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As It Was: Fleeing Family Leaves Behind Burning Cabin

Native American warriors were attacking the Warner Valley of Southeastern Oregon in 1878 when the William Jones family packed their wagon and fled for safety to Lakeview.  As they mounted a ridge, they looked back to see their cabin burning.

Their possessions in the wagon included a trunk with a pair of Union binoculars inside that Jones’ Confederate father had picked up while in the cavalry at the battle of Ball’s Bluff.  It was the same battle where Oregon Sen. Baker had died fighting for the Union side, despite rules prohibiting congressmen from serving on active duty.

The trunk also included two wine decanters and two Bibles the Joneses had found in Fort Warner after it had been abandoned for two years.  Other possessions in their wagon included a box of china dishes and two feather beds.

Everything was passed down to their descendants later as family heirlooms.

 

Source: Pain, Doris P. "Pioneer Relics Preserved by Local Couple Through Fires, Early Day Attack by Indians"." 10 Feb. 1940. [Found in the Southern Oregon Historical Society Vertical File “Jones, Mrs. Wilbur”

Alice Mullaly is a graduate of Oregon State and Stanford University, and taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York; Mill Valley, California; and Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. Alice has been an Southern Oregon Historical Society volunteer for nearly 30 years, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.