The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Medford's Depots

    The railroad depot platform at Medford has been lowered to accommodate the Southern Pacific cars.
"News of the Northwest: Oregon," Oregonian, Portland, November 26, 1887, page 6

    The O.&C. Co. are making arrangements to put in an engine at the water tank near the depot for the purpose of pumping water. The wind does not blow enough to operate a mill during the summer.
"Notes from Medford," Oregonian, Portland, February 9, 1888, page 3

    C. K. Fronk, who has so efficiently managed the railroad office at Medford almost since it was opened, was transferred to Albany last week, succeeding W. L. Jester. He made many friends while here, and all regret to see him and his estimable family leave our midst. W. V. Lippincott, late of Myrtle Creek, will have charge of this office and will no doubt give satisfaction.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 2, 1891, page 2

    W. V. Lippincott, who has taken charge of the Medford railroad station, vice C. K. Fronk, made us a pleasant call one day recently. He has been in the railroad company's employ a long time and understands his business thoroughly.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 2, 1891, page 3

1884 Depot
Medford's first depot, built spring 1884 in the middle of Main Street.

    James Chamberlain of Roseburg is the new operator who succeeds Mr. Beek at the depot."
Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 24, 1893, page 3

    A new foundation has been put under the railroad water tank at this place.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 16, 1893, page 2

    Mr. Hudson is assisting Mr. Lippincott at the depot, succeeding Mr. Chamberlain, who has returned to Roseburg.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 28, 1893, page 2

    A force of railroad carpenters have been making repairs and improvements to our depot during the week.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 1, 1894, page 2

    Foreman Kuckartz is here with his depot repair gang and is making some needed improvements about the S.P. station house.

"All the Local News," Medford Mail, February 2, 1894, page 3

Medford Depot 1886-88
Medford's first depot, 1886-88.

    J. W. Hockersmith has secured about 300 signers to a petition to the S.P. Co. to remove the stockyards at Medford from their present location to a point further north, near the distillery [at Jackson Street]. The object of the change is to do away with the necessity of driving stock through some of the principal streets of the town to reach the yards, which is always attended with more or less danger and inconvenience.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 2, 1894, page 2

     That the Southern Pacific Company is making a mistake in putting their stock yards so near the center of the city.
"We Hear It Said," Medford Mail, June 15, 1894, page 2

    The Southern Pacific has men at work this week building new stock yards. The location for the new yards is on the west side of the track and directly west from the company's water tank. There will be two enclosures, 44x48 in size. In these will be built water troughs, and water pipes will be laid thereto from the tank, thus giving the convenience of watering stock without taking them from the yards.

"News of the City," Medford Mail, June 15, 1894, page 3

    Section Foreman Kelley has his crew at work this week clearing the mud away from the street crossing south of the depot and raising and ballasting the sidetrack--all of which is an improvement. Now if Joe will hitch his little army of sturdy laborers to the gable end of that depot and jerk it out of the street, and so disable it as to compel the S.P. folks to build a new and larger one, we Medford people will see to it that he is made king of this whole domain.
Medford Mail, February 12, 1897, page 7

    The S.P. Co. has made some needed improvements around the depot, filling in the crossings with stone and gravel.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 17, 1898, page 3

    The old board platform in front of the S.P. depot has been torn away, and the ground has been treated to a liberal coat of decomposed gravel. The pond of water under the building was a menace to the health of the community for some time.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 27, 1898, page 3

    On account of the increased business caused by the new passenger train service on the S.P., it has been found necessary to increase the force at the depot.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 23, 1899, page 2

The New Depot.
    The rumors which have been afloat for some time of a new depot to be built at this place by the S.P. Co. is now taking tangible form and is a certainty. The building will be 170 feet long by 26 feet wide. It will be located on the south of 7th Street, west and across the street from the Hotel Nash. The waiting rooms will be large and commodious, facing on 7th Street. This when completed will be one of the finest depots on the line. The old depot, now standing on the middle of the street and which has been such an eyesore to the town on account of its location, will probably be taken to Talent.
Southern Oregon Eye, Medford, October 26, 1899, page 3

    Al Kuckartz, who will superintend the building of the new S.P. depot at this place, was in town Saturday looking over the ground and making calculations as to where the building is to stand. Mr. Kuckartz informs us that work will probably begin on the new structure in four or five weeks if the weather permits.
"Local Brevity,"
Southern Oregon Eye, Medford, October 26, 1899, page 3

    There is every probability that we will have a fine, new railroad depot in the near future. The S.P. Co.'s superintendent of depot construction was in Medford lately, looking over the ground.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 2, 1899, page 3

    Work on the new depot has commenced, a number of carloads of material for it having arrived last week. Its location is not a sightly one, by any means.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 4, 1900, page 3

    Four carloads of material for the new depot were switched onto the new siding Christmas Day, says the Medford Eye.

The Daily Journal, Salem, January 5, 1900, page 3

    Our new depot is looming up, and will be one of the handsomest and most convenient on the S.P. Co.'s lines.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 11, 1900, page 3

    The Southern Pacific carpenter crew will leave Medford this week, having finished the new depot. They expect to be sent to Gold Hill, where an extension will be built to the depot. As soon as the painters are through with the new depot here Agent Lippincott will move into the same, and the carpenters will at once commence the work of removing the old building. It is expected it will be moved to Talent, at which place the company has no depot.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 2, 1900, page 7

    The new depot is nearing completion and only awaits the painters now.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 5, 1900, page 3

    Now that the Southern Pacific Company has built us a fine large depot, for which our people are truly grateful, if they will get in and fix up a park to the north of Seventh Street, we will be full to overflowing with gratitude. An opportunity is here offered for the company to make a beauty spot that will be an ornament to the town. A well-kept lawn dotted with shade trees and flower beds would be attractive to the traveling public and in many instances a feast for their eyes, and besides this our townspeople would appreciate fully the company's efforts to make our town attractive.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 9, 1900, page 7

    The S.P. depot caught fire Wednesday from the flue and was in considerable danger for a short time. The prompt arrival of the fire company and good work on their part prevented what might have been a dangerous conflagration. The timely discovery of the fire by conductor Neil of the R.R.V.R.R. had much to do with the fortunate result.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 15, 1900, page 3

    A fire alarm was turned in Wednesday, and very soon the fire boys were making a swift run for the scene of conflagration. It proved to be on the old depot of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, a spark from the Medford-Jacksonville shortline engine having ignited the roof of the depot. Water was soon turned on, and the fire was put out before any great damage was done. Had the fire gotten a little headway the depot could not have been saved, as there was a stiff breeze blowing at the time and the roof was very dry. A hole as large as a man's body was burned in the roof, and water from the hose soaked things pretty badly on the inside.
    Western Union telegraph men have been at work this week moving telegraph poles several feet farther back from the Southern Pacific track. This work will be in extent between Medford and Talent, and is made necessary by the contemplated moving of the old depot from this place to Talent, which will soon be done. The building will be placed on flatcars and moved intact. The telegraph poles were too close to the track to permit of the building passing them. While these linemen are here the wires will be shifted from the old to the new depot.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 16, 1900, page 7

    W. J. Mahoney returned from Oakland last week and is now at his old post, that of night man at the depot. G. F. King, who was on duty during Mr. Mahoney's absence, left Saturday for Mott, Calif.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, March 30, 1900, page 6

    W. V. Lippincott:--"We will move into the new depot on Saturday, April 7th. Friday night the building will be lighted throughout, and anyone wishing to go through the building and see what it is like on the inside are at liberty to do so; in fact I would like to have them do so. The company has put up a first-class, modern depot building, and I would like to have the people see for themselves that this is true."
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 6, 1900, page 7
The new Southern Pacific depot, April 8, 1900 Oregonian
April 8, 1900 Oregonian

    The new S.P. depot at Medford was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies on Saturday last. The citizens of the town presented agent Lippincott with an elaborate office chair, which he doubtless appreciated, and treated him to a ride on the shoulders of some of their strong men from the old depot to the new, which last part of the program was carried through without any spill, much to his relief.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 12, 1900, page 2

    Last Saturday was quite an auspicious day for Medford. Aside from the creamery meeting there was the moving into the new Southern Pacific depot--and of special mention was the moving of Agent W. V. Lippincott in a new easy chair from the old to the new building. For several days prior to the event townsman R. H. Whitehead was noiselessly moving among the business men of the town and from them accepting a willing and very generous donation of money for the purpose of an elegant easy office chair for Mr. Lippincott. His scheme worked out splendidly, and two o'clock last Saturday was the hour agreed upon for the presentation. A little before that hour [the] Hotel Nash corner was filled with townspeople, and at a given signal the crowd proceeded to the old depot with the new chair. The chair was taken inside and Mr. Lippincott, who was wholly in ignorance of the intended procedure, was taken up bodily and placed in the chair, when an half dozen or more citizens gathered up the chair with Mr. L. in it, and raising it high in air proceeded to the office of the new depot, where the chair was presented to Mr. Lippincott by Mr. Whitehead with the compliments of the citizens of Medford, who had taken this method of expressing heir esteem for him as the proficient and always obliging agent of the S.P. Company and of the respect they bore him as a citizen. To this Mr. Lippincott replied that he felt grateful for the expression of good will and if he had really merited such esteem in the past he hoped that his conduct might be such in the future as to continue that confidence and good feeling. Capt. Nash was on deck with his Kodak and secured a good picture of the procession as it crossed the railroad track.
    It is not expected that the old Southern Pacific depot will be removed for ten days or two weeks yet, as there is a good bit of work to be done in filling around the new building before freight can be handled through it. The Mail, however, hopes the company will not forget that our happiness is still incomplete--and will be until the old building is removed.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 13, 1900, page 7

    Every citizen of this man's town is throwing bouquets at the Southern Pacific Railroad Company for having built that large, convenient and handsome depot, but if the company will put a clock in the waiting room the shower of bouquets will continue.

"Additional Local Items," Medford Mail, April 27, 1900, page 3

    The Southern Pacific Railroad Company has contracted with Jacksonville parties for the delivery of 1500 cords of fir wood at Medford. The company will establish a wood yard here and will put down a spur track leading thereto. The securing of wood by the company is becoming a problem which is difficult to solve. Not many more years will come and go before the coal mines of Southern Oregon will be opened up and locomotive fuel secured therefrom.
    A new cattle chute has been put in at the Medford cattle yards, the same being for use in loading hogs and sheep onto the second deck of cars when shipments of stock are being made and a double deck is necessary.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 4, 1900, page 7

    Rails are here for the construction of a temporary track to the old depot--for the purpose of removing that structure. The depot will be raised high enough to permit of laying a track under it and to admit of flatcars running under. The building will then be lowered onto the cars and taken to Talent, where it will be placed in position for a station house.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 25, 1900, page 7

Moving Medford's original depot, 1900.
Moving Medford's original depot, 1900.

    The old Southern Pacific depot at this place is now only a memory. It was placed on three flatcars Sunday and Monday, and yesterday it was taken to Talent, where it will resume its work as a station house. The building was raised bodily from the ground by means of jackscrews, and when high enough to permit a flatcar to pass under it a track was laid from the west siding and under it, and then the cars were run under and the building lowered onto them and the structure was started Talentward. The improvement which its removal makes in the appearance of our principal street is decidedly noticeable, and many are the comments passed upon the general improved appearance of the town.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 15, 1900, page 7

    The S.P. Co. has completed the new siding at Talent, and that town will soon have complete station facilities. The old Medford depot has been moved there. M. W. Dunham will act as agent.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 18, 1900, page

1900 Depot, 1901
Medford's second depot, built in 1900.
1900 Depot, 1902

    Talent's new depot will soon be finished, and will be a credit to that flourishing village.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 16, 1900, page 3

    There is a great need of a street crossing on the railroad grounds, across Seventh Street, near the depot. More people cross Seventh Street at this point than at any other, or at least, more people would cross there if a crossing was put in. Many of these people are strangers in our town, moving between the two depots, and when compelled to walk in mud ankle deep the impression formed of our town is not a very exalted one.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, January 25, 1901, page 7   Apparently there was briefly a freight depot on North Front.

    Several changes in the office force at the S.P. depot have taken place this week. H. Brodie, who has been acting as night operator for several months, has been transferred to McMinnville, and left for that place Thursday morning. W. J. Mahoney, former day operator, has been assigned to the position of night man, and L. F. Knowlton, of Junction City, arrived here Wednesday and has succeeded Mr. Mahoney as day operator. Mr. Knowlton entered upon his duties Thursday morning. He is a gentleman of very pleasing appearance and will no doubt give entire satisfaction to the traveling public.

"Additional Local," Medford Mail, April 26, 1901, page 6

    Our old friend and knight of the key Luke Knowlton arrived Wednesday from Junction City and is now installed as day operator at the depot. H. Brodie, who has been for some time night operator, goes to McMinnville, while Walla Mahoney, who has been for several months day operator, takes his old position as night operator.
Medford Enquirer, April 27, 1901, page 5

    L. F. Knowlton arrived from Junction City lately, and has assumed a position at the depot. He comes highly recommended.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 2, 1901, page 7

    A Southern Pacific carpenter crew was in Medford last week for the purpose of installing their meter, as per contract with the city council. The company is now using city water, after an experience of several months in supplying their own water from a well near the water tank--an experiment that proved not altogether successful.

"Additional Local," Medford Mail, June 14, 1901, page 6

    W. J. Mahoney, night operator at the Southern Pacific station in this city, has taken a month's layoff and will leave this week for a visit with friends in Washington. Lee Minkler, of Ashland, is attending to the duties of night operator during his absence.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 5, 1901, page 6

    W. J. Mahoney returned to Medford Thursday morning, having been called back from his visit in order to relieve agent Lippincott, who expects to leave today for Los Angeles to look after the affairs of his father, whose death occurred at that place last Sunday.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 12, 1901, page 6

    Wallace Woods unloaded four carloads of lumber this week. The same day these were received two carloads of wheat and one of ice were sent out--showing that business continues good at the Southern Pacific depot. The amount of local freight received at this station is very large, it being one from one to four carloads daily.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 19, 1901, page 7

    Few people realize the amount of business there is done at the Southern Pacific depot in Medford. Station agent Lippincott has been at work for the past few weeks making a tabulated report to the company of the volume of business done by the company in Medford for a period of twelve months. The work has required no end of patience and perseverance, but there are few men who can go through a set of books with more speed and accuracy than can Mr. Lippincott, hence it is a source of much satisfaction to give to the public any facts which he may give out, knowing as we do that not a figure lies.
    If we were to tell you that for every working day during the past twelve months there has been very nearly three carloads of freight loaded or unloaded at the Medford depot you would hardly believe it, but such is the case, as is proven by Mr. Lippincott's figures.
    The total number of carloads dispatched during twelve months, commencing July 1, 1900, and ending June 30, 1901, was 486; of this number 437 were in carload lots, the remaining 49 carloads being shipments made in lesser amounts than carloads. During this same length of time there were received 338 carloads, of which 217 were in carloads and 121 in less amounts than carloads. The total weight shipped out was 12,942,535 pounds; the total weight received was 9,577,465 pounds, a total of 824 carloads or 22,520,000 pounds. This amount of freight if loaded on freight cars and standing in a line would cover a distance of very nearly six miles. Following is a tabulated report of the freight handled, showing the number of carloads and the kind of freight:
KIND                                   NO. OF CARS
Apples  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   45
Pears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     6
Dried prunes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   11
Barley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     4
Wheat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
Flour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   25
Feed  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   14
Hay  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   14
Cattle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   56
Hogs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   81
Horses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     4
Lumber  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   42
Ice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     3
Rough stone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
Dressed stone  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
Concentrates  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
Junk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
Empty beer kegs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
Empty beer bottles. . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
Emigrant movables. . . . . . . . . . . . . .     4
Local, in less than carloads  . . . . . . .   49
Total  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 486
KIND                                      NO. OF CARS
Agricultural implements . . . . . . . . .   10
Sewer pipes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
Wheat  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     2
Hogs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     2
Box stuff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   12
Lath . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     3
Lumber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   95
Shingles  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     6
Wood  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   26
Beer  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   13
Cement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     3
Coal  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
Coal oil   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   10
Immigrant movables  . . . . . . . . . . . .     4
Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
Grain bags . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
Ice  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     3
Junk  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
Packing house produce. . . . . . . . . . .     3
Fruit paper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
Salt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   11
Stoves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     3
Sulfur  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     3
Rough stone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     1
Sugar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   12
Merchandise in less than carloads . . 121
Total  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 338
Medford Mail, August 16, 1901, page 2

    L. F. Knowlton, day operator at the Southern Pacific depot in this city, is visiting relatives in the Willamette Valley. His place here is being filled by E. A. Neal.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, August 16, 1901, page 6

    Operator Knowlton returned to Medford Saturday from his outing at Newport and is now at his post at the Southern Pacific depot in this city.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, September 6, 1901, page 6

    The Southern Pacific Railroad Company has placed a rain gauge near the depot, and each day when rain has fallen a record will be made of the amount. All stations on the line are provided with similar gauges.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, September 13, 1901, page 6

    Joe Parker, baggage man and freight agent for the Southern Pacific Company, is at Portland this week having a good time at the carnival and taking a well-earned rest. Otis Hubbard is "doing business" in Joe's several capacities at the depot--and doing it right--and satisfactorily.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, September 27, 1901, page 6

    Some means ought to be adopted, either by the city or the railroad company, to do away with the necessity of incoming passengers from the southbound trains being obliged to step off the cars into the mud of the street crossing near the depot. The train stops, almost invariably, at a point where passengers alighting from the car or in getting aboard are compelled to wade in mud for about two rods. This could be obviated by putting down a plank crossing between the main line and the east side track, or the train could be pulled a car length further south before the stop is made. This mud is not only deucedly unpleasant to walk in but it tends not to the good of our town in the minds of strangers who visit us.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 4, 1901, page 7

    Monday was a busy day with the Southern Pacific band of workers at the depot in Medford. The amount of merchandise and groceries received was 110,000 pounds. all this had to be taken from the cars, each individual box or bundle weighed, checked on way bills and delivered to the draymen. Aside from this incoming freight there were shipped out two carloads of pears, one of dried prunes and one of feed.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 25, 1901, page 7

    J. A. Perry, proprietor of the Independent Warehouse, and G. T. Faucett, agent for the Wells, Fargo & Co.'s Express, chipped in last week and had Street Commissioner Brandenburg put down a crosswalk from their places of business across Seventh Street. We will now have one crosswalk which passengers and townspeople can cross upon from the depot to the express office and the Jacksonville trains without getting ankle deep in mud. It's a commendable piece of enterprise, and the Mail scribe feels like throwing a bouquet every time he happens that way. Someone wanted to know if these gentlemen intended keeping the mud cleaned from the aforesaid mentioned walk. Their intentions are strictly in line with that sort of procedure, but suppose they don't, the people of Medford are nothing out. Didn't think about that, did you? Those depot crossings are an insult to common decency, but there seems no way of bettering them, inasmuch as the railroad company will not plank, and we understand will not permit the city council to do so. A few feet of planking between the tracks, and this kept clean of mud, would be an improvement very much appreciated by passengers and townspeople.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 13, 1901, page 7

    The Southern Pacific railroad company this week has been making some improvements in its yard facilities in Medford. What is known as the oil spur has been a source of considerable annoyance to trainmen on account of the heavy curve on which it leaves the main sidetrack, making it hard to get in and out. This spur has been lengthened, so as to connect with the sidetrack farther along and consequently straightened. This will not only save wear and tear on trainmen's tempers, but prove a source of satisfaction to fruit men next season, as quite a bit of the unloading of fruit cars is done on this spur during the season.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, January 17, 1902, page 7

    A gang of railroad carpenters is at work putting new timbers under the company's water tank at this place.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 14, 1902, page 7

   A special train went over the road last Friday bearing R. Koehler, manager, L.A. Fields, superintendent, T. W. Younger, master mechanic, and G. W. Donnell, road master, of the Oregon system, who were on a tour of inspection of their roads. During their stop in Medford Supt. Fields after an examination of the great amount of work to be handled in the Medford office authorized agent W. V. Lippincott to employ additional help for his office. In compliance with this order Mr. Lippincott promoted J. J. Parker from warehouseman to that of freight clerk in his office, and has given the position of warehouseman to Otis A. Hubbard, who has heretofore been extra man in the freight department. Both Mr. Parker and Mr. Hubbard are industrious young men and well liked by the patrons of the Southern Pacific, and their promotion is an honor that their efforts well merit. Medford has the credit of being the heaviest shipping point on the Southern Pacific in Southern Oregon, and agent Lippincott and his efficient force have had, at times, to do some lively hustling to handle the business, but they have always been equal to the occasion and the public has never been put to an inconvenience. But so fast has the company's business in the Medford office increased during the past year, with a greater increase sure to come before this year is at an end, that more office help was an imperative necessity, and Mr. Fields showed his just appreciation of Medford as one of his company's best shipping points by increasing the local office force to keep pace with the growth of this business, that the patrons of the road may have as efficient service in the Medford office as they have had in the past.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 18, 1902, page 7

    J. J. Parker, who has been in the employ of the railroad company for a number of years, was lately appointed freight clerk at the Medford depot. It was a well-deserved promotion, for Joe has always been energetic and accommodating. Otis Hubbard succeeds him as warehouseman, a position he is well qualified to fill.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville,
July 23, 1902, page 6

    Arrangements have been perfected whereby Medford becomes a distributing depot for refrigerator fruit cars, to all points on this division, including Ashland and Grants Pass. Some fifty or more of these cars have already been ordered sent here for distribution--the greater number of them, however, will be loaded at this point. This first order is only for the Bartlett pear and peach shipments. A much greater number of cars will, of course, be needed later for the apple crop. This arrangement will be quite a convenience to the fruit growers of the valley as the cars can be had upon short notice at other valley points, and our growers here will always have a reserve to draw from. These cars will all be iced here as fast as orders are placed for them. From one to two tons of ice is required to ice one car.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 1, 1902, page 7

    A Subscriber:--"Tell me, will you please, why the Southern Pacific Company took that sign 'Medford' from the front side of the depot and placed it at the end. True it is that there is one of these signs at each end of the depot and passengers may know the name of our city if they look, but few of them look that way. I want you to notice the number of passengers who look up where the sign used to be when the trains pulled out. Every dashed stranger on the depot side of the train will do it. You watch 'em sometime."

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 8, 1902, page 7

Grants Pass telegraph station, circa 1913-18
The telegraph office in the Grants Pass depot, circa 1913-18

    Robt. Ormsby, the clever telegraph operator, is again in charge of the night business at the Medford depot, having returned from his trip to Portland recently.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 21, 1902, page 5

To Pension Old Employees.
    The Mail is informed on good authority that Mr. Harriman, manager of the western lines, is just now considering a proposition much in vogue with eastern railroads, namely the pensioning off of veteran employees who have turned gray in their service. This would mean that the grizzled employees, whether at the throttle or poring over the agent's desk or conducting a train, will on reaching the age of 60 years after long and faithful service be placed on the retired list and draw half pay for the remainder of his days. On many of the eastern roads this plan has been in vogue for many years.
    This brings to mind the fact that Medford has a veteran employee of the Southern Pacific in the person of W. V. Lippincott, who has been in the employ of the Southern Pacific Co. for twenty-three years. While he is not now within reach of the sixty-year retiring limit by ten years it is not improbable that he will reach the sixty-year mark--and still be in the employ of the company and entitled to honorable retirement on the half-pay basis. Mr. Lippincott has served as agent in Medford for eleven years. When he was first assigned to his position here himself and one assistant did all the work required of them and had time to go fishing nights and Sundays. Now there are five employees at the depot, and they are all working overtime.
    The business of the railroad company at this place has increased from that of a small unimportant station to that of a place with city pretensions--and the business is still growing. The next eleven years will show a far greater increase in all business of the city than the past eleven have. There is no questioning Medford's importance as a commercial city--it is of no small importance now, and each twelve months marks an increase in the volume of business transactions. The die has been cast--and Medford is the star business center of the great Rogue River Valley.
Medford Mail, August 29, 1902, page 2

    From the first of September to the fifteenth of the same month, 22 full carloads of freight were received and unloaded at the Medford depot. This amount together with the local fright received, in less than car lots, makes a grand aggregate of 935,000 pounds. If there is another station in Southern Oregon that can beat this record for fifteen days we would like to hear that station get in and howl a little.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 19, 1902, page 7

    Medford station is getting right in line as a shipping point, and the volume of freight business is increasing every month and is probably larger than that of any town of its size in Oregon. During the month of September there were approximately 765,600 pounds of local freight shipped from this station and 92,000 pounds of foreign freight. From now until the apple crop is marketed the tonnage shipped will continue to increase.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 3, 1902, page 7

    There has been a change in the force employed at the Medford railroad depot. R. E. Ormsby, the night operator, has been succeeded by Mr. Cooley, who was at Siskiyou station for some time.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 10, 1902, page 4

    C. W. Cady arrived from the Willamette Sunday night and took the position of night operator at the depot. Mr. Ormsby, who formerly held that position here, left for Portland, where he takes a similar place with the railroad. Mr. Cady was accompanied by his wife and will go to housekeeping as soon as suitable quarters can be found.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, December 12, 1902, page 6

    Mr. Whelburn, late of Drain, is new night operator at the Medford depot.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 14, 1903, page 4

Almost a Conflagration.
    The S.P. Co.'s depot had a narrow escape from destruction Friday morning. Only the timely arrival of Ranse Rouse and J. W. Marshall, porter of Hotel Nash, prevented a conflagration which might have resulted seriously to Medford.
    It seems that the night operator had gone to the post office with the mail which arrived by railroad during the night, and left one sack behind. Mr. Lippincott, the agent, followed him to complete the delivery of the mail, leaving a coal oil lamp burning. During their absence an explosion must have occurred, setting fire to the desk on which the lamp stood and the papers it contained.
    The blaze was first discovered by Mr. Rouse, who gave the alarm. Mr. Marshall, who immediately responded, by the application of some water that was near at hand and the use of an old garment, soon had the flames under control. The alarm of fire which was turned in brought both hose companies to the scene promptly, but their services were not required.
    The damage done was small, although some important papers were destroyed.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 11, 1903, page 2

    Mail Office Devil:--"'Say, I'm goin' to be good, from this on. I was a-chasin' around over at the S.P. depot the other night, when the train came in late, and I tell you it was fierce. I turned the corner of the depot just as No. 16 pulled in, and honest, it was as dark as a stack of black cats. Yes, the lights wuz a-burnin', but, shucks, two little lamps ain't goin' to light that platform, especially when there's a whole lot o' people buttin' around on it. I got in a mixup. There wuz me an' some other fellers in a bunch, and one feller he wuz comin' down one side with the wagon, and another feller, he wuz a-rattlin' along on the other side with a truckload of drummer's trunks 'steen feet high. Besides that der wuz brakies a-flashin' der lanterns around an' fellers a-gittin' off de train, an' all in darkness. If it had been daylight it wouldn't been so bad, but a feller couldn't see which way to go. I got out [of] the wreck finally, but the first ting I did was to butt into a 250-pound drummer, who was carryin' a big grip. That grip struck me 'bout midships, and, say I wuz paralyzed for a minute. I thought that merchant what made de spiel here a week or so ago 'bout the Southern Pacific not a-lightin' its depot was a-talkin' through his millinery, but now I know he wuz dead right. This yer man's town ships more freight dan a whole lots of places what looks bigger on de map an' de census reports, and Mister Harriman could light that depot wid 'lectricity for what he pays for oil to fill lamps, that, when dey is burnin' good, a feller has to strike a match to help 'em out, so's he can see what time it is."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, December 4, 1903, page 1

    The Southern Pacific depot will soon be lighted by electric lights. Fifteen lights will be placed in the office, warehouse, waiting rooms and upon the platform. Four lights will be upon the platform and one on the semaphore. The Mail is not certain that it had anything to do with this, but this paper has been hammering away at intervals on the proposition, ever since our "devil" crippled himself by colliding with a truckload of trunks over a year ago. Anyway we don't care what caused the lights to be put there, just so they are there.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 10, 1905, page 5

    A traveling man--"Do you know, that I know, that Medford people are making a mistake in permitting the sale of an inferior quality of apples to passengers at the depot. I went through your town a few days ago, and the apples the boys were selling were not good ones. I saw a passenger buy some of these apples, take a bite out of one and throw the remainder of the apple at the boy who sold it to him. That wasn't a good advertisement for your great fruit country. While I admire the boys' hustling propensities, still I believe they ought to sell the very best there is to be had. Some of these apples were Ben Davis, which are not by any means Rogue River Valley's pride, and hardly palatable this early in the season. Then I saw some of the apples had scale on them--that is not good for the country, either. I believe your townspeople ought to keep an eye on this matter, and while nothing should be done to discourage the boys in the method they have adopted to earn a little money, it should be insisted upon that they sell only good, clean fruit."
"Things Told on the Street," Medford Mail, November 29, 1907, page 1

    Some few months ago the ladies of the Greater Medford Club asked permission from the Southern Pacific Railroad Company to park that portion of the railroad grounds on the east side of the track and extending from the exhibit building north to the section house. Yesterday this permission was granted the ladies, and as soon as possible they will commence the work. Plans are not as yet made as to a completion of the work, or even a definite outline drawn, but this will at once be taken up and a landscape artist put to work preparing the plans.
Medford Mail, May 21, 1909, page 5

Medford Depot March 31, 1910 Oregonian
March 31, 1910 Oregonian

    The Southern Pacific Company has contracted for 17,000 cubic yards of earth with which to make the fill about the new depot. The earth is to come from the excavation for Howard Bros.' building and the Hotel Medford.
"Social and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, July 11, 1910, page 5

    The Southern Pacific Company is reflooring its freight depot and baggage room. By the time this flooring is worn so badly as to require another new one, the freight business will have grown to an extent which will require a much larger depot. In fact, the depot is now crowded beyond its capacity. This fact is also true as applies to baggage room, and if baggageman Carder wasn't the husky fellow he is and capable of piling baggage four deep he would not now have nearly room enough. The office room is also by far too small.
    Then, again, there is all kinds of a need for at least a freight depot separate and apart from the passenger depot, and if the Southern Pacific will give us but one crossing in eight blocks they surely ought to take at least their freight business away from that crossing.
Medford Mail, July 16, 1909, page 4

McKeen Car at the Talent Depot, circa 1910
A McKeen car at Medford's 1884 depot--in Talent--circa 1910

Crew Here to Work on Depot
Contractor Bigham Arrives from Portland with Twelve Bricklayers
and Walls Will Go Up Quickly.

    Contractor Bigham, who is building the new $50,000 depot in this city, arrived Friday morning from Portland with a crew of 12 bricklayers, who will start erecting the walls at once.
    The foundation of the depot has been completed, and the walls will not be long in going up.
    The Oregon Granite Company has a large crew of men at work getting out the granite for the building, all of which is to be carved and promises to give a rich effect to the building.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 5, 1910, page 1

Lumber Contract Secured.
    MEDFORD, Or., April 27.--(Special.)--The contract for 150,000 feet of lumber to be used on the construction of the Medford and Grants Pass Southern Pacific depots was secured by the Woods Lumber Company of Medford.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 28, 1910, page 6

    Workmen are engaged at present in completing the interior of the Southern Pacific depot in this city, and if nothing arises to delay the work the depot will be occupied by September 1. As soon as the office can be utilized and the present quarters vacated the building which has long been in service on Main Street will be moved two blocks south, remodeled and enlarged and occupied as a freight depot. The tracks are then to be stubbed and the right of way parked.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 17, 1910, page 1

    When the new passenger depot in this city, now being finished by the Southern Pacific company, is completed, General Manager P. J. O'Brien of the company's lines in Oregon will visit this city and will formally present the depot to the city. Mayor Canon will be the recipient on behalf of the city.
    The depot is the largest and finest in the state, outside of Portland, the company by its erection showing its faith in this city.
    Additional men are to be placed at work in the local depot on Monday, and this will give Medford the largest staff of any depot in Oregon, outside of Portland. Medford's freight and passenger business amply justifies the erection of a new depot of the proportions of the one nearly completed.
Medford Mail Tribune weekly, August 4, 1910, page 2

Ladies of Greater Medford Club Will Take Active Part in Adoption of Plan for Beautifying Depot Grounds.
    Medford is to have its new depot dedicated October 13, when all of the state officials will be present. Assistant Manager Boschke of the O.R.&N., accompanied by landscape architect Chase, spent Thursday in Medford inspecting the depot grounds. By invitation of station agent Rosenbaum, a committee of the Greater Medford Club met the gentlemen and offered the assistance of the club in helping to beautify the grounds. The ladies were shown over the depot, which is one of the finest and largest in the state. It is finished in beautifully polished fir, and the color scheme is most harmonious, soft shades of brown being used. The depot is well arranged and commodious, and will be a great credit to Medford.
    A general plan has been made for the grounds, but a more comprehensive one will be finished by the time of the opening of the depot.
    The ground between the new depot and the Exhibit Building is to be parked, allowing for a driveway for teams and autos. Rose hedges and shrubs will border the parking. Between the depot and the Wells Fargo building there will be a gross [sic] of beds of flowers. Later on it is expected that the strip of sand running between the present site of the depot and the site it will occupy will be parked and ornamental trees and shrubs put in, making a park three blocks in length. The plans are very good, and when finished will make Medford the most attractive depot in the West.
    Mr. Boschke is very much interested in Medford and says that this is the first depot he has had enough interest in to inspect before it was finished.
    Mr. Chase, the landscape architect, is very much pleased with the location of the grounds and thinks it can be made most attractive. The committee were invited to meet with the officials when they come here for the opening of the depot October 15, and arrangements can then be made as to how much the ladies will do to help in the beautifying of the grounds, as Mr. Boschke said he had no authority to make any proposition to the club.
    The Greater Medford Club is very much interested in the beautifying of the grounds and will do all they can to assist in putting it through. As it will be a great addition to Medford and attract a great deal of attention from the traveling public, the cooperation of the entire club is needed on this and the many other improvements the club wants to make this year, and it is to be hoped all the members will assist. The club is simply a civic improvement club, interested in the progress of Medford and in doing all possible to help in that way.
    The membership of the club is not as large as it should be, and so many new people have been coming in that it has been impossible to keep in touch with them all. To interest the newcomers in the club and its work, a reception will be held in the clubrooms at the Natatorium Monday afternoon, October 17, when the ladies are all invited to attend. Each club member is expected to come and bring five guests. There will be a fine musical program and refreshments, and the older residents of Medford will have a chance to become acquainted with the new arrivals.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 10, 1910, page 3

    E. A. Hicks of the Oregon Granite Company has a large force of men at work in the new Southern Pacific depot, rushing the installation of the marble base about the foot of the panels in the waiting rooms so that the building will be in readiness for the dedication on next Tuesday, when all of the chief officers of the Oregon lines will be present. It was due to delay in the arrival of this marble, which was especially ordered direct from quarries in Tennessee, that the building was not completed during this past week. Mr. Hicks has placed a night and day shift on the work and will keep a crew busy today in order that it may be completed by Tuesday. Practically every other detail has been completed within the building, and a liberal amount of decomposed granite has been placed in the yard surrounding the building, which will be later supplanted with concrete, which cannot be laid until the earth has had a chance to settle.
Medford Mail Tribune weekly, October 16, 1910, page 1

Kindly Feelings Expressed by Officials of Medford and
By the Officials of the Southern Pacific at Opening of New Depot.

    "The Southern Pacific Company lines in Oregon formally dedicates its new passenger depot to the people of Medford and vicinity, Tuesday, October 18, 1910, not only in recognition of their substantial growth and commercial importance, but in celebration of Medford's admission into the ranks of cities having a population of 10,000 or more."
    These words, which appear in the dedication souvenir issued by the Southern Pacific Company in connection with the dedication of their handsome new depot in this city Tuesday, sums up the feeling entertained for this city by the Southern Pacific. Many times during the dedication of the depot in the afternoon and the subsequent opening of the new quarters of the Medford Commercial Club in the evening, the sentiment contained in those few words was reiterated in various forms, leaving no doubt of their sincerity.
Met by Band.
    The events of the day started with the arrival of Train 13 from the north at 3:30 o'clock in the afternoon, which brought to this city all of the prominent officials of the Southern Pacific Company lines in Oregon. The train was met by the Medford band and by some 500 local people. When the train drew in and stopped, for the first time in the history of Medford passengers were discharged north of Main Street.
    Soon after the arrival of the train, William M. Colvig, president of the Commercial Club, clambered to the deck of the baggage truck and assisted General Manager O'Brien, Chief Counsel Fenton and Mayor Canon to his side. In a brief speech Judge Colvig first introduced Mayor Canon, who briefly called attention to the friendly feeling which has always prevailed between the officials of the Southern Pacific and this city. Then in the name of the city he welcomed the officials of the line. J. P. O'Brien of the road was then introduced and spoke briefly, stating that Medford never had and never would appeal to the road in vain for any concession which would result in the common good. He paid Medford a high tribute as a commercial center.
Fenton Speaks.
    W. D. Fenton, head of the legal department of the road, was next introduced and spoke at some length [omission] ensuring a continuance of the kindly feeling existing between the officials of the corporation and the city. His remarks were well received.
    After a brief closing address by Judge Colvig, who extended an invitation for all to attend the opening of the new quarters of the Commercial Club in the evening, the doors of the new depot were thrown open and a vast crowd flocked through the waiting rooms, while the guests of the city were taken for a spin about the city.
    The interior of the depot had been suitably decorated by a committee from the Greater Medford Club, composed of Mrs. A. S. Rosenbaum, Miss F. H. Newall, Mrs. M. M. Putnam, Miss Putnam and Mrs. Davis.
    The officials who were present were: J. P. O'Brien, general manager of the Southern Pacific lines of Oregon; W. D. Fenton, head of the legal department; George W. Boschke, assistant general manager and chief engineer; L. R. Fields, superintendent; J. D. Stack, assistant general manager; William McMurray, general passenger agent; H. A. Henshaw, traveling freight agent; Colonel J. B. Eddy, chief right-of-way agent; Dr. J. D. Coghlan of the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company medical staff; C. A. Wester, assistant superintendent; W. H. Jenkins, traveling passenger agent; E. B. Pengra, assistant superintendent.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 19, 1910, page 1

Edward Harriman arrives, August 15, 1907 Oregonian
Edward Harriman's reception in Oregon upon an earlier trip. One of the clubs reads "new stations." From the August 15, 1907 Oregonian.

Portland Alone Can Boast of Passenger Depot Which Can Rank
With One in This City--Open Day and Night from Now On.

    The new passenger depot of the Southern Pacific company in this city, which was thrown open to the public Tuesday afternoon, will represent, when completed, an outlay of no less than $50,000. While the building is finished with the exception of touching up a few corners, the grounds are yet to be parked and made to conform with the handsome structure. The depot is said to be the most handsome in the state of Oregon with the exception of the one in Portland, while railroad men do not hesitate in saying that it is the most elaborate they have ever seen in any city in the United States in a town of 10,000 inhabitants.
Gift of Harriman.
    The new depot is regarded as a gift from the late Edward H. Harriman to the city of Medford. While on a visit to this valley, which had long been a favorite spot with him, Mr. Harriman turned to General Manager O'Brien and said: "Build these people a depot and give them the best there is." Mr. Harriman's death followed shortly after, and it was not until Judge Lovett, Harriman's successor, visited Medford that the Southern Pacific took the matter up. While here Mr. O'Brien informed Judge Lovett of his predecessor's orders and Lovett immediately reiterated the order and the handsome building is the result.
Handsome Building.
    The depot is constructed of red repressed brick and pebble dash. The roof is tiled. The colors harmonize perfectly. The interior of the building is especially elaborate. The walls are tinted above the panel wainscoting, which is Oregon fir stained to a dark brown. This woodwork is worthy to be placed in any private residence in the city.
    The main waiting room is of splendid proportions. At one end is found the entrance to the ladies' waiting room and the men's smoking room, off of which are elaborate lavatories finished in Tennessee marble. At the other end of the large waiting room is the entrance to the baggage room, which is conveniently fitted with all late devices for handling baggage.
Many Views.
    The waiting rooms are given an added tone by a number of huge views [i.e, photos] along the lines of the Southern Pacific and of orchards in the valley. Everything from the electric fixtures to the baseboard harmonize, the whole forming a splendid effect and one delightful to the eye.
    A. S. Rosenbaum, the local agent, better known to Medford as "Rosey," is naturally very much delighted with the completion of the new depot and states that from this time on that he will redouble his efforts to give Medford the best service of any station on the road. "Rosey" is one of the most popular agents among his office people on the road, and won this popularity through his efforts ever to please and by his work in upbuilding the city. He has ever given freely of his time and of his money. Since his arrival in Medford he has missed but two sessions of the Commercial Club--a remarkable record.
    The new passenger depot will be open night and day from this time on.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 19, 1910, page 1

Railroad Will at Once Park and Afterwards Care for and Maintain at Its Own Expense Beauty Spot in Center of City.
    The Southern Pacific will at once park and afterwards care for and maintain at its own expense that portion of the right of way extending from the depot to Main Street east of the track and north to the Wells, Fargo building. Later on the portion west of the track, as well as the block where the old depot stands, will be parked. For the present the old depot will be used as a freight station and will not be removed for some months.
    Such was the assurance by Vice-President and General Manager O'Brien Wednesday afternoon to a committee of the Greater Medford Club, consisting of Mrs. H. C. Kentner, Mrs. J. F. Reddy and Miss Putnam, who called upon him with reference to the proposed park improvement.
    Mr. O'Brien further promised the ladies, who informed him that they had no funds for parking purposes, that the parking would be done at the expense of the Southern Pacific, which will also provide a caretaker under the supervision of the ladies of the Greater Medford Club.
    On account of the stringency in eastern financial centers and because the present appropriation has been exhausted, the railroad cannot at this time carry out the extensive plans for park improvement originally proposed. These will follow later, but Medford is assured of a portion of the park immediately.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 20, 1910, page 1

    The new depot was opened Tuesday afternoon and given by manager O'Brien to the city of Medford. The depot was most effectively decorated by the Greater Medford Club, with madrona berries, rose haws and palms. A committee from the Greater Medford Club had an interview with manager O'Brien Wednesday afternoon in regard to the parking of the right of way, along the tracks. Mr. O'Brien assured the ladies that the ground between the new depot and the Exhibit Building would be parked immediately and taken care of, at the company's expense, and later, if possible, the ground between the depot and the Wells, Fargo building would be taken care of. As the company has more than used the appropriation given for the depot, the old depot will have to remain on the present site for an indefinite time, and when moved it is doubtful if the company will do anything to beautify the strip of land between Main Street and the new site of the freight depot.
"In Medford's Social Realm," Medford Mail Tribune, October 23, 1910, page B1

Landscape Artist Arrives and Is Formulating Plans for Beautifying Grounds--Shrubbery and Squirrels Are to Go Soon.

    That the Southern Pacific intends parking the right of way along the tracks immediately seems to be assured, as landscape architect Chase spent Friday in Medford going over the grounds preparatory to starting work. The enclosure in the rear of the Exhibit Building has been ordered cleared at once and the shrubbery and squirrels are to go, so that the ground can all be leveled and gotten in shape.
    The track east of the main track is to be torn up, so a graveled walk 25 feet wide can be made from Main Street on past the new depot. The parking will extend from the walk to the curb on Front Street, about 60 feet in width, and from the Exhibit Building to the driveway south of the new depot. A row of shade trees will be planted along the curbing on Front Street and the remainder of the ground will be put into lawn, with walks, and in the spring several flower beds will be put in.
    Along the gravel walk between Main Street and the depot there will be six cluster lights, which, with the arc light already in, will make the grounds very light. Several old telephone poles will come down, only the necessary ones being left, and those will be painted dark green.
    Architect Chase is very enthusiastic over the parking of the grounds and thinks they can be made most attractive. He expects to return very soon, and the beautifying of the grounds will be made under his personal supervision.
    When General Manager O'Brien was in Medford at the opening of the depot he stated to a committee of the Greater Medford Club that it would be impossible to do anything with the freight depot at present, as the appropriation for Medford had been exhausted, but the contractor in charge of moving the old depot to its quarters, two blocks south of the present site, has arrived and states that the work of removal will begin right away, so the grounds adjoining the tracks can be cleared up and gotten into shape before the winter rains start.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 30, 1910, page 1

Gold Hill Has Rich Black Loam to Loan to Medford
    That Gold Hill has the richest soil in all Southern Oregon would seem to be indicated by the action of the Southern Pacific in hauling dirt from its right-of-way at the Chavner junction, just across Rogue River from the town, to Medford for the parking of the grounds of its new $50,000 depot, which is one of the finest of its size in the West. The park will be one of the most beautiful features of Medford when completed, and the visitor from Gold Hill, beholding the flowers and greenery, can take a double delight in them, knowing as he does that the display is nothing more or less than borrowed plumage, furnished by his own town. Gold Hill has plenty more loam to loan to other Southern Oregon towns who may feel the need of something better than the gravel or hardpan that they already have.
Gold Hill News, November 19, 1910, page 1

Importance of Medford as Shipping Point Is Reflected by Large Freight Depot
Southern Pacific Is Erecting Two Blocks South of the Old One.

    With the erection of a freight depot in Medford just four times as large as the one used at present, the Southern Pacific shows its faith in Medford and reflects the importance of Medford from a freight business standpoint.
    The foundation piers for the new depot have all been placed at the new location two blocks south of Main Street, and the framework for the building and platforms is now going up. The new depot will be 295 feet long and 100 feet wide, which is four times as great as the present freight house.
    Medford is now the most important shipping point on the line of the Southern Pacific between Portland and Sacramento and will become even a greater center if the fight for lower distributive rates is won by the Medford traffic bureau. Recently a switch engine was found to be necessary in the local yards.
    The old depot has been sawed in two and will be moved to the new location as soon as the foundation and other preparations are completed. Then Medford will have the facilities to handle the growing and ever growing traffic.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 21, 1910, page 1

Work of Beautifying Southern Pacific Grounds Goes on Apace--
Unfavorable Weather Retards the Work--Depot Being Removed.

    Tuesday evening the new cluster lights along the railroad's parked right of way from Main Street to the new depot will be tested and hereafter illuminate the walk to the station.
    The work of beautifying the railroad grounds is being rapidly continued, notwithstanding unfavorable weather, and within a few weeks the parking will be completed, adding greatly to the city's attractiveness.
    The work of removing the old depot to the site of the freight yards, two blocks south, continues, and within three days the removal will have been accomplished and the new freight station ready for business.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 20, 1910, page 1

    The new cluster lights are being installed along the walk to the depot, six in number, and when they are finished it will be a great improvement to the appearance of the town. The water pipes for the park are being laid, and the walks there have been staked out and made ready for being laid as soon as the weather permits. The roses and trees are on the ground, but will not be planted until later. Landscape architect Chase has been personally supervising the work this past week, but has not been able to accomplish as much as he wished to, on account of the inclement weather.
"In Medford's Social Realm," Medford Mail Tribune, December 25, 1910, page B1

    Attention has been repeatedly called to the disgraceful appearance of the Southern Pacific right of way through the business section.
    The tracks ought to be moved to Bear Creek, in the interests of all concerned. But if they cannot be moved, the right of way in the business section should be cleared of rubbish, wood yards, lumber piles, hot dog wagons, rickety warehouses and shacks and be parked.
    If the entire right of way cannot be improved, at least that portion between Sixth and Eighth streets can be. If the railroad won't do it, the city should, or at least make a start at it.
    The Southern Pacific is parking a narrow strip east of the track between the new depot and Main Street, and the contrast with the rest of the right of way will be so startling that it reflects unfavorably upon the community which tolerates such conditions.
    No park the city could buy and improve would be of such advantage to Medford as the parking of this right of way.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 28, 1911, page 4

Greater Medford Club Makes Preparations To Mount Collection of Birds
Presented to Them by Dr. E. H. Porter.

    The Greater Medford Club at its last regular meeting decided to start the work of mounting the collection of birds given to the club by Dr. Porter. Only a part of the birds will be mounted now. This collection consists of 500 birds from the United States and the Philippines which have been collected by Dr. Porter and will be the nucleus for the museum which Medford hopes to have sometime. Cases will be made, and the mounting will be done in Medford by Mr. Bartlett, who has made a reasonable offer to the club, and Dr. Porter, who is conversant with the habits of the birds, will direct the final placing of them. Cases will be built in a room on the first floor of the new library, where the birds will be on exhibition.
    The expectoration cards will be posted soon as they arrive and an effort will be made to at least keep the sidewalk in better condition; for a fine is attached to each offense. A committee was appointed to have trees planted on the right of way of the Southern Pacific. The trees will be planted along Front Street and will be a great improvement in the appearance of that part of town. It is rather late to put trees in, but it has been impossible for the club to have them put in until now, and they will be properly protected and taken care of. There are three entrances to the right of way, so that all teams will have plenty of spaces to use it without doing any injury to the trees. The expressman have moved their stand further down toward the freight depot, and there is room enough for them so that the trees will not interfere with them; but will be a protection to them in the future. The walks in both the new and old park have been graveled and it has made a decided improvement. The remainder of the gravel, which was so kindly given by the Southern Pacific, will be used for walks about the new library and for walks in the other parks the women have in charge.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 2, 1911, page C1

    For the Southern Pacific's effort to beautify Medford by parking the narrow strip of right of way between the depot and exhibit building citizens are profoundly grateful.
    This little strip of park, however, is principally valuable as a stimulator of the city beautiful. Like the first stretch of paving, it is an object lesson. It creates a desire for more. The railroad will have no peace now until all that section of the right of way from Sixth to Eighth is similarly improved.
    If the work is too much for the railroad, the city should assist. No money could be better invested than in such a park, for it would add a hundred percent to the improvement of the city's appearance.
    It is time that the city council acted in this matter and arrived at a definite understanding with the railroad officials as to what can be expected, and a program of action promulgated. The sooner the matter is adjusted the better, for nothing is gained by delay.
    The efforts of the ladies of the Greater Medford Club to beautify the right of way by planting shade trees and prevent its use as a loafing ground for idle express wagons is to be commended and should receive the cooperation of city officials.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 11, 1911, page 4

    The unsightly stock yards which occupy a space across from the new Southern Pacific depot are to be removed to Crater Lake Junction, where they will still be convenient to cattle men and not be an eyesore to the traveling public. The ground now occupied by the yards will be filled in and graded. The same system that is being employed between the tracks and Front Street will be used here and a beautiful park, planted to shrubbery and blooming flowers, will soon rest the wayfarer who is forced to loiter about the depot.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 27, 1911, page 5

Evangelist Draws Crowd.
    A traveling evangelist with a voice like a sea captain and a hand grip full of tracts held forth yesterday evening to a large and enthusiastic audience on the plaza in front of the Nash Hotel. This man is something of a wit, and his utterances were listened to closely by the large number who congregated to hear him.
Medford Sun, May 7, 1911, page 3

    To the Editor: Allow me to ask through your columns who sells or gives the right to the itinerant spieler, faker or patent medicine man to occupy a position on the railroad right of way when last spring I was ordered off with my popcorn wagon. I would like to get on there again if the price is not too high.
S. KEMPTHORNE.           
Medford Mail Tribune, June 23, 1911, page 6

    No valid excuse can be offered for the retention of frame shacks on the railroad right-of-way between Sixth Street and Main Street.
    The Southern Pacific will comply with any request from the city council and order their removal. Notice given now to move within six months would work no hardship upon occupants, give ample time to secure other quarters, and permit the completion of the parking of the square in the heart of town, adding greatly to Medford's attractiveness and creating a favorable impression of the city with tourists and strangers.
    Lots on this right-of-way strip were leased by the railroad in early days to help along the commercial growth of the city by aiding shippers. The lots were leased for a dollar a year, subject to cancellation on thirty days' notice.
    The original lessees have outgrown their quarters. The shacks are now a source of income to owners not engaged in business. There is no reason why the occupants should not secure quarters of their own, either lease some other portion of the right-of-way at nominal sum, or buy land, like the rest of us, and make possible the beautification of the city.
    The generosity and public spirit of the Southern Pacific has been grossly abused, not only by shack owners who reap a profit by renting land belonging to the railroad, but in other cases, such as the Rogue River Valley Railroad, where space
let for depot purposes only has been sublet for mercantile purposes until the depot is almost lost in the popcorn and red lemonade.
    The Southern Pacific should cancel the lease to all buildings not used by their owners for purely shipping purposes, but used instead as income producers from land obtained under false pretenses in competition with merchants who own or rent business property.
    Public opinion will back up any such effort of the railroad--it will go further and demand it.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 23, 1911, page 4

    The stockyards are soon to be moved from their present location to the Pacific & Eastern junction. The work of moving the pens and chutes would have been commenced several months ago had it been possible for the railroad company to have determined upon an adequate water supply. The new location is outside the city limits and water supply from the city pipes cannot be guaranteed, and the company has decided to put down a well.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 31, 1911, page 3

    "Twenty-two years ago today I came to Medford," says R. H. Whitehead, pioneer banker and capitalist, "and there isn't much left to remind one of the Medford of those days--only the weather hasn't changed; we still have the finest autumns in the world.
    "I came from eastern Oregon, a windy country, and when I saw how little wind there was here, I concluded to stay. There used to be a windmill and water tank on the Southern Pacific track near the depot, but there would be ten days at a stretch when there wouldn't be wind enough to turn it over, and the main occupation of the agent consisted in pumping by hand.
    "The weather that winter was as cold as any I have seen since. It got as low as 8 degrees above zero--but there isn't any noticeable change in the weather, one year for another--about as uniform as possible to find."
Medford Mail Tribune, October 2, 1912, page 4

    For the third consecutive year, the Medford depot has won the gold medal awarded for the most perfect station on the Southern Pacific railroad system. The depot is not only the handsomest in Oregon but the best kept--perfect in its arrangements.
    Not only can the Southern Pacific be proud of its depot, but also of its local agent--for in A. S. Rosenbaum Medford has the best agent of any city in the country. While devoted to the company, Mr. Rosenbaum lets no opportunity pass to please the people, and Medford ranks next to the Espee in his estimation.
    If death should suddenly call Mr. Rosenbaum, he is said to desire that he be run over by a Southern Pacific engine. His will is said to specify that his remains be cremated and the ashes thrown on the Southern Pacific right-of-way.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 8, 1913, page 2

Circa 1915.

    The Southern Pacific water tank, with its cold shade, has caused tired wanderers to linger there, and the police Tuesday afternoon dispersed the gang.
"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, June 14, 1916, page 2

    The police Thursday morning called upon a number of gentlemen who were enjoying the cool of the Espee water tank and informed them that there was quite a demand for hay hands. As none showed any inclination to grab hold of a pitchfork, they were ordered to march, without waiting for the cool of the day or a train.
"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, June 16, 1916, page 2

    Detachments of the I.W.W.'s who were started southward from Everett, Wash., following the riots there three weeks ago, have been arriving in Medford by the side-door Pullman [i.e., box car] route the last two nights. Tuesday night none of the crew disembarked, but continued their journey southward.
    Last night about eighteen members stopped off in Medford and selected the Southern Pacific depot as a warm spot in which to pass the night. G. H. Gormley, night operator on duty, hearing them milling out in the waiting room, came out of his office and persuaded the band to move on, locking the doors after their egress.
    Shortly afterward he again heard noises out in the waiting room, and investigating, found that two of the men had pried open a window and crawled inside. They refused to leave when ordered to do so. Gormley then called Sergeant Pat Mego, who ejected them.
    The band left for the south on an early morning freight.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 23, 1916, page 2

    The half block owned by the Southern Pacific, fronting on North Front Street, will probably be made into a park this spring by the Greater Medford Club, according to a report made to the city council last night by Mayor Gates, who took the matter of donating land up with the railroad officials while in Portland last week.
"City to Park Southern Pacific Right of Way," Medford Mail Tribune, April 4, 1917, page 6

    "Southern Pacific Offices,
    "Attention H. A. Henshaw,
    "Portland, Oregon.
    "Unless some action is taken by December first to remedy conditions in Medford stockyards, we will be compelled to take up the matter with the Public Service Commission.
    "President Western Oregon Livestock League."
    The above telegram was sent today by Mr. Flaherty, and local stockmen are hoping that this action will bring some sort of relief. According to Mr. Flaherty, the conditions at the Medford stockyards are unspeakable. The mud is so deep that it was almost impossible to ship out a band of sheep last night, the animals being stuck in the mud up to their bellies. There is no water for stock, and no facilities for feeding. Last winter it was necessary to send sheep to Ashland and Central Point for shipment, and the same procedure will be followed this year if immediate action is not taken.
    At a recent meeting of the livestock men's league in Portland, Mr. Henshaw promised improvements, but there have been so many promises without action that the local stockmen have become disgusted. It is believed that if the matter is taken up with the Public Service Commission, Medford will be given those facilities for shipment to which it is entitled.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 23, 1920, page 5

    Just as the tourist and summer travel season is about to open, the public will learn with considerable surprise that the office of ticket clerk at the local Southern Pacific depot, which has been in vogue for the past two years, has been abolished and the telegraph operator on duty in the office both day and night will hereafter, in addition to his wire duties, have to sell tickets as in former years.
    No reason for the change, which will be a great surprise to the traveling public, could be learned today. Agent Montgomery when questioned admitted that the office had been abolished but professed to be ignorant of the reason. The installation of the special position of ticket clerk two years ago was hailed as a great convenience to the traveling public and was made necessary by the fast increasing travel due to the fact that Medford is one of the leading passenger offices on the Portland division of the Southern Pacific.
    R. J. Jepson, who had held the position of ticket clerk here for the past seven months, was recalled to the Portland S.P. headquarters two days ago. He had been on duty daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 9, 1924, page 1

    An interesting feat will be the removal of the big Southern Pacific water tank from its present location just south of Haymarket Square to a point on the right of way one and one-half blocks north of Jackson Street.
    The actual removal of the huge tank, which weighs thirty tons, will probably take place tomorrow, and it will be moved intact, although emptied of water. The work of placing the piles of planking under the tank so that it can be lowered on a big flatcar has been going on for a week now.
    The removal of the tank is in line with the promises made by Southern Pacific officials a year ago or so, incidental to the controversy brought on by the city's unsuccessful attempt to establish a grade crossing at Sixth Street, that they would remove the tank and make other improvements in the yards that would greatly reduce the delays at the Main Street crossing.
    When the new tank is moved a standpipe will be placed opposite it between the passing and main tracks. The tank will be out of commission for two weeks from the time of its removal until it can be reinstalled completely.
    In the meantime the trains will water at Gold Hill, and if necessary at an emergency pipe that has been placed near the present tank site. This is not expected to cause any material delay in the train service, as only the southbound trains have watered here for years.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 21, 1925, page 3

Southern Pacific Orders Immediate Installation Local Improvements--Drill Track and Cross-Overs Will Expedite Fruit Movement, Minimize Crossing Blockade.
    J. H. Mulcahy of Portland, assistant general traffic manager of the Southern Pacific railroad, this afternoon advised local rail officials and members of the Rogue River Traffic Association by telegraph that work would start at once on improvements to the local railroad yards, asked for by fruit shippers, for the more expeditious handling of fruit the coming season.
    The request was presented by the fruit shippers at the conference with the rail officials Thursday, and was denied on the grounds that it was too late to start.
    The improvements call for the installation of a drill track from Main to Tenth streets, a distance of three blocks, and the installation of crossovers in the local yards.
    The Mulcahy telegram said that the work on assembling the material was under way and that the engineering department of the Southern Pacific had been ordered to start the work at once, and the work will begin next week.
    Assurances were given that the new work would in no way interfere with the switching and handling of cars during the coming season.
    The drill track will also serve as a holding track and will eliminate the suspension of fruit traffic an hour before the arrival of a passenger train.
    The "crossovers" will permit the switching trains to move from one track to another without hauling all fruit trains to the Main Street crossing. In previous years this was the rule, resulting in more or less blocking of traffic on Main Street.
    James Edmiston, chairman of the traffic committee of the Rogue River Traffic Association, said that the concessions of the Southern Pacific "came as a surprise, and give us what we ask for." He said the improvements would "mean more than anyone would dream, not acquainted with the situation" and relieve car congestion in the local yards.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 3, 1929, page 1

    Bicycling was a safer sport back in the gay nineties than it is today. Even though the skirts of the school girls were long and voluminous, hazards were not so great as at present when the gang returning for lunch uses the railroad platform for a race track, according to J. C. Carle, freight and passenger agent for Southern Pacific.
    Mr. Carle, who has repeatedly asked schoolchildren to keep off the platform, is issuing another appeal to students, parents and officials of schools and police force.
    For the past several days children have been trying to beat the Shasta [train] across the tracks when they come down Sixth Street during the noon hour. Railroad officials, on the train and off, have watched the race with great anxiety, they stated today noon, fearing that the wheels would stall or waver on the tracks, throwing the riders under the engine.
    "If the practice is continued," Mr. Carle said this morning, "it will be only a short time until some child is seriously injured or killed. Accidents of a similar nature are reported from time to time in other cities. They should serve as a warning to local people, and we hope Medford will not be faced with such a tragedy."
    Since the warnings of railroad employees have been consistently ignored, Mr. Carle suggests it is time for mamas and papas to take a hand in keeping their offspring off the railroad tracks when the trains are pulling in.
    The situation, he adds, is hazardous not only for the schoolchildren but for passengers and people waiting on the platform.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 10, 1930, page 5

    TALENT, March 26.--(Spl.)--It is with a sigh of regret residents of Talent view the razing of the S.P. depot, which has long been a landmark here.
    Oldtimers recall the day 37 years ago [sic] when it was moved here on flatcars from Medford. Great crowds gathered to witness the arrival of the string of "flats" bearing a depot for Talent.
    Although it has been some time since the depot has been used as a shipping or ticket office, it made a good place to loaf in the sunshine or for small boys to play marbles.
    It has been sold to D. G. Newland of Medford, who has purchased other S.P. buildings in Talent and is salvaging the lumber and hauling it away.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 26, 1935, page 5

Talent, Or., to Miss Old Depot
    Medford, March 30.--Thirty-seven years ago [sic] crowds gathered at Talent, Or., to witness the arrival of a string of flatcars bearing a railway depot. The depot for Talent was moved from this city.
    Today residents regret the razing of the landmark, which, although it has been some time since it was used as a shipping or ticket office, has made a good place for the town's idle to loaf in the sunshine and for small boys to play marbles.
    D. G. Newland of Medford, who purchased it and other S.P. buildings in Talent, is salvaging the lumber and hauling it away.
Unidentified clipping dated March 31, 1935, Thomas scrapbook, SOHS

    For the first time in many years a large shipment of cattle was carried out of Medford by Southern Pacific railroad cattle cars Friday night.
    Sixteen cars loaded with approximately 500 cattle pulled away from the makeshift stock pens about 9:30 p.m. bound for Gooding, Idaho. Some of the cattle will be left there, but the majority will go on to Iowa, where they will go on feed. . . .
    Southern Pacific Trainmaster George M. Joyce said this was the first time in five years any livestock has been shipped out of Medford by rail. Friday's shipment is the largest livestock shipment from Medford for many years, he added. Twenty-one stock cars were ordered from Roseville, Calif. to handle the shipment. . . .
    Southern Pacific had removed the loading pens at McAndrews Road over five years ago, Joyce said. He would not say whether it might be possible to make other large cattle shipments by rail.
"500 Cattle Go Out of Medford by SP Railroad," Medford Mail Tribune, December 21, 1965, page B4

Medford depot, March 27, 1998 Medford Mail Tribune
March 27, 1998 Medford Mail Tribune

Last revised June 10, 2024