Facts and Figures Tell Their Own Story of Medford's GrowthMedford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1928, page C1
The New Year holds promise of continued prosperity and increasing development for Medford and the southern Oregon country. Never before has this city started a new year under more auspicious conditions. Never before has the future of this city seemed brighter. These facts and figures tell their own story--some of the reasons why Medford is the "Biggest Little City in America."
MEDFORD has one of the best airports in Oregon, is one of the important stations on the Seattle to Los Angeles air mail line and is a station for three air passenger and express lines.
MEDFORD has the only aerological weather station in Oregon, furnishing wind velocities and weather reports for air pilots on the coast.
MEDFORD is the financial, industrial and commercial center of southern Oregon and northern California.
MEDFORD is situated in the center of the Rogue River Valley, famous the world over for its pears. A variety of products is grown on farms surrounding Medford.
MEDFORD is on the Pacific Highway, the longest stretch of paved road in the world, reaching from Canada to Mexico.
MEDFORD is the gateway to Crater Lake National Park, an excellent road extending from this city to the famous scenic attraction.
MEDFORD is the timber center of Jackson County and the location of the Owen-Oregon Lumber Company, a mill having an annual capacity of 100,000,000 board feet.
MEDFORD is on the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad. A 40-mile, standard-gauge line extends from this city to the heart of the Butte Falls timber section, and Medford owns a railroad line from this city to the forests of the Jacksonville country.
MEDFORD has a population of 13,000 people, increased 6,840 since 1920.
MEDFORD's elevation is 1368 feet.
MEDFORD has 3,013 telephones.
MEDFORD has 3,579 electric light connections.
MEDFORD is the home of "KMED" radio Mail Tribune Virgin broadcasting station and is one of the only cities of its size in the United States with a licensed station.
MEDFORD's bank deposits during 1927 totaled $6,000,000 in four substantial banks.
MEDFORD has a water system costing $975,000 alone for piping ice-cold waters from giant mountain springs to this city.
MEDFORD's post office receipts to December 1, 1927 totaled $84,530.97.
MEDFORD has approximately 700 students registered in high school.
MEDFORD has an exceptionally efficient fire department, the city sustaining a very small loss during 1927.
MEDFORD has a new $185,000 high school.
MEDFORD is the county seat of Jackson County.
MEDFORD's first mayor was J. S. Howard; O. O. Alenderfer now holds that office.
MEDFORD has two modern cold storage plants and a large ice plant and ice storage.
MEDFORD has 15 fruit packing and exporting firms and 3 fruit storage plants.
MEDFORD has a large, modern iron foundry.
MEDFORD has an armory building, the home of Company A, Oregon National Guard.
MEDFORD is the home of the Jackson County library, having 21,000 volumes.
MEDFORD has four grammar schools, a junior high school, an academy, a new high school, a business college and a kindergarten.
MEDFORD is the music center of southern Oregon and boasts several studios.
MEDFORD and Rogue River Valley pears may be found in the principal markets of the world.
MEDFORD has a modern vegetable, fruit and meat canning plant that packed 60,000 cases in 1927.
MEDFORD's branch factory of the Knight Packing Company manufactures Rogue River catsup, famous the country over.
MEDFORD has 1800 acres within the city limits.
MEDFORD has an active Chamber of Commerce, assisted by service clubs.
MEDFORD has approximately 4000 automobiles. Jackson County has over 8,500.
MEDFORD is one of the best-paved cities for its size in the United States, having 20.8 miles of pavement and 40 miles of cement sidewalks.
MEDFORD has, during the summer months, approximately 5000 tourist visitors daily.
MEDFORD has an aggressive Realty Board, affiliated with the National Board of Realtors.
MEDFORD has, within its city limits, four of the finest privately owned auto camps in the West.
MEDFORD has two strictly modern hospitals and is the medical center of southern Oregon.
MEDFORD has 18 churches and 16 fraternal organizations.
MEDFORD is the home of a modern granite works and a large concern specializing in sand, gravel, tile, brick and building materials.
MEDFORD has the distinction of being one of Oregon's best lighted cities.
MEDFORD is the home office of the California Oregon Power Company, with a permanent payroll in and surrounding this city of over 200 employees.
MEDFORD is the headquarters for seven wholesale oil companies.
MEDFORD has many clubs, including a Rotary, Kiwanis, Crater and Lions clubs.
MEDFORD has two daily and one weekly newspaper.
MEDFORD has two sash and door plants and a cabinet works with a substantial payroll.
MEDFORD is a city in which very few foreigners live.
MEDFORD is near the Jackson County fairgrounds, representing an investment of $110,000.
MEDFORD has two modern theaters and enjoys the best stage and screen productions.
MEDFORD has two golf courses, one of which ranks high among those of the Coast.
MEDFORD is the headquarters of the Crater Lake National Park: $150,000 is spent annually in the Crater Lake National Forest for general maintenance and fire control.
MEDFORD is a distributing center of the southern Oregon country and is the home of numerous wholesale concerns.
MEDFORD has an excellent system of highways radiating in every direction.
MEDFORD is the shipping center for lumber and fruit. During 1927 approximately 70,000,000 feet of timber were cut--seven times the amount cut in 1920.
MEDFORD, in the center of Jackson County, is surrounded by 772,000 acres of virgin forests, or approximately 22,000,000,000 feet of merchantable timber.
MEDFORD has five modern hotels, and many rooming houses.
MEDFORD is surrounded by 2142 farms, with 477,826 acres.
MEDFORD shipped 4489 cars of produce up to December in 1927; 2575 of these cars were filled with Rogue River fruit.
MEDFORD has a modern dehydrating plant.
MEDFORD has a free employment bureau.
MEDFORD's building permits in 1927, exclusive of the mill district, totaled $608,430.
MEDFORD is the center of operations for the California Oregon Power Company's $4,000,000 plant now under construction at Prospect.
MEDFORD's annual rainfall is 17.52 inches.
MEDFORD has, surrounding her, 55,000 acres of land suitable for irrigation, 40,000 acres of which are already under ditch.
MEDFORD has two pre-cooling plants.
MEDFORD has a trading area with a population of 45,000.
MEDFORD has the Tomlin Box factory and mill which used 20,000,000 feet of lumber during 1927in the manufacture of box shook. From 75 to 225 men are regularly employed by this organization.
MEDFORD has a modern flouring mill and three candy factories.
OUTGOING CITY OFFICIALS HAVE GOOD RECORDS
Mayor Alenderfer and Councilmen Hubbard and Jacobs Retire
After Long and Noteworthy Service--New Officials Highly Qualified.
The annual change in the city administration . . . occurs Monday night, January 3rd, when A. W. Pipes becomes mayor, succeeding Mayor O. O. Alenderfer, who retires to private life after four years of notable service, and A. C. Hubbard, councilman of the first ward and vice president of the council, and J. W. Jacobs, councilman of the fourth ward, retire after years of like efficient service, to be succeeded by E. M. Wilson and R. E. McElhose, who are regarded as highly qualified to fill the positions.
The large growth of the city of Medford in recent years has brought added responsibilities to the mayor and council in meeting the necessary needs of a growing city. Moreover, these needs have been met without an increase in the tax levy, and as this growth is continuing the new mayor and city council, the latter with six holdover members, will face like responsibilities in the matter of handling the city's finances economically while keeping pace with Medford's development and progress.
Incidental to this coming change in administrations a review of the notable achievements during the past four years under Mayor Alenderfer is given, as follows:
New Million-Dollar Water Supply.The most important improvement during the recent growth of the city undoubtedly has been the new water system which was completed a little over a year ago. It replaces our old water system which had its source in the murky waters of Fish Lake with a pure water system gathered from springs which does not see the light of day until it emerges from the faucet of the homeowner, 30-odd miles away in Medford. What such a system means in the health and future prosperity of Medford and its environs can hardly be estimated.
Following closely after a pure water system in its order of importance is the protecting of the business men and homeowners from the catastrophe of possible conflagration by fire.
The city has made notable improvements in the fire department, thus placing it on a high standard of efficiency. First and foremost is the purchase of [a] new pumper, auxiliary truck and other much-needed equipment, and scarcely less important is the building of a new fire hall just on the edge of the business district, costing approximately $15,000. This new fire hall will be modern in all particulars, with the ground space allotted to firefighting equipment and a repair shop, and with provision in the second story for quarters for the fire chief, a dormitory for regular members and volunteers, a recreation hall, shower baths, etc. There is also provided extra vacant lots and a drill towers where necessary fire drills can be put on without interfering with traffic.
The New City Hall.Another important improvement to the city is the building of the new city hall costing $60,000, which was authorized by vote of the people in order to move the courthouse to Medford. It is furnished free to Jackson County for five years, at the end of which time it will return to the city for use as a city hall. This new building is located at Fifth Street, just one block from one of the main business streets, is ideally located as a new city hall, is of concrete construction, three stories high, and while it will shortly be inadequate for use as a county courthouse it will be adequate for many years to come to house the city offices.
Quite a bit of the cost of this building will be paid for by savings made by the citizens and the city itself in not having to go to Jacksonville on all city and council business. Provision was also made that when the old city hall is sold the money received is to be used in taking up the new bonds, with the result that with these two sources available very little, if any, of the cost of the city hall will be reflected in increased taxes.
Warehouse.A new warehouse, used jointly by the water department and the street department, is another much-needed improvement. An up-to-date building of concrete, it houses all of the city equipment. This building cost much less than the others, only some $10,000, and is paid for by the sale of a couple of vacant lots which the city owned on South Riverside Avenue which, due to the growth of that section of the town, had increased materially in value.
Sixth Street.Among other improvements during recent years has been the opening up of Sixth Street as a major traffic artery; nicely paved with concrete, it will increase the values all along the thoroughfare. More recently a movement has been started for a modern lighting system, and bids will be let at the first meeting of the new year for its first installation, thus in a few short months transforming Sixth Street from a non-important closed thoroughfare to a major business artery.
Other Improvements.It might be thought that the above enumeration is quite a sufficient recital of recent improvements, but they are not all.
The city purchased the Jacksonville railroad, in order to hold it for railroad developments and a possible sawmill; has dredged Bear Creek for some four or five blocks in order to remove the menace of flood danger, and purchased a grader and street roller which the city sadly needed in order to grade and repair its streets, this latter equipment being purchased without cost to the taxpayers out of the city's part of the county road money which it obtained for the first time this year.
Street Improvements.In the past year or more the city has laid four miles of water mains, three and a quarter miles of sewers, graded and graveled four miles of streets and paved, either with concrete or asphalt, about three miles of street, a total improvement of approximately $200,000, one-half of which has been for paving. Compared with the vast amount of work done in 1910 to 1912, the recent paving program has been less than 10 percent, but sewer improvements have been approximately one-third of those in former years, while the water mains recently laid have been more than equal to the amount laid in the former years, due to the laying of a new distributing system in connection with the new Big Butte water system.
Building Permits.Building permits during the past four years [have] held up remarkably well, showing practically no decrease for 1926 over 1925 when they were $779,000, and only an approximate $100,000 decrease for each of the years 1927-1928, running well over a half million dollars for the year just passed.
City Lots.Not a little of the building has been due to the policy of the city in selling off the city lots taken over by it for delinquent assessments, on convenient terms that could be met by its citizens and at reasonable prices. For the first time in ten years the year just past saw the city with its shelves cleaned of practically all of its paved lots.
While it still has a few, and a good many lots off the pavement which it has had to take over, yet compared with something more than 2,000 lots that were originally delinquent, a great part of which it actually had to take over, the assessment problem is well on its way to solution, after many years of the most arduous work on the part of former mayors, councilmen and city employees.
It is estimated that [with] another year or two of continued growth, the city will have cleaned up all of the lots, marking the completion of ten years of work in clearing up this most difficult problem.
One might go in for another column if one were to relate all of the improvements which have come to Medford in the past little while, but suffice it to say that all these improvements show a big growth of our city, and not only growth but hard work and intelligent efforts of the recent administrations and of the various mayors, councilmen, water commissioners and city officials who have had these tasks in charge.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 31, 1928, page 3
Last revised October 1, 2018