Benton County Churches - Holy Rollers
WPA Historical Records
Benton Co., Oregon
Mark Phinney
Benton County Churches - Holy Rollers


Religion Churches Benton County                                                    (stamped 10 APR 1940)
Charles Oluf OLSON, July, 1937.
At the turn of the century Corvallis, Benton County, Oregon, was a sleepy farming village. It lay tranquilly on the west bank of the Willamette River, surrounded by forest, fields and orchards. Boats plied the stream and there was a ferry to the east bank. A sawmill added an industrial touch to the scene. On Saturday nights Main Street was lively with vehicles of all sorts: buggies, wagons and hacks. Of social life there were church-going on Sundays, bazaars, the Ladies Aid, the commercial club and the usual rural town activities that centered about pool room and corner drugstore.

Into this bucolic scene came Franz Edmund CREFFIELD. He was born in Germany in 1871, left his country to escape military service, and came to the United States. After knocking around he came to Oregon where he joined the Salvation Army, rose to be an officer, served in several Oregon towns, and finally landed in Corvallis.

There, in the spring of 1903, when he was 32 years of age, he conceived the idea of a new religious movement. It was to be a spiritual kingdom on earth, built, taught and inspired by CREFFIELD. He was educated for the Catholic priesthood in Germany at a time when the scientists and philosophers wrote of the relationship between religious and sexual emotions, and it is probable that this helped to give color and form to his new-found faith.

He let his hair and beard grow long and, with his pale face and burning eyes, looked not unlike the pictured Christ. Add that he was possessed of a magnetic, even hypnotic personality and was exceedingly well versed in argument, and it was small wonder that his bizarre preachings impressed his congregations as they did. The males were not so easily won, but the female members flocked to him.

Little by little his teachings grew authoritative, he developed a creed, and named his movement the "Church of the Bride of Christ". He was the prophet "Joshua"; Charles BROOKS, like himself a former Salvation Army officer and his right hand man, was head "Apostle"; and the aim of the kingdom was to find a woman worthy to be the mother of a second "Saviour".

During the early summer of 1903, CREFFIELD’s meetings settled into a noisy routine which broke into print and was featured in newspapers the nation over and as far as Edinburg, Scotland. According to common knowledge the order of procedure was for CREFFIELD to start praying, chanting and swaying, exhorting his followers to do the same, until he had them worked into a frenzy, when he would order them to take off their clothes and roll on the floor where they would continue their chanting and praying, would moan and shout and "speak in tongues", and CREFFIELD and Apostle BROOKS would join them. While they were naked on the floor, they were supposed to receive messages from God and be generally inspired.

Outside meetings CREFFIELD taught that clothes and furniture were luxuries no religious person ought to own; that his adherents ought to confine themselves to one wrapper, not sit on chairs and think little of their food.

The pyrotechnics of his meetings finally became so noisy and objectionable that he was forbidden to hold any more in town. Nothing daunted, he led his followers, now almost exclusively women, south of Corvallis where they chanted, prayed and rolled in the grass. Some of the women had babies with them.

When it grew too chilly for outdoor meetings, CREFFIELD obtained the cottage of Victor HURT for his rites. HURT was one of the believers in "Joshua", a merchant, about 53, intelligent and of a kindly disposition. His whole family - his wife, married son, his son’s wife and two unmarried daughters had fallen under the prophet’s spell.

By this time, many citizens were up in arms about CREFFIELD. It was noised about that horrible immoral rites went on at his meetings. These were no longer open to the general public and as a rule the shades were drawn down. On HURT’s front gate was a sign reading: NO ADMITTANCE EXCEPT ON GOD’S BUSINESS. Once a bonfire was staged in HURT’s back yard in which much of the HURT furniture was burned and word went around that the dog and cat was to be offered up. Besides this, the women who attended the meetings began to show signs of mental disturbances, to neglect their homes and their husbands and children. Of course, the men’s anger, jealousy, suspicion and resentment were roused.

HURT, himself, began to wonder about CREFFIELD. His home no longer seemed home. Meetings were held mostly when he was away at his store, but he would come home and find the members of his family on the floor, praying and shouting and disdaining food, sometimes for many hours on end.

On the evening of November, 1903, after a summer of hectic religious excitement, five prominent fellow citizens called on HURT to remonstrate with him about harboring CREFFIELD. To their surprise they found that the prophet had already left. HURT was warmly congratulated. Then he told them that he had planned to go east, leaving "Joshua" to enlarge the house for more followers, but that he did not go, and returned home unexpectedly - whereupon followed the order for all except his family to vacate.

For a short while CREFFIELD and his apostles were homeless. Then they found refuge in a house on the Linn County side of the Willamette. On hearing this about 20 Corvallis citizens gathered quietly, were ferried across the stream, broke open the door of CREFFIELD’s house, took him and Charles BROOKS from a room among a dozen of his followers, conveyed them back to Corvallis and to a spot north of town where the pair were forced to strip while a coat of tar and feathers were administered. BROOKS took the treatment stoically, but CREFFIELD was badly frightened. Clothing was restored the shivering men and they were told to make themselves scarce under pain of worse treatment.

It is suspected that Victor HURT, probably at the instigation of his family, intercepted the fugitives. Anyway, they were back at their beach house among their followers the next morning and had their tar and feathers removed. On that same morning, 5 January 1904, CREFFIELD and Maude HURT, HURT’s eldest daughter, and the leading disciple of the CREFFIELD cult, young, intelligent and comely, appeared in Albany and were married by County Judge H. M. PALMER. Witnesses at the wedding were Frank HURT and his wife.



Oregon - Benton - Corvallis.


The CREFFIELD Delusion. Extreme Religious Mania,
(Compiled from newspaper files.)
The manifestation of "Holy Rollerism" occurring in the vicinity of Corvallis from 1903 to 1906 seems to have been outstanding both for the intensity of the delusion and for its tragic consequences. The leader in this outbreak was Edmund CREFFIELD who first came to Corvallis as the commander of the local contingent of the Salvation Army. CREFFIELD received a ‘revelation’, renounced the Army, and started a movement of his own. The excesses of this group finally became so offensive to the public sense of decency that mob action resulted. On January 4, 1904, about twenty men, not masked, "with no attempt at concealment", "many of them known", "men of standing and character", "not a boy or a hoodlum among them", took CREFFIELD and a companion from the midst of his followers, conducted them to the outskirts of the town, gave them a coat of tar and feathers, and warned them to leave the community.

The various accounts of CREFFIELD’s activities agree that he called himself "Joshua" and received revelations for the direction of his followers, whom he threatened with the pangs of Hell if they refused to obey. They were to wear only the plainest of clothing, and go barefooted, bareheaded, and with unkempt hair. Man-made furniture was unclean and they sat on the floor. Meetings were secret, most of the converts were girls and younger women, and the grossest indecencies are implied.

Although CREFFIELD dropped out of sight following the tarring, he seems to have remained in communication with his followers who remained faithful. In April, 1904, CREFFIELD was being sought by the Portland police on a warrant sworn to by the husband of one of his victims. Although the wronged husband offered a reward of $150.00, CREFFIELD escaped and remained concealed by his followers.

During this time Urana SEELY, "sixteen years old and pretty", on complaint of her sister was committed to the care of the Boys’ and Girls’ Aid Society to get her away from CREFFIELD’s influence. Another girl was sent to relatives in the East for the same purpose. Frank HURT and his wife were committed to the State Hospital from Linn County. (This man was one of the few male followers of the prophet, and his brother-in-law.) Rose SEELY and Atta BRAY, "young and pretty" followers of CREFFIELD were committed to the State Hospital from Benton County.

About the first of August, 1904, CREFFIELD was discovered under a residence in Corvallis where he is supposed to have been hidden for several months, and secretly fed by his followers. He was entirely nude, with a single quilt for covering, with not room enough to sit upright, and filthy and emaciated from lack of exercise and scanty food. He was returned to Portland and received a sentence of two years in the penitentiary for adultery.

It was supposed that the incarceration of the leader would break up the group, but it soon became evident that he found means to communicate with his followers. With time off for model behavior, CREFFIELD was released in February, 1906. He kept out of sight as much as possible and set about establishing a retreat on the Oregon Coast below Yachats. One woman from Portland left home by night to join him, deserting husband and three small children. A woman and daughter from Corvallis set out for the rendezvous but when they learned that the husband and father was on the same train, they dropped off at a way station. The man proceeded on his way, and after he had failed to kill CREFFIELD because of a defective revolver, he laid in wait for two days with a rifle, seeking another opportunity.

Meanwhile George MITCHELL, whose two sisters had been deluded by CREFFILD, became deranged and said God had appointed him to take vengeance. After a search, he found his quarry in Seattle and calmly shot him down. MITCHELL was acquitted in a sensational trial in which the practices of the cult were bared. Immediately Esther MITCHELL, on whose account CREFFIELD had been slain, conspired with the dead leader’s wife to kill MITCHELL. The sister did the actual shooting. The two women declared they were entirely sane and justified their deed on the ground that CREFFIELD was a holy man.. After some weeks of imprisonment Mrs. CREFFIELD took poison in jail. Esther MITCHELL was committed to the Washington State Hospital where months afterward she still expected the prophet’s return.

The manifestation was remarkable for the absolute control CREFFIELD had over his followers, for the persistence of the delusion in the face of discouraging events, and the great changes in disposition of both CREFFIELD and the others. The prophet is described before the ‘revelation’ as a man of more than average intelligence, alert, fine looking, and careful of his personal appearance. Many of his followers were described as intelligent and pleasing in appearance and personality, before coming under his influence. Such persons became content to live in filth, dress meanly, go without conveniences and shamelessly indulge in indecent or immoral practices. From being alert and industrious, they became indifferent alike to their own comfort, to the natural ties of affection, and to public opinion. The delusion persisted for months after the death of the leader; the scars still remain. After thirty years, families concerned are living secluded lives and trying to forget.



Benton County Churches

Holy Rollers



Organized by Joshua CREFFIELD, (full name Franz Edmund CREFFIELD) in 1903.

Joshua CREFFIELD, self-styled "Second Elijah", had gained a considerable following, many of them being young women and girls. CREFFIELD seemed to exercise a hypnotic power over his followers. Because of their method of expression they were commonly called "holy rollers". A revelation directing at least partial nudity was revealed. The inevitable scandalous incidents followed. CREFFIELD, after being a fugitive for some months, was sentenced to two years for adultery. Many of his followers were committed to the insane hospital. CREFFIELD’s conduct while in confinement indicates a possible sincerity. At least one murder is said to have been committed by the teachings of CREFFIELD.





(1) Oregonian, 4 July 1906, Page 1. (stamped 10 APR 1940)


Frank HURT’s wife was names Olive SANDALL. She had a mother, Mrs. SANDALL. All three were followers of CREFFIELD.

 Esther MITCHELL walked from Corvallis to CREFFIELD’s camp on the coast, a distance of almost 100 miles.

Frank HURT was a loyal follower of CREFFIELD. He brought his women folks to CREFFIELD’s camp on the coast.

O. V. HURT says that George MITCHELL had religious hallucinations. HARTLEY says George MITCHELL was for going to CREFFIELD’s camp and killing him, but HARTLEY told him that CREFFIELD went armed with two revolvers…But George MITCHELL did not think that CREFFIELD had the power to hurt him - that George was protected by God.

O. V. HURT says that it was his wife and daughter who harbored CREFFIELD under the house. That CREFFIELD came out for his orgies when HURT was away from home. His wife told HURT she hated him and loved CREFFIELD. CREFFIELD taught that what he commanded be done was right and not lust, but God’s will.

The Holy Rollers doings finally became such that HURT’s household was examined as to their sanity and sent away to the asylum. With his food supply thus cut off, CREFFIELD starved. When the boy discovered him he was nearly dead. He was naked and so on and was taken quietly to the Corvallis police station so that no mob violence would result.


(2) Oregonian, 4 July 1906, Page 1. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

Mary J. GRAHAM, matron of the Boys & Girls's Aid Society ( B’s & G’s Society), was afraid of Esther MITCHELL because Esther kept rolling and praying.

Mrs. Burgess STARR came to the home so often that the matron threatened her with arrest if she didn’t stay away.

George MITCHELL came to the superintendent of the B’s and G’s Society and asked that special care be taken of Esther that she might not be abducted. Super named W. T. GARDNER.

George MITCHELL worked several months for a Sellwood mill under foreman Armstrong GLOWER who testified as to his character.

J.J. WOOD of Newberg, Oregon, also testified to the good reputation of George MITCHELL.

Johnny CATLIN and George VAN DRAN of Albany, Oregon, told how George MITCHELL had followed Maude CREFFIELD about in that city trying by her to locate CREFFIELD. George at that time told them that he was going to rid the earth of the Holy Roller prophet, at God’s command.


(3) Oregonian, 6 July 1906, Page 1. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

Two men, Louis HARTLEY and E. H. BALDWIN, declare on the stand that it would have been a pleasure for either of them to have killed CREFFIELD. Louis HARTLEY said he tried to kill CREFFIELD on the ferry from Newport, and later laid in wait for the prophet near the Holy Roller camp on the coast for three days without shelter with a Winchester rifle between his knees, but that the H. R. never showed up. E. H. BALDWIN says he begged George MITCHELL for the chance to kill CREFFIELD but that George claimed he was the appointed of God to do the deed.

Louis HARTLEY told of CREFFIELD’s influence over his wife and daughter, Miss Mildred HARTLEY, 23. She was going to the Corvallis Agricultural College in her fourth year and CREFFIELD induced her to give up schooling. That unless she did, God would smite her.

When Louis HARTLEY snapped his gun five times ineffectually at CREFFIELD all the prophet’s followers thought he really was protected by God.

When HARTLEY told George that he laid in wait for CREFFIELD with his rifle in vain, George said that that was because HE was the one appointed to do the killing.

BALDWIN has four daughters, though only one came under the control of CREFFIELD. She came to wearing the regulation thin wrapper of the Holy Rollers. She tried to flee her home and had to be forcibly detained. CREFFIELD sent word to BALDWIN that unless he let the girl go, God would smite him.

Esther MITCHELL had been selected by CREFFIELD to give birth to the new, promised Saviour.

While Esther was confined at the B & G Aid Society, Mrs. STARR and Frank HURT tried to get her out.


(4) Oregonian, 7 July 1906, Page 1. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

Women bring flowers to George MITCHELL under trial for killing CREFFIELD. Perry MITCHELL, 18, brother of George, told how he and George had tried to save Esther MITCHELL from the clutches of CREFFIELD.

CREFFIELD once tried to raise money with which to build a Holy Roller tabernacle in Corvallis.

James K. BERRY, disciple-backslider told how CREFFIELD commanded him to sell all his belongings and give the money to him as the head of the H. R. "church". BERRY balked although CREFFIELD told him God would smite him if he didn’t do as he was bid. BERRY said he learned of CREFFIELD’s power over Esther MITCHELL 3 years ago (in 1903).

It was Perry and George MITCHELL who had Esther MITCHELL sent to the Boys’ and Girls’ Aid Society of Portland. Later, fearing that CREFFIELD would abduct her, they sent her to her father in Mt. Vernon, Ill. Perry went along with her to see that she reached her destination.

Mrs. Burgess STARR, at CREFFIELDS’s command kept writing Esther to keep up her faith and come back as soon as she could. The father, Charles MITCHELL, intercepted the letters. Esther suspected this and would have nothing to do with her father. Said her only father was God.

After a few months she grew sensible. Her family thought she was cured. When CREFFIELD went to the pen Esther was allowed to return to Oregon.

A brother of Perry, George and Esther had committed suicide in Portland a couple of years before over an unfortunate love affair.


(5) Oregonian, 7 July 1906, Page 2. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

This came out at the trial.

George MITCHELL started after CREFFIELD to kill him in April, 1906, after he was released from the Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland where he had been confined with measles.

He was weak and had no money, he told his brother, Perry, but said he was willing to walk from place to place just so he could find the Holy Roller prophet and slay him. Perry made no effort to dissuade him.

Louis SANDALL of Seattle, brother of the Miss Ollie SANDALL who was one of the women who followed CREFFIELD from Seattle to his proposed colony on the Oregon coast went on the stand and told of CREFFIELD’s control over the girl.

Louis SANDALL saw George MITCHELL in Seattle the day before the killing. He judged George was insane.

Half a dozen other witnesses testify as to George’s constant talk of and brooding over revenge over CREFFIELD.

(6) Oregonian, 8 July 1906, Page 4. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

Dr. Donald A. NICKOLSON of Seattle, as trial witness, is of the opinion that George MITCHELL is insane.


(7) Oregonian, 11 July 1906, Page 1. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

George MITCHELL is found not guilty of murder in connection with the killing of CREFFIELD. There is a roar of applause in the courtroom. Women crowd around George to congratulate him.

Jury deliberations were brief - only one hour and 25 minutes. George MITCHELL expects to go to Portland. Charles MITCHELL, father of Esther MITCHELL aims to induce his daughter to go east with him.

Mrs. Burgess STARR went to Portland with her husband and other trial witnesses on Saturday.

Mrs.. Maude CREFFIELD and Esther MITCHELL were turned loose together and went to live in a private room some place unknown.


(8) Oregonian, 12 July 1906, Page 6.

Esther MITCHELL declines to be controlled by her family.

George MITCHELL fears that Esther may rejoin the Holy Rollers. Esther MITCHELL turns from her father and refuses to go back to Illinois with him. He is a Salvation Army officer in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

The police matron, Mrs. KELLY chides the father, Charles MITCHELL, for giving so much publicity to his search for his daughter.


(9) Oregonian, 13 July 1906, Page 1. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

George MITCHELL is killed by his sister Esther MITCHELL in the Union Depot at Seattle on Thursday, 12 July, at 4:20 p.m. Esther came down to the depot to see George and Perry and Fred, her three brothers, leave for Portland. She greeted George with a smile and a handshake. At the same time she meant to kill him and had a gun under a cape she carried on her left arm.

She told George she would see him to the train. She let George and Perry walk ahead and herself loitered behind with her brother Fred. Fred offered to carry the cape and as he reached for it , Esther snatched the gun from under cover and fired at the back of the head of her brother, George, a pace or two ahead of her. Fred snatched at the gun and Esther sank onto his lap in one of the nearby seats and threw her arms around his neck. George sank to the floor of the waiting room with a bullet in his brain and died instantly.

The gun with which the slaying was done was purchased by Maud CREFFIELD. Maud CREFFIELD was arrested at 7 p.m. in a grocery store. She had telephoned the police and awaited the coming of an officer calmly. Maud CREFFIELD had conspired to kill George while on the way back to town from the cemetery in which CREFFIELD was buried. Esther said: "I killed George because he had killed an innocent man and ruined my reputation by saying that CREFFIELD had seduced me."


(10) Oregonian, 13 July 1906, Page 1. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

It had been agreed between Maud HURT CREFFIELD and Esther MITCHELL that the one of them who got the first chance would kill George MITCHELL.

Officer MASON took charge of Esther after the killing. Esther MITCHELL showed little or no emotion.


(11) Oregonian, 13 July 1906, Page 4. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

Esther MITCHELL was 18 years old in January, 1906,

CREFFIELD began his Holy Roller career in Corvallis in the Spring of 1903, by holding meetings there.

CREFFIELD went to California after leaving the Oregon penitentiary.


(12) Oregonian, 13 July 1906, Page 4. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

Mrs. Maud HURT CREFFIELD charges that both she and Ester MITCHELL were eager to kill George MITCHELL, but that it fell to the lot of Esther because Maude HURT CREFFIELD understood that she was being watched and that she would have no chance to do the deed.

(13) Oregonian, 13 July 1906, Page 1. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

Esther MITCHELL is declared sane.

Sheriff SMITH has charge of the girl.


(14) Oregonian, 14 July 1906, Page 6. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

Esther MITCHELL is said to have a strong will.

She is said to be no weakling.

She regards her deed as blood atonement.

Perry MITCHELL wants to help his sister.

Perry and Fred MITCHELL stay in Seattle.

The attorneys for George MITCHELL, who defended him and got him acquitted, issue a statement claiming Esther MITCHELL is insane and ask merciful treatment for her.

(15) Oregonian, 14 July 1906, Page 1. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

Esther MITCHELL and Maude HURT CREFFIELD admit conspiracy to kill George MITCHELL.

They expect punishment, but do not care.

Murder charge filed against them.

It came out that Mrs. Burgess STARR had been excluded from the conspiracy because she had a loose tongue and the other two did not trust her not to talk.

Mrs. CREFFIELD assumes all blame for the slaying. She says Esther MITCHELL is tight-mouthed and secretive and could be trusted not to talk.

Seattle is aroused at the Holy Rollers and will drive every last one of them from town.

Esther MITCHELL avers that she did what was just right.


(16) Oregonian, 15 July 1906, Page 1. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

V. HURT of Corvallis comes to the relief of Esther MITCHELL and his daughter, Maude HURT CREFFIELD accused of conspiracy to murder George MITCHELL. HURT provides lawyers for their defense.


(17) Oregonian, 18 July 1906, Page 5. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

Esther MITCHELL and Maude HURT CREFFIELD charged with murder of George MITCHELL.

Daily examined as to their sanity.

George MITCHELL taken to Newberg, Oregon and buried there.


(18) Oregonian, 21 July 1906, Page 16. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

Perry and Fred MITCHELL go to Seattle to aid their sister, Esther, accused of the murder of George MITCHELL, their brother.


(19) Oregonian, 24 July 1906, Page 6. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

The sanity of the two Holy Roller women, Esther MITCHELL and Maude HURT CREFFIELD, accused of the slaying of George MITCHELL is doubted. They may never be tried. They plead not guilty in court.


(20) Oregonian, 12 Aug 1906, Page 5. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

Esther MITCHELL fell ill of typhoid in the jail at Seattle.


(21) Oregonian, 14 Aug 1906, Page 7. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

Mrs. Maud HURT CREFFIELD allowed to nurse the ill slayer of George MITCHELL, Esther MITCHELL, while she was suffering from typhoid fever.


(22) Oregonian, 17 Nov 1906, Page 1. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

Mrs. CREFFIELD dies in her cell. Esther MITCHELL holds body in her arms.

Mrs. CREFFIELD had been found insane by several doctors who had had her under observation.

Judge FRATER had had her ordered deported to Oregon, to Portland.


(23) Oregonian, 18 Nov 1906, Page 14. (stamped 10 APR 1940)

Crime may be laid to the dead Mrs. CREFFIELD. That would save King County a good deal of money.


(24) (stamped 10 APR 1940)



Jury found Esther MITCHELL not guilty of murder on the grounds of insanity.

Esther MITCHELL was committed to the insane asylum at Steilacom. This must have been sometime in the last part of 1906 or the early part of 1907.

Esther MITCHELL was paroled on 5 April 1909 on condition that she return to Oregon. Thin and tragically worn, she visited the Oregonian office to find out just where her slain brother, George MITCHELL, was buried. While they were looking up the data, she vanished. She died at the home of friends on the Oregon coast, not far from Waldport.



WPA FORM 18HR                                               WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION                     (stamped 10 APR 1940)
Mark PHINNEY                                         SURVEY OF STATE AND LOCAL HISTORICAL RECORDS: 1936

                                                           Oregon             HISTORICAL RECORDS SURVEY
                                                    (Name of State)

                                                                                    THE INDIVIDUAL RECORD FORM

County Benton City or town Corvallis

Agency or department _________Oregon State Agricultural College __________________________

Bureau _______________Library ____________________________________________

Name of building __________Library _________________________________________

(Street address)

Room or vault name or numbers ____ Newspaper room____________________________________


1. Name of item "Account of Holy Rollers"________

2. Title of record in which it appears ___________Corvallis Gazette_____________________________

3. Volume and page, file number, or other exact reference __Issues of 22 March , 3 May, 20 September, 1904, 24 March 1905.

4. Date or dates ________________1904, 1905.___________________________________________

5. Quantity of item _______________several columns. ____________________________________
                                                        (Number of pages, etc.)

6. Nature of recording _________printed__________________________________________________

7. Condition of writing, paper, binding _______fair____________________________________

8. Summary or description of the item _ Account of fanatical religious movement . ___ Joshua CREFFIELD, self-styled_"second Elijah" had gained a considerable following, many of them being young women and girls. CREFFIELD seemed to excercise a hypnotic power over his followers. Because of their method of expression they were commonly called "Holy Rollers". A revelation directing at least partial nudity was received. The inevitable scandalous incidents followed. CREFFIELD, after being a fugative for some months was sentenced to two years in the penitentiary for adultery. Many of his followers were committed to the insane hospital. CREFFIELD’s conduct while in confinement indicated a possible sincerity. At least one murder is said to have been occasioned by the teaching of CREFFIELD.______________________________________________


WPA FORM 18HR                                 WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION (stamped 10 APR 1940)
Mark PHINNEY                                     SURVEY OF STATE AND LOCAL HISTORICAL RECORDS: 1936

                                                                Oregon                     HISTORICAL RECORDS SURVEY
                                                          (Name of State)



County:   Benton                         City or town:    Corvallis

Agency or department _________Oregon State Agricultural College

Bureau _______________Library_____________________________________________________

Name of building __________Library
                                    (Street address)

Room or vault name or numbers ____ Newspaper room    ____________________________________

1. Name of item"                          " The CREFFIELD Delusion"                                                                               

2. Title of record in which it appears ___________Corvallis Times_____________________________

3. Volume and page, file number, or other exact reference __Issues of 6 & 9 January, 3 February, 27 April, 7 May, 11 June,
3 & 6 August, 1904; 24 & 30 April, 8 & 11 & 18 & 22 May, 29 June, 20 November, 1906. 8 January, 30 April, 1907

4. Date or dates ________________1903 - 1907                                                                                                               .

5. Quantity of item _______________many columns                                                                                                      .
                                                                  (Number of pages, etc.)

6. Nature of recording _________printed                                                                                                                           .

7. Condition of writing, paper, binding _______good                                                                                                       .

  1. Summary or description of the item _ See attached sheets
  2. See also, Corvallis Gazette, 2 February, 3 May 1904
  3. 2 February, 3 May 1904 .
  4. 10 & 8 & 11 May, 20 June, 16 & 20 July 1906

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