The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Alenderfer O storekpr Laclede Power Co r 316 N 4th
Gould's St. Louis Directory for 1905, page 94

    Left Field--Alenderfer. Mr. Alenderfer hauled down a large salary with the San Francisco Seals as a heady player, and stops a great many balls in this manner. He is always in the game and has an average fielding record of 997, covering six years of play.
"Here's Their [Baseball] Records, What?"
Medford Mail Tribune, March 27, 1911, page 2   This was a joke.

Mrs. Amanda Cunningham, who has been visiting friends and relatives at Seattle for the past six months, is in Medford to remain for the summer as the guest of her son and daughter, Mr. A. B. Cunningham and Mrs. O. O. Alenderfer.
"Personal Mention," Medford Mail Tribune, March 8, 1913, page 3

    The class party of the Alpha Delta Society of the Christian Church will be held Thursday night at the home of Mrs. O. O. Alenderfer, 701 Park Street, instead of Wednesday night as first announced.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, October 11, 1915, page 2

    O. O. Alenderfer of the California & Oregon Power Company at Medford was attending to business matters in Talent one day last week.
"Talent Tidings," Ashland Tidings, August 27, 1917, page 3

    E. O. Teague sold his fine bungalow home at 737 West Jackson Street yesterday to O. O. Alenderfer, and within a week or two with his wife and son and daughter will return to Boston, Mass. . . .

Excerpted from "Local Briefs,"
Medford Mail Tribune, February 4, 1920, page 2

    O. O. Alenderfer left today on a business trip to Grants Pass and Glendale in the interests of the California-Oregon Power Company.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, March 26, 1920, page 2

    The new exalted ruler is O. O. Alenderfer, one of the veteran members of the lodge and one of its most active and untiring workers. Under the administration of Mr. Alenderfer and his fellow officers, both appointive and elective, the lodge looks forward to continued expansion and prosperity.
"New Officers in Elks Lodge Are Installed," Medford Mail Tribune,
April 2, 1920, page 8

    Mrs. O. O. Alenderfer leaves tonight for a month’s visit with her mother, Mrs. A. E. Cunningham at Everett, Wash., and will be accompanied by her nephew, Master William Cunningham.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, April 7, 1920, page 2

    O. O. Alenderfer is in Grants Pass making preliminary arrangements for the Medford Elks lodge celebration in that city on Thursday, April 29. The "big time" will consist, in part, of a parade, initiation, smoker, boxing carnival and banquet. Tickets are now on sale at the Elks Club.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, April 17, 1920, page 2

    The Alpha Delta class of the Christian church will hold a social at the home of Mrs. O. O. Alenderfer, 337 West Jackson, Thursday afternoon, at 2:30.
“Local Briefs,” 
Medford Mail Tribune, May 24, 1920, page 2

    O. O. Alenderfer returned last night [from] a short business visit at Klamath Falls.
“Local Briefs,” 
Medford Mail Tribune, June 9, 1920, page 2

    Messrs. Buchter and Alenderfer motored to Grants Pass today on business connected with the California-Oregon Power company.
“Local Briefs,” 
Medford Mail Tribune, September 29, 1920, page 2

    Among the new latest business changes and new concerns started in Medford are the expansion of the Medford Iron Works and the building of its new plant following the purchase by Harry D. Mills of a half interest in the growing concern, the entrance of O. O. Alenderfer as partner into the People’s Electric store, and the establishment of the new real estate firm of Carley and Campbell. . . .
    The move by Mr. Alenderfer into business for himself and his consequent resignation from long years of service with the California-Oregon Power company is a surprise. He will be an equal partner of A. B. Cunningham, who recently bought out the interest of A. B. Wahl, in the People’s Electric Store. Many friends and acquaintances wish these well-known young men success and prosperity in their venture.
    H. L. Walter, local manager of the California-Oregon Power company in speaking of Mr. Alenderfer’s ceasing his 11 years' connection with the company during which he held responsible positions, said today:
    "He’s a very capable and valuable man, possessed of business ability, and I hate to lose his services. He has my best wishes for a deserving success."
Medford Mail Tribune, October 8, 1920, page 6

    The many friends of Mrs. O. O. Alenderfer, who was operated on in Sacred Heart hospital Wednesday, will be glad to know she is getting along nicely.
“Local Briefs,” 
Medford Mail Tribune, Dec. 17, 1920, page 2

Oscar O. Alenderfer (Ina C.) (People’s Electric Store), home 737 West Jackson
1921 Polk's Medford city directory

People's Electric Store (A. B. Cunningham, O. O. Alenderfer), electrical contractors and dealers
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon and Washington Gazetteer and Business Directory 1921-22, page 254
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon and Washington Gazetteer and Business Directory 1923-24, page 299

    On account of the permanent removal of T. B. Lumsden to Los Angeles, it became necessary for him to resign as a director of the Medford Chamber of Commerce and in the vacancy created the board elected O. O. Alenderfer, he having received the next highest vote at the final election of directors last March.
    In the short space of time which T. B. Lumsden served as a director he became a very valuable man on the board and his removal from Medford is regretted. The newly elected member of the board is no stranger to the people of Medford. While exalted ruler of the Medford Elks lodge he demonstrated his executive ability and won the confidence of the citizens by his fair decisions. The Chamber of Commerce is to be congratulated on having a man of his character as a member of its board.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 11, 1921, page 3

Medford Business Men Organize to Boost for Development.

    MEDFORD, Or., Jan. 12.--(Special.)--The Craters, recently organized body of young business men of Medford, have elected the following officers: O. O. Alenderfer, big eruption, president; C. C. Lemmon, skipper of the phantom ship, vice president; William Vawter, wizard, treasurer; H. O. Frohbach, keeper of the trail, secretary; Paul McDonald, pilot, sergeant-at-arms, and lords of the forest, trustees, Thomas Swem, Lawrence Mann, Dr. B. R. Elliott, A. J. Vance and John J. Buchter. The Craters decided to move with the local American Legion post into its new hall.
    Frank Branch Riley sent a communication to the Craters in which he promised that he would lecture in Medford on his return from his eastern trip.
    The Craters will sell additional name plates for automobiles next spring and will get Medford merchants to use a certain letterhead and envelope that would advertise Crater Lake.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, January 13, 1922, page 9

    The Crater Club of Medford journeyed to the county fair grounds this noon, following a forum meeting at the Hotel Medford, and at 1 o'clock O. O. Alenderfer, the "Big Eruption" of the club, turned the first dirt for the erection of the permanent buildings on the county fair grounds.
    A large number of Medford people turned out to witness the breaking of the ground for what is expected to become the best county fair in the state of Oregon.
Ashland Weekly Tidings, June 14, 1922, page 1

Gaddis New Medford Mayor--
    The entire business men's ticket of Medford carried at the Tuesday election, resulting in the election of Earl C. Gaddis for mayor by a large majority. Councilmen elected were Jacobs, Butler, Alenderfer, Janney, Paul and Crose. Mrs. Webber, present city treasurer, was reelected by a majority of 137 votes over Miss Hanscom. Moses Alford was elected city recorder.

Ashland Weekly Tidings,
November 15, 1922, page 3

    Medford, which has been without a president of the city council who in that capacity is the official vice mayor who takes over the mayor's duties when he is absent from the city, will no longer have to flutter along without such an officer, for the new city council last night unanimously elected O. O. Alenderfer to that position.
"O. O. Alenderfer Is Named Vice Mayor of City, " Medford Mail Tribune, February 21, 1923, page 4

    Oscar Odell Alenderfer, vendor of electric lights, has been persuaded by friends to enter the primaries on the Farmer-Labor ticket for United States Senator. It goes without saying that Olie gets the Crater vote.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 1, 1924, page 5

People's Electric Store (A. B. Cunningham, O. O. Alenderfer), electrical goods, 212 W. Main

R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon and Washington Gazetteer and Business Directory 1925-26, page 270

    Unless the Medford contractors of concrete sidewalks fall into line with the city administration's new stipulations of materials for such sidewalks, there is a possibility of the city itself going into the business of laying concrete sidewalks, it developed at last Tuesday night's city council meeting. . . .
    This kind of paving has long proven very successful in Pacific Coast cities, as Mayor O. O. Alenderfer and City Engineer Fred Scheffel learned on their visit of inspection to Seattle some time ago, when they were shown specimens of this kind of paving laid in that city five years ago, and not yet showing cracks or any practical wear.
"City May Go into Concrete Walk Business," Medford Mail Tribune, October 7, 1926, page 3

Mayor Alenderfer and Councilmen Hubbard and Jacobs Retire
After Long and Noteworthy Service--New Officials Highly Qualified.

    The annual change in the city administration . . . occurs Monday night, January 3rd, when A. W. Pipes becomes mayor, succeeding Mayor O. O. Alenderfer, who retires to private life after four years of notable service, and A. C. Hubbard, councilman of the first ward and vice president of the council, and J. W. Jacobs, councilman of the fourth ward, retire after years of like efficient service, to be succeeded by E. M. Wilson and R. E. McElhose, who are regarded as highly qualified to fill the positions.
    The large growth of the city of Medford in recent years has brought added responsibilities to the mayor and council in meeting the necessary needs of a growing city. Moreover, these needs have been met without an increase in the tax levy, and as this growth is continuing the new mayor and city council, the latter with six holdover members, will face like responsibilities in the matter of handling the city's finances economically while keeping pace with Medford's development and progress.
    Incidental to this coming change in administrations a review of the notable achievements during the past four years under Mayor Alenderfer is given, as follows:
New Million-Dollar Water Supply.
    The most important improvement during the recent growth of the city undoubtedly has been the new water system which was completed a little over a year ago. It replaces our old water system which had its source in the murky waters of Fish Lake with a pure water system gathered from springs which does not see the light of day until it emerges from the faucet of the homeowner, 30-odd miles away in Medford. What such a system means in the health and future prosperity of Medford and its environs can hardly be estimated.
Fire Protection.
    Following closely after a pure water system in its order of importance is the protecting of the business men and homeowners from the catastrophe of possible conflagration by fire.
    The city has made notable improvements in the fire department, thus placing it on a high standard of efficiency. First and foremost is the purchase of [a] new pumper, auxiliary truck and other much-needed equipment, and scarcely less important is the building of a new fire hall just on the edge of the business district, costing approximately $15,000. This new fire hall will be modern in all particulars, with the ground space allotted to firefighting equipment and a repair shop, and with provision in the second story for quarters for the fire chief, a dormitory for regular members and volunteers, a recreation hall, shower baths, etc. There is also provided extra vacant lots and a drill towers where necessary fire drills can be put on without interfering with traffic.
The New City Hall.
    Another important improvement to the city is the building of the new city hall costing $60,000, which was authorized by vote of the people in order to move the courthouse to Medford. It is furnished free to Jackson County for five years, at the end of which time it will return to the city for use as a city hall. This new building is located at Fifth Street, just one block from one of the main business streets, is ideally located as a new city hall, is of concrete construction, three stories high, and while it will shortly be inadequate for use as a county courthouse it will be adequate for many years to come to house the city offices.
    Quite a bit of the cost of this building will be paid for by savings made by the citizens and the city itself in not having to go to Jacksonville on all city and council business. Provision was also made that when the old city hall is sold the money received is to be used in taking up the new bonds, with the result that with these two sources available very little, if any, of the cost of the city hall will be reflected in increased taxes.
    A new warehouse, used jointly by the water department and the street department, is another much-needed improvement. An up-to-date building of concrete, it houses all of the city equipment. This building cost much less than the others, only some $10,000, and is paid for by the sale of a couple of vacant lots which the city owned on South Riverside Avenue which, due to the growth of that section of the town, had increased materially in value.
Sixth Street.
    Among other improvements during recent years has been the opening up of Sixth Street as a major traffic artery; nicely paved with concrete, it will increase the values all along the thoroughfare. More recently a movement has been started for a modern lighting system, and bids will be let at the first meeting of the new year for its first installation, thus in a few short months transforming Sixth Street from a non-important closed thoroughfare to a major business artery.
Other Improvements.
    It might be thought that the above enumeration is quite a sufficient recital of recent improvements, but they are not all.
    The city purchased the Jacksonville railroad, in order to hold it for railroad developments and a possible sawmill; has dredged Bear Creek for some four or five blocks in order to remove the menace of flood danger, and purchased a grader and street roller which the city sadly needed in order to grade and repair its streets, this latter equipment being purchased without cost to the taxpayers out of the city's part of the county road money which it obtained for the first time this year.
Street Improvements.
    In the past year or more the city has laid four miles of water mains, three and a quarter miles of sewers, graded and graveled four miles of streets and paved, either with concrete or asphalt, about three miles of street, a total improvement of approximately $200,000, one-half of which has been for paving. Compared with the vast amount of work done in 1910 to 1912, the recent paving program has been less than 10 percent, but sewer improvements have been approximately one-third of those in former years, while the water mains recently laid have been more than equal to the amount laid in the former years, due to the laying of a new distributing system in connection with the new Big Butte water system.
Building Permits.
    Building permits during the past four years [have] held up remarkably well, showing practically no decrease for 1926 over 1925 when they were $779,000, and only an approximate $100,000 decrease for each of the years 1927-1928, running well over a half million dollars for the year just passed.
City Lots.
    Not a little of the building has been due to the policy of the city in selling off the city lots taken over by it for delinquent assessments, on convenient terms that could be met by its citizens and at reasonable prices. For the first time in ten years the year just past saw the city with its shelves cleaned of practically all of its paved lots.
    While it still has a few, and a good many lots off the pavement which it has had to take over, yet compared with something more than 2,000 lots that were originally delinquent, a great part of which it actually had to take over, the assessment problem is well on its way to solution, after many years of the most arduous work on the part of former mayors, councilmen and city employees.
    It is estimated that [with] another year or two of continued growth, the city will have cleaned up all of the lots, marking the completion of ten years of work in clearing up this most difficult problem.
    One might go in for another column if one were to relate all of the improvements which have come to Medford in the past little while, but suffice it to say that all these improvements show a big growth of our city, and not only growth but hard work and intelligent efforts of the recent administrations and of the various mayors, councilmen, water commissioners and city officials who have had these tasks in charge.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 31, 1928, page 3

    O. O. Alenderfer retired from his four years' service as mayor of Medford to plain citizenship last evening with the unanimous plaudits and commendation given at a 6 o'clock banquet by old and new city council, new mayor, city officials and heads of city departments, and praise for his fairness, hard work, municipal foresightedness, and general all-around business and executive ability in conducting city affairs during these years still ringing in his ears.
    The dinner was held at the Hotel Medford, with Mr. Alenderfer as host.
    Not only that, but the banqueters also presented him with a fine easy chair as a token of their good wishes and general esteem.
    Everyone present at the banquet made short talks extolling the host's virtues as head of the city government and the accomplishments of his two terms as mayor.
    This dinner gathering proved to be an unexpectedly embarrassing one for the blushing Mr. Alenderfer, as his sole purpose in giving the dinner was for the new members of the city government to get better acquainted with the holdover and other councilmen, and other city officials and heads of departments. This purpose was more than fulfilled, but he never dreamed that the gathering would have as its main purpose the extolling of himself.
    The retiring mayor, who sat at the head of the banquet board with Mayor A. W. Pipes, however, had to stay there and "take it," announced at the close of the talkfest that although he was glad to retire from the office of mayor with all its arduous duties, he hoped to be active always in civic work, and pledged himself to assist and cooperate with the new mayor and council, continue an interest in all affairs pertaining to Medford's growth, prosperity and well-being. He would be ready to aid in such works whenever called upon.
    In his remarks Mr. Alenderfer also expressed sincere appreciation to the city councilmen, city officials and the various heads of departments and other city employees generally, for their wholehearted cooperation with himself during his time as mayor.
    City Attorney John H. Carkin voiced the sentiments of all the gathering, [and] when presenting the chair to the host, he said that, speaking in behalf of the retiring mayor's "official" family and city employees and also the mayors, councilmen and city officials as far back as Mayor C. E. Gates' time, he could truthfully attribute the fast progress of the city the past four years to the predominating harmony and teamwork of the mayor and his official family, and his fairness in meeting all problems.
    Mayor Pipes also joined in the general tributes paid to the retiring mayor, and expressed gratitude for his offer of assistance, and also that he was to have the support of all who had contributed to the success of the departing city administration.
    Those in attendance at the banquet were the following:
    Mayor A. W. Pipes, former Mayors E. C. Gaddis and O. O. Alenderfer, City Attorney J. H. Carkin, City Recorder M. L. Alford, City Treasurer Herbert Berrian, A. C. Hubbard, and J. W. Jacobs, retiring councilmen; E. M. Wilson and R. E. McElhose, new councilmen; Fire Chief Elliott, Police Chief McCredie, Councilmen E. H. Janney, J. O. Grey, J. J. Buchter, R. B. Hammond, P. M. Kershaw, City Superintendent Fred Scheffel, Water Engineer F. M. Dillard, City Electrical Inspector Harry Rinabarger, president Larry Schade of the city planning commission, City Market Master F. M. Corlies, Lee Tuttle, editor of the Daily News and a representative of the Mail Tribune.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 3, 1929, page 6   

O. O. Alenderfer is high priest and prophet of the Ashland Hillah temple (Shriners).
“Shriners from Northwest to Flock to Reno for Weekend Celebration,” October 19, 1931 Nevada State Journal, page 6

Medford Chamber of Commerce, Olin O. Alenderfer, president; Charles T. Baker, secretary, 1 E. Main

People's Electric Store (Arthur B. Cunningham, Oscar O. Alenderfer), electrical supplies, 212 W. Main

R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon and Washington Gazetteer and Business Directory 1931-32, page 163

    Mr. and Mrs. O. O. Alenderfer moved this week from the Vawter apartments to their home on South Oakdale.
Medford News, September 10, 1943, page 2

    To Portland--O. O. Alenderfer, 139 Ivy Street, left by plane today for Portland, having been called thereby the death of his mother, Mrs. Jane Alenderfer. Burial of Mrs. Alenderfer is to take place in the East.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, December 28, 1945, page 7

Cunninghams Visit Old Home Town on Flying Trip West
    Visitors in the city are A. B. Cunningham, Baltimore, Md., and his son, Bill Cunningham, of Hampton, Va. The two men came to Medford from San Raphael, Calif., where they visited the factory of the H. C. Little Company, for which they are eastern representatives. They will leave Friday for Portland and Seattle and from there will return east. The trip west was by plane.
    The Cunninghams have many friends in the city, where they resided for many years before leaving for the East in 1939. A. B. Cunningham for many years was a partner with O. O. Alenderfer in the old People's Electric Store here.
    The elder Cunningham is a brother of Mrs. Alenderfer, and the two men are guests at the Alenderfer home, 139 Evelyn Court.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 26, 1946, page 7

Businessman; Ex-Mayor of Medford; Civic Leader
b. Amanda, Ohio, May 18, 1881; m. Ina C. Cunningham, Oct. 25, 1908 (Mrs. Alenderfer served as confidential clerk of Selective Service throughout World War II); began as insurance salesman, St. Louis; later in electric business; with new business dept. California-Oregon Power Co., Medford, 1910-20; owned Peoples Electric Co. 1920-38; life insurance underwriter, Aetna Life, 1939-46; established Home Appliance Co. Jan. 1946 (partner of Mark Goldy and R. V. Finch); mayor Medford 1924-28; member city council 1922-24; president Chamber of Commerce 1929-30 (two terms); twice Exalted Ruler of the Elks, 1920 and 1930 (chairman Elks bond drives, World War II); potentate Hillah Shrine 1934; member Selective Service board, two years during World War II; Republican; Christian; home 139 N. Ivy; office 115 E. Main, Medford.
Capitol's Who's Who for Oregon 1948-49, page 23

    The condition of O. O. Alenderfer, Medford business man taken seriously ill over the weekend, was said this afternoon to be unchanged. Mr. Alenderfer, one of the city's better known figures, is a patient in Community Hospital and is under the care of two physicians.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 9, 1948, page 9

    Oscar Odell (Ole) Alenderfer, for 38 years prominent in business, civic and fraternal circles in Medford and Southern Oregon, passed away at Sacred Heart Hospital last night, where he had been taken on Labor Day suffering from a heart seizure.
    Mr. Alenderfer served two terms as mayor of Medford--1925-1927--was exalted ruler of Medford Elks Lodge for two terms, was potentate of Hillah Temple of the Shrine in 1934, and was a past director of Ashland Court 108, Royal Order of Jesters, a Shrine unit.
    He was born May 18, 1881, in Amanda, O., and was educated in Circleville, O.
    Besides his wife, Ina C., he is survived by two brothers, Walter, Livermore, Calif., and Aden, Circleville, O., and one sister, Mrs. Helen Brubaker, Portland, Ore.
    Mr. Alenderfer was a member of Medford Lodge 103 A.F.&A.M.; Crater Lake Chapter 32, R.A.M.; Malta Commandery 4, K.T., Ashland; Hillah Temple of the Shrine; Ashland Court 108 Royal Order of Jesters, and of Medford Lodge B.P.O.E.
    Funeral services will be held Friday at 2 p.m., at Perl funeral home with the Rev. Harry W. Hansen, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, officiating. Masonic services will be conducted at the graveside at Siskiyou Memorial Park, where interment will take place.
    The following will be honorary pallbearers: Mark Goldy, W. F. Quisenberry, A. R. Leavitt, L. C. Taylor, Walter Cormany and John Wilkinson.
    Active pallbearers will be E. C. Jerome, C. Y. Tengwald, E. L. Lenox, Leon Haskins, J. F. Fliegel and Harvey Robertson.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 22, 1948, page 1

Returns Home
    Mrs. O. O. Alenderfer, 45 Ross Court, arrived home Saturday morning after being at Baltimore, Md., for about 4½ months. She visited there with her brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Cunningham, former Medford residents. While there Mrs. Alenderfer with Mrs. Cunningham made trips to New York City and Washington, D.C. While in New York they visited the United Nations building.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 29, 1955, page 2

Last revised November 10, 2021