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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Medford News 1950

Medford-related news items from 1950. Also see descriptions of Medford and Jackson County for this year.

Camp White's Possible Revitalization
Said '50's Biggest Local Story
Five Events Picked for Top Importance in Year's Happenings
    Five "local" news stories topped in importance all others during 1950, in the opinion of news staff members of The Mail Tribune.
   
Asked what they considered to be the "biggest" local news story of the year, five staff members picked the possibility that Camp White might be reactivated as an army training camp.
    Another selected as most important the story about Medford voters approving bond issues totaling nearly $3 million, to provide enlargement of the water facilities of the city, and the big expansion of the Medford fire department.
    Still another news staffer believes that experiments in cloud seeding in the valley during 1950, and the stories about them, were potentially the most far-reaching and important events of the year.
Less Unanimity on Second Choices
    Second choices showed less unanimity of opinion. One staff member picked the Camp White reactivation story as second biggest. Two writers believe the second most important story concerned the wholesale filing of mining claims on national forest land in Jackson County.
    Two others picked the cloud-seeding stories as the second most important, and one picked the water and fire bond issue story. Another staff writer believed Secretary of the Interior Oscar Chapman's order delaying the department's report on the Rogue Basin development plan ranked as the second story.
Others Thought Important
    Other big stories during the year included the results of the 1950 census, which showed Medford's population as 17,176, with a big increase in county residents; the railroad car shortage which seriously hampered the lumber industry here; the start of civilian defense efforts in the county; the November election, which resulted in a clean sweep for county Republicans; expansion of the domiciliary for war veterans; the continuing weather story, from drought in July and August to heavy rains in October to unusual warmth in December; starting of construction on a big new apartment house in Medford; opening of the Jacksonville museum as a tourist attraction and historical site; the Ashland Shakespearean festival which held its most successful season in 1950; plans for highway construction between Central Point and Ashland and around Gold hill, and collapse of Dodge Bridge and reconstruction of Bybee Bridge, which left the Table Rock and Sams Valley areas with a "shortage of bridges."
    Following is a month-by-month chronology of the year's most important news, taken from page 1 of the 1950 issues of The Mail Tribune.
JANUARY
    Medford post office receipts for 1949 total $377,771.46, said highest in history . . . 23rd Jackson County diphtheria case reported, officials say outbreak about over . . . Lumbermen say county load limit reduction on secondary highways will cause serious curtailment of productivity and employment . . . Arlo B. Barnes, Medford, fatally injured in light plane crash near Ashland . . .  Dr. L. D. Inskeep, Medford, named president of state health board . . . 1949 pear production reported at 2,554,000 boxes, down from 1948 total . . . Rain falling on 14 inches of snow turns streets into quagmires . . . Dr. James C. Hayes, Medford, appears as defense witness in government anti-trust suit against Oregon doctors . . . Senior Captain Leo E. Weidner, Portland, named acting Medford fire chief . . . John C. Bieghler, Medford, fatally injured in light plane crash near Sams Valley . . . Three lumber companies plan $1 million project at Camp White . . . Severe blizzards close highways and cause property damage, wind gusts hit 75 mph.
FEBRUARY
    Record 313-inch snowfall noted at Crater Lake National Park for January . . . City council turns down Sunday closure laws . . . Earl Miller named to succeed Carlos Morris, who retires as Ward 2 councilman . . . Jackson County unemployment reaches highest peak since 1930s . . . Brilliant flash and violent explosion near Trail-Shady Cove thought to be meteor . . . 500 persons attend opening of Jacksonville museum . . . March of Dimes campaign in Medford reaches $14,500, expected to go higher . . . 25 felonies reported in three weeks by local police . . . Nine-year-old boy confesses to setting three fires.
MARCH
    Construction of seven-story apartment building here given go-ahead by FHA . . . Four displaced persons from eastern Europe arrive in Medford . . . George Lower becomes editor of Medford News . . . 19 Jackson County candidates file for election in primaries . . . 14 aliens become naturalized citizens here . . . Tucker Sno-Cat company develops new type of truck . . . Medford board of water commissioners proposes $2,800,000 bond issue for Big Butte Springs pipeline . . . David Holmes Sr., president of Bear Creek Orchards, killed in automobile accident near Woodland, Cal. . . . 1950 census gets under way.
APRIL
    Amos F. Wyatt, Prospect, killed in train-lumber truck collision . . . Radio station KMED sale to Medford group announced . . . York Rite Masonic bodies hold annual state meeting here . . . Plans for new St. Mary's parochial school building announced . . . Circuit court jury awards $50,000 damages in accident suit, largest in local history . . . 1950-51 Medford and county school budgets both announced at almost $1 million . . . Daylight saving time goes into effect . . . Jet fighter plane crash-lands at airport, pilot uninjured . . . State Highway Commission approves $125,000 appropriation for Crater Lake Highway.
MAY
    United Air Lines inaugurates DC-4 service here . . . $50,000 fire destroys warehouse at Camp White . . . Tentative Jackson County budget set at $1,562,650 . . . Austin A. Cleek, local lumberman, dies in San Francisco . . . Richard F. Antle, long-time resident, dies here . . . Mrs. Elizabeth Dunn Van Sant, 94, first white girl born in Jackson County, dies in Portland . . . Medford voters pass bond issues for Big Butte Springs pipeline, $125,000 fire department measure and four-mill property tax . . . Ashland mayor and councilmen recalled . . . National GAR Commander Theodore Penland visits here . . . 100 employees of local bakeries go out on strike . . . Edward Canoose named fire chief and Warren G. Lesseg appointed police judge.
JUNE
    City issues $741.435 in building permits during May for all-time high . . . 4,114 persons visit Crater Lake National Park in one day, one short of record . . . Local bakery strike ends after four days . . . Hawthorne Park swimming pool opened to public . . . City council votes to buy Jackson County housing project . . . Phil Stansbury elected mayor of Ashland . . . Ninth annual Rogue River Roundup held here . . . Medford high school graduates total 231, largest in history of school . . . State Lions Club convention held here . . . Secretary of State Earl Newbry dedicates branch office building in Medford . . . Medford population announced as 17,176, county population up 59.69 percent from 1940 . . . Mrs. Moore Hamilton elected to Medford school board . . . Boxcar shortage becomes acute . . . 20 Mexican nationals illegally in his country apprehended here.
JULY
    City council approves $597,995.98 city budget for 1950-51 . . . Jacksonville museum opened to public . . . Arthur E. Powell, editor and publisher of Central Point American, former county commissioner, dies . . . District court to replace justice court due to population increase here . . . Construction of multi-story apartment building gets council approval by 4-to-3 vote . . . First Jackson County draft quota announced as six . . . Ex-convict has gun battle with Medford police before being captured . . . Hot weather causes local water shortage . . . Thomas W. Richey, 16, thought drowned near Prospect after long search fails to locate him . . . Hot, dry weather closes forest areas . . . Two Burns men die following head-on collision near Ashland . . . Boxcar shortage causes mills to cut crews . . . Local draft board calls 43 men for pre-induction physicals.
AUGUST
    Tenth annual Shakespearean festival held in Ashland before record-breaking crowds . . . Senate confirms A. Moore Hamilton as Medford postmaster . . . Old Jacksonville courthouse dedicated as museum . . . 86 men get draft calls in Jackson County . . . Rogue Valley hit by spectacular lightning storm . . . Frank Sawacki appointed Jackson County juvenile officer . . . Grass and brush fires sweep Table Rock and Gold Hill areas . . . Myron E. Root, local fruit industry leader, dies here.
SEPTEMBER
    Jackson County receives $335,123.25 in lieu of taxes from O&C lands during fiscal 1950 . . . Mayor D. L. Flynn conducts city's business from hospital bed during brief illness . . . John Snider appointed to fill city council vacancy . . . Over 8,000 people hear evangelist Billy Graham here . . . Unemployment in Jackson County hits four-year low . . . William Perry, former county commissioner, dies here . . . Medford school enrollment up 10 percent over 1949 . . . Boxcar shortage reaches critical point . . . County school enrollment announced as 11,484, slightly up from 1949 . . . City council approves purchase of $30,000 aerial ladder truck . . . Local weather control by cloud seeding sets off controversy . . . City and county form joint civil defense organization . . . State realty board meets here.
OCTOBER
    State Highway Commission calls for surveys of four-lane Medford-Ashland highway . . . Congressman Harris Ellsworth calls on Interstate Commerce Commission to declare emergency in boxcar shortage problem . . . City council approves civil defense program . . . Local ballots carry names of 33 candidates and 11 measures . . . Heavy rainfall slows logging and horticulture . . . State police and sheriff raid gambling devices here . . . Harry N. Butler, first Medford osteopath, dies here . . . City receives $2,764,761.23 check from sale of Big Butte pipeline bonds . . . U.S. Secretary of Interior O. L. Chapman orders further study of Rogue Valley Basin Plan, may be delayed five years . . . 28,500 voters register in Jackson County, Republicans lead . . . State Rep. Ben Day raps wholesale mining claims on public lands . . . Boxcar shortage eases . . . Medford and Portland businessmen take over construction of big apartment building here . . . U.S. Air Force rejects use of Camp White . . . Gale winds hit Rogue Valley, one killed, record rainfall . . . Storm damage set at $50,000 . . . Frank H. Hull, Medford civic leader, dies here.
NOVEMBER
Republicans sweep elections in Jackson County, more than 18,000 persons vote . . . City council votes to crack down on unpaid business licenses . . . Go-ahead given to Southern Pacific spur line from Tolo to White City . . . State officials promise investigation of Jackson County welfare office . . . Telephone company strikers picket here . . . Mining claims force local churches to halt work on summer camps . . . Heavy rains delay construction of Big Butte Springs pipeline for 90 days . . . Two Medford pilots use cloud seeding to clear fog for airline planes . . . 102 veterans arrive at Camp White Domiciliary from Los Angeles . . . Clinton Spencer, local real estate and insurance man, dies here.
DECEMBER
    City council approves mutual assistance agreement between several Jackson County towns . . . Ashland Tidings sold to Mr. and Mrs. George M. Dean, Reno, Nev. . . . September 1 to December 15 rainfall tops yearly average . . . Number of fruit gift shipments from Medford nears all-time high . . . Action by state tax commission costs Jackson County $65,000 in tax money . . . 1950 wettest year in history with total of 27.27 inches of rain though December 1 . . . Medford water board slates studies on use of fluoride in drinking water . . . Dodge Bridge collapses, dropping truck and driver into Rogue River.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 31, 1950, page B1



Last revised November 28, 2010