HOME



The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised



Jacob Johnson


Sacramento, California:
Jacob Johnson, 30, mulatto, laborer. Born Virginia.
United States Census, enumerated August 18, 1850


Coloma, California:
Jacob Johnson, 35, black, laborer. Born Missouri.
United States Census, enumerated August 18, 1860



    VEGETABLES IN EARLY TIMES.--When at Placerville last week, we met with one Jacob Johnson, who in 1853 purchased seeds of us on J Street, Sacramento. He informed us that he sold in 1853, up in the region of Placerville, 100 pounds of turnips for $50, also 60 pounds potatoes at $1.22½ per pound. These were then about the common rates.
California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences, San Francisco, October 10, 1862, page 36   "Jacob Johnson" was a fairly common name, but the census shows the subject of this paragraph in the right places to be "our" Jacob Johnson.


Johnson, Jacob
He was a black man who came to California with his owner from St. Louis.
He worked in the mines and paid for his freedom.
He later sent a large sum of money back to St. Louis to pay for the freedom of his family.
He never received word from his family and he didn’t recover the money sent. 

Beasley, Delilah L., The Negro Trail Blazers of California, page 71, cited by Guy Washington, National Park Service, "California Pioneers of African Descent"


Carson City Township, Nevada:
Jacob Johnson, 49, mulatto, laborer. Born Virginia.
Mary Johnson, 42, mulatto, keeping house. Born Missouri.
United States Census, enumerated June 14, 1870


Table Rock Precinct:
Jacob Johnson, 65, mulatto, hackman. Born Virginia, father born Virginia, mother Africa.
Dinah Johnson, 59, mulatto, wife. Born Virginia, mother born Africa.
William Johnson, 12, boarder. Born Nevada.
United States Census, enumerated June 7, 1880


Notice.
LAND OFFICE AT ROSEBURG, OR., }           
September 7, 1882.}           
    Notice is hereby given that the following-named settler has filed notice of his intention to make final proof in support of his claim, and that said proof will be made before the Judge or Clerk of Jackson County, at Jacksonville, on Saturday, October 14, 1882, viz: Leroy Nail, Homestead No. 2,903 for the Lots 3 and 4 Sec. 10 and W ½ of NE ¼ Sec. 15 T 34S R 1W Will. Mer. He names the following witnesses to prove his continuous residence upon, and cultivation of, said land, viz: Jerry Nail, J. N. Black, William Nail, Jacob Johnson, all of Eagle Point, Jackson County, Oregon.
WM. F. BENJAMIN, Register.           
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 9, 1882, page 3


Notice.
LAND OFFICE AT ROSEBURG, OR., }           
November 20, 1882.}           
    Notice is hereby given that the following-named settler has filed notice of his intention to make final proof in support of his claim, and that said proof will be made before the Judge or Clerk of Jackson County, at Jacksonville, on Wednesday, January 3, 1883, viz: Jacob Johnson, Homestead No. 2884 for the NE ¼  of SE ¼ Sec. 9, NW ¼ of SW ¼ and SW ¼ of NW ¼ and Lot 6, Sec. 10 T 34S R 1W W.M. He names the following witnesses to prove his continuous residence upon, and cultivation of, said land, viz: Leroy Nail, John M. Black, Wm. Nail, Josiah Hannah, all of Etna, Jackson County, Oregon.
WM. F. BENJAMIN, Register.           
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 25, 1882, page 3


Jacob Johnson's Homestead Certificate No. 1591 was granted August 1, 1883, patenting his 158-acre "ranch on Rogue River." The property was just north of Shady Cove, encompassing all of today's Hudspeth Lane, Sarma Drive and Cleveland Street.


    Several claims have been located on the extension of the ledge recently discovered by Col. Johnson in Table Rock precinct. An assay of some of the ore showed $550 to the ton, mostly in silver, it is said.
"Southern Oregon Mining Notes," Oregonian, Portland, February 11, 1886, page 8


Precinct Officers.
    Following is a list of the officers elected in the several precincts. The first name following the precinct is that of justice of the peace, and the last name the constable's.
    Trail Creek: Jacob Johnson, Riley Morrison.
Excerpt, Ashland Tidings, June 18, 1886, page 3


Precinct Officers.
    The following persons were elected for the offices of Justice of the Peace and Constable for the various precincts at the late election:
    Trail Creek--justice of the peace, Jacob Johnson; constable, Riley Morrison.
Excerpt, Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 19, 1886, page 2

   
    A 13-year-old son of J. B. Johnson of Rock Point died at the home place of diphtheria on the 5th inst.

"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 7, 1886, page 3


    A twelve-year-old son of Jacob Johnson, of Rock Point, died of diphtheria about ten days ago.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, August 20, 1886, page 3


On June 27, 1889, Jacob and Mary J. Johnson sold the ranch to Francis Xavier Musty for $2000.

On July 3, 1889, Jacob Johnson bought from Mary D. and J. O. Allen lot 4, block 58 in Medford (327 North Grape) for $600.


    Col. Jacob Johnson of Trail Creek precinct has bought a lot in Medford and will hereafter reside here.
    Frank X. Musty is now a resident of Trail Creek precinct, having last week bought Col. Johnson's fine place on Rogue River.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 11, 1889, page 3


On July 13, 1889, Jacob Johnson bought from Charles Nickell the adjacent lot 3, block 58 in Medford (323 North Grape) for $50. He lived in the medium-sized house (about 18x32 feet) on lot 4, and probably gardened the rest of his property. Two stables
, for Johnson's hack business, are visible on the 1898 Sanborn Fire Insurance map.

Lots 3 and 4 today are used for outdoor storage by the Budge-McHugh Supply Co.


    Chas. Nickell to Jacob Johnson, lot in Medford. $50.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 18, 1889, page 2


    Col. Johnson is improving his property at Medford, and it will soon present a nice appearance.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 12, 1889, page 2


    Last week Col. Jacob Johnson of Medford piloted eight lone, lorn female and three masculine attaches up into the timber belt at the head of Rogue River in quest of timber locations. The ladies averred that they were all widows and old maids and had not exhausted their right to buy 160 acres on Uncle Sam's timber reserve. Some eligible male ranchers along the road were following up the wagons at last accounts, with the avowed intention of inducing a portion of the female contingent to forfeit their privilege to buy on this side of the line.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 31, 1889, page 3


On December 27, 1890, Jacob Johnson bought back from Francis X. and Elmira A. Musty his 158-acre ranch for the same price he sold it eighteen months previously, $2000.


    F. X. Musty sold his place in Trail Creek precinct to Col. J. Johnson, who formerly owned it.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 9, 1891, page 3


    Col. Jacob Johnson inspected his ranch on Rogue River one day during the week.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 10, 1891, page 3


    The recent "split in the Republican Party" at this place was productive of much amusement. The local representative of valor without discretion is able to be about again. He will hereafter know that it is as dangerous to monkey with a "cullud gem'en" as with a buzz-saw.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 8, 1892, page 2    It deserves emphasis: a Medford black man attacked a white man, and was praised in a Democratic newspaper.


On September 27, 1892, Jacob Johnson sold his 158-acre ranch to Albert A. Hall for $1500. This was apparently in reality a trade for the property below.



    Albert Hall has traded his lots in this place to Jacob Johnson for the latter's fine fruit ranch up Rogue River.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 7, 1892, page 2


     Albert A. Hall to Jacob Johnson, lots 1 and 2, block 15, Medford, $1500, so the records tell us.
"Local and General," Southern Oregon Mail, October 14, 1892, page 3


Johnson's lots 1 and 2, block 15, encompassed the northwest corner of Ninth and Bartlett--136 and 146 South Bartlett--land currently occupied by offices of Rogue Community College.


MR. L. P. CHANDLER
    The place of residence of the above-named gentleman is on the corner of B and Ninth streets where he conducts a wood yard. Mr. Chandler is a recent arrival in Medford. His native state is Illinois, but more recently he is from the Coos Bay country. The property which he leases belongs to Col. Jacob Johnson (colored) who unlike the majority of his race has acquired a goodly amount of this world's goods.
  "A Write-Up--Medford in Sections," Medford Mail, July 14, 1893 et seq., page 1


    "Col." Jacob Johnson has moved into his residence, corner B and Ninth.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, October 20, 1893, page 3


    C. B. Rostel to Chas. Nickell, all of lots 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, blk 63; also lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11, blk 81; also lots 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, blk 58, Medford, excepting lot 8, blk 58, deeded to J. Johnson . . . 875
"From the County Seat," Medford
Mail, December 8, 1893, page 2


On October 8, 1896, Jacob and Mary Johnson sold 10 acres (lots 6 and 7 in Section 21, Township 34S Range 1W--east side of Rogue River, just south of Shady Cove) to A. A. Hall for $60.

On December 24, 1896, Jacob and Mary Johnson sold lots 3 and 4, block 58 in Medford (323-327 North Grape) to Mrs. E. M. Denison for $200.

On August 16, 1899, Jacob and Mary Johnson sold lots 1 and 2, block 15 in Medford (136-146 South Bartlett) to Edward Davis for $500.


DIED.
JOHNSON--In Medford, March 24, 1900, Col. Johnson, aged about 85 years.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 29, 1900, page 2


    Col. Johnson, an aged negro, who came to Medford from Trail Creek precinct a number of years ago, died last Saturday. Some time since he suffered a paralytic stroke, from the effects of which he never recovered.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 29, 1900, page 3


Death of "Col." Johnson.
    Jacob Colman Johnson, who was stricken with paralysis several weeks ago, died at his home, southwest of Medford, on Saturday, March 24th, aged 84 years, 7 months and 14 days.
    In the year 1849 he crossed the plains, driving a mule team from St. Louis, Mo. to Sacramento, Calif., where he spent most of his time mining, until he went to Carson City, Nevada, in 1864. Here he became acquainted with and married Mrs. Mary Weber. In 1870 he came with his wife to Oregon and located in Rogue River Valley, where he has lived ever since. He was converted and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church more than forty-two years ago, in Napa County, California. His religion was the joy of his life and the triumph of his death.
    The funeral services were held at the M.E. Church Sunday, conducted by the pastor, Rev. W. B. Moore, and Revs. C. H. Hoxie and Wilfred Smith assisting. He leaves a wife and one daughter to cherish his example and remember his last words.
Medford Mail, March 30, 1900, page 6


Col. Johnson . . . Block 50, Lot 1, Space 3 . . . unmarked
Sexton's records, Eastwood Cemetery, Medford, Oregon


    Messrs. York & Wortman this week sold the C. C. Hixon dye house property, on South A Street, to Mrs. Jacob Johnson; consideration, $150. Mrs. Johnson has moved to town and is occupying the property.
"Additional Local Items," Medford Mail, April 20, 1900, page 6


On May 31, 1900, Mary J. Johnson sold lot 3 of the Barnum addition in Medford (117 South Riverside--the lot just north of Valley Pawn) to William Davis for $165.


West Medford Precinct:
Mary J. Johnson, 62, black, born August 1837 in Kentucky, widow, no children.
Parents born in Virginia. Boards with John W. Redden.
United States Census, enumerated June 2, 1900



    Dr. Pickel removed a cataract from Mrs. Jacob Johnson (colored) on Monday of this week. The old lady has been nearly blind for three or four years, and when her vision was restored she was so elated that a prolonged prayer was indulged in. The operation was a success, and her eyesight is almost entirely restored.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 22, 1900, page 7


    Last week Dr. Pickel successfully removed a cataract from the eye of Mrs. Jacob Johnson (colored), who has been nearly blind for several years.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 25, 1900, page 3


    A negro who lived on Trail Creek named 'Col.' Johnson scraped at the rocks until he found gold, then he suffered a stroke and had to give it up. He died a few years later in 1900.
Mae Trusty Ayres and Verda Quackenbush, in Barbara Hegne's Yonder Hills: Shady Cove, Elk Creek, Persist, Trail, Etna, 1989, pages 25




Last revised May 25, 2015