Home Chapters Short Stories About the Author Contact Order

Moy Davis

Another historic place on Fox Creek was the ranch of Lum Davis, a noted character in Baker County who had lived in his sorry, little cottage up Fox Creek since the 1860’s. One of Baker County’s early pioneers and daring Indian scouts was Christopher Columbus (Lum) Davis born in Greencastle, Putman County, Indiana, February 20, 1836. He came to Baker County, Oregon in 1862 and mined at Rye Valley and Morman Basin. When mining in exposed situations, for protection against Indian attacks, he kept a Henry rifle over his shoulder. In 1865, he was engaged as a scout with Captain Stanford’s command, and in the Indian War of 1878, he was employed as a scout under Miles and Howard. He was quite successful in recovering stock stolen by the Indians and acquired quite a reputation as an Indian fighter. One time when on pursuit of Indians to recover stolen horses, he came upon a party of two and in a surprise move, killed both Indians with one shot. He settled on Snake River, in the Connor Creek precinct where he had a fruit orchard, was engaged in raising livestock and had mining interests as well.

Mr. Davis, a large man, both tall and heavy, was considered to be an outlaw by some. It was rumored that he abused and murdered Chinese miners while robbing them of their gold. One particular incident, as the story goes, he murdered a Chinese family, stealing their little girl, Moy, as well as their gold. He sent this child to the Catholic school in Baker City to be reared and educated. There she received a good education and in 1881 when she reached a marriageable age, she and Lum Davis were married. They had two children who grew up on their ranch on Fox Creek and attended the Home public school.

I knew both of their children, Jim and Martha. Jim, a large man like his father, was dark and looked like an Indian with Martha being a medium sized woman and rather pretty. They both would be recognized as being of mixed blood, but not particularly Chinese. After they were grown, Martha went to Weiser, Idaho with a neighbor, Mrs. Evans. She got work there and drifted away, leaving no trace of where she was or what had become of her. Years later when located by a lawyer who was settling her father’s estate, she was found living in California and married. Jim lived on the home ranch and took care of his mother, Moy Davis, after his father passed on. It was said that Moy never knew what her exact age was. In later years, she was nearly deaf, using an ear trumpet as a hearing device, and slept most of the time before she passed away. She was buried in Weiser, Idaho and Lum Davis on the home ranch up Fox Creek. Jim never married and continued to live on the home place and became pretty well fixed.

Home | Chapters | Short Stories | Order | Contact | About Author
Copyright 2006 by Lillian Cummings Densley
All Rights Reserved