Reservation for the Chemapho Band of Calapooias 1855

In March 1855, the tribes in the Willamette Valley needed to be resettled onto temporary reservations until they could be removed to a permanent reservation. Palmer, the Indian Superintendent for Oregon, did not know how long resettlement would take and so planned for as much as four years until the event happened. In the summer of 1855 violence erupted in southern Oregon and Palmer was forced to advance his timetable and had to  begin removal of the tribes from the vicinity of the settlers sooner. He worked with the army to choose the Grand Ronde Valley, and buy the DLCs of the settlers. In January 1856, he was ready to remove the tribes to the new Yamhill River Reserve.

The Chemapho Band of Calapooias lived in and around the Long Tom River south of Corvallis. One of their number likely posed for the 1841 drawing of “A Kalapuya Man” when the Wilkes expedition traveled down the Willamette Valley and camped in the hills about a days walk from the Long Tom River.

Costume of a Callapuyan, Agate 1841
Costume of a Callapuyan, Agate 1841

 

Edward Geary arranged for a reservation for the Chemapho  in he foothills of the Coast Range with 1844 emigre Jacob Hammer.

I Jacob Hammer do hereby grant permission to the Chemapho or Muddy Band of Calapooias to reside upon and enclose and cultivate a field of fields on the following described portions of my land claim; beginning at the Northwest corner of my claim; thence south to the creek; thence down said creek to an Alder grove. Thence in a Northerly direction to the Alder spring on or near the North line of said claim, thence west to the place of beginning. Containing sixty acres more or less. To occupy the same for four years or until said Indians shall be removed in pursuance of treaty stipulations recently entered into between Joel Palmer Superintendent of Indian Affairs on the part of the United States and said Band of Indians, if the removal occur within the period herein named. In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand this 17th day of March 1855. Signed in presence of S K Brown, Jacob Hammer.

Jacob and Hannah Hammer, Courtesy Loretta A. Olds
Jacob and Hannah Hammer, Courtesy Loretta A. Olds. This Emigrating Company , The 1844 Oregon Trail Journal of Jacob Hammer,  Thomas A. Rumer, Arthur H. Clark Co. 1990.

 

The following is the best estimate as to where this reservation and the Hammer land claim was.

Jacob Hammer DLC, unmarked and unverified, matching Contemporary Google map and DLC descriptions from Benton County, GLO 16s 6w
Jacob Hammer DLC, unmarked and unverified, matching Contemporary Google map and DLC descriptions from Benton County, GLO 16s 6w
Google map of the area cover in the GLO
Google map of the area cover in the GLO, Note Hammer DLC in blue outline with remains of older farm buildings. there are many old cars  but its clear there is something here.
Hammer Allotment map from This Emigrating Company, The 1844 Oregon Trail Journal of Jacob Hammer, p 209.
Hammer Allotment map from This Emigrating Company, The 1844 Oregon Trail Journal of Jacob Hammer, Thomas A, Rumer ed., Arthur H. Clark Co. 1990, p 209.
Hammer DLC in Reference to local Towns
Hammer DLC in Reference to Alpine and Monroe and Hwy 99W

 

 

Jacob Hammer and his family “initially resided on the plains of the Tualatin River, but in November, 1847, they moved up the Willamette Valley to settle land that hadn’t yet been touched by a plow, bringing with them the first Bible to penetrate the Willamette Valley beyond Jason Lee’s mission at Salem. The stream that flowed through the family claim is still called Hammer Creek today.” (burt.dorothy @ yahoo.com, Rootsweb.com)

Caton DLC north of Alpine, OR, within GLO map 14s 6 w
Caton DLC north of Alpine, OR, within GLO map 14s 6 w

“In the year 1847 the famous Belknap Settlement was founded, the first occupant being Jesse H Caton who, in the fall of 1846 took up the claim now in the possession of his relic, Mrs Shedd, and in the following spring moved with thirty head of cattle and one horse thereto. Soon afterwards, in November 1847, Jacob Hammer and his wife came to the section and were joint occupants of Mr. Caton’s cabin with that gentleman. Mrs Hammer, the pioneer lady of the precinct, performing the welcome duties of housekeeper. At the end of a year Mr Hammer took up the donation land claim on which he now resides, while to him is the credit of having brought the first bible into the neighborhood.” (burt.dorothy @ yahoo.com, Rootsweb.com)

The 1850 census data show 10 acres under plow (“improved”) on the Hammer family farm, which was valued at $200. The livestock — four milk cows, four “other cattle”, four “working oxen”, and fifteen pigs — was valued at $550. The family reported making 150 pounds of butter the previous year, most of which they probably sold at a good price to traders supplying the gold miners in California. County records from 1856 valued the family spread at $6200, one of the highest valuations in the area. (burt.dorothy @ yahoo.com, Rootsweb.com)

Hammer Creek empties into the Muddy River, earlier called Long Tom Creek.

Alpine and several rivers
Alpine and junction of Muddy and Hammer Creeks

The location of the Chemapho reservation is well off the main valley and well hidden in an area to the west of Alpine. The Hammer DLC is not well marked and difficult to find in historical records.

The Chemapho likely became known as the Muddy Creek or Muddy Indians because of the creek in the area. They were removed to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation between February and March 1856 and are censused in September 1856. Their chief is illegible in this document as perhaps  “Old (John or Tom)” which were  common names at the  time. The tribe consisted of 8 men, 9 women, one boy and 3 girls or 21 people.

Muddy band of Kalapuyans at Grand Ronde Indian Reservation
Muddy band of Kalapuyans at Grand Ronde Indian Reservation

 

Note: The history of the reservation at the Hammer DLC is not in the book “This Emigrating Company…” By Thomas A. Rumer, 1990.

 

 

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