Just my cup of tea

Originally ran in the Jan. 6, 1972 edition of the Illinois Valley News

Robert and Myrna Olson and little daughter Sharon visited Myrna’s parents, Frank and Marie Gibbons, for four days for the Christmas holidays. They left for their home in Camino, California on the 28th.
George and Opal Martin’s son and daughter were home for Christmas and spent several days before returning to school. Roger is attending Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas, and Rhoda is attending the Western Baptist College in Salem. George Jr. is working in Alaska and was unable to attend Christmas.
Randall and Jennie Palmer had some surprise visitors when Jennie’s cousin Harold Christensen and his wife Evelyn who live in Blaine, Washington, stopped by for a few hours on their way south to spend the winter.
Four of the valley boys had wonderful time last week when they went to Portland to attend the Far West Basketball Classic Tournament at the Colosseum. Larry and Gary Preston, Ron Versteeg, and Steve Scheer were in Portland December 29 and 30, and were accompanied by Don Preston.
Bob and Ruby Martin were busy at Christmas time entertaining their children and grandchildren, and of course, business had to go on as usual. Visiting for several days were their daughter Norma, her husband Wesley Mansfield, and for grandsons, Timothy, David, Jonathon, and Daniel. Home for Christmas dinner with her parents, her sister and family, and brother Bob, Carol and husband Perry Allen and daughter Trina of Talent enjoyed the one-day visit.
Christmas Eve, Bob and Ruby received a telephone call from Tulsa, Oklahoma and talked to their daughter Roberta and Steve Pritchett and the three grandchildren.
Mrs. Stuart Mepham (Marian) of San Bruno, California is visiting her parents, Phayo and Ruth Pfefferle. She plans to stay a week or 10 days. Sunday visitors of the Pfefferles were Phayo’s brother Paul and his sister Josephine and her husband Earl McLeish, all of Medford.
Our beautiful Illinois Valley is not forgotten. This week I was talking to my sister-in-law, Mrs. Elinor Frick from Ridgecrest, California, and in the telephone conversation she said she remembered the Valley, and would I please send her a couple of our Illinois Valley News so she could read about the happenings here. When she was a young girl, she used to visit Phayo’s father and mother, Henry and Myrtle Pfefferle, when they lived on the homestead on Takilma Road where we live now.
Another who has fond memories of the Valley and the people who lived here is Mrs. Kenneth Helms, Madera, California. Her maiden-name was Nancy Hansen, but she doesn’t think any one would remember the name because to most of the Valley people she was just the “Johnson’s granddaughter.” She spent every summer with her grandparents at the Q Bar X Ranch from the time she was very small through her college years. Now she lives on a ranch with her husband and three daughters, but often gets lonesome for Illinois Valley. She is a regular subscriber to the Illinois Valley News and sometimes sees a name of a remembered person and also likes the historical stories of the Valley.
For some time, Oregonians have been hearing that Oregon is getting too crowded, and it is also said that the population in Josephine County is increasing too fast. This was not so 125 years ago, and the government decided to do something about it. They enticed settlers to Oregon. This is the story: “The gold rush of 1849 almost depopulated Oregon. Immigration nearly ceased. In 1850, Congress passed the Donation Land Law, designed to promote settlement in Oregon. Every male settler was entitled to 320 acres, and if married, his wife also received 320 acres, or a total of 640 acres. If he married within one year after December 1, 1850, his wife received the allowance. Settlement was encouraged by a grant of 160 acres to males who should emigrate and settle in Oregon after December 1, 1850, and prior to December 1, 1853, and if married at the time or within one year after coming into Oregon, he and his wife were entitled to 320 acres, half to him and half to his wife, ‘in her own right.’”
Patents to Donation Land Claims indicate that the patentees came to Oregon prior to December 1, 1853. The increased emigration of 1852 was due to this law.
In 1849, the population was estimated to be about 9,000. In 1850, the population south of the Columbia River was estimated to be over 12,000.