JOSEPHINE COUNTY

Josephine county, cut off from Jackson January 22, 1856, was named after Josephine Rollins, daughter of the discoverer of gold on the creek that also bears his name. Its area is something less than that of Curry or Jackson, between which it lies, and but a small portion of it is surveyed. The amount of land cultivated is not over 20,000 acres, nor the value of farms and improvements over $400,000, while another $300,000 would cover the value of live-stock and farm products. The valuation of taxable property is under $400,000. Yet this county has a good proportion of fertile land, and an admirable climate with picturesque scenery to make it fit for settlement, and only its exclusion from lines of travel and facilities for modern advantages of education and society has prevented its becoming more populous. Mining is the chief vocation of its 2,500 inhabitants. When its mines of gold, silver, and copper come to be worked by capitalists, it will be found to be possessed of immense resources. Kirbyville, founded in 1852, is the county seat. The people of this small town have attempted to change its name, but without success. An act was passed by the legislature in 1858 to change it to Napoleon - a questionable improvement. It was changed back by the legislature of 1860. The question of whether the county seat should be at Wilderville or Kirbyville was put to vote by the people in 1876, and resulted in a majority for Kirbyville. It retains not only its original appellation, but the honor of being the capital of the county. The towns of Althouse, Applegate, Waldo, Slate Creek, Murphy, Galice, and Leland are contemporaries of the county seat, having all been mining camps from 1852 to the present. Lucky Queen is more modern.


Return to Bancroft's Works Main Index
Return to Bancroft's Works County Index
Return to "A Place Called Oregon"