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 28, 1904: Reward is Offered




Evening Telegram (Portland) 3/28/1904 p4

Reward Is Offered


Brownsville Times 4/1/ p1

Reward Is Offered


[Telegram Coast Special]

CORVALLIS, March 28.--Circulars issued by Sheriff Burnett, of Benton county, offering $100 reward for the arrest of Edmund Creffield are being sent to all county officials and railroad towns in the state. Creffield’s given name is Edmund instead of Joshua, which latter he adopted when pronouncing himself a Holy Roller. Edmund Creffield is described as being about 30 years old, very light complexion, white hair, white whiskers, unless smooth shaven, which he is very likely to be at present; weight about 135 pounds, height 5 feet 6 inches, wears No. 5 1/2 shoe; has good black suit, but may be wearing blue-colored blouse with belt run through it; also wears brown leggins. He is sure to have a Bible under his arm on in his pockets.



Oregon Daily Journal (Portland) 3/30/1904 p10

After the Holy Roller


Searchers for the Apostle Creffield have so far failed to bag their game. One hundred dollars was deposited with the sheriff of Benton County by irate victims of this notorious Holy Roller as an incentive to the man hunters, but “Josh” is proving as elusive as Pat Crowe. Rumor has it that he is sojourning at present in a little village just north of Salem.



Evening Telegram (Portland) 3/31/1904 p10

Careful Search For Holy Roller

Systematic Effort Being Made to Find “Joshua” Creffield.


Edmund Creffield, the Holy Roller wanted on a serious crime, is being hounded in every part of the state. Everything possible is being done to run him to earth at the earliest possible date.


The search, as in many cases, is by no means a “go as you please,” but is being conducted under a complete system. From reports that have reached the police, three men are now devoting their entire time to looking for the criminal who accomplished his ends by wearing a cloak of religion. These men are working in different parts of the state--one in the east, one in the vicinity of Corvallis, and one in Portland.


The officer detailed on the case in the city is at present working on the East Side. He is making a house-to-house canvass, and is inquiring at every lodging house. So far he has covered a large territory, but has secured no trace of Creffield whatever.


Some of the men making the search are directly interested in the arrest of the wrongdoer. They do not care for the reward, but are desperate in their determination to get him.


Creffield seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth. Since he was seen in Portland about two weeks ago, nothing has been heard of him. The officers believe that he could not have left the city, for every train and all public roads have been carefully guarded. He is in hiding.

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