1951 'INTERESTING' YEAR ON LOCAL NEWS SCENE
Poll of News Staff Indicates No Single Outstanding Story
Nineteen fifty-one was an "interesting" year from a local news standpoint, but there was no single, outstanding news story which overshadowed all others.
This is the consensus of the members of The Mail Tribune's news staff, following their voting in a poll to determine the "most important and significant" news story of 1951.
Ranking first in importance and significance was the continuing series of stories having to do with the Medford city administration, news staffers felt.
These included the reorganization of the city government with Robert Duff named city superintendent, expansion of the fire department with the acquisition of new equipment and construction of a new west side fire station, completion of a new water pipeline from Big Butte Springs, approval of a $250,000 bond issue for long-range improvements of the airport, the survey of the Medford Police Department by Sgt. William P. Beall of the Berkeley, Cal., police force, and the resulting reorganization and modernization of the department.
Cloud Seeding Runs Close Second in Poll
Running a close second as the best series of stories of the year was the increasing success of cloud seeders Harvey Brandau and Eugene Kooser in controlling the weather. These included their anti-hail efforts during the spring and early summer, and their attempts at fog dispersal, both for United Air Lines and on their own, culminating in the dramatic fall of snow and patches of sunshine and blue sky which ended a week-long siege of icy fog in mid-December.
Ranking third were the stories of plans for the development of the Rogue River basin by the Bureau of Reclamation. Most significant of these was the Rogue River Valley Irrigation Association's dropping the so-called Plan A for basin development, and the substitution of an "amended plan" which the association thinks has a better chance of federal and congressional approval.
Camp White Next
Next on the list was the series of stories about Camp White, how it was to be reactivated, how the planning was halted, how plans were changed, and finally how funds for a more limited reactivation were allocated.
Ranking fifth was the Southern Pacific's decision to discontinue a part of Grants Pass-Dunsmuir passenger trains and substitute bus service.
The fact that 1951 will be the biggest year in the history of the Medford post office also received one vote. Another story of importance and significance, news staffers felt, was the beginning of the unique Medford Plan for centralized charitable giving.
Following is a month-by-month summary of outstanding local news stories, taken from the 1951 files of The Mail Tribune.
Rawles Moore takes over as first district court judge here . . . City council calls for bids on new west side fire station . . . Postmaster Moore Hamilton reports Medford post office did record business of $387,266.98 during 1950 . . . Rogue River, Gold Hill, Central Point, Shady Cove, Eagle Point and Prospect form reconstituted Upper Rogue Valley Chamber of Commerce . . . City of Medford announces 1950 building permit valuation reached an all-time high of $3,551,442.50 . . . 77-year-old Levi Lee has sight restored at a local hospital after four years of blindness . . . Snow survey shows adequate water supply for summer . . . Jackson County Agricultural Association offers first organized protest to reactivation of Camp White . . . Medford unit of air and airways communication service reactivated after six months' lapse . . . 75-mph blizzard piles up two feet of snow at Crater Lake in 24 hours . . . City council votes salary increases for city employees . . . High water floods floor of Rogue Valley with most water since 1927 . . . Medford schools prepared for possible air raids . . . William A. Luman, pioneer Medford grocer, dies at home . . . Oregon Timber Transport Operators organization (OTTO) formed to increase trucking safety . . . Fruit men oppose Camp White use . . . 236 pints of blood donated in first collection here . . . Southern Oregon lumbermen attack proposed state legislation involving truck weights as "vicious" . . . Medford police fire shots before capturing two taxicab thieves . . . State Highway Commission announces plans to spend $875,000 on Jackson County roads during next two years . . . Federal price freeze delays timber sales in southern Oregon . . . Preliminary symptoms of boxcar shortage seen here.
First "Mothers March on Polio" held here nets $3,167 . . . Strike by railroad switchmen closes Timber Products company veneer plant . . . 1.13 inches of rain falls on Medford in 24 hours . . . Rogue Valley residents report seeing flash of first atomic bomb tests in Nevada . . . Dayton D. "Dick" Kaye, owner of Kaye Paper Products company, dies in Medford hospital . . . Frank C. Preston, prominent Applegate rancher, killed in automobile accident, Mrs. Preston seriously injured . . . State Representative Mark Hatfield speaks at annual Lincoln Day dinner here . . . Shady Cove woman gives birth to sixth child by cesarean section operation in Medford hospital . . . City Airport Manager John Applegate resigns to enter U.S. Air Force . . . Col. Ben Stafford, Medford civil defense director, names full staff of assistants . . . Medford citizens donated $814 to send multiple sclerosis victim to Tacoma hospital . . . Oregon Insurance Rating bureau approves west side fire station . . . 405 persons attend regional conference on children and youth held in Medford . . . Influenza outbreak hits Rogue Valley, over 1,000 students out of school in Jackson County . . . $350,000 building permit issued by the city for construction of a new St. Mary's school.
Negotiators approve pay raise of 7½ cents an hour for between 400 and 500 Medford area lumber workers . . . Influenza outbreak reaches epidemic proportions in Jackson County with 494 cases reported . . . 2½ inches of snowfall in 12 hours breaks all-time March record in Medford . . . Sebastian Apollo, Medford music teacher for 20 years, dies at home . . . Heavy winter snowfall expected to aid irrigation prospects . . . 87½ inches of snow in seven days at Crater Lake brings total to 197 inches, a new record . . . 809 influenza cases reported during one week . . . School board approves $400 a year cost of living wage increase for Medford teachers . . . Between 1,000 and 1,500 persons attend open house at county farm home near Talent . . . $30,000 aerial ladder fire truck purchased by city arrives here . . . Historic Marble Corner building in Jacksonville damaged by fire . . . Col. Ben Stafford resigns as county and Medford civil defense leader, county refuses to accept resignation . . . Study of administration of public welfare in Jackson County released to public . . . Frost warning service started for ranchers . . . Jackson County assessor's office announces plans for assessment by aerial photography . . . Columbia Utility company requests $16,672 rate increase from public utilities commission . . . Medford city council gives go-ahead for construction of a railroad spur from Tolo to Camp White . . . Federal Communications Commission announces Medford area to be given two television channels on a standby basis . . . Air Force asks for recruitment of volunteer air spotters in this area . . . 10 Rogue River teachers refuse new contracts because of "inadequate salaries" . . . Don Stansell and John A. Tuttle, both of Medford, killed in Arizona airplane crash . . . Rumors on reactivation of Camp White fly as army officers visit camp.
Fire destroys warehouse, food processing plant and dairy owned by Church of the Golden Rule near Lake Creek . . . Mann's Department Store announces plans for $83,000 remodeling program . . . City Council approves installation of police and fire alarm box system . . . Supervisor L. G. Jolley of Rogue National Forest says national forest officials not "just standing by" while wholesale mining claims being filed on national forest land . . . Sufficient supply of boxcars for year seen by lumber spokesmen . . . "Tailored" plan for development of Rogue basin announced by Rogue River Basin Irrigation Association . . . Upper Rogue Chamber of Commerce files petitions to have Roseburg-Klamath Falls highway constructed . . . Hot, dry weather creates fire hazards in southern Oregon forests . . . C. Tarney Steward, Medford clothing store owner, dies . . . 591 cases of measles reported in Jackson County during one week . . . Mayor D. L. Flynn announces plans to reorganize Medford's city government . . . Eleven Jackson County youths fined for illegal possession of liquor . . . Property owners oppose rezoning of East Main Street district . . . "Gold Rush" fever hits Tolo area as nuggets found . . . Federal government announces Camp White to be readied for emergency use . . . State forest patrol halts issuance of building permits due to fire hazard . . . Wagner Creek residents vote for merger of school district with Phoenix . . . City council awards contracts for construction of fire station in west Medford . . . Church of the Golden Rule sells Jackson and Josephine county property valued at $1,250,000 to Oscar Rudnick, Bakersfield, Cal.
C. R. Bowman, Jackson County Superintendent of Schools since 1932, dies at Ashland home . . . Oregon legislature approves bill authorizing construction of four-lane highway between Central Point and Ashland . . . Regional meeting of the League of Oregon Cities held in Medford . . . Seitoku Shinzain, Okinawan school official, visits Jackson County schools . . . Army orders additional survey of possible use of Camp White . . . Gov. Douglas McKay dedicates replica of Statue of Liberty in Hawthorne Park . . . Alf B. Mekvold, Rogue River superintendent of schools, named Jackson County school superintendent . . . Medford city school budget announced as $1,096,209.71, over $1 million for first time . . . Methodist women hold state conference here . . . Jackson County public welfare commission lists 1951-52 budget at $1,252,105, second time over $1 million . . . Armed Forces Day marked by parade here . . . Civil aeronautics examiner recommends air service between Medford and Klamath Falls . . . 1951-52 Jackson County budget set at $1,742,363.88 . . . 40 members of Portland Chamber of Commerce here on "good will" tour . . . Governors of Oregon State Bar Association meet here . . . Harvey Brandau and Eugene Kooser, Medford weather control pilots, sign contract for fog dispersal with United Air Lines . . . Fire causes estimated $5,000 damage to Medford armory . . . Oregon State Public Health Association holds state convention here . . . Trail Creek Lumber Company mill burns with loss estimated at between $175,000 and $200,000 . . . Jackson County Chamber of Commerce protests cut in funds to be allocated to O&C lands administration.
County Agent C. B. Cordy predicts largest pear crop in history of Rogue Valley . . . Southern Oregon journeyman carpenters receive five cents an hour wage increase . . . Regional meeting of 20-30 clubs held here . . . Erwin and Denslow, Eugene contractors, file $15,107 damage suit against city of Medford, charging error in plans . . . Sams Valley and District 6C voters approve consolidation of two school districts . . . New dust collector expected to end air pollution Gold Hill . . . City council approves ordinance rezoning city of Medford after 16 months of planning . . . 1951-52 Medford city budget set at $422,670 . . . 229 Medford high school seniors graduate, second largest class in history . . . Water restrictions placed in effect in Medford because of heavy usage . . . Case involving mining claims on O&C timber lands opens in circuit court here . . . City of Medford submits request to federal government for $140,250 for improvement of the municipal airport . . . Mrs. Helen Marie Wilson jailed here after she admits stabbing her husband to death . . . State, county and federal authorities seek incendiarist who started 17 fires in Rogue River National Forest timber . . . District Attorney George Neilson dies at home in Medford . . . Edward Branchfield, Medford attorney, elected to District 49 school board . . . Miss Helen Busenbark resigns as assistant juvenile probation officer for Jackson County . . . Edward Canoose resigns as Medford fire chief . . . City announces plan to have Berkeley, Cal., consultant conduct survey of Medford police department . . . Paul Haviland appointed by Gov. Douglas McKay to succeed George Neilson as district attorney . . . Pilot Don Holmes dies following crash of crop-dusting plane southwest of Medford . . . Southern Pacific Railroad announces plans to discontinue southbound passenger train service through Medford . . . 30-foot break in Medford Irrigation District canal temporarily halts supply of water to Rogue Valley . . . Construction of Camp White on a "standby" basis given tentative approval by U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee.
Bob Rickey named assistant district attorney for Jackson County . . . United Air Lines seeks permission to serve both Medford and Klamath Falls on same flights . . . City council votes to cooperate with other southern Oregon cities to improve rail transportation in this area . . . Medford Boy Scouts Gordon DeArmond and Lloyd Bishop leave for world scout jamboree in Austria . . . County Agent W. B. Tucker predicts 10 to 15 percent reduction in forage and grain crops because of adverse weather . . . Miss Alice Grace named assistant Jackson County juvenile probation officer . . . Jackson County property assessed at $46,041.720 . . . Two persons killed in automobile accidents on upper Crater Lake Highway . . . Right-of-way work starts on spur railroad line from Tolo to Camp White . . . Southern Oregon forests closed because of extreme fire danger . . . Mrs. Stephen Nye elected chairman of Medford school board . . . Jackson County Chamber of Commerce committee asks for more east-west arterial streets in Medford . . . 72-year-old Camille Bowles, missing for three days on Mt. McLoughlin, found alive . . . Officials of Southern Oregon cities, air lines and Air Force meet here to decide future of Medford airport . . . Emergency alarm box system placed in effect here . . . 446 Mexican fruit workers arrive here for pear harvest . . . 250-acre forest fire sweeps Rogue River area . . . North Riverside cafe reports theft of safe containing $700 . . . Fines levied in police court for violation of watering regulations.
Sgt. William Beall, Berkeley, Cal. police consultant, arrives here to make survey of Medford police department . . . Sale of colored oleomargarine becomes legal in Medford and throughout Oregon . . . 11th annual Shakespearean festival opens in Ashland . . . Miss Ada Rogato, Brazilian aviatrix, visits Medford . . . State forestry department closes logging operations in southern Oregon . . . Fourth annual "Gold Rush Jubilee" held in Jacksonville . . . Chester W. White, Medford, killed in rooming house fire . . . Gordon Barker appointed Medford fire chief . . . $45,000 fire destroys three buildings at Medford fairgrounds . . . 21 Medford and Ashland men make tour of California airports to gather ideas for improvement of Medford field . . . U.S. House of Representatives approved expenditure of $11,250,300 for "standby" installation at Camp White . . . Police consultant Sgt. William Beall praises honesty of Medford police force . . . Ten separate fires cover 250 acres in northeast Jackson County . . . Property manager of Sears, Roebuck and Company's Pacific division predicts firm will place store in Medford in "near future" . . . Details of "Medford Plan" for centralized charity collections made public . . . Weather control pilots make first cloud seeding flight in three months . . . Forest fire situation termed "most critical in years" by national forest officials . . . Forest service smoke jumpers control seven fires as critical fire situation continues . . . Rogue Valley Irrigation Association withdraws support of controversial "Plan A" for development of Rogue basin . . . Medford interests plan to protest curtailment of Southern Pacific Railroad service in southern Oregon . . . Officials of Episcopal Church announce plans to purchase Community Hospital . . . State forester lifts all restrictions on logging in southern Oregon . . . Medford weather control pilots credited with intensifying rain over forest fire in Hubbard Creek area . . . Jackson County tax for 1951-52 announced as 9.9 mills, a 2.4 increase over previous year . . . Medford police officer David Dillon shot by Chester Lee Dodson, who escapes . . . Light rainfall ends 107-day drought in Rogue Valley, second longest dry spell in weather bureau history here.
Visit of 50,000th person marked at Jacksonville museum . . . Southern Oregon Conservation and Tree Farm Association receives government approval for radio network in Josephine County . . . Harvey and Watkins, Medford engineering firm, awarded contract for planning redevelopment of Camp White . . . Main building at Lake of the Woods resort destroyed by fire . . . Medford city council authorizes purchase of 30 call box telephones to add to emergency alarm system . . . "Most critical fire hazard" of year reported in southern Oregon forests . . . State convention of county assessors held in Medford . . . Forests closed to logging and milling because of fire danger . . . L. G. Jolley, supervisor of Rogue River National Forest since 1949, promoted to assistant regional forester . . . Most county schools report increases in enrollment . . . Seven firms join "Medford Plan" . . . Water shortage rumors throw Jacksonville into furor . . . Mrs. Helen Marie Wilson receives six-year manslaughter sentence for fatal stabbing of husband . . . Weather bureau reports 1951 summer driest in history here, only .27 inch of rainfall recorded in 127 days . . . City council calls $250,000 airport improvement bond issue election . . . Forest fire spreads over 300 acres on Jackson-Douglas County line . . . Contract awarded for $50,000 city schools administration building . . . Frank A. Rowe, head of Medford production and marketing office, dies in Seattle . . . City council approves annexation of Verde Hills and Eastwood subdivisions . . . Tests reveal Jacksonville water supply free of impurities . . . Victor Boehl, president of Rogue River Valley Irrigation Association, flies to Washington, D.C. to urge construction of defense power projects in Rogue Valley . . . Oregon Tavern Owners Association meets in Medford . . . Medford armory gutted by fire . . . Talbert D. Sehorn, Klamath Falls, named to succeed Frank A. Rowe as head of production and marketing office here . . . Work on reactivation of Camp White halted, reasons unexplained here.
Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman says "Plan A" for development of Rogue Basin is "dead" . . . First prolonged rainfall in Rogue Valley since May . . . Confusion surrounds reactivation of Camp White as engineers ordered to halt work . . . Southern Pacific announces plan for increased Portland-Ashland passenger service . . . Army engineers announce Camp White work halted pending "resurvey" . . . 206 Jackson County employees petition for withdrawal from public employees retirement system . . . Sixth Army headquarters assures Rogue Valley ranchers that Camp White reactivation will disturb ranches "as little as possible" . . . 1,000 persons attend open house at new Crater High School in Central Point . . . Gold Hill residents protest relocation of Highway 99 . . . Mrs. Gus Newbury, longtime Medford resident, dies here . . . Two Jackson County bulbar poliomyelitis patients flown north by Mercy Flights . . . Camp White area landholders say reactivation of camp not "military necessity" . . . Oregon congressmen report work to be resumed on Camp White . . . Ezra M. Wilson, former mayor of Medford, dies . . . Thurston E. Daniels, 44-year resident of Rogue Valley, dies . . . Jack H. Wood, Portland, named supervisor of Rogue River National Forest . . . Medford voters approve $250,000 airport bond issue by 1,210 to 202 margin . . . City authorities call for bids on widening of East Main Street . . . Alvin E. Andresen, Medford, reports four-hour abduction by gun-wielding men . . . Medford pilots Harvey Brandau and Eugene Kooser experiment with fog control at Eureka, Cal. . . . Mrs. Gifford Mayes, vice-chairman of Republican National Party, speaks here . . . 1,000 Shriners take part in ceremonial here . . . $112,954 in federal funds allocated for use at Medford municipal airport.
Spur rail line from Tolo to Camp White completed, dedication ceremonies held . . . Estimated $2,000 to $3,000 taken by burglars from Groceteria Food Market . . . Medford city council approves sale of $75,000 worth of airport improvement bonds . . . Survey report on police department by Sgt. William Beall placed before city council . . . Medford seaman David F. Bump among survivors of ship swept by fire in Pacific . . . State Highway Commission announces plan for construction of portion of four-lane highway between Medford and Ashland . . . Sixth safe burglary in month and a half reported by police . . . 339 pints of blood donated in largest one-day operation here . . . Three southern Oregon tree farms totaling 88,000 acres receive certification . . . Police Chief Clatous McCredie named Medford deputy civil defense director . . . Jackson County school census shows increase of 888 during year . . . Groceteria burglary suspects arrested in California . . . Medford high school band invited to take part in East-West football game pageantry in San Francisco . . . Juvenile court advisory committee asks National Parole and Probation Association to survey detention home need here . . . Four men arrested for series of 20 or more Rogue Valley thefts . . . Big Butte Springs pipeline completed.
Army approves "partial" rebuilding of Camp White . . . Eugene Vincent, Medford, killed in family quarrel . . . Storm causes heavy damage in Medford area . . . Episcopal diocese takes over ownership of Community Hospital . . . Three men admit year-old burglary of Valentine's lounge . . . Harris Ellsworth opens campaign for sixth term in congress with talk here . . . Details of chromite, manganese reduction plant near Eagle Point revealed . . . Ira E. Shuler, longtime Medford resident, dies in Portland . . . Bob Dickey, Medford, named to head state committee of national youth for Eisenhower organization . . . Blinding fog covers Rogue Valley, many traffic accidents . . . Rogue Valley weather changes abruptly following fog seeding by Medford weather control pilots . . . More traffic accidents reported as icy weather continues . . . Southern Oregon Sugar Pine Corporation mill burns at Central Point, loss estimated at $110,000 . . . Truman Nelson named Medford fire marshal . . . Business at Medford post office passes $400,000 for all-time record.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 30, 1951, page 10
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Firm Starts Removal of Ironwork on Bridge
The Blakeley Construction Company began removal of ironwork from the old Jackson Street bridge yesterday, according to City Superintendent Vernon Thorpe. Complete removal of the old structure will be completed in the near future, he said.
Cement pilings for the new span have been completed, and work on the body of the bridge will get under way soon.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 12, 1951, page 9
Last revised May 10, 2017