The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Jackson County News: 1869

    THE OREGON ROAD is working its way down to the California line, via Umpqua and Rogue River valleys. The surveyors and graders are now at work in the Umpqua Valley, near Oakland, and it is expected the road will enter the Rogue River Valley in the vicinity of Table Rock, near Rogue River. It will strike the Klamath probably at Bogus. The Yreka Journal says: Yreka is the most central point on the direct route of the railroad and depot for Scott Valley and Klamath, Del Norte and Trinity counties, and will also be the most central depot for all the Klamath Lake country business between this place and Surprise Valley. The road will run from Red Bluff up the Sacramento River to within a few miles of Shasta, thence to Soda Springs, thence through Shasta Valley to Yreka, following out the Oregon road to Bogus, probably through Hawkinsville.

Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, March 20, 1869, page 178

    JACKSON COUNTY, OREGON. — It is claimed that the Klamath Lake basin will in a few years contain a larger population than Rogue River Valley. It is settling up rapidly. An exploring party has recently made the trip from Cañonville through the mountains to Fort Klamath. They got through without difficulty, and report that $1,000 will make a good trail over the route.
Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, June 5, 1869, page 365

    STOCK GOING EAST. — W. C. Myer, an old resident of Jackson County, has started across the plains with a drove of horses. He expects to find a ready market for them in Missouri. This is turning the tide of trade. Messrs. Tice and Crane, also of Jacksonville, have started for Nevada (Washoe), with a drove of hogs.

Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, June 5, 1869, page 365

    DEPARTURE.--Hon. O. Jacobs, Esq., left Thursday morning for Washington Territory. He goes to take a seat upon the judicial bench, having received the appointment of associate justice for that Territory. The friends of Mr. Jacobs serenaded him Wednesday night before he left. We were not there to report his speech, but we learn that it was of a spiritual nature. We wish Mr. Jacobs success in his new vocation. He goes leaving many warm friends to regret his absence, and a void in the rank of the great Union Republican Party of Southern Oregon that cannot be filled at present.
Democratic News, Jacksonville, July 3, 1869, page 2

    A man named Oliver Evans committed suicide in Jacksonville, Oregon, under horrible circumstances. He was charged with incest with his own daughter, a girl of sixteen, and immediately went to the mountain and shot himself. The body was found yesterday, badly decomposed. The girl has confessed that the charge was true. He was a widower and leaves considerable property.
The Cariboo Sentinel, Barkerville, British Columbia, July 10, 1869, page 1

    J. D. Fay will deliver the oration at the Fourth at Jacksonville.
    The crops in all parts of Rogue River Valley will be lighter than last year.
    The plum crop in Jackson County has failed. The leaves have curled up, and the fruit has dropped from the trees.
    A Jackson County paper observes that A. D. Helman, of Ashland, is up with the times. He has sons named Lincoln, Butler, Grant and Colfax, the latter having come into this mundane sphere since inauguration.
    The Jacksonville Sentinel learns that an attempt was made on the 19th ult. to burn the store of George Nurse, sutler at Ft. Klamath. About the same time in the night, the stable belonging to Mr. Nurse was fired and totally destroyed. Two horses belonging to some Eugene City men were burned. A soldier who had been refused whisky is suspected.
    The subscribers of the Ashland Academy met at Ashland on Tuesday last, says the Sentinel, and decided on a site for the building near Mr. Thornton's, on the north side of the town. A building committee consisting of A. G. Rockfellow, J. W. Kuykendall, J. M. McCall, J. P. Walker and J. H. Russell was chosen. A sufficient amount has been subscribed to warrant the commencement of the building at once, and steps have been taken to procure material and otherwise inaugurate operations.
"Oregon," Oregonian, Portland, June 12, 1869, page 2

    The yellowjackets are eating up all the blackberries in Jackson County.
    "Umpqua Joe," of Rogue River, a half-civilized Indian, and one of Fremont's party, on the 13th shot and killed a man named Morton. Cause--whiskey.
    The Jacksonville Sentinel, from which we get the above items, says that a settler in Sams Valley has found ten bee trees during the past month, some of them containing a large amount of honey. Last week a Mr. Tom Constant found and cut down a large tree, containing fully one hundred and fifty pounds of honey. A sweet neighborhood, that.
    On the occasion of the recent visit of Bishop Morris to Jacksonville, while in the stage riding between Canyonville and Croxton's, he was made the subject of brutal and vulgar jests by a person who rode in the stage with him. The Sentinel says that "It is doubtful if indecency is admissible under any circumstances; but in presence of a minister of the gospel, when exhibited wantonly and with an insulting purpose, it reflects little credit on him who shows it. We feel sorry for a man so devoid of self-respect, as well as public decency, as to deliberately insult a clergyman of any denomination. The stage company might with propriety establish and enforce rules to stop blackguards from rubbing their slime on respectable people while riding in their stages."
    The State Teachers' Association will commence their annual session on the 27th inst. at Salem, and hold three days. The stages and the steamboats will charge but half fare on the occasion.
    The Unionist says that a private letter from Washington states that the officers appointed in the Indian service in Oregon are to be retained.
    The corn crop in Jackson County is reported as excellent, the dry weather not having affected it.
    The Jacksonville News of the 17th has the following: Mr. Wm. C. Greenman arrived here from Goose Lake on Thursday last. He will remove to that valley, for permanent settlement, in about two weeks. The Goose Lake country is in a flourishing condition. Two stores have been established, and a steam sawmill is being built in the valley. The Fourth was celebrated in an appropriate manner at Gen. Crook's ranch. No Indians are to be seen in the valley.
    A party, consisting of some five or six families, are preparing to visit the wonder of Oregon--Sunken Lake, or Lake Majesty, as it is sometimes called. One or two gentlemen will start for the lake in a few days. Explorations will be made by boat and otherwise.
    Bishop Morris, Episcopal minister, who preached in this place last Sunday, was engaged several days looking up a suitable lot upon which to erect a church and parsonage, the cost of which would be something near $15,000.
"State Items," Albany Register, July 24, 1869, page 2

The Crescent City Road.
    It is said by teamsters and others that the toll road between Waldo and Crescent City, over which all the Jacksonville freight is hauled, is, this season, in a very rough condition. It appears that the tolls are collected with great regularity, but that the road company have paid but little attention to keeping the road in a passable condition. There is much talk among our teamsters and merchants regarding this matter, and if the road is not repaired there is every probability that the freighting will next season be done by way of Red Bluff. They claim that there are advantages of trade on that route that will more than compensate for a slight difference in freight, and that it can be traveled much earlier than the Crescent City road can. If the freighting of Jacksonville goods by way of Crescent City is any advantage to that place, its merchants had better see that the road is kept in good condition, as the teamsters cannot well afford to keep it in repair and pay heavy toll besides. "A word to the wise is sufficient."
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 7, 1869, page 2

    A telegraph office is soon to be opened at Grants Pass with Mr. Magruder as chief electrician. It is intended for a repair station.

Oregon Sentinel,
Jacksonville, August 7, 1869, page 2

    HEARD FROM.--Mr. Wm. Clarke, formerly telegraph operator here, is now agent of the U.P.R.R. at Wahsatch under a handsome salary. He has charge of ticket and freight business and also of the telegraph office at that point.

Oregon Sentinel,
Jacksonville, August 7, 1869, page 2

    Near Jacksonville, Oregon, on the 11th instant, James Brown shot and killed John Adney. Jealousy on the part of Brown, on account of supposed attention paid to his wife by Adney, was the cause.
"Social Crimes and Incidents," The Universe: A Weekly Journal, Chicago, September 18, 1869, page 98

Justice's Court.
Jacksonville, Nov. 1, 1869.
State vs. T. H. B. Shipley--Affidavit for an assault with a deadly weapon.
    The defendant pleaded not guilty, and made the following statement:
    On November 1st, 1866, I was in the employ of Sachs Bros., in the town of Jacksonville, Jackson County, Oregon. I knew Mr. A. P. Owen, and the most friendly relations existed between us up to about half-past six o'clock p.m.
    Mr. Owen came into the store in the afternoon of said day, Nov. 1st, 1866, and asked me if I was going to attend the party that evening. I told him that I had not as yet determined whether to go or not. He insisted that I should promise him to attend, as he was going to quit party-going after that night. About six o'clock in the evening he came into the store, dressed, ready to attend the ball, and remarked to me, "Ship, let us go into the cellar and take a drink." We went into the cellar and took a drink, passing the usual social "good luck," after which Mr. Owen left the store and started for his partner. I was soon after called to put up a bill of groceries for someone, and while engaged at that Mr. Owen returned. He walked back into the store where I was engaged at my business--looking scornful and full of anger, so much so as to cause Mr. Samuel Sachs to ask him, "Al., what is the matter with you?" He replied, "That s-- of a b---- has been meddling with my business," pointing at me. I replied, "What do you mean," somewhat astonished at his remarks--when he boisterously exclaimed, "Shipley, G-- d--- you--you know you done it, you d----- s-- of a b----, and I am going to whip you this night, or Grundy shall" (meaning his brother). He then started to leave the store, and I followed him to the front door, demanding of him what he meant by abusing me so. He made no explanation whatever, but crossed over the street to the store of Glenn, Drum & Co., where he met A. H. Martin at the door, and commenced telling him that the d----- s-- of a b---- had told Hattie Thompson (his partner) that he was going to fool her, and that when he called for her she was not ready to attend the ball. I never made any representations whatever to Miss Hattie Thompson upon the subject. Feeling considerably excited, and knowing that I had been most barbarously and ungentlemanly treated, I walked back into the store and picked up a knife and put it into my coat pocket. I met a friend soon after leaving the store and told him about the affair, and he gave me his pistol. After mature deliberation, I concluded that I had a right to attend the ball, and started for my room to dress myself (that being at the hotel, as I boarded and lodged there at the time). At the ticket stand I met Mr. Owen and remarked to him, "Al., explain to me why you have abused me so tonight," whereupon he made for me most viciously, and I prepared for self-defense. I was surrounded instantly by a number of persons, my arms thrown above my head, and an attempt made to wrench my weapon from my grasp. Grundy Owen, at present Deputy Sheriff, grabbed me around the neck and bore a derringer against the side of my face, remarking, "Give up, you s-- of a b----, or I will kill you." I let go the pistol, and got away. How I effected an escape I am unable to explain. I got away, however, and passed out of the hotel and down to the corner of the Sentinel office, and around to Row's store, where Caro keeps at present. I remained there some time; I cannot tell how long. Presuming everything quiet and the way clear, I started to go to my room at the hotel. I walked quietly along down the street, and just as I passed the door of Glenn, Drum & Co.'s store, I heard running, and someone exclaim, "Here goes the s-- of a b----." On looking around I discovered Al. Owen with something in his hand which I took to be a gun, and knowing that he could shoot me before I could get away, I backed up against the door of the building, at present kept by Mr. Ullman, concluding to make the best defense in my power. The first lick he struck me was on the side of the forehead, cutting and bruising it considerably, and rendering me partially insensible. When I regained my thoughts, I found that I was some distance from the place where he first struck me, and still receiving blows upon my face and head. Knowing that his brother would be there in a moment, and my life at stake, I drew my knife and struck in self-defense. Owen exclaimed, "He has killed me, he has got a knife." I remarked, "It is your own fault; if you had left me alone I would not have done it." I stepped into the saloon and was asked by Asher Wall, who was behind the bar, to take some brandy. He remarked, "Take a drink quick and go. T. G. Owen was in here hunting you, swearing he would kill you." I left, and went to Mr. Brennan's and took a bed for the night, and next morning surrendered myself to G. M. Banks, City Marshal, who informed me he had no use for me. I have been in Jacksonville, Jackson County, Oregon, ever since.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November, 13, 1869, page 3

Last revised February 22, 2021