The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Medford News: 1911

Medford-related news items from 1911. Also see descriptions of Medford and Jackson County for this year.

    STANTON GRIFFIS, Cornell '10, believing some old sage was right when he said "Go west, young man," has bravely hit the trail to Medford, Ore., where he has invested somebody's good cash in twenty acres of fruit-raising ranch land and is making a ten strike, incidentally teaching oratory and public speaking in a nearby normal college. Brothers Huntley and Kramer of Theta Delta Chi are also located in Medford in the real estate business. How "Norm" Hackett met "Stan" there recently and got even with him for his stunts at "Norm's" theater party in Chicago last year is best told in a letter from "Norm" from which we quote the following excerpt:
    "I met, or rather dug up, 'Stan' Griffis in Medford, Ore. Earl Huntley met me and revealed the location of 'Stan's' ranch some five miles from town. We managed to bribe a human with an auto going that way and went out, pouncing upon the unsuspecting 'Stan" with delicious revenge.
    "His ranch, most picturesquely situated on the side of a hill, commands a fine view of the valley when you finally reach the little hut, hovel or any old thing where the caretaker and his tribe live and where 'Stan" feeds. Reaching the place we were greeted by a litter of dirty kids (the overseer's of course). I bravely asked for one Griffis, believing there must be some mistake, and when from behind a dish of pork and beans I heard a familiar voice yell, 'For Gawd's sake, Norm,' while out comes 'Stan,' in farmer's togs and a beard worthy of Ned Griffing.
    "Oh! could those Jay Hop girls only have seen him at that psychological moment! He threw up his hands, acknowledged himself squared and then proceeded to show us his place, which has corking prospects I will admit, and presented me with a fine box of Oregon's best apples, which he says sell for $5.00 per in London. We got him shaved and dressed up, then all proceeded back to town for a celebration which ended by 'Stan' losing his heart to a very pretty little titian-haired girl, the ingenue of our company, which resulted in 'Stan' shipping her a box of prunes, dates or some other equally alluring fruit to 'Frisco.
    "But seriously, 'Stan' has a good thing--is enthusiastic about the West and Medford, looks fat and well, and is the same delightful chap and loyal Thete which has endeared him to us all. But, shades of 'Stan' as a farmer! He, the big thing of student life at Cornell, the pride of [Cornell], the hero of the Era and other illustrious magazines, the Darling of the Gods! Truly, the 'Sun' do move."
"Graduate Personals," The Shield, Theta Delta Chi fraternity, February 10, 1911, page 103

    Misses Flossie and Niata Gurley have gone to Medford, Ore., where they will make their home with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Gurley.
"State Social Affairs," Dallas Morning News, Texas, April 3, 1911, page 11

Old-Time Driver Shoots One of the Runaway Horses, but Is Injured.

    MEDFORD, Ore., May 12.--Max Louden, one of the last of the old-time stage drivers, was fatally injured yesterday at Idaho Hill, on the Crescent City road fifteen miles from Grants Pass, while driving a four-horse team, which had become frightened.
    Knowing he was approaching a high cliff and a sharp curve, Louden drew his revolver and shot one of the leaders dead in its tracks. This failed to stop the team, however, which dragged the dead horse several yards and over the embankment. Louden's skull was fractured. His two passengers jumped and escaped with slight injuries.
San Antonio Express, May 13, 1911, page 1

    James McClaugherty, son of J. P. and Mary C. McClaugherty, was born in Guadalupe County, Texas, October 17, 1890. He was baptized in the Methodist Church in his infancy and raised under Christian influence. After the death of his mother in March, 1902, James was tenderly cared for by his older sisters, from whom he imbibed many noble qualities.
    At the time of his sudden death he was employed by an electric light company at Medford, Oregon, and while splicing a wire he was instantly killed by the electric current. The company by whom he was employed speak in the highest terms of him as a faithful, trusty hand in business, and also a very exemplary young man, highly esteemed by all who knew him.
    The remains were laid to rest in the new cemetery in Hondo last Saturday evening, Rev. M. L. Darby, pastor of the Methodist Church, officiating at the church and grave.
    He leaves an invalid father, four brothers and six sisters and a host of relatives and friends to mourn his untimely departure. While our hearts are wounded and bleeding, yet we rejoice in the truth of the scriptures that "he is not dead, but sleepeth," and that "he shall rise at the resurrection of the just" and "we shall meet again never more to part."
    His grandfather.
The Hondo Anvil Herald, Hondo, Texas, June 10, 1911, page 2

Church Women Form League.
    MEDFORD, Or., Aug. 3.--(Special.)--Forty church women met yesterday and formed the Medford Civic League, the object of which will be to promote "civic righteousness." The slogan of the league is: "Medford Morally Clean," and efforts will be made to keep young girls off the city streets.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 4, 1911, page 1

Medford Mother Stays by Child as Engineer Tries in Vain to Stop. Hero Saves Both.
    MEDFORD, Or., Aug. 15.--(Special.)--As Mrs. Georgia Hurst was wheeling her baby in his little go-cart across the Southern Pacific track in Fifth Street this afternoon, the wheels of the buggy caught between the rails at the crossing.
    The frightened mother heard a whistle blow and looked up to see a southbound passenger train bearing rapidly down upon her.
    Frantically striving to release the buggy, the young woman stayed by her child. As the train came rushing along the engineer saw the mother's plight and threw on the emergency brakes so hard that the wheels under the coaches ground fire, while the whistle screamed warning again and again.
    Just as it seemed that the mother and her child would be killed before the heavy train could be brought to a stop, a young man named Cooley rushed on the track, wrenched the baby carriage loose and jerked it off the right of way and then, seizing Mrs. Hurst, pulled her, too, to safety.
    The next instant the engine slid by and came to a groaning stop.
    A brakeman had jumped from the locomotive at the same time in the effort to dash ahead of the train and save the mother and her babe. He and Cooley carried the fainting woman to a house nearby.
    Aside from the fright Mrs. Hurst was not injured. The baby wasn't even frightened.

Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 26, 1911, page 1   A 1911 "go-cart" was what is now called a "stroller."

    The wooden store buildings on South Central Avenue which were so badly damaged by fire a few weeks ago are being torn down and moved away. The owners of the property, Mesdames Enyart and Carnahan, have not determined as to the size of the building they will erect on the ground but that there will be a building of some fireproof material erected covering the entire frontage goes without saying, as the ground is too valuable to long remain vacant.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 15, 1911, page 4

Registration of Rights to Water Approved by Old Residents.
Seventy-Five Pioneers Obtain Full Patent to Specified Flow--
State Board of Control Avoids Lawsuits.
    GOLD HILL, Or., Oct. 8.--(Special.)--Some pioneer history was brought to light recently on the occasion of the sitting of the State Board of Control at this place for the adjudication of water rights on Rogue River and its tributaries in this territory. Many of the rights which were registered with James T. Chinnock, superintendent of Water Division No. 1, dated back to the '70s, while not a few were first filed in the '50s and '60s. The oldest right to be registered was that of Jacob Gall, long since dead, who obtained permission to use water from Galls Creek in 1856.
    Fully 75 water rights were registered, and the business was so much larger than the board had anticipated that the supply of blanks failed before all had registered. However, the period of registration does not close until November 9, so that all who have rights have yet time to register them in the office of the Board of Control at Salem. The rights registered here were for water in Evans Creek, Galls Creek, Wards Creek, Sams Creek, Foots Creek, Birdseye Creek and Rogue River.
"Hog" To Be Eliminated.
    The purpose of the present adjudication of the water rights of the state is the elimination of the "water hog," and the just and equitable division of water among those who are making a beneficial use of it. The time has arrived in Oregon, says Superintendent Chinnock, when there is not water enough for all. To avoid the never-ending tangle of litigation which would certainly ensue after conflicting rights had been located, the Board of Control in its present tour of Oregon will endeavor to have all existing rights registered.
    Then, taking into consideration the amount of water flowing in the stream from which several rights may be taken, the character of soil of the irrigated district with respect to the amount of water it may require, and the priority of the rights registered, a water apportionment will be made accordingly.
    Water rights filed for mining or power purposes will be considered similarly. Where there is no conflict of testimony regarding a right, the Board will make an award which will have the force of a patent, so long as the water is put to beneficial use.
Old-Timers Dislike Change.
    Old-timers who have been using their water rights 40, 50 and 60 years came to town with war in their hearts at the mere idea that their right to the water was even questioned. Their feelings were in no wise mollified when they found that they were required to pay a certificate fee of $1 and an irrigation fee of $2.50 for the first 16 acres, with an irrigation fee per acre for every acre thereafter.
    But when Superintendent Chinnock explained that the purpose of the registration was to protect pioneer users from inroads on the water supply by subsequent claimants, with possible expensive litigation as a corollary, they saw matters in a different light, and by evening were quite convinced that adjudication was best for the protection of their interests.
Oregonian, Portland, October 9, 1911, page 10

    Two of the four officers of the Rogue River Valley University Club at Medford, Oregon are Theta Delts: Earle W. Huntley, '07, being treasurer and Stanton Griffis, '10, secretary.
    Earle W. Huntley, '07, has entered into partnership with Mr. McClatchie, formerly of Minneapolis, for the conduct of a general real estate business at Medford, Oregon.
    C. Guy Laybourn, '11, having spent the spring months with Stanton Griffis, '10, at his Oregon ranch, is now with the Aetna Life Insurance Company, in Minneapolis.
The Shield, Theta Delta Chi fraternity, October 10, 1911, page 358

Medford, Ore. Notes.
    The Rogue River Valley Nursery Co. has trees and seeds of all kinds for sale.
    W. H. Rardon has seeds, fruits, vegetables, butter, eggs and poultry to ship.
    The Southern Oregon Produce Co. receives and ships apples, other fruit, produce and vegetables.
    C. Fitch has 5 acres of apples and 1 acre of pears for sale. He has 65 acres in fruit.
    M. J. Minear is a fruit grower and shipper. He has 20 acres of apples, 50 acres of pears and 5 acres of peaches.
    The Rogue River Land Co., W. H. Holmes, manager, is selling fruit lands on terms. They send literature on application.
The Chicago Packer, November 4, 1911, page 15

    We need settlers--not their money. Irrigated orchard tracts in the famous Rogue River Valley, Southern Oregon prairie land, ready for the plow; no timber, no rocks. Water now on the ground. Unequaled for productiveness and climate. This proposition and financial standing of company, endorsed by national banks, leading business men and financial agencies. Only irrigation company in the Northwest permitting settlers to make the land pay for itself. We also sell improved orchard tracts on small monthly, semiannual and annual payments to those who are unable to make residence at the present time. Send for illustrated descriptive matter. Roguelands Incorporated. Medford, Oregon.
Classified ad, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, November 26, 1911, page 30

Medford Has 11,000 Population.
    MEDFORD, Or., Dec. 15.--(Special.)--According to the school census, which has just been completed, Medford now has a population of 11,000, a gain of nearly 3000 since the census of last year. The enumerators found 1818 school children in the district, which is an increase of 23 percent over a year ago. As it is customary for statisticians to multiply the number of school children by six to estimate the total population of a city, this would give Medford 10,908 people.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, December 16, 1911, page 3

Thefts in Medford Numerous.
    MEDFORD, Or., Dec. 23.--(Special.)--That there is a modern Fagin in Medford using small boys as tools with which to secure stolen goods is the opinion of the Medford police. Numberless thefts of bicycles, scrap iron and brass have been investigated, and five boys, ranging from 12 to 16 years of age--George Anderson, Frank Collins, Lloyd Wolgamott, Gilford Reames and Jib Vickstrum--were take before Judge Neil and committed to the reform school. According to the stories of the parents, the boys have been the dupes of an older person higher up, presumably a junk dealer or second-hand store man, and an arrest by the police is momentarily expected. The thefts have extended over a period of several months.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, December 24, 1911, page B11

Tomasco Schzerarnkfetski Too Much for Medford Justice.
    MEDFORD, Or., Dec. 7.--(Special.)--Tomasco Schzerarnkfetski taxed the clerical force of Justice of the Peace Taylor's office today, when he was tried for stealing a Brussels carpet from Bert Anderson, president of the Big Pines Lumber Company.
    No one could pronounce his name and no one could spell it, until the defendant, by the aid of an interpreter, had the perplexing cognomen transcribed. Tomasco has been collecting garbage in the city, and recently took advantage of his position by removing a valuable carpet from the Anderson clothes line. The defendant declared he bought it for $1 and sold it for $5. After struggling with the mixture of vowels and consonants, Justice Taylor decided to enter the man on the records as John Doe, and fined him $25 and costs. Tomasco went to jail.

Morning Oregonian,
Portland, December 8, 1911, page 7

Public Improvements in Year Just Passing Total to High Figure.
    MEDFORD, Or., Dec. 28.--(Special.)--According to the annual report of City Engineer Arnspiger just issued, Medford has spent $584,829 for public improvements in 1911.
    The money was spent as follows: Pavement, 9.17 miles, $434,536; sewers, 5.84 miles, $52,660; storm sewers, .44 miles, $2717; water mains, 7.34 miles, $77,399; concrete walks, 4.38 miles, $16,187; miscellaneous, $1328. The total city improvements now installed aggregate $1,651,263, apportioned as follows:
    Pavement, 16.77 miles, $824,307.
    Sewers, 24.95 miles, $193,764.
    Storm sewers, 1.59 miles, $21,090.
    Water mains, 27.4 miles, $244,558.
    Concrete walks, 24.68 miles, $91.214.
    Gravity water system, 23 miles, $275,000.
    Miscellaneous, $1328.

Morning Oregonian,
Portland, December 30, 1911, page 10

Last revised March 6, 2018