Thomas Fletcher Royal
Biographical material on the pioneer Methodist minister and family. More Royal pages here.
MARRIED.FLINN-ROYAL At the Umpqua Academy, by Rev. Jas. H. Wilbur, on Wednesday evening, August 14th, Rev. John Flinn and Miss Mary E. F. Royal, both of Douglas Co., O.T.
Illinois Daily Journal, Springfield, October 17, 1856, page 2
REV. WILLIAM ROYAL, father of the present Presiding Elder of this District, and well known to many citizens of this valley, died, at the advanced age of 74 years and 7 months, at Salem, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 1870.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 8, 1870, page 2
Office Siletz Indian AgencySir
Toledo Benton Co. Oregon
August 20th 1877
I have the honor to herewith transmit estimates of expense of fitting up a boarding house for a boarding school for this agency and for conducting such a school for six months.
These estimates should have been sent with my monthly report for July, but owing to press of business were not enclosed therewith. I respectfully ask your indulgence. I further respectfully ask your careful consideration of the herewith enclosed special report of our teacher, Rev. T. F. Royal, in relating to the conduct of a school for this agency and, if possible, assist us in the way of an allotment of funds for this purpose.
Very respectfullyHon. J. Q. Smith
Your obedient servant
U.S. Indian Agent
Comr. of Indian Affs.
Estimate of expenses for building
and fitting up a boarding house
for the school on the Siletz Ind. Reservation
& for support of same for six mos.
House 45 ft. x 25 ft.. 2 Stories.
Such a boarding house is an absolute necessity to complete success in our educational work on this reservation.
For want of it, but few of the children, except those immediately about the agency, have been able to attend the school. There are over a thousand Indians belonging to this reservation and scattered abroad over a large territory. We are repeatedly urged to take children from abroad and educate them, but we have been under the painful necessity of denying such privilege. Hence, the Alseas, Nestuccas and others at the mouth of Salmon River; those at the lower and upper and Klamath farms, are all deprived [of] the opportunity of educating their children, being from four to forty-five miles distant. There are also many parents who spend much of their time out of the reservation, working for a subsistence, who would leave their children here in school if we could keep them. Besides these, there are many orphans and other indigent children who are suffering for want of such provisions.
We hope to obtain from the churches and from private donations something for the relief of those last mentioned, but not enough to support them in school.
Hoping that you may be able to make appropriations for the above object, I hereby submit all of the above.
Respectfully yoursTo the Hon. J. Q. Smith
T. F. Royal
Teacher, Siletz Ind. Agency
Com. Ind. Affairs
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 624 Oregon Superintendency, 1877.
Siletz Indian Agency, Or.To Hon. E. A. Hayt
Feb. 10 1878
Commissioner, Ind. Affs.
I have the honor to address you through our agent, Hon. Wm. Bagley, respectfully calling your attention to the necessity of employing an assistant teacher in the Siletz Ind. day school.
In addition to the assistance required in the daily routine of drilling Indians on their lessons and hearing regular recitations, we aim to spend much time in training them in declamations, dialogues and singing.
We find public concerts of great utility in our work. The Indians learn English much more rapidly in preparing for a concert than in any other way that we have tried.
This so stimulates their ambition that they will submit to severe drill.
We find it very hard to hold their attention and secure cheerful submission to necessary training in the regular lessons. They are so impatient to get on.
We have had four concerts in which the Indians performed their parts in reading, declamations, dialogues and singing, that we thought our public exercises would have been considered quite passable anywhere.
Most of the exercises [are] being performed by the Indians--not a few trained favorites--but by nearly all in the school. Being so successful in these instances, we wish to devote more time to this kind of drill than we have been able to do without assistance. It is an enormous task to prepare pupils who do not understand much of our language for appearing well in public.
They can't take their parts and learn them as our children do. They must each have personal drill in every word, syllable and letter till they can read their parts correctly, and then constant assistance till they are committed.
Still more especially, our school needs an assistant who can teach these girls sewing and needlework.
They have never had such instructions, simply because we have had no teacher for this department.
We now have one at our command, if you will allow us to employ her. The object of this letter is to insist respectfully that permission be granted our agent to make such appointment immediately.
The person to whom I refer is Miss V. A. Bagley, daughter of our agent. She is well qualified for the position.
Being our organist here now and for four years, she has already had much experience in training these pupils in vocal music and in otherwise training the classes for our concerts.
She also commands the entire confidence and the utmost respect of the pupils.
Your obedient servant
T. F. Royal
Siletz Indian AgencyHon. William Bagley
April 28, 1878
Agent Siletz Indian Reservation
Sir, In compliance with your request, I have the honor to submit herewith a statement of the present condition of the Siletz Indian day school, its absolute wants and an estimate for necessary repairs and requisites.
Our seating room is full and running over, and other pupils expect to enter next week. Hence the building should be enlarged immediately. It should also be sided and painted on the outside and painted inside.
And other improvements on the premises are greatly needed as woodshed and water closets. The teacher's house also needs a thorough repairing throughout. Being the old mill building of the Agency fitted up temporarily for the teacher's residents, it has become still more dilapidated and unfit for occupancy. The roof leaks in every part, and the walls of all the rooms but one are bare, rough lumber and only one room floored comfortably.
I therefore submit the following as only an approximation of actual necessities, but sufficient to render the school much more comfortable and attractive and the teacher's family surroundings more agreeable.
Respectfully,Approved April 30th 1878
T. F. Royal
Teacher, Siletz Indian Day School
U.S. Indian Agent
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 625 Oregon Superintendency, 1878.
U.S. INDIAN AGENCY
Toledo, Benton Co., OregonHon. E. A. Hayt
July 26, 1878
Commissioner Ind. Affs.
I have the honor to address you through our agent, Hon. William Bagley, calling your attention to the necessity of an appropriation for the immediate relief of our orphan and poor pupils. The fifty dollars given us last quarter was divided in the most judicious manner possible among about sixty pupils. So you see but little could be given to each; while others almost as needy and worthy received nothing. We have on the register for this month over one hundred names with an unusually good average attendance, but very many of these will be compelled to leave school soon unless we can furnish them clothing soon. Most of these children would remain in school if they can be clothed and fed. More than half will remain if we furnish them cheap clothing, and continue the lunch at noon. We therefore respectfully urge an immediate and liberal appropriation for the relief of our orphan and destitute pupils.
While on this subject, we cannot refrain from renewing our plea for a boarding house. But whether you grant us this or not we hope you will give us at least five hundred dollars for clothing.
Respectfully yoursI concur in the above
T. F. Royal
Teacher, Siletz D.S.
William BagleyNARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 625 Oregon Superintendency, 1878.
U.S. Ind. Agt.
U.S. INDIAN AGENCY
Toledo, Benton Co., Oregon, Sept. 18, 1878Hon. Wm. M. Leeds
Acting Commissioner Ind. Affs.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your circular No. 23 Accounts, 1878, and complying with instructions therein, I proceed immediately to report "as to what arrangements" we are contemplating with a view to an increased production over the crops planted during the fiscal year 1878.
In the first place, we contemplate saving our own seed. This will enable us to sow when the season is most favorable. In the past, our crops were necessarily consumed for the winter's subsistence. This year, the grain is more abundant and better matured. The season has been more favorable for threshing and hence the grain will nearly all be saved in good condition. Hence, we shall have seed of a good quality and enough for the early sowing at least.
We propose starting the plows as soon as the threshing is done, while the teams are stout and feed plentiful. We shall find it easier now than formerly to induce our Indians to prepare their ground in the fall, as they are elated with their success this year--especially in the early crops.
We aim to break considerable quantities of new land in addition to the old. This yields a large percent more to the acre and the grain is greatly superior in quality. This is really necessary to ensure good crops of wheat, as we have no fallow ground. Teams were too scarce and too weak to plow more last spring than what was actually necessary for the crops of this season. Even for this purpose we were compelled to hire some of our plowing done.
We contemplate increased production this year, especially because we have a farmer. We have a thorough, energetic and successful farmer as a regular employee. He has good control of the Indians, is faithful in instructing them, and succeeds in inspiring them with ambition in farming. We had his services a few weeks last spring, and as a consequence we have a large increase in crops over last year, when we had no farmer.
We have more and better fencing and shall continue improving and extending the fences, enclosing more and more land. Our saw mill is doing good execution, and we shall soon have large quantities of fencing lumber.
The Department is furnishing us more means for the subsistence and pay of laborers.
We have increased confidence in the working capacity of the Indian Bureau. It does not require twelve months or even six months prying to get open those drawers. Our instructions, statements of funds &c. reach us in advance, so that we are enabled to make our arrangements for future enterprises understandingly and execute them successfully knowing that we may depend on the funds to meet current expenses when they are due.
These are some of the grounds upon which we base our hopes of increased success in our efforts to make this people self-supporting in no very distant future.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Very trulyNARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 625 Oregon Superintendency, 1878.
Your obt. servt.
T. F. Royal
Acting U.S. Ind. Agt.
Klamath Agency Notes.Ashland Tidings, March 13, 1885, page 1
Our school boys having exhibited remarkable musical talent, they have been permitted to organize a band of eight, and the Indian Department has kindly furnished them with instruments. For the time spent in drill they have made very commendable improvements, under the instructions of the agency clerk, Mr. Willie Nickerson, assisted by his brother Roscoe. Their first performance in public was on our last Thanksgiving Day. Without the assistance of their teachers, the boys won for themselves the applause of the audience, whose voices mingled enthusiastically and harmoniously with the trumpet notes in the closing tune of "Old Hundredth." The girls are also being trained on the organ and are learning rapidly.
Our new and commodious industrial boarding houses, both here at the Agency and at Yainax, are being still further enlarged and improved so that the former covers now an area of 100x118 ft. including their porches, and six additional rooms on the lower floor; also a newly finished attic, or third story, with six gables and two dormer windows. This gives a large laundry drying room, and increases the capacity of our dormitories, so that we can now accommodate one hundred pupils instead of seventy-five as heretofore. That at Yainax has been proportionately increased and is rapidly filling up with pupils.
Immense woodsheds connected with these boarding houses were filled to their utmost capacity with the best of stove wood, for winter use. The school boys were required to provide all the wood, as well as hay, for all department purposes early in the summer.
The report to this Indian department from the seamstress, for the month of January, shows that the girls in her department manufactured one hundred and forty-five articles of clothing, as dresses, aprons, drawers, nightgowns, underskirts, flannel shirts, pants, &c., &c., from five hundred and fifty-four yards of cloth of various kinds.
They also knit by hand eight pairs of stockings, besides doing all the housework, cooking, scrubbing, washing, mending, ironing, &c., and attending school one-half of each school day.
The boys receive instructions out of school under the employment of Mr. Geo. Gilbert Anderson in farming, butching, caring for livestock and managing the teams, varying in capacity from the light two-horse hack team to the heavy logging team of eight horses, and use of six yoke of enormous oxen.
Mr. George Loosley, assisted by Mr. Reinchel in carpentering, by Logan Pompey (Indian) in blacksmithing, and Wilbur Jackson (Indian) in the sawmill, give the boys instruction in all kinds of wood and iron work required on the reservation.
The work in the harness and shoe shop is all done by our trained Indian boys.
The Indians at Williamson River are repairing, finishing and furnishing their church, all at their own expense except for nails and paint. Those at Yainax are preparing to build a church soon. They have voluntarily contributed with remarkable liberality in labor and hauling toward the erection and enlarging of their school buildings. They came down here a distance of forty miles, and cut and hauled logs to the mill, and assisted in sawing them through the winter season, and in summer they haul the lumber home, for their own use, and for the school. The amount appropriated by the department for the erection of these two boarding houses does not cover one-third of the actual expense. Such is the interest these Indians are taking in their own welfare.
During the Christmas holidays an unprincipled man sold whiskey to a few of our Indians, who became intoxicated. For the crime of selling whiskey to Indians the perpetrator is held in durance vile.
For the crime of drunkenness, the guilty parties both men and women were tried before a court of their own people, found guilty and sentenced to two months imprisonment and hard labor. This is the full extent of the penalty for the first offense. A second will be punished with double, and so on doubling for each additional drink. Can the whites beat that?
T. F. ROYAL.
Dr. W. B. Royal of Paisley, who has been on the sick list from bronchial troubles so long, does not seem to take any change for the better.
"Lalee County Waves," Medford Mail, February 18, 1892, page 2
There was a report that a party of 25 immigrants had been murdered on the east side of Tule Lake, and that Indians were committing depredations in the Humboldt country. Captain Miller, with his company, hurried into that section. Arrived at Tule Lake, smoke was observed rising out of the tules. Constructing boats out of their wagon beds, Miller's men rowed out into the lake and discovered a fleet of canoes, on which Indians were living in hiding. The squaws and papooses had on blood-stained garments taken from the whites. One party escorted through the country of the hostile Indians, while on this expedition, was that of Rev. T. F. Royal. The night following the meeting of the soldiers and the Royal train a boy was born to the wife of Rev. Mr. Royal. In honor of the captain of the volunteers the boy was named Miller. He grew to manhood, and, having been graduated from the public schools, was given money and wished success by Captain Miller. At the last Democratic convention held in Pendleton Captain Miller was called on by his namesake, who had become a college professor, and was returned the money. Only a few days ago Captain Miller had the pleasure of meeting Rev. Mr. Royal, and recalling the circumstances of their acquaintance in pioneer times.
"Captain John F. Miller," Oregonian, Portland, January 25, 1899, page 10
REV. THOMAS FLETCHER ROYALAmong those who have zealously labored for the cause of Methodism in Oregon is numbered the Rev. Thomas Fletcher Royal, now living retired in Portland. He has made his home in this state since 1853 and has reached the age of ninety years, his birth having occurred in Columbus, Ohio, January 6, 1821. His parents were William and Barbara (Ebey) Royal. His paternal grandfather was Thomas Royal, who was a soldier of the Revolutionary War and to his dying day carried the bullet with which he was wounded while in the service. He was married in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Hannah Cooper and they settled in West Virginia. Their eldest son. Simon Royal, fell in the War of 1812.
Our subject's father was born near Wheeling, West Virginia, and was also a minister of the gospel. He began preaching in 1831, and his first appointment was at Fort Clark, Missouri, situated somewhere in the vicinity of Peoria, Illinois. His circuit included all of the territory north of Peoria save Chicago, where the Rev. Jesse Walker was then stationed as a preacher. William Royal continued his labors in the Middle West until 1853, when he came with his family to Oregon as a retired preacher of the Rock River Conference of Illinois. He was later transferred to the Oregon Conference and preached his first sermon in the Northwest at John Beeson's home in Jackson County, Oregon. He was connected with several different circuits during his residence in the Northwest and lived in Portland for several years. He built the first Methodist church on the east side of the city, called the Centenary Methodist Church, and his labors in behalf of his denomination were far-reaching and effective, his work still bearing good fruit in the lives of those who heeded the gospel call under his teachings. He was living retired at the time of his death, which occurred in Salem, Oregon, in September, 1871. His wife was born on the Little Juniata River in Pennsylvania in 1800. The birth of the Rev. William Royal occurred in February, 1796, and thus he had attained the age of seventy-five years at the time of his demise.
The Rev. Thomas Fletcher Royal, of this review, was the eldest of a family of seven children, six sons and a daughter. He attended school at Piqua, Ohio, and also the public schools of Illinois and Indiana, and afterward engaged in teaching school for several years in Hancock and St. Clair counties, Illinois. He also spent three and a half years as a student in McKendree College, at Lebanon, Illinois, but trouble with his eyes compelled him to abandon the course before its completion. In 1846 he took up the active work of the ministry at Galena, Illinois, and was received into the Rock River Conference in that year. He was connected with that for about seven years and then was transferred to the Oregon conference in 1852 with the privilege of not entering into active connection therewith until 1853. His transference from the Rock River Conference of Illinois was made by the bishop, E. R. Ames, who came to Oregon from that conference by way of the water route and, reaching Portland before Rev. Royal arrived, received him here. Mr. Royal left Victoria, Illinois, on the 27th of May, 1853, and made the journey over the plains with ox teams, always resting on the Sabbath day. When he left home only his own and his father's families were of the party but at different times they were joined by other wagons until they had a large train. They reached the Rogue River Valley on the 27th of October, 1853. Mr. Royal and his father remained together for about a year, after which the latter went to Douglas County and subsequently to Portland.
Thomas F. Royal preached his first sermon in the Northwest at Jacksonville, Oregon, a few days after his arrival in this state, and there he built the first church in Southern Oregon. The house of worship was begun in 1854 and was dedicated on New Year's Day of 1855. He has been instrumental in building five other churches in this state, these being at Canyonville, Tenmile, Silverton, Salem Heights and Dallas. He has not only given his time and energies to the work of benefiting his fellow men by preaching the gospel but has also done effective labor in the field of intellectual training, having been principal of the Portland Academy and Female Seminary for four years, from 1871 until 1875, while previous to this time he was principal of the Umpqua Academy of Douglas County, which was one of the early schools of this state, organized in 1855. He remained there for nine and a half years. After leaving the Portland Academy he served as principal of the Sheridan Academy of Yamhill County for a year and was employed under President Grant's Christian policy as teacher and clerk at the Siletz Indian Reservation in Benton County, Oregon, for about four years. In 1875 he was made superintendent of instruction at the Klamath Indian mission and had charge of the Indian boarding school, to which work he was appointed in 1884, there remaining for about fifteen months, when a Democratic President was elected and Rev. Royal was retired. He then became pastor of the Monroe circuit of Benton County, Oregon, and after two years went to Dallas, Polk County, where he served as pastor for three years, and during that period succeeded in erecting a church at a cost of five thousand dollars. His next pastorate was at Dayton, Yamhill County, where he remained for three years. He spent a similar period at Brooks, Marion County, Oregon, and preached his jubilee sermon at Roseburg, at the annual conference of 1896. He then retired from active connection with the conference but nevertheless continued preaching, being employed at Mehama and Lyons, Oregon, and at Leslie church in South Salem for two years. Since this he has not accepted any pastorate but has continued in active Christian work, preaching to the convicts at the penitentiary at Salem and before the inmates of the insane asylum at Salem for eight years. He preaches at times at the Montavilla Methodist church of which his son-in-law, the Rev. Harold Oberg, is now pastor. The Pacific University of California conferred upon him the Bachelor of Arts degree.
Rev. Royal was married in early manhood to Miss Mary Ann Stanley, who was born in the state of New York and died January 2, 1906, at the age of seventy-six years. In their family were eight children, of whom one died in infancy. Anina Tema was graduated from an academy and later took a course at Willamette University, after which she became assistant principal of the Portland Academy and Female Seminary. She became the wife of Dr. Clark Smith, principal of the Vancouver Seminary, in Washington. He received his A.M. degree from Willamette University and later the M.D. degree from a medical college in Texas. He and his wife went as missionaries to Africa where Mrs. Smith died, and he is now engaged in the practice of medicine in Berkeley, California. His children are: William E. R.; May, who is mentioned below; Jesse C., of Washington, D.C., who is married and has one child, Clark S.; and Anina Grace, the wife of John T. Stanley, principal of the Bragg Institute in California. Of this family. May Smith married Hooper M. Black, now engaged in farming and the real estate business near Vancouver, Washington. Both Mr. and Mrs. Black are graduates of the Portland University. They have seven children: Grace A., Esther M., Ruth J., Naomi, Nancy E., Miriam, and an infant. Rev. Stanley Olin Royal, the second of the family, is a Methodist minister, now engaged in preaching in Ohio in connection with the Dayton District Conference and was presiding elder there for several years. He is a graduate of Willamette University and of the Drew Theological Seminary of New Jersey. He married Matilda Walden, a daughter of Bishop Walden, and they have two daughters, Mary G. and Margaret. Rev. Miller Gould Royal, the third of the family, was graduated from the classical course in Willamette University and devoted his life to the work of the ministry and to the practice of law. His death occurred in Walla Walla, Washington. He married Tirza Bigelow and they had two children, Ethel and Bonnie. After losing his first wife, Rev. M. G. Royal married Miss A. McCall, who is living in Walla Walla. She was a public school teacher before her marriage. She has two children: Ronald F. and Barbara. William E. Royal, the youngest of the family, died at the age of twenty-three years, when preparing for the ministry. Forester W., a railroad employee, living at Bolton, Polk County, Oregon, married Ella Dodson and has two children: Cecil, who married Edna Williams and has one child, Catherine; and Esther. Eolia Florine is the wife of Rev. Harold Oberg of Portland. He was born in Christiania, Norway, and was there educated in the Norwegian language. After coming to America he entered Willamette University, where both he and his wife graduated with the A.B. degree and he subsequently graduated with the degree of D.D. from the Garrett Biblical Institute at Evanston, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Oberg have four children, Ovedia L., Terry R., Agnes M., and Mary Ruth. Carrie Lucretia was graduated from Willamette University with the A.B. degree and subsequently became the wife of Professor Edgar M. Mumford, of the Olympia Collegiate Institute. He is now a clerk in the United States land office at Vancouver, Washington. They have five children: Edgar R., Beatrice A., Harold Stanley, William W. and Clarissa H.
Rev. Thomas Fletcher Royal is now at the head of a family which numbers about fifty, of which he has every reason to be proud. Twenty of these have been experienced school teachers, five Methodist preachers; six preachers' wives; and twenty of them have drawn from different institutes twenty-eight diplomas. They are from academic, theological and medical schools. Not one of the number ever uses narcotics or intoxicants, and all are prohibitionists and Methodists. Mr. Royal has never allowed his interest in things of the present to lapse. He does not live in memories of the past, but keeps in touch with the progressive every day, and the precious prize of keen mentality is still his.
Joseph Gaston, Portland, Oregon, Its History and Builders, Vol. 3, 1911, page 717
One of the first church buildings erected in the territory south of Albany was the present Methodist Church in Jacksonville. It was commenced in 1853. The Rev. Joseph Smith--sometimes known as "Carving Fork" Smith--had been sent out in 1852 to labor among the miners of Jackson County. He was an able man intellectually, but did not have the requisite tact for dealing with such a sportive community as the gold excitement had brought together at that place; so, after a brief sojourn, he became discouraged, returned to Salem, and married Julia A. Carter, of Portland, a sister of Mrs. Elizabeth Grover (who now resides in the city). Smith took up the study of law, and in 1868 was elected to Congress. During the time he was in Jacksonville, he succeeded in getting the frame of the church erected.
In the fall of 1853, a Methodist preacher by the name of Thomas Fletcher Royal came in with the emigration, and took up the work where Smith left off. Royal was known as "Limpy" among the miners. He knew how to deal with them. He had a friendly and familiar way that took with all classes of society. On Sunday mornings he would saunter into a saloon, and watch the games, then he would say: "Boys, when you get through with the deal, let's all go down to the tent and sing some of the old songs, and listen to the reading of the Bible, like we used to do, back in the States." And the "boys" would generally turn out to hear him. One Sunday morning he stood by watching a game of faro, which an old gambler named Ad. Helms was dealing. Charley Williams, another noted gambler of that day, was playing the game. Royal spoke up, and said: "Boys, we must have some help in building our church, and I want you fellows to give us a lift." Helms said: "You would not use money got in this way for such a purpose, would you?" "Oh, yes," replied Royal, "and we would put it to a better use." Thereupon Williams, in order to test the preacher's sense of duty, spoke up and said: "All right, I'll lay a ten in the pot on this faro deal, and if it wins you take it all." Helms then said: "And if it loses, 'Limpy,' it shall be yours anyway." It was a winner; Helms handed Royal a twenty, and that was the first contribution to the little church on the corner at Jacksonville.
William M. Colvig, "Annual Address," Transactions of the Forty-First Annual Reunion of the Oregon Pioneer Association, Portland, June 19, 1913, Portland 1916, pages 344-345. Colvig's speech was originally delivered at the annual meeting of the Southern Oregon Pioneer Association, Jacksonville, September 1st, 1898, apparently a reprise of his talk before them in 1878. Helms' supposed contribution is not recorded in Royal's careful bookkeeping, below.
EARLY CHURCH DAYS.At the Methodist church in Jacksonville on Sunday last the services were unusually interesting, the occasion being the 50th anniversary of the erection and dedication of the church--the first Methodist church built south of Salem. Rev. T. F. Royal, the pioneer Methodist preacher, who helped build this church in the early fifties, occupied the pulpit, both morning and evening. Special music was rendered by the choir. Rev. Royal's text in the morning was from Matthew 1-21. In the evening the rev. gentleman confined himself more to reminiscences of those early pioneer times in Jackson County. The speaker engrossed completely the attention of old and young. He told how in the spring of 1853 quite a religious emigration arrived in Jacksonville--Rev. Jos. S. Smith, a Methodist minister among them--this gentleman was assigned to the the Jacksonville charge. [Smith arrived in Oregon in 1845.] Subsequently Rev. Smith, who was a very able men, was elected to Congress by the Democrats, While in charge of religious affairs here he began the erection of a church, on the lot now occupied by the residence of P. Donegan. It was in 1853 that Rev. Royal and family arrived in the valley, after a weary trip of five months across the plains. After considerable correspondence and waiting, for in those days the mail facilities were necessarily slow, Mr. Royal was appointed to succeed Jos. S. Smith by Rev. Wilbur, the presiding elder. During Mr. Royal's stay of two years the Methodist church was removed to its present site; the lot being donated by James Clugage, the building completed and dedicated in 1854. Mr. Royal has now in his possession the names of those who subscribed so liberally to the building. Mr. Royal's narrative Sunday evening certainly carried the old pioneers back to those old days in Jackson County. He told how he bought his first house for a shotgun and a silver watch; of the generosity of Dan. Kenney; how Wm. Kahler sold his last yoke of oxen to lift the debt off the church; he spoke of the then populous town of Sterling and its true frontier-like population. A glowing tribute was paid to the memory of Isaac Jones, the negro preacher, whose eloquent sermons and soul-stirring prayers were a feature of all church gatherings. During Mr. Royal's stay in Jacksonville, which was limited in those days to two years, he was selected county school superintendent, being nominated to that position by both Whigs and Democrats. He established the first school here--a subscription school--also, six Sunday schools in different parts of the valley; the Clinton Butte Sunday school, on the Clinton donation land claim now owned by the Hanleys, being the first established in this section by a Baptist missionary. All this is but a small part of the very interesting things told by the speaker of those early days. After the services the congregation came forward to greet the venerable minister and his wife. Monday was spent in renewing old acquaintances and revisiting old scenes. In the evening an informal reception took place at the residence of Mrs. McDonough, Mr. and Mrs. Royal left Tuesday for their home in Salem. Rev. T. F. Royal's name will never be forgotten, both in the early religious and educational history of Oregon.
Medford Mail, October 10, 1902, page 3
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GOLD RIVER CIRCUIT,
Oregon An. Con.,
The Oregon Legislature changed the name of Rogue River to Gold River, hence the change of the name of the circuit to Gold River Circuit.
Rev. J. S. Smith was the first preacher sent by the Oregon Annual Conference to the Rogue River Circuit. During his pastorate of one year he preached extensively among the miners at Jacksonville and elsewhere.
He commenced building a house of worship in Jacksonville by collecting some materials and erecting a frame of hewed timber.
No societies were organized under his administration.
T. F. Royal, a transfer from the Rock River Conference of 1852, having crossed the plains in 1853, was next employed on the Rogue River Circuit.
In Jacksonville and vicinity only one Methodist could be found--a young man, Christopher Alderson.
1854. Church Building.
The materials collected for building a church were all missing but the hewed timbers. A new site was selected, a lot was donated by James Clugage and the timbers removed to the new location.
David Linn, Thomas Pyle and James McDonough were employed to build the church, and the Preacher in Charge began to collect subscriptions and materials. With his own hands and a borrowed team he hauled the lumber from Lindley's mill 8 miles.
For subscriptions and other items see pages 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, 11, 12.
Church Organization.The first Methodist Episcopal Church organized in Jackson County, Oregon Territory was in Jacksonville on the 1st day of January 1854, with the following members, viz: Sylvester H. Taylor, Christopher Alderson, J. H. B. Royal, Mary Ann Royal and the pastor, T. F. Royal.
The society was soon increased by the addition of William Kahler, Mrs. William Kahler, Mrs. S. H. Taylor, Miss Mary E. Royal, J. P. Hawks, R. S. Munn, Rice Benson, Thomas Trimble, Curtis Davenport, H. B. Horn, Mrs. Ganung, S. P. Shock, George Payne, Isaac Jones, a Negro, Local Preacher, a noble man of God, William Miller, M.D., Mrs. William Miller, and her father George Young, Enoch Walker, Mrs. E. Walker, and Mrs. Newcomb, Butte Creek.
Phoenix.The first society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Phoenix was organized January 15, 1854. The first members were Rev. Stephen P. Taylor, a local preacher, Mrs. S. P. Taylor, Rev. John Gray, a superannuate of the Missouri Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, Mrs. J. Gray, Mary Gray, Robert Gray, added afterwards Clark Taylor, Hobart Taylor, Rachel Taylor and Abigail Taylor.
Eden School House.The first Methodist Episcopal Church at the Eden school house in the Wagner Creek neighborhood was organized February 18, 1854 with the following members: Rev. William Royal, superannuate of the Rock River Conference, an Elder, Barbara Royal, Jason L. Royal, Father Rockfellow, Mrs. Albert Rockfellow, [W.] Cortez Myer, Mrs. C. Myer, Mrs. John Myers and daughter, now Mrs. E. K. Anderson.
The First Quarterly Conference.Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library MS 161, folder 5
The first Quarterly Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Jackson County, O.T. was organized on the 18th day of February 1854. In the absence of the Presiding Elder, the Preacher in Charge, T. F. Royal, officiated.
The members were Rev. Stephen P. Taylor, local preacher, Sylvester H. Taylor, steward and secretary, John Gray, an Elder and superannuate of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, Mo. Conference, Rev. William Royal, Elder and superannuate of the Rock River Conference Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. J. H. B. Royal, local preacher, George Payne, steward, J. P. Hawks, exhorter, Christopher Alderson, steward, Cortez Myer, steward.
On motion of J. H. B. Royal [it] was recommended to be received into the traveling connection of the Oregon Annual Conference.
Grants Pass, Rogue River or Gold River Circuit
The first organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Josephine County, O.T. was effected in the home of Mr. Joseph Patterson at Grants Pass on the 17th day of April 1854.
The persons received into the church were Doctor Greenberry Miller, Caroline Miller, Joseph Patterson, Rebecca Patterson and Mrs. Vannoy.
The spelling book and the Bible are the most important factors building up model society.
Hence Methodism has always aimed to keep education and the gospel at the front in the rapid march of civilization, and hence the importance of the day school and the Sunday school. These were soon provided for.
A few families of children having come into Jacksonville, a day school was organized with Rev. J. H. B. Royal as teacher. To provide for this school a large house of split lumber was rented of Col. Ross, and the day school allowed to occupy the front, which also served for all our ordinary religious services, the family occupying the back room.
On the 1st day of January 1854 the first Sunday school was organized in Jacksonville with William Kahler as superintendent, Rev. J. H. B. Royal as assist. sup., S. H. Taylor sec. and librarian, who also presented to the S.S. a library of books from the A.S.S. Union. The teachers besides the above officers were Mrs. Mary A. Royal, Christopher Alderson and Mary E. Royal.
Others were soon organized at Butte Creek, Phoenix & Eden S.H.
The first Sunday school celebration of the 4th of July in the extreme southern part of the state was in the year 1854. I had a nice banner made for each school--one a very costly one made of white satin with a fountain, clasped hands and underneath "Feed My Lambs." All the schools met on the morning of the 4th in Jacksonville and were all in double file with the Jacksonville school in front. I then held up the large satin banner and said "This banner is for the S.S. that was organized first." I then presented to the Clinton Butte, Baptist S.S. and all marched to the celebration ground in Heber's grove.
Addresses by Father Kinney, S. H. Taylor, T. F. Royal. Splendid dinner.
County Public Schools
Two gentlemen, Capt. J. F. Miller and Lieutenant Griffin, came to me saying: "We are commissioned to wait on you and ascertain your politics."
I am a Methodist preacher.
"Yes, we know that, but we suppose you have some political preferences."
Yes, gentlemen, I have. I endorse some measures in the Whig platform, and some in the Democratic platform.
"Well, Mr. Royal, we are making up a list of candidates for county officers to be voted on at the coming election, and we have decided to put your name on both tickets for County School Sup."
They did so and I was elected by an overwhelming majority. I regarded this as providential, and went to work in good earnest. I soon had the county laid off into school districts, and good, competent, moral and religious teachers employed, and a Teachers Association organized.
The time had come when we must have a church.
The room in my private house was too small for the growing congregations. Through the courtesy of county officers we had used the courthouse for special occasions.
James Clugage deeded to the Methodist Episcopal Church a lot on which to build a house of worship. The hewed timbers that had been prepared by Rev. J. S. Smith were moved to this more eligible spot, and three carpenters were employed to put up the building. Their names: Thomas Pyle, David Linn and James McDonough. The pastor with his own hand and a borrowed team hauled the lumber 8 miles from Lindley's sawmill. His wife boarded the hands and sewed the duck lining for the side walls and ceiling of the church. The following subscriptions and notes show how the money was raised in time of financial pressure and how the church was dedicated free of debt.
The following is an exact copy of the original subscription circulated in Jacksonville and vicinity for the purposes therein named.
The heading names, amounts, payments, how paid, and to whom paid &c. all precisely as they were in the original; which according to the best of my knowledge and belief was strictly accurate--having preserved the original with great care until it was copied--verbatim et literatim et punctuatim with my own hand.
T. F. Royal[I have corrected spelling when possible to facilitate searching.]
We the subscribers severally agree to pay the sums herein set below opposite our respective names, to Wm. Kahler, treasurer, appointed to receive and pay out said funds for enclosing, flooring, covering &c. the building frame erected for a Methodist church in this place.
Jacksonville, O.T., May 15, 1854.
Subscription No. 2
The heading of No. 2 was the same as No. 1, merely a continuation of the first for the same purposes, the first being badly worn and laid aside to preserve.
The original heading reads thus--Subscription to Meeting House in Jacksonville--for Sash, Bell, Paints, Oil, Glass, Putty, Cornice, Lining, Lumber for Seats, Stove, &c. &c. &c.
As there was not money enough raised for all the above purposes the bell and some other things were necessarily left out.
N.B. This heading is put in here through mistake--it belongs to Subscription No. 3.
Subscription No. 2
Or the first continued; this being for the same purposes and heading the same. The paper of No. 1 was being badly worn and laid aside to preserve.
Subscription No. 3
Headed thus--Subscription to Meeting House in Jacksonville for Sash, Bell, Paints, Oil, Glass, Putty, Cornice, Lining, Lumber for Seats, Stove &c. &c. &c.
As there was not money enough raised for all the above purposes, the bell, with some other things, was left out.
Subscription No. 4
Raised by Mrs. M. A. Royal. For Lining, Stove, Pulpit, Trimmings &c.
Subscription No. 5
Raised by Miss M. E. F. Royal to be applied toward furnishing church.
Subscription No. 6
Taken at dedication. To pay arrearages.
We certify that the foregoing is a correct exhibit of the subscriptions circulated for the purposes therein mentioned, being exact copies of the original.
T. F. Royal
Dates of Annual Conference Appointments
I was admitted to the Rock River Conference, Illinois on the 15? of September 1846 and appointed to the Hennepin Circuit as junior preacher under Chas. Babcock.