News of the Week, January 1 to January 7

Oregon Spectator, January 7, 1847

CORRECTION – In our last number in summary of “Legislative Doings,” “An act for the erection a jail,” presented by Mr. T’Vault, should have read “A bill to be entitled an Act to amend an Act for the erection of a jail,: etc. This bill proposed certain provisions for the settlement of the estate of the late Ewing Young. The act which was passed in December, 1844, appropriated fifteen hundred dollars of the receipts from said estate, for the erection of a jail, pledging the faith of the government for the repayment of the full amount of such receipts. The act likewise provided for the appointment of an administrator and called for a speedy conclusion and settlement of the business of the estate. As we all know, the jail was destroyed by fire in the month of August last, and it speaks well for the morals of the community, that the want of such a building has been felt but in two or three instances.

The Oregon Argus, January 3, 1857

NEW YEAR’S DAY was celebrated in this city by the usual social “calls.” All seemed to enjoy themselves hugely in passing from house to house, visiting the ladies, and partaking of the dainties which graced the tables and were served up by fair hands. The merchant locked up his store, the mechanic his shop, and the common laborer donned his Sunday suit, and all sallied forth in quest of amusement.

Just here we think it would not be amiss to say that our city is behind no other in the way of sensible ladies, ladies whose manners are polished by good sense and a sound education, rather than by artificial, unnatural and affected accomplishments. Such constitute the real aristocracy, in all lands, whether in the city or county, in the drawing room of a palace or in the family room of a cabin.

SNOW fell here last Tuesday night to the depth of six inches. The weather is mild and much of the snow has already disappeared. The snow in Portland is some eighteen inches deep.

Oregon City Enterprise, January 5, 1867

LAGER: We can say, in thanks to Mr. Humbel, the new proprietor of the Oregon City Brewery, that the keg of lager, left at our office on the day before New Year, is No. 1. We recommend it, and numerous of our friends, who have tried it, do the same. No one need send out of the city now for a capital article of Lager.

THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT – Capt. E. G. Adams, an old and well tried veteran of the was, having been appointed Grand Lecturer for the International Order of Good Templars of Oregon and Washington Territory, is now on a tour of this State making common cause against alcohol. He lectured at the M. E. Church in this city last evening. He was also on the card of the D. G. W. C. T. and has instituted a lodge at Milwaukie, of fifteen charter members, with J. H. Lambert worthy chief.

Oregon City Enterprise, January 4, 1877

A LIGHT-FINGERED GENT – A notorious vagrant, called Thomas Henry, was arrested last Monday for stealing, and he was sent up for five days. He slipped behind the bar at Haas’ saloon and pocketed a quantity of whiskey and rum and was prepared to celebrate the New Year in grand style; but alas, the vigilant police man nabbed him and he now slumbers serenely in the county jail. Thomas will do well to leave for parts unknown when he is restored to liberty, as our town can get along without his presence.

THE BOYS made the town fairly howl with the ringing of bells, firing of anvils, and banging of doors, last Sunday night, while celebrating the arrival of the new year. Some of them would have celebrated in the “lock-up” if the watchman had caught them. “Fun is fun,” boys, but don’t pull the door knobs clear out of the doors.

Oregon City Enterprise, January 1, 1897


Burglars have made their appearance in Oregon City, Monday night the grocery store of Valentine Harris was broken into and few dollars extracted from the money drawer, several bottles of liquor and a quantity of groceries were taken, just how much it would be hard to determine. Entrance was effected by forcing open one of the basement doors, but the door leading from the cellar to the store could not be opened and a panel was broken out under the show window through which the thieves crawled into the store.

The same night the cigar store of Bean & Moody was entered through the side door by means of skeleton keys it is supposed, as that door was found open and the lock bore no evidence of violence. Here the burglars secured a couple of slot machines valued at $22, carried them out near the railroad track and broke them open, secured about $30 in nickels. A slot machine on the wall and the till containing $6 were not disturbed. A quantity of cigars and tobacco was also taken.

A short time since R. B. Walker had some carpenter tools stolen. Monday Marshal Burns found where some of the missing tools had been sold by Wm. Jenkins, who was soon located at Salem, where he had been locked up on a charge of intoxication. The Chief went up to Salem Tuesday evening and brought Jenkins back Wednesday morning. He was arraigned before Justice Schuebel in the forenoon, plead guilty and was sentenced to 12 days in jail. Jenkins is 18 years old and has served a term in the reform school and efforts are being made to have him returned to that institution.

That burglaries occur on Main Street under the full glare of the electric light does not prove incompetency or neglect of duty on the part of Nightwatchman Shaw. It is a human impossibility for any one man to patrol a beat the length of Main Street often enough to prevent an occasional burglary. A “look out” is all that is necessary, once they are inside a building, in order to operate without fear of detection. Then too, the average back alley contains enough boxes and rubbish for a half dozen burglars to hide behind until the nightwatchman is at a safe distance. Citizens who have occasion to be out late at night have always found Mr. Shaw at his post. Our business men should look well to the fastenings of their back doors and also see that there is no convenient hiding place in the immediate vicinity of their stores.

Owing to the prevalence of burglaries in the city, Wm. Risdon has been added to the night police force.

Oregon City Enterprise, January 4, 1907


“A clean town” says the mayor and the councilmen and as a result of this edict the town has gone through and a general house cleaning was given Oregon City.

Chief Burns was a busy man all day Monday, giving notices to the different stores which had slot machines on their counters, saying that the same had to be placed out of the way by 12 o’clock of December 31, 1906.

The many stores, especially cigar stores and saloons that used the machines were busy late Monday night bidding a fond farewell to the little machine that had served so well during the time of its life in Oregon City.

Tuesday morning the cigars had to be bought with the real medium of exchange over the counter.


The band of “Jerry from Kerry” while giving a free open air concert on the streets and while parading Monday, scared the horse of Richard Petzold, the butcher. The horse, a beautiful bay, was so frightened at the music, that it broke loose while standing in front of the meat market and tore at terrific speed up Main Street.


Jerry from Kerry poster from

The frightened animal could not be stopped by many men on the street and ran for several blocks at a breakneck speed. On coming to the corner of Fifth Street opposite the Mount Hood Cafe it shied to the left as if attempting to run up Fifth Street toward the railroad track. So fast was it traveling on the slippery pavement around the corner its legs gave way landing the animal against one of the fire hydrants. The force was so terrific that the hydrant was bent nearly double, almost touching the sidewalk. The horse lay there for some time until the owner came down to the scene. The horse was raised to its feet with difficulty, having suffered severe internal injuries. It was slowly and with difficulty led to the Moody livery stable where it was examined. The animal was in bad shape and had to hobble along on three legs to the barn. About two o’clock the horse was reported dead.


R. Petzold, the butcher, received $35 for the loss of his horse which was killed Monday on Main Street. The above mentioned sum was paid over upon a compromise between Mr. Patton, the manage of the “Jerry from Kerry” show company and Mr. Petzold through the attorneys U’ren & Schuebel.

Considering the loss of Mr. Petzold, the sum paid over is meager, as the animal was a very valuable one, besides the damage done to the cart and harness. But as the case brought into the courts would have become a complicated affair, it was thought best to make some compromise and Petzold thus agreed upon the sum which is about one-half of the actual value of his property.

The band of “Jerry from Kerry” were parading the streets of Oregon City without a permit.

Why the animal became so frightened has caused a good deal of wonder, as it was in the habit of standing unhitched on the street in front of the meat marker for the last four or five years and seemed to have been used to all the different noises of the streets until Monday.

Oregon City Enterprise, January 5, 1917


…Mayor E. C. Hackett’s address follows in full:

We have just completed a year of service for the people and are just commencing a new year of such service.

In doing this ’tis sometimes well to look back over the work we’ve just done to see where we can improve matters. We have about kept within the budget for the past year, and it certainly behooves us to keep within our budget for this coming year, as we are each personally responsible if we do not.

When it is known that the citizens of Oregon City will be required to pay 40.8 mills for this year it tells a story that out not to go abroad; and yet we ought to bear in mind in all that pertains to the welfare of the city, and it ought to teach us to be careful what we do. A man that is badly in debt, can not do and act as the man who is well to do and so it is with us and the city.

And it behooves us to be more than careful of the people’s money and I hope that some day we may burn the mortgage and say that we are out of debt.

To this end I am very anxious to see the day when we can say that we own our electric plant and can have light at half what we are now paying and perhaps less. We are paying quite a large sum every year for lights, and I’m sure the people would appreciate any improvements that could be made along this line. I am anxious to see a system adopted of hard surfacing our streets. To this end I appointed a man who is an expert at the business but you did not see fit to confirm him – so if you can devise any better way of getting at this proposition please get busy.

The present method of patching up streets with crushed rock is a willful waste of the people’s money, and especially so on streets that have much traffic on them. Pavements can now be made that are quite within the reach of the people, and whatever we do lets be sure and do it right. This is economy in the long run. We have wasted enough in years past to have paved the entire town, but we didn’t know it; but it’s time to wake up.

We have as good or better water than any other city on the coast, and I’m told that it is now self-supporting or a little better. This is one of the best assets any city can have.

We have the best payroll of any city on the coast, considering our size, and Oregon City is just coming into its own; and if we act with wisdom and good judgment, we’ll be proud of our little city some day.

In passing, let me say that I believe the men back of the industries of this city are broad minded men who are ready and willing to help us along rational lines, and we should encourage and help such in return whenever possible.

I hope each and every officer will do his duty and I believe they will. I believe in a “dry town” in a sober industrious people; and I believe we are blessed in this way, more than many other places of this size.

In conclusion, let me say, that we are but servants of the people, and we should render the best service possible; to this end I beg the assistance and help of each and every member of this council and I believe I’ll get it.

We beg and ask the assistance of the good people of this city and the press that we may all work in harmony and endeavor to build the foundation right, that those who follow us may find the trail well-blazed. I wish to thank you one and all for your kind assistance in the past and trust the future may bear better fruit.

But not all was as rosy as the Mayor prayed…


7th St. looking east from Main
circa 1920
Jitneys stopped in front of Pacific Highway Garage, to the left of the elevator. When the building was completed in 1920, vehicles were able to refuel at a sidewalk gasoline pump.


In a meeting that contrasts strangely with the love feast on Tuesday night, the City Council Wednesday night, after a warm debate, voted down the M. W. Foster ordinance, giving him the right to run jitneys between Oregon City and Portland and to Mountain View, and passed on first reading an ordinance giving the Portland Railway Light & Power Company a franchise to operate cars to Mountain View form Main street, with the understanding that the company also operate a line of cars to Oswego.

G. C. Fields, interurban superintendent of the company, is authority for the statement that his company will begin at once to make arrangements to get a franchise to put cars on the Oswego run. A franchise must first be secured.

Councilman John F. Albright furnished the fireworks of the evening, making a strenuous effort to save the Foster franchise and to defeat the Portland Railway Light & Power company ordinance. In reply to a remark that Albright viewed as insinuating he defied C. D. Latourette, local attorney for the corporation, to prove that he was a “grafter” or that he had ever secured money in an underhand fashion, and offered to make revelations which would startle the council but his offer was not accepted.

Only Buckles and Albright voted for the Foster franchise, which was up for second reading, and Templeton, Metzner, Friedrich, Bridges, Van Auken, Moore and Cox voted against it. The franchise passed on first reading several weeks ago.

After the council meeting Albright made the following signed statement:

“I attended the council meeting Wednesday night and fought against the granting of an ordinance which would give the Portland Railway Light & Power Company complete control of the jitney situation in Oregon City. Between 12 o’clock and the time of the council meetings I saw four members of the council and each one promised that he would vote with me. They are Fred Metzner, C. W. Friedrich, A. B. Buckles and Roy B. Cox. They promised to vote for the Foster franchise. At the meeting Wednesday night only Buckles and I voted for it. Who saw them after I did? Does not their sudden change of heart show that someone got to them?

Moreover, the Foster franchise passed on the first reading, yet this council changed its views of the matter in two weeks and killed it on second reading.

I do not see why the people of Oregon City should be told that they either had to do all their trading here, or go to Portland on one of the Portland Railway Light & Power Company’s cars. I do not understand why a man cannot ride on a jitney if he wants to, just to protect a big corporation. The council, it seems to me, wants to hogtie the men and women of Oregon City.

The vote of the council shows to me that the big corporation owns the City Council of Oregon City, that the council will give that corporation about anything it wants or kill any ordinance which that corporation wants killed. The council is so much under the domination of the corporation that it is willing to cut down the people’s rights to foster the corporation’s interests. The only thing that the council takes into consideration is the company’s interests. It is a case of the people be damned.

portland_railway_light__power_logoThe Portland Railway Light and Power Company will operate its jitneys under the name of Oregon City Motor Bus Company. The franchise, which passed on first reading Wednesday night, provides that hourly service shall be maintained, that the company shall put up a $5,000 bond, that the driver must be 21 years old and able to pass a medical examination, that the fare shall be 5 cents, that the cars cannot stand at Seventh and Main Streets longer than 5 minutes at a time, that the council may suspend any driver for 90 days and that the council can revoke the franchise for failure to live up to its provisions. The life of the franchise is one year and the company will pay $1 into the city treasury for it.

G. C. Field, interurban superintendent; F. I. Fuller, vice-president, and C. D. Latourette, local attorney of the Portland Railway Light & Power Company appeared before the council asking for the franchise.

Chris Schuebel, as a private citizen, declared his support of a jitney line to Portland and particularly to Oswego, and Sam Francis, of Mountain View, urged the adoption of the railroad company’s franchise as it would give his district hourly service. L. Stipp, represented Mr. Foster, who was present at the meeting.

The “jitney wars” will continue in future issues. For more information see:


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