The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., April 2, 1903, page 3
Includes several portraits and photographs (titles listed below)

White Man's First Winter - Hardships Endured by Laughlin Party - Midnight Flight From Indians -
Leaves From an Old Diary
By H.C. Coe

     Hood River has just passed the half century mark of its first settlement. The ranks of those hardy pioneers, who alone can tell the story of its earliest settlement, are being so rapidly decimated by the Great Destroyer that very soon the last of these forerunners up civilization shall have crossed the dark river and passed into the great unknown beyond.
     Those of you who now, with wondering friends, as you pass from farm to farm, point with pride to the magnificent orchards that are scattered everywhere; as you pass the steepled churches and overflowing school houses, can little appreciate the vast wilderness - the utter loneliness that surrounded the pioneer settlers of this lovely valley. For lovely it was, but even in its solitude. Deer, dear and elk roamed at will through the park-like forests; cougar, wolves and coyotes were in plentiful evidence; grouse and pheasant were found in abundance, while the streams were filled with trout and the river with salmon. Nature was indeed lavish in her animal and plant life that could be used by the pioneer for himself and his herds.
     But when winter came and its dreary snows and storms and he was unable, work however hard he may, to provide sufficient sustenance to properly care for his dumb beasts, then anxiety hovered over the pioneer's home; he eagerly watched the sunset skies for the first signs of the coming west wind that meant warmth and strength to his famished stock.
     Summer, came at last; his herds became slick and round as they fed upon the nutritious grasses, and all nature seem to smile upon him. But anon distance rumors chilled his blood. They came nearer and nearer, until an Indian war in all its horrors was upon him. The sickening, monotonous beating of the war drum, the yells of the infuriated savages, the blazing walls of his neighbor's home -- all these have been the experience of the early pioneers of Hood River.
     I am under many obligations to Mrs. Elizabeth Lord, daughter of Judge William C. Laughlin, the pioneer settler of the Hood River, for a very graphic and thrilling account of their awful winter's experience in our valley. You who, these winter evenings, sit by your comfortable firesides, the room flooded with electric light, let your thoughts wander back to the horrors of that dreadful winter just half a century ago. Imagine if you can the little log cabin almost buried in snow, and surrounded by hundreds of starving cattle; the desperate fight for life itself, the sickness, hunger and cold within, and then tell me if you can the quality and number of joys that paradise should hold to requite the pioneer, even in part, for the privations he has undergone.

First Winter Spent in Hood River
By Mrs. Elizabeth Lord

     Hood River was first settled by William Catesby Laughlin and his wife, Mary Laughlin. Both of them were born in Kentucky. They moved to Illinois in 1832; were married and moved to Missouri in 1840. They crossed the plains to Oregon in 1850, lived in The Dalles two years and moved to Hood River in the fall of 1852.
     Having accumulated quite a number of cattle and horses by trading with the Indians and immigrants, Mr. Laughlin decided to locate on a good range and make a home for himself and family. Dr. Farnsworth, an old friend and family physician, having arrived from Missouri early in this season, they concluded to settle at Hood River, then called Dog river. Mr. Laughlin had looked the country over and thought it was the loveliest spot on earth. However, they delayed moving down until the emigration was all in, when they took all the stock they could get to winter for a stated price per head. Mr. Laughlin had about 100 head of horses at the same number of cattle of his own, and about 200 head of cattle to herd for others. Doctor Farnsworth had about 100 altogether.
     Some time in October they engaged a flat boat to take the families and supplies down the river, the doctor going down with them. Mr. Laughlin, with two hired men and the doctor's 16-year-old son, drove the stock over the trail. The boats made the run down and landed where the ferry landing now is, in one day, while the stock took two days to make the trip. After driving the stock across Dog river, Mr. Laughlin and his men joined the families in camp, and the next day crossed the river by fording with ox teams.
     Mr. Laughlin located on the Coe place and built a small log cabin. Owing to the lateness of the season and the serious illness of his eldest son, James, who had typhoid fever, he hastened to get a shelter over his family. Dr. Farnsworth took more time and built a better and larger cabin on the place afterwards known as the Jenkins place.
     Everything now seemed propitious to the making of happy and permanent homes. But a short time elapsed until a very heavy snow fell. I have no date but I know it was in November, and much of the snow remained on the ground until March. The cabin was on the edge of a beautiful grove of medium sized fir trees, and all of the cattle from far and near made their way to that grove. There were several men down near Mitchell's Point herding over 500 head of cattle, and they all came up to the Laughlin cabin.

Starving Cattle Crush In Cabin Door

     No one who has not witnessed such a condition can imagine what it was like. They came in the night, and all crowded around our poor little cabin, bellowing and horning each other, until it seemed as if pandemonium had broken loose. On looking out, there appeared a sea of heads and horns as far as the eye could reach. They broke in the door several times. The family was terrified, as it seemed as if the walls would give way. Mr. Laughlin fought them away until morning, when he tried to drive them off, but they were all gentle animals and came to the grove for shelter. Our own cows came to us for protection and of the rest followed. Mr. Laughlin felled trees to make a large enclosure to keep them away. When the storm unabated he sent an Indian with a message to those men to come and take their stock away. But the man abandoned the stock and went to their homes at the Cascades.
     The cattle stayed in that grove until every one died. All of Dr. Farnsworth's and all of Mr. Laughlin's but 14 head also died. At that time there was quite a deep ravine that running from just below the spring down through the grove. By spring that ravine was full of dead cattle.
     After Christmas, Dr. Farnsworth became discouraged, so he and Mr. Laughlin felled a large fir tree, dug and burned and hewed out a very large canoe, in which he loaded everything he had and drifted away from Hood River forever.
     This left Mr. Laughlin's family very forlorn. They had a winter of struggles and hardships. With the help of Indians whom he hired he felled trees to make corrals to separate the weaker cattle and try to save some if possible, hoping from day to day for a Chinook wind. Finally flour gave out. Then he hired Indians to go to the Cascades to buy some. They were gone for a long time and returned with shorts, and demanded half of that, of which they brought but little. Very soon this, too, was gone. Then Mr. Laughlin dug out a small canoe for himself and went up to The Dalles for supplies. While there he made arrangements with Major Alvord to lease land for a farm on the government reservation (the same land which he afterwards held as a donation claim). As soon as the snow had gone off he gathered what horses were left and hired the Indians from White Salmon, who had five canoes, to take the family up the Columbia to The Dalles, while he and his son James drove the pitiful handful of stock back over those hills where so few months before they had driven such a large herd.

From Portland to Fort Dalles in 1854

     Early in the spring of 1854, a family excursion party consisting of N. Coe and wife and the writer, then a boy of 9 years, left Portland, Or., for a trip to Fort Dalles, at that time head of navigation on the Columbia river. Our first day's ride was on the little side wheel steamer Fashion, VanBergen, master. The James P. Flint was the pioneer boat on the middle Columbia, but trade seemed better on the lower river, so she was taken over the Cascades the year before and renamed the Fashion.
     An all day's trip brought us to the lower Cascades, where we were very hospitably entertained at the home of B.B. Bishop, brother-in-law to the Bradfords, then in the transportation business at the Cascades.

Old Mule Portage Road At Cascades

     The portage of six miles was a rather complicated process. Freight for transportation was first loaded in schooners, which, when the wind blew sufficiently strong, were driven to the landing then known as the middle blockhouse, but now called Sheridan's Point, where they were unloaded onto a tram car that came around Sheridan's Point, and was hauled up by a windlass run by a very patient and intelligent mule. When the car reached the summit of the incline the mule was unhitched from the windlass, attached to the car and started for the upper Cascades alone over a wooden tramway, with a couple of boards in the middle of the track for the "engine" to walk on. Arriving at his destination, the mule was unhitched, turned around and coupled onto an empty flat car and started on his return trip. A pole was lashed to his side and then to the car. This acted as a kind of automatic brake to keep the car from running over the "engine." This arrangement worked well for a while, and saved the services of a conductor, but the mule got onto his job, and when well out of sight would stop to get up more steam and incidentally to take good long maps, thereby seriously interfering with the transportation business. Eventually a fireman had to be added to the list of train hands.
     At the upper Cascades the Bradford's had just completed a small schooner of about 40 tons burden, which was making trips to Fort Dalles when the winds were favorable. At this point stood Bradford's store, where two years afterward a handful of brave, fearless men for three days held at bay the savage hordes of Indians, in what is known as the Cascade massacre.
     We boarded the schooner and with a fine breeze blowing we made good progress and about noon reached Hood River, then known as Dog river. We were all very much pleased with the general aspect of the country and my father determined to return at his earliest convenience and examine the land with a view of locating if satisfactory. We reached our destination that evening at Fort Dalles, which then consisted of a government post located about half a mile south of the few scattering houses on the river, where now stands the city of The Dalles. We remained over a day at this place, which had at that time but few attractions.

Early Steamboat On Middle Columbia

     The only stream vessel then on the middle Columbia was the little propeller Allen, Captain Tom Gladwell, that was capable of carrying a few passengers and a little freight. She only made a few trips, however, when she was wrecked or cast away, and her old iron hull may still be seen at any low water a short distance above Mitchell's Point on the Edgar Locke farm. As the schooner that we came up on would not be ready to return for some days, and a down river trip was likely to be a tedious one, we determined to take a passage on the Allen, which was to start the next morning.
     The trip down the river was a rough one, and after an all-day battle with the winds and waves we reached White Salmon, then the only settlement between Fort Dalles and Cascades. The sole white resident here was E.S. Joslyn, who with his wife had located there, if my memory serves me right, the year previous. It was determined to remain here overnight, and as there was no accommodations on the boat - not even a cold handout - Mr. Joslyn, who was at the landing, very cordially invited all hands to his home, which invitation it is needless to say it was gladly accepted.
     It is remarkable how a man's personality is reflected in everything that surrounds him, and the welcome extended to the hungry and tired passengers and crew of the Allen by Mr. Joslyn and his estimable wife seemed to extend down to even the old watchdog, whose business it was during the night to post the moon on the events of the preceding day. The morning proved pleasant and the rest of the trip was uneventful.

N. Coe Builds First Permanent Home

     In the following article on the early history of Hood river I have to depend largely on my memory from our of arrival here until 1858, when our family record begins, to which I shall refer freely. Of that little band of pioneers who came to Hood River in 1854, James M. Benson of The Dalles and myself are the only ones living. Mrs. Phila Burt (nee Jenkins) died in Los Angeles, about eight months ago, at a ripe old age.
     William Jenkins, with his son Walter, was drowned at the mouth of Hood River in 1864. Nathaniel Coe died at the homestead in 1864. Mary W. Coe died at Hood River in 1893. N.S. Benson died in Auburn, New York, in 1869; Charles C. Coe at Hood River in 1872; Eugene F. Coe in Portland in 1893; and L.W. Coe in San Francisco in 1898.
     The only landmark left of these early days is the old Coe homestead, on State street in this city, a picture of which is here given. Of our Indian friends, nearly all of those who were old enough to take an active part in those days have passed over to the happy hunting grounds. A notable exception is old John Slibinder, whose picture is here given. He must now be close to his centennial years and is still a hale and hearty old man. After an intimate acquaintance, lasting nearly half a century, I can truthfully say that I never knew a more honest, truthful or upright man, black or white, than old Slibinder - never wavering in his friendship to the whites, ever risking the anger of the hostiles during the troublous times of the Indian war of 1856. Charlie Copliax, another Indian friend, still lives on his farm in the Yakima Indian reservation, and old George Kinney, the self-inflicted pensioner of our little city, still lives, moves and has his being. Pat Williams and Jim Cluhoc were mere boys of about 10 or 12 years. All the rest have gone, faded before the breath of the white man, as the mist before the morning sun, and in the dream land of their happy hunting grounds chase the red deer from his lair as in days of old.

Origin Of The Name "Dog River"

     In the early part of June, 1854, N. Coe, with his son, E.F. Coe, accompanied by William Jenkins and his brother-in-law, Nathan S. Benson, acquaintances of ours from Auburn, New York, left Portland for Hood River. Hood River was originally known as Dog river, and obtained its name in the following manner. I cannot give the date of the occurrence, although I conversed with a man only a few years ago who was one of the party. A band of cattle was being brought down from The Dalles and reached the river at dusk. The cattle were driven across the river, while the party camped on the east side. In the night a heavy rain storm came up, and in the morning the river was too high to cross. The rains continued for a number of days, and the party ran out of food and was compelled to kill old Towser, the dog. My mother, Mrs. Mary W. Coe, objected to the name, and as the stream had its head in Mount Hood, she proposed to call it Hood River. This name was thought very appropriate and was adopted by everyone.
     I have no written data to set the exact date of the departure of the party from Portland, only I remember a little circumstance that occurred the day before they left, when Mr. Jenkins brought to our house a little brown cornucopia, containing 12 nice ripe cherries, for which he had just paid 25 cents. So I concluded that it must have been in early in June.
     The party was more than pleased with the country and decided to make their homes here. They returned to Portland for an outfit, and Mr. Jenkins sent for his family and another brother-in-law, James Benson, and then all hands returned to Hood River to prepare homes for their families. On what has of late been known as the Coe homestead they found a small log cabin, erected by Judge Laughlin, in 1852, and on the land selected by Jenkins, a house had been built by Dr. Farnsworth at the same date as the one built by Judge Laughlin.
     Previously to our selection of Hood River as our future home, our folks had decided to start in the mercantile business at The Dalles and had had a bill of lumber sawed at the Cascades for a store building. This lumber was sent to Hood River, the old homestead was built of it, and in September my mother and I came up from Portland. We were all domiciled in the old Laughlin house, as the new house was not complete but was finished so that we moved in before the rainy season set in. The house was no palace, though much better than out of doors. There was no ceiling nor cloth or paper; no partitions; only one large room 20x40. The winter, however, proved to be a remarkably mild one, so we managed to live quite comfortably.

Other Settlers Arrive From The East

     In November, Mrs. Jenkins and her brother James M. Benson arrived from New York, making a very acceptable addition to our little colony. We had brought with us a sufficient supply of flour, pork and beans, but vegetables were scarce and high, we having to depend upon our kind neighbors across the Columbia for them. These we had to bring from the landing on horseback, as we had no team. Our supply of candles gave out early, as we had been able to obtain but a few. We then resorted to tallow dips, but this supply also gave out, and our last resort was pitch pine torches. This soon became an unbearable nuisance, as it covered everything with soot, which got in our food and bed clothes; in fact we could have successfully posed as a band of Kentucky negro minstrels. So we gave up the idea of light and sat out the long winter evenings in the dark.
     In the latter part of November, a few inches of snow fell and a slight skum of ice covered the river, but this soon passed away and our winter was done. New Year's day we accepted an invitation to eat a chicken at Mr. Joslyn's. Such a glorious day and such a glorious dinner! The mountains were covered with grass and the ground blooming with bluebells and buttercups.
     The month was spent in clearing up land, and one-half an acre of land was spaded up early for garden. The first of February seeds were planted, which came up, and there was no frost to damage anything that spring.
     A trip was made to Portland, and work cattle, cows, farming implements, etc., procured. Those were busy days for us. Early and late were the watch words, and well where we repaid for our labors. The earth yielded bountifully, and fall found both the barn and cellar full to overflowing with the results of our toil. So our first year passed.
     An orchard of peaches, plums, cherries and a few apple trees had been started and grew nicely. Nature seemed to smile on us as if to atone for its severity to our predecessors. But with the fall came uncomfortable rumors of trouble with the Indians in various distant portions of the country, causing anxious thoughts. Our dusky neighbors, though professedly friendly, were as yet untried, and in numbers were fully able, had they so desired, to have exterminated our little colony without very much exertion or trouble. So the winter passed, and as the early spring came the rumors came to be facts, and we found ourselves face to face with the horrors of an Indian war.
     My pen can but faintly portray the incidents of that the dreadful year. It seems as if but yesterday that I stood with little Woodburn Hawks on the brow of the hill that now overlooks the town and watched with bated breath the little steamer Wasco, as with a handful of soldiers and a few settlers it crawled, snail like, up the river to do battle with the hordes of yelling savages that lined the opposite shore. I will here send a copy of a letter written to the Glacier of November 7, 1897, describing many incidents that occurred during those trying times:

Midnight Flight From The Indians

     The year 1856 was one of anxiety to the few and scattered inhabitants of eastern Oregon and Washington. Rumors of an impending Indian outbreak filled the air  -- came with the winter's snows, but did not go with them. For a year the columns of the Weekly Oregonian had been filled with accounts of the barbarous tortures inflicted upon helpless immigrants who fell into the hands of the hostile hordes in the eastern part of the territory. The question then with the wretched prisoners was not how long before a ransom or exchange would set them free, but how long before death would release them from the infernal tortures inflicted by their captors. Once in their clutches few escaped to tell the awful tale.
     The powerful Yakima nation, led by the noted Chief Kamiken, were practically on the warpath, and their emissaries were everywhere urging the Columbia river tribes to join in a war of extermination against the whites. The Klickitats, an important branch of the Yakimas, withstood for a time the importunities of their inland brothers and gave up their arms to the authorities without a word; but the maggot of unrest was industriously working in the "military brain," and the arrest of three of the principal chiefs of the tribe was decided upon. Mr. Joslyn, the pioneer settler of White Salmon, a warm-hearted Christian gentleman and an earnest friend of the Indians, protested in vain against the outrage. The unsuspecting chiefs were easily trapped, loaded with chains, sent to Vancouver and placed in charge of the regular army. They soon found means to evade the vigilance of their guards and returned to the tribe, who, with a few notable exceptions, at once joined the hostilities.
     This occurred during the latter part of February, 1856. Mr. Joslyn, satisfied that trouble would follow the arrest of the chiefs, had removed with his family to Portland, leaving a hired man named Galentine and a boy named Hawks to look out for the place. An attack was at once planned by the angry chiefs, but the friendly Indians notified them of the plot and they left the place and crossed to Hood River, after being chased all night by the hostiles. For this act of friendship to the whites the friendly Indians were compelled to leave their homes and with their wives and little ones also came to Hood River. There were at that time but two families living here - William Jenkins and wife and two brothers-in-law, making with our family and the man named Galentine seven men, two women and two boys, composing the entire white population between the Cascades and The Dalles.
     Our farm work thus far have been done very much as the Jews had rebuilded Jerusalem, with implements of war in one hand and a trowel in another. Many a day have I urged on the tardy oxen with a goad in one hand and a rifle in the other. These were troublous times. The hostile Klickitat made themselves very conspicuous along the bluffs on the Washington shore above White Salmon. For days the war drums had beat continuously, filling our hearts with forebodings of trouble.

Howling Indians On The Bluffs

     The Hood River Indians had been, so far, very pronounced in their friendship toward us, and in conjunction with the friendly Klickitats, had captured and brought to the Oregon side every canoe or boat that could be found which was in reach of the hostiles. So far so good; but the Polala Illahe (sand land) Indians under old Chief Wallachin, living on what was afterward the Haynes ranch, about two miles west of Hood River, were known to have a very decided leaning toward the hostiles. We at once appealed to the military authorities at The Dalles for protection, and Lieutenant Davidson was sent down with a company of cavalry. How well I remember them coming! The hostiles had been unusually active that morning, and the boy Woodburn Hawks and myself, had been sent out to gather up the cattle and drive them home. We did not much like the job, but could not help it; but before we found the cattle we saw the smoke from Joslyn's house and barn and hurried home as fast as our feet could carry us. We found the cavalry had arrived, and their coming was the signal for the burning. The valorous lieutenant marshaled his forces on the sand bar, and hailing the steamer Wasco on her way to The Dalles, started for the seat of war. My two brothers and the two Bensons had gone with the troops, also Amos Underwood, who was on his way to the Cascades, was one of the party. How the Indians did yell! The cliffs were alive with them, and their war whoops echoed and re-echoed across the river. The valiant lieutenant, ere he reached the landing, suddenly remembered that he had orders not to molest the Indians in Washington, but merely to protect the settlers and their property at Hood River, and ordered the boat to land him again on the Oregon side. Discretion in this case was certainly the better part of valor, for it undoubtedly saved him his scalp and that of every member of his party that was to have landed on the hostile shore.

Hostiles Attack Friendlies Camp

     That night, by some means a band of hostiles crossed the river and attacked the camp of friendly Klickitats near where the section house now stands, and after a sharp exchange of shots, in which one of the invaders was seriously wounded, the friendlies left their camp and came tromping up to the house. Soon after the hostiles came across some of the cavalry picket guard and opened fire on them, which sent them scurrying to camp. These men were posted on the brow of the hill near where my house now stands, so that evidently the Indians were reconnoitering and unexpectedly ran across the guards. Everybody was of course up and under arms, but nothing else occurred during the night.
     The next day all was quiet across the river. The Indians had gone; not a squaw, papoose nor puppy was left. They had disappeared as completely as if the earth had swallowed them up. Even the friendly Klickitats were at a loss to account for their absence. Ah, but the Cascade massacre was the dreadful sequel of their vanishing.
     A few days later the cavalry returned to The Dalles, and the daily routine of farm work was resumed, undisturbed, until the awful horror of the 26th day of March. What a bright beautiful day it was! The broad bosom of the Columbia was like mirrored glass. My two yoke of oxen were yoked to the wagon, and brother Charles was deputized as special guard for the day's trip to Rail gulch for a load of rails. Just as we were ready to start a faint helloa was heard from over the river, near the mouth of White Salmon. Again and again it came. Finally, two figures were made out, waving their blankets. The Indians collected at the house, hesitating, fearing a trap, but finally, fully armed, a party started over to investigate. Before their return we had gone for our day's work. About two o'clock, when on our way home, my brother Eugene came riding up on horseback with the news that the Cascades had been attacked and that the battle was then raging, and told us to hurry home as fast as possible. The battle going on, or possibly over, and an elder brother there, perhaps dead.
     On reaching home we found everything in commotion. The Indians had gathered in for council and were evidently much excited. The parties who were signaling across the river in the morning proved to be a buck and his squaw who had been held as prisoners by Showouwai, a brother of Kamiaken, because he had refused to let the chief have a rifle to which he had taken a fancy. They had been seven days coming from the Simcoe reservation and had experienced fearful hardships on the way over from hunger and fatigue; having come nearly all the way through snow, in some places many feet deep. They brought news that the hostiles were to start so as to reach the Cascades the very day that they had reached the river. They had strained every nerve in order to reach as sooner and give the alarm, but were too late.
     My brother Eugene immediately started for the landing to intercept the little steamer Mary, which was then coming in sight, and communicate the news to them. Their reply sent a thrill of terror through every heart. They themselves had been in the fight and had by the greatest chance, barely escaped with their lives, and some had been seriously if not mortally wounded, and were then on board. Their advice was for us to fly with our lives, as in all probability every soul at the Cascades would be killed, as the woods were full of Indians. About sundown a courier arrived, bringing the news that Bradford's store, where all the whites at the Upper Cascades were congregated, had been captured, as the Indians could be seen carrying flour and other things out of it. (This was a mistake as it was the Bush house which had been abandoned and was afterward looted by the Indians.)
     A council was at once called, Indians included. They on their part promised to station guards all along the river and send couriers to the Cascades, and this promise was faithfully executed. After they had gone it was unanimously decided that we should at all hazards attempt to reach The Dalles. We had all confidence in the Klickitats; they had been proven, but were satisfied the others could not be trusted. Our only route was by the river, and the craft, a large Chinook canoe which had been hid in the brush near where the present wagon bridge crosses Hood River, and was owned by an old Indian named Waucusha. This canoe was an exceptionally fine one, capable of carrying 30 or 40 passengers.
     At about midnight the entire white population of Hood River left their homes and marched in single file to the river, where we met the canoe and started our lonely journey. As we quietly paddled our canoe through the silent water, we heard the Indian guards signaling along the shore from one to another until far up and down the river came the answering calls. We had been discovered, and in less time than it takes to read it, every camp had been appraised of our flight.
     About noon the next day, when near Klickitat river, we met both little steamers, Mary and Wasco, fairly blue with soldiers, and loaded to the guards with cavalry and munitions of war, on their way to the relief of the Cascades. They stopped as they came to us, inquiring for news. We gave them what we had heard from the courier the night before, and they hurried along. How their polished rifles and bayonets gleamed and shimmered in that noon day sun! And their clanking sabers made sweet music to our care-worn ears. How fierce and brave and good they looked! Oh! would they be in time? About 3 o'clock we reached The Dalles, where almost the entire population turned out to meet us, inquiring for the news. And there our journey ended.
     I cannot close to this article without a tribute of praise to those true and loyal Klickitats, who so bravely stood by the whites in that trying year. Truer-hearted man never lived. Tried by the test of battle, they proved themselves men even though their hearts beat under a dusky skin. They have nearly all passed over to their happy hunting grounds and scarcely a remnant of their race remains. Among the most prominent of them were Johnson, Queumps, Yallup, Snataps and Johnnie. There were others that I cannot call to memory. Among the Hood River Indians only two or three remain -- Old John Slibender and Charlie Copiax, and both were unwavering in fealty to the whites. There is still another, whose character as a friend to the pale face is open to serious doubts. His own admission places him in the fight against Major Haller on Simcoe mountains. By the evidence of all others, his hand applied the torch that fired the Joslyn houses, and by implication that same right hand was crimsoned with the blood of innocents at the Cascade massacre. I refer to Old White Salmon Dave, a notorious beggar and would-be pensioner of Bro. John Cradlebaugh.
     There is also a scrap of unwritten history concerning the plans of that wily old chief, Kamiaken. He had decided upon war, and his plan was first to capture the Cascades, then leaving sufficient force to hold that place, come up the river and attack The Dalles, compelling all the Indians to join him. And there is no doubt in my mind that, with few exceptions, all the tribes will have joined his standard. From The Dalles the movement was to continue eastward until the entire country east of the Cascades was clear of whites. The campaign was well planned but poorly executed. All that saved the Cascades, however, was a very unfortunate accident, one of those happenings which seems to be the direct work of Providence. A large body of United States troops was on its way to the eastern part of the territory, and Kamiaken was fully informed as to the intentions of the troops. Couriers on fleet horses waited the movement of the troops, and on their departure from The Dalles the horses of the couriers were urged to their utmost speed to Kamiaken's camp, who at once started his warriors for the Cascades. But the troops only made a three-mile march and went into camp to await the arrival of arms and ammunition which had been detained at the Cascade portage, and were to have been shipped by the steamer the very day of the attack. So the detention not only furnished those in Bradford's store with an abundance of arms and ammunition, but detained the troops within easy reach of the boats, This information regarding Kamiaken all came through the Indians that had escaped from Chief Showaway's clutches.

But my story must close. You who are now scattered throughout the length and breadth of this beautiful valley can but little realize the situation then or the constant fear that for over a year was in every breast. It seems to me now more like a dream than a reality.

Leaves From An Old Diary

     Our meteorological record commences February, 1, 1857, but no family record was kept until June, 1858. I read from the record:
     "Sunday, October 15, 1857. -- Thermometer broke by the first frost that touched it.
     This was a serious loss, as we were unable to obtain another one until the following June.
     Almost the first entry I find is on June 3 -- "Took 19 bushels potatoes to Dalles; sold for $2.5O per bushel."
     Farm hands came high those days. From an old account book I read:
     "William Paige, by work commencing May 1, 1857, to October 22 - 5 mos., 22 days - $238.00" (or $40 per month and board). This man Paige was an old English sailor whom my father picked up in Portland and hired for a year at $40 per month and board. He afterwards obtained unenviable notoriety by his connection with the noted Magruder murders near Lewiston, Idaho, about 1884 or 1865. Paige, with three others, named Magruder and his entire party of five or six for their money, and escaped to California. They were captured in San Francisco and taken back to Lewiston. Paige turned state's evidence, and saved his neck; his three companions were hanged; he was afterwards shot dead in a saloon brawl.
     August 10, 1858, a young man by the name of Arthur Gordon, who, with his cousin Henry, had been at work on the river, took up the claim afterwards known as the Peter Neal place, and my brother Eugene took up a claim he afterwards sold to Jesse Neal, a son of old Peter.
     August 15, 1 read, "Peaches' and plums begin to ripen." And on the 20th, "Took two bushels peaches to Dalles; these brought 25 cents a pound."
     Some time during the summer, S.B. Ives and family and A.C. Phelps moved up from the Cascades. Ives located on what we called Round Prai-rie, west and north of the Belmont church, and Phelps directly west, on the creek, later known as Phelps creek, Patton creek and Fall brook. Later an old sailor named Cowperthwaite took up the place south of the Ives place, afterward owned by Ward, Whitcomb, Pratt and others. Amos Underwood and John M. Marden also located on what is now known as the Haynes--Morton farm, and a wan named Wilson on the Barnett place.
     N.S. Benson, who went East in the early fall to get him a wife, returned in November, bringing, also, Miss Maggie Williams, J.M. Benson's fiancee. These now arrivals made a welcome addition to our little neighborhood. J.M. Benson had taken op a farm on Indian creek, so called from the Indian village of some ten or twelve houses built of split cedar boards and used during the winters.
     January 22, 1859, from our record I read: "Killed two hogs; weight 280 pounds; sold at 14 cents, or $39.20" There was money in raising hogs then.
     "February 14 - Sold one yoke oxen to John Day; price $160." This was the man from whom the John Day river was named.
     Our record does not tell of the first post office and postmaster, but it must have been opened in 1859, with Mrs. Martha Benson P. M., and was kept at the N.S. Benson place, just east of the Lost Lake Lumber company's saw mill. This was a great convenience, as before that time the mail came through the pursers of the boats, and was frequently delayed and lost.
     "Tuesday, February 22 - Steamer Mary sunk at Horn's landing; ran on submerged stump." This landing is on the Edgar Locke farm. Broke thermometer again, and it could not be re-placed until June 1.
     In March, Mr. and Mrs. Butler and Mr. and Mrs. Whiting came. Mr. Butler took up the place afterwards known as the Odell ranch, and Whiting took a place adjoining on the west.
     "Monday, June 6, 1859 - Commenced papering the rooms; won't they look nice with such pretty paper?" this is in mother's handwriting..
     "Tuesday, June 7 - Walker and Max-well, road makers, came to supper." This was the party that opened what was known as the Walker trail to the Willamette valley via the west fork of Hood river and Chitwood lake.
     "Monday, June 27 - Election returns, precinct of Hood River; Congressman, D. Logan, rep., S. Lansing Stout, dem., 4."
     Some time in the spring of this year a man named Stadden took up the place now known as the Turner farm and built a log cabin on it. This cabin was used by Butler and Whiting as a store room while they were building their houses; Stadden assisting them. On returning to the Stadden house, one evening, they wore surprised to find that some person or persons had broken into the cabin and stolen the bulk of their provisions. Inquiry at the cabin of the Gordon boys elicited the fact that a band of Indians had passed in the valley that day by way of Stadden's. Of course it was the Indians that were guilty, and on the return of the band they were accused of the theft. This they indignantly denied, and opened their packs for inspection. They then demanded that the cabin of the Gordons be searched, and declared they would do so if the whites did not. So the only thing to be done was to go and prove that a white man was incapable of violating one of the Ten Commandments. The Gordons declared they would not have the cabin searched, but seeing it was useless to resist, they stood by and witnessed the indignant searchers haul out the missing provisions from under the floor and out of the bunks. The two young men could well have thanked their lucky stars that they did not grace the limb of an adjoining tree; but more moderate counsel prevailed. They were shown the trail and advised to hit it" without undue loss of time. And, needless to say, they took the gentle hint without unnecessary delay and made themselves scarce.
     An incident or two that occurred about this time will illustrate the peculiar Ideas of Indian justice and the dangerous character of a medicine man's job. The head man or chief of the Hood River Indians was a tall, dignified man named Ba-al, who was the proud possessor of two wives. One of them having offended her liege lord and master, was very promptly and vigorously disciplined; the result being a broken arm and serious internal injuries and her ejection from the regal mansion into an adjoining unused shack, where she was left with little or no care. A brother of the woman, hearing of her pitiable condition, came and at once ordered a notable medicine-man, named Te-al-lup, to attend the injured woman. His skill, however, was of no avail, and the ox-queen died. The camp was located on the ground now covered by the Mount Hood, hotel. Next evening after the squaw's death, as I was driving my cows home past the camp, I heard the report of a rifle. Going to see what had happened I found the old doctor face downwards in the fire, with a bullet hole in the back of his head. He had been sitting with his back towards the entrance, when the brother, Jack Wal-lu-pi-ke, concluding that the doctor alone was to blame for his sister's death, stole up be-hind him and blew out his brains. As I felt a little lonesome, not knowing just how far Jack's idea of vengeance might go, I took my departure with as much dignity as I could muster, and flatter myself that I did well consider-ing the creepy feelings up and down my spinal column. The incident was closed, however; the wrong man killed, and honor and vengeance satisfied.
     Another, case was that of one of Chief Mark's tribe, of The Dalles, who was killed in a drunken brawl by one of Chief Wal-la-chin's men. Wal-la-chin ruled half a dozen camps located about three miles west of Hood River. Chief Mark at once demanded satisfaction either by delivery of the guilty party or a satisfactory number of ponies. Both demands were refused on the ground of contributory negligence. Mark, without further delay, marshalled his warriors and started for Wal-la-chin's camp on a strictly business proposition. About 10 o'clock one bright spring morning the beating of tom-toms notified us of their arrival1. They had crossed Hood river near its mouth and marched single file down the entire length of the sandbar. There were 50 or 60 of them on horseback, armed with flint-lock muskets, bows and arrows, etc., and made a procession one-half a mile long. It is needless to say that old Wal-la-chin capitulated at once, and in the afternoon they returned with the blood-money horses, lead-ing them away in triumph.
     In the fall of 1860 Peter Neal visited Hood, River valley and decided to locate on the abandoned Gordon place, and in the spring of 1861 moved down with his family, including his son-in-law, Jerome Winchell. If I remember rightly, Hardin Corum came to Hood River the same spring and built the saw mill for Neal. The East Side then abounded in magnificent pine timber, and the Neal's made use of it, cutting it wherever found, regardless of location. Uncle Sam then made no kick at those who despoiled his forests. Neal's lumber business was run very much on Uncle Sam's protective tariff plan. We paid $10 and $l2 per 1000 for his lumber here, though he would ship better lumber to The Dalles and sell at $6 and $8 per 1000 there. That is we could buy identically the same lumber at The Dalles, and pay freight back to Hood River as cheap as we could get it at home; but that was one of Uncles Pete's little ways, and we could buy it or let it alone, just as we chose. Jesse Neal, son of Peter. Neal, took up a place adjoining the Butler place, which was afterwards purchased by John Hinrichs, and a year or so Corum took a farm west of Jesse Neal's and built a saw mill on a branch of what is now known as Odell creek.


     I must not forget to mention a well-known character, of these early days, known as George P. Roberts, later known as Hog Roberts, the squaw man. I think it must have been in the fall of 1857 or the spring of 1858 that Roberts located on the land where the town of Frankton was afterwards laid out, and built a shack on the little hill where the Smith cemetery now is, and some years later took up the place on which now is the little town of Viento. Roberts was then the most notorious liar east of the Cascades, and he had no equals and no superior west of them. It was simply impossible for the man to tell the truth; and no one expected it of him. A sample yarn which after-wards became famous in the country, was told me first by Roberts. Up to the fall of '61 he had collected quite a band of cayuse ponies. These, as the winter came on, were driven onto the mountains east of Hood river where the grass was abundant and high. The ensuing winter was noted for its se-verity, bitter cold weather and deep snow covered with a heavy crust which at one time was strong enough to bear up a small pony. Roberts never saw hide nor hair of his band of horses after January 1 until near the first of March, when he found them on the banks of Hood river in fairly good condition, and not one missing, although the snow must have been fully five feet deep. According to his story he had spent many days looking in vain for them. He bad given up in despair, -concluding they were all dead, and he was returning home, when all of a sudden the crust on the snow on which he had been walking gave way, letting him fall through, and to his intense astonishment he found himself astride of one of his long lost ponies. The sur-prised cayuse promptly bucked him off, and on regaining his feet he found that all his horses were there, fat and saucy. They had been at the bottom of the hill when the snows came, and after the crust froze, the horses had worked up the mountain side, pawing away the snow under the crust, which rolled down the hill. This left the crust, hard and intact, which protected them from the cold and storms; in fact, so mild and pleasant was the climate in these dug-out places, which were acres in extent, that the new grass had grown so luxuriantly that the horses had been living on it entirely for over a month.
     Roberts was a great weather prophet and firmly believed in the Zodiacal signs, as well as the moon, stating as a positive rule that a chinook wind al-ways came with the full of the moon. Some one called to mind the fact that in the winter of '62 there was not a breath of west wind during the full month of January. Roberts scratched his head and to a purpose. "Why," he said, "that was the result of a very peculiar phenomenon which occurs once in every 1,000 years when there is no full moon for a mouth January, 1862, was the anniversary of that event."
     July 4 of this year, 1861, Hood River held its first celebration. The spot chosen was in the large oak grove in front of Professor Thompson's residence, east of the school building. Hood River was then, as it always has been, intensely patriotic and loyal to the Union, and in those days political feeling ran high. It was deemed necessary that we should have an emblem of the Union to fly to the breeze. My father was commissioned to see about getting a flag. So a trip to The Dalles was made and material purchased, costing $20, and sewed together on a very wonderful piece of mechanism -- a sewing machine, one of the first on the coast. The work of sewing the stripes together and binding the same, cost $10 more without putting on the stars, which was done by the ladies of our neighborhood. The flag was a beauty then, and is still so. The colors are as bright as the day they floated out on the breeze nearly 42 years ago. Thirty-two persons all told participated in the celebration.
     The day came near ending in a tragedy. A certain young man, whom I will not name, was unwise enough to drink a cold-water toast to the Southern Confederacy. A stone thrown into a hornet's nest would aptly illustrate the situation in that little gathering. In an instant, it is needless to say, that young man realized what he had done and none too soon, and was only too glad to take off his hat before Old Glory and swear allegiance to the Union. The trees still bear the marks of where the bower was built, and where our flag pole was raised. The flag is now in the hands of the Oregon Historical Society in Portland.
     In August of this year, 1861, D.A. Turner and William Odell came to the valley. Mr. Turner bought out the Stadden place of William Moss, who bought it of Stadden, and Odell the Butler farm. Also, the same fall, Laborn Stetwell took up what was afterwards known its the Lilly place, south of Joe Purser's, and a man named Joe Wilkins took the place now known as the Crapper ranch.


     This brings our record down to the fall of '61, and the beginning of the hardest winter since the settlement of Hood River, and in fact the Indians said it was the worst they had ever seen. But the old men had a tradition that told of a winter in which so much snow fell that it did not melt off during the ensuing summer, making it a contin-uous winter for over a year, and that all the stock died off, and most of the Indians. On November 19 snow began to fall, and at no time after that date was the ground entirely clear until after April 12, 1862. On that date, I read from the record, "snow chiefly gone, except in spots." Up to that date we had experienced no severe weather, though one winter a large quantity of snow fell but it did not last long. We were well prepared both ourselves and our stock for any ordinary winter, but a winter lasting from November 19 to April 13, left all former records so far behind that they were not worthy of mention. The mercury went down on January 16 to 24 degrees below zero, and the average mean temperature for the month was only 10.45 ,degrees above zero. The greatest depth of snow was 4 feet 1 inch on the level. The river closed January 1, and the first boat came up March 4. On February 19, our provisions having given out, I took an Indian and hand sled and went to The Dalles to replenish our stock of food. The trip was a dan-gerous one, as the ice was breaking up. I broke in once, but saved the load on the sled.
     My story would be incomplete with-out a special reference to that hardy old pioneer, Daves Divers. Either in the fall of '61 or '62, he located up Hood river on the place now known as the Divers farm. His family consisted of his wife and three sons. One by one the boys left him and a few years ago the faithful wife and mother passed through the valley of shadows. Unable longer to care for his many acres, he disposed of his farm, and buying a small place, he is awaiting alone the final summons.
     On Saturday, the 14th of May, 1864, a most deplorable accident happened that cast a gloom over our little neighbor-hood, and resulted in the drowning of William Jenkins and his 10 year-old son, Walter, and James Laughlin, son of Judge Laughlin of The Dalles. James, who was a schoolmate and warm personal friend of mine; was returning to The Dalles after having made me a visit. It was high water and the landing at Benson's, near the Lost Lake Lumber company's saw mill, was reached by a small boat. A.C. Phelps, Mr. Jenkins, and his boy were also of the party. The boat, which was a large one and loaded with empty kegs was using a sail, which jibbed unexpectedly and struck the boy Walter on the head, knocking him over-board. Mr. Jenkins at once jumped in after him, and James, thinking he could be of assistance grasped an empty keg and jumped in also, but the wind was too strong and the keg carried him away from those he was trying to reach, so he let it go and tried to reach shore, which was only a short distance away. But when within a few feet of the land he sank to rise no more. This left Phelps alone in the unwieldy boat, but doing the best he could, he made a tack out in the river and back towards Jenkins, who was still holding the boy and work-ing towards shore. But just as the boat was within a few rods of him he also sank with the boy. James Laughlin was a most estimable young man, upright, honest, honorable and had a host of friends who sincerely mourned his untimely taking off. After Jenkins' death, his widow married a steamboat engineer, named Burt and soon after they sold the farm to Mr. B.W. Mitchell and his father-in-law M.C. Nye.


     In the fall of 1864 S.M. Baldwin and Harry Tieman located on a place near the Sears' farm, whore they remained three years, when they moved to the upper Hood River valley, where the found, superior advantages, for stock raising, having unlimited range and an abundance of wild hay. By dint of hard work and frugality they soon had the wilderness turned into blooming orchards and billowy meadows, sur-rounded by all the comforts that the ground could produce. These jolly old bachelors lived care free of the world and its troubles. Full many a merry party from the lower valley found a hearty welcome to the hospitable homes of these kind-hearted men. Henry Tieman for many years sailed under the pennant of Commodore Brazee of the United States navy, and his tales of the sea were as interesting as they were varied. A few years ago he made his last voyage, furled his sails and dropped anchor on the other shore. Mr. Bald-win still lives, not on, but near the old home, not now an old bachelor with his sour dough and bacon. But the latch string is out just the same and the welcome just as hearty as of old.
     I have now brought my record down to modern times, so to speak. The advent of the Parkhurst colony from Pennsylvania in November, 1875, was a long step in the development of the valley. The building of the railroad, the open-ing of the locks at the Cascades, the development of the fruit industry have in the half century passed turned this little valley, once lovely in its wildness, into a valley of gardens now lovely in its cultivation.


The photographs, and any accompanying titles:

William C. Laughlin - He was born in Bourbon county, Kentucky, December 27, 1814; married in Quincy, Ill., to Mary Yeargain, April 4, 1840; died in The Dalles, Oregon, September 17, 1864.

Mrs. Mary Yeargain Laughlin - Was born in Shelby county, Kentucky, January 28, 1818. Died January 17, 1898, at The Dalles, Oregon. Mr. and Mrs. Laughlin had three children - Elizabeth, James and B.F. Laughlin - all born in Scotland, Missouri. James was drowned at Hood River in 1864; Elizabeth Lord and B.F. Laughlin reside in The Dalles.

Built by Nathaniel Coe, in 1854, near the site of the Laughlin cabin. Now the oldest house in Hood River. Mount Adams, the Columbia river and the Washington cliffs in the distance.

Nathaniel Coe - Was born in Morristown, New Jersey, September 6, 178. Removed to Rochester, N.Y., when a boy, traveling by ox team all the way. Was married to Miss Mary White in 1826, and removed to Hunda, N.Y., where he remained until he came to Oregon. He was twice elected to the state legislature. In 1851 President Fillmore appointed him special postal agent for the territory of Oregon, which then included all the territory lying north of California to the British line and west of the Rocky Mountains. Removed to Hood River in 1854, where he died October 17, 1868.

Mary White Coe - Was born in New York City in 1803, where she lived until her marriage. Came to Oregon in 1854 and to Hood River that same year, where she died in 1893. She had five children -- Lawrence W., Cornelia, Charles C., Eugene F. and Henry C.

E.S. Joslin

Mary L. Joslyn

John Slibinder - He must now be close to his centennial year and is still a hale and hearty old man. After an intimate acquaintance, lasting nearly half a century, I can truthfully say that I never knew a more honest, truthful or upright man, black or white, then Old Slibinder -- never wavering in his friendship to the whites, ever risking the anger of the hostiles during the troublous times of the Indian war of 1856. - H.C.C.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer