View of Rogue Valley from Wagner Butte

Early Churches of Jackson County, Oregon

24 Sep 1854 .. Quarterly meeting was held today at the new church at Jacksonville,. I understand there is some bitter quarles among the Methedists has there always is among such sosity. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

16 Dec 1854 We attended a temperance meeting. The first ever held in Jacksonville. It was tolerable well attended. Rev. Miron Sterns delivered a most excellent address. It was then adjourned to the Friday 29th day of Dec to meet at the church early candle light. Mrs. Mary A. Royal and Miss Mary Royal sang most beautifully. The drink that are are praising is not the drink for me. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

29 Dec 1854 ... at three o’clock Father and I started to town to a temperance meeting there was to have been held there, but the church was not finished so we had our journey for nothing. John McCall and Joe Anderson came home with us. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

May 20 1860 Sunday Mother Wallace and I and Robert all went to quarterly meeting at Gassburg there was a very large congregation in attendence. Amos Blue wife and daughter Sarah Blue went up to the Penitent Bench. We came home to dinner and then Robert and I rode back to meeting. Mr Woodword preached forenoon, Driver in the afternoon. … [Welborn Beeson Diary]

Nov 12th 1861 I went up to fix the ditch Bob Robison helped me. after noon I put riders on the division fence. I went to Gassburg to attend the revival Meeting that is being held there. Oatmans Hall, that he formerly used as a billiard Saloon was crowed full of people worshiping their devine Creator. Mr Straton and Smith and Brown, Taylors, etc etc are the leading preachers. It is astonishing to see the number that walk up to the Mourners bench some in fun and some in earnest. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

1 Apr 1862 …they are carring on another big long protracted meeting at Gassburg, the Methodist church is devided some North and some South. They take it turn about, they are having exciting times. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

6 Apr 1862… attended meeting at Oatman’s Hall a large congregation we had a real old fashioned supersticious sermon by a young Taylor. Stratton baptized one poor convict or convert, that he had frightened into terms by telling him that is was Gods wrath on us for our sins that had caused this hard winter Etc. Etc. and that if he did not reform, God would visit us with greater wrath It is as supersticious has the ignorant Indians whom they seem to despise so much. …[Welborn Beeson Diary]

11 May 1862… went to Gassburg attended the Methodist meeting in Babcock’s old blacksmith shop quite a number were present they went through the process of pretending to eat the body and drink the blood of Jesus Christ, It seems to me to be a mockery and as foolish superstition as any of the idol worshipers among the heathen that they pray for so much. Sam Robison was gallanting Hannah Barnaberg to meeting. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

3 June 1863 … I Reverand Pearne, Stratton, & Driver, in Gassburg, they have come to see about Stratons, scrape with Lucinda Carter It seems they have got a letter belonging to Dorsey that is evidence in the case Dorsy demanded the letter, and the refused to listen to him, he cursed them and Spit on them in the public street of Gassburg, they took it all very meekly and preacher like. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

16 Aug 1863 After breakfast, I went to Wagner’s Ester Ann rode to Sunday school. the new books have come on. It is a fine library of fifty seven storrie books and twelve song books While at Sunday School Ester Ann was taken Ill with the shakes I brought her to the house, and She went to bed until the fever was over, then, I took her down home. she got to feel pretty well [Welborn Beeson Diary]

16 Oct 1864 I attended Sunday School and meeting. Bishop Shuck preached. I went to Holtons afternoon and attended meeting in the evening…. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

17 Oct 1864 ... Mr Shuck preaches again to night I am going up. I have just come back. We had a huge time. The preacher had the hat passed around for a collection and got several dollars. he is an awful preacher. Mr Coolidge gave him some and said he thought it would be good riddince when he left. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

14 Oct 1866 ....Kate is reading a book entitled Lizzie Maitland, a story of a Catholic girl who loved an infidel young man, and finaly married him against her Uncles and Aunt’s advice, and then proved unhappy. Dear Kate oh! I hope you do not think because I can not like your Friend Blanchet that I will prove to you a source of unhapiness. oh! Kate I love you beyond all else and oh! Dear one, my religious beliefe is oh! O wish I could believe as you do, then I never would hurt your feelings, so much as I do now [Welborn Beeson Diary]

16 Sep 1871 .... the Batists held their annual Asociation at my Hall, across the road a large turn out from a distance but none of the neighbors except Root. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

14 June 1872 Friday. ...The pious Church Members of Ashland are trying to build a church and are going on the Principle that the end Justify the means are holding or going to hold a grand lottery scheme to obtain money. Mrs. Russel, is going to bake a cake with a five dollar gold piece in it and then cut it in pieces and sell the pieces at a dollar a piece so that some one will get five dollars for one, and others will get nothing but a piece of cake for one dollar. Oh! what Holy religion Blasphemers of the name. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

1 Dec 1872 …there is Church at the school house today a new preacher is going to preach of the baptist persuasion [Welborn Beeson Diary]

9 Dec 1872 .. Rev. Samuell Stearnes is up at Uncle Daves, He is Baptist preacher now. he has been living at Oregon City is up on a visit here now. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

28 Jan 1880 ... Church going on at Lynchburg. Howe Sherman and Abbot holding revival and making fools of them selves [Welborn Beeson Diary]

1 Feb 1880 ... Meeting still going on at Lynchburg. Wm Whitworth has Joined the church. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

7 Mar 1880 ...Wellie & I went down the Creeck to see Rev Brown baptize 8 persons in the Creeck. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

4 Apr 1880...Wm Whitworth was baptized to day in the baptist church. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

1 Apr 1883 .... I walked down to Pheonix to here Dr. J. L. York, lecture on Free thought. He had a full house in Colver’s Hall. His lecture will help drive the old Priest Craft Superstition out of the World but It lacked a great deal of Coming up to the Standard of B F Underwoods lecture’s, or Ingorsals’. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

22 Apr 1883 ...the Children and [I] went to the Church house helped Miss Delia Penebecker to organize a Sunday School [Welborn Beeson Diary]

6 Mar 1887 ..We all went to the Baptiasing [baptizing] of four fools at Bear Creek above the bridge a big crowd out. Lizzie Briner, Minnie Dayack, Tom Drake, & Ed Williams were the ones. [Welborn Beeson Diary]

5 Dec 1888 ...The funeral procession of little Willie Drake went by. He was burried at the Cemetery. The Teachers and School all marched, four of our Children in the procession. Mr Billings & Satchwell had charge of the Ceremony The first funeral at our Cemetery that a preacher presided over. [Welborn Beeson Diary]
12 Sep 1890 The Dunkard Church house in Ashland has been taken down and will be rebuilt at Talent, at the Pennebaker cross roads, as short distance north of the old Baptist Church. The majority of the Dunkard families who have settled in this valley are located so that Talent is more central than Ashland, and hence they removal of the church. [Ashland Tidings]
21 Dec 1890 ... J.G. Norton and Lizzy and family came to visit Uncle Ike and Aunt Kitty. In the evening we all went to meeting in the Dunkard Church. Old Father Brower preached an old fashioned sermon. The house was crowded. We got home at half past eight… [Welborn Beeson Diary]

9 Aug 1891 … Coming home I called in to the church, where George Hoxie was preaching. …[Welborn Beeson Diary]

19 Mar 1912 The Sunday school promoter, mentioned a few pages back, has organized a Sunday school at the school house, but not without opposition. He would have the school house at any time and all times, but he was limited to Sundays and in the day time. He has the usual ‘cheek’ and gaul of preachers and seems to think that everything and everybody must give way before his august presence. Some of the goody-goody ones here look upon him as nearly equal to God Almighty [WJ Dean diary]

20 June 1912 The Methodist Church at Talent will be dedicated on Sunday, June 30. The indebtedness is nearly all provided for in advance, so that there will be no financial struggle. [Ashland Tidings]

20 Feb. 1914--...Mrs. Summers calls P.M. to give notice of a series of Church of God meetings at the W.C. schoolhouse. She also left a copy of The Gospel Trumpet for our edification any [sic] enlightenment. Several years ago some one especially interested in our spiritual welfare had this paper sent to us for 6 months. Of course we appreciated the kindness of such unknown person so solicitous for our well being, yet in truth I must say that The Gospel Trumpet is about the silliest publication that ever came to our table. It advocates prayers & the laying on of hands for every human ailment. No matter whether it be tuberculosis or a mole on the nose, prayer will give relief. Failures are only apparent; keep right on praying. It is enough to make a dog laugh to read the many testimonies of cures in each issue. How true it is that
      " 'Faith, fanatic faith, once wedded fast
      To some dear falsehood, hugs it to the last.'
      "Mrs. Summers is a confirmed fanatic on the Church of God brand of religion. She knows she has the only true belief. She says Infidelity is bad enough but Spiritualism is 'the worst yet.' How plain it is that there are many differences of opinion in this world." [WJ Dean diary]
12 Apr 1914 Easter… lots of preaching about the rising of J.C. from the dead and setting out for heaven, in all the churches today. No doubt several eggs were eaten throughout the world today. [WJ Dean diary]

9 Jun 1914 Some two Mormon missionaries are ‘doing’ the neighborhood. One called here. He was seen in time and we were ‘not at home.’ [WJ Dean diary]

24 Feb 1915 A letter from W.G. Knips of Medford requests me to go down in his neighborhood – 2 miles west of Medford - & give a talk at the school house on the ‘Reading of the Bible in the Public Schools.’ Some there are trying to introduce such an exercise daily. Of course I declined. My growing defect of hearing requires me to cut out taking a prominent part in any public meetings. Were conditions otherwise I should accept the invitation. I could give them a few hefty pointers, I think. How persistent & insistent the church people are to get their bible into the public schools… On one occasion in my teaching days the directors made a strong request that I read a chapter before the school daily. I objected on general principles, but consented if they would allow me to open the book at random, or let a pupil do it & I would read the chapter thus presented. They promptly objected. [WJ Dean diary]

1 Mar 1915 I sent Mr. Knips a few copies of my Christ-Story & told him there would be no charge. He had ordered them. But he sent 50 cents just the same, He thought it too much to get them free. I have known people who would not have done that. He is highly pleased with the booklet, says it is just the thing to loan to his Christian friends. He says the description of the New Jerusalem would make a hard-shell Baptist laugh. Yes and blush with shame also at the absurdity of his religion. [WJ Dean diary]

19 Apr 1918 Have an invitation to attend religious services tonight. We made no promises. They have lots of religion up this Creek now. Plenty of revival meetings all winter. Many souls saved etc. etc. The Russelites about Medford & many other places are in a fix. Their rule is not to help out this war in any way. They tarred & feathered one in Medford the other day & made him hike for fresh fields and pastures new. Good! Surely all that are not for us are, practically at least- against us & should be dealt with accordingly. It makes me see red to find that any one utterly refuses to ‘stand in’ to help beat those savages of huns. It got to be done or this world will be no place for civilized man to live. [WJ Dean diary]

4 Jun 1934 Medford Mail Tribune interview w/ Mrs. Mary O. Carey … Tyron’s store now stands where the first church was built. The land, and most of the money for the building were given by Charley Root, the son of Harris Root [Horace Root]. The donor died when but a young man, Mrs. Carey said and left a large bequest to the church. He was an adopted brother of E.R. Oatman now deceased. [speaking of the Baptist Church in Talent, OR]