News of the Week, August 7 – August 13

Oregon Spectator, August 6, 1846


U. S. S. Shark, from
After arriving in the Oregon Territory the American flag flown by the ship was gifted to Oregon City, the first official U. S. flag in the territory.

The United States schooner Shark came into the mouth of the Columbia river on the 18th ult, 24 days from the Sandwich Islands. After passing Baker’s Bay, the Shark was run upon Chenook shoal, through the unskillfulness of a negro man found living at the Cape, who undertook to pilot her over to Astoria. She was however gotten off in a few hours, having suffered no perceptible damage.
The U. States squadron, consisting of the frigates Savannah and Congress, and sloops of war Cyane, Portsmouth, Levant and Warren, are on the coast of Mexico and California and the store ship Erie is at the Sandwich Islands taking on board provisions for the squadron.
The ship Brooklyn, from N. York, was at the Sandwich Islands with 175 passengers, principally Mormons, bound to San Francisco. We learn further, that an immense emigration of Mormons, or, as they now style themselves, “Latter Day Saints,” exceeding twenty-five thousand in number, were to set out in May from Illinois and Missouri, bound to California and the southern part of this territory.
Lieut. Commanding, Neil M. Howison
Lieut. W. S. Schenck
Acting Master, James D. Bullock
Acting Purser, Wm. S. Hollins
Assistant Surgeon, Edward Hudson
Passed Midshipman, T. McLanahan
Midshipmen, T. J. Simes, H. Davidson
Captain’s Clerk, J. M. Maury.

Watch for more in September’s news…

Oregon Argus, August 9, 1856
The Argus was generally short on local news, but brought the news of the world, the nation and the region to Oregon City readers, along with a substantial amount of editorial opinion reflecting the views of the editor. August 1856 brought news of crime in the Territory…
Mr. J. J. Kennard furnishes us with the following facts, which he got from the expressman who brought in the news to the friends of Perkins in Yamhill. Mr. P., who was an old settler in Yamhill, and proprietor of Lafayette, was brutally murdered last week just at the foot of the Siskiyou mountain in Rogue River, on his way in from California with his family and a considerable amount of stock. It seems that Perkins, preparatory to leaving the house of a friend where he had stopped for several days to recruit his stock, went out in the morning in company with an Irishman who had lived with him a year or more as a servant, to gather up the stock. The Irishman returned in due time without Mr. P. Upon being questioned, he stated that Perkins would be in directly. Night came, and Perkins was still missing. The landlord suspected foul play, and rallied the neighbors to look for Perkins, taking the Irishman along, who by this time protested that Perkins had certainly been killed by the Indians. On failing to find him, Mrs. Perkins and the Irishman insisted on taking the stock and starting on their journey, as there was no doubt but that the Indians had put Perkins out of the way. A small boy, who was probably an adopted child, and was traveling with Perkins, begged the landlord to keep him, and not let the Irishman and Mrs. P., carry him along with them, as he feared they would kill him. The boy said he had often heard Mrs. Perkins and the Irishman consulting about killing Perkins while on the road, besides witnessing acts in the absence of Perkins which criminated these parties. The crowd, which had gathered to hunt for Perkins, renewed the search, compelling the Irishman to accompany them. They finally halted, slipped a rope over his neck and drew it over the limb of a tree, telling him that he had murdered Perkins, and he might as well confess it, as Mrs. Perkins had already revealed the whole matter. He began to curse Mrs. P. for a traitor, and acknowledged the crime, describing the ground where the body lay, and offered to show the way to it. He said that he shot Perkins in the back, as he was walking from him only a few yards distant, when Perkins wheeled and returned fire, the ball grazing his cheek, but doing him no injury. They then approached each other and clinched, when Perkins soon began to fail, and fell to the ground. The Irishman immediately seized his rifle and struck Perkins across the forehead, breaking in his skull, not withstanding Perkins begged for his life, saying that he had two small children depending on him for support. He then left his victim alive, because he hadn’t the heart to strike him again. The body was found, and the circumstances corroborated the tale of the murderer.
Mrs. P. and her paramour are now lodged in jail in Jacksonville.

On August 23, 1856 the Argus reported that “Malone who murdered Joel Perkins” hung himself in the jail in Jacksonville. He detached a chain from floor, wrapped it around his neck and jumped from his bed, breaking his neck. On January 26, 1859, Laura Perkins, widow of Joel Perkins, was married to Mr. J. W. Atwood, in Yamhill County.

And in other news…
Rufus Eads who was recently sentenced to two years imprisonment in the penitentiary, for killing Joseph Grigsby at Portland last fall, is a brother of Mrs. Lamb who is now in the same prison for the murder of her husband. They are said to be of the fighting stock. (Other records show that Charity Lamb’s maiden name was Robbins – see her story here: Oregon’s First Murderess)

Oregon City Enterprise, August 7, 1896

Again Robbed by Two Masked Highwaymen.


Entrance to the Wilhoit Springs resort – a popular destination for summer camping and recreation.

About five o’clock Monday afternoon a messenger brought in the somewhat startling news that the Wilhoit stage had again been held up. As there had been two hold-ups last summer the report did not create much surprise, although the details were largely gathered up and discussed with considerable interest. Hank Mattoon was the driver, and this makes the third hold-up that he has experience since he became the regular driver on the Wilhoit stage line.
The robbery took place near the Milk creek bridge, almost at the same identical spot where the hold-ups occurred last summer. The two highwaymen, both tall men wearing black masks, appeared at the fence by the road side and ordered him to stop. As he did not comply readily they fired at his horses; which so frightened the wheel animals that he had his hands full to keep the stage from tipping over. The head horses were shot and the stage brought to a standstill on one side of the road in a perilous condition, the wheel horses rearing and charging. The robbers then made quick time over the fence and appeared at the stage with a peremptory command for all “to shell out.” After giving Mattoon permission to drive the stage on to level ground to prevent its upsetting, and cautioning him to devote his entire attention to the team, at the point of four threatening looking revolvers. Then they proceeded to look after the passengers and baggage. The passengers consisted of Mr. Buck, a Portland saloon keeper, who had a place on the front seat with the driver. Mr. Hidinger, who holds a position with Wiley B. Allen & Co., accompanied by his wife and daughter, and a chinaman. The highwaymen received $10 from Buck, $6 from Hidinger, and $2.50 from the Chinaman. They then ordered Mr. Buck to go through the baggage, but all that they apparently wanted was the Chinaman’s revolver.
Before the highwaymen were hardly through with their work, Patrick Duffy, the Oregon City-Clarkes-Mulino mail carrier drove along and looked on in an out way, not realizing the nature of the uproar. The robbers fired three warning shots at him and he made rapid time out of the way. About this time a wagon arrived from the opposite direction and hearing the numerous shots, suspected something was wrong. They drove within one hundred yards of the robbers, jumped out of the wagon and opened fire. The robbers responded with a volley and the others fired again. As the hunter’s shot guns were loaded with bird shot, they were not very effective, although when the highwaymen disappeared into the brush one of them acted as if he had been shot. The names of the men in the wagon were Frank Albright, Henry Salzer, Philip Graves and W. A. Woodside. About the time the robbers were making good their escape, a number of citizens had gathered and a posse started in pursuit, but as yet no reliable clues have been found.
Noblitt’s two lead horses had their legs broken by the shots from the highwaymen, and were both afterward killed to put them out of their misery. The horses were valued at $100.
this is the most disastrous stage robbery that has yet occurred on the Wilhoit line, and a determined effort is being made to bring the offenders to justice. Immediately upon the receipt of the news of the robbery, Chief of Police Burns and Deputy Sheriffs Noblitt and Samson started out to push the hunt for the men. Sheriff Grace and Deputy Strickland went out to plan for the capture of the highwaymen. On Wednesday the county court offered a reward of $250 for the arrest and conviction of the robbers, and Charles Noblitt, the liveryman, says he will give as much more.
Two or three murders and several robberies have been committed in Clackamas County during the past two years, and no clue has been found to the perpetrators of the crimes. It is high time some effective measures were being made to bring the miscreants to justice.

In the next few weeks it was reported that warrants for possible suspects had been issued, with no names given. On August 21 the Enterprise reported that Ben Noyer, who was identified by driver Hank Mattoon, had been arrested as a suspect, had been released when no evidence could be found against him. Nothing more is heard of arrests in this case. In June 1897 Noblitt’s Stables announced that the stage to Wilhoit Springs was beginning service for the summer season. Private rigs were also offered for those wanting to camp at the resort. No reports of robberies appear in the 1897 newspapers, indicating the the highwaymen may have moved along after the buckshot barrage.

Oregon City Enterprise, August 11, 1916
Tom Moore, aged 17 years, was arrested by Night Patrolman Henry Cooke on the complaint of his own father for taking his father’s automobile while the elder Moore was asleep. Young Moore is now in the city jail, and a charge may be placed against him today, although local officials are in a quandry as to what to do with the lad. He was paroled out of the state training school recently and may be sent back, although his father does not desire this action.
While his father was asleep, young Moore drove the automobile, a new machine, out of the grage. With several boys of the Mount Pleasant neighborhood he spent several hours driving about the county, returning after midnight. He was caught on Main street by the police. The boy says he merely borrowed the car for a ride.
The father, however, claims that he cannot make the boy mind. Several months ago, he says, his son went to the mill, declared that his father had quit and asked for money due. The money was given to the youth, according to Mr. Moore, and the boy disappeared for several days.

The Sheriff had many demanding jobs…


Champion Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman (1887-1975) advocated for one-piece fitted swimsuits for women in place of the loose fitting two piece suits with pantaloons then considered “modest”. In 1907 she was arrested in Revere Beach, MA for indecency while wearing a suit similar to the one shown here. She later started her own clothing line. The swimsuits, known as the “Annette Kellermans” were the first steps toward modern women’s swimwear.

Bathing suits at Clackamas county beaches along the Willamette are not too scanty, declared Sheriff Wilson Sunday after a visit to the resorts between here and Portland on the river.
The sheriff visited the beaches Sunday afternoon, making a careful watch for short and tight-fitting one piece suits which had been reported to his office. He found conditions all right.
Mrs. Lola G. Baldwin, of Portland police, was in Clackamas last Saturday to investigate conditions at local beaches. She too was satisfied.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s