The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Medford Pioneers:  Noah Sylvester Bennett

Noah Bennett
Bonaparte, Harrisburg Township, Van Buren County, Iowa
Jacob Bennett, 49, farmer, born Virginia. Real estate $2650, personal estate $1250
Delia Bennett, 35, keeping house, born Ohio.
M. J. Bennett, 16, daughter, born Iowa.
G. W. Bennett, 12, son, born Iowa.
C. W. Bennett, 8, son, born Iowa.
A. E. Bennett, 6, daughter, born Iowa.
N. S. Bennett, 4, son, born Iowa.
J. H. Bennett, 2, son, born Iowa.
U.S. Census, enumerated August 5, 1870

Harrisburg Township, Van Buren County, Iowa
Jacob Bennett, 58, farmer, born Virginia, parents born Virginia.
Delia Bennett, 44, wife, born Ohio, parents born Maryland.
Charles Bennett, 19, farming, born Iowa.
Louisa Bennett, 16, daughter, born Iowa.
Noah Bennett, 14, son, born Iowa.
Jacob H. Bennett, 12, son, born Iowa.
Ade Bennett, 9, daughter, born Iowa.
Daniel Bennett, 5, son, born Iowa.
Sophia Bennett, 4 months, born January in Iowa.
U.S. Census, enumerated June 16, 1880

    N. S. Bennett and family of Medford made the Times office a pleasant visit on Saturday. Mrs. Bennett is engaged in manufacturing numerous articles of hair and does handsome work in this line.

"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 4, 1891, page 3

    On December 2nd a daughter was born to the wife of N. S. Bennett of Medford.

"Pressed Bricks," Valley Record, Ashland, December 15, 1892, page 1

    N. S. Bennett, residing out in Eden precinct, as a fruit grower don't cover quite as much territory as some others hereabouts, but for a prolific fruit orchard his is a long ways in the lead. Although his orchard is but two years old he has one cherry tree upon which are growing 446 well-developed cherries. If anyone has a two-year-old that can beat this we will give up a good chunk of space in telling about it. Mr. Bennett has a number of other trees which are equally as productive as these, but the counting process on the one was quite sufficient to make him feel weak, and he didn't reach out for more trees.

"All the Local News," Medford Mail, June 9, 1893, page 3

    N. S. Bennett took a load of peaches over to Klamath Falls last week and met with a ready sale. Wednesday of this week he started over again with a load of vegetables.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, July 20, 1894, page 3

Final Road Communication.
Eden Precinct, Feb. 11, 1895.
    Editor Mail:--It is an old saying that "no man is so dead as he who has killed himself." Misleading and false statements about one's neighbors are very effective "killers" and when published, though slower to react, they are more deadly in effect. That the "queer things under the sun" are misleading is putting it mild.
    The statement that I was helping to "hold the fort, with a pugnacious and tenacious grip worthy a better cause," would naturally lead those outside of the neighborhood to think that I have been acting stubbornly about the road, and that, too, against my own interests. When the majority of the people who live in the immediate vicinity can conscientiously say that Bennett's line is the most convenient and practicable route for a road to the school house, then there will be no kick from me.
    There is a grade twenty rods long, with an elevation of three feet, two inches, per rod--as near as I could get it with a spirit level--on the line between my place and the line running west from the school house, and there has never before to my knowledge been a road petitioned for running over the above-mentioned hill. The reader will please refer to the remark about the "pack mule," and the "identical road, with only two exceptions," and judge for himself. Now for the statement he made, speaking for the remonstrators, as it were: "Old Mr. Hamlin, in his day, walloped us; and now we will wallop the Hamlin boys, though it takes off our own nose to do it." I wish to say, for one, in justice to the departed pioneer, that during my acquaintance of almost five years he was none other than a friend to me. And to be accused of possessing and practicing the principles of revenge and justice that are only practiced among ignorant and unconquered Indians and savages don't set easy with me, to say the least. He states again: "The road will entirely cut off thirty of Mr. Bennett's trees, ten of them having been set out since the road business was gotten up, and the other twenty set out late last spring, not having grown much." A road there would cut off a row of my trees all right, but I have not set any trees in that row since last spring, when I set ten cherry trees and a few prune trees in place of those that had died. 'Tis true the trees have not grown much the past season, owing to my horse being sick at the time the trees most needed cultivation, but how many of my readers would destroy a row of their young fruit trees for the sum of twenty dollars? Bosh!
    I only have ten acres--nearly all set to fruit--and there is a county road on my north line; my west line is forty rods instead of forty-eight rods, and I paid sixty-five dollars per acre.
    The argument that I, "in common with the rest of us in here would be two miles nearer Medford, on the road trip," is very flimsy when taking into consideration that the author of that article, "in common with the rest of us in here," almost invariably travels the valley road to Medford, by preference, even when the gates on the Hamlin property are open--as they now are--and I am all but positively certain that that article rode to the Mail office, with its author, via the valley road to Medford.
    That timber that would be "several miles nearer" is at present just 41 15/100 chains from my south line.
    One day I was notified that on a certain date our partnership fence--which happened to all belong to me--would be a thing of the past; hence the lane, as he says, "between all of us," and which is locally known as S----spite lane, is not a lane, for it is closed about the center.
    Finally, I wish to state that I was not even so much as asked if I wanted the road or not. And while there may be some of that mulish principle about me, in common with nearly all mankind, which "will lead, but may kick if driven," I will sign an agreement in common with all the rest of my neighbors, to have the board of commissioners--or three competent, conscientious, disinterested men chosen by our school directors--view a road and assess damages to the school house from all sides and on lines that will be the most convenient and practicable for the greatest number of people. If they decide on my line I will set my fence back without a murmur, and if on other lines I will share the assessed damages in the same ratio as the valuation of my property is to the valuation of the property of the school district.
    Thanking the editor for his kindness, I remain
Yours respectfully,
    N. S. BENNETT.
Medford Mail, February 15, 1895, page 7

    In 1893, Mrs. D. T. Lawton and Mrs. G. H. Haskins each had 75 varieties of ever-blooming roses, and by 1895, the gardens of Mrs. N. S. Bennett, Mrs. I. A. Webb and Mrs. A. M. Woodford were famous for their beautiful roses and other flowers. "Medford History Dates from Railway Inception," Medford Mail Tribune. Attributed to Jane Snedicor. Serialized beginning February 28, 1932, page 3

More About Quails.
    EDITOR MAIL:--I learned from a reliable source that quail in large numbers were being trapped in this section out of season. Being a lover of the pretty little birds, and a correspondent of your paper from this section, I felt it my duty--privilege also--to speak against it, and I did so from pure motives, and not as M. W. would have you believe, to crush out the pleasure of the schoolboys. I love to see children enjoy themselves. I enjoyed the sport when a boy, but was taught to respect the game laws.
    I did not say or imply that I would report anyone, but I did say "let upon the business a little," and I meant it. If you doubt it just crowd me along a step or so farther. Now I want it distinctly understood that I addressed that item to the transgressors only, and not to the people of this section generally, so if nobody has been hit nobody can justly claim to be hurt, and I don't propose to crawfish one word of it. It was not a personal thrust, though I have been accused of it, and that without one word of evidence to back it. If I ever should get such a big hard lump of personal hatred in my heart that I could not disgorge it in any other way I would surely not trot off to the local newspaper, and under the disguise of a fond parent to the juvenile sportsmen, belch it out. Not I, Mr. S., not I.
    I have been accused of trying to lessen the schoolboy's pleasures, while I said in just so many words that "any reasonable person would not say a word against the boys having all the sport the world can give and also a mess of quail occasionally."
    Picture a man if you can mean enough to willfully try to reduce a child's innocent pleasures.
    He said he did not know if the quails had been caught in or out of season and "doubted very much if Farmer knew either." This farmer knows more than you think for, W. M., and perhaps it would pay you to paste this in your hat if it taxes your memory. You need not be in fear of "Farmer" reporting your "little" boys, for he would surely not do do such a thing unless as a last resort.
    Ignorance of the law is seldom if ever accepted as an excuse, but where laziness is also pleaded perhaps it would pass.
    Several large broods of quail have hatched near my house and for a long time stayed around almost like pets. I could have set traps and wiped them out in a few days but I would not, for I love the little creatures and I respect the effort our state is making to protect them. They are gone now; I do not know where, but I do know a wagonload of traps were gathered up within a half mile of my place, a few days after that item appeared--traps which I was not aware at the time were out. Because I have exposed this trapping business, the transgressors and their sympathizers are pouring out their bitter feelings on me. Let the tide roll on. I would rather be right than President. I am not writing items from Eden to cover up lawlessness, or ignorance either. I write items in an impartial way for the general good of this neighborhood, and for a paper which I sincerely believe is laboring for the general good of this little valley, and if anyone has a kick for me just pass it along and kick to your heart's content; it is all the same price.
    Thanking you for your kindness in granting this space, I remain your pencil pusher from Eden.
Medford Mail, March 27, 1896, page 7  N. S. Bennett was "Farmer," the 1890s' Eden correspondent for the Medford Mail. For more letters of the quail controversy, and to read Bennett's other columns, click here.

    Jacob Bennett, aged 77 years, 3 months and 7 days, died at his home near Big Mound Oct 15, 1898. He was born in Harrison Co., Virginia near Clarksburg, July 8, 1831 and moved to Van Buren Co., Iowa in the autumn of 1813. He was married to Delia Miller April 20, 1851 or '54.
    Nine children were born to this union, five boys and four girls. The mother with four boys and four daughters survive him, one son having gone before.
    His parents, with two brothers and three sisters have passed before him, and one sister is surviving. He was a kind and loving father and husband, ever mindful of the needs of wife and family, and took great pleasure in being in their presence. The funeral service took place from his home Monday Oct. 17, 1898 conducted by Rev. Paul McBeth, of Hillsboro.
    He was laid to rest in the White cemetery. The pall bearers were H. Moore, J. L. Brown, W. Dawson, P. Fletcher, W. Pfeifer and H. Wallingford.
Entler Scrapbooks, vol. 4, Iowa Historical Library, Iowa City.   From findagrave.com

Phoenix Precinct, Jackson County, Oregon

Noah S. Bennett, 34, fruit grower, born December 1865, born in Iowa, father born Virginia, mother Pennsylvania
Belle B. Bennett, 33, born October 1866, born in Iowa, father born Scotland, mother Pennsylvania, married 11 years
Cora B. Bennett, 9, born September 1890 in Oregon
Ethel D. Bennett, 7, born December 1892 in Oregon
Mary A. Bennett, 1, born December 1898 in Iowa
U.S. Census, enumerated June 26, 1900

    N. S. Bennett, the orchardist living out south of Medford, has leased the Markley fruit drier from its owner, A. S. Wells, for next season. Mr. Bennett has a dryer on his home place, and the two will give him a capacity of over 500 trays, which will enable him to handle a great amount of fruit. He will operate both dryers and has already engaged the fruit from several orchards. The Mail hopes he will make the success of his venture which he now pictures he will--and there are good reasons for believing he will.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, January 25, 1901, page 7

    N. S. Bennett left for Klamath County Tuesday morning with a load of dried fruit, which he will dispose of to his Klamath County patrons. He has made other trips to Klamath County and always finds a ready market for his fruits, the popularity of which is increasing in all sections where they have been marketed.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 24, 1901, page 7

    N. S. Bennett has returned from his trip to Klamath County, where he took a load of dried fruit.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, June 7, 1901, page 6

    N. S. Bennett, of Eden precinct, left several samples of his excellent varieties of cherries at this office Tuesday, for which our best thanks are here given him. Mr. Bennett has about forty bearing trees and is now selling the fruit from them to consumers in this city.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, June 21, 1901, page 6

    N. S. Bennett, the gentleman who has the Markley fruit evaporator rented, is making preparations for an extensive run of work this fall. He has over forty cords of dry wood now being hauled to the dryer and has made other necessary arrangements which will enable him to commence business just as soon as the fruit is ready. He has already contracted for enough fruit to ensure a good run, but he will be able to handle more fruit than is now contracted, and parties wishing him to do their work should arrange before the dryer's capacity for the season is all taken.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 12, 1901, page 7

    N. S. Bennett, who has rented the Markley fruit dryer, is overhauling and cleaning the same preparatory to starting his fall run of fruit drying the forepart of next week.

"Additional Local," Medford Mail, August 16, 1901, page 6

    N. S. Bennett, the fruit dryer man, reports that his dryer is doing a great amount of business. Says there is more fruit in the valley than he ever dreamed of and that it's coming his way in volumes most flattering.

"Additional Local," Medford Mail, September 13, 1901, page 6

    N. S. Bennett, the Eden precinct orchardist, has been busily engaged in house grafting fruit settings. He has made 25000 apple and pear grafts. He sent east for his seedling roots and onto these he has grafted apple and pear scions, and now his brother-in-law, W. S. Chapman, is putting the roots in the ground and by next fall they expect to be able to supply many of the orchardists of the valley with trees for planting. The varieties grafted were principally Yellow Newtown apples and Comice pears.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 4, 1902, page 7

    N. S. Bennett returned Saturday from a visit to his homestead on Trail Creek.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 4, 1902, page 6

    N. S. Bennett, of Eden precinct, left Wednesday for Klamath County with a load of fresh fruit, which he will sell to the stockmen of that section.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 25, 1902, page 6

    N. S. Bennett, of Eden Valley, arrived home Friday from Klamath County, where he had been with a wagonload of fruit, which he sold at a good price. Mrs. L. A. Bunch returned with him to her home in this city, after having spent ten weeks at Fort Klamath with her son, O. B. Bunch.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville,
August 14, 1902, page 3

A Homestead Representative Tells About One of Its Orchards.

    About three and a half miles south from Medford, Jackson County, Oregon is the Eden Valley Orchard owned by Capt. Gordon Voorhies, and Mr. J. Hugger is the manager. This is known as the old Ball place. Mr. Ball bought his fruit and vegetables and raised wheat. Five years ago the owner sold $22,000 worth of fruit from this place. The bearing orchard now consists of thirty acres of Petite prunes, forty-five acres of apples--Newtown, Jonathan and Ben Davis varieties, forty-five acres of pears of the Bartlett, Winter Nelis, Howell, DeAnjou and Clargo varieties. The pear crop is immense, the prune fair, and the apple good with the exception of the Ben Davis variety, which is light. There are 484 acres in the farm. This year 160 acres are in corn and set to young trees--ninety acres to Newtown Pippin apples, forty to Bartletts, and thirty to Clargos. This coming fall they will set out 100 acres more to pears--60 to Comice and 40 to Beurre Bosc. This will be, when the 100 acres are set, the largest orchard in Southern Oregon.
    They grow some grain, have twenty-five horses and mules--mostly mules--to work on the farm and four cows for home use.
    There is a good barn, and one of the finest farm residences in Southern Oregon is now being erected.
    There are, on an average, twenty men employed the year through, and sometimes as high as forty are employed at one time. This is exclusive of the pickers.
    Last year there were shipped 200,000 boxes of pears and apples and about thirty-five tons of prunes.
    They have sprayed five times this year and will spray once more before picking time.
    From Mr. Hugger we gained the following information respecting the orchards around Medford. Mr. C. H. Lewis of Portland, Or. purchased the Weeks & Orr orchard consisting of 140 acres of apples, pears and prunes. Weeks & Orr have another orchard just coming into bearing. Mr. Anderson has an orchard of thirty acres, mostly prunes. Mr. Hartley set out sixty acres of pears and prunes this last spring. Mr. Coppley set out twenty acres of Newtown Pippins last spring. Mr. Pellett has thirty-five acres of Newtowns and fifteen of Bartletts. Wm. Stewart has 120 acres of apples and pears. Jos. H. Stewart has 120 acres of new orchard. Mr. DeHart has seventy acres, mostly apples. This was formerly owned by J. H. Stewart. Mr. Whitman has ninety acres in apples and Mr. McPherson fifty in Petite prunes, W. S. Clay 140 almonds and prunes. Besides these there are a large number of from eight- to twenty-acre orchards and the 160-acre orchard at Central Point owned by Olwell Bros., which will be told about in a later issue of the Pacific Homestead.
Pacific Homestead, Salem, September 4, 1902, page 1

The Bennett-Chapman Nursery.
    The fruit trees in the Bennett-Chapman nursery have been inspected by Commissioner Carson and pronounced by him to be clean of all pests. These gentlemen have in stock a few thousand apple trees of the standard varieties, which can be purchased. They also have a number of varieties of small fruit trees, for family orchards. They have sold nearly 25,000 trees already this fall--which is positive proof that their trees are thrifty and clean. They guarantee every tree true to name and free from pests. Nursery is located near Talent.
Medford Mail, November 7, 1902, page 6

    J. C. Brown, of Big Mound, Iowa, arrived in Medford this week and will visit for a few weeks with his uncle, N. S. Bennett.

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

    Mrs. N. S. Bennett was in Medford last week taking orders for panoramic views of the Rogue River Valley which her husband has but recently taken and developed. The views are taken from a prominent point on the east side of the valley, and they include all of the country from Pilot Rock, near Ashland on the South, to Table Rock on the north. The views show all the towns in the valley and also Mt. Shasta in California. They make a very fine present to send to friends in the East. Especially well are they suited for this as they give strangers a very good idea as to the length and width of the valley. Mrs. Bennett was quite successful in her sales, and those whom she has not already seen she will call upon later.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 6, 1903, page 7

    N. S. Bennett, who is an orchardist by profession and a photographer for recreation, has left at the Sentinel office a panoramic photograph of Crater Lake the negative of which he took when on a trip to the lake the first of July. The rim of the lake was yet covered in many places with snow, and as the smoky weather of summer had not yet obscured the atmosphere the view was perfect and the photograph is so clear as to show all the details of the wonderful scene. The photograph shows the entire circumference of the lake and is mounted upon a sectional cardboard fastened by ribbons so that it can be folded. When opened out the picture is over three feet long. Mr. Bennett will mail the picture to any address for $2, his address being Medford.
"Buncom Items," Jacksonville Sentinel, September 11, 1903, page 7

    N. S. Bennett returned Sunday from a two weeks' trip to Klamath County. He spent a good part of his time in the Wood River Valley--where the snow was from two to three and a half feet deep--but he provided himself with snowshoes and succeeded in securing several fine views of that picturesque country. He was not, however, fortunate in getting views of Crater Lake, as there was a storm on every day during his five days' stay near the lake.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, March 18, 1904, page 4

    N. S. Bennett, an orchardist and nurseryman near Talent, was in Jacksonville Thursday with a load of dried fruit which he sold to the local merchants. Mr. Bennett reports that fruit prospects are very encouraging and that a big crop is a certainty and that orchardists anticipate a good price for their fruit. Mr. Bennett states that his nursery stock is growing finely. He planted 10,000 grafts of Newtowns, Spitzenbergs and Jonathans this spring and some of them are now fully two feet in height and growing like a Kansas sunflower. As proof of early bearing of Rogue River fruit trees Mr. Bennett has a Jonathan apple graft planted this spring that is bearing a large well-formed apple that gives promise of fully maturing. Mr. Bennett intends to take a photograph of the little tree later on when the apple gets large enough to show well and send the picture to the Oregon Immigration Rooms at Portland.
"Additional Locals," Jacksonville Sentinel, June 3, 1904, page 4

    If you want to give your friends in the East some idea of what scenes in Southern Oregon are like, you send them a collection of the stereo views taken by N. S. Bennett. These views comprise a wide range of subjects and thoroughly cover the scenery of Southern Oregon. They can be had either at the Medford Book Store or at H. B. Nye’s.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, July 8, 1904, page 1

    N. S. Bennett:--"The members of this section have the past week put about $153 (or more) gratis work on a bad piece of road between my place and Mr. Hartley's. A ton of gravel was dropped on the road about every ten minutes, and what was a very muddy, sticky road is now graded, drained and graveled."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, February 3, 1905, page 8

    N. S. Bennett:--"If this weather holds out, and I don't see any reason why it shouldn't, I look for a bumper crop in both fruit and cereals this year. If you will take a look around over the valley and foothills you will see that every nook and corner of most of the farms is being cultivated this year. Land which has been allowed to lie untouched for several years is in grain or prepared for other crops. The acreage in cereal crops has doubled this year, it is safe to say. One reason for this might be the number of young orchards set out, but the main cause is the unusually favorable season. The soil is in perfect condition and everything points to a great crop. Will we have timely rains? Of course we will. Southwest Oregon weather has never gone back on the farmer entirely yet."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, March 10, 1905, page 1

    N. S. Bennett is in the Butte Creek section this week, looking after his homestead. Mr. Bennett expects to leave in a few days on an extended trip up and down the coast, taking views of various points of scenic interest. After a visit to the Shasta country he will go north, take in the exposition, climb Mt. Hood, Rainier and other high peaks. Mr. Bennett will travel in the interest of a large eastern firm engaged in the making of stereo views.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail Tribune, June 9, 1905, page 5

    N. S. Bennett:--"You want to know about my summer trip north. Well, it would take quite a while to tell all of it and more space, probably, than you could spare. I made the trip to the summit of Mt. Hood and spent several days taking views of the glaciers on the mountain. I put in quite a spell in Eastern Oregon, making pictures of the big harvesting outfits in the Columbia River bottom, and had a good time all around, coupled with considerable exposure and hardships, and, in the getting of the Mt. Hood views, no little danger. I had considerable trouble in getting views of interiors of the buildings at the fair. They wouldn't allow me to enter the grounds with my regular camera, so I was obliged to get a 'Brownie.' I got them just the same. Those grapes? Oh, there's only about fifteen varieties in the box, all grown on my place, and are presented to the Mail shop--not necessarily for publication, but as an assurance of good faith. You will find most of them toothsome, and some variety is sure to strike your taste."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, September 22, 1905, page 1

    N. S. Bennett has gone to San Francisco to secure photographs of the ruins.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, April 27, 1906, page 4

    N. S. Bennett has been supplying the local market with early peaches. Aside from his own place he has the old Gallaher place rented and from this last-named place alone he will have from 400 to 500 boxes of early varieties of peaches.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 13, 1906, page 5

    N. S. Bennett shows a couple of limbs of French prunes--they are literally limbs of prunes--as you can't see any wood, just prunes, with a leaf showing now and then.
"At the Exhibit Building," Medford Mail, August 16, 1907, page 1

    N. S. Bennett, proprietor of the Eden Valley Nursery, has already booked several good-sized fruit tree orders for next fall delivery. Mr. Bennett will have 15 acres of solid nursery stock of commercial varieties for next fall's delivery. He does not anticipate, however, that this will nearly fill his orders, but he has his uncle's nursery at Milton, Or., as a reserve supply, and this uncle is equally as particular as he is in selecting buds and scions used in his nursery.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, March 5, 1909, page 5

The Eden Valley Nursery
    N. S. Bennett started to raise nursery trees in the Rogue River Valley seven years ago. He made a specialty from the first to use buds and scions from high-grade trees only. At first he only had a trade for a few thousand trees; now his business reaches over 100,000 trees annually. No higher grade of fruit trees and general nursery stock can be found anywhere. These are Rogue River trees and shrubs, especially adapted to this climate and soil. His seedlings are all allowed to remain in the nursery row one year before grafting. This gives him a one-year-old top on a three-year transplanted root.
    All Mr. Bennett's nursery stock is grown without irrigation--his stock is the highest of quality. He has no poor stock at any price. He caters to the trade that wants good goods. He has been in the Rogue River Valley for nineteen years and is anchored here. He has a host of warm and personal friends and customers. Those who want the best of nursery stock will do well to see Mr. Bennett.
Medford's Magazine, April 1909, page 14

N. S. Bennett Is Getting and Filling Many Orders for Trees.
    N. S. Bennett: "Yes, the Eden Valley Nursery is doing a fine business, and I appreciate the liberal patronage the planters are giving me.
    "Monday J. E. Watt gave me an order for 600 apple trees. Dr. Page handed me a nice order Friday, which totals 6090 trees; then to round out a nice day's business, E. P. Gilchrist of Eagle Point gave me a list of his wants, which made the two days' sales foot up to 7590 trees.
    "Mr. Gilchrist planted over $200 worth of my trees last winter, and every tree is doing nicely. This may have had something to do with his desire to get more trees of the same kind for next fall's planting.
    "I have lots of other good patrons on my list, and it just naturally makes me feel good to know that my efforts to do the right thing and to furnish good nursery stock are being appreciated."

Medford Mail, July 2, 1909, page 1

Eden Valley Nursery ad, August 20, 1909 Medford Mail
Eden Valley Nursery ad, August 20, 1909 Medford Mail.

N. S. Bennett Secures Orders for Several Thousand Trees.
    N. S. Bennett, proprietor and owner of the Eden Valley Nursery, reports this week the sale of 11,040 fruit trees and vines. Of the larger orders taken may be mentioned those of W. H. Rainsford, 605 apple and pear trees; Wilcox & Mauptman, additional order of 174, mostly apples; J. E. Watt, additional order of 680 pear trees; W. T. Ward, 450 pear, apricot and peach trees; S. C. Collins, 2450 pear; Henry Metz, 391 assorted; Noah Chandler, 300 pear and peach; B. H. Kirby, 2175 grape and 700 pear; J. M. Wood, additional order of 900 pear and apple; Roger S. Bennett, 700 pear; M. L. Spink, 1077 pears and peaches.
Medford Mail, September 10, 1909, page 6

N. S. Bennett Reports that He Has Booked for 61,236 So Far.
    N. S. Bennett, proprietor of the Eden Valley Nurseries, reported last evening that up to that time he had booked orders for 61,236 fruit trees for the coming season's delivery. Pears take the lead, with apples a close second. In the former class, Bartletts and D'Anjous were favorites. The Newtown is the choice of apple buyers, with a good many Jonathans, which are to be used for cross-pollination purposes. The Elberta is the leader in the peach line. These trees will plant from 1000 to 1200 acres, which shows there is to be a great addition to the orchard area of this valley by next spring.
Medford Mail, October 8, 1909, page 1

    The Eden Valley Nursery of Medford has a unique exhibit at the fair in the way of an array of cards so displayed that they represent the actual number of trees, shrubs, vines, etc. sold, together with the name of each individual purchaser. Last season the figures of nursery stock sales ran over 62,000 in number, and this season the cards already represent 71,000 items, with the expectation that the number will eventually pass the 100,000 mark.--Ashland Tidings.
Medford Mail,
October 15, 1909, page 6

    Six heavily loaded trucks of fruit trees passed out on North Central today, consigned to Mr. N. S. Bennett of the popular Eden Nursery.

"Social and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, November 21, 1909, page 7

    Sales made by nurserymen and estimates by Horticultural Inspector Taylor show that over a million trees have already been contracted for planting in the Rogue River Valley this winter, that a larger acreage than ever before will be set out to choice varieties of fruit, and that the inability to obtain sufficient nursery stock of the right variety alone limits the new fruit area. . . .
    "There will be the heaviest planting this year in the history of the valley," stated N. S. Bennett, the nurseryman, "and if sufficient stock could be secured, probably double the acreage of previous years would be set out. All nurserymen report increased sales, and I know mine have almost trebled."
"Will Plant Million Trees," Medford Mail Tribune, November 28, 1909, page 1

N. S. Bennett Only Had 5000 Trees in Car and Explains How It Was [That] Car Was Shipped
in His Name--Says Stock Was Ordered and Shipped in Good Faith.
    In response to a telegram sent by N. S. Bennett, G. D. Threlkel, representative of Silva & Bergtholdt, the Newcastle nurserymen, whose car of apple trees was condemned by Commissioner Carson, has arrived in Medford and will meet Commissioner Carson in regard to the shipment and decide on the future disposal of the car. It is said that a portion of the trees are all right and may be passed.
    While the car was consigned to N. S. Bennett, the local nurseryman, only 5000 of the trees it contained were for him, other nurserymen receiving trees by the same car in order to take advantage of the rate. In speaking of the car, Mr. Bennett stated:
    "Less than 5000 of the trees in the car were intended for me, though the car was billed to me and I had no knowledge that it was to be sent to me till I received the bill of lading. The greater part of the car was made up with orders taken by a Mr. Franklin, a transient agent, representing the Silva & Bergtholdt Co., and were shipped under sight draft to L. E. Hoover of Medford, D. D. Sage of Central Point, L. B. Warner of Medford, Brown, Holmes & Ingle of Eagle Point, W. M. Holmes of Medford and C. F. Lancing, proprietor of the Quaker Nurseries at Salem.
    "By shipping these several lots together all shared the benefits of car rates. However, the car was sent in my care.
    "Professor O'Gara did not see the car till after
Commissioner Carson came on the afternoon train. Mr. Carson came to pass on a legal matter coming up by the California shippers asking that all stock that did not come up to our standard of excellence be packed and returned to them.
    "In justice to Silva & Bergtholdt Co., I will say that they are among the leading nurserymen of the Golden State and the stock was both ordered and shipped in good faith.
    "I wired the firm and their representative is now here, so I have nothing more to do with the shipment whatever. When you get stock from the Eden Valley Nursery it is all right, or I make it all right. I have culled out trees and put them on the brush pile after the inspectors had passed the stock, and told the inspectors when we first opened the car that there was stock in the car that I would turn down, even if passed by them.
    "I have a good trade and appreciate it and will do all in my power to merit the continued patronage of the planters."
Medford Mail Tribune, January 28, 1910, page 1

1201 North Central, Medford, Oregon

Noah S. Bennett, 44, nurseryman, born in Iowa, father born West Virginia, mother Pennsylvania
Bell B. Bennett, 43, born in Iowa, father born Scotland, mother Pennsylvania
Ethel D. Bennett, 17, born in Oregon
Agness M. Bennett, 11, born in Iowa
Lester L. Bennett, 3, born in Oregon
U.S. Census, enumerated April 15, 1910

Selling Many Pear Trees.
    Medford--N. S. Bennett of the Eden Valley Nurseries has sold 180,303 trees this season. Seventy-five percent of these sales are of pears, the balance being apples of commercial varieties and some grapes.
The Madras Pioneer, May 19, 1910, page 2

    I wish to most sincerely thank my neighbors and the firemen for their aid and assistance when fire broke out at my place recently.
    N. S. BENNETT.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 22, 1910, page 2

    N. S. Bennett, proprietor of the Eden Valley nurseries at Medford, transacted business in Grants Pass Tuesday. Mr. Bennett says next season he will have the biggest bunch of pear trees ever grown in Southern Oregon. He is a pear enthusiast.
"Personal and Local,"
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, September 30, 1910, page 7

    N. S. Bennett of the Eden Valley Nursery sold over 11,000 trees during the week just past.
"Local and Personal,"
Medford Mail Tribune, March 27, 1911, page 5

    N. S. Bennett, proprietor of the Eden Valley Nursery, placed orders this week for immediate delivery of 7000 apple and pear trees. Pear tree sales, says Mr. Bennett, are considerably in excess of those of apple trees this season, still there are a great many orchardmen who are putting out apples. Last season his Jonathan apple trees were a drug on the market, but this season there is quite a demand for this particular variety. The Comice and Bosc, Mr. Bennett says, are good-selling trees this season.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, January 26, 1912, page 2

N. S. Bennett Calls Attention to Fact
Overlooked in Sun Editorial

To the Editor of the Sun:
    I have just finished reading your editorial in this morning's issue of the Sun about the Garden of Eden, and I want to thank you for giving the public this information, for many times I have been asked why I named my nursery the Eden Valley Nursery, and now your editorial makes everything clear to the people.
    I have contended for years that this valley should be called Eden Valley. The Eden precinct that covered the portion of the valley west and north of Phoenix has long since been made a part of other precincts, and now the Eden Valley Orchards and the Eden Valley Nursery are about the only institutions that are still loyal to the garden spot of the valley. The heeling grounds now used are not a block from the spot which, according to your reckoning, was the Garden of Eden. Strange as it may seem, one of Adam's descendants is at this time owner of the Eden Valley Nursery and offering for sale apple trees true to the original type.
    Noah, the man behind the Eden Valley Nursery (not the boat-builder), is kept busy at the delivery yards and has no time to roam over the desert. However, he is a booster for irrigation.
    Your editorial is very good and explains many heretofore mysteries. However, you failed to state that Noah was still on the job.
        Prop., Eden Valley Nurseries
        Medford, Or., February 6.
Medford Sun, February 7, 1912, page 2

Eden Valley Nursery Parade Float, January 1, 1914 Medford Mail Tribune
Eden Valley Nursery Parade Float, January 1, 1914 Medford Mail Tribune

    Have the land; I have the trees. Right now is an ideal time to plant. Will you buy the cheapest goods you can find or stock that has been properly cared for during the winter months?
    I still have a good assortment of nursery goods, most anything for which you are likely to call. The goods are guaranteed to PLEASE and the price guaranteed to be right.
    First-class one-year stock on 3-year Japan roots at $10 and $12 per 100 for 3-4 [year] and 4-6 [year] trees, and the goods are in prime condition.
    A few hundred Kieffer pears, 2-year on Japan and 1 year on Keiffer.
7 to 10 Cents

    Tuscan Cling, Orange Cling, Early and Late Crawford, Muir, Elberta, Champion, Alexander, Hale's Early, Triumph and Salway.
    Apricot, Cherry, Plum, Nectarine, Almond, Apple and Pear in general assortment. Good stock and the price is right.
    A few hundred 4-6 [year] Spitzenberg apples at $6.00 per 100 while they last.
    I have a fine line of shade trees at 15¢ and up. If you do not plant shade trees this spring it will be no fault of mine. Get busy. Oregon Maple, American Elms, Black Locust, Soft Maple, Carolina Poplar, Norway Maple, English Elm, Catalpa, Mountain Ash, etc.
    Over sixty varieties of everblooming roses. You can get what you want.
Hugh Dickson
    A few choice Hugh Dickson [roses] left. You can have them in bunches of ten $1.50 per bunch at the delivery yard. Will you get these or your neighbor?
    Yes, I have the goods, hundreds of nice bushes and vines that will help to make your home more beautiful. Some people think I sell fruit trees only. Get that notion clear out of your system, for the
Eden Valley Nursery
carries the largest and best assortment of ornamental goods as well as fruit trees and berry bushes to be found in Southern Oregon. Call at my delivery yard, 609½ East Main Street, and let the goods do the talking.
Phone 102
Medford Mail Tribune, March 9, 1914, page 2

    N. L. [sic] Bennett and family spent July 4 on the snow-capped summit of Ashland Peak. Photographs were taken of the children playing in the snow and making a snowman.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, July 6, 1915, page 2

Medford Boys Climb Mt. Ashland.
    N. S. Bennett of Medford took a party of seven boys to the summit of Mt. Ashland Saturday, the climb being made by moonlight. Those going on the trip were Russell and Clayton Bishop, Philbrook, Lester Bennett, Merle and Cecil Rhodes and Ira Baker, all of Medford. The first camp was pitched among the big ferns in Ashland Canyon. They started on their climb at 1 o'clock in the morning, reaching the summit at sunrise. They registered at the forestry station. They had a snowball fight and built a snowman. Dinner was then served. The party returned to Medford Sunday afternoon.
"In the Social Realm," Ashland Tidings, August 5, 1915, page 4

Birthday Dinner.
    On November 2 Mrs. V. S. C. Nickelson of 209 Oak Street gave a birthday dinner in honor of Mrs. N. S. Bennett of Medford, celebrating her birthday. The guests who enjoyed the most pleasant affair were Daniel Chapman and daughter Edith, Mrs. Nickelson's nephew, Charles Chapman, Miss Callie Rollie, Mr. and Mrs. N. S. Bennett and family of Medford.
    Mrs. Nickelson also gave a supper November 10 to a few friends.
"In the Social Realm," Ashland Tidings, November 15, 1915, page 4

    N. S. Bennett has sprung a good one. He notified the police to increase their force on Tuesday night, as the members of the Pacific Coast Nurserymen's Association are all professional "grafters."
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, June 16, 1916, page 2

    N. S. Bennett and family, of the Eden Valley Nursery, have just returned from a three days' camping trip on Grayback Creek. They were so well pleased with the caves and the trout fishing that they will return to be packed to their old camp after the hunting season opens.
"Caves Camp," Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, August 7, 1916, page 3

    N. S. Bennett, who was here Friday evening from Medford gathering up fruit pits for the government, is urging every family to save pits of most every kind. Those wanted are prune, plum, cherry, date, olive, peach and apricot pits and hickory nut and walnut shells.
    Mr. Bennett took three sacks of pits from this city to Medford Friday, and states that he expects to gather two or three barrels more at this place. Medford is the central shipping point for southern Oregon, and there are now approximately 2,500 pounds of pits there ready for shipment.
    It requires about 200 peach pits, says Mr. Bennett, or seven pounds of nut shells, to produce enough carbon for one gas mask. Carbon from other sources is used in some masks, but that made from fruit pits is said to be the best protection against the poisonous German gas when placed in the respirators.
    Mr. Bennett is urging that every family save their fruit pits and deposit them in the barrels found on the streets of Grants Pass, placed there for that purpose by the Red Cross. Do your bit toward saving the soldiers' lives by saving the pits.
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, October 27, 1918, page 4

    Among Monday's citizens who made flights on the Medford airplane was N. S. Bennett, who was taken to Ashland and return in Old Sturdy at an average height of about 3000 feet. Mr. Bennett was delighted with the journey. The plane is flying at Yreka today.

"Local Briefs,"
Medford Mail Tribune, August 5, 1919, page 2

937 North Central, Medford, Oregon

Noah S. Bennett, 53, nursery proprietor, born in Iowa, father born New Hampshire, mother Pennsylvania
Belle B. Bennett, 52, born in Iowa, father born Scotland, mother Pennsylvania
Cora B. Bennett, 29
, fruit packer, born in Oregon
Mary A. Bennett, 21
, fruit packer, born in Iowa
Lester L. Bennett, 13, born in Oregon
U.S. Census, enumerated January 9, 1920

    It was just 30 years ago last Tuesday night that [N. S. Bennett] and Mrs. Bennett arrived in Medford from their old home near Keokuk, Iowa, with the intention of staying here a year if they liked it. They have been here ever since. Medford was a small village then, and the site of the Farmers & Fruitgrowers Bank was out in the suburbs, covered with scrub oak and chaparral. There was then three inches of snow on the ground, and then the developments of the next few days and month the newly arrived Iowans did not fall in love with Medford.
    The following Saturday it began to snow, and before it let up there was 17¼ inches of snow on the ground. The weather was not so cold at that time as during the recent big snowfall, which amounted to a foot, and if Mr. Bennett's memory serves him right the thermometer stood about 8 degrees above zero, whereas during the recent snowfall it was about 10 degrees below.
    The majority of this great depth of snow, although it thawed a little and snowed a little several times, remained on the ground about a month, and then when it did go away rather suddenly caused big flood conditions, and the Bear Creek bridge was washed away by the raging torrent.
    The business part of Medford was on this side of the creek, and to enable the farmers living in the territory across the stream to come across a cable was rigged up over the torrent. The farmers drove to the other side in their stick carts, consisting of rear wheels of a wagon attached to a wagon pole, and then were pulled across in a big basket attached to the cable.
    Due to the flood conditions in Oregon and California at that time Mr. Bennett says the train service was demoralized in both directions, and because of washouts on Cow Creek Cañon and the Sacramento Valley there was no through train service from January 26 to February 26, and no mail was received from the east and west during that time.
    In relating the above Mr. Bennett recalled that the previous year had been a very dry one and hence food, grain and other prices were very high, but that about that time he purchased a dressed hog for six cents a pound and wheat at about [60] cents a bushel.
Excerpt, Medford Mail Tribune, January 9, 1920, page 6

Wheat Was 60¢ a Bushel
    To the editor: Reference to a news item in yesterday's Mail Tribune headed "Recalls Medford When Wheat Sold for 30 Cents a Bushel" will say your reporter got his wires crossed slightly.
    Grain and stock raising at that time were the principal sources of revenue, and droves of cattle and hogs were a common sight along the county highways as well as in the fields, bands of cows roamed the streets of Medford and foraged from the ranchers' wagons, those large black walnut trees on South Central Avenue were at that time small whips of trees and were protected from the cattle by stakes and slats.
    Wheat was the main grain product of the valley and was selling at 65 cents a bushel instead of 30 cents as the item gave it.
    Eggs 30¢ a dozen, butter 30¢ lb., lard 10¢ lb., and dressed pork, as your item gave it, was worth 6¢ lb.
    1889 was a very dry season, and produce of every kind was scarce and high, and there was a general complaint about the high cost of living.
    All south of East Main Street from the bridge was at that time a wheat field, and there was one dwelling house on the north side about where Mr. Nye now lives.
    The big snow storm mentioned demoralized telegraph service for some time, but there was no power line or telephone line broken.
    Water for Medford's fire protection was supplied by a little pumping plant, and the little depression at [the] northeast corner of the library building marks the spot yet where the water tower stood.
    The brick business block built by Angle & Plymale and now occupied by the Economy Meat Market loomed up at that time like a skyscraper.
    Practically all the business houses on Main Street were small frame buildings with shingled awnings built over the plank sidewalks.
    I at that time kept a diary, and many of these items are not a matter of memory but copied from a record written at the time.
    If the city recorder will turn to the records of the early '90s I think she will find copies of contracts made by the city for wood for the pumping plant, and it will show that the price of seasoned body fir wood was about $3.00 per cord, and one year as low as $2.20.
N. S. BENNETT.       
    Jan. 10.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 10, 1920, page 4

    Patronize home industries. We have the most complete line of nursery stock in southern Oregon. Fruit- and nut-bearing trees, shade trees, flowering shrubs, evergreen plants, vines, border hedge and berry plants, bulbs and perennials. We give free landscape service and will call for your order on request. This is a local industry, employing local help. We live here, make and spend our money here and will gladly duplicate  any order booked by an agent for the same or less money and give service no agent can give. Our goods are guaranteed to please and the price guaranteed to be right. What more can we do? What more can you ask? Sales yard 612½
East Main Street. Phone680-J-2.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, January 30, 1926, page 2

    The Eden Valley Nursery is a local industry built on quality and service. No agents, no canvassing. Just dependable goods and square dealing. It is the leading nursery of southern Oregon and is owned and operated by a man who has lived right here among you for 37 years. We carry a complete line of nursery stock, are kept busy, but will do our best to serve you promptly, pleasantly and well. Free landscape service and a nice lien of ornamentals to choose from Sales yard
612½ East Main Street. Phone Eden Valley Nursery 680-J-2 or N. S. Bennett 680. Pin this in your hat.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, January 30, 1926, page 2

By N. S. Bennett, Proprietor of the Eden Valley Nursery.
    I came to Southern Oregon in 1890, bought a small tract of land four miles south of Medford in 1892 and started to grow trees. My trade gradually increased until in 1908 I sold the place and moved to Medford to have a more central point of distribution, to free myself from the orchard work so that I could devote my entire time to the nursery business.
    This was the start of the Eden Valley Nursery, and to use movie terms, the scene was staged in what was known at that time as Eden precinct, commonly mentioned as Eden Valley and near the Eden Valley orchard, the pioneer commercial orchard of the valley, hence the name Eden Valley Nursery.
    From 1908 to 1913 was the heavy commercial planting period, and during five of these years my sales averaged over 100,000 pieces of nursery goods a year, and of course a slump followed the boom and then came the war period with all the trimmings and now we have a bigger and better Medford, surrounded with commercial orchards in full bearing, dozens of packing houses and cold storage plants and now the fruit industry of the valley is recognized as the leading source of revenue and also furnishes the main payroll of the valley.
    I helped pick and pack the first crop from the first commercial orchard planted in the valley.
    I love my work, and it is a constant pleasure to me to watch the trees and plants grow, to plant and transplant nursery stock, and my hobby is to grow flowers and take them to the sick or shut-ins.
    I employ no agents, do no canvassing, have built up my trade from a few hundred trees to the leading nursery business in Southern Oregon on the theory that the average man appreciates a square deal and that a pleased customer will come again and bring another customer, and it takes good goods and service to please customers.
    I live here, make and spend my money here, employ local help, help pay taxes. I had $45.00 when I came here and still have the $45.00, but do not measure a man's success in life by the number of dollars he accumulates--there are other things in life much dearer to me than money.
    I helped circulate the petition that secured the first rural mail route in the valley and have taken an active interest in securing water for irrigation. I was appointed director of the Medford Irrigation District to fill a vacancy and have been twice elected to the same position.
    I claim to carry the most complete line of nursery goods in Southern Oregon and have the goods to back up the claim. I also claim to do the leading nursery business of Southern Oregon and don't think there is anyone that would challenge this claim.
    Every order that leaves the nursery has my personal attention; a strict record is kept of every sale no matter how small. I give free landscape service also. This is a local industry and I am here the year round to help my customers in any way I can. The fruits of over thirty years of experience, study and observation along the line of my chosen occupation is shared with my customers. Agents come and go, sell more or less nursery stock, are here today and gone tomorrow. No service goes with their sales, no responsibility, no support to the community, but I am not knocking. I am kept too busy with my own affairs and have no disposition to knock another man's business to build up mine. It is poor practice.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 2, 1927, page G6

    This is the 20th year as a Rogue River Valley nurseryman for N. S. Bennett of Medford.
    Mr. Bennett has earned, and is worthily entitled in every way to, the distinction he enjoys as an authority on local climate, soil and season, as relating to vigorous and successful plant life.
    For about fifteen years previous to 1908, Mr. Bennett was fifty percent orchardist, the other fifty of the percentage devoted to growing and selling trees and vines south of the city on his ranch holdings. Then removing to Medford, he engaged exclusively in the work he now represents so extensively and in which business his son, Lester, is associated with him.
    Mr. Bennett has also acquired notable prestige in later years on landscaping. He doesn't claim to be an expert landscape artist, but he knows full well what is required. His work demonstrates this, as is the fine showing ornamentally at the high school campus.
    The N. S. Bennett interests are cared for without agents. You never hear of an agent out canvassing for the Eden Valley Nursery. That is not the method employed. Both father and son sell strictly on merit of their stock, and to a degree this has won them the honor of occupying a foremost place in the nursery business in this section of the state.
    The Eden Valley Nursery is a home industry, conducted by one to whom many thanks are due for his public generosities, again and again giving of his stocks to public or semi-public interests.
    Medford citizenship appreciates this enterprise, and it enjoys a large patronage.

Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1928, page H4

    Mr. and Mrs. N. S. Bennett will have as their guest for several days their daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Carlson of Oakland, Cal. They will be accompanied by Mr. Carlson's mother when they arrive here tonight.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, July 12, 1929, page 2

    "I came to Medford 40 years ago today," said N. S. Bennett, the pioneer nurseryman, as he passed around the cigars on Main Street this morning, "and if they will let me I hope to live here 40 years more."
    "What did Medford look like on January 7, 1890? Well, it was hustling little place even then, and coming from snowbound Iowa via Idaho, we thought it looked like the Garden of Eden. It was only a little village of perhaps 1000 people, but it was lively. All the town centered around what is now the Nash Hotel, and the only buildings were east of the S.P. track. [Bennett exaggerates. By 1890 the school was standing on today's courthouse site, the city park had been laid out, and there were residences west of the tracks, as well as the Clarendon Hotel and Henry Baker's grain warehouse.] Where the Liberty Building and public library are now was only scrub oak and grass.
    "But we liked it, and here we have raised our children and hope to live many years more. Our 40th anniversary seemed worth celebrating so I am passing around the cigars. If you don't like the brand, don't blame me. I don't smoke. Blame the man who sold them to me."
    During his long residence here Mr. Bennett has been the leading valley nurseryman, has set out thousands of fruit trees, shade trees and shrubs, and has taken an active part in the many civic enterprises, having been particularly prominent in the charitable work conducted by the Medford Elks.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 7, 1930, page 2

    One of the busiest men in Medford these days is N. S. Bennett, of the Eden Valley Nursery, who has a particularly large stock of shrubs and hardy plants this fall.
    Among the numerous residence yards which Mr. Bennett has landscaped recently are those of the following: S. A. Kroschel, 520 West Fourth Street; W. W. Walker, 842 East Main Street; G. L. Drummond, Pacific Highway near Foots Creek; J. W. Young, 625 Park Street and A. P. Butler, 933 South Holly Street.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 28, 1930, page 6

    Forty-two years ago this evening, N. S. Bennett, proprietor of the Eden Valley Nursery, arrived in Medford, and from a little fruit ranch he purchased in the Eden precinct a few years later, has worked up a large business here, known as the Eden Valley Nursery.
    For two years after coming to Medford, Mr. Bennett worked at various jobs and rented a small grain ranch. Later he purchased a small fruit orchard, and 37 years ago started raising fruit trees.
    The nursery work was carried on as an avocation, he said today, and it grew to such proportions that it was necessary for him to give up the nursery or his farm. He sold that latter and moved to Medford in 1908.
    As his orchard, where his nursery business originated, was in Eden Valley, he started his business here under that name.
    Besides his sales grounds on East Main Street, Mr. Bennett has shrubbery and plants growing in a plot near the city reservoir, Portland Avenue, and North Central Avenue.
    When passing cigars around today, Mr. Bennett remarked that he had only 58 more years to remain here before he would be considered an oldtimer.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 7, 1932, page 5

Bennett Develops Leading Nursery
Business Started Over 30 Years Ago, Continues Uninterruptedly
Under the Same Ownership and Management And
Is Leading Firm of its Kind in Southern
Oregon; Supplies Many Trees for Vast
Orchards of Rogue River Valley

    Few men have served a longer term continuously in business in Medford than N. S. Bennett, owner and manager of the Eden Valley Nursery. To be exact, Bennett engaged in the nursery business on a commercial scale 31 years ago.
    Trees from the Eden Valley Nursery compose many of the large commercial pear orchards of Rogue River Valley, and shrubbery from that nursery adorns hundreds of the better homes of Medford and the valley, as well as the grounds that form the setting of many of our public buildings.
    N. S. Bennett, and the wife, who has been his constant helpmate for over 40 years, arrived in Medford January 7, 1980, coming from near Bonaparte, Iowa, where he was born December 5, 1865 and where he was reared to manhood.
    Bennett tells an interesting story of how they came to be residents of Medford. Dissatisfied with the climate in Iowa, their attention was turned to Oregon. Letters of inquiry relative to conditions in Medford and Eugene were dispatched from the Iowa home. Replies, in printed form of printed pamphlets, were received in each instance. "Eugene made a strong appeal to us," said Mr. Bennett, "but we liked the description of the possibilities for growing all kinds of fruit in the Medford area, and after carefully weighing the claims of each of the two districts, we decided on Medford."
Pioneers Were Influence
    The fact that Mrs. Bennett also had relatives in Ashland wielded an influence in the selection of their new home in Medford. Dan and Henry Chapman, uncles of Mrs. Bennett, and among the earliest, most beloved and prominent Ashland men, located there several years before the Bennetts thought of coming to Oregon. An aunt, Victoria Chapman Michaelson, also resided in Ashland.
    The pamphlet telling of Medford and Rogue River Valley was mailed to Bennett by D. T. Lawton and father, who were then in the realty business here.
Obtains First Job
    The Bennetts arrived in Medford in one of the worst snowstorms of the winter 1889-90. The train on which they made the trip out to Sacramento was blockaded several times in the trip over the Rockies and Mr. Bennett recalls that the depth of snow that covered the ground here a day or two following their arrival was deeper than has ever been recorded since.
    "I had $45 in my pocket when we arrived here," says Mr. Bennett. "I lost no time looking for work and finally obtained a job on the Dan Crane place, then owned by G. W. Howard, close to Phoenix. We moved out there, where I worked two years. The third year I rented the place and the same year purchased a 10-acre tract southwest of what is now the Col. Voorhies orchard."
Set Out Prune Orchard
    The ambition Bennett had to grow fruit, and which attracted him to Medford, continued and immediately after purchasing the 10-acre tract he set it out to fruit. He relates that prunes were predominating in the fruit industry at that time, and his young orchard was composed principally of prunes. Later he erected a dryer, which he used in drying his prunes, and later engaged in commercial drying for several of his neighbors.
    It may be interesting to many who are now engaged in the fruit business, which predominates in Rogue River Valley, to know that at the time Bennett engaged in that business, prunes were grown extensively. "They did well here," he says. "But overplanting in many districts soon paralyzed the market and gradually local orchard men turned to pears."
    The pear boom, as Bennett describes it, started in 1906-7. Gradually prune trees were pulled and replaced with pear trees.
Begins Nursery Business
    Bennett started a nursery for his own use soon after purchasing his first tract of land, and in 1902 began the business of growing trees for commercial purposes. He remains in possession of a receipt for a sum exceeding $16 which he paid to a man by the name of Carson, who was then fruit inspector for his district, for inspecting the first lot of seedlings for foundation stock for his nursery. "Carson lived in Grants Pass and charged me mileage as well as for the time that elapsed from the hour he left his home until he returned there. He rode up on the train to Medford, where he hired a livery rig and drove out to my place."
    Bennett recalls that the demand for pear and apple trees increased rapidly, which added to his ambition to develop the nursery business. While developing his own nursery he worked at odd times in the Ross nursery, east of town, where he was trained in propagating fruit trees.
Supplies Many Pear Trees
    The nursery business expanded so rapidly that in 1908 Bennett sold his 10-acre orchard, moved to Medford and began business on a more extensive scale. He enjoyed a profitable business from 1908 to 1913. During that five-year period his records show that his annual sales exceeded 100,000 pieces of nursery stock, including berry bushes and shrubs. The volume of business continued satisfactorily until the Depression struck in 1929.
    Many of the larger pear orchards of the valley are from stock supplied by the Eden Valley Nursery. The Modoc and Voorhies orchards and many others are of trees from that nursery. The last large commercial orchard set out in the valley, the Henry Cheda tract of 150 acres, planted in 1929, is of trees from the Bennett stock, the owner of which not only supplied the trees but set them out.
Likes Landscaping
    During late years Bennett has devoted more time to landscaping and to growing of shrubbery for that purpose. The work of landscaping the grounds at the First Methodist and Catholic churches and junior high school was performed by Bennett. Landscaping at the magnificent summer homes of Captain Black and Nion Tucker on [the] Rogue River and at hundreds of other homes throughout the valley is his work.
    The result is that today the Eden Valley Nursery is recognized up and down the coast as the leading industry of its kind in Southern Oregon, a recognition acquired only after many years of hard work on the part of its founder.
    "I have always operated on the theory that one satisfied customer brings another, and there have been times when I sacrificed volume to maintain quality," said Bennett in telling of the principle on which he has conducted his business.
Sunshine for Others
    Although an indefatigable worker, Bennett has devoted much time to carrying rays of happiness into the homes of others. Being one of the early members of Medford Lodge No. 1168, B.P.O.E., he was for years chairman of the sick and relief committee of that organization, in which capacity he performed with such marked distinction that in 1920 the lodge voted him a life membership.
    He remains a member of that committee, and there is scarcely a day in the year that he does not visit some person who is ill, leaving a bouquet of flowers or something that will add to the happiness of those who are shut in.
Works for Rural Route
    Bennett has also found time during his busy life to devote some of his energies to public work. During his first years here, when unimproved roads were a handicap to the development of the valley, he contributed much to their improvement. He was one of the circulators of petitions for the first rural mail route established in the valley, Route No. 1, on which Wm. Warner, present postmaster, was the first carrier.
    Bennett has the first receipt issued for a money order after the route was established and Warner was made carrier.
Highways Major Improvement
    "A bad stretch of road near my 10-acre tract all but proved a barrier in obtaining the route," recalls Bennett. "But I told the authorities if they would authorize the route I would repair the road. I procured the assistance of some of my neighbors, we hauled gravel and finally made the improvement."
    He was also a member of the first organization of fruitgrowers formed here.
    "Improved highways and our fine school systems are two of the most outstanding improvements made in the valley since I arrived here 43 years ago," says Mr. Bennett.
Recalls Town Cows
    Always interested in the growth of trees and shrubs, Bennett says he watched with growing interest the growth of the walnut trees that parallel South Central Avenue in this city and which are now from two to three feet in diameter. They were mere whips when I arrived in Medford and had guards around them to protect them from town cows, which ran at large.
    Incidentally Mr. Bennett recalls that town cows were the bane of the lives of valley farmers during the early days, and wagon boxes which they filled with hay to feed their horses while in town had to be closely guarded.
East Side a Wheat Field
    "The East Side was a wheat field when we arrived in Medford," says Mr. Bennett. There were only two houses in that part of town and a rail fence paralleled the lane that is now East Main Street.
    "One of the houses was owned by a teamster by the name of Speas. The Speas home stood near the location of the present dwelling of Dr. J. C. Hayes [at 835 East Main]. The other house, occupied by a man by the name of Russ, is now a part of the A. H. Miller home. Russ operated a small gristmill there." [The Alfred H. Miller home was at 1320 East Main; presumably the Russ house was moved from near Bear Creek to that location.]
    Like many men of his generation who have made a success of their chosen work, N. S. Bennett was handicapped by limited schooling. His education was limited to the elementary school near Bonaparte where he was born. "That I could not go on to higher institutions of learning was one of my bitter disappointments," he says. "But I was determined to acquire more education and this I have done through years of home reading and study, which I have continued up to this day."
    Scenic photographs and hunting have been among the hobbies of the subject of this sketch, and pictures taken on hunting trips of kills of deer and various outdoor scenes are among his prized possessions.
    Bennett says that much of his "limited success" is due to his helpmate, who not only gave him valuable assistance during the early years that he was developing his business but who is still a "good soldier" whenever emergency demands that she step into the breach.
    Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bennett: Mrs. Cora Carlson, Oakland, Calif., Miss Ethel of this city and Lester and Agenes, both deceased.
    Closing his interview, Mr. Bennett said: "The climatic conditions and many natural advantages that attracted me from Iowa to Rogue River Valley have never been a disappointment, and I join with thousands of others in acclaiming this a great country."
Medford News, August 25, 1933, page 1

    Nurseryman N. S. Bennett today celebrated the 46th anniversary of his coming to this section of Oregon. He observed the event with his usual custom of distributing apples among his friends.
    Mr. Bennett came from Iowa and settled in west Phoenix on January 7, 1890. In 1906 he moved to 937 North Central Avenue, Medford, where he has since resided and conducted his nursery business.
    Mr. Bennett began planting trees from seed the first autumn he was in Phoenix and has continued until now he has an extensive nursery and landscaping business. He started many of the valley's big orchards, having embarked upon his nursery business on a commercial scale in 1901. His business is known as the Eden Valley Nursery, the name of the first southern Oregon locality in which he lived.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 7, 1936, page 8

N. S. Bennett Here 47 Years
    Just 47 years ago yesterday, Mr. and Mrs. N. S. Bennett, of 937 North Central, came to the Rogue River Valley from southeast Iowa, and settled on a ranch near Phoenix.
    Yesterday, Mr. Bennett, as is his custom on the anniversary of arriving here, was distributing Delicious apples to his many friends. He was in the nursery business for many years, and knows the fruit industry here as few men know it.
    "I helped pack the first crop of commercial apples grown in the valley, " Mr. Bennett said yesterday, "on the old Joe Stewart orchard. That was the start of the industry here, and it has been interesting to watch it grow."
    When the Bennetts came here, in 1889, Medford was a thriving town, but it was all between the railroad tracks and Bear Creek, except a few buildings.
    A church stood where the California Oregon Power Company office is now; a livery stable stood about where The Medford News office is located.
    In the city park, a high water stank stood, filled with water pumped out of a well. The city was laying a 2-inch water main along Main Street, to supply the growing city with water. The park, and all that is now West Medford, was covered with chaparral.
    "I don't remember just who was mayor of Medford then," Bennett said, "but I know the J. S. Howards and the D. T. Lawtons were very active in civic affairs."
Medford News, January 8, 1936, page 1

937 North Central, Medford, Oregon

Noah S. Bennett, 74, nurseryman

U.S. Census, enumerated April 1940

    Noah S. Bennett, 75, a resident of Medford for 51 years, passed away at 5:15 a.m. today, his demise closing a long and useful life in the community.
    He came here from Lee County, Iowa, the place of his birth, in 1890 and settled on a farm southwest of Medford where he engaged in the nursery business, which he followed until his death.
    He moved to Medford in 1908 and since that time resided at 937 North Central.
    Mr. Bennett was a longtime member of the Elks lodge of Medford and held a lifetime membership.
    He leaves two daughters, Ethel Pace of Portland and Cora Carlson of Medford. Also brothers and sisters in the East.
    Funeral arrangements will be announced by Conger Funeral Parlors when completed.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 2, 1941, page 1

    Funeral services for N. S. Bennett, late of 937 North Central Street, who passed away early Wednesday morning, will be conducted by the local lodge of Elks in the Conger chapel at 2:30 Monday.
    Interment will be in Medford I.O.O.F. cemetery.

Medford Mail Tribune,
July 3, 1941, page 5

    Funeral services for N. S. Bennett, longtime Medford resident, who passed away Wednesday, will be conducted by Medford Elks lodge Monday at 2:30 p.m. in Conger funeral parlors with the Rev. Herald G. Gardner, chaplain of the lodge, officiating.
    Honorary pall bearers will be Grover C. Corum, T. E. Daniels, Earl Gaddis, John Wilkinson, Gus Newbury and H. F. Platt; active pall bearers will be George Howard, Ken Howard, E. H. Sleight, J. T. Davis, Ray Wright and Cole Holmes.
    Mr. Bennett was born December 5, 1865, in Bonaparte, Iowa, and had been a member of the Elks lodge since January 27, 1910.

Medford Mail Tribune,
July 6, 1941, page 10

    George Wesley Bennett, son of Jacob and Delia Bennett, was born near Big Mound, Van Buren county, Feb. 2, 1858. He was the eldest son of a family of nine children. He spent his entire life in this county.
    He was married to Sarah Ann Miller, Feb. 11, 1879. To this union were born four sons, Charles W. of Fairfield, George D. of Bonaparte, Minor J. of Shallow Water, Kansas and Edd J. of Milton. There were 14 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. The wife and mother passed away March 16, 1916.
    On July 26, 1917, he was married to Elizabeth Rogers.
    He made his home for many years on a farm four miles northeast of Bonaparte, until 1919, when he moved to Bonaparte, to the home where he passed away on Nov. 12, 1942, at the age of 84 years, 9 months and 10 days.
    To his friends he was always known as "Wes."
    He leaves to mourn their loss, his wife, four sons, on stepson, John Rogers, of Norfolk, Va., one stepdaughter, Mrs. William Huff, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; one brother Jacob H. of Bonaparte, three sisters, Mrs. Lydia Cooper and Mrs. Sophia Endersby of Hillsboro, and Mrs. Ada Chaney of Milton, and a host of relatives and friends. One sister, Mary Jane Brown and three brothers, Noah, Dan, and Charley, preceded him in death.
    Funeral services conducted by Rev. Walter Sieck were held from the Bonaparte Methodist church Sunday afternoon with burial in White cemetery.
    We desire to thank the relatives and friends for their many acts of kindness and expressions of sympathy in our bereavement.
Unidentified 1942 newspaper obituary, iagenweb.org

    Jacob Henry Bennett, son of Jacob and Delia Miller Bennett, was born June 30, 1868 in Harrisburg township, Van Buren Co., Iowa, and died at his home in Farmington, Iowa, at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 1954, aged 85 years, 6 months, and 14 days. He was the last one of a family of nine children.
    On Oct. 27, 1889, he was united in marriage with Etna Roberts. They went to Medford, Oregon, remaining a year, then returned to live on a farm in Harrisburg township until 1906, when they moved to Bonaparte, where Mrs. Bennett passed away Feb. 22, 1936.
    To this union were born two children, Howard H. Bennett of Keokuk and Mrs. Lulu Pfeifer of Bonaparte.
    On Nov. 4, 1945 he was united in marriage with Mrs. Stella Woods and they made their home in Farmington.
    Left to mourn their loss are Mrs. Bennett; his two children; six grand children, Robert, Alan, and Dennis Bennett, Scott and Gene Pfeifer and Mrs. Ruth Kennedy; three great grand-children, Cassandra Bennett and Karl and Karen Kennedy; a number of nieces and nephews and many friends.
    He was preceded in death by his parents, four sisters, four brothers, his first wife, and a grandson.
    While a young man he joined the Harrisburg Baptist Church.
    For many years, in addition to their farm work, he and a brother-in-law operated an old-time threshing machine and a woodsaw. Mr. Bennett was also a skilled carpenter and made many pieces of beautiful furniture.
    He was always willing to help those in need and his kindness and thoughtfulness of others endeared him to relatives and friends alike.
    Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Bonaparte Baptist Church with the Rev. Jerry Beltz officiating. Music was by Mr. and Mrs. Keith Gaston. Bearers were James Smith, Robert Winslow, Keith Fletcher, Arthur McCracken, Ralph Schrepfer and Douglas Hamlin. Burial was in Bonaparte cemetery.
Unidentified 1954 newspaper obituary, findagrave.com

Last revised September 17, 2023