The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Robert Baylor Metcalfe

Interpreter at the Table Rock Treaty, Indian agent. Read the correspondence of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs, 1853-1873, for records of Metcalfe's activities in Oregon.

    The Indians on Applegate Creek are exceedingly troublesome; they are constantly stealing stock from the settlers, as well as from those on Cottonwood. Messrs. Cram, Rogers & Co. and M. B. Morris have had several fine horses stolen by these "red devils," which have been recovered from them by R. B. Metcalfe, Esq., the well known and popular mountain guide in the late Indian war. A petition is in circulation and being universally signed by the citizens of this county, asking Congress to appoint him Special Indian Agent for Southern Oregon. From his thorough knowledge of the Indian character, and of the country which they inhabit, together with his influence with the several tribes who infest this valley, as well as that of Shasta, he would no doubt make an efficient officer.-Ib.
"From Yreka," Shasta Courier, Shasta City, California, December 10, 1853, page 2

Appointments Confirmed by the Senate
John F. Miller, agent for the Indians in Oregon.
Robert B. Metcalfe, agent for the Indians in Oregon.
Evening Star, Washington, D.C., August 19, 1856, page 2

Lansing Stout, Washington, D.C.
J. K. Lamerick, Jacksonville.
Isaac I. Stevens, Washington, D.C.
Justus Steinberger, Washington, D.C.
R. B. Metcalfe, Independence, Texas.
A. P. Dennison, The Dalles, Oregon.
"List of Delegates to the National Democratic Convention," The Charleston Daily Courier, Charleston, South Carolina, April 30, 1860, page 6

    SETTLED AT LAST.--R. B. Metcalfe publishes a card in one of the upcountry papers setting forth that he has satisfactorily settled his accounts with the Indian Department. The journal publishing it appears to be much comforted by Mr. Metcalfe's success in straightening his affairs.
Oregonian, Portland, April 5, 1861, page 3

INDEPENDENCE, Texas, Aug. 14, 1869.
    EDITOR STAR--Dear Sir:--Some months since I wrote to Los Angeles for the Times, not knowing what papers were published there; since which time I have been receiving the Star regularly, for which allow me to express a due sense of gratitude for your kindness, and to assure you that the Star is all that the most fastidious could wish as a family paper--political, agricultural, literary, &c. It is to me truly an oasis on the great desert of literary sands and trash. I will send you the remaining six months' subscription in a few days.Cast my vote for B. D. Wilson. I will bring or send him varieties of the Texas native grape this winter, which I think will be equal or superior to any grown in California as a wine grape. We frequently gather wagonloads from one vine, without cultivation. Cotton and corn crops of Texas [are] better than ever known, and the people of Louisiana and Texas are beginning to feel the importance of a southern railroad through Texas to El Paso and the Pacific Coast.
Yours, respectfully,
    R. B. Metcalfe.
Los Angeles Star, September 11, 1869, page 2

    Does "Banditti" Sheridan remember the cursing Robert Metcalfe of Washington County, Texas, gave him in Oregon when he was a lieutenant, and how he refused to fight because Metcalfe was only an Indian agent and citizen? Robert says his only regret is that he did not wear him out against the ground at the time. He was "afraid" then, if he is not now.
Dallas Weekly Herald, Texas, January 9, 1875, page 2

    Mr. Robert B. Metcalfe, formerly of Silver City, and whose name has frequently appeared in connection with mines and mining, was lately on a visit to Tucson. He has found two large copper mines in the Pinal Mountains, and has gone back to open up his possessions.
"Mining Matters," The Arizona Citizen, Tucson, April 29, 1876, page 3

Globe District.
    Three wagonloads of ore arrived from the Globe district, Arizona, this week. We were shown some specimens by Charles Williamson, which were unusually rich--and at a guess, we would say would go up in the thousands--perhaps $10,000 or $12,000 per ton. The average number of miners and prospectors in the district is not far from two hundred. Those who have claims are generally making money and are consequently happy. Most of this ore is taken west to Florence and San Francisco--the richest of it to the latter place. A gentleman here from that district, but not interested in these shipments, has informed us that better prices are paid for Globe district ore here than in San Francisco. Some three or four weeks since, "the hoodoo man," or the man of the mysterious forked stick, left the Globe district fur the Pacific Coast, taking with him two tons and a half [of] generally float ore which has been estimated by adepts in mineral value at $30,000.
    A town has been surveyed in this district on Pinal Creek, very near the eastern slope of the Pinal Mountains, twenty-five miles south of Salt River and thirty-five miles northwest of the San Carlos Indian agency. Preparations for building had already commenced.
    R. B. Metcalfe and E. M. Pierce each had an adobe ready for roofing. Tents and miner's cabins are quite numerous in various parts of the district. Grant County is well represented there; not a few of our veteran prospectors, as soon as "the discovery" was heralded abroad, left our diggings and pitched their tents in the new silver fields, where they still are and [are] likely to remain.--[Grant County Herald, July 1.
The Arizona Citizen,
Tucson, July 8, 1876, page 3

A Peculiar Case Involving a Kentucky Girl and a New Mexico Pioneer.
    About ten years ago, says the Louisville Evening News, a stalwart young Kentuckian, of robust figure and knightly mien, was passing through the streets of the little town of Monticello, in Wayne County, and was espied by a fair maiden, who sat at the window of its most [palatial] residence.
    The hero of this romantic episode was unaware that his splendid physique and noble bearing had immutably impressed itself upon the heart of the invisible girl. She was possessed of all the innumerable blessings of wealth, culture and refinement, and he was a poor young man "prospecting" for a fortune, with nothing but his splendid manhood and intrepid spirit to bank on. The young lady returned to her country home and visions of love's sweet, sweet dream, and the unconscious Abelard of the fair Heloise's fancy went West to seek his fortune. His objective point was Texas, and his next figure appeared as an humble cattle-herder in the western part of that state. From this position he soon rose to be the proprietor of a ranch, and amassed quite a little fortune.
    Thence he went to California and into the gold business. After many ups [and] downs, many reverses and hardships, he found himself the proprietor of a silver mine in New Mexico. His newfound fortune quit her capricious tricks, and turned her cornucopia bottom upward in his lap, and he became the owner of several mines, and founded the town of Silver City, New Mexico, his present home.
    The young lady remained at home, pursuing her studies, and relieving the tedium of country life by contributing weekly articles to the columns of the Apostolic Times, a journal published in Lexington in the interest of the Reform Church. She had developed unusual literary attainments in addition to her extraordinary personal attractions.
    Daring all these ten years they had kept up a regular correspondence. He had a mind well stored with judicious reading, and their correspondence dealt with all subjects that could portray the respective characters of the two. He studiously kept his propitious fortune from her knowledge, and she has cautiously refrained from any allusion to her personal charms or surroundings.
    A few weeks ago a letter from that far-off country contained a proposition for an immediate marriage, and the answer can be surmised from his appearance at the Galt House by the next train. The young lady had made her preparations at a fashionable modiste's in this city, and the next day the gentleman first saw his future wife.
    The marriage was immediately arranged, and took place in the Christian Church, in the neighborhood of Monticello, on last Wednesday a week.
    The gentleman who won this inestimable prize, the heart and hand of a true-hearted and cultivated woman, who had been constant to her unrevealed love for 10 years, is Mr. R. B. Metcalfe, formerly of Bourbon County, Ky.
    The young lady was Miss Annie Berry, of Wayne County. Mr. and Mrs. Metcalfe, after spending a few days with their friends in this city, left for their Pacific home, and will be surprised to find on her arrival at Silver City that she is the wife of the greatest capitalist of New Mexico.
Marion County Record, Marion, Kansas, February 23, 1877, page 1

    MR. R. B. METCALFE and family and T. B. Clark arrived yesterday from Los Angeles. Mr. Metcalfe was for several years superintendent of the Longfellow copper mine, and was the original locator.
"Local Matters," Arizona Citizen, Tucson, February 14, 1880, page 4

A $3,000,000 Sale.
    The Globe Silver Belt says that the Lesinsky brothers have sold to a Scotch company the Longfellow, Coronado and Queens group of copper mines at Clifton, Arizona, and their appurtenances, including four miles of railroad which leads from the smelter to the Longfellow mine, for $2,000,000. The same company have also purchased the noted Metcalfe group in the same district, for $1,000,000. In addition to this immense outlay the company have a reserve fund of $2,000,000. It is the intention of the purchasers to build a railroad to connect their works with some one of tho continental lines. We are under the impression that Ed. Polk and Charles M. Shannon were copartners with Metcalfe and Porter in the Metcalfe group. We are also informed that a sale is virtually closed for another valuable copper property at Clifton belonging to Charles M. Shannon and Bella M. Hughes. The purchase money, as stated to us, is $1,000,000. All of these mines were located by Robert B. Metcalfe in 1872.
    It is a source of gratification to us to know that Messrs. Metcalfe, Shannon, Polk, and the Lesinsky brothers are so comfortably provided for. They are worthy men and merit this rich return for their many privations during the time they braved the danger of that exposed frontier settlement, which their energy and forecast created.
    The price paid for the property, although apparently large, is greatly below its value.
    The above reported sale is not credited here, inasmuch as the Lesinsky brothers are too shrewd business men to part with a property for such a sum, however large it may seem, when they have unlimited confidence in its future and are realizing on its product over $40,000 net per month.
The Arizona Citizen,
Tucson, September 12, 1882, page 2

A Chat With Two Arizona Miners--A Heavy Election Bet.
    Mr. R. B. Metcalfe and Mr. Charles M. Shannon, the copper mine owners of Clifton, Arizona, are at the Laclede [Hotel] today. Mr. R. B. Metcalfe will be remembered as the gentleman who, two years ago, sold a group of mines in Arizona for exactly $1,240,000, and still retains several valuable mining properties. He is the first discoverer of the copper mines in Arizona.
    "I went out there in '68," said he, "and put up the first shanty in Silver City. It was under a big beech tree. Several weeks afterwards the party of us found the copper mines at Clifton. I said that there was money in them, and the rest laughed at me and asked me if I was foolish enough to think that copper could ever be shipped from that place at a profit. I replied that I knew something about new countries and that I would take that property and would own it when I died or would get as much money as I wanted out of it."
    Mr. Metcalfe held the mines for twelve years and then made the sale which has been mentioned. There is a railroad running through the camp and into the mines on which are shipped about 150,000 pounds a week of pure copper. Mr. Shannon, who is associated with Mr. Metcalfe in business, and is editor of the Southwest Sentinel, is one of the principals of the heaviest bet made on the last election. He bet a friend his mine, valued at $600,000, against his friend's property valued at $500,000 that Cleveland would be elected. The wager was published at the time, and traveled through all of the newspaper offices.
St. Louis Dispatch, St. Louis, Missouri, December 12, 1884, page 2

        Bert Cross and R. B. Metcalfe have purchased a controlling interest in the Lexington street railway, paying $40,000 for it.
Daily Evening Bulletin, Maysville, Kentucky, September 7, 1886, page 4

Home from the Yellowstone Country.
    Major H. H. Gratz has returned home from a delightful visit to the Yellowstone National Park in company with Colonel R. B. Metcalfe. The two gentlemen took in all the sights going and coming, and brought home with them numerous souvenirs of the tour.
Kentucky Leader, Lexington, July 14, 1890, page 4

    Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Magruder have left, after a visit of a week's visit [sic] to the family of Col. R. B. Metcalfe. They expect to return to their home in Sonora, Mexico, in about ten days.
"Social and Personal," The Daily Leader, Lexington, Kentucky, July 4, 1897, page 22

    Col. R. B. Metcalfe, who has been in Mexico looking after some mining interests, has returned home.
"City Siftings," Morning Herald, Lexington, Kentucky, November 16, 1898, page 8

    Mrs. John James is in Los Angeles, California, spending some time with her parents, Col. and Mrs. R. B. Metcalfe. A recent letter from her tells of the ill health of Col. Metcalfe, who has not found the Western climate so beneficial as all had hoped for for him. Mr. Bela Metcalfe has been in New York visiting his sister, Mrs. Bayard Railey, and is again here with Mr. John James for a while before going back to California.
"Social-Personal," Lexington Leader, Lexington, Kentucky, October 9, 1904, page 8

Heart Trouble Removes an Attractive
Character at the Advanced Age
of 81 Years--Sketch of Busy

    Col. Robert Baylor Metcalfe died at 4 o'clock Sunday afternoon at Woodlawn, his home on the Harrodsburg road. He was eighty-one years of age and had been ill for several weeks of heart trouble. Colonel Metcalfe was one of the most prominent men of this county and his long life had been one of adventure and distinction. The funeral services have been arranged for 11 o'clock Tuesday morning and will be conducted by Rev. Mark Collis. Two of Colonel Metcalfe's children, Mrs. J. G. James, of this county, and Mrs. Bayard Railey, of New York, were with him when he died. His son, Bela Metcalfe, of New York did not arrive until after his father's death.
    Col. Metcalfe was born in Paris, Bourbon County, Ky., on July 12, 1825. His father was a hemp merchant of Paris, Ky. While a lad he went with his father to Missouri. He received an appointment to West Point from Missouri and spent two years at the academy, and then went to Natchez by sailing vessel from New York. He read medicine until 1849, when the California gold fever struck the country. He started to California with a party of friends, going through Texas and New Mexico and Arizona, and while en route met with his father and another party. He encountered numerous hardships en route. Reaching California, he engaged in placer mining and merchandising for some time. He then went farther north and became the first government Indian agent in Oregon and Washington. [He was not.] Being a man of rare judgment, he soon gained considerable influence over the Indians, and during General Lane's campaign in the far Northwest he acted as interpreter and staff officer, and on several occasions his influence with the Indians saved the government forces from massacre. He was in the Indian service for a number of years, and had charge of conveying the different tribes from one reservation to another.
    Colonel Metcalfe was a delegate to the convention at Charleston, S.C. No nomination was made, and the convention adjourned to Baltimore, where General Breckinridge and General Lane were nominated. During the Civil War he was a Confederate soldier in Terry's Texas Rangers. After the war he went to Texas and engaged [in] ranching for a time and decided to go west again. On arriving at El Paso he learned that new discoveries of silver were made in New Mexico, and went there and stopped at the same camp he made on his trip to California in 1849. After prospecting in New Mexico, he went to Arizona, where he joined a prospecting company and located properties, which he worked for a number of years and afterward sold to the Arizona Copper Company. In 1877, Colonel Metcalfe married Miss Vie Phillips Berry, of Monticello, Ky., who accompanied him on his trip to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Two children, Maud and Sue, were born on the frontier, and not wishing to have his children grow up in Arizona, he came to Lexington in 1882 and purchased Woodlawn Farm, on the Harrodsburg pike. After locating in Lexington he became interested in public improvements and purchased the Lexington Street Railway. He also placed on his farm the best strains of blooded livestock money could buy.
    Colonel Metcalfe was a metallurgist of note, and since coming to Kentucky had accompanied a number of parties to Colorado, Arizona and Mexico to inspect mineral lands and pass judgment on them. During the past ten years Colonel Metcalfe has been in failing health and has made a number of trips in search of health--to Cuba and elsewhere. About two years ago he went to Los Angeles. He gradually grew weaker until last August, when he returned to Lexington, since which time he was confined to his room until his death.
Lexington Leader, Lexington, Kentucky, December 4, 1905, page 5

(Journal Special Service.)
    Lexington, Ky., Dec. 4.--Colonel R. B. Metcalfe, one of the wealthiest men in central Kentucky, is dead here at the age of 80 years. For several years he had been engaged in breeding trotting horses, and during his career bred Oline, which defeated Ora Wilkes as a 3-year-old, making a record of 2:14¾.
    Metcalfe went to California in 1849 and became wealthy in the gold mines, and upon his return to this city built and for many years operated the first streetcar system. He was also United States Indian agent in Washington and Oregon for several years and was a delegate to the convention at Charleston, South Carolina, which nominated General Breckinridge for the presidency. Metcalfe was also a veteran of the Civil War, being a member of Terry's Rangers.
Oregon Journal, Portland, December 4, 1905, page 9

    On the fourth of this month there passed from its house of clay to the realm of the great unknown the soul of a grand old man, Robert B. Metcalfe, who died in his Kentucky home near Lexington at an advanced old age of four score years or more. Mr. Metcalfe was born in Kentucky and reared there and was educated at West Point, but early in life became imbued with a spirit of adventure and a desire to explore the mysteries of the then unknown west, hence in 1849 he joined the great army of explorers and gold seekers that was pushing westward to the gold fields of California. In that state he remained for many years and through his personal popularity and ability many positions of public trust were conferred upon him. He was also successful in mining and amassed a fortune in California which he had the misfortune to lose through the fortunes of war, having invested his all in lands and slaves in the South. At the call to arms of his native state at the outbreak of the rebellion he joined the Confederate army and made a gallant record as a soldier. At the close of hostilities between the North and South Mr. Metcalfe settled in Texas as a planter, but that mode of life was not conducive to his energies and activity and the call of the West being upon him, again he retraced his steps hitherward and in this region between the Rio Grande and Colorado he spent many years of a busy life actively engaged in blazing the way for the settlement of this country by the present generation and for the ones yet to come. He first located at Silver City, N.M., in 1869, where he aided materially in the organization, establishment and settlement of that community. But he loved nature and the wilds of the mountain fastness and was thus led on to explore the surrounding country and in this way he first discovered and located the great mines of Clifton which have now become famous the world over. The great works here of the Arizona, Detroit and Shannon Copper companies attest the fact that Mr. Metcalfe builded better than he knew when he built the first locating monument ever erected in the camp on Longfellow Mountain in 1870. It was he who gave to the towns of Clifton, Metcalf and Globe their present names and in these towns he was the first to erect houses therein. Few men have left their impress for good upon a country more indelibly stamped than Mr. Metcalfe has his. He, and men like him, have erected a mighty empire out of the West, but alas! they are growing fewer and fewer every day, and yet the world can illy afford to lose them, for their places are hard to fill.
    Mr. Metcalfe's name was always a synonym for honor and integrity. He was forceful and strong among men and his energies knew no bounds. He was always loved, revered and respected by all classes and he died as he had lived--without an enemy.
    In 1876 Mr. Metcalfe was married to Miss V. P. Berry, of Kentucky, and from this union three children were born to bless him in his declining years. In 1882 he made a sale of his interests in this camp when he went back to the land of his birth where he settled upon a farm near Lexington, where he passed his last days. The last two years of his life he became a great sufferer from asthma, from which he sought relief by moving to California. But instead of finding relief he gradually grew worse, so with a desire to be at home and have his children around him when the end came he returned to Kentucky a few months ago.
    Mr. Metcalfe loved his friends and his family as only men of his intense nature could, and the latter idolized and worshiped him. They surrounded his bedside when his last hour came, so his life, to him, ended in a halo of glory. Mr. Metcalfe was an uncle of Baylor and C. M. Shannon. He also has a brother, "Uncle Jim" Metcalfe, who has resided at Mangas, near the Gila River, in Grant County, N.M.
    His friends were legion throughout the West, as well as the land of his nativity.
    Peace to his ashes!
Copper Era, Clifton, Arizona, December 14, 1905, page 3

Of a Western Woman That She Is a
Daughter of Colonel Metcalfe
Doubted by Heirs.
    Lexington, Ky., January 7.--Letters received here from the law firm of Hendricks Brothers, at Fossil, Ore., state that a daughter of Colonel R. B. Metcalfe, who died here recently, resides there. If the claim is true she will receive one fourth of the estate, valued at $100,000. Attorney Charles Kerr has written to Fossil for more definite information. Colonel Metcalfe was twice married, but, according to his family by the second marriage, the two children by his first marriage died when they were quite young. His first wife was a resident of the Far West, and died there while Colonel Metcalfe was the government Indian agent in Idaho [sic].  His second wife, who survives him, was Miss Viola Berry, daughter of a wealthy farmer of Boyle County, and to this union were born three children--Mrs. John James, of this city; Mrs. Bayard Railey, and Baylor Metcalfe, of New York.
    The members of the family and their legal representatives scoff at the claim of the woman in the West that she is a daughter of the noted turfman and capitalist.
Cincinnati Enquirer, January 8, 1906, page 4

Come Thick and Fast
To the Bewildered Relatives of the
Late Colonel Metcalfe--More
Heirs Are Found.
    Lexington, Ky., January 13.--Further information received here during the past week regarding the claim that another heir to the estate left by the late Colonel R. B. Metcalfe had been found residing in Fossil, Ore., develops the fact that Colonel Metcalfe was the father of three daughters residing in the Far West, who were unknown to the family here. This fact, it is said tonight, was brought to light through correspondence between attorney M. H. Hendricks, of Fossil, and a local attorney, into whose hands attorney Hendricks' first letters were placed.
    It is said that the children living in the West have referred the family here to a brother of Colonel Metcalfe, who resides in Silver City, Idaho [sic], claiming that he will vouch fer the accuracy of their allegations and establish their identity to the satisfaction of all concerned.
    The fact that Colonel Metcalfe even had a brother living in the West was unknown to the people here, but in this connection is a peculiar coincidence related by Mrs. E. T. Barnette, wife of the purchaser of the "Woodlawn" farm, the transfer of which will be held up pending an investigation into the claims of the alleged wife in Oregon. Mrs. Barnette before her marriage resided in Seattle, Wash., and visited a family by the name of Metcalfe, and had seen a portrait of R. B. Metcalfe hanging on the wall of the library, but had no knowledge that the original of the portrait and the head of the Seattle household were brothers, although she had noticed a striking resemblance. Years later her husband brought her to Kentucky on a visit and while here opened negotiations for the purchase of the farm belonging to Colonel Metcalfe, whom she knew only by photograph.
Cincinnati Enquirer, January 14, 1906, page 9

Now Claim Heritage in Rich Estate Left by Col. Metcalfe--
Three Daughters by Former Marriage and One Brother.
    The following interesting article is taken from the Lexington Leader. Mrs. Metcalfe is a sister of Mr. B. C. Berry, of Danville. The sale of the noted "Woodlawn" farm near Lexington, belonging to the estate of the late Col. R. B. Metcalfe, and the division of the property left by him, estimated to be worth more than $100,000, have been temporarily stopped, pending an investigation of the claims of three alleged heirs, living in the state of Oregon, whose existence has until the last few days been unknown to the family.
    Several days ago a letter was received from a well-known attorney of Fossil, Oregon, intimating that Col. Metcalfe had heirs living at that place and asking for information regarding the property left by the deceased in this county. Developments during the last week indicate that three children--all daughters--of Col. Metcalfe reside in Oregon and that a brother of Col. Metcalfe also lives at Silver City, Idaho. The family disclaims all knowledge of these heirs in the Far West, whom they have never seen or heard of, and will contest their claim to a share of the estate.
    The discovery of these alleged heirs in Oregon, it appears, was brought about by the publication of an Associated Press notice of the death of Col. Metcalfe in a Western paper: This notice was seen by H. H. Hendricks, an attorney of Fossil, Oregon, who immediately wrote to ex-County Clerk R. L. Baker, of Lexington, asking for information as to the estate left by Col. Metcalfe and intimating that heirs resided there. This was followed by another letter asking that the matter be referred to a lawyer.
    To further prove the identity of these alleged children, it is stated that Col. Metcalfe's brother, now a resident of Silver City, knows of their whereabouts and has kept up a correspondence with them for years.
    The Lexington attorney, who has thus accidentally become interested in the newly found heirs, will make a thorough investigation of their identity and claims, and it now looks as if a sensation similar to that of the Lyon will case will be developed, should these Far Western heirs succeed in substantiating their claims.
    It will be recalled that F. W. Barnett, of Alaska, who is said to have made a fortune in the Klondike gold fields, recently purchased through Joseph S. Woolfolk, real estate broker of this city, "Woodlawn," the fine bluegrass stock farm owned by Col. Metcalfe, for $62,000, but owing to the complications it is said which have arisen, following the discovery of the alleged Oregon heirs, the sale has not been confirmed and the transfer of the property has been held up.
    The Kentucky Metcalfe family consists of the widow, Mrs. Vienna Metcalfe, and three children, Mrs. John James and Mrs. Bayard Railey, of this city and Baylor Metcalfe, now a resident of New York.
Danville News, Danville, Kentucky, January 16, 1906, page 11

Anticipated Over the Sale of the Woodlawn Stock Farm.
    Lexington, Ky., March 5.--The recent sale of the noted Woodlawn Stock Farm, in this county, by the heirs of the late Colonel R. B. Metcalfe to E. T. Barnette, of Fairbanks, Washington [sic], will likely result in a lawsuit, owing to the inability of the heirs to make a proper transfer of the property. When Colonel Barnette came to Kentucky and purchased the place he made a payment of $5,000, and it was agreed to turn the property over to him the first of March, when the final payments were to be made. Before the prescribed time arrived, however, several alleged heirs to the estate turned up in Oregon, and the filing of the deed to the property was delayed pending an investigation into the legality of the claimants in the Far West. Since then an attorney of this city has been to Fossil, Ore., and returned with the information that, according to the territorial laws, the three young women living there are legal heirs and entitled to part of the estate, and it was said that he had effected a compromise whereby they were to relinquish all claims on the property in this city for the payment of a certain sum of money. Before this payment was made, however, it was learned that a compromise so effected would not hold good according to law, and the matter was again held up pending a further investigation, and when it came time to transfer the property the local attorney representing Barnette refused to accept the deed for the property, and on behalf of his client asked for the return of the $5,000, first payment on the property. This the representatives of the Metcalfe heirs refused to do, and now the matter will have to pass through the courts and a legal settlement of the difficulties made.
    According to the information divulged by several of the attorneys interested on either side of the case it was learned that the three alleged heirs in the West are daughters of Colonel Metcalfe, and that their mother was recognized as the legal wife of the noted turfman during his residence there, and it is said the courts of this state will be duty bound to uphold the laws of that state in dividing the property.
Cincinnati Enquirer, March 6, 1906, page 4

Fayette Children Ask for In-
junction Against Alleged
Heirs, Mesdames Heidt-
mann and Gilliam.
    In a petition filed Friday in the circuit court here the identity of the Western heirs, who are claiming a share of the estate left by the late Colonel R. B. Metcalfe, proprietor of Woodlawn Stock Farm, valued at nearly $100,000, is for the first time made public. These alleged heirs are Mrs. Winnie Heidtmann and H. F. C. Heidtmann, her husband; Mrs. Ellen Gilliam and R. A. Gilliam, her husband, residents of Wheeler, Oregon.
    Mrs. Heidtmann and Mrs. Gilliam claim to be children of a former wife of Colonel Metcalfe, long since deceased, and as such have set up a claim to part of the estate left by Colonel Metcalfe.
    The petition, which was filed Friday by attorneys J. D. and George R. Hunt of this city, representing the Fayette County heirs, Mrs. Vienna Metcalfe, widow of the deceased; Maude M. James and her husband, John G. James: Sue M. Railey and her husband, E. B. Railey, and Robert B. Metcalfe Jr. asks for a perpetual injunction against these Western heirs.
    The petition recites that the said Winnie Heidtmann and Ellen Gilliam claim to be children of Col. Metcalfe, by a former alleged wife, now deceased, and together with their husbands are claiming an interest in the property left by the deceased, consisting of a 300-acre farm in Fayette County, Ky. near Lexington, and that the defendants by reason of these alleged claims have cast a cloud upon the title of the plaintiffs to said property.
    The petitioners deny the claims of the defendant heirs and pray that their title to said property be quieted; that said defendants be required to assert any interest in said property that they may have, if any; that it be adjudged by the court that said defendants have no interest whatever in said property; and that they be perpetually enjoined from asserting any interest in the said property.
    It is known that these Western heirs have employed legal counsel and will make a stubborn fight for a share of the property.
Lexington Leader, Lexington, Kentucky, May 4, 1906, page 1


    The Fayette circuit court is asked to quiet the title of the property left in Fayette County by the late R. B. Metcalfe. A petition was filed yesterday in which Mrs. Vienna B. Metcalfe, widow, and Maud E. James, Sue M. Railey and Robert Metcalfe, the children, are the plaintiffs and Winnie Heidtmann and Ellen Gilliam, of Wheeler County, Oregon, are the defendants. It is alleged that at the time of the death of Mr. Metcalfe he left 300 [acres] of land in Fayette County on the Harrodsburg pike, two miles from Lexington. Shortly after his death, the defendants asserting that they were heirs at law of Mr. Metcalfe claimed an interest in the land, and, therefore, clouded the title, which claim prevented the sale to E. B. Bennett, of Fairbanks, Alaska.
    The plaintiffs deny that the defendants are heirs at law of the late Mr. Metcalfe and pray the court to require them to assert their interest, if they have any, and quiet the title of the property.
Excerpt, Lexington Herald, Kentucky, March 5, 1906, page 8

Fossil, Oregon, January 14th, 1910.
James K. Metcalfe, Esq.
    Silver City, New Mexico
Dear Uncle:
    Kindly answer following questions, if memory will permit you and you feel disposed to do so, for your nieces Ellen, Winnie and Mary, daughters of R. B. Metcalfe, deceased.
Sincerely yours
    Henry F. C. Heidtmann
    1--Was the Rogue River country the native country of the Shasta Indian tribe?    Lived on both Rogue and Klamath rivers.
    2--Were the Shasta Indians living on a reservation at Rogue River when you met your brother and family at Jackson Creek?    No.
    3--Was Jackson Creek included in the Reserve?    No.    And what was the name of the Reserve?    Table Rock--I think.
    4--In one of your letters you speak of a place your brother had at Table Rock and which the government took for a reserve after appraising the improvements at $350.000; did the government take this place when the Reservation was first established?    I do not know.
    5--In the same letter you state your brother received in lieu of his place a right to take up land of the same amount, 320 acres, at any place in Oregon--was this right given in scrip or certificate from the government, or did the right simply consist in a right to make another filing?    My brother told me they gave him the right to take up land anywhere else in Oregon and paid him for unpaid drafts.
    6--Can you remember the year this land was taken by the government?    No.
    7--Was your brother living on the place with his family at the time the place was taken?    He always called it his home, but lived there only a part of the time. Part of the time he was mining.
    8--What was your brother's occupation at the time?    Miner, prospector and farmer.
    9--What was your brother's occupation when you met him living with his family on Jackson Creek, when the children Ellen and Winnie were 4 and 2 years old?    Mining on Jackson Creek.
    10--Was Chief Applegate alive at that time?    Yes; I knew him well.
    11--Were the children's mother Kitty and a sister the only children the Chief had?    I think they were his grandchildren.
    12--Was Chief Applegate's wife alive at that time?    He had three wives also.
    13--Was you with your brother and family when the Shasta tribe was moved to the Siletz Reserve?    Yes; he was in command of the soldiers.
    14--What was your occupation during this time?    Miner, commissary.
    15--Did your brother move the tribe from Rogue River to the Siletz Reserve, under a contract from the government?    I suppose so, but do not know.
    16--How long did you stay with your brother after you arrived at the Siletz Reserve?    I think three years.
    17--After arriving at the Siletz Reserve, did your brother live with his family on the Reserve until he left for Kentucky?    Yes, but he went to Texas.
    18--While with your brother, did he mention to you how long he had lived with Kitty Applegate, that he considered her his wife and that the children were his children?    He spoke of the children as his, but he did not consider Kitty his wife, and I do not know how long he had been living with her.
    19--Did the mother of the children die at the Siletz Reserve while you were there, or did she die after you and your brother had left there?    Afterwards.
    20--Do you remember anything about the Indians receiving allotments of land when you were at the Siletz Reserve?    I am sure they did not.
    21--Do you remember a young man by the name of Dave Hamilton; he was one of the teamsters that helped move the tribe and stayed at the Siletz a year, and was employed at the Agency?    No; he may have been a soldier.
    22--Do you remember any other incidents the happenings of which would refer to the family life of your brother Robert B. Metcalfe?    My brother gave the families who took the girls to bring up $1000 in gold. I think the children were taken without Kitty's consent.
    I, James K. Metcalfe, hereby certify that the above answers to the several questions are true to the best of my memory.
Jas. K. Metcalfe
    I, Mollie Metcalfe, hereby certify that [the] above questions were written by me as dictated by my father, James K. Metcalfe.
Mollie Metcalfe
Peter Mungall
C. S. Metcalfe

    Witness to above signatures
Dear Cousin Henry
    I got that paper signed at last, but it is very seldom that two white people come here at once, and the Mexicans don't count.
    The questions are answered as best we could, but I am pretty sure they won't do you any good. I'm sorry.
    I had the Daily sent to Cousin Winnie and to Viola, not remembering her first mother's first name. I hope you'll get a Chapter House in Fossil. Charlie, Pearl (Orrick's wife) and I all belong to the League. Your cousin
Mollie Metcalfe
Scans of originals on file, courtesy of Richard C. Metcalfe

Siletz, Oregon, January 18, 1910.
Mr. H. F. C. Heidtmann, C.S.
    Fossil, Wheeler Co., Oregon.
Dear Sir:
    I have your letter of the 11th in regard to Chief Applegate. Had an interesting talk with John Adams last night in regard to the matter. He is probably better posted than any other here. He came with Metcalfe when he was about 6 or 7 years old--in 1859 [sic] I have no doubt. He remembers having seen one John Tyee and his son arrested. This John Tyee of Adams is no doubt your Chief Applegate. Now we have a John Tyee allotted here, but it is a different man. Adams states that Kitty Metcalfe's children, and I believe you state the same, all left before any allotments were made and, like his cousin Dave Adams and all the rest who were not living and residing here at a certain time, lost out. One of the girls came back with her children as far as Toledo to get land but on learning the circumstances went back home without coming the last 9 miles. Adams says there were other daughters of Tyee but I believe they died or at least did not come here. The other girl, Mary, went to Grand Ronde, married an Indian, named him Metcalfe, and is now living there. I am sure there are no records of any allotments here, but it is still possible we may find some old letters of interest upstairs. As you are coming and can talk with Adams and others it will be no use to write further at the present time. Thanking you for your interesting letter and hoping to meet you, I am,
Very respectfully,
    Knott C. Egbert
Scan of original letter on file, courtesy of Richard C. Metcalfe

Siletz, Oregon, February 10th, 1910.
The Commissioner of Indian Affairs,
    Washington, D.C.
    January 18 I answered H. F. C. Heidtmann as to Chief Applegate. I assumed after comparing notes with John Adams, aged 63, and a Shasta Indian, that he meant by Chief Applegate the man who after hearing that his sons had been treacherously hung decided to begin or promote the "Rogue River War." Said John Adams knew him as Tyee John or Chief John. This is a different person from the John Tyee allotted land here. He (Chief Applegate thus identified) lived here some years but went away or refused land. One of his daughters Mr. Adams states and whom he knew by the name of Kitty was the wife of Agent Robert Metcalfe and mother of his daughters. Another daughter of Chief Applegate is Mary Metcalfe, now living at Grand Ronde. Applegate Jack of Grand Ronde is no kin.
    This letter of mine to Mr. Heidtmann is therefore the only record here so far as I am aware of Chief Applegate unless possibly some old letters. He certainly did not get land here for himself. Neither at Grand Ronde. I do not know whether he ever lived at Grand Ronde or not, but am inclined to think he did not. It is believed that Applegate did not desire to pattern after the white man. John Adams says as a lad of 6 years he distinctly remembers being present when the soldiers came to Chief Applegate and asked for the surrender of his boys, saying that they were going to make big chiefs out of them. Applegate did not know that they would be hung and regarded it as a treacherous act.
Very respectfully,
    Knott C. Egbert
Scan of original letter on file, courtesy of Richard C. Metcalfe

By Fred Lockley
    "When my father, General Joseph Lane, Oregon's first territorial governor, came back from Washington, where he had been a delegate from Oregon in 1853, we came with him," said Mrs. L. F. Mosher [Winifred M. Lane Mosher] of this city. "We arrived at Oregon City on May 14, 1853. I was a little over 13 years old at the time. I was married three years later to Captain L. F. Mosher, who had been my father's aide in the Mexican War and who had also served with him in the Rogue River war, being wounded not far from Jacksonville. Yes, 16 years seems young to be married, but it was not considered so in those days. I received my first proposal when I was 13 years and two months old. I was in New Orleans and Mr. Dean proposed to me. I had been in Oregon but a few months when a young man who had known me in Indiana came clear out to Oregon to marry me. He was a mighty nice young fellow and my father and mother liked him, but I was only 13½ years old and they told him I was too young. He came to our home in the Umpqua Valley and went away disconsolate. We put him up a nice lunch of fried chicken and other things for his stage ride to Portland, wrapping the lunch in a freshly ironed handkerchief. After he got home he wrote me he would always save this handkerchief on account of his love for its original owner. My sisters always thought that was a good joke, for it was my sister's handkerchief, not mine.
    "Possibly because my father was so prominent in politics, or possibly because girls were scarce, or it is barely possible it was because I was considered rather an attractive young girl, or it may have been for all three of these reasons, in any event before I was married I had had more than a dozen proposals. When I was nearly 16 years old, I became engaged to a wonderfully attractive young man from Southern Oregon. Captain L. F. Mosher, who had come from our home in Indiana and who had recently been appointed register of the land office at Winchester, moved next door to us. He suddenly discovered that the little girl he had known had grown up to be a young woman and laid siege to my heart like the very impetuous soldier he was. I found that I cared for him more than the young man I was engaged to [Robert B. Metcalfe], so I broke the engagement. My former lover blamed Captain Mosher for my action for breaking the engagement and challenged him to a duel. They met at the foot of a butte near Winchester, but their seconds were able to adjust the matter, so the duel did not take place. The young man to whom I had been engaged left Oregon and I saw a notice of his death recently in a Kentucky paper. He died worth more than a million dollars. [See Mosher's letters of June 11 and August 4, 1856, and Metcalfe's letter of August 8.]
    "My father was the last of the generals of the Mexican War to die. Scott and Taylor, Worth and Wool, Butler and Kearny, Patterson, Pillow and Pierce, Cushing and Cadwalader, Shields and Whitman, all of whom were generals in the Mexican War, answered the summons before my father.
    "The breaking out of the Civil War broke many lifelong friendships in Oregon. My brother left Oregon, went South and became a colonel in the Confederate army. My father's sympathies were with the South, which alienated many of his friends. After the war many of his old friendships were resumed. He and Colonel J. W. Nesmith had long been friends, but they were estranged during the war. Before my father died he wrote to Colonel Nesmith asking him to say a few words at his funeral when it came time for him to pass over to the other side. Judge Mathew P. Deady, another of his lifelong friends, in writing of the meeting of General Scott and my father in San Francisco in 1859, at the time that General Scott was on his way to Oregon to settle a controversy over San Juan Island, which threatened war between Great Britain and the United States, and while my father was on his way to Washington, D.C., as a Senator from Oregon, said: 'As General Lane stepped towards General Scott, Scott arose and said, "How are you, my old friend and fellow soldier?" Lane responded, "General, my career as a soldier was a brief one, but I had the honor of serving under one of the greatest generals of the age."'"
    "After he had served as the first territorial governor of Oregon, my father went to Northern California, where he worked in the mines. In 1851 he was elected a delegate to Congress. In 1853, while leading a charge against the Rogue River Indians, he was shot through the shoulder.
    "Some years ago a relative of mine ran across, in a curio shop in Salt Lake City, one of the old Breckinridge and Lane medals. On one side of the medal is a portrait of Breckinridge, while on the other side in a most excellent portrait of my father. It was gotten out at the time Breckinridge and Lane were running for President and Vice President of the United States in 1860. The Democratic Party was divided and Lincoln was elected. My father never again ran for public office. He lived on our farm near Roseburg until his death on April 19, 1881. He was always very active, both physically and mentally. He directed the operations of the farm and spent much of his time in reading history and keeping abreast of the questions of the day after his retirement from political life."
Oregon Journal, Portland, February 18, 1915, page 6

Last revised December 11, 2023