May 6, 2016
Oroville Mercury Register
June 30, 1952
(Caption of Picture)
Four of Six Oroville boys serving aboard the light cruiser USS Manchester
are, Dwight Andoe, Bob Andoe, Dan Long and Robert Bills. Not pictured
are Bill Edwards and Kenneth McElhaney
Six Oroville Boys Meet On One Ship
Oroville has a good representation aboard the USS Manchester, with
six local Navy men in her crew. The light cruiser is now at Hunter’s
Point dry dock in San Francisco for an overhaul prior to rejoining
the fleet. A comparative old timer in the group is Dan Long, quartermaster
3/c, son of Mr. and Mrs. Trever Long of Thermalito. The two Andoe
brothers, Dwight and Bob, found their Navy careers parallel when
both were assigned to the Manchester. Dwight, a fireman, and Bob,
seaman, are the sons of Mr. and Mrs. T. R. Andoe of Elgin Street.
Seaman Robert Bills, son of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Mills of 3rd avenue,
rounds out the group pictured above. More recent additions to the
Manchester’s crew are Seaman Bill Edwards, son of Mr. and Mrs. Willie
Edwards, Fort Wane street; and Kenneth McElhaney, whose family no
longer lives here but who calls Oroville home.
Oroville Mercury Register
September 16, 1944
Old Days In Oroville Recalled By Wagstaff
Here On Leave
Hopped Bells In The Union; Remembers 4-Horse Stages, Wooden Sidewalks
Thirty-six years have accounted for many changes in the appearance
of Oroville, according to George Wagstaff, U. S. Navy chief bugle
master, who left here to join the navy in 1908. Wagstaff, son of
the late Mr. and Mrs. William G. Wagstaff, pioneer couple here,
arrived in Oroville this week on a ten-day leave. “I used to carry
a paper route for the Mercury,” Wagstaff said. “That was when the
newspaper plant was across from where the police station is located
now. My district was Chinatown and I got there over the old wooden
sidewalks. There was no paving in Oroville then.”
Recalls 4-Horse Stages
Wagstaff said he once hopped bells in the Union Hotel. He recalled
how the four-horse stages used to come there from Forbestown, Dogtown
an other points. “We used to have a two-horse hotel wagon,” he said.
“Every time a train came in we drove to meet it at the station on
top of the Myers street hill.” He said the Oroville Opera House
was located over the Union Hotel. “We kids used to climb up the
telephone poles alongside and sneak in to see the shows” The telephone
office was downstairs in the hotel, Wagstaff related. Pansy Hughes
was the operator. The operator, now Mrs. Abilla, is Wagstaff’s next
door neighbor in San Leandro where he and his family have their
permanent residence. Wagstaff attended the local high school. He
said Mrs. Grace Camp was principal when he was a student there.
He left school at the age of 15 to join the navy. “We used to have
a fine time at school,” Wagstaff reminisced. “Some of the kids I
knew were Harry Cohen, Norm Thatcher, Clyde Taylor, Harriet Jacoby,
Walter Taylor and ‘Hikey" Oates.”
Seeks Hilger Family
Wagstaff holds one of only seven bugle master ratings in the navy.
His job is instructing in drum and bugle schools. He served in the
navy from 1908 until 1938 when he left the service to work in the
circulation department of the Oakland Tribune. He re-enlisted in
1941. Wagstaff and his wife are spending the week at Buck’s Lake.
They will return here Monday. Wagstaff is interested in locating
members of the Hilger family, relatives and neighbors of the Wagstaff
family in the early days.
Did the paper make a mistake with Robert Bills and his parents
Mr. and Mrs. Mills.? I guess no one in Oroville remembers the Hilger
or Wagstaff families. It was so long ago. Maybe someone will help
me find something. I’ve heard that before that Bugle Masters were
few and far between. Maybe Mr. Christensen will know why.