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.
July 21, 1906: Mitchell Boys to Stand by Esther
Seattle Post Intelligencer 7/21/1906 p1
Mitchell Boys to Stand by Esther
Perry and Fred Decide to Do What They Can for Their Sister.
Special to the Post-Intelligencer
PORTLAND, July 20.--Esther Mitchell, who killed her brother George at Seattle immediately after his acquittal for killing Franz Edmund Creffield, will not be friendless when she comes to face the court on the murder charge. Her brothers, Perry and Fred, who stood by George throughout his trial, have decided to do what they can for the girl. They came to Portland from Newberg today, and will probably secure employment here.
While the loss of George at Esther’s hands has been a bitter blow to them, to which it is hard to reconcile themselves, the boys have decided to stand by their unfortunate sister, and assist her in every way possible. They intend to communicate with her soon.
“Esther would not have killed George had she been herself,” said Fred tonight. “I believe Maud Creffield persuaded Esther to commit the act because she was too weak to do it herself.
Oregon Daily Journal (Portland) 7/21/1906 p8
Mysterious Note to O. V. Hurt
Father of Mrs. Maud Hurt Creffield Warned He Must Not Defend His Daughter.
Must Erect Monument To Mitchell’s Memory.
Unknown Writer Threatens That Corvallis Man Will Be “Fixed” Unless He Obeys Injunctions of the Letter.
(Special Dispatch to The Journal)
Corvallis, Or., July 21.-- Although it has been kept quiet it has at last been admitted by those who know that O. V. Hurt has received an anonymous threatening letter in regard to his defense of his daughter, Mrs. Maud Hurt Creffield. The letter said that Mr. Hurt must not aid in the defense of his daughter, and that he would be “fixed” if he did not erect a monument at the grave of George H. Mitchell.
The handwriting was apparently not disguised, and although it was mailed in Portland there is no clue as to the writer.
Perry Mitchell, who was in Corvallis this week, took the epistle to Portland with him and there it was compared with the letter received by Mrs. Burgess Starr from an anonymous writer, but it was not apparent that the writers were not the same person.
Ever since the murder of George Mitchell by Esther Mitchell friends have cautioned Mr. Hurt to be on the watch lest harm befall him from some other inspired follower of the Creffield faith. With such fanaticism still alive in the hearts of a few faithful, there are many here who voice the opinion that Rollerism is not yet done with.
Mr. Hurt, while harassed and worried by his many unusual troubles, is apparently but little disturbed by this attack.