contributed for use on

The following pages contain the results of research and findings by Sarah Jane Bennett Mertz, after much detective work, discovering, assuming and putting two and two together.
The work is definitely not complete, many loose ends to track down, and corrections to make.

Most newspaper articles are from the University Of Oregon Library, they were photocopied and in many cases transcribed with a typewriter by Sarah. Several years later, Sarah’s work, transcripts and copies of originals were digitized, scanned, OCR, and proofed by her son Gary. Every effort has been made to duplicate the originals exactly, retaining spelling and language.

Sarah Jane Bennett Mertz, 15427 Treemont Place, La Pine, OR 97739


George Polk Beale was hung May 17, 1865, in Salem, Oregon, by the State Of Oregon, for the Murder of Daniel Delaney


George Polk Beale

Born: 1824, Place: Botetourt Co, VA

Died: 17 May 1865, Place: Salem, Marion Co, OR, Hung for Murder

Buried: By Daniel Waldo on his farm, "Waldo Hills" East of Salem, Marion Co, OR
Occupation: Saloon Owner/keeper, down town Salem, Marion Co, OR

Wife #1: Sarah C. L. m12 Mar 1848, St Clair Co, MO, d17 Aug 1855

Wife #2: Mariah S. Taylor, b. abt 1845, Missouri (15 yrs, 1860 Marion Co Census)

Wife #2 Marriage Witnesses: F. G. Taylor, & T. J. (Thomas Jordan) Beale, Taylor’s:

Oregon Statesman, Jan thru May 1865, Marion Country Marriages, Pg 20

Wife #2, Father: George W. Taylor, Mother: Sarah

Child #1: male, b. abt 1857, (3yrs, 1860 Marion Co Census)

Child #2: male, b. abt 1858, (2yrs, 1860 Marion Co Census)


1824, Birth of Geo. Beale, Botetourt Co., VA

1843, Wagon Train to Oregon, 1st Arrival in Oregon

Sep 10, 1852, Wagon Train to Oregon, 2nd Arrival in Oregon


Jan 9, 1865, Murdered Daniel Delaney


Jan 14, 1865, Arrest of Geo. Beale & Geo. Baker for Murder of Daniel Delaney


Mar 21, 1865, Start of Murder trial


Mar 25, 1865, Return of Verdict, 2 PM, Geo. Beale & Geo. Baker

guilty of Murdering of Delaney


May 17, 1865, Double hanging of Geo. Beale & Geo. Baker, Salem, OR



THE OREGON STATESMAN, Salem, Oregon, January __,1865 (15th or 16th?)

Daniel Delany Sr., was murdered at his residence about seven miles South east of Salem on last Monday evening. Himself and a negro or mulatto boy about eight or nine years old were the only persons at the house. About dark, according to the mulatto's testimony, two men came near the house and called when the old gentleman went to the door and was immediately shot. It is supposed with a shot gun loaded with buck shot. As he fell he was shot in the back of the head with a pistol. The first wounds were sufficient to have caused almost instant death. After the perpetration of the inhuman deed the murderers ransacked the house from top to bottom in search of money, which was evidently their only object as it has been long known that Mr. Delany possessed a large store of hoarded wealth.

We have understood that the wretches succeeded in finding but little if any of the money.

The neighbors were not aroused until late the next morning and although they were tracked for a considerable distance, no clue to the perpetrators of the inhuman deed has been obtained.

Mr. Delany was originally from Tennessee, emigrated to this State from Missouri in 1847 and has resided, we think, in Marion county ever since. He was a citizen much respected in the community and at the time of his death was about 71 years of age.

P.S.--On Saturday afternoon, Sheriff Headrick arrested George P. Beale and a man named Baker both residents of this place, on suspicion of being the murderers. They will have their preliminary examination today. The evidence is said to be strong against them but we forbear comment until further developments are made.

Big Salem Murder Story, Sensation 80 Years Ago

By Ben Maxwell

Capital Journal, Salem, Oregon, Saturday Mar 17, 1945

accompanying article, Caption underneath picture:

"Murderer's Grave In the Waldo Hills, upon which a white rose grows, received the body of George Beale. Beale and Baker killed and robbed Daniel Delaney. Their double execution in Salem, May 17, 1865, was a well attended and somewhat gala "hangin" Fred Goffin, who now operates the Daniel Waldo farm, shows the site of the old grave to his son, Warren."

Salem's first big murder story made the headlines 80 years ago. Folks discussed the crime for two decades. And the lurid, double execution for that crime occurred in the frontier village that was Salem in l865. It was a pioneer Salem with a few muddy streets; sinister dives and a clique of hard-drinking, hell-raising citizens.

Beale and Baker murdered old man Delaney for a cache of gold coin. They were hanged before spectators estimated to number between one and five thousand.

Daniel Delaney came to Oregon in 1843 from the south. He had sold his slaves and was well-to-do and hospitable. George Beale, who had worked for old man Delaney, was often his guest at the farm home about a mile west of Turner.

Beale knew a lot about the Delaney household. He knew that the old man had money and had recently sold many cattle for cash. He believed he knew where the wealth was hidden.

Beale knew a lot but he did not know enough to keep his mouth shut. He discussed freely the old man's wealth and told confidants how easy it would be to lay Delaney and take his cash.

Even so, nearly everyone liked George Beale. He was a genial, good-looking fellow who operated a saloon where the Marion hotel now stands. He was a member of a secret and honorable fraternity.

George Baker was different. He was a Johnny-come-lately to Salem. Things were said about the Indian woman who was his wife and he was a frequent patron in Beale's saloon. Baker was a butcher by trade.

Murder on Sunday

In the twilight of a Sunday afternoon, January 9, 1865 two men who looked like negroes drove up to Daniel Delaney's home. One went to the door and asked to be directed to the home of one of the old man's sons. Delaney stepped outside.

At this point the stories differ in details. But a musket spit fire. Old man Delaney died. Then Beale and Baker entered Delaney’s house, ransacked it. Admittedly they took $1400 In cash and some believed the loot was much more.

But the crime was neither unseen nor unheard. Living with Delaney was Jack DeWolf, a 12-year-old Negro who heard the commotion and bolted the door, then fled and hid in the woodpile. The trembling "nigger in the woodpile" heard and saw a lot. He believed he recognized one of the robbers.

Next morning the boy sought relatives and friends of Delaney to tell his story.

Within a few days Beale and Baker were under arrest. Beale had not been home the night before the murder nor could he explain his whereabouts the night of the crime. Materials used for blackening the faces, along with a tell-tale hat-band, were found near the old watering trough on Turner road where the pair had applied their makeup.

Marion county grand jury indicted Beale and Baker for murder in the first degree. Their trial opened March 20, 1865. Judge Ruben P. Boise presided. Wllliams and Mallory were the prosecutors. David Logan, assisted by Caton and Curl of Salem defended. It was a battle of the giants in early Oregon pleading. Reputations were enhanced. Willlams soon entered congress. Mallory later.

Most of the evidence, except for the testimony at Jack DeWolf, was circumstantial, but overwhelming. On March 25, the Jury returned a verdict of guilty. Beale denied guilt. Judge Boise told him he was surely lying.

In Little Red Jail

Both murderers were confined in a small red Jail at the northwest corner of the courthouse grounds. Wilbur Brothers went about building a double gallows in a grove of small oak trees at the southeast corner of Church and Mill streets. (Today large end mature oak trees grow in this locality.)

From chambers in the old Griswold building Judge Boise sentenced the pair to be hanged On May 17, 1865.

It was the first execution in Salem and none thereafter was ever better attended.

Folks drove in from all parts of Marion county and others from Polk, Yamhill and Linn. Some came on foot. They brought their women along and children too. Gentlemen were there is top hats and flowered waistcoats. Bar-flies, who used to hang around Beale's place, turned out to see him die.

Little T. T. Geer, who had lived with the Beale family, took a lunch, put up by his grandmother and trudged seven miles to see the execution. This boy, who 30 years later became governor of Oregon, recalls in his auto-biography that he felt a revulsion at being part of the crowd.

E. M. Croisan, now perhaps the only living person who saw the execution, remembers that the Marion Rifles of 25 or 30 men formed around the local hotel bus that came to the jail to pick up the condemned.

Beale and Baker stood upon the scaffold facing a multitude. If they were repenant they did not show It. Mrs. Josie Delany LaFore, then a child of 12 and a granddaughter of old man Delaney, recalled that one of them, just before swinging into eternity, tried to spit upon William Delaney, one of the old men's sons.

Hawker's cries interrupted the last thoughts of Beale and Baker. A few days before the execution both confessed and tried to fix the blame on one another. Frederick G. Schwatka a printer, seized upon the confession as a business opportunity and was selling his documents to the crowd as a souvenir.

Sheriff Headrick Prays

Sam Headrick was sheriff. It was his duty to spring the trap--which he did, and then dropped upon his knees in prayer to ask forgiveness.

In death Beale and Baker had small interest for the spectators, who silently slipped halters and drove away. A few remained to arrange disposal of the bodies. No church warden was anxious to receive them within the sacred precincts of their cemetery. Baker's relatives, some commentators relate, claimed his remains and removed them to a family plot.

Beale's body remained unclaimed. His family did not desire it. Then Daniel Waldo, for whom the Waldo Hills were named, said that he, because he did not profess to be a Christian like those present, would provide decent burial for Beale’s body.

Waldo loaded the box into his wagon and drove to his home in the Waldo Hills. There he buried Beale on a hillside and built a rail fence around the grave. Now the fence has fallen away but inquiring persons who travel southward on the highway between MaCleay and Shaw may still see the old, thorny unkempt white rose that. seasonally blooms on the grave of George Beale.

Foiled By a Keg of Nails

By Frank Judd, Capital Journals, Special Writer

Capital Journal’s WEEKEND Activities, Features, Entertainment Saturday, October 19, 1968

In January 1865, on the same day that the Salem paper printed the news of Sherman's entry into Atlanta, it also printed the news of Daniel Delaney's murder.

Delaney was murdered on his own doorstep for the $20 gold pieces he had hidden about the place. Of the total sum, $45,000 to $50,000 has never been found. There was no mystery about the identity of the murderers, but because of the undiscovered money, The Oregonian was to say, "Not a tree will be felled, nor a furrow plowed near the Delaney home for the next hundred years but searchers will be prodding the ground for golden treasure."

Daniel Delaney was a friendly old man who had come to Oregon in 1843. He had brought a considerable sum of money from the sale of his slaves and his plantation in Tennessee. To this he had added the profits from various enterprises in Oregon. His sons estimated his fortune at $70,000.

At that time there were no banks in the vicinity, and people hid their money according to their ingenuity.

Delaney liked to do repairs and for the purpose had assorted sizes of nails in a keg which he kept under his bed. He liked to entertain and frequently kept his guests overnight. One of these, a saloonkeeper by the name of George Beale, noticed the keg, and while Delaney was out of the room he hit the keg with a hammer and heard a jingle. He felt sure that the keg was full of gold coins, and from that time on he could think of little else and made the nail keg a frequent subject of conversation. One of his listeners warned him that he was allowing the subject to obsess him, but Beale paid no heed.

One of Beale’s customers at the saloon was a man by the name of Baker whose first name was also George. Baker frequently became drunk. Beale extended credit till Baker owed him a large sum of money. Then Beale set about persuading him to help him rob Delaney. After some months he succeeded.

They chose a time when Delaney had just sold a herd of cattle for which he was certain to have received a good deal of money. At dusk they met at a watering trough near Delaney's house. Here they blacked their faces with charred pieces of bark to make themselves look like Negroes. They then proceeded to Delaney's yard.

Baker stayed at the gate while Beale went to the door and knocked. When Delaney came to the door, Beale asked to be directed to the home of Daniel Delaney Jr. Beale claimed afterward that Delaney had a knife in his hand, and that Baker, becoming alarmed, let go both barrels of his shotgun, knocking Delaney down.

The family dog, hampered' by his chain attacked Beale, who shot but did not kill it.

Delaney struggled to his feet and cried: "I know you Beale; for God's sake don't kill me and I'll give you all the money I've got." "Old man," Beale replied, "dead men tell no tales," and shot him between the eyes. He then turned his attention to a little Negro boy named Jack who had been staying with Delaney.

When the boy had seen Delaney fall, he unchained the dog, ran into another room, and barred the door. Beale tried to smash down the door with an ax, but dropped that to use a log as a battering ram. With Baker's help he succeeded, but by this time the boy had run outside and hid. The wounded dog had come to him and the pair stayed hidden until daylight--huddled together and shivering with cold and fright.

The men turned to searching for money. The keg held only nails, but somewhere Beale found $1,900. He directed Baker to look upstairs, but no money was found there.

The two men went back to Salem, believing that their disguise had been sufficient. Beale gave Baker $500. He buried the rest of the $20 gold pieces along with a single battered silver dollar in a cigar box by the side of a creek. Baker buried his $500 in another Place.

At daylight the Negro boy ran to the house of David Delaney and told what he had seen. He had either recognized Beale, or he had heard the old man cry out the name. The younger Delaney notified the authorities and an order for the arrest of Beale and Baker was issued. That order is still on file at the Marion County courthouse.

The pair were jailed. Because of the hidden money, they had no difficulty in securing lawyers. The firm of Logan, Caton, and Curl was selected. According to the testimony of Beale, the lawyers told the pair they must tell them where the money was hidden because it was needed to bribe witnesses. According to both Beale and Baker, who were kept apart, but whose stories agreed, each lawyer asked each man to tell him where the money was secreted, but not to tell the others of the firm.

Beale and Baker wished to throw themselves on the mercy of the court rather than tell the lawyers where the money was cached, but the lawyers persuaded them that if the money was given to the firm, they could bribe the witnesses and get the pair free.

The men were brought to trial on March 21, 1865. The evidence of Jack the Negro boy was excluded on the ground he could not comprehend the nature of an oath. However, the prosecution was able to substantiate his story. The sheriff had traced the movements of the pair, found Beale's hatband and bits of charred bark at the watering trough. The smashed door, the ax and the log used for a battering ram were all just as the boy had said. Traces of black had been seen on the' men's faces the day after the murder.

Beale had told the lawyers that another $30,000 buried elsewhere the lawyers could have if they succeeded in winning the case. Whether they were believed or not is unknown, but the Oregonian praised the eloquence of lawyer Logan who spoke for four hours.

Judge Boise, in his instruction to the jury spoke highly of the value of circumstantial evidence saying that he had never known anyone to be wrongly convicted by it. Read today, the text would seem to imply that the judge thought the prisoners guilty. The jurors thought so, at any rate, and voted for conviction. The pair were sentenced to hang on May 17 of the same year.

Before they were hanged the pair confessed to the killing, and substantiated most of the evidence. Their confession included a story of the digging up of the $1,900 by the lawyers who had thrown away the battered dollar because it could be identified. This part of the confession was to be the basis of a later suit by David Delaney to recover the money. It failed.

May 17 seems to have been a holiday in Salem. It is not certain that the schools were dismissed, but many school children attended the hanging, bringing their lunches.

Though the prisoners had professed their willingness to die, they did, so with poor grace. Beale managed to spit on David Delaney as he was led to the rope.

After the men were pronounced dead, a problem arose about their burial. No cemetery warden would accept the bodies. Finally Daniel Waldo who loved to disconcert the orthodox, said that because he made no pretense of being a Christian he would perform an act of charity. He loaded the bodies into a lumber wagon and hauled them to his farm on one of the hills that still bears his name and buried them there.

At the trial, David Delaney had testified that $24,000 had been found in a granary on the Delaney farm. It was believed that $45,000 remained undiscovered.

People since that time have dug on the farm, under the house, and in the fireplace. They have used dowsing sticks and other divining rods. They have dug on the advice of clairvoyants and where their own dreams told them, but so far as is known, not another gold piece has been: discovered.

PICTURE OF A HOUSE accompanying article, Caption underneath picture:

"Delaney’s house still stands west of Turner on Battle Creek Road."

Salem's First Hangings by FRANK JUDD

Marion County History Vol. 4, 1958, Pages 55, 56 and 57


The Civil war was in its last year, and it had just been reported in the Oregon Statesman that General Sherman had taken Savannah when an event occurred that superseded in Salem and vicinity all talk of the war. The word that "Uncle" Daniel Delaney had been murdered spread rapidly by word of mouth, and as the identity of the killers soon became known, their arrest and subsequent trial became a lively subject for discussion that has not entirely died out to this day.

According to Josie Delaney La Fore, as she told he story to Sarah Hunt Steeves for her Book of Remembrance, Daniel Delaney came to Oregon in 1843 with a wagon train that included the Applegates, the Nesmiths, the Looneys, and Daniel Waldo. His home had been in Tennessee where he had owned a plantation and the necessary slaves to work it. He had heard of the Oregon country from Dr. Marcus Whitman and decided to accompany him oil his next trip. He had some difficulty in selling his slaves as he did not wish to break up any families by selling their members to different owners. He finally succeeded in selling them all to one plantation manager and joined the wagon train which was guided by Whitman himself.

He brought with him his sons, William, David, George, James, and Daniel Jr., and finally settled near Turner, where he built the house now occupied by Lawrence Edwards. Later his son Daniel settled near his place.

The elder Delaney brought a considerable amount of money with him from the East. Since he prospered from the start, his fortune was soon estimated to be in an amount represented by five figures.

He liked to entertain and frequently kept guests overnight. One of these was a man by the name of George Beale, who noticed that there was a keg under one of the beds and jumped to the conclusion that Delaney kept his money there. At that time there were no banks in Oregon and the settlers had no choice but to hide their money the best way they could.

One day Delaney sold a herd of cattle, and Beale, hearing of it, decided to take the money from him. He took into his confidence a Salem saloon keeper by the name of George Baker and secured his help. The pair started so as to arrive at a watering trough near the Delaney place at dusk. Here they stopped and blacked their faces as a disguise, Beale knowing that Delaney made a point of welcoming Negroes.

Beale went through the gate of the yard and up to the porch where he rapped at the door. When the old man came to the door, Beale asked to be directed to the home of Daniel Jr. As Delaney left the door to point, Baker, still at the gate, shot him so that he fell to the ground. (The Statesman of that week, now in the Oregon State Archives, says that a shotgun was used.) Delaney staggered to his feet. The family dog attacked Beale, who shot but did not kill him. The staggering Delaney cried out,·I know you, Beale! For God's sake, don't kill me. I'11 give you all the money I've got." Beale is said to have answered, "Old man, dead men tell no tales," and then to have shot him between the eyes.

Mrs. Delaney was ill at the time and was being cared for by her daughter-in-law at the home of her son, Daniel Jr. But there was a witness to the murder whom the killers did not see. A little Negro boy saw and heard everything. He grasped the wounded dog and hid behind the woodpile where he lay shivering while the men ransacked the house. In the morning the men having departed, the boy ran to the home of the younger Delaney and told what he had seen and heard.

Beale and Baker were arrested (the order for their arrest is on microfilm at the Marion County courthouse), tried, and convicted. Part of the evidence against them consisted of material found at the watering trough--blacking and a hatband that exactly fitted the clean stripe that appeared on the otherwise faded hat worn by one of the men.

After the men were convicted, they confessed, each of the men blaming the other. One of the court records which may still be seen is an order to take Beale and Baker to the place of public execution and there to hang them. According to old-timers, this place was a scaffold set up among a clump of oak trees near the bridge over the creek on South Church Street.

Whether a public holiday was proclaimed or not, I have been unable to ascertain, but certainly a number of school children attended, some of them carrying lunches as if for a picnic. Descendants of these children tell of their losing their lunches at sight of the gruesome affair and thus incurring the ridicule of those who were less squeamish.

The two who were hanged went to the gallows very unwillingly and in very bad humor. Mrs. LaFore said that one, as he was being led to the gallows, tried to spit on William Delaney, who stood nearby. A possible reason for his vindictiveness is suggested by some court records which I have examined.

The first record is simply an order for the sheriff to arrest one George Beale for renting a billiard table to someone for twenty-five cents. Sometime in the same year is a record that a suit was filed against Beale by Daniel Delaney. Most significant is another suit filed against Caton and Curl, the lawyers who defended the two men. This suit was filed by William Delaney, administrator of the Daniel Delaney estate. The suit charged that Beale had buried $1,400 and Baker $500 near a stream and that they had told the lawyers where the money was buried. Both Beale and Baker made affidavits to that effect. Baker said that it was so peculiar that it would be easy to trace. William Delaney charged that the lawyers had thrown a coin into the stream, saying that it was so peculiar that it would be easy to trace. William Delaney charged that the lawyers had appropriated the money, knowing that it was a part of the Delaney estate. The suit was for the amount of $1,901. The defendants claimed that the affidavits were worthless and that they had been written in the hope of obtaining mercy. Court records show that the suit was dismissed by agreement of the attorneys for both sides.

After the men were pronounced dead, the problem arose: what should be done with the bodies! No cemetery warden would accept them. Up stepped Daniel Waldo, proclaiming that since he made no pretense of being a Christian as did so many of those present, he would give the men a decent burial. He loaded them into a lumber wagon and drove them to his farm among the hills that now bear his name, and buried them on a little knoll. He built a fence of palings around the graves, but these long since have rotted away. Unless someone has marked the place, that part of the story is at an end.

Another part of the tale leaves an unsolved mystery. The murderers admitted finding $1,400, but since Delaney was thought to have had many times that amount it was believed that the bulk of his fortune was yet on the farm. A neighbor had made for him a yewwood casket and since yew is famous for its resistance to decay when buried in the earth, people thought that it had been built to hold money and that it was buried somewhere on the property.

From the time of Delaney's death until a few years ago, many people have dug on the farm, under the house, in the chimney and various other places, looking for the treasure. They used divining rods, dowsing sticks, electronic instruments, and the advice of people who claimed clairvoyance, but if anyone found any money he did not report it.

Arthur Edwards, who owned the farm before his son bought it, tells this story of one of the many attempts to find the cache while he lived there. A man came to him saying that he had seen in a dream the place where the money was buried. He sought permission to dig with the understanding that he was to have one half of the money which he hoped to find. Edwards gave his permission and the man went away, presumably to get a shovel. A few days later Mr. Edwards, while walking about the place, found a freshly dug excavation among the roots of a big oak. The man who had asked permission to dig never came back, at least he did not come in the daytime. But he did go to Florida for the winter, much to the surprise of the neighbors who wondered where he could have got the money for the trip.

Recently, David Duniway, State Archivist, brought to my attention a microfilm of a letter written by Sam Headrick, the sheriff who was also the jailer of the time, a letter that suggests another solution of what became of the money. The letter was written to the governor but was never sent and was turned over to the archives by the sheriff’s descendants. It is as follows:

Gov. Addison Gibbs:

I am sheriff of Marion County and as such am keeper of the common jail. I have in my custody George P. Beale and George Baker who are under sentence of death and are to be executed on Commons the 17th inst. I propose to keep the men securely and to be myself the judge of what shall be the course to effect that will.

No man will be admitted to the cell when I am not present. It is believed that Beale has a large sum of money of which he desires to inform the Catholic priest and which I do not propose to allow him to do.

He has offered me 20,000 dollars to allow him to escape. While I have and still expect to allow the prisoners the fullest liberty of conscience I shall allow no Catholic priest nor any other priest to interview either of them without myself being present.

The judgment of the court directs me to safely keep the prisoners until the day of execution which I propose to do, and at the hour appointed shall hang them as required by law. This you can prevent by the exercise of your legal prerogative and no otherway. In this the whole community bears me out.

Sam Headrick, Sheriff

Ignoring any inferences which might be drawn from the letter, the possibility that Beale had $20,000 would cause one to wonder if the pair had found the entire fortune of Delaney and if part of it not spent in their defense and not given to their family is still buried somewhere.

At any rate, the whole brutal, sordid affair serves as a commentary on the fact that then as now greed for money could lead to the death of the innocent and the destruction of the guilty, just as in an Old Testament tale. If there can be a curse on money, then it would not be well with him who found the Delaney treasure.

Beal and Baker Execution Recalled

Crime Expiated Seventy-three Years Ago

By Hon. E. M. Croisan

Hanging Was Public and Residents From All Willamette Valley Points Attended;

Prosecutor of Case Sent to Congress

OREGON MAGAZINE, July 1938, Pages 11 & 12

SEVENTY-THREE Years is a long time, yet there are people now living who witnessed the execution of Beal and Baker on May l7th, 1865. The writer was a boy of 10 years at that time. Well do I remember the trial and execution of the men, for the murder of Daniel Delaney for his money. Daniel Delaney was a wealthy stock raiser living about two miles southwest of Turner. He was a southerner and brought slaves with him to Oregon. He was a good citizen and a clean man, and his stock roamed over the hills and the valleys around Turner Station. At that time he settled here there were no fences and the stock roamed over the whole country. There were no banks in this part of the state and whoever had money must hide it about his premises. Delaney was supposed to have a lot of money. Beal was keeping a saloon in Salem in a building now occupied by the Marion Hotel. He lived across the street in a house south of the old Rector Hotel with his wife and mother. Beal had a partner in the crime, George Baker, who drove cattle for the early day butchers of Salem. He was a weak minded man, and lived on the block south of Beal's saloon with his wife and three or four children. On the night of the murder, Beal met Baker at a point on Mill Creek, formerly agreed upon. Beal was walking and Baker was riding a black mare hereafter mentioned in this article. At this point they obtained some charcoal which they used on their faces to disguise themselves, as Beal was well acquainted with Delaney, and often would stay all night with him while off on hunting trips when in that part of the country. He also crossed the plains in the same train with Delaney in 1843. Delaney lived alone except for a colored boy, 12 years of age, and his dog. They called the old man out of the house and shot him and also the dog. The colored boy hid in the wood pile near the house. Delaney, who was wounded, recognized Beal and said to him, "Spare my life, Beal, and you can have all the money I have got." Beal drew a revolver from his pocket and said to him, "Dead men do not talk," and fired a shot that finished Delaney, who was wounded. The colored boy remained in hiding until daylight next morning, then taking the dog, which was badly wounded, carried him over to one of Delaney's sons about a mile away, giving the alarm. Beal and Baker were soon arrested for the crime on suspicion. One of the suspicious circumstances was that the black mare which Baker was riding on the night of the murder had lost one shoe. Another was the finding of a hat band which had been lost off Beal's hat. The trial was very interesting and so many people wanted to hear the trial that there was not room in the old wooden court house which occupied the same ground as the present one, so the trial was held in the Holman block, used by the legislature before the state capitol was built. The prisoners were defended by Caton & Curl with David Logan, prominent attorney in Oregon at that time. Rufus Mallory was prosecuting attorney. The colored boy proved to be a very good witness for the state; also the hat band which fitted Beal's hat was found in his bed room after his arrest; also the black mare had one shoe missing. The prisoners were found guilty after a long and tedious trial and were sentenced to be executed on the 17th day of May, 1865. For this purpose the county of Marion erected a wooden scaffold on the block on South Church street, bounded by Church, Mill, Winter and Leslie streets. The prisoners were confined in a small brick jail on the northwest corner of the court house block, until the day of the execution, when they were taken from the jail by the then Sheriff of Marion County, Samuel Hedrick, and placed in a hotel bus and taken to the place of execution, where they paid the penalty of their crime. The death march was impressive. At that time Marion county had a militia company known as the Marion Rifles. They were dressed in gaudy uniforms as on dress parade and formed around the bus in a hollow square with fixed bayonets. Marching east on Court to Church street, thence south on Church street to the place of execution. The procession was followed by a vast crowd of people. The military unit then formed about the scaffold until after the execution. People came to witness this execution from all parts of the state, even some Indians from Grand Ronde and the Siletz reservations. In fact, it was considered a public holiday. My old school teacher, Pearson, a law and order man, dismissed school so his pupils could witness the execution of these men as an object lesson. The high grounds about the mill race formed a natural amphitheater for the occasion. Beal walked up the steps to the platform on the scaffold with a firm step. He then produced a small bible and read from it a short chapter, and then said in a firm voice, "Now take this book and read it and follow its teachings and you will never come to what I have." He then tossed the book to the people in the crowd. Baker was very weak and had to be assisted up the steps. Soon the rope was placed about the necks of the prisoners and it was soon over. Public sentiment was strong against these men, especially Beal, who was considered the master mind in this sad affair; even so much so that objections were made to them being buried in our local cemetery. But Daniel Waldo, a good old pioneer, granted space for them on his farm on what is known as the Waldo Hills. He said every man, good or bad, should be entitled to six feet of earth. The public sentiment against the murderers was so far reaching it even extended to the attorneys for the defense, in the loss of practice. However, it sent Rufus Mallory, who prosecuted the case, to the lower house of congress from Oregon.

And it must have had some good effect in a moral way, for it was twenty years before another man was executed for murder in Marion County. I wrote this story as I remember it as a boy of ten years of age. I had a chum like most boys, and we were interested very much in the trial and excitement. Sometimes we could not get a seat. One time we secured good seats but the sheriff, Samuel Hedrick, made us give them up to older people. We did not like it very much, but had to do it with a smile. But twenty-three years later the ten-year old boy had taken over his office.

Descendants of Two of State’s First Murder Victims Married, Living Peaceful Life at Albany

By Anne A. Lake, Statesman News Service

(Date not shown on copy of Original, est Feb., Koren War years)

Albany -- Living quietly in a lovely little home on South Baker street in this city is an elderly couple. Going their way quietly from day to day, attending church, social gatherings and lending a helping hand to a less fortunate neighbor, one would never dream that their families played a tragic part in two of the earliest murder on white people of the state.

Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Warner have been residents of Albany for over 50 years.

The great grandfather of Mrs. Warner, Daniel Delany Sr. and the father of Mr. Warner, Conrad Warner, were both slain within a few miles of Salem, and the murderers of Uncle Daniel Delany are believed to have been the first persons hanged by the state of Oregon.

Came from Tennessee

Mr. Delany came to Oregon from Tennessee, located on a farm near what is now Turner, and led a quiet, uneventful life until two men, by the name of Beale and Baker, learned he had brought a tidy sum of money west with him.

Beale ran a saloon in Salem and it was there the two men apparently planned a robbery. The men blacked their faces, and the plan was for Beale to call the aged man outside his home, and then Baker would go inside and get the money. Baker had been drinking heavily.

As planned, Beale called Delany out, and Baker started toward him. But seeing that Delany held a knife, Baker retreated, picking up his gun which he had leaned against a fence.

Boy Witnesses Shooting

Beale called out, "Don’t shoot", but Baker shot once, and as Delany fell, fired again, the second shot hitting him in the head.

The two then went into the house where they found $1,900 in $20 gold pieces. The men then returned to Salem, believing themselves safe. A little colored boy, Jack DeWolf, however, had seen the killing from a window of the house, and had fled to a woodshed in the rear. It was the testimony of this little boy that led to the arrest of Baker and Beale who paid for their crime on the gallows on the morning of May 17, 1865.

Murderer Unknown

In the slaying of Conrad Warner, the murderer has never been definitely identified, although a man known variously as Tubbs or Franklin, reportedly told his wife, who in turn told her mother that he had killed "old man Warner as well as some 14 others, men and women..........


Compiled and Edited by Mike Helm

Published by Rainy Day Press, PO Box 3035 Eugene, Or. 97403

Quoting the Oregon Journal, The Lockley Files, November 29, 1931

Kate Pringle Miller was born in the Pringle neighborhood, just south of Salem, Oregon in 1852. Her parents, Clark Pringle and Catherina Sager Pringle, crossed the plains to Oregon in the 184O's. She was interviewed at her home in Creswell, Oregon.

"I happened to be visiting my grandmother on their place south of Salem early in January, 1865. It was about a week or ten days after New Year's Day when word came to us that Daniel Delaney, alone man 70 years old, who owned a farm near grandmother's, had been killed for his money. He had come across the plains in 1843. A young man named George P. Beale, with a man named Baker, had gone to his place at night. Beale knocked on the door, which was locked, when Delaney recognized Beale's voice he opened the door and Baker and Beale killed him.

"Some months later, while I was staying with my aunt Mrs. Smith, I was on my way to Willamette University one morning, accompanied by some girl friends. Some men were putting up a platform while a crowd stood around watching. We crossed the footbridge across Mill Creek and saw that a tall frame had been erected. I asked one of the men what it was. He said it was the gallows on which they were going to hang Baker and Beale for murdering Delaney. It gave me the shivers. We hurried on to school as fast as we could go. Hangings were public in those days and people drove in from 20 miles around to see Beale and Baker hanged. They were executed May 17, 1865. I saw the crowd assembled on Mill Creek. It was as big a crowd as a circus would have brought out, only they were quieter.

Place Located Where Beal And Baker Died on Gallows

By Carey F. Martin

Capital Journal, Salem, Oregon, Saturday, Nov. 13, 1943

With the passing of the years there has always been inquiry and often controversy as to the exact spot in Salem where the execution of Beal and Baker, two convicted murderers, in early days took place. They were the slayers of Daniel Delaney in a robbery. Some years ago. Miller Hayden, now district attorney of Marion county, met two oldtime residents who had been present at that early-day, famous ceremony, and persuaded them to go with him and point out the exact spot where the double gallows was erected. Recently, Mr. Hayden took the writer for a ride over the same ground in the hopes that the true facts might be written and preserved.

Extending west from 12th street to Church street and between Trade street and Mill street there was, and still is, a ravine in which in early days there was quite a good sized running creek. The early-day sheriff erected the double gallows on the south side of this creek and of Mill street and :about 150 feet or a little more east of Church street, the exact spot now grown up with small trees and in the rear of a soft- drink warehouse, and on land platted as University addition to Salem, block No. 27. The block directly north across Mill street and this creek, slopes up abruptly back toward Trade street, making a natural amphitheater overlooking the double gallows, and it was there that the spectators crowded and obtained a perfect view of the entire proceeding.· The location across the creek may have been intentional to keep the crowd back.

Drove All Night to Hanging

Confirming this location, an elderly widow woman visited Salem soma years ago. She had been one of a wagon load of young people who had driven all night from a point in Linn county to witness the unusual event. She said: "We stood on high ground overlooking the gallows and could see every move the sheriff and his assistants made. Our backs were to- ward the courthouse block" But she could not further locate the place;

The "Marion Rifles," the home-town military battalion of uniformed young men, fully armed with rifles, formed at the old two-story, brick jail on the northwest corner of the courthouse block, across the street east of the present Odd Fellows temple. The sheriff had secured a hotel bus or carry- all to convey the prisoners to the place of execution. In the vehicle rode the sheriff (Sam Headrick) and his deputies, the prisoners and a Catholic priest, and the "Marion Rifles" march- ad beside the bus as guards. Dr. Meredith, an early day dentist, drove the bus. A man named Waller, commonly known as "Ack" Waller, had a prominent part in the proceedings. He war captain of the military company.

The procession, thus carefully organized, moved without incident to the double gallows, where the condemned men, at tended by the priest and sheriff, mounted the platform. Beal, who had embraced religion while in jail, made quite a farewell speech, exhorting all present to embrace religion. He held in his hand a small Bible from which he read a short verse appropriate to what he had said, then threw the Bible to the crowd, saying that he would not need it any longer. Both men confessed their guilt from the gallows platform and expressed regret for what they had done. The writer is unable to secure the name of the priest who so faithfully attended the condemned men to the very end of their existence.

Croisan Was Witness

Very few persons who witnessed this execution are still alive. Among those still living is E. M. Croisan, long time sheriff of Marion county and later federal office holder in Portland for many years, Ed, as he is called by old-timers, was small boy at the time of the double execution and he and two of the Rice boys (probably John and Charles), were right with the execution procession from the jail to the gallows, where all three climbed up into some trees to get a better view.

There is a disagreement among pioneers as to whether the condemned men were taken from the county jail on the courthouse block or from an old brick jail at the northeast corner of South Church and Trade streets. The description in this article is based upon Mr. Croisan’s vivid recollections. Rufus Mallory, early day Salem attorney and State street property-owner, was the prosecuting attorney who convicted Beal and Baker and his reputation thus spread over all Oregon and probably greatly aided him in his election to congress where he became a friend of President U. S. Grant, who appointed him U. S. district attorney for Oregon, in which office he served two terms of four years each, and held many other important offices.

WALDO HOUSE, Described by, Mrs. Richard Hill

Marion County HISTORY, Vol. XII, 1977-1978, Pg46


The Waldo House, near MaCleay, has always held an impressive position, located on the first gentle rise to the ridge that is named the Waldo Hills. The house was built in 1852 by Daniel Waldo who had came to Oregon from Missouri ten years earlier. He Is said to have come in a buggy drawn by horses rather than in the ox drawn covered wagon. He brought his own family, his brother's family and a few blacks. His position in early Willamette Valley is positive and constructive, associated with early educational development (perhaps our earliest public school was built on his farm) and with industry. He was largely responsible for the financing of the first woolen mill. His two sons were both Judges, John an the Oregon Supreme Court, William a County Judge, while Wm.'s wife, Clara was a strong influence in farm organizations. Waldo Hall, on OSU campus was named for her.

The original Waldo house, built in 1843, remained in use. lastly as a barn, until wrecked by the Columbus Day storm, 1962. The house built in 1852 was planned in the same style as the Lee house, center hall and stairs, a large room on either side (sometimes subdivided) a fireplace in each room. Efforts to keep the structure livable have produced many changes but the style of the woodwork, of doors and windows is unmistakably that of the 1850s. The stair railing still good, is reputed to have been brought around the Horn in 1851; so, also, the square grand piano. There must have been a double deck porch over the front entrance to accommodate the French windows on the second floor.

The Waldo family owned the farm until the 1940s when it was sold to Jack Minto (Waldo and Minto families had long been friends had been together in the search for a trail across the Cascades). Richard Hill acquired the property in 1959 and has only recently sold it to the Stone Brothers (1978).

A favorite story about Daniel Waldo related to his critical attitude toward the dominant Methodist missionary group in Salem. He was outraged when they refused burial in their cemetery to the convicted and executed murders, Baker and Beale. Baker's body was taken by relatives, Beal's was loaded In the Waldo wagon and taken to the farm where it was buried on a knoll some distance from the house. For many years the spot was marked by a pile of stone and a rose bush. There were a few other burials there and the position was identifiable until an enthusiastic driver of large farm equipment obliterated it entirely.

WALDO FAMILY, Janice M. Healy

Mar 10, 1997,letter to Sarah Jane Mertz

A 0.01 12 1850, T8S R2W S1

This is on Sections 1 and 12, west of Howell Prairie Road and South of MaCleay Road at the Portland General Electric Powerline. Behind a power pole on the hill is a pile of Rocks. In 1865 Daniel Waldo was incensed when the Methodist refused to bury the body of an executed murderer, George Beale, in the Methodists’ Rural Cemetery. Waldo had the body loaded on a wagon and taken from Salem for burial on his own farm. Two young children of the Waldo family are also buried here. It was plowed over by farming equipment in the 1960’s or 1970’s; on the Daniel and Malinda C. Waldo DLC #41, OC #55. Note: This site is on private property. (Not on Salem East 1986 USGS Quad map.)

MISCELLANEOUS SMALL CEMETERIES, Marion County, Oregon =====================================================

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SOME SMALL CEMETERIES and MISCELLANEOUS BURIALS by Bernita Jones Sharp A fairly concentrated study has been made of the Donation Land Claim families of the Waldo Hills and surrounding areas and, while we have found the burial places of many of these people, we are still missing quite a few. All of the known cemeteries, including those in surrounding towns and nearby areas, have been scanned for burials of these early pioneers and their families. Some have been traced to other locations, but there still remains a rather large number who are unaccounted for. It was a common practice, particularly in the early years of settlement, to bury one's family members on their own property, and this was probably the disposition of some of the early burials. Many of these home burials were never marked or had wooden markers which have since disintegrated and because of this are lost for all time.

WALDO CEMETERY Perhaps the most widely discussed disposition of bodies was the burial of the two men convicted of the murder of Daniel Delaney, Sr., who it was thought kept money in a keg underneath the floor of his cabin. Two men planned, and did, murder Mr. Delaney. After capture they were convicted and sentenced to be hanged in Salem, near the area now [1987] known as Pringle Park. It is said people came from miles around to witness this execution, including the writer's great-grandfather who walked the distance from Hubbard to Salem to see this event.

Following the execution, relatives of the man known as (George) BAKER, claimed his body and took it to their home territory, near Molalla, for burial. Disposition of the remains of BEALE was in doubt as none of the cemetery wardens in attendance wanted to accept the responsibility of burying him within the confines of their cemeteries. The venerable DANIEL WALDO, whose wife was distantly related to BEALE, said he would accept the responsibility of burial. He loaded the body of BEALE into his wagon and transported it to his home, his Donation Land Claim being SE of Salem, where a family burial ground had been established.

The seventh & eighth children of the Waldos, ANN & JUDE, are said to buried in this family cemetery, which is described as being in "a sightly location on a knoll surrounded by a picket fence". [In some instances there are beautiful ornamental wrought iron fences surrounding these family graveyards.] As late as 1960 there is mention of a rose bush, still blooming, which was planted along side the graves of the Waldo children by their mother. It has also been reported that, in 1894, a colored man by the name of DRAKE, who was also hanged at Salem, was interred in the Waldo Cemetery.

The known burials in the Waldo Cemetery:

WALDO, Jude [he is in the 1850 Census as Jeddiah, age 2; not in 1860 Census]

WALDO, Ann [she 4 in 1850 Census; 12 in 1860 Census; not found in 1870]

BEALE, George P. [17 May 1865]

DRAKE, [1894]


This database, compiled and maintained by Stephenie Flora contains over 40,000 names. Inquiries are free. Requests should include first name, last name and approx. time frame. Burial information for female members of a family should include a maiden name if known.

Established 1850.
Located On Howell Prairie Road SE & S of Macleay Rd, Salem, OR *2


*2: MARION COUNTY CEMETERY RECORDS VOL 1; Compiled in 1987 by Daraleen Wade; Includes cemetery history, burials by plot with notations on relationships. Indexed. [Available: Daraleen Phillips Wade, 4305 Toni Ave N., Salem, Oregon 97303

Some Marion County, Oregon Cemeteries R-Z The name field contains the common name and if it has changed names an also known as (aka) name.

The Location is given by town, Ranch or natural features nearest the cemetery.

The year given is the year the cemetery was established or death date of oldest burial.

The next three fields, stand for Township, Range and Section of platt maps.

This is not presented as a complete or correct list of all the cemeteries in the area. Jeanne Lawson, orginal creator of these pages, and Linda Nichols have tried to locate accurate information for all presented here. Additions or corrections will and have been made, please contact Linda Nichols ( for further corrections. Thanks!
Cemetery Name Contact/location Year T R S

Waldo On Howell Prairie Rd SE & S of McCleay Rd. 1850
Misc Notes:

GEORGE Polk BEALE, brother of Tavenor Beale, uncle of Charles William Beale, Great Uncle of Sarah Jane Bennett Mertz.

George Polk Beale came to Oregon in 1843 with the Waldo and Applegate outfit, same wagon train as Daniel Delaney.

Taken from "BYOGOFY OF C. W. BEALE",

When Tavenor Beale came to Oregon in 1853 he stayed in the Eugene area for fifteen days then went to Marion County until Spring of 1854.

Charles William Beale "I went to the Valley for a short time and left Salem in March (1862)".

George Polk Beale is the only sibling of Tavenor of which C. W. Beale in his "BYOGOFY" did not tell when or where he died.

Shortly after Geo Beale’s hanging, C. W. Beale wrote: "In 1866 I went to Montana for my health". (?)

Daniel Delaney house: Present day, Battle Creek Rd, Turner, OR.

Arthur Edwards owned Delaney house, before Arthur’s son bought it.

Oregon Provisional Land Claims, Vol. 3, Pg. 008, 24 Jul 1846: Hughes, W. P. & Beale, Geo. P. Champoeg Co. 1280 acres partnership on West bank of Pudding River n Institute Prairie, C. Stringer, Sam’l Fields, Geo. Hiber claims adj. Personal occupancy.

Oregon Donation Land Clam #2591: Beale, George P., Marion Co. b.1824 Botetourt Co, VA, Arr OR 10 Sept 1852, SC 1 Oct 1853. Geor P. died prior 2 Sept 1865. 21 July 1854 Jessee L. Adams relinquished all claims to a part of land under claim by Beale for $75.00; aff Simeon Smith, Ralph Walter. Township 9S, Range 3W, Sections 12, 13

Oregon Land Deeds, Genealogy Forum of Oregon:

Beal, Rosana, widow :& heirs at law of Geo Beal, deceased

Land Office: OCR; Cert No: 3655; Acres: 197.74; TS1N, Rg3W, Sec 29, 30, 31, 32

Beal, Geo P , Heirs at law

Land Office: OC; Cert No: 2591; Acres: 320; TS9S, Rg3W, Sec12, 13

Beaver Briefs, Apr 1985 pg 66 & 67

J. M. TAYLOR 18946/1886, Buried Butler Cemetery (Several Taylors)

John TAYLOR, 1792/1870, MO 1819, OR1847

George Polk Beale at the time of his hanging was married to a Mariah Taylor, who in the 1860 census was 15 yrs.

Marriages-Marion County

BEAL-TAYLOR, George P. BEAL & Mariah S. TAYLOR, m 18 Nov 1857; O. Dickenson, M. G. Wit:F. G. Taylor & T. J. Beal, #355 pg 104

OREGON TRAIL MIGRATIONS by Myra Vanderpool Gormley

Heritage Quest Issue #25 Nov/Dec 1989 page 97 & 98. Page 98:

Oral history collections of these pioneers include such genealogical gems as:

"My people came originally from England", D. M. TAYLOR, an 1852 Oregon Trail emigrant related. "Great-grandfather, Jess TAYLOR, and his two brothers settled in Virginia... my mother, Nancy Ann Phipps was born 8 Dec 1814. On 22 Jan 1829 when father was 22 and mother 15, they were married. My brothers, William, Jesse, and Noah and my sister, Jane were born in Virginia. Not long after the birth of their fourth child, my parents moved to Terre Haute, Indiana where eight more children were born; Preston, Sarah, David, Mary, John, myself (D. M. TAYLOR), Squire and MARIAH. In 1850 we moved to Rock Island, Illinois, where my youngest brother, Samuel, was born.

"In the spring of 1852 we started across the plains for Oregon.. at Fort Laramie, my brother, Preston, died of the cholera. This was on June 15. From then on, it seemed there was hardly a day when there was not one of more funerals in the wagon train. Father died of cholera in the Black Hills. My sisters, Sarah and Mary, died within 12 hours of each other, when we struck the Snake River," Taylor said.

Gary E. Mertz’s notes:

Taylor’s that were involved with George Polk Beale, Trial Witnesses and otherwise,

many first names same as above, but don’t seem to be the same people

Mariah Taylor, George Beale’s wife at time of trial

William Taylor, Trial witness. A William Taylor was the first postmaster of Stipp, OR, which is currently the town of MaCleay, see MaCleay Country Inn Menu.

Marion Taylor, Trial witness, daughter of William Taylor?

George Taylor, Trial witness, brother of William Taylor?

Sarah Taylor, Trial witness, lived in Beale’s house, Beale’s mother-in-law

Mary J. Taylor, trial witness, lived in Beale’s house, girl of abt 12 at time of trial


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