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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Albert S. Bliton


Bliton Albert, carpenter, res with Henry Bliton.
Bliton Henry, carpenter, res e s Ann Arbor bet Russell and Bennett.
Saline Village General Directory, Michigan, 1878, page 185


    In 1884 . . . A. S. Bliton [established] the Wheatland Eagle. . . .
Bismarck Tribune Company, History of South Dakota, 1910, page 238


    The acting Postmaster General today appointed the following fourth-class postmasters: In Dakota--Wheatland, A. S. Bliton.
"More of Stephenson's Fellers," Illinois State Journal, Springfield, October 31, 1885, page 1


    It is related that just before daybreak one morning recently as editor Bliton, of the Wheatland Eagle, who is also postmaster and as brave as gallant, was returning from a visit to his best girl in the country, he was held up by tramps in the edge of town and robbed of all his money ($6.80), with his railroad pass, gold watch, locket containing his sweetheart and other valuables. His revolver caught in his pocket or five or six dead tramps would have furnished an item for his paper. He proposes to marry at once to escape further perils, as tramps are growing thicker.
The Globe, St. Paul, Minnesota, Dakota edition, July 31, 1886

A. S. Bliton, St. Paul Daily Globe, Jan 26, 1889, pg 9
A DAKOTA EDITOR.
The Publisher of the Only Democratic Paper in Cass County.
    A. S. Bliton, the subject of this sketch, was born at Clyde, N.Y., June 9, 1859. His primitive education was obtained at a small school near the place of his birth. Though reared a farmer, there was that in his makeup which betokened a life of more prominence than tilling the soil. Consequently, at the age of sixteen, he bid adieu to the easy-going, humdrum ways peculiar to farm life, and, as the saying goes, began to "shift for himself." He came to Saline, Mich., where by the aid of an only brother, and, in fact, only living relative, he was enabled to enter college at that place, from which he graduated in 1878. He left Michigan in April, 1880, for Tower City, Dak., where for three years he was local reporter for the Tower City Herald. In May 1885 he purchased the Wheatland, Dak. Eagle, which paper is still edited and owned by him. Being a good staunch Democrat, and receiving the endorsement of leading and prominent Democrats for the territory, he was appointed postmaster at Wheatland Oct. 30, 1885, and has hammered stamps for Uncle Sam and extended courtesies to an indulgent public until the present date and will probably continue--until the 4th of next March. Mr. Bliton has always taken an active part in Cass County politics, and in last fall's campaign, much to his delight, assisted materially in downing the obese Maj. Edwards and electing Hon. Smith Stimmel to the territorial council in his stead. He is a single man nearly thirty years of age, but is not too old to receive bids for matrimonial honors.
The Globe, St. Paul, Minnesota, Dakota edition, January 26, 1889, page 9


    A. S. Bliton, editor and publisher of the Wheatland (Dak.) Eagle, made the Herald a pleasant call Monday. He is doing the Palouse country with a view to locating here in the near future.

"Town and Country,"
Pullman Herald, Pullman, Washington, January 26, 1889, page 9


FIGHTING FOR SPOILS.
The Post Office Is in the Pot at Wheatland They Are Scrambling For.

Special to the Globe.

    WHEATLAND, Dak., Feb. 1.--This little city is badly torn up over the fight for the postmastership. The present postmaster has heretofore trotted with the Democrats, but it is announced that he has expressed a desire to desert the party of Jacksonian simplicity, and become a red-hot radical follower of bloody shirt Republicanism--that is, if by doing so he will be allowed to continue in the work of despoiling stamps and drawing pap from Uncle Sam's treasury. Other candidates, however, are as thick as weeds, and all seem confident of securing the prize and drawing the salary now raked off by Bliton. Dr. E. Gurdon Fish claims to be able to name the successful man, but T. B. Dawson sneers at Fish, and asserts that the new postmaster will be a man chosen by the Dawson faction. The genial doctor is believed to be somewhat handicapped by Edwards' endorsement--that being thought sufficient to kill any chances he may have had for the position. All agree, however, that editor Bliton must go, as his political conduct has been of such a nature as to make the Republicans in and around our city decidedly  hostile.
The Globe, St. Paul, Minnesota, Dakota edition, February 2, 1889, page 9



    A. S. Bliton, editor of the Wheatland (Dak.) Eagle, contemplates moving his newspaper plant to Palouse City.--[Exchange.
    If this proves to be the case, the Herald can congratulate Palouse City on the acquisition. Mr. Bliton is not only a rattling good newspaper man, but a most genial fellow as well. Palouse needs a lively paper the worst way.
Pullman Herald, Pullman, Washington, February 9, 1889, page 2


    Mr. Bliton, of the Wheatland (Dak.) Eagle, who recently visited this section, says he will not remove his office and material to Palouse City yet awhile, as was reported.

Pullman Herald, Pullman, Washington, March 2, 1889


    Albert S. Bliton, editor of the Wheatland (N.D.) Eagle, who, it will be remembered, made a visit to Pullman last winter, was married to Miss Nellie Boyd on Wednesday, October 23, 1889. The Herald extends congratulations.

Pullman Herald, Pullman, Washington, November 2, 1889, page 3


    Charley Stowers, in Fargo Republican: Yes, I am resting from my labors, and am glad that the session is at an end. I go back to Bismarck this morning, however; the penitentiary board meets there today. I don't know any news except that editor Bliton, of the Wheatland Eagle, has decided to move out to the Pacific coast, and wants to sell his paper. He has done well at Wheatland, and if some enterprising Republican newspaper man should buy him out, he would get a good support.
"Bismarckisms," Weekly Tribune, Bismarck, North Dakota, March 20, 1891, page 7


    A. S. Bliton has sold the Wheatland Eagle to Charley Stowers, E. C. Midgley and C. A. Malette.
Weekly Alert, Jamestown, North Dakota, April 2, 1891, page 4

    We spent a few hours in Medford one day this week and were pleased to note the general energy and enterprise displayed by its leading business men. The town is not "booming," yet it is growing rapidly and will continue to grow. Of course we took in the Mail office and succeeded in appropriating about a half hour of the editor's valuable time for which we should have received a "printers blessing," but Bro. Bliton was genial indeed, showing us through the printing room and giving us odd bits of information that we can make good use of. We don't know whether to congratulate Medford on its good fortune in capturing such an energetic newspaper man, or Bro. Bliton for having cast his lot in so thriving a town, but congratulations should come in somewhere. 
Eddie Robinson, Talent News, April 1, 1893, page 4


    W. T. York is now associated with A. S. Bliton in the management of the Mail, and they are meeting with deserved success.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 21, 1893, page 3


    Mrs. A. S. Bliton left Medford Sunday evening for a two months' visit with relatives in North Dakota.
"Purely Personal,"
Medford Mail, May 19, 1893, page 3


    Mrs. A. S. Bliton is visiting with relatives in South Dakota.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 2, 1893, page 2


    Mrs. A. S. Bliton and baby Loraine returned to Medford Monday morning from their two months' visit with relatives and friends in North Dakota.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 21, 1893, page 3


    The sources of misinformation of the Medford Mail are varied and extensive, and when it turns its deadly popgun on a public official something has got to drop. Last week it accused Sheriff Pelton with being responsible for the cost of Ira Daniels' trip to the reform school, which is as near as it usually gets to the facts. The sheriff has nothing to do with making out papers for commitment to that institution, nor was the fact of it being overcrowded the cause of young Daniels' return. The boy's commitment papers were made out by a justice of the peace, when they should have been issued by the judge of the county or circuit court; and this is why he was not received at the school. The sheriff, as the proper person to execute the mandates of any court in the county, did what he was ordered to do, and that was his only connection with the matter. This is a fair sample of the prejudiced and groundless attacks the editor of the Mail is continually making on our county officials. Either he is the butt of somebody's jokes or ignorance, or he willfully misrepresents the facts. However, a little patronage from those whom the Mail so patriotically attacks might prove a panacea to the bad case of colic he seems to be afflicted with.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 12, 1894, page 2


    The wormy chestnut and cuckoo of the Mail, who is following in the footsteps of every aspirant to journalistic fame, with which the people of Medford have been burdened since the city started, is attempting to elevate himself into notice by abusing the editor of the Times. We are accustomed to these pismires, and would not pay any attention to this one were it not to unmask the officious and very insignificant individual who lurks, as is his nature, in the background. Accustomed to a diet of sowbelly, hominy and sorghum and to warming his spindle shanks by a fire made from buffalo chips, this Mail importation from the blizzard-swept plains of North Dakota feels unduly inflated by the rich diet of southern Oregon and seeks to discharge his surplus excrement, like Gulliver's yahoo, upon those who happen to get in his way. Not content with this, he has become the mouthpiece of the most grasping lawyer who ever appeared at the bar of this judicial district, and forgetting that he cannot ally himself with a skunk without retaining some of the scent, allows the effluvia to assail the nostrils of his patrons.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 5, 1894, page 2


A Slanderer Abroad in the Land.
    Who is this harebrained tenderfoot who seeks through the columns of a nondescript newspaper called the Medford Mail to vilify the people of Jacksonville in general and a few individuals in particular? What has this community done that this impudent falsifier should seek to prejudice the few readers of his detestable sheet against it? Upon behalf of the citizens of the county seat the Times challenges the Mail to furnish a bill of particulars, when we will take pleasure in holding up that penny-a-liner to the ridicule and contempt of the public. Nobody can understand upon what basis a quarrel between Medford and Jacksonville can exist. Bliton, with his accustomed ignorance and smallness, has given vent to a slander that no one else will take stock in. He should become acclimated first and know what he is talking about before airing his asinine qualities in such a natural style.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 5, 1894, page 3


    The following paragraph from the Medford Mail shows what a stupid ass or malicious falsifier the "tenderfoot" who poses as editor of that delectable sheet is: "The Mail has been told repeatedly that a certain clique or ring in Jacksonville carried the majority vote of Jackson County in its vest pocket and would deliver it to the pet of the crowd when the time of delivery is at hand." Either someone was presuming on Mr. Bliton's ignorance, or he finds in the above rot an excuse for attempting to prejudice the people of the county against Jacksonville in the most dastardly manner.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 8, 1894, page 2


    The blatant ass who edits the Mail and has shown his big ears so often has been called down by the people of Medford, who do not approve of his uncalled-for and mendacious attacks on the citizens of the county seat, and he has found it advantageous to crawfish. Bliton has discovered that his impudent and ridiculous attempts to revolutionize the politics of Jackson County have been struck by a dead cold frost, and he thus tries to square himself: "There are a great many fine people in Jacksonville, and the town is far from being a bad one, but it is unfortunate in being obliged to furnish shelter for the gang of rascals which is found there, and the citizens are most unfortunate in being compelled to associate with such contemptible curs." The Times again calls for a bill of particulars, and wants the names of the "rascals" the Mail refers to, as also the charges he has to prefer against them.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 12, 1894, page 2


    It is an old saying that "every dog has his day." That the Medford Mail man had his yesterday everyone who knows him will agree to.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 2, 1894, page 3


    The Klamath Falls Express says that "a Pelican Bay rancher claims to have owned a cow that would retrieve ducks; we heard that his near neighbor is training a porker to hunt bear." That's nothing. They have a jackass in Medford who is trying to edit a newspaper.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 15, 1894, page 2


We've Made Different Arrangements.
    It has been nigh onto three years since the Mail changed hands--a length of time which has never before been credited to the office, since its first issue, eight years ago. Having broken the record Messrs. Bliton & York feel they can break up shopkeeping with a certain degree of pride. Three years ago we were printing 500 papers--today we are printing 1600. We have worked shoulder to shoulder with the citizens in every enterprise that would tend to the upbuilding of the city and its citizens' interests. We flatter ourselves that success has perched itself upon the pinnacle of our efforts. The old firm is willing to retire with the record it has made--be it good or bad--in either case we have been honest with every patron, every citizen of Medford and county. The business men have patronized us liberally--for all of which here is expressed gratitude--in quantities where limits are lost in measurement. We know we have done them good.
    The paper has always been independent--in fact, as a gentleman remarked but yesterday: "The Mail has kept nearer the middle of the road than ever the best populist could hope to." That same degree of independence will continue under the new management. The success which has come to the Mail could not come through any other channel than that of independence.
    Mr. York will engage in the real estate business in this city, and will have desk room in the Mail office. He has some excellent bargains and would be pleased to have his friends--and their friends--call upon him.
    The new firm is Bliton & Batterson. Both are all-round newspaper men--both are printers, publishers, editors--at home any place inside of a print shop. Mr. A. A. Batterson is recently from Ellensburg, Washington, where he very successfully conducted a newspaper for five successive years. He is an old-time acquaintance of the undersigned, every inch a gentleman, an able writer, and an honorable citizen in any community. Treat the new firm as kindly as you have treated the old and your confidence will never be misplaced.
BLITON & YORK.
Medford Mail, November 1, 1895, page 4


How the Business Stands.
    All advertising and job printing accounts contracted with the Mail prior to October 28, 1895, are payable to Bliton & York. All subscription accounts are payable to Bliton & Batterson, also all advertising and job printing accounts from the above date.
Medford Mail, November 1, 1895, page 4


    M. Purdin received his commission as postmaster for the city of Medford on Monday on this week. The writer of these lines called the turn on him as he saw him walking up the street after getting his mail. We knew from the elasticity of his walk and the diamond-like brilliancy of his face that he had the commission in his inside pocket--we knew from actual experience. He walked and acted just as we did when similarly afflicted--back in North Dakota in '85.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, February 14, 1896, page 5


    Editor Bliton of the Mail has gone east on an extended visit with friends and relatives.
"Personal,"
The Monitor-Miner, Medford, July 16, 1896, page 3


    Mrs. A. S. Bliton and daughters, Loraine and Mildred, left Sunday evening for a few weeks' visit with home folks at Wheatland, North Dakota. Mrs. B. has been ill with rheumatism for several weeks, and the change of climate is made in hopes of improving her health. Her mother will return to Medford with her and spend the winter here.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, September 30, 1898, page 6


Where Do Your Dollars Go?
    The Mail job printing department has been full to the brim with job work for the past few weeks--for all of which the main "push" of this establishment is duly and quite sufficiently grateful. Incidental[ly] let us say that that's business. It is business for us, and directly it is business for the business men of Medford. Every dollar taken in in this way, save the purchase price of paper and ink, finds its way again into the trade channels and into the money tills of our business men either from the proprietor's hands or from the help he employs. We will venture the assertion that not a dollar of it is spent outside of the town in which it is earned. Job printing is a necessary adjunct to any country printing office. The advertising received, even though generously bestowed, is rarely ever sufficient to make a livelihood for the publisher of a country journal. The small margin he makes on job printing is as necessary as is the margin on his columns of advertising. The business man who does advertising in his home paper is indeed a benefactor so far as that item goes, and by so doing he not alone builds up the business of the printer, and the printer, who has a few dollars to jingle in his pocket, will build up the business of all the town. How? By telling his readers in Jackson, Klamath, Lake and Josephine counties of the low prices at which good goods are sold at in his town--and this without additional cost to the advertiser. But the business man who spends a couple or three dollars with his home printer and as many more with one outside his own town is making no less a mistake than is the citizen who buys two dollars' worth of groceries, dry goods or hardware in his own town and sends away to a neighboring town for two or three dollars' worth more of the same goods. If it is a good scheme to keep two dollars at home, it is just twice as good a scheme to keep four at home. The Mail's payroll each week is between $25 and $30--and this is cash every Saturday night. How many of the business men of Medford are there who do not get a portion of this? We will venture to say that only a very few. Even though the publisher is compelled to wear shoe leather until the uppers are made threadbare, and dickers, twists and dickers some more, for fully five years to get a roof to cover his family, the printers must have their cash. How is a publisher to boost and bolster up your business and the business of your neighbor and feel that he is compelled to scrimp along with the barest necessities of life and see daily those whose business he is weekly building up indulging in luxuries which to him are but a dream only hoped to be realized at a time when the good fairies shall have tired of their bounty toward others? How can a publisher feel--how does he feel--when telling his readers of the excellent qualities of the goods you sell when he knows those same goods were ordered on letterheads printed in an outside town?
Medford Mail, October 14, 1898, page 6


MEDFORD, pop. 967; Jackson Co. (S.W.), pop. 12,000. 5 m. E. of Jacksonville. Southern Pacific; Rogue River Valley R.R. Telephone. Express. Bank. Has a planing and a grist mill, etc. In the center of a fine fruit and mining belt. The district is devoted to agriculture and stock raising.
                                                                                Estab.  Pages   Size        Subsc.      Circ.
Mail . . . . . . . . . . . Friday . . . .  Independent . . . 1889 . . 8 . . 15x22 . . 1.50 . . 1,920

    A. S. Bliton, Editor and Publisher.

Monitor-Miner . . Thursday . . Populist  . . . . . . 1894 . . 4 . . 18x24 . . 1.00 . . 1,000
    E. E. Phipps, Editor and Publisher.
N. W. Ayer & Son's American Newspaper Annual, 1899, page 684


    Mr. and Mrs. John Boyd and daughter, Miss Jetta, of Loomis, Washington, arrived in Medford Tuesday evening and will remain several days, visiting relatives. Mr. Boyd is a brother of Mrs. W. T. York and Mrs. A. S. Bliton. Mr. Boyd is manager and principal owner of the celebrated Palmer Mountain Gold Mining and Tunnel Company, and is also manager of the Black Bear Mine, from which rock averaging $24 per ton is now being taken at a depth of 250 feet. The Palmer Mountain tunnel is undoubtedly the greatest mining enterprise on the coast. The mountain is a large one, through which veins or ledges of rich ore run east and west. A tunnel 7½x8 feet at the base of the mountain on the south side was started a few years ago with the intention of intersecting or crosscutting the several ledges. The success of the enterprise is now positive, as the tunnel is in 3000 feet and in traversing that distance twenty-one ledges have been cut, and all are rich in free milling ore. The last one cut was 1200 feet from the apex of the mountain, and gold, plainly discernible without a glass, was found in the rock. The company expect to extend their tunnel to a distance of 8400 feet. Already $130,000 have been expended in driving the tunnel. Mr. Boyd is very favorably impressed with the mining industry of Southern Oregon, and is saying many words favorable to his pet theory of deep mining. The tests made by experts of ore taken from twenty veins in the Palmer Mountain tunnel, varying in width from four to thirty feet, give an average value of $20 to the ton.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, April 27, 1900, page 6


    Mrs. M. Boyd, of Absaraka, North Dakota, is visiting her daughters, Mrs. York and Mrs. Bliton.
 "Society: Medford," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, June 17, 1900, page 15


Base Ball in Medford
    There was a ball game in Medford last Sunday. We make this announcement in the first two lines because of the fact that there are probably about two people in the city who did not know of the game until they read the lines above referred to--and we want them to join the majority as quickly as possible. It was the hottest contested game ever played on the Medford grounds. There wasn't any money up on the game, but there was probably $500 or $600 bet on the side--won by Medford people--and contributed by Grants Pass sports.
    There were about 175 people who came up from Grants Pass to see the game--but be it said to the credit of a few of them they did not see it. It was too tough a layout, and instead of going to the grounds after leaving the train they put in the afternoon around town.
    Before that crowd came up here our townspeople thought we had a few average tough young men, but since Sunday they have branded every one of our boys as gentlemen--as compared with others. No sooner had the train upon which the Grants Pass crowd arrived come to a standstill than did the noise commence--by a chorus of loud, coarse and very profane yells. This was repeated several times--much to the disgust of all our people who heard it--also to some who came on the train--who felt ashamed of being caught in that low-lived charnel house of profanity and bad whisky. Nor did the ribaldry cease with the incoming of the crowd. It went to the ball grounds, and there insulted men, women and children. The hoodlums drank whisky from bottles while standing in front of the grandstand, swore almost incessantly, and the vulgar epithets they applied to Medford people were disgusting in the extreme--and the wonder is that the offenders were not arrested.
    After this game was over the streets of our town were made as unpleasant by this rowdyism as had been the ball grounds during the afternoon.
    Such hoodlumism as was displayed Sunday would have been most disgraceful upon a week day, but when it was given vent upon a day set apart for worship and rest, its grating upon the more delicate senses of even our most hardened citizens was noticeable. It was the toughest day in the history of our town--and it will not be repeated; the better class of citizens will not tolerate it; they are up in arms and do not propose to have our town again insulted. The home ball boys did not expect it, and they regretted its occurrence as much as anyone. As we said in the outset, they are gentlemen, and know the usages and customs of good society--and are respecters of ladies--and they were sorely aggrieved because it happened that way--and because that it was on Sunday.
    There is one way in which the Medford boys can further endear themselves to Medford people--don't play ball again on Sunday. It is not a day calculated for sport, and it is not pleasant to have a crowd in town on that day filling the air with blasphemy and indulging in unlawful behavior.
    The Mail knows, from having met several of them, that there are some very fine people in Grants Pass; in fact, there are a great many of them--and we are pleased to know that none of these were among the boisterous ones here Sunday.
    But to return to the game. We said it was hotly contested. Those who saw it will not doubt the truthfulness of this assertion. From commencement to finish there was no time when there was more than one tally in favor of either team, and at the commencement of the last half of the ninth inning the game stood eight to eight, but Medford made a score and the game was finished with Medford the winner.
    The Grants Pass pitcher was from San Jose, and their catcher from Cottage Grove. The Medford pitcher was G. H. Fleming, of the Torpedo team, Portland, and the catcher was H. B. Meyers, of this city.
    Since last Sunday the Grants Pass ball team has been keeping the telephone wires hot between Medford and that place in an endeavor to get another game. Our boys at first declined to have anything further to do with them, but it is now possible that a game may be made for a near date, the game to be played at Ashland.
Medford Mail, August 17, 1900, page 3



    Most of our people are disgusted with the Mail's silly account of the late baseball game, in which the Grants Pass nine and those who accompanied them to this city were abused and maligned in an unwarranted manner. Bliton so often has written himself an ass and displayed his small, jealous nature so frequently, that we have become accustomed to it. Our neighbors should not consider him seriously, for it is not worth their while.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 23, 1900, page 3


    Mrs. A. S. Bliton and daughters, Loraine and Mildred, left Thursday evening for a visit with North Dakota relatives and friends.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, September 6, 1901, page 6


    Editor Bliton's wife and their children have gone to Dakota, on a visit to their old home.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 12, 1901, page 7


    The Mail is getting ready to move into its new quarters this week. Any shortage in local and general news matter may be charged to the fact that painters, carpenters, machinists, printers and reporters have been pretty badly mixed since Monday morning. About one week more and the job will be completed--and then we're fixed for a stay of five years in the best-appointed print shop south of Portland.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 14, 1900, page 7


    Mrs. A. S. Bliton and her two daughters, who have been visiting their old home in North Dakota, returned a few days ago.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 31, 1901, page 2


    Mrs. A. S. Bliton and daughters Loraine and Mildred returned Wednesday from a visit with relatives in North Dakota.
"Medford," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, November 3, 1901, page 19


    A few weeks ago the Mail saw just grounds for paying the
Roseburg Plaindealer a compliment, by saying that with W. C. Conner as editor-in-chief, and his sister-in-law, Miss Laura Jones, as news skirmisher, [it] was a better newspaper than it had been at any previous time. Editor Conner reproduced the item in question in his Plaindealer and followed it up with this:
    "No one is more competent to judge the merits or demerits of a newspaper than editor Bliton, who publishes the best weekly newspaper in the state outside of Portland, and the above compliment coming from such a source is highly appreciated by us."

Medford Mail, November 22, 1901, page 2


    Mrs. A. S. Bliton has gone to California for the benefit of her health.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 3, 1902, page 4


    Mrs. A. S. Bliton and daughters, Misses Loraine and Mildred, left Wednesday for San Diego, Calif., whither they go for the benefit of Mrs. Bliton's health. She has been ill with rheumatism for nearly five years, and the warm, dry climate of Southern California is recommended by her physician. She will remain until April or May, and in the meantime if that particular part of California does not prove beneficial she will go elsewhere in the state, and may possibly go to some of the noted mud springs.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, December 5, 1902, page 6


Homestead Filings Made.
    The proprietor of the Mail has been appointed a United States Land Commissioner for Oregon. He is empowered by this appointment to prepare homestead and timber land filings, take testimony in homestead and timber land final proof cases, conduct contest cases, and in fact to do all business for the land office which applies to government land. It is now unnecessary for applicants for any land claim, [or] for those having proofs to make, to go to Roseburg to make such application or proofs. It can be done right here at home and at much less expense.
    Any information relative to the land laws cheerfully given and without cost. If there is any point regarding the land laws which you do not understand clearly, drop in to the Mail office when in Medford and we will look the matter up for you.
Medford Mail,
September 26-December 5, 1902, page 6


    W. T. York and family have moved to the Bliton residence, on West Seventh Street, and will reside there during Mrs. Bliton's absence in California. He has rented his own residence for the winter.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 5, 1902, page 7


    Mrs. A. S. Bliton has gone to San Diego, Calif., for the benefit of her health. She is accompanied by her daughters, and they will remain some time.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 10, 1902, page 2


Death of Mrs. A. K. Boyd.
    No pen or human tongue can do justice to the virtues of a good mother, nor can words express the sorrow of her children when such a mother passes away. Still the grief of the moment is tempered with the thought that one who has made life's pilgrimage, tasting all of joy and of sorrow that it may entail, weary of the long journey and content in the knowledge that her sojourn here on earth has not been in vain, has entered into that undiscovered country and upon the new life which we all trust is waiting for us beyond that mystic curtain which no man may pass, until the spirit which makes us reasoning beings leaves this frail tenement of clay and returns to the hand omnipotent which gave it. Such a death was that of Mrs. Margaret Boyd, who passed away at the residence of A. S. Bliton on Wednesday morning, December 10, 1902.
    Mrs. Boyd had come from her North Dakota home about two months ago to spend the winter in Medford, and had enjoyed as good health as usual during her stay here. On Tuesday evening she was in apparently perfect health, cheerful and bright. About one o'clock her daughter, Mrs. York, who, with her husband, is occupying the Bliton residence during Mrs. Bliton's absence in San Diego, heard her cough and at once went to her room and administered the medicines which usually gave relief when these sick spells came on, as they had done upon former occasions, but no relief was noticeable at this time and a physician was summoned, but when he arrived life was nearly extinct and he could do nothing to restore vitality and in less than an hour from the time of her first attack she was no more on earth.
    The cause of death was a complication of heart trouble and acute gastritis.
    Mrs. Boyd was born at Paris, Ontario, and was sixty-five years old at the time of her death. She moved with her husband, A. K. Boyd, to North Dakota in 1879, where he later died, after a lingering illness, in 1887. She was the mother of nine children, eight of whom are now living, namely: Mrs. W. T. York and Mrs. A. S. Bliton, of this city; Mrs. John Hay, Absaraka, N.D.; Mrs. F. W. Powlison, Amenia, N.D.; Hon. Robt. B. Boyd, Wheatland, N.D.; John Boyd, Loomis, Wash.; Mrs. Alex Campbell, Los Angeles, Calif.; H. E. Boyd, San Jose, Calif.
    Mrs. Boyd was a Christian woman from girlhood, a member of the Episcopalian Church in Ontario and afterward of the Presbyterian Church in North Dakota, and in thought, word and deed throughout her whole life was a perfect example of God's crowning creation--a pure and noble woman.
    Short prayer service was conducted at the residence Thursday afternoon by Rev. Idleman, after which the remains were taken to the depot and sent on the evening train to Wheatland, North Dakota, where funeral services will be conducted and interment made beside the remains of her husband.
Medford Mail, December 12, 1902, page 2


Dakota Woman Dies at Medford.
    MEDFORD, Or., Dec. 11.--(Special.)--Mrs. A. K. Boyd, aged 66 years, died suddenly Wednesday of heart trouble at the home of her son-in-law, A. S. Bliton, editor of the Medford Mail. She was born in Paris, Ont., and was a pioneer of North Dakota, where her husband died 15 years ago. Mrs. Boyd came to Medford recently to remain during the winter with her daughters, Mrs. A. S. Bliton and Mrs. W. T. York. She leaves five daughters and three sons, among them Hon. R. B. Boyd, Representative from North Dakota. The remains were shipped to Wheatland, N.D. today for interment.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, December 12, 1902, page 4


Death of Mrs. A. S. Bliton.
    MEDFORD, Or., May 14.--(Special.)--Mrs. A. S. Bliton, aged 36 years, died here this morning. She had been a resident of Medford since 1893. Mrs. Bliton had been in California during the winter for the benefit of her health.
    Her husband, the editor of the Medford Mail, and two children survive her. The funeral will be held tomorrow.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 15, 1903, page 5


MEDFORD JOURNALISM.
    There is some queer juggling with politics by the Medford newspaper men. Horace Mann [of the Medford Enquirer] started in as a Democrat and ran his paper as a simon pure, unterrified organ of the Bourbon [i.e., Democrat] faith, but the Democrats of Jackson County failed to coincide with his radical and erratic ideas of party policy, and the result was that the Enquirer lately gave up the ghost.
    A. S. Bliton, of the Mail, is as smooth at Mr. Mann is obstinate, and he knows how to trim and stand in as well as any New York ward politician. When Mr. Bliton came to Medford he was a radical Democrat and shouted free trade as long as the Democrats had control of the offices in Jackson County, and he could have a pull. And then there came a bad day for the Democrats and they went out of power and lost control of the spoils of office so dear to the newspaper grafter. It was then that the populists had the giving out of the office "fat" [i.e., local government payments for printing public notices] and Mr. Bliton and the Medford Mail immediately became rip-roaring populists. Had the populists remained in control of the offices Mr. Bliton and the Medford Mail would yet have been populists, but the populists took a walk and the Republicans next had the land office notices and other things dear to the "boilerplate" editor. But these frequent changes in party control were no handicap to the agile, trimming editor of the Mail, for he promptly announced "That hereafter the editorial columns of the Mail would be Republican." By smooth work and underhanded schemes the Mail has secured the lion's share of the Republican patronage of Jackson County, though that paper opposed, in its feeble way, the accession of the Republicans to power, and since it has been an ostensible Republican organ its utterances have been so milk-and-water and straddling that no serious offense has been given to the ex-Democratic and populist compatriots of the Straddler. In all the time that the Mail editorial columns have been "Republican" not a word have they contained commendatory of protection and other cardinal principles of Republican policy, neither has there been a line condemning free trade, for Mr. Bliton is as much of a free-trader now as he was when he ran an open Democratic paper, and it would be no great trick for the Mail to again line up with the Democrats should they be successful next year and gain control of the office "fat" once more.
    But when it comes to working the "machine" going and coming Chas. Nickell, of the Medford Democratic Times and Southern Oregonian, is a close second to Mr. Bliton. In fact Nickell's scheme is something of an improvement over that of Bliton, for Bliton has been able to only work one part at a time, while the astute Nickell works both the Republicans and the Democrats at the same time. His plan is to run two papers, one Democratic and the other Republican. The town and county news he has the same in both papers, but when the Democratic Times is run off the forms are taken off the press and put upon the stone and the Democratic editorials are lifted out and Republican editorials set in, and the Democratic Times heading is changed for that of the Southern Oregonian, the forms put back on the press and a paper is run off that is good for Republicans to read. Whether the two parties are [as] gullible as Nickell and Bliton think they are is yet to be proven, and outsiders will watch with interest the acrobatic efforts of the Medford editors to work the parties for all there is in it.
Jacksonville Sentinel, July 24, 1903, page 5


    Editor A. S. Bliton, of the Medford Mail, passed through Roseburg today on his way to Portland to look after business matters. He is installing a 5-horsepower electric motor in his office, the current to be supplied from the big plant at the Ray dam on Rogue River.
The Plaindealer, Roseburg, October 10, 1904, page 3



    The path of the average country newspaperman does not always lies in shady nooks or by babbling brooks, neither does it always follow the gold-curbed pavements of easy street, but occasionally a good friend will do a generous act which will to a marked degree return some of the viperous pangs which are being constantly printed in the newspaper's way--and the editor maketh merry thereat, and the gleam of sunshine thus conveyed is carefully treasured. The occasion for the above spasm is the receipt this week, by The Mail, of a large box of the very choicest fancy cakes, express prepaid, and manufactured by the Western Baking Company, of Portland--and the compliments of the company extended. The Western is a new company and has for vice-president and treasurer Mr. H. S. Reed, formerly a resident of Medford. The contents of the box above mentioned is now being partaken of by The Mail's family, and the delicious morsels are a treat to all three times each day--and then some. The cakes are unquestionably the freshest, best-flavored and most palatable of any we have ever eaten, and if you ask your grocer for the Western Baking Company's product you will make no mistake.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 3, 1905, page 5


HENRY BLITON.
    Henry Bliton, who for eighteen years has been engaged in the contracting business in Ann Arbor, is a native of New York, his birth having occurred in Sodus Point, Wayne County, on the 21st of July, 1851. His parents were Elijah W. and Eunice (Phelps) Bliton. The father, who was also a contractor through many years of his business career, likewise devoted a part of his time to the work of the Methodist ministry, and his influence in behalf of the church was of no restricted order. His wife died in 1864, and he passed away in 1865, and his memory yet remains as a blessed benediction to those who knew him. In the family were three children, but one died in infancy. The surviving brothers [omission], Albert S. Bliton, who is the publisher of the Medford Mail, at Medford, Oregon, and the subject of our sketch.
    Henry Bliton, the oldest of the family, was brought to Michigan in his early youth. He acquired his education largely in the schools of Clyde, New York. In the spring of 1870, when about nineteen years of age, he went to Saline, where he worked at the carpenter's trade, and after being employed as a journeyman for a time he embarked in business on his own account. In 1882 he came to Ann Arbor, where he has been engaged in the contracting business for eighteen years. His long continuance in one field of activity is indicative of the success that has crowned his efforts. He was awarded the contracts for the erection of many fine structures here, which now stand as monuments to his enterprise, skill and business ability.
    In 1883 Mr. Bliton was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie Larned, whose family were prominent in Northfield township. They now have a most interesting family of four daughters: Eunice Elizabeth, nineteen years of age, who is now a senior in the high school at Ann Arbor; Ester, eleven years of age; Alice and Rachel. The family home is a beautiful residence at No. 917 Olivia Avenue, in one of the most attractive portions of the city. Mr. Bliton gives his political allegiance to the Republican Party, and for one term served as alderman of his ward, but has preferred that others hold office. However, he keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day, as every true American citizen should do, and is therefore able to uphold his political position by intelligent argument. He is a prominent worker in the Methodist church and his influence is always given on the side of right, progress, reform and improvement.
Samuel Willard Beakes,
Past and Present of Washtenaw County, Michigan, 1906, page 269


MEDFORD, pop. 1,791; Jackson Co. (S.W.), pop. 13,698. 5 m. E. of Jacksonville. Southern Pacific; Rogue River Valley R.R. Tel. Exp. Bank. Planing and a grist mill, brewery, distillery and machine shops, etc. Center of a fine fruit and mining belt; also devoted to agriculture and stock raising.
                                                                              Estab.  Pages    Size        Subsc.      Circ.
Mail . . . . . . . . Friday . . .
. . . .  Republican . . . 1889 . . 8 . . 17x24 . . 1.50 . . 2,200
    A. S. Bliton, Editor and Publisher.

Southern Oregonian
                     . . Tues & Fri. . . . Independent  . . 1902 . . 8 . . 15x22 . . 1.50 . . 1,600
    Southern Oregonian and Printing Company, Publishers.

N. W. Ayer & Son's American Newspaper Annual, 1906, page 731


WILL BLITON HAVE TO WALK?
    Under ordinary circumstances The Mail would be expected to extend the hand of fellowship to the new paper which has been started in Medford. Under ordinary circumstances The Mail would do that, but the advent of Mr. Potter and his paper into Medford is not an event of ordinary circumstances--in fact, it is quite the reverse. The coming to Medford of the new paper is wholly and entirely at the instance of one man--no less (or no more) a personage than Dr. Keene. For two years past the publisher of The Mail has been all kinds of a bad man in the eyes of Keene. For over two years this personal animus has existed toward The Mail and its publisher. During these two years Keene has made bold the assertion that "Bliton the" (here the reader may supply the customary epithets) "would have to walk out of town." Some few weeks ago the Mail publisher was asked to endorse, editorially, the candidacy of Keene for nomination in the office of secretary of state. This he emphatically and positively refused to do, upon the grounds that Keene was not a Republican of the stripe which would be necessary for the Republicans of the state to place in nomination if they hoped for success at the June election, and upon the grounds that personally he could not endorse a man for any office whose tongue for two years had vilified The Mail and every person connected with it. A short time thereafter Keene gathers about him a few Medford men, who, presumably, were led to the belief that a new paper in Medford was the one thing necessary to the complete and entire transformation of our growing town into a city of great proportions. These men were induced to put up money, or collateral, to the extent of $2000--for the purpose of establishing another newspaper in Medford, and wholly to gratify the animosity of one man. The Mail knows the contributors to this fund, and it also knows that some of them would not contribute one dollar to any movement which had for its foundation the one idea of "making Bliton walk out of town." There are among them men who have been personal friends of the Mail publisher for the past thirteen years--these men were beguiled into the scheme by the swelled-up notions of newspaper business--Eugene and Roseburg being used as a basis for calculation as to the revenue incident thereto. With the money raised by these men a mortgage of considerable proportions was lifted from the newspaper plant in Ashland, and it was brought to Medford for the purpose of "making Bliton walk out of town." These are some of the incidents which make the coming of the new paper to Medford a circumstance quite out of the ordinary. And incidentally, and before we forget it, we want to say that the new paper's politics are said to be Republican, but why two of our staunchest Democrats should all at once have conceived the idea that a Republican paper in Medford was a "long-felt want" and put up their little $200 per man to further the scheme, is another of these conditions out of the ordinary. That the new paper's harpoon is out for Bliton is proven conclusively by the fact that there is not an employee in the Mail shop who has not been solicited to quit The Mail and go to work for the new sheet. A material raise in salary over that paid by The Mail has been offered, but this was no inducement--and it is most gratifying to the Mail publisher to know that they could not get them. Some of the help in the Mail office has been with the paper for a great number of years. They have performed their work well and honestly and have been compensated therefor to the most liberal extent possible--and have been treated as ladies and gentlemen should be. That the coming of the new paper to Medford is a good thing is again proven by Charley Nickell, who, in a recent issue of his paper, said it was a good thing and advised the Republicans of Jackson County to support it. His intentions were to harpoon Bliton, but he fell well short of the mark, and his bit of advice was so patent a slap at The Mail that it appeared ludicrous to those who knew Nickell and have had any dealings with him. You people who have known Bliton for the past thirteen years did not realize that after years of hard work for the good of the town and its people he would have to walk out of it. When, during all these years, Bliton and The Mail were saying good things for the town and its enterprises if someone could have read the future and would have told that Bliton would have to walk out of town you would hardly have given credence to the prophecy, and The Mail doubts if you would have thought kindly of such a prophecy or the witchery which foretold it. Had Mr. Potter come to Medford and engaged in business, using his own money for the furtherance of his project, and not by the connivance and plotting of one individual, the circumstances would not be out of the ordinary and the hand of fellowship would have been extended by The Mail.
Medford Mail, March 30, 1906, page 1


   
Wilber Jones:--"Say, Mr. Bliton, Father asks me to deliver a message to you. He wanted me to say that when you have to walk out of town he wants you to come out and live with him three or four weeks."
    Capt. Carroll:--"If you have to walk out of town, Mr. Bliton, I want to walk out with you. We came to the country together and will go out of it together. It was over thirteen years ago, if you remember. We met on the train--both headed for Medford."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, April 6, 1906, page 1


    Messrs. Church Bros., proprietors of the Vienna Bakery, have the thanks of the whole Mail office force for a very generous supply of an assortment of excellent pies--presumably that we might enjoy some of the good things of life before starting upon our long and uncertain journey. Hard walking is oftentimes made less tiresome when the inner man has been properly attended.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 6, 1906, page 5


A. S. Bliton Appointed.
    Judge Wolverton yesterday named A. S. Bliton to be a United States Commissioner at Medford, vice Charles Nickell, who resigned recently on account of pending indictments in the land fraud cases.
Morning Oregonian,
Portland, July 3, 1906, page 11


MEDFORD, pop. 1,791; Jackson Co. (S.W.), pop. 13,698. 5 m. E. of Jacksonville. Southern Pacific; Rogue River Valley R.R. Tel. Exp. Bank. Planing and a grist mill, brewery, distillery and machine shops, etc. Center of a fine fruit and mining belt; also devoted to agriculture and stock raising.
                                                                              Estab.  Pages    Size        Subsc.      Circ.
Mail . . . . . . . . Friday . . .
. . . .  Republican . . . 1889 . . 8 . . 17x24 . . 1.50 . . 2,200
    A. S. Bliton, Editor and Publisher.

Southern Oregon and Times
                     . . Wed. & Sat. . . . Independent . . 1871 . . 4 . . 15x22 . . 1.50 . . 2,200
    Southern Oregonian Printing Company, Publishers.

Tribune  . . . . . Evg. ex. Sun.
  .  Republican . . .           . . 8 . . 15x22 . . 5.00
Tribune  . . . . . Weekly  . . . . .  Republican . . . 1896 . . 8 . . 18x25 . . 1.75 . . 1,300
    A. F. Moore, Editor; Medford Tribune Publishing Company (Inc.).
Ayer Directory of Publications, 1908, page 739


Bliton-Redden
    A pretty wedding was solemnized at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Redden in Medford Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock when their second daughter, Ida M., became the bride of Albert S. Bliton, publisher of the Medford Mail. Only the members of the immediate family and the personal friends of the bride witnessed the ceremony, which was performed by Rev. W. C. Reuter, of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The rooms were most tastefully decorated with a color scheme of pink and white which was also carried out in the lunch. Preceding the ceremony Mrs. Otis Krause sang "Oh Promise Me," Clarence Kellogg serving as accompanist. Miss Nellie Reuter played the wedding march, and Miss Ione Flynn rendered a very effective violin solo during the plighting of the troth.
    The groom and his best man, Mr. Clarence Meeker, awaited the bridal party under a beautiful floral arch in the front parlor. The bridesmaids, Miss Stella Duclos and Miss Bertha McPherson, in dainty lingerie gowns over blue taffeta, and Miss Minnie Corey and Miss Bernice Carder, in perline lawn over yellow taffeta, preceded Miss Sadie Amann, maid of honor, and Mrs. D. A. Forbes, matron of honor, who were followed by the bride leaning on her father's arm. The bride looked handsome in a gown of white crepe de chine over cream silk, trimmed with bands of venise insertion and cut en princess; she wore lilies of the valley in her hair and carried a beautiful bouquet of white carnations and fern. The going-away gown was of brown voile over silk, worn with long gloves and small traveling hat to match.
    The bride has grown to womanhood in our city and is held in high esteem by a wide circle of friends because of her sterling worth of character and her many accomplishments.
    After partaking of a dainty informal wedding breakfast, Mr. and Mrs. Bliton left by private conveyance for Phoenix, at which place they took the train for Southern California, where they will spend the honeymoon. They will be at home to their many friends after May 5th in Medford, Oregon.
    Among the out-of-town guests were Mrs. George Barrington and Miss Sadie Amann of Oakland, Calif., Mr. and Mrs. D. A. Forbes of Talent, and Mrs. A. D. Jackson, of Portland, sister of the bride.
Medford Mail, April 17, 1908, page 1



EDITOR BLITON MARRIED.
Former Editor-Postmaster of Wheatland Is a Benedict.
    A. S. Bliton, who in the early days was editor of the Wheatland, N.D. Eagle, is now located at Medford, Ore., where he is editor of the Mail, a weekly publication. The last issue tells of the marriage of Mr. Bliton and Miss Ida Redden, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Redden, of Medford. They will spend their honeymoon in southern California and will be at home May 5. Mr. Bliton is well known throughout North Dakota, and many friends will wish him happiness.
Daily Herald, Grand Forks, North Dakota, April 26, 1908, page 8



Another Daily Paper for Medford.
    MEDFORD, Or., May 24.--(Special.)--The Medford Morning Mail, the second daily paper for this city, made its first appearance today. It is a neat six-column, eight-page paper containing Associated Press reports and a Sunday supplement, and would do credit to a city of 10,000. The paper is published by A. S. Bliton, editor of the Weekly Medford Mail.
Morning Oregonian,
Portland, May 25, 1908, page 2


    Mrs. A. S. Bliton, of Medford, arrived Thursday noon to spend several days with her sister, Mrs. A. Jackson.
"Personal Items," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, April 9, 1909, page 5


ANNOUNCEMENT.
    The Medford Printing Company announces the purchase and consolidation of the Medford Mail, the Southern Oregonian and Jacksonville Times and the Medford Tribune. The merged plants will publish, under the editorial and business management of George Putnam, the Medford Mail Tribune, an evening newspaper, with a Sunday morning edition, and a weekly from eight to sixteen pages, and operate the largest printing and publishing establishment in Southern Oregon.
    The Medford Mail Tribune is the legitimate descendant of the Table Rock Sentinel, established in [1855], the first newspaper in Southern Oregon, and is the heir of all the pioneer journals. The Oregon Sentinel, the successor of the Table Rock Sentinel, was absorbed later by the Democratic Times, founded in 1872 [1871?] as a successor to the Democratic News. The Southern Oregonian, established in Medford in 1902, absorbed the Times in 1907.
    The Medford Mail, founded as the Southern Oregon Mail in 1889 [the Mail was founded in 1888], succeeded the Medford Advertiser, the pioneer paper of Medford, established in 1887, and afterwards absorbed its rival, the Medford Monitor. [The Medford Monitor was Medford's "pioneer paper," printing its first issue February 20, 1885.] In 1893 the property was purchased by the retiring publisher, A. S. Bliton, who retains a financial interest in the new company. The Medford Morning Mail was established in 1908.
    The Medford Tribune was established as Town Talk in Ashland in [1896], and some years later changed its name to Ashland Tribune [the Town Talk was apparently absorbed by the Tribune, also founded in 1896]. In 1906 the plant was moved to Medford and the Medford Tribune, the pioneer daily of Southern Oregon, established.
    The old order changeth, and the newspapers must change also, in fact lead the van of progress. Village journalism long since became a thing of the past in Medford. and the Mail Tribune will be as metropolitan in character as any paper printed in Oregon.
    The merger has been brought about by the recognition of the publishers of the necessity of a first-class daily newspaper to "mark time." Far better one good paper than two poor ones.
    The consolidation is a good thing for Medford, as it ends the factional fights that have divided the community, and helps make a united people that will work harmoniously in the upbuilding of city and country. It is a good thing for subscribers, as it will give them twice as much news for half the money.
    The Mail Tribune will be independent in politics and neutral in local factional fights. It will in a few days have leased wire telegraph service, and maintain correspondents in Ashland, Grants Pass and other valley towns. It will completely cover the news field, and aims to be the best and most up-to-date newspaper published in a city of the size of Medford in the world.
    Advertising contracts and subscription accounts with the Mail, Tribune and Southern Oregonian will be completed by the Medford Mail Tribune.
----
    It is with regret that the people of Medford learn of the retirement of Mr. A. S. Bliton from active newspaper work. For nearly seventeen years Mr. Bliton has been an important factor in the upbuilding of city and valley. No one in any community devotes so much energy, time and money to the public welfare as the average newspaper publisher, and Mr. Bliton has done more than his share in creating the Medford of today.
----
    As the Mail Tribune office is badly torn up, owing to the moving of the Tribune office into the Mail office, and the rearrangement of the latter, it will be several issues before the improvements contemplated in enlarging the paper can be carried into effect.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 1, 1909, page 4


MEDFORD PRINTING COMPANY INCORPORATED
    The Medford Printing Company has been incorporated for $20,000 with A. S. Bliton, George Putnam and H. Withington as trustees. The capital stock is divided into 200 shares at $100 each. The company will publish the Medford Mail Tribune and conduct a general printing business.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 2, 1909, page 1



MEDFORD DAILIES ARE CONSOLIDATED
Two Dailies Find Field Too Small in Booming City with Population Exceeding 7,500.
    MEDFORD, Nov. 3.--Medford, with all its progressiveness and growing wealth, cannot support two daily newspapers. A company has been formed, largely of local capitalists, at the head of which is John B. Allen, the New York millionaire who lately bought the Pacific & Eastern Railroad, for taking over the Evening Tribune, the Morning Mail, the Southern Oregonian, and the Weekly Mail. The new company took control of the property on November 1. On that date the Morning Mail and the Southern Oregonian were discontinued.
    George Putnam, who for the past two years has been editor and manager of the Tribune, will hold these positions on the new paper. A. S. Bliton, who has been publisher of the Weekly Mail for the past twelve years, and who founded the Morning Mail a year and a half ago, will devote his time to his fruit ranch near Medford.
    The merger has been brought about by the recognition of the publishers of the necessity of a first-class daily newspaper for the rapidly growing city of Medford, whose population exceeds 7,500, and the impossibility of supplying the need with two daily newspapers in the field.
Coos Bay Times, Marshfield, Oregon, November 4, 1909, page 1



    A. S. Bliton of this city has been mentioned for the land commissionership of this city made vacant by the departure of Judge W. H. Canon of this city to his new berth as registrar of the land office at Roseburg. The appointment is made by the federal judges of this district, and is nonpolitical.

"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, June 2, 1916, page 2


OREGONIANS INCORPORATE.
    Articles of incorporation for the American Publishing Company of Medford have been filed with the corporation department of Oregon. The company will publish the Medford American. The incorporators are W. W. Watson, Howard A. Hill and A. S. Bliton. Capital stock is $5,000.
The Fourth Estate, November 10, 1917, page 11



Bliton, Tribune's "Dad," Came Here 42 Years Ago
    Just 42 years ago Monday, A. S. Bliton purchased the Southern Oregon Mail, the newspaper which is now the Mail Tribune, after coming all the way from North Dakota to do so. Bliton arrived on Sunday, January 6, 1893, and had to wait until business opened the next day before he could effect the transfer.
    After purchasing the paper, the new editor decided to change the name, believing that Southern Oregon Mail
took in too much territory. The name was changed to Medford Mail, and publication started. The office was on the second floor of a frame building which stood where the Craterian Theater now is.
    The circulation at that time was only 500, not too bad when it is made known that the population was less than a thousand, but the new editor was an "independent," politically speaking, and the rest of the town was predominantly Republican and Democratic, and the subscriptions promptly fell off to a mere 250.
    Nothing daunted, the editor launched further campaigns, quelling fights between the "east side" and the "west side," factions composed of those living on opposite sides of the Southern Pacific tracks. (The S.P. depot stood in the middle of 7th Street, which is now Main Street.)
    Medford was prosperous at that time, although tiny, and the paper soon began to prosper also under the new head, shooting up so that within 18 months it boasted 1500 subscriptions.
    Reminiscing today, Bliton stated that at that time there was not a single paved street in the town. The residential section as we now know it was undreamed of, and most of the buildings were of frame construction.
    In 1899, however, the company moved across the street into the brick building now occupied by the Buster Brown shoe store, and were forced, according to Bliton, to pay the exorbitantly high rent of $15 a month! This deplorable condition went on for 10 years, at the end of which time the landlord built a new brick building, 50x50 feet, and hiked the rent even higher, this time sending it towering to $16 a month!
    Mr. Bliton sold out in 1909 to George Putnam, now publishing the Salem Capital Journal. The Medford Mail was by that time a daily, with a circulation of 2700.
    The equipment used in that old plant was of the best, one of the job presses still being in use in the Mail Tribune job department, and still showing no signs of wear.
    A. F. Stennett, foreman of the Tribune back shop at the present time, and A. E. Powell, publisher of the Central Point American, were both employed by Bliton on the old paper.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 9, 1935, page 3


A. S. BLITON, EARLY PUBLISHER HERE, TAKEN BY DEATH
    A. S. Bliton, prominent resident of Medford since 1893, died at his home, 726 West Fourth Street, this morning at 8:35 after six weeks illness, during which time he underwent two operations.
    Mr. Bliton, who would have been 81 years of age next Sunday, was born on June 9, 1859 in Clyde, N.Y. In January 1893, after moving to Medford, he established the Medford Mail, a weekly paper, which later became a daily. In 1909 it was purchased by the Medford Tribune, then published by George Putnam, and became what is now known as the Medford Mail Tribune.
   
Before coming to Medford, Mr. Bliton published newspapers at Wheatland, N.D., and for a year and a half at Florence, Ore. In his busy and colorful career, Mr. Bliton also occupied federal positions. He was postmaster at Wheatland, and in his early Medford days was United States commissioner at a time when a large volume of timber business passed through the local office.
    On July 1, 1937, Mr. Bliton retired from the California Oregon Power Company after 20 years service, on a monthly pension as a reward for long and loyal labor with the concern.
    Following his retirement from Copco, Mr. Bliton busied himself with odd jobs around his home and up until his illness six weeks ago was a familiar figure about the business district, calling on old friends and making new ones.
    Mr. Bliton's circle of friends and acquaintances in the valley was large, and his death will be mourned by hundreds. He was an active member of the Methodist Church and a true Christian throughout his long and useful life.
    He is survived by his wife, Ida M. Bliton; two daughters, Mrs. Loraine Thomas, Medford; and Mrs. Mildred B. Dodge, Yreka, Cal. Also one son, Albert H. Bliton, Eugene, and two grandchildren, Laurnell Dodge and Claire Loraine Thomas.
    Funeral arrangements, in charge of Conger Funeral Home, will be announced tomorrow.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 5, 1940, page 1

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

MANY CHANGES NOTED BY FORMER RESIDENT;
FRIENDSHIPS RENEWED

    A. C. Faris, former Medford resident who left here in 1897 and is now city clerk of Richmond, Cal., was renewing old friendships in the city today. He is en route home with Mrs. Faris and their daughter Betty after making a motor trip to British Columbia.
    Mr. Faris lived here for ten years. He was graduated from the Medford high school in 1893 when it was situated on the site now occupied by the courthouse. As a youth he worked for a time as a printer's devil for A. S. Bliton, then editor of the Sun
[sic], and now a Copco employee. Mr. Bliton was the first old friend he met today.
    This is Mr. Faris' second visit to Medford since leaving here in 1897. He came back for a brief visit in 1920. He said today many progressive changes have taken place here since his 1920 visit.
    Tomorrow Mr. Faris and his family will spend the day at Crater Lake National Park. It will be his first view of the lake since his initial trek to the mountain resort in 1890. At that time, he recalled, it took him three days to reach the lake by wagon. Tomorrow he expects to drive to the lake in three hours.
    He will leave for home Friday. He is registered at the Hotel Medford.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 1, 1936, page 7


PIONEER EDITOR OF CITY PASSES
    Ira A. Phelps, publisher of the second newspaper ever to make its appearance in Medford, died in Lebanon, Ore., August 31 after a lingering illness, A. S. Bliton revealed today. [The Medford Mail was Medford's third newspaper, making Phelps' paper the fourth.]
    Bliton, who employed Phelps as a printer on the old Medford Weekly Mail, said that Phelps moved from here with his family about 1898, and after spending some time in Oakland, Calif. moved to Lebanon, where he remained until his death. Phelps, according to Bliton, operated a paper here about 1890, later selling out and going to work for Bliton.
    During the past few years, Phelps had been in extremely poor health. His death will be regretted by many of his former friends here and in other parts of the county.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 15, 1937, page 3




Last revised August 19, 2017