By Anna Zander
(Editor’s note- This story appeared in the Aug. 31, 1977 Eagle Point Independent)
"Teacher resigns after accusations were made that he leaves his classroom of children alone while he partakes of a chew."
This could have been the lead paragraph in a news story in 18893, when Professor Allan L. Haselton resigned from the Eagle Point School District.
Allen Haselton came from Minnesota by train to San Francisco and from
there by boat to Portland. He traveled by stagecoach to the Rogue
Valley and took a teaching position in Eagle Point in 1889.
Haselton resigned his position it was not at the request of the school
board, who stood solidly behind him. The accusations did not hamper
his job opportunities and he taught in several surrounding districts
before returning to teach again in Eagle Point five years later.
Former students acclaim him to have been one of the best instructors to
have served the school.
Mischievous schoolboys have not changed much over the years as indicated by a story Professor Haselton’s son, Frank, related.
schoolhouse my father first taught at in Eagle Point wasn’t much bigger
than a chicken house. He kept a horse in our barn and used it everyday
for transportation to school. One morning after a Halloween he went to
the barn and the horse was gone. He walked on to school and when he
opened the door there was the horse tied to the other side of the
doorknob. Under his stern command several of the older boys spend the
morning scrubbing up the mess in the schoolhouse."
schools there were few restrictions on what school a child attended in
regard to what district he resided in. During on school term Professor
Haselton boarded in Brownsboro and taught there. Frank, wanting to be
taught by his father, rode a horse five miles there and five miles back
every day. "I didn’t mind it. It was just part of the job," he
laughed. Frank spoke of his mother: "She was born Lorena McCord, but
her mother died in childbirth and she was raised by Mrs. Digman and
became known as Lorena Digman. My Grandfather McCord helped build the
old covered bridge in Eagle Point. He was also one of the first ones
to discover gold up around Galice.
"My dad taught by mother
in school too. I guess she never got over him being her teacher
because I never heard her ever call him anything but Mr. Haselton."
born in 1893, was one of the five children born to the Haseltons. He
resides in the Lyn Haven Guest Home in Central Point. His winning
chuckle prevailed throughout the conversation of early day Eagle Point.
we were young kids, we would go to the dances and hang around the
outside. We would throw handfuls of rocks into the grass-if we heard a
tinkle we’d know we had found a jug of moonshine. We didn’t drink it.
We just hid it someplace else and then hung around to watch the owners
look for it."
Butte Creek boasted several swimming holes
that enticed the young boys in those days. Since the banks of the
creek were well shrouded in blackberries and other vegetation, swimming
suits were only excess baggage. Talking trough his laughter Frank told
of one swimming incident: "There were three old ladies that lived along
the creek and they reported to the Marshall that the boys were swimming
in the nude. The Marshall couldn’t quite figure out how the women
could have seen the boys through all the brush so he asked them. When
they told him they had crawled down through the brush, he sent them off
in a huff. He told them it was their own darn fault for being so nosy."
married Ethel Riley in 1919. "We got married up at Trail in my wife’s
sister’s house. I had to walk up the creek about a mile to get to the
preacher. The wedding was to be the next day and there were at least
six of us there to spend the night. The house only had two rooms-a
kitchen and a bedroom. You can imagine what it was like-wall-to-wall
bodies including the preacher," Frank chortled.
and humor seem to be part of Frank Haselton’s existence. He rides
around on what he calls, "my three-legged bicycle." Reading western
novels fills up his time if there isn’s some sporting even on
Maybe the best description of Frank is a short
poem he showed me. The poem was authored, or so it said, by a
anonymous English highwayman, but from the twinkle in Frank’s eyes, I
think he is the highwayman.
A long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A lone girl and a pretty one.
A cold drink and another one.