With apologies to the heirs of the late A. D. Helman, these lines are penned.
It was in '49 the story first was told
of far off California and its mines of gold.
Our father got the fever and bid the folks farewell
of all the hardships suffered no living tongue could tell.
He crossed the rough Atlantic and the Isthmus State
He sailed the mild Pacific up through the Golden Gate.
In Frisco things were different from what he'd known before,
for things were wild and wooly on old Frisco's shore.
He bought a pick and shovel, also bought some pans
and started in at mining up at Callahans.
From there he went to Salmon and mined there for a while,
but luck was all against him and he couldn't make a pile.
He worked and dug and creviced 'till cash and grub were gone,
then folded up his blankets and came to Oregon.
He settled here in Ashland in 1851
and through his early labors this city was begun.
He never stopped or rested, but was always on the go,
and did his mite both day and night to make your city grow.
The Indians were ugly and soon began to fight,
But men were gathered quickly and soon put them out to flight.
He cleared the place of bushes, the land he did then till.
'Twas he and Eber Emery that built the flour mill.
The flour they made was splendid, and soon it gained renown,
and people came to buy it from nearly every town.
They came from from o'er the Siskiyous, Linkville and Lakeview
and Indians came in hundreds this wondrous mill to view,
while here they bought their groceries their flour and calico,
this pretty little village to them was quite a show.
'Twas in the early eighties, the railroad came at last
and Ashland, then a village grew to a city fast.
The Pioneers were happy to see their labors crowned
and see a pretty city on land they once had owned.
All honor to this man, those hardy pioneers, who,
with their wives did risk their lives in those most trying years.
They were happy as they worked and always did their best
to fight lifes battles bravely and now with God they rest.
J. E. Niles
Note: Jay Eugene Niles was married to Abel's daughter Mary Elizabeth. Date of the above poem is unknown, but was apparently written between 1910 and 1947. I tend to believe it was probably written as a tribute shortly after Abel's death on 05 Mar 1910.
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