to Fort Wagner, at the mouth of the creek.
A nephew of the deceased, named Milligan, was shot by the Indians in the Siskiyou Mountains when the train to which he belonged was entering the valley, so the family was familiar with the hardship and dangers incident to frontier life. Having witnessed the growth and development of Jackson County from its earliest settlement, the personal reminiscences of the deceased would find a fitting place in the history of the part of the state. Her husband, formerly known as Uncle Johnny Robison, died in 1870, since which time the deceased has had a welcome home with her children, each deeming her presence an honor and a pleasure.
It would be of interest to mention in this connection that the deceased was the mother of eleven children, of whom three sons survive her. Of living grandchildren, twenty-seven; great-grandchildren, thirty-nine; great-great-grandchildren, one.
Grandma Robison, as testified [to] by all who knew her, possessed uncommonly high moral endowments. She was actuated throughout her long career by the strictest integrity and an unswerving adherence to what she believed to be right, and indeed it may be truly said that what she believed to be right would not be a bad rule of life for her survivors to adopt and follow. Few were her enemies; if she had any, they must have been persons of whose merits no community would boast. She was charitable to a fault, and many a neighbor, far and near, could tender most grateful acknowledgment of her kindness, sympathy and self-sacrificing spent during sickness; how she was the first at the bedside of a sufferer and the last to leave it. She felt this acknowledgment in the many acts and expressions of kindness tendered by anxious ones during her illness, and spoke in feeling terms of the "dear friends and kind neighbors." Everything was done that could be done alike by physician, neighbor, friend and relative to relieve her sufferings and prevent the fatal termination of her terrible injuries, and when death closed the scene. the community wept as a unit.
As to her religious belief, I am not fully conversant. She was a member of the Phoenix Presbyterian church for a time, but some years since she caused her name to be taken from its books. She had ceased to endorse some of the doctrines of that denomination. She could not believe that a God of infinite mercy would condemn to everlasting punishment any of his creatures for committing a finite crime. She believed in a continued existence beyond this life. but that it is a better state than this. Death to her had no terrors. She believed that acting in accordance with our best judgments in this life will prove the surest passport to the joys of the life to come. She did her duty here, and we can truly say that the world is better for her having lived in it.
Let us cherish the hope that her belief in an immortal life of greater and grander possibilities and opportunities is not a vain one and that in the beyond Grandma Robison will reap the fruition of her highest ideals.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 13, 1889, page 1
A spiritual specialist has been raking in considerable coin at Ashland with his "trance racket," charging $2.50 a trance.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 13, 1889, page 3
Robbery at Talent.
Miss Stumbach, the blind elocutionist, who was stopping at the boarding house of Sherman Sisters at Talent, was robbed of about $90 on Tuesday evening of last week, while she and all the people of the boarding house were attending a lecture at U.M.L. Hall. The thief broke into the house and found a satchel of the blind lady, from which he took two purses, one containing $55 in gold and the other about $35 in silver, besides some jewelry of value. The satchel was found back of the house, cut open, and the empty purses were found near the barn. A boarder named Harry Hoover, a man about 55 years of age who came to Talent recently, was suspected. On Monday evening Hoover bought a ticket at Phoenix for Portland. Suspicious actions and false statements before his departure confirmed the suspicions against him. The Portland chief of police was wired the facts and arrested Hoover Tuesday, to hold him till Sheriff Birdsey would arrive for him.
Ashland Tidings, June 14, 1889, page 3
There will be a ball given in the U.M.L. Hall on Friday evening, 14th, the proceeds to go to Miss Stumbaugh, the blind elocutionist, toward compensating for her loss by the late robbery. The thief took every cent she had saved during her trip to and along the coast.
"Talent Items," Ashland Tidings, June 14, 1889, page 2
We are glad to learn that there are only two cases of spinal meningitis in the county--Miss Hattie Galloway of Medford still being afflicted with it; also a child of Prof. Dean of Wagner Creek.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 27, 1889, page 3
A son of Mrs. W. J. Dean, of Wagner Creek, 14 years of age, was taken down with spinal meningitis last week, but at last report his condition was encouraging.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, June 28, 1889, page 3
Mrs. Alice Goddard and Blin C. Goddard, Sr., have been appointed executors under the will of the late Carlos Goddard. Their notice to that effect will be found among the new advertisements.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 4, 1889, page 3
The son of W. J. Dean of Wagner Creek, who is suffering with spinal meningitis, is very low.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 11, 1889, page 3
Lossie Robison, son of Mrs. W. J. Dean, who has been lingering between life and death for several weeks, having been taken down with spinal meningitis some two months ago, died Wednesday, Aug. 7th, and was buried in the Stearns graveyard Thursday. He was about 14 years of age, and a bright, promising boy.
"Talent Items," Ashland Tidings, August 9, 1889, page 3
Lossie Robinson, son of Mrs. W. J. Dean of Wagner Creek, who had been ill with spinal meningitis for two months, died on the 7th instant. He was aged about 14 years, and was an unusually promising lad.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 15, 1889, page 3
State Secular Union.The first annual convention of the State Secular Union will meet in Portland, Oregon, at Masonic Hall on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, the 12th, 13th and 14th of October, 1889; the object being to secure the total separation of church and state.
A. F. NEUNERT, )
C. BEAL, )
LEE LAUGHLIN, ) Board of Directors.
L. AMES, )
J. K. SEARS. )
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 12, 1889, page 3
B. C. Goddard will soon take possession of a neat residence on his farm on Wagner Creek.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 12, 1889, page 3
We have received posters containing announcement of the fourth annual ball of the U.M.L. Society, to be given at the ball of the society in Talent, on the evening of October 4th. The floor managers are W. H. Breese, John Briner and Emmett Beeson.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 3, 1889, page 3
Prof. Ganiard's orchestra will give a grand "bal masque" at U.M.L. Hall, Talent, on Thanksgiving eve.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 21, 1889, page 3
The grange lately instituted in the U.M.L. Hall is in a flourishing condition notwithstanding the close times.
"Talent Items," Ashland Tidings, November 22, 1889, page 2
A grand masquerade ball will be given in the U.M.L. Hall at Talent on Wednesday evening, Nov. 27th, 1889 (Thanksgiving eve). A fine supper will be served in the dining room attached to the hall. Ganiard's Orchestra will go down to furnish the music. Costumes and masks can be rented for the occasion at the White Sulphur Springs Hotel, in Ashland, from November 18th until November 25th, after which they can be obtained at the Talent Restaurant, where tickets for the ball can also be obtained.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, November 22, 1889, page 3
The masquerade Thanksgiving ball at U.M.L. Hall at Talent last evening was largely attended and much of a success. Ganiard's orchestra of Ashland furnished the music.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 28, 1889, page 3
CLOSE OF THE CONVENTION."Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 25, 1891, page 3
The State Secular Union Winds Up Its Business and Adjourns.
Election of Officers Yesterday Forenoon, and a Concert and Grand Ball Last Night--
Lecture by S. P. Putnam Tonight.
The third day's session of the Oregon State Secular Union convention opened in Masonic hall yesterday morning at 9 o'clock. The greater part of the forenoon was devoted to the election of officers.
The following officers were elected: President, C. Beal; vice presidents [a list of dozens of vice presidents follows, including] W. J. Dean, Talent; W. H. Breese, Talent; P. Britt, Jacksonville; O. Coolidge, Ashland; J. D. Fountain, Ashland.
On the whole the secular convention has been a success. Considerable interest has been awakened in the principles of secularism and more active work in the state will follow. Local unions will be organized throughout the state and a more largely attended convention will be expected next year.
Excerpt, Oregonian, Portland, October 15, 1889, page 6
The Secular Association for the state held a session in Portland last week and was well attended. The convention reported membership of 2000. Resolutions were adopted demanding that church property be taxed, that the Bible be not used in public schools, and that church and state be separated still further than at present, by doing away with army chaplains, chaplains in congress, legislative bodies, etc. The present form of administering the oath in our courts was also criticized. At the election of officers, C. Beal was elected president.
"General Notes and News," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 24, 1889, page 4
The grange lately instituted in the U.M.L. Hall is in a flourishing condition notwithstanding the close times.
"Talent Items," Ashland Tidings, November 22, 1889, page 2
ED. TIDINGS:--We wish to know how much space you would permit to be occupied each week by a couple of gentlemen for the discussion of the question viz: Does the Bible teach Science? Please reply in your next issue and oblige many interested.
F. Sharp, "Talent Items," Ashland Tidings, November 29, 1889, page 3 "F. Sharp" was likely Dean's nom de plume as a Tidings correspondent.
The U.M.L. folks of Ashland will hold a meeting next Sunday, to be addressed by Prof. W. J. Dean of Talent, the object being to form a club of the society which will introduce a number of prominent lecturers to the Ashland public during the winter.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 12, 1889, page 3
Prof. W. J. Dean, of Talent, delivered an able and interesting lecture at Granite Hall last Sunday afternoon to a fair audience. Prof. Dean is a well-read, well-equipped speaker in the field of religious controversies, and has a fair and courteous style which gains for him the respect of opponents and the esteem of his audience, whether his opinions are accepted or not.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, December 20, 1889, page 3
Declines the Office.
Talent, May 14, 1890.
EDITOR VALLEY RECORD:--It seems that the undersigned was nominated for the office of justice of the peace for this precinct by the Union Labor Party.
As I did not attend the primary nor county convention I did not learn of the nomination until several days after it was made. Indeed, the nomination was the result of one of those errors in judgment so common in political bodies.
While acknowledging due appreciation of the honor conferred, I am obliged to state that I did not seek the nomination; neither do I desire the office of justice or any other office, at the hands of the Union Labor Party or any other party.
W. J. DEAN.
The owners of the property of U.M.L. Hall, Talent, request that the chair which was carried off some time ago by mistake be returned.
"Here and There," Ashland Tidings, June 6, 1890, page 3
The party at the U.M.L. Hall on Wagner Creek a few evenings since was well attended and a pleasant affair.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 17, 1890, page 2
A New Method.It is said that the mining operations going on in Wagner Creek district are directed by "the spirits," which manifest themselves at the beck and call of a lady whose husband is interested in the mines. In company with another couple from California, the two made Wagner Creek a visit lately, and new "pointers" were given Fred Grob and those at work for them. It remains to be seen if this new style of mining is a successful one.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 17, 1890, page 3
The U.M.L. folks had the pleasure of listening to S. B. Putnam lecture at the Ganiard opera house at Ashland last week.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 7, 1890, page 3
Editor Tidings:--The following Resolutions were adopted by the Wagner Grange, of Talent, Dec. 13, 1890:
Resolved. That this grange is opposed to the repeal of the mortgage tax law.
Resolved. That this grange is opposed to the repeal of the usury law.
Resolved. That this grange is opposed to the repeal of the three hundred dollar exemption law, and the deduction from assessments for indebtedness.
Resolved. That this grange earnestly urge our representatives to pass a law empowering our railroad commissioners to enforce their demands upon the railroad companies of this state.
W. J. DEAN, Sec'y.
Ashland Tidings, December 19, 1890, page 3
There is a drama on the tapis at the U.M.L. Hall to come off in a couple of weeks, under the tutelage of Prof. Dean.
"Talent Items," Ashland Tidings, December 26, 1890, page 2
Moses Hull of Chicago, an advocate of Spiritualism, held several seances at Ashland during the past week, which were attended by many interested in the phenomena of raps and materialization.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 23, 1891, page 3
THE TALENT REVIVAL.
TALENT, Or., Feb. 15th, 1891.MR. EDITOR:
This community is in the midst of its regular annual religious revival, with every prospect of a rich harvest of youthful conversions. Now, I would not disclaim against the right of my Christian neighbors to propagate their doctrines in any just and legitimate manner. They must bear in mind, however, that others have rights that are equally worthy of respect--the right of private judgment, the right of mental liberty. These rights form the basic principle of all human progress--the foundation stone of all free governments.
No one has a right to assail the honest opinions of others except through fair arguments and an honest presentation of facts.
I am sorry to state that the methods employed by the evangelist now in charge of the revival here are open to the above criticism. He finds no language too severe for unbelievers, such as informing the Almighty, in a fervent and fervid prayer, that those parents who teach their children that the Bible is not a divinely inspired book, would better be dead.
Now, whether the Lord endorses or rejects the proposition of His "servant," deponent saith not; but the logical conclusion is that the "servant" and all those who hold such medieval views would offer up prayers of rejoicing if a fatal epidemic would strike down every unbelieving parent in the land. Indeed, they should have lived in the times of the auto da fe. They could then have stood by and warmed themselves while watching the red tongues of flame climb 'round the limbs of heretics. Such utterances betray savage intolerance. They are an insult to the healthy moral sense of any community.
He tells a pathetic story of an unbelieving father, who, with savage ferocity, prevented his eleven-year-old boy from going to the anxious seat. The boy thenceforth leads a dissolute life, dies a drunkard, unrepentant, and of course, is lost forever. On his deathbed he accuses his father of being the cause of his degradation and sad end. Evidently the impression intended to be conveyed by this story are the tyrannical dispositions of unbelieving parents in general, and the terrible results of not permitting a child to seek salvation. The speaker more or less mildly intimated that if there was any place in hell hotter than any other, it ought to be reserved for such a parent.
Now, I would not defend the cruel features of this parent's act, but that he has a right to prevent so young a child from being drawn into the magnetic vortex of a red-hot religious revival, there ought to be no question.
Now, my wife and I teach our children that, in our opinion, the Bible is a book inspired by a being no higher than man, and when compared with many other man-inspired books, is a very poor job.
This is our honest opinion, based upon facts and reason. Yet we permit and desire our children to go and hear even such prayers and sermons as here alluded to. We desire them to "hear the other side." It is the only true method of developing a high moral sense, a well-balanced intellect and strong reasoning powers. Those who hear only one side, more especially in matters of religion, are mentally and morally lopsided. Such men are generally wanting in charity for the honest opinions of others, and are therefore actuated by a defective moral system.
The evangelist to whose methods I object may have "divine" authority and example (Matt. 10, 35-36) to justify all that he teaches, but let him bear in mind that the purest morals of the 19th century are not measured by "divine authority."
W. J. DEAN.
I see by the Record of the 19th inst. that Brother Dean of Talent has been showing up some evangelist that has been trying to show the people of that neighborhood the way they should go, and your correspondent interviewed an evangelist in Medford and he said he supposed that reference was had to him. "Well, ain't you going to reply?" "No." "Why, the columns of the Record are open to you." "Yes, I know, but I heard of a gentleman who kicked a skunk to death, but his boots were never worth anything afterwards, so I sha'n't undertake the job." So Brother Dean can go in lemons and no danger of getting squeezed.
A. C. Howlett, Eagle Point News," Valley Record, Ashland, March 5, 1891, page 3
The entertainment under the management of Prof. W. J. Dean, which was billed for March 6th, is postponed on account of measles.
"Talent Items," Ashland Tidings, March 6, 1891, page 3
W. H. Breese, one of the leading expounders of liberal ideas in the upper end of the valley, called at the Times office Saturday, on the way to Tolo with his wife.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 3, 1891, page 3
The Talent grange is now flourishing with over 70 members and the following corps of officers: James Purves, master; Mrs. Sulie Dean, overseer; George Anderson, secretary; E. K. Anderson, treasurer; W. J. Dean, lecturer; Miss Stelia Duclos, lady assistant steward; T. Lynch, steward; W. J. Steward, state deputy.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 10, 1891, page 3
The Talent Grange has seventy members. Following are the present officers: James Purves, Master; Mrs. Sulie Dean, Overseer; George Anderson, Secretary; E. K. Anderson, Treasurer; W. J. Dean, Lecturer; Miss Stella Duclos, Lady Assistant Steward; T. Lynch, Steward; W. J. Stewart, State Deputy.
"Here and There," Ashland Tidings, April 10, 1891, page 3
The entertainment at the U.M.L. Hall on Tuesday evening was a success in every sense and will replenish the Grangers' treasury "right smart."
A Farmers' and Laborers' alliance was organized on the 4th in the U.M.L. Hall and will hold the 1st regular meeting on the evening of the 22d and semi-monthly thereafter. Mr. J. W. Abbott, president; Jesse Adams, vice-president; W. H. Breese, secretary.
"Talent Items," Ashland Tidings, April 10, 1891, page 3
The entertainment given for the benefit of the local grange at the U.M.L. hall in Talent on Thursday evening of last week was well patronized, and quite a neat sum was realized.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 17, 1891, page 3
Rev. M. C. Aleridge will preach in Talent next Sunday at 11 a.m. Subject: "Liberalism." All are invited.
"Talent Items," Ashland Tidings, April 17, 1891, page 3
The young amateurs of Ashland have accepted an urgent invite to appear at the U.M.L. Hall, Talent, on Friday evening the 8th. Let us give them the respectful audience they deserve.
"Talent Items," Ashland Tidings, May 8, 1891, page 2
The Ashland amateurs last Friday night gave a most enjoyable entertainment at the U.M.L. hall at Talent, where a fair house greeted the young people.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 15, 1891, page 3
The Ashland amateurs played the drama "Ruined by Drink" before a full house on the evening of the 8th. To say they did justice in the subject would be very mild praise. Guy Stone, Clarence Lane, Mattie Young and Gertie Engle had difficult parts but acted them out extraordinarily well, especially Clarence Lane as Snowflake, the darkey servant. The others performed well except they were a little too formal or monotonous.
The play would have been more enjoyable if the hoodlum element had not been so rude and boisterous. They seem to think we have no law down here. We have the names of the loudest of them, and if their hoodlumism should be repeated in this locality they need not be surprised if they be sent to the county jail long enough time to repent in.
"Talent Items," Ashland Tidings, May 15, 1891, page 3
Our old friend S. Sherman of Talent writes us an account of a visit to the now-famous Josephine County caves as far back as 1885.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 24, 1891, page 3
Miss Rosetta Waters of Talent has gone to St. Helena, Cal. for a thorough course in Dr. Burke's health institute.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 18, 1891, page 3
Al. Morris, John Briner, Nick Brophy, Emmett Beeson and Geo. Dewey announce a grand ball at the U.M.L. Hall at Talent, on the 9th instant, which cannot fail to prove an interesting occasion.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 2, 1891, page 3
Miss Rosetta Waters, of Talent, is in St. Helena, California, where she will take a two years course of study preparatory to adopting the profession of nurse.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, October 23, 1891, page 3
S. Sherman is now fitted up in comfortable quarters in his new office building at Talent, and is better able to accommodate his customers in the real estate and insurance line than ever.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 11, 1891, page 3
Inlow Bros. furnish the music for the ball to be given this evening at the U.M.L. hall at Talent, and also for the ball to be given at Phoenix next Friday evening.
A Bear Picnic.
The bear stories in the old-fashioned books for children, wherein the bold and intelligent brutes come out of the woods and eat up bad boys and girls who don't come in out of the back yard when their mother calls them used to seem a trifle imaginative, at least, but from the way bears have been making themselves at home about the settlements this year we must be willing to revise judgment on the old stories, and if things keep on crowding us in the same direction will soon be prepared to accept as literal fact the story of Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf.
On Sunday morning of last week, Prof. W. J. Dean, of Wagner Creek, upon starting out to do his daylight chores, found things torn up about his kitchen door yard in a very unusual manner--slop barrel upset, ash pail turned over and things awry generally. Looking about for the cause of it, he discovered big bear tracks about the yard. In hot haste he went down to the James Harvey farm north of Talent and invited Mr. Harvey and his half-dozen hounds to the chase. In James Purves' orchard the hounds struck the hot trail, and within a quarter of a mile of the house they had Bruin up a tree, where he was killed by a shot from Hendrick Goddard's rifle. It was a two-year-old cinnamon, fat as Klum's best porkers, and its tender steaks were discussed and pronounced good at all the dinner tables of the neighborhood. The bear had a cozy bed near where it was treed and shot, and had prepared for a winter campaign of farmyard thievery as a better thing than hibernation in this climate.
Ashland Tidings, January 1, 1892, page 3
The leap year ball at the U.M.L. hall on Friday night of the 8th inst. is all the talk among the fair sex.
"Talent Items," Ashland Tidings, January 8, 1892, page 2
Prof. W. J. Dean's dooryard on Wagner Creek was raided one morning recently by a small cinnamon bear, which raised havoc generally about the premises, and when daylight appeared the professor went after James Harvey's hounds and a posse of neighbors. The predatory bruin was soon treed in an orchard near at hand and dispatched by a bullet from Hendrick Goddard's rifle, his steaks proving to be fat and juicy.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 8, 1892, page 3
There is to be an Alliance public meeting Friday evening, the 15th. Several able speakers have promised to entertain the crowd, at the U.M.L. hall. By invitation of Progress Alliance No. 60 of Oregon.
"Talent Notes," Medford Mail, January 14, 1892, page 2
There was a large, enthusiastic alliance meeting at the U.M.L. Hall at Talent on Friday of last week.
Sunday, February 7, 1892
I went to Post office in the evening and then up to Mr Deans to get Eddy to print some Receipts for me to use in the Stock Association bussiness on his little Press. He & Mr Dean were setting up his paper, they are going to issue a little sheet twice a month.
Diary of Welborn Beeson
The Talent News is the name of a little periodical that has succeeded the Talent Bird Eye. It is printed by Prof. W. J. Dean and his stepson, and is spicy and lively.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, February 19, 1892, page 3
The Talent News, an amateur paper published by Eddie Robison, is the spiciest and wittiest paper in Southern Oregon.
"Ashland Items," Medford Mail, March 3, 1892, page 3
Prof. W. J. Dean and his stepsons [sic] now publish the Talent News, which is bright and spicy and a credit to the boys.
Democratic Times, March 4, 1892, page 3
The Talent News is the name of a neat and spicy paper published by Eddie Robinson. Although it is small, it is like an egg--full of meat.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 1, 1892, page 3
Miss Rosetta Waters is teaching a successful subscription school of about thirty pupils at the Talent schoolhouse.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 15, 1892, page 3
Ninety gophers were killed at one irrigation on W. J. Dean's alfalfa field on Wagner Creek.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, June 17, 1892, page 3
Flooding alfalfa to kill the gophers is about the only way to get rid of the little pests. Prof. W. J. Dean of Talent precinct killed ninety of the "varmints" one day last week.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 24, 1892, page 3
Our Local Alliance, which holds sessions at the U.M.L. Hall the fourth Saturday evening of each month, is in a prosperous condition, now numbering (male and female) about 70 in good standing, and at the last session there were nine applications for membership. The Alliance seems to be the school for the People's Party.
"Talent Items," Ashland Tidings, July 1, 1892, page 3
H. H. Goddard is building a new barn for W. J. Dean, 20x20x40 feet in the dimensions.
"Talent Items," Southern Oregon Mail, July 22, 1892, page 4
W. J. Dean, M. H. Coleman and their families are over in the Big Butte neighborhood on a camping trip.
"Pressed Bricks," Valley Record, Ashland, August 4, 1892, page 1
B. C. Goddard, Jeff Bell and sons, Waldo and Blaine Klum, of Talent, have been among the rusticators in the Dead Indian country lately. M. H. Coleman and W. J. Dean and their families are camping in the Big Butte Creek section.
Ashland Tidings, August 5, 1892, page 3
Of Local Interest
(Prof. J. G. Clark in Reform Journal)
I visited Jackson County not long since and met some of the leading People's Party workers, among them the true and tried Ira Wakefield, who come within six votes of being elected Circuit Judge. Mr. Wakefield is one of the most effective stump speakers in the state. He has a pleasant little farm home near Phoenix and nearly all his neighbors for miles around are earnest advocates of our party, not least among them being S. H. Holt and Wm. H. Breese. The latter has a little fruit ranch in Talent, where he plays the role of Vulcan and does the best blacksmith work of any man in the two counties of Jackson and Josephine. He is a well-educated German, and while his efforts as a stump speaker reveal more or less of the Teutonic twist in the use of English, he always succeeds in making his points more clear and telling than a large majority of our native workers do.
Excerpt, Southern Oregon Mail, August 12, 1892, page 2
S. Sherman informs us that he keeps Eagle Mills flour for retail at popular prices; also that Clint Carney has sold his place of two and one-half acres to Elder David Brower, con. $600. The Carneys will move to Douglas County.
B. C. Goddard and wife and Mrs. Sula Dean paid a visit to Colestin's last week. Mrs. Goddard intended to remain several days, but the light air of that altitude rendered breathing difficult and she was obliged to return the second day.
"Talent Items," Southern Oregon Mail, August 26, 1892, page 4
Miss Rosetta Waters, who has been at Tolman's during the summer, left Monday for Portland to give Mrs. H. C. Stratton a three-months' course of treatment.
"Personal and Social," Valley Record, Ashland, September 1, 1892, page 3
Friend Lyttleton of Ashland sees a vision and in language classical enough to do credit to an experienced litterateur writes it up in the Record. But whether what appeared to him was a veritable ghost, or the product of an overwrought mental condition which the circumstances had brought about, is the question. In his article Mr. Lyttleton arrives at no conclusion; but from the reading between the lines we judge that he would decide in favor of the spook theory. The undersigned would relate an experience in which a vision was seen, equally distinct, perfect in outline, and under circumstances that could not be considered agreeable. I was occupying a small room in a strange hotel in a strange city. In the still hours of the night, I was suddenly awakened apparently by a movement of the bed upon which I was lying. At once attributing it to the presence of intruders, I raised my head and peered around the room. In the clear light of the moon shining in at the window, there was outlined a form of a rough-looking man with slouched hat and close-buttoned coat, standing at the foot of my bed.
At first sight of the intruder a cold chill crept over me and each particular hair was about to stand on end, after the manner of a porcupine's quill, when reason came to the rescue. Like friend Lyttleton I am inclined to philosophize, especially in the presence of unusual phenomena. What better opportunity than this!
So I rose to a sitting posture and took a square look at my strange visitor.
There he stood as motionless as an Egyptian mummy, and about as good looking. I mentally asked: Is this a reality--an actual intruder, whose presence bodes me no good; or is it a semi-reality--a "ghost or goblin damned," come with some important message from the unseen world; or is it the natural offspring of a fully developed nightmare and whose grandparent was a hotel mince pie?
I was bent on solving the problem. I spoke politely to the gentleman. That vacant, stony gaze was the only response.
I can see that countenance yet. I leaned forward with outstretched hand toward him. This move was accompanied by another chilly sensation, for the nearer I approached, the more distinct the figure.
That stare was anything but soothing.
But in a moment my fear gave way to philosophical curiosity and I continued to extend my hand slowly--very slowly--toward my unwelcome visitor. I touched the gentleman's coat, a slight shock and--what transformation! The intruder had fled. The ghost had dematerialized. My coat and hat were hanging on the post at the foot of my bed.
That was all. W. J. D.
Talent News, September 1, 1892
A grand rally and re-organization of the Talent People's Party club is announced for September 8th, at 7 p.m., in the U.M.L. Hall. County organizer Wakefield and S. H. Holt will both be present, and a profitable meeting is expected. All are invited, says J. W. Abbott.
Southern Oregon Mail, September 2, 1892, page 2
The People's Party reorganized for the fall campaign at the U.M.L. Hall at Talent on the evening of the 8th, yesterday, with the assistance of brothers Wakefield and Holt.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 9, 1892, page 3
Miss Rosetta Waters of Talent is employed in giving massage treatment to Mrs. H. C. Stratton of Portland.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 9, 1892, page 3
People's Party Work.Pursuant to notice the citizens of Talent precinct met at the U.M.L. Hall to organize a People's Party Club. The meeting was addressed by Ira Wakefield and other able speakers, and a long list of names added to the roll. The officers elected as follows: Welborn Beeson, Pres.; John Abbott, Treas.; Robert Lacy, delegate. The club adjourned to meet Friday, Sept. 2, 1892, when the question of finance will be discussed, and all are invited to attend, especially members of the parties.
W. BEESON, Secretary.Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 16, 1892, page 3
Ed. Robinson, editor of the Talent News, was seen swinging the girls quite lively at the dance. Ed. is popular with the ladies, which is the best indication of true journalistic instinct, as the editor who can't get within the pale of their regard, "isn't in it."
The dance at U.M.L. Hall Saturday evening was largely attended and caused more fun than if a carload of trained Italian monkeys had been turned loose on the community. The country all the way from Medford to Ashland was represented. Wagner Creek is the place for a good time; here is where stiff-necked prudishness takes a back seat, and honest amusement sits on the high throne and stirs the puddle of public sentiment in the old-fashioned way of our forefathers.
"Talent Items," Valley Record, Ashland, September 22, 1892, page 3
The Weaver Club of Talent met Friday evening, Sept. 23, at the U.M.L. Hall. Mr. Wilcox was elected chairman for the evening.
The finance plank of the People's Party platform was taken up and ably discussed by W. Beeson, Sr., Mr. Aids, Mrs. Breese and W. M. Breese.
Mr. Wilcox, who has been visiting in the East all summer, most of the time in Iowa, made a speech on the present outlook of the three great political parties; he said: "Nearly every man I talked to is going to vote for Weaver, and Iowa, Kansas and several other states are going People's Party."
There was good music, and it was a well attended and enthusiastic meeting. The money question, particularly the banking system, will be more fully discussed at the next meeting.
Democrats and Republicans, Prohibitionists and Mugwumps, these are educational meetings, and you are all cordially invited to come and take part in the discussions.
Next meeting Oct. 7.
Southern Oregon Mail, October 7, 1892, page 2
H. H. Goddard has completed the new house he was building for John Veit on Wagner Creek. The fine new farmhouse of J. E. Foss, on the old Beeson place, is also completed. It is one of the numerous costly and handsome new country houses built in Jackson County within the past three years.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, October 21, 1892, page 3
Talent News items: S. Sherman is circulating a petition to the S.P.R.R. company to establish a regular station at Talent, with telegraph office and agent. It is numerously signed. * * * A happy reunion took place at John Abbott's on Christmas Day, at which were present all the children living--twelve, and grandchildren--eight. * * * C. W. Milton and W. D. Bain have rented Warren Lynch's blacksmith shop in Talent. * * * Bob Wilcox and Travis Lynch have gone to California. * * * The literary society keeps up to its usual merit. On Dec. 23d a mock trial was on docket for the evening. The case was The State vs. Ernest Purves for the larceny of a turkey; John Robison, complaining witness; Judge S. Sherman on the bench; J. B. Carlisle, constable; Allen Abbott, bailiff. W. J. Dean acted as prosecuting attorney, with H. H. Goddard associate counsel. The defense was represented by A. W. Clemens, Chas. Sherman and Arthur Abbott. The prisoner was brought into the court securely handcuffed, yet made frequent attempts to escape. The prosecution attempted to prove that the defendant stole a big, fat turkey about midnight, on the night of the 8th ult., from an apple tree in S. M. Robison's orchard and that he proceeded to roast and eat the said turkey in the woods about two hours later. About a dozen witnesses were on hand who swore to "tell the truth, the whole truth or anything else to fit the case." And they did. It was a lively trial. Weighty evidence was introduced on both sides, but the jury brought in a verdict of "not guilty."
"Here and There," Ashland Tidings, January 6, 1893, page 3
The semi-monthly Talent News, published by Eddie Robison of the upper valley, has recently enlarged in size to a folio 10½x14 inches. The young chap has the making of a journalist of no mean ability.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 13, 1893, page 3
A meeting will be called soon to try to raise means to build a new school building. The one now in use is not fit to confine criminals in, much less innocent pupils and teachers.
Mrs. B. C. Goddard passed over to the unknown shore after a long and painful illness, at her daughter's home, Mrs. Ersula Dean, on Saturday morning, March 18. A large procession of her friends and neighbors followed her remains to the Talent cemetery, where, with appropriate ceremony she was laid away to the long rest, after so long a journey on earth, she having passed her sixty-sixth birthday. She was a dutiful wife, affectionate mother, and true friend. Sic transit gloria mundi.
"Talent Items," Medford Mail, March 24, 1893, page 1
Mrs. B. C. Goddard died on the 18th, ult. and was buried in the Stearns Cemetery on the Sunday following. A large number of people, many from a distance, attended the funeral.
The following brief address prepared by W. J. Dean was read by Welborn Beeson at the grave:--
Again we are called to pay the last rites that the living can pay to the dead.
Again we are brought face to face with a mystery, the solution of which is as far from our grasp today as it was in the dawn of human intelligence--the mystery of death, a mystery only equaled by that of life itself.
Man advances from helpless infancy to vigorous maturity, dwells for a brief time in the zenith of his powers, then, by reverse steps, decays and dies. As was said of old, "Man wasteth away and where is he?" Ah! that question "Where is he?" is the one question connected with death.
Has an answer ever been given that completely satisfies the head and heart?
Will the answer ever be given? Will man ever pass into the valley of the shadow of death with a full knowledge of what the end of the journey will be? It will be asked what was the belief of the deceased regarding these ever-recurring inquiries.
I will say that she has answered them over and over again, briefly, yet clearly as it is possible to answer them--she did not know. It is my duty and privilege to state that in matters of religion the departed one was an agnostic. She may have entertained a hope--that hope, which though banished by reason so often finds refuge in the heart--of a continued, conscious existence beyond this life, but her religion, if so it could be called, was the religion of humanity. It consisted in doing good, in kindly acts, in alleviating suffering, in sympathizing with the afflicted. The innumerable acts of kindness and charity, her self-sacrificing nature for which she was noted, will lovingly linger in the memories of all who knew her as long as life shall last. In sickness she was a willing and devoted nurse, as so many can testify. Ungrateful indeed would be that recipient of her self-sacrificing devotion, in time of need, who would not drop a tear to the memory of the departed.
It may be said that she possessed one belief, well defined, unmixed with doubt--that, if there be a beyond, to do her duty in this life, as she understood it, would be the surest passport into the joys of the next.
She was a devoted wife, an affectionate mother, a kind neighbor, a true friend.
Patient in suffering, concealing her own ills and sorrows, she shrank from receiving that care and assistance in time of need that she was ever ready and willing to extend to others.
Thus she lived and thus she died,
Patient, true, consistent ever,
With honor, truth and love allied,
Her life was one of high endeavor.
And it can with truth be said that the world is better for her having lived in it.
Mrs. Dameris Goddard was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, November 13, 1826. She moved with her parents to Ray County, Missouri, when about 9 years of age, and was married to Blin C. Goddard in 1844--49 years ago.
In the spring of 1864, she with her husband and four children made the long and tedious journey across the plains to Jackson County, Oregon, locating near Phoenix. Two years later they moved to Wagner Creek, where she resided until the time of her death.
She was the mother of four sons and four daughters, four of whom are still living, Hendrick, Reno, Mrs. M. H. Coleman and Mrs. W. J. Dean. In early life she was strong, being able to perform a prodigious amount of labor, but about fifteen years ago she became afflicted with heart troubles from which she never recovered and which resulted in her death.
For the past 14 months she has lived alternately with her daughters that she might receive their personal care and attention. She gradually grew worse, becoming prostrated about three weeks ago.
All was done that loving hearts could suggest and willing hands execute to stay the progress of the disease and alleviate her sufferings. No one could have received more watchful care and nursing.
It were fitting that she should have the same loving care and sympathy during her fatal illness that she had willingly devoted to scores of others under like circumstances.
"Sweet may she slumber while the ages shall roll;
For no visions of sorrow can intrude or control;
But enfolded by nature in peace she shall dwell,
While with hearts full of sorrow we bid her farewell."
Talent News, April 1, 1893, page 3
The young people had an enjoyable social at the U.M.L. Hall last Saturday evening.
Our enterprising farmers, James Harvey and sons, who are clearing a fine body of land on Bear Creek bottom, and are otherwise improving their farm adjoining our townsite, have purchased of Mr. W. J. Dean some fine, thoroughbred Poland China hogs, and intend to show as fine stock as anyone in the country.
"Talent Talk," Medford Mail, April 7, 1893, page 2
Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Dean and daughter, Minnie, Editor Robinson and Welborn Beeson, of Talent, were pleasant callers at The Mail office last week. They are of such people as comprise our best friends and their visit cannot be too often or too lengthy to forfeit the pleasure of our meetings.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, April 7, 1893, page 3
The following is a list of the committees which will make arrangements for the approaching teachers' institute: Entertainment--N. L. Narregan, Madge Griffiths, N. A. Jacobs, Ella McGuire, Lila Sackett, Della Pickel, Myrtle Nicholson. Arrangements--I. A. Webb, J. H. Faris, A. A. Davis, D. H. Miller, Charley Wolters, W. I. Vawter, M. Purdin. Music--M. E. Rigby, Della Pickel, Mrs. W. I. Vawter, J. R. Erford, Rev. T. H. Stephens, Prof. John Weeks, Ida Redden, Grace Faucett, Mrs. M. Pickel, E. Phipps, Mr. Chambers, May Isaacs, Sada Amann, Rebecca Shideler, Mrs. Clara Brown, D. T. Lawton, Mrs. M. M. Stephens, Rosetta Waters, organist.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 14, 1893, page 2
OBITUARY.Welborn Beeson, a brief account of whose untimely death on April 29th was given in [the] last issue of the [Talent] News, was born in La Salle County, Illinois, July 23d, 1836. His parents were natives of England but had resided many years in the United States and were thoroughly imbued with the spirit of American institutions. In 1853, Welborn, with his parents, crossed the plains to Oregon, arriving at what was then known as Fort Wagner in August of that year. Soon after, his father purchased Mr. Walton's claim on Wagner Creek, including the crops, paying therefor $1500, and moved onto the same on the 6th of September following. On this farm the subject of these memoirs lived the remainder of his life.
In 1866 he married Mary C. Brophy. Four sons and four daughters survive him, as follows in the order of their ages: Emmette, Welborn Jr., Jessie E., John D., Fannie E., Annie W., Kate and Carl R., the eldest being 26 and the youngest 4 years of age.
Mr. Beeson was a self-taught surveyor and did considerable work in that line. He took an active part in politics, more particularly in that of his own county, never adhering very closely to old parties but casting his influence on the side of reform movements, being at the time of his death an enthusiastic Populist.
He was remarkably plain and unassuming in his manners and was wont to use vigorous terms in denunciation of "style" and display as indicative of weak minds and a lack of decent regard for the feelings of others. He took an active part in the Rogue River Indian troubles, but always counseled moderation and insisted that the conduct of the whites should be tempered with the spirit of humanity in the treatment of the Indians, although such "Quaker sentiments" were dangerously unpopular with the majority of the early pioneers.
During the War of the Rebellion he was appointed 2d lieutenant in a company of Oregon volunteers, but his regiment was never called out of the county.
He was a member of the Southern Oregon Pioneer Society and was closely identified with the early history of Jackson County, taking much pride in its growth and development. He kept a daily memorandum of important local events from 1851 to the day of his death, and in addition to this, being possessed of a wonderful memory, there is little doubt that he could have given more accurate and reliable information concerning the pioneer history of Rogue River Valley than could be furnished by any other individual. I am told that his diary has been on several occasions produced in court to supply evidence relating to important dates and incidents. It is very voluminous, and if printed, which its importance would warrant, would make a book of hundreds of pages of reading matter which could not fail to interest every resident of Jackson County. To hear him relate, in his offhand, animated manner, reminiscences of pioneer times was an enjoyable treat. Names, dates, places and incidents were ever fresh in his memory, and he could hold the rapt attention of a group of listeners for hours.
For several years he suffered much from ill health. His heart was seriously affected, requiring the giving up of hard work and anxious care.
At times during the past winter he seemed to have premonitions that his life was drawing to a close. A few months ago he intimated such fears to the writer and, being fully impressed that the latter would survive him, exacted a promise that he would make the address at his grave. In response to such request the writer paid the following faint tribute to his memory:
"How true it is that in the midst of life we are in death. And, too, how fortunate for our mental peace that our vision cannot penetrate the veil that hangs between us and the future.
"Who could wish it possible to behold the terrible specter, Death, as he comes to claim his victim? The future is unfolded fast enough. Indeed, the future merges into the present and glides into the past too rapidly for most of us. A few hours ago, our friend, who now lies before us in the cold embrace of death, was unusually cheerful, buoyant in spirit and was even planning pleasure excursions for the summer months. Having given his working oar into hands more able for the stroke, he was preparing to enjoy, as well as his indifferent health would permit, the few remaining years that might be left him.
"I had the pleasure of knowing many of the inner thoughts of the deceased--thoughts that were seldom uttered unless they were likely to strike responsive chords. One was that we should always be prepared to live, for if we are prepared to live we shall need no preparation for death. Such a thought is ever an incentive to an honest, upright life.
"If one is conscious of having committed an evil deed, if he be a reasoning being, he would not, he could not, feel ready to leave the world until he had committed good deeds enough to at least balance his moral book account. So to be prepared to live is to be ready to die.
"That it was the constant endeavor of the deceased to follow this rule in life there can be no doubt; and to those who knew him best, there is as little doubt that he succeeded as well as poor erring mortals are ever likely to succeed.
"He was eminently altruistic in his nature. His thoughts, his wishes, his charities were not wholly narrowed to the circle of his own household. They extended to his friends, his neighbors, and even to the world at large. Sympathetic in nature, he was especially self-sacrificing in his efforts to aid the suffering and afflicted.
"He had faith in the progressive spirit of humanity and took a cheerful view of the world's future. He believed that not only individuals but communities, states and nations are largely the carvers of their own fortunes, holding their destinies in their own control; that this fact is becoming more and more understood as general intelligence increases, and per consequence retrogressions are only temporary and serve as useful lessons. Therefore one of our greatest duties is to aid in the spread of intelligence.
"To this end he was an unceasing advocate of good schools. No expense or sacrifice was too great if directed towards the education of the young. So in the death of Welborn Beeson our schools lose a generous supporter and defender. He was an affectionate husband, an indulgent father, a kind neighbor and a true friend.
"Concerning religion, as is generally known, the deceased was an agnostic. He believed in the here and now. He did not waste his energies and exertions in vain reach for ideal objects beyond this life. To him speculations as to amuse or interest an idle fancy might furnish an opportunity for the flight of an active imagination, but to devote the main energies of a lifetime to a consideration of the unknown and unknowable would be far worse than a life thrown away.
"It is thought by some that Mr. Beeson inclined to a belief in spiritualism, but such is not the case. He did not deny the genuineness of certain psychological phenomena that go under the name of spiritualism, but that such phenomena are produced by disembodied spirits was too much for his credence. He has often declared spiritualism to be a "very pretty theory" and did not wonder that many who did take the trouble to reason carefully should accept it, but he preferred to wait for scientific explanation, fully believing that science would yet solve the interesting but perplexing problem and that it would become as thoroughly understood and as much under our control as electricity or magnetism is now.
"The deceased was a genuine philanthropist, ever ready to lend material aid towards any public improvement. On such lines his thoughts were far in advance of the time. He would have had splendid country roads and magnificently equipped school houses. Such an influence will be sadly missed, but--
'To live in hearts we leave behind
is not to die.'
"Years hence, when we are turning over the pages of the past and recall to recollection scenes and associations of the long ago, the name of Welborn Beeson will come vividly to mind and we shall drop a tear to his memory."
W. J. DEAN.Ashland Tidings, May 19, 1893, page 2
S. Sherman has resigned his position as justice of the peace for Talent precinct. The county commissioners have not appointed his successor yet.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 30, 1893, page 3
DEATH OF B. C. GODDARD.B. C. Goddard, who was living alone at his place on Wagner Creek, was suddenly stricken down with paralysis while milking early in the morning of the 3rd inst. He crawled to the house, a distance of a few yards, where about four hours later he was found lying on the porch by a sewing machine agent who at once went for assistance. Dr. Geary was summoned but he had little hope from the first. For about two days he suffered greatly, then sank gradually into a comatose condition from which it was difficult to rouse him, and died at 9 P.M. on the following Wednesday. The burial took place at the Wagner Creek cemetery last Friday, attended by a large number of relatives and friends. The following brief address was read by W. J. Dean at the grave:--
Again the fell destroyer, Death, has taken from us a valued citizen. Again we are brought to face with "the great mystery that shrouds this world."He believed that religion--which to him was synonymous with superstition--has ever been a drawback to human progress and that by the decadence of religion--for he looked upon it as declining--may be largely measured the advancement of the race. He could hardly be called an agnostic of the Huxley type for he was a radical unbeliever in another state of existence. To him there was ample evidence against, and little in favor of, a conscious existence beyond this life. He has often been heard to remark, in substance, that all there is of us--moral, mental and physical--begins and ends in this world. To many, such views would seem cold and cheerless, but with those who hold them they form the basis of the highest ideals of humanity.
Possessed of a remarkably retentive memory and being a great reader, the deceased was a man of unusual intelligence.
His accurate knowledge of history, ancient and modern, has often been a surprise to me. Having had also a varied experience in many lines of business and being a great observer of men and things and, withal, a careful and logical reasoner, the judgment of "Squire Goddard," as he was often called, in matters of interest to individuals or to the community, was often sought after and generally considered as unassailable.
Blin C. Goddard, the subject of this memoir, was born in Chenango County, New York, May 25th, 1822, having therefore passed the three-score-and-ten milestone of life. His father, James Goddard, was a soldier and quartermaster in the war of 1812. It is worthy of note that the steelyards that he used in weighing out rations to the soldiers in that war have descended as an heirloom to the deceased and have ever since been kept as an interesting relic in his family. The deceased left his paternal home at the age of sixteen and made his way to the then "out west" state of Missouri.Talent News, August 15, 1893, page 1
W. J. Dean was going about with two canes last week, a result of a severe attack of lumbago.
"Talent Items," Medford Mail, October 20, 1893, page 2
The largest hog that has been weighed at Talent weighed 514 lbs. It was raised by W. J. Dean.
"Talent News Items," Valley Record, Ashland, Oregon, December 21, 1893, page 3
Reno Goddard, who is cinnabar mining on Applegate, was spending Christmas with numerous friends and relatives hereabouts.
"Personal and Social," Valley Record, Ashland, Oregon, December 28, 1893, page 3
Citizens Didn't Mass.
One of the amusing things in local affairs is the way in which the Record editor swelled up in his issue of last week as the representative of an indignant populace who were about to arise and wipe the ground with the city council of Ashland--and the way the swelling collapsed when a mass meeting he had called failed to meet and the true situation forced itself upon his comprehension. Capt. Teel and W. H. Breese, the genial Talent anarchist from Russia [sic], were with him on the question, and he had concluded that they had public opinion by the foretop--so the Record called a meetin'--a "mass meetin'" for the purpose of "protesting against the city council allowing poor unfortunate men to be worked in droves on the street with ball and chain."
To be sure to catch somebody, the call was very cutely made for Monday evening at the city hall--the time and place of the regular meeting of the people's party club.
The club met--that is, sixteen members of it--but the indignant citizens failed to mass.
Excerpt, Ashland Tidings, January 18, 1894, page 2
There was a social party at the U.M.L. Hall at Talent on Saturday evening.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 22, 1894, page 3
Mr. Breese Explains.
EDITOR TIDINGS:--In your issue of Feb. 5th, you published an article from the Talent News "Let Us Have Peace." I have no time, inclination or desire to notice the personal slurs of that sheet.
The words of Burns, "Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us to see oursel's as ithers see us," explains all when you read between the lines. After publishing the article in question you treat your readers to the following explanation:
"The above is quite a Breezy hint from the News. It seems to be striking at the boss populist of Talent, who threatened to double the rent of his hall if the club didn't confine its discussions to lines laid down by somebody's platform."
The explanation is utterly misleading, and I trust that your remarks are the result of misinformation. I am not the owner of a hall, but secretary of the U.M.L. Hall corporation. As such I am authorized to charge one dollar per night. Suppose I rent the hall to the populist club of Talent for fifty cents per night and pay the other fifty cents out of my own pocket to the U.M.L. Hall corporation, who is hurt or wronged?
Suppose a resolution is introduced which is antagonistic to the Omaha platform and populist doctrines, and I refuse to donate fifty cents per meeting for such purposes, have I a right to refuse my donation? These are the facts in this case.
The U.M.L. Hall is at the disposal of all political parties, religious organizations and home secret societies at one dollar per night. For shows and dances apply to the secretary.
WM. H. BREESE,
Talent, Feb. 10th, 1894.
Ashland Tidings, February 15, 1894
There will be a ball at the U.M.L. Hall at Talent on February 22nd. Everybody invited.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 22, 1894, page 3
Mrs. W. J. Dean and Mrs. Coleman of Talent returned Monday from a pleasant visit with relatives at Sacramento and the [San Francisco] midwinter fair.
"Personal and Social," Valley Record, Ashland, Oregon, March 1, 1894, page 3
Mrs. W. J. Dean of Wagner Creek and Mrs. M. H. Coleman of Eden precinct, who have been at the Mid-winter Fair, last week returned home, and are much pleased with the exhibition.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 5, 1894, page 3
TALENT CLUB RESOLUTIONS.
The following resolutions, introduced by W. J. Dean, were adopted by the Talent People's Party club at its last meeting:
WHEREAS, at the late People's Party county convention held in Medford on March 10th, it was moved and carried that any candidate having a clear majority of the preferential vote over all others for the same office should be declared the nominee of the convention; and
WHEREAS, J. W. Miller, of Medford, having received 147 preferential votes as against 141 of all others for the office of county recorder; and, whereas, Grant Rawlings, who received only 109 preferential votes, was declared by the convention as the nominee for said office; and
WHEREAS, S. M. Nealon, Samuel Danielson and T. E. Hills having received 445 preferential votes against 259 of all others; and
WHEREAS, Samuel Danielson and T. E. Hills were thrust aside and J. W. Marksbury and J. A. Jeffrey (the latter having received but 16 preferential votes) were nominated instead; and
WHEREAS, ignoring the candidates above mentioned was an error--intentional or otherwise--therefore be it
RESOLVED, that it is the sense of this club that Samuel Danielson and T. E. Hills are, and of right ought to be, the nominees of the People's Party of Jackson County for representatives to the next legislature, and that J. W. Miller is the rightful nominee for recorder. And
WHEREAS, S. H. Dunlap, having received 111 preferential votes, or a plurality of 23 over S. Patterson, the next highest; and whereas, at the convention, the said Dunlap received but 12 delegate votes and Patterson 28; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That this club can find no compensating circumstances to justify so flagrant a deviation from the choice of the People's Party of Jackson County, as expressed in the preferential vote on March 10th, and that it does not endorse the action of the convention in this case.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 26, 1894, page 2. Also printed March 30, 1894 in the Medford Mail, page 1. Four days later correspondent Betseyannspikes commented on the situation.
The Talent News has suspended publication. After living two years and six months its publisher has decided there was too much of glory and not enough of cash in the business. The News was a bright little sheet and Editor Dean [Robert Edward Robison] a brilliant, pithy and good hard sense writer.
Medford Mail, July 20, 1894, page 2
Misses Belle and Myrtle Stearns are in charge of the Sherman restaurant at present. Meals at all hours and styles to suit customers.
Born, to Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Goddard, near Talent, December 8th, an eleven-pound son. So the populist list increaseth, both in weight and numbers.
"Talent Items," Medford Mail, December 15, 1894, page 2
Our staunch friend, Robert Waters, Sr., was in on Monday and renewed his three subscriptions more than a month before they were due. His list includes his own copy and one sent to Geo. A. Waters, McIntire, and one to Miss Rosetta Waters, Talent, Oregon. We are proud to have the Waters family as staunch friends.
The Postville Review, Postville, Iowa, February 9, 1895, page 3
The latest thing out that the Tidings literary editor has run across is entitled "The Bible Prophecies" by W. J. Dean of Talent. It is a 30-page pamphlet printed by Mr. Dean's stepson, Edward Robison, at their home, on a little 7x11 hand inking press, one page at a time, and considering that the mechanical work was done by a young man of 17 who had never spent a day in a printing office in his life, the typographical appearance is most creditable. Mr. Dean has already made considerable of a reputation locally as a liberal writer and talker and has entangled the representatives of orthodoxy not a little on frequent occasions in debates, being full of pointed argument upon Bible subjects. The little book will be sent to any address postpaid for 15c by Edward Robison, Talent, Oregon.
Ashland Tidings, May 6, 1895, page 3
The people up Wagner Creek are making great changes in the geography of that locality. The Goddard estate has been divided and the sisters, Mrs. M. H. Coleman and Mrs. W. J. Dean, are each building a new house and all other buildings necessary for a suburban residence. The other heirs, H. H. and Reno Goddard, take their shares in money.
"Talent Items," Medford Mail, May 17, 1895, page 2
AN OREGON LETTER.
TALENT, Ore., 4 18 '96.ED. REVIEW:--Those of us who have been former residents of northeastern Iowa feel ourselves highly flattered at having been visited by Ex-Gov. Larrabee and family yesterday. Their car stopped over one day at Ashland, five miles south of Talent, and knowing that R. S. Barclay's folks and others of his former acquaintances lived here, he took a special and called on us.
There are the Carters, the Mills, and other former acquaintances and neighbors of the Larrabees at Ashland, who also were highly pleased by a visit with old-time friends of so distinguished [a] character.
R. S. Barclay and son Hall, formerly farmers between Postville and Clermont, are now engaged in the merchandise business at this flourishing suburban village. The Carters, formerly bankers at Elkader, are bankers and capitalists, and D. R. and E. V. Mills are dry goods merchants at Ashland.
This world-renowned Rogue River Valley, by some termed the Italy of Oregon, is now out in his haughtiest colors of green for a groundwork, and blooms of all colors for filling. If I thought your intelligent readers would be pleased to know it, I might write a lengthy letter descriptive of this romantic region of the country. Of its perpetual snow, held back by extinct craters. Of its numerous towering cliffs of rock. Of its subterranean caves, with lakes and streams of water clear as crystal and cold as ice the year round. Of its forests, so dense being dark at midday. Of its wild animals and fishes. Of its picturesque rocks, in all colors, as if flounced to beat art. And last and most beneficent to man, our thermal climate.
If any doubt these assertions just as Gov. Larrabee, or anybody who has been here long enough to see around.
Very respectfully,Postville Weekly Review, Postville, Iowa, April 25, 1896, page 3
FRED MERRICK'S WEDDING.Last Thursday the first spiritual wedding in Sacramento took place at the Corson residence, 909 Tenth Street.
Park City Man Married at Sacramento, Cal.
The contracting parties were Fred G. Merrick, a well-to-do mining.man from Utah, and Miss Rosetta Waters, a school teacher from Oregon.
The marriage was conducted by Dr. Alice Tobias, an ordained minister of the Independent Free Thought Bible Spiritualistic Society of San Francisco.
The bride wore lilac-colored silk, with pearls and white roses. The groom was attired in a suit of black broadcloth, with white satin vest.
The attire worn on the eventful occasion was intended to typify the purity and spiritual exaltation of the relation upon which the parties had entered.
Dr. Tobias was very impressive in the marriage ceremony, and after pronouncing them husband and wife said, in part: "Life itself is the tribute that love brings. The royal gift of this bride is her name to the prince of her choice. It is the tribute of love and literary attainments placed in the band of genius, and with it she brings a heart of devotion."
She pledged. them not "to obey," but to be faithful to each other.
The young couple left by the evening train for San Francisco, where they will spend a day or two before leaving for their home at Park City, Utah.--Sacramento Bee.
Salt Lake Tribune, June 23, 1896, page 3
The two Talent blacksmith shops being unable to do all the work, therefore Andrew Briner has started a branch iron and wood repair shop at his place opposite W. J. Dean's residence.
"Talent Items," Ashland Tidings, September 3, 1896, page 3
A twelve-year-old daughter of the late Carlos Goddard arrived Monday from Boise City, Idaho, to visit with her aunts and uncles, Mrs. Coleman and Mrs. Dean and the Goddard Bros. This young lady is the youngest child of Mrs. Alice Goddard, nee Wrisley, whom all the pioneers recognize as the first white girl baby born in Jackson County. The lady is married again and lives in Idaho.
"Talent Whispers," Medford Mail, October 30, 1896, page 3
The U.M.L. Hall has gone into private hands and will soon be remodeled. Robt. Purves and Harry Lynch are the new proprietors.
"Talent Whispers," Medford Mail, December 25, 1896, page 4
News and Notes.The disadvantages of unorganized society is nowhere more apparent than in the secular ranks. People who from childhood have lived almost isolated and alone so far as society is concerned become so accustomed to this kind of a life that it is often impossible to awaken them to a realization that we are really social beings. They take such delight in delving into the unexplored realms of nature or solving some perplexing problem in philosophy that they wonder why it is our young people are so "giddy" as not to find pleasure is "staying at home Sundays and reading some good book." And this disposition frequently runs to the extreme of making the individual a stumbling block in the way of all social society in the town or community.
But the individual is not to be blamed. Such a disposition is not without sufficient cause. It is the inevitable consequence of an isolated social existence. For years liberal people have fallen into the serious error of discarding the social as well as the superstitious part of religion. Content that a future heaven and hell were fanciful visions of a distorted brain, they have ignored the fact that the real heaven and hell are upon earth at the present moment, and that to gain the one and avoid the other is a part of our everyday duties. Consequently their children have either been kept at home, or if they would have society, have gone to the orthodox churches and Sunday schools, and it is not to be wondered at that the vivid contrast between the social life of the church and the cold, philosophical life of the parent leads the children to believe that Christianity is preferable, and so hundreds of liberal children join the churches. This evil can only be remedied when the mass of liberal people realize their error, and local secular societies and Sunday schools are maintained for the pleasure and benefit of the young.
Wednesday evening, February 17, I speak at Talent. Universal Mental Liberty Hall is fully one mile from the depot, but I am fortunate to have an earnest friend in Mr. W. J. Dean, who, despite the almost impassable roads, meets me at the train and conveys me to his home. I at once realize that he and his wife are among the few fearless leaders in the cause of Freethought. The home is very pleasant. As we drive along through this beautiful and somewhat romantic strip of country, I am wondering where my audience is coming from, unless it be that the "woods and hills are alive with people," very few houses being in sight. When we meet at the hall, I am convinced that this is the fact, for a splendid audience of men, women and children are awaiting us. Before and after the lecture we have singing by the young ladies and the meeting is a pleasant one. It is thought a Sunday school can be organized, and I promise to come again Sunday afternoon for that purpose. Among the stalwart supporters are Mr. James Purves and family, Mr. H. Goddard, Mr. Sam Robison and family, Mr. H. Stock and Mr. W. Beeson. Thursday evening they give me a party at Mr. Dean's and I meet nearly two dozen of the good friends, all of whom I cannot now name. I appreciated this expression of earnest friendship very much, indeed, realizing the people had to walk, many of them, several miles to get here. The young ladies are talented and the evening is passed in social conversation and music.
On Friday evening I am again at Medford, and have a larger audience than before. The local orchestra and choir furnish the musical program which is much appreciated. Great interest is manifested in a local organization and I remain over Sunday for the purpose of organizing a secular Sunday school. We meet at 10 a.m. The following officers are elected: Mr. Perry Stewart, supt.; Miss Ella Rawlings, assistant supt.; Miss Florence Toft, secretary; Mrs. Perry Stewart, treasurer.
There is much warmth and earnestness and no doubt but the Medford organization will lead in point of numbers in Southern Oregon. I am sure much good will result. The officers are able and determined and many trustworthy citizens will support them. Let us build up a social and moral society in this beautiful and thriving town that will rank second to none in the state. I get subscribers to the Torch and Candle and a couple of students for the University.
The train leaves Medford at 1:40, so I am able to reach Talent in time to organize there in the afternoon. We have a good attendance here and Medford will have to guard her laurels. Mr. W. J. Dean is elected supt.; Mrs. A. Purves, assistant supt.; H. H. Goddard, secretary; and H. Stock, treasurer. Mr. Dean is an able and experienced advocate of liberal principles and with the earnest support he is certain to receive, the Talent secular Sunday school is an assured success. Mr. Dean has the best private library I have seen.
With such progress as this, our friends everywhere ought to feel encouraged. There is an old adage: "We never know what we can do till we try," and a trial is all that is necessary to convince the progressive people of any community that the local secular organizations are the pride and hope of the state. Let Oregon demonstrate the beauties of the system so thoroughly that every state in the Union will follow directly in her footsteps. We are pioneers in a glorious cause. Persecution and abuse will be heaped upon us, but those who stand it now will receive the love and gratitude of every liberty-loving man and woman. Let us remember that we are building for the future, that we are sowing the seed for the harvest of coming generations. Nothing should daunt us. To the sturdy friends and helpers everywhere I send "good speed."
NETTIE A. OLDS.The Torch of Reason, Silverton, Oregon, February 25, 1897, page 8
The Talent U.M.L. Hall Association is moving its hall about half a mile south of its present location.
Ashland Tidings, September 16, 1897, page 3
A mask ball will be given at the U.M.L. Hall at Talent on Feb. 14th by Ed. Robinson and Robt. Purves.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 7, 1898, page 3
Mr. and Mrs. M. H. Coleman, Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Dean and Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Purves, all of Wagner Creek, expect to start the first of next week with two teams for Crescent City--to camp by the seaside for a few weeks.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 22, 1898, page 2
Crit. Tolman writes that the and Capt. Hansen will open a hotel 12 miles from Dawson City; that Rogers and Parker are making from $25 to $30 per day in their bench claim; that all the boys from here are doing well.--[Ashland Record.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 12, 1898, page 3
Prof. W. J. Dean of Wagner Creek is in town. In company with Congressman Tongue he visited the Times office this morning.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 13, 1898, page 2
Mrs. Rosetta (Waters) Merrick of Butte, Mont. is visiting her sister, Mrs. W. H. Breese of Talent.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 5, 1898, page 3
W. J. Dean of Talent, who was in town Tuesday, met with a peculiar accident recently, by which the middle finger of his left hand was badly crushed and the bone broken. A large stick of wood which he was putting into the stove in the hall at Talent caught the finger between it and a section of the stove.
Ashland Tidings, February 23, 1899, page 3
Real Estate Transfers.
S. M. Robison to Ersula Dean, Robert E. and Mamie D. Robison, portions of secs. 26, 27, 34, 35 tp 38, r1w . . . 1
Robert and Mamie D. Robison to Ersula Dean, same property . . . 1
Ersula Dean et al. to Robt. E. Robison, 10.77 acres, secs. 26, 27, 34 and 35, tp 38, r1w . . . 1
Ersula Dean et al. to Robert E. Robison, 95.23 acres, same secs. and tp . . . 1
Medford Mail, April 14, 1899, page 4
REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS.The following deeds have been recorded in the office of the county recorder since the last report of The Times:
Minnie D. Robison to Emmett Beeson; 11 acres in twp 38 r1w, and interest in Robison water ditch from Wagner Creek . . . 550.00
Ursula I. Dean to same; 20.3 acres in same twp and interest in same ditch . . . 558.00
Excerpt, Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 27, 1899, page 2
In Memory of Robert G. Ingersoll.A Talent subscriber to the Mail sends us the following with a request that we publish:
"A memorial meeting was held in the U.M.L. Hall at this place Sunday in honor of the late Robert G. Ingersoll. A large number were present, including many from adjoining towns. It was an enthusiastic gathering and harmonious throughout. The program was highly entertaining, consisting of a short opening address by W. J. Dean, followed by reading, recitations, etc., interspersed with appropriate music. The following resolutions were adopted;
"WHEREAS, It is fitting and proper for Freethinkers to hold in grateful remembrance one whose life work was devoted to freeing humanity from mental bondage in all its forms, therefore be it
"RESOLVED, By the Wagner Creek Secular Society, that by the death of Robert G. Ingersoll free thought has lost one of its greatest champions of mental liberty; one who by example, as well as by matchless logic and eloquence, has done as much toward the uplifting of the human race from the dismal depths of superstition as any other individual, living or dead; that no one has ever done more to demonstrate to the thinkers of the world that the so-called Holy Scriptures are, for the most part, false in fact, absurd in theory and were 'written by ignorance at the instigation of fear'; that he has, by plain yet unanswerable reasoning, shown the utter uselessness of prayer, the absurdity of prophecy, the impossibility of miracle and the 'infinite injustice' of vicarious atonement; that, above all, we should honor him for his noble and valiant efforts in defending the 'liberties of man, woman and child.'
"RESOLVED, That this society sincerely mourns the death of free thought's great leader and extends heartfelt sympathy and condolence to his bereaved family.
"RESOLVED, That a coy of these resolutions be forwarded to the leading Liberal journals and also the local papers for publication."
Medford Mail, September 29, 1899, page 3
Ingersoll Memorial Services.
TALENT, Sept. 25, 1899.The first meeting of the Wagner Creek Secular Sunday School after the summer vacation was held in the U.M.L. Hall yesterday, and devoted to memorial services in honor of Robert G. Ingersoll.
There was a large attendance including many from neighboring towns. An interesting program was rendered consisting of a short address by W. J. Dean, music (which included a gramophone entertainment furnished by young Master Burriss of Ashland, and which called forth a vote of thanks) recitations, readings, etc.
The following resolutions were adopted:
WHEREAS, It is fitting and proper for the Freethinkers to hold in grateful remembrance one whose life work was devoted to freeing humanity from mental bondage in all its forms, therefore be it
Resolved, by the Wagner Creek Secular Society: That by the death of Robert G. Ingersoll, Freethought has lost one of its greatest champions of mental liberty; one who by example as well as by matchless logic and eloquence has done as much towards the uplifting of the human race from the dismal depths of superstition as any other individual living or dead; that no one has done more to demonstrate to the thinkers of this world that the so-called Holy Scriptures are, for the most part, false in fact, absurd in theory and were "written by ignorance at the instigation of fear," that he has by plain, yet unanswerable reasoning shown the uselessness of prayer, the absurdity of prophecy, the impossibility of miracle and the "infinite injustice" of vicarious atonement; that above all we should honor him for his noble efforts in
defending the "Liberties of Man, Woman and Child."
Resolved. That this society sincerely mourns the death of Freethought's great leader and extends a heartfelt sympathy and condolence to his bereaved family.
Resolved. That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the leading Liberal journals and also to the local papers for publication.
----The following is the address delivered by W. J. Dean:
We have met to do honor to the memory of one of nature's greatest noblemen who has passed to that state called death; but though his eloquent voice is forever stilled; though his generous hand will not again be extended in sympathetic charity; though his kindly smile and magnetic presence has ceased to be seen and felt, yet his written words--words that express the purest and loftiest sentiment--will go down the ages and be read by and be an inspiration to millions yet to be.
Considering the results of his teachings and influence as bearing upon the welfare and happiness of mankind, I feel justified in regarding Robert G. Ingersoll as one of the greatest men--none greater--that ever lived on this earth.
Allow me briefly to offer a few reasons for giving HIS so prominent a place in the galaxy of great names.
All along down the stream of historic time men have believed in supernatural beings, and, for the most part, these invisible gods, ghosts, devils and hobgoblins of earth, air and sky were monsters to be feared, therefore sacrifices and self-inflicted pains and punishments were resorted to to placate or buy off their terrible malice and wrath.
Now the constant fear on the part of man that his actions might not tally with the very fastidious and changeable notions of these supernatural monsters--that some slip of decorum or slight act of disobedience might bring down upon him their merciless anger--has caused more suffering, both mental and physical, in this world than perhaps any other one cause that could be named.
To eradicate from the minds of men the belief that the people of this world are, or ever have been, subject to the changeable caprices of supernatural beings, formed a part of the great works of Robert G. Ingersoll, and for which we honor him.
His most telling sentences were denunciations of the crimes and cruelties recorded in the Old Testament and his keenest reasoning and most scathing sarcasm were directed to the disabusing of men's minds of the belief that such fiendish acts were either commanded or sanctioned by a being of infinite mercy and goodness.
He could not believe there was a tyrant in the skies who commanded a certain chosen people to commit such cruel acts upon their neighbors--acts that would disgrace the characters of the lowest savage in the wilds of Africa--and for this we should honor him.
We should honor Ingersoll for his splendid efforts in ridiculing the doctrine of "blood atonement," notwithstanding it is the very foundation of the Christian religion. You know in the Old Testament there was no remission of sins without shedding of blood. Among the Jews in those good old times when they were under the immediate government of Jehovah, if anyone committed a sin real or imaginary some blood had to be shed as an atonement; and there was always a certain ratio between the sin and the amount of blood required.
For a sin of some magnitude the blood of a score or 20 of bullocks might answer. For a lesser crime a few sheep, goats or lambs would be sufficient, while for a light offense a couple of turtle doves would do. For every sin great or small blood had to be shed. This satisfied the Almighty and canceled the debt. In those good old days "every priest was a butcher and every sanctuary a slaughter house."’
This more than barbarous system of blood atonement runs on like a scarlet thread through the Old Testament and finally culminates in the great sacrifice of Christ which under certain conditions was to pay the penalty of the sins of the whole people.
And this--and this--the suffering of one for the sins of another is the foundation doctrine of the boasted religion of love, mercy and justice!! Against this savage doctrine Ingersoll launched his most bitter invective. For this we should honor him.
But while the Old Testament recounts the most terrible and savage crimes and cruelties it is INFINITELY better than the New, and I use the word in its fullest sense. In the Old Testament, as Ingersoll has it, "when the Almighty had a man dead he let him alone. The muscles relaxed and the frown gave way to a smile." In the Old Testament no future punishment is threatened. The victim's troubles end with his last breath, but in the New Testament the trouble COMMENCES at death.
The sufferings of this life are as nothing compared with the endless torments in the lurid flames of hell.
Ingersoll made it a rule never to deliver a lecture on religious topics without taking occasion to depict the doctrine of hell with all the burning eloquence at his command. Here he used his keenest satire, his most telling sarcasm. Think of it! The doctrine of an INFINITE punishment for a FINITE crime!!
"The doctrine of eternal punishment was born in the glittering eyes of snakes--snakes that hung in fearful coils watching for their prey. It was born of the howl and bark and growl of wild beasts. It was born of the grin of hyenas and of the depraved chatter of unclean baboons. I despise it with every drop of my blood."
Really, did ever a more utterly barbarous doctrine emanate from the brain of a madman than this? And to think that such a doctrine is one of the main pillars of a religion accepted by millions of people in this enlightened age!!
It has been said that Ingersoll knocked the bottom out of hell. It was retorted that this was impossible as hell was bottomless. But REALLY many of his opponents now frankly admit that through his valiant efforts the fires have cooled down until Hades is now a comparatively comfortable locality
And for this noble work alone the human race should rise up as a unit and call him blessed.
Another absurdity claimed his attention--the doctrine that a certain belief is necessary to salvation, and that such belief can be DEMANDED of one.
As if belief was under the control of the will--a mere matter of volition, when it is plainly evident to every intelligent person that belief--genuine belief--is the result of evidence. It cannot be commanded.
For showing up this doctrine in its true light we honor Ingersoll.
We honor him for his most eloquent plea that a divine revelation to be reasonable, to be effective, to be just, should be given to each individual instead of to a few to be retailed to the many.
We honor him for his glowing periods in advocacy of absolute mental liberty--that when fetters of every form are stricken from the human mind man will enter upon an era of progress and development unparalleled by any period in the past.
We would offer a sincere tribute to his memory for his beautiful and pathetic utterances in defense of the rights of mother and child. His eloquent appeals in their behalf will resound in sweet symphonies down the ages and form a part of the last syllables penned by man.
And, too, the pure and sublime poetry he has left as a legacy to the human race! Ingersoll touched all the chords of the human heart. His tender and beautiful prose poems will be read and re-read as long as love and sympathy are elements of human nature.
In a word, Ingersoll the model husband, Ingersoll the affectionate parent, Ingersoll the generous friend and true patriot, Ingersoll the peerless orator, Ingersoll who could never be bribed by flattery nor frightened by threat, Ingersoll whose quieting motto was
"Let us be honest,"will be honored more and more as the years roll on.
Valley Record, Ashland, October 5, 1899, page 4
Mrs. W. J. Dean, of Wagner Creek, has gone to Silverton to visit her daughter, who is attending the Secular Union school at that place..
"Talent News Items," Medford Mail, February 9, 1900, page 5
S. Sherman was in the city Monday from Talent. While here Mr. Sherman visited Dr. Pickel's office and had the doctor's X-ray turned on his crippled arm. It was way back in '62, when Mr. Sherman was doing service for his beloved Uncle Samuel, that a rebel bullet entered his left forearm, where it has since remained. Looking through the X-ray one could easily discern the bullet embedded between the bones of the arm.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 27, 1900, page 7
ASHLAND REPUBLICAN MEETING.
Representative Tongue Greeted by a Large, Enthusiastic Audience.
ASHLAND, Or., Oct. 26.--Representative Tongue gave a masterly and comprehensive review of the issues of the campaign, from a Republican standpoint, at Chautauqua Tabernacle tonight before an intelligent and appreciative audience. He put many questions before the people in a new and clearer light than they had yet been placed before an Ashland audience.
The speaker took up many of the theories advanced by C. E. S. Wood, of Portland, in support of Bryan at his speech in the Tabernacle this afternoon, and proved their inconsistencies in a telling way.
His address occupied more than three hours in its delivery, and was marked by frequent bursts of applause throughout. Mr. Tongue was introduced by W. J. Dean, of Talent, an old schoolmate and friend. Music was furnished by the orchestra and glee club. A number of prominent Republicans from distant sections of the county were in attendance at the meeting, which was one of the most successful of the campaign thus far.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 27, 1900, page 4
EDITOR RECORD: The indiscriminate jumble of bad grammar, worse logic and laughably absurd statements over the signature of Earl Cline in last week's Record plainly indicates that that young gentleman is suffering from derangement of the liver. I would recommend a few doses of Dr. Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People or any other standard almanac remedy for such ailments and would especially prescribe entire rest from all literary work for a few weeks.Valley Record, Ashland, December 13, 1900, page 1
W. J. DEAN.
Mr. Dean sitting far left, Mr. Abbott sitting far right; Ethel Robinson is the Indian girl.
Courtesy Talent Historical Society.
Wagner Creek Theatricals.
The sterling melodrama, "Joe Ruggles, or the Girl Miner," will be produced by the popular Wagner Creek amateurs, at the U.M.L. Hall, Talent, Saturday evening, Jan. 19. The play will be preceded by the roaring farce, "Black Magic," by Prof. Hermann and "Uneeda" Bill.
Ashland Tidings, January 10, 1901, page 3
Theatricals at Talent.
The Wagner Creek Amateurs held down the boards at the U.M.L. Hall, Talent, Saturday evening, in the drama "Joe Ruggles, or the Girl Miner," which was preceded by the farce "Black Magic." The Wagner Creek Amateurs are always a pronounced success. The following is the cast of characters in their latest dramatic success:
CAST OF CHARACTERS.
Dan Terrill, better known as Joe Ruggles, a miner . . . Allen Abbott
Dusty Rhodes, an Irishman . . . Allen Abbott
Mike Doyle, an Irishman . . . Allen Abbott
Geo. Smith, his assistant . . . Ernest Purves
Richard Hamilton . . . Ed Cochrane
Tom Howarth . . . Blin Coleman
Dan Doomsday . . . Robt. Purves
Hans Van Bosh . . . G. R. Carlock
Kate Laurel . . . Delia Abbott
Madge, a brave girl who assumes the guise of Mark Lynch . . . Nellie Purves
Bessie, sister to Madge . . . Laura Phelp
Prof. Hermann. . . G. R. CarlockAshland Tidings, January 21, 1901, page 3
"Uneeda Bill" . . . Ed Cochrane
Last week there was a debate at Phoenix between Rev. Mr. Badger of Ashland and Prof. W. J. Dean of Wagner Creek, the subject being "Is the Bible the Inspired Word of God?" The former took the affirmative and the latter the negative.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 25, 1901, page 7
The Spiritualists of Southern Oregon will hold a grove meeting at the Rose grove, near Phoenix, Sunday, August 18th. All friends are invited.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 16, 1901, page 7
Talent, Oregon.--Have been taking the [Blue Grass] Blade for about a year. It is all O.K. I take the Blade, the Truth Seeker, Green's Magazine and the Torch of Reason. The Blade is the most interesting of all of them. My stepdaughter sent for a copy of "Behind the Bars" for me as a Christmas present. I was much interested in it. Your pen must have been run by an electric motor to have written it in the time you did. I send you a copy of my pamphlet on "The Bible Prophecies." I had a six nights' debate, last spring, with a Campbellite preacher. Hurrah for the National Liberal Party! I hope and believe it will flourish. Wonder if the Truth Seeker will mention your Cincinnati meeting at all. The old organization is on its last legs; can hardly make an audible crow.--W. J. DEAN.
"Condensed Letters," Blue Grass Blade, Lexington, Kentucky, March 9, 1902, page 8
Talent, Oregon--I am elated at the success of our new organization, and admire the officers of the N.L.P. [National Liberal Party]--W. M. RICHARDS.
"Condensed Letters," Blue Grass Blade, Lexington, Kentucky, March 23, 1902, page 5
THE MADDOCK-HOOVER DISCUSSION.Editor Free Thought magazine:
BY W. J. DEAN.
I was much interested in Harry Hoover's letter to John Maddock, in [the] February number of the Magazine. I have not seen the article of Mr. Maddock in the Adept, but presume that the ground is covered in the reply to Mr. Hoover. I was not a little surprised to read in that, reply statements as follows: "Evolution is not the result of differentiation, but forms are evolved and differentiated by the Great Dynamis." "It is absolutely true that the Great Dynamis reigns in every organism." "Forms are evolved and dissolved; the Great Dynamis cannot be." "Environment cannot change species."
Mr. Maddock takes nature for his authority rather than Darwin, Haeckel, etc. Now, while I advocate taking truth for authority, instead of authority for truth, yet from the vast amount of evidence presented by these great investigators that changes in environment do result in modifications of forms, I supposed the question was settled.
I was under the impression that evolutionists in general agree that modifications in form and function in animal organisms are, for the most part, brought about by changes in modes of life, and that changes in modes of life mainly result from changes in their environments, as, for instance, the slow transformation of gill-breathing into lung-breathing fishes, resulting from the gradual drying up of shallow lakes. I supposed, also, that evidence was lacking to support the theory of special creations.
Mr. Maddock places an intelligent creative force in matter. If this force created matter it must have been outside of, and entirely separate from, matter before it created it, so the theory is practically the same as that of an intelligent creative power that has always resided outside of matter. In other words, the Great Dynamis and the Great I Am of our orthodox friends are practically identical.
It always seemed to me that the theory of creation either falls short or overreaches--proves too little or too much. It is utterly inconceivable that a designer could come into being spontaneously, therefore a designer necessitates a previous designer, this a previous one, and so on, requiring an infinite number of designers.
One would naturally look for evidence of unlimited wisdom and goodness in all the works of a creator. Now, when we note the fact that a large portion of animal organisms but serve the purpose of food for other forms of animal life--created to be devoured--it is easy to conclude that something is wrong somewhere. Mr. Maddock would, I should judge, have his Great Dynamis bring into being a new form of animal life or plant whenever in his or its judgment such a new creation was necessary. Now, I would respectfully ask if there was ever a time when botflies, fleas, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, deadly microbes and poisonous plants were needed in the economy of earthly affairs?
Then how does Mr. Maddock account for the presence of rudimentary organs found in nearly every animal organism? .Naturalists regard these alone as affording ample evidences of the truth of evolution.
Fishes in the Mammoth Cave have eyes partially atrophied, and it is a only a question of time when every vestige of visual organs will be eliminated. Is not this the result of changes in environment?
Surely, if the Great Dynamis "evolved and differentiated" the different forms, he would not be so unwise as to permit the retaining of useless organs, thus subjecting the new organism to the trouble of carrying about parts that serve no purpose.
Really, creation on the "evolution and differentiation'' plan, i.e., giving an organism a start and then letting these processes get in their work, generally advancing, but now and then retrograding, would not, it seems to me, be the system adopted by a wise being.
I candidly confess that I can see no design or purpose in nature. To my mind the evidence is conclusive that changes in the forms and functions of animal organisms are, for the most part, the result of external causes, according to the general laws of nature, some of which are not understood, but irrespectively of any design or purpose whatever.
I am aware that some able writers do not consider the word cause exactly the term to use in this connection, but I can see no objection to it, especially if used in a passive sense. The question is, whether changed surroundings cause or result in a modification of organisms. In the case of fishes in slowly drying ponds, it is evident that an increased amount of air being admitted into the gill cavities would cause a gradual modification in these organs to adapt them to the new conditions, as much so as that a hot climate tends to change the color of the skin, thus rendering it less affected by a burning sun.
In the "struggle for existence'' on the survival of the fittest theory, those organs that are the best fitted to endure some change of condition survive, while others perish. There are found instances in which the fittest for the new conditions would not be the fittest had the conditions remained unchanged.
In any case we can say that it is generally due to the changed environment that the modified organisms exist.
The survival of the fittest theory may be briefly stated as follows: There are marked differences in individuals of the same species; no two are alike. If a change in external conditions arise, those individuals that are the best fitted survive, and the others go to the wall.
As Huxley puts it: "Cats exist not in order to catch mice well, but because they can catch mice well."' In other words, mice coming into existence resulted in the evolution of organic forms fitted to catch and subsist on mice; but any design or purpose back of it all is not apparent, i.e., to me.
Mr. Maddock's theory seems to be that the Great Dynamis always existed, or, perhaps, was self-created. He is, I presume, aware that like theories are held regarding the Great I Am, so it is difficult to see that his Great Dynamis is any improvement on our old conceptions--simply a change of terms. It is to be regretted that Mr. Maddock did not offer us a brand-new, up-to-date First Cause--with all modern improvements.
I sincerely hope and believe that Bro. Maddock will consider this a friendly criticism of his theory. A little wholesome swapping of views is a help all around. I have greatly admired his articles in the Free Thought magazine and hope he will come again and often. Also with him I feel grateful to Mr. Green for granting space for such interchange of views.
Talent, Oregon.Free Thought, Chicago, April 1902, pages 231-233. John Maddock replied in the May 1902 issue, pages 276-279.
Talent, Ore.--If you decide to get the Linotype you may count me for $1. If I had the shekels as some Liberals have the above would be different. An old freethinker bachelor died here a few days ago leaving an estate of $125,000 to his nephews and nieces and the lawyers. Never gave $10 [to] the Liberal cause. Such Liberals (?) don't count.--W. J. DEAN.
"Condensed," Blue Grass Blade, Lexington, Kentucky, May 11, 1902, page 6
Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Smith, I. A. Palmer and Sam'l. Murray drove up to Wagner Creek Sunday, where they spent the day with friends and attended a Spiritualist meeting which was held in a grove on that stream, the day being too hot to hold their meeting in their hall, which that vicinity has there.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 25, 1902, page 6
THE CHRIST STORY, OR THE FOUNDATION DEFECTIVE.
(By W. J. Dean, of Talent, Oregon.)
is a pamphlet for sale at the Blade office, that is a fine condensation of the argument against the Christian religion, based on the New Testament.
Price 20 cents--12 for $1.00.
Blue Grass Blade, Lexington, Kentucky, August 24, 1902, page 6
Talent, Ore., Oct. 24, 1902.Editor Blue Grass Blade:
I read, with much interest, the article of J. B. Wilson, M.D. in a late number of the Blade regarding the keeping of a representative at Washington to head off the nicely laid schemes of the pious enemies of free government. If we Liberals are going to organize (for we must all work in harmony in this matter, at least) at all effectively, we must get a move on ourselves and get in some good licks.
If all of those who profess to be Liberals would only work together enough to become paid-up members of one or the other of our national organizations we would not only keep an able representative at Washington, but have ample means left to scatter effective Liberal literature all over the land, send out lectures and make ourselves a power generally, and the $1.00 a year is a trifle compared with the shekels that church members are yearly called upon to "give to the Lord."
Come, brother Liberals, let us add a few thousand members to our national organizations before the end of the year. What say you?
W. J. DEAN.Blue Grass Blade, Lexington, Kentucky, November 16, 1902, page 6
Talent, Ore., Nov. 4, '02P. W. Geer
My Dear Sir
Your favor of 31st ult. at hand. Come this way by all means, if possible. Drop me a card so I can meet you at station, as I live 1½ miles away. Am very very glad that Mr. W. approves of my effort at Christ Story. It cost me quite a bit of study & looking up & I have enough approbation in my [illegible] to enjoy having the booklet appreciated. Have received many splendid letters of commendation. At Mr. Wakeman's request I have just sent an article to Torch on the mythical Jesus. I have looked into that subject a good deal & "them's my sentiments" as found in the article.
Come prepared to stay a few days. I'll take you around to some of the big orchards. Hoping to hear from you soon,
I remainTranscribed from letter offered on eBay; faint scans on file. The envelope was addressed to "T.B.W. & Mr. P. W. Geer, L.U.O. [Liberal University of Oregon], Silverton, Ore."
W. J. Dean
Talent, Ore., Nov. 4, '02Prof. T. B. Wakeman
My Dear Sir
At your request I send you an article on the mythical character of Jesus. The subject is, as you know, is a big one, and of course in a newspaper article I could only skim over a part of the ground. The evidence alluded to in the article is what made the greatest impression on me. The evidence for the astronomical origins of many features is good, but have to be traced far back & I deemed it best not to touch upon it.
My main object is to awaken inquiry. I fear, though, that I have been too lengthy, though I rewrote & lopped off several paragraphs. Please find enclosed a few stamps for extra copies of Torch, should you print it.
Should you print it in Torch, if you will have, say, 300 or 400 leaflets struck off while type is set up, do so & I will make it all right with you for the extra expense.
[illegible] to retain enough to [illegible] on inside back cover of Christ Story you have & send the balance.
Hope you will have no serious trouble in making out ms. I do not boast of my chirography.
Should you find my plan (as you are likely to) which could be improved by a change in wording you are at full liberty to make such change.
Just received a line from Mr. Geer. Thinks he may drop in on us soon. Don't let him get out of that notion. Should like ever so much to see him.
Most fraternally,Transcribed from letter offered on eBay; faint scans on file. The envelope was addressed to "T.B.W. & Mr. P. W. Geer, L.U.O. [Liberal University of Oregon], Silverton, Ore."
W. J. Dean
Talent 11-18-02Prof. T. B. Wakeman
My Dear Sir--
Copies of Torch containing first part of my article recd. Thanks. As stated in a previous letter, you are at liberty to make any changes you see fit, even to inserting one or more appropriate quotations from yourself. I notice in part now printed that the type has "missionary" doctrines of Paul in place of "visionary" as in ms.
Had a fine visit with Mr. Geer. Wish he could have made a longer stop.
He spoke about your connection with Man & Scientific Man along in the '80s. I showed him a package of 20 or 30 of those papers that I had preserved for reference. They are O.K.
Most respectfullyTranscribed from letter offered on eBay; scan on file. The envelope was addressed to "Prof. T. B. Wakeman, L.U.O. [Liberal University of Oregon], Silverton, Ore."
W. J. Dean
Talent News Items.
The train pulls in to Talent twice a day irregularly. It is allowed to depart peacefully with no material damage done. The engineer invariably rings the bell when approaching town. Our people recognize this as an act of courtesy that is justly due them, and many times the population turns out in force at the depot, and, though it may not be generally credited, the writer has seen at least ten people of both sexes there at one time. We are strictly up to date, beginning the new week at exactly 12 o'clock and one minute Sunday morning. People desiring a quiet rest are cordially invited to a sojourn in our city, as we do not have the noise and bustle of most cities. Oakland and Alameda furnish residences to many of the business men of San Francisco. East Portland performs the same office for Portland. And Talent is not at all like these cities. For some strange and unaccountable reason neither of the earth's poles protrude from our city, though it has long been recognized as the pivotal point about which the earth performs its diurnal revolution. Phoenix is a pleasant village in the suburbs of Talent. Anyone desiring a still more quiet place than our city would do well to locate there, for it is said that the people there will not be outdone in that particular. Ashland is located four or five miles to the south of us. Our people have not considered it of enough importance to warrant a streetcar line connecting it with this city. Some people have gone so far as to intimate that the village in question ought to be considered equal to Talent, but the mention of one circumstance proves beyond a doubt that Ashland isn't in it, viz: It is the will of our people that we license no saloons, and the necessary resultant is, there are none; as for Ashland--well, I've heard that even the hydrants send forth a stream of "booze," if you turn the faucet with the right pressure. So much for the ingloriously defeated would-be champion of "Burntville." It may be that in the minds of some our citizens are bigoted on account of the fame we have unconsciously aroused throughout the world, but we are not--we are simply elevated by conscious pride of our undisputed mastery of the secret of municipal legislation, which has long been sought for by various other cities, and who now turn green with envy as they see our glorious success. But we can afford to be magnanimous. Listen and I will, Prometheus-like, steal the secret of this power of wise government and give it to you, that you may ever look upon me as a benefactor. Treasure it among the holy thoughts of your temple. Here it is: Few people and no officers.
Medford Mail, December 5, 1902, page 5
Emmett Beeson of Talent, the successful stock and nursery man, is in Medford today. He informs us that not a great many trees remain in the nursery he is interested in with J. Huger.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 7, 1903, page 4
Editor Blue Grass Blade:
I have just received from the venerable G. W. Lloyd, of New Rochelle, a pen-staff made from the hickory tree that grew over the grave of Thos. Paine, for which inspiring keepsake the donor has my sincere thanks. Were one, in spiritualistic parlance, a "sensitive," the very presence of the little piece of wood should inspire the powers to write burning words on all subjects pertaining to the freeing of the human mind from the fetters of religious and political slavery.
In common with all true liberals, I hold highest honor to the memory of Thomas Paine. I have in my possession one of the original copies of his Rights of Man, published in 1793, which I unearthed from a lot of rubbish in an old junk shop in Victoria, B.C.
You may be sure I value it highly. On one occasion a gospel singer, who was short on brains, but long on jaw, while bitterly aspersing the name of Thos. Paine, made the statement that Washington was too pure and noble a man to be on familiar terms with a blasphemous infidel like Thos. Paine, and that the letters purporting to be from him to Paine, which appear in "some of the editions" of Rights of Man, were placed there by Paine's admirers and were not in the original. Then I drew the copy on him just to see him squirm. Then think of the dastardly fling made by President Roosevelt at that grand patriot! Is it not enough to make every true liberal resolve to get a business move on himself?
While freethinkers are seldom hero worshipers in the general sense of the term, I regard it as our pleasure and a privilege to venerate the memory of Thomas Paine, and to appreciate his splendid services in behalf of our country.
Liberals the world over should make ceaseless efforts to redeem the name of the author-hero from the odium which hateful orthodoxy has put upon it.
W. J. DEAN.Talent, Oregon.
Blue Grass Blade, Lexington, Kentucky, January 25, 1903, page 7
"Use not vain repetitions as the heathen do."--(J.C.)
Editor of Blue Grass Blade--In commenting on the letters of a correspondent who finds so many discrepancies in the double accounts recorded in Ezra 2, and Nehemiah 7, and who calls attention to the repetition of the last two verses of 2nd Corinthians in Ezra 1, you state there are two chapters in the Bible just alike, and ask any of your readers to name them. The 19th Chapter of 2nd Kings is repeated in Isaiah 37. In each of these chapters are found the famous verses that tell us 185,000 men awoke one fine morning and found themselves all dead. It may be that the Almighty considered that event as of sufficient importance to justify repetition. The 14th and 53rd Psalms are, excepting one verse, identical. The first few verses in 2nd Kings 20 are duplicated in Isaiah 38. There are many instances of duplicate verses especially in Psalms. One verse in the 107th Psalms occurs four times. There are also many examples of double, and even triple, accounts of the same transaction which, though not verbally identical, are not sufficiently varied in matter and style to justify a repetition. There is much in Kings that is retold in Chronicles. As is well known not a few of the double records are perplexingly complicating. Of course all are inspired, but they all cannot be true. I would call the attention of Blade readers to the remarkable discrepancies in the double accounts recorded in the last chapter of 2nd Samuel and the 21st chapter of 1st Chronicles. Note the wondrous injustice, goodness and mercy of the Almighty when he destroyed 70,000 inoffensive people to punish David for doing just what God told him to do. Of course you may put me down for "Dog Fennel." Swipe all the sacred relics you can. No harm in so doing, for those old curios are miraculously endowed with power to reproduce themselves. If a piece is knocked off another will grow on. I speak of a small piece of chloride of sodium from the statue of Mrs. Lot. Better knock the whole head off and bring it hack with you. It would be a prime curio for the B.G.B. office.--W. J. DEAN, Talent, Oregon.
"Short Letters from Friends," Blue Grass Blade, Lexington, Kentucky, March 1, 1903, page 4
Mrs. A. D. Platt, Ashland.
Mrs. S. M. Pefferle, Ontario.
W. J. Dean, Talent.
Honorary Vice Presidents of National Liberal Party, Blue Grass Blade, Lexington, Kentucky, June 21, 1903, page 8
THE CHRIST STORY.
Talent, Ore., Aug. 27, 1903.Charles C. Moore:
My Dear Sir--Enclosed find 16 cents for postage on Dog Fennel, which I have just received and am reading every minute of my leisure time. Am going to try to get us a club for the Blade. Most fraternally,
W. J. DEAN.
----Comment--Bro. Dean has presented to the Blade a large number of copies of his booklet, "The Christ Story," which we have for sale at ten cents each.
It is a good little book. It is, in a condensed form, the argument against the Christian religion that was first made in the second century, by Celsus, in his "Logos Alethes," and then made by Paine in his Age of Reason, and then made by me, in my first book, "The Rational View."
The whole edition of my book has been exhausted, and I will only print another when there seems to be sufficient demand to justify it.
Bro. Dean's book is splendid to be carried around in the pocket as a poser to Christian apologists.
We will sell you a dozen for $1.
Blue Grass Blade, Lexington, Kentucky, September 13 and 20, 1903, page 7
RUSSELL COOK DEMENT. During the half century of Mr. Dement's residence in Oregon he has witnessed the growth and development of this commonwealth, the enlargement of its commercial interests, the improvement of its agricultural domain and the building up of cities that rival the long-established towns of the East. In common with the prosperity of the state has been his individual success, largely secured through his connection with the cattle business. At this writing he has more than five hundred head of cattle, six hundred head of sheep and about twenty-five head of horses on his range, which includes twenty-three hundred acres in Coos County and twenty-six hundred acres in Curry County. In addition he owns (but leases to other parties) a dairy ranch of one hundred and eighty-seven acres at Norway, stocked with forty head of cows. During 1899-1900 he built the attractive modern residence at Myrtle Point, where he now makes his home. At the opening of the town he bought seventy-eight acres adjacent thereto and later purchased twenty acres within the city limits, all of which he still owns.
A resident of Oregon since 1852, Mr. Dement was born in Monroe County, Ohio, October 11, 1847, being a son of Samuel and Caroline (Spencer) Dement, natives of Ohio, the former born October 5, 1822. The paternal grandfather, William Dement, was one of the first settlers of Monroe County, Ohio, where he improved a farm from the wilderness and made his home until he died, at eighty-two years of age. During 1851 Samuel Dement started for the coast, stopping en route with a brother-in-law near St. Joseph, Mo. The journey was taken up with ox teams in 1852 and continued for six months through many hardships and much suffering from cholera and kindred dangers. After a short sojourn in Corvallis, Ore., he pushed his way on to Jacksonville, Jackson County, where he worked at blacksmithing. He also belonged to the home guards during the Indian war, known as Rogue River War of 1853. In the fall of 1853 he moved to Empire City, being among the first to settle there, and in March, 1855, moved on a donation claim on the south fork of the Coquille River, comprising three hundred and twenty acres. When Mr. Dement moved on this donation claim in 1855 there were no white families living nearer than sixty miles. Indians were numerous and there was one village (ranch) within one-quarter mile. During the ensuing years he was busily engaged in converting the wild land into a home and stock farm. He was one of the first to bring cattle into this section and the first to improve the common cattle by importing full-blooded Shorthorns, of which he was a great admirer.
On account of ill health Mr. Dement was forced to abandon active labors. A visit was made to California in 1886 with the hope of regaining health, but a month later he died. He was sixty-three at the time of his death. Ever since the organization of the Republican Party he was a believer in its principles and a supporter of its platform. His first wife, who died many years ago, was a daughter of a Maryland gentleman who settled in Ohio and carried on farm pursuits there until his death.
Besides his two sisters (both now dead), Russell C. Dement has three half-brothers and one half-sister. When he came to Oregon educational opportunities were less common than at present. The system of training in the log schoolhouse where he was a pupil was crude and undeveloped. However, after he was grown he had the advantage of a term in an academy at Portland, this state. Upon attaining his majority he began farming and stock-raising on a pre-emption claim of land near his father's place in Coos County, and this land is still in his possession, being used for a stock ranch. During 1873-74 he engaged in the meat business at Empire and Marshfield. On resuming ranch pursuits he settled on the south fork of the Coquille River, where he remained until 1882. His next purchase was also situated on the Coquille River, his object in making the change of location being for the purpose of living near a school. During 1889 he bought and moved to a ranch near Norway, this state, and from there went to Bandon in 1896, but two years later returned to the farm on the south fork of the river, his final removal being in 1899 to Myrtle Point.
At Fairview, Coos County, Mr. Dement married Lucy A. Norris, who was born in the Willamette Valley, a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Boone) Norris. Her father, who was born near Baltimore, Md., removed to Missouri in early manhood and there married a descendant of Daniel Boone. Crossing the plains in 1844 he settled in Oregon City, Ore., where he followed the blacksmith's trade. In the building of the first mills in Oregon he was actively interested. Among his intimate friends was Dr. McLoughlin, the illustrious pioneer. Others of the men who made Oregon were numbered among his companions and friends. At his death, which occurred near Fairview on his home farm, he was mourned as a worthy man and progressive citizen. His widow is still living in Myrtle Point, and is now seventy-seven years of age. Of the children comprising the family of Mr. and Mrs. Dement, one died in infancy, and the following are now living: Nellie E., Eunice, Raymond B., Winifred, Ellis, Lester, Clare and Harry.
On the ticket of the Republican Party, whose principles he supports, Mr. Dement has been elected to a number of local offices. At different times he served as school director, and he is now filling his second term as county commissioner. Whether in an official capacity or as a private citizen, all of his duties have been met with a quiet fidelity and tactful intelligence that are among his characteristics. It has been said of him that he possesses in an exceptional degree those qualities of mind and heart which win and retain friends.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Western Oregon, Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904, pages 803-804
Talent, Ore.--You can count me in for one of Dr. Wilson's books if he concludes to attend the Freethought Congress. I hope he will go. He is the best one in the Liberal ranks for that undertaking. Under another cover I mail you a copy of my Christ Story. It may amuse you.--W. J. DEAN.
Blue Grass Blade, Lexington, Kentucky, January 3, 1904, page 5
W. J. Dean, of Talent, Oreg., in a long and interesting letter, after studying the Procession of Planets, says in part:
". . . So I will say, you may be right and the other fellows wrong, and I don't care if you are. . . . It gives me great satisfaction to know that one out-and-out twentieth century liberal is able to give the old long-haired scientists a few new points and have plenty left. . . . Accept my prayers for your success. . . ."
Higher Science of the Motion of Matter, Los Angeles, March 1904, page 79
THE CHRIST STORYBlue Grass Blade, Lexington, Kentucky, March 20, 1904, page 5
by W. J. Dean of Talent, Ore. is a pamphlet of twenty-five pages, price 10 cents, which is an arsenal of facts condensed in a nutshell. This brochure deserves to be carefully read and mentally digested by the clergy and laity as well as Liberals. If Mr. Dean's exegesis of the Christ story is not true, the clergy should hasten to prove that it is false; and if it is true, the world should know it as soon as possible. This pamphlet should be read in the House of Bishops, all church councils and theological seminaries. It is time the truth in regard to the so-called "Prince of Peace" were known, and the vexing questions settled forever.
Mr. Dean's title page has the following excellent maxims:
"Let us reason together."--Jehovah.
"Search the Scriptures."--Jesus.
"Let us be honest."--Ingersoll.
All these contain excellent advice and if the world would act upon it it would learn the truth, and "the truth shall make you free."
The world would be greatly benefited if women, instead of investing in new spring hats, would buy "thinking caps" and read The Christ Story by W. J. Dean of Talent, Ore.
PROHIBITION AND ANTI-PROHIBITION.
Vote Against Local Option.
W. J. Dean, a leading prohibitionist of Jackson County, announces he will vote against local option. The prohibition element depended upon him to support, but he says:
"I am an earnest advocate of temperance, but candor compels me to state I must vote against the present local option. It seems to mean one thing, but means another.
"May every voter in the state carefully examine the law before casting his vote. If this is done the famous, or infamous, local option law will soon be a dead letter on the statutes of Oregon, and such a consummation is devoutly to be wished by
"W. J. Dean."
Roseburg Plaindealer,November 3, 1904, page 2
Dean Not a Prohibitionist.
Ashland, Ore., Nov. 5, 1904.
EDITOR PLAINDEALER:--A clipping from a late copy of your paper regarding W. J. Dean just received and in reply would say Mr. Dean did what he could before the June election to defeat the local option bill. He used to be a school teacher in the Willamette Valley; came to Southern Oregon about 15 years ago. Taught school here for a few terms. Married a widow who had some property. Has been known as a leader of the agnostic faith and took a prominent part in a hall which was dedicated to "Universal Mental Liberty." He takes delight in opposing all that the Christian people try to promote. Has never been a prohibitionist. Formerly was a Republican then a Populist, and I think through personal friendship for Mr. Tongue he supported him for Congress. The clipping from the Plaindealer is entirely misleading when it classes Mr. Dean as a "leading prohibitionist." He said himself a few months ago that he had lost his influence politically, and some of use believe him in that.
Yours truly,Roseburg Plaindealer,November 7, 1904, page 3
J. T. ABBOTT,
Pastor, M.E. Church.
History S.O. Spiritual Society.
I have been requested to write a short history for publication of the factors which contributed to the organization of the First Spiritual Society of Southern Oregon. At this time, when "Memorial Hall" is completed, and the event of dedication on April 2, 1905, to the cause of Spiritualism will be celebrated, this explanation will give the facts and also be a kind remembrance to two of Jackson County's old citizens.
Mr. and Mrs. John Holton were early pioneers to the Pacific Coast. They came to Jackson County when the red men still laid claim to Rogue River Valley as a hunting ground. My acquaintance with Mr. Holton dates back about twenty years, and I soon found that he held (then to me) peculiar views about the future life. Mr. and Mrs. Holton were Spiritualists, and their knowledge of Spiritualism dated back to the Rochester rappings on March 31, 1848. They often told me, when they "passed over," as they called it, all their property should be donated to the promulgation of Spiritualism, and a hall with free rostrum for both men and women was their ideal.
Others favorable to organization were Mr. and Mrs. L. E. Payne, of Ashland, also Mrs. M. J. Hockersmith, and on Nov. 24, 1888, we met at the farm home of John Holton, on Wagner Creek. I called the meeting to order, stated the object of this preliminary meeting, and John Holton was called to act as chairman and myself as secretary. Mr. and Mrs. John Holton again expressed their desire to give to an incorporated society which was legally organized under the laws of the state of Oregon, all their property, real and personal, and proposed that we incorporate under the name "The First Spiritual Society of Southern Oregon."
Committee on incorporation, constitution and by-laws--Mrs. L. E. Payne, Mrs. M. J. Hockersmith and Wm. H. Breese, to report at the meeting to be held on Dec. 20, 1888, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Breese, to form a permanent organization.
On Dec. 20, 1888, a permanent organization was perfected, and the following constitution adopted:
----Whereas, Experience has shown that knowledge can be more rapidly acquired by combination of effort than singly, we, whose names are hereto annexed, have agreed to form an association to be known as the First Spiritual Society of Southern Oregon, and for its better government do hereby establish the following constitution:
Section 1. The name, style and title of this Association shall be the First Spiritual Society of Southern Oregon, and our aim and object are set forth in the following declarations:
Section 1. We believe that there is a spirit world and that mankind in the way of evolutionary and progressive soul unfoldment do retain their individuality after that change takes place known as death; and we believe that if we observe certain psychological conditions, soul aspirations and sympathies, we may become connected with and receive communications and light by influx from such spirit world and they can return and communicate with us.
Section 2. We believe that the truth will never suffer by investigation; therefore, in order to get the best and most thorough information on all subjects we hereby declare that our rostrum and platform is free to all. Nobody shall be debarred from expressing his or her honest opinion on account of race, color, religion or sex.
Section 3. We believe that mere physical phenomena will not spiritualize mankind, and may be produced independently of the moral qualities of the medium, but that the higher phases of mediumship, consisting of the currents of inspirational speakers and writers, are dependent for their moral value and force upon the purity of the instrument through which they are transmitted, and consequently we hold all mediums or teachers who act in that capacity before the world to strict accountability for their moral conduct while acting in such capacity.
Section 4. We believe that "morality" is a relative term and progressive as humanity, and therefore this society will not prescribe special rules of moral conduct, leaving that to the individual conscience of its members.
Signed by J. Holton, Mrs. H. C. Holton, R. T. Young, Mrs. A. E. Young, L. E. Payne, Mrs. L. E. Payne, Mrs. M. J. Hockersmith, Mrs. S. A. Morton, Mrs. M. J. Sherman, E. C. Payne, Miss A. J. Payne, Miss E. R. Young, J. B. Plummer, William H. Breese, H. C. Stock.
Trustees elected for one year--R. T. Young, Medford; Mrs. L. E. Payne, Mrs. M. J. Hockersmith, Ashland; John Holton, W. H. Breese, Talent.
Officers--R. T. Young, president; Mrs. L. E. Payne, vice president; Wm. H. Breese, secretary-treasurer.
Since organization the society held regular quarterly meetings for social and intellectual purposes, whenever convenient. Mediums for physical phenomena have at different times served the society and presented tangible proof to the physical senses, that the ego, the intellectual, rational soul, survives the physical dissolution of the body. The philosophy of Spiritualism has been presented by able exponents of national reputation.
The present board of trustees looks to the inauguration of a policy so that all prominent speakers and mediums of national reputation will stop at Ashland.
The society at present has 57 members and many sympathizers, and we hope with regular Sunday meetings and a lyceum for children in our new hall we shall soon double our membership.
Spiritualism is not an obscure belief today. The phenomena are subject to scientific demonstration. The proof to the physical senses of men, of a future life, rest on the phenomena of Spiritualism. Scientists and scholars recognize this and are investigating. Every day some prominent one steps into our ranks. The daily papers are publishing fair and exhaustive reports of our meetings.
The philosophy of materialism, that all living organisms, together with intelligence and love, are expressions and developments of physical laws and forces, will soon be laid on the musty shelves. Spiritual philosophy and phenomena have accepted the challenge; this intellectual battle has got to be fought out between the agnostic scientist and the Spiritualist. The orthodox church lives only on tradition, and does not count in this contest and in this age of critical investigation. The age of "I believe" is past. It has fulfilled its mission and served its purpose. This age demands facts, and proof of the immortality of men. Spiritualism has the facts and proof, and courts investigation. Only on these lines can the church add "knowledge to their faith" and confidently meet the future, realizing that man has only one life and it belongs to two worlds.
W. H. BREESE,
Secretary 1st S. S. of S. Ore.
J. E. SMITH, President.
Ashland Tidings, March 30, 1905, page 1
Mrs. W. J. Dean, of Talent, had an exciting runaway experience, Saturday. Fortunately she received no injuries, but her escape seems almost miraculous. She was driving in a buggy near the James Reames place, in Phoenix precinct, when her horse took sudden fright of some clanking chains on a team of horses being led behind a loaded wagon which she met. The horse whirled and ran and Mrs. Dean was hurled out of the buggy to the ground. She heroically clung to the lines, though, and was dragged under the upturned buggy for a distance of fifty yards by the frightened steed before she was able to stop it. Some painful bruises and abrasions were the most serious injuries the lady received, but the experience is one she is not likely soon to forget.
"Jackson County," Medford Mail, May 26, 1905, page 1
"Southern Oregon Dairy Foods"--W. J. Dean, Talent.
"Program [of] State Dairymen's Meeting," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, November 30, 1906, page 1
Pure Food--Mrs. H. S. Anderson, Oregon City, chairman; Elizabeth Adams, Mrs. Sula Dean, M. M. Birchner, C. T. Scoggins.
Transportation--J. A. Holaday, Deer Island, chairman; A. F. Miller, Mrs. B. K. Denny, Mrs. Lizzie Dufur, W. J. Dean.
"Annual State Grange Will Be Held May 28th at Hood River," Salem Daily Capital Journal, April 16, 1907, page 7
Prominent People Coming
Talent, Aug. 26, 1907
Editor Southern Oregonian,
I wish to announce through your widely circulating paper that Mrs. Clara Waldo, Oregon State Grange Lecturer, and Hon. J. Voorhees, State Organizer, are expected to be in this county in a few weeks for the purpose of organizing granges. They intend to visit any locality that offers a fair prospect for success in that line. Mrs. Waldo is one of the most entertaining speakers in this or any other state, and all, especially those engaged in agricultural pursuits, should hear her.
Any parties who desire to have a grange organized in their neighborhood will please communicate with the undersigned to the end that arrangements can be made for place and time of meeting, etc. Also when requested the undersigned will gladly answer questions and furnish literature bearing upon the aims and objects of the organization.
It is perhaps needless to say that the grange, or Patrons of Husbandry, is generally conceded to be by far the best and most influential farmer's organization in existence. No organization would exert a greater influence in arousing an increased interest in agricultural pursuits in Rogue River Valley or in advancing the moral, intellectual and social standing of its people than the grange.
No other institution has exerted a greater influence in making farm life more attractive to the young. In fact to be helpful to the young, morally, intellectually and socially is a distinctive feature of the organization. In a word, the grange is an up-to-date institution and stands for progress all along the line, and it is hoped that several will be established in this valley.
W. J. Dean
Southern Oregonian, Medford, August 28, 1907, page 8
W. J. Dean of Wagner Creek was a Medford caller Thursday. He is engaged in farming and stockraising and reports that outside pasture was never better, stock being in fine condition.
"Social and Personal," Medford Daily Tribune, January 11, 1908, page 4
The local grange held a pleasant and profitable meeting last Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., with a most substantial and appetizing luncheon served in the hall at noon. A large number of the members were present, and the meeting is said to have been one of the best since the grange was organized. County Deputy W. J. Dean, of Talent, was present in an official capacity to instruct the grange in the secret work of the order and afterwards delivered an interesting talk to the members. Mr. Dean has been making a special study of the soil, and it is the intention of the grange to arrange a date in the near future and invite Mr. Dean to make an address on that subject before an open meeting of the order.
Excerpt, Central Point Herald, January 30, 1908, page 1
An effort will be made Saturday evening, February 29, to organize a Grange out at the Dimmick school house. Mrs. N. M. Perham and others in that neighborhood have been busily engaged in securing names for the charter list, and they seem to have been quite successful.
District organizer W. J. Dean, of Talent, Jackson County, will be present to conduct the proceedings.
"More Granges for Josephine County," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, February 28, 1908, page 1
W. J. Dean of Talent passed through Medford recently for the Willamette Valley, where he will look after matters of business for the next two weeks.
"Local Briefs," Southern Oregonian, March 4, 1908, page 8
GRANGE ORGANIZED IN DIMMICK DISTRICT
There's an Encouraging Outlook for Large Membership of Workers.
A Grange was instituted last Thursday evening at the Dimmick school house, 1½ miles west of Grants Pass, by W. J. Dean, of Talent, district deputy. This Grange is to be known as Dimmick Grange and started off with 35 charter members. . . .
There is a likelihood that a Grange will be instituted in the Centennial District, three miles southeast of Grants Pass, and at Murphy, seven miles south of this city. A number of farmers in both districts are taking an active interest in the Grange movement and have taken up with District Deputy Dean the matter of organizing Granges in their respective communities. District Deputy Dean has employed Mrs. H. M. Parham to make a canvass of the Centennial District, and if she can secure the required 30 members he will institute a Grange there. Later the work will be taken up in the Murphy and other sections of the county where there is a possibility of organizing Granges. Josephine County now has four Granges, three being at Dimmick, Wilderville, Dryden and Holland. Jackson County has two, these being at Talent and Central Point.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, March 13, 1908, page 1
Last Saturday afternoon a grange was organized at the Centennial school house, three miles southeast of Grants Pass, by State Deputy W. J. Dean, of Talent.
"Grange Takes Up Civic Improvements," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, April 3, 1908, page 1
A quiet, pretty wedding took place in Upper Wagner Creek Valley June 18th, at the pleasant home of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Dean, the latter the bride's mother. The contracting parties were Mr. Louie Colver and Miss Minnie Robison, daughter of the late Robert Robison. Rev. Robt. Ennis of Jacksonville officiated, and the happy couple stood in a bower of roses. The bride wore a beautiful white mohair dress and the groom appeared in the conventional black. After the ceremony the company repaired to the dining room and partook of a sumptuous dinner. The immediate relatives and a few intimate friends comprised the wedding company. The happy couple will go to housekeeping in the old historic Colver house at Phoenix. Both Mr. and Mrs. Colver are grandchildren of prominent pioneer families of the valley. They have the good wishes of a host of friends and relatives and were the recipients of many beautiful and useful presents.--One of the Guests.
Ashland Tidings, July 2, 1908, page 1
Among the many pleasant events that occur in Phoenix, the reception given by Mr. and Mrs. A. S. Furry in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Louie Colver on the evening of June 26 will be one long to be remembered. There were about 100 guests who came to offer their congratulations to the happy young couple, both of whom have grown to manhood and womanhood in our midst and who are loved by all who know them. The decorations were exceedingly beautiful. Many costly and beautiful presents were presented to the young couple on their wedding day and were shown to those who wished to see them. After congratulations were offered the bride and groom and friendly greetings were indulged in, partners escorted the lady friends or wives to the beautifully decorated dining room, where ice cream and cake were served. Thus the pleasant moments were passed and guests took their departure informally, carrying pleasant memories with them.
"Phoenix Items," Medford Mail, July 3, 1908, page 3
W. J. Dean, a well-known citizen of Talent, was attending the fruitgrowers' meeting yesterday.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, December 18, 1908, page 6
THIRTY VARIETIES OF APPLES
W. J. Dean, the pioneer school teacher of the Wagner Creek valley, west of Ashland, who a number of years since dropped the pedagogue's rod and took up the more independent life of a farmer and horticulturist in that fertile region, was in Ashland yesterday. The sale a few days ago of the remaining 58 acres of the H. Coleman place, in his neighborhood, to Mr. Powers, a new resident of the Talent section, for a consideration of some $6500, served to remind him that it was the last of the old Goddard donation land claim which has been divided and subdivided until it now supports eight or more families, showing the rapid development of this region and its devotion to small holdings of orchard and garden lands.
Mr. Dean confines his energies to 14 acres and has become a most enthusiastic and intensive horticulturist, with the greatest faith in the future of the Rogue River Valley as a rich and prosperous fruit section. Orchard and garden and alfalfa occupy his 14 acres, with peaches and apples predominating in the orchard, all promising a bumper yield this season. Mr. Dean has a penchant for apples and boasts of no less than 30 different varieties thriving in the orchard. The fact that his latest harvest showed less than one wormy apple in a thousand speaks well for the effective methods which the vigilant horticulturist may employ against the omnipresent pests.
Medford Mail, May 21, 1909, page 3
Wagner Creek Fife and Drum Corps. Jesse Adams with fife on the right;
Ed White with bass drum.
WAGNER VALLEY PICNIC.
The Members with Their Ladies and Children Had a Nice Outing.
The Wagner Valley Grange had a very successful picnic in the grove near there Sunday. There was a large attendance, and all had an enjoyable time. Music was furnished by the fife and drum corps, composed of J. W. Adams, J. W. Myers and Edward White.
After a nice program had been rendered the matter of getting the Wagner district to join with three others in order to have a high school for the district, and to be located at Talent, was considered. It was also decided that the Grange try to secure five or ten acres of land for a picnic grounds for their own use, and also for the use of others who may wish it.
Short talks were made by Charles Meserve of Medford, W. J. Dean, L. J. Davis, Mrs. Effie Seaman and Welborn Beeson.
Medford Mail weekly, July 9, 1909, page 5
N. O. Powers, who arrived in the valley a few months ago from South Dakota, and who some six weeks since purchased a nice little home of 56 acres on Wagner Creek of Mrs. Sabra Coleman, was in the city yesterday, having brought in Mrs. S. A. Coleman and her daughter, Mrs. John Robison, and son, J. B. Coleman, all of Talent, for an automobile ride and to attend to some business matters.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, July 16, 1909, page 5
W. J. Dean has a small walnut grove on his fruit and dairy farm in Wagner Vale, a mile and a half from Talent, that he planted three years ago this past winter. The trees have made a good growth and are from two to three inches in diameter and from eight to ten feet high and embrace all the standard varieties. While recently a guest at Mr. Dean's home, which by the way is a model to all farmers in the comfort and conveniences of the dwelling and in the perfect order and practical arrangement of the dairy barn, the milk room, the tool house, the poultry farm, as also the well-kept farm, the editor of the Rogue River Fruit Grower in company with Mr. Dean inspected these walnut trees and on one of the Mammoth Fords found four large and perfectly developed nuts. Owing to limited time all the trees were not examined, but it is possible that some of them also have nuts.
Mr. Dean is also testing other nut-bearing trees and shrubs, and some of these are also bearing at a precocious age. Two filbert bushes, a Barcelona and a DuChilly, each three years old, have a number of nuts. A Japanese chestnut, also but three years old, has fully a dozen nuts on it.
"Walnut Bears at Three Years," Medford Daily Tribune,, October 4, 1909, page 1
W. J. Dean as an all-around farmer and fruit raiser probably has the best record in the vicinity of Talent. He has a Rambo apple from his own grafting that weighs 12 ounces, and corn on his place that measures 12 feet in height.
"Talent Tales," Southern Oregonian, October 27, 1909, page 4
H. H. Goddard of Talent was down by Phoenix last Friday preparing to lay the foundation for the new residence of Mr. and Mrs. L. Colver.
"Eden Precinct Items," Medford Mail Tribune, February 9, 1910, page 2
Louie Colver is having the frame of his new dwelling raised. Work will be rushed to completion.
"Eden Precinct Items," Medford Mail Tribune, March 29, 1910, page 4
F. Frideger and his nephew, Isaac Frideger, are up from Medford plastering Louie Colver's new bungalow at Phoenix.
"Eden Precinct Items," Medford Mail Tribune, May 24, 1910, page 5
Wagner Creek Road from the roof of Talent School, looking west toward the Dean house.
Recalls Early Meeting with Harvey ScottW. J. Dean of Talent, Or., writes the following interesting reminiscence of early association with the late Harvey W. Scott of the Oregonian:
Late in the fall of '64 I found myself marooned for several days in the city of Portland, Or.--rained in.
I was just down from the John Day mines and was heading for some educational institution, not yet fully decided upon, but with the University of Seattle strongly in the lead. The next day after arrival, as I was strolling leisurely along the streets dodging the big raindrops to the best of my ability, a sign in a stairway attracted my attention. It was "Portland Library Rooms."
Below this conspicuous heading there was some reading matter in small lettering which, had I taken the trouble to examine, would no doubt have played havoc with the foundation of this sketch.
Be that as it may, my aimless strolling came to an end then and there. In a jiffy I bolted up those stairs into the library room and was soon cozily seated poring over an interesting book and not caring a rap whether the downpour outside let up or not.
I put in full time until noon and was back promptly at 1 o'clock. Next day ditto; but near the close of the day I noticed that the librarian passed near me several times looking rather inquisitively in my direction. Finally he came and sat down by me, asked my name, business, where from, where bound, etc. In few words I gave the desired information and he was intensely interested at once. "If you wish to enter a good school," he said, "you can do no better than go to the Pacific University at Forest Grove. I have recently graduated from that institution and can heartily recommend it." He generously offered to loan me an "armful of books" if I could make any use of them. He talked rapidly and very earnestly for some time, outlining the good points of that university and eloquently dilating upon the advantages to me, or any other young man, of a thorough course of study.
When the time came for closing the library and I was about to retire, he incidentally called my attention to the fact that of course I had not noticed that the library was not free to the public, that certain monthly dues were required, etc. This was an embarrassing revelation, and I hastened to apologize, but he cut me short, said he took in the situation exactly and almost commanded me to come to the library whenever I pleased and make myself at home, also to count on him as a friend--that he would gladly assist me in any way he could.
Then he gave me his name--Harvey W. Scott, adding that while acting as librarian he was putting in spare time reading law and doing some writing for the Oregonian.
Needless to say, I took his advice and was soon enrolled as a pupil at Pacific University. During the school year that followed, whenever I had occasion to go to Portland, Mr. Scott would insist on my calling on him "for a chat." This I was glad to do, for he was one of the most entertaining conversationalists I ever knew. He could make any subject interesting. While but little humor seemed to flow from his pen, in private conversation he showed a keen appreciation of the ridiculous and was a master hand in bringing out the absurd, ludicrous or grotesque in any subject matter in hand. He was intensely in earnest and seldom hesitated, from motives of policy, in giving vigorous expression to his opinions.
For many years it was my good fortune to keep in close touch with this valuable friend. His letters to me were replete with cheering words and wholesome counsel. So it may be inferred that the writer will ever hold in grateful remembrance the name of Harvey W. Scott.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 1, 1910, page 7 This article originally appeared in the Ashland Tidings, November 24, 1910, page 4, then in the Oregonian, November 28, 1910, page 6.
W. J. Dean of Wagner Creek was a Talent caller Wednesday.
"Eden Precinct Items," Medford Mail Tribune, February 13, 1911, page 3
Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Dean of Talent visited Medford and the county seat Thursday.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, March 10, 1911, page 5
The afternoon session was held in G.A.R. hall. Following the reading of the memorials, W. J. Dean of Talent read Mr. Rockfellow's poem entitled "The Trail."
"Pioneers Have Splendid Meet," Medford Mail Tribune, September 12, 1911, page 6
Mrs. W. J. Dean of Talent visited her daughter, Mrs. Louis Colver, of Phoenix, last Thursday.
"Eden Precinct Items," Medford Mail Tribune, October 4, 1911, page 7
W. J. Dean of Wagner Creek transacted business in Medford Thursday.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, October 7, 1911, page 2
Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Dean of Talent visited Mrs. Dean's daughter, Mrs. Louis Colver, of Phoenix last Thursday.
"Eden Precinct Items," Medford Mail Tribune, November 21, 1911, page 3
Mrs. W. J. Dean of Talent has been spending last week with her daughter, Mrs. Louis Colver of Phoenix.
"Eden Precinct Items," Medford Mail Tribune, December 20, 1911, page 3
Oliver Reno Goddard, whose death from pulmonary tuberculosis occurred on the 15th inst., was born on the E. K. Anderson place near Talent on January 5, 1865, and has always resided in the county of his birth. On May 23, 1894, he was married to Miss Belle Nyswaner, who survives him. He is also survived by one son, Jay Goddard, one brother, Hendrick H., and two sisters, Mrs. Sabra A. Coleman and Mrs. Sula I. Dean, all of whom reside in Talent precinct. Early last spring Mr. Goddard had arranged a very cozy and convenient tent-camp in an ideal location a short distance west of Phoenix. He wished to remain in his tent home as long as possible, but finally it was found so inconvenient to give him proper care and attention several miles away, he was removed to the residence of his sister, Mrs. Sula Dean, near Talent, and from this residence the funeral took place. As requested by him, he was buried next to the graves of his parents, B. C. and Demaris Goddard, in the Stearns Cemetery near Talent. The ceremonies were brief, consisting of appropriate songs and a short address by the undersigned.--W. J. Dean.
Ashland Tidings, January 25, 1912, page 6
EMMETT BEESON. A true son of Oregon is Emmett Beeson, having been born near Talent in that state in 1867 and showing in his character and in his conduct during his life those qualities of sturdy and rugged earnestness which are the West's heritage to her sons. He is a practical farmer, having been born on a western ranch and acquiring his knowledge of the details of the business in the practical and efficient school of early experience.
Emmett Beeson was born on his father's farm near Talent, Oregon, on September 18, 1867. He is the son of Welborn and Mary Catherine (Brophy) Beeson. His early life was a test of his strength and reliability. At an age when most boys are not considered out of their childhood, Emmett Beeson was called upon to assume such responsibilities as do not always fall to the lot of a full-grown man. His father had acquired an old donation claim and with his four sons had also taken up claims on the Antelope. When Emmett Beeson was only fifteen years of age, his father's health broke down completely, leaving Emmett, as the eldest son, to assume all the obligations of the claims and the responsibilities of the operation of a home in the new western country. Some time later the father died, leaving a family consisting of his wife and eight children, of whom the youngest was but five years old, entirely dependent upon the exertions of this man of twenty-five. How well he fulfilled his responsibilities the record of his life shows. He now owns upward of seven hundred and seventy-five acres of land in Jackson County, and is living in one of the prettiest little homes in that section of the country. The house is situated in the midst of an eleven-acre tract, and is noted for its traditions of true western hospitality.
On November 14, 1891, Mr. Beeson married Miss Elizabeth Briner, of Jackson County, a daughter of Lemuel Briner, one of the early settlers of this section of the country. To Mr. and Mrs. Beeson have been born four children, Earl D., Everett L., Elton E. and Ellis B.
Emmett Beeson is quite active in the politics of his section, giving his allegiance to the Republican Party. He is well-known in political circles for the honesty and uprightness of his principles. Fraternally he is a member of Ashland Lodge, No. 944, B.P.O.E.; Talent Lodge, I.O.O.F.; Oregon Lodge, W.O.W., and Talent Lodge of the Fraternal Union of America.
Assuming as he did the responsibilities of manhood when scarcely more than a boy, Emmett Beeson's life has been an example of the power of sturdy and unremitting labor in the interests of others, and of the determining influence which responsibility and duty can have upon an upright character.
Joseph Gaston, The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912, 1912, page 840
HENDRICK H. GODDARD is one of the prominent ranchmen and public-spirited citizens of the Wagner Creek district in Jackson County, residing near Talent. He is a carpenter by trade and occupies nineteen acres of the old homestead. He was born November 30, 1885, in Missouri, the son of Blin C. and Damaris (McClain) Goddard, the former a native of New York and the latter of North Carolina. After their marriage the parents removed to Missouri and made that state their home until 1864, when they crossed the plains with ox teams to Oregon, spending their first winter on the old E. K. Anderson place, west of Talent. In the following spring they moved to a farm west of Phoenix, where they spent nearly two years. In the fall of 1867 the father traded that property for a ranch of one hundred and twenty-six acres on Wagner Creek, of which nineteen acres is now owned by the subject of this review. In 1880 the father bought a ranch at the head of Elk Creek, but after residing for two years upon that property he returned to the old home farm, where he lived until the time of his death, in August, 1893, the mother passing away in March of the same year. The father was a republican of considerable prominence in the community and served for two terms as county assessor of Jackson County. He was by trade a carpenter and during his agricultural pursuits at various times occupied himself with the business of building.
Hendrick H. Goddard was reared in the home of his parents and in the schools of Oregon pursued his education. When a young man he learned the carpenter's trade and during the greater part of his life he was employed in the construction of buildings. His little farm, upon which he makes his home, is cultivated by his son, Ormy.
On October 22, 1882, Mr. Goddard married Miss Maggie A. Sherman, of Phoenix, Oregon, and to them were born three children: Fred R., who is attending the Littlejohn Medical College at Chicago, Illinois; and Adelbert C. and Ormy M., both of whom reside at home. In his political views Mr. Goddard is a republican and although he has never been an office seeker he has served for one term as deputy assessor and also for one term as justice of the peace of the Talent precinct. He also takes an active interest in educational matters and for twenty years was a member of the local school board. Fraternally he is a member of Oregon Camp, No. 438, W.O.W. He is one of the well-known and highly respected citizens of his community and is greatly esteemed by a large circle of friends.
Joseph Gaston, The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912, 1912, page 498
JOHN R. ROBISON resides in Talent, Jackson County, where he has a comfortable home with eight acres in connection, on which he has planted fruit trees. While waiting for these trees to begin bearing he is employed as a janitor of the city school building. He is a native son of this state, having been born on Anderson Creek, Jackson County, November 19, 1865, a son of Samuel M. and Hannah E. (Barneburg) Robison, the former a native of Iowa and the latter of Ohio. In 1853 the father crossed the plains with his parents, the journey being made with ox teams, and the mother arrived in this state a short time afterward. Their marriage was celebrated in April, 1864, following which they settled on a part of Grandfather John Robison's donation land claim on Anderson Creek. The father acquired one hundred and sixty acres of land and made his home upon it until the time of his death, which occurred in September, 1911, when he was seventy-five years of age. The mother, who survives, is residing on the home farm.
John R. Robison was reared on the home farm, acquiring his education in the public schools of Jackson County. In 1887, upon attaining his majority, he took charge of the home place, his father having given him at that time forty acres on the north side of the farm. He resided there for two years and then removed to the farm of his father-in-law on Coleman Creek, which he operated for five years. He then took up a homestead on Applegate Creek, where he lived until the spring of 1903. In 1906 he took up his residence on Wagner Creek and the following year traded his Applegate property for the place upon which he how resides in Talent. He has improved this property, having his land all planted to fruit trees, and is at present employed as janitor of the city school building.
In 1887 Mr. Robison was united in marriage to Miss Marcia Coleman, a daughter of Hubbard Coleman and a sister of the present county clerk, W. R. Coleman. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Robison, only one of whom now survives, Ethel, the wife of W. A. Childers, of Oklahoma. Mr. Robison is a Republican in his political faith and takes an active interest in public matters. Fraternally he is connected with Talent Lodge, No. 11, I.O.O.F. He is also a member of the Rebekahs and belongs to Oregon Camp, No. 348, W.O.W., of Phoenix. Mr. Robison is a well-known and popular citizen of Jackson County and is held in high esteem by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
Joseph Gaston, The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912, 1912, page 826
ROBERT EDWARD ROBISON is one of Oregon's native sons and is engaged in agricultural pursuits on a portion of the old family homestead in Jackson County, near Talent. He was born January 30, 1878, the son of Robert Robison. The donation claim upon which he lives was taken up in 1853 by his grandfather, John Robison, who in that year crossed the plains from Illinois to Oregon with ox teams, in company with his wife, Susan Robison. He took up a donation claim of three hundred and twenty acres in Jackson County, near Talent, upon which they spent the remainder of their lives. Robert Robison, their son, was reared on the old homestead, of which he later acquired two hundred and forty acres, and on that place he made his home until the time of his death, which occurred in 1880. The mother of our subject is still living and is now the wife of W. J. Dean, of Jackson County.
Robert E. Robison was educated in the public schools of Jackson County, and at seventeen years of age he took charge of the home farm, which he operated until the time the estate was settled. He is now the owner of eighty-five acres of the original homestead, which he has developed into one of the finest farms in the county.
Mr. Robison was married in 1899 to Miss Blanche M. Morgan, of Tillamook County, and to them were born three children, only one of whom, Erma, now survives. Politically Mr. Robison is an adherent of the principles and practices of the Republican Party, in which he takes an active interest. He is a member of Talent Lodge, No. 211, I.O.O.F., and also belongs to Talent Lodge, No. 187, of the Rebekahs. He holds membership in Oregon Lodge, No. 438, W.O.W., of Phoenix, and belongs to the lodge of Modern Woodmen of America at Talent. He is one of the representative citizens of Jackson County, a man of progressive ideas, individuality and a wide acquaintance, being greatly respected by the members of the community among whom he was born and has made his home since childhood.
Joseph Gaston, The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912, 1912, page 705
Talent's Industrial Fair was a decided success. . . . A plate of filberts grown by Mr. W. J. Dean attracted much interest.
"Talent Fair Is a Great Success," Ashland Tidings, September 22, 1913, page 3
Mrs. W. J. Dean entertained the Tuesday Afternoon Study Club at her beautiful country home about two miles from Talent last week. All the ladies from Talent who were present were driven up on a large hayrack driven by Mrs. John Robison, who is an expert teamstress. The ladies present were: Mesdames John Robison, Ed Robison, Fred Goddard, H. H. Goddard, Sherman, Ed Cochran, Crawford, Wolters, Terrill, James Murray, Peter Vandersluis, Ella Holdridge, C. A. Holdridge, Mattheson and Miss Emma Crawford. Delicious refreshments were served and everyone had a fine time.
"Talent Tidings," Ashland Tidings, January 4, 1915, page 3
The Decoration Day program was planned by Mr. W. H. Mattheson, which took place at the Talent graveyard on Anderson Creek. The program was opened by our patriotic song, "America," sung by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Frame, Mrs. Goddard and Mr. Mattheson. Prayer by Rev. M. C. Reed. Song by the above quartet. Reading by Mrs. Ella Holdridge. Reading by Mrs. W. J. Dean. Song by quartet. Short talk by Prof. G. A. Briscoe of Ashland. Speech by Rev. Reed and song by the quartet. A large crowd gathered for the program.
"Talent Tidings," Ashland Tidings, June 5, 1916, page 3
OLD TALENT CLASSES PICNIC IN PARK.Sunday afternoon the old-time classes of the Talent public schools during the years from 1885 to 1889, under the principalship of W. J. Dean, had a delightful picnic in Lithia Park. These students with their families made up a jolly party of about one hundred, many of whom stayed to the band concert in the park. Of course Mr. Dean was the dean of the bunch, and is to be congratulated on the splendid visible results of his tutelage during the village years of Talent. Of the forty-five pupils attending the classes during the four years mentioned, all are living except four or five. Most of those attending the picnic yesterday are from valley towns, and others who could not be here are scattered over the country. Many were the delightful recollections of the school days of thirty years ago as the members of the party told stories and "joshed" of the times when they were younger.
Those present at the dinner were W. J. Dean and family, G. M. Lowe and family, A. F. Abbott and family, Henry Hansen and family, Laura Patten Powell, L. A. Abbott, Neil Patton Thornton, E. A. Purves and family, R. B. Purves and family, L. J. Davis and family, Welborn Beeson and family, F. E. W. Smith, R. E. Robison and family, J. B. Leach, Miss Edyth Anderson, from Tillamook, and Bertie Webster Mount, from Dunsmuir. An association was organized with Mrs. Lillie Lynch Davis for president. Anyone belonging to the classes in the the Talent schools for the years 1885 to 1889, who was not present yesterday, is asked to communicate with Mrs. Davis.
Ashland Tidings, September 4, 1916, page 4
FOR SALE--First-class rubber-tired top buggy, practically new; also fine new buggy and harness. Either at about one-half first cost. W. J. Dean, Talent. Phone 12-F-13.
Ashland Tidings, September 21-October 12, 1916, page 3
Former Schoolmates Picnic.
In Lithia Park on Sunday, the 24th, W. J. Dean called together his former students, whom he taught at the Wagner Creek School thirty-two years ago. The object of this meeting was to get together the members of the old class, who for various reasons could not attend the picnic given in the park on Sunday, the 10th, when the old class was reorganized. After dinner a few toasts were given and an interesting letter from an absent member was read. Mr. Dean delivered a short address on mental science, pointing out the importance of always looking on the bright side of life. Then a few old school songs, such as "Old Dog Tray," were sung. About eighty were present, including twenty-two of the old scholars and their families and neighbors, thus proving love for Mr. Dean and the appreciation of his earnest work.
Ashland Tidings, September 28, 1916, page 4
Dr. F. R. Goddard--Dear Friend--No doubt you would like to know how the little cow is getting along. Well, her lameness must have been quite serious for we could see no gain worth mentioning until the last 3 or 4 days. I think she will get over it, but it will be slow. She is gaining in flesh, however, and she needs to for she was pretty thin. She will not do much for us until fresh again, but think she will be all right then. So we will take her at $50.00 if you say so & let the amount apply on note or not, as you wish.
Things are so-so in this neck of the woods. High prices continue; same with you no doubt. Eggs 75 per doz. Fresh meat way up. Bacon 50 to 55, etc. Of course we cannot complain about the high price of eggs & butterfat for they are what we have to sell, but they are too high just the same.
Little Thelma Abbott surprised us all the other day by getting married. Joe Silva is the lucky fellow. Bob. Purves' family have moved into their new house and are enjoying the change O.K.
We have to joke Delbert & Ormy about being so slow as to let little folks like Thelma A. beat them in the matrimonial race. Delbert says he will have to wait till he gets enough ahead to get the license. Killed a nice young beef yesterday. We keep a quarter so we can live high for a while.
Car licenses are way up too--$15.00 for our Ford. Guess eggs should go to $1.00 to keep up.
Fairly good health attends us, so we have little to complain about.
W. J. Dean
Letter to Dr. Fred R. Goddard, Klamath Falls, Oregon, postmarked 6 a.m., Nov. 11, 1919
W. J. Dean of Talent is quite ill at his home on Wagner creek above town. Mr. Dean has been in poor health for some time.
“Talent,” Medford Mail Tribune, December 9, 1920, page 5
W. J. Dean to Sula J. Dean, land in sec. 35, tp. 38 S., R. 1W.
"Real Estate Transfers," Ashland Tidings, February 23, 1921, page 2
Card of ThanksWe wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to the friends and neighbors who so kindly helped during the last sickness of our husband and father, also for the kind sympathy and beautiful floral offerings.
MRS. W. J. DEAN,Medford Mail Tribune, March 15, 1921, page 2
MR. AND MRS. R. E. ROBISON,
MR. AND MRS. L. O. COLVER.
Professor W. J. Dean, a former well-known schoolteacher of the Talent and Wagner Creek districts, died at the home of his stepdaughter, Mrs. L. O. Colver, at Phoenix yesterday morning. The deceased was 77 years of ago and had been a resident of Talent for many years and was among the early instructors of Jackson County. Funeral services will probably be held from the Colver home at Phoenix tomorrow, with interment in the Stearns Cemetery at Talent.
"Saturday's News," Ashland Tidings, March 16, 1921, page 3
Among the passengers on the automobile stage for Ashland and Medford this morning were Mrs. H. H. Goddard and Mrs. W. J. Dean.
"Personal Mention," Klamath Falls Evening Herald, June 3, 1921, page 5
CLASS REUNION WAGNER SCHOOL HELD SUNDAY.The fifth annual reunion picnic of Prof. W. J. Dean's class of the Wagner Creek school, the class of the years 1883, '84 and '85, was held in Lithia Park Sunday. Eight members of the class with their families, about forty persons in all, were present to partake of the feast provided. Those of the class answering the roll call were Lilly Lynch Davis, secretary and leader of the class; Nora Webster Hanson, Lovia Webster Abbott, Gusta Schneider Bostwick, Hattie Garvin Bruin [Hattie Gowin Bruin], Theresa Abbott Lowe [Trest Abbott Lowe], Allen Abbott [Allan Abbott] and Welborn Beeson. In looking over the roster of the class of about forty, it was found that four of the girls and one of the boys, together with their beloved teacher, W. J. Dean, have passed on, and of the others, however far they have scattered, here is their home.
It was decided to call the class Dean Chapter No. 1 of the Pioneer Schools Alumni, and to meet again in the park on the first Sunday in August, 1922.
Ashland Tidings, September 7, 1921, page 1 Reprinted from the Medford Mail Tribune of September 5 (page 6), which provided the alternate spellings in brackets.
I remember the day they hanged Berry Way for killing Gallagher at Cold Camp. More than 5000 miners came in from the nearby villages to see the hanging. His trial took place in the open air on the main street, and he was found guilty and sentenced to hang 24 hours later.
Frank McBean, quoted by Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, December 29, 1921, page 8
Mrs. S. A. Coleman, who has been in ill health for years, is very low at the home of her daughter at Talent, Mrs. J. R. Robison, and her demise is looked for within two days.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, November 10, 1923, page 2
MRS. S. A. COLEMAN, EARLY PIONEER, DIES IN TALENT
Mrs. Sabra A. Coleman, a resident of Jackson County, Oregon for 59 years, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. John R. Robison, Talent, Oregon, at 9 o'clock a.m. Sunday, November 11th, 1923 at the age of 76 years, 2 months and 23 days.
Mrs. Coleman was born in Ray County, Mo., Aug. 18th, 1847, and on May 8th, 1864 left there with her parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. B. C. Goddard, by ox team, for Oregon, arriving where the present town of Talent is now located Sept. 29th of the present year [sic].
She was married to the late M. H. Coleman, a pioneer of 1853, at the old Taylor donation land claim, three miles east of Medford on Aug. 14th, 1865.
There was born to said union seven children, five of which survive her, to wit: Elmer C. Coleman, Phoenix, Ore.; Mrs. John R. Robison, Talent, Ore.; William R. Coleman, Medford, Ore.; James B. Coleman, Jacksonville, Ore.; and Mrs. Edith Neathammer, Talent, Ore.; also one brother, H. H. Goddard, Talent, Ore., and one sister, Mrs. W. J. Dean of Phoenix, Ore., all of whom were at her bedside when she passed from this life.
She is survived by 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, besides a large host of friends and acquaintances who mourn her untimely demise.
Funeral services will be held from the residence of John R. Robison, Talent, Ore. at 2 o'clock p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13th. Interment in the Wagner Creek Cemetery.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 12, 1923, page 3
SIX-ACRE RANCH ON WAGNER CREEK SELLS FOR $5000
By Mary O. Carey
EDEN PRECINCT, Dec. 20.--Six acres of land on Wagner Creek have sold for five thousand dollars; this is the price of some of the land in the Talent district. Mrs. Sula Dean last week completed the sale of her home on Wagner Creek to A. J. Sells, who took possession of the place immediately. This was formerly known as the Bob Robinson place, and all the oldtimers remember it thus. It is one of the coziest places along the Wagner Creek Road. Since there has been a walnut grove planted on the place it has become one of the finest little places in that neighborhood.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 21, 1923, page B1
The Evergreen Garden, Talent, Ore., the Home of the Breeses.I am sure you all have seen a neat little caption, Evergreen Garden, just as you are passing out of Talent on your way to Ashland. The little hedgerowed park with its lily pond in the foreground. Rock gardens, iris, pinks and roses as you enter the "home"-y dwelling.
By Mrs. Robert Reame.
So many do not know the Breeses, whose tireless energy has made of this spot one of the beauty grounds of Oregon.
And one doesn't see it all from the highway. Next time you go to Ashland. you just go on the S.P. and look to your left just when the train gets on the high grade in South Talent.
Here you see the springs of crystal water with watercress floating there, and the alfalfa with the Jersey cows cropping and looking and chewing their cud. A dear old black horse farther on, tethered and ready at any time to be tied to the plow, the harrow or the cart, thus playing his part in the "Garden."
There's the long asparagus bed, soft green in a bed of mellow loam.
The berry vines, trained to their trellises, grapes bordering the path.
O, yes, don't forget that path, because it reaches from the railroad track to the Pacific Highway. Not a weed to be seen on either side of it--naught but plants of utility, edible to the humans.
About the center stands "the old apple tree," whose gnarled body, a foot in diameter, still bears fruit of exquisite goodness, although it was there in its usefulness when Mr. Breese bought the place from Mr. Wagner of Wagner Mountain.
A year or two ago, when the pioneers gathered in the beautiful park in Ashland, Mrs. Breese gave me some of its apples, which I gave Mrs. Miles, the daughter of Mr. Wagner, so she could distribute them one to each pioneer at that banquet.
And, mind you, way back in the '80s it was bought by the Breeses.
Comparable, this tree, to the venerable patriarch, William Breese.
Satsuma plums, peaches, cherries, figs--all the goodies of fruitdom are there. I'll never forget just one year ago I took the early morning bus to spend a day at Evergreen Garden.
You know, those people get up as soon as day peeps. That's why the "survival of the fittest" reigns there supreme.
It takes system and long hours to create a landscape such as this.
Well, I spent the day there and dear Mrs. Breese stirred up a loaf cake, into which went ground walnuts, chopped fresh figs, eggs, butter, cream, raisins--well, everything but the flour and the sugar were products of that ground.
And what a cake! What a dinner! Nature's benediction, plus hard work.
I forgot to tell of the melons and of the milk house, with its stream of cold spring water flowing through, where the melons are kept cool in "nature's Frigidaire."
Over in that northeast corner, what is that? Mr. Breese's blacksmith shop with its old anvil and bellows.
On down the line comes the chicken coop and the barn, from whose door emerge the cream producers into the alley fenced off all the way to the alfalfa patch and cool waters, where they feed and rest.
May 9--one could see a long line of autos before the house, and in that living room, lying in state, reposed the body of Wm. H. Breese. That grand old man, born in Germany in 1849, going to college in Hamburg, passing out of college with highest honors, receiving a silver cup for his magnificent penmanship.
My, but there was an uncommon man! Would to God each one of us possessed the brains, the character, the steadfastness of William Breese!
Way back in the early 1900s he plied his blacksmith knowledge down in the Panama zone, he and his son; and, mind you, that wife, with the blood of "Old Erin" in her veins, kept up this garden alone. And the same perfection prevailed in that same garden.
Yes, yesterday his body lay there in a profusion of flowers and midst a host of admiring friends and neighbors assembled, who listened to the sweet voice of Edna Andres, singing "Going Home! Going Home!" and to the dear words of our little Anna Rath McDonald, proclaiming the belief of William Breese.
A belief that "as one lives on earth, so he meets his God when earth life is ended!" A belief that proclaims that one's home in that better land is builded by one's deeds while here. Blessed belief! Blessed man!
Mr. Breese, as I have said, spent some years in Panama. where the son later married and was the father of four children when he departed.
Grandpa Breese, having been back in the United States ere this happened, journeyed to Panama and brought back the widow and her little flock.
Soon after, the young mother died, and the grandparents reared the three granddaughters and the grandson to manhood and womanhood.
Two daughters, Alma and Martha, are in California, as are also Alma's two babies, the two great-grandchildren.
But, by that body, whose soul had fled, was Melba and Billie, sitting close to the grandmother who shared equally with the departed in their rearing.
Billie--bless his heart--just fitting into the harness his grandpa had donned, with Grandma at his side, still carrying on.
The same velvet grass, the same weedless garden, will be there. Today, May 9, Billie and Grandpa's remains are on the way to Portland. where that body will be purified and refined.
It matters not! That great soul left it behind Sunday morning, May 7, and he is going home. Going home!
It's not far--just close by, through an open door.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 12, 1933, page 9
As you drive from Ashland to Medford you will see on the south side of the road as you enter Phoenix a beautiful green lawn and a tree-shaded house. When I interviewed Mrs. Dean at her home there recently she said:
"I crossed the plains to Oregon with my parents while the Civil War was in progress. I was born in Ray County, Missouri, on September 19, 1856, and was 8 years old when we crossed the plains, in 1864. My father's name was B. C. Goddard. He was born in New York state. My mother's maiden name was Damaris McClain. There were eight of us children, but there are only two of us living now--my brother Henry Hudson Goddard and myself.
"My father was a justice of the peace at St. Louis. Missouri was so torn by strife during the Civil War that Father decided to go out to Oregon. Father bought a farm just west of Phoenix. He was a carpenter, builder and contractor, and one of the first contracts he took was to build a grist mill on the Applegate. We lived on the place just west of Phoenix till 1866 and then moved to a place on Wagner Creek a mile and a half south of Talent. Father served as county assessor of Jackson County two terms. This was in the '70s. Father died in 1893.
"I was married when I was 18 years old to R. D. Robison, who crossed the plains to Oregon in 1853. The Rev. Bonebrake performed the marriage ceremony. We had three children. My husband died on November 6, 1880. Some time after his death I married Professor W. J. Dean, a graduate [sic] of Pacific University at Forest Grove. He taught school in the town of Joseph in the Wallowa Valley, coming from there to teach here in Talent. That was in 1884. We were married on July 31, 1886, by Judge DePeatt of Ashland. My son, R. E. Robison, has a farm near here. My daughter, Minnie, married Louis Colver, an architect."
Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, August 16, 1933
MRS. ERSULA DEAN PASSES IN PHOENIX
Mrs. Ersula Dean, who formerly resided on Wagner Creek, died today at the age of 77 years, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Louie Colver, at Phoenix. Mrs. Dean had been a resident of Jackson County for seventy years. Announcement of funeral services will be made by the Conger funeral parlors.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 13, 1934, page 1
Impressions and Observations of the Journal ManHendrick Hudson Goddard, interviewed at his farm home a mile and a half from Talent, said:
By Fred Lockley
"I was born in Ray County, Missouri, on November 20, 1858. I was 6 years old when we crossed the plains to Oregon, in 1864, with 13 wagons in our train. Father planned to spend the winter at what is now Talent, and to go on to California the next spring, but the winter was so mild, the country so beautiful, that he fell in love with Southern Oregon and decided to stay.
"The first school I attended was at Phoenix, which in 1865 was a very lively town. My next was the Wagner Creek school. Talent was originally known as Wagner, but was later named for A. P. Talent, who platted the town.
"I was married on October 22, 1882, to Maggie Sherman, who came from Iowa in 1877. We were married by the Rev. Andrew Brown, a Baptist minister, whose home was on Williams Creek, in Josephine County. Our son, Judge Fred R. Goddard, former county judge of Klamath County, now lives near Talent. Possibly you have seen his book entitled 'Selected Poems,' printed at San Francisco in 1931. Our son Delbert has a farm near us. Ormy served in the 77th division. He enlisted with the Oregon troops that were used as replacement units. He went through the Argonne, being on the line from September 26 to Armistice Day. As I am getting a little old for active farming, I have turned our place over to Ormy, who farms it. I was school clerk for 20 years, and I have been deputy assessor and justice of the peace.
"Like my father, I have put in most of my life at carpenter work. My father, in 1876, built the Baptist church at what is now Talent, and built the old Presbyterian church at Phoenix and the Thornton house and many other buildings at Ashland. His name was Olin Carlos Goddard. He was born in New York state on May 22, 1822. My mother's maiden name was Damaris McClain. She was born in North Carolina on November 13, 1826, daughter of B. F. McClain, who was born on August 21, 1800. Mother went with her parents to Ray County, Missouri, in 1835. Father and Mother were married in 1844. Their first child, Stephen F., was born on October 11, 1845. Sabra was born on August 18, 1847. She married N. H. Coleman, father of our present county assessor. Olin Carlos Jr. was born on May 8, 1850. Nancy was born on August 2, 1853, and Ursula Isabella on September 15, 1856. She married Robert D. Robison. The Robisons settled on Wagner Creek in 1853. I was next. Then came Sylvia Jeanette, born on October 26, 1862. The only one of us born in Oregon was Oliver Reno, on January 5, 1865. I am the only one now living."
Phoenix was originally known as Gasburg. Samuel Colver settled there in the fall of 1851 and took up a donation land claim on which Phoenix is located. His brother, Hiram, took up a square mile next to his in 1852. That same year E. E. Gore, O. D. Hoxie, Matthew Little and Samuel D. Van Dyke took claims nearby. In 1853 George T. Vining, James Sterling, H. M. Coleman and his brother John, C. S. Sergeant, Milton Lindley, James P. Burns, William Lynch, Henry Church and Harry, Lindlay and Mathes Oatman settled in or near Phoenix. In 1854 Colver, who was born in Ohio in 1815 and crossed the plains to Oregon in 1850, laid out the town. Colver was married in 1845 to Huldah Callender, who was born in Ohio in 1823. The following year he donated land on which S. M. Wait built a flouring mill, Wait later founded Waitsburg, Wash. Wait disposed of his mill to E. D. Foudray, who put in a mill race. Harvey Oatman built the first hotel at Phoenix, and Harrison B. Oatman and Henry Church started the first store, under the firm name of Church & Oatman. One of the first teachers at Phoenix was Orange Jacobs, who later became a judge of the supreme court of Washington Territory, Colver & Davenport started the second store at Phoenix, and Wait & McManus the third.
The placer diggings near Phoenix, discovered in 1861, resulted in a boom, which reached its high point in growth and prosperity of Phoenix about the time Mr. Goddard started to school there, 1865.
Talent in the early '50s was a stage station. [There was no stage travel in the early 1850s.] The Wagner house put up travelers. A. P. Talent, who platted the townsite, was born in Tennessee on May 15, 1836. He was married in 1859 to Mrs. Martha A. Phifer. He went to Jackson County in 1875.
The Rev. Andrew Brown, who married Mr. and Mrs. Goddard, was one of the well-known early-day Baptist ministers of the Rogue River country. He was born in Kentucky in 1822. His parents were Presbyterians. He was converted in 1844 and joined a Baptist church in St. Clair County, Missouri. He was ordained in 1847, and was a missionary in Texas, Colorado and Southern Oregon.
Oregon Journal, Portland, July 7, 1936, page 11
STATE OF OREGON INVENTORY OF HISTORIC PROPERTIES
State Historic Preservation Office
Oregon State Parks, Salem, OR
Dean (W. J.) Barn
Dean (W. J.) Barn
Across road from 7093 Wagner Creek Road,
Original Use: Barn
Date of Construction: 1892
Physical description of property and statement of historical significance: The Dean barn is [a] side-opening, hewn frame barn with a lean-to on the west elevation, standing on the west side of Wagner Creek Road, across from mailbox #7093, one mile south of Talent, Oregon. This structure has a gable roof, vertical plank siding and is in poor condition. The building's framing is pinned together with wooden dowels.
W. J. Dean was a school teacher and farmer who settled in the Talent-Wagner Creek area of Jackson County [in 1884]. He married Ersula Goddard Robison, the former wife of Robert Robison (d. 1870s), on July 31, 1886. Ersula was the sister of Hendrick H. Goddard and daughter of Blin and Damaris McClain Goddard, who settled in Jackson County, Oregon in 1864, Wagner Creek district in 1867. She was one of four Goddard children. Blin and Hendrick Goddard were carpenters and constructed numerous houses and barns in Jackson County (see Robison-Dean house and Ferns house file sheets), including this barn, as noted in the Talent News, July 15, 1892: "H. H. Goddard is building a new barn for W. J. Dean, 20 feet by 20 feet by 40 feet in dimension."
Recorded by: L. Scott Clay Date: 05 April 1979
Photography by Marjorie Edens, SOHS Neg. No. 35mm -37-28A
"Ormy Goddard," Atwood Kay. Jackson County Conversations. Jackson County Intermediate Education District, Medford, 1975.
"Lewis Beeson," Atwood Kay. Jackson County Conversations. Jackson County Intermediate Education District, Medford, 1975.
"Hendrick H. Goddard," Gaston, Joseph. Centennial History of Oregon, Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, volume 4, page 468.
"Dean Barn," Talent News, Talent, Oregon, July 15, 1892.
STATE OF OREGON INVENTORY OF HISTORIC PROPERTIES
State Historic Preservation Office
Oregon State Parks, Salem, OR
Name (Common): Robison (Robert) - Dean (W. J.) House
Name (Historic): Robison (Robert) - Dean (W. J.) House
7681 Wagner Creek Road, Talent, Oregon 97540
Original Use: Residence
Date of Construction: ca. 1870s
Physical description of property and statement of historical significance: The Robison-Dean house is a small one and one-half story, wood frame building on the east side of Wagner Creek Road, one mile south of Talent, Oregon. This house has a gable roof, board and batten siding and rests on a hewn sill. The structure has a "T" plan, and a small pedimented gable porch protects the entry on the west elevation.
The Robison-Dean house was constructed during the 1870s by Blin Goddard for his daughter and son-in-law Robert and Ersula Goddard Robison. Following Robert Robison's death in the late 1870s, Ersula remarried W. J. Dean on July 31, 1886. Dean, a school teacher and farmer, settled in the Talent-Wagner Creek area of Jackson County [in 1884]. Ersula was one of four children born to Blin and Damaris McClain Goddard who arrived in Jackson County in 1864, settled on Wagner Creek in 1867. Blin and his son, Hendrick, were carpenters and built numerous homes and barns in the county (see Dean barn and Ferns house file sheets).
The Deans were politically of the Populist Party of the late nineteenth century, as were many in the Wagner Creek district, Robisons, Beesons (see Emmette Beeson house file sheet), Fosses (see Emmette Beeson house file sheet) and Goddards. Many of these families in the Wagner Creek community formed an organization which built the Universal Mental Liberty Hall (UML Hall), which stood on the southwest corner of Anderson Creek and Wagner Creek roads. The rule of UML Hall was that the hall was open to anyone to speak on any topic, provided they would be open to questions from the audience following their talk. This hall was named "Infidel Hall" by some valley residents, due to the prevailing atheist views of several families in the area. This Wagner Creek organization, which appears unique to the area, may have been a part of the national Free Thinkers movement of the nineteenth century. The hall was used for some religious purposes as seen in a notice in the Talent News, November 15, 1892: "Reverend Isaac Morrison will preach in the U.M.L. Hall this evening . . . Everybody Invited." This structure served social needs as well; Talent News September 1, 1892: "The dancing entertain[ment] given by Jus. Aid and Frank Robison at the U.M.L. Hall on last Friday evening was a pleasant affair." W. J. Dean appears instrumental in the formation and construction of the U.M.L. Hall, built [in 1886].
Universal Mental Liberty Hall site--Township 38 South, Range 1 West, Section 35, Tax Lot #1000.
A member of the Goddard family [Robert Edward Robison] was publisher-editor of the Talent News, Talent, Oregon, between  and 1896.
Recorded by: L. Scott Clay Date: 05 April 1979
Photography by Marjorie Edens, SOHS Neg. No. 35mm -37-31A
"Ormy Goddard," Atwood Kay. Jackson County Conversations. Jackson County Intermediate Education District, Medford, 1975.
"Lewis Beeson," Atwood Kay. Jackson County Conversations. Jackson County Intermediate Education District, Medford, 1975.
"Hendrick H. Goddard," Gaston, Joseph. Centennial History of Oregon, Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, volume 4, page 468.
"Dean Barn," Talent News, Talent, Oregon, July 15, 1892.
Articles. Talent News, Talent, Oregon, September 1, 1892 and November 15, 1892.
Last revised November 19, 2023