{A} Murderers Creek

Late in the fall of 1862, a party of five miners were camped on what has since been named Murderers Creek. As they were near the road, and no sign of Indians had been seen, they deemed themselves safe. One evening after retiring, they spent some time talking before going to sleep. Suddenly there was a crack of rifles ringing out in the still of the evening and shortly there were arrows showering upon them from neighboring rocks. One man was killed outright and the other four were seriously wounded. Two of the men struggled to the creek, and walked it for about 3/4 of a mile. One of the two could travel only a short distance, he having been mortally wounded with slugs from a rifle. He sank to the ground and later crawled to a cluster of bushes where he died. His companion made his way to the Officer ranch, but his condition was such that he died the following day.

After taking care of their wounds the best they could, the other 2 men trudged over the rough country east toward Canyon Creek. They avoided the road purposely, fearing the Indians might be lurking there. The younger of the 2 men bathed his wounds at every opportunity, and finally reached the camp. The younger man received needed medical attention, but his injuries were such that he never regained his health.

During the following summer, a party of emigrants (G.I. Hazeltine was one of them) camped near the spot where the first man died. Two young girls in the group found a gold watch in the area. The emigrants searched the area, and found the skeleton of a man, thought to have been that of the slain miner.

{B} Aldrich Mountain
Aldrich Mountain was named after Henry Aldrich. The story is told that Henry and several other men were chasing Indians over Jackass Mountain. Near Aldrich Creek Henry's son, Elmer Oliver, was shot by the Indians and his body mutilated. Another man's horse was shot out from under him, but he crawled to safety.

Later when General Howard's troops came upon the body, they stopped long enough to pile rocks over the body.

After the Indian skirmishes subsided the family went up to remove Elmer's body. They took the body to the family home and buried it. They lived a little to the west and across the river from the Ed Uffelman ranch. His grave still stands today.

{C} Dead Indian Creek
Dead Indian Creek got its name from an Indian that was killed. The story goes that some men in Izee had some pretty fast horses and wanted to race them. Some Indians came along, and in winning the race made the Izee men mad. That night the men from Izee stole the Indian's race horse and hid it in a barn. The Indians stole the horse back and again the Izee men took the horse. Once again the Indians got their horse back, this time making the Izee men mad. The men went looking for the Indians, finding and killing one Indian, a white man being killed also. One Indian was wounded and found by some other men gathering cattle. He was allowed to stay in their camp until he was healed and able to go. Dead Indian Creek is located in the Murders Creek area, but it runs into Dear Creek. Although this incident didn't happen right near the creek, the creek is named after the incident.

{D} Camps Near Town
Mrs. Amis can remember the Indians camping where the Presbyterian Church now stands when she was a small child about 70 years ago.

Linda MacArthur rode horseback to school from up the South Fork about 60 years ago, and she can remember the Indians camping along the river and being frightened when she had to ride by their camps.

The Zedwick home sits where the Indians camped many years ago before 1890, and that is where the road was at one time and the bridge crossed where their backyard fence is.

In the spring, the Indians camped at what is known as the Snyder Springs. (This later was the water supply for the school house). The bucks did not believe in work so it was up to the squaws to pick wool off the dead sheep to use. This was done on their trip through Dayville.

{E} Indian Writings
In the Picture Gorge 7 miles west of Dayville, there are some historical Indian writings. No one is quite sure of the story behind the writings, but one legend con---ing them tells of an Indian family who ---- this place in the Gorge for their fishing hole. They wrote on the rock to ---- the fishing hole as their right. The Indians apparently have camped in the area for thousands of years, because of the different artifacts found on different horizon levels.

There is evidence of Indian camps on almost any level place on the river and up streams running into the river.

{F} Other
The outbreak of the Piute-Bannock in 1878 marked the third consecutive summer of Indian wars in the Northwest. The cause was a common one; failure of the Federal Government to deliver food and other supplies as promised to the Indians confined on reservations where they could not provide for themselves. The desperate Bannocks of Fort Hall, Idaho, began with a dash westward to join equally unhappy Piutes in eastern Oregon, who, in turn, forci--- recruited some fellow tribesmen form Nevada.

In the ensuing campaign, Major Edward C. Mason had an important part, although he has not been prominent in the accounts of the war. Born in Ohio in 1831, he entered military service thirty years later as a captain of infantry in the Ohio Volunteers. He served throughout the Civil War and by brevet promotions reached the rank of brigidier general. He was wounded three times.

Mason and his cavalry men left Fort Boise in an attempt to catch the Indians that were killing and stealing from people in Idaho. He chased the Indians across the mountains toward the John Day Valley.

On July 05, 1878, Major Mason made camp at the junction of the John Day River and its South Fork, at present Dayville. They were at the main stage road from the Dalles to Canyon City.

They left July 06 and traveled 42 miles through the mountains to overtake another infantry.

During the Piute-Bannock Indian war of 1878-79 when the Indians came through Dayville, Billy Stewart saw his entire herd killed by the savages, who in many cases cut the ham strings of his horses & cattle and left them to die a slow and torturous death, while he looked on from a hiding place on the hill. He estimated that there were some 3000 Indians in the group, 700 of which were fighting bucks.

In their raid up the valley they stole all the horses they could reach, and killed the large mares and colts, as well as lots of cattle.

The Small Brothers were killed by the Indians about where the Taylor place is. They were herding sheep when the Indians caught them. They then went across the mountains and joined the Nez Perce in the Wallowas. The Small Brothers were in such bad shape before they were found that they were buried under rocks until the winter and then were taken to the Canyon City Cemetery.

Most of the population had fled to Canyon City and hid in the mines until the Indians were gone.

When the Indians were peaceful, they used to come around in bands to trade with the white people. Walt Mascall said that one time his folks traded a maggoted side of beef for a horse once. Later he went down to see what the Indians had done with the beef, and found that they had made jerky with it.

Letter Taken from old Newspaper

"Mr. V. Rinehart was chosen to organize for the towns defense. Volunteers erected breast works around the portals of the mining tunnels where women and children had been placed for safety. Water was stored in washtubs, buckets, and every conceivable container. Rife pits were dug on the heights surrounding town.

The Indians, learning that the town was so well prepared for defense, did not attack, but continued their murderous raids on the settlers. At the Jim Small ranch, they murdered his nephew, a young boy who had just arrived from England, burned the home, ripped open the feather beds and immersed the cat in them, covered with molasses. Such of the stock that they were able to corral they killed and otherwise mutilated. They smashed his old clock to pieces. Later it was recovered by Charles Brown of Canyon City and pieced together. It may now be seen in his private museum in Canyon City."

Subsequent to 1878, settlers in the vicinity of Dayville, on the South Fork of the John Day River and Izee country made warfare on any Indian who attempted to hunt and fish. As late as 1898, their sons and grandsons fought Indians near Izee. A settler was killed and several Indians. This was the last battle ever fought between Indians and settlers in Oregon.