The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Jackson County News: 1836

    The following year, 1836, Gay joined the party of W. A. Slocum to go to California to secure cattle for the Willamette Valley. A public meeting was held at Champoeg to organize a company to purchase cattle in California. Among those who went with Slocum, aboard the Loriot, were Ewing Young, George Gay, Dr. W. J. Bailey, P. L. Edwards, Lawrence Carmichael, James O'Neil, Calvin Tibbetts, Wesley Hauxhurst and two Canadians, DePuys and Ergnette. They left on January 21, 1836, and arrived at Fort Ross on February 19. Here most of the party were landed, while Slocum, with Edwards and Young, continued on the Loriot to the Golden Gate. Gay and the other members of the cattle company secured immediate employment in a mill at Fort Ross. After the unwinding of a great deal of red tape and visiting San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey once again, Ewing Young secured the consent of the officials, and 700 head of cattle were bought, at around $3 a head. They also bought 40 horses, near Santa Cruz.
    It would take a good-sized volume to describe the adventures and misadventures of the company in bringing the cattle from California to the Willamette Valley. In a fight in the Rogue River Valley Gay was wounded. They did not reach the Willamette Valley until the middle of October. More than 200 cattle were lost on the way, having wandered off or having been killed by Indians. The 600 remaining cattle were sold at the rate of $7.67 a head. The success of the importation of these cattle was due to the foresight, knowledge and enterprise of Ewing Young. Young built a sawmill on the Chehalem, and his death, shortly thereafter, resulted in the organization of a provisional government to take charge of his estate.
Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, May 22, 1927, page 10

Last revised December 11, 2023