Medford Pioneers: Harold Union Lumsden
Mr. H. U. Lumsden, of Minneapolis, Minn., who has been at Grants Pass for several weeks, visited Ashland last Tuesday. He will return to Minneapolis soon, and will undoubtedly take a favorable report of the Southern Oregon climate.
Born in Lakeview, Minnesota on February 23, 1863, Harold Union Lumsden operated a mercantile business in Medford for over thirty-five years, thirty of those years in partnership with Clarence I. Hutchison. Lumsden was a former city councilman, and at the time of his death was a city water commissioner and vice-president of Jackson County Bank. Death came to him on September 8, 1927 while seated at the breakfast table at his home at 610 South Holly. He was 64.
Elizabeth Freeman Lumsden died January 14, 1961, at the age of 95. She was born July 31, 1865, in Farmington, Minnesota, the daughter of Dr. T. N. and Jane Dennison Berlin. She was married in Farmington to Harold Lumsden on September 15, 1887.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, November 20, 1885, page 3
Mrs. Lumsden writes from the home of her late father in the East that he died soon after her arrival there in answer to the dispatch summoning her to his bedside.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 26, 1890, page 3
Miss Carrie Lumsden arrived from San Jose Friday of last week, and after visiting friends here a few days will continue on to Portland.
"Local and General," Southern Oregon Mail, May 6, 1892, page 3
D. J. Lumsden and family arrived from California a short time since and will spend a short time here.
H. U. Lumsden and wife, who will make their future residence at Portland, are visiting their old home here.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 10, 1892, page 3
In Portland, Oregon, Sunday morning, October 15, 1893, D. J. Lumsden, aged sixty years and ten months.
Deceased is an uncle of C. I. Hutchison, of this city, and was at once time himself a resident of Medford, and at the time of his death he owned considerable property here. His malady was paralysis. During his stay in Medford he made a great many friends, and all will grieve over his demise. The funeral occurred Tuesday under the auspices of the G.A.R. post, of which he was a member.
Medford Mail, October 20, 1893, page 3
H. U. Lumsden of San Jose, Calif., a former resident of Medford, is here looking after his interests. He informs us that his father died suddenly of heart disease about a year since.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 29, 1894, page 2
H. U. Lumsden returned to Portland Wednesday evening. He has friends aplenty in Medford, and his visits are always welcome ones.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, February 23, 1894, page 3
H. U. Lumsden, who has been spending a few weeks in this section, has gone to Portland.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 26, 1894, page 2
Frank Amann has been busily engaged in putting down sidewalks during the past week, and completed six hundred and fifty feet of walk adjoining the Lumsden property in southwest Medford last week.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 12, 1894, page 2
H. U. Lumsden, of Portland, and A. N. Berlin, of Kent, Washington, were in Medford several days this week looking after some city property interests. Mr. Berlin is a merchant in Kent, but like many another wise financier, has speculations in Medford.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, March 30, 1894, page 2
Another change has been made in the ownership of the Owl Grocery, this time the retiring gentlemen are W. P. H. Legate and John Morris, and the new owners are H. U. Lumsden and A. N. Berlin. Mr. Lumsden was a former resident of this city, and Mr. Berlin is from Kent, Washington, where he has been engaged in like business. Both are young men, possessed of good, sound business ability, and unless their looks and reputation greatly belie them they will be keen competitors for a goodly share of trade in their line.
Medford Mail, March 30, 1894, page 3
W. H. P. Legate and John Morris have sold the Owl grocery store to H. U. Lumsden, who lately returned from California, and A. N. Berlin of Kent, Wash.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 2, 1894, page 2
Merchant H. U. Lumsden is at Portland this week .His family as well as the family of his partner, Mr. Berlin, will return with him.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, April 13, 1894, page 2
Merchant Berlin moved into his new C Street residence Wednesday. It's a very neat, cozy little home.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, October 19, 1894, page 3
At Lumsden & Berlin's is the place to get any kind of tobacco, cigars by the box a specialty--Hotel block. Wholesale and retail groceries.
South Oregon Monitor, Medford, December 7, 1894, page 3
H. U. Lumsden and family, his mother, Mrs. D. J. Lumsden, and sister, Miss Carrie, arrived yesterday morning from Portland. They will reside permanently in Medford.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, April 20, 1894, page 2
Merchant A. N. Berlin has been ill a good part of this week--so ill as to make staying at home quite necessary. E. N. Warner has been working in team harness with Mr. Lumsden in the store during Mr. Berlin's, we hope, temporary absence.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, February 14, 1896, page 5
There is a new sign swinging in the breeze in Medford this week. H. U. Lumsden has purchased an interest in the C. I. Hutchison stock of general merchandise, and the new firm is Hutchison & Lumsden. Mr. Lumsden has been a resident and business man of our town for a number of years, and he has friends at every turn in the road who will be glad of an opportunity to do business with him in his new quarters. He is a good business man, an honorable citizen and is bound to do well in any line of business. The new firm is carrying an ad with The Mail, which can be found on another page.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 15, 1898, page 7
A Hutchison & Lumsden advertising card, 1898, SOHS M44C1
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 18, 1898, page 3
Mrs. E. M. Lumsden returned home Sunday from her quite extended eastern trip.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 30, 1898, page 7
Messrs. Hutchison & Lumsden have a window display of shoes that's worth anyone's time in looking at. Their salesman, Mr. McGowan, is truly an artist in window decorating.
"Additional Local Items," Medford Mail, April 6, 1900, page 6
C. R. Buckman, of Casper, Wyoming, was in Medford last week visiting H. U. Lumsden and family. Mr. Buckman, who is a cousin of Mr. Lumsden, is an extensive stock raiser of Wyoming, and was on his way home from attendance at the recent woolgrowers' convention at Salt Lake City, Utah.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, February 1, 1901, page 6
H. U. Lumsden and wife are visiting relatives in Seattle.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 21, 1901, page 3
Little Ruth, daughter of merchant and Mrs. H. U. Lumsden, is quite seriously ill with fever.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, March 29, 1901, page 6
J. Berlin, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, arrived in Medford last Friday for an extended visit with his sister, Mrs. H. U. Lumsden.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, May 24, 1901, page 6
Mrs. E. M. Lumsden, who has been sojourning at Los Angeles, Calif. for several months, returned to her home in this city last Friday evening.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, June 21, 1901, page 6
Merchant H. U. Lumsden and family and Miss Fern Hutchison left this (Friday) morning for Pelican Bay, Crater Lake and other points of interest east of the mountains.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, August 16, 1901, page 6
Merchant H. U. Lumsden and family returned Sunday evening from a ten days' swing around the circle--Pelican Bay, Seven Mile, Ft. Klamath and Crater Lake."Purely Personal," Medford Mail, August 30, 1901, page 6
Will Jackson has taken a position as assistant bookkeeper at the Medford Bank. He is a very competent young man and well versed in the duties required. His former position in Hutchison & Lumsden's general store has been taken by L. O. Howard, who was formerly with H. H. Howard & Co.'s grocery house, and his position is being filled by J. W. Shearer, who arrived here recently from the East.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 11, 1901, page 7
Merchants C. I. Hutchison and H. U. Lumsden are over Steamboat way this week in quest of bear and other small game. Their friends will be deluged with hair-breadth escapes from chipmunks and vicious deer upon their return.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, January 24, 1902, page 6
Mr. and Mrs. H. U. Lumsden entertained a few of their friends at their pleasant home, corner of North B and Sixth streets, on Tuesday evening of last week. Those present were Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Whitman, Mr. and Mrs. C. I. Hutchison, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. McGowan, attorney and Mrs. W. I. Vawter, Dr. and Mrs. E. B. Pickel, Mr. and Mrs. I. A. Webb, Miss Pearl Webb and Mrs. G. L. Davis.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, January 24, 1902, page 7
Dr. C. W. Rollings, of Portland, was in Medford a few days this week upon a visit to merchant H. U. Lumsden and family. The doctor and Mr. Lumsden's people were old-time Minnesota friends.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, February 28, 1902, page 6
Mrs. E. M. Lumsden is visiting at Portland and Tacoma. She will go East soon, accompanied by her brother, F. W. Hutchison.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 29, 1902, page 6
H. U. Lumsden and his son, Treve Berlin of Auburn, Wash., and J. L. Sheffield of Ashland are making a trip to Crater Lake and Pelican Bay.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 23, 1902, page 4
H. U. Lumsden and son, Treve, Treve Berlin, of Auburn, Wash., and J. L. Sheffield, of Ashland, left early Sunday morning for a ten days' outing, their itinerary embracing Rogue River, Crater Lake, Ft. Klamath and Pelican Bay. The men of the party are old-time schoolmates, and they will doubtlessly have a jolly time in recounting reminiscences of their boyhood days.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 25, 1902, page 6
Dr. T. N. Berlin, who is here upon a visit to his daughter, Mrs. H. U. Lumsden, was called to his home at Kent, Wash., very suddenly Tuesday by a telegram announcing the illness of his son at that place. He was accompanied home by his sister-in-law, Mrs. Treve Berlin, who was also visiting here, and whose husband is now out in the mountains with Mr. Lumsden.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, August 1, 1902, page 6
Mrs. H. U. Lumsden and Mrs. C. I. Hutchison left for Colestin Sunday for a few weeks' stay--where cool, fresh mountain air, mineral water and Medford people predominate.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, August 15, 1902, page 6
J. Court Hall and family have again taken up their residence in Medford, having moved here last week. They are occupying the Lumsden residence on North C Street, between Sixth and Seventh.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, October 3, 1902, page 6
F. W. Hutchison and his sister, Mrs. E. M. Lumsden, returned Friday from an extended trip north, south and east. They left Medford last spring and visited friends in Portland, Seattle, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Indiana, Chicago and points in Iowa and Ohio, coming back by the way of Southern California and stopping at Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco. While east they encountered all kinds of weather, from burning heat to disagreeable rains. They found many changes in their old home city--Minneapolis--and while having had an enjoyable trip, were heartily glad when they stepped from the train at Medford. Mr. Hutchison related that during the month of July last past, in Indiana, rain fell twenty-nine days out of the thirty-one in the month, and in Iowa during the seventeen days he was there rain fell on twelve of them. Speaking about precipitation, there does not seem to be anything wrong with Iowa and Indiana, but it comes in spells and they are all bad spells--for the people. For instance, a year ago last summer there was scarcely any rain at all during the whole season and all vegetation dried up, while last summer it was all wet and no dry. Old Oregon never in her whole history did a trick as mean as those two above mentioned. Here we get just a good bit of sunshine, just enough of rain--and then a heart that's glad.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, December 26, 1902, page 6
Miss Jessie Cole is cleverly filling the position of saleslady at Hutchison & Lumsden's mercantile establishment.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 6, 1903, page 4
Mrs. H. U. Lumsden and daughter, Miss Ruth, left Monday morning for an extended visit with relatives in several points in Washington.
"News of Society: Medford," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, May 24, 1903, page 31
On Friday evening of last week Mr. and Mrs. H. U. Lumsden entertained the ladies of the Lewis and Clark Club and their husbands at their beautiful home, corner North B and Sixth streets. There were fully forty guests present, and a most delightful evening was spent. As a matter of fact, no person can be the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Lumsden who does not enjoy an exceedingly good time. The invitations requested that each guest should dress to represent a book, and there were forty different books represented that evening. A prize was offered the person guessing the titles of the most books represented, which prize was won by Mr. and Mrs. W. I. Vawter. There was a choice program of vocal and instrumental music, and afterward the gentlemen were given the initiatory degree in the Lewis and Clark Club. The gentlemen had always supposed that the sterner sex had a monopoly on difficult fraternal initiations, but now confess that the initiatory work in the Lewis and Clark Club is beyond anything they have ever been through, and are wondering what the second degree will be. Delicious refreshments of ice cream, cake, coffee and punch were served.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 9, 1905, page 5
Merchant H. U. Lumsden has invested in a new Reo five-passenger touring automobile. The car is now here, and Harold is working overtime learning the kinks peculiar to animals of the "honk" species. The auto is a facsimile of the one Mr. Hutchison has, which has proven itself to be about the smoothest-running machine which has ever hit the high places on Josh Patterson's good country roads. If Mr. Lumsden gets as much real enjoyment out of his car as Mr. Hutchison has his, he is going to have a pretty good time all the time.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 23, 1906, page 5
The Ladies' Aid Society of the Presbyterian Church will give a lawn social at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. H. U. Lumsden on Friday evening, May 11th, to which all are invited. The ladies will serve strawberries, cake, ice cream, coffee and punch. Aside from the fact that the socials given by this society are always enjoyable occasions, the good cause in which they hare given should make the attendance large and the receipts larger. The Ladies' Aid Society is doing great work and ought to receive substantial encouragement. Attend the social and help swell the receipts. Don't stop at one dish of strawberries or ice cream, but take in the whole menu and you will feel better both in mind and body afterward.
Medford Mail, May 11, 1906, page 4
Visited Table Rock.Sunday H. U. Lumsden and family, C. I. Hutchison and family and Mr. and Mrs. Harry Metzger, of Logansport, Ind., had a most enjoyable automobile trip to Table Rock. They climbed the rock and enjoyed to the full the magnificent view from the summit. In telling of the trip Mr. Lumsden said to a Mail reporter: "We didn't take the machines to the top of the rock; there are some places, you know, where the means of locomotion which nature provides us with is superior to any other, the steep sides of Table Rock is one of them. When we reached the summit Hutchison and I forgot that we were supposed to be staid and steady men of family and business, and commenced rolling rocks down the cliffs whenever we had an opportunity. At length we came to the brink of a cliff over two hundred feet high. It was an ideal place to roll rocks, and we took full advantage of it. The whole party was standing on the edge, as near as they dared, in order to see where the rock struck. It landed with a crash in the midst of a clump of laurel--and then something happened that we hadn't bargained for. Out of that brush patch leaped an immense buck, with spreading, velvet-covered antlers and his smooth coat shining in the sun. Everyone held his or her breath as the deer, with graceful bounds--seemingly unfrightened--made his way around the cliff and out of sight. But you should have seen those Indiana people. The sight of that deer alone was worth all the trip to them. Then when we led them to the side of the rock facing the main valley they could not express their admiration, and no one can describe the scene. If you haven't seen Rogue River Valley from the top of Table Rock, you haven't seen it."
Medford Mail, May 18, 1906, page 1
There is quite a colony of North Dakotans in this valley. . . . H. U. Lumsden, a storekeeper, is another of the pioneers. He has been here twenty years. He was formerly a wheat buyer at Buxton.
Stephen A. Nye, "Nye Writes Letter of Interest Locally," Evening Times, Grand Forks, North Dakota, December 6, 1907, page 6
SAD NEWS OF DEATH OF RUTH LUMSDEN
Sixteen-Year-Old Daughter of H. U. Lumsden Passes Away Suddenly,
of Diphtheria, While Visiting in Washington.
All Medford was shocked this morning at the sad news of the sudden death of Ruth Lumsden, the 16-year-old daughter of H. U. Lumsden, who passed away last evening after a short illness which developed into diphtheria while she was away with her mother in Kent, Wash., visiting at the home of her mother's family. She has been slightly sick during the last week, complaining of a sore throat, but no one apparently suspected that it was anything serious until yesterday, when a telegram arrived telling of her critical condition.
Mr. Lumsden instantly left for Washington on the early train yesterday morning, which brought him to Kent this morning, but too late, for his daughter had died early last evening.
All her many friends remember her as a lovely girl, and their sympathy goes out to her heartbroken parents in their bereavement.
As soon as arrangements can be made for bringing the body here the date of the funeral can be announced.
Medford Daily Tribune, June 29, 1908, page 1 The Eastwood Cemetery sexton's records list Ruth's cause of death as "pantomime" poisoning--ptomaine poisoning.
IN MEMORY OF RUTH LUMSDEN.
To celebrate the virtues of the young
Needs no apology. The wise are they
Who well prepare the warp when is begun
The silken fabric of their conscious day.
The soft, sweet fragrance of the maiden mind,
In chastity's retreat kept and secure,
Is like a blossom blooming where doth wind
Mild streams, perennial, formed to endure
For every maid whose character is laid,
In moral rectitude and then is formed
By some firm mother hand, on wisdom stayed,
Will have remembrance where best gems are urned?
Is as a color tone within the rose,
Is as a ruby in a temple's fane,
Is as a star to point a vessel's course.
What buds shall burst to bloom in sun-warmed isles,
Brings but the incident fragrance of their span;
No warrant e'er was given that their smiles
Shall else than fade into the eternal plan.
The radiant beam, swift driven from the sun,
Dies out afar upon dim lengths of dawn;
The cycled stars, which in bright or bits run,
Shall fail their light, when their strength shall have flown.
Thus would one sing of each blest mortal flower,
Which fragrant blooms beside life's golden stream;
Responsive to the sunshine and the shower;
The substance, yet the shadow and the dream.
She whom we write of--perished in her bloom--
Is as a blossom broken in the storm;
The silver thread of life torn ere the loom
Had caught the threads of strength unto her form.
Thus hath she, like the attar of the rose,
Passed on beyond the morning and the breeze;
To rest upon some island of repose,
And listen to the harp of eternities.
Give hope an anchorage in some promised star.
And she will guide her sail forever on;
The wings of morning have borne Ruth afar.
Into the heart of Lyra's purple zone.
Is as a passing breeze on the green earth,
Is as a breath out of the infinitudes,
Is as a wreath hung on life's shrine, apace.
D. H. HAWKINS,Medford Daily Tribune, July 1, 1908, page 2
Medford, Oregon, June 30, 1908.
(From Thursday's Daily.}No fuller testimonial to the affection which her friends and schoolmates had for her, nor of the respect in which her parents are held in this community, could have been given than in the presence of the large concourse of people who attended the funeral of Miss Ruth Lumsden yesterday. It was not a crowd of curious people drawn thither by the fascination which seems to exist in some minds for witnessing the sorrows of others, but a gathering of loving, sorrowing friends, who felt only in a less degree the grief of her immediate relatives. The services were simple, consisting of a hymn by the Presbyterian choir, of which church Ruth was a faithful and zealous member, a short prayer by Rev. W. F. Shields, a second hymn, the sermon by the officiating minister and the concluding hymn of the service.
The casket, covered with flowers, was borne to the hearse by six of the dead girl's schoolmates, and as the cortege moved it was led by the Queen Esther Club, an organization connected with the Sunday school. In the morning, at the arrival of the train which bore her body, forty of the high school girls met the train and acted as an escort from the depot to the residence.
During the time of the funeral the stores of the city were closed as a mark of respect.
Medford Mail, July 3, 1908, page 1
H. U. Lumsden of Medford, Ore., accompanied by his family, arrived yesterday in his 40 horsepower Chalmers-Detroit touring car. The travelers report the roads in fair condition in northern California, but say that north of the California line that traveling is rough and rocky. Lumsden made an easy trip coming to this city in four days. He will leave the city for San Jose, after which they expect to visit Santa Clara, Del Monte, Los Angeles and even into Mexico.
Oakland Tribune, California, October 4, 1908, page 29
OREGON MEN WILL INVEST
Option Taken on 50,000 Acres of Land in Old Mexico.
Options on 50,000 acres of agricultural land lying 200 miles west of the City of Mexico, in Old Mexico, have been gained by four Oregon men, who will leave this evening on the Shasta Limited for the south to complete the deal.
The men who hold the option are: George F. and Charles H. King, timber dealers of Portland, and C. I. Hutchison and H. U. Lumsden, both merchants of Medford.
The land, it is said, is rich and adapted for raising and adapted for raising tropical fruits, or pasturage. If the deal is completed, the new owners will try to form a corporation which will keep the land intact. The price to be paid for the land is not announced.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, February 12, 1910, page 9
MEDFORD MEN VIEW BULL FIGHT
But They Are Not Much Enthused with the Entertainment--
Too Much Blood and the Bull Has Too Little Chance.
George and Charles King, H. U. Lumsden and C. I. Hutchison are in Mexico looking over some mining and timber investments. Having an opportunity to see a genuine bull fight pulled off in the regular Spanish style, they attended one at a big celebration near the city of Mexico the other day.
Mr. Hutchison writes to his father, F. W. Hutchison, that while the exhibition was exciting, it wasn't particularly pleasant.
Six bulls and 18 horses were killed. The horses were ridden into the ring blindfolded and had no chance to escape the sharp horns of the bulls. The bulls didn't have any more of a chance, for after three or four horses had been killed the matador put the quietus on the bull.
One man was injured by his horse falling on him when the bull charged, and the bull was loudly applauded by the audience for the act. It didn't save him, however, from the fatal sword of the matador.
The party expects to be in the interior of Mexico for several weeks before returning home.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 11, 1910, page 2
The Harold Lumsden House, 2009. The beautiful magnolia tree, at right, was removed in February 2017.
LUMSDEN TO BUILD HOMEThings are doing out on South Holly Street.
H. U. Lumsden Will Build a Fine Home in South Park Addition
at Cost of $10,000--Things Are Coming in New Tract of Lots.
First, the owners got together and platted a new addition to the city and decide to call it "South Park Addition." South Holly Street is one of the longest streets in the city and runs right through this new addition. The street is paved right up to this addition and will no doubt be paved all the way in a very short time. Cement sidewalks are already in on South Holly Street for some 3000 feet, and more are to go in.
H. U. Lumsden will begin a fine home on  South Holly Street in the very near future. The plans are already in his hands, and the home when completed will cost about $10,000 or possibly more. The building restrictions and line limit in this addition will assure only first-class homes being built, and there is great prospects of many being built in this addition during the coming summer. If you want to see the finest lots in the city--lots that are being sold on a positive guarantee of 4 percent increase in one year--you should see one of the owners of this addition.
C. W. Palm, H. U. Lumsden, C. I. Hutchison and F. W. Hutchison are the owners and will be pleased to tell you all about this new addition.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 2, 1911, page C6
Medford Packing House Burns.
MEDFORD, Or., April 4.--(Special.)--The packing house belonging to Hutchison & Lumsden, just outside the city limits of Medford, was burned to the ground this morning at 6 o'clock. Several hundred packing boxes were stored in the building. The loss is estimated at $1500, with no insurance. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 5, 1910, page 6
The Lumsden residence now being erected in South Medford will use what is known as broken ashlar face block [manufactured by the Medford Miracle Concrete Company] for the colonial fireplace and chimney, and for the large porch foundations and porch columns, making a novel and beautiful finish, and many others are planning residences of like material."Factory in Medford Turns Out New Style of Concrete Blocks," Medford Sun, April 16, 1911, page 1
A marriage license was issued to Miss Evelyn Lucile Messner of Dallas to Treve Berlin Lumsden, a banker of Medford.--Salem Capital Journal.
"Local Briefs," Medford Mail Tribune, August 30, 1920, page 2
H. U. Lumsden is erecting a one-story concrete structure with 100 feet on Sixth Street and 200 feet on Bartlett to be occupied partly by Gates and Lydiard and an auto sales room.
"Building Activities in Medford Greater Than for Many Years," Medford Sun, May 10, 1925, page C2
DEATH CLAIMS H. U. LUMSDEN IN HOME TODAY
Well-Known Merchant and Citizen Stricken this Morning--Passing Shock to City--
Active for Years in Local Civic Affairs.
Harold Union Lumsden, pioneer merchant and resident of this city, was stricken suddenly at his home, 610 South Holly Street, this morning. Death came as he was seated at the breakfast table. The said news came as a shock to the city. He was apparently in his usual good health last night. Death was due to heart failure.
Mr. Lumsden was one of the most widely known citizens of southern Oregon and Jackson County. For over thirty years, with C. I. Hutchison, he has conducted a mercantile business in this city. He was a former member of the city council, and a member of the city water commission at the time of his death. He was active in civic affairs, and a large property owner. He was also vice-president of the Jackson County Bank.
Mr. Lumsden came to Medford in 1888 from Minnesota, and engaged in the mercantile business. Five years later he became associated with C. I. Hutchison in a similar line. The business at that time included the Klamath reservation district. Indians every fall and spring came with six-horse teams and bought half-year supplies from the firm.
Mr. Lumsden was a friendly soul of sterling character, held in high esteem. He was born at Lakeview, Minnesota on February 23, 1863, and was 64 years of age.
Mr. Lumsden was married September 15, 1887 to Miss Bessie Berlin, and to the union were born three children. A son, Treve Lumsden, resides in Oakland, Calif. His aged mother, who recently passed her 91st birthday, two grandchildren, and the widow survive.
Mr. Lumsden was active in the fraternal life of the city, and with his friend and business partner, C. I. Hutchison, were the last of those who signed the charter for the founding of the Knights of Pythias lodge here. He was also a member of Medford Lodge A.F.&A.M., Crater Lake Chapter No. 32, R.A.M., Malta Commandery No. 4, Knights Templar, Ashland, and Al Kader Shrine Temple, Portland, Oregon.
Funeral arrangements are in charge of the Perl Funeral Home and will be announced later.
Medford Mail Tribune clipping dated September 8, 1927, Thomas scrapbook, SOHS M43B3
Medford Mail Tribune, September 6, 1931, page 5
BELOVED PIONEER FETED BY MANY; SHE IS 95 TODAY
Mrs. D. J. "Grandma" Lumsden is 95 today. And from the vine-covered home on South Holly, where she lives with her daughter-in-law, Mrs. H. U. Lumsden, she greets the world with the enthusiasm and faith which have brought her an increase of friends with each year.
Showered with flowers and other birthday remembrances, the beloved little pioneer smiles at the date on the calendar and her rapidly approaching centennial. Her blue eyes, which have watched men return from several wars, guided knitting needles and spinning wheel and lowered before the sharp gaze of the Minnesota Indian, welcome callers from all sections of the valley.
They are not dimmed by glasses, and the teeth which her smile reveals are her own.
Seated in a large chair before her window yesterday with an open book resting in her slender hands, she reviewed for early callers a few of the experiences 95 years have brought.
"I think people are about the same today as they used to be," she remarked, refusing to condemn the younger generation. "I like to read. I enjoy books more than anything. This one is a birthday present from my sister. I don't like silly books, but I find there are plenty of good ones written."
Questioned as to her opinion of motion pictures, she answered: "I like the movies. But I can't hear well since my illness of last winter, and so I don't go to talkies anymore. I could hear all right until I was ill.
"I have never driven a car. You see, they weren't stylish when I was young, but I love to go driving. I've no desire to ride in an airplane, though. If I have to fall I'd rather fall from an auto.
"Oh, yes, I used to ride horses. I lived on a farm until I was married in '56. I used to go out in the pasture, catch my horse, bridle and saddle her and away I would go over the countryside," a new twinkle entered her eyes as she laid her book on the window sill.
"I've lived in many states, in city and country, and I believe I like city life the best. Of course, there's lots of fun on the farm, too."
Turning to talk of fashions, when hoop skirts were the mode, Grandma paused to go upstairs and bring down some photographs. She took the steps with the utmost ease and returned soon with a daguerreotype.
The picture showed a girl with beautiful hair, attired in a velvet gown, enhanced with full sleeves and quaint basque waist.
"It was my wedding dress," she explained, "wine-colored velvet."
No review of a sturdy, simple life was given by Grandma as explanation of her good health. "My husband, my children, most of my brothers and sisters have crossed the great divide," she said. "I was the oldest of 12 children, born near Dayton, Ohio, in '36. I married D. J. Lumsden of Syracuse, N.Y. in '56. We had four children. They have all gone. My daughter, Carrie, and son, H. U. Lumsden, were well known here. My father died when he was 79, my mother when she was 84.
"I have just a sister and two brothers left. My sister in Los Angeles is 20 years younger than I am."
Mrs. Lumsden traveled to Minnesota with her husband behind a team of oxen in '56. Her husband, two brothers and two brothers-in-law fought in the Union army during the Civil War. Her husband also fought in the Indian war, and she knitted socks for her grandson, Treve Lumsden of this city, when he went to France.
She has lived in Medford for 40 years. "I came here when the place was just mud, mud, mud," she explained yesterday. "I came west when the golden spike was laid, crossing the mountains by stage.
"I have seen Indians, friendly and unfriendly, and I was scared to death of them when I glimpsed their shadows from under my sunbonnet in Minnesota."
Mrs. Lumsden has known many sorrows, endured many hardships as the years went by, taking with them relatives and friends, but she has always continued to make new ones.
Her visits with her nephew, C. I. Hutchison of the Hutchison and Lumsden store, and members of his staff are anticipated by residents of the valley who chance to meet her there. She hasn't stopped at the store for a chat since last January, but hopes to soon again.
Each day she extends a jolly greeting to her two great-grandchildren, Ann Lee and Treve Lumsden, Jr., and their little friends, who call at her home.
Medford Mail Tribune clipping dated August 27, 1931, Thomas scrapbook, SOHS M43B3
Medford Woman Observes 90th Birthday;
Recalls When City Had 200 Population
In January of 1888, when Medford had a population of about 200, Mrs. [Harold] U. Lumsden came here from Minnesota as a bride. Today Mrs. Lumsden will be 90 years old and believes that she has been privileged to live through an interesting period of history.
In 1888 one of the new town's main buildings was the Nash Hotel (now the Allen Hotel), there was no bank, but three churches, the Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist, had been organized. [The Hotel Medford at Main and Front would not be renamed by Capt. Nash, its new owner, until 1895.] The Southern Pacific Railway had completed its line through the valley only the week before the Lumsdens arrived. [The golden spike uniting the northern and southern sections of the Oregon and California Railroad was driven in Ashland on December 17, 1887. Interestingly, it was the same spike driven at Promontory Point eighteen years earlier.]
The Lumsdens' first home was located where the Woolworth store now stands [near Sixth and Central], and later they lived in a home on the corner of Sixth and Bartlett streets. Mr. Lumsden and his wife's brother, A. N. Berlin, now of Seattle, operated a grocery store located back of the Nash Hotel for a few years, and after a time the Lumsdens moved to California, where they lived briefly. Returning to Medford, Mr. Lumsden became a partner in Hutchison and Lumsden, a general merchandising firm located in a building where Mann's Department Store now stands [near Main and Central]. This business was in operation for 35 years.
"I hardly know Medford now," said Mrs. Lumsden, speaking of the city's growth and development. "I could easily get lost, especially on the east side. When my friends take me for rides around the east side districts, I remember how my father-in-law used to say 'don't buy or build on the east side--there's too much danger of flooding.'"
She recalled that this was true in those days, Bear Creek having flooded scores of residents from their homes at different times. Mrs. Lumsden remembers the first car the family owned, a Reo, and recalled how it once was stuck in the mud about where the new Rogue Valley Bank building is located [at 1109] Court Street [current site of Medford Fabrication].
Before purchasing the car, the Lumsden family made long trips using horses and wagons, or hacks. Mrs. Lumsden particularly remembers the first time the family set out on the four-day drive to Crater Lake. Shortly after leaving she became ill and in Union Creek was forced to remain in bed. The stay in Union Creek lasted for about six weeks, for she had typhoid fever.
The next time the family set out for the lake, Mr. Lumsden chose another route for the beginning of the trip. The wagon road was so rough the couple tied the children in the back seat of the vehicle to keep them from falling out when it bounced over big rocks and fell into deep holes.
"The first day we reached Elk Creek and the second day we had driven as far as Prospect," she recalled. Bad as was the road to Crater Lake the one to Lake o' Woods was worse, she said.
Mrs. Lumsden's early-day activities included membership in Adarel chapter, Order of the Eastern Star in Jacksonville, and in those days she made the trip to Jacksonville by horse and buggy to attend chapter meetings. In 1900 she helped organize Reames chapter in Medford, and was its third worthy matron. She has been a member of First Presbyterian Church since 1897.
During the interview Mrs. Lumsden removed her wedding ring from her hand and explained she was especially proud of the ring because it is made of Oregon gold. Mr. Lumsden bought the gold of a man who had mined it near Wolf Creek, and mailed the metal to his fiancée in Minnesota. A Minneapolis jeweler made up the plain gold band which Mrs. Lumsden has worn ever since her marriage in 1887. Mrs. Lumsden is a native of Farmington, Minn., and as a girl was Bessie Berlin.
One of the first clubs in Medford was the Lewis and Clark club, organized as a civic group. When Mrs. Lumsden served as president, she appointed a committee to work towards securing a library. She recalls that on the committee, or "library board," were Dr. J. F. Reddy, W. I. Vawter, a banker, Mrs. E. B. Pickel, who now lives in California, Mrs. Paul Tice and Mrs. M. L. Alford.
The committee induced C. C. Beekman, Jacksonville banker, to donate land for the library and with the aid of a Carnegie library grant the first building was eventually erected. [The Democratic Times of March 2, 1888 says Beekman was paid $275 for the lot. The library donation myth is likely a confabulation with Beekman's donation of two lots on West Main to the Presbyterian church.]
Medford's early-day residents enjoyed parties, as they do now, and Mrs. Lumsden remembers one the Lewis and Clark club gave. Guests were to dress to represent the name of a book. Among the guests were Mr. and Mrs. W. T. York, with Mr. York dressed as "Innocents Abroad" and his wife as "A Long Look Ahead." Mrs. Ed Warner's costume was "The Light That Failed" and Dr. Bundy came attired as Shakespeare. W. I. Vawter was "The Prospector" and Mrs. Vawter the "Kentucky Cardinal." Mrs. Lumsden and her mother-in-law were dressed as "Adam Bede" and "Bittersweet." Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Gore had signed the program book, but failed to note what costumes they wore.
Mrs. Lumsden will spend today with her niece and foster-daughter [Edith], Mrs. James A. Grigsby, and Mr. Grigsby at their home on the Rogue River [near Eagle Point]. The Lumsdens had three children, Hazel, Treve and Ruth, but none are now living. Mr. Lumsden died 28 years ago. Mrs. Lumsden's daughter-in-law, Mrs. Treve Lumsden, her grandson and granddaughter all live in other Oregon cities and none will be able to join the Medford woman on her 90th birthday. She has three great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Lumsden sold the family home at 610 South Holly Street several years ago and has made her home since in apartments. She now lives at The Plaza with her companion, Mrs. Emily Anderson. In spite of her 90 birthdays, this charming and interesting woman leads an active life in Medford. She enjoys a wide circle of friends, attends occasional meetings, plays cards and keeps up with current events by way of radio and television. Failing eyesight prevents her from reading.
Mrs. Lumsden has lived in Medford so long that she says she would not dream of making her home anywhere but Medford.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 31, 1955, page 6
Last revised July 16, 2016