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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Rogue Valley Poetry

An oxymoron? 


    SONG . . . By W. H. Appler.
Columbia's sons' adopted daughters
Shriek aloud o'er land and waters
The Indians have come to quarters.
CHORUS.
Rise, rise, ye Oregon's rise,
Rise, rise, ye Oregon's rise,
Hark, hark, hark, how the eagle cries
Rise, rise, ye Oregon's rise on the Indians, rise.
   
Sam, he was a great warrior,
He was corralled between two waters,
Capt. Lamerick brought him to quarters.
                Rise, rise, rise, &c.
   
Table Rock is a pretty elevation,
A splendid view o'er the Indian nation,
The place where the chieftain took his station.
                Rise, rise, rise, &c.
    The Indians now are in subjection,
Old Sammy made a bad selection,
His chaparral was no protection.
                Rise, rise, rise, &c.
Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, August 14, 1852, page 1




Shooting of the Cow

Come all you jolly huntsmen
    And I will tell you how
William Courtney's son-in-law
    Happened to shoot his cow.

He, being a shotgun man
    And thinks he's some on ducks
He thought he'd take his rifle
    And try to kill some bucks.

He started out one morning
    He took his dog and gun
And said to his Beaver dog
    "We're going to have some fun."

They traveled on for quite a piece
    The dog could nothing smell
When into a train of thoughts
    This youthful Nimrod fell.

He scratched his head and blew his nose
    Said he, "I've heard it said
This is the season of the year
    The bucks are always red."

"I've also heard that when they run
    They go it with a rush"--
Just then he saw (or thought he saw)
    A shaking of the brush.

He raised his gun up to his head
    And that was very tall
And when he let it down again
    He heard a mighty fall.

"Now Beve," said he, "we've got an elk
    And you must quickly catch
There is no hunters in the wood
    That is to us a match."

Then Beve ran up and wagged his tail
    And gave a big bow-wow
Which was as near as he could say
    "Oh, Master, you've shot your cow."

"Composed by William M. Griffin about Dick Griffin shooting
his cow. First sung by Wm. Griffin and George Griffin, who was
3 years of age at the time. (This was dictated to me by Aunt Sallie,
who recited it from memory.)"

From an undated typescript. George H. Griffin was born in October 1874.



ON ROGUE RIVER
(Dedicated to Bill, Joe and Jim.)

Oh, it's pleasant on the river on a sultry summer day, when the temperature is boiling and the town is none too gay; there to wade out on the riffle, or fish from some shady nook; oh, it's pleasant on the river--when the steelheads take the hook.

Oh, it's pleasant on the river when mealtime draweth night; when the beans and bread and spuds and fish are piled up mountain high on the table at the fish camp; oh, it surely, surely is very pleasant on the river when the cook is doing biz.

Oh, it's pleasant on the river when the evening shadows come and the smoke from a dozen good old pipes put the mosquitoes on the bum; when the yarns are spun 'bout fish and deer and bear--a hundred or more; oh, it's pleasant on the river--when the liar has the floor.

Oh, it's pleasant on the river at the first gray streak of morn, when the trout are biting lively and you're glad that you are born; but when it's time to go back to town to the heat and the work and--well, there's no mincing about it, that's little short of h----.

Central Point Herald, July 19, 1906, page 1




LATEST AUTO SONG.
     The following verses were composed by a Central Point lady especially for the Herald. It has a true ring about it as though written by one who was there.--Ed.
My husband lies under the auto;
    My husband swears under the car;
We've sent to the city for someone
    And asked them to come where we are.

We're lonesome, lonesome,
    Lonesome out here where we are.

My husband lies under the auto;
    My husband swears under the car;
He can't get the engine to working,
    And so we must stay where we are.
We're lonesome, hungry and
    Angry out here where we are.

He's sent to the garage for someone
    To tow us to town before dark;
He can't get the spark plug to sparking
    It simply refuses to spark.

The spark plug, the spark plug,
    It simply refuses to spark.
                                     --KWAHAFSRM.
Central Point Herald, October 10, 1907, page 3
By Clark M. Hawk--Mrs. Frank A. Hawk.






REUNION TIME.
    Composed by Comrade E. E. White and read by him at the closing exercises of the recent reunion of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Association of Southern Oregon at Camp J. W. Merritt, Central Point, Ore., September 11, 1908.

Oh days of yore, so sad and long,
    When we were young and in our prime,
Now happy days and happier song,
    At reunion time, reunion time;
For here we're met again to greet
    The gray-haired boys with weary feet,
Who've wandered here again to say,
    "This is our glad reunion day."

How often now our memories call
    Up battle scenes or prison wall,
Or of some incident in camp
    Long years ago, when on the tramp;
So here's a few that're from the "joint"
    That were camped four days at Central Point,
And all the campers know full well
    That it's the truth which I now tell.

There was nothing safe around the camp,
    For everyone was bound to steal,
But the two who won the nicest stamp
    Were May Downing and Flo McNeal;
The watermelons, large and fine,
    Disappeared all along the line,
While Comrade Spencer's greatest boost
    Was making his bed a chicken roost.

Then there was the place where we went to eat,
    In the old horse stalls at the end of the street,
And the well close by with its water cold
    To slake the thirsts of the young and old;
There were youth and beauty and old gray hair,
    And "Old Glory" floating high in air,
But I'll never forget till the day I die,
    Of watching a grasshopper eating pie.

Talk about times; well, I guess, yes;
    We made a lieutenant colonel out of Jess;
Mesdames Beach and Andrus roped a man so neat
    That it won applause, also a treat,
And a Dakota comrade, so 'tis said,
    Got straw enough to make his bed,
While the best of wishes awoke in the "joint"
    On the old fairgrounds at Central Point.

Central Point Herald,
September 17, 1908, page 4






    The program as arranged was greatly enjoyed. Jack Withington was there with a number of his screamingly funny stories told in his masterly way, and Mr. Walters, an old opera singer, made the hit of the evening with a number of operatic selections and comic songs. Colonel F. L. Tou Velle pleased with a ballad which set forth the charms of a bachelor life who had what he wanted when he wanted it. But it remained for Frederick Haslund to sing two songs, the words being localized, to bring down the house. His first song, to the tune of "It's Just the Same Old Moon," ran as follows:
Same Old Train.
In dark ages since many years have passed,
Six miles an hour was considered pretty fast;
But now in nineteen hundred and nine
That's some speed on Barnum's line!
Same old wheezing engine and car
Starts for J'ville with an awful jar;
Foxy Barnum rents his whole depot
And makes us wait out in the snow.
   
    Chorus:
It's just that same old train that's running
In just that same old jerky way;
No wonder we are always kicking
At the price we have to pay;
Oh, won't you tell me when we'll get there?
Oh, won't you use a little more wood?
Same little jolly, it gives one a pain;
Same little jerky, same old train.
   
Teddy says railroads must be controlled;
Honest voter does as he is told;
Legislature yields to people's will,
Railroad c'mission just fills the bill.
Then the c'mission comes to Jacksonville,
Calls in Barnum; also John and Will.
Asks them questions, tells them what to do;
Goes away, thinks its labors through.
   
    Chorus:
It's just that same old train that's running
In just that same old jerky way;
No wonder we are always kicking
At the price we have to pay;
They didn't mind the old c'mission,
They go right on the same old way.
Same little station; folks raising Cain;
Same busted schedule; same old train.
   
    His second, to the tune of "Harrigan," ran as follows:
Medford--That's It.
Where is the town that skins them all a block?
    Medford--that's it.
Where is the town where's always a crime to knock?
    Medford--that's it.
For it's just as proud of its name, you see,
As New York or Frisco or Milwaukee
Where is the town that's a-boosting all the time?
    Medford--that's it.
   
    Chorus:
M-e-d-f-o-r-d spells Medford;
Proud of all the booster men that live here;
Divil a joint in town a-selling near beer.
M-e-d-f-o-r-d, believe me.
It's a name that brings fame to anyone connected with
    Medford--that's it.
   

Where is the town that is never out of doubt?
    Medford--that's it.
Where is the town that the supreme court made wet?
    Medford--that's it.
For the folks that come here all stick to it,
And it sticks to them, too, in return, you bet;
Where is the spot where it's never too cold or hot?
    Medford--that's it.
   
    Chorus:
M-e-d-f-o-r-d spells Medford;
Proud of every railroad magnate in it.;
Every man has got a water scheme that's in it.
M-e-d-f-o-r-d, believe me.
It's a town that renown always has been connected with
    Medford--that's it.
"Joshes Handed with Lavish Hands at Banquet," Southern Oregonian, Medford, January 13, 1909, page 6




HORATIUS UP TO DATE.
Or How the Rogue River Romans Saved a Crop.

Jack Frost of Nova Scotia,
By his blue nose he swore,
That to those Medford fruitmen
He'd hand a jolt once more.
By his blue nose he swore it,
And he named a biting night,
And bade the Weather Bureau say
He'd kill the fruit off right.
East and West and South and North
The Frost predictions sail,
The fruitman saw the bulletins,
His face grew deathly pale.
"Alas! Alas! my crop is lost,"
He was heard to loudly shout,
"My dreams of wealth and easy times
Have all gone up the spout."
The fruitman's brow was sad,
The fruitman's speech was low,
And glum he watched the weather gauge
For the coming of the foe.
"We will before ten hours have passed
Be visited by Frost,
What hope is there for future pears?
My crop is lost, is lost!"
Then out spake brave Horatius,
The driver of the mules,
"Every man who lives should work,
And those who loaf are fools.
And how can man work better
Than to scrap the elements,
To save his boss 'spondulics'
That comes in future tense?
I, with two more to help me,
Will save our boss from loss
By building fires and making smudge.
What dost thou say, O Boss?
Bring out damp barnyard garbage,
Tree prunings and crude oil,
And 'gainst the bitter biting Frost,
The whole long night we'll toil."
Then out spake strong Hans Schmider,
A Dutchman broad was he,
"Unt I will shtandt at your back-hind hand
To make dot smudge mit zie."
And out spoke brisk Pat Murphy,
A Yankee from Cork was he,
"Be Jabbers, Oi'l stant at yer iny could hand
As long as ye'll stand wid me."
"Horatius," quoth the orchardist,
"As thou sayest so let it be."
And out against the elements
Forth went the dauntless three.
For hired men working for their boss
We're faithful, strong and bold,'
And worked instead of bossing then,
In the brave days of old,
And while the three were gathering
Their tools upon their back,
The boss he was the foremost man
To take in hand an ax.
Then every mortal on the place
Seized hatchet, saw and crow,
And 'gan to split up kindling wood
To keep away the foe.
And then, with fuel and kindling,
Forth went the gallant three
And made their fires to fight Jack Frost
'Neath every blooming tree.
The orchard soon was palled in smoke
And Jack Frost, coming nigh,
Saw shine the little fires and laughed
And winked his wicked eye.
But, wow! he found the laughed-at smoke
Resisted well his bite,
And after six hours' scrap he said
He'd come another night;
And with joking and laughter
Still is the story told,
How well Horatius saved the crop
In the brave days of old.
Moral:
Then while you sit a-smoking
Around the cheering fire;
And thinking of the votes you'd get
If you should run for squire;
And sons are planning hunting trips,
And daughters making fudge;
Remember Frost is rough on fruit
And be prepared to smudge.
                                        --Edison T. Marshall.
Medford Mail, February 12, 1909, page 4




THE KNOCKER.

Once there was a rabid knocker
    Living in a little town
And he was a darn good knocker
    With a motto "keep her down."

Years went by and he kept rapping
    With that mighty club of his,
Till a man with eyes all snapping
    Came, and claimed to know his "biz"

People stared at him in wonder
    E'en the knocker dropped his stick
And said he, "why in thunder
    Did that fellow build the brick?"

Then the knocker grew excited
    And he gave his friends a fill
That he'd have his lost cards righted
    And kept knocking harder still.

Then the booster, hale and hearty,
    To each soul a greeting sent,
To attend his dinner party
    And most everybody went.

But the knocker sad and lonely
    Staid away with head bowed down
And he muttered, "I'm the only
    Knocker left in this darned town."

Soon he died, but still kept rapping,
    For the undertakers tell
That they heard his hammer tapping,
    Tapping on the door of Hell.

Central Point, June 29th.             COTTON.

Central Point Herald, July 1, 1909, page 1






Enjoyable Banquet.

    The banquet board, under the able direction of the management of the Louvre Cafe, was weighted with a multitude of good things to eat, those present doing full justice to the occasion.
    The program as arranged was greatly enjoyed. Jack Withington was there with a number of his screamingly funny stories told in his masterly way, and Mr. Walters, an old opera singer, made the hit of the evening with a number of operatic selections and comic songs. Colonel F. L. TouVelle pleased with a ballad which set forth the charms of a bachelor life who had what he wanted when he wanted it. But it remained for Frederick Haslund to sing two songs, the words being localized, to bring down the house. His first song, to the tune of "It's Just the Same Old Moon," ran as follows:

Same Old Train.

In dark ages since many years have passed,
Six miles an hour was considered pretty fast;
But now in nineteen hundred and nine
That's some speed on Barnum's line!
Same old wheezing engine and car
Starts for J'ville with an awful jar;
Foxy Barnum rents his whole depot
And makes us wait out in the snow.

    Chorus:
It's just that same old train that's running
In just that same old jerky way;
No wonder we are always kicking
At the price we have to pay;
Oh, won't you tell me when we'll get there?
Oh, won't you use a little more wood?
Same little jolly, it gives one a pain;
Same little jerky, same old train.

Teddy says railroads must be controlled;
Highest voter does as he is told;
Legislature yields to people's will,
Railroad c'mission just fills the bill.
Then the c'mission comes to Jacksonville,
Calls in Barnum; also John and Will.
Asks them questions, tells them what to do;
Goes away, thinks its labors through.

    Chorus:
It
's just that same old train that's running
In just the same old jerky way;
No wonder we are always kicking
At the price we have to pay;
They didn't mind the old c'mission,
They go right the same old way.
Same little station; folks raising Cain;
Same busted schedule; same old train.

Undated 1909 Mail Tribune clipping.





A New State.
(Harper's Weekly)
    "It has been proposed to establish a new state in the union, made up of lower Oregon and northern California, a peculiarly rich and fertile region with vast harbor facilities. It is to be named Siskiyou."

            Horroo! hurroo!
            For Siskiyou.
A brand-new oar for the Yankee crew.
A state that's broad, a state that's wide,
With mountain tops, and ocean side.
    And hills of green,
    And pastures clean,
Where flows the surging Oregon.
A dream of plains with peaches on,
    And corner lots
    In plots and plots
Where men may delve and men may dig,
And feed the chickens and the pig
On luscious fruits from out the earth
    Of wondrous worth.
O Siskiyou! O Siskiyou!
New star for dear old Uncle Sam,
Thy praises let us loudly sing
In songs to echo and to ring
From far Key West to Hudson's Bay,
O Siski-Siski-Siskiyay--
A spot where all is blithe and gay
For Siskiyou and Siskimee.
I hail thee true, I hail thee blue.
O Sister Siski-Siskiyou!
                             --Carlyle Smith.

Central Point Herald,
February 24, 1910, page 2






Jackson County.

It's hazy, dreamy summer time
In Jackson County's ardent clime,
And smoke clouds drift upon the breeze
From off the blazing forest trees,
While in the vale there comes a calm
As sweet as Gilead's soothing balm.
Around us singing wild and free,
We catch the notes of industry
And see contentment written where
The pioneer once wrote despair.

From mountain's smoke-veiled snowy crest
To where the valley spreads her breast
The crystal waters plunge and swell,
And seem to murmur, "All is well,"
The upland peeps beneath the haze,
The laden orchard lends its praise,
The breezes sighing through the pine
In wind-sung melodies divine,
Make e'en a saddened heart rejoice
With love-words spoke in Nature's voice.

On every hand the bended trees,
Fruit-laden, swinging in the breeze,
A wealth not half of which is told.
The gleam of silver and of gold,
The rainbow tints which greet the eyes
And form an earthly paradise.
Health comes on every breeze that blows,
Health comes on every blushing rose,
Wealth comes on every laden tree
In this, our own serenity.

Cool rivers wend through mead and field,
The corn ears, prodigal of yield,
Shoot forth their gift to Plenty's horn,
While sweet delicious fruits adorn
The endless miles, where peach and pear
And apple greets us everywhere.
Upon the hills now brown and sear,
Green swards of grass will soon appear,
And e'er the autumn blossom dies
The winter garlands will arise.

From cottage windows float the songs
Of love for which man's spirit longs,
And children busy at their play
Turn life's December into May.
Land of plenty, land of wealth,
Land of love and land of health,
Where happiness springs from the soil,
And love but teaches men to toil.
Breeze-kissed and fruit-bedecked you stand,
Our own, our Jackson County land.

In future years, no distant time,
A million souls will seek our clime,
Where summer's sun is always kind,
And temperate the winter's wind.
Where canyons spread and creeks descend,
And laughing, cooling rivers wend,
Where apple blooms embalm the breeze
And clover blossoms kissed by bees
From Nature's flower garden grand,
In this, our Jackson County land.
Charley L. Gant
                
Central Point Herald, August 18, 1910, page 2





We'll Build a City Here.

Keep crowing and a-growing
    And we'll build a city here
That will make a pleasant showing
    In the future very near;
But we'll have to keep on working
    And a-pushing up the grade,
For there's nothing made in shirking
    Where a city's to be made.

Let up knocking and a-rocking
    In an idler's easy chair;
Dig your ducats from the stocking
    That is lying buried there;
There's lots of land to irrigate
    And lots of land to clear,
Keep a-sowing and a-hoeing
    And we'll build a city here.

Keep a-yelling and a-swelling
    With the enterprising throng,
Keep a-talking and a-telling,
    Sound progression's silver gong.
There's nothing made in laying off
    While others toil and sweat,
Keep a-crowing and a-blowing
    And we'll build a city yet.

Quit your nagging, get to bragging,
    Keep in line from night to morn.
There are other people living
    In this world beside yourself,
It's only drones and lazy bones
    That lay upon the shelf.

Keep going like the flowing
    Of the river from the hills,
And keep singing like the ringing
    Of the water on the rills.
Keep a-climbing up the ladder
    Where progression's bells are clear,
Go on toasting and a-boasting,
    And we'll build a city here.

Stop your fighting and backbiting
    With your neighbors one and all,
There's no friendship made of fighting,
    There's no sugar made of gall.
Take a little, give a little,
    Toil along from year to year,
Keep a-crowing and a-growing
    And we'll build a city here.
  Charley L. Gant             

Central Point Herald,
September 1, 1910, page 2





Rogue River Land.

Go 'way now, Mr. Preacher, you needn't talk to me
About a land that's paved with gold, beyond the jasper sea,
Of course, no doubt, there's such a place, but don't you understand,
The soil won't raise good apples like our own Rogue River land.
I want to live among the bloom of peach and apple trees
And drink the breath of sweet perfume that floats upon the breeze;
To garner fruits from Nature's breast and watch the rainbow dyes
Which glint the east and gild the west, where snowy mountains rise.
I crave no shining harp of gold upon a golden strand,
I'd rather spend eternity on this Rogue River land.

I seek no blissful Eden, far beyond some mystic hill,
When here we see for you and me this fertile soil to till;
These meadows blooming rich and sweet and fields of yellow corn,
Where Nature seems to empty out her very lavish horn.
Here fruit and vine are oil and wine, Samaritan of good,
And finite man can work and plan where he is understood.
The orchards rare, the mountain air, the forest, field and brook,
With sapphire sheens and pleasant scenes most everywhere we look;
With silvery rivers spurting down from snowy mountains grand;
I'd like to stay and live alway in this Rogue River land.

No, thank you, Mr. Preacher, I wouldn't care to change
These fields of green, this home serene, for some old Eden strange.
I doubt not that your Beulah Land is full of harp and song,
But not like Rogue a-singing as he gently flows along;
Not like the soft winds sighing through the boughs of stately pine,
Where the orchard croons to pippins in this valley home of mine.
Where busy housewives hum the tunes that soothe the babe to sleep
And gentle climbing roses 'round the cottage windows creep;
Where Nature plays her minstrel lays which we can understand,
And we till and fill our pockets from the rich Rogue River land.
  Charley L. Gant     
Central Point Herald, September 15, 1910, page 2





By Alma M. Meacham

Oh Medford, dear Medford;
    Oh, how I love thee!
In the Rogue River Valley,
    Yes, down by the sea.

Your Main Street is handsome.
    Your park is a pride,
Where autos are waiting
    To give you a ride.

Your climate is balmy,
    As fine as can be,
Moderated by breezes
    That float from the sea.

The scenes around Medford
    Are grand to behold;
Here are the mines of argonaut,
    Who came for the gold.

The Rogue's noted for fruit, sir,
    As all the world knows,
For Spitz or for Bosc,
    The finest that grows.

Your valley's quite long,
    But not very wide,
And the roads are all good
    For the "automoride."

But your valley is sticky,
    And the sticky will stay
If you don't like the sticky
    You'd best move away.

Medford Sun, February 7, 1911, page 3     No title.







BE A BOOSTER

Do you know there's lots o' people
    Settin' round in every town,
Growlin' like a broody chicken,
    Knockin' every good thing down?
Don't you be that kind of cattle,
    'Cause they ain't no use on earth;
You just be a booster rooster--
    Crow and boost for all you're worth.

If your town needs boostin' booster,
    Don't hold back and wait to see
If some other feller's willin'
    Sail right in--this country's free;
No one's got a mortgage on it,
    It's yours just as much as his.
If your town is shy on boosters,
    You get in the boostin' biz.

If things don't seem to suit you,
    An' the world seems kinder wrong,
What's the matter with a-boostin'
    Just to help the thing along?
'Cause if things should stop a-goin'
    We'd be in a sorry plight.
You just keep the horn a-blowin'
    Booster up with all your might.

If you see some feller tryin'
    For to make some project go,
You can boost it up a trifle.
    That you're one to let him know
That you're not goin' to knock it,
    Just because it's not your "shout,"
But you're goin' to boost a little
    'Cause he's got the "best thing out."

If you know some feller's failin's,
    Just forget 'em, 'cause, you know,
That same feller's got some good points--
    Them's the ones you want to show,
Cast your loaves out on the waters,
    "They'll come back," is a saying true.
Maybe they will come back "buttered,"
    When some feller boosts for you.

Medford Sun,
June 25, 1911, page 4








The Logtown Rose

By Frederick Mansfield Law, 1879-1952

To the young and the old and one who knows
Let me tell you the story of the Logtown Rose.
It's the emblem of beauty that does display the old
Pioneer of an early day.

It was back in the year of '63
When to Forest Creek came John McKee
And then his friends that gathered around
Cut logs for his home in old Logtown.

When his home was built, it was snug and warm;
It protected his children through winter storm.
And Mirum spun yarn to make socks and hose,
And once ins pare time planted a yellow rose.

It was a tiny slip she placed in the ground;
Then its roots spread out and slips gathered 'round
And as the years came, and as the years go,
Its friends would die while the rose would grow.

It was a beautiful flower of yellowish hue
And over 50 years it weathered through.
To live as it did you would never suppose
But it really did, the Logtown Rose.

Now the nails that they used have turned to rust,
And the logs that once stood have turned to dust,
But remaining there, waving as winter wind blows
On a historic spot stands the Logtown Rose.

Protect it, friends, as you pass by
Give it a drink, don't let it die
In the earth so dry from the sun so hot,
Please let the rose live on this sacred spot.

Place some strong posts deep in the ground
And spike strong boards all around,
Protect it from those who may pass by
That would trample it down and let it die.

It's a friend of the family of John McKee
And also a friend to that old oak tree.
But too far away from the shade it gives
Through the summer heat so it may live.

So take care of it, friends, and do it soon
And in a very short time for you it'll bloom
You see, my friends, it cannot cry;
It can only bloom and say goodbye.

Its breath is sweet its heart is gold,
Now this is the story as I've been told
And long may it wave in sweet repose,
And bloom for you all--the Logtown Rose.

From a typescript dated 1913.




Christmas Vacation.
Christmas vacation is almost here,
And boys and girls are full of good cheer;
They will greet Santa with a smile,
For he has come many a mile,
        Oh, the joys of vacation!
Now for the ride to Grandpa's farm,
Now for the romp in the big old barn;
Now for Grandma's turkey and pie;
We'll all eat till we nearly die.
        Oh, the joys of vacation!
When vacation is over and past,
And we have returned home at last,
Back to our study, rested and fine,
With pleasant thoughts of the good, good time.
        Oh, the joys of vacation!
--Margaret Harvey, age 9, Medford, Oregon.
"Public School Compositions," Oregon Teachers Monthly, January 1914, p. 279




    Jackson County jail, at the present moment, numbers among its inmates a literary gent of exceptional ability. If you don't believe it, read the following effusion from the gifted pen of Jack O'Donovan. Poetry is easy for Jack. Given plenty of writing material and a certain latitude in treating his subject and he will tear off anything from a rippling couplet to 97 cantos of heavy blank verse at a moment's notice. Jack announces his return to the hoosegow thusly:

Again in Jail I Lay

Once more a commitment has been passed;
Once more in jail I lay.
June 22nd these lines are cast,
As my timely pencil I betray,
And now a few do shout, "Hurray!"
They gave me a debt to pay;
And thanks they give, as well they may;
While in Jacksonville jail again I lay.

I hear the R.R.V. Ry. going past--
I see the lawn spray's scattered spray;
Where'er I turn, iron bars are massed,
The inmates a card game start to play,
For well they may sing and be gay,
They have learned what it is to be free.
June 22nd I write this lay,
As again in jail I am to be.

What awful luck and how vast
Does the law threaten with its sway,
And with what fear we stand aghast
As we see ourselves that monster's prey.
How calm the future we survey,
They have us whom their hearts have craved.
And so, June 22nd I say
Again in jail I am to lay.
                                                                  J. R. O'D.
Jacksonville Post, April 25, 1921






To the Editor.
    Have a pity. The lines below have never been proofread, may not be poetry, but sure is history.
    If your heart is bigger than your wastebasket, please remember me.
B. F. DOWELL,
Chief Fire Dept., Portland, Ore.
Born March 22,1870, Jacksonville, Oregon.


The Dowell House, circa 1971.

The Old Brick House.

There is an old brick house near the mountains
    In an old Southern Oregon town
That Montgomery-Queens' circus passed through
    Where I saw my first circus clown.

There will never be another
    So sweet as that I know,
As that old brick house near the mountains,
    My old home thirty-five years ago.

I rambled in that valley in my childhood,
    Through Heber's Grove with flowers so wild,
Where the Crescent City winds of summer
    Touched my face with breezes mild.

Where I gathered the pine nuts and speckled lilies,
    That only us schoolchildren knew,
That grew round the old brick house near
    The mountains in eighteen eighty-two.

The bull fights in Beekman's pasture,
    Entertainments in those times were few,
Professor Merritt let out school at nine-thirty A.M.
    The bull fight was in full review.

Friends remember my pony Moscow,
    Sancho, dog, as well,
That whipped Jimmy Wilson's sky terrier,
    In front of the U.S. Hotel.

You remember the water bucket where we used to cluster
    The stories the big boys would tell.
How they stuck arrows in the school house,
    At night rung the big school bell.

You remember the hot chimney of the U.S. Hotel
    Where we stood in out of the rain,
Where the marshal, Ad Adams, chased us
    Down into Dunlap's field of grain.

You remember our beautiful cemetery,
    With its trees of green and red,
There are not as many now living in Jacksonville
    As are up there with the dead.

Now in my fancy as I grow older,
    As sometimes people do,
I remember my old school friends,
    And I am lonely for them, too.

I can see the wooden court house
    On the corner, the rock jail as well,
That clustered round the brick [omission]

Many years have passed, still I see him,
    Father Bell, long since dead,
The old church and church yard,
    The blessings that he said.

He left us quite unexpectedly
    Many years ago;
Close to the brick house near the mountains,
    I am sorry he had to go.

Remember Dutch Johnny's pool on Daisy Creek
    So the miner could get his pay,
Where Kubli-Orth-Crystal-Linn went as minors
    But not that kind they say.

Truly this is a wonderful country,
    Down Medford way,
But I was shipped to Portland,
    There I had to stay.

In this great city of Portland
    With its ever-changing crowd,
In my dreams my mind keeps wandering
    Through its streets and fire department proud.

But my heart goes back to Jacksonville ever
    To that old town now tumbled down,
To that old brick house near the mountains,
    Where the first gold in the state was found.

The old brick house was a landmark
    Beautiful to behold,
Covered on the outside with English ivy,
    By love on the inside, I am told.

In memory I smell the lilacs and roses,
    And still see the grass so green,
It's the only home I ever had
    Since I was seventeen.

Undated Medford Mail Tribune clipping, circa 1922





The Death Knell of Gold Hill


Living here in Gold Hill seems so very tame,
    Thought we'd start some trouble and make a bid for fame,
"Pinched" a passing tourist, going 13 miles an hour,
    Which proved to be unlucky, for it turned the "Three A's" sour.

Now they've got us listed as a "funeral on the pike";
    They warn the passing tourist to "drive slow, when on a hike";
We're goin' to build a smelter, or so the papers said,
    But the tourists say: "I smelt her, for poor Gold Hill is dead."

Outside our little city, they've placed the warnings bold
    The tourists kindly notice: "Drive slow inside" they're told;
"Please don't disturb our slumber--drive quiet, and keep still;
    We warn you all, don't move too fast, when driving through Gold Hill."

Someday, a wreath of poison oak around our neck they'll twine;
    We'll be so dead by that time, we'll think it 'suckle vine;
The tourists all will shun us as a "dead spot near the stream";
    The future that we've longed for will prove to be a dream.

With "concrete dust" upon our roofs, and "fly cops" on the trail
    Of every passing tourist; our efforts naught avail;
We're digging our own narrow grave, which soon we'll tumble in;
    --'Twill be too late to longer rave o'er what we might have been.

Oh, don't disturb our slumber, friends; we've settled down to die;
    --It rankles us to see the crowds along the highway fly;
Be quiet for one moment, please, while Gold Hill breathes her last;
    Keep closed your muffler, don't you sneeze,
        and please don't drive too fast.

Undated Pacific Record Herald clipping, circa 1920.








Pioneer Road Builders.

A tribute to the 15 pioneers who built the Old South Road in 1846.

I will tell you a tale of valiant men,
    Fifteen brave souls and true.
Who shouldered their rifles long years ago,
    Courageous deeds to do.

Though scorched by the rays of the noonday sun,
    And chilled by the midnight dew,
They faltered not whatever the task
    Their brave hearts found to do.

They climbed the mountains through forests dark,
    Braved terrors the desert had;
The swollen tongues, the bleeding lips
    The thirst which drives men mad.

But they opened the road to the sunsets red;
    Then the covered wagons came.
And the valiant men--though they knew it not,
    Had climbed the ladder to fame.

And the covered wagons followed on
    Wherever the builders led,
And grateful immigrants knelt in prayer,
    In the light their campfires shed.

They have traveled the road to the great unknown,
    These heroes whose tale I tell.
They rest at last in their long, long sleep,
    In the land they loved so well.

        --ALICE APPLEGATE SARGENT,
           Jacksonville, Ore., Oct. 23, 1924.

"Ye Poet's Corner," Medford Mail Tribune, 1924 clipping







Where the Past and Present Meet--
In Jacksonville

Nestled among the green-clad hills,
    Sheltered by pine and palm;
Perfumed by beautiful roses;
    With air like healing balm;
"City of Gold," it welcomes you;
    It's the place to build your home;
Historic, happy Jacksonville,
    Bids you never more to roam.

Back through the years it leads your thought
    To the olden days of gold;
Its memories with dreams are fraught,
    As its story it unfolds;
Again we see the rugged folk
    Of the hardy pioneer days,
Again we see them dig and wash
    The dirt from the creek that pays.

Those days are gone, but their memory still
    Guides the bright star of New Jacksonville.
Brave hearts beat again as hope grows strong--
    The New Jacksonville is now calling to you;
"Come here, 'neath the palms, by the friendly green hills,
    And build your new home in the New Jacksonville."

Anonymous, Pacific Record Herald, October 1, 1925, page 5





WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
Hark, the sudden sound is heard
    Ringing clear from earth to sky?
Let us move the county court house
    To a town that's nearer by.

Never mind, if crops are failures,
    Ye, who till the valley's soil;
Be good sports and move the court house
    It will save us gas and oil.

Never mind, though you are burdened
    With taxes more than you can pay
Boost them up a little higher
    What's the difference, anyway?

Medford wants the county court house,
    Wants to be the "County Seat";
Dig down deeper in your pockets
    Make her happiness complete.

Never mind what it may cost you
    For the bills of course you'll meet;
Think how proud we'll be in Medford
    Just to be in the county seat.
Jacksonville Post, November 5, 1926, page 1





The McCully House, circa 1965.

She lives in the hamlet of J'ville,
    This "auntie" so dear and so kind;
At the turn of the highway on Main;
    No truer friend one ever would find.

She's truly an angel of mercy,
    Placed there by the Father above,
To be a friend of mankind,
    And reveal to the world His love.

Kindly word she speaks to the passer,
    With her cheery "Hello" and sweet smile,
"Won't you come in and rest for a moment;
    Just sit where it's cool for a while?"

To the young she cheers the dark future;
    She comforts sad mothers in tears;
And, alas! before they can know it,
    Her love has chased away fears.

She knows how to ease every burden,
    And laugh with the baby who coos;
Yes, she's the dearest kind "auntie"
    That anyone ever could choose.

And now that she's read life's long journey,
    And reaching the bend of the road,
We ask God to keep and protect her,
    As she still helps to carry the load.

Of those she meets on life's pathway,
    And cheers weary hearts by the way,
Father, draw near and hear her; oh, gently
    At the last of life's battle fray.

And in that great day of all days,
    When around Thy white throne we shall meet,
Grant we all may be there to meet "Auntie,"
    As we lay our crowns at Thy feet.

We know there'll be many in Heaven
    She has helped by her kindly hand,
And with joy abounding we'll greet her,
    As we pass over Jordan's bright strand.

                                                           --A Friend.

"Ye Poet's Corner," Medford Mail Tribune clipping, circa 1934.
Written in honor of Isadora "Issie" McCully.






C. C. C.

My papi in the C.C.C.--
    Up in the tall pine trees.
Getting three squares a day--
    Darn good job, if not much pay;
Yeah--does get pretty lonesome, I know;
    Not much chance for a dance or a picture show.
And forest fires I wouldn't like to fight.
    But then, everything can't be just right.
And who knows--with Roosevelt's N.R.A.
    That maybe around the corner there's a brighter day.
I'm not so good at writing poems, but I still believe
    That if I were a boy I'd join the C.C.C.
--Miss Jackie Hood.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 21, 1934, page 6





Rogue River Valley.

There is a little white cottage where the trees are ever green
And the stream from the mountains doth flow,
Where the wild turkey gobbles and the deer roam at will,
And the big salmon flounder in the Rogue.

We go up in the mountains and bathe in mineral springs
Go and see the big nice ranches down below
Show you wheat, show you cane, show you any kind of grain,
In the beautiful valley of the Rogue.

We'll go out in the orchard where the fruit is on the tree.
This is the land where the premium pear doth grow;
They are delicious, mellow sweet; you can have all that you want to eat,
In the beautiful valley of the Rogue.

Come and see us neighbors--come along,
We'll be standing to greet you one and all;
This, the finest country found; we will show you mills, we'll show you towns
In the beautiful valley of the Rogue.
--MRS. SUTHERLIN.
"Ye Poet's Corner," Medford Mail Tribune, March 20, 1934, page 6





The Valley of the Rogue.

V. A. Davis

Where the skies arch blue,
    All the year through,
And the birds sing their sweetest;
    There the mountains hold
Like their treasure old,
    A valley the completest,--
The beautiful Valley of the Rogue!

The Rogue's crystal stream,
    Glides like a dream
By upland, lowland, and lea;
    And the stars bright eyes,
Gleam their surprise,
    As they nightly joy to see,
The charming Valley of the Rogue!

Where the savage tracked,
    And ox-whips cracked,
In the brave old days agone;
    Now the school boy plays,
And the iron horse neighs,
    As he gaily speeds along
The stirring Valley of the Rogue!

Here's the stately home,--
    The foundation stone
Of our nation, strong and great;
    Here's the altar fire
Bidding souls aspire,
    To reach the eternal state,
Oh, inspiring Valley of the Rogue!

Oh, sing as you please!
    No land o'er the seas,--
Though old in song and story,
    Has more of the charm
Of village and farm,
    Than this of western glory,--
The smiling Valley of the Rogue!

Old Time never dies,
    But lightly flies
This lovely valley over;
    The days always seem
Like Love's young dream,--
    Too sweet to live forever,
Oh, dreaming Valley of the Rogue!

In the years to be,
    O'er life's rough sea,
Should our ship sail a rover;
    We'll return some day,
To rest for aye,
    Beside our early lover,--
The beautiful Valley of the Rogue!

Central Point American, July 4, 1935, page 3







The Empire Builders

Folks, I'm goin' t'tell you of the things that you will see
    When we all get together for the Diamond Jubilee
For this little town of Medford--finest city on the coast
    Always does the job up proper, when they're goin' t'be the host.

First I'll tell you of the people--Can't beat 'em anywhere.
    When you come t'live amongst 'em they are sure to treat you fair.
All the business men and merchants from up and down the state
    Are tryin' t'keep up the standard of a county that is great.

The Jubilee Committee is a-workin' on the run
    Arrangin' entertainment for the crowds that are t'come.
They are workin' with the people for many miles around.
    To make this show the greatest thing that ever hit the town.

Now I should like t'tell you of each individual store
    In the little town of Medford, where your dollar brings you more.
But when I look upon the clock I find I haven't time.
    I can only tell you about the oldest stories in every line.

The Medford Ice & Storage Co. will deliver all the ice
    That you use in your refrigerator to keep your foods so nice.
They ice the many trainloads of pears that leave our town,
    And travel broadcast o'er the land to bring our name renown.

Now folks, I know the wife is doing her best to keep you clean.
    Why not help her out by buying a Maytag washing machine?
Fick Hardware Company will deliver it at your door.
    In business here and Jacksonville for 25 years or more.

The Medford Lumber Co. will deliver anywhere,
    Tree props for the orchards that raise our famous pears.
They also keep a large stock of building material on hand.
    They can supply you with any grade of lumber on demand.

The Woods Lumber Company has been around for 40 years or so
    When planning on a home to build this is the place to go.
They feature Fuller paint, a product of our state.
    Why not try it when in need--'twill make your house look great.

The Medford Furniture & Hardware Co. has been with us since 1904.
    If you want real quality hardware just look around this store.
When you're coming to town, looking around for high-class merchandise.
    They will give you the very best you can buy at very lowest price.

Hubbard Bros. Hardware is Medford's oldest store.
    They've been selling tools to farmers for 50 years or more.
If you want to buy some hardware, a mower or a rake,
    Just go to Hubbard Bros. and you'll get the best they make.

Enough of lumber and hardware, let's go to Strang's Drug Store.
    If you need relief from the Jubilee feed, just drop in at his door.
Fifty years in Medford--he's been selling people pills,
    And bottles and capsules of medicine to cure them of their ills.

Our pioneer dealer in motor cars is C. E. Gates.
    If in need of a truck or motor car look at the new V8.
Classiest little car you see--hitting a 90-mile breeze.
    Why not bring the old bus in and trade it on one of these?

Folks, I'm running out of space, I'll have to leave off here.
    But I'll tell you about the weather man, he's and old-time pioneer.
He tells us when to smudge and smoke, to save our fruit from frost.
    If it wasn't for him and the County Agent all progress would be lost.

Central Point American, May 17, 1934, page 2







Table Rock

Table Rock, the landmark of the valley,
    Stands majestic where the river flows.
A strong formation of splendid beauty,
    The passing of time it never knows.

The sentinel that directs the voyager,
    In silent wonder the passerby
Gazed upon the rock with thoughts sublime,
    As the gorgeous beauty meets the eye.

It told them a story of adventure,
    And made them know they were going right,
That they were nearing their journey's end,
    The Sentinel guards by day and night.

The Rock has seen cruel and awful deeds,
    But a long and silent faith has kept,
While many passing generations grieved,
    Fought and died, and sadly wept.

But today Table Rock has been honored,
    Her namesake will sail the deep blue sea,
With America's stars and stripes unfurled,
    Waving gently on the evening breeze.

May good luck and justice be ever there,
    May God direct the hand at the mast,
May Table Rock help win this awful war,
    Bringing to this world a peace at last.
                                --Atlanta Parker Naffziger

Central Point American, January 20, 1944, page 6
Written on the launching of the T2 tanker Liberty Ship Table Rock.




Last revised August 27, 2015