Indian Opposition to Telegraph

[Trade Journal]

Publication: The Telegrapher

New York, NY, United States
vol. 11, no. 488, p. 279, col. 2-3

Indian Opposition to Telegraph Construction.-

Telegraphic Arrangements at the Oregon

State Fair.-A. Telegraphers' Baby

Takes Second Prize.-Inspection

of Western Union

Lines, etc.





FURTHER trouble is threatened with the Umatilla Indians regarding the construction of the Nevada and North Telegraph Line across their reservation. When it was first mentioned the Government at Washington was notified about the opposition of the Indians, and orders were promptly issued to the department here, authorizing the construction of the line, but when the construction party reached the reservation they were met by thirty or forty armed "Sewashes," who drove the men off, by threatening to kill them unless they departed at once; the party considering discretion the better part of valor, retreated, leaving their tools and provisions. As soon as Platt Burr, the Supt., who was in Portland, heard of the facts, he applied to headquarters for a force or soldiers, which was immediately ordered from Fort Walla Walla. We have nothing further, but presume the building will go on, as the Indians will hardly have the temerity to resist the soldiers.

The Oregon State Fair this year was a grand success as regards people present and money, both greatly exceeding the highest estimates. To facilitate the movement of trains necessary to transport the thousands attending the fair, the Oregon and California R. R. Co. were compelled to put in an office on the fair grounds depot, and as chief operator we were compelled to be present. Our office was in a board shanty, knocked together for the occasion, on the railway platform, and accessible to the crowd, continually asking questions regarding arrival and departure of trains; and by their frequently mistaking it for a whiskey shop, had runny calls for "whiskey and segars." Col. Brandt, Supt.; Geo. Crow, Ticket Agent, and myself, manfully strove to answer the multitude of questions until our jaws failed to work, arid we had to tumble. The W. U. Co. put in an office in the Pavilion on the grounds, for the transaction of commercial business, with Mr. L. G. Adair as operator--"Panhandle," as he is familiarly curled, from the fact that he hails from the road east bearing that name. By the way, I had a pretty good joke on friend Adair, at times, as many of the visitors to the fair were from the parts of the State where telegraphs and railroads are unknown, and these, after satisfying their curiosity by examining the engines and cars, would drop around by cry window and want full explanation regarding the workings of the "telegraphs." Not wishing to be bothered, even had I the time, I most kindly (?) told "our country cousins'' that the W. U. Co. hart most liberally and accommodatingly erected an office inside the grounds, arid placed a gentleman in charge for the solo purpose of explaining to all wishing information just how it was done "-this, gentleman would take pleasure in explaining fully. This generally had the effect of starting 'em in search of Adair and the "other office."

Before closing the fair subject, I might mention that in the "Baby Show " A. F. Wheeler, manager, W. U. Telg., Salem, with the help of his wife and baby, got away with second premium fur the "handsomest darling," Gus declares it an outrageous piece of prejudice that he did not get the blue ribbon, and hints that bribery was used. 'Tis too bad, especially as this is the first baby from all that marrying which the Oregon telegraphers indulged in so strongly some time since.

Mr. F. H. Lamb, Superintendent, and John A. Crouch, general repairer, W. U. Teleg. Co., have just returned from a trip of inspection over the W. U. line, from Portland to Yreka, Cal., and report it A No. 1 for this winter's service.

Mem.--John Crouch is not married; neither is "Webfoot," notwithstanding the damaging reports extensively circulated to the contrary. Some time ago they tried to have Webfoot dead; fading in that, the next best thing was to marry him, and that reception party tendered him on his return last Monday evening was for him alone, and not for two, as was imagined. Well! well! if they keep on, they will sure enough either kill me or get me married, and I am getting so I don't care which--due is as good as the other, and "mighty" little difference between the two.

Tom Sheridan, of Roseburg, has just been elected City Treasurer by a handsome majority over his opponent. Good for Tom. Telegraph talent always wins.

Confidentially.-Tom and I are going to play "Tweed" on 'em, but until arrangements are perfected, you may continue to hear from WEBFOOT.


Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:January 11, 2006 by: Elton Gish;