News of the Week, June 19 – 25

Oregon Spectator, June 25, 1846



Cover of Hasting’s Guide to Emigrants, 1845

A meeting of the citizens of Oregon was held at the City Hotel, in Oregon City, on Monday the 15th of June, 1846, for the purpose of sending an express to meet the emigration from the United States to this country, in order to prevent their being deceived and led astray by the misrepresentations of L. W. Hastings, who is now on his way from California for that object; when the they following proceedings were had: Gen. McCarver being called to the chair, and J. S. Rinearson appointed secretary, on motion of Col. Taylor, the sense of the meeting was taken with regard to the propriety of sending such express, and decided in the affirmative.

On motion, a committee was appointed to select persons to proceed to the Soda Springs to meet the emigration, and also to ascertain what amount of funds can be raised to defray expenses. Col. Finley, Col. Taylor, P. Foster, Samuel Parker, and A. Hood were appointed said committee.

On motion, resolved, that the express start as soon as the 25th inst.

The committee reported they had selected Colonel Finley, J. S. Rinearson, and W. G. T’Vault, as suitable persons to go on said express, which was accepted by the meeting.

On motion, a committee of three was appointed to take depositions, and procure such information as will further the object of the meetings, and to have the same published. A. L. Lovejoy, D. C. Ingles, and F. Prigg, to be said committee.

After many animated addresses relative to the subject, on motion, it was ordered, that the proceedings of the meeting be signed by the chairman and secretary, and handed to the editor of the Spectator for publication.

On motion the meeting adjourned to meet on Saturday evening next.

M. McCarver, Chr’mn.

J. S. Rinearson, Sec’y

The next few issues of the newspaper do not report further on this attempt to dissuade emigrants from heading to California. In 1846 an estimated 1,200 emigrants arrived in Oregon over the Oregon Trail and the Applegate Trail. 1,500 emigrants took the route to California, including the ill-fated Donner Party. For each of the next two years less than 500 emigrants turned for California each year. This trend was reversed in 1849 after the discovery of gold – an estimated 25,000 people arrived in California that year, and only 450 came to the Oregon Territory. (Numbers from: The Plains Across the Overland Emigrants and Trans-Mississippi West 1840–1860. Unruh, John D., University of Illinois Press)

Oregon City Enterprise, June 19, 1896


Interesting Exercises at the Close of the Oregon City School.

Eleven handsome young ladies and one young gentleman, of the graduating class of the Oregon City High school, participated in the interesting exercises at Shively’s opera house last Saturday evening. There were 13 who passed the examination with high honors, but George Lee Harding was unable to be present at the exercises on account of illness. The entire class acquitted themselves with credit; in fact, they are considered the brightest assemblage of young people that ever completed their course at the Oregon City High school. It was a great occasion, and the crowd that attended the interesting exercises was so large as to entirely fill the opera house.


Class Flower

The seats were all occupied and many of the auditors remained standing. There was a profusion of flowers, and the members of the class were kindly remembered by their friends with beautiful bouquets. The class motto is “Not Whence, but Whither,” the class color, heliotrope and white, and the class flower, a deep red rose.

Miss Mattie Janet Gray, was the salutarian, and her address was delivered in a clear and distinct voice. Miss Cora Belle Lemon delivered the valedictory, “Life is what we make it,” and Miss Meta Blanche Finley was the class prophet.

The other graduates read essays as follows:

Jennie Rachel Noble, “Power of Early Impressions;” Jean Millicent White, “The Red, Red, Rose;” Cassie Merle Eaton, “The Humble Origin of Great Men;” James Arthur Gallogiv, “A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skillful Pilot;” Alice Gertrude Powell, “We Know What We Are, but Not What We Can Be;” Rosa Ann Muller, “Education;” Jessie Estella Talbert, “Punctuality;” Grace Ann Whitleck, “Golden Gems of Life;” Alice Henrietta Roberts, “Superstition.”

The class did excellent in the rendition of their subject, and were heartily applauded by the audience. In addition to the excellent addresses and essays, several splendid musical numbers were rendered. Miss Ora Spangler was pianist; Miss Beatrice Barlow gave two piano solos; a vocal solo by Miss Kate Ward; vocal solo by Miss Meta C. Brown; Violin solo, by Miss Betta Fouts; vocal solo by Mrs. W. B. Wiggins; vocal duet by Mr. and Mrs. A. S. Dresser; vocal solo by Mrs. C. W. Ganong; a vocal duet by Misses Draper and Kuerten.

Col. R. A. Miller delivered a very interesting address and presented the diplomas.

Oregon City Enterprise, June 22, 1906


Friends of Higher Education May Take Action

Advocates of a county high school have not been entirely disheartened by the defeat of this project by the voters at the June election and an institution of higher education that will be available for the young people of Oregon City and vicinity may yet be provided.

Under the state school law the mutual consolidation of two or more districts for this purpose is authorized and in this vicinity where the sentiment is pronounced for such an institution, this provision in the law may be taken advantage of as a means of temporarily supplying the high school until the question of establishing a county high school can again be submitted to the voters. A number of prominent citizens who are interested in higher education have this subject under serious consideration and there may be some developments before the school year begins in the Fall.

On this subject an Oregon City dispatch to the Portland Journal says:

A movement has been placed on foot for the establishment of a central high school in Oregon City, which, if carried out, will result in the abolishment of the high school grades at Parkplace and other districts in this vicinity. The city schools have one half of a high school, that is the ninth and tenth grades are embraced in the course, while at Parkplace the full high school course of four grades is taught, but the operation of a separate high school in the several districts around Oregon City requires the expenditure of a large sum of money annually and the consequent levying of a high rate of taxation to cover the cost. This has been a matter of some regret in past years, but it has been, in a measure, unavoidable and the steps that are now being taken will correct existing conditions and make it possible for each district to obtain high school privileges at a minimum cost.

In the recent election an effort was made to establish a county high school, but was lost by a vote of 1,952 to 1,746, and while it was not specified where the school would have been located, it was generally understood that if the majority of the voters of Clackamas county declared in favor of the proposition that the county court, in which authority is vested, would select Oregon City as the most logical site for the school. This belief generally prevailed and aroused such antagonism of small towns throughout the county, such as Canby, Estacada, Milwaukie, Molalla, and other places and it was also opposed by a large percentage of the farming community, who took the ground that their taxes were high enough and would not stand for a raise.

When the defeat of the county high school became known, the directors of the several schools in the vicinity of Oregon looked about for a means to remedy conditions and avoid further expenditures along that line. The school at Willamette has been contemplating the addition of the ninth grade and this would entail fitting up another room and engaging an additional teacher and the same is true at Oak Grove. County Superintendent J. C. Zinzer, who is a firm advocate of high schools, has made an examination of the school law and has discovered that in section 5 of house bill 60, which was passed at the last session of the legislature, the act providing for school consolidation has been amended to exactly suit the case. This law provides that any school board may, at its discretion, contract with the board of any other district for the admission of pupils in such other district on such terms as may be agreed upon by such boards and the expense so incurred shall be paid out of the school funds of the district sending such pupils. Failure to live up to any such agreement is provided for, and should the district sending pupils fail to defray its portion of the expense so incurred, according to the terms of the contract, the county superintendent shall deduct the amount of the unpaid expense from the amount due the district sending the students in the regular apportionment.

The schools that are said to be ready to take advantage of such an understanding are Parkplace, Oak Grove, Milwaukie, West Oregon City, Willamette, Canemah and Maple Lane.


Original gymnasium as it looks today, from

The high school was held in the old Oregon City Seminary building, along with the lower grades, until that building was demolished in 1889. The high school was moved into the new Twelfth Street school (later renamed Barclay School) when it was completed and moved to Eastham School in 1909 due to overcrowding. In 1910 the district began construction of the first high school building at 15th and Jackson Streets. Classes began in the new building in September 1911. By 1915 a bond was requested to expand the school. The gymnasium, which still stands, was added in 1921. (from a history of the Oregon City schools compiled by Alice Norris)

Oregon City Enterprise, June 23, 1916


Superintendent Given to “Chicanery and Deceit” Principal Alleges in Reply

Further charges of dishonesty and deceit and of writing anonymous letters against City School Superintendent F. J. Tooze are contained in an answer filed in circuit court by Claude G. Miner, principal of the Oregon City high school in the $20,000 slander suite of Superintendent Tooze against Principal Miner.

The superintendent’s suit contains two causes of action, each one being the basis for a claim of $10,000. One cause of action is a letter written by Principal Miner to J. A. Churchill, state superintendent of public instruction, charging the head of the local city school system with dishonesty, the writing of anonymous letters and of immorality. The second cause of action is the publication of a part of this letter in the Oregon Journal, the plaintiff alleging that Principal Miner gave the letter for publication.

Mr. Miner in his answer instead of denying authorship of the letter to Superintendent Churchill, acknowledges that he wrote it and then adds to his previous statements. Quotations from the answer filed Saturday follow:

“That the plaintiff is so given to falsehood, chicanery and deceit and has so practiced the same in the said schools of the district, among and toward teachers and pupils of the school, and especially in the said high school, that he is, does and during the last school year did have a baseful and evil effect upon the students of the high school and kept the teaching force in such an uncertain and perturbed state of mind as almost to disorganize the high school and did prevent the teachers from conducting the said school in an efficient manner.”

“That plaintiff wrote, addressed and mailed and caused to be delivered to the superintendent of schools at Estacada, an anonymous letter in which plaintiff wrongfully charged the principal of the high school of said district No. 62 (Oregon City) with being a liar; said letter was written and mailed on November 13, 1915.”

“That plaintiff in either the month of December or the month of November, 1915, wrote, mailed and caused to be delivered to the superintendent of schools at The Dalles an anonymous letter falsely and wrongfully charging one H. F. Pfingsten, principal of the high school of district No. 62, aforesaid, for the school year of 1914-1915 with using underhand and dishonorable methods against plaintiff.”

“That plaintiff has no certificate to teach school and defendant learned of and had knowledge of the foregoing alleged facts and honestly believed that plaintiff was thereby unfit to hold the said position of superintendent of schools, and further found that the only charge covering such acts of plaintiff as hereinbefore alleged was “immorality” and before a certificate should be issued to a teacher he should present evidence of good moral character and personal fitness…that defendant had no intent to charge and did not charge plaintiff with lewdness.”

The next issue of the Enterprise reports that Superintendent Tooze filed another $20,000 suit against Mr. & Mrs. H. B. Cartlidge with similar complaints. Mrs. Cartlidge was the head of the English department at the Oregon High School until the end of the previous term. In November 1917, F. J. Tooze was still serving as the Superintendent of district No. 62, and the Enterprise reported that former principal, Claude G. Miner, had relocated to California. While there he was charged with forging a letter a of recommendation to include with his application for the position of principal at the Napa High School. He was cited to appear at a hearing but the court received a letter stating that Miner had joined the aviation corps of the army. On further investigation it was found that he was teaching at a private preparatory school in San Francisco. After Miner admitted to the forgery, the California board of education revoked his license to teach. News of the two lawsuits faded from the newspapers after the U. S. entered World War I in April 1917 and war news took over the pages.


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