The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

William Henderson Packwood

    We have a letter from Wm. H. Packwood, late of this city, now at "Johnson's Diggings," Southern Oregon. He represents the miner's as a hard life, and that as much as most of them do is to make a living, without amassing sufficient means to return to the States. Farming is as much depressed as mining. Mr. Packwood says if the young men of Sangamon County knew when they were well off, they would stay at home. He says--"My advice to the young men of Illinois is that they stop where they are, where they can hear the neighing of the iron horse, and all other kinds of noises made by workmen attending to their trades and business, and whenever they see anything which appears to be exaggerated in regard to California and Oregon, set the same down as gas. I send you the worth of $2.30 in native gold for my subscription to the Journal."--[Ill. Jour.
Quincy Whig, Quincy, Illinois, February 3, 1855, page 1

Captain William H. Packwood, Participator in Stirring Events
of Early Oregon, Pays Visit to Roseburg.

    ROSEBURG, Or., Nov. 25.--With pathetic interest the world notes the passing away of the old empire builders, and too often it is unaware of their eminent achievements until too late. Their modest lives in old age obscured them from the public gaze and the reporter's pen. Thus it is that the floral wreaths that should have been bestowed upon them during life come only, if at all, after death.
    One of these old heroes and argonauts of the Old Oregon--decrepit and bowed over with the weight of 80 years--is here visiting the scenes of his early days. This is Captain William H. Packwood of Baker City.
    Fifty years ago he was a member of the convention which framed the constitution of the state of Oregon. Of the 60 members which composed it, he is the last. Of this body, the late Federal Judge Matthew P. Deady was president. Of its sturdy men in after years two became Governors, four United States Senators, two members of Congress, one a Federal Judge, six Judges of the State Courts, and one became Attorney General of the United States and Mayor of Portland City. One enjoyed the distinction of being successively member of Congress, Governor and United States Senator.
Regiment Travels West.
    Captain Packwood was born in Illinois in 1832 and served in youth as a clerk in the city of Springfield, the home of Abraham Lincoln, whom he often met passing to his law office.
    In 1848, a rifle regiment was mustered in at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, for service in the distant Oregon Territory. In this Packwood enlisted for five years. A military escort was required to conduct General Wilson, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Pacific Coast, to California, and it was selected from the rifle regiment, with Packwood as one of its troop. It was also an escort for Major Reynolds, United States Paymaster for Oregon, who came with his official attendants as far as Fort Laramie, and of this number Matthew P. Deady was an assistant teamster.
    When the escort reached California, the people there were in feverish excitement over the new gold discoveries, and most of the soldiers at once deserted and scattered to the gold fields.
Great Officers in Camp.
    Those left wintered in Sonoma. Here was stationed Joseph Hooker, then a young military officer, who afterward in the Civil War became the celebrated General Joe Hooker, of Lookout Mountain fame. Charges were preferred against him for some offense, and he was court-martialed and found guilty. At this trial Packwood was detailed as orderly for the judge advocate, who was W. H. Halleck, who became another of the noted Union generals at the beginning of the war.
    There were other young officers there at the same time whom Packwood met and who became afterwards known in history as General Alfred Pleasanton, General Persifor F. Smith, General Casey and General Lyon.
    In 1850 the rifle company was sent to Oregon, and the men were stationed at Vancouver. They came in the revenue cutter Ewing to the Columbia River. The ship was commanded by Captain McArthur, father of the late Judge L. L. McArthur, of Portland. The company was soon ordered back and went to California. It was then that the Indians along the coast and in Southern Oregon were becoming troublesome. The siege and terrible fight of Battle Rock, at Port Orford, and the massacre of the T'Vault party at the mouth of Coquille River had aroused the settlements, and the regular troops were called for.
Men Saved in Storm.
    The rifle company, now transferred to the First Dragoons, with Packwood still in the ranks, was ordered to proceed at once by sea to Port Orford, in Oregon. The ship proved to be unseaworthy, old and leaky, and for almost the whole distance the soldiers were constantly employed in pumping out the inrushing waters of the sea which entered the broken seams. To add to their misfortunes, a heavy fog set in when near their destination, and with this a terrific storm arose, and the ship became unmanageable and was driven upon the beach a short distance above Coos Bay.
    As the tide receded the weary crew and soldiers began to remove the commissary stores and munitions, which after united effort, amid much excitement, were soon brought ashore beyond high water. Every life was saved, and the ship soon went to pieces.
    Remaining there four months until a way through the unknown forests should be exploited, the survivors then made their way down to Port Orford. This at once became an important military post, other companies being sent there as a further protection. Gold discoveries were now frequent along the beach and in the mountains, and the most celebrated of these was on the coast above the mouth of the Coquille, and by a zealous old Virginian, was named Randolph.
    At one time it became a large mining town, and single miners often washed out of the sand in their primitive methods as high as $50 to $150 a day. One of the merchants and packers here was Major Ball, the nearest kin of General Washington--descending from Mary Ball, Washington's mother, and of kin to Charles Washington, the General's brother. He was heir to Balls Bluff, where in a battle of the Civil War Oregon's Senator Baker was killed.
Whites Are Vigilant.
    Captain Packwood was one of the early miners at Randolph. These mining settlements again aroused the Indians, and the whites assembled at different places for defense. Forts were established and companies formed, and a mutual feeling of hostility pervaded whites and Indians.
    The terrible Indian war of 1855-56 was about to sweep over Southern Oregon. The regular soldiers were not sufficient. Captain Packwood was chosen to command the volunteer companies, and he was commissioned by Governor Curry, the Territorial Governor, as Captain of the Coquille Minute Guards.
    The Captain's recital of the adventures in which his company participated during this trying ordeal would read more like romance. Fort Roland and Fort Kitchen were welcome places of refuge for the threatened miners and settlers. The prairie and the forest they once occupied have since been grown in grasses and grains for over half a century and their history and names entirely forgotten except in the memory of a very few aged survivors, such as the subject of this sketch.
Forts Guard Settlers.
    The troops at Port Orford often gave timely service. One in command there was Major Reynolds, afterwards the lamented general killed while leading his forces in the first day's fight at Gettysburg. At the same fort was Stoneman, later a general under Grant and Sherman in the Southern campaign of the Civil War. He also became Governor of California. In the same war Captain Packwood often met A. J. Smith, E. C. Ord, Augur and Kautz, all of whom were distinguished cavalry generals in the Civil War. It was of General Ord's father it was said that he was the son of England's King George IV by lawful wedlock with a Mrs. Fitzherbert, when he was the Prince of Wales. This was shown by disclosures of documents long concealed in the Bank of England. Ex-United States Senator Cornelius Cole, of California, and an old resident of that state in the '50s, knew the Ord family there in those days and in his recent memoirs mentions this incident.
    One whose property was entirely destroyed by the Indians of the Coquille in those wars was Henry H. Woodward, now a resident of this city. He is 85 years of age. Captain Packwood, after serving as delegate from Curry County to the constitutional convention, was later elected as the first Assessor of Coos County under the state.
    He then followed the gold excitements to Eastern Oregon in 1862, and was one of the founders of the early mining town of Auburn, which he says soon had 40 mercantile stores and a floating population of 3000 people. It was the outfitting point for the numerous placer gold mines far and near. In a few years the precious metal was extracted from the shallow ground and the people abandoned the town. Now there is not a vestige left!
Packwood Appointed to Office.
    A new county was demanded and created and named Baker in honor of Oregon's Senator killed in the war, and Packwood was appointed the first County Superintendent of Schools for the then-immense territorial empire which the county embraced.
    He was also active in promoting some of the most extensive mining ditches in all that country, and also engaged in the development of several well-known quartz mines there.
    In the Bannock Indian War of 1877-78 he was chief of the scouts for Malheur district, under General O. O. Howard, who had been one of the great generals of the Civil War.
    In the late years of his life he has been and now is an honored citizen of Baker City, where for five successive terms he was elected city recorder.
Patriotism Thrives in Woods.
    The Captain grows young again as he narrates the incidents of struggling society in the backwoods before the days of wagon roads, post offices or telegraphs. No store was nearer than 40 miles. As he dwells upon a Fourth of July celebration 50 years ago [reportedly in 1859]  in the dense myrtle and maple forests of the Coquille River, he becomes intensely interesting. The settlers and miners and trappers came from afar on horseback and in canoes.
    Some were dressed in buckskin garments and wore moccasins. Every man carried a rifle.
    If rents were made in their one-time "Sunday-go-to-meeting" clothes, they were patched with pieces of flour sacks, often displaying the brand of the mill, such as "Alviso Flour," or "Baker Mills," and the old Captain's eyes twinkled as he related how, as at the sunset the last planks were laid on the ample cedar platform bedecked with ferns and mistletoe boughs, the assemblage was called to order by the cow horn and soon the well-strung violins of [Samuel] Dement and Getchell proclaimed the hour of hilarity in music, song and dance.
    Then the whirling mass of pioneer men and women were tripping the light fantastic to the "French Four." Then old-time songs and the swelling notes of "The Old Kentucky Home" awoke the stillness of the sylvan groves, and then the rustic dance was again resumed.
    All around were cheery fires which lighted up the arena. On tables around which the noonday feast had been enjoyed were still loads of barbecued elk, deer and bear meats, with plentiful remains of roast chicken, luscious blackberry pies, and the well-baked bread of the Dutch oven, with rich yellow butter and fine-flavored honey, brought to the grounds by the wives and sisters of the pioneer settlers. Nearby under a great white cedar tree was a well-constructed barbecue pit, with great irons still loaded with roasted meats.
Orations are Heard.
    A colony of Baltimoreans had recently settled there and became a valuable accession to the country. They were a literary and musical people. They brought the first piano to Coos County.
    They selected a young boy speaker to deliver the oration, who in recent years became Binger Hermann, Oregon's Representative in Congress. The old miners and Indian fighters selected Captain Packwood, and so two addresses were delivered. The Baltimore boy, fresh from the eastern schools, had prepared a classic oration and delivered it to the satisfaction and applause of the entire assemblage.
    The Captain, who had spent so much of his life on the Indian frontier and in the army, found it more difficult to prepare, but fortunately had preserved a copy of a Corvallis newspaper, then edited by James Slater, and which contained a Fourth of July address he [i.e., Slater] had delivered the year previous. It was a model of oratory.
    This the Captain had memorized, and this he delivered to the backwoods audience and concluded with deafening applause. It was the surprise of the day and the talk for years. The Captain, however, did not enjoy his fame, for he had a misgiving which followed him and annoyed him until long after. When residing in Eastern Oregon, he met Mr. Slater, who had been a Representative from Oregon and was then elected United States Senator, and the Captain entertained him on the eve of his departure to Washington.
    Taking him aside, he explained to him in confidence how in the years gone by he had committed to memory and delivered to a Coos County assemblage of pioneers the Senator's Fourth of July oration as his own, and with which he, the Senator, had several times enraptured a Benton County audience, and he felt he had done the Senator and the old settlers a wrong by thus appropriating that splendid oration and obtaining credit for it as his own composition. The Senator leaned over, and whispering in the Captain's ear, said:
    "Do not be at all annoyed; feel perfectly easy; that oration was not mine--I stole it from Patrick Henry."
Oregonian, Portland, November 26, 1911, page 13

    William H. Packwood, of Baker, came to this city yesterday to spend a few days during "Elk Week." Mr. Packwood is the only survivor of the constitutional convention held in Salem, in the months of August and September 1857. He came to Oregon with the Mounted Rifles, Colonel W. W. Loring commanding. Of that body of troops Mr. Packwood and George H. Abbott, of Soldier, Idaho, are the only survivors.
"Personal Mention," Morning Oregonian, Portland, July 8, 1912, page 16

By Fred Lockley
    William H. Packwood, now living at Baker, Or., is the last surviving delegate of the constitutional convention of 1857. An act authorizing a convention for Oregon was passed by the legislative assembly of Oregon Territory on December 12, 1856. The delegates assembled at the courthouse in Salem on Monday the 17th day of August, 1857. A. J. Lovejoy was elected president pro tem and Chester M. Terry was elected secretary pro tem. Next day, on August 18th, M. P. Deady was elected president of the convention, Chester M. Terry was elected secretary and M. C. Barkwell was elected assistant secretary, John Baker was elected sergeant-at-arms and Asahel Bush was elected state printer.
    The committee on credentials reported the following members entitled to seats, from Benton County, Henry B. Nichols, William Metzger, Hamen C. Lewis, John Kelsay; from Clackamas County, J. K. Kelly, A. L. Lovejoy, Hector Campbell, Nathaniel Robbins and William A. Starkweather; from Clatsop County, Cyrus Olney; from Curry County, William H. Packwood; from Columbia County, John W. Watts; from Coos County, Perry B. Marple; from Douglas County, Matthew P. Deady, S. F. Chadwick, Solomon Fitzhugh and Thomas Whitted; from Jackson County, L. J. C. Duncan, John H. Reed, P. P. Prim and Daniel Newcomb; from Josephine County, S. P. Hendershott and William H. Watkins; from Linn County, Delazon Smith, Luther Elkins, Reuben S. Coyle, John T. Brooks, James Shields, J. H. Brattin; from Lane County, I. R. Moores, W. W. Bristow, H. A. Campbell, Paul Brattin, Jesse Cox and E. Hoult; from Marion County, George H. Williams, Lafayette F. Grover, John C. Peebles, Nichols Schrumm, Joseph Cox and Davis Shannon; from Multnomah County, David Logan, William H. Farrer and S. J. McCormick; from Multnomah and Washington counties, Thomas J. Dryer; from Polk County, Reuben P. Boice, Benjamin F. Burch and F. Waymire; from Polk and Tillamook counties, A. D. Babcock; from Umpqua County, Jesse Applegate and Levi Scott; from Washington County, E. D. Shattuck, Levi Anderson and John S. White; from Wasco County, C. R. Migs, from Yamhill County, J. R. McBride, R. C. Kinney, W. Olds and R. V. Short.
    More than 57 years have passed since these men concluded their labors in framing a constitution for Oregon, and today Mr. Packwood is the only member still with us of the constitutional convention. Certainly Mr. Packwood in his time has played many parts. He came to the state as a soldier and has been a legislator, Indian fighter, miner, packer, merchant, hotel keeper, ferryman and official. I stopped at his hotel in Eastern Oregon many years ago, and Mrs. Packwood told me of the adventurous days in Eastern Oregon when the Indians were on the warpath.
    Mr. Packwood was born in Jefferson County, Illinois, on October 28, 1832. His father was a southerner. In 1848, when he was 16 years old, he enlisted in a rifle regiment and the following year was sent west with 24 other soldiers, under Captain Morris, as an escort to General Wilson, who had been appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Pacific Coast. M. P. Deady was a member of the same company. Winter caught them in the Sierra Nevada mountains; they reached Hangtown with 19 men. Most of the men deserted to go to the newly discovered gold mines. Mr. Packwood wintered in Sonoma. While he was there General Joe Hooker, who at that time was a colonel, was tried by court martial, Mr. Packwood being appointed orderly sergeant at the trial. Among the officers at the trial, then lieutenants and captains, but who later won distinction in the Civil War, were: General Hallock, General Pleasanton, General Hooker, General Casey, General Wessels, General Page and General Persifor Smith.
    In April, 1850, Mr. Packwood was sent north to Oregon. The vessel in which he came was commanded by Captain McArthur, who was the father of Judge L. L. McArthur. His company was located at Vancouver a while and they were then ordered to Benicia, Cal., where they stayed from May until August, when they were sent to Northern California. They returned to Benicia, and in December, 1851, they were ordered to Port Orford to give protection to settlers against the Indians. They were shipwrecked, however, on their way up early in January, 1852.
     Mr. Packwood was later transferred to the First Dragoons, serving as quartermaster sergeant. In 1853 he received his discharge and took up mining on the beach in Curry County. For the next year or two he was engaged in mining and freighting.
     In the Indian war of 1855 he again entered military service, being commissioned as captain. At the conclusion of the war he worked for the government on the Siletz Indian Agency, later going into stock raising.
    From 1862 to the present time, he has spent his life in Eastern Oregon, having been engaged in mining and irrigation enterprises. In 1888 he was elected recorder of Baker County.
Oregon Journal,
Portland, December 21, 1914, page 6

By Fred Lockley
    William H. Packwood, who came west in 1849 as a member of Company C, First United States Dragoons, was one of the founders of Auburn, the first county seat of Baker County. With Ed Cranston, he arrived at the new Eastern Oregon mines on June 12, 1862. Some cattle belonging to Packwood, Knight and Abbott had been wintered in Grande Ronde Valley. These were driven to the new camp and slaughtered for beef. On the 13th of June, 1862, the day after his arrival, Mr. Packwood and his partner, Ed Cranston, with George Hall and one or two others, called a meeting of the miners and decided to lay out a town and call it Auburn. The following day a street was laid out from Freezeout Gulch to Blue Canyon and building lots were taken on each side of the street, on which tents were placed and some log cabins were begun. Between June 23, 1862, and May 6, 1863, 1291 claims were recorded in the district. Owing to the shortage of water for mining operations, the Auburn Water Company was formed, W. H. Packwood being elected secretary. The building of this ditch, which cost $25,000, saved the life of the new town of Auburn, for it employed the men who had been unable to strike good claims and kept the town up while the money was being spent. Shortly after the ditch was completed the Auburn Water Company's holdings were purchased by the Auburn Canal Company, of which Mr. Packwood was one of the larger stockholders. The Auburn Canal Company greatly extended and enlarged the ditch of the Auburn Water Company. They spent $225,000 on the project. For several years the cost of water was 25 cents per miner's inch. The canal was 30 miles long and had a capacity of 1100 inches. Nearly half a million dollars in gold dust was taken from the bed of Salmon Creek.
    About the middle of October, in 1862, Miss O'Brien came to Auburn to teach school. The was the first school to be taught in Baker County. She had 40 students, but she did not teach long, as she gave up the school to be married to William H. Packwood.
    Among the first settlers in the Powder River Valley in Baker County was Joseph Kinnison, who took up a ranch, and who was the first man to engage in farming in Baker County. In the spring of 1863 he had 40 acres in cultivation. That season he sold over $4000 worth of produce from his 40 acres to the miners.
     All of the houses that were not log cabins were built of roughly sawed lumber, whipsawed out by hand. The first sawmill to be put up in Baker County was owned by Mr. Leveredge, who brought a portable sawmill from Portland. As soon as this mill began operations the price of lumber dropped to $60 per thousand.
    The first city government established in Auburn, James Masterson was elected city marshal, C. M. Rowe, recorder, Isaac Hascal, city attorney, and Jeremiah Dooley, treasurer. David Johnson, A. C. Loring and John H. Williams were elected councilmen, and Mr. Narcross was elected mayor.
    The first woman to come to Auburn was Mrs. Love, who came in July, 1862. The first hotel kept at Auburn was the Pioneer Hotel, built and operated by Dr. Rackerby, though Mrs. Love had kept a boarding house prior to this time.
    J. H. Slater, whose sons were later so prominent in Oregon politics, was one of the early pioneers of Auburn.
    In September, 1862, the legislature had passed an act organizing the county of Baker, with the county seat at Auburn. J. O. Wilson was appointed county judge, S. A. Clark, county clerk; George Hall, sheriff; and Mr. Abell and Mr. Morrison justices of the peace.
    The first legal trial was the trial of a Spaniard for stabbing five men. The official transcript of the trial is as follows: The People of the State of Oregon vs. Spanish Tom, murder.
    Complaint filed the 21st day of November, 1862. Warrant issued same day. Defendant brought into court the 22nd day of November, 1862. Kelly appointed for prosecution, McLaughlin for defendant. Witness sworn and testified. The mob seized the defendant, dragged him through the street and hanged his lifeless body on a tree.
   Signed,     S. Abell,
        Justice of the Peace.
Oregon Journal,
Portland, December 22, 1914, page 6

By Fred Lockley
    William H. Packwood, now a resident of Baker, is the only surviving member of the Oregon constitutional convention of 1857. George H. Williams, R. P. Boise and William H. Packwood for years were the three survivors of that historic convention, but Judge R. P. Boise and General George H. Williams, full of years and honors, have joined the silent majority, and William H. Packwood is the last of the historic group of 60 men who helped form our state constitution 57 years ago. Mr. Packwood, in answer to a recent letter, writes as follows:
    "Your letter received some time since, I now have time to make answer to a portion of your letter. In regard to the rifle regiment, I belonged to Company 'B,' Captain Noah Newton. The recruits for rifles were first sent to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. They were recruited from the western states principally. The men were enlisted in 1848. At Jefferson Barracks we were assigned to companies. Several companies left Jefferson Barracks in February, 1849, overland, across the state of Missouri, for Fort Leavenworth about one month later. Other companies came by steamboat up the Missouri. We suffered much hardship on the trip. At that time Missouri was to a large extent unsettled. It was sometimes 15 miles between houses. The coldest day's travel I have ever experienced was the day we reached Dr. Sappington's. Some of the men were so near frozen as to require lifting from their saddles. We crossed the Kaw River in open flatboats, with the ice breaking up and running in large chunks, rendering the work difficult and dangerous. I do not remember one house from Kaw River to Fort Leavenworth. Independence was to the north and last settlement on our road.
    "As soon as Colonel Loring had all his companies at Fort Leavenworth, he proceeded to form a camp, which he called 'Camp Summer.' This camp was about five miles from the fort on the west side of what we called Salt Creek. We moved to this camp late in March or early in April, 1849. I remember well that we were in the fort on St. Patrick's Day, the 17th of March, 1849. It was the occasion of a grand military ball, and many officers and men who attended that ball have since become famous.
    "At Camp Summer the companies were recruited to their full strength. Horses, rifles, sabers and revolvers were issued and we were drilled--mounted and on foot. The quartermaster, Lieutenant D. M. Frost, and Major Cross of the commissary department were getting supply trains. My recollection is that there was 200 or more six-mule teams and supplies on hand for the trip across the plains. On the 10th of May, 1849, a bright, sunshiny morning, Colonel W. W. Loring broke camp, and the panorama then viewed was one never to be forgotten. The companies, mounted, filed out in columns of twos, their arms shining in the sun; horses gay and prancing; sabers dangling by their sides; officers riding here and there giving commands. As soon as the regiment was well under way the quartermaster and commission trains began to string out, and in a short time--between 9 and 10 o'clock--the rifle regiment was on the long journey for Oregon, and Camp Summer was no more.
    "Now, as to why I was not in that long train: The President had appointed General Wilson commissioner of Indian affairs for the Pacific Coast and directed that he be furnished an escort. An order was given to Captain Newton of 'B' company to give Captain Robert M. Morris of the rifles 25 men of his company for the escort of General Wilson. I was one of the 25 men, and as soon as the regiment was out of view, Captain Morris moved camp across Salt Creek on the east side and called it Camp Scott. By the 5th of June Captain Morris had his quartermaster and commissary supplies and train ready for the trip. General Wilson and family, Dr. Birdsall and his daughter, Sophia, and Milton S. Latham, afterwards Senator from California (later Miss Birdsall became Mrs. Latham).
    "Mr. Latham left us near Fort Kearny and returned and came around by water to California. Major Reynolds, regimental paymaster, with two wagons and money for the regiment, joined us. With Major Reynolds was M. P. Deady, then a young shock-headed roustabout, called the 'Red Headed Blacksmith' by our men.
    "All being ready, on the 5th of June, 1849, Captain Morris with Lieutenant Haynes of the artillery in command, broke camp for California. We were five months to a day reaching Sacramento. We were possibly the last train on the road, and our stock suffered fearfully. Out of over 200 head of horses and mules we reached the summit of the Sierras on October 25 with one little light wagon, and I think about 19 head of horses and mules. This was one of the cholera years, and a year in which a large emigration has passed before us and in places, on account of sickness, trains were laid over, and in consequence the grass was stripped far from the line of travel. Many a time we sent out stock as much as seven miles for feed.
    "When we reached the Humboldt we had to guard and herd our stock every night, as the Indians were very troublesome. The Indians stampeded our stock twice. Some of our animals were found and recovered 15 miles from camp. There had been given us a 30-foot rope and an iron picket pin with a ring in the top to tie the rope in. The iron pin was 12 to 14 inches long and three-fourths of an inch thick. With a stampede or a break-loose, as soon as our horses got on the run the pins would be jerked from the ground and go flying in the air and the pins and ropes become entangled together, so as to tie the horses into bunches. They could not run, but kept circling, and were soon overhauled.
    "We forded the South Platte River early in July, I think about the 6th. It was at high water. We had to raise everything in the bottoms of the wagons, and the horses had to swim some and then pull along on the floating sand bottom. We had to keep on the move all the time, and keep moving we did, until we were over the river."
Oregon Journal, Portland, December 29, 1914, page 6  This narrative was reprinted in the Oregon Historical Quarterly, March 1915, pages 33+.

By Fred Lockley
    William H. Packwood, the last surviving member of the constitutional convention of 1857, writing from his home at Baker, gives many interesting sidelights on the Oregon of 60 years ago. In a recent letter to me he describes his trip across the plains in 1849, as a member of the military company which acted as an escort to General Wilson, the commissioner of Indian affairs for the Pacific Coast. He says:
    "We had a commissary sergeant whose name was Jones. Captain Thompson, who later became well known at Salem, Portland and Oregon City, was our wagon master. One-Armed Brown, also well known at Salem and Portland, was orderly for Captain Thompson. Major Reynolds' two paymaster wagons were independent of our command, and were kept along for protection, but under no immediate control of our officers. M. P. Deady, later one of Oregon's distinguished lawyers, was a big husky-looking young fellow. He had no team to drive, so it came about that he and Jones rode together.  Jones had to look out for the commissary wagons, while Thompson and Brown looked after all wagons and loose stock. We moved on up the South Platte and then up the North Platte until we reached Fort Laramie. Colonel Loring had left Captain Barnwell Rhett in command of Laramie, with some troopers, to hold the place.
    "After we had rested a day or two and were ready to move, Captain Morris arrested Sergeant Jones and a man named Coulter, and turned them over to Captain Rhett. We moved on and Major Reynolds remained at Fort Laramie until we were well out of the way. The cause of this was that Jones, while riding with Deady and being so chummy, had proposed a plot by which the two paymasters' wagons should be left behind our train when we reached the Rocky Mountains, and then be robbed. The 'Red Headed Young Blacksmith' Deady had given the plot away, hence the arrest of Jones and Coulter, and the reason for Major Reynolds bidding us goodbye.
    "Jones and Coulter escaped from Laramie, picked up stock that we had left behind, passed us without calling at camp, and beat us to California. What became of them after that I never heard. I afterwards saw M. P. Deady at Empire City, but never asked him the true reason as to why they left our company at Laramie.
    "I will give you an instance of pluck, nerve and endurance that is not often excelled. Captain Duncan of 'E' company was with Captain Rhett at Laramie. Two men had deserted from his company, one man a large, fine-looking man, who had been in service in the English army, and rated up to sergeant major, named Hesslep, and another whose name I do not remember. They had stolen good horses and had 12 to 16 hours start. Captain Duncan took Sergeant Lawler, and in about four days' time came to Green River, on the old emigrant road. At this point they found some Mormon emigrants who had seen Hesslep and comrade come in and go up the stream to camp. Captain Duncan knew from the description that they were his men. He got the Mormons to help him surround their camp. Hesslep and his companion, having placed nearly 400 miles between them and Laramie in four days' time, believed they were safe. They woke up to find Captain Duncan and Lawler with the drop on them, so they surrendered. If that was not determination in pursuit I do not know what it was. Captain Duncan and Lawler made the distance in less time than Hesslep, and when you consider that their horses had traveled from Camp Summer, near Leavenworth, and had lived on grass alone, it makes it a remarkable feat of endurance for horses as well as man.
    "On his way back to Laramie with his prisoners, Captain Duncan met us and stayed all night. We gave him supplies to carry him back to Laramie.
    "Hesslep and comrade were chained together, and when we met them, they had walked nearly 200 miles chained together.
    "Captain Duncan afterwards married, served in the Civil War, was wounded, and became a rancher in Nebraska. This I have from his son, Lieutenant Duncan, who was with General Howard in the Bannock Indian war.
    "We passed Fort Bridger and stopped at Salt Lake City.
    "I do not now remember what would be called a two-story house in the city. There were no paved streets or sidewalks in the city. The foundation had been laid for a building, which they called the Tabernacle. It was built up from four to six feet above the ground. From Salt Lake the next houses we saw were on Weber River, about 40 miles. Some four or five Mormon families constituted the settlement. They had raised some corn and vegetables, of which we bought some. From there we saw no houses till we reached Hangtown, Cal.
    "From Weber River we followed the main trail to where the road forks to Oregon. Colonel Loring had left Colonel Porter at Fort Hall with two companies. Captain Morris had two men whom he left behind to be punished for something. Captain Morris was 10 days on the trip. Our escort had now been cut down to 19 men. Lieutenant Haynes was in command. We were getting short of supplies and were making forced marches. At nearly every camp we came to, notices were posted by the emigrants telling of men shot or wounded and stock stolen by the Indians. We met Lieutenant Hawkins with a supply train for Fort Hall on Goose Creek. He had General Joel Palmer for guide. Late in the season, as it now was, General Wilson and General Palmer were hired to guide our train to California, and were to have $2000 for the job."
Oregon Journal,
Portland, December 30, 1914, page 6

By Fred Lockley
    William H. Packwood, a pioneer of 1849 now living in Baker, is the last surviving member of the 60 delegates to the constitutional convention held in Salem in August 1857. In a recent letter from Mr. Packwood, he speaks of his trip to Oregon in 1849, while serving as one of the military escort of General Wilson, the' commissioner of Indian affairs. Captain Morris, who was in command of the military escort, had been detained at Fort Hall. The party proceeded in charge of Lieutenant Haynes.
    At the sinks of the Humboldt, the party stopped to cut wild grass to feed the teams while crossing the desert. Captain Morris rejoined the party here.
    He says: "Lieutenant Haynes reported to Captain Morris the conduct of the teamsters in refusing to stand guard. We soldiers were on guard every other night. We had been traveling about 20 miles a day and living on bread and coffee. When Captain Morris heard the report of Lieutenant Haynes, he told me to tell Thompson to parade his teamsters. In a short time the 28 teamsters were formed in a line in front of Captain Morris' tent. Captain Morris came out. He said he had been informed that the teamsters had refused to obey Lieutenant Haynes' order to stand guard over the stock. He explained that his men would not be able to continue the strain they had been under, and that he thought it was unreasonable in the teamsters to refuse to share the guard work and concluded: 'All of you who refuse to obey my orders, should I order you to stand guard every other night, step to the front two paces.' Mr. McKibben, General Wilson's carriage driver, and O. A. Brown were on the right of the column. They immediately stepped out, then others until 15 were in front two paces.
    "Thirteen stood fast. The captain turned to Mr. Thompson and said: 'Give the 15 men their dunnage and see that the men and their dunnage are outside the lines of camp in 10 minutes.' Captain Morris then ordered me to call the sergeant and direct him to place four sentinels, one on each side of the camp, and to arrest anyone attempting to enter camp. The next order was to the commissary, to make out 10 days' rations for the 15 men and take it to them over the lines. The orders were all delivered in an even tone, as though we were on parade or at drill.
    "You can imagine the haste to pack up and get outside the square formed. The 15 men went about a quarter mile of a mile from our camp and made a fire of sagebrush. To the 13 who stood fast during the time the captain was giving the orders, he said: 'I shall double your wages from today, until I discharge you.' Their wages were $40 a month, so this would give them $80 a month. Extra guards were placed on the stock that night. On one side was Hangtown, on the other side of the Sierras. This was the nearest point to the westward. Fort Hall was the nearest point on the north. We were in a hostile Indian country and the striking teamsters had 10 days' grub and no transportation, with a 60-mile desert to face on the west, as a starter. The horrors of the Donner party, who perished in the snow less than four years before, were vivid in our memories. It was late in October. Our party was the last on the road, so there was no hope of being picked up. The banished teamsters kept a fire going all night while preparing for their trip. They threw away everything except what they believed indispensable.
    "Next morning Captain Morris ordered some wagons abandoned, so as to have [enough] teamsters to go around. It became necessary to have a carriage driven for Mrs. Wilson and her two grown daughters. An old German named Losch was sent to take charge of her carriage and mules. Mrs. Wilson and the girls watched Losch at work harnessing the mules. Mrs. Wilson and the girls were raised in Kentucky and knew more about horses and mules than Losch ever could learn. Mrs. Wilson called him and asked him if he had ever driven a team. Losch, in broken English, told her he knew nothing about it, but that he would try, if ordered to do so. Mrs. Wilson called the general. Their tent was still standing. Our tents were struck and we were ready to pull out. She told her husband, the general, that Losch was no driver and that she was not going to risk having their necks broken and that she wanted McKibben back.
    "The general went to see Captain Morris. The order was given to strike camp and pitch the captain's tent. The captain and General Wilson and Lieutenant Haynes went into the tent and the ultimatum of Captain Morris was this; 'General, you can take your choice--dispense with the services of the escort, or have the mutineers?'  Mrs. Wilson and the general decided in favor of the mutineers, so as to have McKibben, her carriage driver, back.
    "The services of the escort being dispensed with, Captain Morris abandoned all our wagons except one, a little light rig to have for Mrs. Birdsall, in the event of her being unable to ride on muleback. We packed everything so as to travel light, and next morning we were on our way. The striking teamsters were immediately sent for, and the general took ten of them back on full pay. General Joel Palmer acted as guide, and they took Thompson and the 15 teamsters with them. They went by the Lawson route. We beat them into California by two or three weeks. We crossed the summit on about October 25, at night, and none too soon for our safety from the winter storms."
Oregon Journal,
Portland, December 31, 1914, page 4

By Fred Lockley
    In describing the trip across the plains in 1849 William H. Packwood of Baker County says: "Our military escort on its way from Fort Leavenworth to San Francisco passed through Salt Lake City late in the summer of 1849. We were traveling by mule team at the rate of about 20 miles a day. A few days out from Salt Lake City we were overtaken by a young man on foot traveling light.
    "I think he was a Swede. He had about 30 pounds of flour, a tin cup and knife, and no bedding. He had started for the California gold mines. At night he would mix flour in his cup, make a fire, roll the dough from his cup on a stick and bake it by the fire and eat it. He traveled with us a day or two and then went on. It was pretty nervy of him. I never heard whether he got through. If he did it was largely a matter of luck, and because he did not have anything the Indians wanted, unless it might be his scalp. The Humboldt road was closely watched by the Piutes, to steal stock. The fact that the Indians were not on the war path may have saved him.
    "We met relief parties on mules on the Sierra mountains, sent out by Governor Downey to pick up late emigrants on the road. So far as we knew we were the last on the road, as it was the 25th of October, 1849, when we met them.
    "Hangtown consisted of a few miners' cabins along a dry gulch, where some mining was being done. One of our men saw a quarter of venison hanging on a tree and rushed up, meat hungry, and asked the owner of the butcher shop how much it was. He answered '75 cents.' Our man had just 75 cents, so he caught the ham and pulled out his money to pay for it. He was told it was 75 cents a pound, and it would cost him over $11. He concluded he did not want any ham of venison.
    "We made a camp at a place called Diamond Springs. Some of the men were throwing up the soil in sags and flats, intending to wash it up when the rains set in; others were doing what is called 'crevicing.' They had a sack, a pick, a knife and spoon and they creviced the bare bedrock. At night they came to the springs to pan it out. It was a poor day's work when from a flour sack of dirt they did not get from $50 to $100.
    "Around our camp were oak trees and an abundance of acorns. Living on flour and coffee straight, as we had been doing for a number of days, we were nearly famished, so we gathered acorns and roasted and ate them. I was worn out and half sick. When we reached Sacramento and reached camp I was very sick. Dr. Birdsall came to my tent and did what he could for me. What did me the most good was cornmeal gruel. My bunkie, Jimmie McDermitt, had been a soldier in Florida in the Seminole Indian War. He had an extra pair of pants, which he took into Sacramento and sold for $11. He bought some cornmeal at 35 cents a pound to use for me. That night some of my comrades came to my tent, about 2 o'clock in the morning, to ask how I was feeling. They said they hoped I would soon be well again, but they didn't say goodbye. I knew their visit was meant for goodbye. In the morning they were gone. I never saw or heard from them again, but I have a warm feeling for them. I was only a boy, and we had been together for months on that hard and weary march across the plains, and one and all had been good to me.
    "Our escort of 25 had now been reduced to McDermitt, McClusky, Clemens and myself. If I would go, which Clemens wanted me to do, there would have only been McDermitt and McClusky left, and if Clemens and I had gone, I am of the opinion they would have gone, too. I had given my promise to my father never to desert, and nothing could make me break my promise. Consider a moment and you will see what a temptation it was. Our pay was $8 a month. Men were making fortunes in the mines. Eight dollars a day--as much as we had a month--was low pay. Some got as high as $16 a day. I saw one old German who came with us as a teamster. He was full of scurvy, so much so that we came near leaving him at the springs at Salt Lake to be cured. He stood on a stump driving a team to a horsepower saw, cutting shingles, and he was paid $14 per day. I also met Mr. Taylor, a butcher from Springfield, Ill. He had a six-mule team and wagon. He reached the mines in August, and began freighting 40 to 50 miles. He planned to sell his team as soon as rains set in. He would have a good stake to go home with. Sailors left their ships crewless. When I saw San Francisco harbor early in 1850, it looked like a burned forest. On all sides were the naked masts of vessels, many of which had only caretakers. No effort was made to bring back deserting sailors or soldiers. There will never be another '49 again. I saw it all and felt the full force of the temptation to join the crowd; but I resisted the temptation, and I am now glad that I served out my enlistment."
Oregon Journal,
Portland, January 1, 1915, page 6

By Fred Lockley
        On December 12, 1856, the legislative assembly of Oregon Territory passed an act authorizing the holding of a constitutional convention to prepare a constitution for the state of Oregon. Delegates were elected and met at Salem August 17, 1857, and during the ensuing days prepared a constitution which was adopted by the people on November 9, 1857.
    Look over the names of the 60 delegates and you will find such names as E. D. Shattuck, A. L. Lovejoy, R. P. Boise, P. P. Prim, Jesse Applegate, Delazon Smith, M. P. Deady, L. F. Grover, I. R. Moores, George H. Williams, W. H. Packwood and others equally well known. Of that goodly company, all have gone to their reward but one. W. H. Packwood, one of the founders of Auburn, Baker County's first county seat, now a resident of the town of Baker, is the only surviving delegate. He came to the coast as an enlisted soldier in the military escort of General Wilson in 1849. In speaking of his experiences in California during the days when the eyes of the world were on the California gold fields, he says:
    "Our company left Sacramento and crossed the valley. I remember seeing only one or two small cabins on the road to Suisun, where there was a Mexican ranch, and none from there to Benicia.
    "We found great cracks in the earth from drought. There were wild oats as far as you could see, and cattle and horses in immense herds. Wild geese and brants were to be seen in countless numbers feeding on the wild oats. The winter rains had just begun to fall, and traveling was difficult. At Sonoma we found a few members of the Second Dragoons who had come in from Mexico with Major Graham's command. Captain A. J. Smith came in with some First Dragoons. Our soldiers' quarters were located in an adobe building belonging to General Vallejo who, with his wife, daughter and son resided in a part of the same building. The building fronted on the plaza. It was two stories high, had a driveway between the corner stories and was enclosed by an adobe wall behind, making a large yard or corral. At night our horses and mules were driven through the driveway into the corral and out every morning to feed on the plains below Sonoma. I presume the old building still stands.
    "General Vallejo, governor of California under Spanish rule, was a fine old gentleman, a fine old-style Castilian. His family were Catholics, and I remember seeing them often going to mass. It seemed to me then that the old mission bells at Sonoma were the sweetest-toned bells I ever heard, and I still think so.
    "There were about 25 or 30 soldiers there. Lieutenant Page, afterwards famous as a Confederate general in the Civil War, was in command. He was a martinet in the matter of roll calls. The last call for the day, retreat, was 8:30 p.m. As it was often very dark and rainy the men did not like it. The Lieutenant was prompt in coming to hear the report from the sergeant as to those present or absent.
    "It began to happen that rocks would go singing through the air about the time the Lieutenant was to appear. Carrying a lantern did no good; the rocks still kept coming until the Lieutenant, not wishing to take any more chances of being hit, dispensed with the 8:30 p.m. retreat roll call. It was just as well, for there were but few men, and no calling of the roll would keep them from deserting to the mines if they wished to do so.
    "General Persifor F. Smith was in command of the Pacific Division. He was with General Scott in Mexico, and a noted man. Soon after our arrival at Sonoma the general wanted a man to look after his quarters, a servant. He sent for me and told me what he wanted. He said I would be relieved from guard duty, drill and other duties of a soldier. I said I wished to be excused, as I preferred a soldier's duty. I had enlisted for that, though I thanked him for the offer. Instead of taking offense at my blunt refusal, he talked with me a while and finished up by complimenting me on my refusal. During the ensuing months, while at Sonoma, he seemed to feel an interest in me.
    "A servant to an officer such as he was would have had many perquisites and a very easy time, but I had never been, nor did it intend to become, one. Colonel Joe Hooker was adjutant general and Lieutenant Alfred Pleasanton aide de camp. Colonel Hooker was a very fine-looking officer and especially so when mounted on horseback. Pleasanton was a small, effeminate-looking officer but he made a fine appearance on horseback. Afterwards, in the Civil War, he became a noted cavalry general.
     I was orderly at the general court martial which was held at Sonoma in the spring of 1850, at which General Joe Hooker was tried for some breach of military discipline. General W. H. Hallock was judge advocate of the court martial. Hooker was a fine-looking man. He was appointed to West Point from his native state, Massachusetts. He was graduated in 1837 at the age of 23, in the same class with Jubal Early and Braxton Bragg. He was assigned to the First Artillery and served in Florida and later in Maine. In the Mexican War he served as aide to General Persifor F. Smith and also to General Gideon J. Pillow. He served with distinction and was brevetted as lieutenant colonel. In 1848 he was promoted to a captaincy. From 1849 to 1851 he was assistant adjutant general of the Pacific Division. He resigned in February, 1853. He was a civil engineer in California until the Civil War broke out. He was made brigadier general of volunteers.
    "You know what he did in reorganizing the army of the Potomac and on the Peninsular campaign. His bravery in leading the charge at Lookout Mountain in the 'battle among the clouds' won him the brevet of major general in the regular army. He retired from active service in 1868."
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 2, 1915, page 4

By Fred Lockley
    In talking with one of the old pioneers recently he said, "I see William H. Packwood tells you he came up from San Francisco in a boat commanded by William P. McArthur, father of Judge L. L. McArthur. I know the McArthurs and Nesmiths intimately, as they are kinfolks of mine.
    "William Pope McArthur was the son of John and Mary Linn McArthur, and was born at St. Genevieve, Mo., April 2, 1814, over 100 years ago. His mother was a sister of Dr. Lewis Fields Linn, for 10 years Senator from Missouri, a man who did much in Congress for the Oregon country, and for whom Linn County, Linnton and the settlement now known as West Linn, near Oregon City, were named. Dr. Linn took a great interest in his nephew and secured an appointment as midshipman in the United States navy for him.
    "During the years 1833 to 1836 young McArthur served in South Pacific waters, and when, during the winter of 1837-8, the government organized an expedition to quell the Indian troubles in the Everglades of Florida, he was put in command of one of the two vessels, the Nevis, with the rank of lieutenant. It is interesting to note that serving with Lieutenant McArthur in the position of topographer was Joseph E. Johnston, who afterwards became a distinguished officer in the Confederate army, and he and McArthur struck up a friendship that lasted through life.
    "Lieutenant L. M. Powell, in charge of the expedition, refused to listen to the suggestions of McArthur and Johnston as to the mode of warfare of the Indians, with the result that the expedition was ambushed, and would have been annihilated had it not been for Johnston's bravery and leadership. McArthur was very severely wounded and had to be sent to the naval hospital at Norfolk. Then he was married in 1838 to Mary Stone Young, daughter of Captain John J. Young, superintendent of the hospital. He served on various ships until 1840, when he was stationed on the brig Consort in the coast survey service. During the following year a survey was made of the Gulf of Mexico. He continued his work for the coast survey along the Atlantic Coast until 1848.
    "In the fall of that year he was ordered to the Pacific Coast to take command of the U.S.S. Ewing and make a survey of the shore line of the Pacific Coast, the first ever undertaken by the government. He came via Panama, and that port was filled with hundreds of gold-seekers, eager to get to California. Transportation was scarce and the city was crowded beyond its capacity. The sanitary conditions made it imperative that the port be cleared. Over 400 persons, including Collis P. Huntington, of railroad fame, chartered an old ship and persuaded Lieutenant Commander McArthur to take it to San Francisco, which he did.
    "On September 23, 1849, he wrote to his father-in-law as follows: 'People are crowding here from all parts of the world, and everybody seems to be as crazy as ever, but order seems to prevail. You would be surprised to see how quietly business is carried on; everything is ship-shape and orderly. There is already a good police in San Francisco, and the same was established yesterday in Sacramento City; so if a vagabond comes out here to cut up his capers, he is quite mistaken.'
    "In another letter a month later he said: 'This country is truly one of the greatest wonders of any age. The increase of population is wonderful. Let us estimate San Francisco at 100,000, Sacramento City 40,000 and Stockton 35,000, nearly. Eighteen months ago there were scarcely 100 people in all of them.' In October McArthur began to investigate the conveniences of Mare Island straits with a view to its being used as a navy yard.
    "In the spring of 1850 the Ewing set out for a reconnaissance of the Oregon coast. By the middle of April Lieutenant Commander McArthur had completed his survey to Trinidad Bay, making soundings as he went. Late in May the expedition had reached the mouth of the Columbia and surveyed the bar and harbor. McArthur was struck with the evident worth of the Oregon country, for he wrote these prophetic words to John J. Young, on June 3, 1850; 'The great probability is that Oregon will develop more rapidly for the next 10 years than any other part of the United States, except California. You will soon be startled by the cry that gold is found in Oregon. I have no doubt of its existence myself. It has already been found as far north as Rogue River, and the mines on that river are being worked successfully.'
    "After journeying to Puget Sound, McArthur returned to San Francisco, and on August 27, 1850, he wrote to Mr. Young as follows: 'We have been successful in surveying the mouth of the Columbia River, and up the same as far as Astoria. You will be surprised when I tell you that the dangers of navigation of this truly magnificent river have been vastly exaggerated. We have crossed the bar as many as ten times a day for weeks together. More vessels have visited the Columbia within the past year than perhaps ever before, and not the slightest accident has occurred.'
    "In November 1850, he received welcome orders to return to Washington with his maps and charts, which he had drawn up in the meantime. And full of pleasure at the thought of seeing his family again after two years' absence, he started, but he was never to reach his destination. Two days before Christmas he died at sea of fever and was buried on the Island of Tobago, in the Bay of Panama. Mrs. R. B. Wilson, of Portland, who came to Oregon in the early fifties, tells of having seen the grave of Lieutenant Commander McArthur pointed out to her as they passed the island. Her husband, Dr. Wilson, had known McArthur's family in Virginia. A few years later McArthur's body was removed from Tobago by Lieutenant Commander Charles I. McDougall and taken to Mare Island, the spot he had assisted to pick out for a navy yard.
    "The third son of Lieutenant Commander MacArthur was named Lewis Linn McArthur in honor of his uncle, who was then serving his last year in the Senate. L. L. McArthur came to Oregon in 1864 and after practicing law was elected circuit judge for Eastern Oregon and then to the supreme bench. Judge McArthur was widely known in Oregon and married Harriet Nesmith in 1878. Mrs. McArthur and her two sons, Clifton Nesmith and Lewis Ankeny, are both living in Portland, the former having been just elected to Congress.
    "Dr. Linn's mother, Nancy Anne Hunter Linn, holds a record that few if any American women have ever held. Two of her sons and one grandson were in the United States Senate practically at the same time. She was first married to Israel Dodge and later to Asahel Linn. Her first son was Henry Dodge, first Senator from Wisconsin from 1848 to 1857. His son, Augustus C. Dodge, was the first Senator from Iowa, from 1848 to 1855. Lewis Fields Linn was her son by the second marriage and was Senator from Missouri from 1833 to 1843."
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 3, 1915, page C4

By Fred Lockley
    William H. Packwood, who is the only surviving member of the state constitutional convention of 1857, in speaking of his experiences in Oregon 60 or more years ago, told a graphic story of the wreck of the Lincoln, on which C company of the First Dragoons were passengers from San Francisco to Port Orford. He said:
    "About December 27, 1851, the Lincoln, a three-masted schooner of 200 tons, sailed from San Francisco for Port Orford, Oregon, and Puget Sound. There were on board Lieutenant H. W. Stanton of C company, First United States Dragoons; Dr. Sorrell, U.S.A., and 35 soldiers of company C, of whom I was one. The captain of the Lincoln was Captain Nagle. The Lincoln was an old vessel that had come around Cape Horn, and was in poor condition for going to sea. We were hardly outside the Golden Gate when a southwest storm struck us and drove the vessel north of Port Orford. Soon after the storm broke the vessel began to leak. Twelve of the soldiers were ordered to man the pumps, but the water continued to gain on us.
    "The cargo of the vessel was stored in the hold and consisted of barrels and boxes. On those barrels and boxes planks were laid. The planked walk extended from the officers' cabins at the stern of the vessel to the forecastle, where the sailors' bunks were. We slept on these planks, or rather lay awake on them, when not at work at the pumps. There was about four feet of space between our beds and the deck of the vessel. The only way of getting down or out was through the main hatch. The water came in from the side seams of the vessel, and we could hear the wash and swish of it running among the barrels and cargo. It never came up to our planks, on which we lay, the work on the pumps holding the water to about a certain height, with but slight gain.
    "On January 1, 1852, the water was beginning to gain on the pumps. The steward told us the water was over the floor of the officers' cabin. On the second, the storm calmed somewhat and Captain Nagle took the sun about noon and he and the lieutenant determined to head for the coast, and failing to make it, they decided to jettison the cargo to lighten the vessel. There was but one whaleboat left. We had two when we started. One was smashed to pieces when a big wave rolled over the vessel. If the dumping of the cargo and the pumps failed to keep her afloat, and it became necessary for us to use the whaleboat, there would have been trouble, as the whaleboat could carry but a small portion of those aboard. There was an ugly feeling among the men, and a fight would have resulted for possession of the boat.
    "On the first of January Captain Nagle changed his course, the wind calmed down and we hoisted more sail. About 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning of January 3 there was a heavy fog. I had gone below with my pumping shift and Pat McCullock and his shift had relieved us at the pumps.
    "Then the vessel struck and came to a dead stop. Instantly you could feel the lift of the vessel, as though she was trying to raise up. It was simply a bar she was crossing. She righted and soon had headway. We thought were past all danger, but it was only a few minutes until she struck again--this time to stay. We were afraid we had run on a reef of rocks. The water increased rapidly. I called Pat McCullock to the hatch, which was kept fastened down and covered with a tarpaulin, and asked him if we were on a reef of rocks.
    "I told him he could find out by sounding over the side of the vessel with a whaleboat oar, and that all below were anxious to know, as the vessel was settling broadside to the ocean, and the breakers were running over the vessel, and at times it seemed as though she was going to turn over. We had been driven ashore on a new moon tide, and with the heavy sea running after the storm, we were high and dry.
    "It was very dark, but McCullock took an oar and succeeded in sounding until he was certain we were on sand and not on the rocks.
    "It is curious to note the result of fear on different individuals. We expected at any minute we might be drowned in the vessel or fighting in the waves to save our lives. Some were praying, some cursing the government for sending men to sea in such a vessel. I had a bunkie who had a plank to sleep on next to mine. He was a very steady, thrifty Irishman named Dan McFall. He had saved nearly $1000 in gold coin and carried it in his belt. Soon after the storm began Dan would say to me: 'I would give so much money to be on land.' Dan kept raising his bid, with no takers, until he put up the whole amount of his savings to be on land.
    "We waited patiently, probably half an hour after McCullock's report, and then broke through the planking into the sailors' gangway and went on deck.
    "Daylight was beginning to break. We could see we were on an open sand beach, with a background of low sand hills. We had struck on the ocean beach, almost opposite to where Empire City now stands, and between two or three miles above the mouth of Coos Bay. By the time the sun was up we could see Indians coming across the sand hills. Soon there were nearly 200 assembled."
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 4, 1915, page 8

By Fred Lockley
    "Early in January, 1852, while en route from San Francisco to Port Orford, our vessel, the Lincoln, was wrecked near the mouth of Coos Bay," said William H. Packwood of Baker. "In the early days the Indians used to scan the beach every morning after a storm, to see if a whale might have been driven ashore in the storm, or a vessel wrecked. To find a whale meant food for the whole tribe for weeks. At daylight an Indian sentry sighted our vessel rolling in the heavy surf, and soon there were nearly 200 Indians on the shore waiting for what the sea would bring them.
    "The tide was running out rapidly and the sea going down so that a man could jump overboard and by running when the tide was out, reach the shore safely.
    "We began, with the aid of the Indians, to get the cargo ashore. The tide would sweep in around the vessel, but when it ran out the cargo would be dumped over the side. Sometimes before it was out of the way the return tide would come, and many narrow escapes occurred from being caught and swept to sea with the return tide. One of our men, Martin Manly, was caught in the return tide and swept around the stern of the vessel. Fortunately there was a tiller rope swinging over the stern of the vessel and as Manly swept by on the tide he saw this rope and caught it and held on, swinging with the rise and fall of the breakers. I remember how long it seemed to be before he was rescued from the grip of the breakers. There he was, hanging onto a rope and the breakers breaking over him and leaving him at times swinging in the air. Finally a rope noose was made and he was hauled up safe and sound.
    "A man named Lockwood had a cargo of liquors aboard. I saw a barrel of whiskey raised out of the hold, the head knocked in and the men with tin cups drink from the barrel as though it were drinking water. One of our company, Jimmy Gordon, was at the hold helping raise the cargo. I told Jimmy it would be better to have the cargo saved instead of the whiskey. He stopped the hoisting of liquors and got our provisions. We expected the vessel would break up in the next tide, so we wanted all the grub saved that was possible.
    "With the work of the Indians and our own men, we soon had on shore a large part of the cargo before the return tide cut us off. Everything was carried onto the first sand ridge back of the beach and stacked up. About 2 o'clock in the afternoon Lieutenant Stanton took me and two other men and we went down the beach to the mouth of Coos Bay. Sails were stripped from the vessel and the supplies covered with tarpaulins. We made tent houses of the sails, also. They were located on top of the sand ridge on the east side. We soon had a regular military camp.
    "Next day Lieutenant Stanton raised a flag staff by his sail tent. When the flag with the Stars and Stripes was raised a great cheer went up from all of us.
    "During the entire time of the storm, from San Francisco until we landed on the beach at 'Camp Cast Away,' I do not remember having anything warm to eat. Our cook's galley had been flooded at the beginning of the storm. I remember we tried to build a fire, but it was put out by some heavy seas that broke over the vessel. We ate hard bread and raw salt pork, as this was before the day of canned goods.
    "Now that we were ashore, a fire was soon made, and nearly all the men got drunk. We had a night of it, never to be forgotten. It was one continuous round of drinking, roaring, fighting and eating. I and one or two others were the only sober ones in the crowd. The reaction from the danger of a watery grave, and our present safety on land, and the whiskey, together with the hard work and excitement of the last few hours, nearly all had become wild with drink and excitement. Pistols and weapons were brought into the melee. Fortunately no lives were lost. Captain Nagel, the commander of the vessel, and our officers, Lieutenant Stanton and Dr. Sorrel, remained in their tents on the hill and let the men have their orgy without interference. Had the officers interfered I think the result would have been serious. Captain Nagel had taken the sun on January 1. It was decided at that time to change our course, and unless the storm abated, the cargo was to be thrown overboard to lighten the vessel, and if this did not help matters, it was planned to take to the whaleboat. It was known that the officers' pistols were loaded and convenient to use, in case it became necessary to take the whaleboat and leave the vessel. I remember hearing some of our men say they had as much right for a chance in the boat as any officer, and they would have a say as to who should go, if it came to that.
    "Captain Nagel was in error in his last observation. We were one degree north of where he thought we were. He [had] laid his course for Port Orford, which he expected to make next day, January 2. This error in his reckoning caused us to strike the beach north of Coos Bay. If a man was sent along the coast from Columbia River to San Francisco to find a more favorable place in which to beach a vessel, it could not be found. When I look back and think of the fearful fate that overtook many of those saved in this wreck, I wonder if it would not have been preferable to have been drowned in this wreck in place of being massacred by the Indians, as many of them were."
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 13, 1915, page 8

By Fred Lockley
    William H. Packwood, who while an enlisted soldier marched from Fort Leavenworth to San Francisco in 1849 and was one of the few who did not desert to go to the mines, is a pioneer of Coos County. While en route with his company of the First Dragoons from San Francisco to Port Orford, in January, 1852, their vessel, the Lincoln, was wrecked at the mouth of Coos Bay. In speaking of his experience at that time he says:
    "On our first day in camp after the wreck all hands got to work and made matters as comfortable as possible by putting up tents made from sails. The Indians brought us an abundance of fish of all kinds, for which we gave them hardtack or pilot bread.
    "The first move our commanding officer, Lieutenant Stanton, made was to take a trip up the beach to the mouth of the Umpqua River. He ordered Sergeant Hill to detail six men to escort him on the trip. George H. Abbott came to me and said a detail was to be made of six men to go with the lieutenant. He said the lieutenant had a reputation of being a hard one to keep up with, and he wanted me to volunteer to go in place of being detailed. He said that Dawes, Ryan, Cantle and myself and one other man would volunteer, and he would ask the lieutenant to accept us as escort. George said, 'We will show him he has some boys he will not run away from or leave behind.' The lieutenant told Sergeant Hill to accept the volunteer detail. We left camp carrying a blanket apiece and one day's rations. We started, and Lockwood, a young man who had a cargo of liquor in the wrecked schooner, went with us up to Ten Mile Creek. We waded through and went on up to Umpqua and stayed all night. Next day we started back and kept together until we passed Ten Mile Creek, about eight miles from camp. We began to lead out and increase our pace, and we soon had quite a lead of the lieutenant and Lockwood. We were scattered out singly, walking fast. When we were nearly a mile ahead, we could see the lieutenant and Lockwood hurrying to catch us. Failing to gain on us, they began to shoot their revolvers. We kept right on as though we did not hear them.
    "We got into camp and were nearly through dinner when Sergeant Hill called us and ordered us to report to Lieutenant Stanton. He was waiting for us to report. In a few minutes, with Abbott leading, we marched up to report. The lieutenant had a peculiar cast in one eye that seemed when looking at you to telegraph his feelings. We could see that his eye was doing business. As soon as we formed a line Abbott saluted and reported the detail all present. The lieutenant stood and looked us all over, and finally he said: 'Men, I did not take you up to Umpqua to see how fast you could come back, but to stay with me. Now go to your quarters.' I do not know how the lieutenant viewed it. He had the reputation of always leading, and to find a bunch of men that could walk away from him was new to him. He used the words 'stay with me,' instead of 'come with me,' as had always been the case before.
    "I was a little afraid that we might have 'queered' ourselves with the lieutenant. It was the reverse, however, of what we expected. He was a good sport. The lieutenant always ordered Abbott and myself out on scouting or express service, and he never found us wanting. As for me, I can say never have I had a better friend than Lieutenant Stanton.
    "We settled down to routine at Camp 'Castaway.' One of the first moves we made was to haul the whaleboat across the sand hills and launch it in Coos Bay, nearly opposite where Empire City now stands. There was at that time several Indian villages on that side of the bay. The lieutenant sent a detail of men over across South Slough and had them cut trail over what we called the Seven Devils. The country was very brushy and it was slow work. After the trail was completed to where it took the beach line above where Randolph now is, some men were sent to Port Orford. Some horses and mules had been shipped to Port Orford by steamers from San Francisco for our company. A number of pack mules were sent up the beach from Port Orford and over the trail we had cut. The mules swam South Slough and Coos Bay. With these mules we packed our traps and some supplies and broke camp at Camp Castaway about May 9, 1852. We camped on a gulch in the Seven Devils. I remember that from the fact that in 1849 our rifle regiment, three years before, on May 9, broke camp at Camp Summer, out from Fort Leavenworth five miles, and started on the long tramp for Oregon. And now on May 10 we were in the Seven Devils on the Oregon coast, looking out on the Pacific Ocean. During those three years what changes had occurred. Here in this small command were practically all that was left of the rifle regiment of over 1000 men, and we had been transferred to company C, First U.S. Dragoons, and our own officers of the rifle regiment were sent on recruiting service."
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 14, 1915, page 8

By Fred Lockley
    Sixty-four years ago, William H. Packwood landed on the Oregon coast, or to be more exact, he was washed ashore in the Lincoln, which was wrecked near the mouth of Coos Bay. From about January 3, 1852, to May 9 they lived in tents made of sails from the wrecked schooner. In speaking of life at "Camp Castaway," Mr. Packwood says:
    "We were at Camp Castaway over four months. During that time there was not a white woman nor an Indian woman in our camp, nor was there any trading done with the Indians, except for fish. I think only two or three men visited our camp during the winter. As to amusements, we could go over to the bay fishing or hunting. Sometimes of an evening we held a police court or kangaroo court. We elected a judge, the police brought in the prisoner, charges were made, the jury empaneled and counsel for prosecution and defense selected. The witnesses were sworn and testified. The charges were often of a fearful nature. Generally the side telling the most plausible lies won the case. Some of these trials, if reported, would have made interesting reading, showing how economical men could be with the truth. All these things helped to pass the time.
    "Now, after four months, we were bidding the camp farewell. We were glad to do so, and yet I have a thankful feeling for Camp Castaway, as it was the place where we all escaped from what seemed a watery grave.
    "H. H. Baldwin and Phillip Brick, both of whom now are dead, who were both on the wreck, have given an account of the wreck.
    "Baldwin speaks about men coming to our camp, James and Pat Flanigan and Ed Breen. I remember hearing of some men coming to camp, but I did not see them. H. H. Baldwin wrote a song about the wreck of the Lincoln which went like this:
"Come all you hungry soldiers who live on pork and beans.
With lots of dam'd hard scouting and deuced slender means;
Come listen to my shipwreck tale, a deep and dismal one.
Which happened thirty-five dragoons, close to the wild Cowan.
A captain and a colonel, a major and general too,
All council'd with each other, a vile and cunning crew,
All council'd with each other the Rhino for to make,
To fill their breeches' pockets, and government coffers rake,
Saying, the Captain Lincoln's laden and ready for sail,
We'll send some Eighth Dragoons on board, they'll help her in a gale;
We'll send some First Dragoons on board and stow them in the hold,
Like Paddy's pigs to market sent in an Irish packet bold.
The plan being laid these brave dragoons were straightaway marched on board,
Who quickly fixed themselves below, where pork and beans were stored.
A favoring tide, we anchor weighed, for Port Orford she was bound,
To land her 'pork and living stock,' ffrom thence to Puget Sound.
In time we reached the Golden Gates, the wind blew fresh and fair,
When to the pumps six drags were put, for this we did not care,
As hard work, soldiering, was our drill for now full three long year,
Right merrily all plied the brake, for naught we knew to fear.
The winds sou'west, our old doomed bark rode on right gallantly,
But, Oh! through stem and weather side the daylight we could see;
The break increasing, pumps were manned by twice their former force;
Still on, the old craft pitched and rolled; but held her compass course.
The morning of the thirty-first, and last of the old year,
Sure filled all hands with joy, for each knew the port was near,
Alas! How short is human bliss, the wind commenced to blow,
Which forced our poor, short-handed crew, all canvas for to stow,
The sailors hove the vessel to, the soldiers worked the pumps,
Our doctor and his brother Luff betook themselves to bunks,
Because they were of higher clay and wore the golden lace,
While many gallant hearts, for days, stared hunger in the face.
For three long days and dismal nights the tempest blew its best;
The water broke into our hold, the pumpers saw no rest.
At length the angry seas grew calm, the howling storm grew still,
When a balmy, soft and gentle breeze did our snowy canvas fill.
At five a.m., 'Great God!, she's struck,' 'twas the morning of the third;
Then fore and aft and either side were roaring breakers heard.
Again she struck with giant force, the mad waves leaped her deck,
Another giant comber's blow, and the Lincoln lay a wreck.
A stitch in time and nine are saved, is a proverb old and true,
For her open sides and half-caulked seams lay plainly to the view.
So, if things were done in shipshape style, the schooner caulked abaft,
'Young Lockwood might have saved his goods, and Uncle Sam a craft.'
So now, I've told my shipwreck tale, an unvarnished one of truth,
I'll bid goodbye, as I am dry, and fill my aching tooth
With a bumper of good brandy, my sorrows for to drown.
I'm bound to keep my spirits up by pouring spirits down.
When next I go on board a ship the briny deep to roam,
Oh! may it be, when I am free, bound for my island's home,
And should I think in after years of what I once had been,
I'll drown it, with all other cares, in a bowl of good potheen."
    Harry Baldwin, who wrote this song, came across the plains in 1849 with Colonel Loring's command. He served out his enlistment and at the breaking out of the Civil War he reenlisted, serving through the Civil War. He was a cousin of the Earl of Bandon and settling near Bandon, the town of Bandon was named at his suggestion.
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 15, 1915, page 4

By Fred Lockley
    "H. H. Baldwin was one of the pioneers of Coos County," said William H. Packwood, of Baker, who went to Coos County in 1852, and who represented Coos County as a delegate in the state constitutional convention at Salem in 1857. "Harry Baldwin was a fellow soldier and for a while a 'bunkie' of mine 60 years or more ago. We were both wrecked on the schooner Lincoln in January 1854, near the mouth of Coos Bay. He was of good blood and had been raised as a gentleman in the old country. He was a cousin of the Earl of Bandon in Ireland, but there were several heirs between himself and the earldom. He was always telling me that these bothersome cousins might die off and then he would be the earl. He had been a midshipman as a boy and for some years he was in the East India Company's service. His people gave him 700 pounds sterling and told him to seek his fortune in America. He had been in the United States less than six weeks when the last dollar of his $3500 was gone and he didn't know where to go or what to do to get his next meal. He was in Cincinnati and broke.
    "He saw a flag our for recruits for U.S. Mounted Rifles, and never having done any work, he enlisted in the U.S. Mounted Rifles and crossed the plains here to Oregon in 1849 with Colonel W. W. Loring, and later we both were assigned to 'C' Company, 1st Dragoons. He served his time out and later served through the Civil War. He served 15 or more years, all told. From 1852 to 1860 I saw Harry often. He lived with me in Coos County part of the time. He was never rough in his talk, always considered himself a gentleman, and tried to act as such. He was a firm believer that 'blood would tell,' and believed that it was a good motto to 'keep your spirits up by pouring spirits down.' He was a poor hunter. One day while going up a stream in Illinois River country over on Rogue River, he shot at a deer in a bunch of brush. The deer ran away. Going up to the brush to hunt for blood to see if the deer was wounded, he found an elk he had killed. The elk had been in the brush near to the deer and Harry shot at the deer and killed the elk. Harry was classed as an A-1 hunter by the boys after that. He nearly always marked his pack saddles and new things he bought. One day he was marking some new things when a neighbor of his called in and seeing Harry marking things, asked what mark he was putting on them, Harry said his family coat of arms. The neighbor said, 'What is it, a pick and shovel?' Then there was something doing. It was pretty lively for a few minutes. The coat of arms of Harry's family was a 'dove with an olive branch in its mouth,' and Harry could never stand for having his family made light of. I am of the opinion that Harry gave the name Bandon to the town of that name at the mouth of Coquille River.
    "Harry made my place his home up to about 1859, after his first term of service. I only met him once after that. That was at Bandon, in 1893. He died a few years ago in Coos County, aged about 87. He is deserving of a kind remembrance, as an Oregon pioneer and Indian war veteran, and Civil War veteran."
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 16, 1915, page 4

By Fred Lockley
    "While we were out looking for a route from Port Orford to connect with the main road from Oregon to California in the summer of 1852, the Indians stole Lieutenant Williamson's mule and two of our horses," said William H. Packwood, one of the first settlers in Coos County and now living at Baker. "Lieutenant Stanton decided to abandon the search for a passable route back from the coast temporarily and punish the Indians. We came to the Indian village at the big bend of the Rogue River. When the Indians saw us, most of them took to their canoes and started down the river. The rest of the Indians hid in the brush by the river bank, commanding the river, so they could shoot us as we crossed. Two Indian canoes were tied to the bank, and as the river was deep and the current swift, Lieutenant Stanton decided to secure these canoes to cross his men in, to attack the Indian village. He called for volunteers to swim the river and get the canoes.
    "Two men stepped out. One of them was Byron N. Dawes, a Massachusetts man, who prided himself on having a trace of Indian blood and upon being a relative of United States Senator Dawes of Massachusetts. In the three years of our service, Dawes was never known to have had a personal difficulty. He was considered a coward, as he had received many insults without resenting them. He was one of two to volunteer to do a very dangerous feat--swim Rogue River and capture a canoe and bring it across the river by swimming on his side in such a way that the current would drive the canoe across. He knew, too, that the brush on the bank of the river was full of Indians with bows and arrows, in easy range. Marion Dildine of Tennessee was the other volunteer. The Indians in the brush across the river were about 20 feet higher than we were on the brushy bar opposite them. As soon as Dawes and Dildine were ready, the lieutenant had the men act as skirmishers on the bar. He ordered us to tell off, that is, to call numbers. That would be 1 and 3 first, and 2 and 4 second, so as to keep up a steady fire. Our guns were musketoons, carrying an ounce ball and three buckshot. They were short guns for cavalry service, and had a return or swivel rammer. In this way, as soon as 1 and 3 fired their pieces, they immediately began to load; while they were loading, 2 and 4 fired. They were to keep this up until the order to cease firing was given. All being ready, Dawes and Dildine made a run from the bar to the river and dived. They swam under water as far as they could and came up only when forced to do so to get their breath, dived again, and in this way crossed the river, and each secured one of the canoes. The Indians in the brush let fly a large number of arrows at them, but the fire of our men from the bar into the brush kept the Indians back from the front of the river bank, and as the canoes were tied under a bank 20 or more feet high, they had a poor show to hit our men while they were cutting the canoes loose. The firing from the bar was kept up until the men with the canoes were safe back on our side. Had they been hit with an arrow it would have been about one chance in 100 that they would not have drowned, as there was a canyon with dangerous rapids below the bar we were on, and the water was high. Our men all considered it a brave act, and I never heard Dawes' courage questioned after that.
    "Two loads of men were sent over the river in the canoes. The firing as skirmishers continued while we were crossing. They soon had the brush cleared of Indians and set fire to some houses and dried salmon, and then returned to the north side. These Indians had no guns, but they were pretty accurate shots with their bows and arrows. We learned later that 15 were killed. The Shasta Costas were said to have from 300 to 400 Indians.
    "After the Indians were cleared out, we camped back of the bar, in the edge of the timber. Abbott and I were sergeants of the guard. We had 12 men on guard, for our horses and mules had to be guarded, as well as the canoes we had captured. We stationed Friedman, the only Jew in our company, as guard over the canoes. Abbott had just relieved me. I was lying down, intending to try and sleep some, when bang went a shot down at the canoes, then a second shot. We knew Fritz Friedman was in trouble. Abbott took several men and ran to the river, to the canoes. Fritzie was on his post, by a big rock, and the canoes were safe. Fritz had seen an Indian swimming across the river to get the canoes. He shot at him, reloaded and shot a second time, but in his excitement he failed to return rammer and shot his ramrod at the Indian. When Abbott got down to the canoes he found Fritz all right, except he was minus his ramrod, and was unable to load his gun. I saw Friedman, in the sixties, keeping a butcher shop in Portland.
    "It may seem, at this day, that the lieutenant was hasty and had little cause for attacking these Indians. They had no doubt stolen our mule and they had stolen two of our horses. They were bad Indians and would have killed white men if the opportunity had presented itself, and as bad Indians the Lieutenant chastised them on general principles.
    "I do not believe any account of this Indian fight has ever found its way into print. The next day we started back to Coquille River. As we marched, we heard the mournful cries of the Indian women on the mountain back of their village, wailing for their dead. I felt sorry for them. The trouble was brought on all of them by a few thieves and bad men of their tribe."
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 17, 1915, page 36

By Fred Lockley
    "After our fight on the big bend of the Rogue River in which we killed 15 Indians we started back for the coast," said William H. Packwood in describing his experiences at Port Orford in 1852 when he was a member of Company C, First United States Dragoons.
    "On the trail over the rocky ledges to Johnson Creek one of our horses fell and was hurt. When we got down to the creek the company halted, rested an hour or two and had something to eat. The lieutenant told me to pick out a man to stay with me overnight and bring the horse along next day.
    "I selected a man named Joe Blandford, a Virginian. We picked a place to camp for the night near a large cedar tree so we could watch the trail and be secure from attack, except from the front, and where we could also watch our horses. Some of the men came up to us and said: 'Don't stay; the Indians will follow our trail and, finding you two alone, they will lay in ambush for you tomorrow morning and kill you.' I told them we would have to obey orders and stay.
     "We made everything snug for the night. The command had gone about two miles up the mountain trail when a man was sent back with orders for us to come on to camp that night. Joe and I pulled out and soon overhauled the command. I presume the lieutenant heard some comments made by the men, protesting against our being left in such a dangerous place, and concluded the men were right, and so countermanded his order.
    "Joe Blandford was a good soldier. He served five years with us in the United States Mounted Rifles and First United States Dragoons. He also served in the Civil War. He was with the Union army marching in Virginia one evening, and as they marched along, he pointed out a farm house on a hill and said: 'After we camp tonight, I am going to visit that old farm house. I hope to find my old father and mother there. I have not seen them since I enlisted in 1848.' A few minutes later they were attacked by the Confederate cavalry. In the skirmish which ensued only a few men were killed; Joe Blandford was one of them. After the skirmish was over and camp made, a sergeant and some men went up to the farm house Joe had pointed out as his home and reported what Joe had said. Tho old couple came down to the camp. They recognized Joe as their long-lost boy. He had come home at last. They buried him at his old home.
    "After Joe and I had rejoined the company we continued on backtrack until we reached what was afterwards known as Woodward's Prairie and there we made our headquarters. Soon after this Lieutenant Stanton sent Lieutenant Stoneman with seven men to explore for a route to the Oregon road to California. Lieutenant Stoneman started with seven days' rations. I was quartermaster sergeant and was told to let them have their pick of the mules. They took nine mules--the best we had. They had fine weather to start in and struck the Oregon trail to California the third day out of Grave Creek.
    "On their return a dense fog rolled up from the sea. The country is brushy with heavy timber and steep mountains. Lieutenant Stoneman had a small compass and tried to follow a course by the compass. They became turned around and were soon completely lost. The fog continued. They were in the country where the west fork of Cow Creek heads. The easiest way would have been to wait for the fog to lift to see the landmarks. They had only seven days' rations to start with, and while in a good game country at that time of year, game could hear you long before you could see the game. They killed an elk one evening near where they were going to camp. That night they had a good feast of elk. Next morning before pulling out, Martin Manly, a Kentuckian, and an odd character, a Yankee named Ryan, hung up a quarter of the elk in a tree. Manly said they might need it before they got out and he wanted it out of the reach of the wolves and California lions. To humor Manly, Ryan helped him swing the quarter up and secure it to a tree. They left a log burning when they left camp. Lieutenant Stoneman took his course by the compass and they marched all day. Toward night they sat down to rest on the side of the mountain. The Lieutenant said: 'Men, it looks as though we will have a dry camp tonight.' Manly stuttered when talking. He spoke up and said: 'Lieutenant, there is w-w-wa-t-er and m-m-me-at down there,' pointing downhill. The Lieutenant told Manly and another man to go and see if there was water. Manly started out and when about 300 yards away, he sung out for them to come on. They went down the mountain a short distance and came to their camp of last night. The fire was still burning, and the elk's hind quarter hung up in the tree. Lieutenant Stoneman took a good look around and then said: 'Well I'll be d--d if this isn't our last night's camp.'
    "In one place where they rested for noon one of the men pried out of the bedrock a piece of rock with something yellow in it. On examination it proved to be quartz, with about 60 cents' worth of gold in it. They called Lieutenant Stoneman's attention to it. He said it was a good quartz ledge and advised them to mark the location so when their term of service was out they could come back, work it and make a fortune.
    "They kept wandering around and got into a canyon so rough they had to abandon their mules and saddles. Some years later I heard that some of the saddles had been found, but the mules were never heard of again.
    "Some days later they were on a high peak overlooking the bend of Rogue River when the fog cleared. The lieutenant and men were sitting down resting. The lieutenant said: 'Men, if any of you will volunteer to try and find Stanton's camp and tell him we are starved, naked and worn out and need help, I will give him part of my cartridges.' Martin Manly volunteered to go and, taking the extra cartridges, set out at once to get help."
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 18, 1915, page 4

By Fred Lockley
     "In 1852 troops were sent to Port Orford, as Captain Tichenor thought there was the making of a seaport there," said William H. Packwood of Baker, the last surviving delegate of the state constitutional convention of 1857. "Lieutenant Stanton sent out Second Lieutenant Stoneman with a detail of seven men to explore a route from the coast to the main road running from the Willamette Valley to the California mines. Lieutenant Stoneman went from the main camp of the troops on Woodward's Prairie to the Oregon-California road at Grave Creek in three days, but in coming back they became lost in the mountains and wandered for days until they were worn out and nearly starved. Finally Lieutenant Stoneman asked for a volunteer to go in search of the main camp. They were in the Indian country and were short of ammunition. Martin Manly spoke up and said, 'Lieutenant, I'll go.' The lieutenant gave him part of his cartridges and Manly took a look around at the mountain peaks and started off in a bee line. The lieutenant sat and watched him as far as possible, and then got up and said, 'Come on, men.' They followed Manly's course until nightfall and camped.
    "Manly's course put him on the headwaters of the south fork of the Coquille. He followed the course of the river toward the coast. That night he killed a cub bear and roasted and ate all he wanted. Next morning at about 11 o'clock he reached Stanton's camp on Woodward's Prairie. That afternoon Stoneman and the others reached camp. Manly had out-traveled them and got in six hours before they did. They were a hungry, ragged and almost naked crew. Their shoes were worn out and their clothes torn into rags. They had been out 18 days, on seven days' rations, and had traveled every day. They had lost all of their mules and saddles and camp outfit.
    "Lieutenant Stanton became very uneasy after they were out 14 days. He thought they had gone over on the Rogue River side and had trouble with the Indians. He sent Lieutenant Williamson and myself to Port Orford to Lieutenant Wyman, who was in command there, to send men, mules and supplies back with us. Lieutenant Wyman gave us all the men and supplies he could spare and we started for Stanton's camp.
    "At what we called Blackberry Camp, on the divide between Sixes River and Floras Creek, we met Stanton's whole command, with the lost men. Jake Somers, an old settler of Port Orford, later owned Blackberry Camp, and may yet, if he is still alive. That night they told me about their trip and showed me the gold quartz. My bunkie, Ross McKenna, told me where they had found the ledge from which the rich specimens of gold quartz came.
    "Two men usually spliced their bedding and slept together. Each trooper was allowed one red blanket and one horse blanket. We spread the horse blankets on the ground and used the other two for covers. We used our saddles for pillows. Men sleeping that way were called 'bunkies.' 
    "This ended hunting for a route from Port Orford to the Oregon trail.
    "The first time I ever saw Lieutenant George W. Stoneman was in Sonoma, California, in 1850, at a fandango dance. He was a second lieutenant of Company C, First United States Dragoons, and in full regimental uniform. He was six feet tall, and a fine dancer, and seemed to enjoy every minute of the dance. Later, in 1852, he was with our company at Port Orford. He was very persistent and self-confident, as is proved by his trying to lead his men when lost for 15 days in the Rogue River mountains, before giving the lead to any of the men with him.
    "He was cheerful, rather abrupt in manner and would pitch in and help pack our mules and never took a back seat in camp or appeared to feel or assume that he was any better than we were and was ever willing to take pot luck. He was born in New York state in 1822 and was graduated from West Point in 1846. When the Civil War broke out, he was in Texas in command of Fort Brown. General Twiggs, his commanding officer, instructed him to surrender to the Confederate forces. He refused to obey this command and escaped with all his troops to the north. He became chief of cavalry in the Army of the Potomac. He led a daring cavalry raid toward Richmond. He and his troops were captured in Georgia and made prisoners for three months. Later he had his revenge by capturing a force of Confederate soldiers in North Carolina. He retired from the army in 1871, settled in California, and in 1883 he was elected governor of California."
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 19, 1915, page 4

By Fred Lockley
    "When I first went to Port Orford in 1852," said William H. Packwood of Baker, "there was not a permanent settler, so far as I know, in the Coquille or Coos Bay country, nor in the whole stretch of country to the southward, clear to Crescent City, Cal. The whole country was unknown--a wilderness of timber and brush--and the mountains were full of game of all kinds, deer, bear and best, and most numerous of all, elk, that roamed in bands of hundreds over the country. Port Orford was an open roadstead. It had a small store, post office and saloon and a detail of United States artillery under command of Lieutenant Wyman, and our company, Company C, First United States Dragoons.
    "As soon as we were back from a Rogue River trip, all hands were put to work building quarters for the post at Port Orford. We made our buildings out of heavy logs, which could, if occasion demanded, be used as forts against Indians. For our horses and mules we had canvas-covered sheds. The steamer from San Francisco to Portland called about once a week. There was at this time in Port Orford, J. C. Franklin and a Mr. Tyler. They had a little sawmill near the lagoon. I was never at the mill and do not think they were ever able to do much of anything. Franklin afterwards went up to the Umatilla country and located near where Athena now is. Tyler was an old sailor, and is no doubt 'over the river' long since. Two other men I remember well were James M. Gamble, who afterward became a prominent man, connected with telegraph companies. The other man was the famous Oakland multi-millionaire, F. M. Smith, the railroad man, well known as the 'borax king.' [Packwood may be confusing his F. M. Smiths. The "borax king" was born in 1846.] All were then as poor as 'Job's turkey.' Spanish Mary kept a little store. Later she married a Mr. Sutton, an engineer, and the last time I saw them was in Portland. They were charitable and liberal, and no one deserving ever failed to receive help from them. I do not know, but I believe that both of them are now 'over the river.'
    "These are about all the old timers, except Jake Summers, Charley Foster, Fred Unican, Simon Lundry, Randolph Tichenor, who were all at Port Orford in that early day.
    "Back of Port Orford was the finest body of cedar timber I ever saw. I went out with one or two others of our men and staked a claim. It was all unsurveyed, so all we could do was to post a notice and do some work. Soon after doing so a Captain Munson came to see me at our quarters and said that Nephas and Tichenor, in looking around for a location for a mill, had found a spring of water on my claim and wanted it. I told him to tell them to go ahead. I could not hold the claim. He said they would pay for it. I told him whatever they did was satisfactory to me. That evening he came back and gave me $125 in coin, and on that claim Nephas and Tichenor put up the first sawmill for cutting white cedar ever built in Oregon. This was in 1852. I have no idea how long they ran their mill. It was in the sixties that a fire broke out and came near burning Port Orford and the whole country. In the early days one or two cuts were taken from a tree. Captain Tichenor took up a claim and had his family there at the time. Later on he married a second time, and now lies buried on the hill north of where our soldiers' quarters were, with his two wives, one on each side of him."
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 20, 1915, page 6

Pioneer Days in Coos and Curry
    "When I first went to Port Orford, in 1852," said William H. Packwood of Baker, "there was not a permanent settler, so far as I know, in the Coquille or Coos Bay country, nor in the whole stretch of country to the southward, clear to Crescent City, California. The whole country was unknown--a wilderness of timber and brush--and the mountains were full of game of all kinds, deer, bear and, best and most numerous of all, elk that roamed the country. Port Orford was an open roadstead. It had a small store, post office and saloon and a detail of United States artillery under command of Lieutenant Wyman, and our company, Company C, First United States Dragoons.
    "As soon as we were back from a Rogue River trip, all hands were put to work building quarters for the post at Port Orford. We made our buildings of heavy logs, which could, if occasion demanded, be used as forts against Indians. For our horses and mules we had canvas-covered sheds. The steamer from San Francisco to Portland called about once a week. There was at this time, in Port Orford, J. E. Franklin and a Mr. Tyler. They had a little sawmill near the lagoon. I was never at the mill and do not think they were ever able to do much of anything. Franklin afterward went up to the Umatilla country and located near where Athena now is. Tyler was an old sailor and is no doubt 'over the river' long since. Two other men I remember well were James M. Gamble, who afterward became a prominent man, connected with telegraph companies. The other man was the famous Oakland multimillionaire F. M. Smith, the railroad man, well known as the 'borax king.' All were then as poor as 'Job's turkey." Spanish Mary kept a small store. Later she married a Mr. Sutton, an engineer, and the last time I saw them was in Portland. They were charitable and liberal, and no one deserving ever failed to receive help from them. I do not know, but I believe that both of them are now 'over the river.'
    "These are about all the oldtimers, except Jake Summers, Charley Foster, Fred Unican, Simon Lundry [and] Randolph Tichenor, who were all at Port Orford in that early day.
    "Back of Port Orford was the finest body of cedar timber I ever saw. I went out with one or two others of our men and staked a claim. It was all unsurveyed, so all we could do was to post a notice and do some work. Soon after doing so a Captain Munson came to see me at our quarters and said that Nephas and Tichenor, in looking around for a location for the mill, had found a spring of water on my claim and wanted it. I told him to tell them to go ahead. I could not hold the claim. He said they would pay for it. I told him whatever they did was satisfactory to me. That evening he came back and gave me $125 in coin, and on that claim Nephas and Tichenor put up the first sawmill for cutting white cedar ever built in Oregon. This was in 1852. I have no idea how long they ran their mill. It was in the sixties that a fire came nearly burning Port Orford and the whole country. In the early days one or two cuts were all that was taken from a tree. Captain Tichenor took up a claim and had his family there at the time. Later on he married a second time, and now lies buried on the hill north of where our soldiers' quarters were, with his two wives, one on each side of him."
Coos Bay Times, Marshfield, February 5, 1915, page 4

By Fred Lockley
    W. H. Packwood, the last surviving member of the constitutional convention of 1857, has had a varied and interesting life. In speaking of his trip across the plains in 1849 as a member of the military company, he said, "We were the last train on the road, and we had a good deal of trouble with the Pawnee and other Indians who were watching for an opportunity to steal horses. One morning we saw two black dots on the prairie a long way off. In those days every unusual sign on the prairie was closely watched, as it might mean danger, trouble or game. We kept getting nearer and finally discovered that the black dots on the prairie were an old man and his boy. Their horses had been stolen and they were left with a small amount of food and their blankets nearly 200 miles from the nearest white man. We had them join our company and took them with us to California. The old man was a preacher, and whenever we would lay over in camp for a day, he would stand on a wagon tongue and preach to us.
    "One day as we were going down a hill a gun started to fall out of the wagon. One of the men on a mule caught the gun and tried to shove it back into the wagon. The hammer caught and the gun was discharged. The heavy slug with which the gun was loaded struck the driver between his eyes and killed him instantly.
    "All sorts of incidents, some tragic and some laughable, occurred during our long trip. Before we had reached California every man in the company had been thoroughly tested, and we knew whether he was made of true blue steel or pot metal.
    "One day on the rolling prairie our whole wagon train stampeded. Each wagon had a six-mule team. The mules had come from Mexico. We had a lively time breaking them. With each 12 mules issued to a driver he was given two that were broken, one for his saddle mule and the other for a leader. The teams were driven by a jerk line. The other mules were lassoed, blinds put on them. They were then harnessed, hitched up, the blinds removed and away they would go, squealing, kicking and bucking until they finally settled down. The day I speak of when we had the stampede, the whole train started pell-mell across the prairie. One of the wagon masters ran ahead of the stampede animals and riding just ahead of one of the leading teams he got the team to follow him and the other teams fell in line and after an exciting run of about three miles he got them back in the road without any great damage being done. In those days lock chains were used on the wheels. Brakes had not yet come into use.
    "A little later, when we were camped on Ash Hollow, we had another bad stampede. The horses and mules were picketed on the bottom near the river. Most of us had turned in. We had had a hard time fording the South Platte and much of our cargo was wet. Just as I was preparing to turn in the horse guard began firing. I jumped up and with my rifle and pistol ran to the captain's tent, where we were ordered to fall in in case of an alarm. From there I went to where the horse guard was firing. The roar of the stampede could be heard for miles. The horses and mules were crazy and the hiss of the flying ropes and the thud of the steel picket pins hitting the animals on their ribs could be heard for a long way. The ropes were becoming entangled and the horses and mules were running in circles in a blind frenzy. Some Indians nearby on horseback were shaking buffalo robes to stampede our stock. Our animals scattered for several miles, but we got most of them back.
    "On the Laramie River we came across a large encampment of Sioux Indians, but they were friendly so we had no trouble with them. At the sink of the Humboldt River Chief Winnemucca with several hundred Piute braves came to our camp. By keeping constantly on guard no trouble arose from their visit.
    "Another incident of our trip that I remember distinctly is hurrying to get out of the way of a herd of buffalo which were coming down a long sloping ridge of the South Platte. The river here was about a mile wide. We were just to one side of the herd of buffalo, which was about three miles long. Captain Morris rode out to the edge of the herd and shot and killed with his heavy dragoon pistol a fat young cow. The rest of the herd paid no attention to the shot. They did not scatter but marched straight onward. A gigantic buffalo bull was leading the herd. His hair was so heavy and matted you could scarcely see the wicked gleam of his eye. The buffalo were going south to their Kansas feeding ground where a few years later they were killed in countless thousands for their hides. One of these hide hunters worked for me later at Auburn, Baker County, in the mines. He said he used to make big money killing buffalo, as he got from $1.50 to $3.50 for good hides. The meat was left to rot.
    "In crossing the plains from Fort Leavenworth to San Francisco we only came to five stopping places. The first was at Fort Kearny, the second at Fort Laramie, then next was Fort Bridger, then came to Salt Lake City and beyond Salt Lake about 40 miles there was a small settlement of Mormons, and the next settlement we came to was at Hangtown, Cal.
    "We were exactly five months in crossing the plains, during which time of course we had no mail nor did we see any papers. Nowadays people think it is a calamity if they have to go five days without seeing a newspaper.
    "No one who has not come across the plains in early days will understand the tragedy of an emigrant losing his stock and having to abandon his wagons and household goods. In many places we found wagons driven back a little ways from the road and abandoned with all of their contents apparently untouched. In one wagon we found screens and other apparatus for mining. Another wagon was loaded with drugs, another wagon had a load of coffee. We had nothing to carry the coffee in so most of us took off our shirts, knotted the sleeves and used the shirts for sacks and brought the coffee into camp. From then on we had coffee strong enough to float a wedge. Buffalo meat, flapjacks and coffee was our staple diet. The winds would frequently cover the flapjacks with a coat of grey ashes, but a person's appetite is not squeamish when he is camping. We started with 32 six-mule teams. In addition to our 192 mules we had about 40 head of horses. When we reached our destination, we had 19 horses and a light two-horse wagon. All the rest of our wagons had been abandoned and the other animals had died on the plains. One of our men named Lytle was assigned the task of following our train and killing the mules that had played out and could not keep up with us. The five-months' trip of 1849 has been cut to three days. Camp fires of sagebrush and buffalo chips with the flapjacks and bacon and coffee have been changed to luxurious dining cars with their shining silver, spotless linen and other luxuries."
Oregon Journal, Portland, February 7, 1915, page 34

William H. Packwood, Honored Guest of Legislature,
Is Spry as Youth as Well as Reminiscent on Visit to Portland.

    Few men can trace their residence in Oregon back to 1850 and still be able to tell of the happenings of the 65 intervening years as intelligently and precisely as can William H. Packwood, of Baker, who is passing a few days in the city after having been the honored guest of the Legislature at Salem. Mr. Packwood was born at Jordan's Prairie, Jefferson County, Illinois, October 25, 1832. He is more than 82 years of age, but one would not think it to look at him. To converse with him, you are assured that he is in full possession of every mental faculty, and certainly he is strong physically.
    In escorting him to the art department of the Oregonian to have his picture taken, Mr. Smith, in charge of the art department, though it would be asking too much for the old gentleman to walk up the four flights of stairs into the tower. Bless my soul! He pranced up those steps like a kid on a lark.
    When Mr. Packwood was a little less than 15 years old, he enlisted in the United States Mounted Rifles, Captain J. B. Backenstos being the recruiting officer and later his captain. Captain Backenstos has a son who has been for many years living in Portland, being at present engaged at the city hall. Early in 1849, during the Fillmore administration, General Wilson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Pacific Coast, was ordered to make an inspection of the various agencies.
Trip Made to San Francisco.
    A convoy of 25 men was selected from Mr. Packwood's regiment, and he was one of the lucky ones. So they marched across the plains from St. Louis to San Francisco. The balance of the regiment was ordered to Vancouver post, and they came over by the northern route, passing the first winter in Oregon City.
    General Wilson and his party arrived in San Francisco in January 1850. Mr. Packwood says there were no sidewalks in that city at the time of this visit except one short stretch of boardwalk. About April 5, 1850, the members of the Packwood party who had not deserted were ordered to join their regiment at Vancouver. The revenue cutter Ewing, which was only a little schooner, was ordered to bring them up. Captain McArthur, great-grandfather of our Congressman-elect, C. N. McArthur, was in charge of the Ewing. They had a rough passage of 12 days up as far as the Columbia River bar. Then the storm ceased and it became so calm that the captain could not bring the vessel in over the bar. So a whaleboat was dropped down, a painter made fast from this to the Ewing and a dozen strong men at the oars soon had the vessel anchored opposite Astoria, or Fort George.
Only Four Soldiers Are Left.
    By this time there were only four of Mr. Packwood's fellow soldiers left with him. The others had deserted, and most had gone to the mines. With these and half a dozen men from the Ewing, Captain McArthur was rowed in the whaleboat up to Vancouver, stopping one night at St. Helens and reaching Vancouver the next night.
    He remained at Vancouver about a year and then was sent to Benicia, Cal., going down on the schooner Lot Whitcomb. Soon he and his fellow troopers started for Port Orford in the schooner Lincoln. Drifting into Coos Bay channel, the vessel was wrecked nearly opposite Empire City. Much of the equipment was saved; no lives were lost, but the vessel was a total wreck. Then they had to hew their way out and were four months in getting out and up to their destination.
Mines Attract After Army Term.
    When Mr. Packwood's term of enlistment expired, September 23, 1852, he made his way down to Curry County, to the vicinity of Sixes River, where there was a big mining excitement. He made his home there for nearly nine years, in the meantime being elected a member of the constitutional convention of 1857. Mr. Packwood is today the only member of that convention living. It does one good to hear Mr. Packwood talk of the personnel of that convention. While he only modestly mentions his own labors, he avers that the legal talent of the convention was never even approached by any territorial convention held in this country.
    In 1870 Mr. Packwood removed from Sixes to Baker and has made his home there ever since. His fellow citizens feel proud of him, not only because of his old age and his part in the early affairs of Oregon--they feel proud of him as a man, looking upon him as one of the typical good citizens of a little city where there are many men of mark and merit.
    Mr. Packwood is so rugged, like a sturdy oak, that it would not surprise anyone to see him live to become the oldest citizen of the state. The next dozen years will tell the story, and he certainly looks rugged enough to live to be a centenarian.
Oregonian, Portland, February 20, 1915, page 9

By Fred Lockley
    "When I used to come to Portland in 1850 I didn't have to dodge street cars and jitneys as I do now," said Judge William H. Packwood of Baker, the last surviving member of the state constitutional convention held in Salem in August, 1857. "I have just returned from Salem, where the governor, the supreme court and the other state officers and the members of the legislature treated me with great honor. Of course, I realize that the honor was not so much a personal one as a tribute to the men who formed the constitution of our state. It happens that I am the only one left out of the 60, and that is why the honor was paid to me. From here I am going to Seattle to see some men with whom I am planning to go into a mining enterprise in Eastern Oregon.
    "It is strange how well I remember an incident that happened at the convention in Salem when we formed the constitution. I was a member of the committee that selected the state seal, and it was at my suggestion that a picture of the elk was put on the seal. I was a representative of Curry County, and 60 years ago elk and deer were very numerous all over Southwestern Oregon.
    "It is pretty late in the day to tell you that my name is not really Packwood and yet I guess if the truth were known my family name is Duncan. My people came from Scotland. They settled in Virginia in the days before the Revolutionary War. There were four Scotch families living pretty well up in the Potomac River Valley in Virginia. A sudden rise in the river caught them unprepared and the members of all four families were drowned with the exception of one little boy two or three years old who was taken by some river men from a tree that floated by the landing where they were moored. They called him 'Billy' and when he was large enough to be set to work his job was to carry the wood on to the boat. His adopted father was very proud of him and used to say: 'Billy is a good one to pack wood' or 'See Billy pack wood.' As he had no last name, they finally called him Billy Packwood. He settled on the James River, became a large stock man, married and had a good-sized family. He had gone by the name of Packwood since he was a little chap, so when he found his name was really Duncan he did not change his name and so our family has been Packwood ever since the high water on the Potomac way back in the days before the Revolutionary War.
    "I was thrown on my own resources when I was a little shaver about 12 years old. I peddled bread in St. Louis, worked for a farmer, mixed mortar, was an errand boy in a grocery store and did whatever job was handy until I was about 16 years old, when I enlisted. In those days you had to be 18 before you could enlist in the army. I knew the recruiting officer would ask me my age so I wrote on two little slips of paper the figures 18, put them in my shoes so that when the recruiting officer asked me if I was 18 I could truthfully say that I was 'over 18.'  Major T. B. Backenstos, whose son works in the court house in Portland, was the officer under whom I enlisted in 1848 at Springfield, Ill. He looked at me so sharply when I presented myself to enlist that I knew he would not believe I was over 18. I told him that I was born in 1832 and was nearly 16. I also told him how I had put the slips of paper in my shoes so that I could truthfully say I was over 18. He said: 'If you want to enlist as bad as that I guess we will fix it us so you can join the army.' I had not been in the army long when General Wilson was sent as Indian agent to California and I was part of the military escort that came with him to California. When we finally arrived at Sacramento we only had about 18 head of stock left out of over 200 we had started with so you can see we had a pretty rough time crossing the plains. Most of the men deserted in California going to the mines, but I had promised my father never to desert or to break a promise, so, although my fellow soldiers who deserted were paid in the mines more in a day than I received in a month, I stayed in the army. We were sent to Port Orford as guard for Captain William Tichenor's town that was just being started. Our boat, the Lincoln, was wrecked at Cape Castaway, so we were greatly delayed in getting to Port Orford.
    "After my enlistment had expired I settled in Curry County and Curry County's citizens unanimously elected me a delegate to the constitutional convention at Salem in the summer of 1857. I have mined most of my life. I was one of the first miners to work in the Auburn diggings in Baker County, and by and by Auburn, now but a memory, was Baker County's first county seat. I want to show you the engrossed resolutions that the governor and the legislature gave me. I am very proud of it. If I have learned one thing in a long life it is this: Not to worry over disappointment, for I have noticed time after time that if I had secured my way in certain matters they would have turned out very badly and that an overruling providence, or whatever you care to call it, has shaped things in a better way than I could have foreseen or planned for. Yes, I think this is a pretty good old world and I hope to spend many more happy and useful years here in Oregon."
Oregon Journal, Portland, February 21, 1915, page 9

By Fred Lockley
    William H. Packwood of Baker is one of Oregon's earliest pioneers and is the last surviving member of the constitutional convention held in Salem in August, 1857. Although he has borne the name of Packwood all his life, as did his father before him, yet it is not their family name. His real name is Duncan. In speaking of the matter Mr. Packwood said: "My forefathers lived in Virginia. They came from Scotland. In the colonial days, some little time before the Revolutionary War, there was a big flood in the Potomac River Valley in Virginia. Some river men out in a boat on the swollen stream saw a little boy hanging to the limb of a big tree drifting by. They rescued him. He was a little chap, 2 or 3 years old. He was too small and too much bewildered to tell them what his name was, so they called him Billy. He was adopted by one of the river men and soon grew to be a strong and vigorous boy. He was a good worker. His work was to carry wood to the boat. His adopted father used to attract the attention of strangers to him and say proudly: 'See Billy pack wood.' Having no other name than Billy, they fell into the way of calling him Billy Packwood. He grew to manhood, settled on the James river, where he married and raised a family. He was a stockman and eventually owned considerable land and a large herd of cattle.
    "I learned of the origin of our family name from Uncle Elisha Packwood, who died in Washington some years ago. In 1854 Uncle Elisha visited his grandmother in Virginia who at that time was nearly 100 years of age and who was cared for by two negro slaves. His grandmother had a large plantation on which at that time, in '54, there were about 300 slaves. When his grandfather died, he left a will in which it was provided that all of the slaves who would emigrate to Texas should have their freedom and that those who preferred to stay on the plantation could have whatever money they made. The will was an old one and was made prior to the admission of Texas to the union when Texas was a republic.
    "A good many years ago I met an old Scotchman named Archie Downey in Baker County. He said his people and the Packwoods were neighbors in Virginia and that my name was Duncan. He told me I was of Scotch descent and at the time of the flood on the James River four Scotch families had settled higher up on the James and all were drowned except one boy. He said it was a matter of common knowledge that of the four Scotch families one named Duncan was the only family having a boy of the age of the one found floating down the river on a tree. I suppose that my name really is Duncan, but inasmuch as the name Packwood has served our family for 100 years or so, I guess it is too late to change.
    "My grandfather, Larkin Packwood, was born in Virginia and from there went to Kentucky and still later to Tennessee. He had 10 sons and two daughters. My father, Larkin Canada Packwood, was one of the youngest of the children and was born in Tennessee. My father's father went to Illinois with his family and took his slaves with him. When Illinois was admitted to the union as a state he moved to Ozark County, Missouri, where he could continue to hold his slaves. Larkin Canada Packwood did not go to Missouri. He had found an attraction which held him in Illinois. He was married on October 31, 1831, to Elizabeth Cathcart Stormont. She was born in South Carolina and her people came from Scotland. She had come to Illinois in 1826.
    "My mother had two sons and four daughters. Two of her daughters died while yet children. Another of the daughters, Mary, married a physician and died in early womanhood, while Agnes, the remaining daughter, died in Coos County about 40 years ago. My mother died while giving birth to one of her sons, who also died at the same time. I was the other son. I was born October 23, 1832. I was born on Jordan's Prairie just north of Mount Vernon, Ill. As I was the oldest child, I was named William Henderson Packwood for my grandfather's family, the Hendersons of Kentucky.
    "My mother's people had emigrated from the Carolinas and were Covenantors. With the Mumfords, Cathcarts, Stormonts and Campbells they settled in southern Illinois. They were all of the old type of God-fearing, law-abiding, Sabbath-observing Scotch. So strict were they that absolutely no work was done by man or beast on the Sabbath day. All food for Sunday was prepared on Saturday and no recreation or amusement was allowed. We lived at Sparta for about seven years and went to church at a little settlement called Eden, about a mile east of Sparta. There were two churches there, both of Covenantors--one the old light church, the other the new light church. We went to the old light church, of which Rev. Wiley was the pastor.
    "When I was a boy, a man named Adams came to Sparta and started a saddler's shop. He was a hard worker and a good saddler, but it was whispered around that he was a Free Mason. He apparently could not decide which church to go to, so stayed at his home on Sundays and played the flute. Being a Free Mason was bad enough, not going to church was worse, but playing a flute on the Sabbath was considered the height of iniquity or the depth of depravity, whichever way you want to put it. At any rate, he was pointed out as an awful example, and it was thought by all the old Covenantors that hell was yawning for him. One day he asked me to carry in some wood for him. He paid me well for the work, so I never could be convinced after that that he was altogether bad."
Oregon Journal, Portland, February 23, 1915, page 4

By Fred Lockley
    For more than 65 years William H. Packwood has lived in Oregon. He was a member of the convention from Coos County that met in Salem in August, 1857, to form a state constitution. In speaking of his boyhood in Illinois he said:
    "A child's recollections are peculiar. The big and vital things are frequently forgotten while some trifling incident is remembered. My earliest recollection is of getting hold of a clasp knife, one with a strong spring, and shutting it. It nearly cut off the second finger on my left hand and, though it was nearly 80 years ago, the scar is still plain today. The next thing I remember was the talk in our family of the crowning of Queen Victoria. The next thing I remember distinctly was the excitement in our family and among the neighbors by the report of Lovejoy being mobbed and his place destroyed. One thing that stands out clearly in my recollection is attending a one-ring circus in Sparta. I think it was called Dan Rice's circus.
    "I also remember very distinctly my first school teacher. His name was Dr. C. B. Pelton. I went to school to him one year. I remember distinctly the first boy that was punished after I went to school. In those days a bundle of hazel switches was considered a necessary part of a teacher's equipment. A bully had abused one of the smaller boys. The teacher sent a boy out to cut a hazel switch. Presently the boy came back with a very large hazel switch about the size used for whacking bulls. We all expected to see the doctor pitch in and give the bully a terrific whipping. The doctor laid down the hazel club on his desk and, gently taking the big boy's hand, he closed his eyes and raising his head prayed that the boy would have a change of heart and become better. It certainly settled that boy. It was the most effective punishment the teacher could possibly have administered. As a matter of fact, the teacher ruled that school by love and kindness, a very unusual thing in those days. Later this teacher went to Springfield, Ill., where he became an official of the American Bible society.
    "My next teacher was a young man named McClure. I went to him about six months. This was all the schooling I ever had. At that time there were no free schools, they were all subscription schools. During my two years at school I studied five books. Noah Webster's blueback speller, Smith's Arithmetic, Murray's grammar, Perley's geography and a small American history. I still remember vividly the picture in the front of one of my school books. It was a picture of justice and the law. Justice was shown as a monkey sitting back on a pair of scales. Two cats claimed the ownership of a piece of cheese. They brought their dispute to the monkey. The picture showed the monkey placing the cheese in the scales to be weighed and divided equally between the two cats. The story below the picture told how the scales would not balance so the monkey had to keep taking a bite first from one piece and the other until he ate the whole cheese while the cats looked on hoping to have the matter decided justly. I have an idea that the law is still administered in this way at times.
    "In those days we did not know that it was necessary to have a large number of books, football and other athletic sports, to educate a student. Not having them and not knowing any better, we got along all right without them. We played marbles and a game of ball in which there were four corners, four batters and four catchers.
    "I had to stop school and help my father, who had taken a subcontract to carry the mail from Mt. Vernon to Nashville, a distance of about 35 miles. The mail had to be taken three times a week. I made the route on horseback. The mail was carried in saddlebags thrown across my saddle. There were only two stopping places between Nashville and Mr. Vernon, both of them being post offices. Practically the entire distance was through an unbroken prairie covered with grass almost as high as a man's head. At Nashville they always gave me a bobwhite quail to eat. They caught them in nets by the hundred. At Mt. Vernon I saw something once that greatly astonished me as well as the other residents of the town. A doctor took several tomatoes, sliced them, put salt and pepper on them and ate them. We all watched him with fascinated horror to see him drop dead. We supposed he would be poisoned by eating tomatoes. He said he had dyspepsia and was willing to take the chance of being killed or cured. At R. G. Shannon's home in Sparta some tomatoes were grown in his garden just as flowers are now. They were grown for ornamental purposes and no one ever thought of eating them. The first tomatoes I ever tasted I ate at Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River in 1850. Some of the boys thought I was brave and others thought I was foolhardy. Most people thought they looked as if they were poison but soon the timid overcame their fears and tomatoes ceased to be merely an ornament and became an article of food."
Oregon Journal, Portland, February 24, 1915, page 4

By Fred Lockley
    "My mother died in 1844 when I was 12 years old," said William H. Packwood of Baker, Or., one of Oregon's earliest pioneers.
    "I was thrown on my own resources, and as it was a case of sinking or swimming, I swam. I peddled bread from a basket on the streets of St. Louis. While peddling bread I met a farmer named Ed Drew from Illinois. He wanted me to go with him and learn to be a farmer. Farming seemed to promise three square meals a day, so I took up his proposition. I had not been on the farm long before I joined himself and his wife Rhoda in the almost universal fever and ague. It was what was called three-day ague and fortunately we were not all sick at the same time. On Ed's shaking day his wife Rhoda and I did all the chores. They had three cows to milk, quite a few horses to care for and about 60 hogs to feed. I certainly did shake good and plenty when my day came around. We all took Green's mixture from the same bottle, which was thought at that time to be a specific for the ague. We pulled corn from the stalk before the corn was quite dry and used a grater to grate it up for mush. Mush and milk was our staple diet.
    "The first fall I was with Ed Drew he hitched up his two two-horse wagons and he and I hauled his produce to St. Louis, where he sold it. We crossed the river on Wiggins' ferry. Before my mother's death in '44 my father had run a dairy four miles east of St. Louis. I remember the big flood in July, 1844. What is now East St. Louis, then called Pap's town, was one sea of water. East St. Louis in those days consisted of a tavern and some corrals where drovers put their stock up overnight. Shortly before my mother's death my father moved to Collinsville. My father and mother both became very sick and my mother died on September 8, 1844. My father was not expected to live, so he was not told of her death. My sisters were both sick, so I was the only member of the family at the funeral. Before my father went into the dairy business, when I was about 12 or 13 years old, my father made trips through southern Missouri peddling and buying furs. He took me with him, and I remember on one trip we went by way of Iron Mountain and down into the Black River country. There were practically no towns or villages and the houses were far apart. We used to see great droves of wild turkeys.
    "We tried to plan it so that we could stay overnight where there would be as many people as possible, so that my father could sell his goods. Some nights we would stop where there was a large family and occasionally they would send for some neighboring families to spend the night. I was always called on to read, and I can remember how proud I used to be over their comments. They thought it was wonderful to see how well a boy of my age could read. In those days reading was somewhat of an accomplishment. The people with whom we traded were poor and hard working but hospitable and good hearted. They lived on what they raised and on what they killed. I used to enjoy sitting around the fireplaces and hearing the men tell stories of their adventures and hunting experiences. I remember stopping one night where there was an overshot wheel grist mill. The man who owned the mill had 10 grown daughters, all of whom were at home and all of whom helped him in the mill. The mill took its pay in toll taken from the grist, as there was very little money to be had. On this trading trip we saw a number of mule teams hauling ore from Iron Mountain to some small furnaces.
    "After working for Ed Drew I went back to work for Grandfather Stormont on his farm. He was land poor. He had hundreds of acres of prairie land and considerable timber land. Each winter he cleared about four acres of timber land. He ran four plow teams, and for that day he was considered a thrifty farmer. All of the family worked hard. My grandmother and her daughters, Linda and Naomi, were always at work. When they had nothing else on hand, they carded wool and spun and wove webs of cloth. One web was for summer wear, the other for winter wear. The winter cloth, or jeans, was dyed navy blue, while the summer cloth was dyed butternut color. They cut the cloth and made all of the clothing for the family.
    "I remember what profound astonishment the first carding machine created. They sent some wool to the carding machine which came back in rolls ready for spinning. It was considered a wonderful invention. One of the most remunerative sources of revenue for my grandmother was her flock of geese. She had nearly 200. She kept them for their feathers, which she sold for $1 a pound. In those days feather beds were very much in demand.
    "Up to 1846 my grandmother had never had a cook stove. All the cooking was done in a large fireplace which had a crane with hooks on it on which she hung pots and vessels for the cooking. The crane could be swung around to bring the pots over or off of the fire. She had a large Dutch oven in which she cooked her bread; the loaves were round and about six inches thick and were certainly delicious.
    "I used to listen with great pleasure to the sound of the dinner horn when we were called to our meals. I remember the dinner horn pretty well, for we had a large sorrel mare that, when the dinner horn was blown, would go to the end of the row, if she did not happen to be there already, and then you could not coax or beat her into doing any more work until she had had her dinner."
Oregon Journal, Portland, February 25, 1915, page 6

By Fred Lockley
    "When I was 14 years old I worked on my grandfather's farm in Illinois," said William H. Packwood of Baker.
    "About three miles from my grandfather's there was a mill owned by Jimmie Lutes. It was operated by mule power or oxen power. Four arms or sweeps from a circular upright shaft conveyed the power to the burrs. To each of these sweeps he hitched a pair of mules or oxen. I used to take our grain to be ground. Tuesdays and Thursdays were mill days, and corn and wheat were the two grains that were ground. The rule was 'first come, first served.' This rule was never varied from, and there was great competition among the farmers as to who could get there first. Jordan Prairie was skirted with timber on the north and west sides. The main road ran north and south through the prairie. On mill days from sunrise you could see the dust raised by the teams coming from the east and west to the main road. All were being driven as fast as they could to get to the main road first so as to get an early turn at the mill. When they got to the main road there was usually a race for three or four miles to the mill. My uncle David was an expert with oxen. He used to begin the training of his steer calves to work when they were very young. He had one yoke of 5-year old, long-legged, rangy, powerful red steers that he kept for mill days. When we reached the main road going to the mill there would often be a dozen or more teams. From where we joined the main road to the mill there was always great excitement when Uncle David's powerful steers began passing the other teams. We usually passed everything on the road. Those red steers were a pretty good second to Maud S.
    "Automobile riding was not much in fashion in those days, so the young people took their measure of pleasure in other ways. Some of it was at house raisings, or husking bees. They used to fill rail pens with corn pulled from the shock. A party would be given, and all the young men and young women would be asked to the party. Sides would be chosen and at the word 'go' the two sides would commence on the pens allotted them. They shucked the corn and threw it into pens, and no football contest was more exciting nor was there greater rivalry. Red ears meant kisses and the young folks generally managed to smuggle in quite a few red ears. When the corn was all shucked a supper would be served, a supper such as the people of today know nothing about. After the supper came the games. If you think the young folks of those days did not enjoy themselves in spite of the hard work, just ask any of the old pioneers who as girls or boys went to husking bees, house raisings, spelling matches and singing schools.
    "Discipline in the family was much more strict than it is today. In those days the father and mother were the head of the house, not the children. Prayers were said both morning and evening and a blessing was asked at every meal. Every child had his or her duties and they were held strictly to account for the performance of them. My youngest uncle, Uncle Marx, had to take care of 'Old Pud,' a Canadian mare 33 years old. My grandfather had bought Pud during the Black Hawk War, and most of his best horses came from her.
    "After the work was done the whole family gathered in front of the fireplace. Books, magazines and papers were almost unknown in those days, so the children cracked walnuts and jokes, hickory and hazel nuts, and Grandfather told stories. Grandmother would sit in her old rocking chair knitting stockings. Occasionally she would raise her specs and look around at all the family to see how we were getting along and then, if all was well, she would resume her knitting. She was a wonderful manager; you never heard her nag or scold. She was calm, sweet, good-tempered, and had just a bit of brogue.
    "My youngest daughter went to St. Louis a few years ago and went out to the old homestead. She found Aunt Linda was still there. Aunt Naomi had married and moved away. Aunt Linda gave my daughter my mother's Bible and also a daguerreotype of myself taken in 1857.
    "In 1846 I quit working for my grandfather and went to Springfield, Ill., where my father was working at plastering and bricklaying. I worked during the summer of '46 on the farm of an English family named Fields. Mr. Fields was an old man and received a pension for his services in the battle of Waterloo. He gave me an idea of military life. In the winter of '47 and '48 I worked in Glenn's grocery store in Springfield. I used to see Abraham Lincoln almost daily. We used to meet in the morning as I would be going to the grocery store. Mr. Lincoln would be going in the opposite direction to his law office."
Oregon Journal, Portland, February 27, 1915, page 4

By Fred Lockley
     Recently I took lunch with W. H. Packwood of Baker, Or. Not only is Mr. Packwood interesting because he is the last living member of the state constitutional convention that met in Salem in August, 1857, but because his memory of men and events of Oregon's territorial days is wonderfully clear.
    "Yes, I was on the committee that selected the territorial seal," said Mr. Packwood. "I was a delegate from Curry County, and I wanted something typical of my county so I suggested that an elk be used on the seal, and my suggestion was adopted. To my mind the elk was the noblest of all the game animals found on the Pacific Coast. I have seen them from Cape Mendocino in California to the Columbia River in Oregon. They are the most numerous in the Coast Range. I remember one day in 1851, in the Coast Range over from Russian River, a dense fog settled down, so thick we could not travel, or even see the mountain trail we were following. We were on the coast side of a high mountain. When the fog lifted and the sun came up, there was a band of elk standing under some large trees on the mountainside, not over 100 yards away. It was a grand sight. They discovered us and were away before we could get a shot at them. I do not believe there was any part of the coast where elk were so numerous as in Curry and Coos counties. They were very plentiful on the headwaters of Coquille River, the north, south and middle forks. They ranged back to the Rogue River mountains and to the head of Cow Creek, in large bands.
    "In traveling they generally followed the divide, as in this way they could more easily discover danger and break to either side of the mountain for safety. They usually made a visit to the coast each year and went back to the high mountains in summer; but in Coos and Curry counties they seemed to remain all the year round.
    "In Curry County there were hunters who made their living for many years selling elk meat. They had contracts to supply the mills and people of Port Orford and Empire City and the coal mines, the same as men do now with beef. Gold Beach and Crescent City were supplied in the same way.
    "At Port Orford Jake Somers was the principal contractor. He had a hunting dog that he never allowed to smell a track on the ground. He would go ahead of Jake with his nose in the air for scent. Elk River, Sixes River and Floras Creek country were Jake's hunting grounds. With his dog he could locate a band. They usually run in bands of 40 or 50, like cattle. When danger is threatened or they become frightened they bunch up together, instead of running off singly. After finding them he would select and shoot down one or two, according to the size of the animal. He would do this as quietly as possible, so as not to frighten them, and he never allowed his dog to bark or run them. At the shot the band would bunch together and run a short distance. If not chased, they would soon quiet down and begin to feed again. They nearly always feed and run in a circle. It may be large or small, according to whether the ground is flat or hilly. Before leaving, after killing his game, Jake would note the direction they were taking. In two or three days he would come back, and in place of following up their tracks, he would cut across the circle, his dog ahead with his nose in the air, and he would not be long in finding the band. In this way he sometimes would kill nearly all worth killing before hunting a new band.
    "In March, 1854, my old partner, George H. Abbott, and I, in going from Floras Creek over to the south fork of Coquille, ran across five large bands of elk, which we estimated to have fully 800 head. In 1854 a bunch of Klickitat Indians with a band of horses came down and killed over 500 elk, principally for their skins. They jerked some meat and packed 20 to 30 horses out, loaded with skins and meat. This was the first year of settlement on Coquille, 1854. There were not many of us, but we resolved not to allow this to occur again, so in 1855, when the Indians showed up for their annual hunt, they were told they might go and kill a few elk to jerk and pack out, but no skins, as before, otherwise there would be war. I believe it was either Huffman or John J. Hill that notified them. They obeyed orders, killed and jerked a few elk and left. That was the last hunt for elk by the Klickitats in Coquille country."
Oregon Journal, Portland, March 13, 1915, page 4

    Not long ago I talked with one of the very earliest settlers in Coos County, and he told me how [Floras Creek] and the lake received their names. My informant was William H. Packwood, now a resident at Baker, in eastern Oregon. He was a delegate to the state constitutional convention at Salem in the summer of 1857, representing Curry County. He is the last surviving delegate of that historic convention. In speaking of his early experiences in Curry County, he said:
    "We started from San Francisco for Port Orford in December, 1851. We were aboard the schooner Captain Lincoln. On January 3 we were wrecked two miles north of what the Indians called Kowes or Cowes bay, now known as Coos Bay. Improvising tents from the sails of the wreck, we spent four months there.
    "In May, 1852, we marched to Port Orford. We had been sent there to guard that newly established town from the Indians. We reached Port Orford, and after a brief stay we were ordered to find a feasible route from Port Orford to connect with the main-traveled Oregon and California trail, so that Captain Tichenor's new town of Port Orford could become a port of entry and outfitting point for the Oregon miners.
    "George W. Stoneman, second lieutenant of our company, Company C, had come to join us from San Francisco. By June 18 we were ready to go. We started on June 19 and made our first night's camp on a mountain up on Floras Creek.
    "We had a civilian with us named Fred Flora, who on one of our trips to Camp Castaway fell into this creek. Our men then called it Flora's Creek, and it has since been called Floras Creek.
    "On the morning of June 20, 1852, we were on a bald mountain on Floras Creek. The sun shone brightly and we had a grand view of the ocean. Lieutenant H. W. Stanton was in command, Second Lieutenant George W. Stoneman, Lieutenant Williamson of the topographical corps and about 35 soldiers of Company C, First United States Dragoons constituting the command. The country was largely covered with burns and down timber and was overgrown with underbrush and berry vines so thick as to make traveling difficult.
    "We had a force of axmen ahead, cutting trail. We followed the divide between Sixes River and Floras Creek to where the summit of the mountain is reached and the waters run into the Coquille River. We then cut across the south fork of the Coquille and made camp on what is now called Rowland's Prairie. Our trail was blazed with three hacks with an ax on each side of trees, so that our blazes could be easily found. The blazes were generally made by a man on horseback.
    "From Rowland's Prairie we went up the south fork of the Coquille to what later was Woodward's ranch. From there we struck an Indian trail leading up a trail between Coquille waters and Sixes River. We followed this divide and went down on the south end and crossed a creek afterward known as Johnson Creek, and then crossed over the divide to Rogue River at Big Bend.
    "We went up Rogue River, making and cutting a trail and blazing it all the way. It was a tough route.
    "We found some letters cut in the bark of soft maple trees, well grown over, showing white men had been in the country years before--trappers, probably, as there had been no prospecting for gold on the river at that time.
    "We followed the river to where we could see what is now known as Big Meadows. We were making our way through thick brush high on the mountainside. A number of the company had been detailed as axmen to cut trail for the party.
    "While we were waiting for a particularly heavy place to be cleared by the trailmakers, Lieutenant Williamson dismounted from his mule, whose name was John, and let him graze. When we were ordered to continue our march the mule had disappeared. We scattered in all directions in search of the mule, but he was not to be found, so we named the stream that rose near where we had lost the mule John Mule Creek, and the mountain Mule Hill--names they bear to this day, though probably there are but one or two men now alive who know how they received their names.
    "Five years later, at the Siletz Reservation, I ran across this mule in the possession of the Indians. We went no farther than Big Meadows, for Lieutenant Stanton decided that the country was so rough and difficult that a road connecting Port Orford with the Willamette Valley trail to California was impracticable, so we returned to Port Orford."
Fred Lockley, "Names of Streams and Hill Result in Early Day Oddities," Oregon Journal, Portland, July 23, 1916, page 12

Oregon Man's Letter Throws New Light on the Death of Grimes
Refuses to Believe Early Basin Prospector Was Murdered by Comrades.

    BAKER, Ore.--Editor Statesman, Boise, Ida. Dear Sir: Some time last summer I cut from your Sunday paper a photo of a pioneer's grave on Grimes Creek--that of George Grimes. I now have before me your Sunday paper of November 5, in which there is an account of Mr. Grimes by a Mr. Wilson, who seems to believe Grimes was murdered. His account and information as to Grimes would seem to be from the time of finding the body of Grimes in December, some four months after he was killed. Now I can believe that he found Grimes' body and that Grimes was dressed and shot in the back, but that he was murdered by anyone of his party I do not believe.
    Matters of history as important as the discovery of mines such as Boise Basin mines should be as correct and truthful as it is possible to make them. I was in a position to know much about what occurred in the mines in 1862. Our firm, Knight, Abbott & Packwood, had a store at Auburn, in Baker County, Ore., and we did the outfitting for and were interested directly or indirectly with nearly all the prospecting parties, as Auburn was the outfitting point or starting point. What I know of Grimes is hardly hearsay, but firsthand knowledge.
Independence Camp Started.
    In June or early in July we sent out a prospecting party having 12 interests, of which Abbott and I took two shares. They left Auburn and prospected south and westerly. On July 4 they struck a fine prospect on Granite Creek, about 45 miles from Auburn. The first gold found was panned by Jack Long, a packer whom I knew when he was working for the United States on Siletz Reservation in 1857. Twelve claims were located and a town called Independence laid out. It was so named on account of the gold being found on Independence Day. Abbott and I were given $2000 for our shares. It is surprising and almost beyond belief now to think back how quickly all such news traveled at that day, without roads, stages or telegraphs. But so it was, and long before July was gone quite a population and flourishing mining camp was in bloom at Granite Creek.
    Grimes was one of them. I do not remember him personally, although I have no doubt I met him at Auburn, but I have his story from John Wilson. Wilson was with Grimes at Granite Creek, as I remember. He said that when Grimes crossed the plains in the 'Fifties he pointed out the range of mountains on the right, east of the Boise Valley, and said he believed rich gold mines lay back of those mountains. This was long before gold was found in eastern Oregon or Idaho. He went on down to Willamette Valley and had lived about Oregon City. He was a carpenter.
Grimes Goes to Mines.
    He was not a miner, but when gold was discovered and being worked here in Eastern Oregon, he pulled out for the mines and came direct to Auburn. From there he went over to the new find at Granite Creek, but he was not satisfied, Wilson said, and kept up his talk about the mountains he saw when crossing the plains, and which he believed were full of gold, and his determination to go and prospect them.
    He finally got seven men to go with him. Wilson was one of them. They outfitted at Auburn about the last of July or early in August. From there they followed Grimes' lead.
    After getting over to Grimes Creek they camped and looked around a little. They went up on a bar or bench from the creek in the pine timber (and the picture you have of a pioneer's grave, Grimes', is exactly as described to me by Wilson). They sank a prospect hole, I think about 10 or 12 feet deep, or it may have been less. They found a prospect which they believed would pay. It was now a Sunday, and I have no doubt they washed up and put on clean clothes for Sunday.
Grimes Takes a Walk.
    About noon, or a little after, Wilson said Grimes wanted to see about something at the prospect hole and started from camp to go up on the bar. From what Wilson said I do not believe they were doing any work that day, or intended to do any. They were just taking a look around, as miners often do of a Sunday, and figure out what to do next week--probably look over ground they intended to locate. And it being the discovery hole or shaft, by all miners' rules at that time, giving two claims for discovery, Grimes may have wanted to look it over again (as I do not remember Wilson saying a word about location of claims) before putting up notices and staking claims. Grimes lit out for the prospect shaft soon after. Some of the others started out, and when they had gotten on the edge of the bar they heard a shot just ahead of them and looked up and saw two Indians skulking and running in the pine timber above and about opposite the prospect hole. There were two Indians, and I think he said they only saw one rifle.
    They hurried up to the prospect hole to find Grimes, believing the shot was fired at him by the Indians. When they got up there they found Grimes dead, and I think, from what Wilson said, he was stooping over doing something, and I have no doubt was shot in the back. He was dead and there is no reason to believe he saw the Indians, from what Wilson said. They had seen no Indians before this or any signs of Indians, so were careless in going around. He said they buried Grimes, dressed as he was, in the prospect hole he had located and helped to dig, and that night or early next morning they broke camp and got away.
Never Went Back.
    I do not believe they ever made a location. If so, Wilson, for one, never went back, in my opinion, for he soon after was connected with Grenzeback of The Dalles in mining operations in Owyhee County, for we had one order on them for 1432 pounds of supplies from our store at Boonville. I do not believe they ever made any locations, or looked up any claims at that time or did anything to organize a mining district. They called it Grimes Creek because he led them to it and was killed and buried there. They left and each one went his way. There was nothing to hold them together. They told the story of the find, and while the prospect was fairly good, it was largely exaggerated. This was, I believe, about the 11th of August 1862.
    The news soon reached Auburn, Florence and other camps. By September there were parties from Florence and other northern camps, Marion Moore, Colonel Fogus and Captain Relf Bledsoe. A little later Moore's Creek was found--Idaho Basin. I outfitted and was one of a company of eight from Auburn. Captain Crouch of Roseburg was at the head. We went up in September or early in October and located eight claims on Moore's Creek, eight claims on Buena Vista Bar, eight Hill claims and water rights from Moore's Creek. We came back to Auburn in November. It was said a miners' meeting had been held and claims laid over until March (a custom among miners declaring claims laid over--not jumpable except in the working season). Captain Crouch said he had to go down for the winter to Roseburg and all were to be on hand in March. I told them it was a mistake to do so, that a regiment of soldiers could not, in my belief, put us in possession of our claims next March. In February 1862 I sent a man to look after my claims. All our claims were gone, and our locations, I have been told, were among the best on Moore's Creek and Buena Vista Bar.
Thinks Death Caused Rush.
    As to Grimes having been murdered by any of his comrades, I do not believe it for a moment. I can hardly conceive such a thing happening, from what Wilson told me, nor can I conceive of any motive. Who could benefit by it? The party was the same as other parties prospecting for mines. No, Grimes had an idea, a belief, or whatever we may call it, that there were rich mines in the mountains. He had that idea for years, and when the time came that he could do so, he followed his idea out, and in doing so he lost his life, and that caused greater excitement than finding the gold.
    The two combined caused a rush to that country that resulted in finding one of the richest placer mining districts in Idaho, and while they would have no doubt been found later on, I do think his name should stand out prominently in Idaho history and a monument should be erected to his memory, designating him as the discoverer of the Boise Basin mines, as it is due solely to him. A small amount would do it, and it should be in a place like that shown in your photo of a pioneer's grave (Grimes', for it is according to and agrees in detail with the account give me by one of the men who helped bury him).
Miners Respected Rights.
    Miners as a rule in the early days had a very great respect and regard for rights of discoverers, and it may have been that when Grimes Creek was made a mining district and laws passed, some provision was made to protect Grimes' rights. As to Grimes, Mr. Wilson said he was a common man, a carpenter, and was wholly carried away with the idea of finding gold in the mountains to the right and east of Boise Valley--when you were traveling west. He had that idea for years, and it was proved correct, although he only lived to know that his idea bade fair to prove correct, and that his life was a forfeit in doing so.
    I think his discovery and death hastened, possibly by years, the discovery of mines that have yielded more than $100,000,000 up to this time, and I think his memory should be, and no doubt will be, preserved and honored in Idaho history. And you could claim for Grimes that he:
"Belonged to the legion that never were listed,
    They carried no banner nor crest;
But, split in a thousand detachments,
    Were breaking the way for the rest."
Yours very respectfully,
    P.S.--I knew of your old-time Boise residents, Wilson, George and Mark Ainslie, Jacobs, Bilike, B. M. Durrell and Moore, Captain Bledsoe, James A. Pinney, George H. Abbott, Soldier, and all over the divide, also my old friend, Judge Kelley, former owner of the Statesman. Hon. John  Hailey, my old friend since 1854, is still with us, but it is sad to think back of the friends now no more.
Idaho Statesman, Boise, December 31, 1916, page 4

Last of Famous Pioneers Answers Call.
Mantle of Death Envelops Noted Indian Fighter.
Signer of Constitution, Baker's Most Distinguished Citizen,
Led Adventuresome Life as Gold Hunter, Official, Civilizer.

    BAKER, Or., Sept. 21.--(Special.)--Closing a life that for more than half a century was interwoven with Oregon history, death came at 1:30 this afternoon to Judge William H. Packwood, aged 85, who was the last surviving member of the group that signed the state constitution when Oregon was admitted to the Union.
    Judge Packwood was venerated by innumerable friends in all parts of the country and was revered by thousands of men who had been in his employ during the years that he was identified with the growth of the state. Traces of his work appear in every corner of Baker County.
    Three children survive. They are Mrs. J. L. Rand and William H. Packwood, of Baker, and Jefferson Packwood, of Seattle. Two daughters are dead. There are 14 grandchildren.
Career Full of Romance.
    Funeral arrangements had not been completed today, but they will be conducted from St. Francis Cathedral.
    No man in Baker County had a history more interesting than that of Judge Packwood.
    Few pioneers there are in Oregon who can point to a record such as Mr. Packwood's, from the day when he first set foot on Oregon soil in 1849 to the time of his death. Mr. Packwood, bowed under the weight of his 85 years, was still an active citizen, and at the time of his death was concluding a book on the early pioneer history of Oregon, a work to which he devoted the major portion of his recent months. In this history, George H. Himes, of the Oregon Historical Society, has expressed intense interest and declares that it will be an invaluable addition to the historical records of Oregon.
Lad Lincoln's Friend.
    Mr. Packwood was born at Jordan's Prairie, north of Mount Vernon, Ill., October 23, 1832, and lived there until he was 15 years old. In his youth he met and talked to Abraham Lincoln and could recall conversations he had with the man who was to become America's greatest President. When a boy of 15, in the summer of 1848, he obtained the reluctant consent of his parents and enlisted for service in the Mexican War. He never saw service in Mexico, but instead started on a march to Oregon in May 1849, serving as an orderly until he joined his regiment at Vancouver.
    Mr. Packwood used to recount in an interesting manner how, at Astoria, he saw the timbers which had been gathered for the keel of the first steamboat to ply the waters of the Columbia, the Columbia, which made its first trip up the river in 1850.
Warring Indians Subjugated.
    The youthful pioneer went back to California in the following year and served with Major Wessels in making treaties with the Indians of California. That same year trouble arose with the Indians of the Coquille and Coast tribes, and Mr. Packwood was put in command of an expedition and started by boat to Port Orford. The schooner Lincoln, however, was wrecked in a storm at Coos Bay, January 3, 1852, and this it was which linked Mr. Packwood's early life with Curry and Coos counties and which made it possible for him later to become a member of the constitutional convention. Some supplies were saved from the wreck of the Lincoln, and after camping for a short time Mr. Packwood took his command overland to Port Orford and subjugated the turbulent redskins. He was discharged from army service September 23, 1853, after having served five years.
    Although he had not yet reached his majority, Mr. Packwood was at last a free agent to do as he wished. He formed a partnership with George H. Abbott and took up mining, made a little stake and then he and Mr. Abbott bought horses, sold their claims and, after packing and freighting for a while, took up ranching in Curry County. Indians became troublesome, and the youth was made lieutenant of a volunteer company, captained by Mr. Abbott. They subjugated the Indians again and then, in December 1854 he went prospecting to California. He returned to Oregon and in 1855 was elected captain of a company to enter the Indian war. He was commissioned captain of the Coquille Guards by Governor George L. Curry. He took an active part in the Indian war and was instrumental in bringing about the surrender of the three warring tribes.
Lure of Gold Wins.
    Mining again attracted the young pioneer, and he went in 1857 to the Sixes River mines and soon after was elected by unanimous vote of Curry County to represent it at the state constitutional convention. He was then a youth of 25 and had never even voted, but had taken part in making laws in mining camps and had presided as chairman at miners' meetings. He was worried somewhat as to his qualifications and appealed to Mr. Abbott, his old partner, for advice.
    "Be yourself," was Mr. Abbott's sole advice, and thus equipped he joined the convention made up of citizens who were destined to become leaders in Oregon's affairs. Of that little body of men which drew up Oregon's constitution, two later were Governors, four were United States Senators, two were Representatives to Congress, one was a Federal Judge, one became Attorney General of the United States and Mayor of Portland, one State Attorney General, six judges of state courts, one Mayor of Portland, and one had the triple distinction of being successively Representative to Congress, Governor and United States Senator. Of all this list of distinguished pioneers and the others who were members of that convention, Mr. Packwood was the survivor.
Auburn Waterworks Built.
    The elk in the Oregon seal was placed there at Mr. Packwood's suggestion at that historic convention, while he was also active in the debate on the many questions which came before the body.
    It was not long after this that Mr. Packwood went to Siletz and Yaquina, where he was sub-agent for the Indians. He did not stay there long, but returned to Coquille, where he raised cattle and horses and then was elected county assessor, not even knowing he was a candidate until election day.
    Business reverses took his ranch away from him in 1862 and, interested in the Blue Bucket strike in Eastern Oregon, he left for this section and helped lay out the town of Auburn, then the mining center of the entire district. He engaged in merchandising, freighting and packing at once, and the first year he was there organized the Auburn Water Company, which after many years became the greatest water company in the entire Baker district, and the plant, which cost $225,000, is now giving water to the city of Baker.
Stump Taken for Lincoln.
    Among his earlier experiences in Baker County was one which he never liked. He was elected one of three judges to try a Frenchman for poisoning his partner. The Frenchman was convicted by a jury and was hanged. This was in 1862.
    The same year, October 16, Mr. Packwood married, soon after being appointed school superintendent for the newly created Baker County.
    Among the achievements which he recalled with pride was that he signed the first call for the Union Republican Party in Baker to send delegates to the convention, and he stumped every precinct in the county for Abraham Lincoln.
    He had not been in Baker County long before his mines failed and he lost $45,000. He did not have the money, but Mr. Packwood always paid his debts and for years was busy in paying for something which many men might have easily evaded.
    For many years then, until 1887, he gave his time to organizing water companies and building ditches in the county. In 1888 he was elected police judge of Baker City and held that office for five years.
Career Active Until Last.
    The call of gold again was heard by Mr. Packwood in 1893, when he was 61 years old, and he went to Port Orford to engage in beach mining, but he found that the reports of the strike had been colored and he returned to Baker and went with the Columbia Gold Mining Company. Soon after he became assistant postmaster of Baker, then Baker City, and he held that position until he was 78 years old, when he resigned.
    For the last six years Mr. Packwood was retired from active business, but he kept an interest in public affairs which was little short of amazing. There must have been something in that historical convention which brought a community of interests among its members. Like the late George H. Williams, Mr. Packwood was an ardent football follower, and never a game was played but he was on the sidelines "rooting."
Oregonian, Portland, September 22, 1917, page 1

By Fred Lockley
    "Gold is where you find it," was one of the favorite sayings of the forty-niners. The history of the discovery of gold in Oregon certainly bears out the saying. Some years ago I spent a few days with W. H. Packwood, the last surviving member of the Oregon constitutional convention. Mr. Packwood spent a large part of his life in mining. Few people in Oregon know more of the history as well as the myths and traditions of the mining industry of the West than Mr. Packwood. We were speaking of Grimes Creek, and he told me how it got its name.
    "A man named Grimes," said Mr. Packwood, "who came to Oregon in the early fifties and settled at Oregon City, while passing through Boise Valley said, 'If I ever went prospecting, I would try for gold back of the range of mountains to the east and north of Boise Valley.' Grimes was a carpenter, and knew nothing about gold mining, so no attention was paid to what he said. When gold was discovered 1861, at Auburn, near the present city of Baker City, Grimes decided to come up to Eastern Oregon and try his luck in the mines. He came up to Auburn in the spring of 1862. On the Fourth of July, 1862, a man named Jack Long discovered gold on Granite Creek. Grimes heard of it and went there to locate a claim, but as no claims were available, he decided to follow his hunch and see if he could strike gold on the other side of the range. He persuaded seven other miners to go to it with him. They crossed the mountains early in August and camped on a creek where they decided to do a little prospecting. They sank a hole to bedrock and found gold in the first panful. Next day while they were at work Grimes was shot and killed by the Indians. His partners put him in the prospect hole they had just dug, filled it up and made their way back across the mountains. They called the creek where Grimes had found the yellow metal, and his death, Grimes Creek.
    "In those days we had no roads east of the mountains, no telegraphs--in fact, we didn't even have settlements, just a string of cabins or tents up and down the creeks--but within a few days of Grimes' death the news of the strike on Grimes Creek reached Auburn, Elk City and Florence. You know how miners are--how they always stampede to new diggings--so within a few days parties were pulling out from all of these camps to the new district. Marion Moore, a man named Fagus and many others pulled out from Florence for the new district. Moore struck gold on a creek not far from Grimes Creek. They called this stream, after its discoverer, Moore's Creek. I went in with a party of eight. We got in among the first and located creek claims on Moore's Creek, bar claims on Buena Vista bar, and also took up hill claims and water rights. It was late in the fall, so we called a miners' meeting and declared the working season off. Captain Crouch was the head of our company. He went back to his home in Douglas County for the winter. I was afraid that others would come in and jump our claims, but the rest of the party felt that our location notices would be respected, so they pulled out for the winter. In many camps in California and elsewhere if the claim was not worked on before January 1 it could be jumped. Many of the men who joined the rush to Grimes Creek were California miners, so when no development work was done on our claims, they were jumped. In February I sent a man up to Moore's Creek to do development work on my claim to hold it, but someone else had jumped it, and he reported that it would take a regiment of soldiers to regain possession of our claims.
    "Those claims and the other rights we had taken were worth a fortune. By 1863 there were 12,000 miners settled along those creeks. Several million dollars in gold dust was taken out from our claims. Poor Grimes, who discovered the district, got nothing out of it except a grave. The other members of Grimes' party fared little better. John Wilson was with Grimes when he was shot from ambush by the Indians. He helped drag Grimes into the prospect hole and helped bury him. He never realized a dollar from his discovery. It is a strange thing, but one that I have noticed happens very frequently, that the discoverer of a district where other men make millions rarely gets anything out of it himself. Every once in a while you will discover in some poorhouse some old-time prospector who has located a district where fortunes have been made.
    "Just above Boise Rriver there is a creek that runs into the Snake River from the south side. It is called Sinker Creek. Uncle Tom Turner was the man who gave this creek its name. I heard a man standing on a stump at Auburn haranguing a crowd of miners one day, so I stopped to listen. It was Uncle Tom Turner. He said he knew of a creek on which some emigrants had camped and that one of the women of the party told him afterward that she had found a bit of heavy yellow metal as large as a prune seed. She had used it for a sinker in fishing the stream. He said, 'If you fellows will organize a party I will lead you to the place, and if I don't locate it, and if you don't find gold there, you can hang me.' Within three days he organized a party of about 50 men. They left Auburn toward the end of June. Uncle Tom found Sinker Creek, all right, but in spite of the most diligent prospecting they didn't find any gold on Sinker Creek. He drifted down to California and a year or so later he died in poverty. The party that he had taken to Sinker Creek broke up and prospected the whole country. Some of the party followed a creek nearly to the summit of the mountain, and going over the divide, located the Owyhee mining district. They started a camp named Silver City and in the vicinity fabulously rich placer diggings were located, among others the famous Oro Fino, Poorman and De Lamar diggings. These diggings produced many millions of dollars, but Uncle Tom Turner never realized a cent from them."
Oregon Journal, Portland, July 10, 1919, page 10

By Fred Lockley
    There is a fascination about hunting for buried treasure or prospecting for gold that gets into the blood. William H. Packwood, in telling me about the search for the Blue Bucket mine some years ago, said:
    "The search for the lost Blue Bucket mine has led to the discovery of several rich districts. I believe, though, that more money has been spent hunting for the Blue Bucket mine than ever could be dug out of the district if they should find it. My partner, Rufus Perkins, put in two full summers and spent over $2000 hunting for it. My idea is that the emigrants found gold all right, but that a waterspout [flash flood] had washed the bedrock bare, and the gold lay on the bedrock. This, as you know, was away back in 1845, and no attention was paid to placer mining until gold was discovered in California in 1849. By this time the soil had covered the bedrock and the gold was no longer in sight. I remember stopping at Billy Speake's place on Snake River once. There was a gulch near his place that he had passed hundreds of times. One day a waterspout tore down through the gulch. He went out later to see what damage had been done and found the bedrock that had been washed away by the waterspout was literally covered with good-sized nuggets.
    "The search for the Blue Bucket mine resulted, however, in the discovery of the Eastern Oregon mining district not only at Auburn, but elsewhere. A man named Adams spent his afternoons and evenings on the street corners of Portland, trying to interest men to go with him on the quest for the Blue Bucket mine. David Littlefield, Henry Griffin, William Stafford and G. W. Schriver had stopped in Portland for a day or two on their way from the California gold diggings to the Oro Fino mines. When they heard Adams telling the story of the lost Blue Bucket diggings they questioned him closely and he assured them that he not only knew where the stream was, but he had been in the very place where the nuggets were picked up. He said he would go alone, but he realized he would be massacred by the roving bands of Indians unless he went with a strong party. Littlefield, Griffin and their two partners threw in their lot with Adams and helped him organize a party of 60 men. Adams was elected guide and captain.
    "They crossed the Cascades by the Barlow route. They struck the Deschutes River about where The Dalles and Canyon City wagon road now crosses it, which, by the way, was the same crossing used by the emigrants of 1845 who were supposed to have found the Blue Bucket diggings. They followed the Deschutes up the east side to Crooked River. They followed the Crooked River to its source. Soon they struck the desert and began to suffer for water. When they questioned Adams closely as to the location of the Blue Bucket mine, his answers were vague and evasive. After an acrimonious discussion, Adams asked them to give him a few days more to make good. He led them southward until they got into the alkali lake country. They refused to go farther southward and threatened to lynch Adams. The party turned northward until they came to Castle Rock and Malheur River. From there they continued to the headwaters of Burnt River. Some of the men who had left growing crops in the Willamette Valley finally decided to kill Adams as a warning to all other visionaries not to lead men off on a wild good chase.
    "That night Adams attempted to escape, but was captured and given one more day to search for the lost diggings, the agreement being that if he failed to find them, he would be tried for his life. That evening when he had failed to make good by finding the Blue Bucket diggings a bitter dispute arose as to whether Adams should be killed that night or allowed to live until morning. He was finally put under guard with the understanding that the next morning should be his last. In the morning the discussion was resumed. At 10 o'clock a vote was taken and it was decided to give him the benefit of a trial instead of hanging him at once. A jury was selected and the trial lasted all day. The case was submitted to the jury that evening. The jury was unable to bring in a verdict of guilty or not guilty and after staying out all night they announced their decision to be that Adams was to have his horse, blankets, provisions, arms and everything but the clothes he had on taken from him, and that he must leave the party at once. He was given so many hours to escape, and if any of the party discovered him thereafter, they should have the privilege of shooting him at sight. The jury's verdict required him to sign a paper saying they he was a liar and had never seen the Blue Bucket diggings.
    "The trial took place near the head of Burnt River. The majority of the party thought Adams would die of starvation or be killed by the Indians. They believed the verdict the equivalent to the passing of a death sentence.
    "On the way back toward the Deschutes River the Californians discovered the John Day mines on the headwaters of the John Day River. This district yielded within the next few years not less than $20,000,000 in gold dust.
    "When they failed to locate the Blue Bucket mine the party broke up. Some of them traveled through the Burnt River and Powder River country and headed north and east, prospecting as they went. About six or seven miles from where Baker is now located, they camped for a night on a creek. After supper Henry Griffin went out to try his luck. He panned the first gold found in paying quantities in Eastern Oregon, and the creek was called Griffin Gulch. This discovery led to the permanent settlement of Eastern Oregon."
Oregon Journal, Portland, July 11, 1919, page 10

By Fred Lockley
    If you have ever traveled along the coast of Curry County you have undoubtedly noticed the large amount of black sand at Gold Beach. Gold Beach is well named. In the early days it was literally a beach of gold. Somewhere, back in the mountains of Curry County, there must be rich ledges of gold quartz, for along the streams, as well as along the beach, large amounts of coarse gold have been panned, rocked or sluiced out. That there is somewhere in the mountains a rich quartz ledge is proved by the rich specimens brought to Jacksonville in the early days from what is now known as the "Lost Soldier" ledge. Someday this ledge and others from which the placer deposits along the Curry County coast have come will be discovered.
    Some years ago, in talking of the early days of Curry County, one of Curry County's earliest settlers, Judge William Packwood, told me of the discovery of gold on the Curry County beach.
    "Gold was first discovered there," said Mr. Packwood, "at Battle Rock, near Port Orford. Early in the year, either in February or March, 1853, I saw an old man named Simmons putting in sluice boxes in the little stream that flows into the ocean near Battle Rock.
    "In the spring of 1850, while at Trinidad, Cal., I met a party prospecting up the coast toward the Oregon line. Whether they found any gold on the Oregon beach I do not know. Captain Tichenor, who founded. the town of Port Orford, told me there was gold in the sand in front of Port Orford, but he didn't know whether it existed in paying quantities. I believe Simmons was the first man who actually did beach mining. That summer Simmons, with several others, went to the mouth of Rogue River, where they struck it rich.
    "Early in June, 1853, Captain A. J. Smith, captain of C Troop, First United States Dragoons, of which I was a member, took a detail of men to look over the country between Port Orford and Coos Bay. They stopped at a stream later called Whiskey Run, to tighten their packs. One of the soldiers, Marion Dildine, lay down to take a drink of water. As he drank he saw in the bottom of the stream some black sand in which were particles of gold. Securing a tin cup from his saddle, he gathered a cup or black sand, panned it down, and found colors in the bottom of the cup. The men who were in the party agreed to keep the find secret so they could come back later when they were mustered out and take up claims.
    "Not long after the soldiers returned to Port Orford several miners arrived from California. Among these miners were McNamara, McKay, Judd and 'Doc' Hall. The evening they arrived one of the soldiers who had been with the party who had found the gold on Whiskey Run spent the evening with them. Drink loosened his tongue and he told them of the find they had made on Whiskey Run. Early next morning they struck out up the coast. McNamara, or 'Big McNamara,' as he was usually called, had flaming red hair. His face was very red and was covered with freckles. He was still drunk when they pulled out next morning. He was riding a small horse. He swayed from side to side, occasionally grabbing the horse's mane or the horn of the saddle to keep from falling. There were 10 other miners with McNamara.
    "They stopped at the first creek above the Coquille River. You will find this creek marked on the map as Packwood Creek. It was named after me. They staked 11 claims, taking 12 inches of water each, as they estimated there were just about 12 heads of water in the creek. They drew lots for the claims.
    "Shortly after they had made the drawing three half-breeds, Peter, Andrew and Joe, joined them. They wanted to locate on the stream. McNamara told them all the claims had been taken. He suggested that they stake out claims on some other stream. Peter was a very bright and intelligent half-breed. He said, 'That's all right. There may be good claims on this creek farther up, but we wouldn't have water enough to work them. We will go farther up the beach and stake claims on the next creek.' They went on up the beach two or three miles, prospected, and found very rich ground, so they located claims near the mouth of the stream. At that time a beach claim was 60 feet broad on the beach. You had the privilege of working as far out to sea as you could, and as far upstream as you wished.
    "McNamara, McKay, Judd and the others found their claims were paying only about $8 a day. When they discovered that Peter, Andrew and Joe, the half-breeds, had struck it rich, McNamara claimed they were partners, as he had advised them to go up the creek and take claims. They had left Crescent City together, which Mac said was an additional reason for their being partners. In any event, the 11 men held a miners' meeting, and in spite of the protest of the half-breeds, decided they were partners and should share equally in the rich claims. The miners' meeting also decided that Big Mac, Judd and McKay should have 120 feet of beach front. This ground included the rich ground that the half-breeds had located. Peter, Andrew and Joe had to give up their claims and take claims elsewhere. They took claims farther from the mouth of the river, which of course were not nearly so rich as their original claims. The three half-breeds could rock out from $250 to $300 a day, but the 120 feet taken by Big Mac and his party was the richest ground I have ever seen.
    "On October 8, 1853, I happened to meet Mac and Judd on their way back to Crescent City. I was doing packing at the time. They had 40 pounds of coarse gold dust apiece for their work, somewhere between $8000 and $10,000 apiece. Mac had seen so many men spend all they had made, in drink or gambling, so he decided then and there that he was through with mining and mine booze. He had made his cleanup in two or three months. He went on the water wagon and I don't believe he ever took another drink. He went to Crescent City, got married, built a hotel, and did well. I visited Mac in Crescent City later. He said he and McKay and Judd one day rocked out $2200 from the claim they had taken from the Indian boys. During the few months they worked this claim they took out $100,000 in gold dust. They thought they had worked the claim out and gave it to a man named George See, but he struck a second beach farther back and worked it for years, making a lot of money from it. I often met him at Crescent City when he came in to deposit his gold dust. McKay took his share of the money and went to Walla Walla, where he went into the stock business. Peter, Andrew and Joe made a lot of money, but the white men soon got it away from them. Andrew, while going from the mine at Sixes River to Port Orford, became confused during a snowstorm, wandered from the trail, and froze to death. His body was not found for some time afterward.
    "The news of the rich diggings on Packwood Creek and Whiskey Run brought hundreds of miners to the Curry County beaches. Within the next few years hundreds of thousands of dollars were rocked out of the beach between Port Orford and the mouth of Rogue River. I have an idea that some of these days they will discover gold farther back on some older beach line along the coast."
Oregon Journal, Portland, September 10, 1919, page 10

By Fred Lockley
    Miners and poker players have a saying, "A fool for luck." If you look up the discoveries of some of our richest mines you will come to the conclusion there must be some truth in the saying.
    William [H.] Packwood, one of the pioneers of Curry County, having come there in the early '50s and also a pioneer of Auburn, Florence and other mining camps in Eastern Oregon and Idaho, some years ago told me of the discovery of many of the rich mines of Southern and Eastern Oregon. He came to Curry County as a member of Troop C, First United States Dragoons. Upon receiving his discharge he ran a pack train for a while, raised stock, engaged in mining and represented Curry County in the state constitutional convention in 1857, of which he was the last surviving member.
    "In 1853, when the rich diggings were discovered on the beach in Curry County," said Mr. Packwood, "Martin Manly, a member of old Troop C, and Jimmy Gordon, another member of our old company, and myself took up claims on the beach above Whiskey Run, and also on the creek just below Randolph. This was the first creek above the Coquille River. A townsite was laid out at Randolph. A man named Soap had a very rich claim on the beach just opposite Randolph.
    "There were no sawmills in the country. We paid from $50 to $100 per 1000 for lumber to build our sluice boxes. The planks were whipsawed out from the Port Orford cedar. I packed my lumber from Port Orford, cutting it in five-foot lengths and taking it in on a pack horse. McNamara, who, with his partners, washed out over $100,000 of gold that season, made his sluice boxes by splitting logs and hewing out the lumber with a broadax.
    "Jimmy Gordon came from the old country. He was a college graduate--Oxford, I think. He was a younger son and had been sent out to America. Having no trade or occupation, he had enlisted in the army. Time after time he was made corporal or sergeant, but was reduced to the ranks for drinking. While he was with me, he straightened up and didn't touch liquor for two years. Having straightened up, he finally decided to go back to his home and people. We gave him his share of the gold dust and he started for the old country. He was going to San Francisco and thence by the Panama route to New York and on across to England. He got no farther than San Francisco. He died there. I never heard any particulars of his death.
    "Late that season, about November, my partner, Martin Manly, went to Port Orford to get supplies. He met there two young fellows from New England. The youngest was 17 and the other 19 years old. They had come out to make their fortune in the mines. The night they got there they spread their blankets under a tree close to where I was sleeping. They were full of excitement about reaching the mines. They talked nearly all night. I was greatly amused at what they were saying. I heard one of them say, 'The first thing we will do is to pay back the $500 we borrowed to buy our tickets to San Francisco.' The other one said, 'As soon as we get $10,000, we will go back home and go into business.' Next morning I showed them how to pan gold and told them all I could about the best places to prospect. They prospected on the beach for several days without success. They went back to Port Orford. Here they fell in with a Mexican who had a fair knowledge of mining and who seemed to take a liking to them. They also met Ben Wright, a well-known pioneer of Coos and Curry counties. Ben Wright and some half-breeds had located claims at Cape Blanco. They would rock out a barrel of black sand, dry it, and with bellows, blow the black sand away. This was a slow process. They became disgusted with their claims and traded them to Captain Tichenor's bull teamster. This teamster didn't care to quit a good job freighting, so he gave the claims to these two boys. There was a gulch just back of their claims. They threw a small dam across it, which retained enough water to work their claims. For a half a mile toward Elk River the beach was completely covered with driftwood.
    "A southwest storm set in, just as the time of full tide. The beach was swept clear of the logs and drift. It also swept the gray sand away, leaving a large deposit of black sand in sight. I passed them at work one day while on my way to Port Orford. They said that if they could wash out enough to make their expenses for the winter, next season they could get a good claim elsewhere. Each week they went into Port Orford and secured credit for a week's provisions. They were good pay, as the following week they would bring in enough gold dust to pay for the week's credit they had received. I used to feel sorry for them, as I remembered their talk about going home as soon as they had made $10,000.
    "One of my old soldier friends, George Abbott, turned up, so we went into partnership in the mercantile business. We put up a store at Johnson Creek to supply the miners with goods. My job was to run the store while George would go to Port Orford with pack horses to get the goods which came from San Francisco by steamer. He got back from one of his trips--this was in the summer of '54--I remember it was the twenty-first of June, because it was the longest day in the year. He said, 'Well, Bill, your Yankee boys who were mining on the beach at Cape Blanco have pulled out for home.' I said, 'Too bad they couldn't make it. Homesick and discouraged, I guess, so home looked pretty good to them.' 'Homesick nothing,' he said. 'I was in Port Orford when they weighed their gold dust. They cashed in for $21,000, sold their claim for $1000, so they had $11,000 apiece for their winter's work. They told me that when the tide had washed the logs and gray sand away, their claims turned out to be rich. They figured it would be a good scheme to let people think they were just about earning their grub. That's why they always got a week's credit for their supplies. They didn't want to have a stampede to their claims.'
    "When these two young Yankees cashed in their winter's work for $21,000 it resulted in a rush to the Cape Blanco beach. The miners worked the beach as far as Elk River."
Oregon Journal, Portland, September 11, 1919, page 12

    "Sixty-five years or so ago there was a stampede of miners from all over the coast to the mines of Jackson County, Oregon, and the beach placers on the Curry County coast," said William Packwood, in telling me of the early-day mining in those districts. "In places the beach was very rich. Heavy storms seem to renew the beach, and the place that has been worked out, after a winter's storms, will frequently pay to rework. The beach just across from Randolph was the richest I have ever seen. They found a back beach there as well as on Sixes River.
    "In June, 1854, a party of miners, while going through to the big bend of the Rogue River, camped on a creek and dug a hole near the trail. A man named Johnson had organized the party. They panned out $95 in coarse gold from that hole. They named the creek Johnson Creek, and Johnson was ever afterward referred to as 'Coarse Gold' Johnson.
    "Abbott and I had about decided to give up the store and go over into the Willamette Valley to go into the cattle business, but when Johnson found coarse gold and lots of it, we changed our plans and decided to stay. Johnson persuaded us to pack what goods we had on hand and come over to the creek he had made the discovery on and start our store there and also take up claims. We followed his advice and did well, for during the summer several hundred men camped along the creek and we carried on a profitable trade.
    "One of the young chaps I met here that I formed a liking for was a man named John Hailey. Later he became a stage contractor and ran the stage between Umatilla and Boise and still later ran stages from Portland to Kelton. He became a delegate to Congress from Idaho and is now state librarian of Idaho. His son, Tom Hailey, became one of Oregon's supreme judges. The first time I met John he was with two other young chaps. They came into our store and told me they wanted to prospect but had no money for supplies. Abbott and I had made a rule by which we would outfit a man for a week, furnish him tools and grub, and if within a week he made nothing he was to bring the tools back, pay the bill if possible, or whatever he could, and it would be all right with us. Sometimes they couldn't pay anything. Frequently they were able to pay the bill in full. The margin of profit was sufficient so that we did not mind losing out occasionally. Strangely enough, in the long run we lost very little, because the men to whom we extended credit would afterwards find a good claim and send the money to us. I fixed up John Hailey and his two friends with a week's supply of grub and they started out. That very day they struck a claim that was good. John came back in that night and paid the bill for their week's supply of grub. They worked that claim all summer. Whenever strangers would come in and want to get hold of nuggets or coarse gold, I would always take them to John Hailey's claim, and John or his partner, Billy Royal, would sell me the nuggets. Royal didn't leave this mining district until 1862. He went from there up to the Auburn mines, near what is now Baker."
Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, October 19, 1919, page 8

By Fred Lockley
    Some of these days someone will discover the famous "Lost Soldier" quartz lode. Some years ago Judge William Packwood of Baker, one of Oregon's pioneer miners, told me how this mine was discovered, and lost. The rich quartz ledge was found by a party of soldiers under Lieutenant Stoneman. They were trying to locate a feasible roadway between Port Orford and Jacksonville. This was in 1852. They became lost in the Coquille Mountains.
    "They ran across the quartz ledge late in August 1852," said Judge Packwood. "They were short of provisions and anxious to strike Cow Creek or Rogue River, so as to find their way out to civilization. Lieutenant Stoneman told them to mark the place so they could come back and find it later. Ross McKenna, my 'buddy,' helped mark the place. He and the other soldiers with him girdled four big pine trees in the form of a square. The trees were about 100 yards apart. They cut blazes on the trees and wrote their names on the freshly cut wood. The enlistment of many of the men in our company expired the following year, in 1853.
     "When I was mustered out of the service, George H. Abbott, one of my fellow soldiers, and myself took a claim on Roland's Prairie. This was in the spring of 1854. My partner, George Abbott, with a man named Miller, decided to look about the country a bit and see what it looked like. They went up the Rogue River, past the Big Meadows, toward Grave Creek, in the Jump-Off Joe country. While they were gone George met two of the soldiers who had been with us when our boys found the rich quartz ledge. These two men, Schlisk and Schnedicker, had a party of about 10 or 12 men with them. The party had started from Jacksonville and for several weeks had been hunting through the mountains from Grave Creek to Jump-Off Joe. Both of these men were careful, reliable men and had been good soldiers, but neither of them was a woodsman or mountaineer, so they failed to find the lost ledge. Most of the soldiers, not being miners, did not attempt to find it.
    "George and I several times thought of going out to locate it, but we were doing pretty well on Rowland's Prairie, and kept putting it off. In 1861 I was running a stock ranch on Enchanted Prairie. That spring someone told me of some prospectors who had found the soldiers' camp, but they had not discovered the quartz ledge. Clint Collins and I decided to locate it. We went about 50 miles and found, not far from Cow Creek, the old camp. Going back to Enchanted Prairie, on the middle fork of the Coquille River, we packed up a week's supply of grub and returned. We struck the old camp, found the girdled trees, one of which had been blown down, and also found the blazes where the names had been written, but they were covered with pitch and had grown over, so we couldn't read them. We found several mule shoes and some brass buckles. We camped there and hunted inside the square formed by the four trees, thoroughly, but failed to find the ledge. We became disgusted and went back to Enchanted Prairie.
    "The next August I happened to be looking down the trail one day when I saw a man who looked very familiar, coming up the trail. It proved to be Manly Martin. We had not met since 1854. As he came up he said, 'Well, Bill, I hear you have located our soldiers' camp.' I said, 'Yes. I found the girdled trees and plenty of other evidence that you had camped there, but I couldn't find any quartz.' He laughed, and said, 'No wonder you couldn't. Take me to the camp and I will show you where the quartz is.' I agreed to do so, and began packing up things for the trip. While I was packing our provisions, Brown, a neighbor of mine, who lived up Sandy Creek several miles, happened to pass. He knew I had been out with Collins in the spring and had found the camp. He was very anxious to go with us. I let him come, and thus lost my chance of being in on the location of the gold-bearing ledge."
Oregon Journal, Portland, October 20, 1919, page 6

By Fred Lockley
    "No, the 'Lost Soldier' ledge is still true to name," said Judge William Packwood to me a few years ago. "It is still lost. I lost my chance of finding it when I let a neighbor go along with me and an old friend of mine, back in 1861. Brown, my neighbor, learned I was going in search of the rich quartz ledge with one of the men who had originally happened on it. He asked if he could go along. I didn't want to offend him, as he was a good neighbor and a good man, so I let him come with us.
    "This was late in August 1861, so the war was a very live issue. Brown was a Northerner and a great admirer of John Brown. He was a dyed-in-the-wool abolitionist. Manly Martin was a Kentuckian and sided with the South. The first night out, the question of the war came up. It was impossible for me to sidetrack it. Brown and Martin almost came to blows over who was going to win the war. I was riding on a mule. Brown had a saddle horse, and the remaining horse we used as a pack horse. Martin did not care to ride. He was a Kentuckian, a mountaineer, and preferred to walk. Martin, who had been with the original party that had discovered the ledge, told me the place where they had found the quartz ledge was on a little flat, where they had stopped to eat lunch. The men were going to blaze the trees there to mark the place, but Lieutenant Stoneman told them the first man who came along would see the blazes and find the ledge. He suggested going a certain distance in a certain direction and marking four trees in the form of a square. In this way, no matter who ran across the blazed trees, they would not know which way to go to find the ledge. So this was done.
    "We reached the camp where the four blazed trees were at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Martin took his rifle and a small prospecting pick and said he would walk about a bit and get his bearings. He told us not to bother to come along, as we could look up the quartz ledge the next day. Martin did not return until long after dark. Next morning when we wanted to hunt for the quartz ledge Martin said he thought we had better go over the Rogue River divide, that he had sort of lost his direction, and he might get on the right track if we went over the divide.
    "After crossing this divide we came to a small creek that ran north into the west fork of Cow Creek. Martin was a natural woodsman, and had remembered a certain maple tree, from marking his initials on it nine years before. His initials, M.M., were still visible on the tree.
    "That evening we camped in a sag on the divide. Martin and Brown went out to get some meat for supper and killed a bear cub. Martin cut some of the meat for himself, and next morning, when Brown and I were ready to go, Martin said: 'Well, goodbye. I have decided not to hunt for that quartz ledge. I am going to strike out for the Rogue River road.' He started off at a good pace. Brown and Martin were so bitter against each other that I hesitated about calling him back, for fear they would get into a wrangle and kill each other. Brown was very angry and wanted to follow Martin. I persuaded him not to. I told him we would take the back track, go back to the marked trees and see if we couldn't track Martin, as I believed he had gone to the lost ledge.
    "We camped that night at 'Soldiers' Camp,' and next morning started out on Martin's track, where he had left the camp for his look around. We found where he had broken branches or cut them with his knife. They took us to the side of the creek. We crossed over this creek to the south side and followed up a small stream that comes in from south side. We found where Martin had followed up a game trail and had reached the summit of the hill. Here, in a depression in the hills, just before you begin the ascent of the mountain, we found a large cedar tree with old blazes on it--three chips taken out of each side of it. I knew we could find this place again, so we decided to see what creek we were on and come back later when we had more provisions. The creek we were on proved to be the west fork of Cow Creek. We followed it down to where it ran into Cow Creek. This was four or five miles distant.
    "Next morning we started back for Enchanted Prairie to get some provisions. Shortly after that some miners passed our place and said they had met Manly at Jacksonville and that he had some rich gold quartz. He organized a party of about a dozen men or so to go with him to the ledge. When they got into the Jump-Off Joe country they found that a second party were following them. This made Manly so angry that he quit the party and went back to Jacksonville. Not long after this I received a letter from Manly. He told me he had gone to the ledge the afternoon he had left Brown and me, and had got some pieces of the quartz, that he had had an assay made, and that it had not been so rich as he expected, as it ran only a little over $200 a ton. He told me that if I had gone with him alone, we would have gone in together on the ledge, but that he couldn't stand Brown, because he was an abolitionist, so he refused to show us the ledge.
    "In the fall of 1861 the mines of Auburn were discovered, and my old partner, George Abbott, wrote me to come up there. I did so, and for the next 30 or 40 years I mined in Eastern Oregon. In the fall of 1914 I went down to West Cow Creek and got a forest ranger to go with me to see if we could find the Lost Soldier ledge. Where Manly and I had crossed the creek an old forest fire had raged. The timber was all down, the logs lay criss-cross in every direction. Underbrush had grown up until it was almost impossible to make your way through it. When we got to the lower edge of the flat we found there had been a cloudburst some years ago and the ground was covered with slate rock.
    "Some of these days, when that country is looked over and the underbrush burned off, someone will strike the Lost Soldier ledge, and will make a fortune. The country all around there is of slate and porphyry formation. Some deer hunter or fisherman some of these days will stumble upon this ledge, for the quartz is there, and it is seamed with gold."
Oregon Journal, Portland, October 21, 1919, page 12

By Fred Lockley
    When you have once felt the lure of the yellow metal it is hard to break away from the mining game. William Packwood, the last surviving member of the state constitutional convention held at Salem in 1857, who died recently at Baker, is a good illustration of this truth. When he was a young man, in the early '50s, he struck it rich in beach mining on the Curry County coast. Later in the '60s he was at Auburn and some of the other Eastern Oregon mining camps. When I saw him, a year or so ago, at which time he was more than 80, he was telling me, with the greatest enthusiasm, about some rich ground he had discovered on Burnt River, which he was going to work shortly. At that time he told me the history of the discovery of gold on Sixes River, in Curry County.
    "In 1856," said Judge Packwood, "I was in Empire City, on Coos Bay, fixing up the papers and records for S. S. Mann, the quartermaster, and F. B. White, who was in the commissary department. The Rogue River war of 1855 and 1856 was just over, and the records had to be made up. I was anxious to trace up a rumor I had heard of gold being found on Sixes River, so I took in as a partner H. W. Sanford, a man who had served with me in Captain Harris' company. I told him to go and prospect some beach claims near the mouth of Sixes River, where several years before I had found colors.
    "After completing the records and forwarding the papers to the Secretary of State at Salem, I joined Sanford, and we did a little prospecting at the mouth of the Sixes River. The beach, however, was so covered with rock, and the heavy storms had deposited so much gray sand on the black sand that we could do but little prospecting.
    "While we were there, Mr. Dodge, who lived at the mouth of the Sixes River at the time, told us that Humpy Johnson and Jake Somers, with a couple of other men, had gone up the river prospecting and were long overdue, and he was afraid something had happened to them. I figured that what was keeping them was they had probably struck rich ground. I told my partner we would go up to Lount's place on Elk River and camp there until Jake and Humpy came in or until they were definitely given up for lost. We had been there only a few days when, one evening just at dark, Jake and Humpy and their partners rode in.
    "After supper we all talked around the campfire for an hour or so. Before going to bed Jake made me the high sign to follow him. Jake had spread his blankets in a deserted log cabin. There was only a small window in the cabin, which Jake covered with a sack so no light could be seen from outside. He lit a piece of pitch pine wood and pulling out a buckskin bag, poured out on a tin plate a lot of coarse gold dust. There was between $800 and $900 in dust. He said, 'I rocked this out in three weeks. We took up eight river and bar claims. We are trying to keep the diggings secret until next spring.' He gave me the exact location and told me I had better go in quietly and stake a claim at once.
    "I decided to go in to Port Orford next day with my pack horse, get a winter's supply of provisions, and give out the impression that I was going to Coquille for the winter. Then I would go to Jake Somers' place up on Sixes River, which is about six miles from Port Orford. They call this place Zumwalt's now. Jake gave me explicit directions how to find the rich claims. He told me to take a divide leading between Floras Creek and Sixes River, and follow this divide until I came to a bald prairie on the south and east side of the divide. When I came to a very large spruce tree, which was about 200 yards from the top of the divide, to go down the hill and I would find his camp. He agreed to meet me there and put me onto a good claim.
    "I went to Port Orford as agreed, and secured my winter's supplies; but everyone in Port Orford seemed to smell a rat. Word had come that Jake Somers and his company had come in for the winter, and it was generally believed that they had struck rich diggings. Next day I struck out for our agreed meeting place. I found the big spruce tree and soon struck Jake's camp. I knew it by the litter lying around. Just before we camped we met Doc Lowe and his brother. They afterward settled on the Coquille River, about 10 miles from Bandon. They had wandered off the trail, having lost the Port Orford trail, which went by way of Floras Creek. They asked me to direct them to Port Orford. I told them to follow our tracks, as we had come directly from Port Orford, that by following our tracks they would come to Sixes River, and from there on there was a good trail into Port Orford.
    "When Doc Lowe and his brother got to Port Orford they told about meeting us on the divide. It was dusk when they struck Port Orford, but every able-bodied man in Port Orford stampeded on our trail. They carried lanterns to trail us. Just at daylight, when Sanford and I had eaten our breakfast and had the horses packed ready to leave, we heard a yell and saw a man named Riley and about 75 other men charging down the side of the divide toward our camp. A few minutes later Jake Somers joined us as agreed, so there was nothing for it but to let these men in on the find.
    "I have never witnessed a more interesting stampede. It was about three or four miles to the diggings. The whole crowd kept pushing ahead, trying to beat the others in so as to get good claims. I threw the packs off our horses and told Sanford to make the best speed he could and locate the first claim he came to. Meanwhile, Somers and I let the crowd get ahead, while we went to a bar about a mile below their claims. Before noon every claim on the creek had been located. None of the men had blankets and few had anything to eat. That night they sat around big fires to keep warm, while some of the party went to Port Orford to secure grub.
    "I never have understood how news of a gold discovery can travel as fast as it does. Make a rich strike, hundreds of miles from any other camp, and within a week you will find men coming in from all directions as though the news had been sent out by wireless.
    "Yes, it's a fascinating game. It's the uncertainty of never knowing whether you are going to make a mere grubstake or come out a millionaire that makes a man stay with the game."
Oregon Journal, Portland, October 22, 1919, page 10

    "We moved to Port Orford in 1850. Two years later Father took up a place on which the town of Langlois was later built. Trouble with the Indians was brewing in 1853. It became acute in January, 1854. A meeting of the miners was held at Coquille Ferry in January, 1854, at which time the miners decided that the threatening manner of the Indians amounted to a declaration of war on their part. George H. Abbott, a partner of William H. Packwood, the last surviving member of the state constitutional convention, reported he had sent word to the chief of the Indians demanding that he come in at once and give an explanation why the Indians were acting in a surly and unfriendly manner. He said the chief had sent word back that he had no explanation to make and he didn't care to come in, that he didn't like the white men, and that they could cut his heart out and wash it thoroughly, but they couldn't wash away his feeling of unfriendliness toward the whites.
    "At the miners' meeting George H. Abbott was elected captain, A. F. Soap first lieutenant, and William H. Packwood second lieutenant, and it was resolved to attack the Indians, so they would be more friendly. They attacked the Indians in their camp, surprising them, killing 16 and wounding four. They captured 20 of the older Indians, including women and children. They burned their houses and destroyed their canoes and stores. This did not have the desired effect; it didn't make the Indians feel any more friendly toward the whites. A. F. Miller, who ran a ferry and saloon on the Chetco River, with some men who were at his place one night, decided to impress the red men with the white men's superiority, so they decided to burn down the Indian houses on the north side of the river. The Indians resisted, and three of the Indians were killed. This was in February, 1854. My father had started with a load of freight, consisting of bacon and potatoes, to the Randolph mines. A runner came and warned us that the Indians were on the warpath. The runner overtook my father on the beach and told him the Indians were on the warpath, so Father returned at once."
Frank M. Langlois
quoted by Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, June 28, 1927, page 12

    The town of Auburn was started in June, 1862. On June 13 William H. Packwood, one of the members of the state constitutional convention and who lived to be the last surviving member, with Ed Cranston, George Hall and some others, held a meeting and decided to lay out a town and call it Auburn. On June 14, 1862, the first street was located, from Freeze-out Gulch to Blue Canyon. Building lots were measured off, and at once they began putting up log cabins. A week later, or to be exact, on June 20, a miners' meeting was called to elect a recorder for the mining district. A president was elected for the miners' meeting and William H. Packwood and J. E. Brainerd were nominated as candidates for recorder. The president of the meeting said: "Packwood, stand on that log, so we can see you. Brainerd, you stand on that log to the left of Packwood." He then said: "Now boys, all who are in favor of Packwood for recorder, go over and stand near Packwood. Those who want Brainerd for recorder, gather around him." An Oregonian called out, "Come on, you Webfoots; Packwood is our candidate." The Californians called out, "Come on, you Tarheads; gather around our Tarhead candidate." It was found that Brainerd had a slight majority, so he became recorder. Brainerd recorded the first claim on June 23, and between that date and May 6, 1863, he recorded 1291 claims in the Blue Canyon district. Early in September, at a miners' meeting, O. H. Kirkpatrick was appointed a member of the legislature from the proposed new county of Baker. He went to Salem, but his election was so irregular that he was not admitted, but he succeeded in having an act passed incorporating the city of Auburn.
Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, December 10, 1927, page 4

Colville and Randolph City Miners 74 Years Ago Attack
Sleeping Red Men in Settlement on Coquille River.

    MARSHFIELD, Or., Jan. 28.--(Special.)--Seventy-four years ago on the morning of January 28, 1854, 40 miners from the Colville or Randolph City mines, seven miles north of what is now Bandon, at the mouth of the Coquille River, led by George H. Abbott, raided three Indian settlements on the river, which had all told 75 persons, including the children, and devastated the district. The Indians were taken unawares, and when the massacre was over, 15 males and one adult female were dead.
    Mr. Abbott's report to F. M. Smith, sub-agent at Port Orford, the next day, said: "The Indians are sitting about the ruins of their smoldering homes." Mr. Abbott signed the report as "captain commanding Coos County volunteers."
    That incident of early days, termed "murder" by Sub-Agent Smith, was the subject of a dispute which was never settled in the minds of fair-minded people, for the miners submitted evidence of varied aggravations which the Indians had perpetrated upon the persons and the property of the miners, while Chief John, badly wounded in the massacre, stoutly maintained there had been no offense by the Indians which warranted anything more than a powwow and a definite understanding between the tribe and the whites.
Mines Attract Tough Characters.
    To this day there are those who look upon the incident as one of the blackest crimes ever committed in Oregon under the guise of plausible excuse. The mines in those days were peopled by admitted tough characters, and there was, on the other hand, a claim that the miners, who numbered about 250, with 50 or more whites residing in the vicinity, were not aware whether the Indians had in their tribe that many warriors or several times that many, and whether or not they could not call in other tribes to aid in wiping out the whites.
    Numbered among those who participated in the massacre and who signed subsequent documents relating to the affair were the following: George H. Abbott, leader and general spokesman; A. F. Soap, chairman of secret meetings held prior to and after the massacre; William Packwood, secretary; John Grolonis, a witness; B. J. Bell, J. E. McClure, B. J. Burns, W. J. Berry and J. C. Danford, a committee appointed to seek aid from the United States military station at Port Orford, and who made a special report to Sub-Agent Smith, following the massacre. There were also X. E. Scott and J. B. O'Meally, chairman and secretary of several meetings held to consider the Indian situation; John A. Pension was a witness who swore to incidents of Indian insolence. William Whike was another who was conversant with troubles from the Indians.
    In substantiation of reasons for their attack upon the Indians, four reports were made by the executives of the whites' councils, and among the complaints enumerated were: Indian riding white man's horse without permission; the Indians swore at them in English; the Indians did not want them about their settlements; an Indian shot at a crowd of whites who were standing near the ferry house; the Indians cut the rope holding the ferryboat; they had shot across the river at whites; they had committed thefts from houses; that, on being invited in to discuss affairs, Chief John had sent back an insolent reply and said he would kill any white man who approached his encampment. Various other sins were laid at the doors of the Indians.
    A rather significant outcome of the massacre was contained in Captain Abbott's report made to Sub-Agent Smith the day of the massacre, January 28, 1854: "I almost forgot to say that our loss was none, either in killed, wounded or prisoners."
Sleeping Indians Attacked.
    Farcical, almost, was a portion of his report: "And I can say, to the credit of both officers and men, that they behaved like soldiers and avoided innocent bloodshed as much as possible." They had attacked the three Indian settlements at daylight, when the unsuspecting Indians were sleeping.
    The whites had accused the Indians of storing arms and munitions, preparatory to an attack upon the miners. Sub-Agent Smith's report of the subsequent investigation showed the ludicrousness of this claim. There were but five powder-and-ball arms in possession of the natives, and two of these were unserviceable. Although the whites, to make their claims good, afterwards said the arms had been destroyed in the fires which burned all but a single hut, a search of the ashes and ruins disclosed no signs of firearms, and the miners' statements regarding preparation by the Indians were found incorrect.
    Sub-Agent Smith, who reported to Joel Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Territory of Oregon, at Dayton, February 5 following the massacre, found a woeful state of affairs in connection with the prior and subsequent activities of the so-called Coos County volunteers.
    January 27 the word went out for a gathering of whites at the ferry, which was on the south side of the river, and 40 men responded to the invitation. The vigilance committee had prepared a report of the situation to be sent to Sub-Agent Smith, asking him to forward them soldiers from Port Orford to help protect the whites. This was prepared, or at least signed, January 27, but the report was enclosed to Smith afterwards, following the scenes of the morning of the 28th, it having been decided at the meeting of the day before that it was not policy to wait for orders from Port Orford, only 28 miles away, and so the slaughter took place before any aid had been requested.
    On being informed of what had taken place, Sub-Agent Smith proceeded to the scene, finding the Indians dispersed and in hiding, fearful of further atrocities by the whites, although a truce had been arranged the day following the carnage. Chilliman, an Indian, was used as interpreter both by the miners and Mr. Smith. Through his offices, Chief John and others were induced to come in and discuss affairs. They were not inclined to make any complaint, but on promise of protection from the government, the details of the massacre and the charges lodged against the Indians were learned and discussed.
    The Indians were ready to make peace at any price and remove from the "homes of their forefathers," if Mr. Smith [so] advised. Chief John was interested in the safety of his people, and only consented to talk when he had been assured that there would be peace in the future.
Shot Fired at Duck.
    Chief John had been accused of shooting across the river at the white once only, but he explained this incident by saying he had shot at a duck and was not aware there were any whites in the vicinity. He denied firing at men at the ferry house. One of the miners corroborated the chief's statement he had shot at a duck.
    None of the Indians had shot at men standing near the ferry house, they all declared. Chief John had not sent insolent replies to the miners when they desired a conference, but he admitted that some of the tribe had done so. The Indians admitted they did not want the whites in their country, and incidents of theft were owned to, and they had ridden the miners' horses without permission.
    Mr. Smith reported at great length to Joel Palmer, who forwarded the voluminous report to the Department of the Interior on March 11, 1854.
Indians Have Few Arms.
    There was an opera bouffe element in the proceedings of that immediate situation--if it were not remembered how the Indians were slaughtered. The miners, several times the strength of the Indians, had called for help from the military post at Port Orford. Sub-Agent Smith, in reporting, said there were only four soldiers at the fort. The miners had claimed the Indians were possessed of a regular arsenal, when they had but five arms, and the miners themselves had but 14 serviceable rifles and shotguns and 11 pistols, making 25 arms in all.
    At the meeting of the miners of January 28, held after the morning surprise, measures were adopted to prevent the Indians from obtaining arms, and it was resolved: "That if any person or persons sell, barter, or in any way dispose of any gun, rifle, pistol, carbine or other firearms, or any powder, lead, caps or other ammunition, to any Indian or Indians, such person or persons so offending shall be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanor, and shall receive for the first offense 30 lashes upon the bare back, and for the second offense shall suffer death."
Rough Element Intimidates.
    The organization could really be termed nothing more than a vigilance committee, for there were no law enforcement officers in this part of the state at the time, as Sub-Agent Smith set out in his reports when he said there was no way to punish the lawless whites, as there was no justice of the peace in the area, and men who abhorred the massacre were afraid to come into the open and make a stand for decency.
    Only the military could be invoked in case of strife or lawlessness, and four soldiers would not have made much of an impression on the rough mining element which was the majority of inhabitants at the time.
Oregonian, Portland, January 29, 1928, page 8  Read official correspondence concerning the massacre on this and subsequent pages.

By Fred Lockley
    William Packwood [a different one] crossed the plains to Oregon in 1844. He and his family started in General Cornelius Gilliam's company. Later they joined the wagon train of which Captain Ford was captain. One of William Packwood's daughters, Mrs. Esther Chambers, in telling about their trip some years ago, said:
    "I was only 6 years old when we crossed the plains, but I remember the good times we children used to have in camp. It is curious how certain incidents of the trip stand out in a child's mind. I remember cutting my finger with a jackknife, and I remember the Stevens boy biting me in the shoulder. His father, a few days later, couldn't get the oxen to go across the stream, so he tied a rope around the cow's horn, tying the other end of the rope around his waist. He thought if he led the cow over, the oxen would follow. The current was so swift that the cow lost her footing and was washed down into deep water, dragging Mr. Stevens with her. Someone ran to Mrs. Stevens and said, 'Your husband is drowning!' Mrs. Stevens looked up very calmly and said, 'Well, what of it? There are plenty more men where he came from!' Mr. Stevens, however, didn't drown. He and the cow lodged in a pile of driftwood and the men pulled them out.
    "One day we stopped our wagon train to let a big band of buffaloes go by. Some of the men went out to kill some buffaloes, and part of the herd was separated and ran right through our wagon train. One of the buffaloes ran between our wheel oxen and the wagon, and nearly scared our oxen to death. The men killed three of the buffaloes as they were running through our wagon train, so we stopped and the men cut them up and we had plenty of meat to eat for the next day or two.
    "I never will forget how beautiful the Grande Ronde Valley looked after traveling for months through sagebrush and alkali brush. The Indians traded us dried salmon and camas. After we crossed the Blue Mountains they wanted to sell us a lot of crickets that they had dried and pressed into cakes, but we didn't much hanker for dried cricket soup, so we didn't buy any. At The Dalles we traded some of our worn-out oxen to the Rev. Mr. Brewer and the Rev. Waller, the Methodist missionaries there. They furnished us some coarse flour, which they had ground in a hand mill.
    "I remember how deep the mud was when we went around the portage of the Cascades. I and the other children kept falling down on the trail in the mud until we looked like little pigs that had been wallowing in a pigsty. My father drove the cattle down the trail. He ran out of supplies and killed a crow and ate it. He saw a boat coming down the river and hailed it to get some provisions, and it happened to be the boat we were on.  My mother's health had been poor when we started from Missouri, but by the time we had got to The Dalles she was fat and hearty. The six days it took us to go from The Dalles to Vancouver we were wet most of the time. We would crawl into our wet bedclothes, and at first they were awfully cold, because they were so wet, but pretty soon the heat of our bodies would warm them and we kept nice and cozy in spite of the wet bedclothes and rain.
    "When we went up the river to Portland we found four or five log cabins there and a little store. We stopped there a few days and dried out our bedclothes and our clothing. We moved out to Tualatin Plains. It was too late to build a cabin, so we moved into a barn where three other families were living. Each family had one corner of the barn and used the fire in the center of the barn in common. When we finally got to our journey's end, in what is now Washington County, father had only 25 cents. He got a job working on Mr. Buxton's farm. Mr. Buxton had come down from the Red River settlement. Mr. Buxton furnished Father wheat, peas and potatoes for splitting rails. Before long we met some of the settlers around there--General M. M. McCarver, who later founded the town of Tacoma; Mr. Williams, Mr. Buxton and a man named Zacharias.
    "In the spring of 1845 Father took up a donation land claim in Yamhill County about two miles from the Willamette River. A Canadian put up a mill near us and ground the wheat into grit, something like chopped wheat. My father put up a lathe and made kitchen chairs. My mother braided straw and she and we children made straw hats, so by selling the chairs Father made and the straw hats Mother made we got a little money.
    "In the winter of 1846 Father put in all the spare time he had making two big dugouts out of two large trees. He lashed them together and put planks across them and made a sort of houseboat. Father put all of our goods on this raft, went down the Willamette to its mouth, and then on the Columbia to the mouth of the Cowlitz. He and the other men had to wade in the Cowlitz and tow our raft over the rapids. We stayed a few days at the Cowlitz landing. While we were camped my father and the menfolks went back to Yamhill County to get our stock. We finally got to Puget Sound. Father took up a place on Nisqually bottom, later known as the Isaac Hawk place. Father and a neighbor of ours, Mr. McAllister, went to work for Dr. Tolmie breaking up the boiler of an old steamboat in exchange for groceries and clothing. Later Father made butter firkins for Dr. Tolmie and also got out shingles for him. In 1850 we started by wagon and went back to Yamhill County, and from there went on to Sacramento City, where we live two years, and then came up north again.
Oregon Journal, Portland, September 5, 1929, page 4  An apparently unrelated William Packwood.

    Some years ago when I interviewed Judge William H. Packwood, the last surviving member of the state constitutional convention, held at Salem in 1857, he said:
    "When I was a young man I knew a botanical doctor who notified his friends and neighbors that he was going to eat a tomato. I and others went to his home to see him perform this dangerous feat. Tomatoes were considered poisonous. They were used only for ornaments. People called them 'love apples,' and put them on the upper shelf of a whatnot in the parlor or on the mantel over the fireplace as ornaments. We watched this doctor for half an hour after he had eaten the tomato, expecting to see him go into convulsions or show some other sign that he was poisoned. He claimed that the tomato tasted rather odd, but not bad, and tried to persuade some of those of us who were looking on to taste one."

Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man,"
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 3, 1931, page 4

    "By [1864] Sparta had two stores. Stonenberg & Abrams owned one and Smalley & Pope the other. About that time Crawford & Gilbert also had a store there, and William H. Packwood had a boarding house which they ran until the fall of 1867. The Packwood boys furnished music for the dances."
Interview with Henry S. Daly. Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, January 16, 1931, page 6

    Many years ago I interviewed Mrs. William Packwood, at Baker. Her husband, Judge Packwood, was the last surviving member of the state constitutional convention. At this convention he represented the Coos and Curry County district. Mr. Packwood gave a settler named Scott some fruit trees in the spring of 1865. Scott planted these on his ranch at Burnt River, and, by the way, this was the first orchard in Baker County. In 1867 the Scotts invited Judge and Mrs. Packwood to come to their ranch and eat some peaches raised on one of these trees. Mr. and Mrs. Scott, while returning from Rye Valley a few weeks later, on September 1, 1867, were attacked by Indians. He fell at the first fire. His wife, though herself badly wounded, took the lines, whipped the horses to a run and arrived at home. Mr. Scott lived only a few minutes after reaching home, and Mrs. Scott died a few hours later. Mrs. Packwood told me that two days after the Scotts were killed, a man rode up to her house and asked her to help him get off his horse. She helped him off the horse and helped him into the house. He said his name was Folger and that the Indians has shot him through the hips while he was riding along the train from Mormon Basin to the ferry. He died in Mrs. Packwood's house.  
Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, April 29, 1932, page 6

By Fred Lockley
    There were two William Packwoods, pioneers of the Oregon country. One was Judge William H. Packwood of Baker County, the last surviving member of the Oregon state constitutional convention. The other William Packwood crossed the plains in 1844 in the wagon train of which General Cornelius Gilliam was captain. They joined Captain Nathaniel Ford's company, so that there were over 60 wagons in the train. Esther Chambers, whose maiden name was Packwood, gives a graphic description of their trip across the plains.
    While fording a river, the cattle became frightened at some Indians on the bank and tipped the wagon over. The children were as much frightened by the Indians as by being in the water, so they hung on the wagon bed and had to be carried ashore.
    A man named Stephens tied a rope around the horns of a cow and the other end around his waist, planning to swim across, thinking that if he led the cow over, the rest of the cattle would follow. The current was swift and washed both Stephens and the cow downstream. Someone ran to Mrs. Stephens and said, "Your husband is drowned.” She kept perfectly calm and said, "There are as good fish in the sea as ever were caught, and there are plenty more men where Mr. Stephens came from.”
    Snow fell on them in the Blue Mountains. When they saw the Grande Ronde Valley they thought they had struck paradise. They traded worn-out clothes to the Indians for dried salmon and camas cakes, but refused the cakes made of dried crickets, which the Indians recommended highly. At The Dalles they traded some travel-worn oxen for flour ground in a hand mill. They went in flatboats to Vancouver, camped a few days at Portland and then moved out to Tualatin Plains, where they occupied a barn with three other families. Packwood worked for Mr. Buxton, making rails, taking pay in wheat, peas and potatoes. They used to visit General M. M. McCarver, who furnished them turnips and greens without charge.
    In the spring of 1845 Packwood took up a donation land claim in West Yamhill. Packwood kept the family supplied with deer meat. A Canadian put up a small chop mill nearby and chopped wheat, which they used for bread and mush. Packwood made a turning lathe and made chairs, which he sold. Mrs. Packwood braided straw and made and sold straw hats.
    In 1847 Packwood made two dugouts, lashed them together, put split cedar boards over them and started down the river. They rowed the raft down the Willamette and thence on the Columbia to the mouth of the Cowlitz. At Cowlitz Landing the women and children stayed while the men went back for the cattle. Packwood took up a place on Bush Prairie.
    James McAllister, who was later killed in the Indian war of 1856, and Packwood worked for Dr. Tolmie, breaking up an old boiler. Later Packwood made shakes for Dr. Tolmie and started a cooper shop, making tubs and firkins for settlers.
     In 1849 Packwood went to California. In 1850 his family started in the wagon in which they had crossed the plains. They joined other settlers in Yamhill County, until there were about 30 wagons. It took them a little over two months to reach Sacramento. In 1852 Packwood with his family came back to the Nisqually bottom, in Washington.
    Esther Packwood married G. W. T. Allen, April 30, 1854. They lived on Whidbey Island. On July 7, 1863, she married McLain Chambers. She had four children by her first husband and nine by her second. Chambers served in the Indian war of 1855-56.
    Dr. Tolmie, according to Mrs. Chambers, was very much respected by the settlers. During the Indian wars of 1855-56 he sent wagons to the settlers' homes to take them to the fort for safety.
    Mrs. Chambers, who was Mrs. Allen at the time, was living on Whidbey Island when Indians from Fort Simpson, B.C., came down and killed Colonel I. N. Ebey. George Carliss and his wife climbed out of the window and escaped. Next day the Indians came to Mrs. Allen's home, telling her in jargon that they had come to kill her. After some parley with the chief, the Indians left.
    Many of Mrs. Chambers' children and grandchildren now live on Chambers Prairie and elsewhere in Washington.
Oregon Journal, Portland, July 19, 1933, page 6

Last revised December 10, 2023