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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Charles Henry Hoxie


Reminiscent Sketches by a Pioneer Methodist Preacher
 INTRODUCTORY
    The subjoined article is the first of a series that will be written by Rev. Charles H. Hoxie for the Rogue River Fruit Grower. These articles will deal with pioneer times in Rogue River Valley and will cover features and incidents that will be highly interesting to all who are interested in the early history of this valley.
    Rev. Hoxie came to Rogue River Valley in the spring of 1855, in company with his mother and brother, James, and his elder brother, George. The father and son [George] had left the New England home in the fall of 1849 for California, being attracted by the gold discoveries made the previous year. They shipped from New Bedford on the whaling bark Chase, and they were until the following summer reaching San Francisco, an extended stay having been made by their vessel in the seas about Cape Horn while capturing whales. From San Francisco Major Hoxie and his son went to the gold mines, and in 1851 they located in Yreka, where they opened a store and conducted it for a year, when in the fall of 1852 they came on north and each took up a donation claim on the west bank of Bear Creek, midway between the present towns of Medford and Phoenix.
    Of this pioneer family the Major and his wife, who both were said to have been persons of noble traits and much respected by their neighbors, have gone to their reward in the beyond. Of the sons, George now resides in Williams Valley, where he is spending his declining years on a fine farm after an active life in the ministry of the Dunkard Church, he yet preaching from time to time sermons that are polished and forceful. James, the second son, is enjoying a comfortable home on his farm near Wilderville, while Charles, the youngest, is now residing in Medford after 48 years of service as a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church.
    In this nearly half century of ministerial work as a Methodist circuit rider, Rev. Hoxie has preached in every section of Southern Oregon, there being hardly a church or a school house, except those erected within the past few years, but what he has held services in, and in pioneer days when churches and school houses were few and far between he held religious services in many of the homes of the settlers. His reminiscences of the wedding and funeral services that he has held would make chapters, happy or sorrowful, in the history of many pioneer families of this valley. His circuit usually embraced several places at which he preached, and to reach these and to make his pastoral calls and to attend to the other duties incumbent upon a pioneer Methodist circuit rider made it necessary for him to be on the road almost every day of the week, he even having to travel on Sunday, for frequently he had two appointments for the day. Roads were few, and in the winter were nearly impassable with mud, and the trails were mostly steep and rough, making it necessary that he do his traveling on horseback. Thus it was that the saddle was his only place for study, and it was on the long, lonely rides that he got time to think out the points for the sermon or address that he next was to deliver. While he had many hardships by reason of bad roads, storms, fording swollen streams and other trials, yet there were many pleasant features to his itinerant life, for though the conveniences in the pioneer homes were few and rude, the noble hospitality of the settlers made him and every other traveler welcome at any hour, day or night. As was the case with all those pioneer itinerant preachers, Rev. Hoxie thoroughly enjoyed his work, and despite the small salary that sufficed for his living expenses and the trying hardships, he looks back with pleasure on the many years that he put in carrying the gospel of a better life to the struggling, lonely settlers of a new country.
------
    About the first of November, 1855, in company with my mother and James, an older brother, I left New Bedford, Mass., by railroad, for New York to take passage on an ocean steamer for San Francisco, Cal., to meet my father--who had in the spring of 1849, with my oldest brother, George, an uncle and a cousin gone to California around Cape Horn and had settled in the Rogue River Valley in the fall of 1852--and by him to be taken to our western home in the then far away Southern Oregon. We took the ocean steamer George Law for Aspinwall (now Colon), where after the usual experience of a sea voyage and the common incidents of steamer life, we arrived without accident. We rode across the Isthmus on the slowest-moving cars we had ever traveled upon [since] in boyhood days, and at the terminus, Panama, took the steamer Golden Age on the Pacific side for San Francisco, where we arrived, in company with thirteen hundred passengers, on Thanksgiving Day, 1855.
    Owing to my father being in the volunteer military service of the government, which had called for volunteers to suppress an Indian outbreak extending over all the northwest coast, we were detained in San Francisco for six weeks. At the expiration of this period my father arrived overland from Rogue River Valley, and in a few days we took the ocean steamer Columbia for Portland, Oregon, where after a run of three days we arrived safely.
    We left that city, then a village built among brush, fallen timber and rotten logs, the following morning after our arrival and took passage on a river steamer for that historic town, Oregon City, where we spent the night. The next morning we were transferred across the portage between the town and upper part of the falls, where we took another boat running on the upper Willamette, when we proceeded to Corvallis, passing on our way the then-center of Oregon's educational interest and capital of the territory, Salem, since becoming the capital of the state, and also Albany, it being on the banks of the Willamette River and county seat of Linn County.
    At Corvallis my father took in charge ten horses, the property of the government, four of which were ridden by our party and three led by each of us boys, which were to be delivered to the proper authorities at Roseburg for the use of the volunteers of the Rogue River Indian War.
    At Roseburg we were furnished with an escort to the valley, as it was considered unsafe for small parties to travel from the southern end of the big canyon [at Canyonville] to Jackson County. It required two days to reach the old town of Canyonville, being under the shadows of the hills at the northern entrance of this natural passage between the Umpqua Valley and Cow Creek Valley. We spent the night at this historic town, and after an early breakfast mounted our horses and filed into the trail leading through the gorge, between a rock weighing many tons and the hill. When in regular order we began our march towards its southern entrance. Late in the afternoon we reached Hardy Ellis' and fed our horses, refreshing our own inner man with venison steak, hot biscuit and coffee. Here my mother donned my father's blue soldier coat and my brother's cap, and when all were ready took her place between my father and us boys to make the company look as formidable as possible, for we had a ride of several hours before us through a country in which hostile Indians might be lurking to pick off the unwary traveler, before we could reach Grave Creek, our destination that night. After a long and wearied ride we reached Harkness' and Twogood's cabin on Grave Creek, near where the present town of Leland is located, at about two o'clock the next morning without meeting or seeing any indications of Indians. In a large room, whose floor was nearly covered with sleeping volunteers, Father and Mother found space in a corner to catch a few hours' sleep, while we boys lay down nearby. The morning light found a room whose only occupants were Major Hoxie and wife and two mischievous boys from the Bay State, a consideration of the soldiers for a woman's position. From Grave Creek to where is now located Grants Pass there were but few houses, and what had been happy homes where childhood's smiles and youth's ringing laughter blended with love's stronger expression of mature years, was but blackened debris, the work of the Rogue River Indians.

Umpqua Valley, circa 1910
Circa 1910.
    After leaving the canyon we were glad to find the weather conditions more favorable and that the muddy Willamette and still muddier Umpqua valleys were behind us instead of in front of us, and that we were approaching a land the skies of which were glinted with laughter on their faces and not always bubbling with tears in their eyes.
    On the evening of the 15th day of February 1856, we arrived on the bank of Rogue River, at just below where the beautiful town of Woodville now stands, if I recollect aright, and crossed from the east to the west side by a ferry, called Jewett's Ferry, I believe. We then proceeded a couple of miles up the river and stopped for the night at the home of David Birdseye, now deceased, but his widow yet resides on their old donation claim. The next morning was ushered in by dancing sunbeams and balmy air, which we had not seen nor felt for long, dreary weeks. This and the fact that we were within a few miles of our new western home, to reach which we had traveled 3000 miles by land and water, made our party very happy, and we were up early, and after enjoying the appetizing breakfast that Mrs. Birdseye prepared for us we mounted our horses for the ride to my father's claim, which he had taken up on the west side of Bear Creek a mile and a half south of the present town of Medford.
    At what was known as The Dardanelles, opposite of which is now the town of Gold Hill, we left the river bank and began to ascend the gentle slope along which the road ran and which led over the Blackwell Hills into the valley proper, now known around the world, its fruits being the delight even of sovereigns across the oceans. Arriving at the summit of the hill, what a scene of loveliness suddenly burst upon our view! It would require the descriptive powers of a Dickens to convey to the mind of the reader its wonderful beauty; and the brush of a Michel Angelo could not transfer it to canvas. Like a magnificent gem in its setting, the valley stretched away before us, encircled by its eternal hills. Within those encircling hills, until but a brief space of time before, silence as profound as death had reigned for centuries, only broken by the yell of the aborigines, or the cry of prowling wild beasts. Across and through its luxuriant growth of herbage the timid deer passed from hill to hill unterrified by crack of rifle or the whizzing bullet of the revolver. To our left, within almost rifle shot, stood those twin sentinels, the world-renowned Table Rocks, with a mantle of green covering their rugged sides, in all the majesty of guardians over this fair gem of the Northwest. And there they had stood since volcanic action had scooped out Crater Lake and created this piece of nature's loveliness. And what thoughts are suggested to the cultured Anglo-Saxon mind as one gazes upon those wonderful products of nature, which for ages had listened for the first sound of the footfall of civilization in its approach, to claim by right of development and harmony of nature and mind this fair jewel which had only been a plaything in the hands of barbarians. Upon the top of these mighty rocks the signal fires of savage life had thrown their life into the murky darkness of the night for untold ages, and Indian children had played around the tepee, practicing the war whoop, indulging in feats of physical strength in view of their becoming braves. At their base, like a silver thread running through a warp of green, Rogue River wound its way to the sea. In their season the denizens of the sea, on their way to their spawning grounds, might be seen sporting in its limpid waters, or resting in the stillness of an eddy among the roots of an overhanging tree after their sport, while the ripple caused by their action broke upon the distant shore or kissed the higher embankment. At the southern extremity of the valley, like a king upon his throne, high up among the Siskiyou Mountains stood Pilot Rock, another of those wonderful marks carved by the hand of nature, to be found upon the Pacific Slope. This ragged peak looked like a monarch which had guarded the southern entrance to his possessions until time had torn his crown from his head and dashed into a thousand fragments at his feet, while the elements had stripped him of his robes, leaving nothing but a skeleton of his former majesty.
(To be continued.)
Rogue River Fruit Grower, November 1910


(Continued from the November number)
    To the east could be seen with his winter mantle wrapped closely around his head, shoulders and part of his body, which glittered in the rays of the sun, a titan rising above his fellows, the glory of Southern Oregon, known upon the map as Mt. McLoughlin or Mt. Pitt, but to the old settler as Snowy Butte. The summer sun would throw off his snowy mantle and in rivulets send it purling down its sides to form lakes as reservoirs, or join rippling streams to join Rogue River and the ocean, but within the past year diverted into a pipeline and brought to Medford to supply that town with pure mountain water.
    With the squeak of the chipmunk and the whirr of the pheasant and grouse falling upon the ear, while here and there bands of cattle and horses were grazing upon the rich and nutritious bunchgrass, springing up among a luxuriant growth of the previous season, while ever and anon the wild flowers turned aside their heads to escape the kiss of the sun's rays, or appeared to be playing hide and seek among the dead grass as a gentle breeze passed over them. Above the valley, circling in air, were thousands of the feathered tribe, which had in the fall left their homes in the frozen north to take an outing in a milder climate. It was a rare scene of loveliness unrivaled by any scene in nature in any country, that we beheld that day as we crossed the Blackwell Hill and first beheld the main part of Rogue River Valley.
    But we could not tarry long even amid such an enchanting scene. Descending the hill we pursued our journey along the only road through the valley, with waving grass on each side of us, and arrived at the terminus of a journey of three thousand miles, which had been borne by my mother with discomfort, inconvenience and a painful memory of leaving the comforts of civilization and refinement for a wild life upon the frontier of Uncle Sam's domain.
    We arrived late in the day, and found our residence was to be a log cabin of usual size in a new country, with its chimney of rock foundation, while the chimney itself was of sticks crossed upon each other, with mud between and plastered with mud on the inside. There was one room divided by rough boards into two bedrooms, one a little larger in size, which was again divided by a curtain. The roof was covered with shakes or clapboards. There was a narrow porch in front, covered with shakes and supported by small, peeled fir poles. The barn, which would hold about one ton of hay, and accommodate three horses, was small, being made by setting posts in the ground and covering sides and roof with the ever-handy shake, but with no hay to put in it.
    In a few days after our arrival my father built additions to the original house, putting a small room on the back of the house and also a small room on the north end which was used as a kitchen. To this room was attached a woodshed, made entirely of rough slabs hauled from a sawmill built by E. E. Gore on the bank of Bear Creek, opposite the present residence of his son, John Gore, and but a short distance above us, being about two and one-half miles south of the present city of Medford, and at that time managed by a gentleman by the name of Jack Forsythe. There was but little fencing done in the valley, and the little was the old worm or Virginia fence. The valley was held as common pasture ground for those who had stock.
WILD ANIMALS AND REPTILES.
    There were but few wild animals to be found in the valley after our arrival, bear seldom being seen, although a wildcat would be killed occasionally along the creek. The most ferocious animal was the cougar, two of which I know to have been shot, one by my cousin Charles F. Jones and the other by my father upon a bright moonlight night, while trying to get chickens from a hen prison in which my mother kept refractory hens, and was shot from the old slab woodshed. Of course we had the common animals belonging to all new countries, such as the skunk, coyote and some other species. There were some snakes in the valley, most of which were harmless, but sometimes the rattle of the deadly rattlesnake was heard. I know of one case of death from the fangs of this dreaded reptile, a young daughter of William Justus, an old settler living about a mile west of the present Burrell orchard.
GAME.
    Game was abundant. From fall to late spring the depressions in the valley were filled with water from the winter's rain, and these would be covered with wildfowl from the stately swan to the diminutive wood duck with his beautiful plumage of purple and gold. Mingling with others, the canvasback duck, that toothsome bird of the epicure, could be seen, while single and in flocks the pride of Oregon, the mallard or greenhead would circle just above the traveler's head or be seen upon the surface of the water in some pond. Many kinds all mingling together as one flock might be seen circling in the air unalarmed by the present of persons near them. Hundreds could have been shot in a day, instead of the few that were killed. We killed a great many which furnished meat for the table. Mother, being a New England woman, utilized the feathers by making several feather beds according to the old idea of a New England housewife by putting into a bed 40 pounds of feathers according to rule. Besides, nearly all the chairs and especially the rocking chairs, had large feather cushions in them. It was feathers in front of us, feathers to the back of us and feathers all around us.
    While there was no game in the valley of large size, there was quail, jackrabbit and other small game. Larger such as deer, bear and elk were to be found in the hills and mountains surrounding the valley. Deer were quite plentiful at the head of Dry Creek, south of Roxy Ann. While a little beyond might be found the lordly elk, the black, brown and the dread of the hunter, the grizzly bear. These were frequently killed by the common hunter while the more intrepid brought down the grizzly. My father and others living with the family would saddle their horses in the morning, go to the head of Dry Creek and return at night with enough venison to last the family several days. The hides taken from the deer, elk and other game adorned the backs and bottoms of our chairs, while a homemade lounge was covered with hides taken from different animals. Feathers and hides were always in evidence.
    The valley being open to all, our stock ran out upon the common. The grass was good, and being of the bunch species, afforded abundant forage for stock in the summer while later in the season its seeds kept the flesh upon them, which the tender grass of the spring gave them. Our work being done by oxen, and no hay to feed them, they would be turned out on the commons at night to be hunted up in the morning which would require the aid of horses, especially if the morning was foggy, which sometimes it was. With horses running at large over the prairie and among the knolls of the valley, when we wished to ride any distance it was necessary to hunt them up, drive them to the corral, catch one and ride to the point we wished to reach. Being the youngest and the "Friday" in the family, it generally fell to my lot to do the finding and driving of the horses home. Sometimes when myself or others would wish to ride to Phoenix, a distance of two miles, I would not return with them until late in the afternoon, when I would find the party who wanted a horse had walked to and from the village, and if I was going, did not go that day, but nursed the wroth of a boy late into the night. The sun would often go down upon one boy's head, in wroth, who had trudged all day after a band of cayuse horses, without finding them.
(To be continued.)
Rogue River Fruit Grower, June 1911     The Hoxie story will be continued when and if I find subsequent issues of the Fruit Grower.

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    The following are the names of the pastors of Walla Walla and time of service: . . . 1869 to 1870, Rev. C. H. Hoxie. . . .
William Denison Lyman, Lyman's History of Old Walla Walla County, 1918, page 232


    In 1870, when walking and rowing were still the only means of getting from one place to another, the Reverend C. H. Hoxie "extended the circuit already too large for one man to travel" and organized a class at the Quinaielt (now Quinault).
Methodist History, vols. 19-20, 1981, page 147



    An incident of special interest occurred during the meeting held on [the Black River camp ground on Puget Sound] in the summer of 1870. . . . The sermon was about half through when suddenly, without any apparent cause so far as the speaker or the ministers in the stand could see, the congregation disappeared. The preacher stood in blank amazement with his mouth open to speak, but not a soul was before him. They had left almost as quickly as if the earth had opened and swallowed them up. Upon investigation it was found that a large tree in the rear of the stand had swayed to and fro by the breeze and was about to fall, but just as it started and before it had attained much momentum in its descent it providentially lodged in another tree, otherwise it would have crushed large numbers of people. The falling of one of these forest giants carries a large swath of destruction in its track. The sermon was not finished. Rev. C. H. Hoxie climbed the tree and fastened ropes around it and it was safely felled. The audience, moved by a common impulse, fled hastily to the right and left of the stand and sought safety on the side of the tree opposite the direction in which it leaned. The people were deeply impressed by this incident. A feeling of solemnity and thanksgiving came upon them. That night the altar was crowded with penitents, and many were converted.
Rev. A. Atwood, Glimpses of Pioneer Life on Puget Sound, 1903, page 76


    Quinault Class No. 4, organized in 1871 by the Reverend C. H. Hoxie, was always small, having only nine members at its heyday in 1873.
Methodist History, vols. 19-20, 1981, page 151


Washington City D.C.
    8th July 1867.
Commissioner of Indian Affairs
    Washington D.C.
        Enclosed I send the claim of O. D. Hoxie for spoliations for the Indians in the Rogue River Indian War of 1853. Please audit as soon as practicable.
Yours very respectfully
    B. F. Dowell
   
    I, O. D. Hoxie, a citizen of the United States and a resident of Jackson County, Oregon, make oath that I have a claim against the United States for spoliation committed by the Rogue River Indians in the year 1853, and that said claim was passed upon and assessed by the board of commissioners for that purpose appointed, that said claim has been filed in the Department of the Interior Office of Indian Affairs, and is numbered claim 57. And I further make oath that the duplicate receipt, received by me from the said board of commissioners, has been lost beyond recovery, that in the Indian war of 1855 the said receipt was in my wallet with other papers, and that the said wallet with its contents were lost and I have been totally unable to find the same or get any control over it.
O. D. Hoxie
   
State of Oregon        )
County of Jackson   )  ss.
    I, D. M. C. Gault, a notary public within and for the county and state aforesaid, do hereby certify that the foregoing affidavit was subscribed and sworn to before me, and I further certify that the affiant is personally known to me, that I do know him to be a credible person, that the claimant is the person he presents himself to be, and that I have no interest in this claim.
    In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my official seal at Jacksonville this 25th day of March A.D. 1867.
D. M. C. Gault
    Notary Public
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 615 Oregon Superintendency, 1866-1869, frames 393-396.


    The following list of appointments have been made by the M.E. Conference, which closed its session in Portland Monday. . . . Tum Water, C. H. Hoxie.
"Appointments by the M.E. Conference," Oregon State Journal, Eugene, August 19, 1871, page 3


    The following are the appointments of preachers for the ensuing year: . . . Claquate, C. H. Hoxie.
"Oregon M.E. Conference," Oregon State Journal, Eugene, September 7, 1872, page 2


    Claquato--C. H. Hoxie.
"M.E. Appointments," Oregon State Journal, Eugene, September 13, 1873, page 3



    During the Conference year of 1875, C. H. Hoxie, our pastor at Steilacoom, came over [to Tacoma] and preached occasionally for the people.
Rev. A. Atwood, Glimpses of Pioneer Life on Puget Sound, 1903, page 242


    The conference at Seattle adjourned on Monday evening. The following are the names of ministers and the stations to which they have been assigned for the coming conference year: . . . Grants Pass, C. H. Hoxie.
"M.E. Conference Appointments," Oregon State Journal, Eugene, September 8, 1877, page 3


Eden Precinct, Jackson County:
Hoxie, Charles H., 41, farmer, born in Rhode Island, parents born in Rhode Island
Hoxie, Laura, 41, born in Maine, parents born in Maine
U.S. Census, enumerated June 23, 1880


    O. D. HOXIE: Died on Bear Creek January, 1876; was born in Sandwich, Massachusetts, in 1806; went to Jackson County in 1852; married in 1825, to Eliza Stevens. Children Joseph, Hannah, George W., James M., Charles H., Obediah and Abram.
A. G. Walling, History of Southern Oregon, 1884, page 508



    Rev. C. H. Hoxie is now in charge of the M.E. Church at Klamath Falls, having gone out last week to assume charge.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 11, 1892, page 3


    Rev. Chas. H. Hoxie, who is doing missionary work in Klamath County, is expected to return home before long.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 31, 1893, page 2



    Rev. Hoxie and wife returned from Keno, Klamath County, last week and will now reside permanently upon their farm a few miles out of Medford. Mr. Hoxie has been filling an appointment in the above county during the past winter as pastor of an M.E. church. He reports having experienced a very rough trip coming over the mountains. Snow was so deep in many places that the axles of the wagon dragged in it, and in other places the mud was equally as deep.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, April 14, 1893, page 3


    Rev. C. H. Hoxie last week returned here from Klamath County, where he has been laboring for many months.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 21, 1893, page 3


    An incendiary fire burned down the Hoxie sawmill on Williams Creek last week.
"Personal and Social," Valley Record, Ashland, February 27, 1896


Burned Out Four Times.
Grants Pass Courier.]
    The fire which recently consumed the Hoxie saw mill on Williams Creek recalls the fact that this was the fourth time this sawmill has been destroyed by fire within sixteen years. On this last occasion the engine, boiler and planer were saved, but that was all. The fire occurred at night and when discovered it was too late to do anything but throw water on the most valuable of the machinery. It is thought that this fire was of incendiary origin, though it might have been caused by a cigar smoldering in the sawdust just outside of the mill. The loss will amount to about $2,000. Mr. Hoxie, it is said, will not be likely to build again. Four times burning out would discourage the most of us.
Valley Record, Ashland, February 27, 1896


    MEDFORD, Or., Feb. 12.--The county prohibition convention held here Saturday afternoon declared for the single issue of the prohibition of the manufacture and sale of alcoholic liquor as a beverage. The following county ticket was nominated: Representatives, C. H. Hoxie, Medford, and William Sydow, Central Point. . . .
"Jackson County Prohibitionists," Morning Oregonian, Portland, February 13, 1900, page 4


Pooh Bah Precinct, Jackson County:
Hoxie, Charles H., farmer, born December 1838 in Massachusetts, father born in Massachusetts, mother Rhode Island
Hoxie, Laura F., 41, born May 1837 in Maine, parents born in Maine
Married 20 years
U.S. Census, enumerated June 11, 1900


    Rev. Hoxie will not be here again until the first Sunday in November. He is now at Salem, where he went to attend the German Baptist conference.

"Forest Creek News," Medford Mail, October 11, 1901, page 5


   
MEDFORD, March 6.--The Prohibition convention for Jackson County was held here yesterday, and the following ticket put in the field. . . . Joint Representative, C. H. Hoxie. . . .
"Prohibition Ticket in Jackson," Oregonian, Portland, March 7, 1902, page 4


    Rev. C. H. Hoxie preached at the Enterprise school house on Griffin Creek last Sunday forenoon, and his brother, Rev. G. W. Hoxie, preached at the same place the same day at 3 p.m. Arrangements have been made for bonding services at this place regularly during the summer and fall months. Rev. G. W. Hoxie will preach at 3 o'clock on the first Sunday of each month, Rev. A. V. Gillett on the second Sunday, and Rev. C. H. Hoxie on the fourth Sunday. No appointment has yet been made for the third Sunday.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 11, 1902, page 7


    Rev. C. H. Hoxie, whose farm is located near Medford, has sold it to a gentleman from New York. The price paid was $4000.

"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 4, 1903, page 1


    Rev. C. H. Hoxie has sold his farm of ninety acres, situated on the Phoenix road south of Medford, to Chas. Fox, recently from New York City. The price paid was $4000. Mr. Hoxie has purchased residence property in Medford from Mr. Traft, and will move to this city. Some question of title to the Medford property which Mr. Hoxie has purchased has come up, and in all probability some little trouble will be experienced in straightening out the tangle. It appears that the property was sold for taxes by the county two years ago, before Mr. Traft bought it, and was bid in by Chris Ulrich. The two years time limit for the redemption of property sold for taxes expired last November, and Mr. Ulrich, supposing his title had been perfected by this time limitation, was in Medford this week looking up the property. Upon inquiry being made it was found that Mr. Traft had bought the property about two years ago from the supposed owner of it and that he (Traft) had only the day before sold it to Mr. Hoxie. Just how the matter will be adjusted is right now a problem difficult to solve.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 6, 1903, page 7


The Medford Meeting.
    The devotional exercises beginning at 1:30 were led by Rev. W. F. Shields, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Medford. Several ministers were present and participated, among them Rev. Mr. Childs, Field Secretary of the Anti-Saloon League; Rev. C. H. Hoxie, who addressed the first temperance society formed in Medford. He said that John Wesley said a minister should be always ready to preach, pray or die, and he proposed to be always ready to do the first two. He thinks that when men will not do the work God appoints for them, He raises up women to do it, and that the legalized liquor traffic will be put down with their help.
"W.C.T.U. Column," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, May 26, 1905, page 4


METHODIST MINISTER FOR FIFTY YEARS
Rev. Hoxie One of the Pioneer Circuit Riders in Southern Oregon.
    Rev. C. H. Hoxie was in Grants Pass Monday to take the train for his home at Medford, having come down Friday for a short visit with his sister, Mrs. H. D. Jones, residing near Wilderville, and to attend quarterly meeting at the Methodist Church in Wilderville. Services were held both Saturday and Sunday and were conducted by Rev. M. C. Wire, of Eugene, presiding elder for this district, assisted by the local pastor, Rev. L. C. Clark, and by Rev. C. H. Hoxie. Rev. Hoxie stated today the M.E. Church at Wilderville was in a very prosperous condition and had a good membership and was steadily increasing. The denomination has a fine church building, and this spring they have erected a new parsonage at a cost of about $800.
    Rev. Hoxie will on February next have completed 50 years service as a minister of the Methodist Episcopal denomination here in Southern Oregon, for it was February 1856 that he arrived in Rogue River Valley and settled two miles north of the present town of Phoenix, then known as Gasburg. Rev. Hoxie had come from the East by way of Panama to Portland, and he made the trip to Southern Oregon on horseback. It then fell to his lot to be one of the pioneer circuit riders of Rogue River Valley, and many were the privations and hardships that he endured. Yet circuit riding horseback over trails and poor roads, holding services under trees, in cabins and log churches, was not without pleasures and interesting incidents, and Rev. Hoxie's experience would make a book of frontier reminiscences that would be exceedingly interesting.
    Rev. Hoxie is yet hale and hearty and, though now on the retired list, he never fails to fill an appointment wherever he may be called. He is as full of zeal for his church as ever, and his sermons have much of the old-time spirit and enthusiasm of his youth, and he expects to be able to do his volunteer missionary work for many years to come in the outlying districts of Rogue River Valley.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, June 9, 1905, page 1


    One of the pleasantest affairs of the day was when about 70 friends of the Rev. Hoxie invited him to enjoy a big turkey dinner, which they took to his home and which was greatly enjoyed by one and all.
"Upper William," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, December 13, 1907, page 3


441 North Fir, North Medford Precinct, Jackson County:
Hoxie, Charles H., 72, retired minister, born in Rhode Island, 
father born in Massachusetts, mother Ireland
Hoxie, Laura M., 73, born in Maine, parents born in Maine; three children, none living
Married 32 years
U.S. Census, enumerated June 23, 1880



HOXIE FUNERAL ON WEDNESDAY
Mrs. Laura Maria Hoxie, Wife of the Rev. C. H. Hoxie, Who Came to the Rogue River Valley Thirty-One Years Ago, to Be Buried at Phoenix
    The funeral services over the remains of the late Mrs. Laura Maria Hoxie, wife of the Rev. C. H. Hoxie of this city, will be held in the chapel of the Weeks and McGowan undertaking company Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock. The Rev. W. F. Shields of the Presbyterian Church will conduct the services. He will be assisted by others of the local clergy.
    The deceased, the wife of one of the oldest ministers on the Pacific coast, was 74 years of age. Born in Newcastle, Maine, in 1837, she came to the coast at an early age and in 1879 married Mr. Hoxie, who was then a minister of the Methodist faith riding the circuit from Seattle to San Francisco. The couple came to the Rogue River Valley 31 years ago and settled on a ranch on the Ashland road between Medford and Phoenix. Eight years ago they gave up their ranch home and, moving into the city, purchased the property on Fir Street between Second and Third streets where Mr. Hoxie now lives.
    Mrs. Hoxie, who is survived only by her husband, they having had no children, was a daughter of one of the oldest families in Maine, her father having served in the legislature of that state and at one time the office of president of the lower house.
    Mr. Hoxie, who is 73 years old, has been a resident of this valley for about 55 years. As a circuit rider he passed through here frequently within a few years after the arrival of the "forty-niners" in California. His father, now dead, was a sea captain who, in his voyages up and down the Pacific coast, was able to foresee the future and, although long before he gave up his command at sea, he secured some land from the government by donation.
    Following the funeral services Wednesday, the remains escorted by the Rev. Messrs. A. A. Holmes, of the Baptist Church; Belknap, of the Methodist Church; T. O. Matlock, of the Christian Church; Hipps, of the M.E. Church South; W. E. Goode, of the Free Methodist Church; Harrington, of the Free Methodist Church; and W. F. Shields, of the Presbyterian Church; as pallbearers will be taken to the Phoenix cemetery for interment.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 28, 1911, page 4


PASTORS ARE PALLBEARERS
Mrs. L. M. Hoxie, Wife of Medford Clergyman, Borne to Rest.
    MEDFORD, Or., March 2.--(Special.)--The funeral of the late Mrs. Laura Maria Hoxie, wife of Rev. C. H. Hoxie, who died at her home here Sunday morning was held this afternoon. Local ministers acted as pallbearers. Mrs. Hoxie, who was 74 year of age, came to the Rogue River Valley 31 years ago.
    Born in Newcastle, Maine in 1837, she came west at an early age and in 1879 married Rev. C. H. Hoxie, then a Methodist minister riding the circuit between Seattle and San Francisco. They came here from Tacoma in 1880 and settled on a ranch between this city and Phoenix, which Mr. Hoxie selected 55 years ago, shortly after he made his first journey through this section. Eight year ago they moved to this city. Mr. Hoxie of recent years too old to engage actively in church work, has adopted one Sunday every month to holding services at Griffin Creek, near here.
    Mrs. Hoxie, who is survived only by her husband, one year her junior, was a daughter of one of the oldest families in Maine.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, March 3, 1911, page 19



May Prove Fatal
When Will Medford People Learn the Importance of It?
    Backache is only a simple thing at first;
    But when you know 'tis from the kidneys;
    That serious kidney troubles follow;
    That Bright's disease may be the fatal end,
    You will gladly profit by the following experience.
    'Tis the statement of a Medford citizen:
    Mrs. C. H. Hoxie, Fir Street, Medford, Or., says; "I publicly recommended Doan's Kidney Pills in 1907, after they had benefited me, and now I am pleased to speak in their praise again. I had kidney trouble for several years and the backache became worse as time passed. If I attempted to stoop or move quickly, sharp twinges darted through my loins and hips, and sometimes I was lame for days. The kidney secretions passed far too frequently, and I also noticed sediment in them when they were allowed to stand. My health ran down and I was feeling miserable in every way at the time I commenced taking Doan's Kidney Pills, procured at Haskins' Drug Store. They helped me from the first, although other remedies had proven useless, and as I continued taking them I steadily grew better until not one symptom of my old trouble remained."
    For sale by all dealers. Price 50 cents. Foster-Milburn Co., Buffalo, N.Y., sole agents for the United States.
    Remember the name--Doan's--and take no other.

Medford Mail Tribune, August 28, 1911, page 2



    REV. CHARLES H. HOXIE. Although a minister of the Methodist Episcopal faith for nearly half a century, the Rev. Charles H. Hoxie has followed in connection with his ministerial labors the vocation of a farmer, as well, for the most of his life. He owns property in Medford, which he is renting, and makes his home with his sister. He was born in Massachusetts, December 22, 1838, the son of Obadiah D. and Eliza Ann (Stevens) Hoxie, the former a native of Massachusetts and the latter of Rhode Island. The father, who was a whaler, went to San Francisco in 1849 by way of Cape Horn, plying his trade en route and disposing of the whale oil in San Francisco. The mother, in company with her two sons, Charles H. and J. W. Hoxie, removed to San Francisco on November 1, 1855. From that city they made their way by steamer to Portland and thence by riverboat to Benton County, continuing their journey to the Rogue River Valley by means of horses. This was during the Indian war of 1855 and 1856, and travel in that section was fraught with so many dangers owing to the hostility of the Indians that they were given an escort from Roseburg to the Rogue River Valley.
    Charles H. Hoxie attended the common schools and later took a course in an academy, preparing himself for the ministry as well as for the other activities and labors of life. For twelve years he was a member of the Oregon Methodist Episcopal conference and served as pastor in various parts of the Rogue River Valley. He later settled on a farm which his father had homesteaded and continued to make that his place of residence for thirty-two years. At the end of that period he disposed of the farm and removed to Medford, where he purchased property which he still owns. He is now making his home with a sister in Wilderville. For forty-eight years he labored as a minister of the gospel, preaching principally in the Rogue River Valley but also supplying pulpits or holding regular pastorates in other parts of the state.
    He chose as his helpmate and life companion Miss Laura M. Averille, a native of Maine, who passed away February 26, 1911, her remains being interred in Phoenix, Jackson County. Mr. Hoxie is independent in politics, casting his vote for such candidates for public positions as he deems best fitted to fill the places to which they aspire. He has never been an office seeker but has devoted the greater part of his time to his ministerial and agricultural labors. He is among the highly respected citizens of Josephine County, which he has made his home for so many years. He has an extensive acquaintance throughout the valley and is a welcome guest in innumerable homes.

Joseph Gaston, The Centennial History of Oregon, 1912, page 138


CARD OF THANKS
    The family of the late Mrs. H. D. Jones desire to return their sincere thanks to the friends who rendered their assistance before and during the last sad offices at the burial by the gift of floral offerings and personal service.
    On behalf of the family,
                C. H. HOXIE.
Rogue River Courier, May 19, 1916, page 4



CHARLES H. HOXIE,
PIONEER MINISTER OF VALLEY, DEAD
    The older residents of Medford and the Rogue River Valley, as well as over a large portion of southern Oregon, will learn with regret of the death at his home at Wilderville, in Josephine County, last Sunday night of Rev. Charles H. Hoxie, well-known retired minister and former resident of Medford and the valley for many years. He was 80 years, 7 months and five days old. The funeral was held yesterday afternoon, and the burial was in the Wilderville cemetery. Rev. Hoxie owned property just south of the city, and for many years traveled through southern Oregon on horseback, holding services in various settlements. He was instrumental in building the Medford Methodist Church and has a score of staunch friends in the city.
    Charles Henry Hoxie was born in Dartmouth, Mass., Dec. 22, 1838. In 1855 with other members of his family he moved to the Rogue River Valley, coming overland to San Francisco, and from there to Portland by boat, continuing the journey with horses.
    For 12 years Mr. Hoxie was a member of the Oregon Methodist Conference and served as pastor in various parts of the Rogue River Valley. He later settled on a farm which his father had homesteaded and continued to make that his place of residence for 32 years. At the end of that time he disposed of the farm and removed to Medford, where he purchased property. Until the time of his death he made his home with his sister at Wilderville. His wife passed away February 26, 1911.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 30, 1919, page 6


    Rev. Chas. H. Hoxie, formerly of Rogue River Valley, an old-time circuit rider and pioneer Methodist preacher of Jackson County, passed away Sunday evening, July 27, 1919, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Lovelace of Wilderville, Ore., where he had made his home for the past nine years. Bro. Hoxie was past 80 years of age and was yet preaching when opportunity presented itself. At the time of his death he was preaching regularly at Gold Hill every other Sunday morning. Funeral services were held in the Methodist Church and conducted by the pastor, Rev. H. W. Rummell, interment being made in Wilderville Cemetery.

"Local Briefs," Medford Mail Tribune, July 31, 1919, page 2


    GRANTS PASS, July 31.--(Special.)--Rev. Charles H. Hoxie, well-known pioneer minister, died at Wilderville on Sunday, July 27, and was buried at Wilderville, where he has been living with a sister. Mr. Hoxie was born in Dartmouth, Mass., December 22, 1838. In 1855, with other members of his family, he moved to the Rogue River Valley, coming overland to San Francisco and from there to Portland by boat, continuing the journey with horses. Mr. Hoxie's wife died in 1911.
"Obituary," Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 1, 1919, page 7



Last revised March 18, 2017