Josephine County Biographies

Some old timers in Waldo in the early 1900's by Bob Haskell
This is a hand written piece with no date on it, copy is verbatim:]

Bob Haskell was a welchman. he was an expert placer miner, he also understood the dialect of the Chinook indians. he was the man that brought Jim Logan and Phil Frainey to Waldo for their first time in 1896. They had been working at provolt on Williams Creek, and got layed off. Bob said they would find work in Waldo. So they walked out to Waldo, and got jobs for the Simmons saw mill on the Illinois river near the end of Dick george Road.

Bob was a quiet sort of man who always attended to his own business, and was very sensitive about offending people. He never played poker at the Waldo store where there was a game everynight, but would play two hand cribbage. He would sit and watch the other men play, and you could find him every night in the back part of the store where there were lots of chairs and a card table and a big wood stove.

George Elder closed the store promptly at 9:00 pm , and when he began closing the big iron doors and windows, Bob and the rest of the men would get up and leave.

When Jim Logan became successful in the mines, out of appreciation for Bob bringing him to Waldo, he took care of him, gave him a house to live in and he became a general handyman around Logans place, taking care of the garden, orchard and berry patches, with a good deal of time left to mine. Logan let him mine anywhere he wanted to on the Simmons Logan and Cameron property.

Bob would prospect around and find a good place to set up sluice boxes or a rocker. he went over to french Flat, where the french miners never let the chinamen work, and at the upper edge of their working, he was surprized at the amount of gold that he found there.

He began to feel kind of guilty; so he ask Logan how much gold he could take out. Logan said all he could get, Bob said how about $10.00 a day for a few hours work (wages at the Logan mine was $3.00 a day for 12 hours work). Logan said he didn't believe him; but Bob showed him how rich it was. Logan them moved his entire operation to that location and with two miles of 16 inch hydraulic pipe moved there for three years and took out $50,000.00 in gold. For this discovery. The next winter Logan sent Bob on a prospecting trip to Alaska, and although he found more gold in the mines in Alaska, he decided on account of the freezing weather there it could not be mined at a profit, so Logan gave up the idea of mining in Alaska.

George Elder hired Bob to drive the grocery delivery wagon. It was a light box wagon with a light team of horses.One of his jobs was to go over in "the Valley" or Holland as that area was known, to the creamery once a week for butter. (the road to holland was down the stage road now known as the rockydale road to just north of Jimmie Little hill, and turned right at a slight angle and forded the Illinois River just below Hogue hill and then on almost a direct line to Holland).

One day on the way back from the creamery, Bob fell asleep while driving along, the horses pulled up in the shade of a tree and let him sleep. When he awoke it was way late, and George was waiting for the butter which was in a bad condition when he arrived at the store: so he fired Bob. The job didn't pay much only $12.00 a month with three meals a day. He could sleep in any unoccuied building in Waldo of which there were many.

George elder operated the hotel and store having taken them over when Mr. Veatch, who married Charlie Deckers widow and had moved to Cottage grove.

Bob was a good story teller and one of his stories was: of one time when he was mining in the mother lode country of California. he had a cabin back on a creek where when he wanted freash meat he would go to the hill back of his cabin and kill a deer.. he had a 45-70 single shot rifle. he used to reload his shells and after firing them several times they would become enlarged and stick in the chamber.

one day while hunting on the hill he came on a grizzley bear, so he decided to have some bear meat. he shot at the bear and missed, he tried to reload his rifle but the cartridge failed to eject. The bear took after him so he dropped the rifle and climbed a tree. The bear came up to the tree and saw the rifle , picked it up pulled back the lever and the shell bounced out., then he looked up at Bob and motioned for him to throw down another shell. Bob said of coarse the bear knew I wouldn't do that because he would have shot me if I did. Then the bear tried to climb the tree; but it was to small for him to climb, then he tried to shake him out but that wouldn't work, then he got a pole and tried to poke him out with no better success. So after lookin over the situation he went down the trail to Bobs house. As soon as he got out of sight Bob came down out of the tree and relaoaded his rifle being curious to know what the bear was up to he went back towards his house and here comes the bear up the trail with an axe over his sholder. he was going to chop the tree down.

The Logan Simmons Cameron mine was sold to Mr. Esterly. Logan done some mining in the Happy camp area in which he lost a good deal of money. Bob Haskell went with him, and when Jim Logan stopped mining, Bob was along in years and went to the Old Folks home in Yreka where he died a few years later.

Submitted by Sally

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