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WPA Historical Records Survey
Benton Co., Oregon
Mark Phinney
 
INTERVIEWS -- H part 2
 

Jerry E. HINKLE
History of Philomath by Jerry HINKLE
The Oregon Migration - The HINKLE Wagon Train -  by J. C. HARVEY
PIONEER DAYS - CROSSING THE PLAINS
         (Letter of Mrs. Elizabeth HINKLE in undated newspaper clipping.)
Andrew Jackson HODGES & Mrs. Mary Cordelia BLAKE HODGES
Dayton S. HOLLOWAY
William HOLMAN
Jesse HOUCK
Mrs. Sarah G. HORNING HOWELL
John P. HUFFMAN
George HUMPHREY
Mrs. Cappitola GARDINER HURLBURT
Mrs. Martha BURNETT HUSTON
W. F. "Frank" HYDE
 
 
 

Jerry E. HINKLE

Jerry HINKLE, 94 years old, was interviewed at his home in Philomath. He is one of the very few people now living who crossed the plains in the early days and was old enough to tell about it. Mr. HINKLE is blind and a bit hard of hearing, but he is other- wise in fine health for his age. Mr. HINKLE's mind is keen and he is well aware of the limitations of his memory. His reminiscences are dependable. He is not given to unconscious or other exaggerations. The interview follows.

"The HINKLE train came from Appanoose County, Iowa in 1853 when I was ten years old. There were 13 families in the train and 25 wagons. A majority of the train were the HINKLES and their in-laws. Father had two wagons with two or three yoke of oxen.

"The head of the clan was my grandfather, Jacob HINKLE, and his wife, Annie GREGG HINKLE. With them came their six children with their families. The oldest son was my father, Ichabod. His children were Jesse, myself, Helena, and Julia who was only six weeks old at the start. My mother's maiden name was Elizabeth CONGER. William HINKLE'S wife was Nancy WALKER HINKLE and they had one daughter, Caroline. Jacob HINKLE Jr. had married Elizabeth WOOD and they had two daughters, Rachel and Melissa. Rachel afterward became Mrs. KITSON and Melissa married John WYATT. Jackson HINKLE'S wife had been Mary WOOD. They had no children when they immigrated. Christina, who was the wife of Clement BARKER, had one son, and Mary, who was the wife of David KING, had one son and three daughter when the trip was made.

"Father got 400 acres on land on Rock Creek, a tributary of the South Fork of Marys River, about five miles west of Philomath. Here father raised cattle. He also built a saw mill. Although there was little timber then on the hills next to the valley, there was good timber on Rock Creek and there was a growing demand for lumber. In the summer time there was too little water in the creek to run the mill but at other times the mill was busy. At first the lumber was cut with a slash saw which had an up and down motion, but later father got a circular saw. The mill was operated until Corvallis claimed Rock Creek for a municipal water supply and father was compelled to sell his rights to them. The lumber for the old Philomath College building was cut at our mill.

"I attended school first at a school not far from the present site of the Pleasant Valley schoolhouse. John WOOD and John KNOWLTON taught there. Then I attended the Maple Grove school just south of the present limits of Philomath. William SHIPLEY and George KNOWLTON were teachers there. The Maple Grove school was discontinued when Philomath College opened in 1867.

"There were warm times here in the Civil War days. Many of the people from Missouri were southern in sympathy and a few of them were inclined to be lawless. Among the well known southern Democrats were Joseph C. AVERY, the MULKEYS, the BROWNS, and the SMITHS. Circles were organized by these people and meetings held. Some of them were very violent in their language. But some of them had reason to dread an open outbreak. AVERY owned a large part of the townsite of Corvallis. Green Berry SMITH'S brother, who was reputed to have made his money by gambling in California, died and left his fortune to Green Berry's son, Alexander. The father had invested this in land until he held several square miles both above and below Corvallis. It is said that he owned a strip a mile wide from Corvallis to his home eight miles south. Because of their large holdings these men feared the results of a real outbreak and used their influence to restrain their more inflammable neighbors.

"Bert WOOD, a neighbor boy and a Southerner, told me this story in later years. Pete WITHERS, who was a member with me of Company A, was home from Vancouver Barracks on a furlough. While he was in uniform he met Bert WOOD and some others in a saloon in Corvallis. Bert made some slurring remark showing his sympathies with the Confederates cause. Quick as a wink Pete presented his revolver and dared Bert to repeat the remark on pain of death. Bert said in telling about it: 'I could just see the bullet in his gun, and I could see in his eye that he meant it. I had nothing more to say.'

"In December, 1864, I joined the company being recruited in Benton and Polk counties by Captain LaFOLLETTE and Lieutenant SHIPLEY. Captain LaFOLLETTE used to teach singing school about here and I knew him well. Lieutenant Shipley was a neighbor. About 45 men enlisted from Benton County and 55 from Polk County. We were the first company in the state to complete our quota and we became Company A.

"We went to Salem and were quartered for a few days in the buildings at the state fair grounds. The State Fair had been started the year before. We were mustered into the Federal Service on December 17, 1864, and almost immediately took the boat for Vancouver to make room for other recruits. We only got as far as Oregon City the first day. The one hotel there was soon filled. It was a bitter cold night and the rest of us kept fires going in the courthouse stoves and slept on the benches. The next day we reached the barracks at Vancouver.

"We were kept at Vancouver for about eight months and then sent to Fort Yamhill. Our company was soon divided, and part of it sent to Fort Hoskins. The captain was sent with about forty of us to the Crooked River country in Eastern Oregon.

"We established quarters at a place called Camp Polk on South Creek, about thirteen miles from Bend and twelve miles north of Sisters. There were many Indians in this section but our presence restrained them and there was no trouble. Finally we returned to Fort Yamhill and were mustered out after 19 months of service on June 30, 1866.

"The men of Company A were asked to sign a pledge neither to drink liquor nor to gamble while in the service. I had never done either of these things and could see no reason for signing the pledge. When it was reported to me that others were refusing to sign because my name was missing I changed my mind and took the pledge. I have kept it not only for the period of enlistment but all through my life.

"After I came home, I attended Philomath College the first year it was open. I did not graduate but my brother John did. Then I worked in my father's sawmill for a time. In partnership with my brother and another man I bought a thrashing machine which we operated several, seasons. Then I bought into the store at Philomath. Mr. SHIPLEY was my first partner. After a few years my brother bought out Mr. SHIPLEY and later I bought out my brother. I retired from the store in 1891 and gave my attention to managing the farms I had acquired and to buying and selling and when I could do so with a prospect of a profit. Because I could not at the time find a tenant for my store building I went back and ran the store from 1903 to 1909. Then I got out to stay.

"I was married in 1873 to Elizabeth MASON who died in 1876. She left one son, Otis, who has for several years been engaged in the real estate business at Bend, Oregon. I was married again to Miss Nanny HUNT whose people were pioneers in southeastern Washington. Her father had founded and named the village of Huntsville between Dayton and Waitsburg. The family were United Brethren people and sent Nanny to Philomath College where I met her and persuaded her to stay in Philomath. Our son, Rodill, died at age 33. Our daughter, Beulah (now Mrs. Robert HUNTER), is now living with us.

"As a boy I helped build the first wagon road to Yaquina Bay. Later, as a man, I helped construct the railroad by selling provisions. At one time the company owed me more than $15,000 but I got every cent of it. T. Egerton HOGG was at the head of the company and was raising the money, but his brother, Billy HOGG, was supervising the construction of the ground. He was my friend and helped me press my claim. The trouble I had in collecting this money made me cautious and when the construction moved further west I refused to give them credit. President HOGG was honest but some one must have been crooked or incompetent, for $12,000,000 was spent in building a railroad that brought much less than a million at the sheriff's sale.

"Father and some of the neighbors kept many cattle in the early days. Some of them went to prospect for grass west of Mary's Peak for they had heard there was good pasture there. They had trouble getting down a canyon on the west side of the peak because of fallen timber. One little stream was so miry that they made a bridge of bark to keep their horses from sinking. The stream was afterwards called Bark Creek. At one place George KNOWLTON stopped to drink and lost his shot pouch. This stream became Shot Pouch Creek. Ramrod was named because one of the men lost the ramrod of his rifle there. When the party finally reached the narrow meadows of a stream flowing west, signs of Elk were fresh and abundant. Father and one of his brothers were elected to pitch camp and care for the horses while the rest of the men went hunting for fresh meat. After the two had finished their camp duties they took their rifles and started out. Less than 300 yards from camp they roused the elk from where they had been resting and father killed a fine bull. They had the animal dressed and meat lying all about when the hunters returned empty handed. The stream was called Elk Creek, later Big Elk Creek to distinguish a smaller nearby stream. Of these names, Shot Pouch and Big Elk have persisted and are the accepted navies today.

"In 1867 my uncle and my brother took 150 head of cattle to Jacksonville where there were gold mines. They opened a butcher shop and disposed of part of their animals to good advantage, but lost the rest of their head in the severe winter which followed.

"I am 94 and still in good health for my age. As a boy in Iowa I was bled once for the ague and have not been really sick since. Some years ago a blood clot pressed on an optic nerve instead of the brain and I am blind when I might have been paralyzed. Grandfather died at 88, father at 93, and an uncle at 88.
 
 
 
 

EARLY HISTORY OF PHILOMATH, OREGON

Interview with Jerry HINKLE

Jerry HINKLE came to this part of the country from Iowa as a boy of about ten. His father took up a claim which was located where the "Layt" HINKLE place is now. At this time there were no buildings on the present site of the town of Philomath. The county was sparsely settled.

"The first schoolhouse in this neighborhood was built in the year 1854 on the hill where the Newton Cemetery is now located. Children from all the surrounding country attended this little white schoolhouse and it was here that T. J. CONNOR, missionary for the United Brethren Church, organized the first church in this locality.

"In 1858 the school district was divided and another building was erected beyond where the town is now situated. At times the water came up so high that the children could not get to the Maple Grove school, as it was called, for several days.

"About this time 'Aunt Mary WYATT' conceived the idea that it would be a good plan to have a school more centrally located so that her children and others could attend without having to go so far. So with T. J. CONNOR at the helm, a group of interested men of the neighborhood gathered together in 1865, forming the first board and organizing a United Brethren College. The board was composed of the following men: T. J. CONNOR, Wm. WYATT, Ichabod HINKLE, Josh MASON, George MASON, Jonathan MASON, Alfred WITHAM, Eldridge HARTLESS, James EDWARDS, S. K. BROWN and George BETHERS.

"Three hundred and twenty acres of land were purchased by the board from David HENDERSON for the sum of $2500. Town lots were laid out and a section reserved for the campus. In the fall of 1865 work was commenced on the college building. In 1866 a kiln was built for drying the brick used in the building of the structure. The brick work was done by George Elliot and Lewis Wilson. The pit in which the bricks were made has long since been filled and a drive way built around it. All the wood used was sawed in the I. B. HINKLE mill.

"In 1867 the college was completed and in the fall the opening session of school was held. All the grades as well as the academy and college courses were taught, so the enrollment was large, from 75 to 100 attending the first year. The teachers were President HANNON and E. E. WOODWARD, district school superintendent. These were assisted by student instructors. The only students who attended school at that time who are living in Philomath are Mrs. Mary WYATT and Jerry HINKLE. While the college was being built the town was beginning to develop. A store was built by George HINKLE in 1867 where Pugh's hardware corner (Main and F streets) is now and a blacksmith shop was erected by Eli MASON. Six or eight houses were built about this time and a charter made providing that no saloons, etc., could exist in the town.

"The streets were mere trails and there were no sidewalks except slabs of wood which were laid lengthwise. At this point Mrs. HINKLE interrupted the story to say that it was a bad arrangement for a young couple walking down the street together. One had to walk back of the other. The streets were almost impassable in the winter. Things have improved in this line since those days, as the young people of today can testify."
 
 
 
 

THE OREGON MIGRATION

Copied from a newspaper clipping in possession of Mrs. J. E. HINKLE, Philomath, Oregon. The clipping is undated and is evidently from an Appanoose County Iowa, newspaper. The Oregon migration history recorded below is by J. C. HARVEY.

"Few remain of those who crossed the plains in the 150's. More golden grows the sunset as the pioneers wander over the trails that lead to the valley of still waters . . . Of the fourteen Appanoose County pioneer families who crossed the plains to Oregon in 1853, to whom many of the children were born in grand old Appanoose County, Iowa, today there are only a few left who recall that trek across the great American desert.

". . .Back in Appanoose's early history we find an early day settlement of pioneers along the
Shoal creeks who had immigrated here from Pendleton County, Virginia, and Monroe County, Ohio, in the move west to Oregon Territory. All equipment for the long journey was ready by early spring. Fourteen families and 25 wagons, drawn by horses, mules, and oxen, with provisions and other household goods, were packed and ready for the trek.

"After a noon farewell to the relatives and neighbors at the J. H. B. ARMSTRONG home west of Cincinnati, Iowa, at about 4:00 P.M., April 4, 1852, the wheels began to roll westward over the old Dragoon Mormon trail. The first camp was at the Jump Crossing of the Sand Bank Springs. On the morning of April 5, 1853, they were on their way to St. Joseph, Missouri, following the beaten tracks of the pioneers who had preceded them.

"After crossing the river they followed the short cut over the old Oregon trail made by the missionaries in 1834. When the HINKLE train rounded into the now Wyoming state they made their own beaten trail for hundred of miles to avoid coming in contact with the Mormons, as they believed the Mormons were dangerous people. Six long months were taken before the brave pioneers landed in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. Upon their arrival there they were using their milk cows to replace their lost horses, mules and oxen.

"The families and helpers of the HINKLE train were as follows:

"Jacob HINKLE, Sr. and his wife, Anna GREGG HINKLE, their four sons and two daughters.

"Ichabod HINKLE and wife, Elizabeth CONGER HINKLE, two sons, Jesse and Jeremiah, two daughters, Helena and Julia, and four drivers, John KING and Benoni, Thomas and Mark CONGER.

"William HINKLE and wife, Nancy WALKER HINKLE and daughter, Caroline; driver, Sida Bernard WOOD.

"Jacob HINKLE, Jr. and wife, Elizabeth WOOD, and two daughters, Rachel and Malissa; two drivers, Sam SKIPTON and Bill JUMP."Jackson HINKLE and wife, Mary WOOD HINKLE.

"Clement BARKER and wife, Christina HINKLE BARKER; one son, William and three daughters, Sarah, Mary Ellen and Elizabeth; driver Frank HILL.

"David KING and wife, Mary HINKLE KING; and son, Clement, three daughters, Annie, Elizabeth, and Charlotte; two drivers, Jess and Wyatt MULVERY.

"Jacob BARKER and wife, Becky MONTGOMERY BARKER.

"Jesse WOOD and wife, Margaret HINKLE WOOD; three sons, Absalom, John and William; two daughters, Susanna and Mahala; four drivers, John MANN, Mike ARBOGAST, and Fred and Shad TROXEL.

"Joseph WOOD and wife, Caroline BARKER WOOD.

"Michel WALKER and wife, Sallie Johnson WALKER, two sons, James and Jesse, daughter Martha; one driver, John BALL.

"John MONTGOMERY, wife, and three sons, William, Robert and Menion.

"John GOODLAND, wife, and three sons, David, James and John and grand daughter, Iowa SIMONS.

"John ULLERY, wife, and two children.

"The Colbert BLAIR train, made up at old Cincinnati of six wagons and a few families of people, followed the HINKLE train about three weeks later and landed in Oregon on schedule. Thomas and Elijah SKIPTON were drivers for Mr. BLAIR. Later the SKIPTON boys returned. After the Civil War another train, made up with the SKIPTONs, ROBERTSONs and ARMSTRONGs traveled the trek.

"It is said only three men are living of the HINKLE and BLAIR trains. At the time of the first crossing of the plains there were young boys, Jesse WOODS, Meeky BLAIR and Jerry HINKLE. When you jot down historical stuff and read so much about Ezra MEEKER, remember he didn't cross the plains until 1854. However, he stopped over at Inman tavern on his way and it is claimed he visited also in Calswell township.

"Mt. HINKLE, Oregon received its name from Jerry E. HINKLE of Philomath, Oregon."
 
 

PIONEER DAYS - CROSSING THE PLAINS

(Letter of Mrs. Elizabeth HINKLE in undated newspaper clipping.)

"Fifty seven years ago the Greely fever of "Go west, young man" struck a part of fair Iowa. Then the people began to dispose of their homes and effects and to invest in substantial teams of oxen and horses with good strong wagons with double covers of the best material. A six months' supply of provisions, all filled in large sacks and placed into the wagons were drawn by oxen fat and sleek, with brass knobs on their horns. The horse teams for the family had sheet iron stoves in the wagons with stovepipes through the tops. We had fire as we traveled along. When all things were in readiness for the long and tedious journey we bade adieu to fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and friends and on the fourth day of April, 1853 started westward. Our minds will revert backward and notwithstanding all sadness of leaving old homes and friends, when we looked upon this long train, its clean white covered wagons starting out westward on the Iowa prairie, there surely was a fascination that lessened our grief.

"Little did we know what hardships of the emigrant life were, and now we will leave you at our first camp for the night. Some of us had had no experience in camp life . . . we were taking our first lesson.

"After our first night in camp we prepared to leave. Tents were pulled down, tinware packed away, teams hitched up, and we were on the move, taking a southwesterly direction. We were soon in the state of Missouri with its fertile soil. We found corn in abundance for our stock at from 25 to 50 cents a bushel. The 21st of April, 1853 found us in St. Joe on the BANKS of the Missouri River. The water was very high, yet we ferried the wagons and swam the stock and all landed safely in Nebraska. We had bid farewell to civilization and were among the savages, who stepped around lordly, with blankets and painted faces. Some of us began to realize this was no fairy tale. At this early date there had already crossed 1500 head of stock and the bank was crowded with those waiting their turn.

"After grazing our stock we started westward on the 25th, feeling that we were wiser by the experience. We passed on through Nebraska with little trouble except a wind storm that turned some of the light wagons over and thinned out the men's stock of hats, and hail storms that were terrific. The Platte River valley is a beautiful level country, not a stick of timber on it. We had to substitute buffalo chips that were burned in ditches to cook our meals. This Platte River is a very peculiar stream, so wide and of an even depth and water filled with quicksand. We crossed the two branches, also North and South Laramie, Sweet Water, Green River, Bear River, and Snake River. At the last named the Indians gave us trouble by running off and stampeding our horses, and stealing. Our cattle were giving out and dying daily, as we traveled them through the deep sand and alkali. We were leaving such things as would lighten our loads, and when we landed in Oregon we had little left. We felt thankful we did not leave any of our number by the roadside. We were all weary and worn after that six months journey. We found Oregon minus schoolhouses, churches, or established roads. When we raised our first grain there was no machinery to work with. Our log cabin and our first furniture were hewn from the native fir trees. But we lived through it all and now we expect to take another trip ere long. We have our trunks packed and our tickets ready to go.
 
 

Andrew Jackson HODGES & Mrs. Mary Cordelia BLAKE HODGES
July, 1939

Mr. HODGES was interviewed at his home, 325 Walnut St., Albany, Oregon. Mr. HODGES is a retired dentist, and appreciates the importance of the Historical Records Survey. He gave cordial cooperation and his interest insures that his information is dependable.

"My father, Drury B. HODGES, was born in Indiana in 1825. My mother was Mahala B. FICKLE. They were married in 1847, just a few weeks before they started for Oregon. Mother, who was seventeen, drove one of their two ox teams. The trip was made without any unusual difficulties.

"Grandfather, Monroe HODGES, took a donation land claim where Wells Station now is. My Uncle Alex HODGES settled in Polk County. Monroe HODGES, Jr., another uncle, went to Eastern Oregon in 1871 and laid out the town of Prineville. Father's claim was near where the North Palestine Church now

"Father's children were Catherine, Mary Elizabeth, Caroline, Robert D., Georgia A., Theodore Eugene, Commodore Perry, Florence E., myself, Marcus D. and William T.

"Alex HODGES had six or eight children but the only names I can recall are Silas and Elizabeth. The children of my uncle, Monroe HODGES, were Sally, Lewis, Samuel, Carrie, Arthur and Frederick.

"I attended school first at Gingles Schoolhouse. J. D. WOOD was one of my teachers and Mr. McAULEY (sp. ?) was another. I went to Oregon Agricultural College for two years and then took a course at Portland Business College. After that I farmed until I was twenty-five.

"About that time I had an opportunity to buy into a drug store in Albany. My partner was 0. C. McFARLAND. That was before the days of pharmacy graduates and I learned the compounding of prescriptions by working in my own store. After seven years in the drug store I sold out and went to the Northwestern University at Chicago where I earned a degree in dentistry. I practiced dentistry in Albany for more than twenty years. At the first I was in an office with Dr. George COLLINS.

"When I was a young fellow in Benton County we traveled always by horseback, or if we could afford it, with horse and buggy. We had spelling schools, singing schools, and debating societies. Blue ribbon temperance clubs were often organized among the youngsters. We also had a baseball club in the Palestine community. The Palestine Church was built about 1883. Father and Tolbert CARTER gave the ground for the church and cemetery.

"My wife was Mary BLAKE, sister of A. E. BLAKE and daughter of David BLAKE. Her family were pioneers of north Benton County. We have no children.

"The following information is from the old family Bible of grandfather FICKLE.

Abner FICKLE and Susan CONLEY married 1828;

Mahala, b. 1829;
Annette, b. 1830;
Robert C.', b. 1833;
Georgeanne, b. 1835;
Sarah Jane, b. 1838;
Lydia C., b. 1840, d. 1864;
William W. R., b. 1843, d. 1847;
Harriet, b. & d. 1845.

Said Mrs. HODGES: "My maiden name was Mary Cordelia BLAKE. My father, David BLAKE, came from Indiana in 1852 and took a claim eight miles north of Corvallis where my brother, Edgar BLAKE, is now living.

"There were three STEWART brothers who had adjoining claims near Corvallis, John and James STEWART came about 1846. Smith STEWART came in 1852. Smith STEWART's daughter, Emily, was my mother. Father was a carpenter and while he was doing some work in Corvallis he met my mother. They were married in 1854 by A. N. LOCKE who was the first County Judge of Benton County. Mother was fifteen years old when she was married.

"My brothers and sisters were Harvey, George, Alice, Francis, Artemisia, Anna, Emma, Edgar, and William.

"I went to the Tampico School when I was a child. It was quite a small school with about twenty pupils. There was a saloon, a store and a blacksmith shop at Tampico and a few houses. Father led the choir at the church there and we used to have great community sings. There used to be camp meetings at Tampico.

"The only teacher I recall at Tampico is Hattie MOTLEY, who married a man named WRIGHTSMAN. A man named PICKETT was storekeeper at Tampico. (Note: Mrs. HODGES' interview is supplemental to the more complete interview by her brother, Edgar A. BLAKE.)
 
 

Dayton S. HOLLOWAY

July, 1939

Mr. HOLLOWAY was interviewed at his home in North Albany. His people did not come to Oregon until about 1880 and so they are in no sense pioneers. Mr. HOLLOWAY recently acquired that portion of the Martin RAINWATER donation land claim which included the old home site and warehouse. Mr. HOLLOWAY gives the following information which he received first hand as a boy. This does not agree in some details with the interview given by Billy RAINWATER of Albany. The variance may be due largely to unintentional exaggeration on the one hand and to undue reticence on the other.

"Mr. RAINWATER came up, the east side of the Willamette and gave an Indian some tobacco to ferry him across the river. He paced off his claim along the river and back to the slough which is now called Thornton's Lake. This was intended to be 320 acres. Later, when he married he added another 320 aces.

"RAINWATER used to bring his supplies from Oregon City by row boat. The trip took several days. On one occasion he got two sacks of white flour. When he arrived home he made his coming known by a loud hail and the family rushed down the bank to help carry up the supplies. They set up that night making and feasting on white flour biscuits.

"Soon after RAINWATER settled here, he established a ferry across the Willamette River to Albany. After some years he sold the ferry for five thousand dollars and as an after thought threw in a hundred acres or so of land for a ferry landing. The ferry seemed more valuable than the land.

"When the mines were discovered in California, RAINWATER went down there. He was fortunate and bought two mules to bring. himself and his gold dust back to Oregon. He kept the gold for a time in his cabin. Then arrangements were made at Oregon City to buy the gold dust and he went there and exchanged his dust for gold coin, which he kept in a large chest.

"When a sawmill was started in Albany, RAINWATER planned a fine house, and hired carpenters to erect it. After the work was started some one told the head carpenter that RAINWATER did not have money enough to pay the bills. When the carpenter asked RAINWATER about the matter he assured him that he had plenty of money. The next day, in order to make the assurance stronger and to prevent the carpenter leaving - for good carpenters were hard to find - he showed him the chest of gold coin, told him he could have the money due each week if he wanted it, and cautioned him to secrecy. When the work was finally finished he brought out the chest and paid the men for the whole job and they said it did not even make a dent in the mass of coins. He spent most of the money before his death, or at least none of his children ever had much after he was gone.

(Note: William RAINWATER, son of Martin RAINWATER, says his father returned from California poorer than when he went. Who knows the truth. M.P.)
 
 

William HOLMAN
July, 1938

Mr. HOLMAN was interviewed at his home at 840 West 5th St., Albany, Oregon. He seemed to be of more than average dependability.

"My father, Riley HOLMAN, came from Ray County, Missouri to Oregon in 1864, in a train of about sixty wagons. There was no unusual trouble in crossing. Father settled near Wells Station.

"My mother was Martha N. WILLIAMSON. Father's sister, Mary, was married to mother's brother, Philip WILLIAMSON. The WILLIAMSON place was near ours in the Wells Community.

"My parent's children were Daniel H., Ann, myself, Mary Elizabeth, Lucy Catherine, John, Ella, and Frank. Only Frank and I are now living. I was born in 1860. Father first rented and then bought land east of Wells Station. His first farm he sold to Mr. DODELE who came in 1868, but he bought more in the same neighborhood. He passed the rest of his life in that community except for part of one year. After he sold to DODELE father went back to Missouri in the spring of 1869 'to stay.' He stayed but a few months and was back in Oregon before the close of the year. It was very seldom that anybody who had been in the Willamette Valley for any length of time was ever content to remain in the east afterwards.

"I got my elementary education in the GINGLES schoolhouse, and at Oak Grove. Oak Grove was then called Bummer schoolhouse from the undesirable class of people who at one time lived about it. At GINGLES schoolhouse my teachers were Mr. WOODWORTH, HOLLOMAN, KNAPP, and Alonzo WILLIAMSON. WOODWORTH was later a partner in the Allen & WOODWORTH Drug Store in Corvallis. KNAPP used to wield a wicked shillelagh. At Bummers schoolhouse the teachers were Alonzo WILLIAMSON, Alonzo LOCKE, BRYANT, Jane FULLER, Viola COOPER, and John CARTER. I received a B. S. degree from Corvallis College in 1883. With me in the class were Will EMORY and George HOVENDEN. The heavy part of the science course then was mathematics and chemistry.

"I farmed and taught school for a few years and then bought a share in a grocery business in Albany. My partner was by brother-in-law, Jim TOMLINSON. After TOMLINSON'S death I was in partnership with W. L. JACKSON. JACKSON was for years County Superintendent of Linn County. Later he bought the Albany Democrat-Herald which paper he still owns and publishes.

"I first married Julia HOUTS and after her death Eliza WILLIAMSON. I have no children and am now alone again.

"One of our neighbors at Wells was Lewis SOUTHWORTH. Lewis was an ex-slave who had worked and paid for his freedom after coming to Oregon. When some one suggested that he didn't have to do that he replied that his master had treated him so well that it would not be fair not to do so. SOUTHWORTH was a blacksmith and a good workman and was much respected by his white neighbors. As a result of his industry he prospered and one of the outward signs of his prosperity was the fine team he drove. His wife, Mary, was said to have an education above the average of the Community."
 
 
 
 

Jesse HOUCK

Mr. HOUCK, who is 78 years old was interviewed at his home at 228 South Sixth Street, Corvallis.. He shows the marks of a life of hard work, but is in good health, has a cheerful outlook, and is so well aware of the faults of his memory as to make his reminiscences reliable. The interview follows:

"My father, George W. HOUCK, came from Ohio to Oregon in 1852 and to Benton County in 1856. My mother, Delilah YOUNG, came from Missouri in 1847. My parents married in 1858 and I was born in 1859. Of my father's six children only three lived to maturity. There were myself, George who died in 1935, and Ambrose who is now living at Bend, Oregon.

"Father bought a place about nine miles south of town, where I was born. He also had a home in Corvallis at Fourth and Van Buren Streets. Later he bought the HIGLEY place, the George BELKNAP place, and others all in the vicinity of Monroe, making a tract about four miles long, east and west, by two miles, north and south. This was on both sides of the Benton-Lane County line on a long spur of the Coast Mountains. This ridge came to be called HOUCK Mountain. All the western side of HOUCK Mountain and all the lower hills were bare of timber except for an occasional oak or fir. Father was interested in sheep and cattle. What crops he raised were for feed. The brush kept crowding us on HOUCK Mountain. In spite of all we could do the timber finally won. Now the whole place is covered with a fine stand of second growth fir. The one old 'Lone Fir' that was an early landmark visible almost to Salem is entirely hidden by a closer and taller growth of young trees.

"All the lowland in this part of the valley was covered with a thick stand of grass, often higher than a horses back. This was a coarse grass and the cattle did not eat it well except in the spring when it was young and tender. The grass on the hills was a sort of bunch grass and was very nutritious.

"The first school I attended was in a log schoolhouse not more than twenty feet square on the Mac PORTER place on the Peoria Road. The school was in the flat but on a gravelly ridge. The building was unfinished on the inside and had a puncheon floor and benches. The windows had no glass in them and were closed with shutters. The teacher was George CAUTHORN.

"The Winkle School south of the buttes was older than the Porter school. It was built of logs but was replaced in an early day with a frame building.

"I first attended the Porter School in 1864 but it was not a new building then. In 1866 I attended school in an old residence west of Muddy Creek on the John BUCHANAN place. Among those who went to school with me were the HERBERT boys, the PORTERS, the DENNISES, and the BUCHANANS. My first teacher there was Wilson RAYBORN. After him I remember Bud JOHNSON, whose brother John became a professor in the University of Oregon, and Mr. BROWN who was later County Superintendent.

"I attended school in Corvallis in 1870-1, at the North District School, Fifth and Harrison Streets. Lieutenant SHIPLEY, who led the volunteers recruited in Benton County in 1864, was the teacher. In the fall of 1872, I went to Corvallis College. FINLEY was president and Prof. EMORY taught mathematics. At that time the course in agriculture was little more than a name. I was graduated in 1877 with a degree in B. S. in Civil Engineering. I then took a year in a business course at Notre Dame, Indiana. I never followed any line of engineering as a profession but the knowledge I gained in the course has often came in handy.

"At Notre Dame I was not accepted on credit but had to take a two days' examination. There were no social diversions or extra-curricular activities and we expected to, and did, spend our time in study.

"In 1880 I Carried Mary OSBORN who came to Oregon in 1865. Her father bought the William MULKEY place on Baldy Hill. I farmed for a year and then went into the mercantile business in Monroe. After about four years I was burned out and decided not to rebuilt. After some months in California, Colorado, and elsewhere, I settled at Gold Hill Oregon. There I mined some. Then I took over the flour mill, operated it, and enlarged it. I helped install the first waterpower in Gold Hill and then bought out my partners. I put in the second electric light plant in Jackson County and pumped water to Gold Hill. I also built a two-stamp quartz mill for the convenience of the community. The mill handled 2-1/2 -to 3 tons of ore a day for which I charged $2.50 a ton. In thirteen months time $29,000 was shipped from my mill. Here is where the chemistry I learned in college came in handy. I didn't know much about mining, but worked the thing out and made a go of it.

"I did not have capital enough to furnish adequate service for the community so I helped form a company to build a high line ditch from the upper Rogue River. About this time the Oregon and California Power Company entered the field and we were unable to complete with their larger capital and aggressive tactics. We were forced out of the power business.

"I came back to Corvallis in 1908 to get my daughters into high school. Our daughters are: Mrs. Maude JACKSON of Portland, who has been with the Meier and Frank store for fifteen years; Mabel JACKSON, whose husband is a teacher at Berkeley; and Grace BANY of Astoria. After returning to Corvallis I spent some time prospecting and in various activities but for some years past we have been taking it easy.

"This has been a good world and I have had a good time, but I would hate to face another 75 years as things seem to be going just now. I fear for the future of our land.

"Richard IRWIN has a store at his place by the Buttes. His house was where the WAGNER house now stands, and his store was across the road. I have heard of the place called Jennyopolis, but the post office was discontinued long before my time.

"Bill GIRD had a stage station about a quarter of a mile east of what is now Bruce's Corner, on the south side of the cross road. Another noted place was oh the west side of the road and further south than GIRD'S. It was owned by Sam STANNIS and later by ZEAROFF.

"In the 170s there was great hope of steamboat navigation on the Long Tom. The steamer ANN made one round trip to Monroe and then tied up in a deep pool near where the bridge now is at Bruce. It was never moved from there; the machinery was taken out and the hull rotted. James BRUCE and Green Berry SMITH built the CALLIOPE on the Long Tom. The boys called it the CALLYOPE. The hull was taken down to Portland to have machinery installed. When her engines were in she drew too much water to come up the Willamette and was used on the Columbia. This happened, as I remember it, about 1870.

"We used to get much wild fruit. The native wild blackberries were very large, larger than they grow now. The lowland berries were larger and finer than the hill berries. We did not have the Evergreen blackberries, nor the Himalayas that are so common in the woods now. The wild strawberries were large and had a finer flavor than any of the tame berries. I could pick a water bucket full in half an hour. The wild strawberries were plentiful everywhere until the sheep destroyed them.

"When we lived near Monroe the neighbor boys used to go to the Yachats beaches in the winter to pan gold. They could make fair wages - sometimes as much as two dollars a day.-Roland HINTON, a blacksmith at Starr's Point used to shoe horses for the Indians. They would pay him in gold which they said they got on Klickitat Mountain near the head of Yachats River.

"There was a story told of the Marys River that may not be true. In the early days logs from the hills were floated down Marys River to the mills at Corvallis. Sometimes they would have mud in the bark from being dragged into the river. This mud was washed off before the logs were sent to the saw. It was said that gold was seen in the mud on one log, and that more than two dollars was recovered. The place from which that particular log came was never found. I

"I can remember when the hills were all bare of timber. They are cutting saw logs now where I herded cattle on prairie land as a boy. The Indians used to burn off the grass on both sides of Marys River on alternate season. This was always done after the rains had started and there was no danger of bad fires. The trash in the woods was burned too, and so the woods were open and park-like. One could see a deer for half a mile. The first settlers used to follow the Indians example, but when the country began to be fenced this was stopped. The country would be better off if the practice had been continued. Now the hills are grown up to brush, the trees are being choked to death, and when a fire does get away there is just that much more fuel to feed it.

"I could have had a homestead on the Willamette Bottoms. The first settlers in the southern part of the county were from Missouri, where they had suffered from floods. When they saw the rolling hills covered with rich grass they thought they had found Eden. Too late they found that the hills were not good farm land.

"The Willamette Bottoms have seen high water before and some day there will be another disastrous flood. Every few years we have a heavy snow in the valley. When one of these is followed by three or four days of warm rain we will see such a flood as has not been seen since the white man came here."
 
 
 
 

Mrs. Sarah G. HORNING HOWELL
August, 1938

Mrs. HOWELL was interviewed at the home of her son on Kiger Island, which is about three miles above Corvallis in the Willamette River. She speaks intelligently of early times and conditions but complains that she can not remember well.

"My father, Louis Lorenzo HORNING, came from Germany at the age of six. In 1849 he went to California and spent some years in the mines of the various parts of that state. He was married there, but I do not know much about his first wife, nor of his history in California.

'I do not know when father came to Corvallis, but my parents were married in the late 1860s. For years my father ran a wagon and carriage shop on upper Second Street. He worked by himself and did almost all of the work by hand. His specialty was buggies and there are some of his old buggies scattered around the county yet.

"My mother was Martha Ann HAMILTON. Grandfather James HAMILTON, was a slave owner in Missouri. When his slaves were freed near the end of the war he came west. He was getting to be an old man and was not active in any business in Corvallis. His brother, William HAMILTON, was one of the partners of the Hamilton-Job house which was influential in the affairs of Benton County in the 'eighties.

My mother's children were, besides myself, Erma, Archibald, Bryant and William Hamilton. Erma is the wife of R. L. WEATHERFORD.

In 1894 I married Jefferson Davis HOWELL. He was born in Arkansas in 1862 and came to Oregon in 1866. He was a distant relative of Jefferson DAVIS, president of the Confederacy, and also Jefferson Davis' wife, whose name was HOWELL. My husband's father who was known as Squire Dave HOWELL, was a doctor and surgeon in the Confederate army. I do not know the extent of his medical training, but he never practiced in Oregon, except to answer the calls of neighbors. E. E. HOWELL of Jefferson was a brother of my husband. Another brother, Thomas, and a sister, Mary, live at Gladstone.

My husband died some years ago. Our living children are Robert W., Mary, (Mrs. CATES), Martha, (Mrs. BAAB), and Jessie (Mrs. DECKER).

My father's brother, F.A. HORNING, came to Oregon, and it was his sons who were prominent in the trucking business some years ago, both in Corvallis and in Toledo, Oregon.
 
 
 
 
 
 

John P. HUFFMAN

Mr. & Mrs. HUFFMAN were interviewed at their home on the south fork of the Mary's River where they are living in a home near that of their son, Chester. Their memories seemed dependable. Mr. HUFFMAN said:

My father was Jesse G. HUFFMAN. Mother's maiden name was Morning ESTES. They came from Missouri to Oregon in 1847, in spirit of adventure to see the country so much talked about. They did not like the climate in Missouri. They crossed the plains with ox teams and were six months on the road but had no trouble with Indians.

Father took a donation land claim near Aurora and set out an orchard. When the orchard came into bearing he sold the apples in California. He commonly got $10 per bushel and sometimes as much as $12.50. There were no pests in the country then and it was easy to raise apples. Indians were few and peaceable. Sometimes the farmers hired them to work.

I was born in 1851. In 1865 William KYLE founder of the Aurora Colony of Germans, bought most of the land about Aurora, including father's claim. The Germans were good people, industrious, hard working, and good farmers, but very clannish.

Father then came to Benton County and settled on the south fork of Marys River. He built a sawmill on a creek coming down from the hills to the north. When I became old enough I worked in this mill and later took it over myself.

Of father's seven children, only myself and one sister, Sarah (Mrs. TUNNECLIFF) lived to an adult age. One brother died in the early twenties, the others in childhood. A great scourge in the early days was putrid sore throat, which I suppose was a very bad type of diphtheria. Some times all the children in a family would be wiped out. Oliver CONE lost four children. Doctors were scarce and sometimes not up to date in their practice

I went first to the district school near Aurora. The school was on one corner of our place. There were only 10 or 12 pupils. I remember the EBERHART and McCLUE families. I forgot the names of the teachers. Our farm adjoined Pudding River where it forms the Clackamas county line. I attended the Pleasant Valley school near here. The teachers were John WOOD and Ezra WYATT.

The lumber we sawed in out mill sold at from ten to twelve and sometimes fifteen dollars per thousand feet. We picked only sound clear logs for the mill. There were no restrictions then and we did not have to cut all the trees as we came, or use all the tree if parts were not good. We sawed mostly clear lumber, there would be no knots except near the heart of the log. Our mill cut about 2000 feet in a ten hour shift. Sometimes we would saw both day and night and cut as much as 4000 feet a day. It kept us hustling to sell this much, and we made it a rule never to let the lumber accumulate.

"This is the best world I ever lived in. New ideas will bring improvement. There have been no radical changes but a gradual development. People generally are making an effort to bring their children up right. There are always some bad, but no general movement in that direction. If a man is to amount to anything he must start right and be good from boyhood. There is not much chance of reform after one is grown."

Mrs. HUFFMAN added the following:

"My parents were Francis SPENCER and Annie BLALOCK, who crossed the plains in 1864. Mother was not related, I believe, to the Doctor BLALOCK who was a pioneer in the Walla Walla country, and whose name was given to an island in the mid-Columbia. I was 12 years old at that time. They left Missouri on account of the war. Father was in sympathy with the Union, but he did not want to fight his neighbors. He feared he would be drafted and so he came away. He had heard Oregon was a good country, and he came here to be at peace. He bought 80 acres of school land on the hills by the south fork of Marys River and there passed his life. Father had nine children. The boys were Jim, Jesse, Bill, Frank and Eli. The girls were Harriet, Annie, Sarah and Ruth. Although the farm was small there was always plenty at our house. Range was plenty and free for the cattle, and father raised Timothy hay on the farm for such seasons as he needed feed. The garden and orchard helped and father like to hunt.

"I went. to the Pleasant Valley school about the time my husband did, and I had the teachers he mentioned. Nothing much was taught but reading, writing and arithmetic.

"Game was plentiful in the early days. Cougars were not as common here as they were further West. I have known of but two that were killed on the south fork of Marys River."
 
 
 
 

George HUMPHREY
May, 1938

Mr. HUMPHREY was interviewed at his home at 624 South Third St., Corvallis, where he and his wife are passing their declining years. In addition to the seemingly accurate recollections of his own family, Mr. HUMPHREY threw light on the later life of Mr. A. G. HOVEY who was the first permanent clerk of the County Court in Benton County in 1851, but whose name disappeared from the later records.

"My father was Albert HUMPHREY who was born in 1839. His parents were George and Cynthia. In 1854 the HUMPHREYS came west, moved by a desire to have a part in the development of the new country, and settled in Lane County, near Almira, if I am not mistaken. Grandfather was a money lender and at one time one of the heaviest taxpayers in Lane County. Of course as a money lender he came to have considerable holdings in land. Father farmed a little, but was chiefly busy as a stock drover and trader. He used to buy cattle and drive them to Walla Walla or Seattle.

"My mother was Ellen, daughter of Ansel and Abigail (WHITMORE) HEMENWAY. Mother was born in 1839, the same year as father, and the family came to Oregon in 1853 from Keokuk, Iowa. Grandfather HEMENWAY died in 1895 at the age of 89. He was a doctor and practiced medicine in Lane County until he was past eighty.

"Grandfather HUMPHREY's children were: Albert, who was my father; Emily, who married A. G. HOVEY, the first elected clerk of Benton County; James, who was a horse dealer and used to supply the street cars in Portland with their horses; Will S., a banker of Roseburg; Tom, a miner in the Coeur D'Alene country of northern Idaho; Caroline, who married B. F. ROACH of Portland; Norris, a farmer and. stock--raiser who lived near Eugene; and Henry C., who was for years associated with A. G. HOVEY in the Lane County State Bank.

"Mother's-brothers and sisters were: Stacey, a doctor employed by the Government at the Klamath Indian Reservation; my mother, Ellen; Ansel, a farmer in the Klamath Falls region; Volney, a farmer in Lane County; Urban, and Frank. Mother used to talk about her trip across the plains but I do not remember much. There were some Indian scares but no real trouble. .

"My parents were married about 1859 and moved to Benton County in 1868. Father got the farm just west of the highway on the north outskirts of the village of Bellfountain. The Bellfountain Park campground used to be a part of our place. I was born in 1864. The other children were Albert, Leroy, Annie, myself, Walter, Homer, Nellie, and Emma. Annie married Robert HOWARD and later a Mr. BERKLEY. Nellie died young. Emma married J. E. PERIN.

"I went to school at Bellfountain. Among my teachers were John INGALLS, Precious BUCKINGHAM, Alfred C. NICHOLS, Charles CROSNO, WEAVER, KITTREDGE, FOSTER and McCOY. Will TAYLOR was my last teacher and I like him very much. Alfred NICHOLS was a brother of Dick NICHOLS who was a well known teacher in that part. We had two terms of school a year and often the teachers changed every term. Discipline was not severe and there was seldom a flogging. I went to the old Corvallis College one year.

"When I became old enough I farmed at Bellfountain. In 1888, I married Lizzie PERIN. Our children are Grace (Mrs. NUSBAUN), Fred (deceased), Carl who lives at Newport, and Elden who runs the HUMPHREY Sign Shop in Corvallis.

"In the old days in Bellfountain neighborhood we had literary and debating societies and used to find social and intellectual diversion at the same time we settled the country's problems. In the summer time there was almost always a camp meeting on the corner of our farm and everybody attended. Dancing was under disfavor in that community, but still there was some dancing. The neighborhood was somewhat divided and the strength of the community lessened by the illiberal attitude of some of the old pioneers.

"I am past the days of hard work and wife and I are living here in Corvallis. I try not to worry too much about the rottenness of politics and how the country is going."
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mrs. Cappitola GARDINER HURLBURT
September, 1938

Mrs. HURLBURT was interviewed at the home of her daughter, Mrs. HUMPHREY, on the outskirts of Bellfountain. She said:

"My name was Capitola GARDINER. My parents came from Pennsylvania to Salem too late to be pioneers. They had nothing to do with the development and early history of the country.

"My husband, John HURLBURT, was a member of a pioneer family. When his father, Riley HURLBURT, was fourteen, Grandfather Abel HURLBURT came from Missouri to Oregon. The HURLBURT donation land claim was about ten miles south of Corvallis on the Willamette River. My husband's father had one brother, Wallace. His sisters were Mrs. McCONNELL, Mrs. (Mary) BANKS, Mrs. WADE, Mrs. WEST, Mrs. (Harriet) AIKEN, and Mrs. (Margaret) MATHENY. Mrs. BANKS was the mother of Louis Albert BANKS the famous preacher and author.

"Abel HURLBURT conducted a cooper shop on his ranch. He spent his last 15 years in McMinnville, Oregon. Riley HURLBURT was a boy of twelve when he drove an ox team to Oregon, in 1851. Some years later he married Sophie WHITTAKER. Her father was Jacob WHITTAKER and she had two brothers, Jake and John. The WHITTAKER place was back of Winkle Buttes, near the HURLBURT place.

"Riley HURLBURT's children were Annie (Mrs. WREN), my husband (John), George, Louisa (Mrs. GARDNER), Jane (Mrs. KEETON), Seth, Margaret (Mrs. SMITH), Jacob and Fannie (Mrs. MAY). My husband lived and farmed in this county, he is now dead. Our children are Clara (Mrs. STEWART), Clyde, Capitola (Mrs. HUMPHREY), and Blanche (Mrs. Kosch). "
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mrs. Martha BURNETT HUSTON

Mrs. HUSTON was interviewed at her second floor apartment at 304 S. 2nd St., Corvallis, Oregon. She is a woman of education and culture and her recollections are dependable. She said:

"My father, John BURNETT, was born in Missouri in 1831. When he was a boy of 18, relatives advanced money for an outfit and he took part in the "Gold Rush" to California. He was moderately successful but after two years returned to Missouri in 1851. Again in 1853 he drove a herd of cattle to the mines, but his health broke and in 1855 he returned a second time to Missouri.

"In 1858 he came to Benton County. He worked for a time in a meat shop and then conducted a shop of his own. About this time he began to read law by himself; then he read and studied under Colonel Kelsey. In 1859 he married my mother, Martha HINTON.

"Martha HINTON came from Missouri with her parents, Roland and Elizabeth HINTON in 1846. They passed the first winter near McMinnville in Yamhill County. In 1847 they took a donation land claim of 640 acres just north of Monroe. There they built just a tiny log cabin at first. Later, when the territorial road was established past the place, grandfather built quite a pretentious frame house and conducted a tavern and stage station. Starr's Point post office was established there and for years grandfather was tavern keeper and postmaster.

"The settlers from the east could not run away from death, and one service of Roland and Elizabeth HINTON to the community was to dedicate a part of their claim as a cemetery, soon after 1850. Here two of their infant children were buried in 1852, and here Elizabeth HINTON was buried in 1860.

"About a year after his marriage my father passed his bar examination and began the practice of law. He followed that profession in Benton County until his death in 1901, except for terms on the Circuit and Supreme Court Benches in Oregon. He was also County Judge of Benton County for a time, and was elected to the State Legislature at Salem.

"Father's children were: Franklin Burke, John Curran, Emma Alice (Mrs. KEESEE), Ida, (Mrs. CALLAHAN), myself, Brady and Bruce. Ida BURNETT CALLAHAN was a lifelong teacher in the public schools of Corvallis, in old Corvallis College, and in the Agricultural College.

"I attended school in the old South School. E. A. MILLER, who was at one time County Superintendent, was my teacher most of my way through the grades. I attended Corvallis College when BRISTOW and EMORY were on the faculty. I stopped one year short of graduation and taught school for two years. Then I married in 1890 to Robert HUSTON. We have one daughter, Mrs. Helen THOMPSON of California. My husband conducts a hardware store in Corvallis and has never taken any active part in politics or government.

"I have for years been a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and of the Woman's Club, and have held the presiding office in both of these organizations.

"When I was a girl our home in Corvallis was on the river front near First and Adams Streets. That is all a manufacturing district now, but there were many fine homes along the Willamette in those days. Near us were the homes of George MERCER who several times was elected county surveyor; Mr. CRAWFORD the jeweler; and Mr. McFARLAND, dealer in hardware.

"This is not a bad world in spite of what some folks say. I never had any sympathy with the folks who see evil end to it all. The God who started things will see that they come out all right in the end."
 
 
 
 
 
 

W. F. "Frank" HYDE

Mr. HYDE was interviewed at his cobbler shop on the main street of Philomath. His boyhood was spent in the neighborhood of Dallas in Polk County. Mr. HYDE speaks familiarly of the younger generations of the NESMITHS, WILLIAMS, and other families, but is in his element when recounting the trapping of a cougar or the stalking of a deer. Many of his reminiscences are evidently not his own experiences. He said:

"My mother was Henrietta NICHOLS. Her parents came to Polk County in 1844 and took a donation land claim two and one half miles south of Dallas. Mother was born in 1845. Grandmother NICHOLS was a sister of Colonel GILLIAM who commanded the volunteers in the Indian campaign east of the Cascade Mountains in the forties, and for whom GILLIAM County was named. Colonel GILLIAM was killed by an accidental rifle shot. As I have heard my grandmother tell the story it happened in this way. The expedition was camping beyond The Dalles. Colonel GILLIAM was helping pitch camp, and went to a wagon for a rope. The wagon contained, among other things, some rifles that were supposed to be unloaded. One of these discharged by the pulling of the rope and shot the Colonel through the body. He lived but a short time.

"John Lewis HYDE, my father, was born in Ohio but moved to Iowa. He came to Oregon by ox team in 1852. The train left Iowa on 26 May and reached The Dalles on 25 November. From The Dalles they came down the river by boat. Father worked in Portland for two years and then took a homestead two and one half miles from Airlie. My parents were married in the early sixties. Their children were: John, Ollie, who died in childhood, myself, Ida (Mrs. BOWMAN), and Lulu (Mrs. WHITE).

"I was born in 1866. In 1868 father moved to California for awhile, and then returned to Dallas. He ran a drug store in Dallas for ten years and then traded for a farm. He lost this farm by the mortgage route and then in 1884, moved to the Little Elk in the direction of Eddyville, where he settled on the old YANTIS place. Although this was back in the mountains there had been several settlers there in the early days, and there were apple trees on the place in 1884 that were ten inches thick and must have been thirty or forty years old.

"We would have come near starving here at first except for the game. You could always sell venison hams at ten cents a pound and in this way we got what ready money was necessary. When the railroad was being built to the coast hunters were hired regularly to supply the camps with meat by killing deer.

"In 1878, when I was 12 years old my mother died. Father was married again to Mrs. Elma TAYLOR whose maiden name had been WILSON. They had one son, Charles, who now lives at Siletz.

"I got my schooling at La Creole Academy in Dallas. At that time the Academy had a primary department and cared for all the children in the district. Of the teachers I remember Prof. S. A. RANDALL. He was a fine man and a good teacher. When I had to leave school shortly before I would have graduated he did his best to make it possible for me to stay. But father was moving to Little Elk and I had promised to help him get started.

In 1891 I married Daisy TEAS. Her people were not among the pioneers. Our children were Ralph of Albany, Oregon and Walter who lived here in Philomath.

I spent several years of my boyhood with grandfather and grandmother NICHOLS. Here I got to know most of the old timers by sight. The NESMITHS, GILLIAMS, and others were frequent visitors. In that day there was much social visiting among the settlers. Whole families would come from a distance and stay a day of more at a time.

My grandmother used to do a great deal of spinning and weaving. I can see her yet at the large spinning wheel, and can hear the wheel hum. She must have walked many hundreds of miles to and from while at the old spinning wheel. She used to card her own wool on the hand cards and was very skillful at this. In later years HORNING had a carding mill on Oak Creek near Corvallis and it was more convenient to buy the carded wool from them.

I did not get as much education as I wished and have had to work hard. I never got rich but I have had a good time. I guess the world will come out all right.
 

 

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