Norton Eddings Gains Recognition as Outstanding Stage Driver
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
By Dennis M. Powers
Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson
When he was in his 20s, Norton Eddings began driving regularly for the California & Oregon Stage Company. As one of the most respected “whips” or stagecoach drivers on the line in the 1870s, Eddings’ run for many years was from Rock Point across the valley and eventually over the Siskiyous to Cole’s Station, just over the California border. Eddings lived at the Rock Point Stage Station where today’s Del Rio winery is located.
In 1879, he married Minnie Gall, the daughter of Jacob Gall, who had settled on the creek that today bears her father’s name. Two years later, Eddings was returning from California on the stagecoach back to Rock Point, when the coach suddenly overturned.
Although the driver and paying passengers only had bruises, Eddings was severely injured and was unable to drive for months, and without any pay. His friends organized a successful benefit the next week at which the Jacksonville Minstrels performed. Once healed, he returned to work as the main “whip” into California.
Eddings died in 1925 and is buried in the Rock Point Pioneer Cemetery, a few blocks from where his station was located.
Today’s episode of As It Was was written by Dennis M. Powers, the program producer is Raymond Scully. I’m Shirley Patton. As It Was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. To share stories or to learn more about the series, visit asitwas – dot.org.
Source: Janet Sessions. “Norton Eddings (1825-1925),” Nuggets of News, Gold Hill Historical Society, Sept./October 2008.