November 25, 1903: In Pursuit of Creffield


Donna Starr
Ed Vilderman, Erin McGarry, Tim Crabtree & Jason Haines as
Fred, Phoebe, Perry & George Mitchell

Evening Telegram (Portland) 11/25/1903 p5

In Pursuit of Creffield

Brother of Mrs. Hurt Is Looking for Self-Appointed Apostle.

Holy Roller May Find It Advantageous to Keep Under Cover.

[Telegram Coast Special]


CORVALLIS, Or., Nov. 25 -- The latest developments in the Holy Roller craze is a source of congratulation to the citizens of Corvallis as Creffield and Brooks have departed for pastures new. Creffield went away in a buggy with Frank Hurt, and is now somewhere in the Alsea country. Brooks’ whereabouts is a mystery. Since his failure to get a footing at Wren’s nothing has been heard of him. In a conversation today with J. K. Berry, who was at one time a regular attendant at Creffield’s services, it was learned that it was at his suggestion that Mr. Hurt went to Portland in order to get away from the emotional excesses that surrounded him in his home. Mr. Berry, who is an old friend of Mr. Hurt, believed that such a trip would enable the latter’s better judgment to reassert itself. On Mr. Hurt’s return Mr. Berry met him and took dinner with him, and saw that Mr. Hurt’s views of Holy Roller affairs had, as he had hoped, undergone a radical change, and it was no surprise to him to learn of the enforced departure of the apostles, as well as the breaking up of the hangers-on that had saddled themselves on the Hurt family.


The night of Mr. Hurt’s return, Mr. Berry, the two Starrs and Mr. George Baldwin, went over to Mr. Hurt’s house to see Creffield, but he made himself scarce. It was their intention to see that he left, and they do not hesitate to say that if either of the apostles return to Corvallis, they will meet with a warm reception.

Sam Starr, of Chehalis, a brother of Mrs. Hurt, was in town Monday looking for Creffield, and on learning that he was in Alsea, immediately left for that district, and is freely prophesied that if he succeeds in finding the apostle, the latter will do as much rolling and tumbling in five minutes as he has been doing all summer.


Mr. Berry, who was a well-to-do business man, was at one time much interested in the work of Mr. Creffield, and had confidence in his sincerity, but when hints were thrown out to him that he ought to dispose of his fine automobile and turn what money he had into the hands of the apostle for the benefit of the cause, he says it did not take him long to get “next” to himself. When Mr. Berry visited the Rollers at their camp meeting ground on Kiger’s Island last summer, he found all hands in a state of religious ecstasy and they told him that God had favorably answered their prayers for a new holy tabernacle, and that it was to be immediately erected. When he asked where the money was coming from Creffield answered that God said for him (Berry) to furnish it..

“Either God or Creffield mad a mistake,” says Mr. Berry, “For their tabernacle was not built nor will it be with my money.”



Corvallis Times 11/25/1903 p3

They Are Gone.”

This Time for Good--Brooks and Creffield--Told to Depart


Creffield and Brooks prophets of what has come to be called the Holy Roller sect have gone from Corvallis. Their departure this time is for good and aye. It transpired as a result of the notice given the men by Mr. Hurt that it was best for them to go away. The notice was not sensational in character, nor was the going fruited with spectacular incidents as has been reported. While on a late visit to Portland Mr. Hurt wrote home saying that on account of the feeling that had been incited as a result of the unusual things done in the late upheaval it was better that there should be a parting of the ways. Mr. Hurt arrived home last Thursday, the day after the letter reached Corvallis. He found Brooks and Creffield ready to leave, and about two o’clock that afternoon the start of the prophets into new fields was made. One of the men was taken away in a buggy, and the other traveled alone. Neither will return to abide at the Hurt home, that alternative being fully understood by both men. Besides the departure of Creffield and Brooks, all the other followers of the sect save ordinary visitors at the home have taken their departure. The incident seems to indicate a return in general of all interested to normal conditions, and to mark the end of what furnished a theme of general interest for several days in the late past. The friends of Mr. Hurt and of the family are glad that Creffield and Brooks are gone for to the latter and their power to influence others was due whatever there was in the late matter that supplied the public with things to talk about.



Oregon Daily Journal (Portland) 11/25/1903 p6

Will Make Burn Offering


From Sheridan Sun

It is reported that Creffield, a leader of the Holy Rollers at Corvallis, recently stated that, “if the Lord bade it, he would make a burnt offering of a child.” When a man becomes so crazed as to make that assertion it is time that the law was taking a hand at the Holy Rollers. Their willful destruction of property and cruelty to animals is enough to warrant their arrest, but when it comes to making threats that they will murder a child by burning it to death is more than a civilized people can stand, and they should be taken care of before their threats are put into practice.

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