News of the Week, November 27 to December 3

Oregon City Enterprise, December 1, 1866.
LYCEUM ORGANIZATION – The projected Lyceum in this city was organized on last Tuesday evening, by the election of officers as follows: Thomas Charman, President; Maj. Magoon, H. Foster, Vice-Presidents; B. Killen, Secretary. A question was proposed by Mr. Duncan, viz: Resolved, That Chinese labor is beneficial to Oregon – who also surprised his friends by taking the lead enthusiastically in support of the question. Mr. S. D. Pope assumed the lead in the negative. The subject would be continued last evening. From the fact that there were present some who do not take a general interest in the affairs of this city, or encourage societies of this character very greatly, it was surmised that the springing of this question was intended more particularly as a “feeler” in this community, than for argument – time will tell.

Letters to the Editor:
City Affairs.
Ed. Enterprise
Allow me through the medium of you paper to state a few facts to our growing population of the past and present City Council of Oregon City in relation to the Fire Department. There is a loud call for fire engines, or water pipes, and very justly so; as nothing is more needed with our rapid increase of buildings than some available protection from fire. Buy why blame the City Fathers and hearken to idle tales. Some ten years ago a strong effort was made to introduce water pipes through the streets of Oregon City. The Council went so far by a unanimous vote of the people (minus Mr. Holland) to levy a tax of one percent; they also procured of the Croton Works of New York, an estimate of pipes and hydrants, all of which at that time could have been laid down for three thousand dollars and owned by the city at that. But before the order was perfected a new Council came in (Democratic if you please) who in their wisdom resolved to lay the old Bill on the table and make a new one providing for pipes of wood. Fortunately the Bill proved a failure in the house, inasmuch as no estimate could be made satisfactory to Mayor Prescott – however, during the past summer, at the request of certain parties and in accordance with the wishes of the people, an ordinance was passed by the City Council granting a perpetual right of way through the streets, and all water privileges on the bluff, or through the city, for water works and the sole privilege of selling water to the best advantage for house uses, besides an annual payment of eight hundred dollars to furnish the city with water for fire purposes for fifteen or more years. What more can the City Fathers do – with an empty treasury? Although our city taxes are only seven mills on the dollar, nevertheless some people grumble at their reasonable assessments. One mill on the dollar additional to pay those expenses would be but a small hardship, to that of a conflagrated and consuming fire. The investment in water works would be a safe and lucrative one which at the lowest calculation would pay from two to three percent on the first outlay with a fair prospect of increasing in value. There is a great need of pure wholesome water; it is well known that most of the wells of the city are rendered muddy and unfit for use during winter rains, and are almost dry in summer, when two-thirds of the people below the bluff have no wholesome water. The fire cisterns, from decay, being dangerous are ordered to be filled up with dirt. The fire engine is very greatly out of repair – and certainly it is not advisable to buy a new one, when there is no access to water.
More Anon.

Oregon City Enterprise, November 27, 1896


Reading Room, 1890s. East side of Main Street between 3rd and 4th Streets. The room was opened near the mills to keep young men out of the local saloons after work.
Cataract Hose Company in lower right of photo.

THE READING ROOM – One of the deserving and justly popular institutions of this city is the free reading room on Main Street under the direction of Rev. Henry Wall, B. A., general superintendent and librarian. These rooms were opened four years ago the beginning of the present month and have been eminently successful under the painstaking management of Mr. Wall. The rooms are supported by the voluntary subscriptions and contributions of our citizens and business men. Some twelve cords of wood have been purchased and placed in the wood room, sufficient for the winter Aside from a good nucleus of the day, forty papers, daily and weekly, are received at the room. After the magazines have been read they are carefully arranged into volumes by the librarian and laid away to be bound. There are seven volumes of the Review of Reviews, eight of Public Opinion, four of Harper’s Weekly, five of the Western Electrician, three of Leslie’s Popular Monthly, etc. some 80 volumes in all that would make good reading if they were bound. Mr. Wall is endeavoring to create a special fund for this purpose and contributions would be acceptable. People sometimes weary of reading and the ever thoughtful librarian is getting up a game room which he hopes to have in operation next week, chessmen and checkers having already been supplied. If the game room could only have electric light it would be complete. Some kind mechanic with a desire to benefit his fellow man could render a much needed service by repairing a half dozen broken down chairs that are badly needed as seating capacity is sometimes overtaxed these rainy days.

Contributions of either funds or books would be acceptable. During the winter season the number of men who frequent the room average from 50 to 60 per day. The rooms are open on week days from 9:30 a.m. To 9:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Oregon City Enterprise, November 30, 1906
The Oregon City public school libraries have received their quota of new books from County Superintendent Zinser, the Barclay and Eastham libraries each receiving 225 volumes. The demands made of the first day after installation of the new books greatly exceeded the supply.

That is a fair indication of the need of a free public library and reading room in this city.
The books are given out to pupils for use fourteen days without charge; after fourteen days the charge is one cent a day. The school librarians are Gilbert Long and Harry Scott at the Barclay and Ida Morley and Ella Miller at the Eastham.

Oregon City Courier, November 30, 1906
In line with the proposed monument to the memory of Dr. John McLoughlin the founder of Oregon City and the Father of Oregon, the name of St. John’s Parochial and High School will after September 1907, bear the name of Dr. John McLoughlin’s Institute. There is no school or public institution of any kind established in Oregon City under that name and it has always been in the mind of Rev. A. Hillebrand of St. John’s Church to honor the memory of Dr. McLoughlin by giving the school his name.


McLoughlin Institute, Main Street,
west side between 9th & 10th Streets.
Baptist Church at far left.

Most Rev. Alexander Christie, Archbishop of Oregon City, was here Sunday afternoon to confirm a class at St. John’s Church and heartily endorsed the idea and in his sermon delegated Father Hillebrand to take the steps necessary to effect the change in the name of the school. The pastor of St. John’s Church has labored faithfully in this city for the last 18 years for thoroughness in education and he has been ably assisted by an efficient corps of teachers. The school stands high in this state but has been hampered by lack of room and this will be remedied during the coming year by the construction of a new building accommodating 250 to 300 pupils. Both the Archbishop and Father Hillebrand are very enthusiastic over the matter and will doubtless have the aid of the people of this city in constructing a school building that will not only be an honor to the city as an institution of higher education accessible to pupils no matter what their creed, but also an honor to the memory of the man whose name it will bear. Archbishop Christie has already given the proposition encouragement by promising a subscription of $500.

In the near future an architect will be engaged to make plans for a building with every modern improvement as to school rooms and a hall and gymnasium will be added and it is proposed to open the school with appropriate ceremonies in September 1907, on the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. McLoughlin.

Oregon City Enterprise, December 1, 1916
Fish in the Willamette River went on a drunk Thursday.
Sheriff Wilson poured three barrels and a keg of strong homemade wine, found at the home of Anton Zaletel recently, into the river. In all, there were about 160 gallons of the liquor. The river was red for many feet out from the shore. Fish came to the surface of the water, belly-up, and two men fishing nearby pulled out carp that were in a stupor and did not flop once when deposited on the river bank.

Zaletel was sentenced Thursday to 100 days in the county jail and fined $100 and costs, which will be paid in $10 monthly installments. The jail sentence was suspended.

Because Night Patrolman Henry Cooke has a well-developed sense of smell, W. W. Hamlin, Paul Wyman and John Doe Farmer are facing a charge of petty larceny. Farmer has been released on his own recognizance and Wyman and Hamlin are in the city jail.

A barrel of denatured alcohol, evidently mistaken for ethyl alcohol by the thieves, was stolen from the rear of the Jones drug store Monday night. Officer Cooke in naming his rounds smelled the peculiar odor of alcohol when standing outside of a frame building on the northwest corner of Sixth and Water Streets. He retired to a shaded spot nearby and watched. A man staggered out of the door and started up the street.

Patrolmen Woodward and Cooke watched the place for a time. Early Tuesday morning they entered the building and found the missing barrel of alcohol. In tapping the barrel some of the fluid was spilled on the floor.

Hamlin, somewhat sick from overindulgence in the fiery drink, was arrested early Tuesday morning and Farmer and Wyman were arrested later in the day. The barrel of alcohol is held in the city jail pending the trial which will be before Justice of the Peace Sievers. Hamlin is said to have made a complete confession.

Oregon City Courier, November 30, 1916
The treasury of Oregon City has $125 it would not have had if five of the city’s residents had not gambled and had not been caught at it late Saturday night by Sheriff Wilson, Constable Frost, Chief of Police Blanchard and Patrolmen Cooke and Woodward. But the game was played and G. A. Gray, E. Parker, A. F. Raasch, Forest DeLashmut and Charles Straight paid the price.

A poker game that has caused the attention of officers for some time was raided at Mrs. Bell’s rooming house in the alley between Fourth and Fifth Streets at a late hour Saturday night. The players were interrupted as they were gathered about the table in a basement room. Seven men attempted to escape through a rear basement door, but were apprehended and held. A number of decks of cards were confiscated.

On Monday morning Recorder Loder heard pleas of guilty from five of the seven men taken in the game. He fined each of them $25 and sentenced them to 30 days each in jail. The jail sentences were suspended when the five players paid back to Frank E. Smith and Lou Himler the sums of money that had been won from them, and upon their promise not to play again. Each of the men taken in the raid said that this was the first game he had played.

The men arrested told of games that have been conducted in several places about town throughout the past few years. The Bell rooming house was simply one of several places where a few men managed to deprive laborers and others of their pay check. One Chinaman is said to have lost close to $300 in the games. Gray, one of the men arrested and fined, is said to have collected 25 cents from each “pot” and in this way made money whether he won or lost at the game itself.


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