News of the Week, June 4 to June 10

Oregon Spectator, June 10, 1847

THE ELECTION AND ITS RESULTS – The election for Territorial and County officers occurred on Monday last and was the occasion of the manifestation of considerable interest on all sides. The returns indicate a large and full vote, which show that the people are alive to the importance of the exercise of their rights in this respect. This county particularly has polled nearly or quite its entire length; a few more votes possibly might have been cast in the Molalla precinct. The Falls exhibited an animated appearance throughout the day and it was pleasant to remark the orderly and peaceable spirit that characterized the proceedings. We did not go to press ’till the latest moment, in order that we might be enabled to give as much of the result as we could. In this county there were some ten candidates for the Legislature and the vote consequently was divided. For County officers we give the names of those only who are elected, postponing the publication of the names of other candidates and the number of votes given for each, until we shall have received corrected returns.

Returns for Governor:

George Abernethy A. L. Lovejoy Scattering
Clackamas 136 112 4
Champoeg 133 majority
Yamhill 4 majority
Tualatin 124 65
Vancouver 30 majority

Clackamas County Representatives – M. Crawford, J. M. Wair, S. S. White
Justices of the Peace – Columbus Wheeler, A. Cornelius, Jos. Hull
Assessor – E. B. Comfort
Treasurer – John H. Couch

Oregon Argus, June 6, 1857

Mr. McKinney was drowned at the Falls last Saturday, while fishing for Salmon. He slipped off a plank into the boiling flood, at the same place where several went in last year. This makes the fourth case of drowning we have recorded at this point within the last year. Mr. McKinney was about fifty years of age and leaves a family.

On Sunday evening an Indian was drowned at the same place while fishing. On Tuesday last, a young man by the name of Giddings slipped off into the water where McKinney and the Indian lost their lives, and was carried under water some twenty or thirty yards, but providentially rose just above the staging which extends over the water, to which he clung and save his life. These accidents, we think, should warn those who frequent the Falls to be more careful in the face of such dangers.

The body of Joseph McKinney was recovered and buried last Thursday.

Oregon City Enterprise, June 4, 1897


Electric Hotel 1892

Electric Hotel

When V. Harris, the grocer, retired to his room at the Electric Hotel about nine o’clock Tuesday night, he raised his window to let in some fresh air. When he glanced out of the window he discovered some individuals smuggling beer out the back way through the high board fence that separates the rear of the building from the alley. He at once went out on the street and informed Nigh Policeman Shaw of his suspicions, who proceeded to investigate. After a little it was ascertained that about eight bottles of beer were missing from the Electric Hotel. Officer Shaw at once suspected Robert Gardner, M. J. Walsh and George Austend, as they had been seen in the alley at a late hour. He informed Chief Burns and they at once started out in search of the suspected burglars. Two of them were discovered near the top of the Sixth Street stairway. Officer Shaw made rapid time up the Fourth Street stairway to intercept them in that direction, while Chief Burns stationed himself at the foot of the Sixth Street stairway to prevent their escape that way. Shaw soon came upon Gardner and Walsh on the upper stairway with a bottle of beer resting between them. Both were placed under arrest. As they started down the stairway Austend was met coming up the stairway with several bottles of beer in his pockets, and the trio were taken to the city jail by Officer Shaw and Chief Burns. Recorder Ryan bound them over to appear before the grand jury next Monday, where the charges will be still further investigated. Austend recently returned to Oregon City after a year’s banishment under a suspended sentence, and was accompanied by Walsh, who has been doing some work around the Electric Hotel.


The serious interference that the weather caused in the program for Decoration Day again emphasizes the fact that a change in the manner of carrying out the exercises for that day must be made by the Grand Army, if they would have their orations appreciated by the people who attend. Captain Ormsby’s address, Monday, was one of unusual merit and had it been delivered in a hall or some comfortable place where the wind and rain could not have interfered, it would have been given a most appreciative reception by the audience, but as it was, not ten percent of the hundreds present heard it at all, or even half of it. The same trouble was experienced on Decoration Day last year when Mr. Shanks of Seattle delivered one of the finest orations ever given at a Memorial Day service in Oregon City. The wind and rain were so violent that it was an impossibility for those present to hear only fragments of his address.

In this section of the country where the weather is so often inclement about the time for Decoration Day, it would be far better and would more fully accomplish the objects for which the day was instituted, if the oration and literary part of the exercises were given in a hall. The parade could be had and the Grand Army ritual services carried out at the cemetery, leaving the oration to be delivered in the evening in a hall where the audience would be comfortable and attentive. With patriotic songs and other appropriate features the evening exercises would be quite as patriotic and interesting as the day program.

The danger that the present method of observing the day in Oregon City is to the health of those participating is another important reason why the change should be made. It is nearly a mile and a half to the cemetery and after the people have marched that distance they are heated up and then to stand still from half an hour to an hour in the cold wind and, too frequently, driving rain is almost sure to result in severe colds being contracted. Almost every speaker for years past, who has made the address on Memorial Day in this city, has paid the penalty for his temerity in attempting to speak against the wind and rain, by contracting a severe cold and sore throat to distress him for a week or two afterward. Portland, Salem and nearly every other important town in Oregon having long since abandoned having the oration and other literary features of Decoration Day given in the open air, holding that part altogether in the evening and in a hall. It is time that Oregon City was dropping a custom that only endangered the health of the living with no commensurate honor being shown to the dead.

Oregon City Enterprise, June 7, 1907


Workmen have the screw lifts in position on the west end abutments to the Willamette bridge, and the pull is being made in an effort to raise the cable. Just as soon as the strain is removed from the west end towers, and it is found to be safe to do so, the bridge will be opened to the public. Those in charge of the repairs realize what the opening of the bridge means to the strawberry growers across the river, and everything possible will be done to care for their interests.


The work of building the McLoughlin Institute will be under way in a few days. Some of the contracts have been let, but others will be held until the building has progressed far enough. The contracts that have been let are: Rough lumber, Linn’s saw mill; Rough lumber, Linn’s saw mill; all mill work, Oregon City Mill & Lumber Co.; labor, F. S. Baker.

Contractor Harry Jones expects to have the excavation for the Masonic Temple completed early next week. It is the biggest hole see around Oregon city for some time.

Work has begun on jacking up the cable at the west end of the suspension bridge. The second jack is being put in today.

Oregon City Enterprise, June 8, 1917


Manufacture of Woolen Goods is Begun in Modern Sanitary Plant of the Oregon City Manufacturing Co.

(By Pearl Gregory Cartlidge)

The spacious new addition to the Oregon City woolen mills, now in operation, gives Oregon City the distinction of being the home of the largest mills for the manufacture of Indian and novelty blankets in America. This is no mere booster statement, but an actual fact.

The new structure might be said to be built of glass, supported by reinforced concrete. It is 100 feet wide and extends from the old building 250 feet along Third Street to the river. It is strictly modern throughout, no expense having been spared to make it an ideal factory.

The inadequately lighted and dingy old building, constructed in 1864 when factories were built like fortresses, is being remodeled and repaired for other uses.

The new addition is three stories feet of floor space and gives the mills now approximately 185,000 square feet and basement. It adds 60,000 square feet. This additional room has made it possible to relieve over-crowded departments and to install such new machinery. In the weaving room alone 43 new machines have been added, representing a 50 percent increase. The garment factory has added forty new machines, giving employment to that many additional operators.

On entering the building the writer had visions of the sweatshops of the east, and expected to encounter like conditions here, but instead found the work-rooms to be delightfully cheery, splendidly lighted and ventilated, with windows on either side, some having sky-lights where the building would permit, making a veritable room of glass.

Rest rooms, overlooking the river, and spacious, sanitary lavatories have been provided for the employees. And as soon as the last machine is moved out of the old weaving room it will be transformed into a cafeteria.

Banquet in the cutting room

1918 Banquet in the Cutting Room

The arrangement of departments in the new building has been well planned. On the ground floor, convenient to transportation facilities, are located the shipping and sales departments, and sample rooms for display of the lovely veri-colored robes, blankets, mackinaws, rugs and the numerous other products of these mills.

On the second floor is the weaving room, with 105 machines. Every fabric and pattern has its own special loom and yards upon yards of flannel, as blankets of many different kinds, cassimeres and woolen goods as well are manufactured each day.

The top floor houses a garment factory. All sewing machines are in this room and they are of many sorts – machines for hemming and felling; machines with double needles for making double stitching on the edges of mackinaws; machines carrying eight spools for stitching and facing the front panel of shirts all done at one operation; machines with circular work for felling sleeves; machines for making and cutting buttonholes; and one that any domestically inclined woman would like to own, sews buttons on to stay, in five seconds, and when the button is on tight it ties the thread. This garment factory now operates 150 machines and employs 200 operatives.

The offices of the company remain in the old building where carpenters and painters are making a pleasing transformation. The main offices will be commodious, with beamed ceilings finished in Oregon fir.

The government has contracted with the woolen mills for a large percentage of its output and soon blankets from Oregon City will be warming our soldiers on the soil of France.

It seems a fitting tribute to the memory of our primitive predecessors, the Indians, that the choicest heritage they left us – the “Art Craft,” exemplified in the weaving of their blankets – should be perpetuated by such a splendid factory, erected on the very rocks where they were accustomed to meet and spread their blankets of gorgeous handiwork before the council fire.

The Oregon City woolen mills is one of the few big plants in this country where every detail in the manufacture of woolen goods is completed under one roof. Its products are well known all over this country and in foreign lands and this splendid new factory will make it possible to widen still further the scope of business and bring added prosperity to Oregon City.

Mill 1930

Oregon City Woolen Mills, 1930s. “New Addition” – on the right.


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