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.

August 16, 1904: Creffield Reward Will Be Returned


Sarah & OV Hurt
Alana Crow & David Poland
as Sarah & O.V. Hurt



Oregon Daily Journal (Portland) 8/16/1904 p1

Creffield Reward Will Be Returned


Corvallis Gazette 8/19/1904 p1

The Creffield Reward


Corvallis, Or., Aug. 16.--The $350 Creffield reward has been place in the hands of Sheriff Burnett, and the $200 of this amount contributed by individuals will be returned to the donors on request.


The $100 offered by Benton reverts to the county.


The cause of this is that O. V. Hurt, the father of the boy, Roy Hurt, who discovered the Holy Roller leader and caused his arrest, refuses positively to allow his son to accept the reward. Mr. Hurt today declared that to permit any of the members of his family to accept the reward would seem as though a hope of gain was all that influenced his actions in the matter. His position is being received with commendatory comment by those who have witnessed the strange chapters of the Holy Roller craze as they unfolded themselves and were brought to a finish in the capture of the leader.



Corvallis Times 8/20/1904 p3

The Reward. Money Offered for Creffield Does not go to Roy Hurt


The nine days’ wonder, the town talk, the “ohs” and the “ahs” incident to the capture, and the general discussion of Creffieldism from the origin of the belief up to the time of his departure to Portland, have all gradually died out in Corvallis. The name of the false apostle, once a household word because of the queer antics of the person who bore it, has become a memory that is but seldom revived for discussion, yet Creffield has left his mark on Corvallis, and in more than one home there is deep and bitter sorrow.


The last report from the asylum brings to O. V. Hurt the intelligence that in the opinion of the superintendent Mrs. Hurt is hopelessly insane, Frank Hurt and wife, Miss Hartley, and Maud Hurt Creffield will all probably regain their mental balance. Up in the Bohemia mines, Mrs. Hartley, although sufficiently recovered to be able to cook for six men, is not mentally improved. Her Bible is hidden from her by relatives, but the fact appears to have no salutary effect on the victim of Creffieldism.


In Corvallis, the last remnant of the whole affair, in which the public has particular interest, is the reward that was offered for the arrest and conviction of Joshua Creffield. The only persons who could, under the circumstances attending the capture, have any claim on the money, were O. V. Hurt, Roy Hurt and Chief Lane. It was the consensus of opinion at the time of the apostle’s apprehension, that Roy Hurt should receive the money. To this, however, Mr. Hurt, entered protest, declaring that it was not the money, but the man that was wanted. The objection was timely, as some people would no doubt have been prejudiced enough to have thought that, as Creffield was found under the Hurt house, it was a made-up plot for the Hurts to conceal him there and then secure the reward by disclosing the whereabouts. Accordingly, O. V. Hurt, Roy Hut and Chief Lane have, at the request of Sheriff Burnett, signed a written request that the $350 shall revert to the donors. The amount of individual contributions was $250, and this amount is now in the hands of the sheriff, and will be paid back on request to those who gave it. The $ 100 donated by the county towards the same fund will, of course, be returned to the county.



Corvallis Gazette 8/30/1904 p1

The $350 offered for information that would lead to the arrest of the Holy Roller Creffield will not be called for. Creffield was discovered in hiding by a boy named Roy Hurt, whose family was unfortunately mixed up with the Creffield idiocy. The boy is entitled to the reward, but his father very properly refuses to permit him to accept it. While the action of the elder Hurt is only as it ought to be, he is none the less entitled to the general approval which he is receiving. --Grants Pass Observer.

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