Holy Rollers Button

Holy Rollers is now available as an eBook with lots of extras for a measly $4

Amazon.com

iTunes

Search edmundcreffield.com

Home    Chapters    Articles    Asylum Records    Brainwashing    Hymns    Contact

Creffield and the Holy Rollers made page one headlines from 1903 to 1907. When I was researching Holy Rollers: Murder and Madness in Oregon’s Love Cult I spent months transcribing hundreds of articles. I’m not sure why I was so obsessive. Maybe it was my way of immersing my self into a cult without joining one. Anyway, I’m posting them all for those who are really interested in the story, or are interested the history of journalism, or are interested in how a scandalous story played out in the "media" in a by gone era. Since I no doubt made typos and unconsciously corrected papers' typos, these web pages should not be cited in anything serious (e.g. your dissertation). For such projects they should only be used as starting points and you should refer to the original sources. If you want a shorter version of the story, buy my book. Enjoy.

November 22, 1906: Esther Says Maud Did Not Kill Herself

 

Seattle Post Intelligencer 11/22/1906 p4

Says Friend Did Not Kill Herself

Esther Mitchell Refuses to Believe the Report of the Coroner.

 

Despite the findings of the chemists and the resultant declaration that Mrs. Maud Creffield died from strychnine administered by herself, Esther Mitchell still emphatically says that it is impossible and there is no truth in the report of the coroner.

 

“If she had been intending to commit suicide,” said the girl prisoner yesterday, “I would have been told of it and would have gone out of this world with her. Only one thing could have induced her to have done such a thing and that would be a command from above. Had such a command come she would have communicated it to me for she told me everything, and more especially she would have told me of any such a message as that. It was our wish that we should die together if we passed from this world. She would not have left me of her own will without a word about her plan. Another thing that makes it impossible that she committed suicide is, that she looked forward to the time when she would be sent to Oregon. She did not care for her own sake what became of her, but her father and mother were so anxious to have her near them, and they have suffered so much for her sake that she was anxious to have this come about.

 

“Both of us have been certain that we would be sent either to Steilacoom or to Oregon, and she was too anxious to relieve the sufferings of her father an mother to have killed herself. On the night of her death I was with her almost continually until late. Just a few minutes before she died she went into the bathroom and took a cold foot bath. This was the only time she was away from me during the night. I will never be brought to believe that she took her own life.”

 

Esther Mitchell is still in a very nervous condition, but she seemed to be improved yesterday, when seen by a reporter for the Post-Intelligencer. There is more color in her face, and she seemed to be stronger than any time since the death of her friend. A thorough search was made of her cell during the day, but not a sign of anything in the way of poison could be found. To make doubly sure that nothing could be secreted in the room everything was removed. The bedding was changed entirely, she was asked to change her clothes and not an article was left in the room that had been there before. In all that transpired the girl aided the officers and often called their attention to articles or packages which they had failed to examine.

 

Esther believes that the Supreme Court will rule in her favor and declare the action and findings of the insanity commission legal and proper. She appeared to take more interest in her case yesterday than any time since it began.

 

Corvallis Gazette 11/23/1906 p3

O. V. Hurt and J. F. Yates arrived home Wednesday morning from Seattle.

 

 

Daily Oregon Statesman (Salem) 11/25/1906 p2

Will They Follow Creffield

 

SALEM, Or., Nov. 24, 1906--Editor Statesman: You invite a discussion in your columns of the way things are going on at the Mission on 12th street, and I would like to add a few word to what has already been said on this question.

 

I visited this place not long ago, and I can’t say that I was very favorably impressed with the things I saw.

 

There seemed to be two classed of people there; one out of idle curiosity and the other the saints and those who were going through the different degrees approaching that condition.

 

The efforts of the workers and those who had charge seemed to be to work up the emotions of the victims to such a pitch that they would lose all self control and roll on the floor and show other signs that they were striving with the spirit. The best definition that I can find for this kind of condition is religious intoxication, and if carried on day after day will have results as bad as the continual use of whisky or any other drug that puts one in an unnatural condition.

 

I believe there can be as much harm done to the rational mind from a continued use of these doctrines as the excessive use of alcohol.

 

I believe if a poll of the inmates of the asylum were made that there would be found almost as many unfortunates who had lost their reason from as continued excessive religious frenzy as from the use of alcohol.

 

I believe the Bible teaches moderation in all things, and wish some way could be found to make these people worship their Master in a more rational way. The last time I attended their services (before the present building was built, and they were having their services in a tent,) one man in particular was making a big fuss and jumping up in the air and going through all kinds of antics. This man was Edmund Creffield, and any one who knows what happened after he left here, and the present meetings are just as liable to graduate some more candidates to blacken the history of this sect and bring misery and suffering to their unfortunate families. This sect ought to be watched by the authorities, and some restraint put on their actions before it is too late.

 

An agnostic,

--G. H. Deacon

 

Corvallis Gazette 11/30/1906 p1

A Word for Her

 

Maud Hurt-Creffield was from childhood intensely religious. Her convictions were strong and once convinced that she was right, nothing could turn her from her purpose. Her likes and dislikes were pronounced, and hard to change.

 

When about the age of eight years of age she was an energetic worker at revival meetings, going among the congregations and pleading with friends and acquaintances to seek the salvation so freely offered. She was in fact considered a child wonder in religious work. Her early life was spent for others and her chief aim was to become as nearly perfect as a Christian could be. Often has gone to the home of someone who was ill, and with true unselfishness has cared for the children, done the washing, and done the other work freely, and without price. Many a time has she spent her last penny for some gift for a little child.

 

All her life Maud Hurt was kindly and generous, with an even temper and a good disposition, and not until an evil influence led her into a by-path did she cause her parents sorrow .

 

She was 26 years of age September 29th, ‘06, having been born and reared in Benton county.

 

May charity, like a mantle, fall gently over her memory, and only her kind acts be remembered by those who knew her as a happy, innocent child.

 

--A Friend.

 

 

Corvallis Gazette 11/30/1906 p3

 

O. V. Hurt received a few days ago a copy of the “Seattle Star,” which contained quite an exhaustive article on the story of Mrs. Creffield having died from strychnine poisoning. This paper declares that the jail attendants doubt the idea of suicide and state that it was impossible for her to have come to her death in that manner. In a letter to his father, Frank Hurt also declares that comparatively few people in Seattle believe the story of suicide. The general supposition is that death came from neuralgia of the heart. To guard against any further possible trouble, Esther Mitchell has been clothed throughout with newly bought clothes. She too, asserts that Mrs. Creffield could not and did not suicide.

Holy Rollers

Buy Holy Rollers: Murder & Madness in Oregon's Love Cult as an eBook for a measly $3.99 or get an autographed paperback for $15.

Holy Rollers is a story that has everything a good read should have: sex, religious fervor, mass insanity, the downfall of prominent families, murder and sensational court trials.

And it's all true.

John Terry, the Oregonian's 'Oregon's Trails' columnist says of the book: "A dandy piece of research and a good read. Lots more stuff than I was aware of. It deserves an audience"

Amazon

Amazon
$3.99

iBook

iBook
$3.99

Nook

Nook
$3.49

Kobo

Kobo
$3.99

Scribd

Scribd
$3.99

Copia

Copia
$3.99

Holy Rollers Paper Back

Get an autographed paperback for $16.95 (that includes postage and handling for U.S. addresses)

Want to write a check instead of using a credit card? I'm trusting. e-mail that you want the book and I'll send you a copy. You don't send a check until you get the book with an invoice.

Theresa (T-) McCracken, 890 North Bayview, Loop Waldport, Oregon 97394 (541) 563-3112

***

Home    Chapters    Articles    Asylum Records    Brainwashing    Hymns    Contact

Top of Page

FBI Anti Piracy SealThe unauthorized reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by fines and federal imprisonment.

edmundcreffield.com

Newspaper Articles about Creffield & the Holy Rollers

1897-1899:Local Lore, News Of Corvallis and Vicinity Told in Brief B. C. (Before Creffield)

1900:Holy Rollers' Lives Before Creffield

1901:Holy Rollers' Lives Before Creffield

1902:Holy Rollers' Lives Creffield

January 18, 1903: Fred Mitchell Attempts Suicide

June 10, 1903: Salvation Army Major Deserts and Joins the Holy Rollers

October 31, 1903: Zealot Worshipers Burn Furniture, Dogs & Other Things

November 2, 1903: Fanatics In Court

November 3, 1903: Had Promise of Tar and Feathers

November 4, 1903: Flight of The Apostles

November 5, 1903: Once-Esteemed Family No Longer Has the Sympathy of the Community

November 6, 1903: Rollers Take On New Life

November 7, 1903: Is Creffield Back?

November 11, 1903: “Apostle” Creffield Still Under Cover

November 24, 1903: Girl of Sixteen Almost Insane

November 25, 1903: In Pursuit of Creffield

November 27, 1903: The Lord May Starve Them

November 28, 1903: Holy Rollers Receive Unwilling Baptism

December 7, 1903: Demented Woman Suffers

December 8, 1903: Hurt Seen In Portland

December 11, 1903:Holy Rollers Roll Into Eugene Church

December 21, 1903:Holy Roller Victim Worse

December 22, 1903: Linn County Holy Rollers

December 23, 1903: Is Crazy Now

December 29, 1903: Holy Rollers’ Not Liked at the Dalles

December 30, 1903: Owner of Property Refuses to Permit Séances

January 6, 1904: Holy Rollers Tarred and Feathered

January 9, 1904: Their Welcome Departure

January 12, 1904: Editorial Comment: “Put yourselves in our place!”

January 13, 1904: Where Brooks Went

January 19, 1904: Our Brainy Contemporaries

January 25: Holy Rollers’ in Hobo Camp Life

February 1, 1904: Camp In Linn County Is Broken Up By Officers

February 6, 1904: How They Tell The Holy Roller Story In Far Off Scotland

February 11, 1904: Medium Mystify Corvallis People

March 1, 1904: The “Holy Rollers” Offend Humanity

March 16, 1904: Holy Rollers to Be Arrested on Serious Charge

March 17, 1904: Where is the Apostle?

March 21, 1904: Reward For Creffield's Capture

March 23, 1904: Fugitive Creffield

March 28, 1904: Reward is Offered

April 1, 1904: “Holy Roller” Chief Very Badly Wanted

April 18, 1904: Holy Roller High Priest Is Seen

April 29, 1904: Urania Seeley is Arrested

May 2, 1904: Frank & Mollie Hurt are Committed to the Asylum

May 4, 1904: Maud Hurt-Creffield & Sophia Hartley are Committed

May 7, 1904: Attie Bray &Rose Seeley are Committed

June 11, 1904: Attie Bray Escapes

June 17, 1904: Mae Hurt is Committed

June 29, 1904: Sarah Hurt is Committed

July 22, 1904: Holy Roller on Death Row

July 29, 1904: Creffield Found Half Dead Under Hurt’s House

July, 30 1904: Armed Guards Protect Creffield

July, 31 1904: Corvallis Could Not Raise a Mob

August 1, 1904: Creffield says, "I am Elijah"

August 2, 1904: Creffield Does Not Dislike Prison

August 4, 1904: Creffield Says He Is Entirely Purified

August 5, 1904: He Does Nothing Unless Directed by God

August 6, 1904: Creffield Believes in Satan and Eternal Punishment

August 9, 1904: No Flowers For Creffield

August 13, 1904; The Holy Rollers And The Man Who Made Them

August 16, 1904; Creffield Reward Will Be Returned

August 19, 1904: Followers in Asylum Stick To Faith

August 23, 1904: Creffield Will Fight His Own Case

August 28, 1904: Creffield Destroys His Revelations

September 16, 1904: Creffield is Guilty

September 21, 1904: Holy Rollers go in and Out of the Asylum

March 22, 1905: Prison Life Of Joshua Creffield>

April 8, 1905: Life In Corvallis Returns to Normal

December 12, 1905: Frank & Mollie Hurt Have a Baby Girl

April 24, 1906: Creffield Establishes a Camp Near Waldport

April 30, 1906: Donna Starr Leaves Children to go to Her Spiritual Love, Joshua Creffield

May 1, 1906: Creffield Takes Credit for The San Francisco Earthquake

May 3, 1906: Creffield In Fear Of His Life

May 7, 1906: Holy Roller Shot Down Like A Dog

May 8, 1906: Medal to Be Given Mitchell in Recognition of His Killing

May 9, 1906: Oregon Prosecutor Would Aid Mitchell

May 10, 1906: Shows No Emotion At Husband’s Grave

May 11, 1906: Bail Is All Ready

May 12, 1906: Mitchell Denied Bail

May 13, 1906: Creffield is Due To Rise Today

May 14, 1906: Creffield’s Widow Watches At Grave

May 15, 1906: Corvallis Starts Fund for Defense of Mitchell

May 16, 1906: Holy Rollers Starving Near Heceta Head

May 17, 1906: Public Sentiment Favors Mitchell

May 18, 1906: Creffield Railed in Vermont

May 19, 1906: Mitchell to Enter Plea of Not Guilty

May 27, 1906: Joshua Says Not to Worry

June 1, 1906: Morris Claims Mitchell Rid World of a Fiend

June 16, 1906: Prosecution and Defense are Making Last Preparations

June 19, 1906: Many Witnesses For Mitchell

June 24, 1906: Trial Will Cost Taxpayers Ten Thousand Dollars

June 25, 1906: George Mitchell on Trial For His Life

June 26, 1906: Mitchell Jury is Selected With Care

June 27, 1906: Mitchell Trial Held Up By Squabble

June 28, 1906:  Jury is Secured to Try Mitchell

June 29, 1906: Trial is Now on in Earnest

June 30, 1906: Mrs. Creffield's Testimony

July 1, 1906: Creffield’s Ghost Controls His Flock

July 2, 1906:  Esther Mitchell on Stand Refuses To Aid Brother

July 3, 1906: Hurt Tells of Debauched Wife and Debased Sisters

July 4, 1906: Creffield’s Unsavory Record Presented to the Jury

July 5, 1906: Expected Admissibility of Evidence Will Arouse Controversy

July 6, 1906: Others Testify They Wished to Kill Creffield

July 7, 1906: Insanity Expert on the Witness Stand

July 8, 1906: Plan To Revive Holy Rollerism

July 9, 1906: Killing of Judge Emory May Effect Mitchell

July 10, 1906: Mitchell Case Goes To Jury

July 11, 1906: Not Guilty

July 12, 1906: General Rejoicing at Mitchell’s Acquittal

July 13, 1906: Esther Mitchell Kills Her Brother!

July 14, 1906: Mitchell Boys Are Done With Esther

July 15, 1906: Hurt Will Come to Aid of His Daughter

July 16: 1906: Will Mortgage His Home for Daughter

July 17, 1906: Let’s Think When We Talk

July 18, 1906: Mrs. Starr’s Life Threatened

July 19, 1906: Mrs. Creffield Weeps in Jail

July 20, 1906: George Mitchell’s Attorney Offers Aid to Murderesses

July 21, 1906: Mitchell Boys to Stand by Esther

July 22, 1906: Hurt Thinks Both Women Are Insane

July 23, 1906: Frater Favors a Commission of Alienists

July 24, 1906: Mackintosh Will Oppose Calling Commission

July 26, 1906: Is Reconciled to Holy Roller Wife

July 27, 1906: Holy Rollers Seek Home in Wyoming

July 28, 1906: Mitchell Juror is Insane

July 30, 1906: Esther Will Deny Committing Murder In The 1st Degree

July 31 1906: Esther Mitchell Says Not Guilty

August 1, 1906: Relatives to Help Esther Mitchell

August 4, 1906: Creffield Greatly Hurt True Religion

August 6, 1906: Mitchell Boys in Drunken Row

August 8, 1906: St. Louis Woman Coming to Convert “Rollers”

August 12, 1906: Esther Mitchell Close to Death from Typhoid

August 13, 1906: Esther Mitchell Not Seriously Ill

September 1, 1906: Four Charged with First Degree Now in County Jail

September 10 1906: To Examine Minds of Slayers

September 12, 1906: Hurt Thinks His Daughter Insane

September 13, 1906: Esther Mitchell Objects to Help

September 14, 1906: Women Not Agitated

September 15, 1906: Mrs. Creffield’s Trial Set for Next Month

September 17, 1906: Mrs. Creffield on Stand

September 18, 1906:  Maud Creffield Anxious to Hang

September 19, 1906: Are They Sane of Insane?

September 21, 1906: Both Women May Go Scott Free

September 22, 1906: Where is This Thing to End!

September 23, 1906: Murders Must Be Tried

September 24, 1906: Must Not Deport

September 25, 1906: Judge Frater is in Very Small Business

September 28, 1906: Insanity Board Not Paid

October 1, 1906: Holy Roller Woman Dies While in Trance

November 9, 1906: Mrs. Creffield Said to Be in Very Nervous State

November 17, 1906: Maud Creffield Dies in the County Jail

November 18, 1906: Death May End a Hypnotic Spell

November 19, 1906: Reviews Findings in Examination of Brain

November 20, 1906: Mrs. Creffield Killed Herself with Poison!

November 21, 1906: Poison Is Found In The Stomach Of Mrs. Creffield

November 22, 1906: Esther Says Maud Did Not Kill Herself

December 4, 1906: Washing Dirty Linen

December 17, 1906: Sad Christmas For Holy Roller

February 21, 1907: Esther Mitchell Goes to Asylum

April 30, 1907: Esther Mitchell Still Believe in Creffield & His Return

April 6, 1909: Esther Mitchell Leaves Asylum

April 9, 1914: Esther Mitchell Marries James Berry

August 3, 1914: Esther Mitchell is Dead By Own Hand

1953 Stewart Holbrook's Murder Without Tears

1951 Startling Detective Magazine: Nemesis of the Nudist High Priest

A List of All the Articles

***

Sample Chapters from Holy Rollers:
Murder and Madness in Oregon's Love Cult

***

The Cast of Characters
Photos and Bios of the Holy Rollers

***

Holy Rollers' Asylum Commitment Papers

***

Info for Book Groups

Book Reviews

***

1903 to 1907 Newspaper Articles About the Holy Rollers

1906 Editorial Calling for Gun Control
After Multiple Murders Involving the Holy Rollers

Stewart Holbrook Holy Rollers Article

Advertisements from 1893 to 1913

***

Oregon Insane Asylum
Where the Holy Rollers Were Committed

Creffield, Brainwashing & Thought Reform

Early Cases of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

1906 Autopsies Of Holy Rollers
Forensics Before CSI

Holy Roller Bizarre Divorce Decree
Hartley describes trying to kill his wife's lover

***

Comedians on Edmund Creffield

The Shadow Testament
A Play About The Holy Rollers

How the Fire Fell
A Movie About The Holy Rollers

***

Life in Corvallis in the early 1900s

Life in Waldport, OR in early 1900s

Heaven's Gate

Facts & Stats about 1906
And How The Holy Rollers Measured Up

Oregon State Penitentiary
Where Creffield Was Incarcerated

***

Info about Cults

Could you ever be lured into joining a cult?

Share your thoughts about, and experiences with, cults

***

Creffield's Preachings

Creffield Vs. Crefeld

The Salvation Army Opening Fire in 1886

Holy Roller Theology

Reverend Knapp's Bible Songs of Salvation & Victory
Songs Sung by the Holy Rollers

***

About the Authors

Theresa (T-) McCracken

Robert B. Blodgett

In addition to writing, McCracken is a cartoonist.

To see some of her 'toons, go to the Home of McHumor Cartoons mchumor.com

McCracken's Blog

email
email logo

Snail Mail
Theresa (T-) McCracken
890 North Bayview Loop
Waldport, Oregon 97394

(541) 563-3112

HOME of
www.edmundcreffield.com

copyright by
Theresa (T-) McCracken