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Medford in 1916


MEDFORD UNITES TO SUPPORT
ROGUE RIVER VALLEY INFANT INDUSTRIES

City Now Is Home of Manufactories Which Supply Nearly All Needs of People in That Section of Oregon--Some Concerns Have Become Established, While Others Are Just Starting--Community Spirit Is Protection.
BY R. W. RUHL.

    MEDFORD, Or., Feb. 12.--(Special.)--Protection may or may not be a national issue, but it certainly is a local issue in Medford and Jackson County. For when it comes to infant industries, Medford believes she leads the state. Not in extent of number, perhaps, but in tenderness of years.
    During the last few months new manufactories have sprung up on all sides like proverbial mushrooms. Medford now manufactures nearly everything that it needs except articles of clothing and automobiles.
    The Medford Iron Works, for example, managed by B. T. Trowbridge, makes mining machinery, derricks, automobile parts and nearly everything on special order that is made of iron, while the Medford Sash & Door Company, managed by Thomas Moffatt, constructs almost anything that is made of wood. Both companies cover a large territory, the sash and door company supplying regular consumers from Grants Pass to Red Bluff, Cal. Ornamental columns, moldings and grillwork are some of the staple articles shipped out by this company. In spite of recent depression, the company has not shut down a day in the past six years.
Furniture Factory Young.
    Medford also has a furniture factory conducted by E. G. Trowbridge, Jr., known as the Pacific Furniture & Fixture Factory, where tables, chairs, davenports and chests are turned out. While this industry is still in the primary stage, with the proper local support there is reason to believe it will eventually become a life-sized institution, for the raw material is here, machinery is installed, help is available and the market is constantly growing.
    The Medford Cement Brick & Block Works is another industry recently established. H. A. Jansen is proprietor. This concern is now manufacturing thousands of cement fence posts for orchardists in Southern Oregon, which are becoming very popular. By mixing a certain portion of pumice, found locally in large quantities, on the face of the post, nails can be driven into it successfully, while the post itself is practically indestructible.
    The company now has a contract to furnish reinforced concrete trolley poles, to be installed in the city of Medford by the Bullis Interurban Company, in place of the steel poles which the European war has withdrawn from the market. When the Gold Hill cement plant at Gold Hill opens in March, cheap cement will be available in unlimited quantities.
    Medford no longer has need to send away for galvanized tanks and irrigation pipe, nor for concrete pipe and culverts, for the Medford Concrete Construction Company and Medford Sheet Metal Works manufacture these articles in increasing numbers. The concrete construction company in fact is one of the most prosperous concerns in Southern Oregon and has paid dividends regularly in spite of the recent industrial depression.
    It has supplied a large proportion of the pipe, crushed rock and culverts needed in the construction of the Pacific Highway, and with raw materials in abundance is constantly extending its market. The company has a daily capacity of 1000 feet of sewer pipe and 1500 feet of drain tile. Crushed rock during the last season was shipped out at the rate of 200 yards per day. C. J. Semon is superintendent and manager.
    During the last 18 months Medford has become the center of the poultry business in Southern Oregon, largely through the industry and enterprise of T. J. Gardner, president of the Medford Poultry & Egg Company. Mr. Gardner conducts a veritable hen factory, with from 2500 to 3000 chickens on hand all the time, and he makes a specialty of fine broilers, sending them as far south as Oakland and San Francisco.
    The market is available, according to Mr. Gardner, and all he lacks is the supply. He can use 15,000 pounds a week, while there is scarcely a limit to the market for fresh eggs. Chickens are shipped in from as far north as Roseburg, and the entire establishment is conducted on the most approved scientific lines. The growth of this industry is indicated by the fact that for the first time in its history Medford is to hold a poultry show during the present months.
    Two years ago Medford shipped in most of its butter and all of its flour, in spite of the fact that experts agreed this was an ideal dairy country and a good wheat country. Today Medford has three creameries and a life-sized flour mill in full operation. In spite of efforts by strong flour and butter interests to put these infant industries out of business, local support has been so thoroughly aroused that it is believed the greatest danger has passed.
    The Jackson County Creamery was established June 1, 1915, and for a time put out but 100 pounds per day. Now the daily output is 600 pounds. During this time more than $22,000 has been paid local farmers, and nearly 100,000 pounds of butter have been sold, mostly to Medford consumers.
    H. A. Nordwich purchased the Medford Roller Mills about a year ago, after they had stood idle for a decade, and, putting in new and up-to-date equipment, now has a capacity of 40 barrels of flour a day. The opening of the mill has materially reduced the price of flour to the Medford housewife, and in spite of the dumping of cheap flours on the local market, has established a paying business which promises to grow steadily in the future.
    The Medford Cannery Company started out in the residence of the manager, R. D. Hoke, two years ago, but now has its own plant in Medford, and its capital stock was recently increased from $5000 to $10,000. New equipment will be installed to keep up with the increased business.
Sales Campaign Planned.
    Cranston Larned, of Chicago, a nephew of Charles Scribner, of New York, has purchased half of the stock and will conduct an aggressive sales campaign during the coming year. The cannery sold $15,000 worth of merchandise the past year, making a specialty of tomatoes, loganberry juice, apple juice, peaches and beans. During the coming year canned pears will be added. Shipments have been made as far east as Kansas City.
    Medford bakes the bread for Southern Oregon and Northern California, the Nurmi Baking Company leading in the export trade. This concern, starting in a small way, now bakes 1000 loaves a day, maintains an automobile service through the valley and sends the "staff of life" as far south as Redding, Cal.
    There are two cigar factories in Medford, busy all the time; there are three manufacturing confectioners, furnaces, automobile carburetors, automobile tops, tents and awnings are made on a small scale. Recently the Trail Lumber Company started their sawmill again, and are selling lumber to local yards.
Support Is Determined.
    These industries are mainly in the infant stage, but the people of Medford are determined to aid and support them and see that they reach what might be termed maturity. As a result the Medford Commercial Club and the Merchants' Association, with the slogan "With Medford trade is Medford made," are pursuing a campaign calling upon every loyal citizen to buy articles made in Medford.
    It is planned to have a "Made in Medford" banquet, when only Medford-made food products will be served, including the after-dinner cigars; also a "Made in Medford" exhibition, where samples of all local manufactured products will be shown. As a part of this campaign the Jackson County Court recently issued a formal order that all employees of the county should hereafter purchase all those supplies at home which are made at home.
    In short, through the application of aggressive civic spirit Medford hopes to become literally self-supporting, and through the patronage of local industries stop the outflow of money which for years has been going to other communities and other states for articles which can be, and many have been produced in the Rogue River Valley.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, February 13, 1916, page 66

    Medford (V. J. Emerick, Mayor)--Incorporated in 1885. Altitude, 1,337 feet; area, 1,717 acres; population, 10.500. Is 329 miles south of Portland, and 434 miles north of San Francisco, on the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad; five miles east of Jacksonville, the county seat, and is the present western terminus of the Pacific & Eastern Railway, now in operation to Butte Falls, in the midst of the great timber belt in the Cascade foothills, 35 miles to the east. Is also the terminus of the Rogue River Valley Railroad, in operation to Jacksonville, and junction point with the Southern Pacific. Assessed valuation of city property is $3,104,128; bonded indebtedness, $1,192,050. Four brick public school buildings and one brick high school building aggregate a value of $150,000; also a private school (St. Mary's Academy), managed by the Catholic Sisters, and a business college. There are twelve churches --Adventist, Baptist, Catholic, Christian, Christian Science, Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal, German Lutheran, Free Methodist, Methodist (South), and Presbyterian. Skilled labor receives $4.00 per day and upward, and common labor, $2.50 to $3.00 per day. Paid fire department with equipment, including auto fire truck costing $15,000. Electric and gas plants privately owned. Gravity water system, installed at an expense of $400,000, and furnishing a water supply sufficient for a city of 25,000, is owned by the city. Fruit growing, diversified farming and mining are the principal industries of the surrounding country. Gold, copper, cinnabar, iron and asbestos mines exist in the county, but the mining industry, except gold mining, and some copper and coal mining, has been at a standstill for the past several years. There are two first-class hotels and several others, grocery stores, hardware stores, general merchandise stores, etc., sufficient for a city of its size, with planing mills, brick yards, three lumber yards, blacksmith shops and garages, also sufficient; cigar factories, two ice plants and precooling station for fruit. Public library that cost $35,000 and federal building to house the post office. United States forestry and pathologist's offices, and United States weather bureau, all located here, at a cost of over $100,000. United States Court holds term of court here once a year. Public market built by the city; space furnished free to farmers, where splendid exhibits of varied products of surrounding country may be seen. Has two daily newspapers and four banks, two national and two state. Also a fine public park in the heart of the city. Also a natatorium and amusement place, with plunge and tub baths, dancing floors, skating rinks, etc., under private ownership. Canning factory for fruits and vegetables has recently been built. Jackson County has spent $500,000 bonds for building of permanent highway which passes through Medford. Crater Lake National Park, one of Nature's most marvelous scenic creations and situated about eighty miles northeast, at the summit of the Cascade Range of mountains in Klamath County, is within easy auto and other vehicle stages from Medford.
"Jackson County,"
State of Oregon, Seventh Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Salem, 1916, page 144


    Medford is prosperous to the bursting-point. Her banks overflow with profits from fruit, lumber, alfalfa and mines, civic improvements are lavishly made, there is a golf and country club whose grounds extend over a hundred acres, the beautiful homes of gentlemen orchardists line her paved streets. Most important of all to the stranger, there is a modern hostelry which cost $125,000 to build. Medford's tourist traffic is yet embryonic, though increasing thousands alight every year at her gates. It is conceivable that within a brief span of summers, travelers to the number of several times the town's rapidly growing population will pause here en route to the Marble
Caves, Ashland and Crater Lake.
Ruth Kedzie Wood, The Tourist's Northwest, 1916, page 142


Closing Year Was One of Real Development
And New Year Is Bright with Promise

1916 Year of Development and Progress
Impetus Given to Utilization of Natural Resources by Establishment of Industries
and Extension of Irrigated Area--Blue Ledge Mine in Operation--Lumber Development
    The year 1916 has witnessed development along many lines in the Rogue River Valley. It has seen impetus given to the utilization of the resources of this section, has seen the investment of many large sums of outside capital, whereby development of the valley has been and will continue to be pushed. New industries have been established and the irrigated area much extended.
    Of prime importance to the Rogue River Valley from the standpoint of work given to men and of payroll money put into circulation is the beginning of operations at the plant of the Utah-Idaho Sugar Co. at Grants Pass and of the Portland Beaver Cement Co. at Gold Hill, each involving an estimate exceeding $600,000. These establishments will distribute considerably over $100,000 annually in payroll in addition to large sums spent locally for supplies.
Promise Well for Future.
    These plants mean the bringing of more people to the valley, larger sales for the merchants, a better market for the farmer. These two are the beginning of the large industries, which, coupled with smaller plants, will bring a true and lasting prosperity to the section.
    In Medford and vicinity several companies are operating industrial plants with profit to themselves and the community. The Rogue River Valley Canning Company, the Knight Packing Co., and the Bagley Canning Co. have had a successful year, employing large forces of workers and distributing large sums of money to the farmers in exchange for their products. Medford yellow label canned goods, Knight's catsup and apple butter and Bagley's apple juice and other products are doing their share in putting Medford on the producing and industrial maps.
New Industries.
    Another year will see carried to completion the sawmill of the Applegate Lumber Co. Stock in this company was sold entirely through local subscription and the company, in addition to owning the mill and all equipment, has considerable timber holdings in the hills west of Jacksonville.
    With the completion of the sawmill, there will be erected in Medford a branch box factory, which will take the entire lumber output of the mill. This plant will be erected by the Ewauna Box Co. of Klamath Falls and ultimately will be the main plant of that company.
    With the coming of the sawmill, there has also come the extension of the line of the Southern Oregon Traction Co., westward to tap the belts of timber. This line, it is planned, will ultimately extend about thirty miles westward to the mines of the Blue Ledge district.
Mining Revival.
    The year has also witnessed a revival of mining and reopening of the Blue Ledge mine. The first copper ore from the Blue Ledge mine is now being hauled with wagons and teams from the mines to Jacksonville, where it is reshipped to Tacoma., Wash., for smelting. Road funds have been voted with which to improve the roads to the Blue Ledge so that with the opening of spring, hauling of ore will begin in earnest with a fleet of auto trucks, which are already on their way from eastern factories.
    In Medford proper building activities have been confined during the past year largely to the erection of income properties. The exceptions to buildings of this character are the federal building, erected at a cost of $110,000, and St. Mark's Church, which cost, exclusive of lot and furnishings, in the neighborhood of $5,000.
New Buildings Erected.
    The appearance of main street has been considerably improved by the addition of new business blocks and by remodeling of old buildings. On the corner of Main and Fir has been erected a one-story white porcelain brick finished structure with a front of a half block. This building has been so constructed that with the growing of the city, other stories may be added as they are needed. This modern structure stands on the ground formerly occupied by the Hotel Moore and a number of one-story frame buildings.
    DeVoe's grocery is now housed in a one-story brick building on the corner of Main and Oakdale streets. The series of frame and brick rooms adjoining the Medford Hotel, formerly occupied by the store, are now being razed.
    New marble fronts have been placed on the buildings on the north side of Main Street at Fir.
    The building occupied by Nurml's bakery, on Fir Street, off Main, has been entirely remodeled, a front of white porcelain brick and plate glass being installed. Within the building machinery has been installed for the making of bread under modern scientific methods. As an addition to Medford industries during 1916 may be cited the erection of a plant by the Rex Spray Co. This plant replaced the one burned down at Talent several years ago. The canning plant of the Knight Packing Co. was also completed during the past year.
    Another improvement is the building of the Holland Apartments, in connection with the Holland Hotel, which are nearing completion, at a cost of $7,000. John A. Westerlund is owner.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 30, 1916, page 1


    MEDFORD (V. J. Emerick, Mayor)--Incorporated in 1885. Altitude, 1,377 feet; area, 1,717 acres; population, 10,500. Is 329 miles south of Portland, and 434 miles north of San Francisco, on the main line of the Southern Pacific railroad; five miles east of Jacksonville, the county seat, and is the present western terminus of the Pacific & Eastern Railway, now in operation to Butte Falls, in the midst of the great timber belt in the Cascade foothills, 35 miles to the east. Is also the terminus of the Rogue River Valley railroad, in operation to Jacksonville, and junction point with the Southern Pacific. Assessed valuation of city property is $3,104,128; bonded indebtedness, $1,192,050. Four brick public school buildings and one brick high school building aggregate a value of $150,000; also a private school (St. Mary's Academy) managed by the Catholic Sisters, and a business college. There are 12 churches--Adventist, Baptist, Catholic, Christian, Christian Science, Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal, German Lutheran, Free Methodist, Methodist (South) and Presbyterian. Skilled labor receives $4.00 per day and upward, and common labor $2.50 to $3.00 per day. Paid fire department with equipment, including auto fire truck, costing $15,000. Electric light and gas plants privately owned. Gravity water system, installed at an expense of $400,000, and furnishing a water supply sufficient for a city of 25,000, is owned by the city. Fruit growing, diversified farming and mining are the principal industries of the surrounding country. Gold, copper, cinnabar, iron and asbestos mines exist in the county, but the mining industry, except gold mining and some copper and coal mining, has been at a standstill for the past several years. There are two first-class hotels and several others, grocery stores, hardware stores, general merchandise stores, etc., sufficient for a city of its size, with planing mills, brick yards, three lumber yards, blacksmith shops and garages, also sufficient; cigar factories, two ice plants and precooling station for fruit. Public library that cost $35,000, and federal building to house the post office, United States forestry and pathologist's offices and United States weather bureau, all located here, at a cost of over $100,000. United States Court holds term of court here once a year. Public market built by the city; space furnished free to farmers, where splendid exhibits of varied products of the surrounding country may be seen. Has two daily newspapers and four banks, two national and two state. Also a fine public park in the heart of the city. Also a natatorium and amusement place, with plunge and tub baths, dancing floors, skating rinks, etc., under private ownership. Canning factory for fruits and vegetables has recently been built. Jackson County has voted $500,000 bonds for building of permanent highway which passes through Medford. Crater Lake National Park, one of Nature's most marvelous scenic creations and situated about eighty miles northeast, at the summit of the Cascade Range of mountains in Klamath County, is within easy auto and other vehicle stages from Medford.
Sixth Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Inspector of Factories and Workshops of the State of Oregon from October 1, 1914 to September 30, 1916,
Oregon State Printing Department, 1917, page 147




Last revised April 2, 2014