Medford Pioneers: Charley Strang
Chas. Strang and Wm. Patton, of the O.&C.R.R., were in town last week..
Charles Strang, 1886.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, September 1, 1883, page 3
February 20, 1885 Medford Monitor
Charles Strang, assistant P.M. at Medford, made our city a flying visit Tuesday.
March 14, 1885 Medford Monitor
Married in Medford on the 17th inst., by Rev. Father Williams, N. A. Jacobs and Miss Emma Strang.
"Correspondence," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, February 25, 1887, page 3
"Local News," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 5, 1888, page 3
At the Medford town election held Jan. 2nd, the following officers were chosen for the ensuing year: Dr. E. P. Geary, Mayor; A. Childers, D. H. Miller, C. W. Skeel and E. G. Hurt, Trustees; C. P. Strang, Treasurer; Judge Barkdull, Recorder; J. S. Miller, Marshal.
"Local News," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 12, 1888, page 3
The hardware and drug business conducted by D. H. Miller and Chas. Strang under the firm name of Vrooman Miller & Co., on and after this date, will be continued under the firm name of Miller & Strang, who will pay all outstanding bills against Vrooman Miller & Co. incurred in said business, and to whom all sums due Vrooman Miller & Co. are to [be] paid.
D. H. MillerMedford, Oregon, March 1st, 1888.
Southern Oregon Transcript, Medford, March 13, 1888, page 3
Miss Helen Strang has been visiting her sister, Mrs. Jas. Strobel, at Walla Walla during the week.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 27, 1890, page 2
MILLER & STRANG, Drugs and Medicines, Stoves, Hardware, etc., 7th Street, bet. C and D. This firm consists of D. H. Miller and Chas. Strang. The former was Postmaster for four years, and the latter City Treasurer for a like term. They deal in drugs, chemicals, patent and proprietary medicines and preparations; also carry a stock of stoves, hardware, cutlery, tinware, etc. They have a tinshop in the rear where all kinds of housekeeping articles are manufactured. We could recommend no more reliable dealers than Messrs. Miller & Strang.
P. W. Croake, The Rogue River Valley, "The Italy of Oregon," Glass & Prudhomme, Portland, Oregon. Undated, written March 1891
Staver & Walker's former machine hall has been elegantly fitted up for Charley Strang's drug store business, and he will this week take possession of his commodious quarters there.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 3, 1891, page 3
The new circulating library, to be placed in Strang's drug store, arrived last week, and proves to be a very good selection of books.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 1, 1892, page 2
Chas. Strang is handling the Parmelee library at this place in a satisfactory manner.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 8, 1892, page 2
Bishop Morris and Charles Strang were down to Rogue River Monday on a fishing jaunt, but as the finny tribe are not biting much nowadays they were not successful in landing but a very few. The bishop has the reputation of being an expert angler, while Charley is considered the biggest crank on fishing in town.
"Local and General," Southern Oregon Mail, July 22, 1892, page 3
The youngest child of Chas. Strang is very ill.
"Local and General," Southern Oregon Mail, October 28, 1892, page 3
J. A. Slover and Chas. Strang are applicants for the Medford post office."Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 3, 1893, page 3
D. H. Miller, Chas. Strang, J. R. Erford and J. A. Slover are candidates for the office of postmaster at Medford.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 17, 1893, page 3
Druggist Strang and family took Tuesday evening's northbound passenger. Mr. Strang goes to Eugene as a delegate to the Grand Lodge, while Mrs. S. and the boys stopped off at Riddle to visit friends.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, May 19, 1893, page 3
Mrs. Chas. Strang was down to the R. V. Beall farm Wednesday to visit her parents and to see her brother Vintie, who has just returned from school in California.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, June 16, 1893, page 1
MR. CHAS. STRANG
Situated between Twelfth and Thirteenth streets is the very pleasant and cozy home of the above-named gentleman. The house is a structure which presents a fine appearance and is surrounded by all varieties of fruit trees and flowers in great quantities and colors. Altogether Mr. Strang's place is as finely arranged and as pleasantly located as any on the street, and there are some pretty god ones scattered hereabouts. The gentleman is a druggist by occupation and since his first coming to Medford, nine years ago, he has been engaged in that business. He carries a fine line of goods, and is enjoying a good trade. The date of his druggist business dates back to '73 and was first entered upon in Walla Walla, Wash. We almost forgot to make especial mention of the great number and very rare varieties of flowers which are here found and which are tenderly cared for by the good housewife--they are simply grand.
Medford Mail, July 14, 1893 et seq., page 1
Charlie Strang, the druggist, took a three days' outing last week up at Rancherie--fishing, hunting and getting tanned, like a harvest hand. Mrs. S. and the boys made a visit to the farm home, near Central Point, during Charlie's absence.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 28, 1893, page 3
Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Strang returned Tuesday evening from their visit at the midwinter fair. They, as a matter of course, had a splendid time, and since their return Charlie has bloomed out like the rose, a white one, in a new pair of clothes--including headgear--and he's looking foxier than anybody. Not to appear misleading, allow us to announce that that pair of clothes was purchased of a Medford tailor.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, April 27, 1894, page 2
That druggist Strang has taken the agency for the Victor bicycle. He has a sample machine and can tell the boys--and the girls, too--of its especially fine points with an aptness which proves him "onto his job" to a certainty indisputable.
"We Hear It Said," Medford Mail, June 15, 1894, page 2
Mr. Kerr, the telephone man, was engaged last Friday and Saturday in putting up poles and wire by which the residence of druggist Chas. Strang and Dr. W. S. Jones and the Strang drug store are supplied with telephone communication. It's an almighty convenient arrangement, that telephone, and it is particularly so to doctors and druggists. Mr. Kerr, we understand, has partially negotiated with several more of our citizens for instruments. The wires, which are now in working order, are doing the job up fine. Every sound uttered through the 'phones is very distinct, which is evidence of the excellence of the instrument used. Tuesday Mr. Jones kindly favored us with several fine piano selections at the doctor's residence and which were listened to by us in Mr. Strang's drug store. The music was well executed, and the sound lost none of its sweetness by being transmitted over a wire for a distance of several blocks. During the rendition of the music little Maud's voice could be heard chiming in for a chance to "talk to the 'phone," and then followed admonitions from Mrs. Jones. More of these instruments in use would save our business men many blocks of travel.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, June 15, 1894, page 3
CHAS. STRANG."Our Business and Professional People Briefly Mentioned," Medford Mail, May 28, 1897, page 3
DRUGS AND CHEMICALS.
Another enterprising establishment in the drug line is that of Mr. Chas. Strang, who carries a well-assorted stock of drugs of all descriptions, pure and unadulterated chemicals, proprietary medicines, perfumeries, trusses, rubber goods, and almost an unlimited assortment of toilet and fancy articles.
The most watchful care is exercised under all circumstances, and particular attention is paid to compounding prescriptions. We cheerfully recommend this house to the public.
Mrs. Chas. Strang has been visiting at the home of her parents in Central Point precinct, Mr. and Mrs. R. V. Beall, accompanied by her children..
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 3, 1898, page 3
There are some cases of diphtheria in the family of Chas. Strang, the druggist, and one of his twins is in a critical condition.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 8, 1898, page 3
The public schools resumed studies Monday, as Chas. Strang's family is convalescing and there seems to be no danger that the disease with which they are afflicted will become epidemic.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 12, 1898, page 3
Druggist Strang is the happiest man in Medford. Up to Friday of last week there were numbered in his household of little druggists four stalwart boys. Boys are all right and a good thing to have around, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Mr. Strang had quite plenty of good boys--and he was pretty well satisfied with his allotment, but when on the date above named there came to his home a little girl baby, his joys knew no bounds, and he has been playing horse with himself, flirting with his shadow and throwing bouquets at his pictures on the wall ever since.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 31, 1900, page 7
Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Enyart, Chas. Strang and his sister, Miss Helen Strang, and Dr. W. S. Jones left last Thursday evening for San Francisco. Their mission in the city is that of securing treatment at a hospital for Mrs. Enyart and Miss Strang. A surgical operation was performed Tuesday upon Mrs. Enyart, the operation lasting three hours, and was very serious. A letter from Mr. Strang, written Tuesday, stated that the physicians had not decided what was best to do in Miss Strang's case. The lady has been ill for three or four years, part of the time almost helpless with spinal trouble. Information received from Mr. Enyart Wednesday evening was to the effect that Mrs. Enyart was in a very precarious condition but that she was rallying some from the effects of the operation. No further news had been received up to noon yesterday. The operation performed was for the removal of an ovarian tumor, which was said by physicians to have been an unusually large one. Mr. Strang telephoned Wednesday evening that he would return Friday evening, and that he would leave his sister there for treatment for a couple or three weeks.\
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, September 14, 1900, page 6
Word from San Francisco conveys the good news that Miss Helen Strang, who is in a hospital in that city, is improving. A slight surgical operation was performed last week for spinal trouble, with which she has been afflicted for a number of years.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 21, 1900, page 7
Miss Helen Strang, who has been suffering with a spinal trouble for some time, and was taken to a San Francisco hospital for treatment, is improving.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 27, 1900, page 3
Charles Strang:--"My sister, Helen, is still at the hospital in San Francisco. Yes, her health is improving. She writes that the improvement is not very fast, but that it is noticeable. We feel hopeful that in time she will fully recover."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, November 30, 1900, page 2
Miss Helen Strang returned Wednesday from San Francisco, where she has been for several weeks receiving medical treatment. We are sorry to state that she is not much improved. She was accompanied home by Dr. Jones and Mrs. F. L. Cranfill.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, January 4, 1901, page 6
Druggist Strang has secured the services of J. D. Butler, of Black Hill, South Dakota, a graduate of the St. Louis School of Pharmacy, as drug clerk. The young gentleman arrived in Medford Monday. He comes highly recommended as a gentleman and a druggist, and will make a valuable acquisition to Medford society, as well as an assistant to Mr. Strang in the capacity in which he is employed.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 22, 1901, page 7
A half-pound bottle of hydrozone exploded in the Strang drug store Tuesday evening, scattering glass and contents to many parts of the store. The report of the explosion was very like a pistol shot and was heard two blocks away. A piece of the bottle, which was of unusually thick glass, struck druggist Strang, who was twenty feet away, in the back, and while it did not injure him, a stinging sensation was felt for hours. This drug will not stand a warm weather test--and Tuesday was decidedly hot.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 26, 1901, page 7
The condition of Miss Helen Strang (who has been sick for a number of years) is critical, and she may not survive long.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 29, 1901, page 2
Miss Helen Strang, who has been sick for several years, we regret to learn, is at present very poorly and very little hope is entertained for her recovery.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, August 30, 1901, page 6
Miss Helen Strang died at the residence of her mother on Monday, after a long and painful illness, from spinal disease. She was an amiable, accomplished young woman, and for a number of years was successfully engaged in teaching school. Miss Strang is survived by her mother, a brother and a sister, who with many friends mourn her untimely death.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 3, 1901, page 7
Death of Miss Helen Strang.
Miss Helen Strang, aged thirty-five years, eight months and twenty-six days, died at the home of her mother, Mrs. Vrooman, in this city, on Monday, September 30, 1901. The lady had been ill between five and six years with spinal trouble, during which time she had taken treatment at Portland and San Francisco hospitals and from local physicians, but her condition gradually grew worse and, after all these years of suffering, during which every remedy known to the medical profession was given a trial, the Grim Reaper came and relieved her pains, but saddened the hearts of every resident of our city.
Deceased was born in Lewiston, Idaho, from which place she moved to Jacksonville with her parents in 1878, and from there to Medford in the spring of '84, since which time she had been a resident of this city. She was one of the early-day school teachers of the city, having taught at a time when the building which is now Prof. Narregan's residence was in use as a school house. She was a member of the Episcopal Church, also a member of Olive Rebekah Lodge, No. 28, of Medford, in which she was an earnest worker and in which she had passed through all the offices. She was a most excellent lady, possessing a sweet, gentle disposition, and was a favorite in all assemblies, and all Medford mourns with the relatives the untimely demise of one so highly esteemed and one whom we all knew but to honor and respect.
She leaves an aged mother, Mrs. Vrooman, one brother, Mr. Chas. Strang, of this city, and three sisters, Mrs. N. A. Jacobs, of Corona, Calif., Mrs. Minnie Strobel, of Walla Walla, Wash., and Mrs. J. Lineberger, of La Grande, Oregon.
Funeral services were held at the Episcopal Church, on Wednesday, October 2d, at one o'clock, and were largely attended. Rev. Dawson, of Roseburg, was the officiating clergyman, and the services were under the auspices of the Rebekah lodge of this city, whose members attended in a body, thus paying their last sad tribute to their beloved deceased sister. The floral offerings were beautiful and in great abundance. Interment was made in the family burial lot in the Jacksonville cemetery.
Medford Mail, October 4, 1901, page 6
A change occurred this week in the management of one of the old established business concerns of this city when Mrs. Eliza Slinger purchased the interests of Wm. Ulrich, T. J. Kenney and S. A. Carlton in the Southern Oregon Pork Packing Company. The purchase includes the meat market, packing house and slaughter house in Medford, with their contents, between sixty and seventy head of cattle and about the same number of sheep and hogs, and gives Mrs. Slinger the controlling interest in the company. The other stockholders are Chas. Strang, Ed. Worman and W. H. Bradshaw. Ed. Binns, whose connection with the business under the former management has made him familiar with all its details, will act as manager, and will bring all the knowledge gained by his experience to bear to make the enterprise a success. Mr. Ulrich will devote his entire time now to his stock interests, in which business he will embark more extensively than at present.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 22, 1901, page 7
Ralph Woodford came up from Grants Pass Tuesday and will remain in Medford hereafter, he having taken a position as pharmacy student in Chas. Strang's drug store.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, December 6, 1901, page 6
T. J. Kenney, administrator of the S. Rosenthal estate, last Saturday sold the brick store building in Medford, which was part of the estate, to Fred Barneburg for $6950. Chas. Strang's bid was $6900 and Ed. Wilkinson's $5800. The property brought a good price, but the especially good location and the steady advance in the price of Medford business realty makes it almost impossible to lose on the investment. It is a good, safe place to put that amount of money--by far better than to have it scattered about the county in small loans.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 20, 1901, page 7
Ralph Woodford, who is assisting Chas. Strang, is making excellent progress in pharmacy.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 16, 1902, page 4
Dr. Butler:--"I had a letter from my brother, J. D. Butler, this week, and he tells me he has taken a position as traveling salesman for the Merrill Chemical Co., of Cincinnati, Ohio. His territory will be Utah, Montana, Idaho and part of Wyoming. Yes, he used to be in Medford--was pharmacist in druggist Strang's store. No, I have no idea as to salary, but he was getting $85 per month in a drug store over at Pocatello, Idaho, and he must be getting more than that now."
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 9, 1902, page 7
Wm. Angle, owner of the Medford opera house, is planning to have his house rebuilt and enlarged this fall. The building will be extended back twenty feet, thus giving more room not only to the opera house but in the stores below, occupied by Chas. Strang and F. L. Cranfill. The stage is to be made larger and more complete in its appointments, and galleries will be put in so as to afford more seating space.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 25, 1902, page 7
There was a lively runaway in Medford last Monday, and it was miraculous that serious accidents did not result therefrom. Barneburg & Co.'s delivery horse became frightened while standing in front of merchant Deuel's residence. It ran down C Street, and when it reached that street's intersection with Seventh Street, the animal endeavored to turn a corner, but made a very sad failure of the attempt, but instead it ran almost straight across the street. The animal went crashing into the sidewalk at the front of druggist Strang's store. The cart it was hauling struck a telephone pole at the edge of the walk and stopped right there, but the horse was thrown upon its side and slid across the walk against the drugstore door. The door was broken in and the glass shattered, and when the animal was gotten under control its hind legs were in the drug store and its body on the sidewalk. Aside from a few bruises the animal was uninjured.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 7, 1902, page 7
Chas. Strang, the druggist, who has mining interests in Grave Creek district, is looking after them.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 31, 1902, page 4
Dr. W. S. Jones and Chas. Strang have returned from Grave Creek, where they have been looking after their mining interests.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 7, 1903, page 2
Boy Shoots Brother with Rifle.
MEDFORD, Or., Feb. 14.--(Special.)--Virgie Strang, son of druggist Charles Strang, aged 13, was accidentally shot by his brother, aged 15, with a .22 rifle, at his grandfather's, R. V. Beall, six miles south of Medford, late yesterday afternoon. He was carried to his home here by four men on a stretcher, arriving early this morning. The doctors have been unable to locate the bullet by the X-ray. It is a serious wound, and recovery is doubtful.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, February 15, 1903, page 7
A Sad Affair.
Virgil Strang (second son of Chas. Strang, the well-known Medford druggist), who is 13 years of age, is the victim of an accident that may prove fatal. In company with his elder brother, Fred, he was visiting Mr. and Mrs. R. V. Beall, their grandparents, who live near Central Point. The former was in the act of climbing over a fence with a .22-caliber rifle when the gun exploded, the bullet striking Virgil, who was sitting on a horse nearby, in the groin, inflicting a very serious wound. The injured boy was brought home immediately and Dr. Jones summoned. At last accounts there was an improvement in his condition. The bullet has not been located as yet.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 18, 1903, page 1
Virgil Strang, who was accidentally shot by his brother, is improving.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 25, 1903, page 3
Dr. W. S. Jones and Chas. Strang have been in Josephine County, looking after their mining interests.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 18, 1903, page 3
Coming to Medford in 1883, [David Henry Miller] started a drug business the following year, and later increased his stock by a complete hardware supply. In this he was seconded by a partner, Dr. Vrooman, of Jacksonville, the latter of whom managed the drug department, Mr. Miller taking charge of the hardware. The partners finally established a large and paying business, and after the death of Dr. Vrooman the drug department came under the management of Mr. Strang. This was the first business of the kind in Medford, and its success stimulated trade, and in time inspired the zest of competition. May 11, 1891, the partners divided the business, Mr. Miller still retaining the hardware department, which he has since increased, from both the standpoint of quantity and the variety of goods represented. He carries a complete line of stoves, ranges, paints, guns and ammunition, tinware and plumbing outfits, his stock being valued at about $6,000.
"David Henry Miller," Portrait and Biographical Record of Western Oregon, Chapman Publishing Co. 1904, page 591
Druggist Chas. Strang is the only business man now in Medford who, thirteen years ago when the publisher of The Mail dropped into town, was engaged in the same line of business he is now and in the same building--in fact he has been in the same line and in the same building for fifteen years--and as druggist Woodford found occasion to remark, the same pill bottles are undoubtedly standing on the same shelf. There are other Medford business men who have quite a habit of clinging to the same business line, but none are there who have not made either a change in the personnel of the institution or a change of location.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, January 26, 1906, page 5
1907 Reo touring car adDruggist Chas. Strang has purchased a Reo 1907 touring car--just like H. E. Boyden's. Gee, when so staid, a matter-of-fact, and nothing-but-business man as is our pioneer druggist Strang gets the automobile craze, there's nothing left for the rest of us to do but "hike" for the tall timber or buy an auto. Unfortunately the only alternative left open for the newspaper man is to "hike." Mr. Strang's car was purchased from Hutchison & Lumsden.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 19, 1907, page 5
The telephone central is soon to be moved from the rear of the drug store of Charles Strang to their new quarters in the post office building. Mr. Strang has given up his place as local superintendent, the vacancy being filled by H. Patterson, who was sent from Portland by the company to take charge of the local field. The plant is to [be] enlarged, and the transfer to the new office is to be made as soon as possible.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 13, 1908, page 5
April 25, 1909 Medford Mail
Located in the heart of Medford, that he has done as much as any other one man to build, and located also in the hearts of the Medfordites, Mr. Chas. Strang carries a full line of drugs, medicines, chemicals, stationery, toilet articles and druggists' sundries. Mr. Strang is one of our pioneer merchants, coming here in 1884, and his helping hand has been felt in every advance of Medford. In his store his well-selected stock is attractively displayed. He makes a specialty of prescription work and is a skillful and reliable dispenser, having made a painstaking study of pharmacy and using that care in compounding which begets confidence and patronage. Mr. Strang's success is due to hard, unceasing effort rather than to fortune, and his wealth is the result of much self-sacrificing toil and the fruit of judicious investment. He works for Medford with the same tireless energy that he works for himself, and it is such men who make business for Medford, pay the taxes, support the churches and schools and subscribe to everything that is beneficial to the city. No man stands higher in the esteem and confidence of the people of Medford than Chas. Strang, evidence of which is his having held the office of city treasurer for 15 years and his work as school director. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and owns considerable city property and alfalfa lands.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 2, 1910, page B9
Mrs. Charles Strang and her daughter have gone to Corvallis to attend the Oregon Agricultural school graduating exercises. Her son, Fred, is a member of the class.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, June 10, 1913, page 2
Mrs. C. W. Vrooman, mother of Mr. Charles Strang, who was accompanied to Crater Lake by her grandson, Mr. Fred Strang, returned Thursday night full of enthusiasm over the beauties of the lake no less than over the scenic interest of the trip. Going by rail to Weed and Klamath Falls, the agency was reached by a steam launch plying on Upper Klamath Lake, and from there Crater Lake was reached by the auto stage line. Mrs. Vrooman is 78 years of age and withstood the fatigue of the journey with the spirit of the true pioneer. Her desire to make the trip shows a fine vitality and a strong sympathy in the activities of everyday life.
"In Medford's Social Realm," Medford Mail Tribune, September 11, 1910, page B14
Mrs. C. Vroman, a pioneer of Medford, arrived from Berkeley, Cal. Wednesday evening, and will be the guest of her son, Charles Strang, and his family for some time.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, May 21, 1914, page 2
Charles Strang arrived home yesterday afternoon from Seattle, where he has been spending his vacation on the Seattle golf course. Between games Mr. Strang found time to visit with his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Holmes, who formerly resided in Medford. Mrs. Strang is still in Seattle and will not return for several weeks.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, July 31, 1927, page 2
Strang Drug Store
Chas. Strang has the second oldest concern in Medford and has been in business 46 years, longer than any other one man. He opened the city's first drug store in 1884, shortly after Hubbard Bros. started, and was associated with Dr. M. Vrooman. These were the good old days when ladies wore no rouge and practically no powder. Men hadn't heard of safety razors then and used shaving soap instead of cream. If you said it was for medical purposes, you could then buy the best whisky made here for 50¢ a pint.
More patent medicines were used then, and a big part of the business was horse remedies, which have been replaced by cat and dog remedies.
Strang's Drug Store has filled more than 125,000 original prescriptions and often goes back over 20 years for a refill. They carry a complete line usually found in a first-class drug store.
"Brief History of Old-Time Medford Firms Given," Medford Mail Tribune, September 29, 1930, page 8
Charles Strang family came from Maine around the Isthmus
b--Portland on east side 1860 only three houses and a tannery only buildings on east side
Family moved to Walla Walla where he served apprenticeship in drug store
Family moved to Jacksonville 1878
" " " Medford Mar. 1884
First store corner 8th & Front N.E. cor
Moved soon '86 to Marsh location on Main
Present store bldg built by Williams
1891 moved to where Ashpole's Meat Market is
1910 moved to present location
Wilson Opera House built by Wilson who had a blacksmith shop N.W. corner C & 8th
Angle Opera House built about 1890
"Medford Notes," SOHS MS156, folder 1 The ms. is uncredited, but is comprised of notes for Jane Snedicor and Frances Haskins Cochran's 1932 history of Medford.
Charley Strang Is 'Vet' of Veterans
Well Known Local Druggist and Business Man Will Round Out
Half Century of Business in This City March 1, 1934;
Fishing and Golf Have Caused Years to Bear Lightly on Him
By LEE TUTTLE
Charley Strang can give any other man "cards and spades" and still emerge on top of the heap as the veteran businessman of Medford. To be exact, Mr. Strang will have been continuously the owner and head of Strang's Drug Store 50 years on March 1, 1934. [Dr. Vroman's drug store was in operation in early February, 1884.] He holds not only the record as the veteran businessman of this city, but there are few in the state who can equal or excel his record.
There are many interesting facts connected with the long and successful business career of Charley Strang. He was born in East Portland in 1860, when there were only three families residing in that district. He established the first drug store in Medford. He never sought public office. He is really the originator of the gray hackle trout fly with the yellow body, and at the age of 73 years plays 18 holes of golf four or five days of every week. In connection with the fact that he opened the first drug store in Medford he carries on his slogan three [sic] words: "still a drug store," meaning that he has stuck strictly to the drug business, and has dodged the soda fountain, lunch counter, and other sidelines found in a majority of drug stores today.
When a small boy Mr. Strang moved with his parents to Walla Walla, where he was reared, and where he served three years of apprenticeship as a druggist. Immediately following they moved to Yolo County, Calif., and from there to Jacksonville in 1878, where his stepfather, Dr. M. Vroman, practiced medicine.
The completion of the S.P. [at the time the O&C] railroad through Rogue River Valley in 1883 [completed to Medford in 1884; to California in 1887] induced Dr. Vroman to move from Jacksonville to Medford in 1884, which was then only a village, and it was through the persuasion of Dr. Vroman that Mr. Strang opened the first drug store here. [The newspapers consistently describe the drugstore as part of the Vroman & Miller firm; Strang isn't mentioned in association with the store in either 1884 or 1885.]
Pharmacists were not required to register at that time, and Strang's first registration was recorded on May 21, 1891.
He opened his store at the corner of North Front and Eighth. A year later he moved to the present location of the Marsh grocery [130 East Main], where he operated until 1891, when he moved to the location now occupied by the Nichols & Ashpole meat market [206 East Main]. In 1910 Strang moved to his present home [231 East Main], which he erected prior to that year.
Dr. Geary First Physician
Mr. Strang says the only firm in existence today that was in business at the time he began his career in Medford is the implement firm now conducted by Hubbard Bros., in which they succeeded their father.
"Dr. E. P. Geary, now a resident of Portland, was the only physician in Medford when I located here," said Mr. Strang. "Dr. Vroman, my stepfather, followed immediately after Dr. Geary and practiced here until his death."
Strang says of the Medford of 1884: "It was only a village then. The only roads leading into the town was the McAndrews road, following the section line, and the road that is now Pacific Highway. Although several people moved over from Jacksonville upon the completion of the railroad, those remaining there were bitterly jealous of their new rival."
Aside from his interest in farming, Mr. Strang has devoted all of his business energies to his drug store. Twenty-five years ago he and F. K. Deuel, now deceased, purchased a fine 225-acre farm on Sams Creek, which he and the Deuel estate still own and operate under lease.
Was Enthusiastic FishermanLike nearly all successful men who have enjoyed long business careers, Mr. Strang has been a follower of outdoor sports. "I was an enthusiastic fisherman for many years," he related, " and I am credited with having originated the yellow body on gray hackle trout flies."
"I was fishing in the Rogue one day and paused long enough to sit down on the bank of the stream to eat my lunch. Directly in front of me was a riffle and I observed a yellow periwinkle [a caddisfly] leave its shell, only to be immediately snapped up by a fish. That gave me an idea, and the next time I started for the Rogue I wrapped the body of my gray hackle with yellow silk thread. I had unusual luck. I reported my experience to other local fishermen, and soon many of them were following the practice.
"I was carrying a stock of fishing tackle at the time and late that fall I ran out of gray hackles. I communicated with our wholesale house at San Francisco and they reported they were out, but advised me that they knew a man who was good at tying flies. Although I knew that the hand-tied product would be more expensive, I ordered a gross, giving instructions that the bodies be yellow. The popularity of the yellow-bodied fly had spread to other sections and that winter the wholesalers ordered a large volume from Germany, and they have been one of the most popular hooks to this time."
Golf Keeps Him YoungSeven years ago Mr. Strang started playing golf and today he is as enthusiastic over that game as he was over fishing. "I never miss more than two or three afternoons a week, and usually play 18 holes."
He loves the game for the sport of it, and the exercise that it affords. "Golf," he says, "has pulled me down from an old man of 72 to a young man of 60." He acts and looks 60 years or less and enjoys perfect health.
Family All LivingMr. Strang was married to Mary Beall, daughter of R. Vinton Beall, pioneer Jackson County resident, in 1888. Four sons and one daughter were born to the union, and all are living. Virgil is associated with his father in the drug business. Bob and Herb are proprietors of The Bootery, and Fred L. is also a resident here. The daughter, Mrs. R. H. Holmes, resides in Spokane.
Mr. and Mrs. Strang occupy a comfortable and modern home on Medford Heights [at 116 Medford Heights Lane].
The only public position ever held by Mr. Strang was that of school board director, two terms, and city treasurer for the long period of 14 years. Although often pressed to seek county and other higher offices, he decided it a better policy to stick to his business.
Veteran of I.O.O.F.Mr. Strang was presented with a 30-year veteran's jewel in the I.O.O.F. lodge so many years ago that he has forgotten the date. He has long been a Mason and is a member of Hillah temple of the Shrine. He is also a member of the Medford lodge of Elks.
Asked what he considers the major policy upon which he developed and maintained his business, Mr. Strang said:
"I always considered my customers first. I knew that if I treated them right that they would come back. The reason I have accumulated some property is that I always lived within my income."
Mr. Strang confidently expects to be playing 18 holes of golf and meeting and waiting on customers at his drug store March 1, 1934, which will complete a half century of continuous business in Medford.
Medford News, June 23, 1933, page 1
STRANG IN DRUG STORE BUSINESS HERE 50 YEARS
In the early days when no decent woman used rouge or lipstick, and medicines were limited to old-fashioned remedies and pills, Charles Strang opened a drug store in Medford where the Lewis Super Service is now located. [An unpublished interview with Strang places his first store across the street from Lewis', on the northeast corner. This is supported by the 1888 Sanborn Fire Insurance map of Medford.] That was in 1884 after the 24-year-old Charles had served as an apprenticeship in Walla Walla, Washington. Tomorrow his southern Oregon customers will be offered special price reductions in celebration of his fiftieth anniversary as a druggist in the pear city. This event will continue for some time.
The original Strang Drug Store was a modest establishment, and its owner even then made no exception to the rule that other lines of merchandise were out of place in the drug business.
Strang's store was moved to Main Street in 1885 in the location now occupied by Marsh's Grocery [130 East Main], and the following year Miss Mary Beall, daughter of a pioneer family, became Mrs. Charles Strang.
From 1891 to 1910 Medford's first drug store was operated where the Economy Meat Market now is [at 206 E. Main], and from that year on it has been located at 231 East Main Street.
Bundles of prescriptions, 130,592 of them, are on display in the show windows at Strang's along with old pictures of Medford, and bottles which have been in use for 50 years. Always in a prominent position is the sign "Still a drug store."
Virgil Strang, associated with his father, has been a registered pharmacist since 1913. Three other sons, Robert, Herbert and Fred L. Strang, own the Bootery Shoe Shop next door to the drug store. Mrs. R. H. Holmes, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Strang, lives in Spokane, Washington.
His healthy tan complexion and young appearance, in spite of 72 years, Mr. Strang owes more or less to golfing, he said today.
Five afternoons each week for a number of years, in good weather, he has walked golf balls around the Rogue Valley Golf Course.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 29, 1934, page 7
Charles Strang circa 1940
Charles Strang, Druggist, Rounds Out Full 50 Years
of Business in Medford
Is Senior Merchant in Medford and Perhaps in State;
Has Been at Head of Drug Firm for Half Century,
and Still Active; Anniversary This Month
After having been in business in Medford continually since 1884, Charles Strang, manager of Strang's Drug Store, is rounding out a full 50 years of business here. He started his first drug store in March of 1884, in a small store at the corner of Eighth and Front streets, the year after the railroad was built through Medford. [The railroad was built in 1884.] Today his store is located at 231 East Main Street, and is considered one of the most up-to-date and modern drug stores in the West.
Strang's fiftieth anniversary in business in Medford is being observed by the store this week with an interesting display depicting the 50 years of growth and change.
Side by side are the first prescription issued to Eddie Harper, in March of 1884, made out by a Doctor Horace S. Grant of Crescent City, and one made out this week by Dr. Charles T. Sweeney, numbered 130,592.
"The most unusual prescription I ever got," Strang said, in speaking of prescriptions, "was made out on a shingle. I kept it around for a long time, but it got lost. A carpenter here got sick and the doctor picked up a shingle to write the prescription on."
Is Senior Medford MerchantStrang has seniority over all other Medford merchants and all other business concerns. There is even some argument as to whether or not Strang is the senior merchant in the state, as regards one man being at the head of one business. Other business concerns are older, such as Meier and Frank's store of Portland, but they have not been under one man's management since their inception.
"If I remember right," Strang said, "Hubbard's store was started in the fall of 1884. [Hubbard's Medford warehouse was completed in March.] They will be observing their fiftieth anniversary this year too. The boys who are running the store now were just young fellows then, but they didn't take over active management of the store for several years."
One of the pictures in the window of Strang's store shows the interior of the store in 1895. Strang is standing at the front of the store, and has a fancy-looking handlebar mustache. The showcases in the picture are still in use in the back end of Strang's store, although the front showcases are new and modern.
Remembers FloodsStrang's knowledge of people and affairs in Jackson County is, perhaps, the best in Medford. Although he wasn't here in the winter of 1861-62, he has acquainted himself with the facts concerning the flood of that year, which was the worst flood known in Jackson County history.
At that time the channel of Bear Creek was narrow, and ran through Medford about the place where John Mann's house now stands [at 815 East Main]. The flood was exceptionally bad because of the narrow channel, and the present channel was cut at that time.
The flood of the winter of 1890 Strang remembers well. More than fourteen inches of snow covered the valley, and the Southern Pacific trains were held up at Dunsmuir, due to the heavy snows in the mountains there. One night, it started to rain, a hard, warm rain, and the snow sloughed off the mountains and the valley floor almost overnight. Bridges all went out, and the valley was inundated.
At Cow Creek a landslide slid off a mountain, making a 50-foot dam in Cow Creek, putting the Southern Pacific tracks under many feet of water. For forty days, the Rogue River Valley was without outside communication. No freight could come in, and no mail reached the city. After the trains did get through, it took the post office force, which consisted mainly of J. S. Howard, postmaster, several days to get it distributed.
Merchants Ran ShortStores ran entirely out of merchandise, and things looked serious, Strang said, and some small consignments of goods brought over from Dunsmuir by wagon saved the day.
Strang said he got the $1800 capital he started his store with by working in a railroad construction store. He saved the $1800 in three years, and had served his apprenticeship as a druggist in Walla Walla. He worked on the Southern Pacific [then the Oregon & California] railroad when it was built through Medford in 1883, before he opened his store in 1884.
The first store was at the corner of Eighth and Front streets, the second at 130 East Main from 1885 to 1891, the third at 206 East Main from 1891 to 1910, and has been located at 231 East Main from 1910 until now.
Has Large FamilyStrang has four sons, all in Medford, and one daughter, Mrs. Robert Holmes, living in Washington. The sons are Fred L., C. Virgil, Herbert and Robert. Herbert and Robert Strang manage The Bootery, Virgil Strang assists in the drug store, and Fred L. Strang is an accountant. Robert Holmes, his son-in-law, formerly lived at Central Point, and was known there as "Bob" Holmes. He worked for Southern Pacific then, and still does.
Strang married Mary Beall, daughter of Vinton Beall, and sister of Vinton Beall Jr. The Strangs also have five grandchildren.
Medford News, March 30, 1934, page 1
STRANG MANAGED FIRST TELEPHONE SYSTEM IN CITY
Switchboard Installed in Drug Store in 1898--
Few Subscribers Until Jacksonville Tolls Erased
The telephone today is looked upon as an indispensable convenience if not a commercial and social necessity, but there was a time in Medford when it was viewed as an extravagant and unnecessary luxury. And Charles Strang, owner of Strang's Drug Store, recalled today just when it was when telephones were frowned upon in this locality.
The memory took Mr. Strang back to 1898, when Medford's first switchboard was installed in the back of his pharmacy, then situated where the Economy Meat Market now stands [at 206 E. Main].
At that time the Pacific States Telephone Company had just linked up San Francisco and Portland and was endeavoring to build up its telephone business along the line. Switchboard service had already been inaugurated in Ashland and Jacksonville, and the company sought to establish its business here, Mr. Strang recalled.
Few Cared for Phones.The result was that a small board was set up in the rear of the Strang drug store, and Mr. Strang became the first operator. He built up his patronage to 15 to 16 subscribers, but there the expansion stopped, as no one outside of a few physicians and business men showed even passing interest in the blessings and conveniences the telephone was supposed to bring, Mr. Strang related.
Despairing of the poor showing, an official of the company came to Medford from San Francisco and asked Mr. Strang if he had no suggestions as to how the patronage might be increased.
"Yes, I have," Mr. Strang replied. "Establish free service between Medford and Jacksonville."
That was done, Mr. Strang said, and tolls between the two points were eliminated. Business began to grow from then, for Jacksonville was at that time the county seat, and there was naturally considerable communication between the two cities. Soon it became necessary to install another switchboard in the pharmacy, and it was not long before a third board was needed to handle the increased business, Mr. Strang said.
First Operators Named.The first full-time operator to be employed at the drug store switchboard was Lillian Barr, now Mrs. Ralph Woodford of this city, it was recalled by Mr. Strang's son, Fred, who by then had become an interested observer of the telephone business. The second operator was Florence Toft, who subsequently married and now resides in Los Angeles. She was a sister of the late Ray Toft. The third operator to be employed at the drug store was Miss Edna Eifert, who now is bookkeeper at the Hutchison Mercantile Co.
Mr. Strang said for his compensation he received a percentage of the phone rentals and tolls, out of which he had to pay the employees and take care of other expenses. He recalled with a chuckle that it always cost him more to operate the service than he received.
After ten years the subscribers exceeded 600 in number, Fred Strang related, and a separate office was established by the telephone company. While a student at the University of Oregon, Fred himself worked for the company during vacations, his job being to drive about the countryside in a buggy to collect rentals and to remove the wall phones when payment was refused, though he was called upon seldom to snip the wires, he said. "Those were the real horse and buggy days," the younger Mr. Strang commented.
Strang's Drug Store, incidentally, was the first pharmacy to be established in Medford. It was opened by the elder Mr. Strang in March 1884, when the city's population was only 200, Mr. Strang having come here from Jacksonville, where his parents resided.
Mr. Strang has now passed his 76th birthday, but he is still hale and hearty and in active charge of his pharmacy, which he has conduced here continuously since 1884.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 27, 1935, page B1
Prominent Couple Will Mark 50th Anniversary
Scores of Medford and valley friends of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Strang, prominent residents, are preparing to send congratulations to the well-known couple on the occasion of their fiftieth wedding anniversary which they will observe Tuesday.
Mr. and Mrs. Strang will be hosts of a family dinner at their home on Medford Heights Tuesday evening and will receive friends during the evening hours from 7 until 10 o'clock.
Mrs. Strang was formerly Miss Mary Beall, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. V. Beall, pioneer residents of the valley. She was born in the old family residence on Beall Lane and has spent her entire life in the valley.
Mr. Strang came to Medford from Portland in 1880 [sic] when the first railroad was laid through this section. He was connected with the railroad for a few years and then went into business in 1884, continuing until his retirement two years ago. He was connected with numerous civic improvements and is known as one of Medford's first citizens.
Mary Beall and Charles Strang were married November 3, 1886, in the Beall home, taking up residence in Medford immediately. The marriage ceremony was performed by Father [Moses L.] Williams, founder and first minister of the Presbyterian Church here.
They have five children--Fred L., Charles Virgil, Herbert and Robert, twins, and Helen, now Mrs. R. H. Holmes of Spokane, Wash. Five grandchildren are also included in the family.
A quiet observance is planned by the Strangs, but relatives and friends throughout southern Oregon will join in sending sincere best wishes to the couple.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 1, 1936, page 3
CHARLES STRANG, PIONEER DRUGGIST,Charles Strang, pioneer Medford resident and business man and the oldest druggist in Oregon, died in a local hospital at 9:45 Monday evening after a lengthy illness. He was in his 82nd year. He resided at Medford Heights.
CALLED BY DEATH
82-Year-Old Business Man Long Identified
With Civic, Fraternal Affairs.
Mr. Strang, known and loved by many, was a resident of Medford for more than 60 years. He pioneered many ventures here. He began in the drug business here in 1884. He was the first manager of the Pacific States Telephone Company in Medford, filling the position from 1898 to 1908. It was through his efforts that telephone service was maintained between Medford and Jacksonville without toll charges.
Early TreasurerMr. Strang took an interest in all phases of life and served in a number of public capacities. He was city treasurer from 1890 to 1906. Another pioneer position he filled was that of timekeeper and paymaster for construction crews of the Oregon and California Railroad as it was extended southward from Portland to Ashland in 1882.
A native of Oregon, Mr. Strang was born in Portland on September 12, 1860. He was united in marriage to Miss Mary Beall at her home on Beall Lane November 3, 1886. The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1936.
Mr. Strang, a man who made friends readily because of his gentle philosophy and sympathetic understanding, loved the outdoors and was active until his last illness. He was also active in fraternal affairs. He was a member of the Odd Fellows lodge for many years, of the Elks lodge for 25 years. He was a member also of Medford lodge 103, A.M. and A.M. Knights Templar, Commandery and Hillah Temple of the Shrine. He was a life member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church.
Funeral ThursdayMr. Strang is survived by his wife, a daughter, Mrs. Robert H. Holmes; four sons, Fred L., Charles Virgil, Herbert B. and Robert B. Strang; a sister, Mrs. Emma Jacobs of Los Angeles, and five grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, the rector, the Rev. Herald G. Gardner, officiating. Entombment will take place in the Medford Memorial Mausoleum, where final rites will be conducted by the Elks lodge. The body will lie in state at the Perl chapel from 10 a.m. until noon Thursday, and friends may pay their last respects at that time.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 24, 1942, page 1
William Strang on Special Work for Douglas Factory
William C. Strang, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred L. Strang of this city, left Santa Monica, Calif. by plane last Tuesday for one of the Florida naval air bases, on a special assignment as hydraulic specialist for the Douglas Aircraft Co., according to word received here. Since last May, Mr. Strang has been hydraulic coordinator of the Douglas El Segundo factory. With his wife and son he is a resident of Santa Monica and has been an employee of Douglas Aircraft Co. for four years. Previously for seven years he was a carrier of the Medford Mail Tribune and a member of the 1938 graduating class of Medford High School.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 30, 1943, page 10
Retired Pharmacist Is Now a Country Gentleman
By Eva Hamilton
Mail Tribune Staff Writer
There was a time when settlers in the Rogue River Valley viewed advertising signs as a mark of civilization. They welcomed their sudden appearance on fences, outlining the grain fields; on mountain bridges and barns.
For the signs indicated that someone had "passed this way" and might again.
There was no clamor for zoning or highway beautification. The valley was young and so were the towns within it, especially Medford, where ambitious men had come to sell.
These men were openly and jubilantly competitive, and country folk, many of them hungry for a link with city life, eagerly accepted the messages announcing their wares.
In this welcoming atmosphere two signs typical of the spirit of the day, frequently appeared--"Haskins for Health" and "Strang for the Sick."
Now a 'Country Gentleman'The Haskins signs were black and white and appeared first, according to C. Virgil Strang, retired pharmacist, now a "country gentleman" in Sams Valley.
Immediately after the Haskins bid for the rural trade spotted the countryside, the Strang message appeared in yellow and black, as the history is recalled by Strang, who tells a story well.
The leaders in this friendly rivalry were George H. Haskins, father of the late Leon B. Haskins of Medford, and Charles Strang, father of Virgil, both boasting of pioneer roots on at least one side of his ancestral tree.
Their relationship was rather like that of lawyers who wrangle as foes at the bar of justice, then meet as boon companions outside the courtroom.
While the signs sought to bag the business, the men assisted each other in meeting demands of customers. If Strang ran out of something, Haskins hurried through the alley to supply it, and Strang showed him the same courtesy. The tradition was continued by their signs.
"We always argued a bit over which family entered the pharmaceutical business first in Medford," Strang commented. "But I know the Strangs did. The Haskins were here, but they didn't open a store until a few months later, my dad always contended. Both stores, however, were established in 1884." [Vrooman opened his drug store in early February 1884; Haskins didn't open until August.]
Had Beginning in JacksonvilleThe Strang family association with medicine had its beginning in Jacksonville and Walla Walla. Charles Strang's stepfather, Dr. Martin Vrooman, and Dr. James Robinson opened a drug store in Jacksonville, where both practiced medicine. The store was opened about 1880, and Dr. Vrooman later moved to Medford. Concrete evidence of the pharmaceutical history is found in displays recently added to the Jacksonville Museum.
Charles Strang learned pharmacy in a drug store in Walla Walla but forsook the profession for a time to earn "bigger money" working for the Northern Pacific Railroad and the California and Oregon Railroad, predecessor of the Southern Pacific.
His reason constitutes another interesting chapter in the story told by his son.
Ferdinand von Stang was Charles Strang's father. He was a builder and designer in Germany and constructed homes for no less a personage than the Kaiser. When he started to America with his bride, Wilhelmina, he lost his title of von. He added the "r" to his name, which converted it into English (rather than German) derivation and became Ferdinand (Fred) Strang.
Inherited His AbilityHe continued to build in the United States, and it is probably from him that C. Virgil Strang inherited his ability in architecture. The change of name and the new challenge to build, however, failed to conquer the German's overwhelming nostalgia for his homeland.
"We think he went back to Germany. He was homesick," Strang explained his grandfather's disappearance after he came to Oregon, where he engaged in construction. Several buildings of his creation still stand at Oakland.
His widow and children moved to Jacksonville, and Charles Strang found working for the railroad a more lucrative source of income to support his mother and sisters, which he did until Wilhelmina Strang became Mrs. Martin Vrooman.
It was a wise decision. For he was working for the railroad when he met Mary Beall, who became Mrs. Charles Strang, linking the family with a long list of Oregon pioneers.
The ancestry has contributed to the versatility of the Sams Valley Strang. Almost obsessed with a love of the land and the open country sought by the pioneers, he yearned to build, to pursue architecture, which he also studied while learning to follow in his father's footsteps. He loved sports and he loved music and tried them all.
Remains Professional PharmacistHowever, he remained professionally a pharmacist. He received a degree in pharmacy and as a pharmaceutical chemist from Oregon Agricultural College, now Oregon State University, Corvallis.
"During 50 years one can roll a lot of pills, fill a lot of prescriptions," he commented on his membership in the Jubilee Group of the Oregon Veteran Druggists' Association, granted in recognition of his half-century as a registered pharmacist.
"When I joined Western Thrift in 1945 after closing our drug store I had filled 150,000 prescriptions," Strang said.
Virgil Strang started his career at an early age in the family drug store, and there he learned other trades, too. The telephone company switchboard was located behind the prescription case, since his father was manager for the early telephone service in Medford.
If the voices didn't carry through, Strang recalled, he often relayed the messages from Portland to San Francisco. The most exciting moment, he remembers, was during the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. He was studying at the switchboard, where he did much of his school work, and the building shook. He went on to school, and when A. S. Bliton's Medford Mail extra hit the streets Strang had already told fellow students all the news.
Envy of Their FriendsHe received $16 a month for his work at the switchboard, and this enabled him to "go to the nickelodeon" whenever he wanted to. This, he remarked, made the Strang boys the envy of their friends. With all his work, he still found time to play basketball, football and become a light heavyweight wrestler. He didn't shun music, either. In high school and later in college this sealed his strong bond with the late Pinto Colvig, who left college to join the circus band and became the many voices of Disney characters and later Bozo the Clown.
In fact, Strang maintains, it was during their college band playing days that "Pinto started talking like a dog." Their dog, "Booze," was given to howling at the "music," and the whole idea developed there.
Pinto, who lacked one day of being Virgil's twin, didn't take college very seriously. He entered largely to be agreeable, Virgil said. When it came to registering, he told the officer of admissions he wanted to take "music, drawing, history and campustry." When the man looked puzzled, Pinto explained that "it was all about him--the campustry. Acres and acres of it and dozens and dozens of coeds.
"It was no surprise to his friends when Pinto left college to join the circus band," his longtime Medford comrade commented.
Receives Portrait of PintoIn 1956, Strang received a large portrait of Pinto as Bozo the Clown on his birthday, Sept. 10. Pinto's birthday was on the following day. The inscription read: "Happy September birthday from one Rogue River Valley virtuous Virgo to another, Pinto."
"Those were the days," Strang sighed, then quickly added: "I always said I wanted to retire on the farm, on this place, and here I am."
With an expression of obvious contentment, he gazed across the wide acres, golden and red with nature's autumn fling. Acres that have been in the Strang family, he didn't say how many years, and which were long before that the land of Chief Sam for whom the valley is named.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 27, 1968, page B1
Last revised February 8, 2017