The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Jackson County News: 1879

    While the Willamette Valley seems all alive on the narrow-gauge railroad question, Southern Oregon is not asleep. On the 4th inst., an enthusiastic mass meeting was held at Jacksonville to discuss the project of building a narrow-gauge road from Rogue River Valley to tidewater at or near Ellensburg, Curry County, Oregon. Many of the most substantial merchants and farmers, representing nearly every precinct, were present, and nearly all of them had something to say in favor of the scheme. E. K. Anderson acted as chairman, and Geo. E. Strong as secretary of the meeting. E. D. Foudray explained the purpose of the call, and brief addresses were made by Messrs. Ross, Kahler, Beekman, Hopwood, McCall and Kent.
     A committee was appointed to prepare a subscription paper to be presented to the citizens of Jackson County for contributions towards defraying the expense of a preliminary survey of the proposed road. Over $500 were raised, in a few minutes, C. C. Beekman heading the subscription with $100, Col. Ross and others following with $50 each, while subscriptions ranged from five dollars up. From the enthusiasm manifested, we have no doubt the enterprise will be a success, and although Rogue River may not be navigable, Southern Oregon will yet have an outlet to the sea. Success to the undertaking.
Corvallis Gazette, January 17, 1879, page 2

    A JACKSONVILLE, Oregon, paper says: "A flock of geese flying rather low over Gin Lin's claim the other day, the man in charge of the hydraulic pipe turned it on them and succeeded in bringing down two of the birds, one of which was secured."
"Jolly Jokers," Geneva Lake Herald, Geneva, Wisconsin, January 18, 1879, page 4

    In according the right to "bear arms" it is hardly probable that the framers of the Constitution contemplated the effect of the liberty. Could they have looked forward to this day and have seen citizens loaded down with pistols and munitions of war in communities where peace reigned, they would have been appalled at the effect of the license granted. The practice is to be deprecated. It is not only unmanly and cowardly but dangerous and provocative of violence. We do not believe that men fill their pockets because their hearts are filled with murder or a desire to cripple someone. On the contrary, we apprehend that it is prompted by a mere spirit of braggadocio or a desire to be considered courageous, and men often flourish their pistols to establish a character for bravery only when certain that a friendly hand will seize it and prevent its explosion. How often have men in the heat of momentary passion jerked their weapons from their pockets and when too late regretted that they had been within their reach? Only a week since, a shooting affray that will cost the taxpayers dearly took place, and it never could have occurred if the parties had been unarmed. Unfortunately this evil, verifying the saying "As the old cock crows the young one learns," is extending to the youth, and it is common to hear of boys under the age of sixteen brandishing their pistols and threatening to shoot off the tops of comrades' heads. It is useless to enlarge on this subject. The dangerous effect of indiscriminate carrying of arms in communities where there are neither footpads, Indians nor banditti will be recognized by all sensible people, and we will only add, as a notable fact, that last year there was more blood shed in San Francisco, a city of two hundred thousand, than in the whole of Ireland, with five and a half millions of inhabitants. An ordinance against carrying concealed weapons, if properly enforced, would enrich the city treasury and would undoubtedly shame many into the propriety of leaving their knives and pistols in their dwellings.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 22, 1879, page 2

    Again the sickle of Death has thinned the social circle of this community. Neither the tender shoot nor the blossoming stalk has been cut down; but a ripened ear, bending to the blast and ready for the harvest, has been gathered safely into the garner reared by the hand of the Omniscient.
    On last Friday, at 2:30 a.m., Uriah S. Hayden, one of Oregon's early pioneers, departed from among us to test the problem of the Great Unknown. He was ailing but a single week before his decease with pleuropneumonia, which from the first assumed a type that left little hope for his recovery.
    Mr. Hayden's residence in the state dates back to the fall of 1850, when he settled in the Willamette Valley and located a donation claim in Marion County. The fame of the gold fields of Southern Oregon attracted his attention and in 1852 he forsook his pastoral avocation and came hither to try his fortune in the mines. Tiring of a miner's life, in 1857 he engaged in clerical duties, for which he was well qualified, first accepting a position in the store of Kenney & Hamlin, then doing business in Jacksonville. In these pursuits he continued until the time of his death, having retained the position of confidential clerk in C. C. Beekman's banking establishment for twenty years. As his means increased he invested in mining grounds and in mercantile interests with trusted friends, but continued to devote his personal attention to the duties of the post he had chosen; and, at the time of his death, he was possessed of an independent competence.
    During his residence here he held important public positions, the requirements of which he fulfilled with scrupulous honor and fidelity. He was chosen "alcalde" for his mining district before Jacksonville had attained sufficient importance to entitle it to the distinction of a town. At the time of his death he was Recorder of this municipality, in which capacity he officiated for fifteen years.
    Mr. Hayden was a native of Connecticut, which state he left at an early age. He had traveled extensively and possessed a mind stored with useful knowledge and powers of conversation, which rendered him an agreeable companion. In his religious convictions he was a believer in the forms and doctrines of the Episcopal Church, and his funeral was conducted in accordance with the impressive rites of his faith, administered by Rev. M. A. Williams. His remains were interred in the Jacksonville Cemetery on Sunday last, whither they were followed by a procession seldom equaled in numbers in the history of this county. The pall bearers were L. J. C. Duncan, Peter Britt, Silas J. Day, J. B. Wrisley, M. Hanley and Thos F. Beall, all members of the Southern Oregon Pioneer Association, of which deceased was secretary. T. G. Reames, K. Kubli, N. Langell, J. Nunan and David Linn, members of the Board of Trustees, with which Mr. Hayden had long been identified, attended the hearse.
    The last sad rites have been performed and the place that so lately knew the honored dead shall know him no more forever; but the memory of his noble qualities of mind and heart will linger long with those who knew him best.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 7, 1879, page 2

    The Ashland woolen factory is again in full blast, with James Thornton as superintendent.
    Mrs. Brake, a woman revivalist, successfully conducted a "protracted meeting" on Wagner Creek, Douglas County, making a number of converts.
    Fears are entertained by many farmers that the weather will not permit them to plow until it be too late to put in as large an area of grain as they have been contemplating.
    The members of the Jacksonville Reading Room Association are considering the advisability of organizing a literary society, as an adjunct to which ladies may be admitted.
"Southern Oregon," Puget Sound Argus, Port Townsend, February 19, 1879, page 2

    MILITARY COMMISSIONS.--The following commissions were issued yesterday from the office of the secretary of state by direction of the governor: William Mason Colvig, assistant adjutant general on staff of Brigadier General Thomas G. Reames, with rank of major, Silas J. Day and Chas. Nickell, of Jacksonville, aides de camp on staff of Brigadier General T. G. Reames, with the rank of captain.
"City," Oregonian, Portland, April 3, 1879, page 3

    From Mr. L. F. Cooper, who has just been taking the levels of the new proposed route from Crescent City to Waldo, we gather some information that will be of interest to the people of Jackson and Josephine counties. It was discovered many years since, when too late, that the present wagon road between Waldo and the coast had been improperly located, and that instead of laying it in the lowest passes it had been run over the highest mountain to accommodate interested parties who had secured ranches along the line. The road, although rough and over very heavy grade, was used with profit by our freighters, but on the completion of the railroad to Roseburg the use of this road was nearly discontinued. It has now been ascertained that there is a natural pass actually nineteen hundred feet lower than the highest point on the old road, and through which a wagon road or narrow gauge railroad could be easily constructed. This route is by way of Gasquet's, up the middle fork of Smith River, to the divide at the head of Elk Creek, and down Elk Creek to Waldo. Snow at the highest point on this route rarely falls over a foot in depth, and it could be as safely traveled during the winter months. The distance from Crescent City to Jacksonville is one hundred and twenty-six miles, and when the immense resources of Jackson and Josephine counties are considered we cannot impress too strongly on our people the absolute necessity of the very shortest route by tide water. This is the only route by which we can reach the sea with our products, and our people will soon realize that there is an inflexible law bringing poverty to us if we cannot exchange the product of industry for those necessities which we cannot produce ourselves. We intend to continue the agitation of this subject, but those interested must remember that we only can suggest, while it is the duty of others to act if they would help themselves. Should we succeed in procuring the selection of Crescent City as the harbor of refuge there is not the slightest doubt but that we will have railroad communication with that point within two years. If we do not succeed our only hope is a new wagon road, and the sooner we conclude that we must help ourselves the better for us.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 4, 1879, page 2

    A young miss of Jacksonville, aged about sixteen years, has recently completed a quilt containing 4,060 pieces. A contemporary pertinently says she would have done much better to have made the quilt out of whole cloth and devoted the time wasted to useful work.

The New Northwest, Portland, June 12, 1879, page 3

    INDIAN VISITORS.--On Saturday a delegation of nine men from the Siletz Reservation arrived here on a pleasure trip. They are a remnant of the Rogue River tribe, and one of them, "John Smith," is evidently quite civilized, as on Monday he telegraphed a polite invitation to "Bogus Tom" at Yreka to attend a dance at "Kanaka" flat near here early next week. Verily these untutored children of nature are not so far behind the superior race in the matter of educating their "heels."
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 2, 1879, page 3

Southern Oregon.
    The Ashland Tidings says: Gray wolves are numerous in the mountains between here and Linkville.
    Several parties at Yreka intend sending to Oregon this fall for a supply of winter apples, the crop having been frozen out there last spring.
    The Roseburg papers tell of a San Francisco drummer who unreasonably abused a Coos Bay stage driver and got thoroughly whipped for his pains.
    The grape crop of Jacksonville county is very fair and of excellent quality. A considerable quantity of wine will no doubt be manufactured this season.
    Work is progressing finely at the Sterling mine. The ditch will be completed and everything ready for active operations when the rainy season commences.
    A Fort Klamath correspondent says: Some hoodlums started a fire in the woods last week, causing the garrison to be turned out to fight the fire two days in succession.
    The Democratic Times says: F. Luy received a lot of leather from Portland upon
which John Orth's brand could still be seen, he having sold the hides it was manufactured from.
    The fishing season is just opening along the coast. R. D. Humes, of Rogue River, begins operations with 150 salmon a day, and a 40-lb salmon sells at Siuslaw for twenty-five cents.
    Owing to the farmers bringing in more wheat last week than the machinery of the
Ashland Mill could dispose of, the proprietors chose the third story for a storing room and filled a large bin, the weight of which was too much for its support and down it came with a fearful crash, covering the floor of the second story with wheat six feet deep.
Puget Sound Argus, Port Townsend, October 9, 1879, page 2

ROSEBURG, November 4, 1879.
    I recently passed through the town of Jacksonville in pursuit of my avocation, selling laces of all kinds, and while there I met with an experience both novel and unusual. After I had been there for several days, and had visited nearly all the private residences in the place, I was waited on at my hotel by parties representing themselves to be the Marshal and the President of the Board of Trustees of the town, who informed me that I must either pay a peddler's license of $10 or be placed under arrest. The Marshal at the same time assured me, between hiccoughs, with as much dignity and importance as his condition would permit, that he would not require his fee of me. 1 told the so-called representative of the people that I was of course unacquainted with the special ordinance that I had unwillingly [sic--unwittingly?] transgressed, and, after my explanation, the dignified and courteous representative of the Board concluded to remit the license, on condition that I confine my sales to the hotel. I duly appreciated the courtesy of this gentleman, as, being sober, be was in a fit condition to discharge the important trust delegated to him by the people be claimed to represent; but, from what I saw of his official associations, I am inclined to think he is in the unhappy position of "poor Tray." [Addison Helms was Jacksonville Marshal in 1879; Hermann H. "Ham" Wolters filled in when Helms was out of town. Nathaniel Langell was President of the Jacksonville Board of Trustees.]
    Shortly after the interview terminated, I learned that there had been no attempt to enforce this ordinance against men, who had recently had been selling statuary, plated ware, etc., from house to house and on the streets, and from this I am led to think that these officials were either ignorant of their own law until some irate local dealer had called their attention to it, or this was an ex post facto law, passed for my especial benefit; or it might have been a premium on sex that this famous city sought to impose on me.
    If such an ordinance had existed as was claimed, what right had the President of the Board to exempt me after having demanded the license as a requirement of law? A woman's idea of law is that it is immutable, unchangeable, and operates against all transgressors without the distinction of sex, and, had the Board required all persons to pay this license in accordance with this special ordinance, I do not think that even I would have been exempted.
    Another fact I noted was that the demimonde flourish on the principal street of this town, notwithstanding that they violate an ordinance in doing so.
    Perhaps it would be as well if the authorities were to hunt up their "Book of the Law" and expunge the noxious matter that they have forgotten in their zeal to advance the interests of local dealers that I was supposed to be interfering with.
    In conclusion, I will say that I have never before, during the six years I have followed the same business on this coast, been asked to pay a license, and I wonder at the disposition manifested in Jacksonville to deprive a woman of the means of earning an honest and respectable livelihood. Has woman no rights that appeal to the justice and honor of menu?
    Yours for a just enforcement of law.
The New Northwest, Portland, November 13, 1879, page 1.  Jacksonville's Ordinance No. 8, enacted in 1860, taxed peddlers "ten dollars per month, with five dollars and twenty-five cents added for Recorder's fees for issuing the same." Judging from the Jackson County commissioners' journals, peddler's licenses were rarely collected.

    In order to secure an outlet, the people of Jackson County have subscribed over three thousand dollars to aid in the construction of the wagon road to Crescent City. The sum is not a very large one, but it is evidence showing the necessities of a people which have heretofore patronized Roseburg, and who today would do the same thing if those whom their past conduct has proven were their favorites would do their part in making good roads by the expenditure of a like sum of money, to the boundary line of Douglas County. We believe had our people shown the right disposition, the money subscribed in favor of the Crescent City route would have been used in the repairs of the road from the county line and in favor of continued travel between Roseburg and the Rogue River Valley. It has been a matter of shortsightedness on the part of our people; there can be no doubt on this. The result may be that we shall have to pay four times the amount in the way of road repairing before we can entice the people of Jackson County to turn their teams in this direction once more.
Douglas Independent, Roseburg, December 6, 1879, page 2

    Mrs. J. H. Davis has received the sad news of the death of her brother, Mr. Daniel Hopkins, of Jacksonville, Oregon.
"County News: Fort Atkinson," Watertown Republican, Watertown, Wisconsin, December 10, 1879, page 5

    The recent heavy rain storm in Southern Oregon resulted in great damage. Immense quantities of lumber, several mill dams and thousands of logs were swept away.

"News in Brief," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, December 20, 1879, page 404

Last revised December 11, 2021