View of Rogue Valley from Wagner Butte

Ashland, Oregon Founders

Ashland House and men of Industry circa 1865, Ashland, Oregon
       This memorable photo shows an early view of Ashland House and the business and professional men of Ashland about 1865. There are different lists of who is in this photo and some of the men are definitely identified and some are not. A reference to the photograph can be found in the Ashland Tidings Newspaper 28 December 1921 in which Ann Russell was reminiscing about a Christmas of 1865. She refers to the photograph with the following statement:
     “ There were sixteen business and professional men in Ashland at that time. There were: Charley Klum, school clerk; Bob Hargadine, store keeper: Jim Thornton, woolen manufacturer: Jake Wagner, flour mill; Jim Russell, marble works [Ann's husband]; Mike Mickelson, blacksmith; Bill Kentner, wagon maker: Eber Emery, tavern keeper; John McCall, merchant; A.V. Gillette, sawmill man and justice of the peace [Ann's brother-in-law]; Ed DePeatt, lawyer; Abe Helman, carpenter; Abe Giddings, stage driver [Ann's neighbor]; Oliver Applegate, teacher; Ivan Applegate, telegrapher; Albert Rockfellow, whose business I cannot recall.”
     “Here is a dim photograph showing these men standing in front of the old Ashland House, which was located on the present site of the Ford garage. There is Bill Kentner with a wagon wheel, my husband with a block of granite, and all the rest of them, each with something to indicate their work. Another view shows Bob Hargadine's house where the First National Bank now stands, with timber on the south and east sides.”
     Since Ann was trying to recall the names long after the photo was taken by an unknown photographer [my guess would be Orville Dodge because he took some others on the plaza in the 1860s and moved to Coos Bay shortly after the Civil War, but it is only a guess and not in any way definitive]
     Copies of this photo in a post card format all agree that this image was taken about 1865 and identify the 16 people as follows:
Left to Right:
  1. George Fordyce [two men facing each other on the left]
  2. Charles Klum (trying to sell flour to George Fordyce)
  3. Eber Emery or Henry Emery (demonstrating Hand Draw- carpenter) [Ann Russell is the only one who refers to Eber Emery rather than Henry – so if we go by the majority, it was Henry Emery, son of Eber that has the saw in his hand]
  4. Mr. Osbern or Mr. Whitmore [this man was sitting on a high stool – but he looks very tall to the other men – a photo of Mountain Rangers shows a “Mr. Osburn(e), but in that picture he looks short -so once again, I am guessing that it is Whitmore instead of Osborn/Osbern/Osburn(e).]
  5. Boy- possibly Eugene Rockfellow
  6. Oliver Cromwell Applegate- teacher [with an open book- sharing with a child, O.C. Applegate WAS a teacher in Ashland – will check on the time period in which he taught]
  7. Probably Ivan Applegate- telegrapher [only one post card identifies the man sitting at the table as Ivan Applegate, but since I know the next person, Mike Mickelson, the blacksmith is next, I know that whomever identified the men, skipped # 7]
    8. Mike Mickelson – blacksmith [Mike is standing with his anvil and his hammer- symbols that are also crudely carved into his tombstone in Ashland Cemetery]
     9. William Kentnor- wagon maker, standing in the center with the wagon wheel.
   10. James H. Russell- stone mason [Ann would know he husband and his profession!]
  1. Almond V. Gillette – sawmill owner [Ann would also know her brother-in-law, Almond Gillette]
  2. unknown – possibly Albert G. Rockfellow whom Ann mentioned but did not give an occupation for in her 1921 article, Albert was a small man and had a heavy beard and one of the boys in the photo was his son, Eugene Rockfellow so it would make since that Albert would be there with his son] others identify this as Eli K. Anderson – also possible
  3. Abel Helman – carpenter. Easily identified from other photographs during that time period that this was Abel. [sitting on a carpenter type bench]
  4. Boy possibly Eugene Rockfellow
  5. John K. or Lincoln Helman – identified [some say # 14 is John Helman and the older boy standing was Lincoln – check into birth dates for the possibilities of who this might be]
  6. Nathaniel Myer

      It appears that John McCall, Jacob Wagner, Ed DePeat, Bob Hargadine, and Ab Giddings are not in the photo as Ann said they were in 1921.