© 2023 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

As It Was: Applegates Make Friends with Yoncalla Indian Chief

When the Applegate family moved to Yoncalla, Ore., in 1848, they made friends with Chief Halotish, or Halo, leader of the regional Kalapuya tribe.  He and his family helped the Applegates farm and cared for their livestock.

Native American ethnohistorian David Lewis has written that the Applegates built a house for Halo’s family where it stayed, in Lewis’ words, “Despite the dangers of the Rogue River war south of the Umpqua Valley, the death of so many Native people, and the acts of racism and efforts to exterminate the tribes by volunteer militia.”  When government agents came to forcibly remove the Kalapuya to the Grand Ronde Reservation, Jesse Applegate’s son, Robert, stepped in front of an agent’s gun to defend Halo’s right to remain on his native soil.

Halo’s three sons, Mack, Jake and Sam, adopted the English name “Fearn” [sic] from their father’s Indian name, Cam-a-phee-ma, which means “fern.”

Lewis wrote, “The long-term relationship between the Halo and Applegate descendants is honored in works of art, cultural projects, and events. Halo’s name is preserved at the sacred Halo Rock, near the site of the original indigenous Yoncalla village, and in Halo Creek in Lane County.”

Sources: Lewis, David G. "Chief Halotish Village on the Roe River." Oregon Encyclopedia, Ethnohistory Research. Inc., 5 Mar. 2017, ndnhistoryresearch.com/2017/03/15/chief-halotish-village-on-the-row-river/. Accessed 17 July 2018; Lewis, David L. "Halito (Chief Halo) (?-1892)." The Oregon Encyclopedia, Portland State University and the Southern Oregon Historical Society, 18 Mar. 2017, oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/chief_halo_halito/. Accessed 17 July 2018.

Kernan Turner is the Southern Oregon Historical Society’s volunteer editor and coordinator of the As It Was series broadcast daily by Jefferson Public Radio. A University of Oregon journalism graduate, Turner was a reporter for the Coos Bay World and managing editor of the Democrat-Herald in Albany before joining the Associated Press in Portland in 1967. Turner spent 35 years with the AP before retiring in Ashland.