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.

September 28, 1906: Insanity Board Not Paid


Seattle Daily Times 9/28/1906 p13

Insanity Board Not Paid

Physicians Who Declared Esther Mitchell and Mrs. Creffield Mentally Irresponsible Looking for Wages.


The three physicians who formed the medical commission that made the findings that Esther Mitchell and Maud Hurt Creffield are insane are wondering where their pay for eleven days service in conducting the examination is coming from. Since the commission closed its labors the members of it have been endeavoring to secure the signature of judge Frater to an order allowing them a fat fee for their services.


Judge Frater has shown no desire to sign the order. Even if the physicians succeed in getting the judge’s signature they will be as far as ever from obtaining any money for their labors. If Judge Frater should sign the order, Prosecuting Attorney Mackintosh will advise the county clerk not to issue the certificates calling for county warrants, on the ground that the commission was an illegal body appointed by Judge Frater without any authority of law.


Drs. Eames, Turner and Snively, who composed the commission, must wait until the Supreme Court passes upon the legality of Judge Frater’s actions. They may be able to get the $10 fee for each day’s service. Even had the warrants been issued, the brokers who deal in this class of securities would refuse to buy them for fear that the Supreme Court might wipe out the insanity commission and everything connected with it.


The witnesses who were called before the commission to testify are in the same position as the physicians. They cannot secure any order for their witness fees and may never obtain any pay if the Supreme Court should decide that Judge Frater had acted illegally.



Corvallis Times 9/28/1906 p3


-- O. V. Hurt has returned from Seattle where he went to attend the inquiry into the mental condition of Esther Mitchell and Maud Hurt Creffield. As generally known the verdict of the inquiry was that the women were affected with a species of insanity, when the murder of George Mitchell by his sister Esther occurred, and they still are of unsound mind in this respect. District Attorney Macintosh, of Seattle, is fighting the order of the court which provides for the women to be deported to Oregon. The belief of Mr. Hurt is that the effort of the district attorney will fail, and that the order of Judge Frater to send them prisoners to Oregon will be carried out. If the latter happens, the women will have their liberty as soon as they cross the line into the state, and will be free women, unless taken into custody by the state authorities and committed on an order of the probate court to the Oregon insane asylum.

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