News of the Week, June 26 – July 2

Oregon Argus, June 28, 1856
independence-day-vintage-postcardWe are happy in announcing to the citizens of Oregon City and vicinity that the arrangements under consideration for the celebration of the FOURTH OF JULY, by the Cold Water Army, have been very agreeably consummated.

The Army, its honorary members, the Sons of Temperance, and the friends generally are requested to meet in the morning of the Fourth at 10 o’clock, at the Congregational Church; at which place, under the supervision of the Grand Marshal of the day, a procession will form, and march to the arbor reared on an elevated green East of the Church and North of the Female Seminary. After reaching the ground, the company will be seated, and we trust much interested in the subsequent exercises: Music; Prayer from the Chaplain; Reading the Declaration of Independence; Music; Speaking from the Boys, and Music; Addresses with Music; Refreshments, Recreation, &c.

The arbor will be spacious, the provisions plenteous and delicious, the water clear and cold, the addresses instructive, and the songs sweet.
Who will not participate in the pleasing interests of the approaching day, and breathe the pure air in which floats the Star Spangled Banner of our country!
P. H. Hatch, Ch’n. Ex. Com.

Oregon City Enterprise, June 30, 1876, Editorial
Our Centennial Birthday


Brisco Center for America’s History Whitney Smith Flag Research Collection, Texas

Before another issue of the Enterprise, our country’s one hundredth birthday will have passed and gone.

We have made missteps, and blots, perhaps, dim the sheen of our national escutcheon, but looking down the “misty vista” of a hundred years, our achievements so far overbalance our shortcomings that pride fills the bosom of every American, and the native historian takes new zest in his labors.

Slavery, so long a disgrace to our country – our flag even, as remarked by the poet Campbell, representing the stripes on the colored man’s back – is now a thing of the past, and all men, of whatsoever color or previous servitude, are now equal sharers in the privileges of true man’s only government.
In all the advancements of civilization during the past century, America takes a second place to no nation on the globe. We have produced our quota of great men in every calling of life, and our actual accomplishment of wonderful feats has never been surpassed.

At the time when Thomas Jefferson first indited that great charter of our liberties, the Declaration of Independence, Oregon was unheard of, and the whole country now known as the Great West little more than a “howling wilderness.” What a century has done for us, it is unnecessary to point out; we have only to look around us to see the mighty works. Cities like Cincinnati, Chicago, St. Louis, and San Francisco have sprung like the plants of the tropics, in a single night, as it were, and the whole nation has become one immense network of railroads and telegraph lines.

Our flag is known and respected in every quarter of the earth, and our ill-will as much a thing to be feared as our friendship to be courted. Without wishing to indulge the American propensity to Fourth of July gasconade, we cannot refrain triumphantly pointing to the forty millions of people who now enjoy freedom beneath the folds of the American flag, and to the fact that we are everywhere recognized as a great and powerful nation. This is our achievement. In reaching so proud a distinction we have met with many serious obstacles – notably over our trouble with England in two wars, and our late fraternal strife. During this last war the days of the Republic were dark indeed; but as Patrick Henry once said, “there is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations,” and the side of union and right triumphed, and our States now cemented by the blood of fallen brothers are more closely united than ever.
Our history, with few exceptions, is a proud one, from the battle of Lexington to the recent Presidential nominations at Cincinnati and St. Louis.

As Abraham Lincoln once said, “our government is of the people, by the people and for the people,” and for the perpetuation of such ruling God alone is to be thanked. Europeans have long since held it to be impossible for a free people to rule themselves, and have many times in the past hundred years predicted our downfall. At the time of the late rebellion it was a notorious fact that both England and France were aiding the Secessionists, in the hope of prolonging the war and finally ruining us, by assisting the weaker side; but fortunately a great Providence otherwise ruled, and snatching us from the paws of destruction, set us in the diadem of nations as the brightest gem.

Having passed through one hundred years of early adversity and consequent vicissitudes with a civil, internecine war in late years to shake the foundation stone of our free institutions, shows the power of our government, the impossibility of secession and the positiveness of a lasting Republic. We have passed through the ordeal, the “flood and fire” of the first hundred years, triumphantly, and the perpetuity of the People’s Government, God be thanked, is undeniably assured and indestructibly founded.

Oregon City Enterprise, June 26, 1896
Department Relief Corps Officers are Highly Honored.


Jennie Barlow Harding was the founder of the Susannah Lee Barlow chapter of the D. A. R., named for her grandmother. Pioneer descendants Jennie Barlow Harding and Sarah Meldrum McCown were also among the founding members of the 1870s Equal Rights Club, lifelong advocates for women’s rights and among the founders of the Oregon City Woman’s Club, in 1903.

One of the most pleasant gatherings that has taken place in Oregon City for many days was the reception of the new department officers of the W. R. C., Mrs. Sarah Meldrum McCown, president; Mrs. Jennie Barlow Harding, secretary; and Mrs. Fannie L. Cochran, treasurer. The people of Oregon City generally, the members of Meade Post and the local Relief Corps in particular, were highly gratified that this city had secured the executive officers and the headquarters of the state department of the Women’s Relief Corps. As a result, the members of the Post and the Relief Corps, concluded to give the honored ladies a reception. First on the program was the public installation of Mrs. Harding as department secretary by Mrs. McCown, department president, Mrs. Harding having left Independence before the installation ceremonies took place. The new officers occupied a place on the platform, and Mrs. McCown presided.

Commander C. A. Williams said that he did not come here to talk, but complimented the Corps on the elevation of one of their number to the place of department commander. He desired to express the pride and satisfaction on behalf of Meade Post, No. 2, in seeing the members of Meade Relief Corps, No. 18, so highly honored, and tendered the congratulations from the former body to the department president.

E. T. Grider was next called upon, and said he was well pleased with the encampment, and Meade Relief Corps. He spoke of the good feeling among the veterans at the state encampment at Independence, resulting in pleasant memories on that occasion. He stated that he had recently read that the Women’s Relief Corps had handled more money, and relieved more needy, suffering people, than any other benevolent organization in the United States, taking the number of members into consideration. Mr. Grider then gracefully presented the department president, secretary and treasurer, each with an elegant bouquet, which were thankfully received.

When Capt. J. T. Apperson was called upon, he stated that he had not been informed that each speaker was expected to present the new department officers with a bouquet each, and consequently was not prepared to compliment them in that way. He thought the selection of the department officers would result creditably to the Relief Corps and the G. A. R. in general. He spoke of the importance of learning to obey in military matters; that we must work and obey, and said he would only be too glad to obey the wishes of the new department officers.

Comrade Oscar Eaton, of Oswego, was the next speaker, and he mentioned friendship, loyalty, and charity, as the cardinal principles of the Relief Corps. He told how, when he thought of enlisting as a soldier in the army, that his wife kindly and patriotically enlisted to stay at home, run the little farm and look after the two small children, while he went forth to fight the battles of the country. He paid a tribute to the women of the country, and said it was their loyalty that save the country.

As Mrs. S. M. McCown, the new department president, was mistress of ceremonies, and presided, she did not have much time for speech-making, but her remarks were always timely. She makes an excellent presiding officer.
Mrs. Fannie Cochran, the new department treasurer, said that aside form anything else, she was very much gratified with the flags that they brought with them. She further stated that it was not all honor with the Women’s Relief Corps; they had to work for their honors.

Mrs. Jennie B. Harding, the new department secretary, when called upon, made a few appropriate remarks, and excused herself from any speech-making, as she had to look after the commissary department.

Mrs. T. M. Miller, one of the delegates to the Independence encampment, was called upon, and said she presumed that she had been taken along to escort the G. A. R., and that she ought to have a bouquet in recognition of her services. Her remarks were spirited, and to the point. Soon afterward Mr. Grider, also presented a bouquet to Mrs. Miller.

Mrs. Edith Clouse made a few appropriate remarks, and expressed her gratification of the honors conferred on Meade Relief Corps.
Mrs. J. Doremus, was called upon and expressed her appreciation of the honors conferred upon Meade Relief Corps.

Comrade David McArthur related some war reminiscences, and told of the homesick feeling of many of the soldiers, while resting from the work on the battlefield, and how he was inspired to courageous efforts by the words of young lady nurse, when he was sick in the hospital.

Miss Betta Fouts delivered a patriotic recitation in a very clever way.
George A. Harding, thought Meade Relief Corps, No. 18, should be specially complimented for securing the department headquarters for the ensuing year. He was especially gratified that the executive officers were from this Corps, and pleased to note that the secretary had been through the war with him.
O. A. Cheney, in his inimitable manner, gave some interesting stories of soldier life.

Mrs. Lutz very acceptably sang a solo, which was well received.
Miss Clara Warner delivered a recitation, that is worthy of favorable mention.
By request, Oscar Eaton, of Oswego, read the poem which he had previously delivered at the state encampment at Independence.
A banquet was served by the ladies of the Relief Crops, which accounted for the excellence of the repast, and was a compliment to the excellent cooking of those who prepared the feast.

After dinner speeches were made by Judge T. A. McBride and Lieutenant J. B. Dimick, of Hubbard. The Confer boys furnished some good music, and some songs by Mrs. Harding at the piano. There was another solo by Mrs. Lutz.

It was about midnight when the interesting festivities were brought to a close.
Following is a corrected list of those who answered the roll call from Clackamas county at the G. A. R. encampment at Independence:
J. T. Apperson, Oregon City, E 1st Og’n.
D Williams, Oregon City, G 3 Wis.
B. H. Stone, Oregon City, A 50 Wis.
J A Stuart, Oregon City, E 12 Iowa.
Julius Priestor, Oregon City, E 26 Io.
Chas F Horn, Oregon City, K 74 Pa.
M E Willoughby, Oregon City, E 121 Ohio.
A Mautz, Oregon City, D 9 Ohio.
David McArthur, New Era, E 19 Ill.
J Martin, Oregon City, T 9 Minn.
William Russell, Oregon City, K 1 Minn.
E T Grider, Oregon City, A 27 Ind.
L Forbes, Oregon City, K 116 Ind.
O Eaton, Oswego, A 26, Mich.
J B Califf, Oregon City, K 38 Mich.
C A Williams, Oregon City, I 9 Ver.
J Doremus, Oregon City, G 27 N J.

The following members of Meade Relief Corps No. 18, were in attendance; Mrs. Sarah M. McCown, Mrs. Jennie B. Harding, Mrs. Melinda Stuart, Mrs. Fannie Cochran, Mrs. Marion Miller, Mrs. Henrietta Doremus.

Oregon City Enterprise, June 30, 1916
Train of 23 Cars Carries Second Battalion and Supplies Toward the Border – Many Gifts Given the Khaki Clad Travelers.
Oregon City’s soldiers have gone to the front. Just where they are going only the war department knows; and what they will do when they get there is still shrouded in the mystery of fate. But one thing is certain, and that is that Oregon City people think a lot of their soldier boys, for this was demonstrated Wednesday afternoon and evening, when five thousand people stood along the Southern Pacific tracks from Fifth to Ninth street, waiting four hours for the troop special bearing the local contingent of troops to come along.

Every vantage point was black with people. They stood upon the bridges over the track, they massed on the stairways leading to the viaducts, they lined up ten deep along the right-of-way, and some of them even clambered up the side of the bluff and up on the elevator’s steel frame. A very few of them found seats on railings and fences; most of them simply stood – and so standing for four hours, part of the time in drizzling rain, they paid their tribute to the brave men of G company.


Postcard from Calexico, CA showing officers of Battalion A (162nd Infantry), O. N. G., August 1916.

Arrangements had been made by O. D. Eby, president of the Commercial Club, to have the fire bell sounded when the troop train left Camp Withycombe. Through a mistake the bell clanged out at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. While its clarion strokes were still ringing over the city, practically every man, woman and child within reach of its deep, metallic notes, dropped whatever task was at hand and hurried to the railroad tracks and the depot. And there they stood, waiting – waiting – waiting until after 8 o’clock, when the special train finally pulled into the station and made a brief stop.

The troop train was scheduled to leave Camp Withycombe at 6 o’clock. It was to have carried, aside from the second battalion of the Oregon National Guard, Battery A of the state artillery. But rush orders from the war department called the artillery to entrain early Wednesday morning and the gunners went through the county seat on a special train at noon. After this people expected anything, and when the tocsin was sounded on the big fire bell at 4 o’clock, Oregon City presumed that the time of departure of the local boys had been ordered ahead. And once at the track, they were afraid to leave, for fear the troop train should come when they were absent.

However, the long siege of waiting was worth it. It was dusk when the mighty mogul that drew the train puffed and snorted onto the siding and stopped at the huge water tank. Behind it stretched a train of 23 cars, from 13 of which leaned soldiers – members of Troop A of the cavalry, and of E. F., G and H companies of the infantry. And most prominent among these were the men of G company, each one of which waved a small American flag in his hand as he leaned from the windows of the cars that were marked with huge banners: “G Company, Oregon National Guard, of Oregon City.” The flags that the men held were gifts from Mrs. E. T. Mass, wife of ex-Sheriff Mass, who gave the patriotic emblems to Captain Blanchard to distribute among the local soldiers just before the company entrained at Clackamas station.

These flags made a striking spectacle as they fluttered from the Pullmans occupied by the Oregon City men, and they were jealously guarded by the soldiers, too – who found in them a tangible proof of the regard and honor in which they are held in the county seat. The flags were visible proof that every member of the company was a loyal American, off to the Mexican border on an American mission – the upholding of the principles of liberty.

As the train came to a standstill there was a frantic rush for the cars occupied by G company. Lunches were thrust forward into eager hands, kisses were flung to the departing soldiers, fervent handclasps were given and received. Cherries by the basket and in bags were given the men, oranges, melons and other fruit was showered into their cars. And before half was done that had been planned the thirst of the great engine was satiated, and with thunderous puffs the train pulled further down the siding, for a second stop.
Then was the Oregon City spirit shown at its best, for many of the people who had gathered to meet the local soldiers turned to the members of the other companies on the coaches. Again lunches and fruit were pressed upon the men going south to obey government orders, and again kisses and handclasps were given whole-heartedly to the boys in khaki. And then there were flags – for fully half the people at the side of the train had followed the advice of The Enterprise and taken a national ensign to the depot with them. These flags were sought by the soldiers of the other companies, and were willingly given; so that when, five minutes later, the big special pulled out on its way south, from almost every window in the long line of Pullmans there waved the Stars and Stripes, given to the soldiers by patriotic Oregon City people.

Such was the greeting that Oregon City gave the soldiers as they passed on their way to the south in answer to the call of President Wilson. In this generous outpouring of national pride people forgot for the moment their own personal sorrow at the departure of loved ones. But as the train resumed its way, tears sprang to many eyes, handkerchiefs fluttered in the half-light, and mingling with the drops of water that fell from the overcast sky were salty drops that glistened on eyelashes and cheeks. The touch of war had come to Oregon City, first with its glamour and thrill of patriotism, and then with its sobering grief and realization of sacrifice.

Oregon City’s soldiers – along with several hundred other brave men – had gone to the front.

This deployment was part of the Border Expedition, aka the Pancho Villa expedition. One year later the Oregon National Guard would be deployed to Europe to fight in World War I.


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