INTERVIEWS -- F
Mrs. Percy M. (Katherine DANIEL) FINLEY
Mrs. (Eunice BROWN) FLICKINGER
Mrs. Charity ROSE FLOOK
Elizabeth CURRIER FOSTER
Jesse W. FOSTER
Mr. E. 0. FRANTZ - on Fort Hoskins
B. Y. FRANTZ
E. 0. FRANTZ
Mrs. E. 0. FRANTZ (Nettie Belle KIBBEY)
Mrs. Martha AVERY FULTON
Mrs. Percy M. (Katherine DANIEL) FINLEY
May 19, 1939
Mrs. FINLEY is of the third generation from pioneer stock and her information is accordingly limited. Because of her education and culture its accuracy can not be questioned. She said:
I can give little information of my husband's family. His father was Hugh McNary FINLEY. An uncle of Hugh FINLEY was William FINLEY, first president of Corvallis College, and an aunt was the wife of Prof. EMERY, one of the first instructors of the College. Another Uncle was John FINLEY who founded the undertaking business in Portland, still carried on by his descendants. William L. FINLEY of Jennings Lodge, the well known Oregon naturalist, is also a relative.
Hugh FINLEY'S children are Emma (CAUTHORN), Ross, Edna (BUCHANAN), Ada (McALLISTER), and my husband. Ross was an assayer with a copper mining company in Arizona, but is now retired. Ada's husband has been with the State Highway Commission.
Hugh FINLEY was graduated from Oregon State College in 1871. He taught school for a time, in the "Prep" department of the college and in the public schools. He was married in 1873 and soon after that bought the Hamilton warehouse in Irish Bend on the Willamette. The warehouse business was important then before the railroad was built. Much wheat was raised in the Valley and all had to be taken out by the river. The original Hamilton holdings were added to and became the farm which my husband is farming. The ruins of the old warehouse still remain. We used the building as a stable for cattle until a few years ago.
My name was Katherine DANIEL. Grandfather, H. M. DANIEL, came from Virginia to Minnesota, where he farmed for a while. Then, in 1860 or earlier he came by way of Seattle to the Willamette Valley and settled first at Mullanville in Yamhill County. Grandfather lived on a farm at first and worked at logging, but he was a miller and soon had a flour mill in LaFayette.
The children were Reme (my father), Samuel who married Libby MADDOX, Emma (MORRIS), Addie (OLSSON), Margaret, Ivan who married Bessie TERRY, and Bertha who married Will KELLY.
My mother, Virginia WILLIAMSON, was an only child. Her father, Jacob T. WILLIAMSON, came to California in 1849, but failed to find much gold. He soon came north to Washington County, Oregon. When the railroad was being put through he sold out and went to Yamhill County. He was afraid the railroad would damage his property. He prospered, and left a thirty thousand dollar estate. Father was a miller and was in business in LaFayette with his father. Then grandfather sold out his interest to father and started, or bought, another flour mill in McMinnville.
My parents were married in 1878. The children, all born in Yamhill County, were Ivan, Beryl, myself (Katherine), and Nellie. I married Percy FINLEY in 1890. We have one daughter Constance, who will be first "Oregon State College grandchild" if she finishes the course she has started at Oregon State College without mishap or delay. Both her father and her grandfather are graduates of Oregon State. Other alumni of the College have had children and grandchildren who were college graduates, but not from the same college.
(Note: The ruins of the warehouse seem hardly to deserve a Historic Building Form, since they are now only ruins; yet as a memento of former heavy traffic in wheat on Willamette River it deserves some notice. I am attaching it to the FINLEY interview.) The date of the building of the Hamilton warehouse is not now known, but it was probably some time about 1860, or earlier. The warehouse was purchased about 1875 by Hugh M. FINLEY and operated by him until the building of a railroad up the valley put and end to river commerce. In recent years it has been used as a barn, but is no longer usable.
The main part of the warehouse is still standing, but is roofless and the foundations are slipping badly. This part contained the grain bins and was built of rough lumber about 11/2 x 8 inches, laid flat and firmly nailed together. The planks overlapped at the corners and where partitions joined outside walls, and the building was thus firmly held together. Additional bonds were made where needed by timbers running from wall to wall and firmly nailed between successive layers of the wall-planks. The part containing the bins, which is all that remains, was about 24' x 50' and 10' to the eaves. It should have furnished storage for more than nine thousand bushels of grain. Old residents tell of a large sacking room at one end and of a room at the side where was the engine, elevator, and other machinery.
The warehouse is on the farm of Percy FINLEY in the southwestern corner of Sec. 1, Tp. 14 S., R. 5 W., in the Irish Bend section of Benton County. It was built at the edge of the channel so that steamers could tie up along side, but the shifting of the channel has left it some yards back on a slack-water slough.
It is significant in this connection that the farms in
this part of the country raise almost no wheat now, but instead alfalfa
or other hay crops, and much vetch for seed. Fruits and nuts are coming
to be raised more and more. Dairying is profitable.
Mrs. Eunice BROWN FLICKINGER
Mrs. FLICKINGER was interviewed at her country home on the West Side Pacific Highway, near the Polk-Benton County line. She is living alone and in spite of failing health her memory seems good for one of her age.
My father was G. W. BROWN and my mother was Mary Ann TODD. They were married in the east and came from Missouri to Oregon in 1852. Their first stop was on the Tualatin Plains where they lived for ten years or longer. Then they came to Benton County and settled on Soap Creek about two and one half miles above Tampico.
Their children were Elizabeth, Clinton, Jesse, George William, Walter, James, Francis, Sarah E., myself, Josh W. and Robert E. Lee. Elizabeth married man named JONES and went to Marion County to live. The boys were all farmers but William also taught school. Sarah married a man named FEICHTER whose father was a pioneer in southern Benton County.
Most of what little education I have was gotten at Tampico school. The terms were only three months long and sometimes, on account of bad weather and bad roads we did not get to go more than half of the time. Sam BERRY taught one term. Mr. PRICE had a school one year for boys. Then there was a man named NOSCHKER. I do not remember the others. My sister and I and brothers Jim and Frank had four months at Philomath College elementary school one winter.
Some of our neighbors were John WILES, WRIGHTSMAN, MODIE, BLAKE, CALLOWAY, Thomas READ, Judge MOORE, Sam TETHEROE and Joseph MORRIS. Green Berry SMITH owned a lot of land near Tampico but his home was south of Corvallis. Tampico was considered a tough town but I was so young I never knew much about it. There was a saloon there and a store. Billy PICKETTS kept the store. There used to be camp meetings at Tampico and I can remember when I was quite small my parents would take us there for a day. But the town didn't last long. There was church and Sunday School regularly at GINGLES Schoolhouse and we went there when we could, once or twice a month at least. Dr. HILL, who preached there was a tall slim man. The young people called him the old jay-bird.
Mother died when I was nine and my sister Sarah was eleven, and we kept house after that.
Father was able to keep all the children at home until they were married and went to homes of their own. In 1879 I married Alfred FLICKINGER and rode to my new home on horseback. The horse and complete outfit, saddle, bridle, and all were my own. I have lived all my life in this community. I have one son, LLOYD, who lives on the place next to me. My husband's people were early settlers about Wells but I do not know enough about them to give any information.
I am all alone now and my health is not good. Sometimes
I feel lonesome and discouraged but this has been a good world and I am
not anxious to leave it. However, when my times comes to go I shall die
in the hope of a better world to come.
Mrs. Charity ROSE FLOOK
Mrs. FLOOK was interviewed at her home at 318 N. Twelfth St., Corvallis, Oregon. At the age of seventy nine she is in full possession of her faculties, mentally quick and alert, and no one listening could doubt the reliability of her memory. She said:
My father was Andrew J. ROSE and my mother was Elma RUBLE. After their marriage they came to Oregon from Missouri in 1856. The first two years they spent in the Eola Hills near West Salem in Polk County. The first of the RUBLE family to come to Oregon were my mothers brothers, William and David, who brought their families in 1853. They were so pleased with the country that they corresponded with their father and my grandfather, Thomas RUBLE, and mother's sister Jane, who was a widow, came west when my parents came. Aunt Jane later married Jerry CLARK in the Alsea Valley, in 1862.
My people had no serious trouble with the Indians, but they had an encounter with a band of white thieves. Someplace in Wyoming a gang of six men and a boy joined the camp and acted in an insolent and suspicious manner. That afternoon a warning had come from a train following them, warning them of this gang and saying they had been running off the horses and cattle of the immigrants. The following train hurried and overtook them and the leaders of the two trains held a conference and then arrested and tried the gang. They were convicted, two escaped and four were shot. One, a boy, was pardoned and continued with the train, proving himself industrious and well behaved.
That was the year of the Cayuse war and when the train reached Fort Hall they received a letter from Uncle William to come by way of California to avoid the Indians. They crossed a corner of Nevada and came through the Humbolt Valley in California and by way of Susanville. Due perhaps to their knowledge of the war in Eastern Oregon, the Indians of Southern Oregon were saucy, but caused no serious trouble.
At Canyonville mother gave birth to another son, on October 12. The rains were already beginning and a conference was held to decide whether they would stop there for the winter. Grandfather said "We will leave it to Elma". There had been some killings by the Indians in that part of the state and they were anxious to go on. Mother said, "If you can fix a way for me to ride we will go on". So they fixed a bed of hay in the wagon and she came on. She was cared for by her sister Jane, who was a mid-wife. Uncle David met them at Yoncalla and they reached the Eola Hills on November 10.
My parents stayed in Polk County about two years. Father's sister Piety, the only one of his folks to come west, had married a man named James and they were living in back of Lebanon. Father moved to the Lebanon region and took a claim but he never proved up on it.
Both my parents had been married before. Mother's first husband was named BADGER and the children were Thomas, who lives in Eastern Oregon, Elizabeth (GRISHOM), Margaret (STRONG), and Ephraim. Margaret and Ephraim also live in Eastern Oregon. Father's children by his first wife were Jefferson and James. My parents had three children, Harvey, William, and myself. I was born in 1860.
After father gave up the claim near Lebanon he bought a place on the Santiam River. His farming was mostly cattle raising. He never raised grain to sell, but only for use at home. We did not eat beef, because venison was much easier to get. When father bought the farm on the Santiam River he bought a flock of sheep and after that we had mutton. Our clothing was made from wool which was died, spun, and woven at home. On rare occasions mother bought a piece of calico for our dresses.
Grandfather RUBLE was a miller. He and Uncle David had a mill on Rickreall Creek in Polk County. After Grandfather died Uncle David ran the mill for some time. Then he sold it and built a saw mill and grist mill in the Alsea Valley. When he sold the Alsea mills he went to the mouth of the river and laid out the town of Waldport. His two daughters, Sina (EVANS), and Mattie (HOSFORD), still live in Waldport.
I was born in 1860. I attended school first at the Hamilton Creek school and Mr. COOPER was my first teacher. Rebecca POWELL, granddaughter of Joab POWELL, was one of my teachers, and Martha WOODRUFF (?) was another, also Dilla PENNINGTON. I attended the Santiam Academy, and graduated in 1882, when J. L. GILBERT was the head of that school.
After finishing school I taught for several years. I taught two terms at Fern Ridge, where my aunt lived, and one term in the Wheeler district. Some of my brothers and sisters had moved to Eastern Oregon, near Moro, and I went and taught there two terms. There I met and married Thomas McBRIDE who was also a teacher. A cousin of his has been Secretary of State in Oregon and another cousin has been Chief Justice of the State Courts.
About the time of our marriage my husband purchased the first store that had been opened in Moro. After a time (about 1884) he went to Condon and opened the first store there. From 1889 to 1891 he operated a store in Pullman, Washington. Then his health failed and we went to Southern Oregon, where he died. We had no children.
Later I married John G. FLOOK, and I have two step-daughters, Mrs. Jesse FULKERSON and Ellen FLOOK. Ellen is employed by the extension department of the Oregon State College in 4-H Club work. It was Mr. FLOOK who, while a member of the Oregon Legislature, introduced the bill which led to the acceptance of the Federal provisions and the establishment of the Oregon State College as a land grant school. Mr. FLOOK is gone now and I am passing my last days here with my daughter.
Elizabeth CURRIER, aged 14, came to Oregon in 1846 and to Benton County in 1847. She came in the care of her sister and brother-in-law, Mrs. and Mrs. A. L. HUMPHREY. Her brother Jacob, aged 19, came at the same time. Miss CURRIER later married Mr. FOSTER and the family removed to Lake County, where this sketch was written. The copy was obtained from Miss Elizabeth CURRIER, a niece of the writer, who now lives on Beaver Creek, Corvallis, Route 2.
We started from Andrew County, Missouri, and crossed the Missouri River May 10, 1846. There was a train of fifty wagons when we started but after we got past the worst dangers from Indian attacks they divided because there were too many cattle together.
We turned off the Oregon Trail at Fort Hall (At Fort Hall was a real soda spring. We sweetened some of the water with honey and it foamed up in great shape.) I saw in the paper later that the soldiers stationed at Fort Hall were killed. The whole company was killed I think. They were uneasy when we got there and were talking about there being no chance to get out of the place.
Mr. APPLEGATE, Mr. SCOTT, and Mr. GOFF turned off on the southern route and we traveled on the California road till we got to where Reno now is, and then we turned north to come to Oregon. Link River was the last place we nooned before we came to the Klamath Marsh. A man by the name of TANNER was left behind at noon, and when they went back they found Indians in the Marsh with his clothes on. They found him dead. The men dug his grave with butcher knives and buried him in the sand.
We laid by one day in High Rock Canyon and Mr. APPLEGATE took all the men that could be spared to cut a road out to the foot of Calapooia Mountains, and left Mr. SCOTT and Mr. GOFF to take the immigrants over. (Mrs. Robert HENDERSON gave birth to a baby girl while staying over at High Rock Canyon. Mrs. HENDERSON'S maiden name was HOLMAN.) We laid by sixteen days in the Calapooia Mountains waiting for the road to be cut out.
I had to ride on horse back and help drive the cattle after Mr. APPLEGATE took all the men that could be spared. The people behind us had a terrible time getting through. Most of the train got caught in the canyon that winter and some died. My sister, Mrs. HUMPHREY, and myself were the first white women through Cow Creek Canyon, and my brother, Manley
CURRIER, drove the first wagon through the canyon. The night after we got through it just poured down. Manley cought cold and had fever after that.
In the Umpqua Valley the daughter of a Mr. STEWART died. There were just five wagons left then. They dug her grave with wooden shovels and cut down saplings and split them for the coffin. We saw no houses from the time we crossed the Missouri River until we got to Eugene. This was Eugene SKINNER'S house, and the next house we saw was in Corvallis near where Mr. AVERY now lives.
Several people died from fever on the trip. There were only three wagons of the train got across Marys River when we did, December 5. They had to raft the wagons across. We crossed in canoes.
There wasn't a house in East Portland in 1846. My brother said the first time he was in Portland, after there was only a tent. After we went on from Corvallis we camped on the Luckiamute until Mr. HUMPHREY found a place for us to stay all winter. We wintered on the Rickreall.
About hardships, - if you consider driving cattle all day and milking at night when it was so cold you had to warm your hands in the cows flanks a hardship, that is one that we had all the time. We moved to Benton County in 1847, and moved to Lake County in 1873, arriving at Summer Lake November 3. A VANDERPOOL boy drove a band of sheep through to Goose Lake. When he went to dinner there was not an Indian in sight. While he was eating the Indians drove every sheep away. They never found one of them. Goose Lake must have extended eight miles above where it is now. I don't think the slash road dried for several years after we moved out here. All of the West has grown and developed so fast since those days that pioneering is only a memory now, so that is all for this time.
Jesse W. FOSTER
Mr. FOSTER was interviewed at his home at 861 Jefferson Street in Corvallis, He is alert and vigorous mind and body, and is a thoroughly competent witness. He said:
"My grandfather, Isaac FOSTER, my father, John FOSTER, and my uncle, James FOSTER, crossed the plains from Missouri in 1845. They passed the first winter on the Tualatin Plains and came to Benton County in 1846, where they each took a donation land claim on Beaver Creek about eight miles southwest of Corvallis. Father was about twenty two years old at the time."
"I have heard them tell of being annoyed by the Indians who made several attempts to run off their cattle, but they were continually on guard and suffered little loss. There was considerable sickness, too, but no deaths in our family. Father was so weakened by a fever that it was some months after reaching Oregon before his strength was fully restored. In Oregon my people suffered only the hardships incidental to a new country. They had food and shelter but had to do without many things to which they were accustomed. In the very early years there were no grist mills in this part of the country. One of the first in Benton County was Herbert's Mill on Beaver Creek, near father's claim. This was only a small mill and did not last long in competition with mills that were established in the 'fifties at Albany, Monroe, Kings Valley, at Matzger's Mill on Marys River west of where Philomath now is. The very earliest settlers had to go to Oregon City for flour. I have heard tell of a man walking all the way to Oregon City for nails when he absolutely had to have them. As soon as blacksmith shops could be established, there was a supply of hand made nails."
"Soon after coming to Benton County father married Mary LLOYD, a daughter of John LLOYD who came to Benton County in 1845. LLOYD was one of the three or four settlers who were in Benton County through the winter of 1845-6. Mary LLOYD was one of the persons for whom Marys River is said to have been named."
"Father's children by Mary LLOYD were Nancy, William, and Jasper. Nancy is still living in Eastern Oregon. She is over ninety years old."
"After the death of his first wife father married my mother, Elizabeth BUCHANAN, who was a member of another well known pioneer family. Their children were myself, Henrietta, and Mary Jane. Henrietta was married to a Doctor LEE who was a younger brother of the well known, pioneer physician, Dr. J. B. LEE."
"Father was more interested in raising cattle than in tilling the soil. There were no pure bred herds about there then and few fine cattle, but father sought to improve his stock by buying good bulls. One of the KINGS of Kings Valley had brought in some pure bred cattle, (shorthorn, I think) and father got a bull from him. A little later father and grandfather had some cattle in the Ochoco district near Prineville."
"I went to school first at the Auxilliary Schoolhouse about two miles north of our house. A school term was three months, but we frequently had two terms in one year. Among the early teachers were Mr. PAYNE, Miss REASONER, Billy BROWN, Eli HINKLE and Miss EDWARDS. Then my father sent me to the Bishop Scott Grammar School in Portland. This school taught the elementary and academy subjects. It was considered a very fine school and many pupils came from parts of Eastern Oregon. I was one of about thirty-five boarding pupils and there were many times more day pupils. When I had attended this school for about two years I changed to White's Business College and was graduated from that. After my two sisters finished the country schools they attended the Sister' School in Portland and then were graduated from Mills Seminary, now Mills College, in California."
"About 1886 1 took over the farm and my parents retired and moved to Corvallis. I followed father's example and raised cattle and sheep. I was interested in the Hereford breed and bought a bull and a heifer from the first load of pure stock sold in this part."
"In 1901 I married Lora ALEXANDER. Our children are Ada and Lucile (Mrs. HOUT)."
"In the early days when a bunch of young fellows got together there were sure to be contests in running, jumping, and other athletic sports, or perhaps a horse race. Young folks had a chance to meet the opposite sex in the dances. Dancing was almost altogether square dances. People who had learned to dance the waltz were much envied."
"Dances were well conducted, but there was occasional drinking. No one ever dreamed that a woman would smoke or take a drink. Dances commonly continued until daylight with a big dinner at midnight. All the modern dances seem to me to lack something when compared with the waltz."
"There were singing schools in the early days. Whenever people came together there was lots of good singing. Each one had as much training as his neighbor and no one was afraid or ashamed to let his voice be heard."
"The camp meetings in the Bellfountain Campground were the big events of each summer. Camps lasted for three or four weeks and people came from distances of twenty or thirty miles and sometimes spent the whole season there. Those of us who lived closer did not camp, of course. To the younger and less reverent the demonstrations were sometimes quite as good as a circus. One of the well known preachers at the Bellfountain Camps was Preacher DRIVER. He was "some talker" and a smart man. "
"None of the FOSTERS ever went in for politics or held public office. We succeeded well enough in farming and have saved enough to spend our last days in comfort."
[ Publisher's note: These few lines are attached to the bottom of this interview. The writer is not identified. ]
Didn't want to write on your interview but this is a mistake about his grandfather. Andrew FOSTER was Jess FOSTERS' grandfather. I have many records showing this, including those I got while visiting Jess's widow and daughter. Jess was a half-brother of my grandfather, Jasper, son of John and Mary (LLOYD) FOSTER.
0. FRANTZ - on Fort Hoskins
Mr. FRANTZ is about 73 years old, still able bodied and mentally sound. His knowledge of the subject can scarcely be doubted.
"Fort Hoskins was abandoned as a military post in 1865 and my father, Samuel P. FRANTZ, came from Missouri to Oregon and bought the place from Mr. Chambers who had first located there. I was about three years old at the time. We lived the first year there when the buildings were removed. I remember them distinctly and after I was a man I had the opportunity to confirm my recollections by talking with older men who had served at the post or had otherwise had a reason to be familiar with the arrangement. The old flagstaff was perhaps 18 inches in diameter and more than a hundred feet tall when it was cut off at the surface. The coins and documents which are reputed to have been placed under its foot have never been disturbed. The old pole was used as a timber in building a mill in Kings Valley, where it may still be seen."
"The detachment which built the fort had their own sawmill with which they cut the lumber used. The buildings were substantial and comfortable at the time. They were all whitewashed on the outside. The Commissary, which provided living quarters for the men, was about 125 feet long, with a fireplace at each end."
"There were at least two target ranges. At the one in the valley the first rain after the annual plowing still uncovers many of the old bullets a half inch or more in diameter, and evidently from the old paper cartridges used in the muzzle-loading muskets."
In Kings Valley, near the town of that name in the northwest corner of Benton County, is the site of Fort Hoskins. This fort was established in 1856 by Capt. C. A. AUGUR, Co. G., 4th U. S. Infantry. It was named for Lieut. Charles HOSKINS who was appointed to West Point Military Academy from North Carolina and who was killed in action at Monterey, Mexico in 1846. The fort was built to protect the settlers from possible forays by the Indians of the Siletz Reservation, and was situated on a two acre table land about fifty feet above the valley floor and about 500 yards from the east entrance to the trail leading through the mountains to the reservation."
Fort Hoskins was abandoned in 1865 and the location forgotten. The site was identified in 1922 by Dr. John B. HORNER and his class from Oregon State College, and was marked by a memorial flag pole.
The Fort is remembered today because of the high rank afterward attained by several of the officers who served there. Captain AUGUR, who built the fort, was afterward a major general. Lieut. Phil H. SHERIDAN who served several months here as quartermaster and commissary, attained the rank of Lieutenant General during the Civil War and afterwards was made a general.
B. Y. FRANTZ, E. 0. FRANTZ & Mrs. E. 0. FRANTZ
B. Y. FRANTZ
B. Y. FRANTZ lives in the ancestral home on the old Fort Hoskins reservation. His brother E. 0. FRANTZ lives a few yards distant at the foot of the knoll on the site of the old Post Hospital. They are the oldest inhabitants and settlers left in Kings Valley, and the closest link with the early days. Both are dependable witnesses.
My father, Samuel P. FRANTZ, was born in Pennsylvania, lost his father at the age of four, found a wife in Ohio, and came to Oregon from Iowa in 1866. My mother's name was Mary HARRIS.
Father crossed in a wagon drawn by three yoke of oxen. He was a member of the train whose captain was a man named JONES. The Indians never really attacked them but were continually threatening; they often had to corral the wagons in defense. Father said the renegade whites were worse than the Indians to steal the immigrants stock. They made a stop of three days on the Platte River, where there was plenty of water and good feed, to rest the cattle and give the women a chance to do some extra washing and cleaning. On an island in the Platte they discovered pole corrals which showed they had been used to hold horses for long periods and were evidently the work of white men rather than Indians The Indians would have taken stolen horses with them on their travels, but the whites held them until they had enough to drive to a safe market. Another time on the trip some of the stock strayed and could not be found. More than twenty-four hours later brought the missing animals back to the train.
There were some deaths in father's train as there might be in any considerable group in six
months time, but no serious outbreaks or epidemics. The train crossed the Cascades by the Barlow route, I believe, but in some places they had almost to carve their own road.
Father had no kinfolk in Oregon. A pair of bachelors on a stream in eastern Oregon tried to get him to locate there and were so anxious to get neighbors that they promised to stock him up with horses and seed. But father had his mind set on going to the coast and did not stop until he came to Kings Valley. He had a friend named STONE with whom we stopped until we could find a place of our own.
Fort Hoskins had been abandoned by the Government in 1865 and father bought the farm
including the reservation from Rowland CHAMBERS. It had originally been the Van PEER donation land claim. We lived the first year in the old hospital building on the site where my brother's house is now. The Fort buildings were still standing when we bought the place but were later town down and the material used elsewhere. When Dr. J. B. HOMER of Oregon State College was trying to fix the location of the buildings at the old fort I was able to help him for I remembered them all and had reinforced my memory by talking with older persons who had been familiar with the Fort as an active army post.
Father depended upon cattle raising more than upon tilling the soil. The hills were then generally bare of trees and covered with fine grass. The cattle were sold to drovers who drove them to Portland or to the mines in Idaho and in southern and eastern Oregon.
Van PEER had built a sawmill, run by water power, on his claim. The logs came from further up the Luckiamute River. The second growth fir timber that is being cut so extensively now in Kings Valley has all grown within my recollection. Ten years ago there were three foot trees cut on this place whose growth I had watched since they were seedlings.
When we first came here we had to go to Corvallis for mail. Later a man named KISOR carried mail from Corvallis to Dallas, taking two days for the round trip. This route supplied Kings Valley.
Our folks came after the settlement was established and missed some of the hardships of the first comers. I have heard Mrs. NORTON, one of the members of the King party, tell how she made shirts or dresses for her children out of the blankets they had used on the trip across the plains. She said she never went visiting expecting to get a change in fare for she knew beforehand what she would get. All that anybody had had at first was venison and wheat
hominy if they had been lucky enough to kill the venison. A Mr. STUMP who had a claim north of here lived chiefly on boiled wheat eaten from an oaken bowl he had made himself. The wheat took a long time to cook thoroughly and when he took one kettle off the fire and began eating from it he started another one to cooking.
In the early days the train from Corvallis to the Siletz Reservation went by here. There was no passable wagon road and most of the freight was carried by Indians. A squaw would carry a two bushel sack of wheat all the way from the Valley to the coast. A grist mill was being built on the Yaquina and some part was too unwieldy to be loaded on a mule. It was a shaft or one of the mill stones. A squaw carried it in but died from the over exertion.
My father's children were Charles Amos; Rebecca, who married a son of Arnold FULLER of the Wells community; Wallace; Jefferson; myself; Edson 0. ("Doc"); Lydia, who died young; Mandy, who married Perry EDDY of the Eddyville pioneers; and Marion. All but Marion were born before the folks came to Oregon.
All my schooling was in Kings Valley. Among my teachers I remember Bob ARMSTRONG, Albert RICE, Charles CROSNO, Henry RANDALL, Tom CRAWFORD, James CHAMBERS and Mr. FAIRCLAUGH (sp ?). Most of the teachers were men, but a Miss ALLEN taught one term. There was no thought of a graded school such as we have today. Pupils were placed by the readers they used. In spelling the whole school was lined up and spelled down, beginning with the easier words. The wars of the schoolhouse almost bulged out with the 65 or 70 pupils that attended at times. The benches and desks were all home-made. The smaller kids had no desks but sat on benches around the walls. Some times one of the little ones would go to sleep and roll off the bench.
I never went to but one winter school in all my time. The annual school meeting would be held the first week in March and decision made to hold a term of school. Sometimes two or three weeks more would go by before all arrangements were made and the school started. Then we boys would have to stop in two or three months for harvest and no more school until next year. The school here at Hoskins was not started until some years later. I have served fifteen years on the school board, but that is the extent of my public service.
For social gatherings we had play parties and dances. I did not dance much, but I always went and had a good time. I don't remember the games we played, but most of them had hugging and kissing in them. Church services and revival meetings were held regularly in the schoolhouse and we always went.
In 1889 I married Laura REED. Our children were Maud (Mrs. MOSIER), Dora (also Mrs. MOSIER), Merle, who keeps the store at Hoskins, Kate (Mrs. KINDERMAN), Leila (Mrs. BAUER), Walter who is with the Valley and Siletz railroad, and George who is at home. My wife died about twenty years ago.
I think the country is going rotten.
E. 0. FRANTZ
I was born in 1863. next after my brother B. Y. with whom you have talked. I can add nothing to what he has said about the family and the early days. I have been practically all my life on this place and fanned most of the time. I followed logging for fifteen years or more, getting out logs for the mill on this place. Father rebuilt the old Van PEER mill. We used a "slash" saw at first but later put in a circular saw. The "slash" saw worked with an up-and-down motion, cutting only on the down stroke.
In all the time I worked in the woods I never had but one man killed, and he was a green hand who went below a log on the sidehill to trim off the branches that kept it from rolling. We logged altogether with oxen and often handled logs as large as six feet in diameter and 16 feet or more long. Two yoke of oxen could move such a log but I found it better practice to use four or five yoke. If many logs had to be moved for some distance we built skid roads. We would cut poles 6" to 10" in diameter eight feet long and put them for half their thickness in the ground at right angles to the road. The middle of these skids would be 'saddled' to keep the logs in place and crude oil or tallow was used to grease the skids. If the pull was a little down hill three or four logs would be fastened end-to-end to keep them from over running the team. The lumber was delivered to Corvallis, or wherever it was wanted, by wagon.
The old up-and-down saw was very slow. The most we could cut with that were two or three thousand feet in a day. I remember the sawyer would adjust the water power, start the saw through a log and go to dinner. He would have time to finish his meal and get back before the cut was finished.
The country has improved since the early days, in one respect at least. There is more plowed land, but the soil is not so productive. Land that used to produce forty or more bushels of wheat and sixty or more bushels of oats to the acre, now brings little more than half that much. Bottomland along the streams used sometimes to yield sixty bushels of wheat to the acre.
When I was a young man there was nothing to-go to but dances and church. Every body kept a good horse, and a buggy if he could afford it. I aimed to keep a horse as good as anybody else had. My favorite driving horse would make a mile in four minutes on the country roads.
I was married in 1890 to Nettie Belle KIBBEY. Our children are J. Fred who lives at West Fir, Oregon and Mabel and Bill who are still at home.
E. 0. FRANTZ (Nettie Belle KIBBEY)
My grandfather, David KIBBEY, was born in 1807 and his wife, Eliza, was born in 1806. Their son James, my father, was born in 1847. The family came in 1852 to Polk County, Oregon.
My mother, Sarah DAVIS, was born in 1853 in Polk County. Her parents were John Wesley DAVIS and Mary Jane HENDERSON. As the name indicates, my grandfather was a Methodist.
My parents were married about 1869 and came to Kings Valley about 1871. Grandfather KIBBEY'S family were: Sarah (Mrs. ANDREWS), Clarinda (DUVAL), Martha (SEVIER), Mary (CLINE), Tignal (an old family name), Albertus, my father, and David.
Grandfather Davis' family were: Elizabeth (Mrs. PERCIVAL), my mother, Susan (Mrs. HEDGEPETH), Mary (Mrs. ELLIOTT), Ellen (Mrs. GRAIG), Fanny (Mrs. GUTHRIE), Jennie (Mrs. DEMPSEY), Alexander, and twins, James and John.
I was born in 1875. All my schooling was in Kings Valley. We had no school then in Hoskins. We lived on the Luckiamute above Hoskins, and it was three miles or more over the hills to the schoolhouse in Kings Valley. We girls never could go in the fall term. The roads were to difficult. We were a large family and spent the long winter evenings at home reading and playing games of various kinds. We used to play checkers and card games. We had to find our amusement among ourselves, for there was no outside source. Young could do that today if they put their minds to it, but it would be a hard change for them.
Both Mr. and Mrs. FRANTZ agreed that from generation to generation the world is making progress and that the country will doubtless survive the present hardships.
Mrs. Martha AVERY
Mrs. FULTON was interviewed at her home at 563 Jefferson St., Corvallis, Oregon. Mrs. FULTON is a competent witness, but she has little significant information about her family. She said:
"My grandfather, Joseph AVERY, came to Benton County and chose a location for a claim in 1845. He was alone and went back down the river to the old settlements to pass the winter. He returned in 1846 and sent for his family. I never heard them speak of any unusual hardships in making the trip. Before her marriage Grandmother AVERY had been Martha MARSH."
"Grandfather was interested in trade rather than in farming and chose the location of his claim because it seemed to him to be the practical head of navigation on the Willamette River and so a natural town site. He raised some wheat at first but as soon as the county began to be settled he opened a store, secured the establishment of a post office, and platted and sold town lots."
"Of grandfather's twelve children but six lived to maturity. They were Punderson (my father), Florence (Mrs. George JONES), Frances A. (Mrs. George HELM), George W., Napoleon B., and Gertrude (Mrs. B. F. IRVINE)."
"Grandfather was appointed by President PIERCE to be Postal Agent for the northwest, including Oregon and Washington Territory. Uncle Napoleon was a dentist and was a partner for a time with Emmet TAYLOR who practiced until just a few years ago and still lives in Corvallis. Gertrude's husband, B. F. IRVINE, was for many years editor of the Oregon Journal."
"My father was Punderson AVERY. My mother, Elizabeth MOBLEY, crossed the plains to California in the 'fifties while she was a small child. Her mother died while she was still young and I have little knowledge of the family. I do know that grandfather MOBLEY had a farm in Gilliam County."
"When father was a young man he engaged in cattle raising in Lake County. That was wild, rough country but there was an abundance of grass on the low land around the many lakes, and there was good profit in the cattle business. I was born in 1874 at Chewaucan near Paisley in Lake County. The country there was rough and wild but we children liked it. There was always plenty to eat and plenty of fuel to keep the house warm in spite of the cracks. The winters were much more severe than in the Willamette Valley."
"In 1884 my parents came back to Benton County and soon after that my father bought the James FOSTER donation land claim and farm house, which is on Beaver Creek about twelve miles southwest of Corvallis. His house was built in 1861 and was a very fine house then. My brother lives in the house now, I think the lines of the old house are better than many of the more modem homes."
"My father's children were Chester, myself, Grover, and Virgil. My husband is John G. FULTON who was graduated from O.S.A.C. in 1892 and has been teaching in that school ever since. He is now head of the Chemistry Department. Our children are Helen (TOMPKINS) and Robert."
"My father was always interested in public affairs and twice elected to the State Legislature. Grandfather AVERY was also elected to the Legislature and served the County in other ways."
"I am not one of the real old timers but I have lived here for a long while and seen many changes. The country and the town have changed more than the people. There are new ways but the people are the same at heart. In spite of their freer ways the young people of today are just as good as their parents and grandparents."
Return to Historical Records Index
Return to Benton County GenWeb Page