The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Jackson County News: 1880

Southern Oregon
    Lake County has skating and Jackson County has the measles.
    Gen. Jo Lane on the 14th inst. celebrated his 73rd birthday at his home in Roseburg.
    The Jacksonville brass band have received the $100 premium won by them at the Yreka fair.
    The Douglas County papers give particular of many losses caused along the rivers by the late flood.
    The races of the Jacksonville Jockey Club have been postponed on account of the weather, until next May.
    A petition is in circulation in Lake County praying for the establishment of a post office in Sprague River Valley.
    The recent high water in Bear Creek, Jackson County, brought up lots of salmon from the "deep sounding sea.”
    Goose Lake in Lake County is frozen over and skating parties from miles away come to skim over its glassy surface.
    Two fine Scotch stag hounds are thinning out the country in the vicinity of Jacksonville, of hares and jackrabbits.
    A child of Matt Dillon's of Jacksonville, aged fifteen months, was recently badly poisoned while playing with matches.
    Mr. Young, the proprietor of the Cold Springs House, on the Linkville road, died on the 7th and was buried at Parker's on the day following.
    Preliminary surveys for the proposed railroad between Roseburg and Coos Bay are in progress and will soon be completed. "Then come the iron works."
    The Coquille and Coos rivers were higher last week than they have been for many years; the bottom farms were all under water and many fences are washed away.
    A difference of opinion between the principal of the Wilbur Academy and its pupils caused a dozen or more of the latter to "take their books and go home" last week.
    New Pine Creek, on the east shore of Goose Lake, 15 miles from Lakeview, is fast growing. Has sawmills, store, hotel, blacksmith shop, and is to have a sash and door factory soon.
    The Star says Josephine County paid $934.88--or is going to--in the case of State vs. J. J. Moore, transferred to Douglas County for trial. The crime involved the stealing two hogs.
    Quite an excitement was created last week, says the Jacksonville Times, by the reported discovery of gold in large quantities at the Big Bar of Rogue River, which has been only partially confirmed.
Puget Sound Argus, January 8, 1880, page 2

BIG BUTTE, Jan. 2nd, 1880.
To the Editor of the Times:
    With your permission I wish to make a suggestion to the taxpayers of Jackson County. The question with business men is not what will bring the greatest return from the investment tomorrow, but what will bring the greatest return from the investment in the course of a year or a series of years. And, as the suggestion is one that will necessarily involve the outlay of some capital, it will not be out of place to give the subject a careful investigation.
    Every man in the county is interested, more or less, in the general welfare of the whole community, and it is an admitted fact that it would be for the benefit of all parties, the farmer, mechanic, merchant, as well as the stock-raiser, for the county to be rid of the "varmints" that destroy our grain and young stock. The suggestion I have to make is this: Let the people in the different parts of the county, while they are talking about the wagon road to the coast, and other public enterprises, appoint in each neighborhood a prominent person who is interested in the movement, to circulate a petition to the Hon. Count Court of Jackson County praying that it offer a reasonable bounty for the scalps of panthers, bears, wolves, coyotes, wildcats, rabbits, squirrels, etc.
    I know that some will say at once that the taxes are so high now that we cannot afford to offer a bounty at present. But while we admit that the taxes are high and that the bounty would be a drain on the county funds for a year or two, still I hold that it will be a good investment for the taxpayers in the end.
    Now let us see. We have annually destroyed, by the rabbits and squirrels, hundreds of bushels of grain that might become taxable property, and by offering a small bounty as an inducement, the boys, with their traps, deadfalls, etc., would soon destroy the majority of them. While these are destroying the cents, the larger "varmints" that prey upon the young stock are destroying the dollars. In some parts of the county, it is a very difficult thing to raise colts on the public commons on account of the panther, cougar, etc., but if these were destroyed so that we could raise our colts on the range, the taxes on a few good horses would amount to enough to pay the bounty on several scalps, but it is not only the colts that they prey upon, but calves, hogs, sheep and in fact everything that we raise in the stock line suffers more or less.
    Take the hog interest for instance. Today it costs about one-half of the value of the pigs that we raise to pay for the feed and attention that is necessary to raise them so that they will be fit for market, and why is this? Is it on account of the scarcity of feed on the commons? No, by no means but simply because if the sow is left with her young pigs in the woods, the coyotes would catch the pigs, and if they are left in an enclosure the case is but little better, for they or the wildcats will steal into an enclosure and destroy all the young. The same may be said with respect to sheep. As it is now, the sheep men have to watch their flocks all the time, and still, with all their care, occasionally a few will stray off, and then some of them are sure to be caught. But if the sheep could run at large, especially in the winter when the ground is soft and the feed is scarce, and be protected from the ravages of the pests that are prowling over our county, we could raise at least double the amount of sheep and hogs. But as it is, a large amount of the revenue that would come into the county treasury in the shape of taxes is now devoured by these pests. If the County Court would offer a premium for their scalps, as Douglas County as done, young men who have but little to do, or to do with, would hunt them up and by that plan give the hunter lucrative employment, rid the country of a terrible pest and bring money into the county treasury.
    Let us hear from others on this subject, and if we can do no more we can get the citizens of this county to think of some plan for relief.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 9, 1880, page 1

The Sisson Suit.
    Complaint was filed in the Circuit Court for Jackson County on the 19th day of January, 1880, by Dowell & Neil, attorneys for plaintiff in the case of Augusta Sisson, heir at law of Dr. David Sisson, vs. A. D. Helman, John R. Helman, Mary Jane Helman, M .J. Helman, et al. This is a suit in equity to quiet title to real estate, and involving the title to property in the town of Ashland, valued at not less than $10,000. The complaint sets forth that Dr. David Sisson was owner of and in peaceable possession of a certain block of land in the town of Ashland, the title to which was based on a written contract for a deed for block No. 2 on the original plat of Ashland, given by A. D. Helman to Morris Howell and assigned to Sisson. It relates that Dr. Sisson had erected valuable buildings on said block including a hospital, that while residing on the same on the 5th day of April, 1868, when the plaintiff was only eight days old, he was shot and killed by an assassin, within sixty yards of A. D. Helman's front door, and that soon afterwards, the house in which Sisson was living at the time of his death, and also a house on the Sisson farm near Ashland, were burned by an incendiary who succeeded in burning the contract to Howell. Subsequently, the complaint alleges, the plat of Ashland was stolen from the Recorder's office, and a new plat filed having an additional block and on which block No. 2 (owned by Sisson) was changed to block No. 3, so as to destroy its identity and defraud the plaintiff out of lot No. 6 in said block which had been deeded to her by L. J. C. Duncan, who had purchased at sheriff's sale under an execution against the property of A. D. Helman. The complaint further sets forth that A. D. Helman, one of the defendants, filed a third plat of the town of Ashland on which block No. 2 (claimed by the plaintiff) is not laid down, with intention to defraud plaintiff and entirely destroy all evidence of her title. Plaintiff asks that certain deeds made by A. D. Helman to parties now in possession be declared void, so far as they conflict with her interest in the land, and he be compelled to make her a deed according to the contract made to Howell and assigned to Sisson. If the complaint be true it points to the commission of the blackest deed that was ever done in Jackson County, and if probed the fact would be disclosed that arson, larceny of a public record and forgery were used to cover it up, hide the murderer and rob an infant orphan of her property.--Jacksonville Sentinel.
Albany Register,
Albany, Oregon, February 6, 1880, page 1

    The season promises to be the most favorable one the miners of Southern Oregon have experienced in many years The supply of water is ample and promises to continue for some time to come.
    Many sheep are dying in Jackson County, Oregon, from starvation and exposure.

"Pacific Coast Items," Marysville Daily Appeal, Marysville, California, February 13, 1880, page 3

    Cold weather still interferes with mining operations in Southern Oregon.
    Neff's distillery, in Jackson County, has turned out a barrel of tomato brandy.
Vancouver Independent, Vancouver, Washington, February 19, 1880, page 4

    Skinning cattle for their hides promises to be profitable employment in Jackson County.
    The military mail to Fort Klamath is discontinued. Regular United States mail three times a week.
    The school census of Jacksonville district shows 401 children of school age--202 males and 199 females.
"Astoria," Puget Sound Argus, Port Townsend, Washington, March 11, 1880, page 2

    The Crescent City wagon road enterprise is again being agitated with the approach of spring, and the people are inclined to feel more hopeful than ever of its success. It will be of vast advantage to Northern California and Southern Oregon.
"Pacific Coast," Corvallis Gazette, March 19, 1880, page 2

A Floating Island.
    Among the many natural curiosities of Jackson County, Oregon, [it] is not generally known that there in a floating island. Up in the Siskiyou, lying like a pearl in the great mountain chain, is Squaw Lake, a beautiful sheet of water, now utilized by a mining company as a reservoir. For many years the lake has been a favorite and delightful resort for fishing parties, and contained nearly in its center an island, comprising about one acre of ground, covered with luxuriant grass and a growth of willow and alder. It was never dreamed that the pretty little island was not terra firma, but when the bulkhead across the outlet of the lake dammed up its waters the island rose slowly until it had been elevated fully sixteen feet above its original level. It would be a question for the naturalist rather than the geologist to determine the age of this floating island, as it is evidently made up entirely of decayed vegetation. Perhaps at some remote period the roots of a tree, uptorn by the mountain storms, drifting out into the lake, formed the nucleus from which the island has grown; but it seems singular that it should have remained anchored and unchangeable in its position. The locality is much frequented by picture seekers, who will hereafter notice the increase [in] elevation.
Vancouver Independent, Vancouver, Washington, March 25, 1880, page 1

    The Roseburg Star says that C. C. Manning, U.S. surveyor, arrived in Roseburg last week. This gentleman is to survey the military road between Scottsburg and Camp Stewart near Phoenix, in this county, for the purpose of ascertaining the places where money appropriated for the improvement of the road can be most advantageously expended. The officer in charge of the improvement is also on hand, and we understand that work is to be instituted immediately. From what can be learned the appropriation will doubtless be expended on the Cow Creek and Grave Creek mountains, where it is certainly most needed.

Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 2, 1880, page 3

    The wood piles of Southern Oregon have been completely "burned out" during the sway of the long winter.
    Mrs. Dorcas Fredenburg died last week at Rock Point, Jackson County, aged 81 years. A husband, nine children, 52 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren survive her.
"Southern Oregon," Puget Sound Argus, Port Townsend, Washington, April 22, 1880, page 2

    Now that the freighting season is about to open, the people, especially those directly engaged in shipping to or from the cities, will have their attention directed constantly to the needless outlay for transportation, which has taken from Southern Oregon in the past few years hundreds of thousands of dollars that should have remained here to enrich the country and develop its resources and business. It is estimated that from 2,000 to 2,500 tons of freight are brought into Jackson County alone every year. A good road to Crescent City would enable us to save nearly a cent a pound on all freight from San Francisco; at least, it is safe to count upon a saving of $15 per ton. This saving upon the merchandise that is brought into the country, added to that upon the exports, will amount to somewhere in the neighborhood of $50,000 a year, in hard cash--more than twice the sum Jackson County is asked to subscribe toward the building of the wagon road. Fifty thousand dollars distributed among the people of our county every year will make a very perceptible improvement in our prosperity. And it will be distributed; it cannot possibly be appropriated by any individuals or any corporation. What we have to buy from abroad will cost just so much less here, and what we have to sell will be worth just so much more, and the inflexible laws of trade will distribute the saving equitably. When the road is built it will be as though our valley were transported some 200 miles nearer to San Francisco, with our means of communication equally as good as now, for the new route will just eliminate the cost of the freighting over the 200 miles of railroad between us and Portland. This will give us the benefit not only of the saving that we have been figuring upon, but also of the certain increase of the value of property which always follows in any place the improvement of the facilities for commercial intercourse with the trade center of the region. Let everyone who can possibly contribute toward the building of the wagon road consider carefully how much his interests are involved, and then remember that now is the time to take advantage of the opportunity to increase his possessions. "There is a tide in the affairs of men that, taken at its flood, leads on to fortune." The tide of opportunity has set in toward Jackson County. Will our citizens allow it to drift idly by them?
Ashland Tidings, April 30, 1880, page 2

    The merchants of San Francisco have hitherto held much of the trade of that large and rapidly developing region known as Southern Oregon. The United States government is now spending $10,000 on the improvement of the roads from Jacksonville north to Portland, and the natural effect of this will be to give much of the Southern Oregon business to the merchants of the Columbia and the commercial centers of the Northwest. In order to secure for San Francisco merchants advantages at least equal, and probably much better, there has for months been a strong effort made by the people of Southern Oregon, in accord with the people of Del Norte County, to build a wagon road from Waldo to Crescent City. The movement has now taken such a shape that a very little aid and comfort on the part of San Francisco merchants, who are interested in this trade, would ensure its success.
    April 10th there was a public meeting held in Waldo, which is near the southern line of Oregon, and support was pledged by the merchants. Previous to this enthusiastic meetings were held in Del Norte County. April 17th a convention took place in Jacksonville. Committees were present from Jackson, Del Norte and Josephine counties. The report declared that these committees had decided to select the best route from Waldo to Crescent City. They appointed viewers and prepared for a final survey. Each county to bear one-third of this expense. A gentleman was appointed to ask for subscriptions in San Francisco. The cost of the road is estimated at $20,000, of which 30 percent is obtained.
    To show the need of this road the following statements are made by Southern Oregon and Del Norte papers. (1.) The merchants of Josephine County say that if the proposed road is not built they must discontinue freighting from Crescent City, and turn their attention to Portland, the old road being nearly impassable and on a bad route. (2.) The incoming freight of Jackson County is not less than twenty-eight hundred tons annually. These freights, landed at Roseburg, cost $25 per ton, or $70,000 per year. (3.) There is in Jackson and Josephine counties and their tributary valleys an area of 400,000 acres of wheat land, immense ranges of pasturage, rapidly filling up with stock, and a bolt of fine mineral land. Population is crowding in, and the future of the whole region is extremely hopeful. (4.) The length of the road desired is only 36 miles, and every mile lies within the boundaries of California, and will aid to build up Crescent City. The time may come when a railroad will take its place.--Bulletin.
Humboldt Times, Eureka, California, May 4, 1880, page 2

    A band of 700 sheep were sold for $1.10 the head in Jackson County, Oregon, last week.
"Pacific Coast Brevities," Stockton Daily Independent, Stockton, California, May 26, 1880, page 2

    SHOOTING AFFRAY.--On Sunday afternoon an altercation took place between Jack Montgomery and John F. Earl, in which the former was dangerously, if not fatally, shot. It seems that an electioneering party went out to Rafael's wine cellar about half a mile north of town, and while there a political discussion arose between Earl and Montgomery, both having drunk considerable wine. Montgomery was angry and quite aggressive, wanting to pit a young man named Stevens from Josephine County against Earl in a fight. Earl, who is quite peaceable, begged off, saying that he was a stranger and desired no trouble with men whose names he did not even know. Decker and Lorraine, two bystanders, held Montgomery and advised Earl to leave, which he did immediately, but Stevens and Montgomery following closely. When about one hundred yards from the house and approaching him rapidly, Earl twice warned his pursuers to stop. Still advancing on him, Stevens drawing his coat, Earl fired with effect; but immediately firing again, Montgomery was struck a little to the left of the pit of the stomach and in the region of the lower lobe of the left lung. Stevens then retreated and Earl immediately came to town and gave himself up to Deputy Sheriff Caton, who committed him to jail. The wounded man was examined by Dr. Callendar, who pronounced his wound a mortal one. For several hours he spit up large quantities of blood and suffered much, but on Monday he was able to be removed to the county hospital. Earl was examined on Monday before Justice Huffer, and all the testimony being in his favor and showing that he acted purely in self-defense, he was discharged. It is almost needless to moralize on this affair, but one thing is certain, had there been no drinking, there would have been no bloodshed, and it is another argument against the bad practice of corrupting voters by the use of liquor, reprehensible in any party and a proper thing to stop.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 2, 1880, page 3

    Jack Montgomery, the desperado who was shot at Ashland, Jackson County, a few weeks ago in the abdomen, by a man named Earle, in an altercation, and whose recovery was deemed hopeless, is pronounced out of danger.
"Oregon," Sacramento Daily Union, June 21, 1880, page 2

    A large number of new dwellings are being built in Jacksonville.
    Jacksonville's population is about 800, or 200 less than the general estimate.
    The precincts of Willow Springs, Manzanita, Table Rock and Rock Point, Jackson County, contain 1,700 inhabitants. But four deaths occurred in the precincts named during the year ending May 30th.
"News Items," The New Northwest, Portland, July 1, 1880, page 2

    The Crescent City wagon road company of Jackson County have just decided to incorporate. By the time the company is well organized, we will have our roads leading south in fine condition, and there will be no necessity for its proceeding further.
"Southern Oregon Notes," Douglas Independent, Roseburg, July 31, 1880, page 3

    The mania for quilts of many pieces is spreading. The latest victim of the craze is Miss Addie Langell, of Jacksonville, who has completed a quilt of 4,247 pieces. It is a pity that a woman of such great industry and application cannot find better use for her time than damaging her eyesight and testing her patience in such folly as cutting up cloth and sewing the scraps together.

The New Northwest, Portland, September 9, 1880, page 2

    The Jacksonville, Oregon Times notes that E. F. Walker and J. B. Wrisley have recently received machinery for the manufacture of sorghum syrup and will soon commence operations. They have about twenty acres in sorghum (which resembles broom corn) that has grown finely. It will not be long before the importation of syrup will be greatly diminished, as the home article will almost supersede the imported in time.
"Local Bits," Scott Valley News, Fort Jones, California, September 9, 1880, page 3

Salmon Poisoning.
    Last week the Jacksonville Sentinel noted on Jackass Creek an Indian named Oregon Big Tom as having died on the 17th of this month, of typho-malarial fever, and stated that his squaw lay at the point of death with the same complaint. The squaw alluded to, Old Mollie, died the next day after Tom and a third Indian, Old Aunt Peggy, is now suffering from the same disease. A rather important fact has come to light about these deaths, which was not at first known and which set people a-thinking who are in the habit of catching salmon for food this time of the year. These Indians came over from the Klamath Reservation about three weeks ago to visit their old home here and to fish salmon in Rogue River. The salmon which they caught and ate, it seems, were diseased, and as a consequence the Indians got sick, resulting as above stated. As they were without means and non-residents, the Jackson County authorities furnished them medical treatment and burial at the expense use of the state. The salmon run up from the ocean during the dog days have always been noted as unsound, and persons posted never eat them.
Vancouver Independent, Vancouver, Washington, September 9, 1880, page 1

    COMING.--It is now definitely settled that Mr. Hayes and party will come to Oregon overland, arriving at this place about the 28th, or next Tuesday. The S.F. Chronicle gives as a reason for this that the Constitution of the United States forbids a President going beyond the boundaries of the country during his term of office. "To go to Oregon by sea he would get three leagues from shore, and out of the limits of the United States." According to this they may be expected to pass through Jacksonville both going and returning. The Yreka Journal says the party will come by the Sacramento River road, and be put through by the C. & O. Stage Co., per special conveyance. Mr. Hayes and General Sherman, with six others, will leave Redding tomorrow morning, and stop overnight at Sim Sothern's, halfway, reaching Yreka in the evening sometime before 9 o'clock at the latest, of the following day, to remain overnight. Four others of the Presidential party will take the regular stage, there being twelve persons in the entire lot. So the curious will not be disappointed after all.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 24, 1880, page 3

    A letter from a prominent gentleman of Southern Oregon states that hoodlumism was so rampant at Jacksonville that the citizens made no arrangements for any demonstration on the arrival of the Presidential party, fearing that the slums of the town would cause trouble and publicly insult the company. There was not even a committee appointed to receive the distinguished visitors, but it was necessary for the party to remain overnight, and in the evening a quiet reception was held. That the guests noticed the town's slight is shown by the fact that they mentioned the kind welcome accorded them at Ashland. It is enough to flush the face of every Oregonian to know that the only discourtesy shown the President on his tour was shortly after his arrival in our state. Brigadier General Thos. G. Reames, of the Oregon State Militia, is president of the town board of Jacksonville, and such a man could not be expected to rise above his level, even to welcome the Chief Executive of the nation. The respectable people of the place feel deeply humiliated that they could not venture to treat the President with the respect due his station.
The New Northwest, Portland, October 7, 1880, page 4

    An old miner named Charles Brown committed suicide on September 23rd on Birdseye Creek, Jackson County, Or. He took a good smoke and then blew his brains out with a rifle. He had been engaged in mining for 13 years in that county.

Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, October 9, 1880, page 232

    The editor of the Jacksonville Times is so ignorant of the intelligence of the women of Oregon as to hold the opinion that nineteen-twentieths of them don't want to vote, and thinks his "opinion" an argument against the woman movement. If ninety-nine of a hundred women opposed it, what of it? If ninety-nine men do not want to vote, should they have the power to say that a hundredth one ought to be disenfranchised? If two men want to "go on a drunk," shall they compel a third to do likewise? If two women want to vote, shall they force a third to join them in their wish? If two women don't want to vote, shall they keep a third from voting? The Democratic Times is not alive to the democratic principle that no person has the right to limit or define the rights of another person. We believe all persons were born free and equal, and, if this idea is wrong, the error should be pointed out and proved to us, that we may not grope on in darkness, when there is so much light in Southern Oregon.
The New Northwest, Portland, October 21, 1880, page 4

    The young man who does the heavy writing for the Jacksonville Times can prate about the "sphere" of women with the profound knowledge of a Bunsby. His answer to a request for a definition of the said "sphere" is on a par with the schoolboy's description of a goat, "It ain't a sheep." The Southern Oregon philosopher says "the exercise of the ballot does not constitute the sphere of woman." In proof of this statement, he might have cited the fact that one mother's sphere has been to rear a youth who thinks that his wisdom is necessary to prevent the women from ruining the country.
The New Northwest, Portland, October 21, 1880, page 4

    The Sentinel (Republican) and the Times (Democratic), of Jacksonville, are at present engaged in a squabble. Each is endeavoring to place the blame of the discourtesy shown the Presidential party on the shoulders of the political supporters of the other. From their muttering, it is quite clear that Thos. G. Reames is the individual on whom the censure should rest. As president of the town board, he not only lacked the sense to inaugurate a movement for the proper reception of the party, but was foolish enough to refuse when citizens asked and urged him to do so.
The New Northwest, Portland, October 21, 1880, page 4

    A Jacksonville correspondent enviously writes that "from some cause or combination of causes, Ashland has recently outgrown many other villages of Southern Oregon." The cause is that Ashland is without the class that makes Jacksonville a plague spot, and consequently has more than rivaled the town of eggs and effigies. Were the latter place rid of its demoralizing element, its good citizens would make it an honor to the state.
The New Northwest, Portland, December 9, 1880, page 4

    In the columns of an eastern publication of current circulation among Sunday schools appears a tale of early Oregon days, entitled "a true story of the West." With the veracity of the events therein set forth the residents of this section, who bore an active part in the history-making of early days, find ample cause for dissatisfaction.
    In 1879, during the month of September, President Hayes and the first lady of the land, then upon a tour of the Pacific Coast states, paid their respects to the hustling young commonwealth of Oregon. From Redding to Roseburg they traveled by stage, the only convenience obtainable, and each city and hamlet by the old trail turned out its populace to welcome the chief executive. Jacksonville was gay with flags and bunting on the morning of the President's arrival, and Southern Oregon was assembled to do him honor. This much is history, but the manner in which the story of that trip is told by the eastern paper does not correspond with the recollections of men who greeted the executive stage during its progress through the district, nor does it tally with the natural character of the country.
    According to the eastern romancer, Ted Buckley, the fourteen-year-old son of driver Buckley, then lying ill at Jacksonville, drove the famous six-horse stage from that city with its presidential passenger. At Table Rock--a properly picturesque site for old romance--young Buckley is said to have disembarked the distinguished party, driving bravely into the racing waters of the Rogue, to test the safety of the ford. He then returned for President Hayes and his party, whom he gallantly conveyed to the opposite shore. The President was deeply touched by the lad's simple devotion. So much for romance.
    No ford exists at Table Rock. No necessity existed on the stage road for crossing the river at that point. The current flows deep and grim today--holding the selfsame course that antedated the earliest pioneer; perhaps, the first Indian as well. At no time in history has it been forded by a wheeled vehicle, much less so by a heavily laden stage coach. Furthermore, though the romance is a delightful one, in the memory of men who were actively associated with the stage service and the early days of the district, Ted Buckley and his invalid parent, as stage drivers at least, are purely fictitious characters.
    Nort Eddings, of this city, who in those days was driver from Rock Point to Cole's Station, just over the California boundary, greeted the President as the executive coach swung up before the former station that September afternoon, thirty-odd years ago. William Carll, division agent of the California & Oregon stage company, handled the ribbons with consummate skill in honor of the noted passenger.
    When questioned as to the truth of the Buckley tale, the old driver spat contemptuously and observed: "The whole story is absurd. There never was a driver on the old stage route known as Buckley. Dozens of we old fellows know better. There is Louis Tucker, of Ashland, James Wright, of Roseburg, Joe Clough, of Canyonville, or George Chase, of Klamath--all of them men who handled the reins or worked for the company in those days. Any one of them will tell you that Buckley never existed, that there never was a ford at Table Rock. The whole story is a--what d'you call it?--pipe dream !"
    As a driver, in the good old days, Nort Eddings snuffed deeply of the spice of adventure. At the summit of the Siskiyous, on a balmy evening in June, 1878, "Black Bart," the poetical desperado of the period, thrust a six-gun into the young driver's face and commanded him to "throw the box." Eddings replied that he was busy with his horses, and warmly instructed the bandit to "point that gun a little higher."
    Again at the old toll house the gentle ruffian relieved Eddings' passengers of their valuables. When "Black Bart" reposed in San Quentin prison, recounting his exploits as he awaited sentence, he expressed a desire to again meet "the youngster who wasn't so scared by being held up that he couldn't look after his team."
    But the wish was never granted. The law placed a terminus to the career of this whimsical gentleman of the road--who relaxed into meter upon the slightest provocation--and his "stand and deliver" became merely an uneasy memory of the old California-Oregon road. 
Gold Hill News, September 27, 1913, page 1

    Pioneer residents of Jacksonville whose memories look back upon the time when the Southern Oregon town was the locale of an animated "gold rush," point with pride to the fact that a President of the United States and a famous general once visited the little community and spent the night there.
    The memorable event occurred September 27, 1880, when President Hayes and General William Tecumseh Sherman made a tour of the Northwest.
    Recently a scout party from the Gilmore Oil Company was dispatched to obtain data concerning interesting historical incidents in Oregon, with the result that William M. Colvig of Medford, a pioneer who arrived in Jackson County in 1852, was interviewed concerning the visit of the President.
    "There was a great deal of excitement when we learned that the President and General Sherman were going to be guests in Jacksonville for the night," the judge explained to members of the Gilmore party. "Probably the most perturbed was Madame DeRoboam, who ran the French hotel across from Beekman's bank. She owned the most pretentious hostelry in Southern Oregon at that time, so naturally it was decided that the presidential party should stay there.
    "The madame was much concerned as to just how lavishly she should entertain her noted guests. She talked with Beekman about it, and, following his advice, had the President's room-to-be kalsomined, bought a new Brussels carpet and a picture.
    "The presidential party arrived by stage on the evening of September 27. I remember both General Sherman and President Hayes were very tired and dusty from the long trip. As I recall it, I helped dust off the President's coat. The next morning the party left early and the madame presented to the President's secretary a bill for $100 for the night's lodging, upon which he replied: "We don't wish to buy your hotel, madame," and he gave her $25.
    "The madame was much dismayed by this turn of events, and she later wrote President Hayes about the matter in Washington, D.C. He replied that he knew nothing of the proceedings, and that he was sincerely regretful that any bill should be disputed during his northwestern trip."
    The venerable two-story brick hotel of Madame DeRoboam still stands on the "main street" of Jacksonville. It has been necessary to replace a few bricks in the slightly sagging walls, but withal it stands as a reminder of the visit of the nation's chief executive.
    A museum and library are located on the lower floor and the supper story is used for lodge, city council and other meetings.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 15, 1931, page 3

Last revised March 25, 2024