Since You Asked

I have friends who moved recently to a lovely place on Pleasant Creek up above Wimer. I'm wondering how the creek got its name.

— Gerry L., Medford

Pleasant Creek is lovely indeed, Gerry, but you might be surprised to discover its name has no connection at all to its handsome scenery.

Pleasant Creek was named for a man named Pleasant Armstrong, who died during the Rogue Indian War. Armstrong was a casualty during a fight on Aug. 24, 1853, on Evans Creek.

Armstrong was a prominent resident of Yamhill County, and had come south to serve with Gen. Joseph Lane, who led the settlers. Soldiers named the creek, which empties into Evans Creek at Wimer, for their fallen comrade.

You can read the full account in "Oregon Geographic Names," the encyclopedic compendium of Oregon lore compiled by Lewis A. MacArthur and updated by Lewis L. MacArthur, his son. There's also an account in A.J. Walling's "History of Southern Oregon."

Wimer, you may already know, was probably named for one William Wimer, who edited a newspaper in Grants Pass in the 1880s. He helped establish a post office on Evans Creek seven miles north of Rogue River, which was called Woodville until 1912, when the city fathers changed the name to Rogue River with the hope of attracting more visitors.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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