From Kook Science
Franz Edmund Creffield (c. 1873 - May 7, 1906), also known as Joshua Creffield and Joshua the Prophet, was a German-born street preacher who formed the Bride of Christ Church at Corvallis, Oregon in 1903, his followers being called "Holy Rollers" in the press and public reporting on their activities. After conflicts with hostile residents of Corvallis, including a mob attack that left him tarred and feathered, Creffield was charged with adultery and went into hiding for some months, being captured after it was discovered he was living beneath the home of a follower. Creffield was ultimately found guilty at trial, during which he defended himself, and sentenced to imprisonment at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem. Serving just shy of a year and a half of his sentence, Creffield was released for good behaviour in February 1906, and immediately set about bringing together some members of his church to form a religious colony in Lincoln County on the Oregon coast. This short-lived venture was brought to an end by his assassination some three months later, when, on 7 May, Creffield was shot dead at 1st Ave. and Cherry St. in Seattle, Washington by George Mitchell, the brother of Holy Roller Esther Mitchell — who, in her turn, shot and killed her brother after a court acquitted him of the murder of Creffield.
Adultery Charge (1904)
- "AFTER THE ROLLER. CREFFIELD'S HIDING PLACE STILL UNKNOWN TO OFFICERS. The Apostle Is Believed to Be Concealed by His Converts in Portland — Jeffries, the Champion Pugilist, Marries.", Corvallis Times (Corvallis, OR): 1, 27 Apr. 1904, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn2002060538/1904-04-27/ed-1/seq-1/
- "THE CREFFIELD REWARD. Another Fifty Dollars Added to It — Apostle Is Much Wanted.", Corvallis Times (Corvallis, OR): 3, 22 June 1904, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn2002060538/1904-06-22/ed-1/seq-3/
- "APOSTLE JOSHUA CREFFIELD - The Holy Roller Leader Caught Under House at Corvallis", Daily Capital Journal (Salem, OR): 6, 30 Jul. 1904, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99063957/1904-07-30/ed-1/seq-6/
- "CLAIMS HE IS ELIJAH - FOUNDER OF THE 'HOLY ROLLERS' MAINTAINS HIS CLAIM TO THE TITLE. Prisoners Hurl Curses at Prophet Joshua Creffield but He Lies in Quiet on Cot.", Evening Statesman (Walla Walla, WA): 6, 3 Aug. 1904, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88085421/1904-08-03/ed-1/seq-6/ — "I am not crazy; I am Elijah!"
- "CREFFIELD IS HUMAN STUDY. Why He Should Exercise Influence is a Hard Problem.", Evening Statesman (Walla Walla, WA): 3, 4 Aug. 1904, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88085421/1904-08-04/ed-1/seq-3/
- "WICKED ANTICS OF OREGON HOLY ROLLERS", Los Angeles Herald (Los Angeles, CA): 2, 18 Sep. 1904, https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=LAH19040918.2.350.3&srpos=1&e=-------en--20--1-byDA-txt-txIN-%22Joshua+Creffield%22-------1
- "'I GOT MY MAN; AM IN JAIL.' -- MESSAGE OF GEORGE MITCHELL, CREFFIELD'S SLAYER, TO MRS. CREFFIELD'S FATHER. BROTHER SLAYS MAN WHO RUINED SISTERS — George Mitchell Shoots and Instantly Kills Edmund Creffield, Leader of Fanatical Religious Sect -- Victim Accomplished Ruin of Slayer's Sisters -- Avenger Followed His Man For Weeks and Is Not Satisfied.", Seattle Star (Seattle, WA): 1, 7 May 1906, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87093407/1906-05-07/ed-1/seq-1/
- "Creffield Dead.", Corvallis Gazette (Corvallis, OR): 1, 8 May 1906, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn93051660/1906-05-08/ed-1/seq-1/
- "'HE IS NOT DEAD BUT WILL ARISE' --- MRS. EDMUND CREFFIELD. Body of F. Edmund Creffield Is Buried in Lake View Cemetery in Plain Coffin Marked 'At Rest' --- Wife Refuses to Believe Leader of Sect Is Dead and Asserts That He Will Arise from the Grave.", Seattle Star (Seattle, WA): 1, 9 May 1906, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87093407/1906-05-09/ed-1/seq-1/
- "GEO. MITCHELL KILLED BY SISTER — SLAYER OF HOLY ROLLER SHOT BY SISTER ESTHER — Creffield's Death Avenged at the Union Depot in Seattle Yesterday -- Dies Instantly. MURDER WAS PLANNED VERY DELIBERATELY — Murdereress Confesses That She and Mrs. Creffield Had Agreed to Kill Slayer of 'Holy Roller' Leader Edmund Creffield — Esther Only 18 Years Old. GIRL ARRESTED BY POLICE IMMEDIATELY AFTER TRAGEDY — SHOOTING TAKES PLACE JUST AS GEORGE MITCHELL IS ABOUT TO START FOR PORTLAND — SISTER WALKS BEHIND HIM AND SHOOTS HIM THROUGH THE HEAD WITH REVOLVER — EXPRESSES NO REGRET FOR AWFUL DEED.", Morning Astorian (Astoria, OR): 1, 8, 13 July 1906, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042400/1906-07-13/ed-1/seq-1/
After Death (1907)
- "HISTORY OF CREFFIELD AND HOLY ROLLERISM", Sacramento Daily Union (Sacramento, CA): 6, 16 July 1906, https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=SDU19060716.2.73&srpos=7&e=-------en--20--1-byDA-txt-txIN-%22Joshua+Creffield%22-------1
- "HOLY ROLLERISM IS PRACTICED HERE — GIFT OF THE PENTECOST DESCENDS UPON MEMBERS OF A STRANGE SECT WHICH WORSHIPS IN THE SPEAKING OF MANY UNKNOWN LANGUAGES. COMPLAINTS MADE TO THE POLICE BY DISTURBED PERSONS WHO WOULD HAVE THE DISCIPLES OF JOSHUA CREFFIELD SUPPRESSED — PROPHESIES OF DISASTER.", Humboldt Times (Eureka, CA): 1, 5 Feb. 1907, https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=HTS19070205.2.9&srpos=8&e=-------en--20--1-byDA-txt-txIN-%22Joshua+Creffield%22-------1