January 17-23, The News…

Oregon Spectator, January 23, 1851

The proceedings of the Legislature for the past week have not been of very general public interest. Our report in consequence is small. Last week both Houses adjourned on Friday over to Monday. On Monday the Council was engaged in killing off bills that passed the House. The Plank Road bill, connecting Willamette and the head of the Falls, was killed by the Council and was denied the benefit of clergy. The House in turn killed one or two of the Council’s bills. Such work, in the chit chat of boys’ play, may be termed “tit for tat – you kill my dog I’ll eat your cart.”

It is rather unusual to see, in Legislative bodies, so many aged men as compose the present Council of Oregon Territory. They are truly a venerable looking set of men. Some of them too, would be a credit, in point of sense and intelligence, to any country. It may be seen the Mr. McKean is the oldest member, he being in his fifty-seventh year; and Dr. Mealey is the youngest, he being in his forty-second year.

The Morning Oregonian, January 22, 1866


We are gratified to learn that success is crowning the efforts of the people who established the above excellent works at our sister city. Before a great while their goods will be on the market and will be second to none in the county. Mr. James Steel of this city was elected agent and business manager at the last meeting of the board of directors. In as much as we regret to lose Mr. S. from among us, we wish to congratulate the company in having selected so able a person to represent them in that responsible position.

Oregon Courier, January 17, 1896


Secretary C. H. Caufield of the Portland General Electric Co., owner of the river locks at Oregon City, Saturday filed his quarterly report with the governor, showing the volume of business done by the company at that point during the months of October, November and December 1895. From the document it appears that the steamers Modoc, Toledo, Altona, Gypsy, Eugene, Gray Eagle, Elmore, Grady, Hoag and City of Salem carried through the locks during that period and in 426 trips all told, 4897 passengers, 124 head of cattle, 89 sheep and 7892 14 tons of general freight.


Oregon City Enterprise, January 17, 1896


From the Trolley Trail @ The Intertwine.
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The passengers who boarded the East Side electric car leaving Oregon City at 6:30 last Sunday evening, bound for Portland, experienced the details of a genuine hold-up. The car left Oregon City with five passengers with Conductor Abbott in charge and Henry E. Stevens as motorman. At Milwaukie two more passengers swelled the list and the south bound car was passed as usual, at the switch in the Lambert orchard where a short stop was made. The car had only proceeded a short distance ahead when Motorman Stevens noticed a light on the track ahead and intended to get near the object and stop the car. Before he reached the obstruction of rails and a lighted candle which had been placed on the track, a signal from the conductor caused him to stop the car. He did not then realize that there was a hold-up, but supposed some one was joking. As soon, however, as he realized the gravity of the situation, he hastily put his watch and purse in a receptacle on the upper part of the car. Attorney Joseph Rice, who was one of the passengers, states that the highwayman jumped on the rear platform while the car was in motion, entered and turning his back to the passengers presented a big revolver and ordered the conductor to stop the car under penalty of instant death. When the car stopped he proceeded to order the passenger to “dig up.” He did his work in a hurried, nervous manner, and the passengers reached into their pockets at the point of a formidable looking revolver, and handed out such loose coin as was convenient. Mr. Rice says the robber was evidently a novice at the business, as he appeared more excited and nervous than the passengers, and that he did not get over $15 or $16 from the entire crowd. Mr. Rice handed four dollars in loose change that he had in one pocket, while his purse with more money in another pocket remained untouched. When the bandit began his parley with the conductor, Mr. Allhoff, of Portland, handed his watch and pocket book to the young lady who sat near him, but all the passengers and conductor contributed their mites toward the exchequer of the robber. After the car proceeded on its way, Mr. Rice took down the names and addresses of the passengers, which are as follows: Louis Allhoff and Miss Margaret Bresel, Portland; Joseph Rice and Al Blount, Oregon City; C. Lehman and Lena Lehman, Milwaukie. One of the passengers quietly stepped off the car in the vicinity of Sellwood, and his name was not secured. This man was one of the passengers who started from Oregon City, and both Stevens and Rice believe him to have been a confederate of the robber, from attendant circumstances. The south bound car had passed the scene of the hold-up not over five minutes previously, and the rails and burning candle had been placed on the track in the interim. Mr. Stevens states that immediately after leaving the switch he noticed a waving light on the bank above the track near where the obstruction was place, which fact leads to the conclusion that there might have been a confederate on the outside. He further says that while he was not so badly scared, one experiences a peculiar feeling during a hold-up. The robber was a short heavy set man and used a bandana handkerchief as a mask with holes cut for his eyes. He wore ordinary working clothes.

Oregon City Enterprise, January 21, 1916

gilbert hedges

Gilbert L. Hedges (1874-1929)


Parkplace Man Resents Questions District Attorney Asked Jurymen.


Passengers on Car Say Smith Made First Lunge – Two Roll on Snow Bank and Kent Wilson Separates Them.

District Attorney Gilbert L. Hedges has a badly discolored eye and a swollen nose and William W. Smith, of Parkplace, a former employee of the State Game and Fish commission, has a cut over one eye as a result of a fight Wednesday noon on the corner of Eighth and Main streets. Wednesday was t he 42nd birthday of Mr. Hedges.

Although the struggle between the district attorney and Smith, formerly a net fisherman on the Willamette, was witnessed by a number of person, several conflicting stories have been circulated. It was the one topic for conversation on Main street and in a few minutes it had spread to all parts of town.

Hedges and Deputy District Attorney Burke were walking south on Main street after spending the morning in the trial of George Brown and Alex Douthit, charged with violating the Gill act, and Smith, who was standing on the curbing called the district attorney to one side. The two men agree on the preliminary conversation.

“Why did you bring my name into that case and ask all the jurymen if they had talked with me about the case?” Smith asked.

Hedges replied that he asked that question of the prospective jurymen to learn if they had expressed an opinion, and added that he had heard stories to the effect that Smith had been unusually active in the case. Smith declared that anyone circulating stories to that effect was a liar. The conversation then became warm, and Smith acknowledged that he called the district attorney names.

At this point the fight started. District Attorney Hedges says that when Smith began to call him names, he tried to shove Smith aside so as to go on down the street, and that Smith made a swing for him. Smith declared that Hedges struck first.

An interurban car from Portland stopped in front of the pair, and passengers say Smith hit the official first.

The district attorney slipped and the two men fell into a pile of snow that lined the curbing and Smith hit Hedges at least once.

Kent Wilson, University of Oregon athlete and son of Sheriff Wilson, then interferred and with the help of bystanders pulled Smith off of the official. The report has it – but it is denied by several of those who witnessed the incident – that young Wilson struck Smith while he was down. Smith emerged from the fight with a cut over his eye and blood running down his face.

“Well, Bill your face is dirty and you are bleeding. You had better go and wash it,” the district attorney told his former opponent.

Hedges picked up his opponent’s hat and Smith grabbed Hedges’. The two exchanged hats. Hedges noticed that his cigar, which he had in his mouth when the struggle began, was broken, and said, “Say, Bill, you knocked the stuffing out of my cigar, are you going to buy me a new one?”

Smith will not be prosecuted, said the district attorney Wednesday afternoon. “I’ve got to expect things like this when I prosecute fish cases,” he said, “It’s all in the business.”

Smith declares that Hedges was attempting to get him “in bad” with Master Fish Warden Kelly, who was present at the Brown and Douthit trial, and that he asked questions of the jurymen that reflected on him.

Smith also says, in arguing that Hedges struck the first blow, that he was afraid to hit a prosecuting official first, and that if he made the first lunge at the district attorney, he would be arrested. “They’re afraid of me,” he concluded. Smith is about 65 years old and lives in Parkplace.

(The Gill Act prohibited net fishing on the Willamette between the Falls and the suspension bridge and was part of an Oregon-Washington fishing pact. The jury was unable to reach a decision in the trial of George Brown and Alex Douthit for net fishing above the deadline at the suspension bridge. Alex Douthit, age 31, died of pneumonia in December 1916.)


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