Monday, May 10, 2010

Early Laytonville Indian History

The stories that I heard growing up in Laytonville led me to believe that the white settlers of the Long Valley were good to the Indians. Some of Olmanriver's research for original stories belies that theory. I've always suspected that the whites weren't all That good to the Indians, otherwise why did the "Battle of Bloody Run" happen where many indian people were killed.

The other day when Olmanriver was in my office, he told me that he had an original story about how the early settlers of long valley weren't very kind to the Indian people. He told me about a man by the name of "W" that he assumed to be Mr. White. I thought that he meant "White" like in "Simpson and White" who ownd a sawmill west of Cahto in Laytonville. After reading his acount, I can only assume that the "White" was George "Cattle King" White of Covelo, who is widly and notoriuosly rumored to have killed many Indians. It is rumored that not only did he kill indians, but he killed white settlers who's land he wanted, or paid them a pitance for their land and told them to leave. All left, some in a box. I have not heard one story defending White's honor.

So, from that standpoint I'm not insulted, or hurt, by Olmanrivers story that he has allowed me to place here:

A military man named Tassin was in Round Valley in 1874 and gave his accounts in the 1887 Overland Monthly in a series called the Chronicles of Camp Wright. Amazing early perspective. He gives a history of the problems and mentions the Lt Carlin who was at Ft. Bragg and investigated the Shelter Cove incidents of 1860 (The Indians in Shelter cove were masacred) that I posted on Joe Writes Home. You and I have added to the storyline that the Long Valley animal depredations, were caused by the Yuki being driven that way by Jarboe's efforts. (Captian Jarboe was the head of the Eel River Rangers, hired by the U.S. Govrnment to round up the Indian people and put them on resevations. Those that resisted were killed)  I had surmised that the Woodman place had over one hundred animals slain because of its proximity to the heavily inhabited valleys to the east, and because he was running a slave business. Here we get the real story:

"The operations in Round Valley, effectual as they were in removing the Indians from it, and from its immediate vicintiy, had a somewhat bad effect on teh neighboring settlements. Lieutenant Carlin, then at Fort Bragg, wrote to his general in San Francisco, that he had been talking with gentleman from Long Vlley, who attributed all their trouble there to the exterminating war against the Indians of Round and Eden Valleys. 'The Indians that escaped death, fled westward toward Long Valley, some twenty miles from the two other valleys, and believing that all the white were leagued against them for the extermination, they felt that they had but a short time to live, and that for that time, they might a swell live on the cattle of their enemies. In fact, they had nothing else to live upon, having been driven, hunted, and slaughtered, until no place afforded them shelter but the barren greasewoood mountains, and even there, they are now found and slain'."


the Carlin letter goes on... "'Mr W.... thinks that the Indians are now driven back so far from the valley, and so frightened, that they will probably not disturb the settlers again soon. I think so too. If the settlers will let them alone, there will probably we no further trouble'".



Had to be White, it was great to find the original citation in military records of this key point. Another addition for the files.

Best Wishes, Olmanriver
 
Plus and interesting sidetrip about the evil "Cattle King. " Story about Cattle king white's conversion to spiritualism



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41 comments:

Ernie Branscomb said...

I just talked to Olmanriver and he says nope!, It was probably "Robert White" of Simpson and White. He seems real sure that it was probably him... Another "Good Guy" down the drain.

olmanriver said...

In this 1859-61 period Robert White was the most prominent citizen in the area. He and John Pendleton Simpson, after a few years stint working at the Mendocino Reservation, wisely positioned themselves in Cahto Valley on the trade route to and from Round Valley to the Coast, and the wagon road south over Strong Mountain. There were large amounts of money to be made supplying the reservations, as well as being a way stop on the main trail.
Their Simpson hotel was up in 1861, and merchandise store by 1865. In 1873 Frank Layton had a blacksmith shop there before pulling out a year or two later after some local dissension. He then he moved to the present site of Laytonville. This is Laytonville history 101, but we will come back to this later.
So Robert White and John Pendleton Simpson were the first successful entrepreneurs in the greater Long Valley. As we have mentioned, White was also the road viewer for Mendocino county, traveling through our Southfork country in 1859. In 1860 he served as a spokesman for the valley in a San Francisco newspaper article in which he described how many livestock had been lost to Indians, forcing the local men to form a local militia. One of the early Long Valley pioneers in a deposition taken in Round Valley, called the group the Long Valley Volunteers, and that he had been in on only two raids.
Robert Winn, in his seminal booklet on the Mendocino Reservation shows a caring side of Robert White as reservation employee, working hard hunting to feed the burdgeoning Indian population, and retrieving Indians stolen for the slave trade. His letters preserved in the National Archives show more of the popular Bob White whose funeral was attended by many Indians, whose keening cast a mournful pall over the proceeding.

Setting up a ranch to provide beef for the reservation was a smart move, placing them in a strategic business location. As our Long Valley folk know, there are photos shot from the Indian rancheria showing the Simpson hotel on the hill, so Indian labor was right at hand. Winn makes the suggestion that the Simpson/White enterprise was a quasi-reservation system. In the Mendocino Oral histories there is mention of using Indians as pack animals with very large loads. A Tom Keter paper actually directed me to a file which had a number of short newspaper articles on early Cahto history by a relative of Simpson, and by marriage, White.
In one article titled "Indians as Vassals", she describes the Ft. Bragg and how she was told that the reservation system was a "vast scheme of vassalage" and how the Indians received harsh treatment. "Cahto, itself, had a rancheria on which some 75 Indians were kept under the supervision of John P. Simpson, and they were used to transport supplies on their backs from the coast, also performed othe menial tasks for which they received but little remuneration."

Part One

olmanriver said...

11/11/45 The Knave:
'We were up in Mendocino County and back in the old days, a week ago, as we read Leslie J. Layton's--after whose father Laytonville was named--account of men and events. Today the story continues: "Merchandise was freighted on the backs of Indians, from the seaport town of Westport. Each Indian was given approximately 80 pounds to carry. They were rewarded for making the trip with a chap handkerchief, a shirt or some other article of clothing. My mother said that as a child she would watch the distant mountain, over which the narrow trail wound down into the valley, waiting for the pack train to make its appearance. These Indians were capable of remarkable endurance, and all the heavy labor and menial tasks were imposed upon them at the demand of the white man. The Indian rancheria was located about a quarter mile west of the town, just in back of the present home of Dr. Winchester. It maintained a population of about 75 Indians, known as the Cahto-Pomo tribe. About 16 years ago I visited the location and my mother pointed out a large rock just below the house of Dr. Winchester, where she as a girl would sit perched to watch the Indians butches beeves, the corrals being located there. This rock can be seen just above the road. She often mentioned the cruelties inflicted on the Indians as punishment. They were given but little consideration and would be stripped to the waist and lashed after the manner of the Negro of the South during the days of slavery. John Simpson, an Army captain, was placed in charge of the Indians by the Government, and he held them in subjection with a iron hand."'

correction: Leslie J. Layton,one-time city trustee of Santa Clara, was the son of Frank B. Layton. Change the she in part I to he.

spyrock said...

robert white, born in ireland in 1822, lived in indiana for 10 years before he became a purser on the mississippi river where he met captain simpson. the two came to california in 1849, mariposa, san francisco and mendocino. mr white became the head of the indian reservation at fort bragg until 1854. they moved to cahto which meant swampland on 200 acres of government land, drained the lake and purchased 3200 acres of land next to it. they built a sawmill, store, hotel and livery stable. he married simpsons neice and had nine children. his son james married nellie bowman.
it seems that robert white was a good natured, easy going sort of fellow that people often tried to take advantage of. white had a hunting dog that he loaned to a friend against his better judgement.
the young man was gone for several days and when he returned it was without the dog. when white asked the young man where his dog was, he explained that while they were hunting the dog persisted in chasing deer and when he ordered it to stop, he just kept going, so he shot him.
well white was upset to say the least, but being the kind of man he was, he didn't say or do much.
about three years later, the young man had built and furnished a home and had as a prized possession, a beautiful mantle clock. mr. white, walking past the house one day, saw the door open and the clock sitting in its place of honor over the fireplace. he stopped in the doorway and ordered the clock to stop. the clock kept ticking away so white took aim and fired. afterwards walking away grinning knowing that he had evened the score even though it had taken 3 years.

spyrock said...

this was from katie mayo pioneering in the shadow of chato mountain.
in 1880, cahto was known throughout the county as the place to go for horse and chariot races. horse breaking and steer riding were favorite sports at the time.
according to oldtimers, prior to being called laytonville, the area was scornfully referred to by cahto residents as "lick skillit and spat out". the feelings between the two valleys were quite strong even before the mysterious feud.
so here you have robert white portrayed as a good ole irish family man. george white put on a good front as well. he was very generous with his money which he had plently of and people like wailacki john and frank gregory did his dirty work.
but in this case, it seems that robert white is the one talking about the indians from elsewhere coming into long valley because he was the main man.
it seems that who he really was cannot be defined by today's standards. also, some people seem to remember him as being a good guy. the cahto indians might remember him. go ask them. it seems that the indians like gambling as they have their red fox casino. maybe they liked those horse races too.

spyrock said...

thanks river for finding that story about george white's interest in spiritualism. ive been looking for info on that to no avail. the interesting thing is that the indians who live in covelo today believe that the same kinds of things exist in round valley as well. i think the veil is really thin there. plus, its still like a place from another time like the 50's.

Ernie Branscomb said...

From what I understand, the Indian people that ended up at Cahto were pretty whipped out. They had no culture left, they had no way of getting food or clothing. Any handout from the white man was probably greatly appreciated no matter how meager. If they got enough food to eat, and got a few clothes to wear, they were probably greatful. I'm not by any stretch of the imagination justifying using the Indians as pack animals. I do think that the only why you could truly understand the odd relationship between the white man and the Indian would be to have been there, back then.

The other thing that always makes me wonder is. why are there so many different versions of the same event?

Ernie Branscomb said...

I've also heard stories about "Cattle King White" not going anywhere without a loaded gun. They say he slept with one, and he always had one on his lap when he sat at a table.

olmanriver said...

'Twarnt me on the White Spiritualist post, I am the one sharing the early history Kate Mayo wouldn't touch.

spyrock said...

I first came to the valley in 1997 to visit my parents after they relocated to Covelo from Sacramento. My dad took a job as a school teacher at the local charter school. I cannot describe to you the utter pain and sorrow I felt from the land upon arrival, despite its optic brilliance. Being so empathic I found it virtually impossible to tread lightly, as there was so much heaviness everywhere. I owe much of my spiritual enlightenment to the truth of this land and would like to invite you to come adventure with me. Come scout it out! Bigfoot lives here and is referred to as the Wild Man of the Woods. I have seen this species myself and have a report on file with the BFRO, along with many others (google Covelo and Bigfoot). There are also what the elders refer to as Little People who roam the hills and hollows at night. Then there is also Shadow people. There are UFO sightings galore! There's not a single inch of this valley that's not anciently occupied with spirits leading the way. I have lost time on Hwy 162 with a witness in my car, slipped into another dimension where everything was surreal and buzzing (Paul: This sounds like Holly is referring to the Oz Factor, which abductees feel the same thing Holly is feeling). No, I wasn't stoned! I channeled a Navaho spirit, followed another to a remote location where I captured an apparition with my camera, and on it goes..

There's all kinds of paranormal phenomena in these Northern California wilds.. Cool thing is, what much of the world calls paranormal is really pretty normal here! After a decade of comings and goings… I myself have come to the conclusion this land ties into the Vortex of Shasta, expanding on (sharing) Her Majesty's powerful energy grid, heartily seasoned by its own unique energy, of course.
For those who care to venture, you're in for a real treat! Bring lots of equipment and please dress warm.

this is from hpi paranormal out of sacramento.

so maybe george white was on to something he couldn't ignore.

Idaho said...

Wow olmanriver! That is some primary research you uncovered. An actual accounting from the son of the founder of Laytonville of his mother's childhood memories from 1873. I sure haven't seen any bullshistory come close to that.
On page 86 of Kate Mayo's In the Shadow of the Cahto, she actually refers to the articles you dug up:
"According to an article in Mr. Rampone's possession, a son of Frank Layton refers to the founders of Cahto as 'My great uncle John Simpson, and Robert White an uncle by marriage to my aunt'."

Now spy, White never ran the the Mendocino Reservation, he was an employee at one of the Rez locations. Simpson was in charge of the southernmost part of the Reservation. He was called Captain Simpson because in 1863 he was the leader of the Mountaineer Battalion, Company E, a company of mostly Mendocino county enlistees that was stationed at Camp Grant.
Simpson brought in over one hundred Indians in one of his roundup forays.
Most sources date Simpson and White starting up at Cahto in late 1856 or early 1857, having worked at the Mendocino reservation for a few years. Mrs. Mayo did a fine job, but she is wrong on her date of 1854 for their arrival at Cahto. There are National Archive letters showing them still at the Mendo Rez in 1855.
Your Robert White story of shooting the clock in revenge for the killing of his dog is an old classic. Thanks for adding that one.
Thanks olmanriver for your research, our picture of early Long Valley history is more complete with this addition from the 1873 period from a good source. Historians are indebted to you for bringing this piece of history to light.

spyrock said...

most everything i wrote about robert white was from katie mayo page 98 about james n. white. but the irish have been known to tell tall tales about themselves. i have read the stuff about the indians used as slaves and packers in many other books throughout california. the first were the fathers of the california missions. there is a mission down by san luis obispo that has the room without windows where the indians were kept as well as more traditional shelter. the whole mission was built by indian labor as most of the missions were throughout california before the americans showed up. in fact, slavery was pretty common throughout the world in those days.
the vast majority of whites who came to america were vassels or slaves of some king or lord. and as fate would have it, i do have an abolishionist in my family, big george who ran a station on the underground railroad in 1846 in jackson county, ohio and he encouraged the local methodist preacher to teach equality of the races until the preachers son, john wesley powell was stoned at school and he went to uncle george's school and museum on his farm that was later burned down by pro slavers. so the right to have slaves was an issue that was dear to most people hearts even in the north in those days. it doesn't seem there many people around brave enough to be agin it. so it's easy for us new agers to see the folly of our ancestors, but human trafficing still exists in the world. my daughter just turned in her thesis on human trafficing throughout the world and is receiving her masters in international relations later this month. so being nice to the indian slaves as mr white seemed to be would be preferable to selling or killing them as many others were apt to do in those days.

olmanriver said...

I appreciate your contextual comment greatly spy! Seriously. Perhaps the best book on this subject is Indians of California, the Changing Image. The whites (small w) were continuing a practice both practiced and supported widely back East, and practiced first by the Spanish here in California.
As you point out, even in the northern states slavery had its supporters. Another lesson in not seeing things as black or white, when as in a man, usually things are a mixture of the two. Robert White does not fall into a bad guy/good guy category for me, the report from Mrs. Layton thru her son was that Simpson ruled with the iron hand. They were partners in business at Cahto. This account of whipping Indians, as they also did here on the Southfork, was from a relatively early period, no doubt relations softened over time and wages got less exploitive. Fox Burns talks about working for a dollar a day as a cowboy on the mules supply trains between Devilbiss and Usal. I don't have a date for him memories but I would put it between 1890-1910.
It is good to point out that some whites were protectors of Indians, and helped them survive in ways that still were very hierarchical, but those Indians lived.

olmanriver said...

Of course, no one condones slavery, much less whippings.

If I had known this would be a Bob White thread in advance, I would have gotten the lithographic portrait of Robert White from a Mendocino County History done for hire in the 1880's. He has a face with a lot of character, relative to a lot of the scowling pictures you see from that time.

One of the cool things Ernie has done on his blog is to assemble a list of the Indian children taken in by Long Valley settler families. The list includes the Baechtels (the girl raised locally who married into Knob Hill, San Francisco society), Poes, Wilsons, Farleys, Burns, and now an account of a girl raised by the Requa's at the south end of Long Valley.
The Willits News started a series of articles on Alfred Requa and family in December of 1979. I do not have the date for the article titled "Continuing the story of the Requa Family" where it says:
"There was another child who grew up with Requas, an Indian girl who came to them as a baby and lived with them until she was grown.
Today, no one in the Requa family is sure from where the child came. One story was that Jackson Farley found the child on one of his Indian raids and brought her home to his neighbors.
But at least one member of the Requa family is sure it was John Groscup who found the baby and brought her home, eventually giving her to the Requas.
In any event, word has passed down through the family about the Indian girl who played with the Requa children when they were small and who assisted Melissa with the house and younger children as she grew older.
It is believed that she was the same Indian woman who helped with the births of Alfred Jr.'s children, who helped nurse Melissa when she fell ill, and who once gave Melissa a basket she had made, which Bonnie Christian still has today."

I didn't check the Eyes of the Elder series to see if she is in there, may cousin Penny will know.

Thanks Ernie for hosting all of this history recovery!

Robin Shelley said...

OMaR, this is all very interesting. Thank you.

olmanriver said...

S'welcome Robin.
Ms. May Clarke Winchester adds this mention of the "rancheree" at Cahto:
" The Indians had what is commonly known as a rancheree. They filled practically the same void that the Negroes did in the South. White and Simpson maintained the rancheree. the Indians worked for them. But the got TB as they did, with the incoming of the white people. And they died off and they moved away and the government gave them that place that they have now, what do you call it, a reservation. We always called it a rancheree over there. But they called it a reservation. We always called it a rancheree over there. But they called it a reservation and the government built roads and built houses. They had everything wired for electricity and they had electric stoves. It was run by electricity. Lots of things were blamed on the Indians when they didn't do them but they just came in handy. The Indians rally didn't take to farming, these Indians; maybe one in a hundred actually. My sister-in-law and my younger brother bought Indian land because the indians had the best land in the valley but they just didn't want to farm. They didn't want a dairy. When they went on whatever it was they went on and had a big time, they didn't want to come home and milk the cows. And the cows would be bawling and bawling and bawling and it didn't worry 'em a bit. That wasn't their life." Mendocino County Remembered, An Oral History by Bruce Levene and others, 1977, Volume II, pg. 294.

Robin Shelley said...

Mae Winchester was quite a character in her own right, OMaR, as well as a fountain of information. I never had the pleasure of interviewing her but I did have the good fortune of meeting her a few times. Rumor was that she would shoot you if you went on her land & that was enough to keep gullible children at bay. She would wave back from her front porch if she was sitting there when we drove by. She saw a lot of change in her life. Did you ever have the privilege of meeting her? A few of her younger cohorts still live in Laytonville/Branscomb.
Don't stop, OMaR. I'm hanging on your every word!

olmanriver said...

Another early mention of the rancheria comes from the deposition that William Frazier of Long Valley gave on 2/22/1860 in a deposition to the state legislatures committee investigation at Covelo into the Mendocino Indian Wars:"... there are forty or fifty Cahto-Pomas living on the rancho of White & Simpson, who are also friendly". "...the Indians and whites in one thousand eight hundred and fifty-seven were friendly; the first serious difficulty that occurred between the whites and Indians , was one year ago". Simpson and White are in on the first 'chastisement' of a Rancheria in Long Valley after friendly Indians bring them beef from that Rancheria. After later a (militia) raid into the mountains between Long Valley and Round Valley, Frazier said "...I took the prisoners to White & Simpson’s Rancho, where there are some friendly Indians, and delivered them up to White & Simpson, who promised to take care of them; we found in this Rancheria no signs of any depredation having been committed by these Indians; at White & Simpson’s I procured an interpreter, through whom the two squaws said they lived on beef and horse meat for some time; we used no threats of promises to induce them to say so; they said that they had heard the Indians say that they had been killing stock longer than the white men knew anything about, and that they intended to kill all the stock in the valley; they assigned no cause for killing the stock, and we could not induce them to do so;" This was followed by another raid by the "Long Valley Volunteers" on a rancheria.
The Long Valley men's depositions give us a rare picture of the area's Indian/white relations. They are a fascinating read and I imagine Ernie will post the Frazier and Farley depostions in the future. Both men portray a generally peaceful picture of life with Indians in the valley, and at Cahto, with the blame for more recent animal depredations lying with raiding tribes from outside the area, as a result of Jarboe's forays. Confirmation of this point from Carlin was what got me so excited and this post going.

olmanriver said...

Part two:
Frazier also said: "...the Indians and whites in one thousand eight hundred and fifty-seven were friendly; the first serious difficulty that occurred between the whites and Indians, was one year ago".
Jack Farley's 1860 deposition states: "The valley is thickly settled; I suppose there are about one-hundred voters in the valley and vicinity. The Indians, when I went there, were wild, and we could not get anywhere near them. The first stock killed there by Indians were three horses and a cow, belonging to me. This occurred about the month of October, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine." There were 46 men, out of 100 voters, in his Long Valley Volunteer command, although I am sure that this number fluctuated.
Frazier adds:
"I know of no attack being made by the Indians, either upon a white person or a residence; I have often traveled through the region inhabited by those Indians, alone, without being molested by them; I know of no children being taken away from these Indians to be sent away; among these hostile tribes which we attacked, we found no children taken from them by some white men, and for the purpose of pecuniary profit.
Before my company was organized, there had been a good many Indians killed in the valley by the citizens and Captain Jarboe’s company."

(note, of the aforementioned 100 area voters, 46 served in the citizen militia)

The first mention of this group was in a San Francisco Bulletin article dated Jan 21, 1860: "The Indians have again become very troublesome to the settlers of Mendocino county. Mr. White, a resident of Long Valley, informs us that they have become so bad that the settlers have been compelled to organize themselves into a standing army, so to speak, and by taking turns keep their stock and homes under constant guard."

There is no recorded history of this groups activities past the winter of 1859-60.

o said...

Sorry for the duplicative 46 out of 100 paragraph.

o said...

I absolutely did not duplicate that first paragraph in part two. I had been copy and pasting, but when I split that post up I started with the words Jack Farly. That was my break, I don't need any extra help looking sloppy, yegods of commentdom!

Anonymous said...

Ha. When you copy and paste in the original comment box, and don't pre- view your post, it doesn't register the cut of the original copy after you have pasted. Maybe I should go get pasted.

Sorry, Robin, never met here. She sounds like a hoot, who wasn't in your little valley?
There is a humorous account of her falling into the Mudsprings to her neck, not as funny at the time as it was scary.

olmanriver said...

This is too rich of a paragraph to leave out, particularly since we have dropped the mention of whippings into the storyline: (Frazier again)-- " in 1857, the different tribes of Indians in that vicinity had a meeting, and sent for me to be present; I think there were two thousand present; I was told by the friendly Indians that the Yucas encouraged the attempt to kill me; they surrounded me, and one Indian drew his bow and arrow and held it on me, but I brought my pistol to bear on him before he could shoot, and he cooled down; I then rode off; the only cause they assigned for it was, that I made those around mind me, and sometimes whipped them, and that they did not like me; there has been no white men killed in Long Valley, that I know of, and no buildings burnt; I think there is a necessity for an armed force in that valley, for the protection of the lives and property of the citizens at present: I do not believe that the citizens have applied to the Federal troops for protection; the white population in that valley consist of about one hundred and twenty-five."

Anonymous said...

Some time ago I posted information regarding Jack Farley to someone who asked a question about who he was married to. I posted dates for marriage to a Daisy Smith. I then realized there must be more than one Jack Farley due to the huge difference in dates.I met with Elizabeth Ferguson yesterday p.m. and she told me that the Jack Farley she wrote about was her grandfather Smith's sister's child. This Jack Farley was actually a 1st cousin to Daisy Smith who he was married to for a short time. It is not the same Jack or Jackson Farley of Farley Peak, and she doens't know if the two were related.
Cousin

Robin Shelley said...

"...I think there were two thousand present..." Can you imagine? What a sight that must have been! And if that Indian had let that arrow fly... Oh, OMaR! I may be falling in love with you!
Hoot! Hoot!

spyrock said...

hi cousin,
i've got another elizabeth ferguson you might ask yours about. her father was william washington ferguson from north carolina. with wife mary, i have a story of their journey in 1849 by covered wagon to california. they settled near yuba city. the children who came along were john n, henry o, elizabeth susan,, nancy a, paris j, martha j, and amanda m. elizabeth susan ferguson married paul haglar who was operating a saw mill nearby.
w. w. ferguson moved to the alexander valley in 1857 finally healdsburg where john n ferguson lived as well. mary fergusons grandmother had seen cornwallis surrender at yorktown. so these people had been here awhile.
paul and elizabeth susan ferguson haglar had a daughter named sarah catherine hagler born in colusa, ca in 1859. she married my great uncle frederick simmerly in covelo in 1876. so i imagine your elizabeth ferguson is descended from one of my elizabeth's brothers. anyways, its a great story about crossing the plains in a covered wagon and if these are her people it would be a good read for her. thanks, spy

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks Cousin
I didn't know that you were still reading.

I hope OMR is keeping all of his info organized. He is starting to dig up some great history. He has some info that ties to the Modac wars, that he is trying to verify, that will send shock waves through the Long Valley. Stay tuned. I hope that I haven't said too much.

Cousin, I am guilty of the same thing that you just talked about. I now know of three "Sally Bells" and two "Lucy Youngs" Now two "Jack farleys". I wonder how many Ernie Branscombs are out there?

Spyrock has made some great contributions, being part local Indian and part white he can speak pretty freely about what he thinks, without fear of being accused of prejudice. He has also had both, his white ancestors and his Indian ancestors killed in early history. He also makes very astute observations. I really like someone like him commenting here, because he knows the local history enough to know that there are usually many versions of any famous story, and that the stories should all be used for whatever they are worth to educate all of us, right or wrong.

Joseph and Naoma are newcomers to this blog but the have deep history in the South Fork of the Eel canyon, and they love it just as we do. They has really added to the history of the lower south fork, most of which I was unfamiliar with, but know who most of the "players" were. Most of the people that Joe and Naoma talk about have places named after them.

Robin Shelley knew of May and the many stories that remain about her. Even though my mother Elsie knew May Winchester, she knew “Doc Winchester and (?) his brother better. The little Cahto Valley had some amazing history. Sadly, I’ve heard so many stories that the swim in my head. But sometimes something that somebody says out of the clear blue sky will tie a few of the Old Stories together for me. This blog has tied many things together,

Ernie Branscomb said...

Spyrock said: "i have a story of their journey in 1849 by covered wagon to california."

Where? Can we find it somewhere, or can you paste it here?

spyrock said...

ernie, i'm going to email it to you because i have a new computer and i haven't figured out how to paste scans on it yet. or you can make a copy and give it to cousin's elizabeth ferguson.
this is my great grandfather john simmerly's older brother fredericks family. his wife who was the daughter of elizabeth ferguson and paul hagler had a half sister, martha jane, who is in genocide and vendetta. back in north carolina, paul hagler had this child, martha, out of wedlock when he was too young and everyone agreed to let his parents raise her until paul's brother levi brought her to live with her new family in colusa in 1860. he bought land in 1862 in geysersville and was bitten by a rabid skunk and died from hydrophobia in 1879 after the death of her husband, elizabeth ferguson hagler held her family together at great personal sacrifice until each reached their majority. martha jane's story is much more tragic. but that's for me to know and someone else to find out if this creates an itch in them to do some research.
aunt hazel was frederick simmerly and sarah catherine hagler simmerlys daughter and she married a man named shirk from fowler, ca. aunt hazel died in 1961 in tulare, ca. her grandmother elizabeth ferguson hagler died in tulare in 1929 so she was living with aunt hazel. vera, hazel's daughter was born in willits in 1916. i remember playing with her kids david and kathleen back in the 50's. these were real nice people. like the sherburns.

Robin Shelley said...

OMaR! Where is the next chapter? I've been waiting a whole day!

olmanriver said...

Sorry Robin, you will have to make some more bird calls if you want some more history. We have already heard you do raven caws and owl hoots, what else is in your repetoire?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Spyrock sent me some Simerly family history that I will do a post on as soon as I figure out how to paste it acroos into this blogsite.

olmanriver said...

Robin, teasing aside, I have another Fox Burns story from the Wilson clan, as well as his description of his life that he gave a student of Frank Essene in 1935 in his own handwriting, and a fabulous story of the early history of Leggett coming up.
Spy wants in for his family history so I will give it a break for a few weeks, while I attend a seminar on "The Impotence of Proofreading ". I need to refersh my skills.

Robin Shelley said...

I'm probably better at proofreading than I am at bird calling, OMaR, but the turkeys on our place in Laytonville used to answer me when I called. It took a lot of practice & a lot of hanging out with the turkeys but I actually got pretty good at it. I would do it only in the presence of my immediate family & closest friends because I'm kind of shy that way but I might do it for you if it meant another installment of L'ville history from you... that is, if you don't mind a herd of turkeys gobbling & pooping all over your place!

olmanriver said...

Sounds good to me Robin, my turkey gobbling done drove all the hens over to Salmon Crick. My attempts to bring them back have only got me in hot water for ululating at underaged turkeys. The Salmon Crick womens done run me out of their neighborhood with their aspersions and online calumny. Is that anyway to treat a historian?

Robin Shelley said...

As with Ernie's sign language, one has to be careful about turkey- calling as it also can be easily misinterpreted. For instance, my neighbor came to the fence one day & hollered at me, "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?!!" Maybe he's friends with the Salmon Crick ladies.

Anonymous said...

Ern. Do you remember that Doc Winchester delivered your uncle Ben? Probably your dad and all of the kids for that matter, lol.

Anonymous said...

Spy. The Elizabeth Ferguson you mention is not from the same family. I asked Elizabeth and she told me that her late husband was not from around here.

I did, however, have a classmate named was Kathleen Ferguson in elementary school. She was relatively new to the area, but I think her father's family was from here. Know any Kathleen Ferguson's who might be around 60 years of age?

Enjoying your information.

Cousin

Anonymous said...

Good guy? Still to this day 2014 the racism goes on Im Cahto proud to be Cahto . You hateful ass white people make me sick

violawarrior said...

Hi, my name's Allie Simpson and I'm a descendent of Cpt John P Simpson. Thanks so much for the stories! My sister and I are trying to learn more about our family history and this blog gives dimension to the facts and records we've seen so far. If you have any more Simpson stories, please let me know!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Allie, click on the following link for more.
Ernie

link to Capt. J P Simpson