News of the Week, September 18 to September 24

The Oregon Argus, September 20, 1856
Another Fire.
On last Tuesday night the house in Canemah owned by S. K. Barlow, Esq., and occupied by Capt. I. White, was accidentally fired and burnt to the ground. The greater part of the furniture was saved, and the presence of the fire engine saved the adjoining buildings. The fire is supposed to have originated in a badly constructed stove-pipe arrangement.

Still Another Fire.
While we were writing in our sanctum last Thursday afternoon, some children who were at play in a log house in the rear of the blacksmith shop near our office, ignited a match and threw it into a bunch of straw on the floor, and ran into the street crying fire. The log house was enveloped in flames in a minute or two, which soon communicated with the blacksmith shop. Some two hundred men were on the ground in less than ten minutes. The engine was got to work just as the roof of the blacksmith shop was falling in, but did little or no good for want of sufficiency of water. The wind which at first drove the flames and sparks in the direction of our office, and set the rear shed on fire some two or three times, now changed, and enabled us to protect The Argus building by means of water brought from adjacent wells. Our citizens all behaved valiantly on the occasion, and have our thanks for the assistance rendered. Water is the great consideration now in case of a fire. If nothing else can be done, we would advise every man to provide himself with a well or cistern on his premises, that will hold water enough to keep the engine at work for an hour at least.

In March 1855 the City Council had approved the formation of McLoughlin Fire Company No. 1 and the purchase of a second-hand fire engine with pump. The volunteer fire department depended on cisterns along Main Street for water until 1865 when local businessman George Pease laid the first water pipes and hydrants along Main Street from the basin to Ninth Street, charging the City quarterly for use of the water for fire purposes. The pipes were filled from a reservoir on the property where the McLoughlin House now stands and used gravity to create pressure.

Oregon City Enterprise, September 22, 1876
CAUGHT IN A TRAP – As our reported was wending his way homeward last Monday night, he saw somebody climbing into a window. His mind pictured burglars, and he was preparing to make good time for safe quarters (as he is not noted for his bravery) but just at this moment the window came down with a rush, and the mysterious personage was caught in its tender embrace, with his feet on one side and head on the other. Our reporter, now as brave as a lion, rushed hurriedly to the scene, with two pistols and a big butcher knife, and demanded the cause of such conduct. But picture his surprise when he saw the placid countenance of one of our city’s gay beaux, who had been locked out by his landlady, and was trying to get into his room through the window. Our reporter raised the window for the young man, and allowed him to escape from the critical position. Let this be a warning to that young man to not stay out so late when visiting his dulcina, or else make arrangements with the landlady to leave the door unlocked.

Short Notes:

  • The Jewish New Year was faithfully observed by our Hebrew friends last Monday and Tuesday.
  • Ex-Governor Thompson has purchased a fine mansion in Portland, and will make that city his future home.
  • B. H. Brown, of Canemah, had his right hand badly mashed in the saw mill last Monday.
  • Acting on our advice, a large number of our citizens are ornamenting our city with new sidewalks. Let the good work go on.
  • A young man named Hillery, living near Sandy, has departed from the family mansion without consent of his kind parent, and he wants to tell the people that he is not responsible for any doings of his wayward son.
  • ANOTHER ACCIDENT – While engaged in repairing the factory flume, last Sunday, Mr. Louis Jaggers received a severe cut in the thigh. He was standing along side of Mr. Chase, who was chipping a heavy timber, when by some means the broad axe slipped from his hand and struck Jaggers in the thigh, inflicting a severe wound. His right hand was also badly cut. The doctor fixed the young man up, and is now able to get around on crutches.

Oregon City Enterprise, September 18, 1896
FOR PRESIDENT – William McKinley, of Ohio
FOR VICE-PRESIDENT – Garrett A. Hobart, of New Jersey

The plan of club organization adopted by the republican forces in the present campaign, is peculiarly significant of the earnest desire of the masses for the perpetuation of sound money principles and a protective policy. Men engaged in business realize that the country is in danger, and that the election of Bryan means a possible financial panic, the like of which has never occurred in the history of the United States. Never before has there been such active interest manifested by active business men in club organization. The hard, cold fact stares them in the face, that unless McKinley is elected every opportunity to revive the prosperity of the country is gone for a number of years to come. It means ruin to the business of the country; the land will be flooded with tramps, poverty will abound, and the United States will be a nation of paupers; foreign corporations will control the capital and manufactures, and the common people will be on a par with the serfs of Russia.

It is well that the businessmen of the country are awakening to the needs of the hour, and are lending a helping hand to secure the election of McKinley. Heretofore a majority of the business men have maintained an apparent silent apathy when the country was laboring in the throes of an intense presidential campaign. The questions that confront us now are of the greatest moment, and the business man, the manufacturer, the farmer and the laborer, who have intelligently studied the situation, know that the country is in eminent danger. It is of the utmost importance, then, that we push the work of club organization and continue with educational plan by the circulation of campaign literature.

Club Organizations.
Republican clubs and McKinley and Hobart Leagues are flourishing and new votes are being gained for McKinley and Hobart every day.

Maple Lane leads in the club line for outside precinct organization. The officers of the McKinley club are e. M. Ward, president; C. C. Williams, vice-president; and Julius Priester, secretary. J. P. Watkins is present and John Darling, secretary of the Young Men’s Republican Club. There will be a grand republican rally at Maple Lane Saturday night, when Hon. Walter Tooze, of Woodburn, an able and logical speaker will address the public on sound money and protection. Mr. Tooze will speak under the auspices of the county central committee and the meeting will be held at the school house.

The clubs and leagues at Canby, Pleasant Hill and other places are doing effective work, and the club organizations are pulling together in harmony with the county central committee. Senator Mitcehll will address the citizens of Oregon City on September 29th, and on the 30th will speak at Wright’s Springs.

Enterprise Courier, September 21, 1906
Wires Should be Removed From Main Street or Placed Under Ground
According to a report of Manager Stone, of the Pacific Board of Underwriters, read at a special meeting of the Oregon City Council Saturday night, the wiring of the Portland General Electric company in this city is defective and bad.


Main Street at 6th Street looking south, late 1890s


This report was made after personal investigation at the request of the council. At the time representatives of the Board of Fire Underwriters of the Pacific made a thorough examination a few weeks ago, a report was requested as to the result of the investigation. The same was made, showing the wiring of business property and residences, with but few exceptions, to be in an unsafe condition. The defects reported to exist in a total of 96 stores and offices have been corrected at considerable expense, the city auditing a bill amounting to $55 for the rewiring of City Hall. But the report did not touch on the condition of the wires of the Portland General Electric company, and a supplementary report was demanded. This was the one read Saturday night, and from it the following summary is taken:

General conditions – outside, installations, bad; inside installations, poor.
General defects – Unapproved wire and fittings, and general use of commercial (non-standard) cord used to carry circuits. Absence of proper protective devices, cutouts and switches at entrances to buildings.

Special features – Poles of insufficient height on Main Street supporting wires carrying the following circuits: 12,000 volts, A. C.; 2200 volts, A. C.; 220 volts, A. C.; 110 volts, A. C; 500 volts, D. C.

The above circuits cross the telegraph and telephone wires at the junction of Main and Seventh Streets, and are crossed by the poorly insulated trunk of the farmer’s telephone line at the same locality.

Wires carrying high voltage are strung along Main Street at such a height as to prove both a hazard and a menace to firemen in the performance of their duties.
In a discussion by the five councilmen present, Knapp, Harrington, Justin, Straight and Logus, and Mayor Caufield, several spoke of the menace to life and property inferred from the report. H. C. Stevens, a large property owner, gave his views on the subject at the request of the council. He said the remedy was to require the dangerous wires put under ground. The report was referred to the committee on streets and public property to report at the next regular council meeting.

Another communication form the Portland General Electric said the company would raise the arc lights, putting in new poles, as requested, but wanted it distinctly understood that this would be the last time it would re-arrange its wires for the convenience of Oregon City.

Later, the mater of an arc light at Main and Sixth streets was brought up, and one ordered placed there when the raising of the arcs by the Portland General was done.

Electric flat irons are the latest invention to lighten the burden of women’s work, and judging from their increasing sale in Oregon City, the women find the irons lighten their labor. There is a fine display of them in the window of the P. G. E. Co’s office here.

Defective wiring nearly caused a bad fire in the Marks home on the West Side, Friday night. Mr. Marks detected the odor of burning wood and investigating found that two wires had become crossed with the result that a hold had been burned in the side of the building.

Oregon City Enterprise, September 22, 1916
John Joseph, held in the county jail since May 23 for breading into a chicken house, told his story Tuesday to Austris A. Withol in broken Russian. Mr. Withol, well-known local music teacher, was with Dr. W. T. Millken, pastor of the First Baptist church, during the interview.

Joseph spent many years of his life working in Russian seaports. About four years ago he came to this country, and lived in Chicago until only a few days before his arrest near Estacada. Foreigners are imported into the United States by big eastern corporations and herded together near big industrial plants. The wages are small, the standard of living low. The employers endeavor to keep their workers from learning the English language or rising to the American standard of living. Ideas of freedom and wages of the new world would breed discontent. So, Joseph left Chicago with no more knowledge of American customs or the English language then the day he arrived.

A stranger in a strange land, Joseph could not even find people who could understand him. A few days after his arrival in Oregon, and two days after having a meal, Joseph was wandering along a country road. Extreme hunger compelled him to break into a chicken house and steal. He cooked the bird and ate it. Then he was arrested and put in the county jail after a strange hearing in Estacada, which he could not understand.

It was May 23 that he was lodged in the county jail, and he has been there ever since. The jail is not such a bad place, he opined to Mr. Withol. At least it is dry and a person gets two meals a day. Better that than to wander days at a time on a country road in a strange land with nothing at all to eat.
Joseph would talk in Russian and then speak in a strange dialect which Mr. Withol could not understand.

Joseph’s nationality is still much of a question. At first, in fact for about 120 days, or until last Saturday when the French vice-consul, C. Henri Labbe, visited Oregon City, he was believed to be a Frenchman. Then the theory was advanced that he was an Austrian, but after Joseph Woerndle, consular representative of the Austro-Hungarian empire read some of the case in the papers and visited Oregon City Sunday, he was believed to be a Bohemian. Mr. Withol is of the opinion that Joseph is a Slav.

Mr. Woerndle intended to come to Oregon City yesterday with a Bohemian interpreter, but was compelled to postpone his plans. He said over long distance telephone last night that he would be in Oregon City about 4 o’clock this afternoon with an interpreter to secure a complete story of the man’s case.
District Attorney Hedges last night issued a statement in regard to the case in which he takes up minor points in the matter. He calls the man Joseppi, although his name in the jail register appears as Joseph. According to the jail register Joseppi or Joseph, whichever is correct, is charged with larceny, while Deputy District Attorney Thomas Burke says that he is charged with burglary.

Our whole endeavor has been to see that this man has a fair deal and because he cannot speak our language, nor any of the other languages, interpreters of which we have had interview him, is no reason why the man should be sent to some insane asylum. We wish to find some one who can talk his dialect. The man speaks incoherently at times, and one might hastily draw the conclusion that he is unbalanced but before this conclusion is reached he must have a fair hearing with the assistance of those who can speak his language.

Mr. Woerndle is co-operating with the district attorney’s office and the sheriff’s office in an endeavor to dispose of this case in a right and proper manner, and has promised to have an interpreter who can speak this man’s dialect within a day or two. We have attempted to examine this man and attempt to talk to him on several occasions, but owing to our inability to understand him, the physician has been unable to arrive at any definite conclusion concerning the man’s mental status.
Gilbert L. Hedges, District Attorney

The next week it was reported that Mrs. Steve Lovak of Portland, a native Magyar, had talked with the prisoner and confirmed that he was a native of Magyar “the original Hungarian stock”.  The newspaper also reported that Russians, Bohemians, Greeks, Frenchmen, Germans, Austrians and Slovakians had all attempted to communicate with Joseppi, with no success until Mrs. Lovak appeared. Although the consul of Austro-Hungarian empire did intervene, Joseppi was sent to the state asylum due to his “periods of irrationality” and the court recommended that he be deported. 


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