1857

Bluford Stice

(Jeff’s 3rd Great Grandfather)

Born: 1825 Missouri

Passed: 1863 Baker, OR

Married: Martha Stice 12-28-1843 in Scotland, MO

Born: 1830 Missouri

Passed:1861 Napa, CA (after the birth of their 8th child)

  • 1846 rumored of travels with General Fremont to California.
  • 1857 led wagon train of 99 friends and family upon departure from Missouri to arrive in Napa Valley with 100. (Birth along the trail)
  • 1858 purchases 148 acres of farmland with a partner in north Napa.
  • 1861 wife Martha passes away after giving birth to their 8th child, he eventually settles children with family in the Napa Valley.  The youngest two children, Lafayette(Jeff’s Great, Great Grandfather) and William are left under the care of Blufords sister, Lurinda Stice. 
  • 1862 sets out on news of a gold strike in Baker County, OR.
  • September 29, 1862 writes a detailed letter to Napa’s local newspaper “The Pacific Echo” see attached:

“Powder River Mines

Oregon, Sept. 29, 1862

EDITOR PACIFIC ECHO:-Dear Sir:  This place is situated three miles north of Powder River, and some 80 or 100 miles above its junction with the Snake River, on the north side.  It is a flourishing mining camp, and has a population of about 3,000.  There are some 150 families here – mostly immigrants from the East.

I am satisfied that the mines here will pay fair wages – generally from $3 to $20 per day.  The miners in this camp have done but little yet, on account of having no water.  Several ditches are underway that will afford water another summer.  The miners will do well next spring.  I pitched my tent here the 12th day of June, half a mile below where the town was started.  There was then one log cabin and two trading tents; now the town has extended some 300 feet below me.  There are some 12 – 15 hotels, restaurants and bakeries, some 20 stores and 6 or 8 hay yards, and 7 butcher shops.  I will give you the prices.  Flour $16 per hundred, bacon 35 cents per pound, sugar 30, coffee 50, beans 30, rice 30, tobacco $2 per pound, fresh beef 12 1/2 cents and 15 cents, dried apples 40, peaches 50, gum boots $13 to $15 per pair, leather boots $8, shoes $3.  Clothing and everything else is about the same proportion. There is a large extent of mines here, about 100 miles in length by about 30 in width, and the miners daily are making new, and some, rich discoveries, in different localities.  The gold is generally coarse, the largest piece brought in here weighed two and a half pounds.”

    1863 dies in hydraulic mining accident at one of his two mining claims, this area today is known as “Stices Gulch”

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