Related To Old Man Fisherman, a Family of Yoncalla Indians

The Fisherman family of Calapooia Indians are related to the Halo/Fearn family in ways that are as yet unclear to people not from their community. The Heirship record (20294-12) for the family reported on for the Department of the Interior, Office of Indian Affairs, by March 9, 1915, raises interesting issues of relatedness of the tribes on and off reservations in this era. The information presented is directly from the BIA RG 75 heirship files, and they suggest deep interrelations between the Warm Springs and Grand Ronde reservations, as well as communities of Indians who chose to remain off reservation.

Sir: I have the honor to herewith submit papers in the matter of the determination of the heirs to the estates of Mary Fisherman and Enoch Fisherman, the latter having been determined under date of June 9, 1914, but the former, for some unexplained reason, remaining undetermined.

From proof adduced at the hearing, it appears that the allottee, Mary Fisherman, died December 9, 1900, ages about sixty-two years, married at the time of her decease, with issue, and leaving surviving as her sole heir at law a son, Enoch Spores, or Enoch Fisherman, entitled, under Sub-section 1, Section 3098, Hill’s annotated Laws of Oregon, to inherit her entire estate, subject to the estate of tenant by the courtesy of her widower, Sam Fisherman, consisting of the use thereof during the term of his natural life.

Subsequently, about two years after the decease of the allottee, upon a date not exactly shown by the testimony, Sam Fisherman died, thereby relieving the estate inherited by the said Enoch Fisherman, or Enoch Spores, of the charge as tenant by the courtesy, as heretofore shown.

Subsequently, on November 27, 1907, Enoch Spores, or Enoch Fisherman, died, leaving surviving as his only heirs at law, as heretofore adjudged by the department (LH-20294-12), under date of June 9, 1914, being the date pf conclusion of the hearing, and entitled to inherit his estate, being the estate of the allottee in proportionate shares as follows:

Jake Fearn, son of prior deceased brother of prior deceased father of prior deceased mother. 1/5

Steven Savage, son of prior deceased brother of prior deceased father of prior deceased mother, 1/5

Cephas Tipton, nephew of subsequently deceased husband of subsequently deceased widow of second cousin. 1/5

Jasper Tufti, son of subsequently deceased second cousin, 1/10

Jessie Tufti, daughter of subsequently deceased second cousin, 1/10

Abraham Hudson, son of subsequently deceased second cousin, 1/10

John B. Hudson, son of subsequently deceased second cousin, 1/10

The shares of Jasper Tufti and Jessie Tufti are subject to the dower right of Lucy Tufti, wife of Charles Tufti, amounting to the use of one half of her interest for life.

Mary Fisherman’s heirship report lists these details;

Tribe: Calapooia

Date of death: December 9, 1900, about 62 years

Allotment #56

Married to Sam Fisherman, who died about 1900

First Husband was Bob Spores, died about 1887 and second husband was Sam Fisherman.

Children: Enoch Fisherman, age 30, died Nov. 22. 1907

Enoch Fisherman’s heirship report lists these details;

Tribe: Calapooia

Allotment #57

Date of Death: November 22. 1907, about 30 years

Married: single

Summary of Hearings to Determine Heirs

For: Mary, Sam, and Enoch Fisherman

Date of hearing: January 22, 1912 at Cottage Grove, Oregon (date moved to January 24th)

Dr. W.W. Oglesvy, white man,

Mary died about 15 years ago

Mary’s first husband, don’t remember his name, and Mary had a child, Enoch Fisherman.

Sam and Mary did not have any children.

Sam died about 2 years ago.

Enoch died about ten or twelve years after Mary.

Mary Fisherman and Jack Fisherman were kin folks.

Jake Fearn is her cousin.

Did you ever hear of a man by the name of Elias Williamson of Grande Ronde who claimed to be a cousin of this Fisherman family? no sir, never did.

The lawful heir? In my judgement Jake Fearn would be because he is the last of the family so far as I know.

Acquainted with the family since the year 1853, -58 years.

Did you ever hear of a man by the name of Charlie Tufti? no sir never did.

How well were you acquainted with the family? Well from 1854 to 1865 I seen them almost every day and after I returned to this, after my absence, in 1882 I attended them as a physician, some of them on their death beds, I amputated both limbs of Jack Fisherman at the knee and he lived 24 hours.

Who was Jack Fisherman? He was a father of Sam Fisherman, and I think Jack Fisherman was a cousin of Mary Fisherman.

Testimony of James H. McFarlan, white man

Mary always claimed that Jake Fearn was her cousin and she sent for Jake Fearn and his wife when she was in her last sickness to wait on her.

Testimony of Jake Fearn, full blooded Calapooia Indian

Explain your relation to her (Mary). [this section following was crossed out] {My Cousin. My father Halo Fearn Mary’s first cousin and I would be her second cousin.} Fisherman Bristow, Jack Fisherman, his son, Sam Fisherman, his grandson Mary Fisherman, wife of Sam. Fisherman Bristow a brother of Halo Fearn, father of Jake Fearn.

In Mary’s last sickness I and my wife were there and spent nine days and nights with her, she told me that she was entitled to an allotment which she wanted me to have and for me to care for her son Enoch and she called me cousin. And she called her son Enoch and said you heard what I said to my cousin Jake  and he said he did and will do what she said and was to give my cousin Jake half of my allotment after I sold it.

Testimony regarding Enoch Fisherman/Spores

James H. McFarlan:

Enoch hung himself in the Dallas County Jail about 5 or six years ago and was about 30 years of age at the time of his death.

Did he ever live with a women as a man and wife? Yes, I heard he stole another man’s wife and killed her during a drunken spree and afterwards killed himself in jail at Dallas, Oregon.

My understanding, hearing Mary Fisherman talk during her life time, that Jake Fearn would be the next of kin. after Enoch, that he would be a cousin according to Indian Custom.

I have known them for a good many years- 50 years. I have had Fisherman’s and Spores working for me a good many times, and they camped on my place for a long time and were associated together more or less all the while.

The following purports to be the last will of Enoch Fisherman found by his body after his suicide in the Dallas, Oregon Jail about November 22, 1907 to-wit: “I want to be buried at Grande Ronde long side of her where she is buried at Grande Ronde. I want my grandpa to come after me. I have a land allotment at Cottage Grove, Oregon, 480 acres divided in two persons 240 acres to Polk Scott at Grand Ronde at Grande Ronde 240 acres to Jake Fearn, Anlauf, Douglas County, Oregon, these two men must send me back to Grande Ronde where my wife she is buried and I have a suit at Sheridan and follow must sent to Mrs. Hattie Hudson Grande Ronde and what money I have here, I want to be sent to my uncle Charley Tuffti at Warm Springs what property we had in the home at Buell, Oregon must be burned. I will close. Good Bye to this dear world. Enoch Andrew Spores born at Cottage Grove Lane County, Oregon, Sept. 26, 1880 ending the life Nov. 22, 1907.”

In Enoch’s reference in that will to Tufti as an uncle he is evidently mistaken….

Oglesvy’s testimony:

six months before his death: Enoch said he was heir to a tract of land but felt like the Government was going to beat him out of it. The land was situated some where west of Cottage Grove. My people are all dead and I haven’t much to live for.

Jake Fearn’s testimony:

I heard he was married and he is supposed to have killed his wife in a drunken row and then killed himself in Jail. He left no children.

Father: Bob Spores, Mother: Mary Fisherman

Mary the mother of Enoch was my cousin and she left no other heirs. Mary’s father was related to my father. Mary’s father’s name was Pat and Pat and my father were brothers, and Mary was the daughter of my uncle Pat and my cousin and her son Enoch as my second cousin.

Letter of Mary Jones, Grand Ronde Hotel, June 5th, 1912

Heirs of Mary and Enoch Fisherman

-To whom it may concern

I, the undersigned Mary Jones, before I was married I was called Sanna. I make the following statement, regarding my relations to Mary and Enoch Fisherman. My Father was called  Dunipt ou Meyes and my mother was called Kaeisner. My father was part Clacamas and part Klamath Indian, my mother name, Kaeisner was called after the name of the land Kaeisner and tribe Kaeisner, my mothers sister was Kaeisner, who was the mother of Old Man Fisherman (Jack Fishermans father); same Fisherman was the son of Jack Fisherman; same Fisherman had children with his first wife who was a Molala by the name of Ha fa sa, they are all dead they had no children together. Mary Spur [Spore] had one son whose name was Enoch, the son of Bob Spur [Spore] and Mary Spur [Spore]. This Enoch Spur [Spore] also called Fisherman is dead.

Witness to Signature

M. Peterson

Joseph C. Mitchell

Mary Jones {seal} her right hand thumb mark

Letter of Mary Stewart, Grand Ronde, Oregon, March 13, 1912.

I, Mary Stewart, a Youngculla [Yoncalla] Indian (Full blood) about 75 years old, born in Youngculla, Douglas County, Oregon, first being duly sworn, herewith testify in behalf what I know of the Fisherman Family record of who lived one time at Cottage Grove, Oregon. I know Mary Jones who lives here at Grand Ronde, I know her mother, also, I knew her mother’s sister, who was the mother of Quatagasses, Old Fisherman, he has one son whose name was Jack Fisherman, also called Zwanktineka, now he had one son who was Sam Fisherman, I knew Enoch Fisherman, whose real name was Spoys [Spores], a Stepson of Sam Fisherman. I have known Mary Jones since she was a girl. Her mother was called Chaeysner, Sam Fisherman died about 8 or 9 years ago, and Mary his wife about 12 or 13 years ago, I know of none of the Fisherman now living, all dead.

Mary Stewart, her right hand thumb mark

Interpreter Joseph C. Mitchell

Letter of Mary Allen, Grand Ronde, March 14, 1912

I , Mary Allen born (unkeysner) in Oakland Douglas County, Oregon, first being duly sworn testify of what I know of Mary Jones Family Relations to the Fishermans  of Cottage Grove, Oregon. I was well acquainted with all the Fishermans, had gatherings with them in early days, I knew Jack Fishermans father, I knew Jack Fishermans mother, I have often seen Mary Jones staying with the Fishermans, and always knew that she Mary Jones was related to the Fishermans from her mothers side, but do not remember just in what way, I am from the unkeysner Tribe of Indians. I am about 75 years old, I was about 24 years old when I first came to Grand Ronde, Oregon, Old Man Fishermans son was Sam Fisherman who has 3 children with his first wife, but not with his second wife, only a stepson Enoch, I know they are all dead.

Mary Allen, Her right hand thumb mark.

Statement of Lucy Tufti, Warm Springs Indian Agency, August 23, 1912

I Lucy Tufti, being duly sworn upon oath say: I reside on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and am seventy (70) years old or more. Ka-saw-u was my Indian Name. Warm Spring, Oregon is my Post Office address. I am the widow of Charlie Tufti deceased. His Indian name was Sah-kee. He died November 1908. I have two living children, only, who are the children of my said husband. One of these children is a son Jasper, and one is a daughter Jessie. My said son Jasper is twenty-seven (27) years of age and his Indian name is Kluk-ush-ius. My said daughter, Jessie, is twenty-two (22) years of age and her Indian name is Pe-nich-i, The Postoffice address of Jasper is Warmspring, Oregon and Jessie gets her mail at the Chemawa Indian School.

I was well acquainted with Mary Fisherman, deceased, and with Enoch Fisherman, deceased, who lived at Cottage Grove, Oregon. The said Mary Fisherman was the mother of my said husband, Charlie Tufti and the said Enoch Fisherman was the half brother of my said husband, the said Mary Fisherman being the mother of both Charlie Tufti and Enoch Fisherman. My said husband and myself never had any children except the said Jasper and Jessie.

Lucy Tufti, Her mark

Statement of Swakuks regarding the parentage of Charlie Tufti, Warmsprings Indian Agency, Dec. 1 1913.

[in summary]

I am between 80 and 90.

Where do you live? On the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.

How long have you lived here? Since the Indians first came to the reservation.

I came from the Willamette Valley from what is known as the Big Prairie.

Did you know Charlie Tufti? Yes

Did he also come from that place? Yes

What was his name? Chla-ka-shinch

How long did you known Charlie Tufti? Ever since he was a small boy.

Where was he living when you knew him? He was living at Big Prairie.

Was Charlie’s father married when you knew him? no he was not.

Did he have any other children? Yes he had four boys and three girls.

Did you know any wife of Charlie’s father? No I only knew him and the children.

Did you know Mary Fisherman? no

Testimony of Swakuks and Jake Thomas, WarmSprings, April 18, 1914

Swakuks age 80 to 90, and Jake Thomas past 50 years of age

[nothing new added]

Statement of Charlie Tufti, WarmSpring, Oregon December 2, 1907

Supt. Andrew Kershaw, Grand Ronde, Oregon

Dear sir,

Charlie Tufti has received word of the death of Enoch Spores, Charlie is interested in Enoch’s property and had given me a statement of the relationship of the family.

Enoch Spores was the son of Bob Spores and Mary Spores, both deceased, leaving no heirs. Bob Spore’s father and Charlie Tufti’s father were brothers and they married sisters. Charlie is the only heir of his father. These two old men had three sisters, one sister married and had a son named Tom Gilbert. She died and her husband married her sister, who also died leaving a son Sil Stevens. Charlie thinks that Polk Scott is the son of the other sister of his father. Charlie thinks that the relatives of Mary Spores are all dead except the following cousins;

Jake Fern


Bill Fern (Deceased leaving heirs.)

So that the heirs of Enoch Spores are as follows:

First cousins of Bob Spores (Enoch’s father)

1. Charlie Tufti

2. Tom Gilbert

3. Sil Stevens

4. Polk Scott

First Cousins of Mary Spores (Enoch’s mother)

5. Bill Fern’s heirs

6. Jake Fern

7. Pli-ne

A newspaper says that Enoch left what he had to Charlie. Will you please advise us what is amount if left and how he shall proceed to obtain it.

Collateral Relatives sheet 4a

Names of nearest relatives

Steven Savage, 2nd cousin, son of dec. sister of dec. mo. of dec. father

Mary Hudson Stewart, died April 1914, 2nd cousin, dau, of dec. sister of dec. mo. of dec. mo.

Heirs of Polk Scott:

Eliza Scott, wife, died February, 1911, leaving Elias Williamson, husband, who died in October, 1900, leaving Cephas Tipton, nephew age 41

Heirs of Charlie Tufti:

Lucy Tufti, wife, aged 80

Jasper Tufti. son, aged 21 [27 in the affidavit]

Jessie Tufti, daughter, aged 18 [22 in the affidavit]

Heirs of Mary Hudson Stewart:

Abraham Hudson, aged 34, son

John B. Hudson, aged 40, son

Sheet 5

Regarding testimony of Mary Jones as to sisters of Mary Fisherman, these two Indians call cousins, brothers and sisters and she evidently for the two confused. The affidavit of Mary Allen is clear to this point and she was positive that Mary Hudson was a cousin and not a sister of Mary Fisherman. See also affidavit of Abraham Hudson. I believe Jake Fearn’s affidavit is correct as to this.

Affidavit of Mary Allen, Grand Ronde, Oregon, April 18, 1914

That she is past seventy years of age.

That she is well acquainted with Enoch and Mary Fisherman, and Bob Spores, the father of Enoch;

That she knew Polk Scott, who dies at Grand Ronde, four or five years ago; Polk Scott’s mother was related to Bob Spores, but she does not know how;

That she knew Charlie Tufti; she thinks Charlie Tufti was related to Bob Spores bur she does not know how;

That she know Steven Savage but does not know whether he was related to Enoch or not;

That she was well acquainted with Mary Hudson Stewart, who died about a week ago; Mary Hudson was a cousin of Mary Fisherman, their mothers being sisters;

That Elias Williamson, who died about three years ago in the fall, was also cousin of Mary Fisherman, his mother being a sister of Mary Fisherman’s mother and of Mary Hudson Stewart’s mother;

That Elias Williamson was married to Eliza Scott, widow of Polk Scott, about a years after Polk’s death; Eliza Scott Williamson dies about three years ago and before the death of Elias Williamson;

That Cephas Tipton, nephew of Elias Williamson, is Elias Williamson’s nearest living relative; Cephas Tipton was a son of a dead sister of Elias Williamson by the name of Pli ne; Pli ne was a half sister of Elias Williamson, one father but different mother;

That Pli ne was not related to Enoch Spores, except through Elias Williamson;

That she does not know whether Jake Fearn was a relative of Enoch Spores or not;

The she was well acquainted with Mary Fisherman’s sister, named Mary, who was married to a man named Jerry, Mary died a long time ago; Jerry died a long time ago after Mary; they has no children or grandchildren now living and Jerry has no relatives that she knew of;

Witness A. J. Hudson

Testimony of Mary Jones, Grand Ronde, Ore, April 18, 1914

Did you know Mary Fisherman? yes

How Many times married? twice, first husbands name was Lebanon George or Bob Spores.  One child Enoch Spores.

Next husband was Sam Fisherman.

How many brothers or sisters did Bob Spores have? he had one sister.

Bob Spores mother was Charlie Tufti’s aunt

Who was Sil Stevens? All I know was Stevens Savage [same person]

Bob Spores mother and Stevens mother were sisters.

Stevens is alive at St. Helens Oregon

Who is Tom Gilbert? half Brother to Stevens, one father but different mothers. Unrelated to Enoch.

Who is Polk Scott? Polk was related to Enoch’s Grandmother. I think Enoch’s grandmother was Polk’s aunt. Polk’s mother and Bob Spores mother were sisters. Polk is not alive. Polk’s wife was Eliza. Eliza has died.

What relation are you to Polk Scott? my uncle.

Any relations did Eliza Scott leave? William Hartless, Mrs Mary Ann Vautrin, Joe C. Mitchell.

Bill Hartless and Eliza were the children of two brothers. Eliza’s father and Mrs Voutrin’s mother were brother and sister. Joe Mitchell is a son of Mrs Voutrin’s brother.

Was Bill Fearn or Jake Fearn any relation of Enoch’s? No, they are not related on account that they are different bands he is away off entirely.

Well Jake Fearn claims that his father was a brother of Enoch’s mother’s father? No they were no relation at all, it isn’t that way.

Did you ever hear of Pat Fearn, a brother of Old man Halo? no

Do you think Pat Fearn could have been Mary Fisherman’s father? No I am well satisfied that was not her father at all.

Why are you satisfied that he was not her father? When the Indians were first brought to the reservation the Fearns came too and Mary Fisherman never claimed them as her relation.

Did you know Pli ne? yes, Elias Williamson’s mother and Enoch’s mother were sisters. Pli ne and Elias are half brother and sister, one father but different mothers.

Mary Fisherman had two sisters, Mary Hudson Stewart and Elias Williamson’s mother.

Mary Hudson Stewart is dead one week, no husband, two children, Abe Hudson, and Mose (John B.) Hudson. three children died when small.

Elias Williamson had one sister, she is dead, she was married and had one child, Cephas Tipton.

John Warren Interpreter

Testimony of Luise Selkeah, Grand Ronde, Oregon, Apr. 19, 1914

Age about 70 years

Been at Grand Ronde since the treaty was made.

I got acquainted with Mary Fisherman and Enoch Spores after they came her to the reservation.

I don’t think they (Enoch Spores and Jake Fearn) were related because Enoch’s father belonged to the Mollallie tribe of Indians and his mother belonged to a different tribe of Indians, Som ah Shaw

What tribes did Jake Fearn belong to? Umpqua Indian

Pat Fearn was Old Man Halo’s son but it was off a different mother from Jake Fearn. Old Man Halo called Pat Fearn, B.L. Fearn and Jake Fearn , his boys.

Did you know Mary Hudson Stewart? Yes, She was Enoch’s aunt.

What tribe of Indians  did Mary Stewart belong to” Her mother was Son Ah Shaw tribe.

What tribe did her father belong to? Do Ne Woa

What relation would you call two men whose grandmothers were sisters? Well brothers’ Indian call cousins and all brothers and sisters

William Hartless, Interpreter

Testimony of Grace Wheeler, Grand Ronde

Did you know Mary Fisherman and Enoch, her son? I didn’t know them until they came her to the reservation.

[Grace Wheeler did not know much about the Spores, Fearns, Fishermans or how people were related]

John Warren Interpreter

Testimony of Cephas Tipton, Grand Ronde

He does not know how he is related to either of the deceased.

His mother, Pli ne Cook, was half sister of Elias Williamson, having the same father but different mothers.

After the death of Polk Scott, Eliza Scott married Elias Williamson by legal marriage.

Elias Williamson died the following October 16th, in 1911

John Warren, Interpreter

Testimony of Abraham Hudson, Grand Ronde

That he is about 34 years of age, that he and his brother John B, sometimes known as Mose, are the children of Mary Hudson Stewart, who died about a week ago. That other than himself and brother she left no issue; That she was not survived by a husband; that he believes his mother to have been a first cousin of Mary Fisherman, his mother often told him that Mary Fisherman was her cousin and Enoch often addressed him as cousin.

Signed Abraham Hudson

Testimony of William Hartless, Grand Ronde


He knew Jake Fearn, Bill Fearn, Mary Fisherman, Enoch Spores, Bob Spores, Sam Fisherman,  and does not know how they are related.

He knew Polk Scott, Charles Tufti who were cousins of Enoch Spores.

He knew Mary Hudson Stewart, that she was related to Enoch Spores, but does not know in what manner.

He does not know whether he is entitled to a share of Enoch Spores estate or not; he understands himself to be related to Enoch Spores, but just how he does not know and is unable to prove.

The conclusion of this three year heirship investigation, of the BIA, led deep into the Grand Ronde tribe. It was revealed that Mary and Enoch Fisherman both came to live at Grand Ronde for some time, such that Mary’s sisters integrated with the tribe by marrying in. The Fisherman family lived off-reservation in their later days, in and around Cottage Grove. They were denied to gain Off-reservation Indian Allotments, because they took homesteads. The people at Grand Ronde did not know much about the Fearn Family, and the Fearns did not known much about the Grand Ronde or Warm Springs relatives. A few people did know the family intersections and even important details like tribal names, band names etc, such that we get some amazing details. The tribal band names are as yet unrecognized, likely bands of the Molalla, Yoncalla and Umpqua tribes. Intermarriage was part of the lifeways of these people. It was common to have multiple wives, Chief Halo is reported to have 13 wives. This can make relatedness and kinship confusing.

In other histories, there are reports of Polk Scott returning each year to Cottage Grove to hold campmeetings with his kin. He is also reported for the campmeetings at Pleasant Hill. Polk Scott was a powerful shaman and spiritual leader in the tribe and it was a great loss when he died. These tribal peoples, all interrelated, living on and off reservations, maintained longterm relationships despite the barriers erected by the BIA regarding Indian travel off reservation. The cluster of off-reservation allotments at Cottage Grove likely served as a lightning rod for Native gatherings in the summers.

The Charlie Tufti family appears to be a family of Molalla Indians that were intermarried with the Yoncalla Calapooians of the area. Numerous reports suggest that the family had homesteads or allotments in around the town of Oakridge. The descendants of Charlie Tufti are working to protect areas of their traditional territory in around Oakridge.

Enoch Spores suicide in the Dallas Jail, was well covered by the media. His suicide note is even published in the newspaper. His request to be buried at Grand Ronde suggests that his “wife” was a Grand Ronde Indian. A check of the death notices for the year mentioned should reveal her name. It is unknown if he was/is buried in the Grand Ronde Cemetery.

This story above most others shows the interconnections of the reservations, how people intermarried, and how Indian people were indiscriminately moved to reservations by the government.

Records for this are from RG 75 Heirship files, Special case Files, SWORP Collection, University of Oregon Special Collections, Coll 268, S2, B20, F13

Note: The Hudson Family is one of my families at the Reservation, In fact, John B. Hudson is my great great grandfather.

The Quartux Journal