January 25-31, The News…

Oregon Argus, February 2, 1856

To the Editor of the Argus:

True Heroism

On Thursday morning last a small boy started over from Canemah to the Willamette Falls Co. basin, in a skiff along, and when in the midst of the river it was noticed by those on the banks on both sides that he must go over the falls unless immediate assistance was rendered to him. Simultaneously two boats started, one from each side of the river, and each containing two men determined to save the boy or risk their lives in the attempt. From the Canemah side, Messrs. Leonard White and Arthur Jamieson in a leaky boat, and with nothing but rough pieces of boards for oars; and from the steamer Canemah, lying in the basin of the Falls Company, two of the hands, J. M. Carter and Mr. Athey. The first named boat reached the boy first, and its occupants stepping out of their own boat into that containing the boy, took his oars, and by plying them vigorously, reached the Linn City side of the river in safety, their own boat going over the Falls. The boat from the Canemah, perceiving that the other would reach the boy first, turned back barely in time to save themselves from being drawn into the current from which there is no escape. Here we have four men risking their lives for the safety of an unknown, friendless boy, and we think the net deserves notice. But for their assistance there was no other hope for him. He gives his name as William Woodrick – says he has no relations in this country; that his parents died some time since at Astoria; is but about twelve years old.

houses above the falls

Looking down river from Canemah

Editor: We stood upon the river bank at Canemah and witnessed the thrilling incident alluded to by our correspondent, and intended to notice it. We never had our hair come nearer standing straight up then on that occasion. The boy would have “made the trip” without difficulty, but for dropping one of his oars. By paddling with a single oar, he was enabled in a few minutes to pick up the floating oar; but the current had by this time drawn him too far down to enable him to stem it. The little fellow plied his oars for dear life, and astonished us by seeming to hold his own for some minutes in contending with the current, which was disputing with the young sailor its right to carry him over the roaring cataract. Many voices were instructing him how to pull, and encouraging him from the shore. The roaring waters drowned their voices before they reached his ears, and he kept tugging away at the oar. It was plain to all that his exhausted strength would soon yield to the force of the current. Messrs. White and Jamieson just at this juncture jumped into a leaky boat, which some said would fill before they were half way to him. A bucket was thrown in for bailing, and with one paddle and a piece of a board our heroes pushed their craft in the direction of the object of their solicitude. The boy, encouraged by their appearance, pulled away, until they came along side. One of the men seized hold of the skiff, whilst the other jumped in; his comrade soon followed, and both were at their oars, in a much quicker time than we could tell it, pulling for life away from the yawning abyss towards which their abandoned boat was now gliding like a dart. We lifted an involuntary prayer for their deliverance, and our heart thumped violently, till we saw they were successfully disputing with the current, on the very breakers of the Falls as they were.

Such an act of disinterested benevolence and heroism entitles these men to more honors than have ever been won on the political race-course, or will be in Oregon for the next fifty years.


Oregon City Enterprise, January 28, 1876

News From the Library.

The Library Rooms are now opened on Saturday instead of Friday nights as heretofore.

A lot of new books have just been received at the Public Library. They were purchased of J. K. Gill & Co. of Portland, and selected by Mrs. J. DeVore Johnson. Among them we notice the following: Shakespeare; Herbert Spencer’s Psychology; World Before Deluge, 4 vols; 2 volumes British Essayists; Widow BeDott; Jane Eyre; Wuthering Heights; 3 volumes Irving; Children Abbe; What Shall We Do Tonight; Geological Story, Habits of Good Society; On the Heights; Bronson’s Elocution; Mind and Body; House of Seven Gables; 4 volumes Little Classics; Livingston’s Last Journeys; 2 volumes Bric-a-Brac Series; and a full set of the Waverly Novels.

The Oregon City Library Association are under obligations to Rev. I Dillon for a contribution of valuable books. Mr. H. Y. Thompson and Senator Kelley also have the thanks of the society for public documents donated.

(This Library Association was founded by local citizens in the mid-1870’s, most of whom were members of the Clackamas County Christian Temperance Association. The books were kept in rooms on the second floor of the Myers Building at 6th and Main Streets. Dances, musical presentations and ice-cream socials were also held in the library rooms as fund raising events and as an alternative to “bad company” for the young people of Oregon City. After the first Y. M. C. A. in Oregon City opened a few years later this library was closed and the books, magazines and activities were moved to a building leased by the Y. A second attempt at a public library lasted a few years in the 1890s and later a reading room was opened on the third floor of the Masonic Temple in 1906. It was not until 1910 that a tax was levied for public library support and the first true public library began in Oregon City.)


Oregon City Courier, January 27, 1916

courthouse west shore 1018


The new Clackamas County Courthouse, built 1884, from The West Shore. Lady Justice, with her scales, stands above the front entrance




Evidence Can No Longer be Weighed at Clackamas County Courthouse

The recent “weather” that we have been enjoying has, among other things, put a crimp on justice at the Clackamas County courthouse. No longer can the fair goddess of reason carefully weigh evidence that is submitted to her – for the simple reason that one of the pans of her scales has been blown away.

Justice, be it known, is the only young lady at the court house who wears a slit skirt – as one of our contemporaries once remarked. Justice is the more or less white statue that stands over the court house entrance, at that formerly balance in one uplifted hand a pair of scales.

Formerly balance, we remark – for on “the day of the big wind” one of the pans of the scales went sailing off into space. So now the scales are on the blink, evidence cannot be weighed, and in short Justice cannot do its duty.


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