Colonel Henry E. Dosch
Colonel Henry E. Dosch has been invited to be present as a guest of honor at the
celebration in June in the famous Whiskey Gulch.
In a recent issue of the Portland Journal, Mr. Dosch
had the following to say
about Canyon City:
When Col. Dosch of Portland went to Canyon City in 1865, he had no idea that he was going to find
a wife in that wild and wooly mining camp. He put in a year's working at The Dalles, and in 1865
he decided to go into business for himself - so he went to Canyon City.
"I went into partnership with John Snively and Wm. Clafflin. John Snively ran a pack train and Claflin
had some capitol. My partners furnished the capitol and I furnished the experience. We carried a $25,000
stock and complied with the universal custom of those days of selling our goods at double what they cost
us. This rule did not hold in the case of flour for we sold flour sometimes as low as 50 cents a pound, and
when you know that the freight weight from The Dalles to CC was 55 cents a lb., you will realize that we
sold it for the cost of transportation and were out the original cost of the flour. However, we made up the
loss on other things.
Regarding Joaquin Miller
When I went there, the county had been recently organized. Canyon City was settled largely by the left wing
of Price's Army. They had left Missouri and most of them were southern sympathizers. W. Lair Hill was Co.
Judge and Tom Brente was Co. Clerk. At the next election Mike Goodwin, a saloon keeper, was elected Co. Clerk.
and as he knew nothing about the duties and could not afford to neglect the saloon, he made me his deputy.
C.H. Miller had been elected Co. Judge. He had been an express messenger, a miner, had tried his hand at
running a newspaper, and had lived with the Indians. When I knew him first, he was a devout admirer of Byron.
He tried to imitate Byron in every way even to limping like Byron. I was his unwilling victim. He was constantly
writing poetry and coming into my office to read it to me. He was a picturesque character for he wore his hair
long and wore high boots, tucking the trousers into one boot and letting the other trouser leg cover the boot.
He was really a pretty able lawyer and very gentle man, but I wasn't very crazy about his poetry. He sent his
verse to The Times Mountaineer at The Dalles publishing it under the name of John Smith, Jr. Later he ran a
good deal of his verse in the Blue Mt. Eagle at CC under his own name of C.H. Miller. Still later he adopted the
name of Joaquin Miller and when he went to England, his picturesque attire and his western manner made a big hit.
His wife, Myrtle Miller, to my mind was a better poet than her husband but her verse has never been published
except in newspaper form.
On 7/10/1866 I was married to Marie Louise Fleurot, who was born in France and who came to Portland in 1857. She
attended St. Mary's Academy in Portland for eight years. Her father and mother ran the French Hotel at CC. This
hotel was next to my store and I boarded at the hotel and there became acquainted with my future wife. We were
married by Father Mackin, a fine big-hearted Irish gentleman.
After having been in Canyon City about five years, one August day -- and it was 104 in the shade -- one of the
buildings caught fire. Canyon City was in a canyon and the flames swept from building to building and in a short time the
city was like a roaring furnace. 255 buildings were reduced to ashes -- among them our store.
In 1870 when I was burnt out of CC, I came to Portland. Having had no insurance on my store or stock of goods, I was broke,
and had to get something to do. At that time Judge Otto Kramer's father ran a store here and he gave me a job as porter &
janitor at $40; then salesman at $75; head booker at $150; store manager at $300; a partner with Ben Selling and Frank Akin.
We sold out in 1890."
©1998 Roxann Gess Smith
All Rights Reserved
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