A week after Rev. Thomas Fletcher Royal's death on March 7, 1911, the Oregonian noted that he had completed a manuscript for a work he titled "Trail Followers and Empire Builders," to be published that July. The book was never published.
The manuscript may yet survive in family hands; sometime after 1947 Violet M. Mumford edited a history of Jacksonville churches and schools that quotes at length from an unknown Royal manuscript.
Royal's notes for his book do survive, however, and are transcribed below and on other Royal pages on this site.
PIONEER DAYS RECALLEDOregonian, Portland, March 14, 1911, page 18
Personal Reminiscences of Late Rev. T. F. Royal to Be in Book.
"Trail Followers and Empire Builders" is the title of the historical and reminiscent work which Rev. T. F. Royal completed in manuscript form a short time before his death last week, and it will be published in July provided his friends can secure 500 advance subscribers. Already 200 subscribers have been obtained since Rev. Mr. Royal's death, and it is thought there will be no difficult in securing the 300 more.
Rev. Mr. Royal made the writing of this book the work of the past 12 years, and he had hoped to live to see it in print. The book covers his recollections of pioneer life, log cabin days in Illinois, the Blackhawk War, personal experiences of a circuit rider and crossing the plains in 1853. Those who have read the manuscript say it reads like a romance. Rev. Stanley O. Royal of Cincinnati, O., a son, has edited the manuscript. The friends of the veteran pioneer will undertake to carry out his wishes in having the book published.
Subjects of Chapters.Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, Thomas Fletcher Royal journal vol. 7
In the early history of emigration by land to Oregon and California, the notion became quite popular that the journey could not be performed without traveling every day.
In the spring of 1853 two families of us started across the "Plains" for Oregon, with the intention of making that long, tedious and dangerous journey without traveling on the Sabbath day unless it became absolutely necessary. The sequel shows that the necessity never came, and that the resolution was kept sacred throughout the journey.
My father, a superannuate of the Rock River Conference, and my mother, sister and two brothers composed the first family, and I, a transfer from the same conference to the Oregon Conference, with wife and two babes composed the other.
With a driver for each wagon we had three covered wagons, hauled, each, by four yoke of cattle. Our wagons were light, strong, farm wagons, with watertight beds for ferrying streams. The loads were mostly provisions, beds, tents, and clothing of the most substantial kind for five months, a case of medicines, a kit of tools for doing our own blacksmithing, repairing of wagons, building bridges etc., and also our women and children, and others who were unable to walk. The drivers were expected to walk, or rest occasionally on the front of the wagon or stand upon the wagon tongue in driving across streams and marshy places.
Thus equipped, we drove out from our homes, bidding farewell to kindreds and friends who, weeping, said, "We shall never see you again." Calling at the village church where the people had assembled for a farewell missionary meeting, our outfit attracted universal attention, and called out many curious remarks and criticisms. But, the address delivered, and the heroic spirit of the adventurers made a profound impression in favor of Christian missions.
After the final departure amid the cheers of the multitude, the waving of handkerchiefs, and many a "God bless you," we were soon alone on the highway, except that a few dear ones accompanied us for a day and night. Crossing the Mississippi at Quincy, we found ourselves for the first time in a land where man was not free. Slaves were everywhere. Slave owners, many of them, were restless, and chafed under the horrid institution, and often said apologetically, "It is a matter of necessity with us."
On the last morning before leaving Missouri, as we were driving by a slave plantation, the wealthy planter himself came out and traveled with us for several miles, talking freely with different members of the party. One of our company said to him, "We resolved this morning on leaving camp that we would never eat, drink, or sleep again on slave territory. He replied, "That is rather a romantic resolution. You will be hungry before you cross the line."
Nevertheless, we kept our word, though it was quite late in the afternoon before we reached free soil, in a village called Lineville, being on the line between Missouri and Iowa.
On entering the town we requested a merchant to show us the line, and finding it in the public square we all passed over into Iowa, where our weary oxen all lay down on the green to rest.
While the lunch was preparing, one of our number made in substance the following speech to a crowd of bystanders, who had gathered around us: "Friends and fellow citizens of Iowa and Missouri, allow us a few words of explanation. You all wonder why we have so anxiously inquired for this line that separates your two states, and why we have been so careful to cross over to this side before pausing to rest, and take our lunch.
"This morning at breakfast we all resolved that we would never eat, drink or sleep again on slave territory. Hence, we are here, and we all rejoice that we stand on the free soil, and breathe the pure, free air of Iowa. All honor to the noble men who framed the constitution of this grand state. May their names be inscribed in capitals of gold, and their memories cherished in the grateful hearts of a free people, who will with similar rectitude and courage preserve their state from all tyranny and oppression for all time to come. And may God hasten the time when all our country shall be indeed as now in song, "the land of the free and the home of the brave."
One big, fat, merchant standing by responded "Amen."
We soon learned that he was one of the framers of the constitution of Iowa, and that he was a brother to the slaveholder who had traveled a few miles with us in the morning.
In starting out upon the journey some of us had high aspirations for becoming successful hunters. So we soon began to inquire for game. We were jubilant when we were told by persons in a sparsely settled part of Mo. that deer were abundant, and that if we would go out early in the morning "around the head of some of these draws," we would, "without a chance kill a deer." Out we went, but soon returned without a chance and without a deer. It is doubtful if we had a Nimrod in our company who could have killed a deer even with a good chance.
Our First Sunday in Iowa.Quietly resting in camp, beside a beautiful grove, on an eminence overlooking a large extent of what was then a wilderness, we saw in the distance an emigrant team approaching. One of our company said, "Suppose that team should be stalled in the creek it is now approaching, and we should be called upon for help, would it be right to yoke up a team and haul them out?"
We all agreed that it would be right, as an act of mercy, if we could save suffering thereby. "Hark!" says one, "they are already stuck. Hear the loud cracking of whips, the yells, and curses of exasperated drivers."
Presently a group of women and children came up the hill and, approaching us, almost breathless, they said, "Please, won't you go down and help our men? They are stalled in the creek." Hitching up two yoke of our best oxen, we were soon at the scene of trouble. Finding the men in a flurry of excitement and anger, and their team bewildered by abuse, we concluded our first work is to calm things down a little. But the men said in a blustering manner, "Here, hitch on your team ahead of ours and pull us out!" We replied, "Please let us inspect the situation first." "O no," they said, "Hitch on here. There is no other show."
We persisted however in examining the load, the road, and the position of the wagon. Then said to the men, "Gentlemen, if you will take off your five yoke of oxen, and take them out of the way, we will hitch our two yoke onto the tongue, and haul your wagon out."
After ridiculing the idea, and uttering vehement remonstrances with oaths, they at last yielded, and in a few minutes, to their great surprise, and no little mortification they saw their wagon on terra firma.
This was our first experience with Sabbath-breaking emigrants. But, our observation throughout our entire journey was that those who forsook the law of the Sabbath were forsaken of God, and left in utter confusion.
After these men had driven up to our camp, and had taken in their families, they said to us, "Why are you stopping here in camp today?"
"We don't travel on the Sabbath," was our reply.
"Well," said they, "you will learn better than that before you get across the plains. You will find it necessary to move every day, and Sunday too."
"Perhaps so," we said, "but we shall rest ourselves, and our teams, every Sabbath till we do find a necessity for moving on Sunday."
They then bade us goodbye, saying "We shall never see you again."
But, we passed them every week and they for some time passed us every Sunday, and we finally left them by the way where they had been for several days, resting and recruiting their stock. We saw them no more.
Our Last Sunday on the Borders of Civilization.Camping on Saturday near Kanesville, Iowa, and finding many emigrants collecting here for the purpose of laying in additional supplies and purchasing guidebooks for the route at this last trading post, we circulated an appointment for preaching on Sunday at our camp.
A goodly number was in attendance. Among these were members of three Methodist families and one Presbyterian family. A Methodist local preacher was the head man of their company. After the service these families all expressed a desire to join our company, especially because we proposed to rest on the Lord's day. We were glad of this addition to our party, as we found them all worthy and genial traveling companions. At a later date another Methodist local preacher with his family joined us, thus increasing our numbers to about forty persons, with a train of ten wagons, or about a quarter of a mile in length when straightened out upon the road with our long teams as we usually traveled.
Some novel and amusing things were constantly attracting our attention in the makeup of the various trains that thronged the way. One wagon was surrounded with seats that projected over the wheels, where the young people of of a large family, 7 girls & 3 boys, usually sat when the roads were good, spending their time in spelling, reciting history, singing &c.! This we called "the band wagon."
It was common to have inscriptions on the wagon covers in large letters. These are a few of them. "Old Settlers of Keokuk," "Pike County, Mo. for California, or Bust," "Hoosiers from Posey Co., Indianny," and "T. F. Royal for Oregon." We found our inscription quite useful in drawing passing trains into our camp for preaching on Sundays. For we put up notices along the road on Saturdays, that there would be preaching at our camp at a given hour on Sunday, to which all were cordially invited.
On the 27th day of May we crossed the Missouri River in a small flatboat, propelled by oars, taking one wagon at a time for one dollar. Our cattle ferried themselves. On the bank of the river where Omaha now stands, we found a single tent occupied by a trader, [a] white man, with a squaw, and a few other Indians about him.
Here we launched out upon the "Great American Desert."
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 8
Click here for accounts of the Preacher Train's 1853 journey over the Oregon Trail.
Early History of Jacksonville, Oregon TerritoryEditor Oregonian
I see in your issue of Nov. 6th 1910, a very able and interesting history of Jacksonville, as a "Real Relic of the Hardy Pioneer Days," written by Arthur M. Geary.
That history is all the more interesting to me because I was there and shared in the "woes and pleasures, prosperity and poverty of the town's early history."
I was young then; now, I am near my 91st birthday.
It would have given me real pleasure to join with my dear friends of long ago in that pioneer reunion of last September, and March with that procession of "60 silvery-headed men and women weak and bent by years."
The mention of important events and names of distinguished individuals revived the memory of early days in that grand old town.
Foundation builders are not found among the restless, shifting classes that chase after the newest Eldorados, but among the pioneers who build homes and strive to promote all the interests of a commonwealth, establish schools, build churches and cultivate every principle of good society. These pioneer reunions are composed of real empire builders.
Many of their names have been chiseled on cold marble slabs on the hillside cemetery, and the others will soon be there; but their works will be endurably carved on the commonwealth they have built.
Some distinguished names of foundation builders were mentioned in the paper read before the pioneer reunion. I wish to mention others in my
First Impressions of Jacksonville.These impressions were made some weeks before I saw that noted city; for Jacksonville came out to meet us in the wilderness when we were in perils from exhaustion, starvation, and Indian hostility. It was no mirage; it was real, living representatives.
The first man we met was Lieutenant Griffith [probably Burrel Bell Griffin] from Jacksonville. Approaching us in front, on horseback; lifting his hat, he said: "We are a company of volunteers from Rogue River Valley out for the relief and protection of emigrants.
You are among hostile Indians. Follow us to a suitable camp we have selected, and we will guard you through the night.
On learning that we were out of bread, he drew from his saddlebags some cakes which he said "My wife made for hungry women and children."
The next day, coming up to the main company, the first man we met there was Capt. J. F. Miller in command, with abundant supplies of flour and fat beef for everybody. The Captain in his cordial, pleasing manner cheered and comforted all the weary emigrants, and besides showed such special favor to my family and myself that we named our babe, then only two weeks old, for him. He detailed six noble young men to act as an escort for the train through to the settlement; but especially to remain with my sick family if we should be left behind, which we were as usual on the Sabbath day for many weeks.
The next man we met was Hon. B. F. Dowell with a pack train loaded with flour for hungry emigrants. He was so cheerful and communicative that everybody plied him with questions about Rogue River Valley till he exclaimed "O Rogue River Valley is a right good little hole!"
We finally concluded if these volunteers are fair samples of Jacksonville people we shall be satisfied with a humble place among them.
Entering the valley, and passing down through the settlement, a farmer sold us a cabbage for 75¢ and gave us a bit of advice free. He said: "Don't go into Jacksonville; everything is so high there; in fact it is not a fit place for a family." We went in and before we were there long a stranger, a Baptist by the name of Overbeck, dumped a large load of cabbage into our yard, free. Another man who deserves special mention was the merchant Mr. Dan Kenney. Entering his store, and introducing myself, I said: I am an emigrant, just from the plains; I have a family and no money--without waiting to hear me ask for credit, he said in his jolly good way: "All right; you can have what you want, and all you want, and pay for it when you can." O my! his fine large face, all wreathed in smiles, seemed to me brighter than a full moon. Dan Kenney was a worthy son of a noble sire. His father, the Rev. Father Kenney, a Methodist preacher of New Orleans, La., will appear further on in this history.
That was a happy day when Dan Kenney became the worthy husband of the belle of Dardanelles, Miss Elizabeth T'Vault. To her kind heart and brilliant memory I have been indebted for much valuable history that has been incorporated in other chapters.
Returning in my narrative, another man appears. He was a redheaded youth known among the miners as "Lucky Chris" [Christopher Alderson]. Introducing himself to me, he said: "I am a Methodist, and learning that you are a Methodist preacher, and that you have just completed a journey across the plains, I suspect you are out of money; here, if you will accept this, you are welcome to it; at the same time placing a large gold coin in my hand.
It was not long till Dan Kenney received a payment on the lot of groceries that had cheered our log cabin home and gratified our ravenous appetites.
I must not fail to mention the names of [the] first county officers, who courteously granted me the use of their new courthouse for our preaching services on Sundays. They were furnished me by Mrs. E. Kenney and Mrs. R. M. McDonough with other important historical items.
"Jackson County was organized by legislative enactment Jan. 12, 1852, and officers appointed. The County Commissioners N. C. Dean, James Clugage, and Abel George. Clerk C. S. Alexander, Sheriff E. H. Blanchard, Richard Dugan Treasurer and T. McF. Patton, Prosecuting Attorney."
Educational.Our congregations were largely composed of refined, scholarly men and women; the rabble crowds thronged saloons and the streets.
The first public school in Jacksonville was opened and conducted through the winter of 1853 and 1854 by Rev. J. H. B. Royal till he was appointed principal of the Umpqua Academy, when he resigned in favor of his sister Miss Mary E. Royal, who conducted the school through the summer of 1854.
The first Sunday school in Jacksonville was organized with William Kahler superintendent, Rev. James H. B. Royal assistant superintendent, S. H. Taylor secretary and librarian. The teachers besides the officers were Mrs. T. F. Royal, Christopher Alderson, and Miss Mary E. Royal.
The writer was the first county school superintendent. He was inexperienced, but did what he could without interfering with his duties as a pastor. He organized school districts; located school lands; put good, competent teachers in the schools, and organized teachers' institutes. Believing the office had been a help to him in his ministerial work, he charged the county nothing for his services; but, through the courtesy of Col. T'Vault, the county surprised me with full pay.
The First Sunday School Celebration.The first celebration of the 4th of July by the Sunday schools occurred on Independence Day 1854. Early that morning, the 5 Sunday schools of the county met in the streets of Jacksonville, formed in procession and marched with the citizens to Heber Grove with waving banners under the stars and stripes. Addresses were delivered by S. H. Taylor Esq., Rev. Dr. Kenney of New Orleans and others. Mr. Kenney, in the course of his remarks, said, "This celebration compares favorably with the best I have seen back home." All the people cheered and sang enthusiastically patriotic songs, and did justice to a sumptuous 4th of July dinner.
A large snow-white satin banner, painted with appropriate designs by a French artist, Charley Simon, was given by the Jacksonville Sunday school to the Clinton Butte Baptist Sunday school to honor them as the first to organize in the county. We were all delighted to see that banner with the flag of our country marching at the head of the procession.
Church Organization.The Methodist Episcopal Church was the first to organize in Jacksonville. The date of organization was January 1st, 1854. The charter members were Sylvester H. Taylor, Christopher Alderson, Mary Ann Royal, Rev. J. H. B. Royal, and the pastor T. F. Royal. This society was soon increased by the addition of William Kahler, Mrs. William Kahler, Mrs. S. H. Taylor, Miss Mary E. Royal, J. P. Hawks, R. S. Munn, Rice Benson, Thomas Trimble, Curtis Davenport, W. B. Horn, Mrs. Ganung, S. G. Shock, George Payne, Isaac Jones, Dr. William Miller, Mrs. Dr. William Miller, George Young, Enoch Walker, Mrs. E. Walker and Mrs. Newcomb.
Church Building.Such was the growing interest in church services that there was not sufficient room in a private house for even weekday meetings. Hence a house of worship became a necessity. But that seemed hopeless. The society was so small; only 25 members, and most of them poor. Miners were numerous, but few of them had much money, and what they had was being expended in opening and prospecting gold claims.
The Rev. Joseph S. Smith, afterwards known as Congressman Joseph Smith of Oregon, was the first preacher in this field. He was sent here by the Oregon Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1852. He was an able and popular preacher. He held religious services in the "round tent," a large one-room building
Three carpenters were employed, viz: Messrs. David Linn, Thomas Pyle, and James McDonough.
On the 15th day of May, 1854 a subscription paper was started and liberally signed. The subscriptions were made payable to William Kahler, as treasurer to receive and disburse funds for enclosing, flooring, and roofing the building frame erected for the Methodist church in Jacksonville.
An exact copy of all subscriptions, headings, names, amounts, and for what purposes is still carefully preserved in the church record book.
The hewed timbers were at once transferred to the new site, and work commenced in earnest.
The pastor with a team borrowed of Capt. J. F. Miller hauled the lumber for the church from Lindley's sawmill on Bear Creek, a distance of 8 miles, and built it into a dry kiln, and kept fire under it day and night, till it was dry enough for planing. There were no planing machines in those days.
The ceiling and walls of the building were lined with white ducking; and every seam was sewed by the pastor's wife and sister.
The brick flue was built by a miner, whose name is lost. Charging nothing for his work, the pastor thanked him cordially in behalf of the church. He replied: "I did not do this for the church. I don't believe in the church nor in the Bible. I did this for you." The pastor expressed surprise; saying, why for me? The miner explained, saying, "I was once lying in my cabin, very sick, and you and your wife came to see me, and invited me to go to your house to be cared for till I could care for myself. I refused, but you continued to come daily, and cared for me till I recovered. Then I said, if I ever have an opportunity I will do that man some favor. This is the first opportunity, and I am glad to do for you this little favor."
Nursing sick miners, even taking them into our home, was an important part of our mission in those days. Of course the sick could not be made very comfortable in a two-roomed house occupied by the family, the Sunday school, the day school and mid-week meetings, but it was the best we could do. Our home was not only a hospital for the sick, but a resting place for many weary, homesick disappointed miners, and a refuge for tempted youths far away from parental homes.
Church Dedication.The first church built in the southern half of the state of Oregon was dedicated in Jacksonville on Christmas Day 1854.
It was our our quarterly meeting occasion, and our Presiding Elder, Rev. James H. Wilbur, was present and conducted the
Rev. Ebenezer Arnold, pastor of the first Methodist Episcopal Church, Yreka, Cal. and Presiding Elder of the Northern California Conference, preached an able and appropriate sermon in the morning after the quarterly love feast.
Mr. Wilbur preached a powerful sermon at night, and dedicated the church after raising the following subscription to clear the building from all indebtedness most of those whose names appear on this subscription had subscribed and paid liberally before.
Mr. Wilbur headed the list with $30.00. Others followed promptly. Christopher Alderson $75.00, S. H. Taylor $75.00, W. B. Horn $75.00, Curtis Davenport $50.00, J. M. Kincaid $25.00, R. S. Munn $35.00, J. M. Anderson $25.00, T. J. Trimble $25.00, William Kahler $30.00, Dr. Braman $35.00, H. Richardson $25.00, Mrs. M. A. Royal $25.00, T. F. Royal $35.00, C. G. Shock $35.00, Rice Benson $20.00, P. W. Goodman $25.00, John Johnson $20.00, S. P. Taylor, $10.00, Miss M. E. Royal $10.00, D. S. Kenyon $10.00, Mrs. Ganung $10.00, S. C. Nicholson $10.00, Sam Fox $5.00, William Thompson $5.00, W. P. Kennedy $40.00, Mrs. Wm. Kahler $10.00, Dr. William Miller $25.00, Milton Lindley $5.00, Mr. Myers $20.00.
The church, now being free from indebtedness, was presented by the Board of Trustees to the Presiding Elder for dedication to the service of Almighty God for the use of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Being so dedicated, the doors were thrown wide open, and a cordial invitation to other churches to use it when not occupied by the Methodist church. That invitation was accepted, and several other denominations used it for many years.
The building has been carefully preserved, and improved by the efforts of the late William Kahler, one of the honorable trustees, for many years.
There are worshipers now in that church who will no doubt take as good care of it as William Kahler did, and live to see it round out its history of 100 years.
T. F. Royal36 E. 80th St.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 11. I was unable to confirm that this letter was ever printed in the Oregonian.
How an Atheist Expressed His Appreciation of Kindness.When I came to settle with my bricklayer for building the flue in my new church, he said, I make no charge. This is a donation but not to the church. I don't believe in churches, nor in Christianity, nor in the existence of a God. But, I do believe in human kindness. I donate this work to you personally because when you and your wife found me lying sick in my lonely cabin, you insisted on taking me to your house; and though I declined accepting your kind offer, you still cared for me till I was able to take care of myself. I am glad of this first opportunity to give you an expression of my appreciation of your kindness.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161
Preaching Under DifficultiesSterling was the center of a new rich mining district that had sprung up suddenly out six miles from Jacksonville. Preaching in a new building that was just finished here for a saloon, but not yet occupied, my audience was somewhat annoyed, as well as a little amused, at the conduct of a young man who proved to be quite familiar with all the hymns and tunes we sang. For he sang louder than all others, and even in singing the second hymn he left his seat and took a standing position in a small open space in the center of the floor, and sang louder than ever, at the same time swinging his hat excitedly over his head.
Fortunately a justice of the peace who was present in the congregation came forward, and taking the young man by the collar, led him out and put him down the steps into the street, and taking his seat on the steps guarded the door through the rest of the service, even at the risk of his own life, for his prisoner in the street, with loud oaths, threatened to shoot him if he did not let him in.
The next day as I was about to mount my horse a young man came up to me and, taking me by the hand, said: "I have come to apologize to you." "Why my friend, I don't know any reason why you should offer an apology," said I.
"Don't you know me?" said he. The miners here call me "Kentuck," but my real name is ______. I am the fellow that disturbed your meeting last night, and I am ashamed and sorry for it. I have been better raised and know how to behave myself, but I did that last night under a fit of intoxication. I hope you will forgive me; and if you will let us know in advance when you are coming again we will keep sober, and when we "clean up" our sluices we boys will give you a rousing collection if you will give us a chance.
On another occasion as I was riding over the hills toward Sterling on a bright Sunday morning I met Bro. Wm. Kahler, who with emphasis and deep emotion said: "Brother Royal, you ought not go to Sterling today. I advise you by all means to go back home. It will be exceedingly unsafe for you to enter that place today. In fact your life would be in danger, and as you have a family depending on you I insist on your return home for their sakes as well as for your own safety."
"Why, Bro. K., what is the matter?" said I.
"Well," said he, "whether their accusation is true or false I do not know, but they blame you for having all the saloon keepers over there fined for selling whiskey on Sunday. They claim to be sure of this for two reasons: In the first place they say, as all penal fines go into the school fund, you as school superintendent are having them fined to increase the school fund. In the next place they say you are the only person that has ever been in their saloons on Sunday who would report on them.
"Well," said I, "Bro. K., I am not afraid of them. If they accuse me of it I shall reply, 'Whoever did that, did a good thing. They ought to be fined for breaking the laws.'"
"I should have no fears for your safety," continued Bro. K., "if they were sober; but, there were probably as many as five hundred drunken miners there last night, and you was the burden of their curses all night. So, you see, among so many excited, drunken men, personal violence is almost certain if you appear among them at the present stage of revengeful excitement."
"O Wesley, and Luther, and Jesus, who am I that I should be numbered with you--that I might enjoy such persecution for Christ's sake?"
Truly I did rejoice and was exceeding glad. Fear? No. It was a moment of triumph! With a sense of security, as if the everlasting arms were around me, I said, "Bro. K., I have an appointment in Sterling today, and I shall try to fill it."
All my dear brother's remonstrances did not weigh a feather with me then. I went on my way rejoicing. Entering the town the first place to the left was the Eldorado Saloon and bowling alley. It was full to overflowing and thundering away. To my right was an open plaza full of men playing ball. I rode through the midst of them, for the street was also full of them, and going up to the head of Main Street and hitching my horse, I returned down [the] street, entering every hotel, store, dwelling and saloon as usual, elbowing my way through the crowds in the saloons to the gambling tables in the center, and taking off my hat announced my appointment, saying, "Gentlemen, there will be preaching at Fowler's corner in his new building in fifteen minutes. You are all cordially invited."
They generally promised to come. In one or two instances they said, "After we get through this game."
As was my custom, I entered the place of worship and sang hymns at the top of my voice. But, after singing several hymns, to my surprise nobody came in. This was unusual. There must be "something in the wind." For a moment a tremor passed over me. Finally, however, after this suspicious lull, and suspense, a few women, all there were in the place, came in. Then the men began to file in and the large room was soon filled.
I never had greater liberty in preaching, nor more of that holy boldness that is necessary to represent Christ, who "taught as one having authority."
At the close of the service all passed out quietly, leaving in the building only one man besides myself. He was a dry goods merchant with whom I was well acquainted, a chivalrous Southerner [Benjamin Davis?]. I had observed him standing back of the audience with his arms folded throughout the service. Now, as we were left alone he came forward as I was putting up my books in my saddle bags, looking pale as a corpse. I met him cordially and shook hands with him, wondering at the change in his countenance and the nervous twitch in his hand. I still wonder.
He turned immediately and went out. I have since learned that he was one of the number who was heavily fined for selling whiskey on Sunday. It was common then in the mines for dry goods merchants to sell whiskey. Judge M. P. Deady, in whose court these men were fined, told me years after that they still think I am the one that reported them. He then added: "I told them no better, for I thought your shoulders were as broad as anybody's."
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 7
A Series of Surprises.I was surprised. The Doctor was surprised; his family was surprised and my congregation was more surprised. The fact is emigration had got ahead of Sunday. Many had lost it on the plains, and it took a long time to recover it. In trading centers it was known by increased activity in all kinds of business, and in bewildering scenes of sport, gambling and drunkenness. But, in quiet rural districts there was nothing to mark one day above another, as the following little episode will show.
Coming to my appointment on Sunday morning at Grants Pass, where I had organized a class, and seeing Dr. G. M. topping out a chimney on his new house, I said, "Hello [Doctor], what does this mean?" [illegible]
"Yes. What does it mean? Why was you not here to your appointment yesterday?"
"I had no appointment here yesterday," said I, "but I have one here today."
"What! You don't mean to say this is Sunday!" said the Doctor in astonishment.
"Yes, I do; and I have come to preach to you."
"Well," he said, " go on to the house; but you'll find the women washing; for we all thought yesterday was Sunday, and kept it so, wondering why neither you nor the congregation came."
Sure enough, I found the women at the washtub, and they had hardly time to clear up till the people began to assemble. Indeed there were signs enough left to betray the mistake, and cause no little merriment at the pious family's expense.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 13
Experience with Intoxicated MenIn the midst of my services on my second charge a wealthy man in a spree entered my congregation and asked permission to speak. I kindly requested him to wait till I was through. Acquiescing politely he sat down, and slept till the close of the opening service, when he arose and turning to the audience gave them a sharp lecture on the support of the ministry, adding, "I presume to say this young man who has been preaching for you six months has not received from you as many dollars. We have had enough dancing and abolitionism, and now it is time to pay the preacher." Failing to move the people, he said impatiently, "Well if you are not going to give anything I shall pay him myself," then giving me a handful of coin--retired.
Holding services in a new building about to be opened for a saloon in Sterling mines, Southern Oregon, an intoxicated young man sang through the first hymn louder than the whole congregation. In the second hymn he became so enthusiastic that he sprang to the middle of the floor and, whirling his hat over his head, sang louder and louder, till a justice of the peace present took him and put him out into the street and guarded the door, while the youngster cursed, raged, and brandished his pistol with fiendish threats till the services closed. The next day this young man came to me and offered a very humble apology, saying they all know me here by my miner's name, "Young Kentuck." If we boys know when you come again we'll keep sober, and give you a good collection, after we clean up our sluices.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 9
Life in DangerRiding out from Jacksonville to Sterling one lovely Sunday morning, I was hailed by our dear Brother Kahler who was resting under the shade of a tree. With real excitement and earnestness he said "Bro. Royal, you must not go to Sterling today; it will be unsafe for you there. In fact, I believe it would be at the peril of your life if you should go."
"Why, Bro. K., what is the matter at Sterling?" said I.
"Matter? Very serious! really alarming. The saloon keepers are all down on you for having them fined heavily for selling liquor on Sunday. They say you are the only man that has visited their saloons on Sunday that would report on them. And then as Sup. of Pub. Schools they are sure you did it to increase the sch. fund.
There are probably a thousand miners in town today and they all seem to sympathize with the whiskey men. There might be no danger to your life if they were sober, but there were no doubt five hundred drunk men there last night, and you was the burden of their curses all night. So you must not think of going there today. You have a family, and for their sakes you should not take such a risk."
I replied: "Bro. Kahler, I have an appointment at Sterling today, and I expect to try to fill it."
Sure enough,, I found the town thronged with miners, gamblers, drunk men, and desperadoes. Pressing my way through the crowds into every store, hotel, and saloon, and elbowing my way to the gambling tables in the center of every saloon and taking off my hat, [I] cried, "Gentlemen, preaching at Fowler's corner in 15 minutes. You are all cordially invited." Entering the place of worship, I sang at the top of my voice several hymns. But, the people did not rush in as formerly. Surely there is something in the wind. I began to feel a tremor of loneliness, till five or six women, the only women in the place, came in, when a procession of men soon filed in till the house was packed. The presence and power of God was manifest throughout the service, and all quietly retired at the close.
My return home that day was over a shining path. The pine forests were jubilant, and the hills skipped like lambs.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 10
A Half Century Ago in Southern Oregon District.
By Rev. T. F. Royal, A.M.
Two Noted Camp Meetings.Hot, dirty, thirsty, and weary, I gladly dismounted at Brother Gilbert's gate, twelve miles north of Eugene.
Smiling faces, and a cordial reception, dispelled, for a moment, all thought of time, toil and care. Poor tired Nellie was eager for a drink and rest in the cool shade of a spreading maple.
"O," said Brother Gilbert, "Let me put her in the barn; for you must stay with us overnight and have a good rest."
Thank you, my dear brother; let me hitch her here for the present.
A shake of my duster, a glass of water and a seat on the veranda
My dear brother and sister, you will not urge me to remain overnight when I tell you that I have been absent from my home three months, and now I am on the "home stretch," within sixty miles of my family at Salem, and that by traveling three more hours today, I shall be able to reach my home tomorrow.
The fact is, this district is too large. It extends from Harrisburg, here on the Willamette River, 200 miles to California, and from the Pacific Ocean 400 miles to Nevada, and embraces seven counties. It requires three months to make the round, most of the time in the saddle, except one trip by self-propelling boat.
I came around this way to see how you are prospering in preparing for our approaching camp meeting.
"Well, Brother Royal, I am sorry to tell you that we have abandoned all hope of such a meeting," said Brother Gilbert.
Why! how is that? You know our last quarterly conference voted to hold a camp meeting in connection with our next quarterly meeting.
"Yes, I know; but some things have transpired lately that will make it impossible for us to hold such a meeting; and it would be presumption in us to attempt it."
I am surprised! What has happened?
"You will be more surprised when I tell you that we have in this vicinity a gang of drunken, gambling, horse-racing desperadoes who would delight in breaking up such a meeting. Recently the Methodist Episcopal Church South tried to hold camp meeting near here, and were annoyed by this gang from the beginning, and finally routed on Sunday night by the roughs taking the stand, using profane and obscene language, and singing from the pulpit lewd songs. Now don't you think it would be only a dare to that gang, and folly for us, to attempt such a meeting under the circumstances?
O ye of little faith! O for the courage of Paul, the faith of Luther, and the heroism of Wesley!
I tell you, my brother, we have nothing to fear. For "He who is on our side is greater than all them that can be against us."
You see the brethren, and go on preparing the ground and advertising the meeting, and I shall return and help you after spending a few days at home providing for my family.
The brethren rallied; a suitable ground was selected in a grove near Brother Lester Hulin's farm, and everything was ready for the meeting on Thursday [at] the time appointed, and on Friday there were tents on the ground from five different charges. In the quarterly conference, under the question: "Is there any other business?" a police was elected, and wards assigned to each office with that noble stalwart man Rev. Joseph Pearl as chief of police. This organization was a profound secret, and all officers were instructed to make no demonstration of authority unless it became absolutely necessary to check depredations.
The sports were on the race track not far away, but we had no disturbance in the meeting. The congregation was often commended for the good order that prevailed. A strong current of spiritual influence swept over the people; believers were quickened, backsliders were reclaimed, and sinners were converted. But the last service on that memorable occasion was the
Great Day of the Feast.At the close of the Monday morning sermon, an invitation was given to all who were not saved to come forward and see the Savior during this last season of prayer. The altar was soon filled with weeping penitents. Among them were two aged men, the fathers of Mr. and Mrs. Lester Hulin, and some of their children and grandchildren kneeling together at the mercy seat, and all were gloriously saved. There was great rejoicing in the social Pentecost that followed. In the closing scene it seemed as if "Heaven came down our souls to greet, and glory crowned the mercy seat."
With joined hands, we formed a large circle and sang parting hymns, such as "Blessed Be the Tie that Binds," and "God Be with You Till We Meet Again."
Months after that meeting one of those aged men, "Father" Craig, said to me: "If all the infidels in the world were here I could convince them that the religion that I profess is genuine. Before I was converted, little things often fretted me. I was impatient with the noisy romps of children. Now the children's prattle is all sweet music to me."
The good results of that camp meeting were largely due to the powerful gospel sermons and faithful labors of that sainted man of god Rev. Phillip Starr.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 12
A Half Century Ago and More in Southern Oregon.
By Rev. T. F. Royal, A.M.
You call me old. Rather say: He is childish. Then I can boast a little of myself.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, Thomas Fletcher Royal journal vol. 7
A ½ Century and More Ago in Southern Oregon.Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, Thomas Fletcher Royal journal vol. 7
By Rev. T. F. Royal, A.M.
Empire City, Coos Bay.
After our cordial greetings at the signal flag station, I gladly, thankfully accepted a seat in Brother Cummings' skiff, and put my hand to the steering oar.
I soon discovered that our pastor was a strong, expert boatman. He understood feathering the oars. So onward we sped, pleased to see
We had no parsonage there then, but Brother and Sister Cummings made us welcome to their restful home. It was here where I formed my first acquaintance with the Vandevort family. Mrs. Vandevort is the daughter of Mr. Luce, the wealthy proprietor of Empire City and of a large lumbering establishment in that city. She and her husband were earnest temperance workers. Later they moved to Salem, where after a few years of faithful work for the Master he peacefully entered into his heavenly rest. She still survives, a strong, active Christian worker, and the queenly mother of all temperance work and workers--a staunch, uncompromising prohibitionist, and for a year or more was the editor of our leading prohibition paper. Her children and grandchildren all arise up and call her blessed. Mr. Luce, her father, was also a strong temperance man, and a member of the Christian Church.
Empire City was then in its infancy. The principal enterprises were lumbering and coal mining. The town was fragrant with the aroma of white cedar lumber. The white cedar not only furnished immense quantities of lumber, but hundreds of knees for ships, and hundreds of cords for the manufacture of matches. Thousands of people will be glad to see the picture at the head of this chapter.
And thousands will praise God that they ever heard the gospel from the lips of Rev. T. L. Jones and that through his earnest living appeals they were led to Christ.
All who have read his book, From the Gold Mines to the Pulpit, will remember it as a beautiful picture of the author's character and labors. It is full of thrilling reminiscences in the mines and in the ministry.
I am thankful for the privilege and honor of giving to the world some of his experiences when he was yet a miner in his first efforts to exemplify the Christian character. Those who read in these chapters the hitherto unpublished items in Brother Jones' history will see a glimpse of his character and severe tests of toil and sacrifice, and wonder how he could be so jubilant and shouting happy while enduring such physical struggles.
Those who read these experiences in his early Christian life will be anxious to read the book that is full of similar incidents [and] only more wonderful history of the mature life of this great soul-winner.
That book should be in every home, and in every Sunday school, and in every Epworth League library. Its many romantic stories will be read by all, young and old.
Anyone can have this sweet, charming book by sending one dollar and twenty-five cents to Rev. T. L. Jones, Brownsville, Oregon.
The secret of his marvelous success in winning souls to Christ was his own joyful, spiritual experience. He rejoiced in a clear, positive sense of the pardon of sin--the witness within. He saw that there was something more for him than regeneration. The soul, being cleansed from all unrighteousness, completely emptied of sin, must now be spirit-filled for service. All this he had failed to realize in complying with the performances of his father's church, the Christian or Campbellite Church. There he was taught that if he believed that Jesus Christ was the son of God and be immersed in that faith he was saved.
After complying with this instruction in sincerity he was sadly disappointed. He says: "I experienced no change, only that I went into the water a dry sinner and came out a wet sinner."
Hearing the gospel as preached by the Methodists, he saw in it just what his longing soul had hoped for, a vital experience through faith in Christ, not a mere mortal belief that "Jesus Christ is the son of God."
T. L. Jones believes in progressive experience--going on to perfection in humility, in faith, in holiness, in love.
He enjoys entire sanctification, and teaches it in scriptural terms, as taught by Wesley, Fletcher, Dr. Adam Clark and al the most eminent and successful soul-winners of the world. He has not aimed to win names, and numbers, but souls. Hence his instructions are plain, definite, scriptural. He exhorts every seeker to wrestle in prayer and faith till he knows his sins are forgiven--emphasizing Christ's own words--"Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened…you shall find rest to your soul."
The letter which follows [omission] not only the heroism of his early Christian life but that of all these years of soul-saving toil.
A Half Century and More [Ago] in Southern Oregon.And every thing shall live whither the river cometh. Ezekiel XLVII, 9.
By Rev. T. F. Royal, A.M.
Change! Change! How changed!
This is the first exclamation as we enter Ashland.
That which we miss most is the beautiful Ashland Creek as we saw it first, Oct. 27, 1853. It was then the most beautiful stream we had ever seen. We have seen many a lovely mountain stream since then, but nothing to compare with it. Clear as crystal, cold as ice water, flowing over a bed as white as snow, dashing among boulders like snowballs, we thought: "Surely this thing of beauty will be a joy forever." Alas, for such a hope! The visitor looks in vain for it now. Street improvements have covered it, factories have monopolized it, and agriculture has scattered it over hill and dale. Still, there is some compensation for its loss. We hear faint whispers of those rippling, musical waves in the whir of machinery; we see those waters turned to wine in the clusters of many vineyards, ripen in the berries and blushing on the cheeks of apples and peaches, and transforming the land into a garden of paradise.
Another [metaphorical] stream has been turned that way. Wherever that river flows there is life. I saw it when its waters were hardly ankle deep. Now it overflows the whole land, giving life to everything. That life is seen in the wonderful developments of science, art, literature, temperance, and industry and every other [omission] of Christianity, as in all material enterprises, financial prosperity, progress of civic righteousness, growth of intellectual, moral, and religious life as seen in the great public schools, Chautauqua assemblies, normal school and in all the churches.
As that original mountain stream disappeared only to be changed into more useful forms, and thus became the pride and wealth of Ashland, so the few persons that composed the early church in Ashland have gradually disappeared, but than influence thy [sic] of their lives and labors the real beauty and glory of that lovely city, for their works do follow them. O how precious the memory of those dear souls who formed the first Methodist Episcopal Church in Ashland and in its vicinity. Their names are as an ointment poured forth. But they have nearly all ceased from their labors and entered into their final rest.
On our visit there four years ago we met but few of our first Methodists. Cortez Myer, who is well and favorably known all over Oregon as an extensive dealer in fine stock, was still living and lively and cheerful as ever. For several years he and his fine stock have been missed from the Oregon State Fair.
He kindly favored [my] wife and myself with delightful rides with his buggy and romping Shetland ponies.
He whirled us through the streets and out in the country to the state normal school, around the Chautauqua grounds, and down to the home of his niece, Mrs. E. K. Anderson, who was one of the first Methodists in that vicinity. We were pleased to find her husband, E. K. Anderson, the same cheerful, jolly "Jo" Anderson, as he was known among the miners and ranchers of the early fifties. He was not a full brother beloved in the church, but a clever brother-in-law, always free and liberal in support of the church. He is a son of a Methodist preacher and a brother of Rev. Marion Anderson, formerly of the Oregon Conference. Judge Anderson, as he is now known, has become wealthy--having one of the best farms in the state and two banks. These are banks that are never closed by the Governor's holidays. He is sure that his vaults always [hold] the required gold reserve. He can pay off a check at any time when he has hydraulic pressure sufficient to open his safe.
I was delighted to see near Mr. Anderson's palatial residence the log house in which he entertained my dear father Rev. William Royal and his family during their first winter in Oregon. Though dilapidated, I am glad that sacred shrine [end]
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, Thomas Fletcher Royal journal vol. 7
A Half Century Ago and More in Southern Oregon.Everything whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live. Ezk. XLVII, 9.
By Rev. T. F. Royal, A.M.
How transformed! What marvelous changes!
These were our first exclamations on visiting Ashland after many years absence. One change was a sad one. That beautiful mountain stream, Ashland Creek, had disappeared. When we saw it first, on the 27th of October 1853, it was the most beautiful stream we had ever seen, and we have seen nothing since to compare with it for beauty. The water was clear as crystal, cold as ice water, and as pure as the snows from which it had just escaped, flowing over a bed white as snow, and dashing through snowball boulders of white granite. We had hoped that it might remain so for ages, that future generations might enjoy it. For "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." But, alas, it is gone! City enterprise has covered it, factories have utilized it, agriculture and horticulture have scattered it over hill and dale. We shall hear its rollicking waves no more, only as they are echoed from whirring factory wheels, nor shall we see those shimmering waters only as they are reflected from the blushing cheeks of apples and peaches, ripening berries, and rich clusters of grapes.
Now instead of going to waste, those waters are turned into wine, and everything lives wherever they go. They give life to enterprise, vegetation and man. Now we see how unwise we were to grieve for the loss of that stream, the pride of Ashland, since its loss has transformed the whole land into a paradise of fertility and beauty.
Another and greater stream flows that way today. I saw it when it was first creeping in, almost "without observation." It was hardly ankle deep. I have seen it rise higher and higher, till now its life-giving waves flood the entire community. Everything lives wherever those waters come. We recognize the thrill of that life in the sounds of hammer and saw, in the ring of the anvil and in the whistle of the plowboy and locomotive. We see that life force quickening all laudable industries, propelling the wheels of progress, suppressing wrongs, and promoting civic righteousness. Its rich fruits are enjoyed in the public school, in the state normal school, in the Chautauqua assemblies, in Sunday schools, in churches, and especially in Christian homes, and in personal purity.
For "Everything shall live whither the river cometh." And it comes wherever it is welcome. Its fountainhead is in the house of King David. Jesus is the life-giver. He says: "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." All his disciples are so many irrigating ditches to convey the living waters to those who are in a dry and thirsty land where no water is.
Those who were here and saw the approach of this river, and directed its currents in channels of fruitful [illegible] and blessing have nearly all passed away, but their works do follow them; their money, toil and sacrifice were not spent in vain. Others have entered into their labors and are sharing in their fruits, and carrying on the work so wisely planned.
Visiting Ashland four years ago, we had the pleasure of meeting many of these modern workers, among whom were some of our dear friends.
We met Rev. J. T. Abbott, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church, and his precious family in their home, and many of his members in a lively prayer meeting, one of whom was Pres. W. T. Van Scoy of the state normal--a consecrated coworker with the pastor.
Our friend Rev. Donald McKillip, pastor of the Baptist church, and his family we saw in their own home, and we were favored with a call from our Scotch divine, pastor of the Presbyterian church, and his estimable wife.
An old-time friend of ours, Mrs. Hanson, now of the Congregational Church, delighted us with a good visit.
From the representations of these reliable witnesses, and from the general reputation of that beautiful city, Christianity had made wonderful progress, and the tide of life is still rising, showing that Christianity in Ashland as well as elsewhere is not a religion that attains the highest development in an altar to an unknown god; does not give the highest expression of its character in a Diana temple of pollution, and that Christianity is not a lifeless institution whose arts, sciences and religion culminate in cold marble pyramids, sphinxes, obelisks, and totem poles, but in the perfection of human character.
In Jesus Christ is life and the life is the light of men; hence the glory of Christianity is character--luminous character that possesseth life, for the Christian character is life as seen in the highest types of manhood and womanhood.
It was an ideal autumn day. All nature was cheerful and gay.
It was bright and pleasant as May. Emigrants just in from the dreary plains were exultant over the hope of making homes in this lovely land. It was a charming Sunday, the 30th day of October 1853.
We had hastily circulated an appointment for religious services to be held at the home of Mr. John Beeson on Wagner Creek.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, Thomas Fletcher Royal journal vol. 7
A Half Century &c.We are all building the same edifice, tier by tier.
Experience of Yesterday--Lessons for Today.
Yesterday Our Teacher Today.
The Past Belongs to the Present.
We, the builders of today, wish to know who transformed the cold, barren granite land of Ashland into a paradise, so that instead of chaparral, the fruit tree has come up, and instead of the brier the grape vine, and caused the moral desert to change from the thorn crop to the fir tree. Isa. LV. 13. We wish to know not only who did this but how and what is left for us to do. Can we commence where they left off and carry on the work so wisely planned, and so faithfully prosecuted thus far. The answer to these inquiries comes ringing up through a half century from the voices of departed ones, saying: "We are doing this through Him who says to us: 'The works that I do shall ye do also, and to you who follow us; greater works than these shall ye do.'" St. John XIV.
Many names of these dear sainted ones have been mentioned in former chapters. The labors of those who survive should have grateful recognition. One who has recently entered into rest was one of the first Methodists in Southern Oregon. Few men have been more extensively and favorably known throughout the state than
Cortez Myer,the great importer and dealer in fine stock. His display of blooded stock has been missing from the Oregon State Fair for many years, but the fruits of his quiet, unassuming, hospitable, generous home life and public enterprise remain as an example and inspiration to others.
Four years ago we had a truly enjoyable visit with him and the family in their lovely home, and in many rides he gave [my] wife and myself with his romping Shetland ponies. It was a real exhilarating experience to be whirled by this lively little team through the streets of Ashland, around the Chautauqua grounds, out to the state normal school, and along other charming drives, one of which was down to visit his sister Mrs. E. K. Anderson, who was one of the first Methodists in Southern Oregon.
I was pleased to find her husband the same social, jolly "Jo" Anderson, as he was known among miners in the early fifties. He was not a brother in the church, but a clever brother-in-law. From his youth he had been a model of industry, thrift and morality. He was of good Methodist stock. His grandfather was a Methodist preacher, and his brother, Rev. Marion Anderson, was a member of the Oregon Annual Conference.
He had great possessions--one of the best farms in Oregon, well stocked and cultivated. He was also the owner of two banks that had always been solvent. He felt sure that his vault always held the required gold reserves, and that the Governor's holidays could not interfere with his banking business, and that he could stand any run on his banks.without previous notice, when he had sufficient hydraulic pressure to wash out the gold.
Anderson enjoys the comforts of a magnificent home and the society of a refined and cultured family. God only knows how much of his prosperity and that of the community is due to the unpretentious Christian influence and prayers of his Methodist wife.
That which stirred my heart most in that visit was the sight of a
Sacred Relic.It was the remains of a two-story, hewed-log cabin in which Mr. Anderson entertained my dear father, Rev. William Royal, and his family during the winter of 1853-4 their first winter in Oregon. Coming in late from their trip across the plains, my father had not yet built a house on his newly located land claim. E. K. Anderson had laid in a large supply of provisions and had a comfortable house; but more, he had a large heart.
My beloved parents gladly accepted his cordial invitation to come in and make their home with him and his brother Firman for the winter. My beloved mother and only sister, now wife of Rev. John Flinn of Portland, Oregon, became the housekeepers in that bachelor ranch, and my youngest brother, Jason L., of Portland, was their errand boy and general "roustabout," making himself useful in many ways. They were strangers, and Mr. Anderson took them in.
Of course, Jesus loved him. He loves him still, and has in reserve the offer of a reward worth infinitely more than all the land and gold in the world, if he will accept.
Eternity alone will reveal the result of his honorable, moral life in the large circle of his acquaintance.
His honesty and philanthropy can hardly be excelled unless it was by his neighbor John Beeson, the friend of all humanity, and especially of the Indian tribes. He was regarded by many as an extremist, as peculiar as his octagonal house. He was a great friend of our family. My parents received them into our log cabin home home in Ill. and kept them till they built a home on their land claim near our own.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, Thomas Fletcher Royal journal vol. 7
Six years and seven months more than half a hundred years ago, we pitched our tents beside the crystal waters of Ashland Creek.
The dash and splash, the roar and momentum of those ceaseless waves as they swept over beds of snow-white pebbles and boulders seemed a prophecy which we have lived to see fulfilled today. That mountain stream was a glad surprise to us; but the sweeping currents of science and all forms of civillzation that flow through that valley today are more wonderful still. Having just emerged from an experience of five months in the dusty, alkali, sunburnt plains, we were too stupid to imagine that our first fifty years in Oregon would see greater developments in the arts, sciences and religion than the previous hundred years had witnessed. We, who preached and held quarterly meetings for many years in private homes and log cabin school houses, stand amazed as we look upon the beautiful temples of worship of these days, and exclaim, "What hath God wrought! Many of our early friends have passed away, but their works do follow them."
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 13. Enclosed with a letter to T. F. Royal's son dated December 7, 1910.
A Half Century and More in Southern Oregon.Aboard the cars on our way to Jacksonville four years ago, a fellow passenger said: "That old city, Jacksonville, is a dead town."
By Rev. T. F. Royal, A.M.
Jacksonville and Vicinity.
Of course, we kept our eyes open to see what was the matter with that ancient city, our home of 50 years ago.
What was our surprise when we entered to see it more alive than it was when we saw it last.
Our first rush was to see the old, half-century[-old] church, whose fiftieth anniversary we had come to celebrate. We opened our eyes still wider when we saw, instead of a paintless, dilapidated building, a finer church than
Many years ago Brother Kahler was welcomed to the "house that was made without hands." Blessed be his memory, and that of all those who aided him in that worthy enterprise.
One of the best signs of life was a good Sunday school in that church.
Jacksonville "a dead town"! To be sure we don't see trains of mules come grunting in under their heavy packs, but we hear railroad trains come whistling in, freighted with cargoes of merchandise, and alive with passengers. Instead of a little school in a private house, we see now an elegant school house with three or four departments filled with beautiful health, children under the instruction of competent teachers: the principal a noble son of old Willamette University, and the young lady teachers graduates of normal schools.
Instead of a temporary wooden building where law was formally dispensed, now we see, embowered in a shady grove, a fine brick courthouse.
Instead of one little church, now there are three.
The only sign we saw of a "dead town" was a real sign of life. The streets on Sunday were not crowded with profane sports jumping, running, foot racing and fighting. Saloons were not overflowing with drunken men and gamblers as they were formerly. True, the old business part of the city had grown a little dingy, but business had not.
Through the courtesy of that enterprising, estimable lady, Mrs. Elizabeth Kenney, we were favored with a carriage ride around through the residence part of the city and surrounding country. This was truly an ovation for wife and myself. She drove us first to the spot where once stood the little log cabin which was our first home in Oregon. We would have rejoiced to see that once happy home, but it was gone. A fine residence and a luxuriant orchard covered the lots we once called our own. On the opposite side of the street we visited our old friend and neighbor Peter Britt. His split lumber hut, surrounded by pack saddles, had given place to a palatial residence in the midst of ornamental grounds, fruit trees and vineyard. The country home of Mr. James Miller, the father of Col. Robert Miller of Portland, Oregon, seemed thrifty and well preserved. In every direction, so far as we drove, we saw pleasing signs of life and prosperity.
Jacksonville will never be a dead town so long as it is the county seat of that great county, and the center of rich mining and agricultural districts and the terminus of a railroad.
What is needed most there now is the existence of their railroad over onto the Applegate, and down that beautiful, fertile valley, passing
If I had the enterprise, and the money of Hill, or Harriman, I would order the route surveyed at once, and lay the track through in 1909. Then with a short branch of 5 or 6 miles I would connect Grants Pass with this road. Thus these two rich counties would be able to put their early vegetables, fruits and all other products onto the market without transporting them overland from 300 to 400 miles, and hundreds of ports that are anxiously waiting for these coveted supplies will gladly receive them sound and fresh, and through saving in transportation, producers will realize greater profits and consumers cheaper and fresher goods.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, Thomas Fletcher Royal journal vol. 7
A Half Century Ago & More in Southern Oregon.Society in Jackson County owes a debt of lasting gratitude to the Baptist Church, whose members preceded us in occupying the country near Jacksonville.
By Rev. T. F. Royal, A.M.
Jacksonville & Vicinity.
Some of their prominent members were the Clinton, Overbeck and Heber families.
Before their farms were opened, they opened their doors for the preaching of the gospel, and organized a Sunday school.
The Presbyterians also share in the honor of laying solid foundations and building on them gospel material as taught in their modified Westminster Catechism and illustrated in their consistent Christian lives.
Some of the distinguished families of that church who have given tone to wholesome society are the Van Dykes, Gores and Hoffmans, under the able pastorate of Elder Williams.
Most of the early members of their church, like those of the first Methodists, have long since been transferred to the better country.
Of the great multitude of people who journeyed with us across the plains and settled in Rogue River Valley in 1853, we found only three survivors in 1904. These were the daughters of that model Christian and business man Esq. Hoffman, Mrs. David Linn, Mrs. Beekman and Mrs. Gore.
Of the many members of the Methodist Episcopal Church from our train who located in the Rogue River Valley, we found not a single person. Most of them had long since passed away, after leaving the impress of their noble Christian lives on the community that now honors their memory. They were mentioned in my former chapter.
During our visit in Jacksonville we were hospitably, happily entertained in the home of Hon. Wesley Kahler and his sister Rebecca McDonough, the son and daughter of our beloved friend and brother William Kahler, who had long before entered into his heavenly rest. Soon after Wesley was with his father, and Rebecca passed away later.
Through the courtesy of Mrs. Elizabeth Kenney, her pastor and congregation of the Presbyterian church, withdrew their services on Sunday night, and shared with us in our anniversary joys.
We looked in vain for members of the first Methodist Episcopal Church in Jacksonville. Not one of the charter members could be found. All had died or gone elsewhere.
Though we were sad over the absence of those with whom we had toiled and triumphed in the beginning, we rejoiced to find a few faithful souls who had stood by Methodism, nearly from the first. Some of these were that mother in Israel, Mrs. Armstrong and her daughter Emma, Judge Silas Day and his precious family.
Sister Armstrong experienced convictions when she was young and about her ordinary work at home. She was soon converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church under the pastorate of I. D. Driver. After she was married she was largely instrumental in the conversion of her husband, and was faithful in training her children in the fear of the Lord. Her daughters were all converted early, and with their parents were the life of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and among the main supporters of the Sunday school for many years. The father died in great peace many years ago. The eldest daughter Mary married Rev. Oglesby, who has since died. Prof. Armstrong, the president of the business college in Portland, Oregon, is one of their sons.
Emma, like a guardian angel, is at the parental home taking care of her aged mother. By special invitation we were honored with a blessed visit in that home. Mrs. Armstrong's brother, Tip Plymale, was also an invited guest.
That happy home seemed like a heaven here on earth. After many years of toil and sacrifice in rearing a large family of children, and in building up the church, that honored mother still survived as the salt of the earth in that community.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, Thomas Fletcher Royal journal vol. 7
Providence seemed to order otherwise. In the midst of my first work in Jackson County, two men came as a committee from both the Whig and Democratic parties to learn my political preferences. They said: "What are your politics?" I replied, "I am a Methodist preacher." They said: "Yes, we know that, but you must have some political preference, and we want to ascertain what they are." That was their object. I knew not [why.] Though answering them respectfully I [told them] I never meddle much in politics [though there] are some measures that [I endorse with] both parties.
[Capt. Miller] said: "Very well, that is all we wish to know. I am a Democrat, and Lieutenant Griffith [sic--Burrel Bell Griffin] here is a Whig. We are making up county tickets preparatory to election, and we have decided to put your name on both tickets." Of course I was elected county school superintendent. I found the office no deterrent in my work as a preacher, but in some respects a real help. It gave me influence with children and their parents, and with teachers, that I could not have had otherwise.
This being the beginning of the county organization, I did not ask for or expect pay for my services. Though the office was in some respects a blessing to my work, it must have been a hindrance to my development as a preacher. So all along through my effective ministry I usually had double, or treble, work.
I was six years county school superintendent. Two years in Jackson Co. and four years in Douglas Co.
I was principal of Umpqua Academy ten years. At the same time I preached regularly at the Academy in the interim of circuit preaching, which was generally once or twice a month.
I was principal of the Portland Academy Female Seminary four years. During this time I preached often at the county poor house, Congregational church, at Lee's Chapel and at Oregon City. One year as pastor at Hall St. Church. I was principal of Sheridan Academy one year, and at the same time pastor of Sheridan, or Yamhill, circuit, having seven preaching places.
I was superintendent of instruction on Siletz Indian Agency three years and on the Klamath one year and a quarter, and at the same time missionary.
I was agent of the Umpqua Academy for several years while I was finishing the upper part of the Academy building, and
I never felt more in the line of duty in any other calling than in teaching. I was always happy in the schoolroom. I realized that "teaching is more than anything else the work of the Lord." My constant aim was to develop character in my students. I planned and worked for their conversion. Nearly all the pupils in the Umpqua Academy each year were converted. Many parents were made glad to see the happy change in their children.
One Instance.Col. T'Vault, meeting me on the streets of Roseburg, clasped my hand with both of his and said, with deep emotion: "Mr. Royal, I thank you for what you did for our dear boy." When George was a member of my advanced class in algebra, Davis' Bowdon's, the whole class of young men and women had been stalled on a hard example, when the Col., George's father, visited the school. Calling up the class, I said: "Col. these young people all confess that they can't work a certain example. I say they can. I know they understand every principle involved. I shall test them now by calling up your son. George, you may go to the board and work it out." George turned pale as a corpse and hesitated a moment, then gritting his teeth he walked up to the board and with a trembling hand, while his father watched every figure, and the class looked on in doubt and breathless anxiety till they saw the last figures, and that George had triumphantly won the day. Was there ever a prouder father, or happier boy?
But the Col. had no thought of this incident when he said: "I thank you for what you have done for our boy. For," he added, "when he returned home he was so changed. He was a sunbeam in our home and in the community. He was so exemplary, so gentlemanly, and led such a beautiful Christian life as long as he was permitted to stay with us, and then when called to die he passed away so triumphantly." Then with tears he repeated, "I thank you for what you did for our son in leading him to Christ."
Soon after this the Col. himself professed Christianity and died in the faith.
Our Own Children.While we had charge of the Umpqua Academy our own children that were old enough were all converted. So far they have all been faithful Christians and useful laborers in the Methodist Episcopal Church; i.e., all that are living. Two of them are in Heaven. Our eldest, Anina Tema, a missionary in Africa, fell at her post [in] the central part of that dark continent, leaving husband Dr. C. Smith and four children. William was in the Ohio Wesleyan Univ., Delaware, O., preparing for the ministry when the Lord called him home.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, Thomas Fletcher Royal journal vol. 7
Wild Country.Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, Thomas Fletcher Royal journal vol. 7
Late in the evening I crossed the Umpqua River on my way to Elkton. The ferryman, who had just planted himself here in a dense forest and established a ferry, kindly allowed me to sojourn for the night in his new, but pleasant, home.
In the course of our conversation during the evening he expressed surprise that I was out in this wild Indian country. "O," said I, "this is nothing new for me. I am fresh [sic] in the history of the wilds of Northern Ill. I was there through the Blackhawk War. Immediately after peace was restored I went to school in the log cabin where the hostile Indians were frightened away by the fall of a barrel of potatoes that was turned over by a frightened man trying to climb upstairs after one of their number was shot down in the dooryard. After the Indians retired in fright, a horse was called to the back window from the prairie and a boy was put on him, and sent to Hennepin for soldiers."
Mr. E. said I can endorse that story, for I am the boy they put out of that window.
Southern Oregon.Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, Thomas Fletcher Royal journal vol. 7
Southern Oregon differs in many respects from all other parts of the state. Geographically it is more diversified.
The first settlers of that section were as different from each other, and from those of the other sections of this Northwest Coast, as were the hills and mountains.
Other parts of this Northwest Coast were settled mostly with homeseekers and stock raisers. Though many of these classes were attracted to the fertile valleys and verdant hills of Southern Oregon, most of the early inhabitants were miners.
The discovery of rich gold mines in the Rogue River Valley soon drew together thousands of people. They came from every quarter, and by all means of conveyance--footmen with packs upon their backs, or leading horses loaded with miners' tools, flour and bacon, frying pans, coffee pots, and blankets. Close behind these could be heard the crack of the ox driver, whips, and the "gee who haw Buck and Balley" that maneuvered the long teams over untraveled roads, up and down mountains, through forests and narrow gulches, and plunging here and there through unbridged streams and bottomless mud holes. Mingling with the eager throngs were the long pack trains of mules with their familiar "grunt, grunt, grunt" all along the lines as they reeled and staggered under their heavy loads.
Those primeval forests & native mountains
Men who were respectable at home often became intensely rough in the absence of women and children. Arriving at the mining district, the eager throngs in their mad rush for gold swarmed up the streams and gulches, staked out claims, built cabins, and began prospecting and opening up their claims.
Sunday was the miner's marketing and holiday. It was their day for all manner of sports, carousals & crimes. The pack trains had followed them closely, laden with billiard tables and full outfits for saloons & gamblers' goods of all kinds.
Even before the miners' claims began to "pan out" the Eldorado Saloon, the bowling alley, the card tables & brothel were there ready to capture the youths, the "silly ones," "the young man void of understanding," and to "slay the strong man." And thousands walked into the traps, as oxen go to the slaughter.
Among these multitudes came many educated, cultured young men, from thee best families in the East. They were enterprising, ambitious youths, eager for romance, and men of experience aiming to be at the beginning of things and thus grow up with the country as foundation layers and empire builders. Close upon their track was another class, as earnest and enthusiastic as any, but not in search for wealth or honor. They came not with pick and shovel, but with Bibles & hymn books, and with songs & prayers and with the word of life.
These were days that tried men's mettle. Away from restraining influences, thousands fell, when only scores remained proof against temptations.
From those scores of comparatively young men whose characters remained untarnished in the struggles of those early days of Southern Oregon history, many have become prominent in the later development of our commonwealth all over this Northwest Coast. These few stalwart men, "the survival of the fittest," stood firm against those temptations that resulted in the horrid scenes of those days when men were butchered in saloons and shot down on race tracks, as was Dr. Alexander by Sim Oldham, and as another prominent citizen, a lawyer, was ripped open so that his bowels poured out. These were some of the few cases that came to light. We were witnesses of these after the sad occurrence. We took the man that was ripped open as soon as he was able in a wagon twelve miles to his estimable, but grief-stricken, family. A grass widow with a loaded pistol in her hand forced a terrified doctor to marry her.
This episode was a source of some merriment among the boys: T. McF. Patton with a peacock feather brush on his head enlisted a company of young men and marched on horseback through the city, saying, "We are organized for protection against the women."
A packer after making a fortune died of delirium tremens.
Entering a miner's cabin, I found an old squaw sitting by the fire, and her young daughter, about fourteen years of age, in bed with my friend, a young man whose previous life, education, and parentage had anticipated a noble manhood and a pure character. I shamed him, and reasoned with him, and ordered him to drive these filthy creatures from his cabin, and never allow them to enter again. He did so, and in shame promised me he would never be guilty of such wickedness again.
Talking with a noble-appearing young man in his shop about his soul, he said: "This is no country for religion; we are here to make fortunes." Though that fellow had a Methodist name--Francis Asbury--he had fallen so low that he claimed that cohabitation with squaws was not only right, but a necessity. Sad has been his later life, and disgraceful the grave where I laid his body last year. [Francis Asbury were apparently his first and middle names.]
S. H. Taylor Esq. accompanied me in one of my tours among the miners. It was a rainy day and we found the boys in their cabins. In nearly every rude, hastily constructed shanty we found groups of these young men around their rough tables or blankets spread on the ground floor shuffling cards. In nearly every instance the boys seemed ashamed to be caught thus--and apologized, saying: "We are not gambling--only playing for amusement." Returning homeward, I said: "Squire, perhaps we Methodists are too strict in regard to card-playing. How else could these fellows spend their time? They have no books, no mothers, no sisters, no congenial society. What else could they do while the rain is pouring down in torrents so they can't work?"
After a few moments' silence the squire said in his laconic style, with a sepulchral voice--"Well, there's death in it, anyhow!!" The fast, but short, lives of most of these young men prove this solemn exclamation true. Their untimely graves are silent witnesses.
In the dead of night I had to go out and drive profane, obscene, rough-house white men and "tarheads" from around my cabin.
Scenes of revelry and debauchery in packers' tents were often as indescribable as revolting.
That a man would hire a woman to live with him as his wife for a month at a time was no secret.
Barter with Indians for the corrupt use of their girls was a common occurrence in the mines.
Obscene literature, with shameful illustrations, was openly circulated. It was found even in the hands of children at school.
A most ingeniously contrived combination picture, composed of nude women, adorned (disgraced) the walls of a tailor's shop.
Intoxicants were sold, or given away, to purchasers in dry goods stores--so temptation to intemperance was not confined to saloons.
Among all the jolly good fellows, most of whom were either youths or old bachelors, who could withstand such common and popular temptations, where there was no laws, no restraints?
From the thousands of comparatively young men who were then in the beginning of Southern Oregon history a few honored names of heroic men who stemmed the tide, & survived the wrecks, will be recognized as the names of those who have figured largely in the development of this state, and indeed all this N.W. Coast. The following are a few names of
Miners, Business Men, & Farmers.S. H. Taylor, Russell, Dunn, Rockfellow, Cortez Myer, E. K. Anderson, Clark Taylor, Enoch Walker, Heber, Beekman, David Linn, Peter Britt, Kahler brothers, and Isaac Jones (a Negro). All these in Jackson Co. To these may be added a few in Josephine Co. and in Douglas, Coos & Curry cos., such as the Sawyers, Abraham Platter, Wheeler, Ross, Croxton, Dimick, Boardman & Thomas L. Jones, Noah Cornutt, Riddle, Hardy Stanton, Charles Smith, Thos. Smith, Kuykendall bros., McKinney, Hart Woodruff, Trimble bros., J. S. Smith, Sutherlin bros., Sam Gardner, F. Hill, Richard Dearborn, Creed Floed, Asher Marks, Solomon Abrams, Crane, Andrew Nalburg, Jas. Clinkenbeard, Tichenor, Brandenburg, Luce, P. P. Palmer, Kellogg, L. L. Williams, John Drain, Oliver Applegate, Daniel Applegate.
We may imagine the scene when a chief arose to quell the tumult, and reconcile the people by saying, in substance, "I have seen that land; it is better than ours.
Food will be plenty, as plenty can be;After enumerating the resources of the promised land in his native eloquence the chief adds: "The great ocean will be our cherishing mother, and the land our bountiful, liberal father. The great chief at Washington will send us teams and farming implements, with teachers who will show us how to cultivate the land and make comfortable houses for ourselves, and teach us all about the Great Spirit and his wonderful book.
Game of the forests and fish of the sea.
Mussels and clams at low tide are found
When quahogs and shrimps and lobsters
Crabs are abundant where flounders are took
Whenever a whale is driven ashore
There we'll have blubber sufficient and more.
When we wish for a delicious dessert,
We'll take strawberries or blackberries first,
Salal, or huckleberries, purple and red,
Salmonberries too, till all are well fed."
"Now I am done. All I have told you is true. I shall say nothing more, only Farewell to our native land."
The Settlement.All three Rogue River Indians, with thirteen remnants of other tribes, formed desirable homes in the following natural divisions of the Siletz Reservation: beginning at the upper end and following the Siletz River in its serpentine course 30 miles, nearly all fertile prairies, surrounded by forests, and sheltered from the severe ocean winds.
Viz: Lower Rock Creek Valley, Upper Farms, Long Prairie, Klamath Settlement,
Agency Settlement, Middle Prairie, Lower Farms, and the Lower Siletz Country on the Pacific Ocean.
Here these tribes lived, generally in peace and tranquility.
All of the ancient ones long since crossed over to their "Happy Hunting Grounds."
Younger generations, under Pres. Grant's Christian Policy, became civilized and industrious, and many of them were truly converted and lived exemplary Christian lives, and the
I knew these Indians in their natures, and saw them shooting each other in their tribal wars, saw their immense passion in their exit [sic], and with my family labored among them four years.
Happy experiences, and thrilling reminiscences of those four years later, perhaps.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, Thomas Fletcher Royal journal vol. 7
The jealousy of other tribes, especially the Rogue Rivers and Shasta Costas, against Klamath Joe and his tribe became intense, and at last resulted in open hostilities.
George Harney, the Chief of the Rogue Rivers, coming into the agency one morning, exclaimed in great excitement, at the same time brandishing his pistol, "If that pistol had not missed fire, Klamath Joe would now be a dead man." Passing through the Klamath settlement that morning he had snapped his pistol at Tyee Joe, and then escaped on his fleet horse through a shower of bullets from Klamath guns.
All in a rage, and cursing his pistol, he accidentally fired it, sending a ball through his left hand and whizzing past the acting agent's head.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 13
Empire Builders.Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, Thomas Fletcher Royal journal vol. 7
Rev. J. S. Smith, Rev. J. H. Wilbur, Rev. William Royal, Rev. J. H. B. Royal, Hon. A. R. Flint, Gov. A. C. Gibbs, Hon. Matthew Paul Deady, Rev. J. W. Miller, Hon. Binger Hermann, Gen. W. H. Byars and all the members of his class in group. Rev. Robert Booth, Hon. John O. Booth, Rev. G. M. Booth D.D., Hon. A. R. Booth, David S. Gould, Rev. Clark Smith M.D., G. B. Kuykendall M.D. and his brother William Kuykendall M.D.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, Thomas Fletcher Royal journal vol. 7
The Booth Family.
The Pacific Christian Advocate on a personal note of Jan. 4, 1905 says, "The Booth family, father and sons, has been of inestimable benefit and helpfulness to the cause of Methodism in all branches of the church in the state of Oregon." This is true, but might have been made much stronger by including the many worthy and eminently useful daughters.
The father, Rev. Robert Booth, is one of the pioneer preachers of Oregon [illegible--paper missing] where he has labored [illegible] as one of our most gifted and fluent preachers of the gospel. But the glory of the father is his posterity. Hon. John O. Booth, the eldest son, is an active worker in and liberal supporter of the church, and the church in appreciation of his usefulness has honored him as a lay delegate to the Annual Conference twice. "Few men," says the Evening Telegram, "are more popular or better known over the county (Josephine) than Judge Booth, his policy of justice and equity making for him a host of friends and supporters."
Rev. G. M. Booth, D.D.
Born in Des Moines 1852. Converted at Wilbur, Oreg. 1868 when his father was pastor, and Rev. T. F. Royal P.E. Joined Columbia River Conference 1884. Has been P.E. 12 years, three times elected at the head of the delegation to the Gen. Conference. Was elected a member of the Book Committee by the Gen. Con. of '96 and served 4 years. Was appointed a member of the 20th Century Forward Movement Commission by the Board of Bishops in 1900.
Rev. J. W. Miller.Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, Thomas Fletcher Royal journal vol. 7
A sample of [a] pioneer preacher's experiences in Southern Oregon in 1853 is here given by Rev. J. W. Miller in his own words.
"I preached the first sermon in Roseburg, in the saloon kept in Rose's Hotel. I shall never forget that Sabbath evening. As I closed my prayer … a man rose to his feet, and in high glee exclaimed: 'By hell! that is the first prayer, and the best, I've heard in a dog's age. Stranger, hit again. I'll bet on you every time!'
"O such hallucination! Some whistled and stamped! … I confronted Satan in the spirit of my Heavenly Master. As the tumult subsided, I spoke of God's tender love, a mother's love, a sister's affection, a father's prayers. Soon saw tears flowing freely. Victory was won. O how I praised God for directing me to such words as to bring order out of confusion. Glory to his name."
The Old Saddlebags.These old saddlebags have a new interesting story to tell. Though very old, they are not my first pair, for they entered the itinerancy only 50 years ago, and were successors to a pair which was utterly worn out by hard service. These I know look old and wrinkled enough to have seen a century's use. If you would know where the wrinkles came from, ask the stormy winds and pelting rains. Ask the black spattering mud of Southern Oregon, the overhanging dripping brush of Coos Bay trails. Ask the snowdrifts on the summit of the Cascade Mountains and the lone juniper trees of the Goose Lake country, which gave the itinerant slender protection from the frosts of that elevated plateau. They have furnished a pillow for the tired head during many nights of bivouac. Ask the man who hauled them out of a pile of driftwood in the South Umpqua River, where they had lodged after being washed from the pack of the preacher's horse while swimming a swollen stream.
If these stories of buffetings are not enough to explain their superannuated looks, inquire concerning the service which they have rendered. They were the traveling preacher's library and wardrobe and often his larder; sometimes the bin for his horse's oats, a peck at a time. Outward bound they were always loaded with Bibles, Sunday school libraries and other books from the concern. Inward bound, they came loaded with ham, a flitch of bacon, a chunk of fresh meat or a dressed chicken or turkey. They have conveyed all kinds of dry goods, groceries, boots, shoes, hardware and more than once an assortment of Christmas toys. These bags have been stretched to their utmost capacity with vegetables of all kinds; they have ventured to cargo such explosives as eggs by the dozen, gallons of sauerkraut, often a whole cheese, and once a gallon of soft soap, and many a time fruits--fresh, dried, canned and preserved. All these were usually counted on "quarterage."
Nothing ever strained their seams nor tested my horse more than the numerous geological specimens and relics of Indian art in stone and in basket-weaving for the cabinet of the Umpqua Academy, and which may now be seen in the museum of the Willamette University. To the itinerant's wife the saddlebags were like a pack of providence and to his children their opening was like the coming of Santa Claus every four weeks. Those faithful receptacles always brought some happy surprise for the whole household.
Dear old companion, you and I are looking not so young as once we did. Twentieth-century folks consider us relics of an ancient day. But if we are fossils of a past age, we bear hieroglyphic wrinkles in our faces, in which could be deciphered a story of mingled tears and laughter, with some comedy and a touch of tragedy and of mighty triumphs.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 20. A photo of T. F. Royal with the saddlebags can be found on page 94 of the February 15, 1925 Oregonian.
A rare honor is conferred on me today. It is highly appreciated. The time, the place, the scenery around me, the associations, and the thronging memories of former years all combine to make this one of the most interesting moments of my life. All these hills speak to me. Every valley laughs and every murmuring stream has a song for me. I never realized before so fully the truth and beauty of this familiar poetic gem:
"Locked in the countless chambers of the brain,Here in Southern Oregon we spent the first eighteen years of our history in this state. Here in connection with our ministerial work we served the people six years as county school superintendent, two years in Jackson Co. and four in Douglas; ten and a quarter years as principal of the Umpqua Academy, five years a circuit preacher and two as agent of the U.A., four years as Presiding Elder. This overlapping of years, like Chinese chronology, may seem to represent twenty-seven years of work in eighteen years. In fact, it falls but little short of that, for such were the demands of those early days, and the scarcity of men for these lines of work, that each man had to multiply himself as much as possible, for the most able-bodied men were seeking fortunes in the mines.
Our thoughts are linked by many a hidden chain:
Arouse but one, and lo! what myriads rise;
Each stamps its image as the other flies.
Yonder under the shadow of the old Umpqua Academy we made our home longer than in any other place on earth. There most of our children were born, and three of them prepared for college, and also for teaching. The patrons and pupils of four different districts in this county often speak words of praise for these youthful teachers. We gratefully cherish the memory of the many friends whose acquaintances we formed in the Academy, in the public schools, in the homes, in the quarterly meetings and camp meetings all up and down these beautiful mountain streams, in the grateful shade of oak and maple groves and in the sweet aroma of these evergreen firs and pines. I am especially honored in standing here today amid these fruitful valleys and classic hills of Southern Oregon, here under these bright Italian skies whose luster is reflected not only by the glittering treasures from these mines, but by the cheery, intelligent and enterprising inhabitants. Southern Oregon has furnished to our state not only the richest minerals and earliest and finest fruits and vegetables, but many of the grandest men and women. I said "classic hill" because they have given to the intelligent machinery of this state more brains than any other section of equal population: more business men, more teachers, more orators, more physicians, more lawyers, more judges, more statesmen, more governors, and more preachers. Even the metropolis of our state can't send a delegate to our General Conference without compromising with Southern Oregon. A long list of illustrious names might be recited, but I shall call your attention to only a few whose names are familiar, especially to the early history of these section, viz: Dr. Watkins; Judges Skinner, Prim, Mosier, Jacobs, Stratton, Watson, Rice, Willis, Stearns, Matthew Paul Deady; Drs. Fisk, Miller, Kuykendall, Carter, Myers; such business men as the Aikens, the youthful inventor Frank Crouch, the Booth brothers, Gen. Byers, Hon. A. R. Flint, Dearborn, [T.] McF. Patton; members of Congress the Lanes, Senator Joe Smith, & our Hon. Binger Hermann; Governors Gibbs and Chadwick; preachers Sanderson, Brown, Alderson, Kuykendall, Stratton, Skidmore, Jones, Anderson, Booth, Miller, Driver, Ensly, Kahler. The giants of those days are no doubt duplicated in these.
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 14. Apparently a fragment. Catalogued as a "semi-centennial sermon" (50 years).
"That Cane.""That is the man who gave your father that cane," said Mother to us children. She knew we were familiar with the history of that cane, but that the man was a stranger to us children, and her grandchildren. Hence, she knew we did not understand the strange demeanor of this aged man as he sat at the foot of Father's bed crying, and looking back again and again at Father's pale face, saying between sobs, "O he has been a good man."
Father had been on his dying bed several weeks, expecting each day was his last.
His bed had been placed in the middle of the parlor, not only to make it pleasant for himself, but to make room around him for the throng of friends who gathered about his bed to hear his parting counsels, and witness the triumphant experience of a man of God.
It was Sunday afternoon when an aged man came to the door, and requested to see Father. We replied, "Father is very tired; he has been preaching to the people around his bedside all day and we want him to have a little rest."
"I must see Father Royal," said the old man; and so pressed his way in to Father's bedside, and taking him by the hand burst into a paroxysm of weeping, and sinking down at the foot of the bed in a chair he continued to sob, and say: "O he was a good man" till the cane was mentioned [and] he gave vent to his feelings by relating the following reminiscence:
"When I and my family, and my sons, and sons-in-law with our families landed in Portland, after our long and weary journey across the plains, all sick and helpless and penniless, we were put off the boat into the street, in a drenching rain, among strangers, in a strange city. In that condition, this man found us. He soon had us kindly, gently lifted out of the mud and rain, and placed under comfortable shelter, in the nearest house he could find. A physician and a nurse were employed. Then he hastened through the city and calling the attention of charitable people to our condition, he soon secured needed clothing, blankets, and food for our comfort, and medicines for our relief. He then cared for us till we were able to care for ourselves."
Then said my mother, ''As soon as this man was able he went out into the hills and found the stick from which he he made this nice cane, mounted it and gave it to your father as a token of gratitude."
We still keep it in our family as a priceless souvenir. It is worth more to us than if my father had left a million dollars in place of it.
This is only an index to my dear father's life. He literally "went about doing good."
Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161 folder 6