The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

J. W. Snider

    To the Editor of the Tribune: Having seen the editorial in the Sun of the 5th, I wish to reply in the following manner:
    In the first place, we have a pure food and dairy law which fully covers my business, and the state dairy inspector has called on me twice in the last year and made analyses of my products, and at one time gave a milk test of 4.2 percent and the other time 4.4 percent butterfat, and as the law only requires 3.2 percent, which shows that I am giving my customers the pure, fresh milk as it comes from the cows without any adulteration. I will pay to any person the sum of $500 who will take milk off from my wagons at any time and have same analyzed by competent authority who finds the same adulterated in the slightest manner. I have furnished parties in this city who have young babies who will gladly give testimony that their children have done nicely on the milk and will state that in some cases they even found the milk too rich. I am in no position to state what class of milk my competitors are selling, but hardly think they lay themselves [omission] competent authority who finds some adulterating their goods, and while we have a state law protecting the people against the sale of adulterated milk, I would not object in the least for this city to pass an ordinance conforming with the state laws, and further, at any time that the city health officer would like to test the products of my dairy he is welcome to do so, and remember, my offer of $500 holds good.
    I also ask any officials or individuals to come and visit my dairy at any time, and I will show them around.
                        J. W. SNIDER.
                        Medford Dairy, September 5.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 7, 1911, page 4

    The Medford Dairy, J. W. Snider, proprietor, has decided to extend its milk route to cover all of that portion of the city of Medford lying east of Bear Creek bridge, and hereafter Mr. Snider will serve customers in any part of that territory, as well as other parts of Medford. Mr. Snider guarantees the milk from his dairy to be pure, sanitary and fresh. The milk furnished is highly recommended as an excellent baby food. Phone Pacific 201-J3; or Home 285-M.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 23, 1911, page B8

200,000 Bottles of Milk a Year

    The Medford Dairy, owned and operated by J. W. Snider, is doing its utmost to keep the stride with Medford.
    Mr. Snider came here eight years ago from Ohio, and has been giving the people of Medford the best milk that good Durham and Jersey cows can give.
    He has sixty cows that are well groomed every day. They are all healthy and kept so by the good attention they receive. Swinging stanchions have lately been installed, which adds greatly to their comfort.
    He has all modern apparatus such as filter, cooler, bottle filler, etc. The utensils are all heated to 170 degrees before using. Sanitary tickets and caps are used, thus preventing disease being carried from one home to another. The milk is conveyed to the bottle room and cooled to 52 degrees shortly after being milked. All these have helped Mr. Snider to get the best score of any dairy in the valley.
    Three wagons delivered over two hundred thousand bottles of milk and cream in 1912. Two deliveries are made daily, delivering milk, cream, skim milk and buttermilk to any part of the city.
    Mr. Snider wishes to thank the people for their patronage and says that 1913 will find him doing as he has done in the past, giving to the people the best. He invites the public to visit his dairy, located one-half mile west of Medford.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1913

Story of a Medford Dairyman
By A. D. Cridge in [the] Portland Journal.
    MEDFORD, Ore., Dec. 13.--One of the most successful men in Jackson County is J. W. Snider, the dairyman of Medford. He and his wife came to Oregon nine years ago from Columbus, O., with a capital of $800, for which they had both worked hard. He was 30 years old and she 21. They rented 14 acres of land and started in the dairying business with two cows. Everybody was going into fruit at that time, but Snider and his wife took to cows, supplemented with chickens, turkeys and pigs. The 14 acres soon became too small to feed his cows, and the firm of Snider & Wife bought feed and began to deliver milk to the hotels in a wagon.
    "My wife," says Snider, "is the best milker in Oregon. At different times when I was detained on business she milked 50 cows herself. Any man who milks 25 cows at a milking is a good hand. She can do it, and has milked 50 on a pinch more than once.
    "Our first big contract was to supply the dining cars on the railroad. We had to buy milk and cream to keep it up. We had to buy cows, too, and that took our savings. When we left that place after eight years we had saved up $10,500, but for a while we had to buy cows and machinery and feed. We contracted for whole fields of carrots and I bought hay from one man one year that came to $20,000. Chickens? Well, we got out of the chicken business after a while, but we made some money from them. One time a sudden demand was made on us for 30 roasting fowls. It was near midnight when we started out to levy on our neighbors, for we had none to spare of our own. We went different ways, she with a buckboard and I on horseback. We got those chickens into Medford by 3 in the morning, and were up all night, as there was milking to do when we got home."
Big Place Now.
    Now the Sniders have rented the W. H. Gore place of 640 acres and have 150 cows and 75 young heifers. Last summer they sold 800 tons of hay from their 360 acres of alfalfa and kept about the same amount for feed. This ranch is rented for $10,000 a year. It is the biggest rent for other than a fruit farm in Southern Oregon. The value of the dairy products sold by the Sniders will pass $36,000 this year. Their dairy herd is a cross of Durham with Jersey. They have a few Holsteins.
    As part of the business are 150 hogs, Duroc Jersey crossed with Poland China. There are also 200 turkeys being prepared for the holidays.
    "I was raised on a farm," said Mr. Snider, "and a good farm, and my father was a good farmer. When I was 21 he gave me a horse and buggy and $100, and I worked on one farm for five years. When we married and came west we chose Medford out of all the towns we heard of, and have never felt dissatisfied. We never raised any fruit. I have loaned money to some fruit men and have some loaned out now. This fruit business never interested me much. When we came here people were selling their cows to put in fruit trees on their pasture land. We bought them--all we could. The fruit men did well, or at least lots of them have. It never seemed in my line. I saved money working for $15 a month on an Ohio farm, and afterwards as guard in a state orphan asylum. Some of my men say they can't save money on $35 to $50 a month.
    "My wife keeps the books and draws all the checks and pays all the bills. She knows all about the business. I look after every detail of the dairy to see that all is done right. The dairy inspector can't come too often to my place. We learn something from him every time he comes around, and we are always ready for him.
Looks Good.
    Mr. Snider is not an old-looking, toil-work-appearing man, but an active business man in the prime of life, justly proud of his success but giving full credit to the junior member of the firm. He employs from 10 to 35 persons on his place.
    The milking begins at 2:30 in the morning, and milk is put on the delivery wagons in time to reach the customers for breakfast. Three wagons and an automobile are used for the Medford trade.
    "Why do you not buy a farm instead of renting?" was asked.
    "Well, we never had money enough to buy land and cows at the same time, and so it always looks as if renting was the only [way]. We had to have cows. I need 300 cows on that ranch now. It does not pay to raise feed to sell; or at least it pays better to feed it out to cows, hogs and stock. The ranch is rented on a basis of less than six percent of its actual value, and cows net more than that on their cost. Perhaps we will buy a ranch of our own, and if we do it will be in Southern Oregon. The lease is for 10 years, however. Two of my brothers have got fine farms in Ohio. We all liked farming."
Medford Mail Tribune, December 15, 1913, page 4

Last revised December 27, 2014