The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


    Merchant I. A. Webb has been in bed several days this week and the family physician has been giving him a goodly amount of attention--all of which was required; and court plaster, bandages and splints have been the predominating household commodities for a time equal to the days of illness. Mr. Webb is really not sick but he is a badly disfigured community and it came about like this: Last week one day Dr. Pickel and himself were "jogging" their wheels on the new bicycle track--and "jogging" rather swiftly, when Mr. Webb's wheel struck a stone--and the rider struck the ground very forcibly and for nearly one full turn of the track he continued to plow mother earth with his proboscis and other parts of his anatomy. He was gathered up and brought home and is improving all right, but he was a badly broke up man--his face, hands and limbs all being badly bruised and the cuticle removed. Since the mishap the gentleman is wont to awaken during the night and sermonize. During one of these spells of lonesomeness he is reported by Mrs. Webb to have sent forth a little sermon something after this style: "We hereby warn our brothers, yes, and sisters, whether bloomered or not, that these wind-blowed-up bicycle wheels are devices of the demon of the river Styx. They are contrivances to entrap the feet of the unwary and skin the nose of the innocent. They are full of guile and deceit. When you think you have broken one to ride and have subdued his satanic nature, behold it bucketh you off in the road and teareth a great hole in your bloomerloons, and the cuticle from your nose. Look not upon the bicycle when it bloweth up its wheels, for at last--sometimes at first--it bucketh like a bronco, and hurteth like thunder, by jingo. Who has court plastered legs, nose and face? Who has ripped pantaloons? They that dally with a diabolical bicycle."
"News of the City," Medford Mail, July 5, 1895, page 5

    I. A. Webb of Medford, Oregon, formerly one of the Mitchell boys and son-in-law of Maj. A. H. Burton, has been seriously ill for some time, but we are glad to say word was received yesterday saying he was thought to be better.
"Local Events," The Mitchell Commercial, Mitchell, Indiana, December 9, 1897, page 1

    Last Saturday's Oregonian, a paper published in Medford, Oregon, contained a handsome picture of Mrs. I. A. Webb, daughter of our A. H. Burton and wife. She is a life member of the Entre Nous Club, of Medford, and is a charming entertainer.
"Mitchell News," The Democrat, Bedford, Indiana, July 25, 1899, page 8

    Mrs. I. A. Webb and daughter, Miss Pearl, left Tuesday morning on a visit to relatives in Indiana. They expect to be away some two months and will return by way of Los Angeles.

Medford Enquirer, May 11, 1901, page 5

    I. A. Webb, who, for seventeen years, has conducted a furniture store and undertaking parlors in this city, has sold his stock of goods and good will to Messrs. F. W. Hollis, C. R. and E. M. Welch, who were formerly engaged in a like business in Salem. The work of invoicing stock has been in progress nearly all this week, and as soon as completed possession will be given. Then name which will be given the new institution will be the Medford Furniture Company. Messrs. Hollis and E. M. Welch are here, and during their brief stay have impressed all whom they have met with the opinion that they are fine gentlemen and will prove themselves good citizens in both a social and business sense. The Mail believes they are gentlemen who will be found worthy of the patronage which they will receive, and that they will enjoy the good trade which Mr. Webb has been fortunate in building up in days agone. The one thing regretted by the sale of this stock of goods is the possibility of our city losing Mr. Webb and his most estimable family from our roster of good citizens. We will venture the assertion that, should they decide to move elsewhere, no family would be missed more than this one. Mr. Webb has always been one of our most solid business men, and no enterprise was ever inaugurated wherein the best interests of the city were concerned that his name did not appear at the head of the contribution list, and he has always been a worker and a talker for everything that's been good for us as a town. While the head of the household has been doing so much for the town in a business way, Mrs. Webb, and their daughters and son, now grown, have been keeping a constant eye on the social realm and many there are of our townspeople who have enjoyed the pleasures of afternoons and evenings amid the beauties and congenialities of their lovely and always hospitable home.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 13, 1901, page 7

    I. A. Webb, who, with his son Carl, left Medford a couple of weeks ago with team for Southern California, was taken suddenly ill at Baird's Spur, a small station below Dunsmuir, Monday night with hemorrhage of the bowels. Tuesday morning a telephone message was sent to Mrs. Webb in the city, advising her of her husband's illness, and she left on the noon train that day for the above-named place, accompanied by Dr. Pickel. When they reached Dunsmuir they received a message to the effect that Mr. Webb had been put on the northbound passenger train, bound for home, and would meet them at Dunsmuir. The party reached here Wednesday morning, since which time Mr. Webb has had several more hemorrhages, but as we go to press we learn that he is resting easy and seems very much improved. This is his third spell of sickness of like nature and, strange to relate, they have all occurred during the month of November.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, November 15, 1901, page 6

    Mr. and Mrs. I. A. Webb left yesterday for Los Angeles and other California points where they will remain for a couple or three months. Mr. Webb has not fully recovered from his severe illness of last fall and the trip is made in hopes that a change of climate and scenes may prove beneficial. His many Medford friends are all hoping that the expected improvements may be realized and that both himself and his good wife will return to our city and remain permanently.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, February 7, 1902, page 6

    Word received from Mr. and Mrs. I. A. Webb is in effect that they arrived at Los Angeles in due time and that Mr. Webb's health seems improved but that Mrs. Webb was not well. They are stopping with Lewis Webb, a brother of I. A., who with his family are now residing in Los Angeles.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 14, 1902, page 7

The Dynamite Was Loaded.
    The following is from the Covina, Calif. Argus. It tells of a narrow escape from a frightful accident of B. S. Webb, a former resident of Medford:
    "The Bemis building and adjoining block had a narrow escape from total destruction shortly after noon on Saturday last by an explosion of dynamite caps in B. S. Webb's hardware store.
    "B. S. Webb had just received a shipment of giant powder, and after unpacking the goods a carpenter, named Charles Tate, who often spends a few minutes in the store during the noon hour, put the excelsior in which the goods were wrapped into the stove, not knowing that it contained a box of 100 dynamite caps, with an explosive power of 60 pounds each, which had been overlooked in the unpacking.
    "In a few moments a terrific explosion occurred, blowing the large cast iron stove into a thousand fragments, hurling them through woodwork and plaster. The report shook every building in the block, and in a few minutes more than a hundred men were on the scene. Charles Tate was found on the floor stunned and bleeding, but by a miracle the other occupants of the store, B. S. Webb, the proprietor, and a man named William Goodrich, escaped with only a few cuts and bruises. On examination it was found that Tate was severely cut and bruised about the legs by fragments of the stove, and he has since been confined to his room under the doctor's care. How any of the occupants of the store escaped with their lives is a wonder, as they were all standing within a foot of the stove at the time of the explosion. In addition to the woodwork and plaster of the building about $25 worth of stock was injured by the flying fragments of the stove.
    "On a counter, four feet from the stove, was ten pounds of giant powder, and had this exploded by the concussion the entire building would have been made a total wreck and much damage would have resulted to adjacent property."

Medford Mail, March 7, 1902, page 2

    Mr. and Mrs. I. A. Webb are expected home from California in about two weeks. Mr. Webb's health has greatly improved since leaving here a few weeks ago.

"Additional Local,"
Medford Mail, March 7, 1902, page 6

    I. A. Webb, who was formerly engaged in the furniture and undertaking business in Medford, has invested in a like business in Goldendale, Wash., he having purchased an established business there. The purchase was made more especially for his son, Carl., who will have charge of the affairs, but will be assisted by Mr. Webb until such time as the young man has become fully conversant with all business details. Miss Pearl Webb will soon join her father and brother and will keep house for them. Mrs. Webb and Miss Edith will remain in Medford, for some months at least. Mr. Webb intends spending the winters in Goldendale and summers in the hills and mountains of Southern Oregon. These people have been residents of Medford ever since the town was a yearling--during which time they have made a great many friends, all of whom will regret that even a part of the family has decided to locate elsewhere.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 7, 1902

    I. A. Webb has embarked in the furniture and undertaking business at Goldendale, Wash.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 12, 1902, page 2

CARL BURTON WEBB, an enterprising young business man of the city of Goldendale, and a partner in the firm of I. A. Webb & Co., which handles a large stock of furniture, carpets, etc., was born in Fullerton, the county seat of Nance County, Nebraska, on the 17th of February, 1883. He is the son of Isaac A. and Kittie L. (Burton) Webb. His father, a large property owner in the town of Medford, Oregon, was born in Nebraska, on the 30th of October, 1853, but settled in Medford in 1884. At that time there were but five or six houses in the town; at present it is a well-built and growing city of 3,000 inhabitants. He invested extensively in real estate; and opened a furniture store a number of years ago, which he sold in 1901. He is now a man of means, being the owner of considerable property in Portland, Oregon, and various other places, besides his holdings in Medford and Goldendale. He is of English and German descent, and his wife of English and Irish. The latter is a native of Indiana, born December 12, 1862. Our subject was but twelve months old when his parents removed to Medford, and he grew up and was educated in that town, attending the high school, and later taking a business course. He worked in his father's store for some time, then entered the employ of the Heywood Brothers & Wakefield Company, a Portland firm, doing a large furniture and willow-ware business. He started at the bottom, but, being apt and quick to learn, was shortly made a salesman. Leaving their employ in October, 1902, he, with his father, at once purchased the present business in Goldendale, of which he has had charge from the start. His father travels most of the time looking after his various interests. The firm owns its own building, and keeps always on hand a large stock of up-to-date goods; also has an upholstering and repair department connected with the store.
    On February 17, 1904, Mr. Webb married Miss Ethel Elliott, in Portland, Oregon. She is the daughter of Hugh and Adelia Elliott, her father foreman of the O.R.&N. car shops, at Albina, Oregon. She was born in Canada. Mr. Webb has two sisters living--Pearl Nelson Webb and Mrs. Edith M. Welch, the latter a resident of Baker City, Oregon. He adheres to the Christian church, and his wife to the Methodist Episcopal. In politics he is a Republican. A few years ago he was assistant city recorder in Medford. By strict attention to business, he has worked up a large and lucrative trade, and the prospects for further development of his business are bright.

An Illustrated History of Klickitat, Yakima and Kittitas Counties, Interstate Publishing Co., Chicago, IL., 1904

From "An Old Timer."
POMONA, CAL., July 18, 1905.
Messrs. Kimbley & Busick,
    Editors Progress-Examiner,
        Orleans, Ind.
    GENTLEMEN:--By chance one of your papers of May 25, 1905 fell into our hands, and it seemed like hearing from all our old friends, and we decided to enclose you a $1 bill for subscription. My name is L. H. Webb, Pomona, Cal., Box No. 881.
    I am the oldest son of the late G. W. Webb, who died on the hill 10 miles west of Orleans. My oldest daughter is married and lives at Fullerton, Neb. The boys, C. I. and C. W., are in business in St. Louis, Mo. Our other daughter is cashier in the Pomona department store.
    My next brother, I. A. Webb, is in business in Goldendale, Wash. Brother B. S. Webb is in business in Los Angeles, Cal., and brother G. L. is a doctor, residing in Santa Monica, Cal. Sister Hattie is married and lives in Santa Monica, Cal. Laura lives with the doctor. Sister Maud Faucett lives in Missouri, and sister Mary Bedster in your town, I think.
    I have been in California four years and like the climate. We have a fine town of 7,000, and located in a fine orange and lemon country.
        Yours truly,
                L. H. WEBB.
    Many of our older readers will remember Louis H. Webb, and be pleased to learn of his whereabouts, and that he is well and prosperous. We take pleasure in sending the Progress-Examiner weekly to his western home.
Progress-Examiner, Orleans, Indiana, July 27, 1905, page 4

Last revised January 21, 2015