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.

March 1, 1904: The “Holy Rollers” Offend Humanity

Maud Hurt
Maren McGuire as Maud Hurt Creffield



Oregon Daily Journal (Portland) 3/1/1904 p1

The “Holy Rollers” Offend Humanity


Corvallis Times 3/5/1904 p1

The Holy Gang

From Helena Comes the Report that Montana

Is Afflicted with Sect of Idolatrous as Ignorant Seers of Tibet


(Special Dispatch to the Journal.)

An Evangelist Entertained by a Tar and Feather Party in Helena

Threaten to Burn Every Saloon in the City if Molested Again--Leaves City in a closed Carriage--Other News.


Helena, Mont., March 1,-- A special from Dillon says: This city has been simply agog with excitement over the “tar and feather” party given C. W. Bridewell, evangelist of the “Holiness People,” Sunday night by a mob of several hundred angry men. No other happening in recent years has caused as much talk, and public sentiment is almost unanimous in upholding the work of the “tar party.”


Many rumors have been circulated, one to the effect that if the “Holy Rollers” are subject to more attacks, they will retaliate and burn every saloon in the city. A wealthy woman of this city who has always been in a prominent member of the Holy people, and who is a relative of the gospel exhorter swore out warrants today for six well known young men of the city charging malicious mischief. She is quoted as saying that she will spend $10,000, if necessary, in prosecuting members of the mob, and confidentially hopes to fill the state prison with residents of bad Dillon.


The mob’s victim when seen this morning showed no ill effects of his trying experience, and he stated that he had reconsidered his promise given to the mob that he would leave town, as that promise was given under compulsion, and that many of the best people of Dillon promised him protection, and therefore he would not leave until another evangelist arrived to take up his work. Nevertheless he was seen leaving the city in a closed carriage this afternoon. His return will probably mean a repetition of Sunday night’s affair and will probably be accompanied by violence or even bloodshed.


Corvallis Times 3/2/1904 p4

The distinction of the name Holy Rollers has prompted a Portland confection factory to attach it to a special form of candy. Small has introduced it here. The candy denominated Holy Rollers is a very porous taffy veneered with chocolate.


Corvallis Times 3/2/1904 p3

The Twin Rock Gold Mining and Milling Company is the name of a new corporation which has filed articles at the county clerk’s office. The incorporators are Lewis Hartley, Wallace Hartley and W. B. Hartley, and the capital stock is $1,500,000. The principal business office is Corvallis, and it is the purpose of the company to do a general mining business.


Corvallis Gazette 3/4/1904 p4

Warren B. Hartley

Member Oregon Mining Stock Exchange, Chamber of Commerce Building, Portland Oregon

7,350 Shares of LeRoy at 70.

Cheap as dirt as this Company will soon pay dividends.

Write me if you want a safe investment.



Morning Oregonian (Portland) 3/5/1904 p10

Mines, Mining, And Miners. Prominent Northwest Mining Men, No. 68


Lewis Hartley has been in Oregon in the mining business for the last 12 years. All of this time he has devoted to the Bohemia district of Lane and Douglas Counties. Mr. Hartley is a member of the Oregon’s Miner’s Association, and is a treasurer of the Bohemia Mineowners’ Association. He is manager of the Great Eastern properties and the Star Consolidated Mining Company. Mr. Hartley has much faith in Bohemia and believes the time is near at hand when all who are fortunate enough to hold property to this district will be wealthy men. He lives at Corvallis.



Corvallis Times 3/5/1904 p2

The Twin Rock Company. Has Mining Property in the Bohemian District--The Officers


Mention is made in Wednesday’s Times of the fact that the Twin Rock Mining and Milling Company had filed articles of incorporation with the county clerk. The officers of the company are S. R. May, of Mt. Zion, Illinois, president, Wallace Hartley of Corvallis, vice president, George B. Spitler, Mt. Zion, Illinois, secretary and treasurer. The home office is at Corvallis with branch offices at Mt. Zion, Illinois and in the Chamber of Commerce building Portland, Oregon. The board of directors is Lewis Hartley, Warren B. Hartley and Wallace Hartley, all of Oregon, and S. R. May and George B. Spitler of Mt. Zion, Illinois.


The company expects to begin development work as soon as the weather will permit. It has nine claims of 20 acres each in the Bohemian District in Douglas County. There are five distinct veins running through the property, and the owners claim that it will speedily become a dividend-payer.



Oregon Daily Journal (Portland) 3/8/1904 p6

(Under a column, Oregon Sidelights)

The Holy Rollers seem to have rolled out of view, much to public satisfaction.


Dalles Weekly Chronicle 3/8/1904 p4

Not Creffieldites

The Holiness Mission in The Dalles Has no Sympathy With the Apostle’s Fanaticisms.


Apropos of the interest which has been revived in the movements of the Holy Rollers by the capture of their apostle, Creffield, a few days ago, and considering the fact that this same man who has become so noted in the state figured prominently among a class of religious people in The Dalles about two years, ago, causing them to withdraw from the churches which there were wont to attend and to form themselves into a mission, adhering to his teachings, the Chronicle reported this morning interviewed one of the leaders of the movement with a view to determine just how the emission in The Dalles now stands on the question. As is well known these people have since Creffield’s visit here been credited with being in sympathy with the apostle.


“Nothing can be farther from the truth,” said our informant this morning. “On the contrary, we are as desirous of seeing justice done in the matter as one can possibly be. When Creffield first visited The Dalles and taught the doctrines of holiness as set forth in the scriptures we adhered to his teachings. Soon he began to advocate strange doctrines, or decidedly fanatic ideas, insisting on extremes in fasting and praying and observing rules of conduct toward other Christians which we felt were not licensed by the Bible; also claiming to have Divine revelations. In many ways we discovered a fanaticism in his teachings and withdrew from his doctrines, retaining only the doctrine of holiness before God, which is still our one firm belief and was taught by others before his arrival in The Dalles, among them Brothers Van Zan and Frank Cooper. Fellow workers with him also noticed the change and observed a hypnotic power which he is now credited with.


Upon his return to the city we refused to have anything to do with him, and are not surprised that his fanaticism has led him thus far, though we can hardly credit him with certain forms of conduct which he is charged with.”


“Are we in anyway connected with his work or that of his Corvallis followers? Decidedly no. We are now working under the supervision of the Apostolic Holiness Union of Cincinnati known as the Knapp movement, which is accomplishing great things in the redemption of the world. Our work has been greatly retarded by the impression that we are in sympathy with this misguided man; but we have made no public denial, preferring to be known by our fruits.”


Morning Oregonian (Portland) 3/10/1904 p3

Like Oregon’s Holy Rollers

Strange Religious Belief of People Living on Maine Island.

Kill Animals and Would Sacrifice Baby on “God’s Command.”


BANGOR, Me., March 10. -- Maniacal proceedings are reported among the 500 members of a so-called religious sect living in a colony on Beal’s Island near Jonesport. One woman who tried to kill her children after announcing at a revival that God had ordered her to make the sacrifice, has been adjudged insane and brought to the hospital here. Jonesport deputy sheriffs and citizens have gone to the island to calm the excited inhabitants.


Persons just returned from the scene assert that during the revival the woman who was brought to the hospital called out that the voice of God had told her that a certain dog must be killed. An animal was brought into the meeting-house and slain. Then she announced that she had received another divine command that a cat in the village should be put to death. The execution was carried out, but when she arose a third time and declared she had been commanded to slay her baby, a furious discussion was precipitated which broke up the meeting. The authorities heard of the affair, and seized the woman before she could carry out the “command.”


The islanders are now destroying their watches, jewelry and other articles of ornament.

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