© 2024 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
Listen | Discover | Engage a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

As It Was: Panther Makes off With Toll House Visitor’s Poodle

In the summer of 1884, a lady walked her poodle on a hill above the Siskiyou Toll Road House south of Ashland, Ore.  Her companions heard a shriek and ran to find the lady unconscious and her little dog missing.

When the woman came to, she said a panther was on the verge of attacking her when it carried off her barking dog instead.  The word panther was used interchangeably at the time for mountain lion or cougar.

Later, a panther was seen in the same vicinity and one carried off a farmer’s calf.

Two local boys, John Dick and Archie Grieve, tracked a panther to a tree with the help of Grieve’s dog, Cap. They shot and wounded the animal, which lunged at Grieve, but Cap got there first and the two animals rolled over in a deadly fight.  Grieve couldn’t get a clear shot, jumped into the fray to save his dog, and killed the panther with a knife.  The dog was expected to survive.

The boys found a thin gold chain in the panther’s stomach, identified later as the one worn by the lady’s poodle.

Sources:  "A Panther Story." Ashland Daily Tidings, 2 July 1886, p. 1. 

Sharon Bywater of Ashland, Oregon grew up in Southern California. She taught English literature and writing at Syracuse University in New York, where she also wrote and edited adult literacy books and published freelance articles in local media. Later, she lived in Washington, D.C., where she worked as an international telecommunications policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She has Master’s degrees in English and Communications Management.