Creffield and the Holy Rollers made page one headlines from 1903 to 1907. When I was researching Holy Rollers: Murder and Madness in Oregon’s Love Cult I spent months transcribing hundreds of articles. I’m not sure why I was so obsessive. Maybe it was my way of immersing my self into a cult without joining one. Anyway, I’m posting them all for those who are really interested in the story, or are interested the history of journalism, or are interested in how a scandalous story played out in the "media" in a by gone era. Since I no doubt made typos and unconsciously corrected papers' typos, these web pages should not be cited in anything serious (e.g. your dissertation). For such projects they should only be used as starting points and you should refer to the original sources. If you want a shorter version of the story, buy my book. Enjoy.

November 28, 1903: Holy Rollers Receive Unwilling Baptism in Five Rivers


Edmund & Maud Creffield
Joe Haege as Edmund Creffield

Corvallis Times 11/28/1903 p3

Through Much Tribulation

Two Holy Rollers Receive Unwilling Baptism in Five Rivers


Wednesday news reached Corvallis of a misfortune which came to Frank Hurt and Creffield, the holy rolling apostle who so suddenly came into world wide notoriety. The men left here Thursday their destination, as stated by them in Alsea valley, being the Yachats country, where they expected to carry on the religious work of which has recently received so much attention. Their conveyance was a buggy drawn by a single horse.  Friday they passed through Alsea Valley and on Sunday crossed over the Preacher Creek mountain and down onto Five Rivers. An unfortunate feature of the conditions in that locality as well as in Lobster, is that although the county roads frequently cross both streams, there is but one bridge on either. This fact is what led to the misfortune which befell the travelers mentioned. It is not certain at which ford they experienced their difficulty, but at one of the crossings of Five Rivers, the men, horse and conveyance were washed down by the swollen stream. In a brief time all the detachable parts of the entire outfit became separated. After being carried down something like 200 yards the men managed to reach the bank. A little below, the horse regained his footing and clambered to a place of comparative safety. The vehicle, tumbling over and over, was swept on to a distance of a quarter of a mile below the ford. The horse, with much difficulty was taken up a precipitous bank and through a tangle of undergrowth to the road. A portion of the buggy was dragged from the stream, the only portion recovered being the gear and springs. The top box and shafts, it seems, were wholly lost. When the Fisher-Alsea mail carrier passed over his route Monday the remains of the buggy occupied a trail which he travels to avoid two of the fords. The settlers in the vicinity were rendering the unfortunate travelers what assistance they could to put them on their journey.


Next to this article was an ironic item:

Trespass Notice

All persons are hereby notified not to trespass on the premises of the undersigned for the purpose of hunting. Don’t ask permission.

Dick Kiger

Elmer Raber

G. Harding

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