William A. Moxley
The Story of Josephine
Discovery of Gold
Indians were the discoverers of gold in Southern Oregon.
It would appear from the evidence supplied in a letter written by a young lady named Virginia Josephine Rollins that the Indians knew of the presence of gold in the western part of what is now Josephine County, Oregon. Gold was first mined in that area in May 1851, by a small party of emigrants who had recently arrived from the East. Among members of this party was the aforementioned young lady, the first white woman to ever set foot on that wild area.
Virginia Josephine Rollins was the daughter of Lloyd Rollins. The two were members of an emigrant party that started from the state of Missouri in the spring of 1850. Most of the emigrants were originally from Illinois, which accounts for their naming the large stream that drains the western part of Josephine County the Illinois River. Lloyd Rollins and his seventeen-year-old daughter were among the first to mine gold in the new gold field. In a letter written by Virginia Josephine Rollins, it would appear that the Indians knew of the presence of gold in a stream which later was named Josephine Creek, in honor of the young lady. Josephine Creek, Illinois River and Josephine County were all named by members of this first party of miners. [The Illinois River was in Jackson County at the time; the county was named after Josephine Creek in 1856 when it was separated from Jackson County.]
Although the first gold mining in Southern Oregon began in May 1851, gold had been discovered previous to that date at two different places, and on two different dates. The first discovery was at Rock Point, in September 1848. A party of men traveling on horseback from the Willamette Valley to the newly discovered gold mines in California camped one night at Rock Point. One of the men decided to dig some gravel from a crevice in the rocks and give it the washing test. The result was about a dozen colors to the pan. The discovery was not considered to be rich enough to engage in mining at that time. [This discovery was most likely not "at" Rock Point. In 1848 there were only four landmarks in Southern Oregon, the Rogue River ford, Rock Point, [Lower] Table Rock and Siskiyou Mountain. A location described as "at" one of those places could be ten miles away. Rock Point was already a notorious ambush site in 1848; camping there could have been fatal.]
Gold was next discovered about four miles farther up the river, by a party of miners from California, in September 1849. The men crossed Rogue River at a shallow ford, and the gold was discovered on a gravel bar which afterward was given the name Big Bar. The mines at this place were not very profitable, though considerable work was done in an attempt to wing dam the river. The great expense of the operation wiped out the profit.
About the latter part of March 1851, gold was discovered in a gulch near present Waldo, in Josephine County, by a party of sailors whose ship had been wrecked on the beach at Crescent City. The half-dozen men abandoned the schooner and started eastward over the mountains toward the old emigrant trail, otherwise known as the Oregon and California trail. This trail passed through the fertile Rogue River Valley.
Up to this time the valley was inhabited only by Indians, who were notoriously hostile that white men had so far made no attempt to settle in the valley. But toward the end of 1851, settlers were entering the valley to take up homesteads. The Indians had signified their intention to remain at peace with the white men after a short period of hostilities ended in July of that year. The intending settlers now believed that peace would be permanent, that they would run no risk of losing their scalps by settling in the valley, where every prospect pleased. They, however, were due for many tragic surprises in years to come.
The party of sailors arrived at a small stream near Waldo, and set up their camp for the night. One of the men had formerly mined gold on the American River in California. The word "gold" entered the conversation, and this former miner decided to do some prospecting in the gulch. He noticed that the general formation of the rocks was somewhat similar to that of the gold region in California, and he could see no reason why gold should not be present in this area. Having a washpan with them, the eager prospector proceeded to wash some of the gravel, and in his pan were several colors. This proved his conviction that the gold belt extended into the mountains of Oregon, and that gold was present in paying quantities. It was with deep regret, said the sailors, that they could not remain at their discovery and develop the mine, but they were almost out of provisions, and thus were obliged to be on their way across the mountains to the old emigrant trail. They decided, however, to return at a later date to mine in the gulch, which they did in the spring of 1852.
It was never satisfactorily explained how the Indians learned of the presence of gold in the Illinois River region. It is possible they learned from travelers of the emigrant trail what gold looked like, and having seen some of the same kind of material in the Illinois River region, they gave the information to the party of emigrants who were passing through the Rogue River Valley on their way to California. It is also possible that some Indians were present when the sailor was exhibiting his gold, and in that manner learned what gold looked like. [It's unlikely that the Indians wouldn't be familiar with the rocks to be found in the country they'd inhabited for thousands of years.] In any event the Indians knew of the presence of gold in Josephine Creek (the creek was named later).
When [the] small emigrant company of nineteen men and one woman from the state of Missouri was passing through the Rogue River Valley in May 1851, they were accosted by the Indians, who inquired if they were going to California to mine gold. When informed that they were, the Indians said: "You need not go to California for gold, for there are rich gold mines a few days' travel down the river." They even offered to guide the emigrants to the place so that they could see for themselves and gather all they wanted. The Indians quite naturally expected payment in return for the information and for guiding the whites to the place.
Some of the emigrants were suspicious of the Indians; they were fearful of being led into a trap, and that the Indians might rob or even murder them after being led into that western wilderness, and the sequel will offer proof that their suspicions were well founded. The party of emigrants held a conference to consider the matter from the various angles. About half the company decided to accompany the two Indians to the place where the gold was said to be in plentiful supply. It was the intention of the eleven emigrants to thoroughly examine the ground, and if gold could not be found in the indicated stream they would then return and continue the originally planned journey to Sacramento. The other half of the company went on to the American River mines, near Sacramento. It was a leap into the dark as the little party started their journey into the wilderness, led by Indians of uncertain trustworthiness.
The story of the journey into that unknown land, and the first attempt made to mine gold in Oregon, together with the perilous situation in which those people were caught a few months later, is in part described in a letter written by Virginia Josephine Rollins, daughter of one of the party of gold diggers.
There were three children in the family of Lloyd and Katherine Rollins, a boy and two girls. Franklin, the eldest of the three, joined the gold rush across the plains to California in 1849. He mined gold on the American River east of Sacramento. America Elizabeth Rollins, who was either a year older or a year younger than Virginia, or Josephine as she was usually called, was married to a Mr. Butler in the spring of 1850. They remained in Missouri until the spring of 1852, when they emigrated first to Yreka, where they visited a short time with the other members of the family, then moved to Jacksonville, where they made their home. A son, Gwin S. Butler, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Butler on January 19th, 1854. A few years later Mr. Butler died, and in 1853 Mrs. Butler was married to Jacob Thompson.
Mr. Thompson crossed the plains to Oregon in 1847. He went to California to mine gold in 1849 and, returning to Oregon in 1854, he engaged in farming near Ashland. When the Indian war broke out in 1855, he was one of the first to offer his services. Jacob Thompson was in several fights but emerged unharmed. In 1880, Mr. and Mrs. Thompson moved to Ashland and made their home. They owned valuable property in and around Ashland. They were highly respected citizens of the health resort city. Prominently displayed in the front room of their home was an enlarged photograph of Mrs. Thompson's sister Josephine, for whom Josephine County was named.
Now a copy of the letter, followed by the necessary explanations.
Josephine writes, "I was born in Morgan County, Illinois, in 1833. My parents, Lloyd and Katherine Rollins, were natives of Kentucky. They moved to Illinois, then to Clark County, Missouri, in the spring of 1834, and lived there continuously until 1850, in which year, on the 8th of May, my father and I, together with some neighbors, started for California overland with ox teams, our objective point being Sacramento. But upon reaching the great Humboldt Desert the weakened condition of our teams induced my father to change to the Fort Hall route to Oregon. Reaching there the latter part of October, we wintered within a few miles of Oregon City. On the following spring my father outfitted another team and we started south for the mines in California.
'On reaching the Rogue River the Indians told us of very rich mines a few days' travel down the river. At this time the United States had just formed a treaty [two months later--Moxley note] with Chief Joe of the Rogue River Indians, and it was considered perfectly safe to travel among them. Here our company divided, one part going to the mines in California, and the rest going down to the new mines, Father and myself among them, guided by the Indians.
'We were about a week, as well as I can remember, making our own roads as we traveled. Within three miles of the mines we had to leave our teams and pack into the mines. Some of the company remained with the teams to guard them. We found good surface mining there on what was supposed to be Illinois Creek. We remained there until about the middle of August, when the Indians plotted to capture us all. The plot was betrayed to us by a tame Indian boy, who while playing with other Indian boys, was told by them of the intended raid and the time. Late one afternoon a messenger was sent down to the camp at the mines for all to assemble at the wagons to resist an attack that night, everything being left in camp but the firearms.
"The attack occurred next morning just before daybreak, when our company killed three of the Indians and they withdrew without any of our company being killed or injured. Knowing that the Indians were again on the warpath, a mounted company of volunteers coming from where Yreka now is came to our assistance, and we returned with them, not daring to trust the Indians any longer. I was the only woman in the entire company. It must be remembered there were no roads, towns or counties there in these early times, and I was the first white woman in that section of Oregon.
"I was honored by having the county named for me, but by whom I know not. I was married to Julius Ort in Colusa County, California, in 1854. In 1863 we moved to Sonoma County, where we have lived and made our home ever since. In conclusion [I] will say I have dictated this to my son, with whom I am visiting in Humboldt County, Cal."
Now for a few explanations and fill-ins from other sources. The emigrant party started southward from Oregon City in mid-April, and arrived in the Rogue River Valley the second week in May. Here they met two Indians who were members of Chief John's western band, who enticed the emigrants into the Illinois River region for a purpose, and the purpose was not all gold.
The treaty of peace mentioned by Josephine was negotiated by Governor Lane with the Table Rock Indians in June 1850. The western Indians were not present at the conference, and therefore did not subscribe to the treaty. As to the deep-laid plot to capture the party of miners, a little further explanation is in order. Chief John's son Adam had been casting covetous eyes at the comely Josephine. [They were most likely dealing with Applegate John. Adam was the son of Tecumtum, a different Chief John.] He wanted her for his wife, and plans were made to capture Josephine and kill the others.
On the night of the expected attack, all the miners assembled at the Rollins cabin. Shortly before daylight the Indians made a rush for the cabin in an attempt to quickly subdue the men and capture Josephine. The miners were ready and met them with a volley of lead. Three Indians were killed, and an undetermined number wounded, at the first volley. The reds did not wait for another shower of lead, but fled in haste. It appeared certain, however, that the Indians would renew the attack at the first opportunity, possibly on the following morning; thus there was no time to lose. One of the men quickly obtained a horse and rode in haste over the mountain to Yreka to seek assistance. He returned with a company of volunteers under the command of Captain Steele. One report stated that Josephine's brother Franklin was a member of the company. The whole party was quickly escorted over to Yreka. When the party decided to return to their abandoned mines in the spring of 1852, they were not accompanied by Lloyd Rollins and his daughter. Josephine did not return to Oregon to live, though she visited her sister occasionally at Ashland.
While the party of miners were awaiting the attack, some of the men surmised that the Indians intended to capture Josephine alive if possible, and they were determined to prevent them from doing so. One man was heard to remark, "If them Indians capture Josephine, they'll have to do it over my dead body." The proposal to name the county Josephine was offered by the following persons: James Twogood, Philip Althouse, John Althouse, Fry bros. and Charlie Hook, and others whose names are not recorded.
During the spring and summer of 1851, several parties of men were traveling the trail northward from the California gold mines, some of them carrying large quantities of gold, part of which was coined into beaver money at Oregon City. Early in May 1851, the Indians made a series of attacks upon small parties of white men who were traveling through the Siskiyou Mountains. In June the Table Rock Indians were up in arms; they thought that the large numbers of white men were intending to dispossess them of their country. After a few short fights, peace was restored to the valley for the time being. The white men believed there would be no further trouble with the Indians, so in the fall of 1851 settlers began entering the Rogue River Valley to take advantage of the Donation Land Act, recently passed, which allowed each person to claim 320 acres of land.
The gold discovery that surpassed all former discoveries in richness was made by two young men who had come into the valley with the intention of taking up homes. This gold strike brought an immediate rush of gold seekers to the area, and fortunes were made in a short time.
It was in the latter part of December that the two men entered the valley on horseback. They set up a temporary camp a short distance below where the present town of Jacksonville stands; their horses were turned loose to graze. Next morning the horses were not in sight. They had either been stolen by Indians or had strayed into the hills.
After the two men had eaten breakfast they struck out into the hills to search for their horses, each taking a different direction. Recent heavy rains had started the spring running, and water was flowing in the gulches. While crossing what later was known as Rich Gulch, one of the men stopped to get a drink of water. Nearby was a patch of exposed bedrock, and lying thereon were some grains of a yellow substance. Thinking the grains could be gold, he gathered a few specimens and took them with him to camp. The young man had never seen native gold, but knew that gold coins were yellow and heavy, and the grains he saw on the bedrock were both yellow and heavy. [It's unlikely that anyone in the gold country, where gold dust was the primary medium of exchange, would never have seen or handled gold.]
It was after sunset when he arrived at camp. At that moment the young man saw two men with several pack mules coming toward their camp. They were from Yreka, where they had delivered supplies for the mines, and were now on their way to Scottsburg, on the Umpqua, for another load of supplies. Their names were Clugage and Pool. Wishing to learn for certain if the yellow particles were gold, the young men showed the packers his discovery and asked if they could tell him if they were. Taking a good look at the stuff, Clugage said, "Sure I can; that stuff is gold all right. Where did you find it?"
The four men camped together that night, but they slept very little. All were flushed with excitement over the gold discovery. The men arose early and hastened to the place where the gold was discovered, the discoverer leading the way. In the excitement the lost horses were forgotten, and the packers postponed their journey to Scottsburg indefinitely. Most of the day was spent in prospecting to determine the extent of the gold deposits. Gold was found to be present in every place they tested, and apparently in paying quantities.
Clugage wondered why it was that this gold had remained undiscovered till this time. A number of men must have traveled over this discovery spot while rounding up strayed horses and cattle, yet no one appeared to have noticed the gold. Hundreds of men traveling to and from California had camped overnight near this place, and more than likely their horses had browsed about the discovery spot. But apparently these men, some of whom had mined gold in California, never thought of looking for gold in Oregon, possibly in the belief that the gold belt did not extend into Oregon.
Clugage had mined gold in California, and thus was familiar with the methods employed in washing the metal from sand and gravel. In the course of a few days two homemade rockers were in operation, and the gold was found to be more plentiful than at first supposed. Many nuggets were found ranging in size from that of grains of wheat to specimens weighing an ounce or more. Some days as much as a tin cup full of gold was obtained from each rocker. News of the new gold discovery soon reached Yreka, and there was an immediate rush of miners from that area to the new gold field.
A number of men had arrived in the valley to take up homesteads, and most of them hastened to take up mining claims. In less than a month nearly every foot of the gulch had been staked out. Less than a half mile distant from the spot where gold was discovered in Rich Gulch (rightly named) was a larger stream, which was named Jackson Creek. Gold was discovered in this stream a few days later. This stream was also rich with gold. Inside of three months several hundred miners had been attracted to the two streams. Lumber for the construction of rockers and other uses was obtained from a recently built sawmill on Wagner Creek.
A Californian by the name of Shively set up his rocker on Jackson Creek, and in less than six months he had rocked out fifty thousand dollars worth of gold. Secreting this gold in a pack which he placed on the back of his mule, he climbed aboard the mule. Then with a pistol in each hand to defend himself and his hidden gold from either highway robbers or hostile Indians, he set out for San Francisco to market his gold.
Before the end of 1852, gold had been discovered in more or less paying quantities in nearly every stream in the Rogue River area. Most of those miners who were obliged to leave Josephine Creek in August 1851 because of Indian hostility returned in the spring of 1852. Others joined them, making up a party of sufficient strength to protect themselves from hostile Indians.
The Althouse brothers, Philip and John, discovered gold in the stream that was named for them. At about the same time [the] Fry brothers discovered gold in a nearby stream which was named Sucker Creek. The richest gold mines were found on Jackson Creek, Althouse Creek and Forest Creek, as well as Rich Gulch, the discovery stream. This was a small stream, a tributary of Jackson Creek. The following streams in Southern Oregon have been extensively mined for their gold content. In addition to those already mentioned they are: Lane Creek, Kane Creek, Galls Creek, Foots Creek, Sams Creek, Sardine Creek, Wards Creek, Murphy Gulch, Evans Creek, Pleasant Creek, Louse Creek, Jump-off Joe Creek, Grave Creek, Coyote Creek, Galice Creek, Applegate River and its various tributaries, and Dry Diggings near Grants Pass.
A private bank at Jacksonville, owned and operated by C. C. Beekman, and a helper, has weighed and shipped more than $28,000,000 in gold, a large share of which was mined on Jackson Creek. Neither Josephine Rollins nor her father returned to Southern Oregon to mine, but Franklin Rollins was mining on Josephine Creek in 1856, possibly on his father's original claim. The mines at Sailor Diggings were not as rich as those on Althouse or Sucker Creek. As before stated, gold was discovered on the bank of Rogue River, at Rock Point, in September 1848 by a party of Oregon men traveling to the California mines. The prospect was not rich enough to induce the men to remain and mine the ground. Gold was next discovered in September 1849, a short distance above Gold Hill, by a party of men returned to the Willamette valley from the California mines. The gold was discovered in a river bar, afterward known as Big Bar. A great deal of work was done on the bar, but the mine failed to produce gold in paying quantities.
Many nuggets of various sizes and value have been found in the placer mines of Southern Oregon. The finding of a large nugget is a sensational experience in the life of the lucky finder. The excitement it produces usually far exceeds the monetary value of the nugget, and the occasion will long be remembered and often talked about in golden conversation. Such a discovery invariably incites the finder to greater exertion in the hope of finding another and larger nugget. The largest nugget so far discovered in the placer mines of Southern Oregon weighed seventeen pounds and was valued at thirty-five hundred dollars. It was found by a jolly Irishman by the name of Matt Collins, on Althouse Creek in 1859. It was a jolly day in the life of Matt Collins. Another nugget valued at eight hundred dollars was found on the same creek in 1858. Many other nuggets varying in value from one hundred up to more than a thousand dollars have been picked up through the years.
The quartz mines of Southern Oregon have, for the most part, been spotty, that is, rich only in spots, though a few veins have shown consistent values for considerable distances. Some of the quartz mines have been producing gold for more than fifty years, and are not yet worked out.
The so-called gold pockets have been a source of considerable wealth to the area. A pocket is a concentration of gold in a small compass. One of the largest pockets of gold ever discovered on the North American continent was found near Gold Hill in December 1859. [The gold was found on Gold Hill, which is east of and across the river from the town of Gold Hill.] About three quarters of a million dollars was gathered in an area of about thirty feet in length, less than eighteen inches in width, and about twenty feet in depth. Many others of less value have been found from time to time. The Steamboat pocket, discovered in the Applegate region in 1860, produced between three and four hundred thousand dollars. The Revenue pocket south of Gold Hill netted the Rhoten boys more than one hundred thousand.
The subject of gold discoveries in [the] western United States and Canada, also Australia, and gold mining in general is more fully treated in my volume, The Golden Trail.
----[From "The Golden Trail":] The next discovery is the story of Josephine, and her gold mining adventure. A young lady named Virginia Josephine Rollins. Prior to the entry of the Rollins party into the Rogue River region, gold had been discovered near present Waldo by a party of sailors whose ship had been wrecked on the beach at Crescent City. The sailors reached shore, then started east of the mountains to the emigrant trail, and Yreka. The party of sailors camped one night on a small stream near present Waldo, and one of the men who had previously mined gold on the American River decided to prospect the stream for the presence of gold. He found some gold, but not in the large quantity found on the American River. They had no food with them, so they were obliged to leave the place and continue their journey to the emigrant trail. When they reached the emigrant trail in the Rogue River Valley, they found that the white men and Indians were at war with each other. They then had to join in the war, instead of going on to Yreka. The time of this discovery was about the last of March 1851. The sailors returned to their discovery in 1852. The mines were known as the Sailor Diggings.
The Story of JosephineIt was not known how the Indians knew that gold was present in a tributary of the Illinois River, but they demonstrated that fact in May 1851, when they told a party of emigrants about it. This was a company of nineteen men and a woman who were traveling through the Rogue River Valley on their way to the gold mines in California. This little wagon train started west from Missouri in May 1850 with the intention of going to Sacramento, but when they reached the Humboldt desert region they were obliged to turn back at the junction at Raft River and take the trail to Oregon. They had been informed, before they reached the desert, that there was no feed for the teams, and it would be almost impossible for them to get through to California. The Rollins wagon train arrived at Oregon City in October, and they decided to stay there till spring, when they would resume the journey to California. While they were encamped near Oregon City, a little Indian boy came to their camp begging for food, and he was given some. He appeared to be an orphan, for he wanted to stay with the company, which he was allowed to do, and it can be added [that] he proved to be a life saver.
The company was obliged to purchase teams to replace some that were unable to travel. They started south in April and arrived in the Rogue River Valley the first week in May. They crossed the river and camped near Savage Rapids. Next morning two Indians belonging to Chief John's Deer Creek band visited the camp. The Indians could not understand English, and the whites could not understand Indian, but the little Indian boy came to the rescue and acted as interpreter. The Indians wanted to know if the emigrants were going to California; they men said they were, to mine gold. The Indians told them, "You no need go to California to mine gold, plenty gold a few days' travel down the river." To make good on their statement about the gold, the Indians offered to guide the party to the stream in which the gold was present. On the surface this offer appeared to be fair enough, but of course the Indians would expect some sort of pay for their services as guides. The emigrant party held a conference to consider the offer. Some of the men were opposed, fearing the Indians may lead them into an ambush, after they had gone some distance from the trail.
The party is now composed of twenty-one persons, which included the little boy. After the conference, it was learned that nine of the men decided not to accompany the Indians; they were of the opinion that the Indians were trying to deceive them. Instead they would continue south to Sutter's Fort. The other eleven, which included Josephine and the Indian boy, said they would accompany the Indians to the place where they said gold was plentiful, and if they found that gold was not there, they could then return and follow the others to Sutter's Fort.
Josephine said it took them five days to reach the stream where the Indians said there was gold. The wagons were driven to within three miles of the confluence of the creek and the Illinois River. Two of the men stayed with the wagons and supplies; the others traveled 'round the side of the mountain on foot. They crossed the Illinois River to reach the stream. One member of the Rollins party had mined gold in California in 1849 and had returned to Missouri to act as guide for the Rollins party. This man is to do the prospecting to determine if gold is present in paying quantities and to teach the others how to mine gold.
Josephine accompanied her father to the stream, because Rollins wanted her to be well protected. They soon learned that the Indians had told the truth; gold was present in paying quantities. This had the effect of allaying the fears of some of the men that the Indians may have had some evil motive in inducing the white men to enter their country to mine gold. The men proceeded to manufacture three rockers, after which gold washing began in earnest. A makeshift camp was made at the mines on a bench above the stream. A log cabin was built at the wagon camp, with brush for a roof. The cabin was mostly for the convenience of Josephine, who was the chief cook, but they did not leave her at the cabin alone; she accompanied her father to the mine. Lloyd Rollins decided to take no chances, so he always arranged things so she would not be left alone at any time.
All were greatly excited when the rockers were ready for operation, Josephine no less than the others, for the men promised to allow her to wash the first gold through a rocker. Thus she was the first person to mine gold in Oregon. The stream in which the gold was found had as yet no name, but the men soon named it Josephine Creek.
Indians came to watch the miners at work and wondered what they wanted to do with the gold, which they placed in tin cans. The Indians would not come near the men, but would squat down on the hillside above the creek. It was noticed that Chief John's son Adam would sit and gaze at Josephine for hours at a time. Once he attempted to approach her, but her father would not allow him near her. Time went on and the month of August arrived. The mine had paid well, and the men had gathered considerable gold to show for their three months' work. During this time their little Indian boy had found playmates among the wild Indian boys.
Rollins had noticed that the Indians were acting in a suspicious manner of late, and he wondered if something had happened to make them angry at the white men. About the middle of August, their Indian boy told them that he heard, while playing with the Indian children, that the Indians were plotting to attack the Rollins company at the wagon camp and kill all the men, then capture Josephine alive. The little boy also learned that the attack was to be made before daylight on a certain day. Some of the men thought that the boy's statement might be merely imagination, but Rollins was inclined to believe that there might be something to the boy's statement; the Indians had been acting queer for several days, and at his insistence preparations were made to ward off or repulse the attack if it should be made. On the day before the attack was supposed to come not an Indian could be seen, thus adding to the mystery and to the apprehension of the men of possible danger.
Late in the afternoon the men left their mining tools at the mine and hastened to the wagon camp and fortified it to the best of their ability. Every precaution was taken for the safety of Josephine. None of the men obtained any sleep that night. Every man held his loaded gun ready for action. As the night wore on all admitted to a feeling of uneasiness, and more than one disclosed later that they were plain scared. One remarked after the fight was over that he feared if they were attacked by a large band of Indians they could not have held out.
A short time before daylight, silently moving forms could be seen through the semi-darkness, crawling along the ground from two directions. It was thought that one of the two sides intended to attack the men, and while thus engaged the other would try to capture Josephine and make off with her. Soon the Indians were seen drawing their bows [and] the order was given to fire. Half of the guns spoke with a deafening report; the other half reserved their fire for the second volley while the first was reloading. For a few seconds all was still, then came sounds of running feet. When the smoke cleared away, not a live Indian was in sight, but three dead ones were seen sprawled . . .
W. A. Moxley, Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 855. Paragraphing added.
Woodville (Rogue River), Oregon:
William Moxley, 27, born July 1872, born Indiana, parents born Ohio, quartz miner
United States Census, enumerated June 22, 1900
Woodville (Rogue River), Oregon:
William Moxley, 37, born England, parents born England, came to U.S. in 1883, laborer
United States Census, enumerated June 22, 1900
From W. A. Moxley, Route 2, Lebanon, Oregon, comes to this desk a letter under date of January 2, 1939, quoted below:
"I have been reading your very interesting accounts of events and happenings in the early days of Oregon, and I am writing you to ask you if you know of any good, complete history of the early days of Oregon, such as the gold discoveries and the Rogue River Indian wars.
"I wrote to the J. K. Gill company of Portland, but they do not seem to have anything covering the early history. One written by [blank] does not cover the early history satisfactorily, they wrote me. I have heard of a history by 'Bancroft,' but have not been able to find a copy. I believe they have the early history at Oregon City; I think it is the 'Oregon Historical Society.'"
R. J. Hendricks, "Bits for Breakfast," Oregon Statesman, Salem, January 14, 1939, page 4
LEBANON MEN VISITORS
W. A. Moxley of Lebanon was here this afternoon on business. He is a writer and has written a story on Oregon early history.
Albany Democrat-Herald, February 28, 1942, page 1
LICENSED TO WED
A marriage license has been issued here to William A. Moxley, 77, and Mary Salter, 62, both of Lebanon.
Albany Democrat-Herald, September 14, 1951, page 2
William A. Moxley
LEBANON--William A. Moxley, 95, one of Linn County's oldest residents, died Sunday night in a local hospital.
He was born in England and moved to Canada at age 16. He lived in Nebraska and Colorado and came to Lebanon in 1900 from Southern Oregon. He has supplied [the] Oregon Historical Society with information on life in Southern Oregon prior to the turn of the century.
He was a retired farmer. His wife Mary died March 11.
Surviving are daughter Mrs. Alice Jones, Kent, Wash., and grandson Barrie Jones of Lebanon.
Services will be this Tuesday at 2 p.m. at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Rev. H. B. Lammer Jr. officiating. Interment will be at IOOF Cemetery, Lebanon, with Huston Mortuary in charge.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, April 15, 1969, page 6
Last revised April 22, 2018