In 1845, Hoy Flournoy emigrated from Missouri to Douglas County and a year later joined a Jesse Applegate survey party that slowly moved south for six months.
One day the surveyors crested a hill 17 miles west of where Roseburg is today. Flournoy thought the green grass shimmering in the valley below reflected the light as well as a mirror. He vowed to return with his family someday to build their home, which he did on Christmas Day 1850. He named the town that grew up there Lookingglass.
By 1871 the town’s population had grown, as had conflicts with the nearby Cow Creek Umpqua Indians. In October, Flournoy and another man volunteered to talk with members of a band near Lookingglass to assure nervous settlers that the Indians weren’t a threat. But some settlers sat up all night molding bullets, and followed Flournoy to the camp. While Flournoy talked to the Indians, the other settlers opened fire, killing a Cow Creek woman, and shooting Flournoy in the abdomen.
A doctor summoned immediately from Salem arrived three weeks later, one week after Flournoy had died. He’s buried under an oak tree on a knoll overlooking the valley he named.
Sources: Workers of the Writers' Program of the Works Progress Administration of the State of Oregon. Oregon, End of the Trail. Portland, OR: The Metropolitan Press, 1940. 355. Print; Walling, A. G. History of Southern Oregon, comprising Jackson, Josephine, Douglas, Curry & Coos Counties, Compiled From The Most Authentic Sources. Portland, Ore.: A.G.Walling, 1884. 417. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. https://archive.org/details/historyofsouther00wall; Webber, Michael, and Dennis Webber. Roseburg, Oregon and Vicinity: Some Settlers circa 1850 - 1900. 62-64. Jan. 2008. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <http://www.douglascountyhistoricalsociety.org/ebooks/Roseburg__Vic_Jan_17_08.pdf>