INTERVIEWS -- W
Mrs. WATKINS, who is socially prominent in the town of Philomath, was interviewed at their home on South and I Streets. Mrs. WATKINS gave the following information.
"My grandfather, Michael WALKER, brought his family from Apanoose County, Iowa, to Benton County with the HINKLE train in 1853. His daughter Nancy was the wife of William HINKLE and so grandfather had his membership in the HINKLE clan. Grandmother WALKER had been Sarah JOHNSON. Their children were James, Nancy, Jesse, and Martha Jane."
"The HINKLE train had no serious trouble with the Indians, except that attempts were made to stampede the stock. If the stock could be stampeded, even though the immigrants rounded up most of them again, there might be some stragglers left for the Indians. The Indians in small groups would sometimes come into the camps demanding food. And Nancy HINKLE put one such group to flight with a cup of boiling water.
"In fording the Platte River the men bound the wagons together in a line in order that a single wagon might not become fast in the quicksand or be carried down stream. Men on horseback crossed below the wagon line to keep the cattle on the right course. Grandmother's brother, Thomas JOHNSON, was drowned while helping to do this.
"Jess WALKER, who became my father, was thirteen years old at the time of the migration. He came most of the way on horseback. He and David KING, another boy in the train about his own age, used to ride ahead of the train, race their horses, and in general get a good deal of fun out of the trip.
"Grandmother told me she was so homesick in the first months she often wished she could die. She had left a good home in Iowa and all her folks. Her one sister in the West was in Southern Oregon and in the conditions of the times that seemed a world away.
"Grandmother told me an incident of her early life that impressed me as a girl although grandmother did not attach any significance to it. It happened before her marriage. She was twenty-three and regarded as an "old maid". She had a sweetheart whom she expected to marry. One Saturday evening she was expecting a visit from him and watching down the lane when she saw him approaching. At least she was sure she saw him but he did not come and she never saw him again. Soon after she heard of his death. Grandmother was not inclined to superstition nor to belief in the occult, and never gave much consideration to the experience.
"The WALKERS settled on or near Beaver Creek, and devoted themselves to farming. They got on well and suffered no hardships for they were able to supply their own eggs, milk, butter, meat, fruit and vegetables. They also made their own stockings from wool which they raised, carded and spun by hand.
"My mother was Adaline MARTIN. Her parents, Jacob and Evaline MARTIN, crossed the plains in 1847 and settled south east of Philomath just about where the Oak Ridge Church was afterwards built. Grandfather MARTIN took a claim of 640 acres and bought enough more to make his holdings more than a thousand acres. At first boiled wheat was a staple article of diet. They bought all provisions in Oregon City, buying them by the barrel--such things as brown sugar, molasses, and dried fruit.
"Grandfather MARTIN built a two-room log house with a fireplace in either end, and an puncheon floor. This floor had been very carefully dressed and they used to spread fine white sand over it at the beginning of each week. On Sundays or state occasions this sand was swept up and the floor left white and shining. This treatment not only kept the floor bright but tended to polish and make it smooth. Grandfather MARTIN was a Pennsylvania Dutchman, a huge man who was said to do a full days work before breakfast. I remember him as big red-faced man, working bareheaded, barearmed and often barefooted.
"About 1862 or '63 grandfather traded farms with Jim HAYES who lived on Rickreall Creek in Polk County. This HAYES was the man who made the gold discovery at Gold Hill. In Polk County grandfather raised cattle and horses. The groceries were paid for with butter, eggs, and socks. The home made socks of white wool brought fifty cents a pair and grandmother could knit three socks a day in addition to her housework.
"My parents were married in 1860. Their two children were my brother John who died in 1892 and myself. My father farmed in the Beaver Creek community most of his life, until he retired, some years ago. He died a little more than a year ago at the age of 96.
"I was born in 1873. I attended school at Independent Schoolhouse and at Beaver Creek. Among my teachers were Jennie WATKINS whose brother I afterward married, Martha SKIPTON, Mary GRAY, Madge and Alwilda DUNN, George BETHERS and Mr. PARKER. But the first teaching I had was from Mrs. Arzie MINTON, mother of Charles MINTON of Philomath. She gave me instruction with her own children and I was ready for the third reader when I started school. Later I attended Philomath College where I gave special attention to music. At different times I have given lessons on the piano.
"In 1904 I married James WATKINS. We have no children. My husband was for many years in the Railway Mail Service out of Portland. When he retired from that he was for years postmaster here in Philomath. Now he is retired.
"Grandfather WALKER was an educated man and a school teacher. He wanted his children to have education. There was no school at first on Beaver Creek and father went to the Pleasant Valley school. He attended for a time the Cumberland Presbyterian College at Eugene where he was a schoolmate of Joanquin MILLER. But the college building burned down and made an end of father's schooling.
"Grandfather WALKER was a member of the State Legislature for one or more terms and a justice of the peace for years. Father was persuaded to run for sheriff once and was defeated, which disgusted him with politics.
"The WALKER family was all devout Christians and many of them members of the Presbyterian Church. I have lived in the same faith. I expect things to come out right in the end because God is ruling. "
(From the papers of Mrs. R.M. Peffer,517 N. Second Street., Corvallis, Oregon)
"In the spring of 1852 father and his wife, three girls, and one boy joined my mother's brother, William HENKLE, to come to Oregon. It was the largest train that had crossed the plains that year. Father had three horses. One of my brothers and sister took turns in riding to help drive the loose stock. I was not old enough to ride alone, so only rode now and then, not very often, and I did not care much after a few times. The other two horses were used on a light wagon called a "democrat wagon" that mother and the children rode in. Father owned three yoke of oxen and an ox-cart, or wagon that held our provisions for the six months trip, our clothing, a few necessary household articles, father's plow, and a few utensils like a saw, hammer, etc.. He also had a half interest in another ox team and ox-cart, my uncle owning the other half; the wagon had to be left on the plains. The provisions had been used down so that what was left could be put in the other wagon. The oxen became sore footed and the alkali did not agree with them. They were poor and one by one died, (until) at last the poorest were left to shift for themselves near some water-hole. It was a case of "the survival of the strongest".
"I had a cousin about my own age. We were great friends and chums. We spent hours riding in that wagon and sadly missed it when it was left. We could not bring our playthings so we had to make our own. It is surprising how many things a child can make if left to her fancy and imagination.
"There was a great gatherings at my Uncle's in Cincinnati, Ohio, all those who were going to the far county, Oregon, and the relatives and friends who had come to bid them good-bye. Those who were going were full of hope, and had their faces turned to the West; those who stayed behind, anxious and filled with fear for the travelers' safety realized it must be a long time before they could hope to hear from their loved ones, and they might never hear from them. You who have never bidden farewell under similar circumstances can never understand what it is. Little they knew of the hardships and trials they would be obliged to endure on the long weary trip.
"I was always fond of pets, and at that time I had a little, black dog I called Colonel. When we were ready to start I climbed up in the wagon seat and had Colonel hugged tight in my arms. Aunt Isabel ARMSTRONG came out to say Good-bye and mother said, "You must give Colonel to Aunt Isabel". I hugged the little black dog up closer to me, thought I just could not do it, but they at last made me give him up. I thought my heart would break, and how I did cry. That was the first sacrifice I was called on to make in our journey, not knowing where we were going only in a general term, "To Oregon". We had one uncle that we all, in a way dreaded. He was very kind but did like to boss us youngsters; whenever he said, "Come out of that", there was not a moment's hesitation about our doing what he said.
"The winter of 1853 we spent in the Waldo Hills. In the spring of 1854 we moved up south and west of Philomath and all bought land of men who had got tired of pioneering and wanted to sell their donation claims. My father and mother's brother built the first saw mill in this part of the country. Many of the old houses you see in Corvallis now were built from lumber from that mill.
"There were no roads up past our place, only an Indian trail that the Salt-chucks, Klickitats, and Calapooias traveled over going from the Ocean to the Willamette Valley and back. The Indians did not like the Whites being here, and tried to scare them away. They never really did anything, but were uneasy. I remember that a report came in that a squaw had got mad at a white and declared she would eat his heart, and that there was a fight in which every white person was killed and the Indians were coming out into the valley to finish the rest of the Whites.
"There was great excitement in our settlement. They hurriedly gathered the most needed things and drove the stock to Father WELLS' place as he was the best prepared to fort up in. They made things as strong as possible. Father WELLS owned three big dogs who were not very friendly to Indians. He said, "Well, the Indians can not slip up on us, as one of the dogs will give us ample warning if one comes near." Every time a dog would bark we were sure Salt-chucks were coming. I held on Mother's dress,--so scared. After a while, when no Indians came, I got very brave and stated positively that "I could kill every Indian out there." Such is the feelings of youngsters who do not realize there is danger unless they can see it. My idle boast caused a great deal of amusement and temporarily relieved the tension on my elders' minds. It was always a great joke to tell on me in the after years. In fact, I have never heard the last of it. It was just a report that soon blew over. It will give you an idea of the dread we lived in, and often it would be mischievous whites that spread such reports.
Father hauled freight from Oregon City to Corvallis--then called Marysville--with the same span of horses and wagon that hauled my mother and us children across the plains. Flour was one dollar a pound.
Father cleared some land and put in some wheat. He cut it with a "cradle", bound it by hand, and hauled it to the threshing floor. The threshing floor was made of heavy planks nailed to a solid foundation, very smooth, with no cracks, and was walled up about two feet. They would throw a load of grain in on the threshing floor, put the horses in on the floor, and round and round they go, treading out the grain. It was one of my jobs to ride one of the horses and my brother the other. The men would shake the straw up and down with forks. My father had a steel-tines fork he brought with him across the plains and some wooden forks. When the grain was all thrashed out of the straw the straw was all piled up in a stack and the grain was swept into a pile at one side of the threshing floor, and the fanning mill was brought onto the floor. Brother and I helped to run the fanning mill, but I liked best to keep the spout clear so the grain could run free on the threshing-floor. It was then sacked and taken to a grist mill that had been built, seven or eight miles off.
We had only three months of school in the year. It usually began in April or May, then no more school until the next spring. They said girls did not need to learn much but spelling; they had no use for arithmetic. So I learned the old elementary spelling book from cover to cover. I believe now I could begin at the first and spell each page through to the last and not miss very many words. Afterwards we had Sanders' Speller, but it was still spelling for us girls. Father would send us to a private school whenever he could.
We called our place Pleasant Valley. I was married there July 26, 1860, to John C. WELLS. Father WELL'S house was the first house on the road to Alsea and my father's house was the next. When we were married we built our house the next, so my house was the last one going to the ocean. My father owned a sawmill, so my house was a plank house. There were three rooms and a porch. There were three windows, two in the front room and one in the kitchen, a back and a front door and a middle one. We were quite well set up in household goods. Among the fine things, I had a cook stove, so never had to cook on the fire place.
At first I was afraid to stay alone, as the Indians would watch and if they found the men folks were gone they did not hesitate to demand anything they wanted to eat, as they seemed to know the women were afraid of them, and we were, too. Often I have stepped out of the door for a few moments and on returning found as many as half a dozen old Indians squatted around the fire place. They would get up and tell me in Chinook, "wa wa" how far they had come and how tired they were and how hungry. I learned to talk their language, could talk it as well as the English. A Klickitat named Alpia married a Salt-Chuck wife. He would make yearly visits to her people out on the coast. When he came past my house he would walk right in and insist on shaking hands with every one, saying "All my tillicums", meaning friends.
During the Civil War cotton was prohibitive in price, and often it could not be gotten at any price. We all owned sheep, so had plenty of wool. I learned to spin and weave. Father and Mother's brother built two looms that did for the neighborhood. When one had done up her weaving the loom was taken to the next one, so everyone had their turn and the weaving was all done. A man named SHIPLEY made some spinning wheels. We spun the wrap for our cloth as well as the filling, so our cloth was "all wool and a yard wide". For colors we had logwood for black, madder for red, indigo for blue, and alder bark for brown, all fast colors. That made some variety in color.
I had twelve children, all living but three. There are twenty-two grandchildren and six great grandchildren. With them all there is but one grandson to carry on the name of Wells.
Jacob HENKLE was the first president of the HENKLE reunion. He held that office until his death in 1914. Members of the HENKLE family come to our reunion from the East. There are usually 125 to 130 at every meeting. Jacob HENKLE was a droll old fellow. I remember he would always say, "As long as we live, we live, and when we are dead we are dead a long time." His daughter, Mrs. CONNER, of Portland, is now our president. Uncle Jackson HENKLE, ninety-two years old, is our honorary president."
Mrs. Josephine WELLS, a widow, lives with a housekeeper at 244 N. Eight Street, Corvallis, Oregon. She is keen in mind in the history of the early times, but so deaf it is difficult to get information. This interview should be taken in connection with the interview with her sister, Mrs. YATES.
"My mother, Martha HUGHART, came with her parents to Oregon in 1845. Grandfather HUGHART settled first near Philomath, but went to California where he remained from 1860 to 1875. Then he returned to Oregon and died here in 1886.
"My father, J.M. WILES, came from Missouri to Benton County in 1847 when he was twenty-three years old. He walked all the way and drove an ox team for Frank WRITSMAN. After reaching Oregon he continued for a while working for WRITSMAN for $12.00 per month. He spent the summers of the years 1848 and 1849 in the mines in California. After his marriage to my mother in 1851 he took a land claim and engaged in stock raising. The money which he brought back from the mines he invested in the best herd of Durham cattle he could get. He also raised short horn and polled Angus cattle. In his later years he was a director of the First National Bank of Corvallis of which my brother Walter was cashier.
"My first schooling was with my younger sisters at Tampico. We had to walk two miles and a half to school, with wild cattle on the range on every side. My first teacher was F.A. McDONOUGH. He was the second teacher to teach at the Tampico school. He later wrote a treatise on arithmetic that attracted wide attention. The schoolhouse was a good building but bare of equipment. We had nothing to work with compared with today. More attention was given to the rudiments. Later I attended Corvallis College but I did not graduate.
"My father was a quiet, self-controlled man who would rather suffer than give offense. One time during the war days there was a Union barbecue at Corvallis. Father, who was a Democrat, drove by the place where the preparations were being made and Os WILLIAMS, a neighbor of Northern sympathy, called him to stop. Father made some excuse and went on about his affairs. WILLIAMS remarked to another man--and it was repeated to us--"I called WILES over here to insult him; but____ him, he won't take an insult." Mother was Irish and not so forbearing. When WILLIAMS came to the house on an errand some days later my mother, with a heavy skillet in her hand, told WILLIAMS what he had said. "Os WILLIAMS", she said, "my husband may not take an insult, but I will. Get out of my house and never set foot across the threshold again. Get going", and she emphasized her words with a wave of the skillet. WILLIAMS obeyed.
"There was another family of WILLIAMS in Polk County who were Democrats. On one occasion the two sons drove a team through Corvallis, shouting "Hurrah for Jeff DAVIS" while the mother sat on the rear seat with a loaded revolver in each hand covering both sides of the street. The woman was reputed to be a good marksman and no one interfered.
"Although my parents were of such diverse disposition they never had any real difference that came to the knowledge of their children. They seemed to be at the same time a stimulant and a restraint to one another. On another occasion besides the one I told you I saw my mother's indignation displayed to a good purpose. A certain teacher had taken certain liberties with some of the little girls that troubled me. After puzzling over the thing for a while I told my mother and she said 'You won't go there any more'. After a few days absence the teacher came to find the reason. Mother told him in words and manner that left no doubt as to her indignation nor her estimation of the man who was false to his trust.
"My husband was William A. WELLS. He came with his parents to Benton County in 1852 or 1853, when he was fourteen years old. He was a business man in Corvallis, dealing extensively in real estate. He had not had much opportunity for schooling but was a brilliant man intellectually. His hobby was the solving of mathematical problems and the study of astronomy. When he had started on a problem he could not rest until he had solved it. He had not studied algebra in school but when a problem required algebraic methods he borrowed a book and learned algebra without an instructor. My husband died in 1919. We never had any children.
"All my adult life I have been a member of the Presbyterian Church. I believe in a God who created the world and man, and I believe he brings everything out right if man will let him."
Mr. WHITBY was interviewed on the ancestral farm about eight miles south of Corvallis in the Willamette Community. Being of the third generation, his information was limited. He said:
"My grandfather, John HARRIS, came around the Horn from England to the gold fields of California in 1849. During the three years or so that he spent in the mines he made a sizeable stake. I do not know how much he made, probably not much for these times, but enough to buy a farm in the Willamette Valley, and to lend to his less fortunate neighbors. Grandmother came on in 1853 and the family came to the Valley and grandfather bought land, a part of the farm I now own. He bought a squatter's right to the claim and then held it and proved up on it. Grandmother HARRIS was a sister of the BUCHANAN brothers who came from England about the same time and took land just south of Grandfather's claim. My mother, an only child, graduated from Oregon State College in 1871.
"My father was Fred WHITBY, who came to this part of the country in more recent times. My parents married in 1890. Their children were Lucy, Harris and myself.
"My grandparents never suffered any particular hardships in settling in a new country. They came by water and missed the hardships of the crossing of the plains. Grandfather had made his stake in the mines and when they came to Benton County there were able to supply all their needs. Of course there were frontier conditions that no one could avoid. At first there was no flour mills near here and flour had to be brought from Oregon City. The grist mill reported at Mrs. HERBERT's claim on Beaver Creek had no machinery for bolting the flour, I understand, and could make only meal. Other mills here were not started until later.
"Grandfather did not raise grain but was interested in cattle and sheep. He used to lend money to those of his neighbors who had need. Twelve and one half or fifteen percent was not uncommon rate of interest. We have an old book of grandfather's which escaped a fire some years ago, in which are memoranda of some of his loans. The amounts range from hundred or so up to as high as eight hundred dollars.
"Grandfather also invested some money in the Yaquina Bar railroad, which was promoted by T. E. HOGG, and in which so many millions of dollars were sunk. I remember hearing that he lost a considerable amount in the wheat-carrying steamer which was sunk at the bar at the entrance of Yaquina Bay. But he was too shrewd to invest all his money in one enterprise, and he was not seriously crippled when the railroad went bankrupt. At his death about 1890 he left a considerable estate.
Mr. and Mrs. WILLIAMS were interviewed at their home on South "G" Street, Philomath, Oregon. They are an alert, wide-awake couple, and spoke convincingly of the early days and of the changes that have taken place. Mr. WILLIAMS said:
"My father was Martin WILLIAMS and was born in Tennessee. My mother, Nancy CARTER, was born in Missouri, so far as I know. My mother was not related to Tolbert CARTER who was one of the prominent pioneers of northern Benton County. She had a brother in Oregon, Dr. CARTER who practiced medicine for a lifetime at Newport, and who died two or three years ago at the age of ninety-four.
"My parents came to Benton County in the fall of 1852. Father got a job tending the ferry at Albany, and lived on the Benton County side. There was still plenty of land to be claimed in the valley, but Father never took a claim. The early settlers were shy about taking claims in the level land near the river for two reasons. They were afraid of the damage from the more or less regular over flows, and they were afraid of the malaria on the flat land. Whenever a man from the foothills came down to the river to work for a few days he was almost sure to have a bout with the malaria.
"The foothill claims were more attractive then than now. What timber there was on the hills bordering the valley was scattering oak trees, and there was a heavy growth of grass over the hills and the valley. The countryside was free of brush. Before the white men came the Indians regularly burned the grass on opposite sides of the river on alternate years, to improve the hunting. This kept down the growth of brush and young trees that began to spring up as soon as the settlers came and stopped the regular burning. Many places I know that used to be the finest grazing land are now heavy stands of timber, or so closely grown to different kinds of brush that grass cannot grow nor cattle get through.
"Some people make the mistake of encouraging the growth of the timber. R.J. (Dick) NICHOLS was a neighbor of mine for more than forty years in the southern part of the country. His father refused to allow the young growth of firs to be disturbed on his place in the Glenbrook community. Gradually the place that had been a fine stock farm came to the place where it would support almost no cattle. Then a logging railroad was built to the neighborhood and Dick NICHOLS sold the crop of piling that had been growing for a generation for a good round sum.He thought he had made a profitable deal, but I know the whole sum he received would not have cleared the place ready for farming again.
"My parents stayed in the North Albany district for about eleven years. They stayed in Corvallis for two or three years and then moved to a farm about four miles north of Albany in the direction of the Palestine community.
"There were five children in the family who grew to maturity. Two died in childhood. Britt and Alfred were born in Missouri. The next oldest was my only sister, Malissa Ann, who became the mother of Dr. HOWARD who had been practicing medicine for years in Corvallis. Then there was Katherine who died in childhood, myself,( my name is J. Edward), Franklin, [Isaac H? d. January 02, 1864, bur. Locke Cemetery] who did not live long, and my youngest brother Justin. I think I am the only one alive. Justin, who had gone to the eastern part of the country, used to keep in touch with us. About fourteen years ago he wrote that he was going to Alaska and would write to us. We never heard from him again and concluded something must have happened to him.
"I had but little schooling. I went to school part of two years at Albany. Then I had a little schooling at Corvallis and again in the district about four miles north of Albany in this county. My first teacher was a Mr. WOODWARD who was afterwards a member of the firm of Alexander and Woodward, druggists, of Corvallis, and who at one time was elected county judge of Benton County. Another teacher was Mr. STITES, and a third was a Mr. FOSHAY, who was later a druggist in Albany,
"Mother died when I was seven. Father was a sort of a carpenter in the country. Not long after mother's death he fell from a scaffold and was hurt so badly that he could not be taken to his own home for three months. Then it was four years before he could get off the place. Under this combination of misfortunes we children more or less had to shift for ourselves. I started working for wages when I was twelve years old. My first job was plowing for a farmer in Linn County. I worked with a half-breed Indian who helped me until I learned how to make the turn at the corners. I worked for wages for about fifteen years, and had work most of the time unless I wanted to lay off for a rest. When I was about twenty I went to the Alpine neighborhood in the south part of Benton County, where my sister had married and was living.
"When I was twenty-seven I concluded I would never get ahead working for wages and decided to work for myself. I have spent my time since then at stock-raising, trading in stock, and farming. About 1895 I bought the old GILBERT Donation Land Claim just south of the village of Alpine. There I lived for forty-two years, selling out only last year.
"In 1883 I married Mary BUCKINGHAM, member of a pioneer family of South Benton County. We had two children. Frank, who is running sheep in the Okanogan country in Washington, and Inez, who is now Mrs. McWILLIAMS of Corvallis. Then my wife died and I was married again to Mary BANTON in 1893. Our children are Carl, who is a druggist in Corvallis, and Emil who is an inspector of aeronautics employed by the Bureau of Commerce, of the Federal Government.
"The leading families around Alpine when I was first there were the BELKNAPS, the HAWLEYS, the WALTZES, and the GOODMAN family. Dick NICHOLS, who lives near Glenbrook, probably knows more about the early history of the south part of the county than any other person living. His father was a widely-traveled man who had been in all parts of the world. He had the largest library in that part of the country. When I was a young man there I used to think it a treat to hear him talk. No difference what place you would mention he could tell you about it, and the chances are had been there himself. Dick was a school teacher and seems to have his father's bent toward reading and wide information. He has spent his whole life in that community.
"Aside from the increase in population the country does not look very different from what it did in the beginning of settlement. The greatest changes have been in the roads and in the schools. Until the first paved roads which were built quite recently we had no really good all-the-year roads, and the side roads were almost impassable in winter. The only practicable means of travel for about half the year was with a team and a light rig. Now we have good roads everywhere.
"Then the schools have changed. I had little schooling myself, but I was on the school board for twenty-three years and have had a chance to see. When I was a boy we had one or two term a year of three months or less each. Fewer things were taught but there was more drill and they were better learned. Now the children are in school for nine months of the year, with only time enough at home for the girls to sweep the floors and wash the dishes and for the boys to feed the stock and clean the barns. These are the two most disagreeable tasks that each have to do on the farms, and so by the time they are through school they are weaned from the farm. If school could be broken now and then to allow them to have a part in the really interesting work of the home and the farm they would come to have a different attitude towards the country, and their book learning would be made more usable.
"I have seen my neighbors make the mistake many times of trying to apply the teaching of the schools without tempering it with the fruits of experience and common sense. I have seen them try new experiments recommended by the agricultural experts without considering the extra expense and the probable income. I have seen them invest large sums in pure-bred, registered stock without considering whether, under their particular conditions there was a promise of an adequate return. As a result, too many of them went broke.
"Ever since I started in business for myself, I have been interested in cattle raising. I always used pure-bred males, but never raised registered stock myself, because the only market I had was for beef. When I raised hogs I bought good grade sows because with ordinary care and expense they will produce as much pork as registered stock. I was not situated to care for fine stock in the right manner and I did not have access to a good market for pure-bred stock. While I have nothing to say against the modern practices that are taught at school, I have succeeded better than those who have tried to raise stock by the book alone.
"In addition to aiding her husband in recalling the events of early days, Mrs. WILLIAMS added the following interesting details from her own life:
"My name was Mary BANTON. My father, Charles BANTON, was born in Virginia and came to Benton County in 1852. He had a brother, John, who settled in the Alsea Valley. My mother, Esther HILL, was born near Independence. Her father was Eben B. HILL. I never learned Grandmother Hill's name (NOTE: in pencil, Eliza HAIGHT) as she died when mother was a little girl and mother died when I was a little girl.
"I was born on the Isaac EDWARDS place near Junction City and lived much of my childhood near Cottage Grove. Mother died when I was not yet nine, and father when I was twenty. Besides myself the children were Edwin, Elsie (a brother) who lives at Cottage Grove, and Laney, who is now Mrs. WEISS of Alpine.
"After mother's death I lived for a time with the family of Bob GRIER in the Alsea Valley. I attended my first school at the Taylor Schoolhouse about two and one-half miles below Alsea. The school was held in an old dwelling. The first teacher was Uncle Tommy ELLIS, some of whose grandchildren are now living here in Philomath. Another teacher was Nellie HOWARD who now lives near Junction City. After about two years with the GRIERS I was taken to live with the family of Guilford BARNARD near Bellfountain. There I attended school taught by Maria STARR. The BARNARDS were also caring for another motherless child, Edward BENNETT, who is now and had been for many years a doctor at Monroe. BARNARDS had a crippled son, and in order to give him a chance to take a business course they moved to Philomath for a year, where he attended Philomath College. At Philomath I attended the public school which was held in a building on College and "D" Streets. Joe BRYAN and his wife were the teachers. Joe BRYAN was my most beloved teacher. He and his brother Ed each served terms as County Superintendent.
"After the one year at Philomath we went back to Bellfountain. There Isabel GRAY and Mr. REEVES were my teachers. As I grew older I worked at housework as there was demand in the neighborhood, until I married Ed WILLIAMS in 1893.
Mrs. WILLIS was seen at her home in Philomath. She is still active and her memory seems fairly dependable. She said:
"My father, Henry VALENTINE, crossed the plains some time in the 'Fifties. I do not know how he came, or what kind of a time he had.
"My mother, Sarah E. LEWIS, was born in 1848, in Ohio. She was the daughter of Charles C. LEWIS who crossed the plains in 1852, and came to Seattle. The crossing took seven months because they had to break a new trail part of the way, and had always to be on guard against the Indians. They lost one child on the way.
"In those early days Seattle was just a village of one street with a few business houses and a hotel. The most important building was the fort to which all the inhabitants were forced to flee on the occasion of an Indian outbreak. Sometimes the settlers had to take refuge on short notice, and ran through the streets with bullets flying in every direction. On one occasion the people remained in the fort for three months.
"Mother was always very bitter against the Indians because of the cruel thing she saw or heard about. One of her sisters was taken and held by the Indians for seven days before Grandfather could secure her release. Mother knew personally one man, George KING, who was stabbed in the back while milking and dragged into his cabin before his wife was killed by a squaw. The baby's brains were dashed out on the floor. The little boy was tied to a tree and left nine days without food or water.
"The fort at Seattle was made of logs. Mother said the Indians were afraid of cannon, and the war vessels, Decatur and Eliza Anderson, which were stationed on the sound did much to make the settlers more secure. There were no schools at first on account of the insecurity, but a school was started later. Mother told of one teacher, John CLARK, "who was more terrible than the Indians themselves."
"I do not know whether it was from parental objection of from romantic disposition, but my mother eloped with my father. She told how two Indians helped her escape in a canoe to the place where her lover was waiting. They were married in 1865 and soon after came to Portland. Father was a printer and typesetter and I think he worked at this after he came to Oregon, but I cannot say on what paper.
"Grandfather Lewis came from Seattle in 1874 and set up a store and post office at Troutdale, and named the place. Father moved to Troutdale and ran a blacksmith shop there. Father was a very skillful mechanic and he had a turning lathe in Troutdale which operated by horsepower. The horses went around at the end of a sweep.
"About 1891 father moved to Springwater in Clackamas County and operated a sawmill there until his health broke in 1895. He died in 1900. Mother is still alive at 89, but in recent years her mental powers are much weakened. Of my father's nine children only three grew to maturity: myself, Stella (Flett), and Albert, whom I have not heard from for years.
"I was born in Troutdale and attended school there, but my eyes were always weak and I could not study so I did not get much education. I married William WILLIS in 1891. We farmed in Clackamas County for a time and then moved to Yaquina in Lincoln County. Later we moved to Eddyville where we ran a stand by the highway for several years. In 1932 we came out here to Philomath where my husband has since died. Our children are Chester, Leslie, Ellen, Myrtle, Stella, Emma, Olive, James, and Arletha. They are more or less scattered and I am living here in Philomath.
"I must tell you about the terrible hurricane that struck while we were at Troutdale. I was about nine years old at the time. If I remember correctly, it was in the year 1880, possibly 1881. Father's home and shop was just a little off the Baseline Road about nine miles east of Portland. There had been a heavy snow that had gone off with rain and left the ground watersoaked. Then had come a silver thaw that left the trees covered with ice. One day when we were eating dinner mother heard a sound and went to the door. Then she called out attention to the unusual roar we could all hear. We all went to the door to see what might be causing the sound. The roar became louder. Two small fir trees in the front of the house were growing together. Theses went over, and father, not yet sensing what was happening, make some remark about "there go two fool little trees." But we saw it was no joking matter. The wind was getting worse. It was not safe to stay in the house and we crouched under the upturned roots of the two small trees in our front yard. Here we crouched for three hours and a half, with limbs from the big trees falling all about us. Some of the big limbs stuck six feet into the ground. Two trees fell upon the house and crushed it. The ruins caught fire from the fireplace and burned completely. We lost everything. Six trees fell on father's shop with the turning lathe and other machinery and destroyed it all. The trees all fell toward the south. Some friends of ours lived on the Columbia slough furnished us things and helped us build a new house.
Mrs. WILLIAMSON was interviewed at her home at 413 Montgomery St., Albany, Oregon. Her memory seemed thoroughly dependable.
In 1865 my grandparents, Alfred and Emily CAUTHORN, came with their family from Mexico, Missouri to Oregon. The children were William L., (my father), Ben, Jimmy, Fisk, Thomas, Frank, Emily (FINLEY), and Fanny (PURDY).
The motive that influenced them most to move was the desire to get away from the unpleasantness arising from the Civil War and the division between brothers and sisters. Grandfather sympathized with the South but some of his family did not agree with him. Uncle Ben left his family in Missouri and when the war ended he went back to them. Father was thirty when he immigrated and I have heard him say if he had known the war was going to end so soon he would not have come.
My parents were William L. CAUTHORN and Margaret (KEETON) CAUTHORN. Father was a farmer although he had kept a store in Missouri. He settled about a mile south of Corvallis on land he bought from J.C.AVERY. Grandfather had been a tailor. In partnership with some of his sons he operated a dry goods store at the corner of Second and Adams Streets in Corvallis for many years.
The CAUTHORNS used horses and mules in their train instead of oxen. They had but one brush with the Indians that might have been serious. At the crossing of the Platte River they were warned by a stage driver that they should use extraordinary precautions as the Indians were on the warpath and had killed some soldiers. They made an early camp so as to graze their stock before nightfall, and got everything inside the corral. They camped with a freight train for the greater security of both. Thus reinforced they kept a double guard. In the latter part of the night the Indians attacked, but when they found that the immigrants were watchful they withdrew.
Mother's brother, Wesley KEETON, came west and farmed for a time on the Long Tom River in Benton County.
I was six years old when we came west and walked much of the way. I could do this because I was strong and healthy and the train traveled but twelve to fifteen miles a day. I attended the old South School in Corvallis for a time but most of my schooling was in the elementary department of Corvallis Collegee. President FINLEY and Prof. EMORY were in charge of the College and the president's wife and Miss SMITH taught the elementary pupils. Prof. EMORY handled the rod and he laid it on industriously at times. I remember one that seemed to me very unfair. The low ground west of the College, which stood at Fifth and Jefferson Streets, was covered with water which froze during the cold spells. Two boys, Prof. EMORY'S son and the son of W.C. CARTER, the editor of the Corvallis Gazette, had been sliding in violation of some regulation. EMORY's son came in and in response to questioning said he had been sliding alone. When the CARTER boy was questioned he said he had been sliding with the EMORY boy. He received the most severe flogging I ever saw a boy get, but the EMORY boy went unpunished so far as we ever knew.
Prof. EMORY would whip the girls if they needed it and he was a great hand to cuff pupils along side the head.
In 1878 I married Alonzo A. WILLIAMSON. We lived and raised our family on a farm in the Wells Community. My husband taught school at times. Our children were Alfred, Emma, Clyde, and Oscar. Alfred is a railroad man in Portland. Oscar is a school teacher in California. Clyde is on the old farm. After my husband's death I moved to town.
Information from Elmer WILLIAMSON, keeper of WILLIAMSON
Philip Riley WILLIAMSON was born in East Tennessee in 1828, but later moved to Missouri. He married Mary Ann HOLMAN in Ray County, Missouri in 1849. WILLIAMSON had but a few weeks of schooling and his wife none at all. They were very poor and it is told that the wife made soap to pay the cost of the marriage. They bought land and built a cabin with a puncheon floor, and started to work to improve their condition. Their five oldest children, James R., Martha E., John W., Mary J., and Thomas B. were born in the cabin. Then their condition had so far improved that they were able to build a home of sawed lumber. Here D.N., and Jacob L.WILLIAMSON were born.
Philip WILLIAMSON served four years in the Union Army. In 1864 he joined a train to Oregon. They came to the Dalles, and from there the wagons and families came by boat to Portland while the men drove the cattle overland through the Barlow Pass. The boats arrived first and the families camped for a week near the present site of the Multnomah County Courthouse.
When the husbands arrived with the cattle the WILLIAMSON family started for Benton County, where they had relatives, Mark and Lizzie RAINWATER. However, John W. WILLIAMS and Philip R. WILLIAMSON stopped in Polk County for the winter, and stayed on for some time. In the late 'sixties Philip brought his family to Benton County and bought a farm of about 170 acres on the Independence Road about eight miles north of Corvallis. In 1870 he purchased 320 acres from Lucinda CARTER and proceeded to make a home. He built a house and fenced the farm with rail fences.
He worked hard, prospered and kept adding to the original farm until he owned 700 acres in one body. Here the parents lived and reared their family. Of the eleven children, nine lived and grew to maturity on the old farm. WILLIAMSON died in 1896 and his wife in 1913.
Mrs. WILLIAMSON was interviewed at her home near Wells, in northern Benton County. Information of early days, scanty.
My father was Paul E. DODELE (pronounced Dudley). He was born in Belgium in 1853. In 1868 his parents, Gustav and Zelie DODELE, came with their three sons, Felix, Eugene and my father, to Oregon. Two daughters, Mathile and Honorine, were born after the migration.
Grandfather went first to California. There he bought land about the present site of Los Angeles. He soon became convinced that the title the Spaniard could give him was faulty, and he left that part and came to Oregon. He bought a farm just east of Wells Station and there farmed the rest of his life. He and his wife are buried in the North Palestine Cemetery.
Father lived and farmed in this community. His children were Grace (myself), Cecil G., Alice (RUMBAUGH), Paul and Verlie (RYALS). I was educated in the public schools of this community, but I came on too late to know anything of pioneer times. I have heard my father tell of his early experiences, but I can not recall them well enough to tell them.
July 8, 1938
Mr. WINKLER was interviewed at his home at Nashville Station, where he is living next door to his daughter, Mrs. GRUSING. Although he was not one of the very early settlers he had interesting information of early times and conditions.
(Said Mr. WINKLER:) I was born in Saxony in 1860. I came to Oregon in 1888. A friend, John BOTTGER, had come before me and I came direct to where he lived on the east fork of Marys River. There I took a homestead, joining BOTTGER's and raised cattle. My land lay back from the stream and was hilly. The country was well settled then but it is going back to the wild now. In the early days we worked hard but we never worried about making a living. There were deer in the woods, fish in the streams, and milk from our cows. On the Yaquina one day I caught 84 trout from two holes, and then quit fishing.
I was the first dairyman on the Upper Marys River, and the first to introduce the raising of Kale there. The neighbors were inclined to be skeptical and to make fun of the new plant. They were convinced when they saw the growth it made. I always tried to take advantage of what the State College could tell me.
My wife was Anna LOHMAN. Our children are Walter, who is a railroad man at Grants Pass; Max, a truck driver in Portland; and Elfreida (GRUSING).
One of our neighbors on Marys River was an Englishman named COOTE. He was not related to that other Englishman who was one of the early professors of Agriculture at the State College in Corvallis. When this man learned that my mother had unmarried sisters in Germany he furnished money to pay the passages of Grandmother LOHMANN and her two daughters. He married one of them and found a husband for the other. They are all buried in the cemetery at Summit and I am the only one left.
Mr. WITHAM was interviewed at his farm home about two miles northwest of Corvallis, where he is living on a part of his father's original claim. Mr. WITHAM's life has apparently been given to hard work rather than to study, and he was not able to give much information. His story follows:
"My father was Alfred WITHAM and my mother was Drucilla ALLEN. So far as I know she was not related to the ALLENS now living in Benton County. My parents crossed the plains by ox team from Indiana in 1846. They were not attacked by Indians, but a group of Indians followed them for two or three days and finally succeeded in running off the only two horses they had. Two of the men pursued the thieves, wounded one of them, and recovered the horses. Father buried one child on the plains.
"The train was divided one time by a herd of stampeding buffalo. Father said there must have been at least a thousand of them. Their coming was indicated by the cloud of dust while they were miles away, and their course was evident in time to divide the train and let them pass. Several of the animals were killed for meat.
"Father came in the same train with S. K. BROWN and he used to tell this story. S. K. BROWN's wife ( his second wife) became dissatisfied soon after starting and wanted to return. Her husband explained that it would not be safe for one wagon to return alone as they would be certain to fall prey to the Indians. The woman kept on nagging him until he promised to spank her if she did not stop. This did not impress her, and one day at the noon halt, when she had been particularly abusive before the whole party, Brown turned her over his knee and spanked her vigorously. She screamed and kicked and called for help but no one interfered. When he put the woman down she rushed to the wagon, scrambled in, and did not show her face for a week.
"Father had thirteen children. Those who lived beyond childhood were Oliver, Charles, Alvin, Henry, myself, Fannie (Mrs. BAKER), Mary (Mrs. COLLINS), and Ollie (Mrs. COOPER). I was born in 1862.
"Father had one thousand acres here. He took the hill land instead of the level valley because he wanted to raise stock. The hills furnished better grazing. He has often told me that in those days the hills were all covered with fine grass. Many times the grass would grow shoulder high to a man. He estimated that he used to see as many as a hundred deer on the place at one time. Cougars did not often come this far from the mountains to bother them. Guns were scarce among the settlers. Father did not have a gun to shoot game.
"I went to school at the old MULKEY Schoolhouse on Oak Creek. That was about two miles west of here. I remember Fannie SKEELS (?) and Ellen OFFLIN (?) taught here. Then I attended private schools in Corvallis. Mr. ROYAL and Mr. BABCOCK taught these. We used to attend church at Philomath when it was not too muddy. We didn't bother about roads but drove across country in a direct line.
"Father used to say he had a thousand dollars invested in Philomath College. Preacher ALLEN came to him and wanted him to subscribe a thousand to the school. He replied that he had only a thousand and that he needed that. Said ALLEN, "Lend me the thousand, and when I sell my farm in three weeks I will repay it." Father trusted him, and let him have the money. When the farm was sold three weeks later it was by the sheriff, and the claims of creditors took the proceeds. Father never got his money back. Father served several terms in the State Legislature.
"I married Mary Ellen LEDBETTER, and we have lived on here. This is part of my father's donation land claim. We have no children.
(Mr. WITHAM did not express any philosophy of life, but
the hard knocks he has experienced and the frugal existence he has been
compelled to lead have not made him sour or disgruntled.)
Mrs. WITHAM lives on her farm about one mile northwest of Corvallis on Route Three. She is keeping house and overseeing the work of a tenant farmer. While a life of hard work has left little time for consideration of past happenings, her mind is active and what she says may be accepted as reliable.
"My father, Joseph DIXON, and my mother, Mary Ann BROCK, were married in Missouri and came west in 1847, or about that date. Father had no farm and came west to get a start where land was free. He had only money enough to provide one wagon in which he traveled with his wife, two children, and a helper. They traveled sometimes in company with other wagons and sometimes alone, but were never attacked by Indians. Once, when they were drying their goods that had been dampened by the overturning of a wagon while crossing a stream, the Indians watched the proceedings from a bluff.
"Father stopped first near Portland but soon came on to Linn County. He came to Benton County in 1866 and bought land from Steve ROBNETT at the head of Oak Creek. Father did not have money and times were hard for us. Father made all the shoes for us from leather tanned in the tannery at Corvallis. The soles were fastened with wooden pegs which he made by hand. Father used also to fashion shoes for his horses and turn his hand to other crafts. In those times a man needed to be handy at many things. Mother carded and spun wool for all out stockings and had a loom on which she wove carpets.
"Father's children were Henrietta (Mrs. WILSON), Mary (Mrs. BUCHANAN), Anna, George, Monroe, Ollie (Mrs. MURRY), myself, Alma (Mrs. WOOD), Alfred, and Luella.
"When I was a girl I went to school at the schoolhouse on the WITHAM place on Oak Creek, about a mile below the present schoolhouse. I think this was on the site of the original MULKEY schoolhouse. We had a small building with home made furniture. The blackboard was made of two wide boards planed smooth and painted with black paint. The teachers I remember were Mrs. CLEGHAR (?), Ellen OFFHAM (?), Fanny SKEELS (?), Belle HAYS, Ella McCULLOCK (?), Mary DAVIDSON, I am not sure how some of the names were spelled. We had only three months school each year and I did not get much education.
"I married Alvin WITHAM in 1884. Our children are Charles and George. Charles is a carpenter and George lives on a farm neat here.
"When I was a girl we had to work hard and there was not much time for social pleasures. We used sometimes to have neighborhood parties in which we played games, Old Dan Tucker, The Virginia Reel, and other games. Mr. BOWERSOX and Sam WOOD, Evangelical preachers, preached at the schoolhouse, and there were others. We used to go to church in Philomath when the roads were passable. My parents were good Christians and I am glad to live in their faith.
Miss Eva WYATT, daughter of William Wyatt, pioneer of 1847, had lived for eighty years in the house built by her father about two miles north of Philomath. Miss WYATT is suffering from the in roads of age, but is still living in the house alone. Her memory is slow, but seems dependable. She said:
"My father came from England to Illinois and in 1847 he came to Oregon. They crossed the plains by ox team; different men were captain for a week at a time in rotation so that no one would be too much burdened and have his attention taken too much from his own wagon and goods. My mother's maiden name was Theodosia END. There are people of that name now living about Astoria who are related to me. My parents had three children when they came to Oregon and others born after. The names are Eliza (Mrs. WILLIAMS), Ezra, Martha, John, Cynthia (Mrs. SPRINGER), Carrie, myself, Sam and Frank. Ezra's children were Will, Estelle, Homes, and Alice (Mrs. HENDERSON). John WYATT'S triplets were Ernest, Elbert and Edna. I am the only one of father's children left.
"My father worked first for Wayman St.CLAIR and did not take a claim until 1850. I was born in 1857 in this house which father had built the year before, and I have lived here ever since. The first school I attended was at the Union Schoolhouse near the present Mt. Union Cemetery in the Plymouth District. The teacher was Mrs. Mahala BOHANNON whose maiden name was NEWTON. Then I attended the Maple Grove school on the D.C.HENDERSON claim. It was near where Fred SEEDENBERG now lives just south of the city limits of Philomath. Among the teachers there were Mr. WOODWARD who later became County Judge, and Emery ALLEN the founder of the Allen Drug Store in Corvallis which is still conducted by Mr. ALLEN'S descendants.
"When Philomath College was founded, Maple Grove School was closed and I attended the college. I went several years and took special work in vocal music, but I got tired and quit before I was graduated.
"Father was interest in raising horses and cattle. He bought much land lying back into the hills for pasture. For several years he owned and grazed the thousand or so acres of Alpine meadow on the top of Mary's Peak. Because of this there a tale that Mary's Peak was named for a Mary WYATT, but there is no truth in that. The Peak was named before the WYATTS came to the valley. I stayed at home with my parents and my share of the estate was the old home place. Father died in 1905 and mother in 1907. I have lived here and managed the place ever since.
"There used to be great gatherings at the old Camp Ground at Philomath where the auto camp now stands. At the camp meetings there would sometimes be as many as two thousand people. Among the preachers were the United Brethren missionaries, T.J.CONNOR and J. KENOYER. CONNER was a good preacher but KENOYER was long winded. We used to have big picnics on the Fourth of July and sometimes in the spring, and parties like every other neighborhood, but not dancing.
"Prof. NEWELL taught singing school. Once he gave a music festival at Corvallis when I was only ten and I sang a solo. They applauded so that I had to sing again.
"My father, Elridge HARTLESS, and George BETHERS were the founders of Philomath College. Many times father gave money to keep the school going. At one time there were 200 students. Then outsiders came into the school and took it away from the people who had built it and ran it themselves. Now the school is dead."
Miss WYATT was interviewed at her home on North B Street in Philomath, where she has lived alone since the death of her mother, a few years ago. (June 14,1937). Miss WYATT said:
"My father was Ezra Columbus WYATT. He was born in Indiana, and was two years old when he came with his parents in Oregon in 1847. My mother was Mary PEARSON, daughter of William PEARSON and Frances WELLS PEARSON. The PEARSONS came to Oregon in 1852 and settled first at Oregon City but soon moved to the Wren Community. My father's children were myself, William, Homer and Alice (Mrs. HENDERSON). Alice's husband A.S. HENDERSON, is pastor of the United Brethren Church (old constitution) at Salem, Oregon. Homer has a grocery store on Oak Creek at the western limits of Corvallis.
"The PEARSONS crossed the plains in the year between the two in which cholera was so bad. There was only one death in their train, a Mrs. AIKEN (?). Mother was 7 when she crossed the plains and her sister was nine. The sister had beautiful dark hair and eyes and the Indians along the way took a fancy to her. They wanted to buy her and offered many ponies and blankets. They were so persistent that my grandparents became alarmed for fear they might attempt to steal the child. (Note: Miss WYATT avoided any statement as to her age or the date of her parents marriage.)
"My father was a farmer. In 1872 he removed to the Tygh Valley in eastern Oregon, but returned to Philomath in 1878. Soon after, he heeded the call to preach and for the rest of his life he was active in the ministry of the United Brethren Church (Old constitution.) He preached at the Miller Church on Abiqua Creek in Marion County, and at nearby points, for two years. Then he lived for a time at Old Oakland in Douglas County and preached at Deer Creek, Rice Hill, Looking-glass, and at a point whose name I have forgotten. He preached at many places in the central part of Western Oregon and died in the harness. One Sunday in 1897 he preached in the forenoon at Rock Hill and was driving to Plainview for the evening service when he was fatally injured in a runaway accident.
"My mother went to school to Milton WRIGHT when he taught at Sublimity College, a United Brethren school on the east side of the Willamette. That was before the young professor became Bishop WRIGHT and father of the boys who invented the airplane. Mother used to receive an occasional letter from Milton WRIGHT almost to the time of her death. The story is sometimes told that the famous WRIGHT BROTHERS once lived in Philomath, but that is a mistake. Bishop WRIGHT taught in Oregon as a young man, and as a bishop he held annual conferences at Philomath and elsewhere, but his family never lived here.
"I first attended school in Whisk County. My teacher was A.S.BENNETT who later became a lawyer and was elected circuit judge. When we were in Marion County I attended the Thomas schoolhouse. Here I had three teachers in two years, for short terms each. They were Mr. MARKHAM, Mr. SIMPSON and Thomp DRAKE. They were all good teachers; people hadn't yet learned to keep a good teacher for a long time in one place. When father came back to Philomath I attended the College where President WALKER and Prof. SHEAK were my teachers. When the division came in the United Brethren Church my people held with the old constitution. After some years of battle in the courts over Philomath College, our party lost and another college was built on the hill. Professor KEEZEL had a leading part in this, and was killed by a fall while working on the building. I attended a while at the 'College of Philomath' as the new school was called. Among the teachers there at one time or another were my brother, W.T.WYATT, T.H.GRAGG, a pioneer of the Bellfountain Community, Vernon GRAGG, and R.S.KENDALL. Mrs. Ralph WATKINS, who now lives in the Pleasant Valley community, taught art.
"I have spent most of my life at home with my parents. After father died mother and I stayed here; mother died a few years ago and I am alone. I am heartsick over the way things are going. We worked so hard to drive away the saloons and now men have brought them back because some people had forgotten, or were too young to know. If the world stands long enough they will be driven out again, but the world is getting so wicked I am afraid it will not last much longer.