Medford in 1909

MEDFORD. Jackson County. Population 5000. Settled in 1884, incorporated as a city in [1885], in the Rogue River Valley on Bear Creek and the Southern Pacific railway, 328 miles south of Portland, 443 north of San Francisco, and 5 east of Jacksonville, the county seat. Contains Christian, Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist Episcopal and Methodist Episcopal South, Presbyterian and Catholic churches, public school, opera house, water works, electric light plant, 3 newspapers--Medford Mail Southern Oregonian and Medford Tribune--3 banks, a flour mill, and several hotels. The Crater Lake Lumber Co. have their mills and factories here and give employment to a large number of men. The land is fertile, suited to grain and fruit. Shipments, flour, fruit and livestock. Quartz and placer mining is extensively carried on. Telegraph Postal and Western Union. Express Wells Fargo & Co. Telephone connections. Mail daily. Alonzo M. Woodford, postmaster.
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon, Washington and Alaska Gazetteer and Business Directory 1909-10,
page 246     Abbreviations spelled out to facilitate searching.

    Located in the very heart and center of this beautiful valley is the city of Medford. The men who selected the original townsite chose wisely, for here every natural condition favors the building of a great city. Because of its central position, and being located on the main railroad in the southern half of Oregon, all the immense agricultural, horticultural, timbered and mining wealth within a radius of 100 miles is tributary to Medford. Here the treasure streams empty, and must always empty. This is why Medford is one of the most metropolitan, most flourishing, and busiest little cities in all the bustling West. It is not only a city of today, but a city of tomorrow. Its citizens are building with an eye to the future--the brilliant, unmistakable future destined to make Medford not only the most populous, but the place of greatest commercial importance in Southern Oregon.
    It is at present a city of 6,000, but is the supply point of a territory with a population of 25,000. It is a city of paved streets, of beautiful homes, of handsome parks, of churches and schools. Its solid brick blocks bespeak thrift and permanence.
    Medford is located on the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad, 331 miles south of Portland and 442 miles north of San Francisco. Its altitude is 1,374 feet. It is the western terminal of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad, now under construction, the first fourteen miles of which have been built. This railroad not only makes Medford the gateway to Crater Lake National Park, but also makes it the point of concentration for all the timbered wealth of upper Rogue River, the gigantic forests of which cover an area of 4,000 square miles. Medford is the eastern terminal of the Rogue River Valley Railroad, connecting this place with Jacksonville, the county seat; and will be the eastern terminal of the proposed railroad from the famous Blue Ledge copper mines of upper Applegate River, on the Oregon-California line. This great copper camp is located but thirty-five miles from Medford. The coal mines, five miles east of the city, are proving of such great commercial importance that a railroad connecting the properties with the Southern Pacific at this city has been incorporated and will soon be constructed. The entire lumber output from the sawmills of the surrounding territory is hauled here for yarding, sorting and shipping, and for manufacture into boxes, sash and doors by the planing mills and factories of Medford. Above all, Medford is the trading point for practically the entire fruit and farming section of Rogue River Valley, and is likewise the shipping point for the whole output of this immense district.
    That Medford is a place of great commercial activity and immense trade, is evidenced by its having three banks, all in flourishing condition, with aggregate deposits of $1,500,000, and capital and surplus of $250,000. The banks all occupy handsome structures of their own, built at a cost of $100,000, and are equipped with the most modern vaults and burglar-resisting devices.
    The growth of Medford during the past year has been most phenomenal, and the fact that approximately 20,000 acres of new orchards were planted during the past two years in Rogue River Valley, with a corresponding development in all lines of industry, proves with a certainty that this rapid growth will be maintained indefinitely.
    The phenomenal growth of Medford in 1907 was duplicated in 1908. Over 300 residences and business blocks being erected during the year. Among the buildings are the Deuel block, costing $40,000; the Young & Hall block, the City Hall, the Medford Theater, the High School building, costing $40,000; the St. Mary's Academy, costing $40,000; the Catholic Church, Adventists' Church, and the residence of W. I. Vawter, costing $30,000.
    Still more extensive improvements are planned for the future. This remarkable growth does not mean that Medford is "booming"; the town is growing, as all Rogue River Valley is growing, and its public-spirited citizens do not intend that the city shall fall behind the country in the matter of development.
    The Medford Commercial Club, one of the strongest and most active commercial bodies in Oregon, has every business man and citizen of the city enlisted on its membership roll, and is a chief factor in fostering new enterprises and promoting the progressive interests of the town and country. The club has elegant smoking and reading rooms, and overlooks no opportunity to make the advantages of Medford and the riches of the surrounding country known to the world.
    Another example of the public-spiritedness of Medford's citizens was shown in the building, by a number of its citizens, of an exhibit pavilion. The exhibit building is of unique and attractive design, its style of architecture being patterned after the old-time Mission. It is situated near the depot, in full view of passing trains. It contains samples of products from the orchards, farms, mines, and forests of the tributary territory, the diversified character of which amazes all visitors.
    Medford's ideal location on the banks of Bear Creek, surrounded by evergreen fields and blooming orchards, with imposing mountains greeting the vision wherever the eye may turn, with a soil and climate that produce roses and all varieties of flowers in abundance nearly the entire year, its health-spiced intoxicating atmosphere, its excellent schools, its well-stocked stores, and its abundance of fruit and vegetables at any and all seasons, make the city a most delightful place in which to live.
    The religious and educational advantages of Medford are of a high order. There are eleven churches, representing all the leading denominations, all with strong congregations, and most of them having splendid places of worship.
    Medford has wide-awake newspapers, all of them progressive in their policy, both well equipped in their mechanical departments, and all ably edited. They are the evening Tribune, the Morning Mail, the semiweekly Southern Oregonian, and weekly Mail.
    Vital statistics prove Medford to have an exceptionally low death rate, it being less than six per thousand. Epidemics of diseases are unknown here. Pure water and pure air, with an abundance of sunshine and copious showers, prevent fevers; and pulmonary troubles are unheard of. The climate is beneficial for catarrhal and asthmatic afflictions.
    All of the popular fraternal organizations and secret societies are represented here, with lodges of strong membership and satisfactory assembly halls.
    The improvement of which Medford is most proud is the water system being installed. This is a thirty-mile pipe, 16 inches in diameter, which brings by gravity system the pure, crystal waters from the melting snows and springs of Mount McLoughlin for Medford's use. This empties into a large reservoir a mile and a half from the city, situated on a hill and built of concrete. From this reservoir the main supply pipe takes the water to a completely new distributing system to all parts of the city. The reservoir is over 200 feet above the city streets, producing a pressure of 95 pounds at every point. The system will be completed about July 1, 1909. The eliminating of all machinery assures a cheap rate and abundance of pure water. The system throughout is constructed to supply Medford with water for 30,000 people. No other city in America of the present size of Medford has a better system, for the reason a better system or better water cannot be secured, and probably no city under 25,000 people has as good.
    From Medford good highways lead through every outlying district. The good roads movement is a thing of fact here. Jackson County has complete road-making machinery, and a crew is constantly employed on Rogue River Valley highways. There is an abundance of excellent road material close at hand that is being utilized for this purpose, and within a few years the roads and drives leading from this city will be the finest in the Northwest. The number of automobiles used by both the city and county residents already tells the story of good roads. There are 150 automobiles owned in Medford and vicinity, Medford ranking next to Portland, in Oregon, in number of autos owned, and leading any city of its size in America.
    This good roads movement, bringing the city and country nearer together, is making Rogue River Valley one wide but closely welded community. Every farmer has daily or thrice-weekly mail, by one of the star routes, or rural deliveries from Medford; also he has a telephone. Many have their residences and barns electric lighted, as power lines are available in every section of the valley. The rural resident here has all of the real comforts of the city, and his children have the same educational advantages, as every home is but a short walk from the district school house. It is this close communion of town and county, the intense production, the rapid settlement, and rapid growth, the concentration of the immense wealth of farm, orchard, forest and mine to this natural center of supply, that makes Medford Southern Oregon's chief city.

    Medford has one of the most progressive and complete school systems in Oregon. There are three fine public school buildings, built of brick and modern in all appointments. The public schools enroll over 1,200 pupils and offer a broad course of study, including drawing, watercolor work and music under a special director. Sloyd and manual training are also receiving some attention. The high school offers full literary, scientific and commercial courses, laboratory work, stenography and typewriting being special features.
    The teaching force is carefully selected, and many progressive Eastern teachers supplement the number from the energetic West.
    Any inquiries will be cheerfully answered by the City Superintendent of Schools.
    The Sisters of the Holy Names have completed an academy. The building cost $40,000, and it contains every modern convenience and comfort. This, with the splendid new high school, insures for Medford ample educational facilities. High school graduates are accredited to the state university.
    The educational facilities provided here will appeal to all right-minded men, and men who are moving to better their condition are apt to be right minded in all things that lead to betterment. Education is undoubtedly one of the most important of these.
"Medford, Oregon: Rogue River Valley," booster booklet published by the Medford Commercial Club, Portland, 1909.

    Five miles north of Phoenix is the rapidly growing little city of Medford, practically in the center of the valley and with a wealth of farms and orchards surrounding it. Medford in population ranks next to Ashland and is destined to be the commercial center of the valley. Its growth is rapid and substantial. A short line of railroad connects it with Jacksonville to the west and the Crater Lake railroad has its junction with the S. P. road here and now extends northeast to Eagle Point and is intended to open up a fine body of timber to the northeast. . . . The foregoing marks the distinctive features of Ashland, while Medford's distinguishing feature is its central location in the valley and its consequent advantage as a commercial center. There ought not to be any feeling of rivalry between these two growing little cities, for that in which each excels is not a matter of competition between them, and yet there seems to be a senseless feeling of rivalry with its usual accompaniments.
C. B. Watson, Prehistoric Siskiyou Island and Marble Halls of Oregon, 1909, page 39. This excerpt was printed in the Ashland Tidings on January 21, 1909, page 3

    As an instance of the benefit that a community derives from having a paper that boosts, the clipping from the Ukiah Times of January 19, which is reprinted herewith, is a fair example. This advertising cost Medford nothing and will produce results. It is emphasized in the same issue of the paper with an editorial. Following is the clipping:
    "The New Year's number of the Medford Mail gives an interesting account of the wonderful prosperity of that city, especially as shown by the building that was done in 1908. Medford is in the Rogue River Valley in Jackson County, Oregon, and in a very few years has grown from a small country town to be one of the largest and best cities in Southern Oregon. There were 229 dwellings constructed during the past year, ranging in cost from $750 to $3000. The total cost of the dwellings was $318,600 and of the business buildings $175,900, making a grand total of nearly half a million dollars paid out for new buildings in the city during the year. Besides, considerable sums were spent for street improvements, paving, a new sewer system and other things necessary to make a modern city.
    "People will ask, 'Why this prosperity? How is it a country town can become such a center of industry and the home of so many well-to-do people in a few years? Where does the money come from?'
    "Ordinarily, such places are mining camps or depend on some great manufacturing industry that has been established. But in this case the answer can be put in one word: APPLES.
    "They raise Newtown, Spitzenburg and Ben Davis apples. They plant the best trees and give them the best care. They prepare them for shipment by selecting only the best, and they have established a market that demands more than they can raise at about double the usual market price. Their apples are shipped to England, France and Germany, and every apple that goes makes somebody over there want two or three more.
    "Apples are their specialty. The farmers don't think nor talk about anything else. They have set a high standard, and they keep trying to make it higher. Everyone tries to have the best apples in size, flavor and color, and strives to have his packed in the most attractive manner.
    "As an illustration of the profits we note an item in the same paper.
    "'Frank Westog, of Covina, Cal., purchased 13 acres of the Plainview Orchard for $18,000--or $1500 an acre. In 1907 this orchard paid the owner the net sum of $6,336. The trees are now 16 years old and in full bearing.'
    "How does this compare with hops, especially when it is remembered that the crop is sure and the market growing better every year?"
Medford Mail, January 29, 1909, page 4

    Medford leads the world in the number of automobiles for its population.
    Medford leads Oregon in the number of typewriters in use for its population.
    Medford leads Oregon in railroad traffic outside of Portland.
    Medford has a greater number of cars loaded and unloaded and receives a greater variety of commodities in carload lots than any city in Oregon outside Portland.
    Medford and the Rogue River Valley will ship more apples this year than any section of Oregon.
    Medford and the Rogue River Valley will ship nine-tenths of the Oregon pear crop this year.
    Medford fancy fruit, and that raised in the adjacent valley, holds the green fruit record of the world for quality and price.
    Medford has nearly fifty thousand acres of fancy commercial orchards, scientifically cared for, tributary to her and will have one hundred thousand acres in five years.
    Medford has more natural resources within a forty-mine radius than any city in America, and the Commercial Club backs it up with a thousand-dollar challenge.
    Medford has one of the largest coalfields in the country within sight of her doors--and development is rapidly proving both quantity and quality.
    Medford has one of the world's greatest copper fields within a few hours' distance. A million dollars spent in development on one mine proves the assertion.
    Medford has one of the largest remaining bodies of merchantable timber tributary to her, only lacking transportation to become a great timber manufacturing center.
    Medford is the gateway to the world's greatest scenic wonder--Crater Lake. Money has been appropriated for a half-million-dollar highway, and work will soon be under way.
    Medford has one of the world's greatest gold fields at her doors. Over twenty-five millions of dollars have been taken out in placer mines within a ten-mile radius of Medford, and half the placer ground is still untouched.
    Medford has the most progressive body of citizens and the most intelligent class of residents, the best public and parochial schools, and is installing the finest waterworks of any small city of Oregon.
    Medford has paved streets and has more buildings, both business blocks and residences, under way, and is growing faster than any town in the land.
    Medford's prospects are better than those of any place in the West. She leads all other towns in Oregon in everything that makes a city, and her steady progress is inevitable.
Medford Daily Tribune, March 26, 1909, page 2

Medford has--
A population of 5332, official city census, January 1909.
    A public library.
    A city fire department.
    A $500,000 water system in course of construction.
    A fine public park.
    Seven miles of sewer systems.
    A $40,000 high school, a $40,000 Sisters of the Holy Names academy, two brick public schools.
    Five miles of hard surface street pavement, partially laid and in progress of construction, and miles of cement walks.
    Two daily, one semi-weekly, two weekly, and one monthly newspapers, high school, church and horticultural periodicals.
    Iron foundry, two ice manufacturing and cold storage plants, creamery, planing mills, box factory and lumber yards.
Medford is--
    The gateway to Crater Lake, the world's greatest natural wonder.
    Center of a timber belt containing 22,000,000 feet of merchantable timber.
    City of well-kept streets, beautiful homes, handsome parks, brick blocks, churches and schools.
    Located in [the] heart of famous Rogue River Valley, greatest fruit belt on the continent.
    Center of immense agricultural, horticultural, timber and mining districts.
    Supply point for district containing 25,000 people.
    Situated midway between Portland and Sacramento on the Southern Pacific, the logical place for a large city.
Rogue River Valley--
    Has an average altitude of 1500 feet.
    Has an average rainfall of 20 inches.
    Is the most beautiful of Oregon's many fertile valleys.
    Is premier apple and pear section of America, holding all records.
    Orchards pay $1000 an acre annually.
    Bartlett pear orchards have yielded $2250 an acre.
    Comice pears sold in London for $10.08 a box.
    Has rare metals and minerals in paying quantities.
    Has limitless quantities of the best building granite.
    Has finest grade of black and white marble in America.
    Is a sportsman's paradise--best fishing and hunting on earth.
    Has immense coal fields under development.
    Has prospective oil fields now being drilled.
    Has immense irrigation possibilities, and one irrigation system constructed.
    Has more water power going to waste than Niagara Falls.
    More undeveloped resources than any spot on earth.
Medford Daily Tribune, March 27, 1909, page 2

By Reuben F. Robinson
    One morning not long ago, as the southbound Southern Pacific train pulled into Roseburg, Oregon, a Pullman passenger looked out of the window and asked of the negro porter: "What place is this?"
    The reply came quickly and with emphasis: "Dis, Sah, am Roseburg, de county seat ob Douglas County and de metropolis ob de Rogue River Valley."
    "Indeed," replied the stranger. But he rode for miles in the fertile valley of the Umpqua; then other miles along the banks of the picturesque Cow Creek, which winds its way down the canyon now famous for its beautiful scenery; still other miles through tunneled mountains, past huge placer mines, around Wolf Creek loop and over valleys and divides until the real Rogue River Valley with all its sylvan beauty burst into view.
    A few minutes' stop at Grants Pass, and our train hurried on for still other miles along the banks of the Rogue. Presently we left the river and entered an arm of the valley through which flows Bear Creek, one of its principal tributaries.
    Words fail one in an attempt to describe this beautiful valley underlaid with gold and overlaid with well-kept orchards, vineyards, gardens and alfalfa fields. To the east are the Cascades with snow-capped Mt. McLoughlin (formerly Mt. Pitt) standing out as a sentinel to guard the approach to the world-famous Crater Lake. to the south at the head of the valley, the ancient peaks of the Siskiyous mark the divide between the Rogue and Klamath basins, while to the west the Coast Range and Siskiyous unite to complete the mountain border which lends beauty, richness and grandeur to the valley below. In the foothills are rich mines of gold, copper, cinnabar and various other metals. Overhead is a clear, blue sky which seems to lend unusual color to this superb and fruitful valley, in the center of which is built the city of Medford, which the colored porter meant to describe when he named the metropolis of the Rogue River Valley. Is it any wonder that with such [an] environment we find in the city a happy, businesslike, progressive people?
    Look at the frontispiece of this magazine [a photograph of the new high school] and characterize Medford. You see there in picture the spirit of the valley. The best only will satisfy these people. That's why their fruit is sought for and the highest prices paid--even far-off London paying fabulous sums for their Comice pears, and calling for more and more of the Yellow Newtown pippins.
    "Why does London buy the yellow apples and New York the red ones?" was asked of the keeper of the exhibit pavilion at the depot.
    "Yellow Newtown pippins are the Queen's favorite apple, and London follows the lead of the Queen, but New York and other Atlantic Coast cities cannot get enough of our beautiful Spitzenburgs" was the keeper's reply.
    With its hard-surfaced streets and many substantial brick business blocks, the city is beginning to take on a real cosmopolitan appearance. Mention of the local newspapers will give the reader some idea of the enterprise of the people of the city and the valley around. These are the Medford Daily Tribune and the Southern Oregonian (semi-weekly), the Medford Morning Mail, and the Weekly Morning Mail.
    Medford is at one end of the new road which the counties of Jackson and Klamath, the State of Oregon, and the United States propose to build to Crater Lake. This road over the Cascades, past Crater Lake and along the Klamath Lakes to the California line will be one of the most picturesque driveways in the world.
    Medford is justly proud of her schools, which are now under the supervision of U. G. Smith. With him is a competent corps of teachers. The School Board consists of J. H. Cochran, J. E. Watt, Chas. Strong, L. G. Porter and H. C. Kentner, with Oris Crawford, clerk.
    Their new high school building was dedicated on April 19th with a carefully prepared program. It is a roomy two-story brick structure with large basement and attic. It is substantial and well lighted and ventilated. The plan throughout presents a happy combination of convenience and pleasing effect.
    There is an auditorium, octagonal in shape, with sloping floor, a spacious elevated platform and a balcony. The room has a seating capacity of about five hundred. The main floor is furnished with adjustable school desks and the balcony with opera chairs. This room is used for general assembly and a study room. The high school library occupies a well-lighted and comfortably furnished room just off the assembly room.
    The commercial department occupies two rooms on the first floor, and the laboratories of the science department occupy two rooms on the second floor of the building just over the commercial department. There are three rooms on the first and second floors in the opposite end of the building from the commercial and science departments, equipped especially for recitation purposes. The Superintendent's office and the office of the School Board are on the first floor. In addition to these rooms, there are two school rooms on the first floor and three on the second floor, each sufficiently large to accommodate fifty pupils if necessary. The gymnasium occupies a spacious room in the attic.
    The basement, which extends under the entire building, is high and well lighted. In it are placed the toilets and baths, and the boilers for the steam heating plant. Besides the fuel room, there is sufficient space for well-lighted rooms in domestic science and art, manual training and mechanical drawing. The basement floors are all to be cement.
    The halls of the building are wide and light. The stairs are broad and constructed according to the most modern ideas for convenience and ease in ascending and descending. All in all, the building comes as near to the ideal as can be hoped for in any school building.
The School and Home, May 1909, page 9

Portland Magazine Has Special Article Concerning this City
    The School and Home, a magazine published in Portland, has an article in its May number entitled "Medford," written by Reuben F. Robinson, superintendent of the schools of Multnomah County. The magazine also has a picture of the Medford High School building as its frontispiece. The article says in part:
    "Look at the frontispiece of this magazine and characterize Medford. You see there in picture the spirit of the valley. The best only will satisfy these people. That's why their fruit is sought for and the highest prices paid--even far-off London paying fabulous sums for their Comice pears, and calling for more and more of the Yellow Newtown Pippins.
    "'Why does London buy the yellow apples and New York the red ones?' was asked the keeper of the exhibit pavilion at the depot.
    "'Yellow Newtown Pippins are the queen's favorite apple, and London follows the lead of the queen; but New York and other Atlantic coast cities cannot get enough of our beautiful Spitzenburgs,' was the keeper's reply.
    "With its hard-surfaced streets and many substantial brick business blocks, the city is beginning to take on a real cosmopolitan appearance. Mention of the local newspapers will give the reader some idea of the enterprise of the people of the city and the valley around. These are the Medford Morning Mail and the Weekly Medford Mail, the Medford Daily Tribune and the Southern Oregonian (semi-weekly).
    "Medford is at one end of the new road which the counties of Jackson and Klamath, the state of Oregon and the United States propose to build to Crater Lake. This road over the Cascades, past Crater Lake and along the Klamath lakes to the California line will be one of the most picturesque driveways in the world."
Medford Mail, May 14, 1909, page 5

    That Medford has made a wonderful growth during the past year is well known to those who live here, and more so to those who make occasional visits to this city.
    In every quarter new homes are being erected continually for the ever-increasing population; business blocks are being built--not cheap, temporary affairs, but splendid, up-to-date structures that would be a credit to any place.
    The mayor and council of Medford have been keenly alive to the wants of the people, and many thousand dollars in improvements have been added during the past year.
    Nor is this all. The residents take pride in beautifying their homes. More new lawns are being laid out, roses, flowering shrubs and ornamental trees are being planted, and the word "advancement" is in the minds and on the lips of Medford's citizens.
    With the vast resources that Medford has surrounding it and the enterprising vigor of its people, a glorious future is certain.

Medford's Magazine,
April 1909, page 13

    We are not a boastful people, and you much mistake us.
    It is only truth that we would offer you--truth--and an ounce or two of the things the years have taught us.
    When we say we are in the heart of the most fertile valley in the world we are not lying--we are telling you what we honestly believe.
    The population of our city in February, 1908, was 3908; today, May 30, 1909, it is 6000. And yet this isn't the Medford that is to be, for we have resources back of us that will make us a city of 15,000 in the next five years.
Medford Mail, June 4, 1909, page 4

    Glen Sterling, a special correspondent for the Chicago Evening Post, was in Medford for a few days during the latter part of August and in the Evening Post of September 6 there appeared over a column and a half write-up of Medford and the Rogue River Valley. Mr. W. G. Proper of Jonesville, Michigan, caught sight of a copy of the Post containing the write-up and has sent it to a Medford friend.
    Here is how Mr. Sterling writes of what he saw here:
    "Medford, Or., Sept. 2.--(Special Correspondence of The Evening Post.)--This city, which is near the center of the beautiful Rogue River Valley, has a remarkable past, a most gratifying present and a phenomenal future. Here in the middle of the valley is 600,000 acres of tillable land, at an altitude of 1400 feet, sentineled by Mount McLoughlin, 9760 feet; Mount Sterling, 7737 feet; Mount Wagner, 7245 feet, and historic flat-topped Table Rock.
    "Endowed with great natural advantages in the way of climate, soil, water and scenery, Medford is awake to her good fortune and disposed to make the most of it. Nowhere in the world, perhaps, is there more general prosperity and contentment than there is within a radius of 40 miles of this place.
Reflects Wealth of Country.
    "Comparing this section as a fruit and farming country with some of the so-called agricultural districts in other parts of the United States is like comparing Wall Street with Mulberry Bend, and the city of 6000 reflects the condition of the surrounding country.
    "Banks, business houses, schools, churches, homes, streets, lighting and an unexcelled water system all attest the financial wealth and the public spirit of the community.
    "It is the surrounding country that has made the city. Orchard, farm, dairy, forest, mine, garden and quarry have poured their products through this local mart and brought untold wealth to the community. And with all the exuberance and assurance that youth has, the citizens feel that they have made only a beginning.
Many New Orchards Planted.
    "For example--and they have figures to prove their assertions--they point to the fact that during the last two years there were 20,000 acres of new orchards planted in the Rogue River Valley.
    "Thereupon they will show you the returns for all products shipped from Medford ten years ago and give you the net profit per acre; they will compare these figures with those for five years ago, and with those for last year.
    "Then they will summarize and prove conclusively to your reeling brain that both gross shipments and net profits have increased.
    "You venture to ask why and receive the answer that the market has grown with the supply, that they are producing not only more, but better, fruit, and that they have advanced materially in their knowledge of how and what to produce."
    Following this, the writer tells of the immense fruit yields, with which all Morning Mail readers are familiar. He then touches upon the country's timber resources:
    "Then, as one approaches the highlands, the orchards and vineyards predominate. Here the soil is of decomposed granite or of the red variety, in which there is a strong trace of iron. The former has been found best adapted for peaches, and the latter for grapes, apples and other fruits.
    "A ride through this fruit district produces the same impressions as are made by other parts of this wonderful Valley of the Rogue. There is unlimited money to be made in the production of all kinds of fruits. Everything thrives from the vine that seeks the ground to the tree that holds its fruit out to you.
    "Strawberries and apples, raspberries and peaches, blackberries and pears, loganberries and cherries, watermelons, grapes, everything that a lover of temperate zone fruits could wish seems to grow here, and they all yield returns comparable with those received by other growers.
Prosperous and Thriving.
    "In all this valley, through which the Rogue River pursues its varied way, now leaping boisterously and shouting and laughing, now roaring angrily and raging and foaming, now smiling placidly and basking in the sunlight, is to be found a country rich, contented and happy, and cities prosperous and thriving.
    "Here where the savages, the Rogues, the Modocs, the Piutes, the Klamaths and the Umpquas held their powwows or fought their battles, where they allied against each other or against the whites, where love and hatred and lust and revenge determined the course of affairs, is now the white man's paradise.
Little Trace of Indians Left.
    "Skookum John and Captain Jack, old chief Leylek and Celie, and the other noted redmen have passed on and left almost nothing to remind us of the romances of their loves and lives and deaths. Only in the silent places do we hear echoes of their lives and cross their oft-trod trails.
    "The activities of the cities, the crash of the forest giants, the song of the saw, the swish of the placer hydraulic, and the chug-chug of the stamp mill, mingled with the lowing of cattle, the whirr of the sickle, the rattle of the thresher and the rumble of the fruit-laden wagons--these are what we now hear instead, and all these are only preliminary to the grand chorus of the jingling dollars."
Medford Mail, September 24, 1909, page 7

Editor Sees Rogue River Valley and Is Enraptured.

    The Pacific Northwest is beginning to get returns from all over the country as the result of the great tourist invasion of this year. Oregon is prominently in the limelight, and Medford is not forgotten.
    The Morning Mail this week received a copy of the Weekly Star, published way down in Osceola, Marion County, Florida, of date August 13, with nearly a page of editorial correspondence covering features of a trip from Seattle to San Francisco. In this article the following mention of Medford is made:
Irrigation Great Feature.
    Of course, irrigation is a great feature in all this Pacific Slope country, and marvelous is the change its application has wrought in it during the past quarter of a century. Hills and valleys that then only knew the cry of the coyote and the howling of the wild animals of the plains and hills are now teeming with fruit orchards, barley and alfalfa fields and stock ranges, and we give the growth of Medford, in South Oregon, in the Rogue River Valley, as a striking example of what irrigation can and does do for the cultivation and upbuilding of a community. The valley is a very extensive one and beautiful to behold, as it now presents itself as a picture of growth and production.
Crops Simply Wonderful.
    It has only been within recent years that vast irrigating works have been established on the headwaters of the Rogue River Valley, and now thousands and tens of thousands of acres of land feel the magic touch of moisture and the crops of barley and alfalfa grown are simply wonderful, to say nothing of fruits of all kinds.
    Medford was only a small village a few years ago, but now has a population of 7000 people, and up-to-date buildings of every character. The people partake of the Pacific Slope spirit and maintain at the depot an exhibit building filled with all the products of its rich valley, and while the train stops 20 minutes for dinner a man is busy inviting in the guests to see the display and accept a booklet that tells a very interesting story of Medford's history and the growth and prosperity of the valley. Lands, as soon as irrigation is anywhere tributary, are worth from $100 to $260 an acre.
    To add to the enticements of the exhibit building is a very winsome and charming young lady of Medford who stands ready to hypnotize every listener by her handsome and expressive features and the tact with which she tells the story of why you should come and cast your lot with the people of the Rogue River Valley.
    We could instance dozens of other towns along this line that adopt similar methods to advertise themselves, but Medford must suffice.
Medford Mail, September 24, 1909, page 7

A. B. Williams Tells of Rogue River Valley
Wonderful Crops of Apples and Pears
Which Surprise Other Sections of Country
    It is a long time since A. B. Williams was heard from. Here is a letter which tells of the wonders of his Rogue River home and the possibilities of that splendid fruit section which will answer inquiries from people of this section.
    Medford, Ore., Oct. 24, 1909
    Editor Reaper--If those among the many people in Sevier County with whom I became acquainted during the ten busy years I lived in Richfield think of me as often as I do of them, I must often be brought to memory. I have had one great advantage over them, however, for every week I read the Reaper and have been kept well informed as to what has been going on in Sevier County since my departure from there, while it has been something over a year while I have let them hear from me. I have not intended to be so negligent in dropping lines occasionally to the Reaper, but the past year has kept me very busy and I really have not had the time to attend to anything more than urgent business correspondence.
    I will now endeavor to give you a little information about this country, as I have found it after a residence of fifteen months here and seeing it under all conditions.
    To my mind this Rogue River Valley is one of the best valleys, for many things, I have ever seen, and for that future on which I had long set my heart, is ideal. Of course it does not serve every requirement of human needs and desires, but along the lines of horticulture, farming, lumbering and business opportunities, I think this valley, and Medford in particular, offers advantages which can be surpassed nowhere.
    I would be no use, if I desire to really impress your readers convincingly, to deal in generalities, so I will go into a few details. First we will consider the fruit industry.
    There is not known anywhere a better country for the raising of certain classes of fruits, particularly apples and pears, than this valley. For pears especially the Rogue River Valley is probably the peer of them all. In proof of this I will cite the fact that New York City alone commands the entire product of this valley of the Bartlett Bosc, D'Anjou and Comice varieties and pays a higher price for them than is paid for the same class of fruit from any other section of the world.
    Were the yield in this valley twenty or fifty times as great as it is, New York City alone would exclusively demand the product and would pay such prices as to command it. Other cities are clamoring for Rogue River Valley pears, but as yet the valley does not begin to fill the demand, and when it shall have increased its annual production a hundredfold, as it will do in the course of years, it will not be able to supply all the demand. And Medford this season shipped hundreds of carloads of this one variety of fruit alone.
    Rogue River Valley pears have held the top-notch record prices in New York for the past four years, and the few that have escaped to London have done the same there.
    You might wonder that pears could stand such long shipment. That is one of the secrets of the superiority of these pears. They stand shipment better than such fruit raised anywhere else. There is something in the soil and the climate that puts a preserving quality into the pears raised in this valley that makes them out-keep the pears raised elsewhere, and they always reach the market in the very best of condition, and with their rich flavor unimpaired.
    Bartlett pears from this valley sold in New York City last season for $4.25 a box (containing about 50 pounds), and carload lots sold for over $4.00 a box. Carloads of D'Anjous brought $5.40 a box in the same market; some boxes sold for $6 and others for $6.75. The highest competitor for this same variety of pears from other sections brought an average of $1.75 a box.
    As high as $3.40 a box has been paid for Howell pears, while the entire crop of Winter Nelis from one orchard sold for $3.42 a box.
    Comice pears have been taken at from $7.50 to $10 a box. They have been delivered F.O.B. Medford for as high as $9.00 a box. These pears retail for 15 cents apiece in New York City. Comice pears from this valley sold last year in London for $10.80 a box. Last year an entire carload grossed $10.80 a box in New York, the green fruit record for the world. This year still higher records have been made for pears shipped from this valley. These figures are all at the wholesale price.
    What makes this fruit command such prices? The quality. And what makes the quality? The soil, climate and methods of care, cultivation and packing. Fruit raising in this valley, although this is the youngest fruit country of the noted fruit regions of the world, is reduced to a science surpassed nowhere. Other states and other nations are constantly sending experts here to study our methods. Care of orchards is not a theory here, it is a practice. Strict laws for the eradication of pests and disease are not only put on the statute books, but they are rigidly enforced. Counties supplement the state laws with rigid rules, and the more enterprising communities like Medford hire government experts at a salary of $2,000 to $3,000 a year to give their entire time to a study of local conditions and put every influence possible back of them to carry on a scientific and systematic campaign. Let a tree be found with incurable disease or pest-ridden and out it comes, root and branches, and is reduced to ashes.
    What has been stated above in regard to pears is applicable to the apple product of this valley. While the Rogue River Valley has stronger rivals for this variety of fruit, in the Hood River, Wenatchee, Yakima and other sections, the quality of the fruit is second to none. Rogue River Valley Newtown Pippin, Spitzenburg and Jonathan apples are the peer of this class of fruit grown anywhere, and New York and London prices, which are the gauge of the virtues of fruits, are often a little in favor of this valley. Rogue River Valley apples are sought the world over, and New York, England, Germany, Russia, Japan and other countries send representatives here annually to contract whatever of the crop they can obtain.
    If the production was a thousand times greater it could not fulfill the demand, and as in the case of pears, only the leading world's markets are favored with this choice fruit. There is a waxiness of the skin, a tint of color, a voluptuousness of shape and contour, a delicacy, sappiness and richness of flavor, combined with excellent shipping and keeping qualities, that is not surpassed, if equaled, in the apple of any other fruit section.
    Rogue River Valley apples are now going to market, so I am not able to at present give you figures as to prices for this year, but it is expected they will bring from $2.25 to $2.50 a box F.O.B. Medford, which means from $3.25 to $3.75 wholesale in New York.
    At the prices given, an acre of pears or apples in this valley gross on the [railroad] cars here from $1,200 to $2,000. One man who owns a three-acre tract of apples expects to get from $1,970 to $2,200 per acre for his crop, which has been harvested. This will net him above all costs in caring for the orchard picking and packing the fruit from $1,600 to $1,900 an acre.
    And yet land prices are not at all high, considering the returns. Good bearing orchards have been selling this season from $600 to $1600 an acre. Tracts planted to young orchards sell for $250 to $600. Unimproved land, just as good for fruit raising as any now in producing orchards, can be had from $40 an acre up.
    Uncleared virgin land can be had for less. Prices are governed by proximity to towns. It will be only a few years until the fruit production of this valley will be increased three, five, ten and twenty fold. The land is available, and it is rapidly being utilized.
    It is estimated that about 15,000 acres will be set to young orchards during the next six months. Real estate sales in this valley will reach an enormous total for the year. During this month alone, no less than twenty sales have been made ranging from $5000 to $50,000.
    The Rogue River Valley is becoming famed throughout the country, and this year hundreds of people have located here, some who had never seen the valley before but had come with a fixed determination of locating, others, traveling as tourists, incidentally attracted while passing through, investigating and investing.
    All this is upbuilding Medford rapidly. I am fain to tell you something about the wonderful growth and progress of this metropolis of the Rogue River Valley but since I have for this time consumed all the space I could reasonably ask I will defer to some future time, not long hence, I hope to write of this city.
    Hoping all my friends in the Sevier Valley are enjoying their meed of the prosperity with which this land is blessed, I am, as ever, yours,
A. B. Williams
Richfield [Utah] Reaper, November 11, 1909, page 6

    Medford spells progress and municipal advancement. It is the most metropolitan small city in the world and its population the most cosmopolitan, a citizenship that has the utmost faith in the city's future and works as a unit to realize its destiny--the metropolis of that vast region between Portland and San Francisco.
    Medford is a city of some 7500 inhabitants where two years ago there was a village with a scant 3500, with the finest climate in Oregon, in the center of one of the earth's richest, fairest and most picturesque valleys. On the west the hills are underlaid with gold, on the east with coal. A little further back on the one hand is an immense belt of timber, on the other one of the world's largest copper districts. Through the valley winds the Rogue, most beautiful of the many beautiful rivers of Oregon, wasting more power than Niagara in its tumbling course to the sea. Beyond in the hills at the very summit of the Cascades, in the burned-out bowl of a gigantic volcano are the blue waters of Crater Lake, the greatest natural wonder in the world.
    The picturesque valley of the Rogue, hemmed in by verdure-clad hills, is the greatest natural fruit belt in the world, where soil, elevation, climate combine to produce the perfect product. Here are 50,000 acres of commercial orchards that cannot be equaled on the globe, whose apples win the sweepstakes prizes at world's apple shows, whose pears sell to England's epicures at $10 a box, whose peaches take first awards at world's expositions, whose products command the highest price in the world's markets--orchards which yield $1000 an acre annually to the grower. The planted orchard area is increasing at the rate of 15,000 acres annually, and will eventually comprise a quarter million acres or more.
    Medford is the railroad center of the present and the future. Within two years it will be the only city in western Oregon except Portland to have a competing railroad and will be connected by trolley with other cities. Already its railroad business, both passenger and freight, exceeds that of any other place in the state except Portland. With the completion of the railroads under construction and planned will come the lumber mills and the smelters, the payrolls and population.
    The Pacific & Eastern Railroad, on which 1000 men are now rushing construction to the Cascades and beyond, will tap the largest of the remaining sugar pine belts, containing eight billion feet of merchantable standing timber, half of which is sugar and yellow pine. To cut this timber will require seven sawmills cutting a hundred thousand feet each per day for 300 days in the year for a term of 40 years, equivalent to 35 carloads a day, or over 10,000 cars a year during the entire year, insuring labor for over 2000 employees, or a payroll in manufacturing lumber of $3,000,000 a year. As the timber is cut, the land can be used for agricultural and fruit purposes, the elevation and slope being ideal, and the soil, proved by experiments already conducted, adapted to fruit of all kinds.
    Over $25,000,000 in placer gold has been taken from the soil within a few miles of Medford and each year sees a substantial increase in the total yield. Over a million dollars spent in developing one mine in the Blue Ledge district proves it one of the great copper deposits of the West, and railroad and smelter will soon make it accessible and a prolific producer. Within sight of Medford's door are coal mines under development, with an average vein of 12 feet, estimated to yield 2000 tons per day of fine bituminous coal.
    Medford has spent within a year $350,000 for a gravity water system fed from the snow-clad summit of Mt. McLoughlin, $150,000 for 20 miles of cast iron mains in a city distributing system, over $100,000 for three miles of hard surfaced pavement, constructed 25 miles of sewer system, many miles of cement walk and other improvements, a greater expenditure per capita than ever made by any city in the land in the same length of time. During the same period over two and a quarter millions have been spent for building materials for private construction in Medford.
    Medford has more natural resources than any place in the country, and the Commercial Club offers $5000 for proof to the contrary. These resources are many and diversified. Few are developed, others are in process of development. Any one of a dozen that might be named, properly developed, justify the existence of a city larger than Medford. All together promise a certain future--and the future has arrived.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 28, 1909, page 4

    7500 population.
    $2,000,000 bank deposits.
    $350,000 gravity water system.
    $150,000 cast-iron city distributing system.
    Three miles of paved streets.
    Twenty-five miles of sewer system.
    Free mail delivery system.
    Fine electric light and power system.
    A $40,000 high school, a $40,000 Sisters' academy and two massive grammar school buildings, with a third projected.
    The best hotels and grills south of Portland.
    A free public library.
    A city fire department.
    The best of city governments.
    The biggest railroad business south of Portland.
    The only railroad under construction from western Oregon to the East.
    The geographical location for a metropolis.
    The progressive people that create one.
    And is gateway to Crater Lake, the world's greatest natural wonder.
Rogue River Valley has:
Average rainfall, 20 inches.
    Temperature, highest 105, lowest 18, mean 65.
    Average elevation, 1500 feet.
    Fifty thousand acres commercial orchard.
    Rare metals and minerals in abundance.
    Limitless quantities best building granite.
    Best placer ground in existence.
    Finest grade white and black marble in America.
    Best hunting and fishing.
    Immense coal fields under development.
    Immense irrigation possibilities.
    More water power going to waste than Niagara.
    More undeveloped resources than any spot on earth.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 28, 1909, page 4

    Tom Richardson said that Medford is the "biggest village in the world," the "most cosmopolitan small town in existence," and that every man, woman and child in it was imbued with the idea that Medford was going to be a big city, and that no argument could be made that an answer was not instantly forthcoming.
    Medford is going to be a large city, if for no other reason because of the faith of her citizens in her future. Cities are built by men, not by nature, and the right kind of citizenship will create a metropolis on the desert. But with this kind of citizenship, Medford combines the advantages of geographical location and great natural resources.
    Tom Richardson does not know Medford, her charms or her resources. Neither do many other Portland people. He is unfamiliar with her tributary orchard district, the largest in the Northwest. He is ignorant of her mines, her timber and her rare climate. He does not know or realize what Medford is doing, its material progress and advancement.
    Here is a city of some 7000 inhabitants where two years ago there was a village with a scant 3500, with the finest climate in Oregon, in the center of one of earth's richest, fairest and most picturesque valleys. On one side the hills are underlaid with coal, on the other with gold. A little farther back on the one hand is an immense belt of timber, on the other one of the world's largest copper districts. Through the valley winds the Rogue, most beautiful of the many beautiful rivers of Oregon, wasting more power than Niagara in its tumbling course to the sea. Beyond in the hills at the very summit of the Cascades lies Crater Lake, the greatest natural wonder in the world.
    Here are 50,000 acres of choice apple and pear orchard with an annual increase in planted orchard area of from 10,000 to 15,000 acres, whose products command the highest price in the world's markets. Here are grown the choicest apples and pears in the world, from orchards which yield over $1000 an acre annually. Here is the banner pear section of the earth, where climatic and soil conditions combine to produce perfect fruit.
    Here is where man and nature have joined hands to create a metropolis for that immense 700-mile stretch between Sacramento and Portland. Here is the railroad center of the present and the future. Medford will within two years be the only city in Oregon, except Portland, to have a competing railroad. Already its railroad business, both passenger and freight, exceeds that of any other city in Oregon outside of Portland. With the railroads will come the lumber mills and the smelters, the payrolls and population.   
    This "biggest village" has spent $350,000 for a gravity water system and over $100,000 for three miles of pavement and another $150,000 for over 20 miles of cast iron water distributing system and for 25 miles of sewers within a year, a greater expenditure per capita for public improvements than ever made by any city in the land before.
    This "biggest village," with its 200 automobiles, its metropolitan characteristics, its push, vigor and energy, its live, wide-awake citizenship, is just starting to do things. Mr. Richardson should keep his eye on Medford--you "cain't stop her."
Medford Mail Tribune, November 10, 1909, page 4

No Other City in the World Has as Many Machines in Use as Has Medford

Per Capita of Population--Motor Cars Are a Necessity in the Valley.
    Medford leads the world in the number of automobiles per capita of population. Statistics show that at the present time there is one automobile in use to every 500 population in the United States. Pasadena, with splendid roads, and called the "city of millionaires," has one automobile to every 72 population. Medford has one for every 30. The number of automobiles exceed 200, 200 in the city. And Medford is well equipped with garages, up to date in every particular, to care for them.
    The automobile is not a luxury in the valley. It has become a necessity. The orchard owners reside in the city, and when the rush times come on they must need visit their orchards several times a day. The automobile is needed. In the city the auto is needed for running errands, for short pleasure trips and the like. A level valley adds incentive until today Medford leads in the number of automobiles.
    Many cars have been purchased for the coming year, and auto dealers are unanimous in their censure of the fact that they are not allotted more cars. The outlook for the coming year is splendid and the motor car men are planning to make the most of it.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 28, 1909, page 12


Last revised June 18, 2019