The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Deuel & Kentner

Mrs. F. K. Deuel Sees Third Generation
Protect Initial Investment

Mail Tribune Staff Writer

    Families come and families go when a new city is developing. Some merely skim the cream off the milk of early progress and go on to other frontiers. The new, alone, has charm for them.
    Others stay and develop an empire to be treasured by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. So it was with the city of Medford. Today it counts the family of F. K. Deuel among those who stayed to plant the seeds from the early flowering of the city and to stake a claim in the Rogue Valley of the future.
Nancy E. Deuel    Few who make the initial investment live to see a third generation protect it. Mrs. F. K. (Nancy E.) Deuel, 1018 S. Oakdale Ave., is one of those few. And in many other ways she is a remarkable woman.
    She has moved with agility from one mode of transportation to another throughout her years. She has accepted the social transition that has accompanied each change--from horse and buggy to auto--to airplane--to jet in her time which has spanned almost a century.
Welcomed Challenge
    When the surrey was replaced by the touring car, Mrs. Deuel donned her duster, driving gauntlets and veil. When airplane travel reached Medford she found her world expanding and welcomed the challenge of wings over wheels. When the jets were added to airplane travel she envisioned her family drawn closer together, and this was reason enough for her to accept the new conveyance, unafraid.
    While she has accepted all the changes on the American scene from the 1890s to the 1960s, her role in life has remained the same, which may seem a paradox to many people. She has never gazed with envious eyes upon the career woman but remained content to be "mother, grandmother and great-grandmother."
    It was in keeping with this role that she recently boarded the 8:45 a.m. jet flight at the Medford-Jackson County Airport with her destination Honolulu. There she celebrated her 97th birthday March 11 with her youngest son, Kramer Deuel, and family. She was accompanied on the trip by her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Gain Robinson of Medford.
    Mrs. Deuel came to Medford in the fall of 1894. Her late husband had chosen the new Jackson County town as the place to continue in the mercantile business.
Nurtured by Railroad
    Apparently he believed in hitching his star to towns born of railroads. He came from Harris, Mo., nurtured by the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul line. The Southern Pacific had given life to Medford.
    The move to Southern Oregon was precipitated by the suggestion of Deuel's mother, Mrs. Mary Stewart [wife of A. J. Stewart, sister-in-law of Joseph H. Stewart].
    "Prices here are pretty high," she had written from the Rogue Valley. "If you could come here and sell goods at the prices which were your habit, I think you would do well."
    Deuel came and he did well. Merchandising was his line, and from that day forward there has been at least one leading retail store operating in a Deuel building in Medford.
    So it is that the story of the Deuels (Fred K. and Nancy E.) is to many the story of merchandising in Medford.
Events Mark Years
    Stirring events marked the years of Deuel's progress and Medford's growth. Medford was the baby in the family of Southern Oregon cities and had few inhibitions to stunt its growth. But Mrs. Deuel became apologetic when questioned about the city's history and quickly explains that the city was not her domain.
    "I should know," she will answer, then add, "but I gave all my attention to the children. I really don't remember too much about what happened outside my home. It was always open house here," she recently commented, giving an inclusive glance to the spacious rooms that have been home to her since 1910.
    "All the neighborhood children came here," she mused. "They gathered 'round the center table. Everyone had a center table," she explained with a quizzical smile for what constituted "keeping up with the Joneses" in house furnishings of the early 1900s.
    "I was interested in all the children. I was glad to have them here. I wanted it that way," the slender woman, whose snow-white hair is always in a neat coiffure, revealed more animation than she evinced for any other subject.
Married in Missouri
    Mrs. Deuel was married in Missouri two weeks before her 20th birthday. There were three little Deuels with their parents in the train to Oregon. Their father had chartered a car and into it put most of the family possessions. Three more Deuels were born during the years they established the new home.
    Their eldest son, H. B. (Hob) Deuel of Medford, recalls that he was "nursemaid for a number of years" after their arrival to two horses and two cows that made the trip. He also remembers his father's racing stallion "Tokyo" and the races that he won on the old track south of South Oakdale Avenue.
    His sisters, Mrs. Robinson and Mrs. E. P. (Ned) Vilas, remember better their mother's favorite driving mare which had an addiction for backing up at the most inopportune times and their own pony "Coalie" with white harness and high English trap which their father gave them. These are remembered by a number of valley people who enjoyed frequent trips in the gay conveyance during their childhood.
    Deuel loved horses, Mrs. Deuel recalled, and so do his descendants. White horses, carrying princes and princesses, prance across the murals that decorate the sunny library at 1018 S. Oakdale Ave. today. Deuel brought the pictorial border from the East on one of his buying trips. It was placed in the room which was his billiard room when the house was constructed, and it has never been removed.
    Love of horses, though strong, did not influence the Deuels, however, to resent the "horseless carriage." One of the first automobiles in the valley was the Deuel "Tourist," a long, tan touring car. At approximately the same time the C. I. Hutchison and H. U. Lumsden families, also Medford merchants, were riding in "Reos."
    The first Deuel store in Medford was "Deuel and Stevens." It was located on East Main Street just west of the present Hubbard Brothers store. W. B. Stevens was Deuel's brother-in-law. The two men established stores in Medford and Albany, and when they dissolved partnership Stevens took over the Albany store and Deuel retained the Medford business.
Deuel & Kentner
"STORE STAFF--This is the way the Deuel & Kentner store and staff of nine appeared in about 1904. The store was located at what is now 230 E. Main St., where a remodeling project is under way.
It was then numbered 246. The outside signs read 'Boots, Shoes and Furnishings' and
'Dry Goods and Clothing'."

    H. C. Kentner, a cousin of Deuel, came out from Missouri to succeed Stevens in the company, and the next store was known as Deuel and Kentner. It was located across Main Street and west of the first establishment. The building, 230 E. Main St., is still owned by the Deuel family. It was most recently occupied by Karl's Shoe Store and is now undergoing a remodeling program in preparation for a new tenant.
    The store was moved again in 1908 to the large Deuel building, 
which still occupies the corner at East Main and Bartlett, home of Burelson's, owned by Miller's, a subsidiary of P. N. Hirsch & Co.
    During the intervening years the store underwent many changes in growth and management, but the buildings always remained Deuel's. Kentner bought out Deuel and changed the name to H. C. Kentner Company during one period. In 1914, Deuel assumed the store again and became affiliated with May Company in a partnership. The May Company name was not of long duration. The newcomers left and Deuel took over their interests preparatory to the return from World War I of his two sons, H. S. (Hob) Deuel and the late Luther Deuel.
Take Over Management
    The sons took over management of the store, but "neither of us liked the store business," Hob Deuel recently recalled [of] those days. "So in 1923 the store was sold to J. B. Russell and became known as 'Russell's.'"
    Several fires occurred during the Russell ownership, and in 1929 the building was completely gutted, ending the Russell regime.
    In 1933 the Deuel building was remodeled for an entirely new experience. It became the grocery store and meat market of Luman Brothers.
    In 1941, it went through still another complete renovation and reconstruction. It became Burelson's, purchased by Mrs. Nunya Lizberg and moved from North Central. It was Mrs. Lizberg who sold to Miller's.

Adds Other Enterprises
    As time marched on, Deuel added other enterprises to his success as a merchant, much of which Mrs. Deuel attributes to "his knowledge of the eastern markets, which he continued to visit regularly."
    He became one of the organizers in 1906 of the First National Bank, serving as vice president with William C. Crowell, a Medford lawyer, as president. The bank was established on the corner now occupied by the Clock Restaurant at Main and Bartlett streets. It was moved across the street between South Central Avenue and Front Street and remained there until purchased by the First National Bank of Oregon, which constructed a new building on Main and Front streets.
    H. S. Deuel was active in the bank from 1909 until World War I, following which he returned to the board of directors and remained on the board until the sale in recent years.
Buy Orchard
    With Alfred Weeks and Edith Orr, F. K. Deuel bought and developed the Del Rio Orchards in the Gold Hill area in 1906. Later Miss Gertrude Weeks and Mrs. Deuel continued ownership of the orchards for many years. Hob Deuel then bought Miss Week's interests and transferred them to his son, H. S. Deuel Jr., who is now at home there with his family.
    Another property in a different category still in the family is Fernwald Farm in Sams Valley. This Deuel bought in partnership with the late Charles Strang, Medford pharmacist.
    The Deuel-Strang partnership endures, and C. Virgil Strang resides on the farm.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 19, 1967, page B2

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    Fred Deuel came down from Harris last night. He says everybody has la grippe there.
"Personal Mention," Chillicothe Constitution, Chillicothe, Missouri, January 24, 1890, page 4

    Fred K. Deuel, formerly of this city, now in the dry goods and grocery business with John England at Harris, Mo., came down Wednesday and yesterday morning was married to Miss Lizzie Jones, also of Harris. The ceremony occurred at the residence of J. E. Wait on East Calhoun Street, Rev. J. H. Waterman, officiating. The bride has been visiting here several months, has only seen twenty summers and is one of the prettiest girls in Harris, but Fred deserves the prize. The couple left for Chicago on a bridal trip.
"More Little Cons," Morning Constitution, Chillicothe, Missouri, February 28, 1890, page 4

    Fred K. Deuel of Harris came to the city last night, returning this afternoon.
"Little Cons," Chillicothe Constitution, Chillicothe, Missouri, April 10, 1891, page 3

    Kentner, McNeil & Co. closed their doors Monday for the purpose of taking an invoice of stock preparatory to the change of firm, Mr. Fred Ostrander of Chillicothe having bought out Mr. Kentner's interest. While we are sorry to lose Mr. Kentner we welcome the new member to our prosperous and growing little city. Fred Deuel has also sold his interest in the concern, and we understand the new firm name will be McNeil, Ostrander & Co.--Polo Post.
Chillicothe Constitution, Chillicothe, Missouri, August 15, 1891, page 1

    F. K. Deuel, a former Chillicothean, was in the city visiting friends. He now was president of a bank in Medford, Oregon and owned considerable land there.
"Forty Years Ago," Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune, Chillicothe, Missouri, February 9, 1953, page 4

    F. K. Deuel experienced considerable of a circus on Monday of this week. He was engaged in "breaking in" a colt, but the animal didn't quite fancy his procedure--began to kick--dashboard took a scoot heavenward--Mr. Deuel slid forward (unintentionally, of course) into the shafts and for seconds that seemed like hours the gentleman was very liberally mixed with the animal's kicking machine--escape was made with only a few bruises to man and beast, but the buggy, that is a wreck.
    Messrs. Deuel & Stevens expect to be in readiness to open their stock of dry goods, boots and shoes about September 15th. Their location will be in the Barnum new brick building on Seventh Street. These gentlemen propose putting in a very complete line of the above goods and will enter into a swift competition for a share of the immense business which comes to Medford.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, September 7, 1894, page 3

    Contractor J. A. Eggers commenced work on a new barn for merchant B. F. Deuel Wednesday morning. The building is to be put up on Mr. Deuel's recent real estate purchase, in southwest Medford, and is going to be a good one. It will be 22x30 feet in size, two stories high and to one side is to be a good-sized tower--and it is to climb to a good height. The barn is to be finished in the best style of barn architecture and will be the best building in the city--for the use intended.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, February 21, 1896, page 5

    F. K. Deuel has sold his interest in the firm of Deuel & Stevens to W. B. Stevens, and will seek a location in southern California.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 31, 1898, page 3
F. K. Deuel
F. K. Deuel

    F. K. Deuel & Co. took advantage of the lull in business New Year's Day to move their stock of goods to the new store building which Mr. Deuel has fitted up for that purpose. Contractor Perry Stewart and architect I. A. Palmer put in a new plate glass front to the building which is one of the best in Medford--in workmanship and convenience. The handiwork of J. W. Ling is seen in the painting and papering of the interior of the building and the fixtures, manufactured and placed in position by Weeks Bros., are as fine as can be seen in any store building along the line. The new store is 140 feet in length, well lighted from both front and rear as well as from a large skylight. Altogether Messrs. Deuel & Co. have as pleasant and well-appointed [a] business place as could be wished for.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, January 4, 1901, page 7

    Merchant F. K. Deuel left Tuesday morning for a six weeks' trip in the East. He will visit New York and Philadelphia for the purpose of purchasing his full stock of goods, and will be accompanied home by his family, who are visiting relatives at Harris, Missouri.

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

    Sam'l. Richardson, of Harris, Mo., arrived in Medford last Friday and has taken a position as salesman in F. K. Deuel & Co.'s store.

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

    Merchant F. K. Deuel returned last Friday from his seven weeks' trip to eastern cities. He was accompanied from Albany by his partner, W. B. Stevens, and from Missouri by two other parties who are partners of theirs and who conduct stores in that state. The quartet visited New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago, and in each city they bought goods for their respective stores.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, September 6, 1901, page 6

    Sunday morning 10,000 pounds of dressed poultry were shipped from Medford to San Francisco by Wells, Fargo & Co.'s Express, for the Thanksgiving trade. The principal consigners were F. K. Deuel & Co. and Cox & Perry.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 29, 1901, page 7

    Mrs. H. C. Kentner and son returned from Chillicothe Sunday evening where they had been visiting a short time.
    H. C. Kentner left Monday night for Chicago to lay in another large supply of goods for the coming spring and summer.
"Local Laconics," Stanberry Headlight, Stanberry, Missouri, February 5, 1902, page 1


    In no class of trade and with no house in the line of our extensive mercantile business is the promise of increased activity in trade more strikingly illustrated than at the store of H. C. Kentner, known as the Farmers' One-Price Cash Store. In speaking of this store we desire to impress upon the minds of our readers, first, Mr. Kentner does at all times and under all condition of business keep constantly presented to the public a succession of new ideas in the way of novelties and styles. Second: He makes it his constant aim and study to procure the most desirable goods for each department and being closely identified with many of the leading importers and manufacturers. Buying in large quantities enables him to offer a most superior line of goods at prices that challenge successful competitors, and he is daily receiving abundant evidence of the just appreciation of his efforts to please his many patrons throughout Stanberry and vicinity.
    The stock displayed plainly testifies to the extent of his business connections. In fact, the store is filled to overflowing with the choicest designs of silks, dress goods, ready-made garments, tailor-made suits, skirts, jackets, capes, underwear, hosiery, corsets, embroideries, lace curtains, notions, fancy goods and miscellaneous merchandise pertaining to this special line of trade. He also carries one of the largest assortment of men's, boys' and children's clothing to be found in the county, while in the shoe department is displayed one of the most complete assortments of footwear to be found in the county, and customers can feel assured of having as large an assortment to select from as can be found in any store in the larger cities and at equally low prices. There is also the carpet department, where can be found everything in the line of ingrain, Brussels, moquette, Axminsters and velvets, mattings, oilcloths, shades, trimmings, etc., and a special and most gratifying feature of the business is its system of guaranteeing all goods to be exactly as represented, all goods being cheerfully exchanged if not found so, and he sells goods at such low prices as to gain for this store the reputation of being a great bargain house, and new bargains are being offered every day.
    Owing to an increase of business and for the want of more space Mr. Kentner has leased the large store room adjoining the present store on the east, which will be especially fitted up for the clothing department. There will be an arch cut through the wall uniting the two stores with two front entrances, which will then give him double the floor space he has at present, and make it one of the largest mercantile establishments in the county. Personally, Mr. Kentner is among the city's most enterprising merchants and takes an interest in all matters of public benefit and the upbuilding of our city.
Stanberry Headlight, Stanberry, Missouri, April 9, 1902, page 1

    F. K. Deuel and A. W. Hubbs spent Sunday in Ashland. The latter will be manager of the mercantile establishment which the former will open in that city about August 15.
"Medford Squibs,"
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 12, 1902, page 8

    Mrs. Herbert C. Kentner is visiting in Los Angeles, Cal.
    Walter Kentner has returned from Chillicothe, where he has been attending school.
"Stanberry," Albany Ledger, Albany, Missouri, June 13, 1902, page 8

    L. P. Hubbs, of Carthage, Illinois, has engaged his services as salesman to F. K. Deuel & Co., and will arrive in Medford about August 25th. His brother, A. W. Hubbs, who has been a salesman in this establishment for several years, has formed a partnership with F. K. Deuel, and they will establish a mercantile house in Ashland in September. The style of the firm will be Deuel & Hubbs, and Mr. Hubbs will be in charge.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 11, 1902, page 7

    L. P. Hubbs arrived in the city Wednesday from Carthage, Illinois. The gentleman is a brother of Art Hubbs, salesman for F. K. Deuel & Co. Mr. Hubbs is very much pleased with the appearance of our country and seems pleased because of the fact that he has arranged for permanent residence here. He will take the position now occupied by his brother, and Art will go to Ashland and manage a general store there which is to be opened by himself and Mr. Deuel about the first of September. Mr. L. P. Hubbs has been a traveling salesman for an eastern wholesale house for a number of years, but is not entirely unfamiliar with the retail business, having served several years behind the counter. His wife and son will arrive in Medford in about a month.

"Additional Local," Medford Mail, August 1, 1902, page 6

    Miss Rose Hockenyos, saleswoman in Deuel & Co.'s store, left Tuesday for a two weeks' visit with friends at Portland and Astoria.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, August 15, 1902, page 6

    Miss Clara Brown has taken a position as saleswoman in F. K. Deuel & Co.'s store.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 15, 1902, page 7

    L. P. Hubbs, salesman at F. K. Deuel & Co.'s store, expects his family to arrive from Carthage, Ill., today, Friday. Mr Hubbs has rented the Merriman residence, on North D Street, and at once [will] commence housekeeping.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 29, 1902, page 7

    F. K. Deuel has gone East, to buy goods for the stores he is interested in. He was at Ashland and Albany this week.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 14, 1903, page 3

    A. C. Frisbie is remodeling the Huggins property on Alanthus Ave. and will move into it in the first of the month. H. C. Kentner will move into the property on Alanthus Ave., which Mr. Frisbie will vacate the first of the month.
"Personals," Stanberry Owl, Stanberry, Missouri, March 17, 1903, page 5

    Mrs. F. K. Deuel has gone to St. Louis, Mo. to visit her sister, who has been quite sick. She was accompanied by her children.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 6, 1903, page 3

    H. C. Kentner and family move to their suburban home next week.
"Stanberry," Albany Ledger, Albany, Missouri, March 15, 1904, page 8

    H. C. Kentner and family left for St. Louis on Tuesday.
    Mesdames A. J. Booze and H. C. Kentner spent Sunday in Chillicothe.
"Stanberry," Albany Ledger, Albany, Missouri, August 5, 1904, page 6

    H. C. Kentner is in the East buying the fall and winter line of goods for the Kentner Dry Goods and Clothing Co.
"News of Seven Days," Stanberry Owl, Stanberry, Missouri, August 16, 1904, page 1

    H. C. Kentner and family are moving to their home on 9th Elm St. [sic].
"Stanberry," Albany Ledger, Albany, Missouri, October 7, 1904, page 8

    Mrs. Dr. Tracy return to her home at Chillicothe Monday after a visit with her daughter, Mrs. H. C. Kentner.
"News of Seven Days," Stanberry Owl, Stanberry, Missouri, October 25, 1904, page 1

    Mrs. H. C. Kentner and daughter Ida Lee went to Chillicothe Sunday to visit her father, Dr. L. E. Tracy, during Mrs. Tracy's absence in New York.
    H. C. Kentner received word Monday from Maryville, stating that the Maryville merchants would close Thursday afternoon for the Maryville-Stanberry ball game and that they were making arrangements to show the Stanberry people a good time.
"News of the Week," Stanberry Owl, Stanberry, Missouri, June 27, 1905, page 1

    All accounts of the Kentner Dry Goods & Clothing Company must be paid by September 15th to H. C. Kentner, at the Clothing Department of Kentner Dry Goods and Clothing Company. Please call and settle at once and oblige.
"Local News," Stanberry Owl, Stanberry, Missouri, August 22, 1905, page 1

    H. C. Kentner left Saturday for Oregon, where they will make their future home.
    Mrs. A. J. Booze most royally entertained the Embroidery Club on Monday afternoon in honor of Mrs. H. C. Kentner. The afternoon was spent embroidering. A dainty luncheon was served, after which the ladies presented Mrs. Kentner with a spoon. Those sharing Mrs. Booze's hospitality were Mesdames Stockton, Dice, Williams, Burkhard, Hinkley, Tracy, Holding, Ross, Jones, Bennett, McCaslin, Gehring.
"Stanberry," Albany Ledger, Albany, Missouri, September 8, 1905, page 8

    H. C. Kentner, formerly of Stanberry, has gone to Medford, Ore., to establish a business house.
Chillicothe Constitution, Chillicothe, Missouri, October 11, 1905, page 1

    A change has been made in the personnel of the firm of F. K. Deuel & Co., the name and style of the new firm being Deuel & Kentner, Mr. H. C. Kentner having purchased a half interest in the business. Mr. Kentner was formerly engaged in the dry goods business in northern Missouri and since last September has been a salesman in the store in which he is now a half owner. He will have full charge of the business. Mr. Deuel has retired from active store work, for a few years at least, and will give his attention first to the enjoyment of a good rest and then to looking after other matters in which he is interested. Mr. Kentner's family will be here this month and will make Medford their future home.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, January 12, 1906, page 5

    Mrs. H. C. Kentner came in last week from Chillicothe to visit friends before departing for Medford, Oregon, where the Kentner family will make their future home.
    Sunday evening the car of household goods of H. C. Kentner were shipped to Medford, Oregon. Herbert Kentner went along with the car, and he was accompanied by Russell Halstead, who will spend some time in the western country.
"The Local News," Stanberry Owl, Stanberry, Missouri, February 6, 1906, page 1

    F. K. Deuel of the Valley Mercantile Co. arrived in El Centro Thursday night from his home in Medford, Oregon. He is accompanied by his son, Harold, who is going east to enter college. Mr. Deuel is much pleased with his business venture here and while in the East will buy an immense stock for the large store he will build here next fall.
Imperial Valley Press, El Centro, California, June 23, 1906, page 5

Flames Break Out in Afternoon, in Medford, Ore., Residence, and Entirely Consume It.
    Dr. L. E. Tracy has received a Medford, Oregon paper containing the news of the destruction by fire of the home of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert C. Kentner, formerly of this city. Mrs. Kentner is a daughter of Dr. Tracy.
    The fire occurred Wednesday afternoon, September 15. An alarm was telephoned to the fire station at 3:15, but because of a misunderstanding the fire company went to the Deuel & Kentner store, thus giving the fire a start, which it was impossible to overcome.
    Neighbors and volunteers saved about one-half of the household goods, although part of these were water-soaked or damaged by smoke and breakage.
    The origin of the fire is unknown. It presumably was occasioned either by electric wire or a flue. Mrs. Kentner and daughter, Idalee, were in the house at the time the fire was discovered. When they noticed it, the roof was blazing fiercely.
    The house was built three years ago at a cost of between $5,000 and $6,000. Insurance carried amounted to $1,500.
    Chillicothe friends will sympathize with Mr. and Mrs. Kentner in their loss.
Chillicothe Constitution, Chillicothe, Missouri, September 21, 1909, page 1

Boy Football Player Is Injured in Game at Medford.
    MEDFORD, Or., Sept. 28.--(Special.)--Luther Deuel, aged 14 years, son of F. K. Deuel, South 1018 Oakdale Avenue, sustained a compound fracture of the right leg between the knee and ankle while playing football at the high school yesterday. Young Deuel made a flying tackle to stop Alex Ware, a teammate, and in the fall the other lad fell across Deuel's leg. The breaking of the bone was heard by other players.
    The accident occurred during the practice hour. Professor Frost, of the high school, gave temporary aid to the youth, who was later removed to his home, and physicians set the broken bone. No one is blamed for the accident.
    This is the second accident that has occurred to the squad this season. William Vawter, a member of the first team, sprained an ankle two weeks ago. Young Deuel was a member of a second team.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, September 29, 1911, page 1

    H. C. Kentner leaves today for New York, where he has accepted a position as a traveling salesman for an eastern clothing firm.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 19, 1914, page 2

    Miss Mary Susan Deuel, daughter of F. K. Deuel of Medford, left Friday morning for Berkeley, Cal., where she will attend the annual banquet and convention of her fraternity, the Alpha Chi Omega. She will also spend about six weeks in Frisco visiting with friends and attending the fair.

"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, May 1, 1915, page 6

    Chester Stevenson has been receiving a visit from Delmar A. Thompson of Pendleton, who with Elvin S. Crutchfield of Spokane has recently bought the Deuel store at Medford. Crutchfield was a former resident of Medford nearly a score of years ago.
"Local and Personal," Ashland Tidings, May 6, 1915, page 5

    D. A. Thompson has purchased a proprietary interest in the F. K. Deuel department store and assumes management of the same immediately. Mr. Thompson was for six years general manager of one of the largest department stores in North Yakima, Wash., but comes here from Pendleton Or., where he has been department manager and buyer for the dry goods and ladies' ready-to-wear department of the Alexander department store for the past three years. He has had extensive experience both behind the counter and as buyer in the eastern market and is thoroughly familiar with the western trade.
    Mr. Deuel retires on account of his health.
    The store will be closed until Monday to complete invoice and to prepare for a big sale which starts Monday.
Medford Sun, May 13, 1915, page 5

    H. C. Kentner, a traveling man whose home is in this city, and who has been visiting here for a few days, but whose wife is visiting in Portland, will leave tonight for that city to join Mrs. Kentner in a visit in the metropolis of the state.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, April 18, 1916, page 2

F. K. Deuel & Sons New Firm.
    F. K. Deuel and sons, H. S. and L. J., have assumed active charge of the May Co., of which F. K. Deuel has been the principal owner, and will change the name of the corporation to F. K. Deuel & Sons. They will remodel and rearrange the interior of the store and add a line of men's clothing and furnishings now and a line of shoes for men, women and children later. F. K. and H. S. Deuel recently returned from a buying trip to the eastern markets.
    Mr. Deuel is one of the pioneer merchants of Medford, but for the past few years has been devoting his time to his ranch. He is well posted in all lines of merchandising. His sons have been connected with the Deuel store and other business houses in Medford, are wide-awake young men and are popular. Both of them served their country in the recent world war. The Deuels will be welcomed back into the business circles of Medford.
    A. W. Hubbs, who has so ably managed the May Co. for about two years, is one of the most popular live-wire young business men of Medford. He has not decided just what he will do but expects to remain in Medford and has two or three propositions in view. His many friends in the city and county hope he will decide to remain here.
Medford Mail Tribune weekly, September 18, 1919, page 2   This story also ran in the Medford Sun, on September 14, page 7.

    F. K. Deuel, one of Medford's most prominent citizens, died suddenly at his home on South Oakdale at nine o'clock last night of cerebral hemorrhage. Mr. Deuel was ill but a week, and was so much improved yesterday that a prompt recovery was confidently expected, but late in the afternoon he suffered a stroke, lapsed into a coma and all efforts to revive him were unavailing.
    F. K. Deuel was born in Carthage, Illinois, May 16, 1863, being 57 years of age at the time of his death. His death came upon his birthday and very close to the hour of his birth. On February 27, 1890 he was married to Elizabeth Jones, who survives him, and in 1894 they came to Southern Oregon, originally settling in Medford. Mr. Deuel always had strong faith in the future of Medford and Southern Oregon and took a prominent part in the business development of the community. In 1905 he was influential in forming the First National Bank and for several years was its president. He organized the first department store in Medford, which was conducted for a time by H. C. Kentner, and later was known as the May Company. Recently this store was taken over by Mr. Deuel and his sons, Halbert and Luther, and operated under the firm name of F. K. Deuel and Sons. In addition to his mercantile business, Mr. Deuel was a practical farmer and with Alfred Weeks owned the Del Rio Orchard near Gold Hill, one of the best fruit ranches in Southern Oregon.
    Deceased leaves to mourn his loss, in addition to Mrs. Deuel, three sons and two daughters, Halbert, Luther and Kramer, Miss Catherine, and Mrs. Susan Deuel Robinson. The body will be taken tonight by Mrs. Deuel, Catherine and Halbert to Chillicothe, Mo., and laid to rest beside the parents of the deceased. There will be no funeral service in Medford, only a brief private service attended by the immediate members of the family.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 17, 1920, page 8

    The Weeks and Deuel Del Rio warehouse at Rock Point near Gold Hill burned to the ground last evening about ten o'clock at a loss estimated at $12,000, partly covered by insurance. The packing house had just been made ready for packing, which was to start this morning. There were two carloads of box shook on hand, a carload of paper and all the usual packing equipment. The origin of the fire is a mystery. As the doors were open, it could not have been caused by spontaneous combustion; in fact, the entire building seemed to burst into flame at once as if it had been soaked with gasoline and a match applied. The owners, however, make no charge of incendiarism. The only fortunate feature of the fire is that none of the fine fruit at the Weeks and Deuel orchard was destroyed. Luke Deuel went to Rock Point this morning to assist Mr. Weeks in making arrangements for the packing of the fruit at some other place. Halbert Deuel is in Portland.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 9, 1920, page 6


    Hob Deuel of this city, while going down the trail to his homestead in the Butte Falls district, the first of the week, was nearly undressed by a year-old black bear cub he attempted to capture.
    Deuel met the bear in the trail, and thought it would make a fine pet. He grabbed the bear by the scruff of the neck, and the bear grabbed Deuel by the scruff of the pants, and the contest was on. Mr. Deuel's efforts to let go of the bear were futile, so he proceeded to choke the wind out of him. While this was going on the cub would fold up like a portable typewriter and let fly with his hind legs, with telling effect.
    After about five minutes of lively tussling the bear, relaxed from lack of atmosphere, and before he got his second wind, was tied and securely tethered.
    The bear showed no marks of the conflict, but Mr. Deuel was torn loose from one pants leg and had the hide scratched off his forearms and hands.
    The captive was taken to Butte Falls, where he is now on exhibition, spending his time eating peanut candy and crying for his mother.
    A brother of Mr. Deuel's antagonist was captured by another homesteader and is also on display. He was brought into civilization without a fracas.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 20, 1925, page 3

The Bear Facts Are Given.
    To the Editor:
    I noticed in your esteemed columns recently an account of a desperate adventure with a bloodthirsty bear experienced by that well-known and usually highly veracious young Medford man, Hob Deuel. Heroism of any sort appeals to me, and as I read of this hair-raising deed of dour daring I had the same old thrill and the same feeling of hero worship that a brave deed, done out here in the wide open spaces where men are men, always inspires in me, and in any other patron of a well-run Bill Hart or Bill Farnum reel.
    As soon as I could I showed it to various of the oldtimers. "There," I said, "that young fellow Deuel, some guy, hey." I was considerably astonished and rather hurt by the lack of enthusiasm they all displayed, until I heard the account of the actual happening of Hob and the bear. It runs something like this.
    Some time ago Charley Patton and Bill Hughes, two homesteaders, captured two tiny bear cubs in a cave. The boys made pets of the little fellows, and raised them by hand until they got to be two pretty fair yearlings. These bear cubs had the freedom of the place, and roamed around at their will, harming nobody, except one too-ardent high school girl. She hugged one of them too hard one today, I mean one of the bear cubs, and the cub, in its frantic endeavors to get away from the lady's embrace, scratched her slightly on the forehead.
    A week or so ago Hob Deuel was on his way to his homestead. Suddenly a bear approached in the path ahead. Instead of running away, it advanced confidently upon Hob. Deuel, with shaking hands, raised his rifle to his shoulder and fired. He missed. The bear came on. With a yell of despair Deuel threw away his gun and raced for a tree, the bear following after him. Hob madly scrambled up the tree, forgetting that bears can climb better than he. For some reason the bear did not climb after him, but appeared busy nosing around the roots of the tree.
    Presently another bear appeared. This was too much for Hob, and he howled for help. Charley Patton came on the run. "What's the matter, Hob?" said Charley; "these little fellows won't hurt you." Charley finally got Deuel down out of the tree. "Gee, Hob," remarked Charley, "you've got syrup all over you." The two bears made for Deuel, and started to climb up on him, licking the syrup. It seems that Deuel had a large can of syrup strapped to his back and in throwing away his gun, the front sight of the gun ripped a hole in the syrup can. The bear had followed Hob up, licking the syrup.
    I have been very careful in getting these facts, for the truth of which I refer you to Claude Miles, called for short "Shorty," to Nick Carter, in fact, to all the oldtimers here. As the late Mark Twain once remarked about reports of his death, it is slightly exaggerated.
    Butte Falls, Feb. 23.
"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, February 25, 1925, page 4

The Bear Facts Again
    To the Editor: Replying to the communication of George Barker in yesterday's paper concerning my alleged adventure with a bear, or bears, as Mr. Barker puts it, I now see that in spite of my native modesty it will be necessary for me to go into print and explain the barefaced exaggerations that have been attributed wrongfully to me. Mr. Barker has a manner and style of gathering his facts that would do credit to the celebrated Baron Munchausen. I take it, however, that being a banker his pen is used largely in computing principal and interest and has acquired a reckless abandon that is quite beyond his control.
    Now the bare facts concerning the bear are as follows:
    As I was proceeding along the mountain trail on the way to my homestead, I was attracted by a mixture of sounds at some little distance from the trail. Hearing frantic appeals for help in that direction, I started toward the sound and had gone but a short distance when I beheld a most unusual spectacle. In the topmost branches of a huge sugar pine tree I saw two hound dogs standing erect on their hind legs. On the very top most limb of the tree and apparently trying to get onto a passing fog cloud, right close behind the dogs, was a bareheaded and baldheaded, squat and blocky-built man, who I readily identified as Shorty Miles. On approaching closer to the tree I saw at the foot of it what I at first took to be a small badger or coon cub. Everyone who knows me knows that I do not carry a gun in the closed season. I am rather timid by nature and had I known that the animal at the foot of the tree was a bear, I probably would have kept my distance, but as before stated, I took it for a coon and approached, and only discovered that it was a small motherless baby bear, which had attempted to adopt Shorty as a parent. After I got the bear in my overcoat pocket Shorty came down out of the tree, but it was necessary to get a shovel and cover up the bear smell around the foot of the tree before the dogs would come down. These are the unvarnished facts, told without reservation.
"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, February 26, 1925, page 4

    Negotiations were completed today for the purchase of the Newcomb woodyard on North Central Avenue by H. S. Deuel, C. F. and Harold Reichstein from N. B. Newcomb, who had been the proprietor for several years past. The new owners have filed papers for incorporation at $10,000 under the name of the Medford Fuel Company.
    The company will continue to do business at the present location near the end of North Central Avenue where large yards are available. The company, having purchased the entire fuel and slabwood output of the Owen-Oregon Lumber Company last week, will handle two and one-half times as much fuel as had been handled before. This is largely due to the increase in output that the new Owen-Oregon mill has over the old one, from which the Newcomb company formerly obtained its supply.
    In addition to the Owen-Oregon output, the company will handle body oak and pine woods, as well as blocks. It will also be in a position to supply any variety of fuel wood that the local trade is apt to demand. All three of the new proprietors have lived in Medford for some time and are well known in the city.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 26, 1927, page 5

DEUEL, Halbert S., business manager; b. Harris, Missouri December 25, 1890; to Oregon 1893; Culver Military Academy 1906-10; m. Aimee B. Wing November 21, 1922; children--Halbert S. Jr. Manager F. K. Deuel establishment; assistant cashier, 1st National Bank 1911-17; lieutenant, World War; manager department store 1919-24; Mason; York Rite; Shrine; Craters Club; Chamber of Commerce. Republican. Address: 1100 S. Oakdale Avenue, Medford, Oregon.
Who's Who in Oregon 1929-1930, Oregon City Enterprise, page 70

    WASHINGTON, D.C.--(Special.)--Notification was sent today to H. S. Deuel of the Medford Fuel Company, Medford, Ore. from the National Retail Coal Merchants' Association that he had been selected to serve as national councilor for 1931.
    Selection was made from the votes cast by officers of the sectional and state organizations and representative coal operators and wholesalers who voted on the basis of leadership, willingness to cooperate, and loyalty to the industry.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 5, 1931, page 3

    Word has been received here of the death of H. C. Kentner, twenty years ago a leading merchant of this city, at Santa Barbara, Calif., last Friday of heart trouble. He was 73 years old.
    Deceased is well known in this city, where during the "boom days" he took a prominent part in civic and business affairs. He conducted a department store in the Deuel building, Main and Bartlett streets, and at that time was one of the best known residents. Old residents of the city remember him well. During his residence here he was popular and public-spirited. He was one of the original backers of the Natatorium.
    Kentner left this community in 1915, and for a number of years was traveling representative of an eastern business concern. Of late years he has been residing in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.
    Kentner is survived by his wife, a stewardess aboard the Dollar liner President Grant, due to arrive in San Francisco Tuesday. A son, Walter, living at Santa Barbara, Calif., Herbert of Gilmore, Calif., and two daughters, Mrs. Ida Lee Root, and Miss Bess Kentner, both of Seattle.
    The body will be cremated, and the ashes scattered over the waters of Puget Sound.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 7, 1932, page 3

Valley Fuel Sold; Owners Plan to Retire
    Sale of the Valley Fuel Company, owned and operated by H. S. Deuel and Gain Robinson for more than 35 years, to Naumes Equipment and Fuel Company, was announced today.
    The sale became effective early this month. Most of the employees have remained with the business and are now located with Naumes Equipment and Fuel Company, 2233 S. Pacific Highway.
    The Valley Fuel Company shop at 11 W. McAndrews Road will be maintained until the solid fuel has all been sold, Robinson said this morning, explaining that it is the heating oil
business that has been purchased by Naumes. The owners expect to have the solid fuel disposed of by July 1, at which time Robinson and Duel plan to retire.
    The land on McAndrews Road, on which the fuel company has been located since June 1961, was sold last fall to the Southern Pacific Company.
    The Valley Fuel Company was operated on West Main Street in Medford until the move was made to McAndrews Road.
In Business Many Years
    Robinson and Duel have been in business in Medford since the early 1900s. Robinson was first a partner in the Patton and Robinson agency, which sold tractors and other farm equipment and later automobiles. He then joined Owen-Oregon Lumber Company (now Medford Corporation) as sales manager and remained with that company until Deuel and he bought the Valley Fuel Company from Harry Fredette.
    Prior to purchasing the fuel company, Deuel managed the estate of his father, the late F. K. Deuel, owner of one of Medford's early department stores and other holdings, including the Del Rio Orchards.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 8, 1966, page 1

Last revised April 11, 2024