History Podcasts

Harry Orchard

Harry Orchard

Harry Orchard was born in Ontario in 1867. Orchard worked on his father's farm before leaving to find work in the United States.

In 1899 Orchard was working as a miner in Burke, Idaho. At that time Idaho was hit by a series of industrial disputes. The governor, Frank Steunenberg, took a tough line and declared martial law and asked President William McKinley to send federal troops to help him in his fight with the trade union movement. During the dispute over a thousand trade unionists and their supporters were rounded up and kept in stockades without trial.

The unions felt betrayed as they had mainly supported his campaign to become governor. Activists were particularly angry about Steunenberg's attempts to justify his actions: "We have taken the monster by the throat and we are going to choke the life out of it. No halfway measures will be adopted. It is a plain case of the state or the union winning, and we do not propose that the state shall be defeated."

During this period, Orchard joined the Western Federation of Miners and later claimed that during industrial disputes he took part in acts of violence. On one occasion he admitted blowing up the Bunker Hill concentrator that resulted in the deaths of two men.

On 30th December, 1905, Frank Steunenberg, the former governor of Idaho, went out for a walk. On his return, when he pulled a wooden slide that opened the gate to his side door, it triggered a bomb, that killed him.

James McParland, from the Pinkerton Detective Agency, was called in to investigate the murder. McParland was convinced from the beginning that the leaders of the Western Federation of Miners had arranged the killing of Steunenberg. McParland arrested Orchard who had been staying at a local hotel. In his room they found dynamite and some wire.

McParland helped Orchard to write a confession that he had been a contract killer for the WFM, assuring him this would help him get a reduced sentence for the crime. In his statement, Orchard named William Hayward (general secretary of WFM) and Charles Moyer (president of WFM). He also claimed that a union member from Caldwell, George Pettibone, had also been involved in the plot. These three men were arrested and were charged with the murder of Steunenberg.

Charles Darrow, a man who specialized in defending trade union leaders, was employed to defend Hayward, Moyer and Pettibone. The trial took place in Boise, the state capital. It emerged that Harry Orchard already had a motive for killing Steunenberg, blaming the governor of Idaho, for destroying his chances of making a fortune from a business he had started in the mining industry.

During the three month trial, the prosecutor was unable to present any information against Hayward, Moyer and Pettibone except for the testimony of Orchard. William Hayward, Charles Moyer and George Pettibone were all acquitted. Orchard, because he had provided evidence against the other men, received life imprisonment rather than the death penalty. Orchard died in prison in 1954.

I awoke, as it were, from a dream, and realized that I'd been made a tool of, aided and assisted by members of the Executive Board of the Western Federation of Miners. I resolved, as far as in my power, to break up this murderous organization and to protect the community from further assassinations and outrages from this gang.

For three hours and a half today Harry Orchard sat in the witness chair at the Haywood trial and recited a history of crimes and bloodshed, the like of which no person in the crowded courtroom had ever imagined. Not in the whole range of "Bloody Gulch" literature will there be found anything that approaches a parallel to the horrible story so calmly and smoothly told by this self-possessed, imperturbable murderer witness.

Orchard in his first day on the stand told the details of these crimes. In 1906 he with another man placed a bomb in the Vindicator Mine at Cripple Creek, Colorado, that exploded and killed two men. Later he informed the officials of the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad of a plot of the Western Federation to below up one of their trains, because he had not received money for work done for the federation. He watched the residence of Governor Peabody of Colorado and planned his assassination by shooting. This was postponed for reasons of policy. He shot and killed a deputy, Lyle Gregory, in Denver. He planned and with another man executed the blowing up of the railway station at the Independence Mine at Independence, Colorado which killed fourteen men. He tried to poison Fred Bradley, manager of the Sullivan and Bunk Hill mine, then living in San Francisco, by putting strychnine into his milk when it was left at his door in the morning. This failed, and in November, 1904, he arranged a bomb which blew Bradley into the street when he opened his door in the morning.

Orchard spoke in a soft, purring voice, marked by a slight Canadian accent, and except for the first few minutes that he was on the stand he went through his awful story as undisturbed as if he were giving the account of a May Day festival. When he said, "and then I shot him," his manner and tone were as matter-of-fact as if the words had been "and then I bought a drink."

There was nothing theatrical about the appearance on the stand of this witness, upon whose testimony the whole case against Haywood, Moyer, and the other leaders of the Western Federation of Miners is based. Only once or twice was there a dramatic touch. It was a horrible, revolting, sickening story, but he told it as simply as the plainest narration of the most ordinary incident of the most humdrum existence. He was neither a braggart nor a sycophant. He neither boasted of his fearful crimes nor sniveled in mock repentance.

Through all the story ran the names of the men for whom he worked and those who helped him in his wretched tasks. Haywood as the master. It was he who gave most of the orders. Pettibone, too, gave directions, furnished money, and once started out as if to help, but made excuse and turned back. That was in the Gregory murder. Haywood was the source of the money. Even what Pettibone gave him came from Haywood. Moyer he named occasionally, but not often. Moyer knew of some of the crimes, for he talked to Orchard about them and joined in Haywood's declaration that this or that "was a fine job."

But Haywood was the master, with Pettibone as the chief assistant, and then there were W. F. Davis, the old Coeur d'Alene comrade, and Sherman Parker and Charley Kennison of the district union, with W. B. Easterly Financial Secretary of Orchard's own union. Parker is dead now, shot a little while ago in Goldfield.

The defense professed to be pleased with the story as one that disproved itself. The prosecution, however, is sure it can be corroborated. Without question it produced a tremendous effect, and throughout its recital there ran a growing conviction of its truth.

Gentlemen, I sometimes think I am dreaming in this case. I sometimes wonder whether this is a case, whether here in Idaho or anywhere in the country, broad and free, a man can be placed on trial and lawyers seriously ask to take away the life of a human being upon the testimony of Harry Orchard. We have the lawyers come here and ask you upon the word of that sort of a man to send this man to the gallows, to make his wife a widow, and his children orphans--on his word. For God's sake, what sort of an honesty exists up here in the state of Idaho that sane men should ask it? Need I come here from Chicago to defend the honor of your state? A juror who would take away the life of a human being upon testimony like that would place a stain upon the state of his nativity--a stain that all the waters of the great seas could never wash away. And yet they ask it. You had better let a thousand men go unwhipped of justice, you had better let all the criminals that come to Idaho escape scot free than to have it said that twelve men of Idaho would take away the life of a human being upon testimony like that.

Why, gentlemen, if Harry Orchard were George Washington who had come into a court of justice with his great name behind him, and if he was impeached and contradicted by as many as Harry Orchard has been, George Washington would go out of it disgraced and counted the Ananias of the age.

I am sorry to say it, but it is true, because religious men have killed now and then, they have lied now and then. Of all the miserable claptrap that has been thrown into a jury for the sake of getting it to give some excuse for taking the life of a man, this is the worst. Orchard saves his soul by throwing the burden on Jesus, and he saves his life by dumping it onto Moyer, Haywood and Pettibone. And you twelve men are asked to set your seal of approval on it.

I don't believe that this man Orchard was ever really in the employ of anybody. I don't believe he ever had any allegiance to the Mine Owners Association, to the Pinkertons, to the Western Federation of Miners, to his family, to his kindred, to his God, or to anything human or divine. I don't believe he bears any relation to anything that a mysterious and inscrutable Providence has ever created. He was a soldier of fortune, ready to pick up a penny or a dollar or any other sum in any way that was easy to serve the mine owners, to serve the Western Federation, to serve the devil if he got his price, and his price was cheap.

If Harry Orchard has religion now, that I hope I never get it. I want to say to this jury that before Harry Orchard got religion he was bad enough, but it remained to religion to make him totally depraved. Hawley will picture him as a cherubim with wings growing out from his shoulders and with a halo just above his head, and singing songs with a detective on one side of him and McParland on the other. I don't know yet how Borah will picture him, but everybody will picture him according to how they see him. My picture is not these, none of these. I see what to me is the crowning act of infamy in Harry Orchard's life, an act which throws into darkness every other deed that he ever committed as long as he has lived. And he didn't do this until he had got Christianity or McParlandism, whatever that is. Until he had confessed and been forgiven by Father McParland, he had some spark of manhood still in his breast.

Harry & David/Bear Creek Orchards

Harry & David, the marketing brand for Medford's Bear Creek Corporation and its many enterprises, is perhaps the most widely known commercial name associated with Medford and the Rogue River Valley. Building on the tradition of giving gift boxes of fruit on Christmas and other holidays, Harry & David's "Fruit of the Month Club" (begun in the late 1930s), the "Tower of Treats" (1947), and other mail-order products are assembled and distributed at the company's large complex along U.S. Highway 99 on the south edge of Medford.

The firm began in 1910, when Seattle hotelier Samuel Rosenberg purchased a 240-acre parcel of orchard land along Bear Creek during the height of the Rogue River Valley's pear boom. Sons Harry and David, educated at Cornell University's school of agriculture, took over the operation following Samuel's death in 1914. During the 1920s, they successfully marketed Comice pears as a luxury item to East Coast and European buyers.

When fruit prices plummeted during the Great Depression, the Rosenberg brothers promoted their Royal Riviera pears in San Francisco and elsewhere by developing the idea of mail-order gift-giving. Company lore has it that in 1934 Harry arrived in New York City with fifteen lug boxes of unripened fruit, which remained stacked and unsold in his Waldorf-Astoria hotel room for a week while he tried to promote his pears. After consulting an advertising executive, Harry had the boxes delivered—accompanied by a folksy letter written on hotel stationery—as complimentary samples to business tycoons such as Walter Chrysler and Alfred Sloan.

The effort was successful, and sending gift boxes of Harry & David pears to important clients and customers soon became popular in the nation's business community. The brothers are credited with being innovators in the specialty-item mail-order catalog market that has come to dominate so much of the nation's retail commerce.

Bear Creek Orchards expanded its acreage during the 1930s, purchasing small parcels of land from struggling orchardists. The brothers changed the family name to Holmes in an effort to counter anti-Semitic boycotts of their product in Germany. Ironically, because of the labor shortage during World War II, German prisoners-of-war held at the U.S. Army's nearby Camp White harvested the pear crop for Bear Creek Orchards.

For many years, Harry & David's gift-basket advertisements appeared in the pages of the New Yorker, Fortune, National Geographic, and other magazines, typically featuring the two "flannel-shirt-clad" brothers hawking their wares to readers with a stereotypical (and quite false) rural dialect.

David Holmes died in 1950 and Harry died in 1959. They were succeeded in the business by their sons, David Holmes Jr. (1959) and John Holmes (Harry's son) (1968). Bear Creek Orchards—renamed Bear Creek Corporation in 1972—remained a private, family-owned enterprise until it became a public company in 1976.

With a new Art Moderne-style packing house complex built in 1949 astride Southern Pacific Railroad tracks, Bear Creek Orchards' growth during the postwar years contributed directly to construction of Medford's new post office in the mid-1960s. In 1966, the company acquired Jackson & Perkins Roses, a New York and California rose-growing and marketing operation that dated to the early 1900s. With increased cold-storage capacity, the company began warehousing and shipping railroad cars full of rose plants out of Medford.

Harry & David began to shed its homespun advertising approach in the 1980s, aiming to boost sales with an increasingly high-end "exotic-item and luxury gourmet" approach. Jackson and Perkins's highly successful promotion of its new "Princess Diana" rose in the months following the princess's death in 1997 capitalized on public emotion.

Although many of the jobs are seasonal, Bear Creek Corporation has remained one of southern Oregon's largest employers. The company began selling products on the World Wide Web in 1997, and e-sales exceeded $25 million by 1999. In 1986, Shaklee Corporation purchased the entire Bear Creek enterprise a Japanese pharmaceutical firm, Yamanouchi, bought both Shaklee and Bear Creek Corporation in 1989. With satellite facilities in California and Ohio, Harry & David has more than one hundred retail stores nationwide.

One holiday season's disastrous failure of the mail-order computer system as well as a number of product recalls bedeviled the company but since 2000, sales have often topped $400 million annually. Holding more than two thousand acres of orchards in the Rogue Valley makes Bear Creek Corporation among the largest nonfederal and nontimber landowners in southern Oregon.

Harry Orchard - History

The struggle between the Western Federation of Miners and the Western Mine Owners' Association at the turn of the twentieth century might well be called a "war." When the state of Idaho prosecuted William "Big Bill" Haywood in 1907 for ordering the assassination of former governor Frank Steunenberg, fifteen years of union bombings and murders, fifteen years of mine owner intimidation and greed, and fifteen years of government abuse of process and denials of liberties spilled into the national headlines. Featuring James McParland, America's most famous detective Harry Orchard, America's most notorious mass murderer turned state's witness Big Bill Haywood, America's most radical labor leader and Clarence Darrow, America's most famous defense attorney, the Haywood trial ranks as one of the most fascinating criminal trials in history.

In the early evening of December 30, 1905, Frank Steunenberg, returning from a walk in eight inches of freshly fallen snow, opened an in-swinging gate leading to the porch of his Caldwell, Idaho home, and was blown ten feet into the air by an explosion that "shook the earth and could be heard for miles around." Within an hour, Steunenberg, the former governor of Idaho, was dead. Speculation began immediately that Steunenberg's assassination was the work of the Western Federation of Miners (WFM), whose enmity Steunenberg had earned by his aggressive efforts, including the requesting of federal troops, to suppress labor unrest in the Couer d'Alene mining region of northern Idaho.

Governor Frank Steunenberg

The 1890's had been a time of unprecedented violence in Idaho's silver mines. Federal troops were called to Idaho three separate times to combat union-sponsored terrorism that had resulted in many deaths and extensive property damage to mining company property, the last time being an eighteen-month occupation from May, 1898 to November, 1899 undertaken at the urging of Governor Frank Steunenberg. Steunenberg asked President McKinley to send troops after union miners hijacked a train and planted sixty boxes of dynamite beneath the world's largest concentrator, owned by the Bunker Hill Mining Company of Wardner, Idaho, blowing it and several nearby buildings to smithereens. Federal troops responded by arresting every male-- even doctors and preachers-- in union-controlled towns, loading them into boxcars, and herding them into an old barn where the over 1,000 men were held captive without trial. In declaring martial law, Steunenberg said, "We have taken the monster by the throat and we are going to choke the life out of it. No halfway measures will be adopted. It is a plain case of the state or the union winning, and we do not propose that the state shall be defeated." Steunenberg's tough anti-union stance infuriated leaders of the Western Federation of Miners, all the more so because he was a Democrat who miners helped elect.

The day after Steunenberg's assassination, a waitress at the Saratoga Hotel in Caldwell reported that a guest, calling himself Thomas Hogan, had "trembling hands" and "downcast eyes" when she waited on him shortly after the explosion. A search of Hogan's hotel room turned up traces of plaster of paris, the substance used to hold pieces of the bomb together, in his chamber pot. Hogan was questioned about the bombing and, the next day (New Year's Day, 1906) arrested while having a drink in the hotel bar and charged with the first degree murder of Frank Steunenberg. Interrogated repeatedly in a Caldwell jail, Hogan disclosed that his name was Harry Orchard, and that he knew leaders of the WFM, though he continued to deny both his own guilt and any recent contact with Federation insiders.

Steunenberg house after his assassination

No one in Idaho believed that Steunenberg's assassination was the work of just one man. The Governor of Idaho contacted the The Pinkerton Detective Agency for help in coordinating the murder investigation. The Pinkertons sent to Boise to head the effort their most famous employee and America's premier detective, James McParland. McParland had made his reputation some thirty years earlier, working undercover in Pennsylvania's anthracite coal mining region to expose and convict a secret group of Irish labor activists suspected in a series of killings, the Molly Maguires. McParland's fame was great enough to attract the interest of the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who invented a meeting of Sherlock Holmes and McParland in The Valley of Fear, an unprecedented honor for a real detective.

McParland, visiting Orchard in the state penitentiary near Boise, suggested to the suspected killer that he was likely to receive more lenient treatment if he was willing to become a witness for the state and help convict WFM leaders, who were the target of the state's real anger. Within days, Orchard, after breaking down and crying several times, offered one of the most amazing confessions in the annals of American justice. In his 64-page confession, Orchard admitted both to the Steunenberg bombing and seventeen other killings all, he said, ordered by the inner circle of the WFM. WFM Secretary-Treasurer William Haywood, President Charles Moyer, and close advisor George Pettibone were all specifically accused of ordering the Steunenberg assassination. Orchard also identified three other WFM miners who he said had been his accomplices in various acts of union terrorism.

With Orchard's confession in hand, McParland proceeded to devise a plan to arrest the three members of the WFM inner circle, all living in the WFM's headquarters city of Denver, and transport them to Idaho for trial. McParland wanted the arrest and trip north to be so surreptitious and swift that the men would have no opportunity to obtain the assistance of lawyers who might prepare legal challenges to extradition. In effect, what McParland proposed was a kidnapping under the barest color of state law. McParland and Idaho state officials succeeded in convincing the governor of Colorado to issue warrants for the arrest of the the three men (codenamed Copperhead, Viper, and Rattler) on February 15, 1906, though both the warrants and the planned arrests remained a closely guarded secret until the night of February 17, when the three were rounded up (Moyer was arrested after boarding "the Deadwood Sleeper" which was to take him to South Dakota on the first leg of a probable planned escape to Canada Haywood was arrested while having sex with his sister-in-law). Haywood, Moyer, and Pettibone were placed for a few hours in the city jail, denied permission to call family or lawyers, before being hustled in the early hours of the morning to the Denver depot and placed on a special train with orders not to stop until it crossed the Idaho border.

Not long after the special train departed the Denver station, Edmund Richardson, the longtime attorney for the WFM, boarded another train to Idaho and began the legal battle to free the three leaders. Richardson filed petitions for habeas corpus, arguing that their forcible removal from Colorado without an opportunity to legally challenge their arrest and extradition in Colorado courts violated the Constitution. The prisoners' arguments lost both in the Idaho courts and the United States Supreme Court, which in December of 1906 in the case of Pettibone v. Nichols, ruled that a prisoner was "not excused from answering to the state whose laws he has violated because violence has been done to him in bringing him within the state." Justice McKenna was the sole dissenter, writing: "Kidnapping is a crime, pure and simple. All of the officers of the state are supposed to be on guard against it. But how is it when the law becomes a kidnapper? When the officers of the law, using it forms, and exerting its power, become abductors?"

Moyer, Haywood, and Pettibone

Haywood, Moyer, and Pettibone took their fates differently. Moyer was frequently observed crying or walking nervously around his cell. Haywood used his time in jail to design new WFM posters, take a correspondence course in law, read books such as Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, and run on the Socialist ticket for governor of Colorado (he received 16,000 votes). Pettibone took his incarceration on death row almost cheerfully, shouting "There's luck in odd numbers, said Barney McGraw!" Over the months of their detention, tensions grew between the radical and defiant Haywood and the more cautious Moyer. Soon they were no longer on speaking terms and McParland began efforts, ultimately unsuccessful, to convince Moyer to testify against the other two defendants.

Meanwhile, McParland continue to hunt down other witnesses who could strengthen the prosecution's case. A miner named Steve Adams, implicated by Orchard in the bombing of a Colorado train depot that killed thirteen non-union miners and the killing of two claim jumpers in northern Idaho, was arrested. Threats of hanging and promises of immunity finally induced Adams to confess.

In December of 1906, after the Supreme Court's ruling in the Pettibone case, Clarence Darrow, famed Chicago defense attorney, was hired to work with Richardson in preparing the case for the defense of Bill Haywood, the first of the three prisoners who would face trial. Darrow's first priority, after arriving in Idaho, was to convince Adams to withdraw his confession and thus make the state's case against Haywood stand on the uncorroborated testimony of Harry Orchard. Denied personal access to the closely held Adams, Darrow was able to convey, through an uncle of Adams, assurances of free counsel (and perhaps other financial rewards as well) should he repudiate his confession. Much to McParland's chagrin, Adams did repudiate his confession and was as a result shipped to Wallace, Idaho to face old murder charges. Darrow defended Adams in a February, 1907 trial that ended in a hung jury.

The prosecution was assembling its own star-studded line-up for the Haywood trial. One of the two lead prosecutors was William Borah (who, later as member of the United States Senate would be a leading voice for the Progressive Republicans). Borah, known for his shrewd strategizing and forceful oratory, had the biggest and most profitable legal practice in the state. Borah was joined by James Hawley, a stereotypical western lawyer, renowned for his rapport with Idaho juries and the state's most experienced trial attorney.

On May 9, 1907 the case of State of Idaho versus William D. Haywood was called for trial in Judge Fremont Wood's third-floor courtroom of the Ada County Courthouse. Press reports that day from Boise announced that "the eyes of the civilized world are on these great proceedings," which was described as a "determined struggle between labor unions and capital." One reporter called the Haywod trial "the greatest trial of modern time," while another described it as "one of the great court cases in the annals of the American judiciary." In a front row bench, much like an old-fashioned church pew, sat Haywood's wife, daughters, and mother, all of whom had been asked by Darrow to attend the trial so as to help create sympathy for his client.

Jury selection proved a difficult and time-consuming task, with 249 potential jurors questioned over more than six weeks to arrive at the final panel of twelve. Both sides understood the importance of having a favorable jury in a case with the political implications of the Haywood trial. Each side had invested great resources in compiling intelligence on members of the local jury pool. Men were sent out into Boise and the surrounding countryside posing as encyclopedia and insurance salesman, with the purpose of investigating the affiliations, politics, and preferences of any who might be called for jury duty. The Pinkertons managed to place a spy, Operative 21, as a jury canvasser for the defense with the instruction to provide Darrow and the defense team with erroneous reports of the preferences of potential jurors. (Only late in the jury selection game did the defense uncover the spy in their midst.) Many potential jurors resisted serving on a jury for $3 a day for what promised to be a long and controversial trial, and some ran from the sheriff as he tried to round up potential jurors. Some took off for the hills, while others were found hiding in cellars and haystacks. Once in court, potential jurors were asked about what they thought of labor unions, what church they belonged to, and whether they heard a speech recently delivered in Boise by Secretary Howard Taft. Both sides weighed the answers of potential jurors and exercised peremptory challenges or challenges for cause against those they saw as unsuitable jurors. Bill Haywood huddled with his lawyers, seemingly taking an active role in the jury selection process. Finally, jury selection was completed with the addition to the jury of a rancher named O. V. Sebern. Of the twelve jurors, nine were ranchers or farmers, one was a real estate agent, one a construction foreman, and one a building contractor. Eleven of the twelve were men over fifty.

James Hawley gave the prosecution's opening statement. Hawley's attempts to describe Steunenberg's murder and the confession of Orchard were repeatedly objected to by Darrow, who called his statements argument rather than an outline of the proposed evidence as the rules for opening statements call for. Darrow's interruptions and frequent sarcastic editorializing seemed to fluster Hawley, and most reporters rated the opening statement weak. Darrow opted to postpone his own opening statement until the close of the prosecution case.

The first set of witnesses called by the state described events in Caldwell on December 30, 1905. The group included a neighbor of Steunenberg who heard the explosion, a doctor who attended Stuenenberg at his deathbed, a Caldwell resident who witnessed Orchard observing the Steunenberg residence with binoculars, another resident who observed Orchard leaving the Saratoga Hotel shortly before the explosion and, finally, Steunenberg's son Julian, who once had a conversation with Orchard during which he was said to have asked about the possibility of buying sheep from his father. Then the state called the witness everyone was waiting to hear.

"Call Harry Orchard." The prosecution considered it something of a victory to present a live Harry Orchard, after months of rumors that the WFM was planning to poison him in jail or shoot him on the way to the courthouse. The rumors were taken seriously. Hawley sent word to the defense that "the second man shot will be Darrow." Orchard took the stand, wearing a tweed suit and a neat mustache, he was described by one reporter as "looking like a Sunday school superintendent."

Before Orchard could begin to tell his remarkable tale of his career as a union terrorist, Hawley had some preliminary questions:

"Is Harry Orchard your real name?"

"How long have you used the name of Harry Orchard?"

With a strong, steady delivery, Orchard told his story to a packed courtroom (with hundreds of spectators unable to find seats milling around on the courthouse lawn). Orchard said he was born in Ontario, Canada forty years earlier, left for the U.S. at age thirty, eventually finding work as a mucker in a Burke, Idaho silver mine, where he joined the WFM. On April 29, 1898, Orchard was, he said, one of the thousand or so miners who hijacked a Northern Pacific train, diverted it to Wardner, then blew up the Bunker Hill concentrator, killing two men:

"I lit one of them. I don't know who lit the rest."

Orchard testified that he evaded arrest by hiding out in the hills above Burke, then making his way to Butte, Montana which was then the headquarters of the WFM. His career as a union killer began in 1903 when he blew up the Vindicator mine in Colorado for $500, killing two. In 1904, he dynamited the train depot in Independence, Colorado, killing thirteen non-union miners. Later, under orders of Haywood and Pettibone, Orchard said that he attempted assassinations of the governor of Colorado, two Colorado Supreme Court justices, and the president of a mining company. The attempts all failed, although one bomb intended for a justice killed an innocent bystander instead. Orchard testified that he was the fifth man hired by Haywood, Moyer, and Pettibone to assassinate Steunenberg. He testified that when he was hired Haywood said to him, "Steunenberg has lived seven years too long." His reward for a successful job was to be several hundred dollars and a ranch. The purpose of the Steunenberg assassination, according to Orchard, was to strike fear in any politician who might consider actions that would frustrate WFM goals. (LINK to reports by Oscar Davis on Orchard's Testimony)

Edmund Richardson cross-examined Orchard for the defense, after winning a battle with Darrow for the honor. For twenty-six hours, Richardson subjected Orchard to a threatening, loud, and insulting attack covering every detail of his confession. The cross-examination succeeded only in emphasizing his testimony through repetition. Richardson attempted to damage Orchard's credibility by showing him to be a womanizer, a man who deserted his family, a bigamist, a heavy drinker, a gambler, and a cheat. He was drilled about his indifference to the damage and destruction he inflicted. Through it all, Orchard stood up well. Richardson suggested that Orchard took the stand only to save his own life:

"So you thought you could make your peace with the future by having someone else hanged, did you?"

"No, sir. No, sir. [Orchard was sobbing at this point.] I had no thought of getting out of it, by laying it on anybody else. I began to think about my own life and the unnatural monster I had been."

When Orchard finally left the stand, the reporter for Collier's called him "the most remarkable witness that ever appeared in an American court of justice."

Orchard on the witness stand in the Haywood trial

The state concluded its case by introducing articles from a WFM publication, Miner's Magazine, that revealed a deep hatred of Steunenberg and sardonic pleasure over his passing, some letters received by Orchard, and presenting an African-American witness who claimed to have seen Orchard and Haywood together in a buggy. The defense asked for a directed verdict when the prosecution rested, but Judge Wood ruled that he was "thoroughly satisfied that the case should be submitted to a jury."

The defense called nearly a hundred witnesses to refute various points of Orchard's confession or cast doubt on his motives. Among those called was Morris Friedman, Pinkerton Detective James McParland's private stenographer and author of a book, Pinkerton Labor Spy. Friedman described dirty tricks used by the Pinkertons to subvert the WFM, including the use of undercover operatives within the WFM who padded bills to drain the Federation treasury and reduced payments to miners to build dissatisfaction with Haywood. The purpose of the testimony was to suggest to jurors that Pinkerton infiltrators may have committed some of the crimes Orchard attributed to the WFM in order to bring the labor organization into disrepute. Charles Moyer and George Pettibone also testified and denied many of Orchard's specific allegations about their complicity in crimes.

On July 11, 1907, Darrow called William Haywood. Spectators fanned themselves with palm-leaf fans in ninety-five degree heat as Haywood, in a mild-mannered, soft-spoken, conversational tone, denied charge after charge that had been leveled against him by Harry Orchard. He denied ordering Orchard to blow up any mine or assassinate Steunenberg or any other public official. One reporter, no fan of Haywood, wrote in admiration of Haywood's "manly assertion of his principles." Senator Borah cross-examined Haywood for the prosecution. As Borah stood to begin his questioning, Haywood fixed his single eye (the other had been lost in a childhood accident) on the prosecutor. Borah was to say later that Haywood's glare "doubled me up like a jack-knife." For five hours, Borah tried and failed to crack the imposing defendant.

J. Anthony Lukas, Pulitzer Prize winning author of the magnificent book about the Haywood case, Big Trouble, wrote that "rarely in the nation's first century and a quarter had a courtroom harbored four attorneys of such distinction as Hawley, Borah, Richardson, and Darrow." There summations were, at a time when courtroom theater was a popular form of entertainment, greatly anticipated, and their performances did not disappoint.

The defense team in the Haywood trial

Hawley summed up first for the prosecution, chatting with the jury in the informal way for which he was famous. Hawley said the prosecution asked only for justice, then reminded them of that December day when Steunenberg was "sent to face his God without a moment's warning and within sight of his wife and children." In Orchards's confession, Hawley saw "divine grace working upon his soul and through him to bring justice to one of the worst criminal bands that ever operated in this country."

Richardson offered the defense's first summation. In a nine-hour address full of theatrics and flourishes, Richardson asked jurors to determine Haywood's guilt "under the high dome of heaven." He reminded juror's of Steunenberg's 1899 crackdown on northern Idaho miners and the resulting incarceration of miners in "bullpens" by federal "colored troops:"

"They threw them in the dirty, vile-kept bullpens and they were subjected to all sorts of indignities and insults at the hands of those negro soldiers. If you had been there. gentleman of the jury, it is certain that you would have attained in your breast a righteous hatred for every person who had anything to do with causing your humiliation and suffering."

Richardson argued that the angry words about Steunenberg in Miner's Magazine were understandable given the events of seven years earlier. Blame for Steunenberg's murder, however, Richardson laid on Orchard and the Pinkertons. Richardson suggested it was odd that an assassin like Orchard would make himself known around Caldwell, fail to destroy incriminating evidence, and be called "Harry" by prosecutors. The murder, he suggested, was a frame-up planned by the Pinkertons to discredit and ultimately destroy the leadership of the WFM.

As impressive as the first two summations were, Hawley and Richardson were, in the words of Anthony Lukas, "a bit like vaudeville artists who warmed up the crowd for the top bananas," Darrow and Borah. Darrow closed for the defense with an eleven-hour speech that at times, had Haywood's wife and mother and many of the women in the courtroom sobbing.

Darrow pitilessly attacked Orchard, who he called "the biggest liar that this generation has known." Any juror "who would take away the life of a human being upon testimony like that [of Orchard's] would place a stain upon the state of his nativity. that all the waters of the great seas could never wash away." In a move much criticized in the press, Darrow both admitted and excused much of the violence attributed to the WFM:

"I don't mean to tell this jury that labor organizations do no wrong. I know them too well for that. They do wrong often, and sometimes brutally they are sometimes cruel they are often unjust they are frequently corrupt. . .But I am here to say that in a great cause these labor organizations, despised and weak and outlawed as they generally are, have stood for the poor, they have stood for the weak, they have stood for every human law that was ever placed upon the statute books. They stood for human life, they stood for the father who was bound down by his task, they stood for the wife, threatened to be taken from the home to work by his side, and they have stood for the little child who was also taken to work in their places--that the rich could grow richer still, and they have fought for the right of the little one, to give him a little of life, a little comfort while he is young. I don't care how many wrongs they committed, I don't care how many crimes these weak, rough, rugged, unlettered men who often know no other power but the brute force of their strong right arm, who find themselves bound and confined and impaired whichever way they turn, who look up and worship the god of might as the only god that they know--I don't care how often they fail, how many brutalities they are guilty of. I know their cause is just."

Darrow offered a different motive for Orchard's murder than the one suggested by his co-counsel. He argued (unconvincingly, as far as the press was concerned) that Orchard bore a personal grudge against Steunenberg because the governor's intervention in northern Idaho resulting in him losing a share of a silver mine. Finally, Darrow launched into a powerful conclusion that ranks among the best of his long career:

I have known Haywood. I have known him well and I believe in him. I do believe in him. God knows it would be a sore day to me if he should ascend the scaffold the sun would not shine or the birds would not sing on that day for me. It would be a sad day indeed if any calamity should befall him. I would think of him, I would think of his mother, I would think of his babes, I would think of the great cause that he represents. It would be a sore day for me.

But, gentlemen, he and his mother, his wife and his children are not my chief concern in this case. If you should decree that he must die, ten thousand men will work down in the mines to send a portion of the proceeds of their labor to take care of that widow and those orphan children, and a million people throughout the length and the breadth of the civilized world will send their messages of kindness and good cheer to comfort them in their bereavement. It is not for them I plead.

Other men have died, other men have died in the same cause in which Bill Haywood has risked his life, men strong with devotion, men who love liberty, men who love their fellow men have raised their voices in defense of the poor, in defense of justice, have made their good fight and have met death on the scaffold, on the rack, in the flame and they will meet it again until the world grows old and gray. Bill Haywood is no better than the rest. He can die if die he needs, he can die if this jury decrees it but, oh, gentlemen, don't think for a moment that if you hang him you will crucify the labor movement of the world.

Don't think that you will kill the hopes and the aspirations and the desires of the weak and the poor, you men, unless you people who are anxious for this blood--are you so blind as to believe that liberty will die when he is dead? Do you think there are no brave hearts and no other strong arms, no other devoted souls who will risk their life in that great cause which has demanded martyrs in every age of this world? There are others, and these others will come to take his place, will come to carry the banner where he could not carry it.

Gentlemen, it is not for him alone that I speak. I speak for the poor, for the weak, for the weary, for that long line of men who in darkness and despair have borne the labors of the human race. The eyes of the world are upon you, upon you twelve men of Idaho tonight. Wherever the English language is spoken, or wherever any foreign tongue known to the civilized world is spoken, men are talking and wondering and dreaming about the verdict of these twelve men that I see before me now. If you kill him your act will be applauded by many. If you should decree Bill Haywood's death, in the great railroad offices of our great cities men will applaud your names. If you decree his death, amongst the spiders of Wall Street will go up paeans of praise for those twelve good men and true who killed Bill Haywood. In every bank in the world, where men hate Haywood because he fights for the poor and against the accursed system upon which the favored live and grow rich and fat--from all those you will receive blessings and unstinted praise.

But if your verdict should be "Not Guilty," there are still those who will reverently bow their heads and thank these twelve men for the life and the character they have saved. Out on the broad prairies where men toil with their hands, out on the wide ocean where men are are tossed and buffeted on the waves, through our mills and factories, and down deep under the earth, thousands of men and of women and children, men who labor, men to suffer, women and children weary with care and toil, these men and these women and these children will kneel tonight and ask their God to guide your judgment. These men and these women and these little children, the poor, the weak, and the suffering of the world will stretch out their hands to this jury, and implore you to save Haywood's life. (LINK TO DARROW'S SUMMATION.)

The final words belonged to the prosecution and Senator Borah. Borah told the jury that this "is simply a trial for murder," not an attack on organized labor. He asked the jury to consider Orchard's actions, not just his words, especially his frequent trips to Denver: "Why? Why always back to Denver? Unless it was to find there the protection and pay of his employers." Borah closed by reminding jurors of their solemn duty:

"I remembered again the awful thing of December 30, 1905, a night which has taken ten years to the life of some who are in this courtroom now. I felt again its cold and icy chill, faced the drifting snow and peered at last into the darkness for the sacred spot where last lay the body of my dead friend, and saw true, only too true, the stain of his life's blood upon the whitened earth. I saw Idaho dishonored and disgraced. I saw murder--no, not murder, a thousand times worse than murder--I saw anarchy wave its first bloody triumph in Idaho. And as I thought again I said, &lsquoThou living God, can the talents or the arts of counsel unteach the lessons of that hour?' No, no. Let us be brave, let us be faithful in this supreme test of trial and duty. If the defendant is entitled to his liberty, let him have it. But, on the other hand, if the evidence in this case discloses the author of this crime, then there is no higher duty to be imposed upon citizens than the faithful discharge of that particular duty. Some of you men have stood the test and trial in the protection of the American flag. But you never had a duty imposed upon you which required more intelligence, more manhood, more courage than that which the people of Idaho assign to you this night in the final discharge of your duty." (LINK TO PROSECUTION'S SUMMATION.)

Judge Wood gave the jury their instructions. He told them the defendant was presumed innocent, that proof of guilt must be established beyond a reasonable doubt, and that the jury could not convict without corroborated evidence that connected Haywood with the Steunenberg assassination. At 11:04 am on Saturday, July 28, 1907, the twelve jurors began their deliberations.

As deliberations continued through the night, rumors of the jury's thinking began to swirl around Boise. Most rumors had it that the jury was 11 to 1 or 10 to 2 or 9 to 3 for conviction. Darrow seemed to be pinning his hope on a hung jury. After deliberating through the night, the jury at 6:40 am on Sunday morning reported that they had reached a verdict.

As the jury filed into Judge Wood's courtroom, Darrow put an arm around his client and said, " Bill, old man, you'd better prepare for the worst. I'm afraid it's against us, so keep up your nerve." Haywood replied, "Yes, I will." The clerk of court, Otto Peterson, announced the verdict: "We the jury in the above entitled cause find the defendant, William D. Haywood, not guilty." Haywood jumped up, laughing and crying, bear hugged friends, then rushed to the jury to shake hands with as many members of it as he could.

Interviews with jurors after the trial hint at several reasons for their surprising verdict--reached six ballots after an initial vote of 8 for acquittal, 2 for conviction, and 2 abstentions. Some jurors suggested that Judge Wood's instructions requiring corroboration of Orchard's testimony dictated the result. If so, the defense's success in persuading Steve Adams, by bribe or threat or whatever, to withdraw his confession was the key to victory. Other jurors expressed their positive impression of Haywood on the witness stand. Still others credited Darrow's moving summation. Members of the press offered other speculations as well, suggesting that fear of reprisals by the WFM may have persuaded some jurors to vote for acquittal. At least one Pinkerton detective offered an even darker explanation: that at least one of the jurors was bought.

George Pettibone was next up for trial. Harry Orchard was the state's star witness. This time his cross-examination was handled by Darrow who according to one observer, caused the jury to turn from Orchard as they would "from the carcass of a dead animal." The Pettibone jury acquitted him in much less time than it took the Haywood jury to reach its verdict. Charges against Charles Moyer were dropped after the Pettibone trial.

Bill Haywood became the leader of the Industrial Workers of the World (the "Wobblies"). In 1918, Haywood was tried under an espionage and sedition act for urging a strike in a war-sensitive industry, was convicted and sentenced to thirty years in prison. In 1921, while out on bond pending appeal, Haywood jumped bond and fled to the Soviet Union, where he was to become a confidant of the Bolsheviks and a friend to John Reed. Haywood died in Moscow in 1928. Half of his ashes were buried in the Kremlin near those of Reed, and the other half were shipped to Chicago for burial near a monument to the Haymarket rioters whose actions in 1886 inspired Haywood's life of radicalism.

Harry Orchard was tried and convicted of the murder of Frank Steunenberg. He was sentenced to death, but his sentence was later commuted to life in prison. He remained in the Idaho state penitentiary near Boise, raising chickens and growing strawberries as a prison trusty, until his death in 1954.

The trials of Haywood and Pettibone roughly marked the end of the fifteen year labor war in the western mines, a period which approached nearer than any other in American history to open class warfare. Anthony Lukas wrote in Big Trouble:

Finally, the opposing camps in this nasty class war sputtering along the icy ridges of the Rocky Mountains had just about canceled each other out. Operative for operative, hired gun for hired gun, bought juror for bought juror, perjured witness for perjured witness, conniving lawyer for conniving lawyer, partisan reporter for partisan reporter, these cockeyed armies had fought each other to an exhausted standoff.

(Anthony Lukas was himself left physically and emotionally spent after seven years of work on Big Trouble. On June 5, 1997, after discussing final revisions on the book with his editor, Lukas hanged himself.)

The Haywood Trial offers a fascinating window upon a time of economic conflict and change. Although called by one reviewer of Big Trouble "a long forgotten trial," it deserves to rank among America's greatest trials.

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The Confessions and Autobiography of Harry Orchard

Pseudonym of Albert Horsley, a miner convicted of assassinating Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg.

The case was one of the most sensational and widely reported of the first decade of the 20th Century, involving three prominent leaders of the radical Western Federation of Miners as co-defendants in an alleged conspiracy to commit murder.

Before working as a miner, he worked as a cheese maker and milk Pseudonym of Albert Horsley, a miner convicted of assassinating Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg.

The case was one of the most sensational and widely reported of the first decade of the 20th Century, involving three prominent leaders of the radical Western Federation of Miners as co-defendants in an alleged conspiracy to commit murder.

Before working as a miner, he worked as a cheese maker and milkman. . more

The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Orchard, Harry

Edition of 1920. See also Albert Horsley on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

ORCHARD, Harry (real name Alfred E. Horsley ), American assassin: b. Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada, 18 March 1866. He killed ex-Governor Steunenberg of Idaho with a bomb in December 1905, was arrested, brought to trial, sentenced to death and later received commutation to life imprisonment. He made what purported to be a complete confession in which he admitted himself a forger, arsonist and professional murderer. He claimed to have been employed by the Western Federation of Miners in the commission of his crimes and laid definite charges against its leaders, Haywood, Moyer and Pettibone, who were tried for complicity in Orchard's crimes, but were acquitted. Orchard's confession, believed to be sincere by Rev. E. S. Hinks, dean of Saint Michael's Cathedral, Boisé, Idaho, absolved the general membership of the unions from knowledge of the acts of the leaders, but laid the most serious charges against the officers of the unions. The labor leaders denounced the confession as a conspiracy against labor organizations. It was published in serial form in McClure's Magazine and in book form, ‘The Confessions and Autobiography of Harry Orchard’ (1907).


2518 South Pacific Highway
Medford, Oregon 97501


Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Shaklee Corporation
Incorporated: 1972
Employees: 1,600
Sales: $368.9 million (1999)
NAIC: 45411Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses 111339 Other Non-Citrus Fruit Farming 111422 Floriculture Production 111421 Nursery and Tree Production 44411 Nursery and Garden Center-Retail

Company Perspectives:

To be as successful as we have--for as long as we have--a company has to be based on some pretty sound, basic rules: Start with the world's finest, freshest ingredients. From fruit to nuts and everything in between, don't cut corners and don't make compromises, because just when you think no one will notice the difference, someone will. Pack each gift with pride and personal attention to detail. In short, you need to be a stickler for perfection, every step of the way. Treat the customer the way you'd want to be treated. The people who answer our phones are a helpful lot--friendly, informative, never in a hurry. Guarantee satisfaction 100 percent. Not just the condition of the package. Not just on-time arrival. Our guarantee goes one step further to cover the unconditional satisfaction of everyone involved. If the giver and the receiver aren't delighted, we'll make it right with either a replacement gift or a full refund--whichever you think best. No delays. No questions asked.

Key Dates:

1910: Samuel Rosenberg purchases Bear Creek Orchards.
1916: Sons Harry and David (who eventually adopt the surname Holmes to avoid anti-Semitism) take over the family business.
1934: The company begins selling pears by mail.
1936: The brothers debut Harry and David's Fruit-of-the Month Club.
1939: Jackson & Perkins becomes the nation's first mail-order rose nursery.
1950: David Holmes dies.
1959: Harry Holmes dies David Holmes, Jr., assumes leadership of the company.
1966: Bear Creek Orchards acquires Jackson & Perkins.
1968: John Holmes heads the family business.
1972: The company forms Bear Creek Corporation.
1976: Bear Creek Corporation goes public.
1986: Shaklee Corporation acquires Bear Creek.
1988: Jackson & Perkins merges with Armstrong Roses and Bear Creek Gardens is born William B. Williams becomes CEO of the company.
1989: Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. acquires Shaklee Corporation, including Bear Creek Bear Creek acquires Orchids Only, Inc.
1991: Harry and David opens its first outlet store in Oregon.
1992: Harry and David debuts its stores division.
1993: Bear Creek Corporation founds Northwest Express.
1996: Company begins online marketing.

Bear Creek Corporation is one of the nation's leading direct-mail marketers with facilities in Oregon's Rogue River valley Wasco and Somis, California and Hebron, Ohio. The company includes Harry and David, a direct marketer of fruit and gift foods the Harry and David Stores division Jackson & Perkins, a mail-order supplier of roses and other plants Bear Creek Gardens, a nursery and wholesale distributor of roses and other plants, marketing products under the Jackson & Perkins, Armstrong Rose, and Heritage labels and Northwest Express, a products lifestyle mail-order business focusing on the styles and trends of the Pacific Northwest. The company owns nearly 2,000 acres of land throughout the fertile Rogue River valley, where Harry and David Rosenberg first tended their peach and pear orchards, and rose growing fields in the San Joaquin valley.

Bear Creek Orchards: 1910s

The story of family-run Bear Creek Corporation traces its roots back to Sam Rosenberg, a prosperous clothier and hotel owner, who built the luxury Seattle Hotel Sorrento in Seattle in the early 1900s and traded it in 1910 for 240 acres of pear trees in southern Oregon's Rogue River valley. The orchard cost $300,000 the pears were Doyenne du Comice, a thin-skinned, easily bruised fruit hybridized in France in the 1700s and renowned for its fine texture and flavor. The Rogue River valley, with its rich volcanic soils and sunny microclimate free of frost, proved better suited to the Comice pear than its birthplace in France. Under Rosenberg's manager, the pears took first place twice at the annual New York pear show.

After Rosenberg died in 1916, his sons, David and Harry, 27 and 26, who had studied agriculture at Cornell University, took over the family business. Bear Creek Orchards flourished. The Rosenberg growers were able to raise larger-than-average pears, weighing approximately one pound apiece. They sold their pears--renamed Royal Riviera to set them apart from similar varieties grown in Oregon, California, and France--to the grand hotels and restaurants of Europe. Their harvesters were migrant workers, who lived in tents in the orchards and drove carts pulled by mules. Local women labored as packers, hired seasonally to fill the wooden boxes of fruit and ice that were transported by rail to the East Coast and to San Francisco, and, ultimately, to Europe.

Throughout the 1920s, the fame of the Royal Riviera pear grew. Harry and David increased their land holdings and planted more pear trees. They built the first cold storage warehouse in their river valley in 1924 to reduce fruit spoilage and extend the selling season. After the stock market crash in 1929, however, and the subsequent worldwide depression, the brothers' business slumped. But when other pear growers in the region began to rip out their Comice orchards in favor of more mainstream crops such as apples, corn, and potatoes, Harry and David Rosenberg, instead, took samples of their pears to business acquaintances in Seattle and San Francisco. They hoped to offset the loss of their export business with increased sales closer to home.

By 1934, the brothers were enjoying a modest success with their fruit baskets, mailed 'right from the orchard,' and Harry set off for New York City with 15 boxes of his prized pears. He checked into the Waldorf-Astoria, but after one week had sold nothing. Not certain what to do with his ripening pears, he consulted an advertising executive, G. Lynn Sumner, who wrote out 15 letters from Harry and David Rosenberg on hotel stationery and sent each one, accompanied by a box of pears, to a top Manhattan business executive. Recipients included Walter Chrysler, David Sarnoff, and Alfred Sloan. This first direct-mail effort yielded orders for 489 boxes of pears.

The 1930s: Launching a Mail-Order Business

Back home, the brothers worked up a four-page flyer, which they themselves mailed. Their strategy worked and, all in all, the business sold 6,000 boxes of pears in 1934. By 1935, shipments surpassed 15,000 boxes. In May 1936, David Rosenberg traveled to New York to discuss further marketing plans with Sumner. This trip produced a full-page ad in Fortune magazine, which played on the theme of making a 'royal' delicacy available to the common man. The award-winning ad set the tone that identified Harry and David for years to come: 'Imagine Harry and me advertising our pears in Fortune !' read the headline for the ad, which went on to say, 'Out here on the ranch we don't know much about advertising, and maybe we're foolish to spend the price of a tractor on this space, but . we believe you folks who read Fortune are the kind of folks who'd like to know . our story.'

With similar ads in National Geographic , Time , the New York Times , and other publications, Harry and David reached a broad consumer base, and sales really took off. To satisfy the flood of mail orders, Harry and David had to increase pear production, and enlarge their storage and order processing facilities. In 1937, they began construction of a large, modern packing plant, and in 1938, they bought the Hollywood Orchard, nearly doubling their acreage. That year, the brothers also started their Fruit-of-the Month Club, which soon became their best-known offering. For $14.95, customers could sign up to send or receive a different fruit gift six times a year: pears in December, apples in January, preserves in April, nectarines in August, peaches in September, and grapes in October. The response to the club yielded a further increase in business orders shot up to 87,000 in 1938.

Business remained surprisingly strong throughout World War II. However, it was a challenge to find the labor to harvest the hundreds of acres of pears each October, and Harry and David, themselves the target of anti-Semitism, decided to change their last name to Holmes to hide their identity as Jews. One year, Harry and David convinced Congressional and military authorities to allow 600 soldiers from nearby Camp White to bring in the crop. Another year, they relied upon the help of German prisoners of war to pick the fruit. Women and children also became part of the wartime labor force.

Following the war, business blossomed. The brothers built a new warehouse, packing house, cold storage, and office, and invested in IBM's latest data processing technology, the punch card, to handle mail orders, mailing lists, and the payroll. The company expanded its product offerings as sales continued to climb, and fruit cakes, fruit preserves, ceramic candy-filled Santas, miniature Christmas trees, dried flowers, and holly came to grace the pages of the Harry and David catalog.

The company's attention to quality and detail became a well-publicized part of their business. Glenn Harrison, later executive vice-president, 'would look for things,' according to one company publication, 'like crooked labels or the square knots on ribbons. If they weren't right, he'd rip them out . they did not want fingerprints on the [preserve] jars, so we all learned to handle them by the lids,' said one retiree. When express shipping charges climbed to prohibitive amounts in 1947, the firm began a system of loading straight cars for a given city, then delivering the packages directly to the post office to avoid delays en route.

The Next Generation of Leadership: 1950s-80s

Glenn Harrison took over the day-to-day decision making for the $5 million business, along with David Holmes, Jr., in 1953, after Harry Holmes withdrew from active participation in the business because of a heart condition. David Holmes had died in a fatal car accident in 1950. When David Holmes, Jr., assumed leadership of the company in 1959, he shifted corporate headquarters to Newport Beach, California, where he cultivated an entrpreneurial bent, creating a number of subsidiaries--selling jewelry, toys, clothing, travel trailers--which met with only modest success. However, the company's core business continued growing by 1961, the company was bringing in $8 million. Two years later it had its own fleet of refrigerated cars and trucks to carry Harry and David fruit packages to 39 mailing points throughout the United States.

In 1966, Bear Creek Corporation acquired Jackson & Perkins, one of the world's largest suppliers of new rose varieties. A.E. Jackson and Charles Perkins had begun their business in Newark in 1872, wholesaling strawberry and grape plants. The duo also sold directly to customers who stopped by their farm. Later the partners also began growing roses and, by the early 20th century, roses had become Jackson & Perkins' main product.

Jackson & Perkins, like Bear Creek Corporation, was a family-run business, and, in the early days, Charles Perkins himself sold and personally guaranteed all his roses. In time, the company ventured into breeding new roses, and in 1901, it introduced its first hybrid, the Dorothy Perkins Climber. Under the continuing direction of hybridizer Dr. J.H. Nicolas and, later, Eugene Boerner, Jackson & Perkins became one of the foremost producers of new roses worldwide. Boerner especially gained a reputation for hybridizing many of the early varieties in the class of floribunda, so-named by a cousin of Charles.

In 1939, quite by accident, Jackson & Perkins became the world's first mail-order rose nursery. At that year's New York World's Fair, the company set up a garden display called 'A Parade of Modern Roses.' When a number of out-of-state visitors wanted to buy roses, but did not want to carry the plants home themselves, Jackson & Perkins agreed to mail them the plants. The following season, the same customers and others returned to order more roses by mail. Over the next several years, the mail-order portion of the company grew so much that Jackson & Perkins began publishing a spring catalog of roses.

By the early 1960s, the very successful company had outgrown its New York location. It headed west, relocating its growing fields first to Pleasanton, California, for the long growing season, and then, in 1966, to the San Joaquin valley of California where the loamy soil, abundant water, and 262-day growing season made it ideal for rose cultivation. The company's headquarters relocated to Medford, Oregon, at the time of the acquisition, so that the company's storage, packaging, and order processing facilities could be shared with Bear Creek Orchards. Jackson & Perkins' research facility was also moved to California, where hybridizers William Warriner and then Keith Zary continued to manufacture new varieties of rose.

In 1968, David Holmes, Jr., stepped down from active management of Harry and David and John Holmes, Harry Holmes's son, took over the business. He formed Bear Creek Corporation as an umbrella organization for the company's several functions in 1972, and, in 1976, took the corporation public. Although considered a 'reluctant' president, according to company literature, John Holmes led his company through a time of exponential growth. He invested in completely computerizing Bear Creek, not only for processing orders and bookkeeping, but to develop the practice of direct mail.

Throughout the 1980s, Harry and David continued to publish its 'honest-to-gosh' full color catalogues. The company still had a country store, produce stand, and flower market at its compound gate, but within those gates the business was very much of its time. Under the direction of John Holmes, Harry and David now transported its food to major cities in temperature-controlled trucks and railway cars. Jackson & Perkins dominated American rose production with its approximately 24 million roses per year.

The 1990s: Continued Growth As a Bouncing Subsidiary

As a result of its success, Bear Creek began to attract offers from interested buyers, and in January 1984, R.J. Reynolds Development Corporation acquired Bear Creek Corporation for $74 million as part of its own effort to generate growth through acquisition. Nearly three years later, in November 1986, Shaklee Corporation, a vitamin, household goods, and personal care products company, purchased Bear Creek from R.J. Reynolds for $123 million. Bear Creek earned between $12 million and $13 million in 1986, and $11.4 million in 1987, helping out the stalled Shaklee. In 1988, Shaklee named William B. Williams president and chief executive officer of Bear Creek Corporation and senior vice-president of the parent corporation. Williams brought with him nearly 20 years of general retailing and mail-order experience at Neiman-Marcus, Inc. He remained in charge of Bear Creek when, in 1989, Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. acquired Shaklee Corporation.

During Williams's early years at Bear Creek, the company achieved growth through the acquisition of related businesses. In 1988, Jackson & Perkins merged with Armstrong Roses and the wholesale operations of both companies were combined into a single marketing, sales, and administrative unit called Bear Creek Gardens. In 1989, Bear Creek Corporation acquired Orchids Only Inc., a Portland, Oregon-based direct marketer of orchids and other floral gifts. Williams viewed this acquisition as part of Bear Creek's commitment to expand the company's direct marketing business.

The 1990s spawned new ventures from within at Bear Creek. In 1991, the company opened its first Harry and David outlet store near Medford, Oregon, featuring catalog items plus frozen foods and picnic and kitchen accessories. By 1994, the company's store division oversaw 11 outlet stores. In 1993, Bear Creek founded a separate business, Northwest Express, a catalog company offering apparel, lifestyle accessories, and home accessories 'in the spirit of the outdoors' with golf-themed items, fishing accessories, and decorative items featuring the flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest.

The family-run business had grown into a sophisticated operation. By 1997, Harry and David achieved $300 million in sales. By 1998, that number had reached $325 million. Gone were the original pear trees, replaced with dwarf Comice stock, easier to spray, prune, and harvest. Harry and David stores numbered 50 and had achieved a national presence, and Harry and David's award-winning web site was chosen by Catalog Age for its first Gold Award. Bear Creek's other ventures were successful as well. In 1998, Jackson & Perkins won top prize in international rose competitions in England, Germany, and The Netherlands. The business in Medford was still fronted by a fruit stand and the fruitcake recipe was still the 1957 original, but behind all this stood a hangar-sized packing house, a huge cold-storage facility, a network of kitchens, machines shops, and offices, and several hundred acres of orchards.

True to its homespun beginnings, Bear Creek Corporation still engaged in little traditional advertising, relying on its award-winning catalogs to spur sales, but the company had developed a knack for capturing media moments by designing products that were 'newsworthy,' for example, the Jackson & Perkins' Veterans' Honor Hybrid Tea Rose, unveiled at Arlington National Cemetery in 1999, or the Princess Diana Memorial Rose, promoted in 1997, a few months after the princess's death. When the Wall Street Journal picked Harry and David's truffle heart as the best Valentine's Day box of chocolates, the company sold its entire supply of hearts on the day that story appeared in print.

Building on more than a half century of direct marketing experience, the move to the Internet was a natural extension of the company's catalog sales, although Bear Creek waited until 1996 to go on the Web. In 1999, e-commerce sales topped $25 million, and the company created a new Internet division. The company's web site offered services in addition to products--gift reminder services and electronic gift certificates as well as gift suggestions, an online gift registry, real-time inventory, verification of shipment, and package tracking.

The Internet also introduced Bear Creek Corporation to a younger customer base and posed the challenge of 'jazzing up' the company's brand appeal, according to the editorial director of Catalog Age . By the year 2000, with an expected $400 million in sales, Bear Creek was looking to add 'an element of fashion,' according to CEO Williams, overhauling its catalog to include more appetizing shots of prepared foods. Looking to the future, it aimed to make a quarter of its sales online by 2005, and was opening stores at the rate of about 75 a year.

Principal Divisions: Bear Creek Development Corporation Bear Creek Gardens Harry and David Jackson & Perkins Northwest Express Orchids Only Inc.

Principal Competitors: 1-800-FLOWERS, Inc. Garden.com Martha Stewart Living.

Alley, Bill, 'Story of a Century: 1935-1939,' Southern Oregon Historical Society , July 15, 1999, p. B2.
'Bear Creek: Twelve Oranges for $11.95,' New York Times , December 7, 1980, Section 3, p. 5.
Horovitz, Bruce, 'Selling Pears at $5 a Pound,' USA Today , December 3, 1999, p. 1B.
Preszler, David, 'Marketer Gains Worldwide Attention with Catalogs Aimed at Media,' Associated Press, August 7, 1999.
Shaw, Diana, 'Have Pears, Will Ship,' USA Weekend , December 1, 1991, p. 20.
Streeper, Dick, 'A Picture of U.S. Rose Industry Is Gradually Coming into Focus,' San Diego Union-Tribune , November 5, 1989, p. F31.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories , Vol. 38. St. James Press, 2001.

Harry Orchard - History

Among the local and most important area news stories of 1912, was the opening of the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway's beautiful passenger station and freight house set atop a well-manicured lawn with flower beds of great beauty in Orchard Park, New York. This was due to the fore sight and generosity of Harry Yates, who left a legacy for a growing community.

This union brought about an intertwined business dynasty in Rochester and Buffalo between the Duffy and Yates families. In addition to Mamie Yates, Walter Bernard Duffy had two other daughters, Constance Duffy married Jeremiah Hickey in 1905, President of the Hickey Freeman Company a manufacturer of quality men's clothing. Harriet Jane Katherine in 1907 married William T. Noonan, General Manager of the BR&P Railway. (2)

"When Walter Bernard Duffy died in 1911, he had amassed a fortune through a variety of business investments. Among which were Duffy's Whiskey. and the Duffy-Mclnnerney (later Duffy-Powers) Department Store in Rochester, New York, built 1906-1907. The store went bankrupt in 1932. He has also made his mark in the civic arena, having donated, in concert with George Eastman, more than 150 acres to Highland Park. He also served as a City of Rochester Parks Commissioner." (2)

Arthur Gould Yates was Harry Yates father. He believed that his fortune would benefit from diversification and became influential in Rochester's banking community, and during his later years, invested in hotels and a theater.

"Arthur Gould Yates was heavily invested in the coal industry. In 1876 he helped establish Bell, Lewis and Yates in Rochester, which was a coal mining and shipping concern that shipped more than 3 million tons by year 1893. The company owned seven coal mines in Pennsylvania alone and had recently acquired the Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal and Iron Company, Walston, Adrian, Eleanora and Beechtree mines. The Pennsylvania mines employed 4,000 men and there were 1.140 coke ovens in use at the Walston site." (4)

In a candid interview of Harry Yates in the 1950's given to Richard Brennan who married Isabelle, one of the many Yates grandchildren, he stated "We refused to pay the New York Central Railroad an increase of five cents a ton on our shipments, so we built our own railroad." (4)

An article appearing the "New York Times" In 1892, and the book "The Historical Guide To North American Railroads" detailed the development of the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway largely controlled by the Yates family,."Rochester, New York in 1869 had a well-developed flour milling industry. The Genesee River furnished power to drive the mills wheat came from the fertile Genesee Valley south of Rochester to boats on the Genesee Valley Canal. This provided better grain transportation and, more importantly, to bring coal from Pennsylvania. The BR&P Railway originated in 1869 with the opening of the 108-mile-long Rochester & State Line Railroad to build up the Genesee Valley to the Pennsylvania state line. This line went only as far as Salamanca, New York. In1878. This railroad served small rural towns between Rochester and Salamanca due to meager earnings from a mostly rural constituency, it went bankrupt in 1881 and was sold at auction to Walston H. Brown. Most of the stock was owned by William H. Vanderbilt of the New York Central Railroad. He lost interest in the line and sold his stock to a New York Syndicate.

The railroad was reorganized that same year as the Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad. Mr. Brown extended the railroad to Bradford, and Punxsutawney PA and entered into a new contract with Bell, Lewis & Yates. A contract with the Pennsylvania Railroad was also obtained for access to Pittsburgh. The railroad expanded to DuBois, in 1882, about the same time the Rochester and Pittsburgh Iron and Coal Company was formed.

At that same time the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad was organized to build a branch to Buffalo. Several other railroads were also chartered. 1883, the railroad was extended to the Pennsylvania mining district, Another leg was built between Ashford Junction and Buffalo, completing the line's "Y" shape, with Buffalo and Rochester in the north and the Pennsylvania coal fields in the south. Due to a downward price in coal, the Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad was sold to New York City financier Adrian Iselin in 1884 and after some corporate manipulations consolidated the various railroads as the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway in 1887.

The BR&P built branches into the coal fields of Western Pennsylvania and constructed a line north from Rochester to the shore of Lake Ontario. The addition also ensured delivery of coal to ports on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario via facilities owned by the BR&P Railway at Charlotte and Buffalo. The railroad also operated two car ferries to Coburg, Ontario. Trackage rights and connections were also obtained over the New York Central Railroad, the Reading Railroad and Pittsburgh & Western (Baltimore & Ohio) Railroad.

The Ontario Car Company was formed in 1905 as a joint venture between the BR&P Rwy and the Grand Trunk Railway. The Grand Trunk Railway wanted a faster and cheaper route for coal from the United States while the BR&P Railway was interested in a further outlet for northbound coal. The BR&P was acquired by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad on January 1, 1932. Years later in 1973, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, and Western Maryland Railroad merged, to be now known as the Chessie System. (4)(5)

In 1897, the BR&P Railway purchased the land on which the Springville Country Club is presently located, developed it into "Cascade Park." Boat rides, tennis, croquet, baseball, dancing in a huge pavilion and picnics attracted thousands of excursionists. (6)

Arthur G. Yates, father of Harry Yates assumed the presidency of the BR&P in 1890. He commenced an aggressive policy, which was to put the road as rapidly as possible into better conditions as to rolling stock and track facilities. Arthur G. Yates served as BR&P president from 1890 until his death in 1909. Adrian Iselin assumed the presidency, and Harry A. Yates was elected to the board of directors. During their tenure, both father and son worked to maintain a vibrant and profitable railroad that carried not only coal, but also oil, lumber, bricks, steel, farm produce and passengers.

Harry Yates who married in 1892 lived in the City of Buffalo for the next two decades. During this time he was named president of the Silver Lake Ice Company and the Silver Lake Railroad which merged into the BR&P Railway in 1910.

In 1951, Harry A. Yates, now age 82, recalls a lifetime of achievement, was asked why he settled in Orchard Park? "Back in the Pan-American year of 1901, I was in the coal and ice business. I had 125 horses hauling coal. I needed a farm out in the country for lame horses. He came to Orchard Park and said. "I like it." (4)

Harry Yates subsequently dammed a portion of Smoke's Creek to form Green Lake, as and a source of ice for packing meat and produce from his farms for shipment over the BR&P Railway.

The name Orchard Park is can be credited to school teacher Donna Byance Taylor who upon observing the fruit orchards on and near Potter Brook Farm, and throughout the community, Donna Byance Taylor thought "it looked like a park of orchards." (2)

In 2012 we celebrate not only the life of Harry Yates and his legacy, but also the centennial of the Orchard Park Depot at the foot of South Lincoln Street. "Although the BR&P Railway had just over 600 miles track, it was a high quality railroad and took great pride in its motto, "Safety and Service.'" Passenger service was the most modern available. The sleek trains each day carried passengers between Buffalo and Pittsburgh . From Buffalo virtually any point could be reached by rail or steamship. Between Buffalo, Orchard Park and Springville, in the early 20th" century, eight BR&P Railway commuter trains were run every day, taking shopper's and the businessmen into the city."

Harry Yates donated the land for the construction of the "exceptionally attractive" train station which replaced the original wooden structure on Bank Street. "He wanted the travelers arriving here to experience open space, fresh air, elegance and leisure. The depot was based on a identical station designed by H. H. Richardson at Auburndale, MA. on the Boston & Albany (New York Central) Railroad. The landscaping and flower beds were influenced by Frederick Law Olmstead.

The depot located close to a separate freight house, featured separate men's and women's waiting rooms and wooden wainscoting.

Harry Yates passed away in 1956.

Baltimore & Ohio, Chesapeake & Ohio and Western Maryland Railroads
merged together forming the Chessie System in 1973.

A freight agent remained at the Freight House until 1977. The railroad line running past
The Orchard Park Depot was acquired by the Buffalo & Pittsburg Railroad in 1988.

The Orchard Park Depot is a railroad museum owned and restored by
the Western New York Railway Historical Society since 1995.

The Buffalo& Pittsburgh Railroad abandoned the line past Orchard Park
in 1999, having acquired trackage rights over a former Conrail (Pennsylvania Railroad) in 1999.

The Orchard Park Depot was placed on the National Register of Historical Sites in 2007.

The former Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad tore up the trackage and
structures past the Orchard Park Depot starting in May 2010.

History of Caldwell, Idaho

Caldwell, 25 miles west of the state’s capital city, has one of the most historically intact neighborhoods in Idaho and in recent years, the Steunenberg Residential Historic District has been established to protect the area. A walking tour brochure for visitors is available through the City of Caldwell and the Chamber of Commerce. The diverse neighborhood includes more than 330 residential properties and is adjacent to Albertson College of Idaho, a prestigious liberal arts college with three of its buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The district extends northwesterly from the college campus for nine blocks and includes 16 homes, two churches, the Carnegie Library and the Steunenberg Assassination Site. The Historic District is named after Frank Steunenberg, Idaho’s governor from 1897 through 1900, who was murdered after leaving his home office in Caldwell. In 1905, Harry Orchard fixed a bomb to a gate at the Steunenberg residence at the southeast corner of Dearborn and 16th streets. When Steunenberg opened the gate, the bomb exploded and killed him. Orchard, a member of the Western Federation of Miners, confessed and went to prison. As governor, Steunenberg had suppressed violent labor agitation in 1899 in the silver fields near Coeur d’Alene. After Orchard went to prison, the state accused the labor union leaders of ordering the murder out of revenge. What followed has been called “the trial of the century” with prominent attorney’s William Borah and James Hawley prosecuting and the famous Clarence Darrow defending the miners, including Big Bill Haywood and others, who were acquitted by the jury. Borah was one of Idaho’s most famous United States Senators and Hawley served one term as governor. Caldwell’s historic train depot is undergoing renovation that is expected to be completed in time for its 100th anniversary in 2006. Friends of the Depot was organized and recently, the area surrounding the depot was improved with a plaza and fountain. The depot is at the center of Caldwell’s heritage. The railroad was established here in 1883 by Robert Strahorn, an advance man for the Oregon Short Line Railroad traveling the west in search of new town site locations. He chose the desert southwest of Boise, apparently deciding that the steep grade into Boise was not practical, and the City of Caldwell was born. The historic depot became a reality in 1906, when Union Pacific Railroad’s superintendent announced his intention to build a “large and ornate” depot building. In 1889, citizens of Caldwell petitioned the railroad for a new depot with a waiting room. Caldwell had become a major shipping point for the sheep and wool industries and its citizens wanted a depot commensurate with its importance. Freight service continued until the mid 1980s when the depot was completely closed. In 1989, the city procured a 99-year lease with Union Pacific so the depot could be utilized for community events. Today, Caldwell is well known for its fertile farm lands called Sunnyslope where tree fruits and wine grapes grow best. For decades, Sunnyslope was known only for its tree fruits but in the 1970s, wineries began to emerge and have become popular locations for wedding and concerts during the summer months.


The Buckner Homestead Historic District, near Stehekin, Washington in Lake Chelan National Recreation Area incorporates a group of structures relating to the theme of early settlement in the Lake Chelan area. Representing a time period of over six decades, from 1889 to the 1950s, the district comprises 15 buildings, landscape structures and ruins, and over 50 acres (200,000 m2) of land planted in orchard and criss-crossed by hand-dug irrigation ditches. The oldest building on the farm is a cabin built in 1889. The Buckner family bought the farm in 1910 and remained there until 1970, when the property was sold to the National Park Service. The Buckner Cabin was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The rest of the Buckner farm became a historic district in 1989. Today, the National Park Service maintains the Buckner homestead and farm as an interpretive center to give visitors a glimpse at pioneer farm life in the Stehekin Valley.

Information provided by the Buckner and Garfoot families. Early dates taken from a NPS interview with Harry Buckner in 1974.

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