W.B. Davis of Seattle, now 94 yrs of age, was a member of this party - had many thrilling experiences with the Indians.

My father, N.W. Fisk, crossed the plains from Illinois with ox teams in 1852, with his family - wife and five children, and I was the baby just one year old. He landed us all safe and sound near Ashland, southern Oregon, that fall. He was there during the Rogue River Indian War, took part in several engagements during the Indian War in Jackson County. He then crossed the Siskyou Mts. in the spring of 1856 and settled on a piece of land at the mouth of Greenhorn near Yreka, California. In 1862 he got the gold fever and hearing of the great gold discovery at Salmon River, he along with some other men, lit out for the Salmon River, stayed there that winter and mined, came back to Yreka the next year - 1863. On his way home, somewhere - I think The Dalles - he heard of the great discovery of gold on Canyon Creek. This put new life in him, so he hurried home to fix up, sell out, and strike out again for the John Day River and Canyon Creek sometime about the 10th or middle of April 1864. He rigged up an outfit, one 4-horse team, one 2-horse team, and one spring wagon or hack, about 15 loose horses, 30 head of cattle, mostly milk cows, 10 head of pack horses loaded with flour, along with his wife and nine children, to again face the frontier life amongst the wild Indians and help blaze the way to a new country for the precious gold. There were about thirty in the train with the women and children. I will name a few that I remember: D.B. Rinehart, father's partner, Dried Mick Clertick, Mr. Linval and family, J.C. Gillenwater and family, W.B. Davis and family, Bart Shelly, Ely Luman, George Rarie, George Hallock, and a negro and some others I don't remember. All started on one nice sunshine morning about the 1st of April, camped first night on Shasta River; next came on past Sheep Rock; crossed the Klamath River on to Lost River; there laid over a day to let the stock rest up. While encamped that day, some of the boys were cleaning their fire arms. An Indian dog came down opposite camp across the river and set up a terrible howl for a long time, so one of the boys thought he would stop his howling so he took a shot at some distance away; he only wounded him, then he howled worse than ever. It raised quite a commotion in camp, especially amongst the women and children as they thought that would enrage the Indians, who would want revenge, and it so happened that they did later on. I remember my father rounded up the boys for shooting the Indians' dog, and he said he didn't want anything more like that to happen.

Bright and early the next morning the train was all on the move to get away from there. I don't remember how far we traveled. We came to some river (don't remember the name), anyway, it was deep and wife. We had to make rafts to ferry the wagons across. Father had a large sized rope along that they used in stretching every night to tie up all the horses in the train and to stand guard every night clear through. They stretched this rope across the river, and with some block and tackle and chains attached to the raft, ferried the wagons across one at a time until all were across; then swam the cattle and horses across. This took two days. We left there, came on to Silver Lake, and camped. As usual, the horses were all tied up with a guard around them every night. On the following morning they were all turned loose to graze before starting. A negro and one other man went out as usual to herd and guard them until time to start on our journey. The horses, of course, got out of sight of the camp. Mr. Linville, who had some race horses along, taking them to the Boise country, turned two of them loose that morning with long ropes on. While those in camp were eating their breakfast, here came the negro riding at full speed and yelling: "The Indians are stealing the horses!" This raised quite a commotion in camp. We still had two saddle horses that were left in camp. Well, there was no more breakfast eaten that morning. The women and children were crying. There we were. Indians stealing all the horses, and a long ways from no-place. They knew they would all be massacred.

Two of the men, George Hallock, an old Indian fighter, and another man sprang to their rifles and jumped on the two horses and went in pursuit. Two of the Indians had caught these two race horses with long ropes on, as they were gentle, rde them away while the other guardsman that was sent out with the horses that morning was rounding up and driving them into camp, which was a quarter of a mile away. As soon as the horses were brought into camp, they were caught and tied up, then six or seven more of the men saddled up and gave chase. When they arrived on the scene, Hallock, who had the only good rifle that would reach them at long range, was pouring the lead at them alone as fast as he could reload and shoot. Remember, those days we had nothing but muzzle loading rifles, loaded with powder cap and ball, the old dragoon and colt's revolvers. In the train there were only five or six rifles, two shotguns, several revolvers as above mentioned. The Indians had some old fashioned flint lock rifles, mostly bows and arrows. The two Indians that stole the horses just kept out of reach of our guns hollaring at our men, "Come on, you cowardly S-- B---'s", going up a canyon trying to toll our men up the canyon as the Indians were stationed on both sides of the canyon with intent to close in behind and cut our men off from camp. There were rim rocks on both sides. Our men, seeing the Indians popping up on both sides, concluded to retreat before they got cut off, and then one man, Mr. Linville, had been wounded in the calf of the leg by a spent ball hitting a rock and glancing. Still he kept on as it was his horses that the Indians had stolen, until our men forced him to retreat. After all had returned and Mr. Linville's wound was dressed, we started on around Silver Lake under the high rimrocks on the east side of the lake, looking for an attack from the rim rocks all day until we reached the north side of the lake where the trail or road started across a 75 mile desert to Mountain Springs.

We camped, got supper, and after dark started across the desert which took some of them two days and two nights of steady travel. It so happened that it rained a little one night which helped in driving the loose stock. Some of the teams that reached Mt. Springs first, filled some kegs with water and went back and met the others and helped them on to the camp. Here we layed over two days as one of the party, W.B. Davis, had broken a front wheel of his wagon several miles back on the desert. He was driving one yoke of oxen, so they took a span of horses, a light wagon, went back and brought the wagon to camp. Father had part of a set of carpenter tools along. He took the hind wheels and axle, put a tongue on it, sawed the wagon bed in two and made a cart of it.

The remainder of the journey they came on across Crooked River through Beaver Creek on to the south fork of the John Day River. There we had some more trials. Where we came down on the south fork they had to chain good sized trees behind and put on all the rough locks, and take one wagon down at a time. Then we faced another sad job climbing up the hill on the opposite side. It was almost straight up. It took all the teams, both horses and oxen, that was in the train to pull one wagon up at a time. Another place - coming down on Murderer's Creek, we had to rough lock all four wheels, tie a Juniper tree behind, top foremost, take all the horses off but just two to steer the wagon to the bottom of the hill. Then on to Murderer's Creek, camped close to where the Indians killed two prospectors. They were buried close to where we had camped, just a few days before we arrived. Then we came on down and followed the south fork - crossing and recrossing - and sometimes in the bed of the creek for a distance of two miles; then took up over the hills to the east, coming down and intersecting the wagon road at a little east of the old Aldrich place just beyond Flat Creek; the wagon road from The Dalles to Canyon City on the JD River; then taking the road east, came to a crossing of the JD River at the old Cummings bridge, which was built later. We had to ford the river. I think we had to ford the river five times from there until we got to where John Luce took up a ranch sometime after. The river was pretty high at that time and we had to raise all of the wagon beds almost to the top of the standards, cork up the cracks in the wagon bed, and then the water came inside sometimes wetting everything inside, so it took us several days to get to our destination. The road then went that long gulch going south to almost opposite Canyon City; then we turned due east and came down the hill right west of where the Eagle office now stands, into the great city of tents and log cabins on Canyon Creek where Canyon City now stands, on June 02, 1864, and I want to say the rejoicing of all that were in that train is beyond my explanation. The sight - just imagine, after traveling for nearly two months in the wilderness, across plains, valleys, deep canyons and rivers and mountains, without any road, and not seeing a white person, nothing but Indians and them all on the warpath, just to stop on top of the hill and look down upon a little city of tents of something like 500 or more that were standing to shelter the great throng of brave miners who had stood the hardships and trials of their life for the bright shining gold that was lying in Canyon Creek and it's tributaries.

Mr. W.B. Davis, who now lives in Seattle, Washington, is now 94 years old and is the only one now living that I know of who was a man grown that was in our train coming to Canyon City in June 1864.

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