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.

April 30, 1907: Esther Mitchell Still Believe in Creffield & His Return




Corvallis Gazette 4/30/1907

Believes in Creffield


Corvallis Times 4/30/1907 p1

Still Hoping


And His Return--Esther Mitchell at Steilacoom�


Esther Mitchell Confident That Some Day Creffield Will Return. She Is Enjoying the Best of Health and is a Favorite at the Asylum--Is Permitted to Roam About the Grounds.


Old time friends and acquaintances of Esther Mitchell in and about Corvallis will be interested in a Seattle dispatch to the Salem Statesman, which says:


Seattle, Wash., April 27.--Still believing that someday Creffield, the Oregon Holy Roller, who was killed in Seattle, last July, by George Mitchell, will return, Esther Mitchell is spending her days in the Western Washington asylum for the inane at Steilacoom. She still clings to old beliefs and ideals, and believes that she did right when she shot and killed her brother George.


The country air and simple life have succeeded in restoring to her face the color that was paled by her long incarceration in the county jail after she committed the crime. Her physical health is almost perfect. She has won the admiration of those in charge at that institution by her willingness to do minor tasks in the women�s yard, and her cheerful disposition had made her a favorite among the more rational inmates of the asylum, who number more than 1,000.


The officials at the asylum have no fear that the girl slayer will attempt to escape and no guard is placed over her, with the exception of locking her room at night.


She is permitted to roam about the grounds with the other inmates, and her treatment is far different from what she would receive if she were an inmate of the women�s ward in the penitentiary.


Esther never speaks of the shooting incident, but if it is mentioned she insists that she did right in killing George. No remorse is shown. Her relations with Creffield she still considers quite proper and fails to understand why they should have been objected to by her family.



Corvallis Gazette 4/30/1907 p330 April 1907

--Miss Sophia Hartley left Friday for Waldport where she will join O. V. Hurt and family for the summer.

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