The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Orange Jacobs

    He was a forcible and attractive public speaker, a capital story-teller, skilled in logic, an accomplished rhetorician whose diction and copious vocabulary needed no amendment to fit it for the press. He was new to the territory, having arrived overland in the fall of 1852, and engaging in the confinement of school teaching, but few persons had heard of him. But from the time of this notable canvass everybody heard of Orange Jacobs and learned something of his history--that he was a native of Michigan, a graduate of the Ann Arbor Law School, and had a state reputation as a temperance lecturer. In 1854 Democratic politics was overshadowing in Marion County and permitted little else to grow. Indeed, if I were to personify it, I should liken it to a great, rollicsome, thoughtless fellow, overbearing through ignorance, but of naturally good heart, and had had his own way so long that he considered himself a normal outgrowth of human nature.
    Something more than ordinary was needed to awaken the sleeping faculties of the Marion County people, and so some Methodist ministers, having heard Mr. Jacobs speak, solicited him to run for the Legislature on the Maine law platform. That he came within twelve votes of being elected in the banner county of Democracy is sufficient proof of the thoroughness of its presentation. The monstrosities and absurdities of the license system in a country governed by law and among a people striving for the improvement of society were as exhaustively shown as they ever have been since, after fifty years' experience with alcoholic demoralization. Mr. Jacobs ran again the next year, 1855, but a Democratic Legislature had in the interim enacted into law the viva voce or open ticket system of voting, the more effectually to prevent Democrats straying away from the party and its principal rendezvous, the saloon, whereby the Maine-law candidate was left far in the rear on election day. The law was aimed mainly at those Democrats who had gone into the Know-Nothing lodges, but it told as well against any sort of departure from the Democratic fold. The editor of the Statesman said it was to make people honest (of course, he meant Democrats); certainly it made them party slaves. . . .
    Finding the law in Marion exclusively Democratic, Mr. Jacobs emigrated to Southern Oregon in August, 1857, and there easily took first place as a public speaker. His arrival was quite opportune, for with this gift and an attractive companionship, he gave much strength and adhesiveness to the free-state proclivities in Jackson County. He went into the school house again, but his sphere of lucrative employment was much broadened. 
T. W. Davenport, "The Slavery Question in Oregon," Oregon Historical Quarterly, December 1908, pages 313-314

    Through the urgent solicitations of many friends, we have consented to take charge of the editorial department of this paper. Sustaining, then, the relations we do to the numerous patrons of the Sentinel, it becomes our duty to make a brief statement of the principles that will govern us in the discharge of our editorial duties.
    First. Although a Republican in politics, we shall know no political principles, and no political party, save "The Union, the Constitution, and the Enforcement of the Laws." We shall labor to develop and consolidate a triumphant Union Party in this state, for there is but one issue before the American people, and that is a momentous one. It has absorbed all other issues, and its adverse decision would effectually decide all other issues. Where, then, is the sense of wrangling about side issues when their decision is necessarily involved in the determination of the paramount question? As we have remarked before, when the first rebel gun authoritatively announced the fearful doctrines of disunion to a startled nation, and sounded the notes of death to a starving but loyal garrison within the walls of Fort Sumter, party organizations relapsed into a state of suspended animation, and all attempts to galvanize them into life by aspiring demagogues ought to be frowned down by the loyal and patriotic.
    Secondly. We are for the Union all over--in the abstract and concrete, theoretically and practically, without condition, limitation or mental reservation, or any other secession catch. We verily believe that if the present Union falls, constitutional liberty will be buried amid the ruins. We have no faith in the doctrine of Reconstruction. The demolished edifice can never be reared again so as to have the beauty, symmetry and durability of the original structure. History teaches the mournful lesson that whenever free governments are overthrown by domestic factions they never rise again.
    Thirdly. We shall soon call the attention of the people of this valley to the importance of domestic manufactures. We intend to demonstrate, as far as we may be able, that this demon of Hard Times will ever haunt the people of Oregon, just so long as we have no manufacturing crevices to catch the gold, which is first sluiced out of the mines and then sluiced out of the country.
    In conclusion, permit us to say that no effort of ours shall be spared to make the Sentinel, both in general matters and local intelligence, one of the best newspapers in the state.
        [Orange Jacobs.]
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 25, 1862, page 2

    OREGON SENTINEL.--"This Republican journal is edited by O. Jacobs. Mr. Jacobs informs his readers that he is a 'Union man,' that is, in favor of a union between the Black Blacks and the Ben Harding Blacks. This new editor we understand to be an old political hack, who has been but little heard of since he figured conspicuously in establishing Know Nothing wigwams."--Oregon Democrat.
    We published the above as a delicious piece of information to those who have known us since we have been a citizen of Oregon. "An old political hack"? Yes, little Haley, you know all about us; that's evident!
    "Who has been but little heard of since he figured conspicuously in establishing Know Nothing wigwams." Your source of information must be as unreliable as your baseless insinuations are contemptible and untruthful. We never established a Know Nothing wigwam in our life, and never was inside of one. We more than suspect that about as much reliance can be placed in the statements found in your paper as in the above brief extract. Over one-half of the above is a bald untruth, and about one-half of your paper is taken up with advertisements. Sweet little Haley, try it again.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, February 22, 1862, page 2

In the Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, 1862
    Orange Jacobs of Jacksonville was the first real Oregon columnist, although he scattered his bright remarks through the paper instead of segregating them under a regular head. The biography of him in Elwood Evans' History of the Pacific Northwest makes no reference to his journalistic work in Southern Oregon, saying that he practiced law and came pretty nearly being elected a United States Senator while he lived in Jacksonville. He was editor of the Oregon Sentinel from January, 1862, until July, 1864.
    He was born in the state of New York in 1829. He lived for a little while in Salem before going to Jacksonville. He was a young man of 23 and 24 when he wrote the items quoted here.
    In [1869] he left Oregon to become a prominent citizen of Washington Territory. He was chief justice of the supreme court, delegate to Congress, mayor of Seattle, and a member of the board of regents of the University of Washington. Memoirs of Orange Jacobs, a 234-page book written by himself and "Containing Many Interesting, Amusing and Instructive Incidents of a Life of Eighty Years," was published in Seattle in 1908.
    In one of his comments given below is a humorous description of himself. In 1889 Elwood Evans described him as follows: "Judge Jacobs is a man of large stature, commanding presence, positive views, has the courage of his convictions, but is liberal and tolerant. He has filled a prominent place in the public affairs of Northwest America as a pioneer, lawmaker and judicial officer."
    If any of our readers should notice anything particularly bilious or shaky in the editorial matter of this paper, we beg them to remember that we have had the ague nearly every day this week. If the eye of a critic should discover something a little too bitter, let him consider we have been taking quinine; if he should notice anything disgusting, let him remember we have been living on pills; anything rough, excuse us--we have taken any quantity of iron. While it may not be a serious matter to you, it is anything but a joke to us.
March 8, 1862.

Lewiston, July 7th, 1862.
    Editor Times:--I see in the daily issue of the 2nd inst., of your paper, the obituary notice and Coroner's inquest, held over a dead body found at Portland, from which you say it "leaves but little doubt that the dead body was that of Col. T'Vault." As to my obituary, I am thankful for your references. But few men live to read what is said of them, after death; however, I assure you that I am still alive, and expect to live to occupy a high and honorable position in the Pacific Republic.
    By request we copy the above from the Portland Times. Well, Colonel, we are glad to learn that you are still alive. You way live to occupy a high position in a Pacific Republic, but we have serious doubts about its honorable nature. We don't believe you will ever occupy either.
July 19, 1862.


    W. G. T'Vault had been editor of the very paper in which these mean things were being said about him. He was the first editor of the Oregon Spectator in Oregon City, and in 1855 started the Jacksonville Table Rock Sentinel, which in 1858 became the Oregon Sentinel.
    In Jacksonville, at the residence of A. E. Rogers, Esq., in the evening of Oct. 24th, 1862, by the Rev. M. M. Stearns, B. F. Dowell, Esq., to Miss N. A. Campbell; all of Jacksonville.
One more unfortunate,
    Lonely and troubled,
Rashly importunate,
    Went and got doubled.
    So our friend is gone--lost forever to the bachelor fraternity! We noticed the door of his law office, as well as the veranda of the same, was heavily draped in mourning on the day following his emigration to the State of Matrimony. Honored as a citizen, generous as a friend, successful as a lawyer, he has won his first great case, and long may he live to enjoy the fruits of his success.
October 25, 1862.

    J. C. Elder, of Josephine County, abounds in generosity and good things. He has placed us under a thousand obligations for a fine and large box of honey just as the little busy mechanics made it. He says: "We are considerably on the secesh down here, but there is a good deal of redeeming sweetness in the country."
November 1, 1862.

    The "Morning Oregonian has a larger subscription list than any other daily published in the city of Portland;" and "the Daily Times has the largest circulation of any daily paper in the city." Glad to know that they are both doing better than each other.
November 12, 1862.
    ". . . we have often attempted to limn out Onager Jacobs, of the Sentinel, but each successive attempt has been a failure, and today we have not the remotest idea of 'what manner of a man he is'."--Mountaineer.
    Well, friend Newell, when you attempt to "limn" us out…again, just paint us five feet and ten inches in height, moderately well proportioned and decidedly handsome, and you have us. While, if you insist on calling us "Onager," why just follow the authography of the witty and musical Eugene neutral.
Orange Jacobs, "In the Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, 1862," in Alfred Powers, History of Oregon Literature, Portland 1935, pages 508-511

    In Jacksonville, on the 17th instant, to the wife of ORANGE JACOBS, a son, and his name is LINCOLN.
    "This 'ere war must go on."
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 23, 1862, page 3

    SALEM, September 12.--The Senate and House of Representatives are now in session in joint convention, balloting for a United States Senator, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of the Hon. E. D. Baker. Yesterday, O. Jacobs, editor of the Jacksonville Sentinel, received 23 votes, 25 being necessary to a choice. The convention then adjourned. This morning, Geo. H. Williams, formerly Chief Justice, received 23 votes (25 being necessary to elect), and B. F. Harding, 17; and the convention adjourned to 2 p.m.
    SALEM, O.--On the 30th ballot B. F. Harding was elected U.S. Senator, receiving 28 votes to Judge Williams' 23. Harding is a Union Democrat.
"By State Telegraph," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, September 16, 1862, page 1

    ABSENT.--The editor has absented himself from his sanctum for over a week past. He is in the mountains bagging grizzlies. Who wants a steak.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 15, 1862, page 1

    RETURNED.--We are at our post again--didn't bring much grizzly steak with us from the mountains, but have arranged to supply large quantities on contract. Drove a large number of grizzlies into the canyons on Butte Creek, stopped up their mouths--not the grizzlies' but the canyons'--there we have them and can slaughter them as needed.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 19, 1862, page 2

    BEWARE.--The lean, thin, and cadaverous genius, who delights to call himself proprietor of this paper, is prowling around in the mountains somewhere, with a Sharp's rifle and a hair-triggered Colt's revolver, seeking whom he may devour. If anybody should come across him who is not acquainted with him, we hereby give him an introduction, not forgetting the legal Aesculapius who accompanied him. He is a dead shot when he has a clear perception of the exact location of the brain--but he often mistakes on that point. Acting under the instruction of the Aesculapius accompanying him, he is absolutely dangerous. Beware.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 22, 1862, page 2

    JAMES TWOGOOD.--This gentleman, well known all over Oregon, was on the 20th of January the guest of Hiram Jacobs, the father of the editor of this paper, at Sturgis, Michigan.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, February 21, 1863, page 2

    With this number terminates my connection with the Oregon Sentinel. The occasion is appropriate for a brief retrospect and a few closing remarks.
    Over a year ago, feeble in health and wanting in experience in the editorial business, through the urgent solicitations of the proprietor of the paper and many prominent Union men in Southern Oregon, we became the editor of the Sentinel. At that time the disastrous defeat of the Federals at the battle of Bull Run hung like a darkening pall over the destiny of the American Union. The timid were filled with despair--the strong and hopeful had their fears. Bold, insolent, defiant treason, under the insidious mark of Democracy, showed itself in nearly every town in Oregon. Its malignity was complete, and it needed but the assurance of numbers to light the fires of civil war. Since then, the Federal victories in the West, as well as in the East, connected with the present attitude and position of the Federal forces, have silenced the treasonable hurrahs of the sympathizers, and made them the placid, sniveling pettifoggers for an inglorious peace.
    The prospects for the future are cheering. Every indication shows that the humbug Confederacy is in its last stages. It topples to its fall. The immense domain conquered by the Federal troops during the last year is held firmly in the grasp of the government. No power of the rebels can wrest it away. Light begins to gleam down the darkened pathway of the Mississippi; invulnerable iron batteries and veteran battalions threaten Charleston and Savannah; Fighting Joe Hooker is in Virginia and the ever-victorious Rosecrans in Tennessee.
    We have never doubted the power of the government to suppress this wanton rebellion, and to restore the Union in all its former integrity and glory. We still have faith in the loyal determination of the people to defend and perpetuate the constitutional government formed by the wisdom of our patriot forefathers. We have supported all the war measures of the Administration (though doubting the wisdom and expediency of some), because, occupying as the President and his Cabinet do, a position nearer the center, and having a wider range of vision, and a clearer view of all the facts, we could more safely rely upon their judgments than our own, living, as we do, near the circumference and having but imperfect means of information. It is a very easy matter for men of limited political information and experience to write down such men as Seward, Chase, Stanton, Halleck and the President as "imbeciles," but it would require a good deal of such egotistical vaporing to convince a sensible man of the truth of the declaration. Formerly, the position of critic implied the possession of the requisite knowledge and experience, but latterly, the bigger the blockhead the greater the critic.
    We have labored to make the Sentinel speak for the Union absolutely and unconditionally. In this, we flatter ourselves we have succeeded. We doubt the policy and question the patriotism of an editor who growls, grumbles and denounces through two or three heavy columns, and then damns with faint praise in a few obscure paragraphs. Such patriotism is made up of negatives, and is always the strongest on the strongest side.
    We have urged through the Sentinel a vigorous development of the resources of Southern Oregon--have asserted her rights and endeavored to promote her interests.
    In taking leave of the numerous readers of the Sentinel, we would do so with the liveliest remembrance of the support, encouragement and favors we have received from them. We bespeak for our successor, H. Denlinger, under whose editorial care and management the paper will hereafter be conducted, a continuance of the same. We exchange our editorial habiliments for those of a lawyer.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 21, 1863, page 2

    In the corrupt and malignant developments of human nature we occasionally witness an act so devoid of every lingering sense of honor, and so directly in conflict with every right conception of social and moral duty, that it at once stamps its author as a coward and a villain. What think you of the man who will enter your office and steal your private correspondence? What think you of the editor who, by his publication of the same, gives rise to the presumption that he was an accessory before the fact? We naturally come to the conclusion, announced by the former employers of such a public instructor, that he was a "slippery gentleman," too slippery indeed to be bound by contracts. I could see a harmony and consistency in the conduct of such a person in selling the piano of his wife, in order that he might demonstrate the aptness of the phrase that so completely describes his character, that of a "clean-shirted bummer." I never would expect such a man to pay his debts, and would naturally suppose that he would illustrate his chivalry by receiving the missiles of his foeman in the rear. It would not be inconsistent with the character of such a personage to have a leaden medal fixed in his "seat of honor" as a memento of his prowess, and as a perpetual token of his chivalrous sense of honor?
    Some time ago, while I was editor of the Sentinel, there was taken from my drawer a bundle of private letters, as well as other property. I have traced one of them from this place to Salem; know who had it there, and it has finally made its appearance in a paper edited by the Hon. James O'Meara. I know of its history in this town, and await the sitting of the grand jury to make some other interesting developments, if I can obtain the evidence promised me.
    James O'Meara is the proper man to publish such a letter. Mr. Bush might be mean enough to take copies of the same, and to interrogatively declare that I sent it to him, knowing at the same time that by so declaring he was telling an infamous falsehood. But it takes a man who has risen in regular gradations from the useful and honorable occupation of Pig Instructor, to that of an editor of a secession-sympathizing sheet, to be sufficiently wanting in every sense of honor to publish the same.
    The letter does not affect me at all; neither does it injuriously affect its author. It contains a friendly statement of the feelings of a sensitive and honorable man wounded by the detractions of his enemies. It asks me, as editor of the Sentinel, to vindicate the right liberty of the press, and to point out its fearful demoralization. But who wants his private letters published? A man devoid of every feeling of social duty, and wanting in every sentiment of honor, is a fit person to publish the private correspondence of another, dishonorably obtained, and to make savage comments upon the development of feelings and sentiments to which his past career shows him to be a perfect stranger.
    I shall recur to this subject again.
Jacksonville, May 14, 1863.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 16, 1863, page 2

A Card.
    To JAMES O'MEARA:--As you, by the publication of private letters, dishonorably if not feloniously obtained by you, seem to invite an investigation of personal matters, I propose to relieve the burden of your more serious mental labors by a few biographical sketches, the truthfulness and beauty of which you cannot fail to recognize. You once owned the Sentinel office, I believe. You sold the same for a valuable consideration to Messrs. Denlinger & Hand. You guaranteed, in your bill of sale, the correctness of your accounts as they stood upon the books. Is not this correct? Now, sir, as to the sequel. A large number of those whom the books showed to be debtors had receipts in their possession, which were subsequently presented by them, and allowed by the proprietors of this paper. Sir, there is a consistency, unity and harmony in your character that excites my admiration. You are the proper person to publish a stolen letter, stolen probably not by you, but by someone else, but a letter which you full well knew that you had no more right to the possession of than the felon who first took it from the drawer of my office. It may be possible, sir, that you have the rest of the stolen property in your possession, and that we will ere long be astonished by some more private revelations. Let every man keep a lock upon his private correspondence, for the chivalry and their agents are abroad!
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 20, 1863, page 2

    To James O'Meara:--As disagreeable as the task may be, I feel it my imperative duty to again tear open your bleeding wounds, and to exhibit to the public once again the leaden medal worn so gracefully by you, as a token of your chivalry and your honor. You attempt to mitigate the infamy of your conduct by pleading by way of confession and avoidance. You voluntarily confess your base and heinous violation of the obligations of social duty, but plead that others are guilty too. You say that I, while editor of the Sentinel, published a letter sent to me by Gov. J. F. Miller, and you denounce the act as "low, base, and despicable." Let us look at the facts, sir. Miller's letter was directed to the editor of the Sentinel, and was an insulting and defiant mandate. It was in no sense a private letter, besides, sir, it was not stolen from anybody, nor was it dishonorably obtained. If it was a "low, base, despicable act" to publish such a letter, how shall we characterize your infamous conduct, sir, in the publication of a letter which you know was my property, and to the possession of which you full well knew you had no more right than the felon who abstracted it from the drawer of my office. Can anything be more infamous than your conduct, sir? You glory in your infamy, and it harmonizes with your character to do it.
    Now, sir, a word or two in regard to your attorney--I will not apply to him the coarse epithet of "liar," but he must excuse me if I prove him such: First, no female, whether widow, maiden, or married lady, ever obtained or held judgment against me for any amount. There is no record of any such judgment in this, or any other county. If there is, let the base slanderer produce it. The only judgment ever obtained against me by anyone was obtained by Dr. Minier, at the June term of the Circuit Court, in this county. That judgment was for a security debt of a large amount. After a portion of my property had been sold to satisfy said judgment, I paid the remainder in greenbacks, furnished me for that purpose by the principal debtor. So much for the truthfulness of this slander. Second, the assertion by this same attorney in regard to what I may have told different parties about what is known as the "greenback speculation," is equally as false. Third, it is true that out of the large amount of money I paid Mr. Love for rent, I paid $15 in greenbacks at par. No objections were made at the time, and none have been made since, as I know of. I afterwards received the same greenbacks again at par, and made no objections.
    And now, sir, in conclusion, permit me to say that greenbacks will be received at the Sentinel office at par for the full amount you justly owe the same. I am not certain, sir, but what you might obtain a premium on all you may send.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 30, 1863, page 2

    JACOBS & RUSSELL.--By advertisement it will be seen that Messrs. O. Jacobs and E. F. Russell have formed a copartnership for the practice of their profession. They have erected a new office on the lot directly opposite the court house square, where they are now prepared to promptly and efficiently attend to all legal matters committed to their care. A large share of the legal business of the country is their deserved portion, and we are confident they will receive it.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 29, 1863, page 2

    DIDN'T LIKE IT.--In the trail before the Recorder's Court, on Tuesday last, the editor of the Grayback [the Oregon Intelligencer] was conspicuously present, with pencil and paper, to obtain an item--a witty item at the expense of O. Jacobs, Esq. The gentleman, in the course of his address to the Court, said he had been summoned there to answer for refusing to pay his dog tax, but thanked God that he had never been brought by warrant into a court room to answer a charge of perjury
or forgery. About that time the gay and seductive T'V. ceased reporting. He evidently considered it personal.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 26, 1863, page 2

    RECORDER'S COURT.--On complaint of Marshal Banks, O. Jacobs, Esq., on Tuesday appeared before the town Recorder, U. S. Hayden, to answer for refusing to pay a tax on his poodle dog, as required by a recently enacted ordinance. There was full as large a crowd in attendance to watch the progress of the trial as there was at the last mass meeting of the "Democracy." J. D. Fay, Esq., attorney for the plaintiff, and Jacobs & Russell for the defense. Able, eloquent, sharp and witty speeches were made by the legal gentlemen. The dog law was torn to shreds, reconstructed, dissolved, and again made whole. At dark the trial closed, and the Recorder, taking the matter under advisement, adjourned the Court. Today we learn the Court has decided that the proceedings were irregular, and dismissed the suit. We understand that another suit will be instituted.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 26, 1863, page 2

    At Silverton, Oregon, on the 2nd inst., to the wife of O. Jacobs, of this county, a son.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 8, 1864, page 2

    O. Jacobs, Esq., returned from the Willamette Valley on Wednesday last with his family.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 3, 1865, page 2

    O. JACOBS.--This gentleman is now on a visit to our county. He is, as we have been informed, stumping the county for the Republican ticket. Mr. Jacobs is favorably spoken of by both parties in Jacksonville where he resides, and wherever he may address the people of Siskiyou County we bespeak for him a courteous reception and a respectable attention. This we can promise him as far as the Democracy are concerned. The Democracy will never permit the many excellences of the man to be obscured by the badness of the cause, and they will also remember that Mr. Jacobs is in no way responsible for the want of ability in the Republican Party, or for the occasion that has rendered his importation necessary. The leaders of the Republican Party have at length been aroused to a consciousness that their home speakers are played out. Some change had to be made, and from all that we have heard, their choice could not have fallen on one who was socially a finer gentleman.

The Semi-Weekly Union,
Yreka, California, August 26, 1865, page 2

    HOME AGAIN.--O. Jacobs, Esq., returned home from Yreka, after an absence of two weeks, highly pleased with his electioneering tour, and the success of the Union cause in Siskiyou County.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 9, 1865, page 2

    STRANGE, PASSING STRANGE.--An event occurred the past week never before known in Jacksonville. For several days during the past week there was not a lawyer in town. However, O. Jacobs, Esq., can now be found at his office, ready to attend to any disputes which may arise.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 9, 1865, page 3

THE partnership heretofore existing in legal business between Jacobs & Russell is hereby dissolved. O. Jacobs continues the business at the old office.
Sept. 1st, 1865.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 16, 1865, page 3

    SOME GROUSE.--O. Jacobs, Esq., went down to Slate Creek, in Josephine Co., last Monday, and back again on Wednesday. While absent he killed 35 grouse, and quails and other small game without number.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 3, 1867, page 3

    FOR THE MOUNTAINS.--Yesterday, O. Jacobs Esq., and Mr. Langell left, with their families, to enjoy a couple of weeks' sport in the mountains. They were accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Devins, and will no doubt have a pleasant time.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 7, 1867, page 2

    SICK.--The friends of O. Jacobs, Esq., will be glad to learn that that gentleman, who has been dangerously ill for over a week, is now out of danger, but as yet unable to sit up.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 7, 1868, page 3

    IN THE MOUNTAINS.--Hon. O. Jacobs, Judge Prim, Sheriff Reames and our old friend Wrisley started on a hunt on Tuesday. They took a small blue keg with them and started off in splendid spirits. Jacobs is to shoot, his Honor to skin and Reames to drag the game into camp, while Wrisley will see that the little keg don't run over. We only charge a saddle of venison or a leg of pork for this handsome notice.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 21, 1868, page 3

JACOBS.--In Jacksonville, December 2nd, Lewellyn C. Jacobs, eldest son of O. and L. D. Jacobs, aged 10 years, 2 months and 2 days.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 5, 1868, page 2

    SAD AFFLICTION.--On Thursday last, Lewellyn, the eldest child of Hon. O. Jacobs, was laid where the gray-haired sire, the matron, the stricken maiden and the innocent babe are laid together in common equality. Yesterday bright-eyed and buoyant with youthful hope and vigor--today the little pilgrim's feet tread the silent shores of eternity. But a few days since, a bud of brilliant promise to his parents--now but a withered flower folded in the somber wings of the great destroyer, a moldering wreck of poor morality. Little Lewellyn was an unusually bright child, and his loss falls heavily on the stricken parents, who have the warm sympathy of this community in their bereavement.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 5, 1868, page 3

    FOR THE NORTH.--Hon. O. Jacobs started for the north yesterday morning. He goes to Portland on professional business--to attend to a case in the U.S. Dist. Court--and will be absent several weeks.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 19, 1868, page 2

    PERSONAL.--Hon. O. Jacobs returned from Portland Thursday evening, looking as genial and good natured as ever.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 9, 1869, page 3

    THE ELECTION.--The town election yesterday resulted in the choice of U. S. Hayden for Recorder, and O. Jacobs for Trustee.

Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, February 13, 1869, page 2

JACOBS.--On March 13th, to the wife of Hon. O. Jacobs, a son.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 20, 1869, page 2

The Appointment of Mr. Jacobs.
    It is with pleasure that we announce the selection of our fellow townsman, Hon. O. Jacobs, for the distinguished position of Chief Justice of Washington Territory. There is a feeling of satisfaction, not only among Mr. Jacobs' friends but among his political opponents, for they know he is deserving of the place and will fill it worthily. This is a peculiarly happy selection; Mr. Jacobs will take to the bench legal and scholarly attainments of the highest order, a philosophical and unimpassioned mind, and a character for sterling integrity that is above suspicion. While regretting to part with one of our most staunch defenders of Republican principles, we rejoice at his preferment and hope to see him rise to yet higher distinction.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 27, 1869, page 2

    CONFIRMED.--Orange Jacobs and J. K. Kennedy have been confirmed as Associate Justices of Washington Territory.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 17, 1869, page 2

    The Olympia Transcript compliments our fellow townsman, Orange Jacobs, lately appointed Associate Judge of Washington Territory, by saying: For Mr. Jacobs, we can say, from a long personal acquaintance with him, that he will prove himself an honor to the bench and a worthy citizen. We extend him a cordial welcome.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 1, 1869, page 2

    Elwood Evans was placed on the list of associate justices, but the President afterwards learned he had joined the "bread and butter" brigade [patronage Democrats] under the command of Johnson, and then the President scratched off his name and inserted O. Jacobs, of Oregon, in his place.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 1, 1869, page 2

    COMMISSION RECEIVED.--Hon. O. Jacobs has received his commission as Associate Justice of Washington Territory, and has taken his oath of office which will be certified to by the Secretary of State, and then forwarded to the State Department at Washington. His Honor intends leaving for Washington Territory early in July and will, it is supposed, have the Walla Walla District.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 29, 1869, page 2

    GONE TO HIS POST.--His Honor O. Jacobs, the new Associate Judge of Washington Territory, left for his post of duty on Thursday morning. He will be more missed, perhaps, than any other citizen of this county would be, and leaves regretted by the whole community. We congratulate the people of W.T. on the accession of a pure-minded and honorable citizen--one who will bring legal ability and the most stern integrity on the bench. He was serenaded by the Jacksonville band on the even of his departure, but was too much moved to respond. It is understood that he is to have the Sound District instead of Walla Walla.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 3, 1869, page 2

    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

C. W. Kahler will occupy my office and attend to my business during my absence. All those owing me will pay to him--I am desirous of closing up my business here before the first day of October next.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 3, 1869, page 3

    PERSONAL.--Judge Orange Jacobs, lately appointed to the bench of Washington Territory, arrived from Jacksonville last evening. He is on his way to Olympia.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, July 12, 1869, page 3

    We hear that Hon. O. Jacobs will return about the 20th of September for the purpose of removing his family to Seattle.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 28, 1869, page 3

JACOBS.--On Wednesday, Sept. 7th, of cholera infantum, little BENNY, youngest son of ORANGE and LUCINDA JACOBS; aged six months.
    "Suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven."
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 11, 1869, page 2

    SAD BEREAVEMENT.--On Sunday last little Benny, youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs, was taken sick and on Tuesday there was sorrow and weeping for the dead boy. The bereavement is particularly distressing, as Mr. Jacobs is absent from home and the blow is very severe on his wife, who has not yet recovered from a severe illness.

Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 11, 1869, page 3

    SAD BEREAVEMENT.--From the Jacksonville Sentinel we learn that the youngest son of Judge Jacobs, aged six months, died in that city on the 7th inst.
Albany Register, September 18, 1869, page 2

    DISTRICT JUDGE.--The Olympia Standard in an article upon matters and things in and about Seattle, the business of the late District Court, etc., thus speaks of the new judge of the 3rd Judicial District.
    "Judge Jacobs has more than met the favorable expectations of the bar. His lack of acquaintance with our code and the members of the bar necessarily made business somewhat slow, but his accurate rulings on questions of law and his general administration satisfied all that he was not out of his place on the bench. The attorneys were evidently feeling the court and the court the attorneys."
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 25, 1869, page 2

    A LARGE sale of household and kitchen furniture will take place at the late residence of Judge Jacobs, next Saturday.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 2, 1869, page 2

    FOR THE NORTH.--Hon. O. Jacobs and family leave for Seattle on Monday next. They will go with many regrets on the part of their hosts of friends in this valley, and his honor will carry with him the well wishes and kindly feelings of many a political opponent. What is our loss is a gain to Washington Territory, and we have no doubt his genuine worth will soon be appreciated there as here.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 2, 1869, page 3

    AT HOME.--The Sturgis (Michigan) Journal contains the following:
    "Judge Orange Jacobs, of Washington Territory, has returned to this place--the residence of his father, and the home of his youth--after an absence of twenty years. He has resided for many years in Oregon, where he has filled many important positions, until he received the appointment of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Washington Territory, and removed there.
    "Mr. Jacobs when a young man residing in this place was known to be a man of ability and integrity, and the prophecy was that he would make his mark in the world. Sturgis is proud to have sent forth this young man to the western wilds to help mold the character and institutions of that new country, and is now glad to welcome him back for a short time to the scenes of his early days.
    "Before he shall return to his home in the West, the people of Sturgis will expect to hear from him in a more general way in the Union Hall."
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 17, 1871, page 3

    The first hotel in Phoenix was built by Harvey Oatman. The first merchants of Phoenix were Henry Church and Harrison B. Oatman, the firm name being Church & Oatman. Judge Orange Jacobs was a teacher there and later practiced law there. He was born in New York state in 1829 and crossed the plains to Oregon when he was 23 years old, settling at first at Salem and moving from there to Phoenix. He was appointed associate justice of Washington Territory in 1867 and shortly thereafter became chief justice. He represented Washington Territory in Congress two terms. In 1880 he was elected mayor of Seattle. Four years later he was elected to the Washington Territory senate. He lacked but one vote, while living in Oregon, of being elected to the United States Senate.
Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, August 18, 1933, page 8

    "I went to school in the winter of 1853 and 1854 to Orange Jacobs," said Mrs. Anna Bond Reed when I interviewed her at her home in Lebanon recently. "The schoolhouse was on Uncle Jesse Looney's place, not far from Jefferson. Orange Jacobs had a large face, nearly covered by a heavy black beard. We children thought he was rather plain."

•    •    •
    Here is a good place to interject a note about Orange Jacobs, for I have interviewed many pioneers who either went to school to him or knew him when he lived in Oregon. Judge Orange Jacobs was born in New York state on May 2, 1825 [sic], so that he was 24 years old when he taught school at Jesse Looney's place, south of Salem. When he was 2 years old his parents moved from New York state to Michigan. Orange Jacobs went to the Methodist seminary at Albion, Mich., and later attended the state university at Ann Arbor. He was admitted to the bar at Lima, Ind., in 1852. He hung out his shingle at Sturgis, Mich.
    His father, Hiram Jacobs, had gone to the California gold fields in 1849 and advised his son, Orange, to go West. So Orange Jacobs crossed the plains in 1852, serving as captain of the wagon train. In the fall of 1852 he taught school in the Waldo Hills. The next fall he taught in the Looney schoolhouse. In 1857 he taught school on the Rogue River, in Southern Oregon. Later he hung out his shingle and practiced law at Phoenix, in Jackson County. In 1860 he became editor of the Oregon Sentinel, at Jacksonville. He continued as editor of the Sentinel till the close of the Civil War. He practiced law at Jacksonville till 1869, when he was appointed an associate justice of the supreme court of Washington Territory. In January, 1871 [sic] he was appointed chief justice of Washington Territory and held the office till 1875. He served as delegate in Congress from Washington Territory in 1875 and was reelected in 1876. In 1879 he was elected mayor of Seattle, and four years later was elected to the Washington Territorial Council. Judge Jacobs was married in 1857 to Lucinda Davenport, daughter of Dr. Benjamin Davenport, who came to Oregon in [illegible] and settled in Southern Oregon.
Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, February 8, 1934, page 10

Last revised December14, 2023