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.

May 27, 1906: Joshua Says Not to Worry



Seattle Sunday Times 5/27/1906 p10

Joshua Says Not to Worry.


Sunday Oregonian (Portland)--5/27/1906 p4

Creffield Says, ‘Don’t Worry

Mrs. Maud Hurt Creffield Writes to Corvallis Relatives That She Has Received Message From Husband. One Disciple of the Holy Roller Leader Declares That the Religion Is Bound to Carry the World.

Widow of Holy Roller Claims She Has Message From Dead Fanatic Leader. Why Esther Mitchell Incriminates Brother. Frank Hurt Missing and Relatives Have No Tidings of His Whereabouts--One Follower Declares Strange Faith is Bound To Grow.


The Times Special Service/Special Dispatch to The Journal

CORVALLIS, Saturday, May 26.--”I have got a message from Joshua telling me to worry no more about that poor old earthly body of his,” is what Mrs. Maud Creffield writes to Corvallis relatives from Seattle. She is the widow of the late Holy Roller leader, for the murder of whom George Mitchell is now awaiting trial in Seattle.


Mrs. Bert Starr of Portland, who deserted her family to join Creffield, for whom she claimed to have a spiritual love,” is still in this city. Asked by a friend what she intended to do, she replied:

“I am going to do whatever God wants me to do.”


Other members of the faith here say little or nothing of their belief, although one disciple stated:

“There has never been a religion like it. It is bound to carry the world.”

One familiar with the history of the Holy Rollers, said today:


EXPLAINS SISTER’S ACTION [Sunday Oregonian (Portland)]

“To one who knows the story, the fact of Esther Mitchell going on the witness stand against her brother George is not strange. Esther was taken from the Holy Rollers long before things had gone to extremes and was place in the Boys’ and Girls’ Home in Portland. She escaped and returned to Corvallis, but was again taken away and finally sent East where she remained until after Creffield was sent to the penitentiary. It was after her departure that Creffield carried on his villainous schemes, and she may not have been harmed by him as she states.

“Many times Creffield remarked that he must see Esther Mitchell, but he never did from the time she was taken East until he went to Waldport recently. Even then he was only at the camp one day, leaving that night for Siuslaw.”

Mrs. Frank Hurt and child are still here awaiting word from Frank Hurt at Seattle to join him. Relatives have not heard from him for two weeks.


FRANK HURT MISSING [Sunday Oregonian (Portland)]


Will H. Morris of Seattle, who is George Mitchell’s lawyer, arrived yesterday in search of evidence and data for the defense. Subscriptions to aid Mitchell are still being received.



Seattle Star 5/28/1906 p7

Gets Message From Messiah

Mrs. Creffield Writes to Corvallis Relatives That She Has Received Word from ‘Joshua’ Not to Worry About His Earthly Body


CORVALLIS, OR., May 28 (the rest of the article is illegible)

Seattle Post Intelligencer 5/30/1906 p5

Mitchell Declares He Is Not Guilty

W. H. Paulhamus Offers Alleged Slayer of Creffield Permanent Position.”

George Mitchell, the alleged slayer of Franz Edmund Creffield was arraigned in the superior court yesterday before Judge Frater, and entered a plea of not guilty to a charge of murder in the first degree.

The trial of the case was set for June 25.


When Mitchell made his way to the bar, the court room was full of spectators and the majority of them were women. The young man made a neat appearance as he stood erect before the bar of justice and spoke the words that mean a long trial for him.


Will H. Morris, one of the prisoner’s attorneys, declares that the trial will be one of the hardest fought that the county has known and asserts that he is determined to see the young man free. He says the time set for the trial is just as he desired it and that he and Mitchell are anxious to have it over as soon as possible.

During the afternoon Mitchell received a call from his brother Fred, of Oregon, and the two men spent some time talking over the affair. The brother left last night for his home.

A letter was received yesterday afternoon, according to the statement of the attorney, in which W. H. Paulhamus, a well known farmer of the Puyallup valley, declares that he will qualify the sum of $5,000 for the release of the prisoner until the time for the trial and that moreover, he will give the boy a position on his farm “until Mitchell is acquitted.” After that he asserts that the boy shall have a permanent position with him.

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