This Week in Oregon History

We had a light dusting of snow in Eugene today with the promise (or threat) of more to come Monday night so it was interesting to read an apology in The Guard, published in Eugene City, on Saturday, January 18, 1868 for having to miss their regular issue the previous week due to extreme cold. That was 144 years ago this week. First there were floods, then it froze, and then snow. They reported 16″ of snow and  “every horse, cayuse, mule, sleigh, cutter, jumper, sled, pung, go-divil, and nondescript in town has been brought into requisition, and a right merry time the sleighing parties are having!”

What, you might be wondering, is a cayuse, or pung, or go-divil? I did some digging and found that a cayuse referred to a small horse raised by Native Americans, not a member of the Cayuse Tribe. You can read more about them at A pung is a box shaped sleigh or toboggan. A go-divil is a dray used for hauling logs.

I love to read old newspapers. The stories are full of genealogical information, particularly the local social news and legal notices. This is where you find the genealogical material. This issue reports the December 24th marriage in San Francisco of Franklin Ellsworth and Julia Read McLane, daughter of the late Hon. George Read McLane, Wilmington, Delaware. Was Mr. Ellsworth a local resident or was this a celebrity wedding?

The notice of final settlement of the estate of Alva Larkin, deceased, had been filed and the hearing was scheduled for February 3rd. A summons for W. F. Trimmer to appear in the Circuit Court of Lane county by April 1st or a judgement for $430 in gold coin would be taken against him. Martin Luper was the plaintiff in the case.

A Sheriff’s sale was scheduled for to sell land and lots of William F. Delamater  to settle a $5,000 judgement against him in favor of Anderson Barlow. The land sale was necessitate by insufficient personal property to fulfill the judgement and court costs. Part of this land was from the donation land claim No. 42 issued to John Delamater and wife. I wonder what he did that caused such a large settlement.

Tune in next Sunday for more Oregon History.


About oregon genealogy

Oregon Genealogical Society was formed September 22, 1962 in Eugene, Oregon to promote genealogical research, education, and to create a genealogy library. In 2012 we will celebrate our 50th anniversary. Our research library has more than 10,000 genealogy books, periodicals, and microforms. Check us out at
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