I.O.O.F.--AMERICAN LODGE NO. 170. The officers and members are hereby notified that the Lodge will open at 7:15 o'clock, precisely, TUESDAY EVENING, December 14, for work, after which the degree of Rebekah. By order of the Lodge.
MAX PRACHT, Rec. Sec'y."Notices," Cincinnati Commercial, December 14, 1869, page 5
GO ON, MR. PRACHT.To the Editor of the Examiner--SIR: Max Pracht has made another contribution to the literature of the anti-monopoly campaign, and his last effort is equal to his first production, which we reviewed some time ago. We want him to keep up his lick, for the letters he writes are good arguments on our side of the house. They show how a merchant, when bound hand and foot by a special contract with the monopoly, can lose sight of the interest and welfare of the state in which he lives, and which protects him in the enjoyment of his life and his property. What matters it to him that every industry of our state is crushed beneath the wheels of the Central Pacific juggernaut? He has a "special contract," by which he is enabled to import his twines over the Southern Pacific at one-third of what it would cost anyone else to bring them here by rail without special contract, and he is ready to throw up his hat and cry, "Great is the Central and Southern Pacific, and Stubbs is its prophet." This letter of Mr. Pracht's reveals the whole deformity and corrupting influence of the infamous "special contract" system--a system which destroys every vestige of brotherly love and human sympathy and builds up a favored class on the ruins of an entire community. This letter shows how a man can slavishly worship the enemies of our prosperity and look calmly on at the ruin of our industries when he has got a "good thing" in the shape of reduced and special rates. Mr. Pracht says he doesn't know Mr. Stubbs. This is really unfortunate for both parties. From the tone of Mr. Pracht's first communication we had supposed the most intimate friendly relations existed between the two parties--that they were high-joints, so to speak. Mr. Stubbs' private organ, the Railroad Union (circulation 2,572 copies) patted Mr. Pracht most encouragingly on the back on the appearance of his maiden effort, and really referred to him in such a manner as to make a man up a tree think that Mr. Pracht was one of the happy family located at the corner of Fourth and Townsend streets. But if it be the fact, and we cannot dispute it in the face of Mr. Pracht's assertions, that those two great and noble minds have never yet commingled, we would offer a suggestion tending towards bringing them together. As Mr. Pracht holds a special contract, by the terms of which he is not to ship goods by sea to San Francisco without incurring the displeasure and reproof of the railroad company, just let him buy a few bags of twine at New York City and send them to San Francisco by clipper. He can bet his existence that Mr. Stubbs will find it out before the shores of Sandy Hook have sunk behind the vessel's wake, for the Central Pacific has its spies on every wharf in New York to find out what merchants are violating the "special contracts," and that Mr. Stubbs will soon be around at Mr. Pracht's bag-depot wanting an explanation. This would give Mr. Pracht the long-desired opportunity to make the acquaintsnce of the mighty and puissant railroad official. We throw the suggestion out for what it is worth. We can imagine their meeting.
A Correspondent Who Wants the Epistolary Efforts to Continue.
Says Mr. Stubbs to Mr. Pracht:
"We'd like to know if 'tis a fact
That you have shipped some goods by sea?"
Says Mr. Pracht to Mr. Stubbs:
"Your question me severely rubs,
But confess; have mercy, Stubbs, on me."
Mr. Pracht says Mr. Stubbs has carefully guarded "the interests of his patrons." Now, here's richness, indeed. Stubbs' guarding care reminds us of the Apaches and old Pegleg Smith. Smith had a cattle ranch in the Apache country in Arizona, in a locality where Indian raids were of almost daily occurrence. The Apaches, however, never cleaned him out entirely. They would raid and carry off some animals but always left enough to stock the ranch, knowing that Pegleg would stick to the business as long as he had a hoof to breed from. The Apaches kept off other Indian tribes and effectually showed their guarding care for Pegleg. Mr. Stubbs throws the same kind of mantle around his special rate patrons. He leaves them something, but woe to the man who hasn't got a special contract. The railroad figures up what profit the unfortunate shipper expects to make, and coolly takes that profit by adding it to the freight charges, until the shipper is in the position of the Arizona miner who shipped some rich ore to a capitalist in San Francisco with a request that the ore be treated and the net results returned to him. The capitalist sent back the empty ore sacks!
We hope Mr. Pracht will let us hear from him again. If he don't feel inclined to write anymore, we shall miss him from the columns of your paper, and if he retires into seclusion and bags his head in one of his pet San Quentin sacks, we will bow to the inevitable and write his epitaph as follows:
Beneath this pile of moldering sacks
Lies, cold and dead, the form of Max.
He grew too fat on Stubbs' freights;
Alas, he died of "special rates."
San Francisco, August 18, 1882.
San Francisco Examiner, August 20, 1882, page 5
List of passengers per Cunard Line steamship Servia, from New York to Liverpool, sailed November 8th: . . . Max Pracht.
"Maritime," American Register, London, England, November 25, 1882, page 1
SAN FRANCISCO, April 20.--Articles of incorporation for the Alaska Salmon Packing and Fur Company were filed with the county clerk this afternoon. The objects of the corporation are catching, canning, salting, smoking and otherwise preparing fish for market, trading in hides, furs, provisions and dry goods, dealing in lumber and merchandise at Naha Lake and harbor, Alaska, and generally engaging in commercial business. The capital stock is $1,000,000, divided into 50,000 shares of $20 each. The trustees, who subscribed for 100 shares of stock each, are as follows: David Wilder, Jas. Green, Max Pracht, I. H. Hopkins, and F. Baehr.
"California," Daily Colonist, Victoria, British Columbia, April 22, 1883, page 4
Max Pracht, the well-known Alaska trader, has blossomed out into a real estate agent in Ashland, Or.
"Pickings," Puget Sound Weekly Argus, Port Townsen, Washington, January 31, 1889, page 1
Max Pracht, of this city, who spent a number of years in Alaska as manager of a fishing and canning establishment, has been appointed U.S. collector of customs at Sitka, and we shall miss for a time at least his familiar and successful efforts at booming real estate and selling town lots in Ashland. Max went to Washington after that office, and "it's hisn." He was acquainted with the fact that in these degenerate days the offices don't go about the country seeking the man who hides in his rural retreat to escape it. Max advertised Ashland and himself in the inaugural procession and otherwise, and didn't try to dodge the appointment by any means. He is well informed in regard to affairs in Alaska, and the appointment is a good one. His Ashland friends congratulate him on his success.
"Personal," Ashland Tidings, April 19, 1889, page 3
Max Pracht, of Ashland, O., recently appointed collector of customs for the district of Alaska, is in San Francisco. He states that he called on nearly all the leading cannery men of San Francisco having interests in Alaska and conferred with them in regard to enforcement of the new law concerning the barricading of Alaskan rivers for the purpose of taking salmon. They all promised Pracht that the obstructions would be taken down immediately and not replaced.
"Condensed Dispatches," Daily Colonist, Victoria, British Columbia, April 27, 1889, page 4
Max Pracht, the newly appointed Collector of Customs for Alaska, went North on the Ancon Tuesday night. He appointed Edward H. Brown, of Port Townsend, special deputy at Sitka, and J. Crit Tolman, of Ashland, Or., deputy at Kodiak.
"Territorial Happenings," Washington Standard, Olympia, Washington, May 17, 1889, page 3
Crit. Tolman has departed for Alaska, to assume the office of deputy collector at Kodiak under Collector Pracht. Mrs. Tolman will follow her husband in a short time.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 30, 1889, page 3
Max Pracht, Alaska's new Collector of Customs, has arrived from Ashland, Oregon. He took the oath of office on May 24 and immediately appointed Edward H. Brown his deputy. Brown served in that capacity here from 1881 until 1887 and has recently been a special deputy Collector at Port Townsend, Washington Territory. Pracht is no stranger to Alaska and for some years was associated with the fishery establishment at Loring on Naha Bay.
Robert N. DeArmond, "News Notes from Sitka's Past" (from the Sitka Alaskan of May and June 1889), Daily Sitka Sentinel, Sitka, Alaska, February 23, 1989, page 5
Reporter: You are, no doubt, aware that these recommendations have been made to the Departments before. How is it that they resulted in nothing?
Collector [Pracht]: As a rule such recommendations are not always acted upon
at Washington unless followed up by Congressional action. . . . It is my purpose to do my best to have the money voted . . . .
"100 Years Ago" (from the Sitka Alaskan of June 1889), Daily Sitka Sentinel, Sitka, Alaska, June 14, 1989, page 11
On Monday Collector of Customs Max Pracht entered Otto Nelson's saloon and found several bottles containing whiskey and wine. They were seized. Pracht then asked Nelson to open a locked door. Nelson refused. Pracht got a search warrant, swore in John and Ed Haley and Pete Trierschield as deputy Collectors, and forced
the door. In the room behind the door he found some 40 gallons of whiskey and brandy and this was also seized and is now in the seizure room at the Custom House.
Robert N. DeArmond, "News Notes from Sitka's Past" (from the Sitka Alaskan of September 1889), Daily Sitka Sentinel, Sitka, Alaska, March 16, 1989, page 4
MAX PRACHT'S CRUSADEPORT TOWNSEND, W., Oct. 1 .--Four miners have arrived from Forty-Mile Creek, Yukon River, Alaska, via St. Michael's Island and Ounalaska, and report that 800 miners on upper Yukon, 1600 miles from any settlement, are in a destitute condition, without available means of relieving their wants. The newly built steamer Arctic, which was laden with supplies for them, was wrecked a few hours after leaving St. Michaels.
Against Smugglers of Oily Liquors
Inaugurates an Era of Reform Throughout Alaska.
Much Suffering Among Upper Yukon Miners.
The old steamer Yukon was dispatched with 20 tons of provisions, all she could carry, but it is very doubtful if she can reach the miners in time.
Advices from other parts of Alaska say the new customs officials are beginning to make it very lively for the contraband liquor trade. All importation of liquors from any place in the United States or from foreign countries is prohibited, except under certain definite regulations prescribed by the President, but these regulations have been ignored, and it is the easiest thing in the world to get a custom home permit. Besides that, hundreds of gallons of the oiliest whiskey in the world were smuggled in by steamers and otherwise.
The new collector of customs, Max Pracht, has begun a lively war against smugglers of liquors. He suspected that about $500 worth of liquors had been
landed from the steamer three weeks ago, and that they were concealed in a bedroom belonging to a saloon keeper. Under the act of Congress of April 24,
1882, he made written complaint to the United States District Judge, John H. Keatley, and asked for a search warrant. The owners of the building fell back on their asserted rights as American citizens and the Declaration of Independence etc., but the collector of customs burst the door open and found about $1000 worth of whiskey that had been landed without a permit. It is now in the courts on its way to legal confiscation, but this is the smallest part of the affair.
It has made a flutter all over Alaska, because it indicates that a new era has begun, and that the white people of Alaska are not to be exposed to the perils of illegitimate selling of intoxicating liquors to the Indians--barbarians and beasts when under its influence. The action of the collector of customs had the previous sanction of the Secretary of the Treasury and of the solicitor of that department. The collector has the courage to carry out the new policy and is supported in it by nine-tenths of the white people of the territory.
Boston Daily Globe, October 1, 1889, page 8
COLLECTOR PRACHT HEARD FROM.The irrepressible Max Pracht is enforcing the laws governing Alaska with a vim and briskness that is refreshing. The prospects are that Pracht will make it a "dry" territory or his instructions will be revoked. The following particulars are taken from the Sitka Alaskan:
"On Monday afternoon, September 2nd, at Sitka, Alaska, Collector Max Pracht, armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Keatley, accompanied by his deputy, entered Otto Nelson's saloon, on the south side of Lincoln Street, and made an examination of the premises. Finding a number of bottles of whiskey and wine behind the bar, he took possession of them. The collector, having reason to believe that an additional quantity of liquors was stored somewhere in the house, demanded of Mr. Nelson that he open the door of an adjoining room on the south side of the building. The request being refused and the collector believing that resistance was likely, [he] at once swore in four bystanders--Ed. J. Haley, John Haley, W. B. Pracht and Peter Triershelt--as inspectors of customs on temporary duty. The collector then forced the door and found inside the room forty gallons of whiskey in kegs and a large lot of brandy. The whole of the liquors were immediately taken possession of and removed to the seizure room of the custom house, where they now are. Their wholesale value is about $500.
The seizure was made in strict conformity with the instructions from the treasury department and in accordance with the organic act and the executive orders relating thereto.
While, naturally, the determined attitude assumed by the collector has created much discussion, this being the first seizure of this character since the year 1881, the community in general commend his action. For many years past, the law has been openly defied and the customs department has shown little or no inclination to insist upon an enforcement of the prohibitory enactment.
Valley Record, Ashland, October 3, 1889, page 2
A Delinquent Customs Collector.Edward H. Brown, Special Deputy Collector of Customs under Max Pracht at Sitka, Alaska, has been dismissed from service and found delinquent in his accounts.
Montezuma Reporter, Montezuma, Indiana, November 1, 1889, page 4
GONE TO ALASKA.
Mrs. Max Pracht, who came down from Sitka recently, will not spend the winter in Ashland, as anticipated, but intends to return to Alaska by the next steamer that sails from Port Townsend. Mrs. Pracht says the collector and his family have very comfortable winter quarters at Sitka, and find life not unpleasant there. There is evidently some society enjoyment there, as the Alaskan reports a reception given by the collector and his wife before the latter left for Ashland, in which the guests were entertained in "ducal fashion."--Ashland Tidings.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, November 17, 1889, page 16
WHISKEY IN ALASKA.PORT TOWNSEND, Nov. 21.--The steamer George W. Elder arrived from Alaska via Victoria this afternoon, at 3 o'clock. She has about ninety passengers. A passenger related the following incident:
Utter Failure to Check its Importation and Sale.
MUCH RUM ON THE ELDER.
Republican Convention Held in Juneau--
Unsuccessful Raid on the Twenty-One Saloons of That Town.
"While the Elder was lying at Sitka a man, formerly one of the crew, who was bound over a few months since for smuggling whiskey into Alaska, broke jail and came aboard. United States Marshal Porter and Collector Max Pracht boarded the vessel, cleared her of passengers, and the crew made a diligent search for the culprit. The marshal could not find the jailbreaker, but the collector found 300 gallons of smuggled whiskey stowed aboard in various nooks of the hold. The captain came aboard white the search was in progress, and ordered the crew aboard and proceeded to steam out, as it was necessary to go out on the tide, which was already ebbing.
"I need another half hour to search," said Collector Pracht, "and if you move the
vessel it is at your peril."
"Why did you wait until the last minute? We have been laying here twenty-four hours. We must go out on the tide, and if you wish to hold us any longer you will have to seize the ship and tie her up."
"I cannot do that," said the collector.
The signals was then given, the collector jumped ashore, and the vessel steamed out into the bay, carrying the United States marshal and several others who wished to remain at Sitka. They were sent ashore in small boats.
When the Elder arrived at Victoria the escaped prisoner showed up, and went ashore. The passenger states that it is impossible to prevent smuggling of liquor with the present force employed to prevent it. He states that the officers are innocent of any complicity in the offense.
Ex-Governor E. P. Swineford, who has been investigating Alaska mines with a view to investment, came down on the Elder. He expects to return in January and establish a cannery on Baranoff Island.
Miner W. Bruce, the bright and enterprising correspondent of the Omaha Bee, who was reported lost in the Muir glacier last summer, arrived here on the Elder today and will remain several days. He has spent several weeks exploring the wonders of Glacier Bay, and his descriptive letters from this wonderland have been widely published.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 22, 1889, page 1
WHISKEY IN ALASKA.
Impossibility of Preventing Smuggling Under the Existing Laws.
Special Telegram to THE TIMES.
OTTAWA, December 4.A passenger who has just arrived at Victoria, British Columbia from Alaska by the steamer George W. Elder, says that while the Elder was lying at Sitka a man, formerly one of the crew, who was bound over a few months since for smuggling whiskey into Alaska, broke jail and came aboard. United States Marshal Porter and Collector Max Pracht boarded the vessel, cleared her of passengers and crew and made a diligent search for the culprit. The Marshal could not find the jail-breaker, but the Collector found 890 gallons of smuggled whiskey stowed aboard in various nooks of the hold. The captain came aboard while the search was in progress and ordered the crew aboard and proceeded to steam out, as it was necessary to go out on the tide, which was already ebbing. "I need another half hour search," said Collector Pracht, "and if you move the vessel it is at your peril."
The captain took the responsibility of leaving port, but the Collector jumped ashore and the vessel steamed out into the bay, carrying the United States Marshal and several others who wished to remain at Sitka. They were afterward sent ashore in small boats. When the Elder arrived at Victoria the escaped prisoner showed up and went ashore. The passengers state that it is impossible to prevent smuggling of liquor with the present force employed to prevent it.
The Times, Philadelphia, December 5, 1889, page 4
A reward of $50 has been offered by Collector Pracht for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who broke into the seizure room at the Custom House between December 8 and 24 and took four kegs of whiskey of 10 gallons each; two casks of whiskey of 14 gallons each, and one 5-gallon demijohn of whiskey.
Robert N. DeArmond, "News Notes from Sitka's Past" (from the Sitka Alaskan of January and February 1890), Daily Sitka Sentinel, Sitka, Alaska, April 18, 1989, page 5
Collector of Customs Max Pracht of Juneau has been charged with smuggling.
"Coast Items," Lyon County Times, Silver City, Nevada, February 15, 1890, page 4
MAX PRACHT.The nomination of Max Pracht to be collector of customs for the district of Alaska, which was sent to the Senate on December last, still hangs fire. Recently it was said that it had been reported to the Senate favorably from the committee on commerce, but the ground for this statement, it has now developed, was an order issued by that committee to its chairman, Mr. Frye, to report the nomination favorably whenever the President shall withdraw the request he made some time ago to have it hung up. The committee has examined the charges against Mr. Pracht and finds the balance of proof on his side, but strong influence is being brought to bear upon the President, and until he reaches a determination the nomination will be left hanging in the air. Mr. Dolph and Mr. Mitchell are very anxious to have the nomination confirmed, and they are using all the influence they possess with the President to have him withdraw his objections to the confirmation. The charges against Mr. Pracht are that he assisted in smuggling whiskey into Alaska and that he sold liquor to Indians. A man named Johnson, who is the chief of the opposition to Pracht's confirmation, has been in Washington the past week working against him.
Washington dispatch, April 13.
Valley Record, Ashland, April 17, 1890, page 3
TEREDO AND YELLOW CEDAR.There is no question as to the superior quality and adaptability of the yellow cedar of Alaska for boat building purposes. Its toughness, density and the ease with which it can be worked added to its capacity for taking a most magnificent finish in its natural state, combined with the peculiar sandalwood-like odor it exhales, all tend to increase its desirability for the purposes of the shipwright as well as the cabinetmaker, but that it does not disagree with the digestion of the teredo has been proved ere this, notably in such examples as the steamer Alexander, built some years ago by Dunsmuir, Diggles & Co. for use in connection with their Wellington collieries. These builders went to great expense in securing yellow cedar for the planking of their vessel, but it was soon ascertained that the unassuming teredo had acquired a liking for yellow cedar as a "releve" [sic], and the same precautions in the way of copper painting, etc., were found necessary, as were applied to vessels built of any other timber.
The Toothed Worm Makes a Merry Meal of Any Wood..
Max Pracht in Sitka Alaskan.
If proof of the teredo's liking for yellow cedar is needed, I can show you in my office a section of a yellow cedar pile, which is as thoroughly teredo eaten and honeycombed as could be imagined; in fact the large size of the tunnels would lead one to suppose that the happy family of teredos which inhabited this particular pile, waxed fat and enjoyed life, for the section is perforated with holes so large as to give rise to apprehension in the minds of some of the naval officers, that these industrious little engineers intended the construction of a gatling gun for local defense.
There is no question as to the value and desirability of Alaska yellow cedar for boat building, furniture, house finishing, etc., but is manifestly unfair to the industry and digestive organs of the teredo to accuse him of an implied inability to eat up a vessel's yellow cedar bottom as quickly as any other, unless the usual precautions are taken to prevent his intrusion.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 31, 1890, page 9
COLLECTOR PRACHT.From The Alaskan, Sitka, Alaska:
The Senate confirmed the nomination of the Hon. Max Pracht as collector of customs for the district of Alaska, June 27, and his commission will extend four years from that date. Therefore the net result of the indecent, malicious and hypocritical fight against his confirmation, which has spread itself over a year or more, is to give Mr. Pracht, upon whom one of our esteemed contemporaries has conferred the honorary title of "the duke," an additional year of official life.
Having fought "the devil and his angels," i.e., the whiskey ring and the blatant hypocrites under its control, to a finish, buried the one and pilloried the others, where men can gaze on them with contempt and loathing, he can well be forgiven the perpetration of a single alliteration, "the 'buzz-saw' is a buzzard"; and the Alaskan in congratulating the collector upon his tremendous victory can paraphrase the text and quote, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the enjoyment of the 'dukedom' prepared for thee." And once more quoting from that remarkable discourse of Alf Burnett, the humorous lecturer, wherein as the "Preacher of Hepsidam" he soars upon poetic wings as follows: "And they shall gnaw a file and flee unto the mountains of Hepsidam, where the lion roareth and the whangdoodle mourneth for his first born." The Alaskan repeats Rip Van Winkle's famous toast, "May you live long and prosper!" The respectable people of Alaska are with you heart and soul in your righteous desire to do your duty thoroughly and in your vigorous efforts to uphold to the utmost extent the law of the land.
Valley Record, Ashland, August 7, 1890, page 1
Max Pracht, collector of customs, was indicted by a recent United States grand jury on a charge of extortion in office, the specific claim being that he had charged excessive fees in the collection of customs. Collector Pracht's friends allege that the charge was trumped up by enemies whom he has prosecuted for whiskey smuggling. The jury acquitted him without leaving their seats.
A combat of extermination appears to have been inaugurated between the several government officials in the towns of Juneau and Sitka. Deputy Collector Blackitt, formerly stationed at the latter place, is now on his way to Portland for the purpose of trying to secure Pracht's scalp. Blackitt's summary removal from office is said to be the cause of his hostility to his former chief.
"Latest Alaskan News," Daily Colonist, Victoria, British Columbia, December 11, 1890, page 2
Max Pracht Removed.Washington, April 12.--Max Pracht has lost his position as collector of customs for the Alaska district, and Edward T. Hatch, of McCoy, Polk County, Oregon, a state senator and a well-known politician, is appointed in his place. This removal, though contemplated for some time, has been kept quiet because the Oregon congressmen wanted to secure the vacancy for their own state. Pracht's appointment was only secured after hard work, and even then the Oregon senators had to fight for his confirmation by the Senate. Pracht proceeded to his duties and soon afterward the governor of Alaska decided that he ought to change the liquor traffic regulations for Alaska, in deference to the popular demand in all the towns of the territory, where meetings were held. They drew up petitions asking that they be allowed to engage in the retail liquor business. As a result the governor, as alleged, in violation of the law, decided to issue a license to saloons at $250 per year, this money to go into a fund to be known as the street improvement fund.
It was impossible to carry on the saloon business very successfully without liquors, and Pracht, in violation of the law, allowed the importation of any and all kinds of liquors, the amount and variety being dictated by the demands of the trade. When this became known to the department the Oregon delegation, which was known to be friendly to Pracht, was notified that he would be relieved very soon, and they might as well prepare themselves to meet the situation, seeing that it was no longer possible to hold him in the place, the delegation decided to press the claims of Hatch. The collector in the Alaska district, the same as in all other customs districts, selects his own deputies, and they are appointed by the President. In Alaska the district deputies are at the following places: Mary Island, Juneau, Sand Point, Kodiak and Ounalaska. It is said the new collector is favorable to allowing Pracht's deputies to remain, but it is thought by the department officials that he had better make a sweeping change.
Inquiry was made concerning the fate that would overtake the governor of Alaska, together with other officers who participated in the alleged violation of the law, according to the general plan agreed upon. It is claimed that the deputy marshal of Alaska rather reluctantly reported the irregularities after the government authorities here had been apprised of the situation by some temperance people in the territory. This information, which was furnished by them some time ago, prompted the authorities to make inquiries of the marshal, who, it is said, reluctantly gave the information. It is the general supposition that there is not a government official in the territory who will escape official investigation, and the result may be that Pracht is only the first of a number of Alaska officials who will be relieved. There is some speculation as to the disposition of the money received from the licensing of saloons in Alaska. Authorities here are led to the conclusion that there are 200 or 300 saloons in Alaska in full blast, each operating under a license of $250 per annum.
Valley Record, Ashland, April 16, 1891, page 3
MAX PRACHT'S CASE.The Alaskan of Sitka says: The cause of the removal as given in the dispatch from Washington is the alleged violation of the law regulating the importation of liquors into the territory for sale under the provisions of the organic act of 1884, which provide for the sale of such for "medicinal, mechanical, and scientific purposes." Some "temperance people" in the territory, having complained to the President of the issuance of licenses by the governor, and the granting of permits to such as had the governor's licenses by the collector. It is claimed by the collector that both the governor and himself proceeded in strict conformity with the intent of the law, in the interests of good morals and the crushing out of the large and influential band of whiskey smugglers who infest this section of the territory.
When President Harrison removed Mr. Pracht it was said, with an intimation that Pracht, the governor and U.S. marshal were feathering their own nests with the proceeds, that there are between 200 and 300 saloons doing an open business under these licenses, each having paid $250 (per annum).
The Alaskan says the bald facts are that "only five licenses were issued, three in Juneau, and two in Wrangell, and not one of them had (to exceed) two permits each from the collector--that is to say, one each per month during the time of the experiment."
Valley Record, Ashland, May 21, 1891, page 2
For the seventh time in the history of Alaska the anniversary of Decoration Day was commemorated here on Saturday last. Following [the speech by] Mr. Peckinpaugh, the "Star Spangled Banner" was finely sung by the Hon. Max Pracht. Mr. Pracht is the possessor of a resonant tenor voice. His phrasing and shading denoted the cultured singer, and that he should have hidden these accomplishments
from the people of Sitka during his stay of over two years among them is to be deplored.
"100 Years Ago" (from the Sitka Alaskan of June 1891), Daily Sitka Sentinel, Sitka, Alaska, May 31, 1991, page 11
A procession of Hicks' heaviest trucks have been passing through the street hauling the rough granite from Reeser's quarry on Granite Street to the top of Laurel Hill, where the Tidings' special reporter found Hon. Max Pracht with coat off busily superintending the laying of the foundation for his new dwelling house.
Ashland Tidings, October 2, 1891, as reported in "Twenty-Five Years Ago in Ashland," Ashland Tidings, October 2, 1916, page 2
Pracht on Alaska.The King's Daughters of this city have arranged a series of lectures called "Monday evening talks" for the winter months. They are to be delivered once a month by some local people on topics with which they are familiar. The first was on Monday evening at Granite Hall and was entitled "Alaska." The Hon. Max Pracht was the orator. The lecture lasted three-quarters of an hour, during which time Mr. Pracht unloaded trainloads of information upon the subject of that territory that cast a ray of light to the listener that could not be brightened short of a tour to the country itself. It can be truthfully said that no speaker has ever had closer attention and interest paid by an audience to a lecture than that taken by the people at Granite Hall Monday evening.
Valley Record, Ashland, October 22, 1891, page 3
Max Pracht seems to be the most ubiquitous cuss in town. Who is building and improving that fine property? Who is running The Oregon now? Who is doing this or that? The answer comes Max Pracht. Today a fellow asked who was going to run for mayor next month. The answer was the same.
"Brevity Basket," Valley Record, Ashland, November 12, 1891, page 3
The Citizens ConventionPursuant to a call signed by several citizens inviting everybody to a mass convention at Granite Hall Wednesday at 2 p.m., a large crowd assembled there. Max Pracht called the convention to order. A. P. Hammond and W. P. Squire were chosen chairman and secretary.
The two candidates for mayor were Max Pracht and W. H. Atkinson, who had their forces there.
The first bomb was thrown by the Atkinson people into the Pracht camp by Secretary Squire reading and moving the adoption of the following resolution:
"Resolved, That all who participate in the citizen mass convention bind themselves to vote for and work for the nominees of said convention irrespective of party."
The Atkinson men had the majority and before proceeding to ballot wanted to bind Pracht's minority. Pracht asked if the word party meant Republican Party. Squire answered that he did not understand it that way, and while Pracht was trying to pin him and several others down to what party it was to be gagged by resolution, Atkinson took the floor. Right here the long-pent-up venom these two distinguished gentlemen have for each other was touched off. But wasn't it rich. Great balls of smoke and fire were poured out that would do credit to Mt. Vesuvius in eruption.
Atkinson recited the conversation in the post office Monday when he asked Pracht to come into the convention, and if Pracht was nominated he (Atkinson) would support him; and if Atkinson was nominated asking Pracht to support him. Mr. Atkinson said Pracht refused to come into the convention, etc., etc.
Pracht jumped up and in a Daniel Webster tone of voice and a Shakespearean dramatic attitude said: "It is false!!! and no one knows its falsity better than Mr. Atkinson himself." Pracht took the floor and besides pronouncing Mr. Atkinson a falsifier (this is according to local parliamentary usage, the word liar as used in Arizona) made a statement of how he had been inveigled against his wishes by the Progressive Party leaders into agreeing to stand for mayor, and how the same leaders within the last week had come around and asked him to withdraw because certain churchmen and preachers were opposed to him because he had, three years ago, circulated a petition asking the legislature to tax all property, including church property. Mr. Pracht said he would not be bulldozed by any church.
Mr. Atkinson, who is a very composed man, even got warmed up to the extent of fish-shaking declamation and oratory. He wanted to find out who was a liar, saying several citizens heard that conversation, and in a self-confident way said, "Mr. Leeds, [editor of the Valley Record,] come up here and testify what it was."
The acquaintances of the celebrated Jackson County fence-straddler and policy man thought Mr. Leeds was in such close range between the devil and the deep blue sea that he was sure to go to limbo if he escaped hell. Mr. Leeds threw that classical little bump at the end of the spinal column over on his left shoulder and cocked his keen eyes, which have the appearance of popping out of one hole. Mr. Leeds said what Atkinson said Pracht said was what the post office said. He didn't know, but thought that what Pracht said Atkinson said was like something else. Mr. Leeds occupied considerable time telling what he thought was said. (At any rate, what Mr. Leeds said Pracht-Atkinson said must have been all right, because after the convention Atkinson thought he had proved Pracht the greatest prevaricator since the days of Ananias; while we heard Pracht declare "I proved Mr. Atkinson a liar before the convention by Mr. Leeds, his own witness." Mr. Leeds should have his "explanations" patented. They work both ways.)
The friction between the leaders now turned to a discussion of the gag resolution, W. N. Luckey denouncing it vigorously , as did Pracht. Col. Norris and others favored it. Leeds declared it no gag rule. He didn't want men to come to his convention (for he called it, it seems), put up a man and then attempt to beat him. Mr. Leeds prated considerably about the dishonesty of such a procedure, forgetting the convention of 1889, when he, Atkinson, Carter et al. participated in the mass convention that nominated "Daddy" Hill for mayor against D. R. Mills.
(This same old ring gag wanted yesterday's convention to be bound and gagged "to do the honorable thing," as they called it. This was a notice that when the odious old "boodle" element went into the 1889 mass convention and nominated the Mills-Walters ticket they did the DIS-honorable thing, because they weren't bound and gagged "to do the honorable thing." However, the 1889 election took care of the Mills-Walters gang by defeating them overwhelmingly. Although Hon. D. R. Mills was elected the previous year by the overwhelming majority of 245, certain things concerning the expenditure of that $50,000 water works looked so "shady" (to use a mild term) that the same people who expressed so great a confidence in Mr. Mills and his gang in one lost that confidence so that he was completely snowed under out of sight by the ancient and venerable "Daddy" Hill. This was one of the humiliating things the "boodle" gang would have avoided had they of been as wise, in their day and generation, as they were yesterday, and bound and gagged themselves "to do the honorable thing.")
The resolution was adopted, 17 to 21. Mr. Pracht then refused to have his name come before the convention.
E. D. Briggs in a flowery speech (in which he said his candidate was the candidate to "heal the dissensions") nominated W. H. Atkinson. Col. James Norris in seconding this nomination warmly eulogized Mr. Atkinson.
The vote for Atkinson stood 92. There being no other candidates, the chairman asked those opposed to him to hold up their hands. The chair declared Atkinson the nominee.
For street commissioner Wm. Nelson received 55 and John B. Million 40.
The ward convention nominees were endorsed.
Milton Berry received the nomination for city recorder, and E. V. Carter for city treasurer. The convention, in its feverish excitement, failed to nominate a city surveyor.
For city marshal S. F. Morine and John Strait were placed in nomination, the former receiving 83, latter 25.
Valley Record, Ashland, December 10, 1891, page 3
Peachbloom Paradise.Max Pracht of Hotel Oregon is ever designing some clever scheme of tickling the palate of man or catching his fanciful notions through the eye or ear without wearying the structure "fearfully and wonderfully made" with carloads of tracts or ponderous columns of dry statistics and long-winded verbiage. The latest thing out is a postage stamp case, a great convenience that will keep with a fellow more persistently than an unpaid newspaper subscription bill. On it he has the "exclusively first-class" trademark of his hotel with the words, "A healthful and restful resort--'The Peachblow Paradise,'--2000 feet elevation." The Peachblow Paradise is a catchy alliteration more refined but as strong as "keep your eye on Pasco," and better than that of "the land of the skies," which caught Vanderbilt and other millionaires to invest their pin money in Asheville, N.C., with less picturesque scenery and poorer climate than Ashland. The Peachblow Paradise describes Ashland nearer than any other alliteration yet coined.
Valley Record, Ashland, March 3, 1892, page 3
Home from GermanyPeachblow Paradise Pracht received a letter from his eldest son, Wm. B., dated Cincinnati, April 17th, announcing his safe arrival there from Freiberg via Hamburg and New York. After a few weeks to be spent in visiting relatives in Cincinnati and Chicago and a short stop in San Francisco, Willie (who has now grown a lovely mustache, as all the young ladies say who have seen his photos) will make his reappearance in Ashland. His father says that to keep him out of mischief and matrimony, he has secured him a job breaking rock for Supt. Wilson at the Ashland mine, and expects to drive him over from the station to the mine direct. In this case however, the Record is of opinion that Max will not connect--the Ashland girls have decided to have a dance at the Oregon [Hotel] first.
Valley Record, Ashland, April 28, 1892, page 1
THE FIGHT WITH CHILCATS.This trouble, arising as it did from the unlicensed and uncontrolled methods of fishing employed by white canning men, who have located upon streams previously fished in by the natives, could have been prevented if Congress had provided the means for carrying out the provisions of its own act. I am sure that had a special agent, now tardily provided for in the Senate amendment to the sundry civil service bill, been on the ground to enforce the provisions of the act relating to the barricading and obstructing of the salmon streams in Alaska, he could, and no doubt would, by removing such causes for bad feeling, have prevented bloodshed. The absorption of every available stream carrying salmon by the cannery men is sure to lead to more disturbances unless immediate preventive measures are adopted.
Ex-Collector of Customs Pracht Tells the Causes Leading to the Trouble.
WASHINGTON CITY, July 19.--Max Pracht, formerly collector of customs for the district of Alaska, in an interview states that the tribe of Chilcat Indians, who have a strong settlement on Chilcat River, about four miles above its confluence with Lynn Canal, have for years complained of the encroachment of white fishermen upon their fishing grounds and of the establishment of traps and pound nets in that part of the canal leading from Pyramid Island to the eastern shore, a distance of about three miles. There has been considerable friction and a few personal encounters. Twice the United States naval vessel stationed at Sitka has found it necessary to go to the head of the canal and by its presence and by the councils with its chief men its officers have patched up a truce. The Chilcats are of the Alaskan tribes the most fierce and warlike. Their arrogance was in no wise decreased when, in 1891, after the arrest of one of their chiefs for the attempted murder of a United States deputy marshal, his liberation on bail followed. This proceeding was protested against by the government, United States marshal and other civil officers, his bondsmen being lieutenants of the United States navy. Not this only, but he was carried back to Chilcat by the United States steamer Pinta. His importance among his tillicums, or tribal family, became so much increased thereby as to lead to more aggressive action.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 20, 1892, page 1
Hon. Max Pracht is still in Washington. He can hardly be expected to turn out and stump Indiana for Harrison. One would as soon expect to hear of 'Lish Applegate joining the Methodist Church.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 22, 1892, page 3
Pracht On Top Again.The following Washington dispatches explain what the Hon. Max Pracht has been doing in Washington the past three months. Max is the best single-handed political rustler it the country today. Hurrah for Pracht.
One of the amendments to the sundry civil bill, which has just been agreed to in conference, is of some importance as affecting the Alaska salmon interests. An appropriation of $5000 is made, to be expended under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, to stop the barricading of the salmon streams of Alaska, and an agent of the Treasury Department is to be sent there to carry out the instructions. Max Pracht, of Ashland, Or., has already been selected as the special agent, and his appointment will shortly be made. Pracht was collector of customs of Alaska during the early part of the administration, but was removed on account of the charges that were brought against him. These charges have now all been cleared up, and the department is ready to employ him again.
The Secretary of the Treasury today appointed Max Pracht, of Ashland, Or., special agent in charge of the Alaska salmon fisheries. Pracht will have a clerk for the first three months of his service. Pracht is thus made a disbursing officer, and now comes the question of securing bonds, which he must do before he gets away. He will try and find sureties here, but, if he fails, he will have to delay until he can go to Oregon. Pracht has been here for several months working up this matter, and he will be disappointed if he cannot go at once to Alaska.
Valley Record, Ashland, August 11, 1892, page 3
Our Own Max Pracht.
In a Washington dispatch we find the following:
One of the amendments to the sundry civil bill, which has just been agreed to in conference, is of some importance as affecting the Alaska salmon interests. An appropriation of $5000 is made, to be expended under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, to stop the barricading of the salmon streams in Alaska, and an agent of the Treasury Department is to be sent there to carry out the instructions. Max Pracht, of Ashland, Or., has already been selected as the special agent, and his appointment will shortly be made. Pracht was Collector of Customs of Alaska during the early part of the administration, but was removed on account of the charges that were brought against him. These charges have now all been cleared up, and the department is ready to employ him again.
Southern Oregon Mail, Medford, August 12, 1892, page 2
Max Pracht Happy.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 9.--The Secretary of the Treasury today appointed Max Pracht of Ashland, Or. special agent in charge of the Alaska salmon fisheries. Pracht will have a clerk for the first three months of his service. Pracht is thus made a disbursing officer, and now comes the question of securing bonds, which he must do before he gets away. He will try and find sureties here, but if he fails he will have to delay until he can go to Oregon.
State Rights Democrat, Albany, Oregon, August 12, 1892, page 3
Pracht's Vindication.Washington dispatch.]
In restoring Max Pracht, of Ashland, Or., to service in the Treasury Department. the officials of that department have done justice to a man whom they now acknowledge that they wronged. Pracht was collector of customs of Alaska, and charges were made against him. He was far away, and the men who made up the case were here in Washington on the ground, and they made it apparent that something crooked was going on, and, acting on the reports made, Pracht was immediately removed, and another man appointed in his place. He was not content to rest under the imputation of wrong-doing, but went immediately to work to prove the charges false. He succeeded, for the Treasury officials who caused his removal have restored him to the service and made him special agent in charge of the Alaska salmon fisheries. Mr. Pracht claims that he was the victim of a conspiracy headed by the Puget Sound opium smugglers on one hand, and assisted by certain missionary leaders on the other. He has always been an enemy of opium smugglers, and by reason of his position has incurred the enmity of some powerful men along Puget Sound. He says that he does not expect to have any further trouble with them, but that he will take care of the interests which he has in charge, and if the men who were his enemies before undertake to interfere with him, he will not be removed simply upon their request without getting an opportunity to be heard in his own defense. He thinks that, although he is not directly connected with the customs service, he will be able to furnish the customs officers with information about the opium smugglers which will be valuable.
Valley Record, Ashland, August 18, 1892, page 3
Max Pracht, of Ashland, Or., is at the Grand on his way to Sitka as a special agent of the Treasury Department charged with the business of protecting the salmon in the Alaska rivers in conformity with the act of Congress of March 2, 1889. "It is well known," said Mr. Pracht last night, "that with the advent of civilization, saw mills, dams, etc., the salmon has disappeared from the Eastern rivers. The act of March 2, 1889, was passed to ward off the same fate from the salmon in Alaska. The destruction can be accomplished by any of the means I have mentioned, as well as by the building of obstructions and traps of withes clear across stream for the purpose of catching the fish. These obstructions prevent the fish from getting up and down the rivers to and from their spawning grounds. Seven hundred thousand cases of salmon, valued at $3,250,000, were shipped from Alaska in the season of 1891, and the government has taken the step of forbidding these obstructions to the rivers as a means of preserving this trade. I leave for Sitka on the steamer Mexico tomorrow." Mr. Pracht was made collector of the port of Sitka as one of the first acts of the Harrison administration, receiving his commission April 12, 1889. He was removed during his absence in Sitka, leaving office June 30, 1891. He proceeded to Washington City in defense of himself against the attacks upon him which had caused his removal. As a result of his presentation of his case he received this appointment dating from August 9, 1892, a billet, which he says is preferable to the one from which he was removed.
"The Passing Throng," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 8, 1892, page 4
ALASKA'S FISHERIES.Hon. Max Pracht, of Oregon, who is about to return to Alaska, to act this time as fish commissioner under the law passed March 2, 1889, makes remarks which should set our traders thinking, for Alaska is clearly part of our commercial territory. He says that "the salmon fisheries, to which his special attention will be directed, are far more valuable to the United States than the seal fisheries. Last year the pack was 700,000 cases, valued at $3,225,000. Heretofore many of the streams up which the salmon run to spawn have been actually blockaded by devices for salmon catching, sometimes a dam being raised to prevent them entering. The law of March 2, 1889, prohibits such of these as are obstructions, it being the object to preserve the fisheries for all time. Reasonable measures taken by the fishermen to procure a catch are not contemplated as contrary to the spirit of the law. Besides the wealth of salmon, Mr. Pracht thinks highly of the black cod banks, of which there are several off the shores of the peninsula running out southwesterly from Alaska. He claims that they are as prolific and even richer than the famous banks of Newfoundland. In a few years, on account of the slow failure of these banks, the Alaska commodity must come to be of great commercial value. There are three firms of San Francisco who have been sending vessels north with good results. The banks are about fifty fathoms under water, and the catch is made with hand lines, the men fishing over the sides of the vessels and dories, two men to each dory. They are fletched and salted down in the hold, taken to San Francisco and there sun-dried. For the first couple of years the fish were 'rusty' on account of faulty curing, but now the secrets of proper curing have been found with the most beneficial results."--Astorian
Corvallis Gazette, September 23, 1892, page 2
Special Treasury Agent Max Pracht left on the Topeka for Wrangell and Loring, it is said. While manager of the Loring cannery Max Pracht used an obstruction between the two lakes at that place for the purpose of catching salmon easily. We wonder whether Max went there now, in his official capacity, to see whether that contrivance is still in existence.
"100 Years Ago" (from the Sitka Alaskan of October 1892), Daily Sitka Sentinel, Sitka, Alaska, October 7, 1992, page 12
Captured an Ensign.Mrs. Jane DePeatt, daughter of Mrs. A. DePeatt, of Ashland, who went to Alaska two years ago with Mrs. Pracht and remained at Sitka, arrived at Port Townsend by the last steamer and is to be married to Ensign David Carpenter, chief clerk of the paymaster of the U.S. steamboat Pinta. Mr. Carpenter has been promoted and will go on the U.S. battleship Monterey, the greatest battleship in the world, where the happy couple will make their home.
Valley Record, Ashland, December 8, 1892, page 3
Pracht's Alaskan Powers.
Max Pracht, of Ashland, has just been placed in charge of the Afognak Island Fish and Timber Reservation in Alaska, and will proceed to his post as soon as possible. In this matter he will be under orders from the Secretary of the Interior. His authority and influence are greatly increased by this appointment, as he now becomes a representative of the Treasury Department, the Interior Department and the Fish Commission in the district of Alaska.
Southern Oregon Mail, Medford, February 3, 1893, page 3
PROTECTING ALASKA SALMON.Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 4, 1893, page 5
Special Agent Pracht Going Back--His Report on the Fisheries.
Max Pracht, special agent of the United States Treasury Department for the protection of the salmon fisheries of Alaska and ex-collector of customs for that territory, was in the city Sunday and left for his post yesterday morning by the City of Topeka. Mr. Pracht was appointed to this post in the summer of 1892, somewhat late for the salmon season, but went to the scene of his labors immediately. He said last night: "I have since made my report to the department in Washington City and am now on my way back to Alaska, this time with a double errand. Besides protecting the salmon fisheries I am charged with a commission from the Interior Department to remove the trespassers from the island of Afognak. The island is set apart by the government as a salmon preserve. It is about 600 miles north of Sitka and just north of Kodiak Island. The impression is that if this island be protected from molestation of any kind the salmon will increase so as to supply all the surrounding waters. My report of my last season's work has been printed as a Senate document by order of the United States Senate. In it I set forth that the obstructions to the salmon in the chief rivers of Alaska have been largely removed. The building of some kind of dams, however, will be necessary to the protection of the salmon if artificial means are to be used for their protection. The trout are the leading destroyers of the eggs, and dams could be used to keep them out.''
The report says of this subject:
"A typical hatchery of this class has been in operation at the works of Calbreath & Co., at Point Ellis, on Kuiu Island, Chatham Straits, which can best be described as follows: A dam has been constructed at a point just above extreme high tide, with a second dam a short distance above it, with access thereto by a suitable passageway, so that a person standing upon the lower dam, armed with a scoop net, can dip up the desired salmon from below and readily transfer them into the stream above the upper or second dam, beyond which there are no further obstructions, and the fish are left undisturbed to finish their journey to their breeding waters, never far removed. It is estimated that out of 500 female salmon, to which must be added the requisite number of milters, there will be fry enough to furnish all the adult salmon required for such a cannery as the one operated by them (since burned), estimated at 15,000 cases of forty-eight tins each, holding one pound each, and yet make provision for the loss of young and adult fish from natural causes before it is time for them to return to propagate their kind in turn."
Describing the enemies of the salmon, Mr. Pracht says in his report:
"If the male salmon succeeds in fighting off the trout and protects his mate while she deposits the ova in some crevice in the rocks or in a hole scooped out of the bottom gravel with his battered nose, it is not yet safe from the sea gull and the pernicious search of the 'saw-bill' duck. If escaping both of these, and to the early days of spring the bunches of young fry playing upon the surface of the water while drifting out to sea escape the frequent dives of the kingfisher, they are in danger of being gulped by the schools of herring which come up into some of the estuaries to meet them; or if a portion manages to escape these enemies, more of them are destined to help make a meal for the sea bass. Once out to sea, lurking in the rocks, the young salmon furnishes food for the 'big fish,' not excepting the members of his own immediate family. Having escaped the teeth of his own kind and grown to a size affording protection as against them, we might follow him to the feeding grounds or banks, where shark and dogfish feed upon him and the members of the seal family are in unremitting pursuit. Those enemies of the salmon follow the schools when, at the age of 4 years, they are impelled by instinct to seek fresh water to breed. Here the otter, the bears, and by no means least, men have their whack at them. A little protection will, however, serve to increase them enormously and make up for all needs."
From a special dispatch to the S.F. Examiner, dated Washington, April 17th, it appears that Secretary of the Treasury Carlisle telegraphed on that date to special Treasury Agent Max Pracht, who has been in charge of salmon fisheries in Alaska since last summer, to wait for instructions by mail and not to leave his post until they came. These instructions were to the effect that he was the first official in Alaska whose head must fall under the Democratic guillotine.
"100 Years Ago" (from the Sitka Alaskan of May 1893), Daily Sitka Sentinel, Sitka, Alaska, May 11, 1993, page 7
ADVERTISING OREGON.People who are fortunate enough to obtain peaches from the "Peachblow Paradise Orchards" of Max Pracht this year will be fully apprised of the celestial character of the fruit, no matter in how distant a clime it may be unpacked and eaten. Mr. Pracht has just had nearly 100,000 peach wrappers printed, each bearing in blue ink on white paper his orchard trademark designed by himself. It advertises the climate of Southern Oregon, the city of Ashland and the orchard business of Mr. Pracht, and there will he no danger of retail dealers in Oregon, Washington, Montana or elsewhere selling his peaches as "California fruit." Neither will there be any likelihood of any scrubby peaches being shipped in these wrappers.
Some of Mr. Max Pracht's Work and Suggestions as to Fruit.
Mr. Pracht's method of paying the strictest attention to the details of selection, packing and marketing, proves its value from the fact that he is able to ask and receive for his peaches 25 percent above the market price. The farmers of the state should have their attention called to this fact, and much good to Oregon would undoubtedly result if his example were to be generally followed. One of the most striking instances of the injustice he seeks to correct by advertising is the fact that Rogue River apples, pronounced by connoisseurs the finest by long odds on the Coast, are shipped to Eastern markets branded "California fruit."
Oregonian, Portland, August 13, 1893, page 4
A RICH COMPLIMENT.--The Journal editor is just in receipt of a box of peaches from the Peachblow Paradise orchard of Max Pracht, the peach king of Southern Oregon. They are of the early Crawford variety, ripe, rich and juicy, average ten inches in circumference and have the high flavor peculiar to that locality. Mr. Pracht is the first grower in the state to adopt the low pruning system, which secures the highest state of perfection, and permits the fruit to be picked while standing on the ground. Damon Bros., at the Blue Front Grocery, have the exclusive sale of these peaches, and must find them very acceptable to their trade. Thanks, Mr. Pracht.
Capital Journal, Salem, August 30, 1893, page 4
The ninth annual meeting of the state horticultural society was called to order Tuesday morning of this week by president Cardwell at the A.O.U.W. temple in Portland. . . . Max Pracht, of Ashland whose peaches "beat the world" at the world's fair, read an interesting and practical paper on the subject of "Horticulture for Profit; or, Fancy Fruit, Fancy Packages, Fancy Prices," showing from his experience the advantage it was to the fruit growers to establish a reputation by sorting his fruit, being honest with the commission merchants with whom he
deals and then making elaborate use of printer's ink. By packing choice fruit in fancy boxes a fancy price could be commanded. Such boxes were expensive but the appearance of fruit wrapped in white paper and packed in them, ornamented with blue labels, were such a temptation to housekeepers that they could not resist purchasing them.
"State Horticulturists," Corvallis Gazette, January 12, 1894, page 1
A VOICE FROM OREGONMr. Max Pracht, former citizen of Cincinnati, now one of the progressive horticulturists of Oregon, was rounded up yesterday at the Hotel Emery by the Commercial Gazette. Mr. Pracht was once connected with Putnam, Hooker & Co. He left Cincinnati for the then boundless West in the early '70s, was in business in San Francisco up to '85, drifted up to Alaska, and engaged in the salmon packing business until [in] '89 he was appointed Collector of Customs for that district. It goes without saying that he is not in office now, for he is a Republican of the old-fashioned stalwart type.
Mr. Max Pracht Returns to Cincinnati and Offers Some Advice
ABOUT HOW TO RAISE FRUIT
How They Make Apple and Peach Trees Yield on the Pacific Slope--
Protection and Bimetallism.
Speaking of his present visit to his old home, he says the great railway strike is at the bottom of it, for, as delegate to the Denver Convention of Republican League Clubs, he found it impossible to return to his home at Ashland, usually called the "Peachblow Paradise," and he started to "go West" by coming East, hoping to reach the Pacific Coast via Cape Horn, as did the gold hunters of '49.
CINCINNATI HAS GROWN."Cincinnati has grown much since I saw her last," he said. "Solid and substantial,
steady and reliable as always, but oh! the forests of telegraph poles, the network of trolley wires which shut out the sun and imprison the smoke, and the multitudinous signs of every kind and condition which project out from your buildings into the street! Why, even in San Francisco we no longer permit such things. They are not only nuisances, but elements of danger, and all of them--the poles, wires and signs--should be taken in off the streets, so that the breezes might blow through and tear an occasional rift into the smoke cloud. But business--well, that you have as usual. I have made a hurried circuit of the wholesale district, and none of my old friends have any complaint to make on that score.
"Oh, yes. I am entirely out of business, except that of raising fancy fruit--peaches principally--but our coast markets absorb all the Oregon product. Denver is as far east as we come, and in that market the leading brands of Oregon peaches fetch fully 25 percent, more than does the California fruit. You see our fruit is raised without irrigation, and altogether on high land, the numerous mountain ranges which divide Oregon into a great checkerboard of valleys of all areas, one of them, the Willamette Valley; having as much agricultural land as the entire state of Ohio, furnish on the mountain slopes the fruit belts which have made Oregon famous and which enabled her to walk off with the chief prizes for both apples and peaches at the World's Columbian Exposition.
MANY OHIOANS IN OREGON.There are many Ohioans in Oregon and room for more, and it was the Ohio blood in the delegation at Denver which prevailed, for without Oregon's eighteen votes in the Convention Cleveland would have failed to secure the selection as the meeting place for '95, and all of her vote went for that great exponent of protection, Major McKinley, as preferential candidate for the Presidency in '96. If given a opportunity Oregon will cast as big a vote for McKinley as she did against that prince of mountebanks, Pennoyer--16,000 majority for Oregon is more Republicanism to the square mile than 80,000 of a majority is for Ohio. However, you may do better next time. Pattern after Oregon. She is a safe state to follow.
ADVICE ABOUT ORCHARDS."By the way, I have spent about a week looking over some so-called orchards in Hamilton County, and you may say for me that when it comes to careful and scientific horticulture, Ohio is not in it with Oregon. What I have seen goes far to convince me that you neither know how to set out, cultivate or even prune an orchard. Dear me, I have not seen any peach trees that did not resemble shade
more than fruit trees;and your apple trees--well, you do cut out an occasional branch, but only after it has broken off. Why, my orchard is eight years old, and there is not a peach tree in it but from which I can pick off the topmost peach by standing on the ground. How do we do it? By systematic cutting back and pruning; forcing the limbs out low down, quite close to the ground; building out the tree until it looks like an inverted umbrella, leaving it hollow in the center and so cutting out the old growth has to practically renew the bearing branches every three years. You know a peach grows next year on this year's new wood, never on old wood, and by our system of pruning we force the new twigs out just where we want them; consequently we may be said to place the peach to grow where it will do the best.
"Do we never miss a crop? No, never; crops of all kinds are sure in Oregon. Our principal agricultural products are wheat, hops, barley, oats, corn, cattle, hogs and wool. Our wool crop sold at six to eight cents on the ranch this year. Two years ago we got fourteen to eighteen cents for the same grades.
PROTECTION? YOU BET!"Are we in favor of protection? You bet your life we are, and for a fair deal all around besides. Although Oregon is a large producer of gold, the Rogue River Valley being especially noted for its mines, Ashland having several, yet the sentiment of true bimetallism--gold and silver each equal and interconvertible--is the leading one today, and Oregon will go into the next National Republican Convention with the dual motto, Protection and Bimetallism, not one, but both. I leave for New York tomorrow, via Washington. Politics before pleasure, you
Cincinnati Commercial Gazette, July 24, 1894, page 10
Washington, D.C., July 28.--(Special to the Statesman.)--Max Pracht, a well-known citizen of Oregon, of enthusiastic Republican proclivities, struck town yesterday simultaneously with the torrid wave. Mr. Pracht was chairman of the delegation from his state to the recent Denver convention of Republican League clubs, and he had a good deal to say about the silver plank adopted at that meeting, and the adverse criticism thereon by the Minneapolis Journal, a criticism which was the basis of an editorial in yesterday's issue of the Washington Post.
FROM THE WHITE HOUSE
The Windy Max Pracht at Washington.
He Rattles Away on Topics of Silver.
Ex-Mayor Darcy at the Capital, but Now en Route to His Salem Home.
"That plank," said Mr. Pracht, "was an eighteen-carat gem. I felt particularly good over its adoption, and the success Oregon scored as a level-headed mediator between the factions of the extreme East and the Pacific Coast. The fact is the Republicans representing the extreme ideas came together on a middle ground at the Mississippi River, so to speak, and we there built a boat which will carry us all to victory.
"The slogan of the convention was 'protection and bimetallism; not one, but both,' and that is really the battle cry of the Republican Party today. These are the issues, and they are going to win, to use the homely old comparison, just as easy as falling off a log. Lately, by the good grace of the strikers, I had plenty of time to look thoroughly into the Colorado silver question. What do we find? The Comstock as a silver producer played out; Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah in a silver decline, and all of them showing a marked increase in the output of gold; California coming to the front again as a gold state, and Oregon opening up new quartz mines in nearly every range of mountains; phenomenal finds in South Africa and the development of new fields in Australia. On top of all this I herewith assume the role of prophet and declare that by the time we have inaugurated our next Republican President, March 4, 1897, the apparent discrepancy between the world's visible supply of gold and silver will have so nearly disappeared that the resumption of silver coinage will come of itself, the metals will be on a parity as to their coinage values and likely to stay so for a long time.
"People have no idea of the enormous amount of silver now being used in the arts, and the consumption is always on the increase. An official of one of the big sliver smelters of Colorado told me lately that he had orders for silver on hand largely in excess of the capacity of his plant from America silver plating works. Everybody buys plated ware now, and the old single plate has given sway to triple and quadruple. All this goes to show that bimetallism is a thing of the near future, and the Republican Party is the only party that can bring it about, the only party that has the courage to grasp and the ability to handle great questions.
"The pops, did you say? Ah, judge! Have you forgotten here in Washington how Oregon laid the populists to eternal sleep on the 4th of last June?"
Statesman Journal, Salem, August 4, 1894, page 3
Colonel Pracht's March.Max Pracht is cutting a big figure in eastern Republican political circles. A late issue of the Wheeling, West Virginia, Intelligencer under scare heads worded thus--"After statistics. Max Pracht, the tariff expert, arrives in Wheeling to study our local interests. A secretary of the American Protective Tariff League on a tour for information. An interesting talk regarding his work. Some official figures on the tin plate industries. His views on the Denver silver plank."--tells in a long article and interview how Max is keeping up both the head and tail ends of the country at the same time. Max had just come from Pittsburgh, Pa., where he had been for two weeks. He is traveling in the manufacturing cities securing statistics for the campaign firsthand.
Valley Record, Ashland, October 25, 1894, page 3
SOME TARIFF POINTERSEvening News Review, East Liverpool, Ohio, October 31, 1894, page 1
Max Pracht Has a Word for Potters.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE FUTURE
How a Protective Duty on One Article Affects Men Employed in the Production of Another--A Letter that Will Interest All Those Who Read.
Max Pracht, the representative of the Tariff League, writes the following to the NEWS REVIEW:
EDITOR NEWS REVIEW--The potter who kicked against the times and waited for free trade now kicks again, but this time it is himself he kicks, and for good reason, having had time to find out that cheapness in the products of the other man's labor means cheapness in the products of his own. When he voted for free trade--for his own selfish purposes--he did not stop to think that his neighbor, who is a nail or tin plate maker, a tailor or a baker, being exposed to the free trade virus, would, in a measure of self-protection, infect the potter, or, being compelled to sell their wares, the products of their labor, at prices in competition with those ruling in foreign lands, would at once demand for themselves lower prices on pottery. In an industry like that of the potters, where raw material costs so little and the finished article so much, the difference being the labor expended upon it, a reduction in the price so as to meet the views of the buyers under the new Democratic free trade dispensation can be made only by a reduction in the cost of production--that is, the labor expended on it.
The working man who voted for free trade in the other man's goods, and lower wages for his neighbor, gets the same medicine administered through the vote of his neighbor, who in revenge votes for cheaper crockery, because his labor and his product are cheapened until it threatened to become a general scramble among the working men as to who should be compelled to sell his labor and products cheapest.
But before this can come to pass the American workman has one more opportunity to express his change of opinion at the ballot box, and that change will be a change back to the conditions that existed in 1892, when there were two jobs hunting one man, instead as is the case now, two men hunting one job. This, I prophesy, will be the result, but we--that is, the "protectionists"--cannot restore the old condition of affairs at once. We can, by kicking out the Democratic free trade majority in the lower house of Congress, as it is certain we will do on the 6th day of November next, prevent any further assaults upon our working men and their homes, and, perhaps, prevent wages from going any lower. But we cannot restore duties to the point where they are protective until we elect in 1896 both a protectionist Senate and a protectionist President. This WE WILL DO.
Now for a mitigation of our present evils. There is but one possible way, and that is for Americans to buy only American goods, refuse everything with an imported brand or label, and tell every counter jumper who tells you that the imported article is better than the domestic that he lies, and his employer hires him to lie because it will be to his profit for him to lie.
Better, far better, pay even a trifle more for the American article, and know when you have done so that you thereby have helped to pay good wages to another good American and that the price that you paid, which represented all the cost and all the profits, yet remains in this, your own country, and is not sent abroad to enrich the foreigner, while impoverishing yourselves.
What is the concern of one of you is the concern of all. High wages in one line of industry is impossible unless high wages are general in all industries. You have here in Liverpool potteries which turn out ware equal in the finest grade, and better in the common grades, than those of the lion and unicorn, God bless the queen variety. Has it ever occurred to you that when you go to a store to buy a dish, a pitcher, a platter, or a mantel ornament, that in buying a dollar's worth of Liverpool-made goods you have the goods, and as good or better than any, and Liverpool has the dollar? While if the storekeeper sells you foreign-made, "imported" ware, the dollar is sent ahead to enrich a foreigner! And the same course of reasoning applies to everything you buy made by the hand of labor.
Give the free trade man a short shift and he soon will hang. When he finds he can no longer bamboozle you with the jugglers of the word "imported," he will soon be breaking his neck trying to sell you American products, and praise them up as much as he now damns them. American goods are good enough for good Americans. Good Americans are patriotic, and if every patriotic American will purchase for his own use American goods only, the disastrous effects of the infamous Wilson free trade bill and the perfidious and dishonorable sugar trust German bill will be lessened.
Our Coal Industry and the TariffState Rights Democrat, Albany, Oregon, November 2, 1894, page 7
We have received a marked copy of the Wheeling (West Va.) Intelligencer, in which there is a letter from one Max Pracht of Oregon dealing with the effect of the Wilson bill on the coal trade of this coast.
"What are the conditions of today? Foreign coals are as easily obtainable as before, and the quantity imported shows but little falling off. But is the price to the consumers any lower? No, it is not. Why? The answer is a simple one: Because the foreign coal operator, having waited until the most of the Pacific Coast mines had been closed down because of the timidity of capital, which was withdrawn, and the scattering of the miners, who were forced into other fields of labor--on farms--still further reducing the low ebb of farm wages by competition."
We do not know Max Pracht of Oregon, but if he cannot trace his genealogy back to Ananias and Sapphira he ought to be able to. If there is any place in the United States where the effects of British Columbia coal are felt it is here on Puget Sound. It is not true that most of the mines here have been closed because of the timidity of capital or anything else, because all the mines are running just as usual. It is not true that the miners have been scattered. There is as large a force at work now as ever there was. It may be added that new mines are being opened up.
The veracious Max goes on to say that the British Columbia coal owners have put up the price of coal, which is another falsehood. British Columbia coal is higher than Washington coal, and it costs fully as much to mine it. Mr. Kangley, manager of the mines at Roslyn in this state, said in an interview published in the protectionist Post-Intelligencer the other day that the only advantage the British Columbia mine owners have over ours in the matter of cost is due to the fact that the coal beds there are thicker than with us. He might have added that there are fewer "faults" in the coal measurers there than here. The truth of the matter is that coal can be laid down at any point on Puget Sound from the Washington mines for less money than it can be bought from British Columbia. The only reason that British Columbia coal can find a market here at all is because it is different in quality from our domestic coal. The British Columbia miners have not put up the price, and they do not control this market, and there is not the slightest likelihood of their doing so.
It would be difficult to conceive a greater mass of misstatements than the Intelligencer's correspondent has sent it [sic]. The letter is written for the avowed purpose of inducing the people of West Virginia to vote against Congressman Wilson. In all essential particulars it is wholly and willfully untrue.--Seattle Telegraph.
SCOURING WOOL BY NAPHTHA.HARTFORD, Conn., Jan. 5.--(To the Editor.)--I enclose a clipping from today's
A New Process That Promises a Great Saving.
Hartford Courant. "Scouring Wool by Naphtha," which should be of interest to our Oregon wool growers.
To my mind, the saving of oil by this process ought to stimulate the business of wool-scouring in Oregon, utilizing the oil and saving on the scoured wool in freights being in itself a profit.
General Dwight, a veteran in the wool business, tells me that he has had considerable Oregon wool, and could handle more. He says that the New England manufacturers are already tired of free wool, and the sentiment, as I find it, is
that there will be no organized effort to defeat a duty on wool by the manufacturers, should the Republican administration of 1887 proceed, as they certainly will, to re-enact the wool clause of the McKinley bill, with some such modifications regarding carpet wools as our experience with that elusive article may call for.
MAX PRACHT.Morning Oregonian, Portland, January 11, 1895, page 4
OREGON'S MOST FAMOUS BEAR.
Sensational Career of a Giant Grizzly.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE SUN:--Sir: I read the editorial upon "American Game" in today's Sun. I always read The Sun--when I can get it--and next to the Portland Oregonian I think it is the greatest newspaper in America; but that has nothing, however, to do with the "game." Being an Oregonian, my heart naturally swelled at your allusion to the great state which rolls and thunders to the music of her own poet down to the sea, the headwaters of whose mighty river, the Columbia, exchange the whispered confidences with the bubbling springs that give birth to the Father of Waters on the backbone of the continent, the giant Rockies.
The average citizen knows little of Oregon and less of its attractions, its superb climate, its rich valleys, its stupendous mountain ranges, its cloud-piercing symmetrical peaks, its virgin forests, and last, but not least, the incentive of this screed, its game. And of all the state there is no part that excels in all the desirable attributes as does the Rogue River Valley, down in the southwestern part of the state, separated from California by the golden-ribbed Siskiyou Mountains and celebrated in story and legend as the Italy of America--a very truthful description, if you will select only the very best parts of Italy for comparison--a valley quite as large in area as the state from which I write, but not so well known. However, that may come later.
Now for real game and a variety the Rogue River Valley (a corruption by impertinent Anglicization of the Canadian voyageurs' Rouge Riviere by the first Yankee diggers of the abundant and flaky gold out of its "red" banks) [Pracht is mistaken about the derivation of the name] is not equaled by any portion of the United States--the four ranges of mountains which enclose it, the Coast Range on the west, the Rogue River Mountains on the north, the Cascades on the east, and the Siskiyous on the south, being the home of the cat, the panther, mountain lion, the deer-elk, the black cinnamon [bear] and that king of beasts the yet unconquered grizzly bear, with innumerable smaller varieties of such satellites as should grace the court and furnish the larder of his regal court with pheasants, grouse, mountain and valley quail, pelicans, geese and ducks, with salmon and trout everywhere, it is and should be known as a very hunter's paradise. It is so common an occurrence for mere boys to go out in the morning from one of the numerous prosperous towns in the valley and return the same day with one or more deer or black bear as a reward for their tramp that it excites no comment, but there was one old grizzly who for a score of years defied all sorts of traps and shooting irons, and lorded it over the denizens of the forests on the northern flanks of the Siskiyous, until nature in one of her angry moods played him false and assisted wily, puny man to his undoing, and his name goes down into history as "Old Reelfoot," and his fame is being perpetrated in story and song, and his immense hide, scarred with years of conflict, is an attraction in a museum. Perhaps thirty years ago, when the world yet was young to him, and an occasional calf or bullock out of a settler's herd a temptation hard to be resisted, the episode happened which ever after gave him a name. He walked into and then walked off with the largest and strongest-jawed bear trap that ever was set out, and as he could not wrench it off he carried it about with him until it rusted away and broke, but left him with a forefoot turned sideways and claws enormously grown, so that ever after his trail was plain to the veriest tyro, and he became known as "Old Reelfoot."
The number of hunters who hunted and found him, some to their grief, and the quantity of lead he had pumped into him (at long range) is almost incredible. With advancing years his appetite seemed to grow and his temper to sour, and Old Reelfoot became a terror to beasts and a nightmare to men. When the unusually heavy snow of the winter of '91 cut off a band of horses which had been feeding out in the "Dead Indian" country and little by little they made their way to the base of Pilot Rock--a natural monument that rises hundreds of feet out of the crest of the Siskiyous clear and clean, like the sword of King Arthur out of the lake--here they found a shelter from the icy blast, here they were found by Old Reelfoot, and here after days of search by their owners they were found all together--Old Reelfoot sleek, fat and contented, the few horses yet left out of a band of about forty that had not yet passed in their checks to their keeper, terrorized and starving under the mighty banks of snow which towered over them on three sides, and Reelfoot asleep under the ice of Pilot Rock; and to this day it is a mooted question: "Did Old Reelfoot die of a surfeit or did the contents of the magazines of the two 45-90 [sic] Winchesters in the hands of the vaqueros lead him down so he could not get away?"
And conclusions differ. There is much evidence adduced on both sides of the question, and the visitor from the East is allowed to find his own verdict. When brought into Ashland and his carcass weighed, it was said to weigh over 2,000 pounds, but as to the correctness of this I cannot say. I was not there to see him weighed.
MAX PRACHT, of Oregon.The Sun, New York City, January 20, 1895, page 7
133 WEST TWENTY-THIRD STREET, Jan. 13.
Mr. Max Pracht and wife, who spent last summer the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Lorenz Kissel, and a most extensive manufacturer of winding machines at Manchester, England, is making an extended trip through the continent, visiting his relatives at his home in Germany first.
"Chester Park," Cincinnati Commercial Gazette, June 23, 1895, page 22
PRACHT, MAX, of Ashland, was born in the Palatinate, Germany, in 1846, and two years later his father fled from the persecution that also drove Schurz, Hecker, Sigel and Rosecrans to the land of liberty, and brought his family to America. He served in the navy during the Rebellion, and is a comrade of Burnside Post, No. 23, G.A.R. He is the proprietor of the famous Peachblow Paradise orchards, at Ashland, and is still waiting for the Cleveland administration to raise enough revenue or sell enough bonds to buy him the gold medal he won as the first prize against all comers at the World's Fair. He is a Republican of irrepressible enthusiasm. It was born and bred in him. Much of his time the past two years has been spent traveling in the interest of the American Protective Tariff League, of which he is financial secretary. During the last Republican administration he was Collector of Customs and special commissioner in charge of the salmon fisheries of Alaska, and his Republicanism was so offensive that, as soon as Cleveland was inaugurated, the telegraph and a special steamer were used to inform him that he was removed from office. In 1894 Mr. Pracht was chairman of the Oregon delegation at the National League convention, at Denver, and was made vice-president for Oregon for the ensuing year. Wherever he goes, whether at home or abroad, his voice and pen are used to acquaint the world with the beauties and resources of Oregon, inducing both immigration and the investment of capital.
Republican League Register, Portland, 1896, page 260
OYSTERS GROWING IN ALASKA.For some time past, says the San Francisco Examiner, it has been rumored in California that large beds of oysters had some months since been discovered in certain waters in Alaska. The location has not been stated, but it has been understood that the oysters were entirely different from any found hitherto on this coast, being much larger and as fine, or almost as fine, as the best eastern oysters.
Experts Pronounce Them of Superior Quality and Like Those of the East.
News is now received from Washington that these oysters are in the vicinity of Killisnoo. This special information under a Washington date was received recently, and is as follows:
"United States Fish Commissioner McDonald has obtained the consent of the Treasury Department to avail himself of the services of Special Agent Max Pracht, having in view the investigation of certain oyster beds said to exist in the vicinity of Killisnoo, Alaska. Specimen shells from this locality, obtained from natives, were submitted to the ichthyologist of the commission during the recent visit of the special agent to this city, and pronounced by the ichthyologist to be of a superior variety. Proper appliances have been forwarded to Special Agent Pracht at Sitka with instructions to secure and pack some oysters for transshipment to the commissioner. If the report of the ichthyologist is favorable, steps will be taken to secure spat and young oysters for the purpose of transplanting to the waters of Chesapeake Bay."
Hitherto it has been supposed that the waters of Alaska were too old for oysters, but old residents of Alaska nowhere point out that this is an error. They say that the Japan current strikes and influences greatly a portion of the waters of that great country, and that oysters can live and thrive there the same as anywhere else in the country.
Daily Public Ledger, Maysville, Kentucky, January 20, 1896, page 5
Pracht in Portland.The Oregonian's account of the state horticultural society meeting has the following:
At this juncture the society was entertained by a talk from Max Pracht, of Peachblow Paradise orchard fame. Upon previous occasions at the meetings of the State Horticultural Society, Mr. Pracht has read essays upon his pet hobby (peaches), but at yesterday afternoon's meeting he was asked to say a few words about his trip to Europe, and, instead of talking horticulture made a speech on protection. It was a rouser, and pleased his audience almost to a man. His leading thoughts were protection, patriotism and peaches, a home market for American produce, the payment of American wages to American workmen in America, the hopelessness of expecting good times while the public money was being sent abroad to pay wages to foreigners, and an appeal to stand by the American doctrine of protection, and nominate and elect McKinley next November as the representative protectionist, most disliked "on the other side." His effort closed amid great applause.
Valley Record, Ashland, January 23, 1896, page 1
It is for Mr. McKinley to say whether we shall have a man for governor like Mr. Brady, who has lived among us and whose integrity and ability are unquestioned, or whether we shall be afflicted with a man like Max Pracht, who when he was appointed Collector here six years ago became so notorious that Prest. Harrison
had to dismiss him. . . . Send us a man with a clean record.
"100 Years Ago" (from the Sitka Alaskan of February 1896), Daily Sitka Sentinel, Sitka, Alaska, February 7, 1997, page 11
The Medford Monitor refers to Max Peaches Pracht as "insufferable egotism."
"All About the Fools," Daily Capital Journal, Salem, April 1, 1896, page 4
The Knife of Max Pracht.In the voting for national delegates at the Republican state convention, Max Pracht received 29 out of 236. The Evening Telegram reports this scene:
Prior to the voting Max Pracht, of Ashland, who had come into the convention equipped with a bundle of ballots printed in large type reading "For delegate at large to the St. Louis convention, I vote for Max Pracht of Ashland. He's all right," hurriedly mounted the platform and declared his withdrawal as a candidate, claiming he had been "jobbed." He said: "I came before this convention assured of a place on the regular ticket by one of the Multnomah County factions, and within the past 24 hours a job has been put up and I'm out." As he resumed his seat Pracht turned toward where the Simon faction were seated and in angry tones said: "Senator Dolph, you've got me to fight from this on. This turning me down is a cold-blooded outrage. Joe Simon, you are not through with me yet." With his face dark with disappointed ambition, Pracht then resumed his seat.
Later in the day Max patched up his grievance with the Portland crowd and re-entered the race. He was not elected a delegate, but succeeded in getting well up and thus became an alternate, which will give him considerable federal pie when McKinley gets in. Max was on Monday's train en route east via California.
Valley Record, Ashland, April 16, 1896, page 1
UTAH AND OREGON.Mr. Max Pracht, traveling secretary of the American Protective Tariff League, whose headquarters are in New York, is in the city on business connected with the league, and is stopping at the Templeton.
A TALK ABOUT RAILROADS AND COMMON INTERESTS.
Mr. Max Pracht, an Enthusiastic McKinley Man,
Talks for Railroads, Wool, Peaches, and Protection.
Mr. Pracht's home is in the Peachblow Paradise region of Southern Oregon, or, as he says, to be more explicit, "in Ashland, where during prosperous years, which means the years of Republican protection, I was engaged in the pleasant and profitable task of raising choice peaches, but during the last three years of these good old Democratic times I have discovered that with the cutting down of the Saturday night payroll the selling price of fine fruit has also been reduced, while the quantity consumed has fallen off fully 50 percent, so that in the Rogue River Valley it is no longer profitable to raise peaches.
"Not only have the horticultural interests of Oregon suffered, but, in common with Utah, her great wool-growing industry has been driven to the wall. Many sheep ranches have been abandoned and others are kept up with small flocks to serve as a starter when once more McKinleyism becomes the American religion. The thousands of men formerly employed at good wages in the sheep camps are now idle, swelling the army of tramps and perforce increasing the ranks of criminals. Many of these men voted the Democratic free-trade ticket in 1892, but it is safe to say they won't do it again; they got the 'change' they voted for, but have not had any spare change in their pockets since.
"Utah has much in common with Oregon," continued Mr. Pracht, "and it needs only closer communication by rail to materially benefit both. Some years ago a local corporation built a line from Jacksonville to the main line of the Southern Pacific, which runs almost due north from Sacramento to Portland, at Medford. From the latter point surveys have been made and rights-of-way secured to a point near the headwaters of Rogue River, and it is the intention of the incorporators, if times ever get back to the point where capital can be enlisted in such enterprises, to build over the Cascade Range by way of the old Applegate survey to Klamath Falls, Lakeview and other points in the southernmost tier of counties, aiming for Kelton on the Great Salt Lake, hoping to meet there a railway direct from Salt Lake City, via the west shore. I am informed that the maximum grade over the Cascades is only seventy-six feet per mile, and neither tunnels nor snowsheds will be required. The largest forest of sugar pine timber in the world is tapped by this survey, and Crater Lake, Oregon's greatest natural wonder, can be reached by the line. A direct line from Salt Lake to Medford would be the base of two acute angles, one having its apex at Sacramento, the other at Portland, and a vast stretch of rich country from which the great markets of the United States cannot now be reached, except in an expensive and roundabout way, will he opened. There are great possibilities in store for Utah in this direction. Will she come to meet us?
"Since meeting your Judge Goodwin at the Denver convention of 1894, where we fought, bled, and almost died together, I have been making a tour of the manufacturing countries of Europe in the interest of the league, and gathering data and material for the campaign of protection to American industries and American workmen, in which we are already engaged. The nominee? Oh, we need not wait for the ratification meeting at St. Louis. The people of the United States have already nominated that hero of protection, William McKinley, and his election is a mere matter of form. Oregon, my own state, sends him a delegation fully instructed, and while I was in California I was told by those informed on the subject that the Golden State would do likewise. In fact, the state is conceded to McKinley. The only difference of opinion is as to whether or not the delegation should be instructed. The people are in favor of instruction; a few would-be bosses, who desire to trade for a place, are opposed. But the people will have their way, and the schemers will get left. There is no reason why Utah should not do as well; her best interests are with the Republican Party--protection and McKinley."
Daily Tribune, Salt Lake City, April 17, 1896, page 5
GOLD AND SILVER COINAGE.Daily Tribune, Salt Lake City, April 21, 1896, page 5
A Proposition Looking to a Ground for Unity.
Editor Tribune:--The issue of the campaign of 1896 is protection--only that and nothing more. The only difference of opinion is as to the measure of precedence to be given certain American products, and it is not at all to be wondered at that each particular locality should claim specific protection for its own products, while allowing only mythical protection for the products of other sections of the Union, and the further removed that section be, the less interest there is manifested in its particular welfare.
It is the mission of the American Protective Tariff League as such--and that independent of the personal opinions of some of its members--to so equalize the protective tariff as shall make it a harmonious whole, in which the greatest amount of good to the greatest number of citizens within the largest possible area of our common country shall result. Hence silver, as a product of a portion of the Union, should have thrown around it that aegis of protection which is asked for and will be accorded the product of any other portion of the Union. No one but a Randolph Tucker Democrat, who made it a boast that he would go a mile out of his way to kick a sheep, would deny an ample measure of protection to the woolgrower of Utah, and no one but a Grover Cleveland Democrat would object to protection both for Utah's wool and Utah's silver.
Extreme views from the 5 percent of the Republican voters who live within the so-called silver states, and who persist in blocking necessary tariff legislation by Congress, are surely met by views as extreme from the 95 percent of Republican voters scattered over the rest of the country. And there can be but one result--harm to both.
Counsels of moderation should prevail, and both now and at the St. Louis convention the extremists should be relegated to the rear. This is a year for protection, a year of the people, and the McKinley year of our national calendar; the year when, in spite of the bosses, the people will nominate and elect the popular representative of the protection idea to the Presidency.
With a protectionist Administration, one of the first things to be done is the passage of an
AMERICAN TARIFF BILL,one drawn in the interests of Americans in America, not of the nations from whence we spring and with whom we have nothing in common, and in this tariff bill it is proposed to insert a clause calling for a duty of not less than $2 per ton on all ores containing silver, and a further duty of not less than 25 percent ad valorem upon the metals contained therein. This will have a twofold effect. The specific duty of $2 per ton will equalize the labor cost of mining between Mexico or other peon and servile labor countries and the United States, while the ad valorem duty of 25 percent on the assay or net value of the metals contained in the ores will be equivalent to a bonus to the domestic as against the foreign miner. This is a proposition that no one can dispute, and which will have no opposition except from the smelters located near the Mexican border, and who are said by Utah miners to be up to ways that are dark and tricks that are vain in dealing with Uncle Sam's customs officers.
When that is done, I can see no reason why measures looking to the coinage of the American production of silver may not be devised, and the "equal coinage" idea put forth six months ago by one of the leading officials of the Tariff League be adopted. To me it looks reasonable and simple, though there may be an objection, which I will briefly note.
The fundamental principle of equal coinage is to maintain the equality of issue by the mints and the parity of value among the people, and the means proposed for arriving thereat are as follows:
The mints of the United States shall, upon the demand of any citizen, coin into standard coins of the United States, fine gold bullion and fine silver bullion, when same is deposited in the proportion of sixteen ounces of fine silver to one ounce of fine gold by any one depositor, subject to such restrictions as now exist by law against the coining of subsidiary silver coins, and to such mintage charges as shall cover the cost of melting such bullion and coining the same.
This, to me, looks like a fair attempt at equal coinage, which no right-minded man would seriously object to, and the only objection that can be made is this: The demand from non-gold-producing silver miners for bullion to deposit in the sixteen-to-one ratio noted in the foregoing would at once send the gold bullion to a small premium--say one-fourth to one-half of 1 percent or more, sufficient to pay cost of refining, brokerage and transportation; not enough, in my estimation, however, to cause the retirement of the gold coin in circulation, or to send an appreciable quantity of the same to the melting pot to supply bullion as aforesaid.
Why can't we protectionist Republicans unite upon such a common-sense measure, in the name of and for protection?
MAX PRACHTS MISSION.Portland Welcome.]
A Portland Paper Takes Max's Case in Hand.
Mr. Max Pracht, the gentleman who became so foolishly and vulgarly mad in the recent Republican state convention, went from here to San Francisco and had himself interviewed. He loves notoriety better than a weasel loves eggs. Mr. Pracht has a fruit farm near Ashland, and if he would stay at home and raise peaches and other fine fruit, as he can do, he would be a very useful man. But he has another, and from a personal standpoint perhaps a better, job. He is, or claims to be, "traveling secretary of the American Tariff League." In order to fill this position satisfactorily to his employers and with profit to himself, Max must of course be an accomplished equivocator--no offense meant--let it rather be said that he must be an adept at manufacturing plausible but sophistical theories, twisting and distorting facts, and disguising and smothering truth. This is his business. This is what the "League" hires him for. It is an association of manufacturers whose aim and object is to get rich by plundering consumers, and they hire Mr. Pracht to make said consumers believe that it is to their interest to be gulled. For this Mr. Pracht is presumed to receive the good salary that a professional political prevaricator is entitled to, with perhaps fine pickings in the way of perquisites on his travels.
Now Mr. Pracht has in this service become so accustomed to distorting and dodging the truth that it seems to be difficult for him to stay in company with it for any considerable length of time. In this interview, alter telling rapturously how everybody up in Oregon is for McKinley, he said: "The Republican Party in Oregon recognizes but one issue, the tariff." If Max doesn't know this is false he is a fool. Ten words are spoken in Oregon on money to one on the tariff. "This money question," he says, "is purely a family affair." O, and there's a fine family row over it, isn't there, Max?
Then Max goes on with "whoppers" of still greater dimensions: "What about the factions?" he says. "Well there are none now. They have done the great snake act, and have swallowed each other. A row over the local affairs of Portland was promptly sat down upon by the delegates from the 'cow counties'."
O, no, no factions. The row all squelched. All harmony now. What a cheerful, monumental, high-tariff, high-rolling, audacious admirable liar you are, Max! No wonder the Tariff League pays you a big salary! But the farther you go away from home the better you can earn it.
Valley Record, Ashland, April 23, 1896, page 1
Max Pracht's South Oregon Eulogy.Max Pracht, of Ashland, is considerable of a politician. Sometimes he sidetracks himself from the main line and says some very clever and appreciated words for Southern Oregon, especially that part of it covered by Rogue River Valley. Our good friend Peter Applegate, of Central Point, has sent us a copy of the Salt Lake City Daily Tribune, of date April 17th, in which is printed an interview with Mr. Pracht upon Oregon. The greater part of the interview is political, but the paragraph printed below is where he sidetracks, and is good reading--for everybody:
"Utah has much in common with Oregon," continued Mr. Pracht, "and it needs only closer communication by rail to materially benefit both. Some years ago a local corporation built a line from Jacksonville to the main line of the Southern Pacific, which runs almost due north from Sacramento to Portland, at Medford. From the latter point surveys have been made and right-of-ways secured to a point near the headwaters of Rogue River, and it is the intention of the incorporators, if times ever get back to the point where capital can be enlisted in such enterprise, to build over the Cascade Range by the way of the old Applegate survey to Klamath Falls, Lakeview and other points in the southernmost tier of counties, aiming for Kelton on the Great Salt Lake hoping to meet there a railway direct from Salt Lake City, via the west shore. I am informed that the maximum grade over the Cascades is only seventy-six feet per mile, and neither tunnels nor snowsheds will be required. The largest forest of sugar pine timber in the world is tapped by this survey, and Crater Lake, Oregon's greatest natural wonder, can be reached by the line. A direct line from Salt Lake to Medford would be the base of two acute angles, one having its apex at Sacramento, the other at Portland, and a vast stretch of rich country from which the great markets of the United States cannot now be reached, except in expensive and roundabout way, will be opened. There are great possibilities in store for Utah in this direction. Will she come to meet us?
Medford Mail, April 24, 1896, page 4
A McKINLEY MAN FROM THE WEST.There is a McKinley leader in town preparing to fire the first gun in the Canton man's campaign in Missouri.
Max Pracht of the Protective Tariff League Talks.
REMEMBERED UNCLE FILLEY.
But It Was Only After Some Effort
and Because "De Old Man" Has Aspirations.
His name is Max Pracht, and he stands as near the throne and as near the barrel as any of Mark Hanna's henchmen.
Mr. Pracht is a resident of Ashland, Ore., and is Financial Secretary of the American Protective Tariff League; at least that is what his card sets forth, but he hastens to explain that the printer made a mistake, and that he is in reality traveling secretary.
There was a well-defined rumor Tuesday that he was getting ready to make a distribution from the Little Corporal's barrel.
Mr. Pracht was in business in St. Louis 20 years ago, being then a member of the now-extinct firm of C. R. Williamson & Co., wholesale paper dealers. He said to a Post-Dispatch reporter:
"I am here primarily to secure quarters for the Oregon delegation. Our state is a gold state, and will send a solid sound money delegation to St. Louis, instructed for McKinley, first, last and all the time. Oregon was at one time assumed to be a free sliver state because the majority of the state's representatives in Congress were for free silver. Since 1890 there has been a change, so that now the majority of the people of the state are for sound money. The firm stand taken on protection and finance has had a good effect along the coast.
"I have no doubt that the Sacramento convention, which is being held today, will follow Oregon's lead, both as to the character and complexion of the delegation and in instructing for McKinley. The state of Washington can safely be claimed for protection and sound money.
"So, you see, McKinley has captured the entire Pacific Slope.
"I don't intend to make an active canvass for McKinley here, as 1 believe that no outside interference is required in Missouri."
When asked what he thought of the local McKinley leaders, Mr. Pracht said:
"I know your Mr. Kerens personally, and know that he is an enthusiastic worker for McKinley's cause."
Then, as Mr. Pracht paused, he was asked how Mr. Filley stood as a McKinley supporter.
"Filley? Filley?" he said, "let me see. Oh, yes; he's the man that wants to be delegate-at-large. Chauncey is his first name, isn't it? Well, as to Mr. Filley, you might say for me that he is an old acquaintance of mine and that I am glad to see him put to the front as a delegate-at-large. He is sure to do good work for the party."
While here Mr. Pracht will visit prominent local members of the tariff league. He thinks the issue will be protection and sound money and that McKinley will be nominated on the first ballot.
Though he thinks the combine against McKinley is very strong, he doesn't think it will prevail. He puts it: "Protection, reciprocity, sound money and the Monroe Doctrine are four aces in a hand that can't be beat."
When not dallying with the Tariff League barrel Mr. Pracht raises fruit in the Oregon "peachblow paradise." He has not been in St. Louis for years and was much surprised at recent improvements. He spent ten months in Europe lately and says that while there he found nowhere a hotel so elegantly appointed or with such accommodations as can be found in St. Louis, which, he says, indicates in itself the progress of this city in the last ten years.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 5, 1896, page 2
Preparing for the St. Louis Convention.Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 14, 1896, page 1
St. Louis, May 13.--Col. Timothy E. Byrnes, sergeant-at-arms of the Republican National Convention, has been here several days, arranging for the printing of tickets and badges. Five colors were chosen for the tickets, provision being made for that many days. Provision has been made for three sessions daily. Max Pracht, of Oregon, who is the financial secretary of the American Protective Tariff League, was today appointed assistant sergeant-at-arms, and will remain here until the convention meets, with headquarters at the Planters' Hotel.
A Little Tribute.
CINCINNATI, July 9, 1896.To the Editor Commercial Tribune:
I have read and can easily understand your valuable "Primary Silver Lessons."
They are the best and most coherently logical sermons upon this generally muddled topic I have seen in the daily prints, and I can hope for nothing better for the intellectual digestion of the people, or more timely.
I would suggest that you put these "Lessons" into leaflet form for general distribution, and will see to it personally that my own state of Oregon, which has been made the dumping ground for the vagaries of populistic literature, and the stamping round for their roaring bulls of Bashan and all others suffering from a vacuum in the head and a breaking out at the mouth, for several years, is properly supplied. These lessons can be made of great help during the present campaign for protection and sound money.
That Oregon was not lost to the Republican Party in June last is due entirely to the fact that it is a great wool-growing state and as such suffers greatly under the workings of the Wilson-Germandized tariff for deficit bill, and even the promise of sixteen (dollars) to one did not carry our farmers off their feet, but the free coinage propaganda is yet actively at work; it has capital to work with, and something should be done by the "sound" states to help us out in this campaign. Heretofore Oregon had never needed help from without her borders; we fought and won our own battles.
Should you publish these "Lessons" as [a] campaign document, I suggest that you place them in the hands of Hon. M. C. George, Portland, Ore., as the best and surest means of having them get into the hands of the people most needing them. Very sincerely yours,
MAX PRACHT, of Oregon.
William M. Hahn, of Mansfield, ex-member of the National Committee from Ohio; Abner McKinley, of New York, a brother of the Republican Presidential nominee; Executive Committeeman Charles G. Dawes, of Chicago and Max Pracht, of Oregon, were among the callers today.
"McKinley's Callers," Philadelphia Inquirer, July 19, 1896, page 5
Miss Charlotte Bronte Pracht, of Peachblow Paradise orchards, Ashland, arrived yesterday with her father, Hon. Max Pracht. They are registered at the Hotel Imperial. Miss Pracht, like her father, is an enthusiastic Republican, and will assist him in the American Protective Tariff League office work during the campaign in Oregon. Mr. Pracht will remain in Portland during the campaign as representative of the American Protective Tariff League.
"Personal Mention," Oregonian, Portland, August 25, 1896, page 5
Max Pracht, of Ashland, went through on the train today, and the earth trembled.
"Personal," Capital Journal, Salem, September 26, 1896, page 4
THIS PRACHT OF ASHLAND.Max Pracht, of Portland, was on his way south Saturday via the Roseburg mail train, and among his thirty-three fellow passengers was a certain Populist presidential elector of this city. It was a case of "tow and fire" as soon as they realized each other's presence, and a red hot "monetary" argument was instantly under way. After a while it came to a matter of proof as to the prevailing popular sentiment and the burden of proof lay upon Mr. Pracht. He disposed of the question by polling the train in company with his opponent, with the result that thirty-two voted for the great son of Ohio and two for Bryan. Born of Nebraska and of this pitiful minority, the said Populist elector constituted one-half.--Salem Statesman.
The above is pure fiction, reported by this Pracht, of Ashland. No vote was taken. No discussion was had. We never rode ten miles in our life with Pracht.
Pracht is one of Mark Hanna's apostate Jews, distributing McKinley literature on a Southern Pacific free pass. He incidentally remarked that he was a German, when a traveling man remarked that he was no more a German than were Ickelheimer, Goldstein & Co., of the gold bond syndicate fame. A Jew who is ashamed of his race often tries to pass himself off on Americans as a German. That is what this man Pracht is doing.
Capital Journal, Salem, October 1, 1896, page 3
Max Pracht, an Oregon politician, yesterday in this city ran up against a corporation manager with whom Mark Hanna's credentials would not go down. Captain James Morgan is manager of the Straits Steamship Company, which operates a line of steamers between Seattle and the Straits of Fuca. Pracht presented the credentials from Major McKinley's manager, requesting free transportation to Port Angeles and return, in which city it was proposed to organize a McKinley club.
"It won't pass muster here," Captain Morgan answered, and Pracht rejoined, saying, "I've traveled over the country, and this is the first transportation company, either by water or rail, that has refused to honor these credentials and give me a pass."
"Can't help it," Captain Morgan replied, "we are not 'deadheading' any of Hanna's politicians."--Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Salt Lake Herald, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 10, 1896, page 4
LOOKING FOR THE MAJOR.
Max Pracht of Oregon Drops In to See Chairman Hanna.
Cleveland, Jan. 7.--Mr. Max Pracht, a prominent Republican of Oregon and customs collector for Alaska under President Harrison's administration, was a visitor at the office of Mr. M. A. Hanna. Mr. Pracht said he came to Cleveland to urge upon the national chairman on behalf of the Republicans of his section the importance and necessity for an immediate and aggressive commencement of the campaign of 1900. He said he was glad to learn, however, that Mr. Hanna was in full sympathy with this view and had already taken steps looking toward that end.
Daily Republican, Defiance, Ohio, January 7, 1897, page 1
TO THE PUBLIC.State Rights Democrat, Albany, Oregon, January 29, 1897, page 1
Will you permit me brief space in the DEMOCRAT to notice an article going the rounds of the press intended to do me a personal injury.
The Republican officials in Alaska under the Harrison administration had continual warfare with as dirty a gang of scoundrels as ever went unwhipped of justice. Max Pracht of Ashland, Or., collector of customs, was indicted by this gang in 1891 for the faithful performance of his official duties. The gang never interfered with me while I was U.S. marshal in Alaska. My official term expired April 4, 1894, and in May, 1895, while in Alaska at the request of then Attorney General Olney to appear as a state's witness against my chief deputy for the stealing of public records, forgery and perjury, the gang set upon and indicted me for the embezzlement of government funds which I had faithfully accounted for in my account current and vouchers on the 30th of June, 1893.
Col. Joseph Murray of Fort Collins, Col., special agent of the Treasury Department, was sent to Alaska in May, 1895, to attend court during the trial of my chief deputy and to note how justice was administered to scoundrels and report his findings to the government. Col. Murray made his report, severely criticizing the corruption in Alaska, the impossibility of getting grand juries to indict or petit juries to convict parties guilty of violating the prohibitory laws of Alaska, and also severely criticizing the district attorney of Alaska for the manner and procedure in the prosecution of my chief deputy.
For this unbiased and truthful report Col. Murray, special treasury agent of the government, was indicted at the November term of court, lately closed in Alaska, for criminally libeling courts and grand juries in Alaska. The government at Washington, D.C., will now likely take a hand in the matter, and some very interesting developments will follow.
For vindication of my character for honesty and integrity and for the faithful discharge of my official duties while U.S. marshal of Alaska, I respectfully refer the public to the following named gentlemen: Hon. Lyman E. Knapp, ex-governor of Alaska, now resident of Moscow, Idaho; Hon. Max Pracht, ex-collector [of] customs of Alaska, now [a] resident of Ashland, Or.; Hon. Edwin T. Hatch, ex-collector of customs of Alaska, now [a] resident of McCoy, Polk County, Or.
I am ready to stand or fall by the verdict of these gentlemen, who are all conversant with the facts and circumstances leading up to my indictment in Alaska for the embezzlement or misappropriation of public funds. Respectfully,
ORVILLE T. PORTER
Late U.S. Marshal, District of Alaska.
The Pracht Boom in Alaska.
If there is any reliability to be placed on newspaper reports, Max Pracht will be our next governor. Mr. Pracht has done good work for his party, not only during the last campaign, but for many years.--Alaska Searchlight.
Lowell Sun, Lowell, Massachusetts, February 15, 1897, page 6
SALMON IN TREES.From the Washington Post: "Kate Field made an excursion trip to Alaska; I think it was in the summer of '86," said ex-Consul Max Pracht of Oregon, to the Post reporter at the Hotel Johnson. "I was then running a salmon-curing concern at a place called Loring-on-Naha Bay, one of the most delightful spots imaginable, but somewhat off the main line of excursion travel. Miss Field had Margaretta Weppenens' description of its scenic beauties, and coaxed Capt. Hunter to bring his ship in. I was busy in the fish house up on the first rapids out of Lake Adorable (so named in honor of Mrs. Richardson Clover, when she was yet Miss Dora Miller), and did not know of the steamer's arrival in the lower bay until Capt. Hunter's gig, with Miss Field and a few friends,
Kate Field Was Amazed at the Landscape Gardening in Oregon.
landed below the fish house. Being dressed a la Siwash--in gum boots and
yellow oil slickers, wading around in the day's catch of salmon piled up on
the floor to a depth of two feet or more--I did not consider myself in proper
costume to meet the ladies, and was making my way over the hill through
the huckleberry bushes to the seclusion of the mess house, when the jolly captain saw and hailed me; like Davy Crockett's coon, I came down.
"'I want you to take--oh, excuse me; this is Miss Kate Field of Washington--these ladies through the lake and up Naha River to the falls.'
"'Certainly, captain, if the ladies will ride in the fish boats--and the ladies would, even though the latter had not yet been washed of the slime from the morning's fishing. So we filled two skiffs, and off up the lake we went, Miss Field in fresh ecstasies as each succeeding point passed opened up newer and more glorious vistas. She was so enthused that she stood up in the boat all the way, and kept me busy answering questions, and I think I rather did the honors right up to the handle.
"Now, it so happened that a few days before a heavy rain up in the mountains filled the upper lakes, and, together with the fast-melting snow, created a freshet, which, rushing down the connecting reaches of river, carried with it thousands of salmon, already almost dead from the labor and distress of the spawning beds, and the freshet being higher than usual, filled the lower Naha River and overflowed the meadows near its mouth, so that the lower branches of the hemlock and spruce trees were covered, and the rapidly receding waters, as they found their way out into the bay over the rapids at low tide, left many of these discolored and emaciated salmon hanging over the limbs, a feast for the ravens. Miss Field saw and perhaps, also smelled them.
"'Oh, Mr. Pracht, how do you account for those fish in the trees?'
"'Those,' said I, 'Why, that is the way we raise salmon here.'
"She gave me a look which not even the childlike and bland smile I assumed could dispel, then turned her back on me, and never asked me another other question during the trip. Now, what I want to know is, who was victim of the joke--Kate Field or Max Pracht?"
Galesburg Enterprise, Galesburg, Kansas, March 12, 1897, page 5
Boss Peach Man Governor.Max Pracht, Ashland's greatest peach cultivator and authority on orchard pests, will be the governor of Alaska. It is Senator Mark Hanna's dictum. Thus saith a personal friend of Pracht's, not as an addition to his boom, but as confirmation to the report that the appointment had all been arranged and settled in the private councils of the powers that be, and are, months ago. The information comes from a man who has been in Alaska and knows the politics up there.
It is said that Pracht was positively promised the place long ago by Senator Hanna, McKinley’s manager, and the announcement is expected at any time. Max himself has always had the greatest assurance that this plum would fall to Oregon.
As governor of Alaska he will get about $4,000 a year, and then he will have a juicy little plum to hand out to one of his friends in the shape of a private secretaryship with an ordinary salary attached, but extraordinary perquisites that makes it worth scrambling for.
The Alaska spoils will be pretty well divided in East Portland, if reports count for anything. Judge Hanna has his eyes on the United States district attorneyship, and there are others all scheduled for federal jobs. One advantage enjoyed by the East Portlanders is that they got in on the ground floor early, and more than that they are at Washington urging their claims and endorsements while the other candidates are doing their skirmishing at long distance.--Telegram.
Dalles Daily Chronicle, March 31, 1897, page 3. J. G. Brady was named governor of Alaska Territory in 1897--not Max Pracht.
It can be stated on pretty good authority that Max Pracht will not be appointed
governor of Alaska. Max was sure of the place. He saw his title as big as life, but it don't look quite so good now. It is possible that he may land in some place in one of the departments here in Washington, as it is known to be the wish of the President
to appoint him to a suitable position.--Oregonian
"Local Brevities," Dalles Weekly Chronicle, April 21, 1897, page 3
Max Pracht"Political Pointers," Corvallis Gazette, April 23, 1897, page 5
Would like a facht,
Nice government position,
But his orbit.
Like that of Corbett,
Begins and ends in wishin'.
. . . the fact may be noted that the largest apple, the largest pear and the largest cherries exhibited at the  Columbian Exposition were grown in Oregon, and that a special gold medal was awarded to Max Pracht of Ashland for the largest and best-flavored peaches.
R. L. Fulton, "The Yamhill Country," Overland Monthly, May 1897, page 500
The latest news from Washington is that not only has C. S. Johnson withdrawn from the contest for the governorship, but that Max Pracht has also withdrawn. Max is the man who said Mark Hanna had promised him the place, but Hanna sent for him the other day and told him to apply for something else, as it was advisable not to antagonize the Brady people as they were numerous and powerful.
"100 Years Ago" (from the Sitka Alaskan of May 1897), Daily Sitka Sentinel, Sitka, Alaska, May 23, 1997, page 11
Max Pracht Gets an Office.Washington, June 5.--Max Pracht gets an office. He was reinstated as special agent of the Treasury Department to get around the civil service law. He was transferred and made a special agent of the general land office, and Hermann will send him to Oregon. It is not governor of Alaska, but it is something.
Dalles Daily Chronicle, June 7, 1897, page 1
"Nearly everyone has heard of Max Pracht, of Oregon," said a western Senator in one of the cloakrooms the other day, "for he has been traveling all over the country for the last four years shouting for McKinley and a protective tariff. Max is what we call out West a hustler, and he has hustled pretty lively, building up McKinley sentiment prior to the St. Louis convention and working for votes subsequent thereto. Max has had the confidence of the leaders in Oregon and elsewhere, and was prominent enough to be given the position of assistant sergeant-at-arms at the St. Louis convention. In all his hustling he has had one eye on the personal future of Max Pracht in the event of Mr. McKinley's success. Just after the election, nothing but a $5,000-a-year job would do; ever since then he has been coming down, until I see by the papers that he has finally landed in a $1,200-a-year job in the Interior Department."The National Capital," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 15, 1897, page 1
"How was it that he was transferred from the Treasury to the Interior Department? Why, that is simple enough: he held a position in the Treasury Department under Harrison, and was an old soldier, so he was reinstated; but there being no vacancy in the Treasury Department he was shifted to the Interior. Pracht has always enjoyed the personal friendship of Mr. McKinley, and it is a clear case of the President having some influence in this administration."
Max Pracht, the only original one, no substitute and bearing the maker's facsimile signature properly verified with every package, dropped into town Saturday from an absence of several months in Washington, D.C., where he and Hanna were directing the disposition of the spoils of victory. Max did not get the governorship of Alaska, which he wanted just long enough to "sit upon" some of his ancient enemies. But he was provided with a fat, salaried office, that will clean up more clear money.--Valley Record.
"The Week's Jottings," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, July 1, 1897, page 3
President McKinley has made a poor start in Oregon in giving the first federal patronage to Max Pracht and Ivey--in a state, too, filled with good men.
"Misfits," State Rights Democrat, Albany, Oregon, July 2, 1897, page 3
Max Pracht is in the hospital at Portland, recovering from a severe attack of
"Local Brevities," Dalles Weekly Chronicle, September 22, 1897, page 3
PEACH SHIPMENTS FROM ASHLAND.The Ashland district in Oregon attained quite a distinction this season from the fact that it was the only section in Oregon or Washington that gave a full crop of the late varieties of peaches. From a report we have at hand we learn that from Ashland Station there were shipped from July to October 34,500 boxes of peaches by freight and 36,100 by express. There are a number of other stations in that vicinity that also shipped heavily. This is the first year that Ashland peaches have entered the Eastern markets and the results were very pleasing to the growers, who found that their fancy product was very popular. One of the principal growers and shippers was Max Pracht, who, in answer to a query for a review of his experience for the season, said:
"Ashland has again shown her remissness to her own best interests by her failure to provide herself with an up-to-date fruit cannery. If my orchard is a criterion, at least a ton of peaches per acre of trees went to waste, or at best were dried in all sorts of driers, which from lack of experience have turned out a product having a wide range of value, some of it when brought into open competition in the market possibly failing to pay wages, after freight and other charges have been satisfied. The unusual hot weather of August forced to maturity perhaps 50 percent of our Crawfords before they had attained a size justifying shipment. They were full flavored, however, and exquisitely colored and would have made a better canned peach than the extra large fruit we are accustomed to send to market. What Ashland needs most now is an up-to-date cannery. The success attending Ashland's first year's experience with refrigerator car accommodations is varied. A want of knowledge on the part of the shipper as to the proper degree of ripeness caused a loss. The fruit arriving in the East chilled, and not a bit riper than when it left here, and being required for immediate consumption, it was classified by the buyer as 'green' and the bids on such lots, as shown by the printed returns furnished by the Earl Fruit Company, ranged from 45 to 60 cents per box, as against 90 cents to $1.10 for ripe and properly graded fruit in the same car. What Ashland needed was one season's experience with refrigerators to teach us that fruit so shipped must be started from here much riper than when shipment is made in the ordinary boxcar or 'oven,' as heretofore. On the whole, the season must be accepted as fairly satisfactory. Considerable money was put into circulation and the net profits, though not as large as was expected, are a gain, while the advertising Ashland has received in the leading markets of the East is worth a great deal. Letters received from distributing merchants at various points all agree in saying that Ashland peaches are far superior to any heretofore received from California, and in several cases offers have already been made to purchase some of our leading brands f.o.b. in Ashland next year, an advance of 15 to 20 cents per box over same varieties of California peaches being offered--one concern in a Mississippi River city offering to take two carloads per week. A 'trademark' brand printed wrapper and an attractive box label, also 'registered,' are great helps in the sale of fruit when the latter is of itself fully up to the highest standard. Peaches offered under such a 'trademark,' one which has now been in use five years, invariably starting out at an initial auction bid considerably higher than offers made for peaches packed in the old way, the extra profit being more in every case than the extra cost of wrapping and labeling. Printer's ink pays, even with peaches.
"What Ashland needs is a local fruit union, which, with a good manager, properly graded peaches and the use of distinctive labels and wrappers, will net to our orchardists a much better price. The buyer whose customers have had and demand a certain brand of peaches must pay the price, and is more certain of his own profit than if he handles 'wildcats.'
"What Ashland needs is more confidence and real cooperation in her fruit business."
Ranch and Range, Yakima, Washington, November 11, 1897, page 6
A PEACH CONTROVERSY.Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe, New Mexico, January 23, 1899, page 1
Merits of New Mexico and Oregon Fruit in Controversy--
Max Pracht on the Witness Stand.
When Max Pracht, of Oregon, left the state of big trees, big salmon and big red apples to locate in New Mexico as special agent of the general land office, with headquarters at Santa Fe, he also brought with him the hallucination that Oregon beats the world in the raising of prize-winning peaches, but after having had a set-to with ex-Governor Prince, Hon. E. F. Hobart and several others, Grant Rivenburg among them, who also think they know something about peaches as produced in the neighborhood of Santa Fe, he has concluded that documentary proof is necessary, and has sent back to his home in Ashland, Ore., for photographs and samples to back up his contentions. The "Peachblow Paradise" of Oregon may be all that he claims, but he will have to stand up at a meeting of the Horticultural Society to prove his title thereto before Santa Fe will abate one jot or tittle of its pretensions. This he has promised to do, and also to explain his system of cutting back and pruning peach trees, now in vogue in Oregon. Santa Fe fruit raisers will be glad to be taught any new wrinkles, and Max's fund of good humor and information will be drawn upon to the limit before they are done with him. "What's the matter with Oregon? There is nothing the matter with Oregon except its legislature, and when it comes to the abatement of the extra clerk hire scandal the legislature of New Mexico can set them a good example." This much Max admits, and more will follow in time. The New Mexican commends "plain Max Pracht"; he disclaims any and all titles, to the people of the territory, both in his official and private capacity, inasmuch as he does his duty impartially and pays his bills scrupulously.
Private Max Pracht, a relic of the Civil War, who has no other title, was in town during the week. He is special agent of the General Land Office for the district of New Mexico and has been making abstracts of scrip entries from the books of the local office before proceeding to Alamogordo on an investigating trip.--Dona Ana Republican.
"New Mexico," El Paso Daily Herald, February 20, 1899, page 3
Max Pracht, who has been inspecting timber in the Sacramento Mountain region, left for his home in Santa Fe this morning. Mr. Pracht has not been in El Paso for eighteen years and he says that all El Paso needs to make it a first-class city is a union depot and a big hotel.
"Personals," El Paso Daily Herald, February 28, 1899, page 8
MADRONA AND MANZANITA.
Description of the Habits and Appearance of These Trees.
The New Mexican stated the other day that plants of madrona and manzanita trees had been received here through the agency of Mr. Max Pracht from Oregon. An effort will be made to naturalize these plants, and they may become useful and ornamental. Mr. Pracht, talking of madrona and manzanita, says: "The madrona, sometimes known as the mountain laurel, is an evergreen tree, which grows in great size in the Rogue River Valley, a single specimen in my peach orchard at Ashland having measured 4 feet across the stump where it had been cut off by early settlers, who used the wood for making furniture. The first piano made on the Pacific Coast, for James Lick of the Lick House, of San Francisco, was built of this mountain laurel. It is a wood as hard as mahogany, takes an equally high polish, but finishes somewhat darker. Around the stump of this tree there have grown up 12 sprouts, varying now from 6 to 12 inches in diameter, making a most beautiful tree, with a spread of over 40 feet, leaving an afternoon tea snuggery inside of its outcurving branches, about 8 feet in diameter, not more than 4 feet from the ground.
"The foliage of the madrona is an intense and glistening green, resembling somewhat that of the magnolia on the upper side of the leaf, shaded to a rich sage green underneath. In the spring the new growth of last year puts out multitudinous sprays of beautiful waxen white blossoms, the shape being much like that of the wisteria. These become in November clusters of brilliant scarlet berries, which contrast wonderfully with the dark green of the leaves and furnish food for great flocks of robins. The chief peculiarity of the tree, however, is its bark or skin. In the springtime it is in color a delicate greenish yellow, and feels velvety and firm like the stem of a fresh mushroom. It soon turns to a dark shining red, with the touch of cordova leather, which again, as winter approaches, turns to a dark brown, is burst asunder by the expansion of the tree and falls off in great flakes during the winter, exposing the velvet of the new integument of the following year. The madrona is a hard tree to remove from its chosen habitat. I have tried moving and transplanting small saplings of from 1 to 4 inches in diameter, nursed them carefully but lost them; some the first, the rest the second year after transplanting.
"To propagate them in this latitude, I would advise securing the seeds. There are places in New Mexico where I think the madrona would flourish. It prefers a loose, gravelly or decomposed granite soil, and not too much rain. The average rainfall of the Rogue River Valley is 20 inches, and this is distributed over about nine months, beginning [with] June showers, sometimes one in July, generally about the glorious Fourth, especially if we have a parade and celebration.
"The manzanita is a shrub which grows to about the height and dimensions of the scrub cedar of the mesas. It has small ovoid leaves of two beautiful shades of sage green. The wood is a bright claret color, the bark or skin a dull red, and fits the wood like a glove. The tree branches out very close to the ground, and forces a dense erratic growth of branches. These are much sought after for walking sticks, but I have yet to see one 3 feet in length that was reasonably straight. Its existence is crooked but beneficent, growing rapidly and being not too particular as to soil, as is the case with the madrona. It loves its own species, and hugs up close, thus making shade and shelter. In the spring it puts forth a profusion of small white and fragrant blossoms, which produce a berry not quite as large, nor so hard, as a peppercorn, and furnishes food for great bands of quail, grouse, partridges and other birds, well through the winter.
"In my opinion the manzanita could be easily demonstrated in New Mexico. The seeds, if planted in the waste ground usually found between the sparse and scattered pinion cedar, juniper and scrub oak of the mountain slopes and mesas, would, I think, grow and soon spread over the open ground, shading the same so that the moisture will be retained much better than by the agency of tall trees, thus stimulating other growths, and better than all, furnish ample feed for game and birds.
"I have met with individual manzanita bushes or trees that were 12 feet high, with an equal spread, and the main trunk or body 6 and even 8 inches in diameter. It makes excellent firewood, and does not require seasoning before using."
The New Mexican, Santa Fe, April 27, 1899, page 3
A NEW INDUSTRY.Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe, New Mexico, June 2, 1899, page 4
Horned Toad Skins Wanted in Quantity in New York.
Special Agent Max Pracht, of the federal building, not so long ago inserted a small advertisement in the New Mexican for horned toads. The startling returns from that advertisement were mentioned in the New Mexican a few days later. The article was copied by papers throughout the United States, and Mr. Pracht has received the following self-explanatory letter from a leather manufacturer:
"The enclosed clipping is taken from the New York Sun of this date. I think that if you could get me some skins of these toads I could do some business with you. I want these skins to tan and sell to the novelty trades. I do not want the body, only the skins. If this does not interest you kindly turn it over to some responsible party in your town who would like to make some money.
"I do not care in what quantity or color I get them, but they must not be smaller than five inches across the back, and must be skinned or taken off clean. The best way to ship them is dried. I cannot use any cut or torn skins; the skins must be perfect.
"I think it would be better to send on several dozen skins C.O.D. subject to my examination. It must be understood that I will not pay any fancy price for the skins, but am willing to pay the full market value for any skins sent me."
GEO. F. WERNER.Unfortunately horned toads never or seldom get to be five inches across the back; they hump themselves with pride if they attain three inches from hip to hip. But there is no telling what may be accomplished by proper propagation and breeding, and one of the new industries of Santa Fe in the near future may be horned toad ranches and tanneries.
MAX PRACHT AND HIS TOADSSpecial Agent Max Pracht of the federal building in Santa Fe the other day inserted an advertisement in The New Mexican, offering to buy ten horned toads. When he arrived at his office in the morning, he found an army of people lined up in the corridor, like the rush at Durango when the Ute lands were opened. The first ones in line seemed to have been there all night. Every grade of citizenship and servitude was represented. They had brought horned toads of all kinds, color, class and condition. Some were as small as a bedbug and others as large as a mud turtle. They were housed in cigar boxes, old hat boxes, handkerchiefs, shawls and satchels.
Result of an Advertisement Offering to Buy Ten Horned Toads.
All day long young and old, large and tall, clean and dirty people called, offering horned toads for sale, until everyone in the federal building had a creepy, crawly, clammy feeling, and Mr. Pracht had selected the finest specimens that ever found their way to a zoological garden. He is convinced by this time that there are more horned toads in and around Santa Fe than anything else. The rush became so great in the afternoon that the sign "No More Horned Toads Wanted" was put out. But still they came, and Mr. Pracht was compelled to seize his hat and coat and flee into the jungle not far from the federal building.--Santa Fe New Mexican.
Leavenworth Times, Leavenworth, Kansas, June 10, 1899, page 3
Miss Amie Gulliford left for San Francisco per today's train. She is en route to Ashland, Ore., the peachblow paradise, where she will be the guest of Mrs. Max Pracht and Miss Pracht. Miss Charlotte Bronte Pracht is now in San Francisco awaiting the arrival of her brother, a soldier, from Manila, and Miss Gulliford will go on to Oregon with them. Miss Pracht is expected to return with Miss Gulliford for a visit in Santa Fe to Max Pracht, her father.
"Personal Mention," Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe, New Mexico, July 10, 1899, page 4
Max Pracht today received a telegram bringing the joyful tidings that his son had arrived safely at San Francisco with the 2nd regiment of Oregon volunteers, of which he is a member, and with which he had seen some exciting times at Manila.
"Minor City Topics," Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe, New Mexico, July 13, 1899, page 4
Special Agent Max Pracht this afternoon left for Las Cruces on official business.
"Personal Mention," Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 22, 1899, page 4
Max. Pracht has received from his orchard at Ashland, Ore., a box of early Crawford peaches that for size, appearance and quality cannot be excelled. He has an orchard of fifteen acres. The fruit is packed and labeled in up-to-date manner, and sells for 2½ cents per pound.
"Minor City Topics," Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe, New Mexico, September 12, 1899, page 4
Max Pracht, the genial special land agent of Santa Fe, is sojourning in the county. He is one of those lively spirits that makes everyone feel happy and more contented with their lot.
"Prominent Persons Paragraphed," Alamogordo News, Alamogordo, New Mexico, September 14, 1899, page 8
Alamogordo Looks Like the Real Thing to Special Agent Pracht.
"What do I think about Alamogordo?" replied Max Pracht, special agent of the general land office, to a question from a News reporter. "I think it is a hummer and is bound to make one of the best towns in the Southwest. I do not think I have ever been so favorably impressed with a new town as I am with Alamogordo. You have a water system that would be a credit to a city of 50,000 inhabitants, and the general appearance of the place is one of beauty and permanence. From the number of fine residences that have been built here this year, it is evident that the people who are backing the enterprise are strong in their faith, and someone with an idea to detail has had the work in charge on the ground, who has not overlooked anything. When the trees that have been set out attain another year's growth, it will be a veritable eden--a garden spot that is bound to attract hundreds of permanent residents.
"The climatic features are most desirable from a residence standpoint, and a great many people will make their homes here who have money to spend, regardless of the many boasted resources in the county. And Otero County is certainly a locality of wonderful resources. I do not believe that I ever saw finer orchards, except my own Peach Blow Paradise orchard in Oregon. It is evident that most everything will grow here. All that is necessary is to get water onto the soil.
"Yes, sir, Alamogordo has a great future without doubt, and the whole country tributary to the El Paso & Northeastern Railway will enjoy a wonderfully prosperous era from now on."
Alamogordo News, Alamogordo, New Mexico, September 21, 1899, page 4
Special Agent Max Pracht is in Lincoln County, on official business. Before returning home he will go to Lordsburg to meet his daughter, who will spend part of the winter in Santa Fe, the guest of Miss Aimee Guifford.
"Capital City Items," Daily Optic, Las Vegas, New Mexico, October 9, 1899, page 4
Pracht-Martin.Humboldt Pracht, son of Hon. Max Pracht, and Miss Susie Martin, daughter of Mrs. J. H. McBride, were married yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock at the home of the bride in Portland. They took the evening train for Ashland and arrived here this morning to make this city their future home, Mr. Pracht being the trusted manager of J. A. Gross' railroad hotel, a clever and popular young man whose numerous friends are glad to congratulate him upon his marriage to such an intelligent, amiable and charming young lady as the bride is known to be by her many admirers and friends in Ashland, her former home. They have the best wishes of all for a successful and happy wedded life.
Valley Record, Ashland, October 19, 1899, page 2
Alexander Humboldt Pracht, the youngest son of Special Agent Max Pracht, of the general land office, was married October 18 to Miss Susie Martin, of Portland, Ore., where the wedding took place. The young people reside at Ashland, Ore., where Mr. Pracht is manager of the Southern Pacific railroad hotel.
"Social and Personal," Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe, New Mexico, October 28, 1899, page 4
Special Agent Max Pracht today received official notification of being detailed to investigate the project of making a national park of the Aztec ruins in San Juan County, New Mexico, and in southwestern Colorado, and will go there soon.
"Minor City Topics," Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe, New Mexico, November 18, 1899, page 4
MAX PRACHT HEARD FROM.Max Pracht, whom the people of Oregon were inclined to mourn as one who had mysteriously disappeared, has not gone to the undiscovered bourne that is the destination of many travelers. On the contrary, Max is alive and well, and seemingly as energetically employed as of old--not in proclaiming the beauties of a peachblow paradise, but in expatiating on the wonders to be unearthed from the ruins of cliff-dwellers and Aztecs in southwestern Colorado. He kindly sends to the Oregonian a copy of the Santa Fe New Mexican, from which it is learned that "Special Agent Pracht, of the land office, has been assigned the duty of examining the ruins in the Mancos Canyon, on the Mesa Verde, and other portions of Colorado, with a view of reporting upon the advisability of setting aside that part of the state as a national park, or reservation." Max may not know the difference between an Aztec and a Modoc, but it is safe to say that he will tackle anthropology [and] will live in the history of the Smithsonian Institution.
The Oregonian Discovers Him in the Arid Mesa of New Mexico.
Editorial in Sunday's Oregonian.]
Valley Record, Ashland, November 30, 1899, page 1
Sized Him Up.Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe, New Mexico, December 12, 1899, page 4
A copy of the Durango Evening Herald, addressed to "Private Max. Pracht," and having a marginal reference by Judge McCloud of Durango, saying, "You were discovered," has the following:
"The distinguished-looking gentleman wearing a G.A.R. button and an elk's tooth, who has been in tow of Judge McCloud during the last two days, and who did not register at the hotels, may be a Hungarian nobleman traveling incog., but the Herald office boy is willing to bet $10 out of his next week's wages that he is the special agent of the general land office, who has been entrusted with the examination of the cliff dweller ruins, with the end in view of making reservations or public parks of the lands upon which they are located, and his name is Max Pracht, of Santa Fe. Put up or shut up."
How a man who makes so much noise in the world as does Special Agent Max Pracht, who has just returned from Durango and Lumberton, where he had been on a "secret" mission for the government, expects to travel without being discovered, is a puzzle to those who know him.
SQUATTERS TO MAKE ENTRIES.Max Pracht, special agent of the general land office, returned this morning from an official visit of a week to Valencia County. In township 8N, range 5E in that county, a number of squatters had possession of government land as long as twenty years. They had the land surveyed, but never made entries on it. Mr. Pracht succeeded in persuading them into a promise to make homestead entries on the land to avoid difficulties with the government. In another township of the same county he also conferred with thirty settlers and smoothed over some technical difficulties that prevented them from making entries on their lands. Mr. Pracht reports plenty of snow in the mountains, and any amount of cold weather in Bernalillo and Valencia counties.
"Official Matters," Santa Fe New Mexican, January 13, 1900, page 4
Wm. Bismark Pracht, eldest son of Hon. Max Pracht, of the U.S. general land office, and Miss Nellie Patrick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Patrick, late of La Junta, Colo., were married at the home of her sister, the residence of conductor Chas. J. Brady, in Ashland Tuesday evening at 7:30. The destiny of the happy twain was linked by Justice of the Peace Milton Berry in the presence of a few relatives and intimate friends: Mrs. Max Pracht, Mrs. C. B. Patrick, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. J. Brady, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. A. Winings, Mrs. C. H. Pierce, Mrs. M. Woods, Miss Charlotte Pracht, Otto Miller, Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Pracht. Misses Mary and Esther Silsby played the wedding march.
The bride wore a handsome light-colored Persian silk dress and was never more charming in the eyes of her admiring friends than on this her bridal day. After the ceremony the bridal pair led the way to the home of Max Pracht in Peachblow Paradise, where the jolly wedding party were served with a sumptuous feast. Nothing was lacking to make the occasion a memorable and happy event, not even two different charivari parties, one of whom was organized by the groom's former companions of Co. B in the late Philippine campaign.
The popular young people have the congratulations and best wishes of all their friends in their union of love. May life hold for them all the blessings and joys of existence.
Valley Record, Ashland, April 12, 1900, page 3
A PRETTY WEDDING.The Ashland (Ore.) papers publish a complete account of the wedding last week at Ashland of Sergt. William Bismarck Pracht, the eldest son of Max Pracht, of this city, special agent of the general land office, to Miss Nellie Patrick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. D. Patrick, formerly of La Junta, Colo. The wedding took place at the residence of Charles J. Brady at Ashland last Tuesday evening. Judge Milton Berry officiated, in the presence of a number of relatives and other invited guests The bride was charmingly attired in a wedding gown, sans trains, made of light-colored Persian silk, trimmed with white. She wore diamond and opal ornaments, and carried a bouquet of white lilacs. Mendelssohn's wedding march was played by the Misses Esther and Mary Silsbey as part of the ceremony. After the wedding the happy couple left for the home of Mr. Pracht in Peachblow Paradise, where a reception was tendered them and a sumptuous feast was served. The groom's former companions in the Philippine war tendered the wedding party two charivari serenades. The groom has been a resident of Ashland for fifteen years, and served with credit to himself and honor to his country in company B of the 2nd Oregon volunteers in the Philippines. He served as mining engineer at Sparta, Baker County, before the outbreak of the war. The charming and talented bride has been a great favorite in Ashland social circles during the past week, where her musical and dramatic talents have been much sought after at amateur theatrical entertainments.
The Eldest Son of Max Pracht Takes Unto Himself a Wife.
Santa Fe New Mexican, April 17, 1900, page 1
Mrs. Max Pracht and daughter Lottie have taken a cottage for the season.
"Tolman's," Valley Record, Ashland, June 14, 1900, page 3
Max Pracht, of Santa Fe, special agent in the employ of the Department of the Interior, was at the Brown Palace Hotel, Denver, on Thursday. Mr. Pracht was sent by the Secretary of the Interior to look over the country of the cliff dwellers, which should be made a reserve, and to report upon its value. He spent six weeks in the country."Montezuma Mesa," Santa Fe New Mexican, June 23, 1900, page 1
"I have not the slightest doubt that the Secretary of the Interior will act favorably upon the report which I submitted to him," said Mr. Pracht to a Denver reporter.
"I reported strongly in favor of establishing the proposed reserve. The cliff dwellers' country has a historic value beyond comparison. There is absolutely no end to the value of the relics which have been unearthed there, and are still to be unearthed. The work which will be done in the country will do much toward unraveling the history of the world, and the human race.
A BIG RESERVATION."In my recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior I specified about nineteen townships, which, after a thorough investigation, seem to me to include practically all the ruins of any importance. The area includes the Mancos Canyon and the Mesa Verde, and will run to the line between New Mexico and Colorado.
"In truth, it is of but little value for anything but a reserve, for a more desolately barren country you never saw. It lacks water, wood and vegetation almost completely. In some places near the rivers are to be found small farms taken up by poor settlers, and if the government decides to make the reserve it will be necessary for these settlers to move. It will not be difficult to bring this about, for the lands are not of any real value, and the settlers could move almost anywhere else and be better off. It will be provided, in the order forming the reserve, that the settlers be reimbursed for the lands taken from them, and be allowed to choose lands upon the government homesteads, so they will in no case be losers.
NOT ROBBED OF RELICS."There has been much said about the amount of plunder that has been taken out of the country. It is true that a great deal of value, that lies on the surface, has been tucked in the trunks of foreign scientists, and taken to museums in Europe, but the important things are still in the earth there. Ninety percent of the historic relics of the cliff dwellers remain to be unearthed, and if the reservation is made, they will be preserved for the state of Colorado, the territory of New Mexico and the United States.
"I do not advance my opinions as those of a scientist who has studied the matter, but merely as those formed through close observation by one who is accustomed to look into such matters. Without doubt in Southwest Colorado are the remains of the most ancient civilization of which the world has any knowledge, unless a pre-Persian civilization.
"Surveyors will be put to work at once, when the Secretary of the Interior has passed favorably upon the reserve," concluded Mr. Pracht, "and will mark out the boundaries of the 'Montezuma Reserve,' as it will be called."
Mr. Pracht is in Denver on business connected with a special mission, the purpose of which, however, he does not desire to divulge.
"It does not pertain to Colorado," said Mr. Pracht.
A GIFT FOR THE PRESIDENT.Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe, New Mexico, June 26, 1900, page 1
Special Agent Max Pracht, of This City, Is the Donor.
From the thousand-year-old petrified forest of Arizona has been hewn a present for President McKinley. It is now in the hands of a Denver lapidary and is being cut and polished. Max Pracht, special agent of the Department of the Interior, will make the unique gift. Several weeks ago while in Arizona he made a trip through the petrified forest and was struck by the extreme beauty of one particular tree. After some difficulty a piece weighing about 100 pounds was broken from the thickest part of the trunk. Said Mr. Pracht:
"It is a magnificent specimen of peculiarly vivid coloring. It shows the delicate rings of the wood to perfection."
Mr. Pracht is a staunch McKinley supporter, especially because of McKinley's adherence to the gold standard. This is, in fact, one of the reasons for his making the gift.
"I always have fought silver," said Mr. Pracht. "In 1894, when the Republican League clubs had their convention I was representing Oregon. I was on the committee on resolutions. In the committee we had a rare old fight over the admission of a silver plank into the document. I stood out against it and managed to win over a vote to our side, which defeated the silverites. We carried the convention with us on the exclusion of the silver issue, and that, I think, had a great influence in making the Republican Party what it is in the West. I know that was what brought the Republican Party of Oregon under the administration flag."
IN LOVE WITH CLOUDCROFT.
Sorry He Did Not Have His Best Girl Along, So She Could See, Too.
WRAPPED AND ENRAPTURED GIRLS.
The Lady with the Kodak Wept When the Real Scenery Was Disclosed,
Because She Had No More Plates.
High Private Max Pracht of Santa Fe stood on the Alamogordo platform when the Fourth of July excursion train from El Paso to Cloudcroft arrived. He wore a seven-inch smile and a clean collar. Just as the train pulled out for the mountains Max seemed to have been struck by an idea so hard that he made a rush for the rear end, caught onto the coupling and when last seen was being pulled aboard by sympathetic excursionists. He got back last night wearing the same smile and his collar unsoiled. Hear him sing! "Oh yes, I went to Cloudcroft on the cloud-climbing, Heaven-aspiring railroad. There must have been three hundred from El Paso, not counting Alexander. From the time we began twistificating up from La Luz Canyon until we got to the timber line it was all oh's and ah's! and every patch of green trees elicited such expressions of delight that one would suppose there was not even a cottonwood in El Paso. One fair matron, in charge of a veritable outburst of girls used her Kodak on every curve and shot the sea of billowy white sands stretching away towards the west no less than five times, from every possible point of vantage and fairly wept when beyond the Fresnal Canyon we came into the real big woods--the evergreen primeval forest. She had no more plates. But say! For a change of air it is a sure thing. Halfway up the men began buttoning up their coats, the girls put on wraps, and those who had forgotten their wraps just snuggled up to their escorts and seemed to be quite happy. As to whether the girls should bring wraps or not depends not so much upon the weather in El Paso at the time of starting as upon other circumstances. We had a good dinner at the big hotel. We danced on the well-waxed floors, we took walks in the leafy dales and flowery dells, we breathed the pine and spruce gum-laden atmosphere, we drank Cloudcroft water from the spigots, we went on the divide to look over east into the Penasco country, and wherever we found a convenient log we sat down and looked through the rifts in the trees at the fleecy clouds scudding through the sapphire sky above us, and we were supremely happy, for we all of us had our sweetheart with us, all except poor me, and I sneaked off by myself and read her last letter over again. Oh yes, I am going to Cloudcroft again, but not alone, you may gamble. It is a place the poet had in mind when he wrote 'the place, the occasion and the loved one,' but you must bring your own loved one with you, for the other fellow will not lend you his."
Alamogordo News, Alamogordo, New Mexico, July 5, 1900, page 1
Mrs. W. B. Pracht has returned to her home in Ashland for a week's visit and Misses Charlotte Pracht and Hattie Martin and Mrs. Humboldt Pracht are occupying the Pracht cottage this week.
Misses Pracht and Martin entertained the guests of Hotel Tolman and the campers at a large bonfire Saturday evening. Mrs. J. Willard Denison sang several solos. Games and other amusements were indulged in.
"Tolman's," Valley Record, Ashland, August 2, 1900, page 3
Mrs. Max Pracht, W. B. Pracht and Mrs. Chas. Brady returned to Ashland Wednesday.
"Tolman's," Valley Record, Ashland, August 16, 1900, page 3
Miss Lizzie High and B. D. Heberlie of Ashland visited the Pracht cottage Sunday.
Misses Lottie Pracht and Mollie High arrived Saturday and Mrs. W. B. Pracht Sunday to remain several weeks.
"Tolman's," Valley Record, Ashland, August 30, 1900, page 3
Max Pracht, formerly stationed in this city as special agent of the general land office, arrived in the city yesterday on a business visit.
"Personal Mention," Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe, New Mexico, January 4, 1901, page 4
A Story of Max Pracht.Oregonian, Portland, April 28, 1901, page 17
I heard a good story on the versatile Max Pracht the other day, or, perhaps, it was on the General Land Office. At least it is worth repeating. A year or more ago there was considerable demand for information regarding the cliff dwellers' ruins in Arizona, and after looking the field over, it was decided that Max Pracht, then a special agent in the Land Office, should be sent on this mission. Those who knew Max are thoroughly familiar with his self-confident and all-important manner. In due time he hired himself as far as Durango, Colo. And that was as near the ruins as Max ever got. He fell in with the natives, gave them to understand that he was special agent of the General Land Office, and from his manner many gathered the impression that he was pretty near the whole government at Washington. Max, soon after reaching Durango, happened to stumble over a museum on one of the main thoroughfares, where parts of the cliff dwellers' ruins were exhibited, and in he went, to enlighten himself. After listening to the explanation of the exhibitor, Max concluded he knew enough about the ruins without going further, and in the most comfortable quarters Durango could afford he wrote out his report on the ruins of Arizona. This was duly submitted to the department at Washington, and with it the bill of expenses. The department, it may be added, learned more from the expense account than it did from the report, and Max was given to understand that he was rather a luxury, when next he came to Washington. He was not the least disturbed, but rather lay back and laughed most heartily to think that he had taken in the department, and that from Durango he could write up an instructive report on ruins in Arizona.
A YARN ON MAX PRACHT.Sunday's Oregonian published the following story from its Washington correspondent. Nobody is vouching for the truth of the story, which is left to the individual reader to decide.
How the Irrepressible Politician
Experted the Ruins of the Cliff Dwellers.
I heard a good story on the versatile Max Pracht the other day, or perhaps it was on the general land office. At least, it is worth repeating. A year or more ago there was considerable demand for information regarding the cliff dwellers' ruins in Arizona, and after looking the field over, it was decided that Max Pracht, then a special agent in the land office, should be sent on this mission. Those who know Max are thoroughly familiar with his self-confident and all-important manner. In due time he hied himself as far as Durango, Col. And that was as near the ruins as Max ever got. He fell in with the natives, gave them to understand that he was a special agent of the general land office, and from his manner many gathered the impression that he was pretty near the whole government at Washington. Max, soon after reaching Durango, happened to stumble over a museum on one of the main thoroughfares, where parts of the cliff dwellers' ruins were exhibited, and in he went, to enlighten himself. After listening to the explanation of the exhibitor, Max concluded he knew enough about the ruins without going further, and in the most comfortable quarters Durango could afford, he wrote out his report on the ruins of Arizona. This was duly submitted to the department at Washington, and with it the bill of expenses. The department, it may be added, learned more from the expense account than it did from the report, and was was given to understand that he was rather a luxury when next he came to Washington. He was not the least disturbed, but rather lay back and laughed most heartily to think that he had taken in the department, and that from Durango he could write up an instructive report on ruins in Arizona.
Valley Record, Ashland, May 2, 1901, page 3
Depot Hotel Changes Hands.A. H. Pracht, who has been chief clerk at the Depot Hotel for many years, has purchased the same from J. A. Grass and will take charge on the 15th.
Valley Record, Ashland, August 8, 1901, page 3
"Max" Is Still Rampant.Special Agent Max Pracht, who signs himself "Of Oregon," jumped on ye editor yesterday because of the statement that Senator-elect Charles W. Fulton, of Oregon, was a lawyer, and insisting that in his case the word should have been spelled with a capital L. "Not only is he a Lawyer,” said Max, "but he stands 6 feet 2, weighs 220 pounds, and can lick his weight in wildcats, and Oregon has once more a blooded team in the senatorial harness. Mr. Fulton is one of the class of lawyers such as we had down in Jackson County when the Populists were rampant. They, you know, objected to sending lawyers to the legislature--they wanted farmers to represent farmers; but nevertheless they put a little fellow on their ticket who had a new sign with 'attorney at law' painted on it. Fault being found with them for such a departure from the faith, his Republican opponent excused them on the ground that 'he was not lawyer enough to hurt.'"
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 18, 1903, page 2
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
General Land Office
August 24, 1903.Mr. Max Pracht,
Special Agent, G.L.O.,
Your letter of August 18th has been received. If it is absolutely necessary to close up your business at the Pueblo office that you remain there until the thirty-first of this month you may do so, but you must be in Durango on the first of September.
I note what you say about the success of your work in Pueblo, and respecting that will say that we judge the work of special agents from their official reports and results actually accomplished. I trust your reports will bear out your statement as to your success.
I have seen several notices in the newspapers of what you said you were doing in the Pueblo district, and I want to caution you about giving out information for publication. As you know, the reports of special agents do not go into the public records and are not made public except in connection with a contest case, proceedings in court, or something of that character, and it must be left to this office to say when and what portions of such reports shall be made public. The protection of the public land from unlawful appropriation, and not newspaper notoriety, is the principal object sought to be obtained through the Special Service Division of this office. Another thing that special agents should bear in mind is that it is no part of their duties to attempt to exert an influence in politics, except insofar as the able, fearless and impartial performance of their duty shall redound to the credit of the administration. I mention this to you for the reason that while in Omaha recently, I learned that you had stated, when there last spring, that certain proposed prosecutions on account of alleged illegal homestead entries should not be pushed on account of the bad effect it would have politically. This statement is corroborated to my mind by the fact that you had a conference with Senator Millard which resulted in his telegraphing me that you would like to come to Washington to talk with me about matters in Nebraska. I was surprised to receive this communication, and I could not understand why you should be reporting to Senator Millard, but, desiring to know what you had to say and being about to make a trip to Minnesota, I wired you to meet me in Chicago but you did not do so and I learned subsequently that you had returned to Pueblo before the arrival of my telegram.
You say, in the letter to which this is a reply, that there are matters in Nebraska which it was desired that you should talk with me about, which you thought ought not to be written. If these are official matters it is your duty to report them to this office, and if they are not official and are, as I suspect, political, I do not care to discuss them with you at all.
As to your claim for promotion, I have made no announcements of any plan for promotions in the special service of this office, but if it should be deemed advisable to make different grades of special agents, those to be placed in the higher grades will be selected on account of their ability and efficiency as evidenced by their reports, and the actual results which have been obtained through their labors, and not through the endorsements which they may be able to obtain from their friends in political or civil life.
Respectfully,"Letter from William A. Richards Max Pracht." Theodore Roosevelt Papers. Library of Congress Manuscript Division. Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library. Dickinson State University.
(signed) W. A. Richards
Department of the Interior,Mr. President:
General Land Office,
September 9, 1903.
Under date of August 13th I submitted to the Secretary of the Interior a report relating to the alleged fraudulent disposition of a large area of valuable coal land in Colorado to which your attention had been called by articles which had appeared in some of the Colorado papers. With this report I submitted a copy of the report of N. A. Meyendorff, a special agent of this office now acting as superintendent of the special agents in Colorado.
Subsequently in carrying out the recommendations of Mr. Meyendorff I transferred Special Agent Max Pracht from Pueblo to Durango, Colorado. Upon receipt of these instructions Mr. Pracht wrote me a letter, at the bottom of which he stated the letter was confidential, requested that I destroy it and said that he kept no copy. The letter was placed in the files of this office, in the proper division, and answered by a letter which I dictated.
I am now in receipt of a communication from Mr. Pracht in which he appears to have been greatly offended by my letter and declares he is coming to Washington to place himself right, that he has consulted the delegation from Oregon, who are his political backers, that he will resign as a special agent and then proceed to do some terrible things which he only hints at.
As it may be that he will attempt to carry his complaints to you, I enclose you a copy of the letter to which he takes such great exceptions, and I will be pleased to have you read the same as it states my views upon two or three points which may be of interest to you.
Very respectfully yours,The President,
(signed) W. A. Richards
Oyster Bay, New York.
"Letter from William A. Richards to Theodore Roosevelt." Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library. Dickinson State University.
ALEXANDER H. PRACHT. Conspicuous among the rising young business men of Jackson County is Alexander H. Pracht, who is well and favorably known to many of the patrons of the Southern Pacific Railway line as proprietor of the Depot Hotel at Ashland. Active, enterprising, genial and accommodating, he is an ideal host, and is meeting with excellent success in the management of his house, which is well patronized and very popular with the traveling public. A native of Missouri, he was born February 18, 1875, in St. Louis, a son of Max Pracht.
Born and reared in Germany, Max Pracht came with his parents to America, and for a while lived in Ohio. During the Civil War he served as a soldier, being connected with the United States navy. He was subsequently commercial salesman for a St. Louis firm for a while, and then settled in San Francisco, Cal., where he traveled for Neville & Co. for a number of years, for about ten years being a member of the firm. Going thence to Alaska, he was engaged in salmon packing at Loring until 1887, when he came to Oregon, locating in Ashland, where he became identified with the Ashland Woolen Mills. Subsequently buying twenty-five acres of raw land, he improved it and set out a large number of fruit trees, establishing the now celebrated Peachblow Paradise orchard, which contains a choice variety of peach trees and other varieties of fruit. As head of the firm of Max Pracht & Sons, he is carrying on an extensive and remunerative fruit business, having his own packing house and shipping principally to Portland and the Sound cities. The products of the Peachblow orchard are widely and favorably known, having taken premiums and gold medals at several expositions, including the World's Fair, held at Chicago in 1893; the Pan American Exposition, held in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1901, and at Charleston, S.C. Under President Harrison Max Pracht served as collector of customs for the district of Alaska, being located in Sitka. He drafted and secured the passage of the bill establishing the Alaska Fish Commission, and was afterwards fish commissioner in Alaska. He married Mary Winings, a native of Ohio, and of their union three children were born, namely: W. B., of Ashland; Alexander H., the subject of this sketch; and Charlotte Bronte, wife of A. R. Wilkins, of Dunsmuir, Cal.
Removing with his parents to San Francisco when quite young. Alexander H. Pracht attended the public schools of that city until 1888, when he came to Ashland, where he continued his studies, completing his education at the public schools. He subsequently assisted in the care of the home orchard until 1891, when he became clerk in the large hotel, The Oregon, which his father owned and managed from 1891 until 1892. Since that time Mr. Pracht has been in the hotel business more or less. Entering the employ of J. A. Gross in 1895, he became clerk at the Depot Hotel, with which he is now connected, and gradually worked his way up to manager of the house. In 1901 Mr. Pracht bought out Mr. Gross' interest in the house, which he has since conducted with good success, making it one of the leading hotels of Southern Oregon, being especially patronized by transient guests.
In Portland, Ore., October 15, 1899, Mr. Pracht married Miss Susie Martin, who was born and bred in Chippewa Falls, Wis. In politics Mr. Pracht is a firm adherent of the Republican Party and has served as councilman one term, representing the first ward. Fraternally he is a member of Roseburg Lodge, No. 326, B.P.O.E.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Western Oregon, Chicago 1904, page 308
MAX PRACHT IN ACTION.On the evening of January 22, just after supper at the Commercial Hotel, Max Pracht, the special agent of the General Land Office, was sitting in the office, near the counter, reading. There was in the room also Miss Belle Seavy, daughter of the hotel proprietress, Mrs. Cora E. Seavy, who sat in the angle of the wall behind the stove, distant about ten feet. Mrs. Seavy came into the office with one Emmett Wirt and introduced him to Special Agent Pracht. Whatever was said when Mr. Pracht arose from his rocking chair and extended his hand towards Emmett Wirt was not overheard, but Mr. Pracht, who is physically a much smaller man and a much older man--being a veteran of the Civil War--was seen to fall back into his chair as if pushed down by a superior weight, while Emmett Wirt, with his right hand grasping the handle of his revolver on his right hip, stood before and over Special Agent Pracht making threatening motions with his left hand and roaring out his words in such a loud tone of voice as to attract the attention of passersby. Mrs. Seavy was seen to rush up to the foot of the stairway which leads up to the bedroom part of the hotel, evidently much frightened, but the young girl sat still, too much scared to move. Emmett Wirt was heard to say, among other things unprintable:
Lot of a Special Agent Not Wholly a Happy One.
Pagosa Springs (Colo.) Times.
"You made a report against my homestead at Lumberton which was a d----d lie and you did not have the decency to come to me and get my version, and two other special agents came after you--Mathews and Forrest McKinley--and they both threw you down and made favorable reports, and I have got the patent to my land."
At this Special Agent Pracht spoke up and said: "Whatever they may have reported I don't know, but I do know that I reported according to the facts and the law, and if I had the same investigation [to do] over again I would make exactly the same report and recommendation."
"Yes!" shrieked Emmett Wirt, "and you would repeat the same d----d lie--I know what you reported!"
"That is impossible," said Agent Pracht, "for my report is in the secret archives of the department and you cannot see it."
"Yes, I did see it!" roared Emmett Wirt: "Forrest McKinley had a copy of it--he showed it to me and I read it! And he sent for the witnesses you claimed to have seen--they came to my store and they all swore that they had not seen you or made any such statements to you."
About this time Mrs. Seavy plucked up courage to return to the room and Emmett Wirt sat down in a chair before the stove, Mr. Pracht remaining seated in his rocking chair at the end of the counter, outside of it, Mrs. Seavy taking a vacant chair at the end of the counter, but inside of it, directly under the clock hanging on the wall. Emmett Wirt was evidently in a condition of suppressed excitement. Mr. Pracht appeared cool and collected. After a few minutes, during which Emmett Wirt tried to compose himself sufficiently to start a conversation with Mrs. Seavy in a high, piping, nervous voice, Mr. Pracht addressed him suddenly:
"Do you mean to tell me, Mr. Wirt, that Special Agent Forrest McKinley did such an unofficerlike and unheard-of thing as to show you a copy of my report--a part of the secret archives of the General Land Office?"
"Yes!" retorted Wirt, "he did, and I never paid him a dollar for doing it."
"That is all," said Mr. Pracht, "I just wanted you to repeat this statement before witnesses."
Wirt appeared to say something more which was inaudible to our reporter, but Pracht waved his hand towards him and said, "I will not discuss this matter with you any further," and took up his book and went on reading.
Oregonian, Portland, February 6, 1904, page 12
Max Pracht, a well-known commercial traveler, was in the city yesterday.
"Personal Mention," Morning Astorian, Astoria, Oregon, May 8, 1904, page 8
Washed and Unwashed.Morning Oregonian, Portland, June 18, 1904, page 5
PORTLAND, May 17.--(To the Editor.)--You are very ungallant! The very excellent cartoon after "Peaches Soap" anent Colonel Bob Veatch is cruel, to say the least. I have just come out of the neck of the woods in which Colonel Bob is "bloviating," and have been assured by several people that Colonel Bob had on a clean white shirt when he started. One man was almost certain that Colonel Bob also had a bath that day. You should not twit upon facts. The artist who painted the original picture, "You Dirty Boy," had never met Colonel Bob, I know.
MAX PRACHT.Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 18, 1904, page 8
Max Pracht Registered.Hon. Max Pracht, special agent of the U.S. General Land Office temporarily stationed at Oregon City, arrived in Ashland Saturday to register and spent Sunday at Peachblow Paradise orchard. Mr. Pracht says he will be in Ashland on election day "to vote the entire Republican ticket except one. Being a stalwart I never vote for a Democrat, but in this instance I cannot vote for one man on this ticket." Mr. Pracht would not give the name of the single Republican on the ticket whom he took offense at, for publication. However, it is no doubt Hon. Geo. W. Dunn, and Mr. Pracht's grievance can easily be guessed at. Mr. Dunn was the successful nominee of the Republican legislative ticket in 1894 and was expected to vote for the reelection of United States Senator J. N. Dolph. To the surprise of the gold standard Republicans he joined the "immortal thirty" who bolted Dolph and firmly refused to vote with the Republican majority. The bolters represented the free silver Republican element which was led by Secretary of State H. R. Kincaid. As Mr. Dolph only lacked one vote of being reelected U.S. Senator, Representative Dunn could have supplied the same.
What aggravated the gold standard Republicans as much as Dunn's refusal to vote for Dolph was the resolutions and speeches of the Ashland Bimetallic League, which was a very noisy and irritating body doing politics in those populistic times. Capt. M. F. Eggleston, Hon. C. B. Watson, T. J. Howell, W. N. Luckey being among the conspicuous Republicans of that time holding free silver views. Senator Dolph held a position of marked influence in the United States Senate at that time, and notwithstanding free silver resolutions by the Oregon legislature and the Oregon Republican conventions, farmers alliances, granges, bimetallic leagues galore and tons of letters from hotheaded 16-to-1 devotees of "Coin" Harvey's Financial School in every precinct in Oregon, Senator Dolph remained steadfast to his own judgment and announced that he had the temerity to vote and labor against the combined foolishness of his Oregon constituents.
Those were hot old political times in Jackson County, and in each precinct there were as many political orators, spouters and agitators at work as there are in the entire county in this campaign. Representative Dunn met a cyclone every time he came in touch with a red-hot gold standard Republican, but got a "glad hand" from all the other fellows. Two years later he was unable to go to the county convention as a delegate.
Valley Record, Ashland, May 19, 1904, page 2
Sweetness and Light.PORTLAND, June 14.--(To the Editor.)--Perseverance, putty and paint have accomplished wonders with the pre-Adamite shacks of Brother Kamm, and they now look almost as good as new. An object lesson to the owners of many more recent and more pretentious buildings in the downtown business quarter. See what red and white paint and elbow grease has done for the vast brick fortress inhabited by Fleischner, Mayer & Co., and "go, thou sluggard and do likewise"; "1905" should see Portland done by as a woman should not do for herself--all painted up.
MAX PRACHT.P.S.--The Perkins cow needs to have her tail regilt!
RHYMES ON MR. SWALLOW.The horrors of campaign poetry are now Upon us. Here is No. 1 from Max Pracht, the poet of Peachblow Paradise:
Max Pracht Inflicts First Campaign Verses Upon a Suffering Public.
A woodpecker pecked on the hopvine tree--Oregonian, Portland, July 15, 1904, page 8
Oh, swallow ME, oh, Swallow:
And he pecked away as gay as could be--
The Swallow, yes, The Swallow,
It's local option for old Oregon state,
And the Prohis have it good and straight.
And coming and going you paint through my gate,
What Swallow--yes swallow the Swallow.
It's miles from the Army brave Miles is seen,
He's Swallowed, Swallowed, yes, Swallowed.
Oh, it's miles to the Post, and the way it is rough,
He's Swallowed, He's Swallowed, He's Swallowed.
Oh, the deadfalls are more than ever have been,
For Miles he abolished the Army canteen,
And now for a drink the soldier must sin,
And rotgut must swallow, oh, Swallow.
The old hens are fussy and feathered and fat,
They swallow the Swallow, their Swallow!
And the men don't know wherever they're at,
Put swallow Prohibition and Swallow!
And prohibition Oregon raises hops to sell,
But never a hop to make itself well--
The hop is a plant direct from hell--
To swallow, to swallow, to swallow.
The soldier in khaki, if he wants a cool beer,
To swallow, to swallow, to swallow!
Must go outside the Post to a deadfall that's near,
To swallow a swallow to Swallow.
And red liquor he licks till the air turns blue,
And Miles he curses, as I would and you,
And the Miles boom for President smaller it grew,
But larger for Swallow, for Swallow!
Consistence a jewel that Miles hasn't got,
For swallow a Swallow he'd swallow,
For a man may drink beer and not be a sot,
So swallow a swallow, not Swallow.
Where Miles takes a cocktail the club door is tight,
But the man in khaki must stay out all night,
And swallow red liquor till he's full of fight,
And swallow red liquor, oh, Swallow!
Oh, the Prohi ticket is jalap to me,
And swallow it, Swallow, oh, Swallow!
I mustn't drink beer, but I must drink tea--
Does Oregon swallow the Swallow?
And it's oh, I'm wicked and full of sin,
The old maids' heaven I'll never get in,
For if I can't get beer, I'll swallow gin.
Oh swallow old Swallow, full Swallow!
An American soldier can wear his khaki,
And Swallow, vote swallow what? Swallow!
But the brave little Jap can have his sake
To swallow, to swallow, to swallow!
The W.C.T.U. is a great thing, you see,
To keep us sober, both you and me,
While they take sugar and (?) in their tea,
And swallow and swallow and swallow!
COME ALL YE YOUNG VOTERSMorning Oregonian, Portland, July 29, 1904, page 10
(Air "Villikins and His Dinah.")
BY MAX PRACHT.
Come all ye young voters and list to my song,
I'll sing ye of Roosevelt, it won't take me long;
Of Teddy, the cowboy, the soldier so true,
Who fought and lives for the Red, White and Blue.
Sing hold up his hands for the Red, White and Blue.
When out on the range, his pony he saddled,
Coyotes and jacks in a hurry skedaddled,
Then the roundup of cows and heifers and steers
Brings good appetite, as the chuckwagon he nears.
Sing a good appetite and the roundup with cheers.
Then writer and author and Governor bold,
He swerved not for policy, turned not for gold;
But York State he governed with firm hand and just,
And feared not the hate of the Street or the Trust.
Sing down with Wall Street, the Trusts we will bust.
In Cuba, in khaki, his mettle did tell,
He dashed up the hill with the Rough Riders' yell;
The riders and fighters from out of the West
Their York State Commander followed with zest.
Sing Teddy's their Captain, the bravest and best.
Then put on the ticket with McKinley, the good,
He, shoulder to shoulder, throughout with him stood,
And fought the good fight as a brave soldier should,
And became our Vice President as no other could,
Sing a Vice President of healthy, courageous blood.
As President, ruler, adviser and friend,
He's safe and he's solid, he never will bend,
America's honor is safe in his hands,
He's made us respected throughout all the lands.
Sing and the world now knows for what America stands.
As the head of our ticket for nineteen-naught-four,
With a bigger majority than ever before,
Our executive citizen, greater than all,
Supported so ably by Fairbanks, the tall.
Sing Fairbanks will preside in our Senate hall.
The Democrat coon is away up a tree,
With Parker, Hill's barker, at the foot, you may see;
But when Roosevelt comes along with his gun,
The coon will come down and Parker will run.
Sing he'll run to Esopus, when the voting is done.
The Democrat trust-busting game is a farce--
Bust a trust are words they cannot parse.
A millionaire truster, old man Davis, they've got,
But he'll never get there with all the gold in his pot.
Sing he--know much more when the experience he's got.
Oh, Roosevelt, our Captain, a man with a mind,
Look over the country, you never will find
Such a man to do things when things are to do,
And keep our flag floating, the Red, White and Blue.
Sing so hold up his hands for the Red, White and Blue.
Indiana Fairbanks will beat the West Virginia oil tanks,
For an effort at rhyming this easily outranks.
And the poet laureate should give me his thanks
For grinding a rhyme to Vice President Fairbanks.
Sing down with the plutocrat Davis' oil tanks!
MOTH DAMAGES PEACH CROP.--Max Pracht, of Peachblow Paradise, on his return from a visit to his orchard in Ashland, reports that he has discovered the cause of the split pits in the earlier shipments of peaches this year, and attributes them to the action of the codlin moth, which infects the apple orchards, and it may be an offshoot or relative of that nuisance. This moth lays her eggs in the calyx of the earliest peaches; the hatched-out grub eats its way into the soft mass which is to form the future kernel and pit, matures and works its way out of the peach without causing it to leave the stem, and it is presumed goes into the ground to emerge as a moth the following spring. The injury to the pit causes its nonperfection; it forms wood, but the two halves do not unite, and as in the case of infected apples the fruit ripens quickly and has the tendency to cook on the side next to the sun, which has been noticed in this year's earlier fruit, which being very tender, turns dark where pressed or bruised. Peaches coming into the market now, at least those from the Ashland orchards, are free from defects, but rather smaller than usual, owing to overproduction. This, however, has been a boon to San Francisco, whose buyers are snatching up all the Ashland peaches they can get, as the California peach crop is a failure. Mr. Pracht says it's up to the Corvallis professors to capture and classify the moth, but for himself he does not intend to wait, but to go on and extirpate the pest, suggesting, first, the thorough cultivation and upturning of the soil under and about the tree during the winter, next spraying with the mixture used for the codlin moth on apple trees. This means more work for the orchardist, who is already at his wits' end to make a living profit.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 30, 1904, page 7
"It's worth going a hundred miles to see the erstwhile snow-white locks of old veteran Wright, of Astoria, dyed a brilliant blue," says Max Pracht, who has told him it would be a great drawing card, and to change the color every week. This information comes to us in a note from Max Pracht himself, and its meaning was obscure until the thought of an election bet occurred.
"Note and Comment," Morning Oregonian, Portland, November 19, 1904, page 8
MAX PRACHT RESIGNS.
He Hopes to Get Position in Department of Commerce and Labor.
OREGONIAN NEWS BUREAU, Washington, Dec. 16.--Max Pracht, of Oregon, has resigned as special agent of the General Land Office, to take effect January 1.
Mr. Pracht displayed discretion in resigning. When Land Commissioner Richards was in Portland to testify in the land fraud cases he told Mr. Pracht the first thing he would do on his return would be to dismiss him for insubordination. For some time Pracht has been dictating to Richards how the Land Office should be run, and has repeatedly ignored instructions. His prompt resignation saved him from dismissal. Pracht is coming to Washington in the hope of getting a position in the Department of Commerce and Labor.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, December 17, 1904, page 5
That bloviating ass Max Pracht, who has been busybody in chief in local land affairs and who has devoted much of his time to explaining to the gentlemen who run the government how much better he could do the job if they would only turn him loose, has the temerity to denounce the Journal for a "barefaced lie." The Journal made the announcement that he had resigned to forestall a dismissal and Pracht presents a mass of figures and alleged telegrams to demonstrate that the Interior Department was fairly clamoring for him to remain as the sheet anchor of the department's hopes. This is not precisely what the Washington correspondent of the Oregonian telegraphed that paper the morning after the news appeared in the Journal. After announcing the fact this is what he says: "Mr. Pracht displayed discretion in resigning. When Land Commissioner Richards was in Portland to testify in the land fraud cases he told Mr. Pracht the first thing he would do on his return would be to dismiss him for insubordination. For some time Pracht has been dictating to Richards how the Land Office should be run, and has repeatedly ignored instructions. His prompt resignation saved him from dismissal. Pracht is coming to Washington in the hope of getting a position in the Department of Commerce and Labor," All of this, too, he will doubtless characterize as "a barefaced lie," but we happen to know it is the truth.
Oregon Journal, Portland, December 18, 1904, page 4
WHY MAX PRACHT RESIGNED HIS POST
Speedy Action Forestalls Dismissal Promised
by Land Commissioner When Here.
LEFT STATION WITHOUT SUPERIOR'S PERMISSION
Constant Attendant on Land Fraud Trials--Hermann Dropped Him.
Special Agent Max Pracht, stationed at [the] Oregon City land office, was told by Land Commissioner Richards on the latter's recent visit to Portland that he would be dropped from the service. To forestall dismissal Pracht resigned, and his resignation was accepted, to take effect January 11. The specific reason on which the commissioner's intention to drop Pracht was based is the fact that Pracht left his post at the land office in Oregon City, and was in daily attendance at the land fraud trials up to the time of Mr. Richards' arrival without permission from the land department at Washington, and contrary to the good of the service.
Commissioner Richards demanded from Pracht an explanation of his absence from his post of duty, and received the reply that District Attorney John H. Hall required and had requested his presence during the court proceedings. The commissioner was told by Mr. Hall that he had never made any such request, and that Pracht was attending the cases on his own account.
In his explanation of why he was forced to resign, Pracht assigns as a reason that he has "been trying to get a transfer from the general land office into a more desirable and congenial branch of the public service," and refers to H. W. Scott, editor of the Oregonian, as one of his principal endorsers for the position. Concerning Pracht's resignation the Oregonian yesterday morning printed this dispatch from Washington:
"Max Pracht, of Oregon, has resigned as special agent of the General Land Office, to take effect January 1.
"Mr. Pracht displayed discretion in resigning. When Land Commissioner Richards was in Portland to testify in the land fraud cases he told Mr. Pracht the first thing he would do on his return would be to dismiss him for insubordination. For some time Pracht has been dictating to Richards how the Land Office should be run, and has repeatedly ignored instructions. His prompt resignation saved him from dismissal. Pracht is coming to Washington in the hope of getting a position in the Department of Commerce and Labor."
Binger Hermann, while commissioner of the general land office, dismissed Pracht, but through the influence of Senator Mitchell he was reinstated. Previous to this, Pracht had been dropped from a position in the Treasury Department.
Oregon Journal, Portland, December 18, 1904, page 19
ASHLAND, Or., Dec. 20.--(To the Editor.)--As to the origin of certain names of mountains and streams in Oregon, I believe I can set you right and correct an error as to the name of Rogue River. Long before settlers from the States came into what is now the Rogue River Valley, the Hudson's Bay Company trappers or voyageurs traded and hunted in this valley, and they named the stream "Riviere Rouge," that is, Red River*, because in its torrential periods it was discolored red by the wash of the red auriferous lands along its course, a condition even now existing in a modified sense after most of the river bank has been washed away by miners. However, the first Missourians who steered their caravans into the valley and seeing the name "Rouge" as on the map, naturally concluded, and in fact said, "Them fellers can't spell a little bit," and being from Missouri they proceeded to show 'em how, and corrected (?) the spelling to read Rogue by the transposition of two letters only. As for the roguish character of the Indians they found in the valley, they were neither better nor worse than average aborigines, and speaking from my experience with natives, especially those of Alaska, I am free to say that in many respects they were better and more honest people before they ever saw a white man than since.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, December 22, 1904, page 11. *To be perfectly clear, the "Red River" story is demonstrably false. The reply above to Pracht's letter was written by the Oregonian editors.
MAX PRACHT WAS MAD.Max Pracht, most jovial of men, hail fellow, well met, was an irate individual last Saturday over the publication of a dispatch in the Oregonian from the special correspondent of that paper in Washington. Mr. Pracht says that the wire was miles away from the truth, and that he had matters all arranged to take a position in [the] Department of Commerce and Labor last July and would have done so, had it not been for Mr. Cortelyou's retirement. The appointment of a new secretary made a change of plans necessary, and Mr. Pracht was compelled to wait for about six months. He told a Courier representative that the information contained in the dispatch came from the chief clerk in the General Land Office and called that gentleman several uncomplimentary names. Mr. Pracht says that he saw Commissioner Richards in the courtroom during the trial of the land fraud cases for only a few minutes and did not exchange six words with him. About two weeks ago the Special Agent secured a leave of absence until January 11, with permission to visit Washington City. When he arrives there, he will probably get a cinch on his new job, backed by the entire Oregon delegation.
Washington Dispatch to Portland Paper Puts Him on a High Horse.
Max Pracht is a well-known character in Western Oregon, and for many years had been famed for his fruit farm in Jackson County. He was for several years in New Mexico, and was assigned to duty in Oregon City at his own request.
Oregon City Courier, December 23, 1904, page 1
Tramp "Eliminator."The following communication, lately received by the Portland Oregonian, is self-explanatory: "Max Pracht has completed the details and will apply for patent No. 4-11-44 on an invention which he calls 'Pracht's Patent Steam Tramp Eliminator.' Manager Calvin thinks it is great, and he may offer a million or more for the control of the patent. With this invention in use it will not be necessary for the engineer to dump his clinkers and live coals on the tracks at Oregon City, and then slowly pull the train over it, causing the tramps to lose their hold on the hog chains and drop off on the broiler, creating a bad smell. In short, Pracht's invention consists of a series of rotary diaphragms, similar to some in use on hose nozzles for watering lawns. These are attached to a pipe running along the underside of the coaches, baggage and express cars, coupled together at the ends, similar to the air-brake pipes, and connected with the boiler of the engine, so arranged that anyone of the train crew can, by operating a simple device in the coaches, etc., turn on the steam, thus causing the sputter mechanism under the train to revolve and scald off the clinging tramp, without causing an offensive smell; and also give the tramps the ever-needed bath. What Oregon City may do with the derelicts after the bath is an open question, but there are those in Falls City who seem to prefer the tramps to the railroad."
Daily Herald, Biloxi, Mississippi, February 16, 1905, page 2
Max Pracht, of Oregon, has been appointed special agent in the Treasury Department.
BROOKS NO DELAYOREGONIAN NEWS BUREAU, Washington, Feb. 21.--Senator Mitchell is not at all satisfied with District Attorney Heney's plan to commence the trial of the land fraud cases in June. When told of this arrangement, the Senator today declared that he would not consent to such delay if he could help it, but would insist upon being given a trial in April.
Senator Mitchell Demands Early Trial.
HAS HOPE OF VINDICATION
How Max Pracht Got a Job by Giving a Tip.
NEW STORY OF TANNER NOTE
By Informing Government of Iis Existence, He Caused its Capture,
and Earned His Reward--Robertson Not Dismissed.
He said he would be in Portland about March 12 and intended immediately to see Judge Bellinger and ascertain whether or not it will be necessary to postpone the trials until June. He does not believe there is any good and sufficient reason for delay and, unless ample reason is furnished, he will oppose the present plan.
Senator Mitchell says that Mr. Heney some weeks ago publicly declared that he (Mitchell) should have a speedy trial, that there would be no unnecessary delay. If Mr. Heney declines to allow the case to be brought into court in April, Senator Mitchell says he will be breaking that promise. It is the Senator's opinion that Judge Bellinger will consent to give his case an early hearing. He has no idea how long the trial will continue, but is apparently very confident that a verdict will be rendered in his favor.
Harry C. Robertson, Senator Mitchell's private secretary, whose testimony before the grand jury and before Judge Bellinger in Portland was anything but favorable to Senator Mitchell, has not lost his position, as was anticipated, but has resumed his duties at the Capitol. Senator Mitchell declines to say whether or not he intends to dismiss Mr. Robertson, but it appears that for the present nothing will be done.
In connection with Mitchell's letter to Tanner, it develops that Max Pracht, who delivered the letter to Robertson, turned a sharp trick to his own advantage. Pracht recently resigned as special agent of the Land Office and came to Washington seeking an appointment in some other department, but his closest friends, Mitchell and Hermann, were indicted and could not help him. When Mitchell decided to write Tanner, he did not trust Robertson either to write or to knowingly carry any word to his law partner, and had Pracht hand the fatal letter to Robertson to throw him off the scent. Pracht was shrewd enough to surmise that the letter was important, and on the quiet he informed the Secret Service people of the Treasury that Robertson was carrying an important paper to Tanner. Pracht's tip led to the capture of this very important document in the government's case, and a few days later Pracht was appointed special agent in the Treasury Department.
Oregonian, Portland, February 22, 1905, page 2
Max Pracht takes the trouble to deny that he was prostrated by the sun's heat in Washington and explains that a street car knocked him out. Lucky Max. He couldn't have brought a damage suit against the ruler of the universe.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 11, 1905, page 8
Oregon Journal: What is probably the largest peach ever grown is on exhibition at the Agricultural Building at the Fair. It grew in the orchard of Max Pracht of Ashland, whose peaches were the finest shown at the Chicago Fair in  which fact is proved by the medals in his possession. The prize peach at Chicago weighed 23 ounces, while the peach on display weighs 26. Ordinary peaches run 60 to 80 to a box, but it takes only ten of the Jackson County wonders to fill a crate. Washington and California horticulturists are proud, not without reason, of their articles, but they doff their hats to Oregon in viewing the Jackson County show.
"Local Lore," Corvallis Times, September 16, 1905, page 5
PRIZE PEACHES AT PORTLAND.Mr. Max Pracht, of the Treasury Department, has received word from Portland,
"The Largest Ever Grown" Comes from Treasury Employee's Farm.
Oreg., that the display of peaches from his farm at Ashland, Oreg., is attracting as much attention from exposition visitors and rival exhibitors as the peaches with which he carried off the gold medal at the Chicago Fair in 1893. Ten of the peaches sent to Portland filled an ordinary peach box, and the largest weighed twenty-six ounces. Some of the others were only slightly inferior in size. The display occasioned something of a sensation in the horticultural department, and leading growers from the states of California and Washington agreed that they must take off their hats to Oregon peaches. The superintendent of the department posted a notice under the monarch peach that "this is the largest peach ever grown." Mr. Pracht's sons are in charge of the farm at Ashland, where the peaches were grown.
In addition to the sweepstakes gold medal which Mr. Pracht's peaches secured in Chicago, he also was awarded gold medals at the Pan-American at Buffalo, the Trans-Mississippi at Omaha, and the great fair at Savannah, the latter, much to his surprise, having the local Georgia peaches to contend with.
Washington Post, September 24, 1905, page B2
HOW I KILLED MY FIRST PANTHER.Manuel was the last of the Alabamas to remain in the cypress swamps. He made himself useful to the white skins, built dugouts or pirogues, shot deer or bear when in the mood, and was an oracle generally. One night from over across the Tensas there came a sound--a sound to me, a fourteen-year-old boy, novel, strange, and goosefleshy. It began as the wail of an infant in pain, swelled to a piercing crescendo of colic, quavered restlessly, and died away, leaving an atmosphere surcharged with unseen terrors, the chickens in their secure house crowding each other off their perches, squawking helplessly as they bumped onto the floor, the hogs in the pens squealed in fright as each tried to root under the terrified mass in the far corner, and even Bruno, the watch dog, fearless of anything during the day, and carrying courage with his master when hunting at night, slunk under the house
By Max Pracht.
set up from the ground on cedar posts and whined piteously. Secure in the loft, I stuck my head out of the gable window and asked Manuel, who stood in the moonlight, rifle in hand, "What is it, Manuel?" "It ees a paintah! couchs toi encore!" And back to bed I went.
The next day Manuel organized five of us neighborhood boys into a hunter's squad, and crossing over to the island, stationed us at certain runways opening out of the canebrake in whose fastnesses the panther had its lair, while he, with the dogs, went to the upper end to work the beauty cat out into the open so that one of us could get a shot at it.
I was placed on a smooth drift log which the floods had placed crosswise of a coulee, which had about a foot of soft alluvial and an inch or so of muddy water down its course. Mam'selle, my little pet rabbit chaser, had a seat beside me, feeling as important as myself. Across my lap lay an old French fusee or shotgun, both barrels with an extra heavy charge of buckshot, and both hammers at full cock, and with growing misgivings I awaited the turn of events. Directly I heard the dogs giving tongue on the far side of the canebrake, and Mam'selle, all aquiver, could only be kept still by snips on the ears. Now I heard the noise of the chase coming nearer. The dogs were in the densest part of the brake and coming toward me. My heart beat faster and faster. I took the gun and tremblingly sighted it point
blank at the dark tunnel or runway, my fingers on the triggers of both barrels. The cry came nearer. I could hear the crush and frou-frou of the canes as the dogs crowded through, the tops swaying, and surely the game was near. Mam'selle gave a yelp and ran off the end of the log toward dry land. My eyes were fixed on the sights of my gun and the barrels were pointed true to the opening. There! There! it came. I saw its glaring eyeballs, its brownish gray head and ears, and both barrels barked as the double charges of buckshot were hurtled at the beast. The recoil of the gun kicked me off the log. I fell backward into the muddy bottom of the coulee so deep I could not turn, yet not deep enough to cover my mouth, with which I began to
screech and howl for help, fearful that I might have missed the panther, and that my days were numbered and the numbers run out, with Mam'selle howling in concert, till old Manuel, crushing through the jungle, lifted me out of the mud, sat me on the bank, and, running to the trail, picked up the animal I had slain by the ears, and held it at full arm's length. And behold, it was a rabbit! A cotton tail, long of ears, hunched of hindquarters, and dead as Julius Caesar!
And that is how I killed my first panther.
Washington Post, February 18, 1906, page 40
Max Pracht Gets Promotion.
OREGONIAN NEWS BUREAU, Washington, D.C., July 12.--Max Pracht, of Oregon, former special agent of the General Land Office, now clerk in the Treasury Department, was today promoted from $900 to $1000.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, July 11, 1906, page 3
MAX PRACHT STILL ALIVEOREGONIAN NEWS BUREAU, Washington, Aug. 7.--Max Pracht, of Oregon (and there's only one Max Pracht in the world), dearly loves to see his name in print. The time was when it appeared frequently--in the days when Max was a special agent of the Land Office and kept himself in hot water because of friction with headquarters in Washington. But lately Max has been holding down an inconspicuous desk in the Treasury Department, and his work is not such as to bring him in the limelight. A year ago Max tired of the simple life, so he tried to lift a Washington street car off the track, with disastrous results--for Max. Then he got a little notoriety and a black eye.
Wants Screens to Keep Insects Out of Open Street Cars.
But a year is about as long as Max can remain in seclusion. His year was up last week, so he bethought him to take a trolley ride out to one of Washington's famous suburbs. The ride furnished him with the wherewithal to break into print, and he availed himself of the opportunity. The day following the ride Max hied himself to the sanctum of the Washington Post with his tale of woe, and this is the way that paper dished him up. It reads as if Max had written it himself:
Flying insects, beating against the back of his neck as he sat in the front seat of a suburban street car, resulted in a mild case of blood poisoning to Max Pracht.
Mr. Pracht recently spent the evening at an upriver resort. and when returning home was obliged to sit on the first seat inside the car, facing the rear. The road runs for quite a distance through a dense wood, and the speed of the car caused a current of air to enter through the open window in front, driving the insects violently against his neck.
The following morning Mr. Pracht found his neck raw and blistered, and his physician promptly told him it had the effects of blood poisoning. After continuous treatment for several days the infected spot became better and is now almost well.
Mr. Pracht said last night: "With the car making spurts of 40 miles an hour, the insects pelted my neck and kept me busy brushing them off. They were dead as a rule, the impact being so great as to kill them outright.
"I am convinced it is dangerous to ride on the inside front seat facing the rear. To close the front windows of the car to protect the passengers situated as I was is impracticable--the passengers further aft would rebel.
"I think that fine wire screens that would sift out the mosquitoes, gallinippers, alligators and mock turtles might be put in. In default of that plan, a bottle of Listerine or some other remedy might be hung up in some convenient spot, where passengers with insect-burned skins could apply it."
Oregonian, Portland, August 10, 1906, page 5
OBJECTS TO "SPIT" LABEL.
Max Pracht Enters Protest Against Practice of the Bakers.
Editor Post: Bread is the staff of life. Bread is made from grain ground fine, mixed with water, flavored with salt, and raised with yeast, or some other gas resulting from chemical action. The holes in light bread are simply expansion chambers for the gas--the latter passes off and usually leave no harmful residuum. Bread so constituted is bread, lawful, clean, healthy bread, and any deleterious substance added to it takes it out of the category of pure food. Perhaps the most offensive and most sickening substance usually added to bread, as it comes from the baker's, is a piece of paper, made from rags and other offal, stuck on with the help of paste-glue or mucilage, none of which are prime articles of food, and fit feed only for cockroaches.
I have a stomach, this I know, for I have crossed the Atlantic and Pacific a number of times, and, in nautical parlance I am not a good sailor, hence I am very careful to cut off, cut out and throw away this addition to the loaf, with a considerable portion of the crust with it. I don't fancy the stuff that soaks in when the "spit" label is stuck on, but quite recently I neglected to inspect a piece of restaurant toast, and I am sorry. I chewed and chewed and dribbled and swallowed, but something refused to move on, and discreetly coughing it up, it proved to be a mass of paper pulp! The remains of the "spit" label! Was I sick? Well, I guess yes! Did I utter the thoughts that in me rose! No! The company was not of that kind. So I paid the bill and hied me to my quarters, and took a dose out of a bottle that showed a red bird on its outside, and behold, I am again on deck, serene--but thinking thoughts of what I would do if I were the President: I would certainly and surely make my administration forever known and blessed, its name at the head of those who have done things for love of their fellow man, by abolishing the "spit" label on our daily bread.
MAX PRACHT, of Oregon.Washington Post, August 27, 1906, page 7
Max Pracht, former special agent of the Land Office, made substantially the following statement on or about October 22, 1906.
There is going to be a big shakeup in the Interior Department. Either Secretary Hitchcock and Scott Smith, his private secretary, have got to go, or else Commissioner Richards, his assistant, Pollock, and Chief Clerk Macey are going. My information, which comes from inner circles, satisfied me that Hitchcock and Smith are going to stay where they are. That land office triumvirate has played its hand to the limit, and their reign of corruption is coming to an end. They may all be fired before election, for the Secretary has no concern about the political effect of his acts. He is all wrought up over this affair.
Why is Richards to be removed?
The land office administration is rotten. When I was in Colorado as a special agent of the land office I reported to Richards that the Colorado Fuel & Iron Co. was by fraudulent means getting control of the best coal lands in that state. On the showing I made the department would have been justified in stopping their operations and taking the case into court to recover title to the lands. Their operations were far more extensive than the coal land operations of the Union Pacific R.R. Co., recently laid bare by Mr. Prouty.
But Richards was a tool in the hands of the C.F.&I. Co. instead of following up my suggestions he directed Pollock, then head of the Special Agents Service, to sidetrack my reports, and I was relieved of further duty in Colorado. I was finding out things that the C.F.&I. Co. did not want made public, and they instructed Richards to get me out of the way. This company told Richards that if he would wink at their operations and suppress Max Pracht they would send him to the Senate. Richards did not come to the Senate, but I was withdrawn. It would have been dangerous to leave me in the field.
Did you report these things to the Secretary?
The Secretary knows all about this business. I had a friend at court. Scott Smith is close to the Secretary, and when I was suspended from the special agents service I went to him. I told him all about Richards and what he was doing, and Smith made some inquiries on his own account and then we laid the matter before the Secretary. We have told the Secretary enough to convinced him that the Land Office is rotten.
How do you know that Richards and the others are going to be retired?
Oh, I was out to call on Smith last night. I found out that everything is coming our way. I know now that the Secretary utterly distrusts Richards. What I have said has been substantiated by Smith, and that is enough for Hitchcock. You know that Richards has had little authority lately. The Secretary has taken away from him much work that belongs to the land office, simply because he distrusts him, and this work is now being done by men designated by the Secretary.
We (meaning Smith and Pracht) have been looking into Richards' record, and find that since he has been Commissioner he has been away from the office 200 days out of every year; he has been junketing around opening Indian reservations, on hunting trips and a lot of side trips, and every day he has been gone he has drawn his expenses out of the special agents fund. Last spring this fund became exhausted and Richards had to lay off a lot of special agents, simply because he and his pets had been using up this money for their own amusement. We've gone over the records and have the facts to show, and we have laid the whole matter bare before the Secretary. It only helped convinced him that Richards should not be allowed to remain.
"Report from Max Pracht." Theodore Roosevelt Papers. Library of Congress Manuscript Division. Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library. Dickinson State University.
To show that Smith and Pracht are working together I merely state this fact:
Pracht, after his recall from Colorado and suspension for "insubordination," sought the aid of Senator Mitchell to secure a transfer to another branch of the service; he wanted to be made special agent of the Treasury. But Mitchell became involved in troubles of his own; his influence vanished, and Pracht was left without a pull. He then fell back on [W.] Scott Smith; told him that he had been persecuted by Richards because he (Pracht) had blocked a pet scheme of the Commissioner, and in a short time thereafter Pracht was appointed to a clerkship in the office of the Auditor for the War Department, a place he still holds. Both Pracht and Smith told me that the transfer was made through the influence of Secretary Hitchcock and his private secretary.
Since Pracht's transfer to the Treasury Department, he and Smith have been quite intimate. Pracht has poured out his complaints against Richards into the ears of Smith, and Smith has transmitted them to the Secretary. At least Pracht states this as a fact. I know personally that Smith takes stock in Pracht, for he has strongly defended him on several occasions in conversation with me, and has gone so far as to say that Pracht was unfairly dealt with "across the street."
During the past 18 months Pracht has come to me with various reports about prospective actions of the Secretary of the Interior. Sometimes his statements proved true; more frequently they were incorrect. Always, however, the matters to which he referred were pending before the Secretary, and were there in a confidential capacity. They were matters about which only the Secretary or someone in his confidence would have knowledge, as, for instance, the contemplated removal of Governor Brady of Alaska; the proposed removal of Dr. Sheldon Jackson, or the Richards case. Had Max always properly forecast the action of the Secretary it might be reasonable to suppose that his information came from headquarters; the fact that he was sometimes wrong would indicate that his information came from another source. He may have learned a little and drawn his own conclusions, or he may have repeated the conclusions drawn by another. At all events, the matters which he related were not matters before the office where he is employed, but were matters absolutely in the hands of the Secretary of the Interior. In view of the known intimacy between Smith and Pracht, and from my own knowledge of Smith's unreliability and his tendency to jump at conclusions and state them as facts, I feel justified in concluding that the "tips" that came from Pracht were obtained by him from Smith.
As I now recollect, every story furnished me by Pracht was detrimental to some man or men who had aroused the enmity of one of these two persons.
"Report on Max Pracht and W. Scott Smith." Theodore Roosevelt Papers. Library of Congress Manuscript Division. Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library. Dickinson State University.
MAX PRACHT WEARS SMILE
Land Fraud Exposures Claimed as Vindication by Him.
OREGONIAN NEWS BUREAU, Washington, Nov. 21.--Max Pracht, of Oregon, wears broad smiles these days because of published exposure of land frauds that are alleged to have been perpetrated by the Union Pacific Railroad and allied corporations in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
Pracht says that, as special agent of the Land Office, he was working on these cases when he was removed from Colorado and subsequently relieved of further duty as special agent in the General Land Office, and he points with pride to the fact that he two years ago submitted a signed statement to a Washington paper setting forth practically the same facts. These papers are now printing the story, which was not used at that time, but is today forming the basis of daily reports that are published here, damaging to Land Commissioner Richards and other officials of the Land Office.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, November 22, 1906, page 4
CRAZY MAN SHOOTS HIS WIFE AND KILLS HIMSELFPortland, Ore., Jan. 8.--Frederick B. Martin, until recently city salesman of the Portland branch of the Pacific Biscuit Company, today shot and slightly wounded his wife, shot to death Miss Emma Helms, his sister-in-law, and then sent a bullet into his own head. Family troubles are alleged to have been the cause of the deed. The tragedy took place at "The Ella," a fashionable boarding house at the corner of Ella and Washington streets, of which Mrs. Martin is the proprietress. According to boarders at the house, the married life of the couple had been at times stormy, but the couple did not separate until Martin's discharge from the biscuit company a few months ago, and his sudden departure for California after his discharge. Recently he returned to Portland and his wife refused to live with him. This refusal Martin attributed to the interference of Miss Helms. This afternoon at about 4:30 Martin went to the Ella and effected admission to the place, unknown to Mrs. Martin. He entered his wife's apartments and a few minutes later the shooting of Mrs. Martin and Miss Helms occurred. Martin then went to the basement, where he turned the revolver upon himself. What transpired before the shooting is not yet known. Mrs. Martin, who is the only one who knows, is suffering from hysteria. The families of both Martin and his wife are well known Southern Oregon people, Mrs. Martin's father having been a wealthy pioneer of Jacksonville. Martin's family came from Ashland, Oregon; his brother-in-law is the son of Max Pracht, a politician well known on this coast and in Washington, D.C.
Sanders County Ledger, Thompson, Montana, January 11, 1907, page 1
GOVERNMENT A REBATEREditor Post: Standard Oil sells at a lower figure abroad than at home. So much we all know, but we do not all know that the people of the United States by its Congress are at the bottom to blame.
Treasury Drawbacks Among Chief Offenses, Says Max Pracht
We are hot on the hunt after rebaters (a crime common to the mercantile world) and forget, or most of us never knew, that the Treasury Department, with its system of drawbacks, is one of the chief rebaters.
Standard Oil with its 99 percent rebate on the tin plate it uses in making its cans can and does make a profit on its products when marketed abroad even though sold at a lower figure than the home consumer pays. And there are others--for instance the drawback on jute or burlap grain bags, given originally so that the poor farmer should get his grain to market in foreign lands at a better profit. But he "holds the bag" only for the big exporter who collects the drawback and keeps it. The poor farmer pays the full duty price on the bag, but as rebating is a crime he gets none of it. Let us get after Rockefeller for giving rebates, but not for accepting them? We
DISCUSSES POLITICS AS OF OLD
MAX PRACHT, VETERAN OREGON POLITICIAN, SAYS A MAN
CAN'T FORETELL POLITICAL EVENTS AS IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS.
Max Pracht, veteran politician and hotel man, one of Oregon's old guard, has been spending a few days in town renewing friendships and attending to some business matters which require his attention before he leaves for Washington, D.C. Among several subjects mentioned, he had to say:
"As to politics, such as we used to have with a big 'P,'" said Max Pracht to the Astorian representative, "there ain't any! Time was when a man with eyes shut and football upholstery all over him might stumble to a conclusion of coming events with reasonable accuracy as easy as not. Oh yes! When McKinley and Mr. Hanna sent me to Oregon, in 1896, and I secured for the St. Louis convention the first instructed delegation, one with the spirit of prophecy could foretell, and I did to such a precise degree that Mr. McKinley afterwards in the parlor of his modest home in Canton, in the presence of Mr. Payne, afterwards Postmaster General, and John Boyle, his private secretary, did me the honor to say, 'This is my friend, Max Pracht; all of his reports are reliable, and all his prophecies came true.' Who is to succeed Mr. Roosevelt as President? No man can tell, and it's the wildest guessing only that gets into print. I have been a Republican since 1856 when I carried a torch in the 'wide-awake' processions in Cincinnati, and I have been a wide-awake Republican ever since, and have an honorable Civil War record, but what I may be driven to before the next campaign is on in Oregon is debatable at this time. In Washington, where I am now stationed, the dear old reliable Washington Post is in the habit of blaming Loeb for everything that goes wrong, and Post may be right, I dunno! Anyhow, I am willing to let Loeb have the blame, though the Post's obvious but ineffectual attempts to confound him with that celebrated French hero of the chase 'Tartarin of Tarascon' is very, very reprehensible, and should be frowned down.
"I expect to return to Washington on the 9th of November, resume my desk in the Department, and hold my peace. I have a placard hanging over my desk which reads as follows:
"'A wise man and a fool may quarrel, but not if the wise man holdeth his peace,' and it's a good maxim in that latitude and longitude."
Morning Astorian, October 29, 1907, page 2
"ASHLAND, MY ASHLAND"
Max Pracht Tells of its Past, Present and Glorious Future
Room 424, Treasury Department,Ashland Commercial Club, Ashland, Oregon.
Washington, Feb. 19, 1910.
Gentlemen:--The receipt of two beautifully gotten up and artistically printed booklets from your secretary has made me homesick, and I cannot help letting you know how much I appreciated your efforts in advertising our unapproachable climate and unique little city. When in December, 1887, I arrived in Ashland to help celebrate the driving of the last spike as one of Mr. Crocker's guests to the ceremonies which finally linked Oregon and California, I looked over the scattered village of Ashland, took cognizance of its 1800 inhabitants, drank of the mineral waters running to waste in the streets, was enchanted with its reposeful setting in the outstretched arms of hoary old Siskiyou and felt the spirit of prophecy setting upon me and I straightaway told the old-timers that here would be built a city of ten thousand people, but there were many to scoff and few believed.
I had already purchased, as a flyer, while on one of my overland stage trips between Alaska and San Francisco, the land of which the Peachblow Paradise Orchard is now a part, but having faith in my own prognostications I immediately bought more and more of the lands in the district now known as East and South Ashland, and selling our my holdings in Alaska became a working citizen of Ashland. It was hard work at the outset; the mossback was still glooming the atmosphere and glowering at the cheechako, the newcomer, the tenderfoot, he who dared to invade his blissful repose, improve the city and by making improvements increase values, and to the everlasting sorrow of the mossback, thereby increase the taxes. The opening of the Boulevard, the best move Ashland had till then made, to a degree scattered the forces of the pullbacks; some gave up their contrary ghosts, others moved away, and a few stayed, and were converted to the gospel of progress. We had to take one of the leaders into court and by open offers of more than he himself had figured his land was worth overwhelmed him with our generosity, but he would not stay, our blessings following him. From that day to this, barring the political setback during the period 1893 to 1897, our city has progressed, the newcomers have been made welcome and become assimilated, Ashland has expanded, bloomed and fructified, its fame heralded by its wonderful fruit, has gone the length and breadth of the land, even Alaska has sent a colony to follow up my lead, and today there is not a more prosperous, healthful or desirable little city on the Pacific Slope, and how near my prophecy is to its fulfillment, the six thousand happy and contented citizens, active pushers and boomers all, can testify.
When the first settlers creaked into the mining camp on the creek, where now the plaza opens into Chautauqua Park, way back in the fifties, their faith and endurance was rewarded in the promises of peace and plenty in a land of sunshine and perfumed forests and many of them settled down to a life of ease and comfort, satisfied with the surfeit of good things nature had provided, happy in their own companionship, and it was not until the railroad pierced the granite walls of the Siskiyous and brought men and money for planning and developing that Ashland began to find herself and, today, radiating out from the original miners' business center like a senorita's fan, the spirit of Ashland smiles at the overlapping mountains north, east and west, and is bringing to her feet the seekers after health and education and a competence. The new Carnegie Library building, on the spot where stood John Gum's barn and blocked the way of progress, accentuates the fact that Ashland has burst into full bloom, her ever-increasing charms bringing to her embrace the cultivated men and women of all the union.
Ashland, my Ashland, how sittest thou upon thy everlasting mountains and glorifies the rising sun! My heart is with thee ever.
MAX PRACHT.Ashland Tidings, February 24, 1910, page 1
Pracht Is for Taft.
MAX PRACHT, proprietor of the Peachblow Paradise orchards at Ashland, which have taken six gold medals at six international fairs, has been talking straight Republican politics to his friends. Mr. Pracht might be remembered as the man who displayed a peach 4½ inches in diameter weighing 26½ ounces, at the Lewis and Clark Fair. His medals for peaches were awarded at Chicago, St. Louis, Buffalo, Savannah, New Orleans and Portland.
Mr. Pracht has been a resident of Oregon for 30 years and has been in the Civil Service for 20 years. The government rules that no employee shall take part in political campaigns, for which reason Mr. Pracht resigned his position. As a man who was assistant secretary of the American Protective Tariff in 1894 and 1895, and who helped to represent Oregon at the St. Louis convention which nominated McKinley in 1896, Mr. Pracht feels prepared to express his ideas.
"I have always been a straight Republican," said Mr. Pracht. "President Taft is a broad-minded man, and I hope that he will receive the nomination."
Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 27, 1912, page 10
BEN DAVIS APPLE IS DENOUNCED
Marketing of Variety Declared to Injure Oregon Fruits' Reputation
ASHLAND, Or., May 2.--(To the Editor.)--The man who invented the Ben Davis apple lives in Arkansas, at least when last heard from he was yet unhung in that state, which goes to prove that lynch law falls short of its requirements. The Oregon orchardist who permits a Ben Davis apple tree to disfigure the landscape should be anathema to all patriotic fruitgrowers and the Oregon commission merchant who ships Ben Davis apples to the Eastern markets as Oregon apples is a traitor to the state and fit for stratagem and spoils.
I have felt it a pleasant duty during my eight years' official sojourn in Washington City to enlighten the self-contained Easterners as to the real conditions on the Pacific Slope, having a residential experience in California, Alaska and Oregon to bank on, and especially as to the superiority of our fruits, and have made satisfactory progress, some converts, and been the cause of several families locating in Oregon. Apples, Oregon apples, big, red, juicy Oregon apples, have always been my winning weapon in controversy, but during the last few months an unusual quantity of bunco Ben Davis apples have reached the Washington City markets, and I have been confounded and almost annihilated several times by brother clerks in the departments (and there are thirty thousand of them) who had purchased apples at fruit stands, nicely wrapped, out of boxes marked "Oregon Apples," and got a prismatic striped and streaked skin full of pith, punk and sawdust. On one corner of the box, I found on trailing the purchase, could be found, in small rubber stamp letter, "Ben Davis," which was a guide for the dealer, conveyed no information to the retailer, and was never noticed by the purchaser who as the ultimate consumer, having paid the price of a good apple and found himself flimflammed, was justified in the use of adjective-loaded, explosive language.
The Ben Davis is not an Oregon apple and ought not to be raised or marketed by fruitgrowers in whom the pride of state, Oregon in Excelsis Naturae, maintains a healthy circulation. In conclusion I say the Ben Davis apple is a fraud, a delusion and a snare, and should be frowned upon by all real Oregonians.
MAX PRACHT.Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 31, 1912, page 10
NEW CHERRY IS GROWNSince retiring from the government service at Washington, Max Pracht, well known in Portland, has developed into a practical horticulturist. He resides near Ashland, Jackson County, where he first came into prominence as a successful peach culturist. More recently he has produced a new variety of cherry, which is pronounced by experts to be one of the best commercial varieties that is grown in the Pacific Northwest. This cherry in many respects resembles the Bing, being large, firm and of exceptional flavor.
Max Pracht, of Jackson County, Develops Luscious Variety.
Mr. Pracht sent a sample box of the fruit, which he has christened the Pracht Imperial, to his friend, Phil Metschan, proprietor of the Imperial Hotel. The box arrived yesterday, but the demand for "just a taste" of the cherries was so great that the supply proved insufficient to go the rounds.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, July 7, 1912, page 15
WOULD REMOVE BARN.Attorney B. F. Mulkey appeared before the city council Tuesday evening to petition them in behalf of E. J. Arant that Max Pracht be compelled to remove a barn recently erected by him near Euclid Avenue. The petition, which was very lengthy, recited that Pracht built the foundation seven years ago and put up the barn last August. That it was on higher ground than the residence of petitioner and that the manure leached onto petitioner's land and the odor annoyed him and his family.
City Asked to Have Max Pracht Remove Structure.
The matter was referred to the sanitary committee.
Councilman Cunningham asked Mr. Mulkey to define a nuisance and he defined it as anything that annoyed any number of people or that was detrimental to their health or that damaged their property.
Ashland Tidings, December 5, 1912, page 1
Washington City Herald: Opening the White House grounds for the Marine Band concert Saturday forenoon has caused much favorable comment. The band had not given a popular concert in the grounds in four years, the Saturday afternoon concerts taking place on the Ellipse south of the White House grounds. Max Pracht, who calls himself an "Oregon Republican," said last night in commenting on the change: "For the first time in four years the common people were privileged to hear the Marine Band within the White House grounds. For which our thanks are due to the kindhearted mistress of the Executive Mansion, the wife of President Wilson."
"In the Social Realm," Ashland Tidings, June 26, 1913, page 4
Soul Kiss Is Nothing New, According to Max Pracht"Ah, me! The soul kiss! Something new, you think? Nay, nay, good soul, think not thusly. 'Tis as old as our good friend Solomon; aye, as old as time itself."
Washington's Expert on Osculation, Discussing the Matter,
Tells Interesting Little Story of an Incident of Early Days in Missouri.
Thus declares Washington's osculatory expert, Max Pracht, veteran of the Civil War and student of the art of soulful kissing.
"There is nothing new under the sun, not even the soul kiss," he continued, bringing his cane to the pavement with a thump, as a reporter, who had buttonholed him on the street corner, listened to his authoritative words. "I have no doubt but that Solomon kept them in stock and regaled his wives with them. The educated and refined kissers of Missouri certainly knew how to administer them as first aid in times of stress and perturbation, for I lived in Missouri, both 'befoh and aftah de wah.'
"I am naming no personages, but there was once a young man who had occasion to go from Jefferson City to the wilds of the Ozarks on horseback. And, by the way, that's the place where the 'houn' dawgs' come from. Well, one day, while ambling along, he came upon a log cabin, near which, in a clump of chinquapins, stood a farmer's fair daughter, sizing the stranger up. He asked for a cool drink, and in a moment the lass had before him a gourd filled with sparkling water. He gazed at the beautiful wood nymph, standing with downcast eyes and bashful flush at his stirrups, and then, returning to her the emptied gourd, he placed a shining coin in her hand.
Took Kiss Instead."'Stranger, what is this for?' said the maiden. 'For your goodness in giving a gourd of cold water at my request,' responded the traveler. 'Well, answered the lass, handing back the coin, 'we uns down here don't charge strangers for water.' 'Ah, well, then, my pretty lass,' said the traveler, 'keep the coin anyway, and give me a sweet little kiss.'
"The maiden said nothing, so the horseman jumped down, pulled the face of the lass up to his, and--and--well, after what might have been an eternity to a man looking on, but what seemed to the traveler like only a fleeting moment, he let her down, limp, dreamy-eyed, and breathless. For a moment it seemed that both were dazed, but the maiden came to first and, holding out her palm on which lay the coin, she panted, 'Stranger, take back yer coin, and give me another one of them 'ere kisses.'
"So, I just guess the thing they call the soul kiss isn't so new after all. Eh?"
And, slapping the reporter on the shoulder and bursting into a wry laugh, Max went along his way.
Washington Herald, July 30, 1913, page 4
COOKING OF CATFISH LOST ART IN CAPITAL
Max Pracht Deplores Culinary Deficiency of Local Chefs, but Holds Out Hope.
Ears of local chefs register far above the normal these days, if that time-honored superstition that fever lurks in the hearing apparati of those being maligned counts for aught. For at least one epicure is abroad saying things that uphold the reputation of the catfish and reflect on the ability of local chefdom. He is Max Pracht, well known to the gourmets of the local fish and oyster marts.
"There is nobody hereabouts who can cook a catfish as it should be cooked," bemoans Max Pracht. "Catfish is the greatest dainty ever if cooked properly," he continues, in support of his piscatory highness. "I tasted catfish cooked a la Creole in New Orleans in 1851, and I've had the craving to let Washingtonians know what the delicacy is ever since."
Optimism is held out for local epicures, however, by the critic of the Capital's chefs. He says that "Mother" Gibson, who has a "little cubby" at the oyster wharf, intends to serve the fish a la Creole as soon as the District builds the new fish market at the wharf. Since "Mother" Gibson has made this announcement Max Pracht vociferously shouts, "give us the market quickly, so the lost chord in the appetites of Washington lovers of good things to eat will be found."
Washington Herald, Washington, D.C., September 22, 1913, page 10
Charles Winings died Thursday morning at two-thirty at the home of his sister, Mrs. Max Pracht. Death was caused by locomotor ataxia, from which dread disease he had suffered for the past eight years. He was sixty-two years and two months of
age and had lived in Ashland for about twenty-five years, having come here in 1889. He was an orchardist and for many years cared for the big "Peachblow Paradise Orchards" for his brother-in-law, in addition to his own. Funeral services were held from the Pracht home on Ashland Street Friday afternoon, Rev. Van Scoy officiating, and interment occurred in Mountain View Cemetery. Deceased leaves three brothers and five sisters, Mrs. Pracht being the only one known locally.
"Death Toll for Week Is Large," Ashland Tidings, May 28, 1914, page 5
COOL-HEADED, NOT COLD-BLOODED
Writer Thinks Another Correspondent Applied Wrong Term to President.
PORTLAND, July 27.--(To the Editor.)--The writer was deeply impressed with the patriotic spirit exemplified by Mr. Max Pracht in his recent communication, regarding the devout allegiance to the United States of all American citizens coming from German parentage. It appealed to me in many ways, particularly because it came from a German-American himself. But in concluding Mr. Pracht remarks, "There will be no war with Germany, thanks to cold-blooded, level-headed Woodrow Wilson." The article was appreciated very much up to this point, but when our friend expressed the feeling that President Wilson was "cold-blooded," it somehow rather went against the grain.
We can easily see wherein Mr. Wilson is level-headed, but it is difficult to perceive wherein he deserves this other attribute. I am a Republican, but, nevertheless, have heard of nothing ever done or said during President Wilson's administration that would lead one to believe he were in any way "cold-blooded." I have looked at the word from every angle but have not succeeded so far in making it fit just right. If we cannot take it for what it appears to mean, there are just two possible solutions for the use of the word: Either the writer through mistake really meant cool-headed or else, let us hope, it was a typographical error.
Instead of possessing the characteristics implied in the word, we have, to the contrary, perceived in President Wilson a man, though harassed by scheming politicians, hampered by contriving money interests bent on plunging this country into war with Mexico or Germany for their own personal gain, still firmly pursuing an unwavering course, seeing steadily the right and standing ever by it; doing everything in his power to ease the suffering of a stricken people laboring late into the hours of the night preparing official notes to foreign powers whose unscrupulous, domineering rulers persist in trampling the rights and freedom of American citizens beneath their feet; forgetting his duty to himself and his own personal comfort, all for the sake of suffering humanity. What more could one ask of a man to prove his warm-hearted sympathies toward mankind?
If, for a moment, anyone believes that President Wilson is unsympathetic or "cold-blooded" for not dealing more harshly with the perpetrators of the Lusitania affair, it is not because he has not seen the horrors of the crime, it is not because he has not viewed the piracy of the offenders with ever-increasing disgust and detestation, but because of his own generous regard for the lives of other Americans, respect for happiness of the American home, love of peace and prosperity within the greatest government on earth. His better judgment has restrained his own personal impulses for the sake of these principles, midst the turmoil and excited cries of fanatics on every side for war. If it takes "cold-bloodedness" to make a great leader. then God pity the people of the empire under whose ruler they serve.
Oreognian, Portland, July 28, 1915, page 6
William Pracht has returned from a two weeks' stay at Sawtelle, Cal., where his father, Max Pracht, is in a hospital.
"Local and Personal," Ashland Tidings, May 3, 1917, page 8
Eventful Life Comes to Close
A long and eventful life of one of Ashland's most respected citizens came to a close Tuesday morning at the National Soldiers' Home at Sawtelle, Cal., when Max Pracht passed away at the age of 70 years and seven months. The remains will be brought here for burial and the services will be held from the family residence Saturday at 2:30, under the auspices of the Elks Lodge.
Mr. Pracht first became enamored of Ashland in 1886, bought a tract of land and laid out the famous "Peachblow Paradise," in the center of which stands the Pracht home. Although absent most of the time on various government employments, he built up a wide circle of friends here.
Mr. Pracht was a fine example of the self-made man. He was highly educated in the school of experience, master of several languages, broad in his grasp of public affairs, a delightful friend and respected enemy. He was a member of Burnside Grand Army post of Ashland and a charter member of Ashland Lodge No. 944, B.P.O. Elks and had the distinction of holding the first bond of the series it issued for the building of its temple.
Max Pracht was born in Bavaria in 1846, coming to this country at the age of six years with his parents, who settled in Cincinnati. He led a varied career which carried him into many different business ventures and all over the world. He was one of the pioneer Alaska fishery men and gained an insight into conditions there which resulted in his appointment as the first government fish commissioner of Alaska. He also served as collector of customs at Sitka under President Harrison. In various other capacities he served the government, both at Washington City and elsewhere. He was in the Treasury Department at the capital for a time and served the Interior Department in handling public lands in the Southwest. He was also in the health department and at one time went to Europe as a member of the protective tariff board. At another time he went to Europe as representative of an American firm in the East which was introducing wire cables and kindred products and the machinery to produce them. For a time he represented this firm at Manchester, England.
Mr. Pracht was married October 21, 1867, to Miss Mary Winnings of Cincinnati. To them were born three children, all of whom survive him to mourn with their mother. They are W. B. Pracht and A. H. Pracht of Ashland and Mrs. A. R. Wilkins of Dunsmuir, Cal.
Ashland Tidings, May 24, 1917, page 8
MAX PRACHT OF ASHLAND DEAD AT SOLDIER'S HOMEMax Pracht, long prominent in business, political and social circles of Ashland, one of those who gave Ashland its first boom back in the '80s, died at the National Soldiers' home at Sawtelle, Calif., aged 70 years, May 22. The remains were brought to Ashland. The funeral services will be held from the family residence under the auspices of the Elks Saturday.
Max Pracht was born in Bavaria in 1846, coming to this country at the age of six years with his parents, who settled in Cincinnati. He led a varied career which carried him into many different business ventures and all over the world. He was one of the pioneer Alaska fishery men and gained an insight into conditions there which resulted in his appointment as the first government fish commissioner of Alaska. He also served as collector of customs at Sitka under President Harrison. In various other capacities he served the government, both at Washington City and elsewhere. He was in the Treasury Department at the Capitol for a time and served the Interior Department in handling public lands in the Southwest. He was also in the health department and at one time went to Europe as a member of the protective tariff board. At another time he went to Europe as representative of an American firm in the East which was introducing wire cables and kindred products and the machinery to produce them. For a time he represented this firm at Manchester, England.
Mr. Pracht was married October 21, 1867, to Miss Mary Winnings of Cincinnati. To them were born three children, all of whom survive him to mourn with their mother. They are W. B. Pracht and A. H. Pracht of Ashland and Mrs. A. R. Wilkins of Dunsmuir, California.
Mr. Pracht settled in Ashland in 1886, laying out the "Peachblow Paradise," in the center of which tract stands the Pracht home. He was a scholar and linguist, served in the Civil War and was a member of Burnside Grand Army post of Ashland and a charter member Ashland lodge of Elks.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 25, 1917, page 3
Mrs. Max Pracht, who has been visiting in Dunsmuir for the past week, is home. She was accompanied by her daughter, Mrs. A. L. Wilkins, and two children, who will spend the summer here.
"Local and Personal," Ashland Tidings, June 27, 1918, page 5
Sudden Death of Well-Known Woman
Mrs. Alva R. Wilkins of Dunsmuir died at the home of her brother, A. H. Pracht, on Vista Street last Sunday morning, at the age of 40 years. She had been in poor health for a long time and had come to Ashland several weeks ago to be with her mother and brother, and though her condition was serious, her death came unexpectedly at the end.
Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon from the home of her mother, Mrs. Max Pracht, Mrs. Pernie Johnson officiating. Mrs. Henry Enders presided at the piano and Mrs. D. D. Norris sang two solos. Interment was made in Mountain Cemetery. Mrs. Wilkins is survived by her husband, two daughters, her mother, Mrs. Max Pracht, two brothers, William B. Pracht, in the U.S. naval service at Bremerton, and A. H. Pracht of Ashland.,
Ashland Tidings, July 25, 1918, page 1
IMPRESSIONS AND OBSERVATIONSWilliam B. Pracht has lived at Ashland 33 years. When I visited him recently I found the roomy old house in which he has lived so long a veritable treasure chest.
OF THE JOURNAL MAN
By Fred Lockley
"My father, Max Pracht, was a born collector," he said. "Anything rare, beautiful or unusual appealed irresistibly to him. As you can see, our house has many rooms, and the rooms are large, so Father had plenty of space to display his treasures. When he was in the government service in Arizona and New Mexico many, years ago he bought, at prices ranging from $2.50 to around $20, over 100 old-time Navajo rugs. Take that one draped across the old square piano, for example. It is woven of soft gray, light blue, and dark blue wools. The light blue wool comes from the light blue woolen cloth of which the soldiers' trousers were made. The dark blue is from the dark blue of soldiers' blouses. These uniforms were worn by soldiers during the Mexican War. As you can see, the colors in all of these old rugs--and I have over 30 here--are of soft tones and subdued colors.
"My father also collected Indian baskets in the Southwest as well as in Alaska. While in Mexico he made a collection of carved canes and Mexican work. While at Sitka he made a collection of old Russian candlesticks, some of them of silver and 18 inches high. Here is an old hand-made copper samovar he bought at Sitka that originally hailed from Russia. That panel came from the Baranof castle at Sitka. This house is full of what collectors tell me are museum pieces.
"My father came to America when he was 6 years old. Colonel Henry E. Dosch of Portland, my father's people, Carl Schurz and hundreds of other liberty-loving Germans came to America when the revolution of 1848 was crushed with an iron hand. When Father was 12 he left his home in Cincinnati and landed a job on a steamboat plying to New Orleans. For the next few years he followed the river. At 16 he enlisted in the navy. He served on the gunboat Lafayette during the Civil War. He became assistant engineer and served on the Mississippi and Red rivers. Father had picked up a knowledge of cabinet-making, so he took up this trade after the war, at Cincinnati, and was married there. My mother's maiden name was Mary Winings. He picked up telegraphy and became an operator in Indiana, in which state I was born, November 22, 1870. My brother Alex lives here in Ashland. Father was a natural mixer and a regular go-getter, so he landed a job with the Bixby Blacking Company and before long was appointed their advertising manager. The headquarters was at St. Louis, but his work took him all over the United States.
"In 1878 we moved to San Francisco. Father purchased an interest in the firm of Neville & Co., a manufacturer of tents, awnings and bags. Father was sent to Portland to represent this firm. At Portland, in 1881, ho invested all the money he could raise in a salmon-packing plant in Alaska. Within the ensuing few years mismanagement had about wrecked the company, so in 1885 Father sold his interest and went to Alaska to take charge of the salmon fishing and cannery. The cannery was 21 miles from where Ketchikan was later located. Father named the place Loring. He sold the plant to the Cutting Packing Company and later it was
merged with the Alaska Packers' Association. President Harrison appointed Father collector of customs with headquarters at Sitka. Later he became fish commissioner for Alaska and drew up the first commercial fishing bill, which was passed by Congress. In 1892 Father came to Ashland and started the Peachblow Paradise Orchards, whose peaches brought fame to Ashland by winning the blue ribbon wherever exhibited. Father joined the Elks at Roseburg and was a charter member of the lodge at La Grande and also in Ashland."
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 18, 1926, page 8
IMPRESSIONS AND OBSERVATIONS"For 33 years I have lived in Ashland," said William B. Pracht when I interviewed him recently at his home at Peachblow Paradise Orchards. "I was born in Indiana November 22, 1870. In 1878 we moved to San Francisco, where I put in most of the next five years at school. When I was 14 I decided to study history and geography at first hand, so I shipped as an apprentice aboard the English bark Howrah. We were 163 days between San Francisco and Liverpool. I spent the next few months in North Wales.
OF THE JOURNAL MAN
By Fred Lockley
"In 1885 we moved from Portland to Alaska. I was 15 when we went to Alaska. The Indians called me 'Tenas Son,' meaning 'little son.' I have dug clams and shot deer on the site of Ketchikan. At that time there was only a board and bark shack, owned by an Indian, where Ketchikan was later located. I almost lived with the natives. I made frequent trips of several hundred miles up and down the coast in Indian canoes with the natives. I soon learned to speak their jargon like a native and also picked up a working knowledge of the Stick tongue. ["Stick" is Chinook jargon for "forest"--referring to natives of the Alaska interior.]
"In 1890 I went to the Freiburg Mining Academy, in Germany, where I put in 20 months studying chemistry, mineralogy and mining. I remember going to Dresden one night to hear Mark Twain lecture. Father had known Mark well, so that decided me to attend the lecture instead of going to hear Patti, who sang that same night.
"In 1892, while Father was en route from San Francisco to Seattle, where he was going to invest in the street railway company, he stopped off at Ashland. He fell in love with its climate and the location, so he bought 15 acres on the edge of town and planted a peach orchard. Our peaches won first prize at the World's Fair and also at Buffalo, at the Lewis and Clark, at the Alaska-Yukon at Seattle, and at many other expositions. While Father ran the Oregon Hotel here I worked in the peach orchard. Later Father worked as special agent for the United States land office, continuing till 1915.
"I joined the Oregon National Guard in 1897. At the breaking out of the Spanish-American War our company and the company at Roseburg were merged as Company B of the First Oregon, and we served through the Spanish-American War and also the Filipino insurrection, under Captain John L. May, who during the World War was in command of the 162nd Infantry--the Oregon regiment. I knew that the United States must get into the war, so I enlisted in the naval coast defense reserve prior to our entrance. I was the first to enlist. I was not called into active service till December 13, 1917. I reported at Bremerton and was assigned to service aboard the Comet. When the Comet was put out of commission I was assigned to the Western Plains, Hull No. 8, of 8800 tons. We left Portland in October, 1918. We were passing through the Panama Canal when we received word of the armistice. We arrived at Gibraltar December 19, and from there went to Gallipoli, Constantinople, Smyrna, Malta, Cyprus and elsewhere. I was not discharged until March, 1921. I enlisted as a seaman first class and was discharged as engineman first class, drawing $58 a month. I am now a member of the naval reserve. My feet are beginning to itch, so I am planning to go to Alaska to get into the mining game again."
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 19, 1926, page 8
TOAD INVASION OF ASHLAND IS DULY EXPLAINED
ASHLAND, Oct. 17.--Considerable inquiry has been aroused recently in regard to the horned toads that are found about Ashland, and for a time there seemed no solution to their appearance in this section. However, W. B. Pracht has come forward with a statement which clears the mystery. In 1904 Max Pracht, father of W. B. Pracht, who was the former owner of the Peachblow orchards, sent home from Arizona a shipment of fourteen of the toads, which was received by his son, W. B. Pracht. One of the toads died on the way, but the others were turned out. Mr. Pracht's orchard had been infested with red ants and insects so he sent the toads here hoping to free the place of the nuisance. The toads proved very efficient in eradicating the pests. It is presumed that all of the toads found here at the present time had their origin in the original shipment of 1904.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 17, 1927, page 3
Last revised December 9, 2023