News of the Week, July 3 – 9

Oregon Spectator, July 9, 1846
It is our painful duty to record the death of Doctor JOHN E. LONG, secretary of the territory, who was drowned in the Clackamas River, near this place, on Sunday, 21st., ult., under the following melancholy circumstances: He left his residence on the north side of the Clackamas, about one o’clock, to visit some patients in the town and neighborhood, on a skittish horse, recently purchased of the Nez Perce Indians; the horse was discovered by a native, standing in the stream, with the lasso rope entangled about him. On his being taken to the Doctor’s residence, fears were entertained, and immediate search made for the deceased, and the body soon found in an eddy below the ford. It was speedily taken from the water, the medical assistance instantly called with a view to resuscitation, but to no effect – the vital spark had fled! – the body having remained, from calculation, more than an hour in the water. One boot being found on an island below, with a Spanish spur attached, the most rational conjecture is, that the horse proved restive in the stream, and the spur becoming entangled in the rope, the horse, in freeing himself, inflicted severe blows, so as to render the unfortunate deceased incapable of reaching the shore, as severe contusions were visible on the temple, face and chest. On hearing the news of the fatal accident, numerous friends in town hastened to the spot, but unfortunately, only to realize the truth of the sad event, and sympathize with the bereaved and afflicted widow. On Tuesday morning the corpse was removed from the house of mourning to the Catholic church in this place, where the funeral service was performed by Father Demerse, assisted by Father Aceoltie, and the remains interred in the Catholic enclosure, in the presence of a numerous assembly of friends, desirous of paying the last tribute of respect to a departed friend, and evincing the high estimation in which they held the lamented deceased.
In communicating the above sad intelligence, we feel it due to the memory of one so highly esteemed and so much beloved, that we should give, at least, a brief sketch of his useful life. Doctor Long was a native of England, the son of a respectable physician, and was bred to that profession. He immigrated to the United States in 1833, where he followed his profession with much success, and enjoyed the confidence and esteem of an extensive acquaintance. In 1843 the deceased emigrated from the states to this country, where he seemed content to spend the remainder of his life. On his arrival in Oregon, he took a firm and decided stand in favor of organizing a temporary government, sufficient to preserve peace and good order in the country, until it should receive greater security in the protection of the United States government. From this stand he never swerved, but continued one of the most efficient supporters and faithful servants of our provisional government, filling many important offices, and discharging their arduous and responsible duties with unimpeachable correctness and promptitude, continuing at the same time an extensive practice of medicine. In the death of Dr. Long, Oregon sustains a loss, which can never be repaired in the person of one man. The government loses one of her most valuable public servants, in whose fidelity and capacity she has manifested her confidence, by repeatedly conferring upon him the emoluments of high and responsible offices. The community have lost a favorite physician, whose place will not be easily supplied.

In no place, perhaps, will the loss be more seriously realized or deeply deplored, than in the chambers of the sick. The Catholic Church mourns the untimely death of an exemplary member and a beloved brother. Long will his virtues live in the recollections of the good.

Three of the four men considered to be the first Secretaries of State in Oregon met with early deaths.

From the Oregon Blue Book:

1) George W. LeBreton: (1810-1844) One of Oregon’s earliest pioneers, LeBreton was born in Massachusetts. He was elected February 18, 1841 as recorder of public meetings and clerk of the courts of the Willamette Valley under Oregon’s provisional government, thus being the first Secretary. He won reelection to this role in 1843 and served until he was killed in a battle with Indians at Oregon City on March 4, 1844.

2) Overton Johnson: (? – ?) Settler came to the Oregon City area with the 1843 migration. He published an account of the trip in 1846. Johnson was appointed clerk and recorder for Oregon after George LeBreton was killed. He served in this capacity from March 1844 until May 25, 1844. His signature appears on several petitions to improve transportation in the Oregon City area, including one for a railroad around Willamette Falls.

3) John Edward Long: (1803-1846) Physician and legislator born and educated in England. Long immigrated to the United States in 1833 and moved to the present site of Gladstone in 1843. While continuing to practice medicine, he was active in the establishment of the provisional government and was secretary of its first legislative committee. Long served as secretary of the provisional government from May 25, 1844 to June 21, 1846. He was elected clerk and recorder by people at the first 1844 general election and won reelection in the 1845 general election as the secretary of the territory. He served in that position until he was drowned while fording the Clackamas River on a horse.

4) Frederic Prigg: (? -1849) Physician came to Oregon City in 1843 and was active in building and maintaining the Pioneer Lyceum and Literary Club in which discussions of government in Oregon were frequent. He served briefly as Clackamas County probate judge in 1846. Prigg was appointed secretary of the provisional government to succeed Long on June 26, 1846. The Legislature elected him secretary in 1846 and he resigned in 1847. He fell to his death from a bluff into the Willamette River at Oregon City in October 1849.

Dr. Long and Dr. Prigg shared more than tragic deaths. Both were married to Frances Caroline Cason, daughter of Oregon pioneer Fendal Carr Cason and his wife Rebecca Rawlings Holladay Cason, a relative of railroad magnate Ben Holladay. Frances married Dr. John E. Long on July 31, 1845. A year after Dr. Long’s death, she married Dr. Frederick Prigg. After Dr. Prigg’s death, Frances married a third time on August 8, 1850, to William Brackett Campbell. After having lost two husbands, Frances would finally find happiness in a marriage that lasted more than 28 years, until William’s death on March 3, 1879. Frances lived only a few years longer, dying on October 13, 1883. The only child of her marriage to Dr. Long, Marie Rebecca Long, died young. The Campbells had three children, one of whom, a daughter, died young. They were survived by their son, William Ellis Campbell (1851-1901) and daughter, Ellen Virginia Campbell (1862-1938).

Oregon City Enterprise, July 3, 1896.

charman house cropped


Charman House, Seventh and Main Streets, early 1890s.  The house was originally built on the opposite side of Main Street, near Fifth Street and later moved to Seventh and Main. In the early 1900s the house was turned  and moved toward Water Street along the river to make room for the two-story 1902 Solomon Garde building, still standing at this corner.


One of the most notable society events that has taken place for many long days in Oregon City, was the wedding of James Paul Lovett and Miss Mary Jane Charman, youngest daughter of Major and Mrs. Thomas Charman. It was one of the most brilliant affairs of the kind that has ever taken place in Oregon City, and attracted much attention on account of the high standing of the contracting parties, and the universal esteem in which they are held by a wide circle of friends. The event occurred at the elegant residence of the bride’s parents on the corner of Main and Seventh streets, at four p.m. Miss Lula Allen played Mendelson’s wedding march, the march being led by Louise Walker, niece of the bride, who carried a bouquet of white sweet peas, followed by Harriet Smith and Earl T. Walker, carrying white satin pillows. Next came the bridesmaid, Miss Nellie Lambert, of Portland, attired in corn-colored silk and carrying a bouquet of Marchiel Neil roses. The bride followed leaning on the arm of her father. They were met at the altar by the groom and best man, Franklin T. Griffith. The very impressive ceremony was performed by Bishop Morris, of Portland, assisted by Rev. Mercer, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal church in this city. The bride was dressed in white organdy over white silk, and looked unusually well and wore a bunch of white carnations.
Ice cream and wedding cake of excellent quality and plentiful quantity together with dainty sandwiches and salads were served to the numerous guests in the tastefully decorated dining room. In the center parlor, where the wedding ceremony took place, the decorations were beautiful in their effect. The lace window curtains were adorned with summer chrysanthemums, and festoons of ivy, smilax and Marchiel Neil roses were features of the adornments, while over the altar was suspended a wreath of white bride roses, rounded with smilax, and attached to a cupid. Marguerites, too, were conspicuous in the decorations, and the front parlor was adorned in the same exquisite taste so noticeable in the apartments. La France roses and ivy and ferns were a feature of the decorations in the dining room.
The presents to the bride and groom were numerous and costly, and occupied the space in one end of the hallway. Mr. and Mrs. Lovett left on the 8 o’clock car for Portland, amidst a shower of rice and old shoes, and took the steamer for Alaska, where they will enjoy a honeymoon of three weeks. The bride is a daughter of Oregon City’s pioneer merchant and honored citizen and the groom is proprietor of the Oregon City Ice Works, and a solid businessman.
One of the features of the wedding was a lace handkerchief, which the bride’s mother held in her hand when she was married in Oregon City 42 years ago. This handkerchief did duty at Mrs. J. H. Walker’s wedding 11 years ago, and on Wednesday afternoon Mrs. J. P. Lovett held the same identical handkerchief during the ceremony.

Oregon City Enterprise, July 6, 1906
Armstrongs Fail to Agree
In a divorce suit filed here Monday, Effie M. Armstrong charges Wm. C. Armstrong, to whom she was married at Canby, in this county, in March, 1903, with conduct not consistent with a fond and affectionate husband. Plaintiff complains that the defendant besides being cruel in his treatment of her, took particular pains to tell her of his keeping company with other women and made a specialty of exhibiting rings and other jewelry which he informed her had been presented to him by these women. Besides all this, the husband is charged with failing to support. Plaintiff asks for the custody of a minor child and a divorce, with the privilege of resuming her maiden name.

Oregon City Enterprise, July 7, 1916 (page 2)
Owner is Own Detective in Hunting for Animal and is Successful
Floyd Ferguson, of Scotts Mills, is his own detective.
Last Monday night he was relieved of a horse. Thursday morning he came to Oregon City, secured a warrant for George Holt, believed to be the thief, and went to Portland. While local officials were sending out notices to the sheriffs and chiefs of police of the valley, Ferguson found his horse in the Columbia stable, Portland. The person taking the horse rode it into Portland, and traded it at the stables. Ferguson is now trying to locate Holt, who lived in the Scotts Mills district for over a year before the alleged theft of the horse.
Holt is 18 years old, weighs 160 pounds, stands five feet 10 inches high, has short dark hair, is smooth shaven, has brown eyes and a scar on his index finger.

Oregon City Enterprise, July 7, 1916 (front page)
Alleged Horse Thief Prefers Enlistment to Trial in Clackamas County Court.
George Holt Wednesday enlisted in the United States army for five years rather than face a charge of horse stealing in the Clackamas county courts. He was taken to Camp Withycombe Wednesday afternoon by Constable Frost after a conference with District Attorney Hedges. The district attorney agreed to drop the charge if Holt would enlist.
Holt is alleged to have stolen a horse from Floyd Ferguson of Scots Mills. The animal was found in Portland where Holt is said to have traded it for another. He was arrested at The Dalles and brought to Oregon City by Constable Frost last Saturday.


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