Arriving at the mill, a three-story building near the entrance of today’s Lithia Park, Helman lay his son down on some flour sacks on the second floor and then hurried downstairs to greet arriving customers. The baby crawled to a large opening on the second floor and fell 15 feet to the ground below. Helman picked up the unconscious child and started walking briskly home. At the edge of today’s plaza, he met his wife and her friend on their way to the mill. The friend quickly took the baby and waded into Ashland Creek, where she splashed water on the boy’s face to revive him. Baby John survived the fall, but suffered from partial paralysis for the rest of his life. He lived to be 76, and raised his own family on part of his parents’ original land claim in north Ashland.
Source: Schut, Alan. "Oral History Interview With Mrs. Almeda H. Coder." Southern Oregon Historical Society, 10 Aug. 1977.Southern Oregon Digital Archives. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.