The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Also refer to the Depression page.

    Before closing this communication, I cannot refrain from noticing an article, reflecting no small degree of insult upon the people of Oregon, by Mr. George Armstrong, writing to the Bulletin from Fort Walla Walla, in which communication he says, while describing his journey from California to that place: "We traveled through the Umpqua, the Willamette, and most of the farming regions of Oregon. The white people, as far as I have seen, are, I think, behind the Indians. They have no knowledge of the country whatever more than two hundred yards from their own door, and do not seem to to care about having any intercourse whatever with the Californians at all. You can hardly get civility from them. But enough of them." This extract is taken from the Bulletin of 11th September. Now, I will venture to say that, from my knowledge of the country and people, Mr. Armstrong grossly overstates the case, if, in deed, it be not a downright false one. I would also remind that person to pause for a moment and reflect upon the great amount of crime that has been committed, and the wrongs that the people of Southern Oregon have sustained by persons coming from California, who make thieving their business. I have no doubt but that the assumed appearance of ignorance on the part of Oregonians will then be easily solved, and the wisdom of the author of such charges made to appear ridiculous.
"Clinton," "Letter from Portland, O.T.," San Francisco Bulletin, October 12, 1858, page 3

    Bummer.--An idle, worthless fellow, who does not work and has no visible means of support. The word "loafer," like "lounger," does not designate the general conduct or permanent character of a man, but only a temporary idleness. A respectable, industrious man may become a "loafer" by making idle, impertinent visits in business places during business hours; but the word "bummer" implies a low, lazy character. It is probably derived from the vulgar German words Bummels and Bummeler, which are about equivalent to "loafer" and "loaf." Its origin has been attributed to Boehmen, the German name of Bohemia, a nation celebrated for the number of its sharpers and adventurers. The Gypsies are called Bohemiens in France because of their roving lives and worthless character. "Bummer" is generally supposed here to be a Californianism.
John S. Hittell, "Variations of the English Language: Californianisms," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, June 17, 1859, page 4

A Mystery.
    The Southern Oregon Press relates the following "mysterious story":
    Some two weeks ago a couple of "tramps"--a man and a woman--each with a large carpet sack in hand, passed through the valley from the north. At Willow Springs they stopped at the store of Mr. Jacobs to rest themselves. On inquiry they informed Mr. Jacobs that they walked all the way from Portland, being unable to pay stage fare, and were on their way to California. The woman, who was tall for her sex, was, apparently, comfortably clothed, but her husband was not so well off, his toes peeping out of his boots and various other evidences of poverty manifesting themselves. Mr. Jacobs, commiserating his travel-worn condition, generously furnished him with a pair of new shelters for his pedals, and the couple went on their way rejoicing. Before proceeding far, however, they stopped at a saloon and there called for a bottle of wine, cigars, etc., spending for these luxuries, as we are informed, some three or four dollars, and having, as it seems, many dollars left. On hearing of this luxurious extravagance, Mr. Jacobs felt slightly "sold" and was rather indignant, but by that time the loving couple were on their way to Jacksonville, where they arrived that evening and put up at the Franco-American. Here they represented themselves as a couple in search of employment, and desirous of taking charge of the culinary and dining room duties at just such an establishment, as they were stopping at. The hostess, having experienced considerable difficulty in securing the right kind of help, thought this a first-rate opportunity, and made arrangements with the couple to take charge--the woman of the kitchen and the man of the dining room, they to enter on the discharge of their duties the following day. Her old "helps" were discharged, and the hostess retired for the night in high spirits in anticipation of the success of her new arrangement. In the morning, however, at the usual early breakfast hour, some of the boarders arrived, and were rather astonished to find the dining room cold--no fire in the stove. After waiting some time in expectation of the appearance of someone to cater to their appetites, and no one appearing, they became somewhat impatient and clamored for breakfast. The hostess got up and proceeded to the kitchen, expecting that the beginners, fatigued with their long journey, had overslept themselves; but on entering the factory of soups and sauces, behold! the "range" was cold, and no one to be seen. On proceeding to the bedchamber of the couple, they were found to be non est. It transpired after awhile that these itinerants had been seen starting out before it was quite day--carpet bags in hand, but in what direction no one knew. Madame was, of course, compelled to induce her former employees to resume work, and now that everything is again going along smoothly, it would prove quite a task for anyone to convince Madame that a "bird in the hand is not worth two in the bush."
    But now we will follow our couple of tramps, and the sequel will verify the principle of the old adage that "all that glitters is not gold." Mr. Colwell, the stage driver between this and Kerbyville, informs us that the couple of itinerants to question peregrinated between this place and Crescent City, stopping overnight at different places along the road, and at each place assuming a new character and a different object and termination in their pilgrimage. We should have stated here that the talking was all done by the husband, who seemed to be quite a linguist, speaking French, Spanish, and English fluently, as well as being a perfect master of the Irish brogue. The wife, on the other hand, was remarkably bashful and taciturn. At Kerbyville he (the husband) represented himself to be a French physician who had met with misfortunes, and was desirous of securing a modest practice somewhere. French Pete, who was his confidant, was induced to hunt up a house in the neighborhood for the new practitioner, which he succeeded in doing, and returned to inform his new friends of his success, but only in time to learn that they had started out, carpet bags in hand, immediately after his departure in search of a house. When last heard from they were somewhere beyond Sailor Diggings, on their way, as they informed the last person with whom they came in contact, to San Francisco. It also appears that during Pete's absence in search of a house, some inquisitive individual made the astounding discovery--Oh, horror!--that the creature in female habiliments was a man. How it was found out deponent sayeth not, but the fact is generally believed as immediately thereafter the party "mizzled." Of course, the various parties that have been victimized by them will like to hear that they were not alone galled--that the sell was a pretty general one. But the question arises, what induced them to travel in that style and in assumed characters? The man (he in breeches) was smart and intelligent; what the qualifications of the other were is not known, except his remarkable stillness of tongue was enough in itself to contradict the assumed character he bore. They had plenty of means and suffered for nothing in their travels. Can anyone unravel the mystery?
Morning Oregonian, Portland, March 30, 1867, page 4

    "LOW DOWN."--A day or two since, our friend Taylor of the "Snug" was sawing a few sticks of wood for exercise. A drunken bummer who had just crossed the line from California and who had been pestering our citizens for sums varying from one to four bits walked up and, eying Taylor with pity, exclaimed, "Well, my God! ain't a man awful low down, when he comes to that." Taylor had nothing to say and the bummer went on his way, rejoicing that he hadn't got down to wood sawing yet.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 27, 1869, page 3

    BUSINESSLIKE.--On Wednesday a walking sponge, just arrived from California, entered the butcher shop next to the New State Saloon and remarking "I'm a butcher," asked for a pencil and paper. It was handed to him and he wrote "please lend me two bits." The gentlemanly butcher's clerk perused the draft but protested it by writing "just out of funds." The "sponge" saw the point and vamoosed.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 27, 1869, page 3

    SISKIYOU NEWS.--We clip the following items from the Yreka Union of Sept. 6th: "We learn that a party of three men, tramps, who have been plundering the various towns and stopping places on the stage road in Oregon all the way up from Portland, are now in California. They robbed Beekman's house in Jacksonville, one at Ashland, and also one just the other side of Cottonwood, yesterday morning. They were seen on the road between here and the Klamath River on Friday afternoon, and no doubt are among us now. We therefore advise our citizens to keep their doors shut and their eyes open. If we were the gents referred to we would either keep right on without stopping or turn back immediately. This county is very unhealthy for their kind, and our citizens generally have to pay for the coffin.
Weekly Trinity Journal, Weaverville, California, September 13, 1873, page 3

    Every day we see the foot travelers tramping along the dusty roads. Some of them are no doubt really in search of employment, seeking fortunes in a strange land, determined yet to win by honest exertions a respectable livelihood, but the many are doubtless shiftless loafers, who do not look farther ahead than the daily wants of the body, else they are on the alert for an opportunity to steal and plunder. It is really unfortunate for those who are actually suffering from some unhappy fortune and are in search of an opportunity to rise from the dust of the road by earnest and honest exertion to a place which society will recognize as respectable, that so many unscrupulous vagabonds are also abroad. There is many a poor eastern boy on this coast who left the parental roof with scarcely means enough to bring him across the continent, who finds himself homeless and friendless in a strange land, and notwithstanding the many advantages which this land of varied industries can offer to those who are not ashamed to labor, yet many a poor tramping youth experiences many a severe trial before he can find a place. We were led to these reflections by a sight which met our eye this morning as we were walking up Main Street. Two good-looking boys, ragged, travel-worn and almost barefoot, were making their morning toilet at a little brook by the roadside--vainly striving to smooth their long matted hair with an almost toothless fragment of a comb and drying their care-worn faces on their ragged coattails. It was a ludicrous sight yet a sad one, and as we stopped for a moment to observe the proceeding we could not help thinking of those lines from the poem of The Tramp which now seemed so appropriate--
I'm a beggar, well, what if I am, who cares?
    Of the millions who dwell in this earth
Who gives me his help, or who comforts and shares
    His food, or the money he's worth?
Yet I live--that is, starve, for my beggarly life
    Is a mixture of hunger and thirst;
And I struggle along, through earth's worry and strife
    'Til I'd fain ask myself--Am I curst?
Ashland Tidings, October 12, 1877, page 2

    Lock your doors and keep a shotgun ready, as numerous hard cases from the railroad are continually passing through, only stopping long enough to make a stake that way.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 6, 1883, page 3

A Tramp Shot.
    After the Oregon & California train going south Saturday last had passed Roseburg a short distance, conductor Guthrie was considerably troubled with tramps, who had to be put off the train several times. Finally after passing Gold Hill and stopping to wood up the tramps were again discovered and put off, when they showed fight, and someone without due caution fired his pistol off, and one of the tramps was shot in the thigh, breaking his leg. The train moved on without the conductor's knowledge of any harm having come to anyone. Sunday he was surprised by the arrival of an officer at Ashland for his arrest and taken to Jacksonville, where he was bound over in the sum of $1200, to await the action of the grand jury for the crime of assault with a dangerous weapon. Conductor Guthrie says he was on the engine at the time of the row and heard the shooting, but does not know who did the thing, yet he is compelled to suffer on account of the carelessness of someone, be he brakeman or passenger.
Eugene Guard, August 9, 1884, page 5

    Tramps have been numerous in town this month. After they have succeeded in begging enough money to stay for the time their yearning for bed and whiskey, they go around to the houses and call for lunch. They prefer hot biscuits and Jersey butter and porterhouse steak or fried chicken, though on a right hot afternoon they will be satisfied with chicken salad, coffee bread and peaches and cream. One of these knights of the road came into the printing office last week asking for money, said he "wasn't ashamed to work," and would like to get a job at harvesting, or anything, to pay back what we might advance him. It happened that we just needed some extra muscle to turn the crank of our cylinder press. We invited him to take off his coat and go to work at 30 cts. an hour. He looked the machine over and said, "All right! I'll be back in a minute--got to go downstairs and get a drink of water." The water probably made him sick, for he failed to come back. The genuine tramp always acts that way when he by some miscalculation stumbles upon a job of work.
Ashland Tidings, August 15, 1884, page 3

    Tramps are passing through town every day.
Ashland Tidings, March 20, 1885, page 3

    MURDER.--Just one hundred yards this side of the rock cut beyond the Deer Creek trestle has long been the camping grounds of tramps. On Wednesday evening at this camp a tramp named Sullivan was murdered, being shot near the left temple by a pistol in the hands of another tramp. Some of the tribe came to town and told of the dead man but pretending to know nothing of the affair. A coroner's jury was summoned, five tramps arrested and at this writing the individuals have broken silence and are presumably telling the truth. They claim that the murderer has not been arrested and that he is one of a company of three who went south Wednesday night and were seen at Green's station Thursday morning. He will doubtless be captured. The town has been full of tramps for a long time and we advise our citizens to beware of them.--Roseburg Review.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 17, 1885, page 3

    Extensive fire is raging in Southern Oregon south of Roseburg, and numbers of houses have been burned. Some of the forest fires are those of tramps. If they are not treated well at any place they start fires at any place out of revenge. A number were run out of McLean's settlement in Southern Oregon the other day and taking to the woods and started a fire. It was discovered in time and extinguished, and a posse of men started after the tramps and captured three. Ropes were put about their necks and strung up for some time and then let down and thrashed soundly.
"Half a Million in Smoke," Knoxville Daily Tribune, Knoxville, Tennessee, August 15, 1889, page 1

    Tramps have been unusually numerous in town this week On Tuesday evening's train from the south nearly a dozen came in, riding brake beams, and made themselves a nuisance to people at the depot by their bold and persistent demands for alms. Tuesday morning, one of three who had called at the house of C. W. Ayers asking food stole a silk umbrella at the hall door and concealed it under his clothing. Mr. Ayers happened to come home in time to see the theft, and he promptly collared the tramp and marched him downtown, and then he and the city police as promptly concluded to let the fellow go. Well--to be sure, if all the people who steal umbrellas were locked up we would need many new jails.

"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, December 6, 1889, page 3

    The town needs a better calaboose for the detention of tramps and vags, who could be made to do much work on the city's streets if proper accommodations were provided. The night watch is kept busy watching the tramps at night when his single cell is full.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 23, 1890, page 3

    Ashland works her "vags" on the streets with ball-and-chain attachments..

"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 17, 1890, page 3

A Horrible Death.
    A tramp, aged about 23 years, was found dead at Talent a few mornings since, having had both legs cut off by the railroad the night before. An inquest was held the same day, and from a companion of the unfortunate man it was learned that the deceased was in an intoxicated condition and had got on the brakebeam of the freight train going toward Ashland in spite of the witness' remonstrance. He no doubt fell under the cars, and, no assistance being at hand, bled to death. His body was some distance from the track, showing that, despite his maimed condition, he had attempted to seek help.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 17, 1890, page 3

    Ashland had five "vags" in the chain gang one day last week.

"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 1, 1890, page 3

    A tramp who undertook to play the "deaf and dumb" dodge, to secure a meal at the Clarendon Hotel recently, succumbed to a fancied insult to his dignity, and broke out in a round of abuse at the clerk.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 24, 1890, page 2

    Some sneak thief stole an overcoat, gloves and a quilt from Merritt Bellinger's hack, while he and his family were in attendance at the Christmas tree festivities last Wednesday evening. Suspicion attaches to two tramps who were prowling along the Jacksonville branch railroad and about the suburbs of town on the preceding evening.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 26, 1890, page 3

    Towns along the line of the Southern Pacific railroad are overrun with tramps, who are an everlasting nuisance with their petty pilferings.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 6, 1891, page 3

    A tramp who attempted to burglarize a store at Talent, Or. was shot four times by a man who was sleeping in the store.

"General News Notes," Evening Capital Journal, Salem, September 8, 1891, page 4

    Mrs. W. V. Lippincott, wife of Medford's new railroad agent, had some lively experience with tramps one night recently at Myrtle Creek station. While two of them were trying to force an entrance downstairs, knowing that Mr. L. was not at home, the lady fired at them from an upper window. The first shot hit one of the rascals and the second took effect on the other fellow. Both of them were able to crawl away, but it is certain that the Lippincott residence will be troubled no more with hoboes.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 4, 1891, page 2

    Jacksonville has been infested with a number of fakirs lately, who, fortunately for the good of the country, have departed hence. There were tightrope walkers, contortionists, alleged Indian scouts, cowboys, etc., galore for awhile.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 7, 1893, page 3

    It is rumored that the contortionists who performed in Jacksonville on the 4th of July met with an accident near Sisson, Cal., while stealing a ride on a freight train, part of which became detached and ran away down the incline. One of the hobos was killed outright, but the other escaped with slight injuries.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 14, 1893, page 3

    John Link, the man killed by the wreck of a freight train at Igerna, Cal. not long since, was an acrobatic performer, making his home principally on Puget Sound. He was a native of Kentucky and only 21 years of age. Evidently he was assisting the train hands to get his passage to the lower country. Link comes from good parents in Kentucky, who have telegraphed to have his body embalmed, with intention of sending for it. He gave a performance in Jacksonville, in the courthouse square, on the 4th of July.

"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 21, 1893, page 3

A Tramp's Death.
    Grants Pass, Or., Sept. 2.--Charles Shaw, while riding on the brakebeam of a southbound passenger train yesterday morning, between West Fork and Glendale, went to sleep and fell off, three coaches passing over him. Section men found him three hours after and placed him on a freight train and brought him to Grants Pass. The railroad company's surgeon dressed his wounds, amputating his right leg below the knee. He had severe scalp wounds and was otherwise horribly mutilated and bruised. He died at 6 o'clock, soon after recovering from anesthetics. He was rational and conversed freely before the operation. He was from Cameron Junction, Mo., and claimed to be well connected. The coroner's inquest exonerated the railroad company from blame.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 8, 1893, page 3

A New Scheme.
    The genus tramp, who is the harbinger of hard times, was never so numerous as now. He occupies the brake beams and blind baggage of every train which passes through the valley. Trainmen have their hands full driving them off, but they defy even the sternest of conductors. The railroad company thinks to solve the problem by running a boxcar once in awhile for their especial accommodation, thus ridding the country of them. The entire community hopes the scheme will prove successful.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 29, 1893, page 3

    Forty tramps got off the overland train at Grants Pass last Saturday.
    Tramps from the north have been annoying the railroad men very seriously on the C.&O.R.R. route, says the Yreka Journal, threatening to do great mischief in destroying property, if not given a ride. The state of affairs having been reported at headquarters, orders were given to transport them, and one freight train last week had over 85 on board. Reports from southern California state that vast crowds of tramps are coming in that direction from Texas, New Mexico and southern Colorado.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 6, 1893, page 3

    Vice President Crocker, of the Southern Pacific, has announced that his company does not propose to make any fight against the hordes of tramps who are beating their way on freight trains. He has arrived at the conclusion that it is useless to unload the ticketless tourists, because they get aboard again in sufficient numbers to overpower the trainmen. For the last week or more nearly every freight train has from fifty to seventy of these tourists aboard. Tuesday's southbound train was pulling an empty boxcar in which were sixty-eight. They do not attempt to conceal their presence, but instead when the train pulls into a station they open the doors, climb out and walk around on the depot platform--just like pay passengers--but when the train pulls out every one is in the car, and thus they ride unmolested and without price.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, October 6, 1893, page 3

    One of the 110 hoboes on Wednesday's freight:--"We are a greater combination than the People's Party or any other party. We can dictate terms to the railroad companies and they can't. I'm captain of this gang and we are 110 strong. This is our special car. No upholstered and roll back seats, but our company, the S.P., is having a car made especially for their distinguished tourists. All aboard. All you fellows that know us come and ride."

"All the Local News," Medford Mail, October 13, 1893, page 3

The Festive Tramps.
    Ashland, Or., Oct. 12.--A hundred tramps arrived here on a freight train from the north last night, and on the arrival of the freight from the south this number was increased. About 11 o'clock a body of them moved against Chinatown with the intention of chasing the Chinese out of town. They had broken into the buildings and got 10 of the Chinamen out and in line before an alarm was given. Officers, aided by a few armed citizens, succeeded in quieting the disturbance, but the tramps had already stolen some $50 from the Chinamen and had robbed the wash house. They left for California on a freight train this morning. Another large gang, reported coming from the north, is expected here tomorrow evening. Forty left Roseburg last night and will arrive here tonight.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 13, 1893, page 3

They Attempted to Get on a Passenger Train but Were Finally Beaten Off.

    Ashland, Or., Oct. 16.--Another batch of forty or fifty tramps arrived in Ashland on the freight train from the north this evening. This gang attempted to take possession of the day coach on the overland at Grants Pass this evening but were beaten off by trainmen with clubs and revolvers after numerous window lights in the car had been broken. The freight lays in Ashland overnight before going south, and the town is infested with crowds of tramps each night, though aside from the Chinese outrage last Wednesday night no particular depredations have been committed.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, October 17, 1893, page 1

They Want Better Cars.
    Roseburg, Or., Oct. 16.--Every freight train from the north brings in a large number of tramps. Yesterday the city gave 65 of them a Sunday dinner. This morning when the southbound overland arrived they rushed in and took complete possession of one of the coaches. This was too much for conductor Huff, and he summoned night watchman Wright, and with the trainmen proceeded to put them off. A lively scrimmage followed, but the tourists had to get out, one of them being badly injured by a brakeman's lantern coming in contact with his head, and several others bruised. Later on the freight carried them all out of town.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 20, 1893, page 3

    Jacksonville has not had an invasion of tramps so far and appears to be about the only town on the coast which has not suffered to some extent from that source.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 20, 1893, page 3

    Tramps are making sad havoc in gardens along the railroad, and chickens are compelled to roost high or go to fill a long-felt want among the tourists.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 20, 1893, page 3

    Every freight train from the north brings in a large number of tramps. Sunday the city of Roseburg gave a free dinner to sixty-five of them. Monday morning when the southbound passenger arrived they rushed in and took complete possession of one of the coaches. This was too much for conductor Huff, and he summoned night watchman Wright, and, with the trainmen, proceeded to put them off. A lively scrimmage followed, but the tourists had to get out, one of them being badly injured by a brakeman's lantern coming in contact with his head, and several others bruised. Later on the freight carried them all out of town. J. R. Erford was on the same train and reports a decidedly lively time. Revolvers were being flashed about promiscuously, and the passengers felt more of a disposition to climb through the car windows than the tramps did to going out the door.

"All the Local News," Medford Mail, October 20, 1893, page 3

    Four Albany boys decided to turn tramps and started Saturday noon toward the sunny climate of California. At Halsey they were put off the train and returned home by the night freight.
     The freight trains on the S.P. have adopted a new plan in relation to tramps. They back down below the station when they are ready to pull out, and then go full speed past the depot, leaving the tourists in many instances stranded.
     A band of 100 of the unemployed left San Francisco this week bound south. They stated that some of them wanted to go as far as New Orleans to work on levee work there, and wanted to take advantage of the present favorable rates for brakebeam tourists.
    Some people are taking advantage of the present phase of the tramp question to secure free transportation without the formality of buying a ticket over the road. Conductor Houston last week ejected two men from his train who wore genuine diamonds.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 27, 1893, page 3

Discipline Among Tramps.
    Some 85 tramps stopped off the overland at Grants Pass one morning last week, and the people thought it was better to feed them than to incur their enmity. So a number of citizens donated bread and other provisions, and the birds of passage pitched their camp in the company's woodpile, near the stockyards. They built a number of fires out of the company's wood, and constructed break-winds after cooking their meal and lay down to toast themselves for the night, as none of them had blankets. They were not a bad-looking set, and were simply a lot of improvident fellows whom the hard times had thrown out of employment. They were organized, had their own marshal and judge, and seemed determined to prevent any depredations on the part of their members. One of the party had some trouble with a brakeman, in which the member was proved to be wrong, so he was tried and sentenced to 30 planks with a board after his hands had been tied behind him.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 24, 1893, page 3

    Tramps continue as abundant as ever. Like the geese, they are on their way south.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 24, 1893, page 3

Foraging on the Country.
    The army of tramps now passing through has adopted Gen. Sherman's tactics in the march to the sea, and are foraging on the country. A few days ago a party of them, who were occupying one of the S.P. Co.'s boxcars, while passing Nichols, a small station in the Cow Creek Canyon, espied a fat porker in a pen near the track. They seized the animal and, despite his squealing and struggles, landed him in the car. When they arrived at Grants Pass the hog was killed, dressed and roasted by a fire built from the railroad company's wood, and the knights of the brakebeam for once enjoyed an epicurean feast.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 1, 1893, page 3

    Tramps continue plentiful and hundreds of them pass through the valley every month. Some of them thought to demolish Tom Roberts' saloon at Ashland one night last week, because he refused them drink, but he made it very lively for them, wounding two or three of them with his pistol.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 8, 1893, page 3

    Yesterday we went over by the depot to see the tramps camped under some white oaks where they had two big fires. A carpenter's bench was utilized for a table, upon which they had their kitchen, which consisted of empty five-gallon coal oil cans for cooking and quart fruit cans to hold their coffee and soup. Their utensils reminded us of prison life in Cahaba and Libby; but the "tramps" seemed cheerful and happy, and two were getting shaved by their comrades. "Cold comfort," said we. "Best we can do; and better this than no shave," quoth they. True philosophers. "Whence and whereaway boys?" "We are from the blarsted harvest fields of Washington and are better off than those who stayed." This was lamentably true, for our private correspondence from both Washington and Montana told of the calamitously unseasonable rains and snows in those high latitudes and altitudes which had brought even the well-to-do to the "slough of despond." Scores of fields were never harvested; and hundreds of harvests rotted before the weather got dry enough to thresh. Even that which was threshed was nearly all unmarketable from sprouting, moulding and smut. Those who could, borrowed and paid their hands; scores of men could not do that; could not even borrow for their own personal necessities. How sad that a financial crisis should have aggravated the general gloom. The tramp crowd were about eighteen in number and very civil. Just at this point a citizen of about fifty years came up and said, "Didn't I hear you make an address in the Presbyterian church at the Bible Society meeting?" "Yes, we were there and perpetrated some such." "Well, you didn't tell me anything new; and why didn't you tell these men how to make a living; why don't you tell them how to cultivate ten cents worth of self-respect and go to work. Here you are getting your magnificent salary--in fact all of you are the same--and why don't you come down from your loftiness and have some sympathy for the poor laboring man?" The haranguer then paused to catch his breath, when we mildly intimated that all the salary we had got or expected for the past three months would not till one tramp's mouth. Then when he had again got his wind, he continued. "Huh, poor preacher, poor pay!" Just at this juncture a tramp stepped up to him and said, "See here, Mr. Man, we don't want any more of your insult and you'll much oblige by not compelling us to remove you out of harm's way." Then he said to us, "Then you are acquainted with these men?" "No, never saw them before, but their camp fire reminded of soldiering and emigration. And not only that, twice in life we were stranded and had to beg meals and shelter. Tramping is no disgrace when it is inevitable." "Are you a populist?" quoth he. The same tramp again stepped up and said, "We will not hear you talk any longer and will see if your mouth can't be shut." We forgot to say that once in his harangue he accused them of not wanting employment. Several crowded around and caused him to conclude to retreat. Afterwards they told me that their original numbers had been decreased one-half by hiring, that three had found work the day before and that two had a prospect for that day. They had hopes of all getting places before reaching San Francisco. Thence we found our way to the packing house where a hog's head was obtained for a dime, from which would be made head cheese. and "punhoss," Pennsylvania for Yankee "scrapple." We are utterly unable to unravel the etymology. But our party has learned something about coffee. Begin with a clean vessel four to six hours prior to the meal. Put in both coffee and cold water to soak until mealtime. Then near mealtime set the pot where the water may merely heat and not boil one iota. When hot enough to drink, take off for use. It is then clear as crystal, strong and full of aroma which is driven off by boiling. The grounds can be left in until too large a body; for they do not become muddy as always when boiled.
Reese P. Kendall, writing from Medford on December 12, 1893, Western Call, Beloit, Kansas, December 22, 1893, page 5

    Sunday afternoon's freight had on board near seventy tramps. Fearing lest they would encroach upon the hospitality of Ashland thirty-one of them stopped off in Medford and waited for Monday's freight. A collection was taken about the city to provide something for them to eat and a place to sleep. A quarter of beef, potatoes, bread and other articles were bought for them and after an evening meal, cooked by themselves near Mr. Klippel's lumber yard, they were given sleeping room in the Clarendon barn. They had three meals off of our people and took the afternoon freight for the south. In conversation with one of the freight brakemen we learned that many of these supposedly unfortunate working men out of employment were nothing more or less than bums--a genteel class of bum who live upon the hospitality of the people when they have ample funds in their own pockets to buy their own meals. Says the brakeman, "Take the overalls and blouses off of some of them fellows and you will find a better suit of clothes than the average man dare hope to wear. They are human leeches. If the railroad was to refuse to carry them free, half of that crowd would step up to this window and buy tickets. It is an insult to generosity to feed them."
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, December 15, 1893, page 3

The Example Should Be Emulated.
    Ashland people have grown tired of feeding the hordes of tramps that have infested the city for some time past, and their council last week passed ordinances providing for the abatement of the nuisance. One ordinance provides for the punishment of vagrants by fine, not exceeding $25, or imprisonment of not more than 20 days, and the other provides for making them work on the streets. This is a move in the right direction. The surest and quickest way to get rid of the professional work-hunter is to show him a job, for it's the last thing he wants to see.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 15, 1893, page 3

    A party of tramps stopped off in Medford the other day, and a collection was made by the citizens to feed them. A quarter of beef, potatoes and other articles were furnished, and the wayfarers condescended to do the cooking and eating themselves. They should be discouraged at all hazards.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 22, 1893, page 2

    Two hundred and eight hobos went south on Sunday's freight.

"All the Local News," Medford Mail, December 22, 1893, page 3

A Trainload of Tramps.
    Ashland, Or., Dec. 17.--One hundred and seventy-five hobo tourists came in from the north this evening on a freight train on top of box cars. The town has refused to feed them, and there is some fear they will resort to violence, though appearing to be a peaceable set of men. This is the crowd that left Portland Wednesday evening, but their number has been considerably augmented along the road until yesterday at Grants Pass the crowd reached over 200, 25 dropping off since. All are bound for the warmer climate of California.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 22, 1893, page 2

    Col. Crocker denies that the S.P. Co. intend putting detectives on their trains to guard against tramps. One wreck caused by angering this gentry would work more injury to the railroad than furnishing free transportation for the tourists for years.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 4, 1894, page 3

Ashland and the Tramps.
    What does the city administration intend doing with the recent rehabilitation of the tramp ordinance whereby any citizen caught being a criminal (out of work and a poor man, ye gods) is thrown into jail, sentenced to 20 days, shackled with a ball and chain, over him a brute policeman and a club. Thus equipped, in a civilized age, in a Christian community, in the presence of the men, women and children of Ashland, must a man, yes an American freeman, suffer the penalties of an empty stomach and nothing to do. This picture was an everyday scene for months on the streets of Ashland four years ago, and is not exaggerated, the English language being far inadequate to portray the brutal spirit of the picture. The negro slave-drivers of the Congo treat their ignorant natives with more consideration. African slavery in the South was a sketch of scenery from paradise compared to it. Does the city council mean to again flaunt such indecent outrages to public view on an increased or enlarged basis, or does it mean that these ordinances should remain dead letters on the city statutes as living evidence to their grandchildren what chromos were elected to roost in the archives of the city A.D. 1893? The citizens of Ashland should know and be informed what their public servants mean.
    A chucklehead, with a gizzard as small as a mustard seed, bolsters up this infamous brutality by comparing it to the state law allowing people to work their road taxes out on the highways! Why doesn't someone trepan him and inject a quart of raw oysters into his fat-witted head?
    The law of economics is inexorable. There is a reason for the existence of tramps and no man in this age of cheap newspapers need hunt very long for the cause of the existence of 5,000,000 of them in the United States. Thirty years ago there was no such thing as a tramp. The tramp element is the outgrowth of thirty years of class legislation against the masses. If the corporation attorneys who have been sitting under the dome of the capitol at Washington had devoted their time to statesmanlike work in the way of protecting the producers of this nation instead of passing laws favoring trusts, combines, monopolies and national bankers, there would be no excuse for the adoption of such a cruel ordinance.
    Nobody can make us believe that five million able-bodied people prefer to lay around doing nothing rather than work, This nation would not live a day with that number of people so hopelessly degraded.
    No! This is not the way to solve the tramp question.
    The way to solve the nuisance is by extending them justice and not charity. Give the toilers of this nation a chance to live and they will eagerly grasp the opportunity to be industrious.
    "Equal rights to all and special privileges to none" is the foundation rock upon which to build up a true republic. Keep the masses prosperous and the nation will prosper. A nation that ensures prosperity only to interest-gatherers cannot live. It will go down and God speed the day when such a nation will sink. If a man has not the money with which to pay his fare on the railroad and travels afoot, the public call him a tramp. If he travels afoot in a direction in which no cars run he is called a tramp. If there is no work in his own country and he walks to another country to get work he is a tramp. If he is a stranger in a rich city and out of work he is a tramp. If a plainly dressed stranger is seen on foot anywhere he is regarded as a tramp, a thief and a scoundrel though he may be ever so honest.
    This notion is very wrong and misleading. Times are hard and work is scarce. There are thousands of men in every large city, as well as scores of them in every county, who cannot procure work, and a majority of them are honest men too. But if we treat them all as tramps and thieves we will help to make them such, and the sin will he more on our own heads than theirs, because any person will steal and rob before he would starve, and it would not be much more wicked either, because self-preservation is the first law of nature. The good are the salt of the earth, and if we are good, we will help to make others good, even though it costs us an effort to do so, by rendering them a little assistance. Society owes no man a living, but society does owe each man an opportunity to produce a living.
Valley Record, Ashland, January 11, 1894, page 3

A Female Hobo.
Grants Pass Courier.
    A female hobo stopped here a few days in "hitting the road" southward last week. She camped with five of the male fraternity in the company's woodpile and seemed perfectly at home in her queer calling. She is about thirty-five years of age and had the appearance of a hard-working farmer's wife. There was nothing vicious-looking about her. When seen by the Courier reporter she was seated inside a square breakwind composed of ties near the S.P.D.&L. [Sugar Pine Door & Lumber, Merlin] warehouse, eating a biscuit she had probably begged somewhere in town. She had an old newspaper spread on her lap to catch the crumbs, and when she got through eating she fished out some fine-cut tobacco and proceeded to prepare a cigarette. She hadn't much to say. When asked where she was going she simply pointed and said "south."
    "Where are you from?"
    "From Roseburg."
    "Been living in Roseburg?"
    "No; I stopped there a few days. I came there from Portland."
    "Is your husband along?"
    "Yes," she said, inclining her head toward a young Irishman in the group. "You bet I wouldn't be traveling here if I didn't have someone along."
    The individual indicated was unaware of the fact that he had been spoken of as her husband, but he said, "Oh, there's lots of women hitting the road back east.'' The reason the woman said he was her husband was probably because she felt ashamed of her position.
    A little fire was blazing in the center of the enclosure and a few old oyster cans were lying around as utensils. This is the spot where 208 tramps encamped one night last fall in their swarming southward, and the "improvements'' they put up still serve the belated wayfarer going that way.
    The tramp keeps going. He doesn't know and doesn't care where. To move about is his business, and the swarming northward will soon begin. Since last fall probably 4,000 have gone through this city. 

Valley Record, Ashland, March 8, 1894, page 1

    G. F. Fendall, the efficient night watchman of Ashland, was in Jacksonville the forepart of the week. He informs us that hoboes are still very thick, there being about fifty of them in the granite city the night he left home.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 5, 1894, page 3

    A number of disreputable characters, who were fired out of Grants Pass a short time ago, are hanging around Medford.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 5, 1894, page 2

An Army of Tramps.
    GRANTS PASS, Or., April 3.--Early this morning about 50 tramps, who were brought in on the northbound freight train, attempted to board the outgoing train and were ordered off. They gathered rocks and defied the trainmen, who withdrew and let them alone, but only about half of them left town. A part of the crowd was a hard lot and showed fight. This is the first lot of tramps who have passed here in a body northbound.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 5, 1894, page 3

An Assault by Tramps.
    Among the hobos beating their way south from Portland who were giving the train crews a great deal of bother were three negroes. Tuesday's southbound passenger encountered them at Woodville, where Brakeman A. T. Morian, while preventing them from getting on the blind baggage, was pulled off the train. Morian got on top of the negro and was thumping him. The other negro picked up a large-sized egg-shaped rock and threw it with terrific force and effect at Morian's head, the stone hitting Morian an awful blow alongside of the nose, knocking him into an unconscious state. With a bleeding, black and swelled face showing the hideous wound, Morian was put aboard the cars looking like a dead man. He came to when the train pulled into Ashland and had his wounds dressed. The negro who threw the stone escaped, but engineer McCarthy with a rock in his hand forced the other coon to change his run, and as he was attempting to leap over a fence conductor Kearney jerked him back and landed him on the train with a dull, sickening thud.
    The negro who did the act escaped and got into Rogue River. Putting his hat under his coat, he let himself under the water alongside of some brush, nothing but his black face appearing above. For about three hours he heard the search party all about him, hearing their threats to kill him on the spot if found. After the party left he got out of the cool water nearly chilled to death, and getting onto a sand bank he was sunned to sleep until Constable Carter found him and took him to Grants Pass. He was afraid to cross Rogue River when he could have made his escape. He thought all the time he had killed Morian. Constable Real brought him to Ashland this a.m. The examination on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill will be held in Ashland Saturday.

Valley Record, Ashland, August 23, 1894, page 3

    It is reasonable to presume that the element known and characterized as hobo will make itself scarce in this little city of ours when it becomes known among them that the city council has purchased balls and chains--the same to adorn the ankles of these gentry when caught idling about the streets. Any of these parties corralled by the city marshal are to be put to work cutting weeds or hammering rocks on the streets for a time equal to a cash payment of a fine for vagrancy.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, September 27, 1895, page 5

Train Crew vs. Hobo Fight.
    A Redding dispatch in the San Francisco Call last Thursday gives the following report of a conflict between conductor DePangher's train crew and a "tourist" mob:
    A small-sized battle was waged in this city last night between a gang of hobos and the train crew of overland passenger No. 16. The train crew was delayed seventeen hours on account of storms in Oregon, and as it pulled out of the station here seven hobos attempted to board it and beat their way south. The train crew proceeded to put them off and a running fight ensued. Bricks, rocks and clubs were used as weapons. Conductor DePangher narrowly escaped being killed. One of the infuriated hobos picked up a brick from a nearby pile and, taking deliberate aim, hurled it at the conductor. The latter fortunately dodged and the missile meant for him struck the car side. By heroic work the train crew came off victorious. The train pulled out without further molestation, and the hobos were compelled to foot it out of town.
Valley Record, Ashland, December 3, 1896, page 1

    The genus hobo is flitting northward in large bands, bound for Skagway or any other old place.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 21, 1898, page 3

    An Ashland lady asked a tramp who applied for assistance why he did not work at some trade, and was indignantly informed that he was a professional man. Further questioning developed that he was an after-dinner speaker, and would like to have an opportunity to practice his profession.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 21, 1898, page 3

    A hobo broke his leg in Medford early Friday morning, while attempting to board a freight train. He was brought to the county hospital for repairs.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 18, 1898, page 3

    The northward flight of geese, drummers and "weary willies" has commenced.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 24, 1899, page 3

    Max. Muller is mourning the loss of his best suit of clothes. The garments were hung out to air on the back porch of his residence, and when Mrs. M. went to bring them in at evening they had disappeared. Some "weary willie" is probably sporting a new suit now.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 11, 1899, page 3

    A couple of fakirs, with a trained dog named Dandy, gave an out-of-door performance near the Jacksonville marble works Monday evening. The crowd, which was a good-sized one, invested in a number of pictures of the dog and yielded up several simoleons to the hoboes, who were persistent collectors if nothing else. In return therefor they cracked some stale jokes and droned a few hoary-headed songs, to the disgust of their audience, who anxiously awaited the appearance of the dog. Finally Dandy made his appearance and scaled quite a long ladder, from the top of which he jumped into a blanket held by several people below, a clever trick by the way.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 29, 1899, page 3

    The sentencing of tramps to hard work on the public roads is to them the severest punishment that can be inflicted, and is the most effective way of dealing with the tramp problem.

"Additional Local," Medford Mail, March 6, 1900, page 7

    An unknown man, while beating his way on an extra freight over the Siskiyous last Sunday, met a horrible death. The unfortunate man was riding the buffers between two coal cars, and it is supposed, while shifting his body, he lost his balance and fell between the cars, which passed over him, completely severing his head from his body and otherwise badly mutilating him. The jolt of the cars passing over the man attracted the attention of the trainmen, who at first supposed it was a rock, but on investigation discovered the body of the man. The train was stopped and L. E. Cooper, the conductor, returned to the station at Siskiyou and notified the authorities of the accident and telegraphed for Coroner E. B. Pickel, who went to the scene and brought the remains to Medford on the evening train. It was taken to I. A. Webb's undertaking parlors and a coroner's jury, composed of A. M. Woodford, E. D. Elwood, W. L. Orr, A. D. Ray, W. Jackson and Fred Luy, was empaneled. Conductor Cooper and a brakeman named Rice were examined as witnesses, and their testimony was to the effect that a number of tramps were beating their way on the train, and that they had attempted to eject them. The brakeman, Rice, testified that he had been ordered to eject the men, and that he had ordered a number of them to get off, but they did not do so. He remembered having seen the deceased riding the buffers. The train was going slow at the time. The jury after hearing the testimony returned a verdict of accidental death while beating his way on freight train No. 222, and exonerated the railroad and the employees from all blame. The remains were buried in the potter's field in the Odd Fellows cemetery Monday. The man was apparently about fifty-five years of age, of Italian nationality and roughly dressed. A paper bag containing a small amount of coffee was found in one pocket, and forty cents in change in another. The only paper found on his person was a card bearing the name of a saloon in California. A couple of the tramps who were on the same train were in Medford Monday and stated that they saw the brakeman throw the man off the train, and that he struck the bank and fell back under the wheels. Dr. Pickel at once hunted them up and questioned them in regard to the statement, but they were evasive and not inclined to make such a charge before the proper officer.

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

    Grants Pass, Dec. 17.--This city is badly infested with hoboes, beggars and thieves, more so than it has been for a long time past. Just outside the city, by the railroad, the Weary Willie tribe are encamped, a great army of them, all races and colors, and most likely all degrees of criminals are represented. They have built shacks and are evidently prepared to spend the winter here. Their method of existence is by foraging, stealing, begging, in truth, any way to get food or clothes. The many petty thefts that have occurred in Grants Pass of late can easily be accounted for with such a lot of thieving parasites encamped at the city's door. None of them will work when such is offered to them, and the citizens have decided to organize a vigilance committee, whose duty it will be to swoop down on the Weary Willie camp and drive every hobo to the woods.
Valley Record, Ashland, December 19, 1901, page 3

    There was a regular Filipino "battle" at the Southern Pacific depot on Sunday. As a freight train was pulling out of the station conductor Jack Wrisley observed a hobo hanging onto the side of a car and promptly pulled him off. The fellow struck on his feet and fighting. He struck the conductor several times in the face before the latter could get straightened up. Then he started to run along the train with Wrisley in hot pursuit. Just then Wallace Mahoney came running up with some orders for the conductor, and the tramp thinking he was surrounded made a wild jab at Mahoney, breaking his hat brim, but otherwise not injuring him. Wallie countered with a stiff punch in the region of the solar plexus, which halted the hobo long enough for the pursuing trainman to come up. The two clinched and fell almost under the moving train. The hobo got to his feet first and continued his flight, meeting on the way a brakeman, who landed on him amidships with a piece of "air hose," doubling him up. By this time all the fight was taken out of him, and the last seen of him he was making record time south, not even stopping to pick up his hat. It was exciting while it lasted.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, January 24, 1902, page 7

Story of Anderson's Death.
    Last week these columns briefly told of a young man who met death near Talent by being run over by a freight train. No particulars could be secured at the time of going to press last week, but the further facts, as presented below, have since been gathered:
    His name was Harry Anderson or Andrews, of Riverside, Calif., and he met his death while riding on a northbound extra freight train about a mile north of Talent last Thursday morning about one o'clock .His hat was found about 200 yards south of where he was killed, and it is supposed that in trying to catch his hat he lost his balance and fell under the wheels of the train. He was dragged for quite a distance, and portions of his body were scattered along the track. One of his legs and an arm were completely severed from his body, and the others broken in many places. Before his body was freed from the train it was broken and his head cut until it was impossible to recognize his features and get an accurate description of him.
    He was about twenty-two years of age, smooth shaven, about five feet, six inches tall, and weighed 145 pounds. He wore a dark sack coat without a vest, had a black-striped shirt, light underwear of good quality and a number seven, slate-colored soft hat and had on a pair of number seven Congress gaiter shoes. In his pockets besides $2.20 in cash there was found a metal check bearing the inscription "III M.C. Co. 732," and is supposed to be a meal check issued by the Mountain Copper Company, of Keswick, Calif. Another metal piece in his pocket bore the name of Roberts Bros. & Co., Boston, Mass. and Willows, Calif., and on the other side was the picture of a horseshoe. He had five or six handkerchiefs in his pocket that were marked T.F.M. Two tramps who had come from Dunsmuir to Ashland with him said he was on his way to Butte, Montana, and that his name was Harry Anderson and was a cook by occupation. Coroner E. B. Pickel telegraphed to the chief of police at Riverside asking him to find the boy's parents, but nobody by that name could be found. But a boy by the name of Harry Andrews from Riverside was supposed to be working near Redding, and in all probability is the same person. He was buried at this place Friday.
    The verdict of the coroner's jury was that the deceased was an unknown man about twenty-two years of age and that he came to his death by falling from a moving train. They exonerated the Southern Pacific Company from all blame. The following citizens of Talent composed the jury: D. H. Hanscom, W. R. Lamb, M. L. Pellett, John Briner, S. Carlile and W. W. Estes.
Medford Mail, February 28, 1902, page 6

    A hobo dope fiend stole two boxes of hats in a Grants Pass store last week and attempted to sell them at 25 cents each. He was arrested.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 14, 1902, page 7

    One of our townspeople is responsible for the assertion that there's a new fake being worked by members of the tramp family. It hardly seems creditable that this class of people could devise a new fake, in the face of the many devices they have worked upon the charitably inclined denizens of this benignant region, but such is the case. Our informant relates that only a few days since a tramp made application at his roof-tree door for a meal, and after his volume of hard luck stories had been spun without any seeming effect upon the lady of the house--and no meal was forthcoming--he started out on a new lead and asked if the lady would kindly give him a postage stamp with which he could mail a letter to his relatives in the East and acquaint them with his dire distress in this cruel and heartless community. The lady of course would give up a stamp in an emergency case--such as this was pictured, and graciously received it was deposited by the tramp in a large envelope--and the husband who was taking in the proceedings while standing behind the door discovered that this envelope was full, two-thirds full, of new, bright stamps of the two-cent denomination. There were probably two dollars worth of stamps in the envelope, which were doubtless traded for drink or morphine before the bogus charity subject left the city.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 28, 1902, page 7

    If Medford would put up a rock pile and advertise for hoboes this place would not be such a popular place for gentlemen of that stripe. This is the time of the year they begin migrating to the north, and hardly a day passes but some of them are around canvassing citizens.
    People misled by charitable inclinations may take it for granted that deserving men are not going about the streets begging for money. A good many worthy men are at times forced to beat their way over the railroad; but they don't go about advertising their needs except to look for work. The hobo or tramp, on the other hand, makes a study of how to work upon the charitableness of people. It is an art, a profession, with them. One will go about with a limp, claiming he was hurt in a mine or some other place. Another will have his harm in a sling and present a card asking for help. There are firms in the East that make a business of manufacturing such things as are needed by hoboes and tramps for carrying on their profession. These print all kinds of cards, make artificial sores so natural that no one but an expert could tell the difference, and study up all kinds of novel ideas best calculated to reach the pockets of people through their hearts.
    The hobo business has reached big proportions. There is a great army of them scattered all over the United States, and they employ their ingenuity in studying up methods of getting money without working. Many of them show cunning worthy of a better cause, and a rock pile or a prospect of good, healthful toil are about the only things they dread or will serve to keep them away from a place. As most everyone knows, there is a sort of freemasonry among them, by which they leave signs telling others to avoid certain places and what houses or towns are the easiest worked.

Democratic Times,
Jacksonville, June 1, 1902, page 2

    Tramps, when they fail to connect with a brakebeam, get very weary of the long walks they have to make in getting over the heavy grades of the mountain section of the railroad, and they resort to all manner of desperate schemes to enable them to steal a ride upon the trains. J. C. Slagle, whose farm adjoins the Southern Pacific track six miles north of Medford, states that he saw a hobo, one day last week, deliberately take his life in his hand in order to secure a ride on the train. Just before the northbound afternoon passenger train was due, the tramp laid himself down across the track and never moved a muscle when the train came rushing upon him at the speed of fifty miles an hour. But the vigilance of the engineer prevented the country from being rid of one useless human wreck and the heavy overland was brought up with a jolt by the prompt application of the air brake, just as the front wheels of the locomotive were ready to crush the life out of the leg-weary and desperate tramp. No sooner had the train stopped than the hobo picked himself up and walked unconcernedly down by the cars and when the train started up he caught a rod and swung himself to the brakebeam, congratulating his luck at securing a ride with so little effort. But his hope of at once reaching Portland's beer and free lunches was quickly dispelled, for the conductor stopped the train and one of the brakemen hauled the luckless tramp from his retreat and taking him by the coat collar he escorted him to the rear of the train, where the muscular brake applied by means of his heavy shoe a vigorous massage to several parts of his anatomy, after which he started Weary Waggles down the track to resume his walk and the train again got under headway, with the tramp shouting maledictions on the greed of soulless corporations and the tyranny of a government that no longer protects the weak and downtrodden.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 13, 1902, page 7

    A vagrant ordinance was passed. This ordinance provides that any person without visible means of support; any person begging; any person who habitually roams about the streets without any lawful business; any person living in a bawdy house or found about such places; any person wandering about the streets or alleys after 10 o'clock at night without any lawful business, shall be deemed vagrants and are subject to arrest by the city police, and upon conviction shall be fined not less than five days, nor more than twenty days at hard work upon the city rock pile or upon the streets.
    Ordinance was passed requiring all city prisoners to work out their fines upon the city rock pile or upon the streets.

"City Council Proceedings," Medford Mail, November 7, 1902, page 2

The Hobo Plague.
    Six hobos were run in Wednesday night by the police, but were given their liberty the next day on their promising to leave town, which they did in short order. They escaped having to do work upon the streets by the city authorities having no stone pile ready for their attention, and it was too rainy and muddy for the street commissioner to employ them in doing repair work on the streets. The city will soon have a stone pile in the jail yard; then these husky, lazy hobos can be made to earn their lodging while stopping in Medford. These tramps are getting to be very plentiful in Medford of late, for they like the wild geese spend their summer in the North and so soon as cold weather comes on they file out singly and in squads for California, where they spend the winter and then in the spring go north again. Their fall migration is now on, and reports come from all over town of their begging for food and clothing at private residences. And the womenfolks with few exceptions, through either fear or compassion, fix up a meal for them and outfit them with thrown-by coats, shoes, etc.
    With the demand for labor that there now is, no man is compelled to beg, and these hobos should be put to work on the city rock pile until they are willing to get at some honest employment to earn their own living. Their begging and stealing depredations could be largely stopped if people would report them promptly to the police instead of feeding them and sending them on to annoy someone else.
Medford Success, November 14, 1902, page 1. SOHS Research Library M77F2

    Marshal Howard is patiently waiting for a conviction under the new vagrancy ordinance so that he can try the ball and chain apparatus which the city has had prepared for the decoration of such malefactors. Since the passing of the above ordinance the gentry of the genus hobo have sought rather shy of Medford, as they have no particular desire to work on the streets, and as a consequence Chief Howard so far has had no use for the ball and chain.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 28, 1902, page 7

    For the first time since the vagrancy ordinance was passed the chain gang was in evidence on the streets of Medford on Monday. Six professional tourists were gathered in Sunday evening by Chief Howard at a campfire they had built below the Southern Pacific water tank, and on Monday morning were sentenced to five days at hard labor on the streets. The supply of balls and chains was not equal to the demand--there are only three sets--so that three of the traveling gentlemen were placed under the immediate supervision of Street Commissioner Brandenburg. Their names are Harry Shane, Edward Thompson, Fred Heaguy, Jas. Davis, Frank Williams, Fred Watson. Jas. Riley was given his fourth sentence for being drunk, being fined $16.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 26, 1902, page 7

    Tramps, hoboes, "dead broke" travelers and al who may have been accustomed to cheapening their transportation expense accounts by "beating the blind," "swinging the rods" or "riding the decks," to escape payment of railroad fare, will be seriously inconvenienced by the provisions of Senate Bill No. 133, in the event that measure becomes a law. This bill was brought up by Senator Williamson of Crook County, and makes it a misdemeanor to steal rides on railroad trains. Trainmen are empowered under this measure to arrest persons caught in the act of stealing rides, and a penalty of not more than 30 days imprisonment or a fine of not to exceed $50 is prescribed. It seems to us that there is enough legislation in favor of railroads already. It is too bad that they must be protected against the poor hobo and his kind by legislation.

Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 11, 1903, page 2

    Like birds of passage, the touts, roués and thugs are traveling south nowadays to escape the rigors of northern winter. It behooves people to place their valuables under lock and key. Shady characters are stopping off at valley towns en route, and everything portable is liable to turn up missing. Medford has not been inflicted to any great extent with petty thieving this season, owing probably to the fact that offenders of this kind have been apprehended with--to them--painful regularity whenever they "turned a trick" in this man's town. However, the warning conveyed in the above paragraph is not one to be disregarded.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 4, 1904, page 5

Fatal Duel Between Three Farm Hands and Boxcar Thieves Aboard Moving Train in Southern Oregon--One Killed and Three Injured--Thieves Escape.
(Special to The Appeal.)
    ASHLAND, Ore., Oct. 18.--One man was killed and two probably fatally injured this morning in a desperate battle between train thieves and three farm hands who were riding in a freight car near Steinman, ten miles from this city.
    The officers of Jackson County are out en masse and a big posse of deputies is scouring the county in an effort to find the murderous robbers.
    Charles Fink, William Homerick and Frederick Mason, the farm hands, saw three thieves going through a couple of box cars in the train on which they were riding. They attempted to capture the thieves and Fink was immediately shot dead.
    Both sides then began fighting and there was a heavy fusillade of bullets. The thieves finally jumped from the train and escaped in the woods.
    Homerick was shot in the knee and in the chest and Mason received a bullet through the thigh.
    When the train reached Siskiyou station the sheriff was notified and he at once sent down a posse of deputies and went himself to the scene of the trouble.
    The farm hands were en route to the Sacramento Valley, where they expected to get work. All had money and watches. On Fink's body was found a bank book showing a deposit of $685 in Hennepin County Savings Bank of Minneapolis, Minn. Fink's parents are believed to be living in Downs, Kansas.
    The train crew did not hear the shooting and were unaware of the trouble until the train reached Siskiyou.

Marysville Daily Appeal, Marysville, California, October 19, 1907, page 1

Twenty-Two Tramps Taken in Custody and Forced to Go to Work or Leave Town by Night Watchman Brophy.
Begged Meals Around Town and Rushed the Growler on Tips Picked Up
    Night policeman Jeff Brophy Thursday evening made a wholesale roundup of the hoboes and tramps that have made Medford a rendezvous for the past week, arresting 22 of them. The men were found in bands along the track, sleeping in warehouses and boxcars.
    Some of the men professed to be in search of employment, and these were sent out to work on the city water pipe being installed by the Fish Lake company, where they will have a chance to make good. The rest will have to leave town or work a jail board bill out.
    For a month past tramps have annoyed the citizens of Medford, and several burglaries have been committed, for which they have been blamed. They have secured meals by begging from door to door. They were kept in funds by "touching" the business men of the city for small change to pay "for a meal" or "night's lodging." This money was spent "rushing the growler" at night, first one member of the gang securing a bucket of beer and then another.
    They had become bolder and bolder in their operations, pretending to seek employment at a time when orchardists, hay raisers, the P.&E. and the Fish Lake company are putting every available man at work.
    One of the arrested men proved to be Samuel Graham, who was arrested and fined $15 for drunkenness last September. He promised to remit the fine but never did, so was given a chance to work it out.
    The rest of the men were marched out of town.
Medford Daily Tribune, June 11, 1909, page 1

Last Hobo Ordered to Rock Pile.
    MEDFORD, Or., May. 26.--(Special.)--Today there is only one hobo left in Medford. Yesterday the police rounded up 23 "gentlemen of the road" and the day before nine. The one remaining hobo has been invited to leave before morning or serve 30 days on the rock pile.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 27, 1910, page 4

    Chief Shearer reports that the last of the hoboes has quietly crept away to parts unknown. The city is entirely free of Weary Willies for once. When he started to "clean up" he had twenty-three, and it took a week to clean them out.

"Social and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, May 29, 1910, page 5

Roundup Gets Rid of All Loafers--Solitary Individual Has Not Decided Upon
Which Way To Travel, but Will Be Assisted by Chief.
    The police are keeping after the hoboes in Medford, and now have them all cleaned out with the exception of one man, who states that he hasn't yet decided which direction he wants to take. If he isn't gone tomorrow or at work the chief will help him make up his mind. The first day 23 were rounded up, the second nine, the third four, and now but one remains.
    Chief Shearer reports many 'boes traveling north, but says most of them go on through.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 26, 1910, page 1

    A solitary hobo plodded through town this morning on his way south. In addition to his blankets, he carried a huge umbrella, which was used to shield him from the sun. He attracted much attention as he passed the Southern Pacific depot.
"Social and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, May 31, 1910, page 5

"A No. 1" Strikes Town.
    Have you ever seen a queer cabalistic sign painted on fences and barns along the railroad right of ways, carved artistically into shanties, water tanks, etc., etc., etc., "A No. 1" with date and an arrow beneath it? If you have never seen it, watch for it and you will be surprised to notice for how many years some of these marks have been decorating those above-mentioned places. It is a queer sign, yet it means that "A No. 1," the world's famous tramp, has passed through and has left behind him this mark showing the date and direction he was journeying. This man whose only name is this sobriquet, "A No. 1," visited Ashland last Friday.
    He claims to be a Frenchman by birth, and makes his living by selling a book, "The Life and Adventures of 'A No. 1'," written by himself. It is an illustrated book and contains some wholesome advice to boys who are not satisfied with their home. He also sells beautiful postal cards with his picture, records and autograph on same as souvenirs.
    He has hoboed since 1883, 465,230 miles, and has spent only $7.61 on railroad fare.
    According to his story, he has been around the world three times. He is a linguist; speaks and writes in four languages. Has prevented twenty wrecks. Wears a $40.00 suit of clothes and a gold watch. Keeps his name a secret, does not chew, smoke, drink or gamble.
    He was in town but a short time, and disappeared as suddenly as he came, and may be next heard from in any old place from the extreme of Cape Nome to Singapore.
Ashland Tidings, September 15, 1910, page 1

Over 200 Members of I.W.W. Leave Portland on Freight Trains Bound for Fresno Where Fight Is On--Local Police Ready.

    PORTLAND, Or., Feb. 16.--Intent on joining the fight against the citizens of Fresno, 200 members of the Industrial Workers of the World left Portland today aboard freight trains for California.
    The Industrialists reached Portland last night from Spokane and various other cities of the Pacific Northwest.
    The local police department has been advised of the expected advent of this army and will be ready to keep them on their way to Fresno.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 16, 1911, page 6

California Militia Is Ordered in Readiness to Watch Them When State Line Is Crossed--Special Southern Pacific Police Put Band Off Train.

    Thrown off a freight train in Ashland this morning by special police in the employ of the Southern Pacific railroad, nearly 200 members of the Industrial Workers of the World are encamped just south of the city limits of Ashland awaiting a chance to proceed to Fresno, Cal., where they will join in the battle for industrial freedom in that city.
    The men arrived in Ashland this morning and were warned off the trains. So far they have not made a single hostile demonstration. The police are on guard against their entering the city.
    A small landslide south of the city this morning gave rise to a report that the band had stopped the train and boarded it for the purpose of reaching California.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 17, 1911, page 1

Railroad Officials Give Orders for All Trains to Rush By

Associated Press Dispatch.
    REDDING, California, February 17.--Drenched by icy rain and devoid of a food supply, 160 members of the I.W.W., who left Ashland, Oregon, this morning on a tramp to Fresno to reinforce their brethren there in a "free speech" campaign, are stormbound tonight at Steinman, Oregon.
    Southern Pacific trainmen say the men are huddled in the shelter of a water tank waiting for a chance to board a freight train. The railroad has given an order that no trains stop at Steinman, and mountaineers state that there is a grave danger that the wayfarers may perish in the Siskiyous.
    Authorities at Dunsmuir fear trouble when the half-starved army reaches there and contemplate asking the governor to send troops to aid in handling the situation.
    Word was received from Ashland that a large part of the delegation is armed.
Duped at Ashland
Special to the Sun.
    ASHLAND, February 17.--Something near 160 men, alleging themselves to be members of the I.W.W. organization, landed in Ashland about daylight this morning, coming from the north on a Southern Pacific freight train.
    The men stated that they were on the way to Fresno, California, claiming that they were going to the California town to attend a convention of their members.
    At Ashland they were the victims of a trick played on them by the crew of a southbound freight. When the army of unkempt tourists decided that they had seen enough of Ashland they piled on three flatcars of a southbound train. The chief of police went to them and told their leader that the freight crew had received orders not to move the train as long as the travelers were on board. The chief advised the men to leave the train and go up the track a short distance, from where they could catch the cars as the train passed south. This the entire gang agreed to and marched south along the right-of-way. When they had left the freight, the train made a spurt and the engineer got on speed sufficient to pass the entire army without a single man catching it.
    One member of the travelers had remained on the train unobserved, and when he saw that his comrades had been left, he cut the train in two. This necessitated a stop of the engine and its half of the train. The engineer backed up and the cars coupled before any of the hurrying tourists could catch it. The engineer put on full steam and the freight train left the crowd far behind.
    The men then began a journey toward the south afoot, and the last heard from them they had reached Steinman, about twelve miles south.
    It is reported here this afternoon that the army will make an effort to board No. 25, a freight which passes Ashland for the south at about 8 o'clock tonight.
    It is said that several companies of militia will meet the men near the state line and turn them back into Oregon.
Medford Sun, February 18, 1911, page 1

Evidence Found Showing Where Medford Chickens Have Been Going--
Camp Broken Up and Men Told To Hit the Ties.
    The local police force Saturday raided the hoboes' camp on Bear Creek, and after destroying the rough domiciles of the weary Willies ran the men out of town. No less than a dozen knights of the road were given hurry-up orders and hit the ties.
    From the great quantity of feathers found in the camp it is believed that the hoboes are responsible for the chickens which have been missing from Medford roosts during the past week, which has been a subject of daily comment.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 19, 1911, page 1

    The police force of Medford is working overtime to keep Medford clean of hoboes and beggars. Thursday morning five were escorted to the north city limits and told to bid Medford a fond goodbye.
    Early this morning a freight train pulled into Medford, and officers Hull and Cingcade said that hoboes seemed to spring from every car and rod. There were at least 100 on the cars. They rode brakes, couplings and the decks of the cars.
    The policemen ordered them to get back on the freight and not try to stop here.
    They were told Medford had a rock pile, and no further argument was needed.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 6, 1911, page 6

Housewives Are Being Troubled--Clothes and Food Is Being Asked--
Are Unfavorably Inclined Toward Jobs.
    Housewives in various parts of the city are being troubled considerably during the past week by hoboes who come to the back doors and beg for clothes. These men are not content to ask for food as in the usual cases but always ask for shoes, hats and other articles of wearing apparel.
    They always want something better than they have on and always have a job ready for them if they can make a presentable appearance.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 14, 1911, page 8

Bunch of Hoboes Rounded Up, Given Breakfast and Marched Out of Town--
Found Sleeping in Boxcars and Alleys and Ordered To Leave.
    Although business conditions seem to be improving, the money market is tightening up, there being little of the "filthy" in circulation. At least that is the conclusion reached by Mayor Canon sitting as police judge Thursday morning. Twenty-one vags had been rounded [up], and in the entire bunch he found just $1.15. In other words the general average of coin in circulation on South Front is 5½ cents per capita.
    None of the men were drunk when rounded up by the police--they were common vags on which a war of extermination as far as Medford is concerned has been declared. Mayor Canon hesitated to take the coin away from them, as they all wanted a bite to eat. So the men were herded in a body by the cops to an eating house and there given a cup of coffee and a bit of bread, then herded out of the city.
    The men were found sleeping in different boxcars and alleys of the city without funds and out of a job. These men must go, stated the city officials a few days ago, and therefore they were rounded up and then "shooed" down the tracks.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 29, 1911, page 8


    The author of this article has studied at short range those sections of our criminal and delinquent classes which include beggars, impostors, tramps and "yeggmen." As the Secretary of the National Association for the Prevention of Mendicancy he is a leading authority of the country on these representatives of the underworld.--The Editors.

    By tramp tradition, the pioneer professional vagrants of America were two discharged Union soldiers known in tramp lore as "Erie Crip" and "Philly Pop." Long ago "Crip" left the road and is said to have become a justice of the peace in an Indiana town. But the wanderlust never lost its grip on "Pop." Only a few years ago he was a "local rider " on Pennsylvania branch lines, having sunk to the level of the "mush faker," the pariah of the tramp world.
    In the early '70s the tramp had become a well-organized fungus growth on the body of society. Railway construction work was on in dead earnest. The restless laborer, seeking to better his condition, changed from camp to camp, and thus contracted wanderlust. Labor troubles, with their long record of violence, bloodshed, arson and the "blacklist," put thousands of men on the road, and--so to speak--crystallized the tramp as an institution.
    Then, as now, the principal cause of this evil was our industrial system, with its merciless speeding up and crowding of production, followed by panic, and the throwing of hundreds of thousands of workers into idleness.
    In trampdom there are a great many more second, third and fourth rate men than "good people." This article concerns only the vicious class of tramp known as "good people." The "good people"--the self-constituted aristocracy of trampdom--are professional idlers. They ride freight cars about the country, live by begging and petty larceny, and are not averse to the more serious crimes such as temperament dictates or opportunity affords. Of the three hundred and fifty thousand men and boys on the road in the United States today probably not more than seventy-five thousand would be eligible to this highest rank. The "mush faker" at the other end of the social scale corresponds in the tramp world to the thief of the criminal world who has lost his nerve and is "bull simple" (afraid of the police), "car simple" (afraid of the cars), or "stir simple" (afraid of the prison). He goes about on foot if he cannot catch a train "lying dead" and usually pursues some ostensible vocation, such as the mending of umbrellas or the peddling of spectacles. He is a superannuated tramp, and the prison, the hospital, the almshouse and the city streets make such onslaughts on the vagrant body at large that the number of "mush fakers" who reach the age of retirement is so small that it is doubtful if there are more than fifty thousand of this class in the country.
    The majority of all tramps are "gay cats"--occasional vagrants. These fellows lack the real love for the road which marks the true-blue tramp. They are not averse to prolonged begging in such cities as will tolerate them, and feel no shame in operating as "mission stiffs," cadging meals and bed tickets from "sky pilots" (clergymen), even at the cost of pretending to be converted.
    The third class of "hobo" is the transient workman, distinctly a product of industrial conditions. Numerically, he ranks third. Seasonal laborers from the lumber camps of the Northwest, the wheat fields of Kansas, the steamers of the Great Lakes, the canals and the ice companies, where men are employed for a portion of the year only and then left homeless and without family ties, largely make up this class.
    There is still another class who, while not legitimately tramps, are often treated as such by the railway men. These are known as "local riders." They are found in large numbers in coal-mining regions and manufacturing centers, and make a practice of stealing transportation to and from work.
    By the beginning of the '90s, the first generation of tramps had passed away or had been absorbed into almshouses, prisons and hospitals. But they had left well-defined traditions: hatred of society; caste; a distinct vernacular; devices for defrauding, cajoling or browbeating the charitable; and a gradually developing system of recruiting. Indeed, if it were not for this peculiar system of recruiting, the ranks of trampdom would be sorely depleted, since the industrial world is not so prone as formerly to supply the annual loss. And this loss is great. Life on the road calls for a heavy toll. Few men undergo as many hardships of weather, hunger and unattended sickness as the tramp. His intemperate habits contribute heavily to the casualties which his kind suffers. Unavoidable accidents along the lines of railways--and he rarely infests any territory not traversed by trunk lines--stretch the death list appallingly. From 1901 to 1905, inclusive, fifty railways reported 25,236 trespassers killed, of whom from fifty to seventy-five percent were tramps.
    The great trunk lines have vainly sought to suppress the tramp. He causes heavy losses annually in the lives of trainmen, in hospital bills for aid and amputation and the like. By a curious irony, the company pays for his burial, even if he is killed while in unlawful possession of its rolling stock. Beyond this, the railways are put to the expense and trouble of maintaining extensive police departments. Even the great Pennsylvania system failed, having made the most extended experiments of all in this direction, in keeping its property free from these social derelicts. Thousands of tramps are arrested on the large lines every year. The evil has become a very deluge, the despair alike of economists, sociologists, magistrates, policemen and jailers.
    Of late, even women have definitely abandoned the discipline of employment and lived as outcasts and wanderers, in defiance of society. But so far the number of female vagrants is negligible, and there seems little danger of individual tendencies developing into a popular movement.
    From the ranks of men and boys thrown into idleness by some industrial eruption are recruited all tramps of the "gay cat" and "hobo" classes. These are looked down upon by "John Johnson" and "John Yegg," the "good people" and the "hard-boiled people" respectively, who have entered the service as boys, and who carry on wrist and ankle the sign manual of the road. So long as times are bad the "gay cat" and the "hobo" infest the "jungle"--in tramp parlance, "anywhere outside of the cities"---but are again quickly absorbed by reviving industrial conditions. Therefore, they cannot be depended on permanently to maintain the ranks of the "good people."
    Following the innate tendency of man to recruit for the field in which he is engaged, but even more so with the purpose of making life easier for himself, the tramp at once secures a drudge to do his bidding and overcome the danger of the decimation of his ranks. It is thus that he has developed the sinister institution known as the "jocker" and the "kid." Quite logically, then, the present generation of vicious tramps or "good people" is recruited almost wholly from boys who have been cajoled or kidnapped within the last ten or fifteen years, trained in beggary and theft and in implicit obedience to the "jocker" or tramp master.
    Thousands of boys, some hardly out of knickerbockers, and in many instances mere children, are lured by tramps to the service of the road by wonderful stories of lemonade springs and rock candy mines. Scarcely a railway town in the country does not mourn the loss of some bright, adventurous boy. Within a year the writer received two complaints, one from a well-known lawyer, the other from a real estate man, of boys kidnapped on New York's West Side and forced on to the road by one "Spike Hennessey."
    The railway yards are fertile fields for recruiting. Schoolboys frequent such places to watch the fascinating operations there. But the most dangerous place of all is the water tank. Scrawled all over with hieroglyphics, it is a regular bulletin. Here is posted exchange information by tramps resting between trains. The schoolboy, encouraged, joins the circle of men and experienced boys, and hears wonderful tales of adventure and gain to be had by running away from home. If cajolery fails, literal violence is too often employed to get the boy aboard a freight train. Here, in a boxcar, at the mercy of a score of tramps, he has no choice but to throw in his lot with his captors. After a beating or two, he begins to absorb the ethics of his new life. He must beg money, food, clothing and whatnot, that his "jocker" may rest comfortably in camp, or in the saloon, or even in the greater privacy of mixed ale parties in some furnished room, if in town.
    Watched with eagle eyes, the youngster tells the stories dictated by his "jocker" and poses as an orphan or waif, "traveling freight" to some point where he has relatives. To make him more successful as a beggar, and at the same time to commit him more definitely to the life of "the road," he is marked on wrist or ankle with lye or cantharides, which causes the formation of sores. These scars are indelible. They are called "lye bugs," and are exhibited--for gain--as the result of industrial accidents. That the boy's vigilance may not relax, the sores are kept raw with carbolic acid at the expense of excruciating pain to the victim. But the process pays his master through the enhanced value of the boy as a money-getter, an art known to the tramp as "throwing the feet." In addition to his work as beggar, the boy is also valet to his "jocker." He shaves him daily, washes his clothes, sews on buttons and the like, and, if he acquit himself creditably, he may cherish ambitions to become a "jocker" himself, with license to "snare" a kid for his own service. However, before he does this he must produce a growth of beard or "fuzz" requiring the daily attentions of a "shiv," since the moral law of trampdom requires that no kid be snared and kept in idleness.
    If the boy does not early develop success as mendicant or menial, or if he be not as docile as his "jocker" may require, he is usually "lost" at some convenient point. Many sinister stories obtain of boys being beaten to death or thrown from trains.
    Apropos of the charges that tramps murder tramps, President James J. Hill, of the Great Northern, writes: "It would be difficult to gather reliable statistics on this point, because a large percentage of the tramps reported as killed on the railways are really murdered. Men returning from the harvest fields with their wages are killed for their money by their more vicious and criminal fellows, the body is flung from the train while in motion, and the reported death by railway is actually one of homicide."
    Many mutilated tramps are continually cast on the streets of our cities, where they exploit as beggars injuries received on the railway. One of the most enterprising of these was Frank McIntyre, known as the "nixey winger" (no arms) kid. One frosty morning McIntyre fell under a train and lost both arms. He now travels as a professional mendicant, with his valet, whom he pays $2 a day.
    The tramp of the "good people" class prefers the road at all times. He pays only occasional visits to the larger towns in which "ex-members" have established themselves as saloon-keepers and maintain a rendezvous, or, as he calls it, a "dump." Here the atmosphere is congenial to his kind. Real names are discarded for the "moniker," which every tramp bears, and which is suggested by the section he comes from or some striking peculiarity. Here he meets "Baltimore Blue," "Boston Fish," "Ohio Slim," "Susquehanna Red," or whatnot. But his stay is short. Long experience has told him that his kind quickly deteriorates, grows physically flabby, in the atmosphere of saloon back rooms and indulgence in unlimited "suds" and "white line" (alcohol), so readily obtained by "skull-dragging 'em" on the "main stem" (Broadway or the like), "telling the suckers how it happened," and "realizing" in a day of "short plunges" or brief excursions from the bar room to the street and return. This process yields more "white money" (silver) and "Indians" (pennies) in a day than can be got by a week's hard "battering" (begging) in the "jungle," but it does not compensate for the demoralization of a brief visit in town. In fact, every move of the high-class tramp shows a carefully thought out, if not traditional, system of life.
    The public does not realize at all what a closely knit organization high-class trampdom really is. Its methods of obtaining and transmitting information are remarkable. Mobile, trained in the dangers of the road, its members, individually or in a body, make nothing of crossing the continent to attend a conference of their kind, or to visit the notorious "dump" of some "ex." They "jump" into the Southwest for the winter, or into Maine and Canada for the summer, with expedition and small concern. Without trouble they flock to a Galveston or a San Francisco in the wake of a great disaster that will loosen charitable purse-strings. Still more quickly will they travel thousands of miles to avenge a wrong done a partner or to go to the defense of one of their own people.
    But the tramp convention is what tests out the efficiency of the organization. Some twelve years ago Joe Le Boeuf's "dump" in the eastern part of Montreal was selected for a gathering--a sort of giant surprise party to "Frenchy," as Joe had been known on "the road." "Mickey" Gorman, one of the best-known tramp improvisers, celebrated the event in verse, but only a few lines of the effusion have come out from the closely guarded inner life of "the road." Here they are as I got them:


"If you'll give me your attention,
    Some facts to you I'll mention
About the bums' convention
    hat was held at Montreal.
Oh, each gunsel got directions
    To go yegg a swag of sections
For the jockers in convention
    In the hall at Montreal.
They were hikin' through the tunnels,
    Holding onto funnels,
Riding on the gunnels,
    On the way to Montreal."
    Green Island, Iowa, in the Mississippi River below Keokuk, where two lines of railways cross, is a favorite place for tramp conventions. Here they assemble, as many as four thousand often being present at a time. It is reported that on one occasion seventeen wagonloads of beer were consumed by the assembly of vagrants in one day. Again, at Bath Beach in 1903, in a fight between "British" and "Curly Rex," upwards of three hundred "good people" attended, and when the fight was over held a big barbecue.


    No outsider can appreciate the enthusiasm aroused around the campfire in the "jungle" when some tramp with a gift for improvisation puts into rhyme the traditions, the achievements and the life of the road. In some secluded spot, not too far from a big railway yard at a division point, are gathered about the fire men and boys bound East, West, North, or South, indulging in the highest luxury--that of exchanging confidences or swapping news. Here the "jockers," well served by their "kids," who have "plinged" the "main stem" of the nearest town for "punk" (bread), "guts" (meat), "rags," "brogans," or "sky pieces," but principally the "coin," which has resulted in liberal supplies of liquor, indulge to the limit.
    A crowd of "hoboes" or "gay cats" under similar conditions would talk about the chances for work in the various sections traversed by the road. But the real tramp has no use for that sort of thing. He lives habitually by begging. His code of ethics is peculiarly his own. In a vernacular which would puzzle the most experienced detective, "jockers" and "kids" discuss only the matter of supplying their wants, with no thought of drudgery or work. This, that, or the other town is "hostile," and must be shunned. Or a particularly "fresh" railway "bull" (detective) is stationed at such and such a point; the boys must "ditch" at the water tank and walk around the yard, "makin' her" again as she pulls out on the other side. This they must do till "Topeka Joe," "Winnipeg Harry," or some other gunfighter of the road comes along with his "cannon" and "croaks the bull." Over yonder is a farmer's barn which was saved from fire by tramps, and its shelter may be enjoyed by any of the "good people." On freight number so and so "captain" and "shack" (conductor and brakeman) will do business for a flask of booze, or a few plugs of tobacco will stand for the "free riders."
    As the night advances and liquor mounts to the brains ol all, fierce dissensions arise, often ending in the free use of the "shiv" or "smoke wagon." It often happens that tragedies occur through the disregard of the rights of a "jocker" over his "kid." It is a cardinal precept of the road that in return for the absolute loyalty of the "kid" the "jocker" protects him on every occasion.
    "Jungle" etiquette ordains that the "kid" shall not raise his voice about the fire unless permitted, and when he does so it is only in order to furnish entertainment by song or recitation. At a nod from his "jocker," Harrigan, the "Billy Kid" sings the following song, which tells the entire story of the recruiting of boys:


"Oh, when I was a little boy
    I started for the West,
But I hadn't got no further than Cheyenne
    When I met a husky 'burly' (able-bodied tramp)
Who was rather poorly dressed,
    And he flagged me with a big lump and a can.
When I saw that cup of coffee,
    How it made me think of home!
'Won:t you let me have some,'
    Said I, 'Good Mister Bum?
Remember, you were once a kid yourself.'
He looked at me quite fiercely
    O'er his grizzled, gray mustache;
On his weather-beaten face appeared a frown.
    He said, 'You little bummer,
What for should you pling me?
    Why don't you batter privates (beg from
        private houses) up in town?
He asked me what my age might be;
    I told him just sixteen,
That Boston was the town that I came from.
    In his eyes appeared a stare,
'I think you I will snare,
    For you surely have the makings of a bum.'
He asked me could I steal,  
    And when I told him ' No,'
I could tell he was delighted by his looks,
    For he said the kids he'd with him
Up to the present time
    Were all in stir (prison) for thinking they
        were hooks" (thieves).
    Thus the narrator may go on indefinitely so long as it appeals to his audience.
    When the boy has attested his loyalty in recitation or song, it becomes the part of the "jocker" to justify himself as the guardian. Usually the case of "Pottsville Al" and his "kid" is selected for example, although that of the "Spider Kid" and his "jocker," or of "Chi Slater" and the "Star Kid," is equally famous.
    In 1895 "Pottsville Al" decoyed from home a boy living in one of the smart suburbs of Cincinnati. He was dubbed the "Cincy Kid," and his intelligence and good looks made him an excellent money-getter. The boy's parents scoured the country with detectives, and he was presently located and arrested in Oregon. The sleuths then proceeded to take him home. With all his eloquence, and with a view to impress the "kids," the "jungle" orator tells how "Pottsville Al," with grim determination, stuck to the "kid's" trail and reached the home station at the same time with the boy and his captors. He sings of trains made and lost by "Pottsville Al," of "shades" and "bulls" bought, cajoled, outwitted or murderously assaulted; how incredible feats of train-jumping were done; how devices worthy of Ulysses the wily were used in "holding down" "dicers" (fast freights), "rattlers" (passenger trains) and "John O'Briens" (the common or garden variety of freight train). He lifts his voice and dilates upon the suffering of the man riding blind baggage, the rods or the roofs or even shoveling coal.
    The tale or rhyme thus recited really shows the intuition, the infallible skill, of the tramp in gleaning from his fellows or from railway men and the police the various trains taken by the detective and the "kid." And then with one great climax the campfire Homer describes the one swift "giving the office" (making the sign) on the Cincinnati platform, and all the work of parents and officers was undone. That night the "Cincy Kid" slipped back into the underworld and emerged no more. This is a true story. Some three years ago, in one of the squalid furnished-room houses which cluster on High Street, Brooklyn, in an evil section near the Navy Yard, there died the wreck of the "Cincy Kid." To the end he was loyal to the outcasts who had ruined his life, and they paid him the tribute of a "swell funeral."
    The case of "Chi Slater" and the "Star Kid " is told to show the interest which tramps have in the money-getting capacity of their "kids." Through his excellence in this line, the "Star Kid" gained his "moniker." He was a nervous, high-strung boy, difficult to control, and the judicious disciplining by Slater is favorably commented upon in trampdom as a means of "holding" a good "kid" who is prone to kick over the traces. In case of dereliction of duty, Slater used to impose a fresh "bug"--sometimes two or three--causing frightful screams from the unhappy "star," but thereby "cinching" his obedience and keeping fresh his capacity as a beggar.
    The story of the "Spider Kid," told at the campfire, is a warning against one "jocker" trying to lure an attractive "kid" from his master. It seems that in a tramp camp near Pueblo, Colorado, the "Spider Kid" "croaked" (killed) his own "jocker"--a thing almost unprecedented in the tramp world--because he defeated the boy's plan to join another tramp. The "kangaroo" court sat in the case, and the boy paid for his crime by "greasing the track." The offending "jocker" was beaten, kicked and cut up by the assembled masters and "kids," and barely escaped with his life.
    But, as a rule, the campfire group is a merry one. The shadow of tragedy, though always present, is not too obtrusive. An improvisator like "Mickey Gorman" can keep a "push" of tramps in good humor for hours. One of this bard's best-known works is "The Names I Saw Upon the Water Tank." In singing it the artist must be careful to include the "monikers" of all present, lest offended vanity lead to hostility. The song runs:


"Oh, we left the Coast a month ago
    Eastbound for Chicago.
The head shack ditched us in a burg
    The other side of Fargo.
Says he, 'And if you are a tramp
    And not a bum or chroniker (low-class
Just mooch down to the water tank
    And there put up your moniker.'
I went down to the water tank,
    It was all marked up with chalk.
There was 'stiffs' from every state
    From 'Frisco to New York.
Your attention for a while,
    One and all I'll thank,
And I'll mention some of the monikers
    Upon that water tank.
There was 'Conchee Dan' and 'Billy Moran,'
    'Big Fish' and 'The Nailer,'
'Cincee Tom' and 'Big Sim Long,'
    'Chi Red' and 'Ned the Sailor.'
There was 'Houston Tommy,' 'Big Jack Devanney,'
    'Montreal Flip' and 'Boston Tip,'
'Little Pitts Blue' and 'Illinois Shoe,'
    'Skinny Yorky' and 'Porky.'
There was 'Poison Face Jim' and 'Toledo Slim,'
    'New Orleans Dutch' and 'Pa. Crutch,'
'Cariboo' and 'Kalamazoo,'
    And a kid they called 'Hokey Pokey.'
There was 'Sammy Slop' and 'Philly Hop,'
    'Measly Mike' the jobber,
'Printer Ted' and 'Painter Red,'
    'Eagle Eye Dick' the robber.
There was 'Boston Sticks' and 'Pa Tricks,'
    'Broken-back' and 'Pooch,'
'The Auctioneer' and 'Billy Cevere,'
    Who was never known to mooch.
There was 'Wisconsin Slim' and 'Sunny Jim,'
    'Benny Frost' and the 'Big Warhorse,'
'Hoosier Slim' and 'Burly Bill,'
    'Throw-me-out Dutch' and 'Boston Crutch.'
There was 'New Orleans Shorty' and 'Big Lofty,'
    And 'Frisco Fatty No. 2,'
'Costigan' and 'Harrigan,'
    And the 'Billy Kid' of the 'Q.'
There was 'Belfast Paddy' and 'Michigan Fatty,'
    'York Whitey' and 'Shervoo,'
'Boston Fish' and the 'Wheeling Kid'
    And also 'Big Jack Stew.'
There was 'Jimmy Keen' and 'Seldom Seen,'
    'Happy Jack' and 'Syracuse Mack,'
And I guess there are a few
    That flopped down this little old town
    While waitin' to chu-chu."
Here is one a little more sinister:


"I am a knight of the old puffin-rod (revolver),
    That's what I am, begob,
And I'll never rest aisy
    Till 1 knock some Rube crazy
With the slugs from me old puffin-rod.
    "Good people" deprecate the admission of women to their ranks. Yet the "hay bag" (female tramp) is by no means an uncommon type. The best known of her kind is "Peg Leg Annie," or "Cow-Catcher Annie," who lost a leg while riding on the pilot of a locomotive. Female tramps usually wear men's clothes in order to avoid detection by the police. They have no standing on the road, and at best are only tolerated by "good people" and regarded as fit only for the companionship of the "gay cat," the 'hobo," or the "mush fak."
    A marked feature of trampdom is the caste or color line, which is drawn against the "shine" or Negro. While at times admitted to the camp, and in a few cases referred to as "good people," the "shine" is still an inferior. He must carry his own drinking cup and prepare his own food. No white tramp of standing would let a Negro put his lips to the otherwise promiscuous bottle or eat out of the common dish.
    Under no circumstances is the Negro tramp permitted the luxury of a white "kid" to wait upon and beg for him. All trampdom knows of the case of "Silver Peg," the best-known "shine" on the Coast, who was so proud of his wooden leg, bound with silver bands, which gave him his "moniker." All went well with the "Peg" until he developed a liking for white "kids," and ran "five or six at the same time." Owing to lack of tramp organization on the Coast, where the laws of the fraternity have never been so well enforced as in the East, "Silver Peg's" conduct passed unrebuked for a long time. But Nemesis came to him shortly after the San Francisco earthquake. A party of "good people," visiting that city, thought it high time to put an end to the Negro's presumption. He was brought before the "kangaroo " court in the Sacramento yards and was so severely disciplined with coupling-pins that he died from the effects.
    Though the white tramp be jealous of his color and prerogative, he is not narrow-minded in according rank among the heroes of "the road " to "Denver Shine," who "stood the gaff " to the very end and was "tapped " (hanged) for a crime of which he was innocent rather than "squeal" on a white comrade.
    Red and yellow men are not found on "the road," excepting the half-breed Creek, "Indian Frank," who works as a "dummy," and is well known and respected among "good people."

Outlook magazine, August 1911, pages 869-875

    The police force raided the jungles on Bear Creek Wednesday night, and several residents thereof were ordered to hit the ties today.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, August 10, 1911, page 2

Raid to Be Made on Jungle in Hope of Driving Out Thieves.
    MEDFORD, Or., Aug. 10.--(Special.)--To clean out the "jungle," as the brush along Bear Creek is called, Medford police are planning an organized raid. Continual thefts in Medford have forced the issue with the officers, the latest being the robbery of a department store of $400 worth of clothing.
    The same store was robbed of $1000 worth of goods not long ago. The robbers entered the place by prying open the windows with pieces of iron.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 11, 1911, page 2

Medford Jails 13 Idlers.
    MEDFORD, Or., Aug. 11.--(Special.)--Thirteen idlers were arrested by the Medford police last night. The wholesale arrests were the result of an order issued by the Acting Chief to enforce the employment clause of the vagrancy law. The law provides that any person without apparent means of support, who refuses to work, is a vagrant. The 13 men refused jobs and were jailed.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 12, 1911, page 5

    Sixteen hoboes were rounded up by the police Friday night and given a tie pass out of town Saturday morning.
    Eight of the men were picked up in the Pacific and Eastern railroad yards. They were making comfortable for the night in a passenger coach when found.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 9, 1912, page 2

Not All Tramps.
    The prevalent idea that the trespassers who are killed while on railroad property are hoboes, for the most part of no particular use to society, is contradicted by the results of investigations of deaths of 1000 trespassers on the New York Central lines. The great majority of the persons killed were regularly employed workmen, this report corroborated by another covering the like casualties on the Chicago Great Western during 1911. Of 131 trespassers who lost their lives, 32 had no known occupation, 15 had no regular employment and 13 aged and infirm persons were recorded as of "unknown occupation." The others were farmers, shopmen, mechanics, carpenters, sailors, teachers, merchants, hotel men and laborers, with a few minors. The report of trespassers injured shows substantially the same proportion of industrious men. In these two lines there are few who had any business on the tracks. The presumption is that the railroad is being used as if it were a public highway, affording shortcuts and good walking.
    The official statements appear to warrant the conclusion that, throughout the country, the killed and injured trespassers are for the most part men and women whose lives were worth preserving in their communities. The saving of such lives is not a problem for new legislation. The laws against trespassing are sufficiently comprehensive. What is needed is their enforcement by railroad officials and the police departments of cities and towns.--Portland Telegram.
Jacksonville Post,
December 28, 1912, page 2

Medford "Hoboes" Put to Work.
    MEDFORD, Or., June 5.--(Special.)--Medford ranchers called in the local police force today to aid them in securing laborers. Headed by Chief of Police Hittson, a dozen ranchers made a circuit of the saloons and rounded up about 20 hoboes who promised to lend a hand. Many were sick, others were poor at farming, still others were bound for other climes until the chief announced that any of them who hadn't a dollar in their pockets that night would be gathered up and put to work on the rock pile. This had the desired effect. Medford ranchers are busy pruning and thinning their orchards.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, June 6, 1913, page 6

Wounding of Youth Leads to 20 Arrests Near Medford.
    MEDFORD, Or., Oct 19.--(Special.)--Jeff Coldson, 19 years old, a crippled beggar, son of Mrs. Luetta Carter, of Indianapolis. Ind., was shot during a quarrel with tramps in the Talent railroad yards last night and is in the Ashland Hospital in a dying condition. Sheriff Singler and Deputy Sheriff Wilton rounded up more than 20 suspects today and have also arrested F. H. Burns, Coldson's companion. Burns would not let the boy tell his story, and when the nurse in the operating-room objected he tried to throw her out of the room. Cartridges the same caliber as the bullet taken from Coldson's body were found in the dying boy's coat.
    According to G. E. Ziders, yardmaster at Talent, there was a quarrel among tramps in the yards Saturday night. Several shots were fired. Coldson, exhibiting a withered right arm, had been in Medford soliciting alms. He also endeavored to get work. He had the appearance of a boy of education. His family in Indianapolis has been informed of the tragedy.

Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 20, 1913, page 2

    Twenty-five tramps passed through Medford Sunday night, bound south, and were not given any opportunity to linger.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, January 12, 1914, page 4

    Seven wanderers were quartered in the city jail last night. When told that they could in all probability secure work in a short time on the Pacific Highway, they candidly announced they were not looking for work, but were en route to San Francisco to join "Kelly's Army," which plans to march on Washington, D.C. this spring.
"Local and Personal,"
Medford Mail Tribune, February 18, 1914, page 2

    During the last two days, a class of wanderers known as "bindle stiffs," because they carry their blankets on their backs, and generally walk the ties, have been quite plentiful throughout the valley, and unlike the usual run of unemployed, will take a job when it is offered to them without much quibbling over the wage question.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, March 12, 1914, page 5

    REDDING, Cal., March 21.--Preferring food to rail transportation, the unemployed who commandeered a Southern Pacific train here Friday, but found it useless to them because the company would not move it, resumed their northward "hike" today under the terms of an agreement with Shasta County to serve meals at twenty-mile intervals until the army crosses the line into Siskiyou County. They were given three days to do this. The party was 120 men strong.
    The Southern Pacific had concentrated enough railroad police to have dislodged the tourists from the stalled freight train last night, but this would not have helped the local authorities, who would still have had the army on their hands, so they made their offer of a meal a day if the men would proceed on foot, and the proposition was accepted.
    The first eating station will be Pitt, the second Delta and the third Castella. Pork, beans and coffee will be the principal items on the menu.
    A message from Dunnigan, forty miles north of Davis, said 170 more "hikers" reached there last night, marching this way twenty miles daily.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 21, 1914, page 6

    Humanity at its lowest ebb, in the shape of a mass of rags, dirt and whiskers, afflicted Medford Friday afternoon--a man so nauseatingly filthy that saloons would not serve him and the police would not lay hands upon him. He was ordered out of town for fear of contamination of the air. Years ago, when he was young and helpless, he probably became acquainted with the cleansing power of soap, but not since. He was so helpless and hopeless a derelict that the desire for stimulants could only be satisfied with high-power alcohol. Reformers write of the "spews of the slums," a phrase that half describes the unwelcome visitor. He was the original stand-patter.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 28, 1914, page 8

    Work to the north of 'em, work to the south of 'em, at $2.25 a day, eight hours, fails to disturb the idle equilibrium of a number of shiftless citizens hereabouts, ten of whom spent Tuesday night in the city jail.
    "Every hobo in the county wants to congregate in Medford," said Chief Hittson this morning. "They all wanted to stay in Ashland last winter when they were giving them free soup there. Now there is work on the Pacific Highway, close to that city, and what do they do but come up here. A gang that has been hanging around Central Point for a month discovered the other day that there was work hard by, and they use up all their energy making record time to get away from it. Then they gather on the corner and howl about no work. Every man who claims there is no work is ordered out of town and told where he can get it if he wants it."
    Tuesday morning Sergeant Pat Mego and the train crew of the southbound Shasta Limited clashed when twenty-eight hoboes were ditched on the platform. The policeman made the wanderers pile back on the train, and delivered a short speech to the brakeman who tried to protest. The gang boarded the train at Grants Pass.

Medford Mail Tribune, April 8, 1914, page 2

    For the first time in a month not a wanderer applied at the police station Monday night for lodging. This is accounted for by the weather, which permits of sleeping outside with comparative comfort.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, April 14, 1914, page 2

    Since there is plenty of work in the valley, there has been a decided falling off in the ranks of the unemployed stopping in this city, according to the police. Wanderers have not come in bunches, as they did a month ago, and there has been none sheltered in the city jail. The old guard of the unemployed, who have been unemployed as far back as the memory of the oldest inhabitant runs, still hold the fort, and pass the time complaining about high taxes.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, April 22, 1914, page 2

    City and county authorities will take steps to rout out the camp of idlers, wanderers, loafers and agitators who have established a camp near the stockyards, and has existed largely upon the pretext that its followers were looking for a chance to go to work upon the Central Point road. Evidence at hand shows that none would go to work if they had a chance. Each day a forage for food is made, and considerable of the hen roost robbing is laid to them. Three or four of the gang are I.W.W.'s, who make from three to four speeches a day.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 23, 1914, page 4

    A squad of hoboes have established a summer camp on the east side of Bear Creek along the P. and E. right of way, and members thereof daily come uptown and buy supplies. They fish and lie around in the sun and enjoy life generally in their way. The camp will probably be broken up by the authorities, before its membership gets too large.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, April 25, 1914, page 2

    The gang of idlers who have been camped the near the stockyards for the last three weeks banked their fires and moved Saturday. Some went to work, and some are camped on Bear Creek, where the fishing is better, and plenty of shade trees. Bear Creek banks are also sheltering a couple of squads of wandering gypsies, who spent the winter in California and possess a motley array of babies, dogs and horses.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, April 27, 1914, page 2

(From the Tidings)
    Since January 1, the local police have handled 2984 wayfarers, and since the first of November last almost 6000 have passed through Ashland. During the past month 954 have been housed at the police station and passed on. This shows from 20 to 54 have been handled each day during the month.
    When these figures are taken into consideration it is considered remarkable that not a robbery of any kind has been reported to the police; no crime of any kind out of the ordinary has disturbed the local quiet.
    Chief Porter's men are certainly to be congratulated upon the manner in which they deal with this class of men.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 1, 1914, page 5

    Residents of the southern part of the city complain of hobo camps in that section, claiming that the wanderers do their washing and cooking at all hours of the day and night. One camp located on the railroad track is within three blocks of Main Street, and steps will be taken by the police to abolish it.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, May 4, 1914, page 2

    A dope fiend who has been making life miserable for a number of restaurant keepers, where he would order a meal and then walk out with remitting, was ordered out of town by the police Sunday. He was in a pitiable condition.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, May 11, 1914, page 2

    Steps towards the routing out of the hobo camps along Bear Creek will be taken by Chief of Police Hittson at once. According to residents of that section it is impossible to keep a hen house full within a mile of the creek. Some have loaded up the old shotgun with rock salt as a cure.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, May 18, 1914, page 2

    A number of hoboes who have been camping under the water tank were run out of the city this morning by the police. The Toft barn and Day planing mill fires are both attributed to tramps, and they will be kept out of the business district as much as possible in the future.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, May 20, 1914, page 2

    Hoboes camped along Bear Creek between Ashland and this city are raising havoc with hen houses and gardens. The gents make night raids for food. It is likely the county authorities will take some action towards abating the nuisance.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, May 21, 1914, page 2

    A gang of hoboes camped on Bear Creek near the city limits were routed from their haunts Monday afternoon by the police and others [and were] ordered out of town.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, June 2, 1914, page 2

    The police estimate that 100 transients were in the city Saturday and Sunday, about half being I.W.W.'s headed for Butte, where labor troubles are brewing. Saturday night a northbound train blocked the Main Street crossing, and a crowd gathered. When the train started, the people were given an exhibition of fancy boarding of a freight train, swinging underneath with careless abandon, and a misstep would have meant the hospital or the morgue.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, June 29, 1914, page 2

    A number of wanderers who have been in the city the 24-hour limit were marched out of town last night by the police. Tramp travel is particularly heavy right now, owing to the annual northbound travel to the harvest fields of eastern Washington and Oregon.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, June 30, 1914, page 2

    Three Mexicans, one of whom had no shoes, and had his feet encased in gunny sacks, passed through Medford Tuesday night, bound south. As they showed no inclination to stop, the police did not bother them. They packed all they possessed in this world on their backs.

"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, July 1, 1914, page 2

    In sprinting to catch a northbound freight train Thursday night a wandering gent crashed head-on into a boxcar standing near the Rogue River Fruit Association office, and was knocked cold. The shock was so severe that he manifested no desire to catch the train, and a dash of cold water in the face revived him.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, July 10, 1914, page 2

    There has been a general scattering of idlers along Bear Creek the last few days, owing to the danger of being called on for fire fighting services. The "jungles" on the P.&E. has been vacated.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, August 18, 1914, page 2

    There has been a decided falling out the last ten days in the number of transients infesting the city. The "jungle " camp on Bear Creek has been abandoned, for most of the wanderers in these parts have gone to work on the Crater Lake road, while the rest of them hit the road for California for the winter. The eight men sentenced to work for the city for overindulgence in liquor have all fled.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, September 8, 1914, page 2

    Two dozen wanderers headed south for the winter, the advance guard of the migratory army, pestered the police all day Monday trying to get out of town. Three or four asked for shelter in the city jail last night, and received it. Train crews on the S.P. report that they are kept busy keeping tramps off the trains.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, September 22, 1914, page 2

    Eight boy tramps, the oldest 19 years of age, passed through Medford Thursday night, and were given shelter in the city jail. They have been employed in the hop yards of the Willamette Valley, and were beating their way back to their homes in California.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, October 2, 1914, page 2

    There has been so much trouble with hoboes in southern Oregon and norther California territory that the Southern Pacific has detailed special officers on its through passenger trains. They are in uniform and wear a badge lettered "State Railroad Police." They patrol at random up and down the line, quite often making this division point a terminal.
"Ashland and Vicinity," Medford Mail Tribune, October 30, 1914, page 7

    Nine wanderers, found asleep under a right-of-way warehouse, were routed out Monday night and put aboard a southbound freight train. They were smoking under the building, and it was feared they might start a fire. This city is not bothered much by hoboes, Ashland receiving the full benefit of the migrations through giving them free hot soup last winter in a spirit of philanthropy.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, November 10, 1914, page 2

    Wanton brutality of a Southern Pacific brakeman on a southbound freight train Friday night is being investigated by the local authorities, wherein Jose Aquilar, a full-blooded Spaniard, driven out of Torreon, Mexico, last spring by the exile order of Villa, was rendered unconscious by a blow from the first of a trainman described "as six feet tall and burly." Aquilar was senseless for half an hour, and was lodged in the city jail by Sergeant Pat Mego.
    Aquilar can understand no English, and was in a box car near the Medford warehouse when the assault occurred. The brakeman ordered him to get off. Aquilar, not understanding the order, hesitated. Whereupon, according to the testimony of two tramps who reported the case to the police, the brakeman held his lantern to the face of the wanderer, and with calm cruelty struck him a terrific blow, knocking him out of the car door. The blow landed flush on the bridge of the nose, and for a time it was thought that member was broken. After the assault the police made a search for the brakeman, but could find no one who had ever seen him.
    The railroad will make an investigation of the affair.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 13, 1915, page 2

    The spring migration of wanderers from the south to the north is now under way, ten being quartered in the city jail Wednesday night. Some of the number engaged in begging on the streets. One who thus sought aid was offered work in an orchard at $1 a day and board, but rejected the offer.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, February 15, 1915, page 2

Hoboes Spear Fish in Bear Creek
    The absence of a game warden in this district has led to a very bad state of affairs along Bear Creek. There are several camps along the creek where the hoboes "jungle up." The tramps have been and are in the habit of spearing fish from the creek. No doubt great numbers of them have been taken in this way, as it is well known to local fishermen how easy it is to spear the big fish which congregate in the deep pools. A stop should be put to this practice. The local police in the course of their work of breaking up hobo camps have run across several fish which were speared. Police jurisdiction does not extend over this lawbreaking, however, and they were powerless to act. Some action should be taken by the game authorities.
Ashland Tidings, March 29, 1915, page 1

    John Miller, a floater, was sentenced to 15 days in the county jail this morning on a vagrancy charge. When arrested Miller was trying to sell carpenter tools to a second-hand store and in searching him the police found a bunch of passkeys concealed in his pants leg. He will be held for further investigation of his career.
"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, April 1, 1915, page 6

    Chicken thieves have been bothering the residents in the northern end of this city, and the police are keeping a weather eye peeled for the guilty persons. Mr. Franks and Slinger are among the many who have suffered losses, Mr. Frank losing 30 and Mr. Slinger 15.

"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, April 11, 1915, page 8

    Hungry tramps are being blamed for numerous raids on chicken coops throughout the country districts that have occurred in the last week. The tramps are suspected, as only sufficient meat for a meal has been taken.

"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, April 22, 1915, page 6

    Sheriff Singler arrested a hobo named Fred Chipp near Medford Thursday for alleged burglaries in nearby towns. A companion named Rold, who made his getaway, was arrested later in the day by Officer Mego of the police force. Both men are lodged in the county bastille at this place to await investigation by the grand jury at its next session. The men were camped on the bank of Bear Creek and had goods supposed to have been stolen at Central Point and Eugene in their possession when nabbed.

"Local News," Jacksonville Post, June 5, 1915, page 3

Says Brakemen Treat Hoboes Well
    The Oregon City Courier tells of a visit of a wandering nomad to their office and spreads a very entertaining story of his monologue on travel over their front page. It is not often that we have an opportunity to see Oregon as it looks to a "hobo." He is quoted as saying:
    "Down at San Diego I had good luck, and got a job as a wild man from the Philippines for a couple of weeks. But at San Francisco I couldn't even get a handout. They are so tight at that fair there that even the cops have to pay to get in. Coming out of Frisco there were 138 other fellows on the same freight train, and they all agreed that California was no place for a poor man. It may be all right for tourists, but only the kind that smell of gasoline.
    "Coming up into Oregon things got different. This side of Ashland the 'shacks' on the train didn't even try to collect fare from us 'side-door passengers,' and in some of the towns the cops would even come down to camp at night and drink some of our coffee. When we got up into the hop country some of the constables bothered us a bit, and tried to get us to go to work picking lice off the vines, but most of us oldtimers said our fingers were sore, and they let us beat it out on the next train."
Ashland Tidings, September 13, 1915, page 7

    The annual exodus of wanderers from the north to California is in full swing, but in contrast to former years very few of the gentry stop in this city. Thursday night there were a couple of applications for sleeping quarters in the city jail, but most of the men disembark at Ashland.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, October 15, 1915, page 2

    "I have walked all the way from Seattle without begging for a thing except work," said an old tie tourist on Front Street last evening, "and I generally got enough to keep me in grub. But I'm mighty hungry now. Us fellows on the road have our good days and bad days, just as other people have--and this has been one of my bad days." A bystander gave the old fellow a piece of money and another told the man of ups and downs to follow him and he would find him a place to sleep. "Can I work for it?" quickly asked the unfortunate man. When told that he could, he followed. He is 68 years old--and only a passing sample of the discard in the mad game of rush in this peculiar age of cold-blooded commercialism.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, December 11, 1915, page 2

Fred McArdle Beating Way from Portland Falls Under Wheels.
    MEDFORD, Or., Feb. 28.--(Special.)--Fred McArdle, about 22 years old, son of Mrs. Clara McArdle, 1100 McAllister Street, San Francisco, was killed instantly here early Sunday morning when he fell from the rods of the Shasta Limited, on which he was attempting to make his way to California, and was crushed beneath the wheels.
    McArdle was a member of a party of four which left Portland several days ago to beat their way to San Francisco. Although a telegram has been sent the boy's mother, no reply has been received and it is believed she has changed her place of residence or is out of the city.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, February 29, 1916, page 4

Chaparral in the Medford area, 1913
Chaparral somewhere in the Medford area, 1913

    A gang of hoboes are reported to be using the chaparral on Grape Street with the Pantorium as a hotel outdoors.
"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, June 9, 1916, page 2

    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

    Strict orders are now in force to prevent tramps from riding on the trains in the mountainous regions of the West, or on passenger trains anywhere except in the regular legal manner. No chance will be taken to carry irresponsible persons into the guarded zones in that way. Therefore a marked decline in hobo travel may be noted in the immediate future.
"Local and Personal," Ashland Tidings, April 9, 1917, page 5

Hobos Arrive at Albany.
    Albany, Or., February 4.--For the first time since the United States entered the war, hobos are getting plentiful in the Willamette Valley now. City police have returned to the pre-war custom of rounding them up when freight trains arrive and lodging them in the city jail for the night to prevent possible depredations.
    The number of hobos passing through is not unusually large, viewed from the standards of the days before the war, but the traffic has reached what was formerly a normal standard.
Jacksonville Post, February 8, 1919, page 1

    Raymond Vincent, age 25 years, a transient laborer, was sentenced to five days in the city jail this morning by Justice of the Peace Glenn Taylor on his plea of guilty. Vincent was charged with entering a henhouse in the north end of the city and stealing a chicken. The squawking of the pullet aroused residents, who have been pestered considerable of late by petty thieving, and they caught Vincent in full flight, on his way to the "jungles" along Bear Creek. Chief of Police Timothy told the court that Vincent had been in the city two weeks, and had turned down several opportunities to go to work.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 25, 1921, page 8

Drastic Action Taken by City Council to Reduce Vagrant Population--
Dozen Buck Saws Purchased--Pay 50 Cents per Cord.
    There is consternation among the hoboes and other units of the floating population of Medford following the city council's decision last night to have every homeless and moneyless man arrested as a vagrant and sentenced to saw wood at a municipal wood pile to be established in the city.
    The council ordered Chief of Police Timothy to purchase a number of buck saws and bucks to be used in making this campaign to enforce the floaters to accept work locally or get out of town. Until arrangements can be made for the establishment of a municipal wood pile, the chief was ordered to put all such loiterers at work on the public library wood pile.
    The chief decided to wait a day before putting the work order into effect, and this morning and forenoon went among the homeless and jobless men on Haymarket Square and in the jungles along Bear Creek, warning them that starting with Thursday morning he would arrest every man without a home or job for vagrancy, and if found guilty in police court he would be put to work sawing wood.
    The city will pay such sentenced vagrants only fifty cents a cord for sawing, and no money will be paid until after each man saws his cord.
    It is figured by the mayor and councilmen that when the news once gets about of the city woodpile the floating population all over the state and Northwest will quickly learn of it and henceforth give Medford a wide berth, and that these jobless now in the city will depart for a more congenial location as soon as possible.
    Chief Timothy's warning of this morning brought quick results. An employment agent of Chas. Delin, the local contractor, on Tuesday went among the jobless men loafing on Haymarket Place and loitering in the jungles, offering them work with good pay and free transportation on a large contract Mr. Delin has over on the coast. He could not get a man to accept the offer.
    By noon today he reported to the chief that already a big auto load of these same men had eagerly accepted such jobs today, and more were approaching him for work hourly. They dreaded the wood pile, and realizing that they could no longer live easily in the Bear Creek jungle and beg from house to house for food.
    The matter of driving the constantly increasing hobo class from Medford and vicinity was brought to the council's attention by Mayor Gates last night, and Councilmen Keene, Antle, Gaddis, Miles and Dressler heartily approved of his vagrancy-municipal woodpile suggestion.
    "There is a deplorable condition in Medford," said the mayor, "with the many wanderers who float in here, live in the thick brush along Bear Creek, either beg or get their food by their wits as best they can, and refuse to take jobs offered them.
    "There is an urgent need for labor of all kinds on the ranches and in the orchards, yet these men will not take jobs offered them at fairly good pay and board. They either don't work at all or won't work for anything except extremely high wages which no one can afford to pay. The presence of this undesirable class of men in the city is responsible for much of the petty thieving and burglary that is going on. The quicker we can drive them out the better for the community.
    "Why, the Red Cross had urgent calls for 50 men at jobs the other day, and could not get one of these men to go to work. Ed Brown had calls for jobs for 19 men about the same time. Not one of these floating loafers would take a job."
Medford Mail Tribune, October 19, 1921, page 8

    The fact that the city council had established a municipal woodpile on which all vagrants would be sentenced to work had a wonderful effect in driving the idle floaters in Medford far away, and in deterring others from stopping off here. Word has traveled fast in the hobo world that Medford is a good place to steer clear of. Chief of Police Timothy visited the jungles along Bear Creek this forenoon and found only two men there, who had just arrived in the city and were washing up and preparing to leave again on the first freight train.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, October 21, 1921, page 2

    ASHLAND, Ore., Nov. 7.--(Special.)--Thirty-six hoboes are headed south from here after staging a small riot and being stopped for investigation just outside the city limits Saturday.
    The trouble started when Patrolman Priest placed Bruce Watters under arrest after the latter had attempted to board an outgoing train. Watters resisted and ran toward his companions with Priest at his heels. The policeman, who lost his gun in the scuffle, was downed by the crowd, beaten and afterwards, police say, kicked in the face by Watters. The hoboes made good their escape beyond the city limits, where they were stopped and searched by additional police force. A quantity of I.W.W. literature thrown away by the fleeing men was seized and Watters was brought back to face a charge of assaulting an officer. He will be arraigned Monday.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 7, 1921, page 8

    SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 2.--Hoboes driven by winter's cold from their summer brakebeam routes in the East are heading for California in large numbers, according to General Manager J. H. Dyer of the Southern Pacific railway company, which keeps a record of the number of men found riding in freight cars, on the beams and in the blind baggage.
    California, in October, had 11,651 hoboes, according to the Southern Pacific figures. There were 4,856 in Arizona, 2,110 in Oregon, 1,172 in Nevada, 751 in New Mexico and 124 in Utah.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 2, 1921, page C2

    Six hoboes were brought before Justice Gowdy this morning, where a fine of $2.50 was assessed against a part of them who pled guilty to trespassing on the railroad property. All were released after the assessed fines were paid and took to the highway to make their way south.
    The railroad officers are bringing in only a small number of those with whom they come onto contact, for one day during the first part of the present week, the officers had 43 of the "weary Willies" in charge at one time. This is slightly above the average of what is generally found in the railroad yards at one time, but it is not uncommon for the officers to pick up as many as 25 from one train when it arrives.
Ashland Weekly Tidings, October 11, 1922, page 2

    To satisfy my curiosity I stopped for a few moments the other evening to swap comments with a dilapidated specimen of humanity who was toasting something over a fire he had built alongside the railroad track. No, he was no philosopher in disguise; no E. V. Lucas getting a background for his exquisite travel stories. He was just a bum. A very ordinary and dirty bum. Except for one thing he was just the typical product of ignorance and laziness, and that was that he had a notion that in the befuddled avenues of his brain was the solution of all our industrial troubles, for he was a Wobbly of the simon pure variety.
    "I ain't going to be tramping this way all the time. Youse fellows who have been robbing the working man will get yours, all right. We built these railroads, didn't we? And all we get is a chance to walk the ties. Hell, ain't it? Someday we're going to take what we want. Then you guys with the white collars will have to get to work."
    That wasn't all he said. He was the incarnation of bitterness and hatred. If he wasn't already a criminal he had the making of one. And yet the chances are that since he left the ancestral roof he had done nothing for the good of the country or himself. Just an uneducated malcontent. With a world of opportunities all about him, he and his kind wander along spreading poisonous gospel. One of the chief problems of our civilization is going to be in keeping all this human driftwood from jamming against the foundations and destroying the whole structure.
B. F. Lindas, "Heard and Seen on City Streets,"
Medford Clarion, April 27, 1923, page 2

    The city administration has decided that no hoboes or other idle temporary travelers of the tramp variety can loiter in Medford without working, and hence by Mayor Gaddis' orders after a consultation with Chief of Police Adams, the latter officer is preparing to put all such men at work on the city wood pile at sawing wood from the huge piles back of the public library.
    The chief has already purchased a number of bucksaws, and City Superintendent Davis is having a number of sawbucks made. When the latter are completed the municipal wood yard will be ready to be operated by this traveling talent.
    The decision to inaugurate this plan was reached a day or so ago because of the large number of hoboes that have been arriving in the city recently on their way north from California. Every night a large number of these homeless and moneyless men apply at the city prison for lodging. Word comes that many more are heading this way from the south.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 2, 1924, page 8

    Dr. W. H. Lytle, state veterinarian, was in the city this forenoon from Portland on business connected with the hoof and mouth disease quarantine to prevent the dread disease spreading into Oregon from California, and at noon planned to depart with County Agent Cate, his local aide, for Ashland, in which city he planned to rig up some kind of a disinfectant plant by which tramps and hoboes could be disinfected.
    The state official declared that tramps and their like were one of the worst carriers of the hoof and mouth disease known, and that it was as important to disinfect them, especially those coming from California, as it was to maintain a quarantine station on the Pacific Highway near the state line to disinfect all autos and their occupants and baggage.
    Dr. Lytle was inclined to think, prior to leaving for Ashland, that a tent could be converted into a hobo disinfecting plant in that city. When asked who would catch the hoboes and bring them to the tent for disinfecting by state agents, the doctor without cracking a smile said that the marshal and police of Ashland could do the capturing and fumigating.
    After looking after this matter at Ashland, Dr. Lytle and Mr. Cate planned to go on up to the quarantine station in the Siskiyous, to study out a plan the state quarantine officials have had in mind for several days to remove that station lower down the mountain from the California state line where it would be warmer, and there construct a permanent quarantine plant.
    The doctor said he had in mind a good possible location, at Helm's' place near where the Green Springs mountain road turns off the Pacific Highway.
    In connection with the idea suggested several days ago to capture all hoboes from passing trains and those walking in from the south, County Agent Cate after a conference with Dr. Lytle, just before that official left for Klamath Falls, took the matter up with A. S. Rosenbaum, local district agent of the S.P., and asked him to bring the suggested plan to the attention of the Southern Pacific headquarters at Portland.
    It is understood that it was the idea of Lytle and Cate to have the S.P. capture the hoboes and either do the disinfecting or turn them over to the state men for that purpose, and "Rosie" so understanding it wired in a
solemn telegram to the headquarters of this division of the S.P. at Portland.
    It seems that at the railroad headquarters the officials did not warm up enthusiastically to the proposition, but courteously passed the buck back through Rosenbaum in the following telegram: "We have no objection whatever to the hoboes being disinfected."
    And there the proposition has stood since.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 22, 1924, page 3

    "Although knights of the dusty road, or walking tourists, as some term them, maintain that hoboes do not mix well with a strong solution of formaldehyde, the authorities in charge of the campaign that is being waged to prevent the spread of the hoof and mouth disease from California into Oregon maintain a contrary opinion, and to prove their contention are mixing the two together in a fumigating station at the south end of the Southern Pacific yards," says the Ashland Tidings. "In fact, the quarantine officials have been doing a land office business since yesterday evening and no small number of bugless hoboes have been finding the various exits from the city since operations started.
    "The station was erected under the direction of Dr. H. H. Green, assistant to Dr. Lytle, state veterinarian, and is in charge of R. M. Chaffin, ex-serviceman, ex-policeman, and hailed as a success in rounding up itinerants. Not only does Chaffin occupy the position of commander in chief of the field forces engaged in the roundup of the Weary Willies, but he administers a fumigating ceremony, which consists of a strong solution of formaldehyde. A tent is being used at present. A few holes are afforded in the walls, through which the victims are permitted to put their heads, while the remainder of their anatomies are subjected to the fumes of the disinfectant.
    "None of the hoboes like the ordeal, and some of them have protested, but in vain. They are rounded up at every rendezvous and escorted or taken by the nape of the neck and forced to the station, where they submit voluntarily or involuntarily.
    "The station for the disinfecting of hoboes is part of the general program of prevention that is being carried out to prevent the hoof and mouth disease spreading to this section of the state, and it is believed that within a short time Ashland will not be at all popular with the common tramp."
Medford Mail Tribune, April 28, 1924, page 3

    MEDFORD, Nov. 14--A young man with a new light-colored overcoat tied in a bundle, and wearing a good brown overcoat, apparently homeless, was taken into custody near the public market at 2 o'clock Thursday morning by Patrolman Sunderman, who took him to the police station in accordance with the local police policy of at night putting all homeless or penniless men in the city prison, rather than have them at large about the city.
    The night was cold and hence the locked city prison cells were all filled with wanderers for "night lodging," so Patrolman Sunderman after taking the package from the young man left him in the corridor, while he went out again to make his rounds.
    When the officer returned the corridor was empty, the man who later proved to be an overcoat thief having pulled back the catch lock of the outside door and disappeared.
    Then the officer went into the police headquarters office and unrolled the package he had previously taken from the prisoner, disclosing a new white or cream-colored overcoat, which had undoubtedly been stolen from someone.
Ashland Daily Tidings, November 14, 1924, page 1

    "Some were worthy of aid and others were not," said Chief of Police Adams today in speaking of the 131 tramps given lodging in the city prison since December 1. "They were all down and out, broke--didn't have a penny," he continued, "when they applied for admittance.
    "Each one had their hard luck story to tell--sickness, financial reverses, former jail sentences and even marital troubles, but a portion were just plain lazy and wanted no employment. These fellows were the worst to deal with. They kicked at being sent out of the city and rebelled at the thought of work. Others who really were victims of hard luck expressed thanks for the lodging and went upon their way. It is the policy of the city to give no wanderer more than one night free, and on exceptions two," he concluded.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 23, 1925, page 6

    Enjoying but a few hours of freedom, following their escape from the county jail last night at 9 o'clock by hiding from the jailer and walking out while he was in another part of the jail, Harry Douglas and James Courtland, juvenile charges, 15 years of age, were apprehended this forenoon in the railroad yards at Ashland. The two are to be sent to the state training school shortly, it is said, for petty thievery about the city.
    The two boys were given quarters in the women's ward of the jail when they arrived last week, following their arrest by the local police. Secreting themselves near the padded cell for insane charges, they avoided jailer Dunford, who went to their room to turn off the lights for the night. While he was upstairs they quietly stole out. With the exception of snatching a little rest by sleeping in a hay stack the boys walked the greater part of the night, arriving at Ashland this morning.
    They have no home, it is said, and had been making their quarters in the jungles along Bear Creek, where officers say they cooked their meals from articles stolen from various stores about the city, brought about by desperate circumstances.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 27, 1926, page 3

    OMAHA, Neb., Nov. 9.--(AP)--Riding the rods of railroad trains has been tabooed by the American hobo, who prefers to ride more safely and luxuriously in the cushioned seat of someone's automobile.
    Consequently women hoboes are becoming more numerous, and the male members of the American nomads have a problem on their hands, in addition to that of unemployment, Tom Curry of Cincinnati, national secretary of the International Brotherhood Welfare Association, told the annual convention of hoboes here today.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 9, 1926, page 1

    "Although many men are traveling the highways, there has been a notable decrease in the number applying for Red Cross assistance since the woodyard was started December 12th," stated Miss Lillian Roberts, secretary of the Jackson County chapter, American Red Cross.
    Being on the highway north and south, it is natural that a large number of transients pass through Medford. In the early part of December there were daily in the Red Cross office, asking for help, seven or eight, and finally as high as 18. It had been thought it might not be necessary to have a woodyard as the chapter has done for the past two years, but arrangements were made with the Medford Fuel Company to give every man a chance to work for his meals. The first day six were sent there, but none showed up. Very few have availed themselves of the opportunity since, and the chapter is relieved of spending time, and often money, on persons undeserving of assistance.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 3, 1928, page 4

    WILLOW SPRINGS, April 12.--The old Seven Oaks railroad station, that has stood for the past 20 years at the junction of the highway and the old road, was torn down this week. There is many an old hobo that will miss its protection from storms in winter and from the summer's sun.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 13, 1928, page B6

    The problems of tourist travel through Medford were discussed today by County Physician L. D. Inskeep, who pointed out that tourist travel, which is a means of revenue for local merchants and camp ground operators, is also a burden on the taxpayers. The "flivver tramp," who usually has no money and a large family, is the thorn in the side of the county court and the local Red Cross chapter.
    "During the past few years," said Dr. Inskeep, "Jackson County's position as a port of entry for tourist travel from the south has been an increasingly difficult one. The problems are not alone such as affect the tourist, as roads and camps, but reach that dearest possession, the taxpayer's pocketbook. The question of what to do with the 'flivver tramp' is one which has vexed the county court, the Red Cross and the long-suffering public. The public suffers through lack of information in regard to what means are available for the care of these 'flivver tourists.'
    "The Red Cross maintains a woodpile and no one need go hungry, for all that he needs to earn a meal is sufficient ambition to split some firewood. The curious thing is that during March and April over a hundred applied for meals and were sent to the wood yard, but not one showed up. It was easier to beg from housewives or go into stores and complain of lack of relief from the Red Cross or county court. There is no need for any of these tourists to lack for food--all that is necessary is a little ambition to work.
    "In the matter of county aid," continued Dr. Inskeep, "except in those cases where acute illness is present, this county has the same rule as all other counties along the Pacific Highway. A residence of one year is required before the indigent is able to apply for county aid. If help is desired sooner, the indigent is requested to return to the county of which he is a resident. This county, being on the highway and being situated in a great country, attracts many who camp by the roadside and then ask the more industrious of the community to support them. It was this type of case that caused this rule to be put into effect.
    "If you are interested in someone who is traveling through," said the doctor in conclusion, "and he needs a meal, send him to the Red Cross woodpile and if willing to work he will eat. If interested in getting county aid for some family, find out whether or not the family has resided in this county for one year, and if not ask them to return to the county from whence they came and where they are still legal residents."
Medford Mail Tribune, May 15, 1928, page 3

    The official investigation of the trestle fire in the Siskiyous is closed and the conflagration in the teapot extinguished. District Attorney Newton C. Chaney returned yesterday from a two days' investigation in which a number of Southern Pacific railway special agents took part. The fire was sleuthed from all angles, and the sleuths concluded that the blaze, which charred four ties, started from a fire built by hoboes, without any more criminal intent than to cook some coffee on Southern Pacific property.
    The authorities were puzzled as to just why vagabonds should desire to cook and rest upon a trestle, but this was explained last evening to a Mail Tribune reporter by a gentleman on Front Street, who knows the way of the wanderer.
    He stated that trestles were generally built over deep declivities in the earth. In accordance with the established laws of nature, the cool air settled in the declivities and when the evening shadows began to fall, the cool air oozed upwards and a gent stretched on the ties above received the full benefit thereof. He said that a trestle was quite airy, as a rule, and the coolest place on a railroad, a water tank that dripped water constantly not being any cooler.
    As to cooking on a trestle, the deponent deposed that it was not such a bad idea and was widely followed. Trestles have steel girders and guards with flat tops. By building a fire under a grate made of tie-irons a small fire did the work of boiling the coffee and frying the steak, and by using the girder, there was no danger of a forest ranger coming along and asking for the regulation permit to build a campfire in the woods during the forest fire season.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 10, 1928, page 5

    "I ain't got no friends and no kin, and I'm on the road doin' my best to earn a livin' by sellin' pencils," was a portion of a hard-luck story told by an itinerant beggar who arrived in Medford today and "set up shop" on Front Street, after having obtained permission from the police department. "Every muscle in my old body hurts," he continued, "and if I'm not able to sell any pencils here, I guess I'll just have to move on somewhere else. I ain't got any particular destination. Anywhere will do, I guess."
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, September 3, 1928, page 2

    The city prison continues accommodate on the average of six transients nightly with sleeping quarters and at the same time gives the police department assurance they are in a safe place and away from the temptation of breaking into dwellings or business establishments. Many of those given free lodgings are young men in search of work in Medford, with some returning from coast points after having left jobs at the local sawmills or box factory to get their old jobs back.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, February 27, 1929, page 2

Weary Willie Gives Up Riding the Rods and Begs Auto Lifts
    "Weary Willie," the wanderlust citizen who formerly traveled in discomfort on the rods of a freight train, now stands by the roadside and begs a ride from passing motorists, according to Phil Eiker, a director of the Oregon State Motor Association.
    Mr. Eiker pointed out that the once-picturesque tramp is now a "hitchhiker" or "thumber," and states are rapidly realizing the importance of curbing his activities. "Minnesota was the first state to pass a law making it unlawful for a person to stand by the highway and solicit a ride," he said, "while similar laws have been enacted in Maine and New Jersey. The experience of these states is having a beneficial effect throughout the country, and it is a matter of time until every commonwealth prohibits the practice. Although motorists, especially those traveling long distances alone, are inclined to give a lift to strangers hiking by the roadside, it is a dangerous practice and one that should be discontinued by every car owner. Often serious injuries, robbery and even murders have resulted from what was originally a kindly act. The railroads are now patrolling their lines with more care and thereby giving less opportunity to tramps to ride the rods."
Ashland Daily Tidings, September 17, 1929, page 4

Transient Woman Alms Seeker Uses Lost Purse As Ruse to Gain Sympathy
    After all a person cannot believe all that is heard or seen, even though evidence is most convincing. A situation which seemed to have the earmarks of tragedy developed yesterday to be only the well-planned ruse of a transient woman to gain help through charity from place to place, and was exposed through Miss Lillian Roberts, executive secretary for the county Red Cross chapter.
    She gave her name as Florence Reed when she appeared Saturday afternoon at the office of County Judge Sparrow, declaring she had lost her purse on a motor stage while en route from Oregon City to California. She had not discovered her loss, she said, until she arrived in Medford alone and friendless.
    "What am I to do?" she said plaintively in the lobby of the judge's office, the judge not being present at the time. "The purse contained all the money I owned in the world. The stage driver helped search all through the stage, but the purse is gone and now I am helpless, unable to work or earn a dime," or words to that effect.
    The woman had a knack in telling her story and kept her fingers drumming incessantly on the table. She indicated weariness in her speech and left the impression she would be the ideal type for a grandmother role in a heart-throbbing moving picture. Her clothes were the worse for wear and her hair showed snow white, as it slipped from under the protection of a shabby hat.
    The woman, who appeared at least 70 years of age, declared she had no children and no kin on whom to rely during her declining years.
    She was referred to the county Red Cross chapter, and it the developed that Mrs. Reed was a visitor in Medford last April under similar circumstances. She had lost her purse that time, but under a different name, said Miss Roberts yesterday. Mrs. Halley old-time Medford resident, said she believed the same woman had been in and through Medford numerous times during the last 20 years, and during that time had lost her purse on several occasions. The old woman, who was such an object of pity, declares she is only 56, and according to the Red Cross chapter, has children who are able to take care of her, but the wanderlust seems to have clung to her.
    This case was pointed out as one of several that has come to the attention of the Red Cross, where unworthy claims for charity are regular occurrences, the claimants making their way through life on the good will of others.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 8, 1929, page 8

    Tourists may come and tourists may go, but the auto tramp goes on forever. Miss Marjorie Jones, state representative of the Red Cross, visited Medford yesterday and called attention to the gravity of the problem, and the need of public support in the efforts of that organization to solve it.
    Said Miss Jones: "People must learn to give to organizations such as the Red Cross and then stand behind them in their work. Professional beggars who whimper to churches, service clubs of the hardheartedness of charitable organizations are becoming more numerous each year. Although the Red Cross often buys milk or food for children of such families, they do not feel justified in buying gasoline, that they may repeat their begging in the next town. The disgruntled transients then use this refusal as a means of wheedling provisions, food or clothing from other persons, with the tale that charitable organizations have refused them aid."
    It was to relieve the people of such a burden that the Community Chest was adopted in Medford. Therefore all such requests should be referred to the Red Cross or the headquarters of the Community Chest, as each individual can rest assured that deserving cases will be promptly attended to, while the professional beggars will be convinced Medford is no place to ply their questionable trade.
    Only by the observance of such a program, supported by the people of this community, can this problem be properly handled and successfully solved. Hamilton Patton, head of the Community Chest, informed this paper today that his organization stands steadfastly behind the policy of the Red Cross, realizing that divided responsibility in this direction will only lead to confusion and chaos, rendering a solution of the auto tramp problem practically impossible.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 8, 1930, page B4

Jobless Youth Says Jail Good Place for Recovery
from Attack of Mumps

    Glad that there are such good Samaritans as he has found in Medford, Vincent LaGrande, 18, is in the city jail recovering from an attack of mumps with which he became afflicted shortly after arriving in the city last Friday from Longview, Wash., searching for work. He was contented this afternoon on a city prison cot, reading magazines in waking hours, smoking an occasional cigarette, and visiting with police officers who bring him three square meals a day.
    He has no fever and feels sufficiently strong to leave the jail house today, but the swelling on both sides of his face must disappear before Dr. B. C. Wilson, attending his case, will allow him to move on. He has received adequate medical care and his condition has never been such that hospital care was deemed necessary. If Vincent had been as sick as reported, there would have been no delay in rushing him to a hospital, officers said this forenoon.
    After reading a report of his condition published today, the youth declared; "Judging from that I must be plenty sick, and I am really surprised to read about myself being so low. They've been very nice to me here and I have no kick coming. I've slept in jails before.
    "I have no mother, there isn't anyone awaiting my homecoming, for I have no home," said Vincent, a willing talker, his youthful face a bit sad from a wistful smile. "My mother died when I was seven years old, and I haven't heard of my father for years.
    "I was working in a mill at Longview, Wash.," he continued, "and my job ran out, so I came down to Medford. And just as I was getting ready to start hiking back to Washington, along comes these mumps and here I am. Even at that I am thankful I've got a place to stay and to have everyone treat me so well. There's nothing wrong with this jail house and I'd just as soon stay here as go to a rooming house or a hospital."
    The boy is expected to be fully recovered in two or three days and is anxious to find work around Medford if possible. He also is anxious to get in touch with a family named Burgess.
    Offers were made today by private citizens not understanding the situation to have the boy moved, but he is content with present surroundings.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 25, 1930, page 6

Weary Willies Without Honor, Lad Discovers in Highway Hike
(By Eva Nealon)
    The songs of the road have lost their appeal. The small fires that "wearies" build no longer burn with warmth and friendliness. There might have been a day when the "'ard beatin' o' their 'oofs on the 'ighway" sounded a tattoo in the minds of all hobos, which bound them together in one great defense. But that day is gone forever, according to Wm. Lockrey, 18 year old youth of Vancouver, B.C., who started down the trail from Medford this afternoon in a third attempt to get home to Mother.
    They don't wait for death to come to steal a "weary's" coat and "flag that eastbound train" in the new era, William says, and he should know, for two fellow men of the highway not only took his coat last night but the two blankets, underclothes and 50 cents that were given to him by Mr. and Mrs. Rex Lampman, journalists of Los Angeles, and the local Red Cross chapter. In addition they pushed him into the ditch and went on their way.
    The young boy's eyes filled with tears this morning when he endeavored to tell his story and thank Mr. Lampman again for assisting him in a new start out of town. He came to Medford a few days ago with the Lampmans. He was hitch-hiking his way to Vancouver, B.C. from Los Angeles. He had taken his fun where he found it for four months and found very little of it. During the time he was in Los Angeles he had just three days of work.
    Yesterday the Lampmans and local Red Cross fitted him out with a replenished kit and started him on his way north from Central Point. As darkness descended upon the valley two men, who were also traveling by foot, approached him a little this side of Gold Hill and opened conversation.
    After walking and talking for a few minutes, one reached over and struck him. The other grabbed his coat, tore it from him, took his knapsack and two blankets and rolled him into the ditch.
    William hobbled on into Gold Hill, slept there and this morning returned to Medford.
    He had very little to say but "yes" and "no" when interviewed and uttered those words with difficulty. He's going home and he's going to stay there. He wrote the news to his parents and expects them to be glad to see him. He had another coat and another roll on his shoulder when he left Medford for the third time hoping for a ride and no encounters with hobos, who held so romantic a place in his mind a few months ago.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 26, 1930, page 1

    Vincent LaGrande, the 18-year-old tramp boy who has been recovering from an attack of mumps at the city jail, has been given a home. Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln Gray came down from Ruch yesterday and took the boy to their ranch, where he can have all the milk he wants to drink and the food he wants to eat. Vincent appeared happy when Mrs. Gray, an elderly woman, buttoned him up carefully in new clothes and prepared him for the country trip.
    The boy promised to stay with the old folks and help them with chores on the farm. It was the first time he had a home since he was a small youngster.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 28, 1930, page 2

Ruch Farm Palls on Lad with Taste for Vagabond Life,
Takes to Road Again

(By Ernest Rostel)
    Farming life may be just the thing for some young men, but it holds no attraction for Vincent LaGrande, 18-year-old tramp boy who recently spent a few days in the city jail recovering from an attack of mumps. He was in Medford Saturday night, preparing for a hitchhike to Chicago, Ill., after having spent ten days on the farm of Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln Gray at Ruch, where he had been promised a home if he cared to stay.
    Three weeks ago, Vincent arrived in Medford in search of work and was en route to Klamath Falls when he became afflicted with an attack of mumps. Not being seriously ill and having been accustomed to sleeping in jails while on the road, the city jail was turned into an infirmary for his benefit. He was given medical attention by the county health department and city policemen acted as "nursemaids," but his case attracted considerable attention when a report was published that he had been denied hospital care, was suffering on a bare prison cot and was receiving treatment unbecoming the welfare of the sick.
    Investigation revealed that the boy was well satisfied with life in the city prison and was not as ill as reported. The case attracted the attention of Mr. and Mrs. Gray, an elderly couple operating a ranch in the Ruch section. Ten days or so ago, they arrived at the prison and offered Vincent a permanent home, all the milk he wanted to drink and all the farm foods he wished to eat if he would come with them.
    The offer was attractive to the boy. He was bundled up in new clothes, given a haircut and was taken to the country. Vincent was apparently pleased at first with farm routine, but it was not so long until he began to feel a little crowded and his feet began itching for the open road. He did not find congeniality with his benefactors and said he was unable to enjoy working for them. For some reason, he did not get along well with Mrs. Gray, but did better with Mr. Gray.
    He was to leave yesterday for Portland, the first lap of a journey east, leaving behind him work that concerned irrigation ditches and farm chores for life in the city. He plans to join his brother in Chicago and remain there indefinitely. He wants to go to school a little more and learn a trade.
    Someday he wants to come back to Medford, because of memories he said that will never leave him.
    He continues appreciative of the good care he received while in the jail house and threw several complimentary remarks in the direction of Dr. B. C. Wilson, county physician, who attended him daily. He thinks well of the Medford police department for the way in which they gave him attention, bringing meals, magazines and smokes, but as for farming, he'd just as soon forget about that.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 7, 1930, page 10

Jack Goldberg of New York Held for Breaking in Medford Home--
Asked for Lodging Last August and Got Two Bits.
    He entered the jail by choice a year ago. He is held there today, charged with burglary and bound over to the grand jury with bail set at $1000. He came there to sleep the first time. He has been many places and done many things during the intervening year. But he recognized his old bed when he re-entered the jail a few days ago. He also recognized Ike Dunford, county jailer, and introduced himself as Jack Goldberg of New York.
    "You're the man who gave me a bed and a quarter about a year ago," he told Ike as he entered his iron-latticed abode.
    "I didn't recognize him at first," Ike stated yesterday, "but when he mentioned the bed and quarter I knew he was the same fellow who waked me up last summer.
    "My car was parked just outside the jail. I heard someone get in it and grabbed my gun and rushed out. The fellow said he was just looking for someplace to sleep so I brought him into the jail. The next morning I gave him a quarter and sent him on his way. He went across the continent, but he's sleeping in the jail again tonight."
    Goldberg is charged with burglary of the J. J. Osenbrugge residence.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 12, 1930, page 6

    Tate Edwards' chicken coops at Phoenix are not apt to be molested again as long as Edwards can move about and handle a rifle. Last night he heard a noise in the pen, procured a rifle from the house, secreted himself behind some bushes and took a shot in the general direction of the noise. The disturbance stopped, and a few minutes later W. Rumble, a transient, was captured by Edwards and two or three neighbors. In justice court here today, Rumble was bound over to the grand jury on a burglary charge with bail set at $500.
    Since last spring, chicken thieves have been making regular visits to his poultry roosts, and 38 chickens were taken. Last Thursday night, seven hens were stolen and last night another visit was being made when Edwards heard the noise.
    He took a shot at the chicken pen and for a time thought he had struck the prowler. The shot attracted the attention of passersby J. C. Berrang, Emery Layton and W. T. Brown. They came over to ascertain the trouble. They accompanied Edwards, a man past 77 years of age, to the door of the pen. The prowler was hidden in a corner and took a powerful swing at Edwards, striking him in the chest in an effort to make his escape. However, with the assistance of the three men Rumble was taken in custody and held until Deputy Sheriff Oscar Dunford arrived on the scene.
    Edwards said today that he attempted to raise his rifle to shoot at close range, but Rumble's pugilistic activities prevented him from shooting.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 12, 1930, page 6

    This seems to be good writing weather. At any rate we are in receipt of another communication today which is not for publication but merely for the editor's information.
    The writer appears greatly exercised over tree sitters, and "the crowd of bums lining the curbs near the Chamber of Commerce building." Instead of picking on a "nice boy" sitting in a tree, Ye Editor is advised to "pick on the tramps and hoodlums who are disgraceful blots on the landscape of the civic center."
    We are always glad of editorial suggestions, but fear we cannot follow this one. As far as the nice boy in the tree is concerned, we are content to let human nature take its course. Moreover, in our opinion, that incident is closed--the play is played out.
    The hoodlums near the Chamber of Commerce are another matter and present a more serious, and more permanent, problem--namely the problem of unemployment. It is not exclusively a Medford problem, nor even a national problem, it is a worldwide problem.
    We have looked over the human exhibit at the Chamber of Commerce building several times. Some of them are pretty hard-looking customers. Others aren't. Many are simply pathetic--tired, discouraged, and unquestionably undernourished. They are near the Chamber of Commerce building simply because that happens to be the headquarters of the federal employment bureau. These poor devils aren't looking for publicity, or easy money, or charity--they don't even want to sit in a tree--they are looking for a job--any sort of a job that will allow them to keep body and soul together.
    Telling them to move on and be quick about it might improve the atmosphere and scenery of our civic center, but it wouldn't solve the problem. This country has its army of unemployed, and that army is going to move where there is a chance to work. This happens to be the hardest time in the Rogue River Valley, and if the present contingent moved on, there would be plenty of others to move in. Relieving the congestion here would simply increase it somewhere else. Until the unemployment problem is treated for what it is, a national problem, no community can escape its share of responsibility, or successfully throw off its burden.
    So we are not going to pick on these "bums" at the corner of Main and Front. We are merely going to repeat what we remarked several weeks ago that the unemployment problem is a real problem, and now is the time for every individual who intends to have some work done, to start on it, and do his share toward relieving the situation, not so much to benefit the transient or outside worker, as the unemployed at home.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 14, 1930, page 4

To the Editor:
    My heartfelt thanks to you for your splendid editorial in Thursday's issue of the Mail Tribune in defense of the "tramps and hoodlums" who have found refuge in the "civic center." The majority of these men are probably tramps from necessity, not from choice. I for one am glad to know that these men have found a place where they can be comfortable, at least as comfortable as men can be when their stomachs as well as their pocketbooks are empty.
    Telling them to move on would be another example of "man's inhumanity to man." How vastly better it would be for us to open a soup kitchen where these unemployed could be sure of at least one square meal a day.
    Jacksonville, Aug. 17, 1930.
"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, August 18, 1930, page 7

To the Editor:
    My heartfelt thanks to you for your splendid editorial in Thursday's issue of the Mail Tribune in defense of the "tramps and hoodlums" who have found refuge in the "civic center." The majority of these men are probably tramps from necessity, not from choice. I for one am glad to know that these men have found a place where they can be comfortable, at least as comfortable as men can be when their stomachs as well as their pocketbooks are empty.
    Telling them to move on would be another example of "man's inhumanity to man." How vastly better it would be for us to open a soup kitchen where these unemployed could be sure of at least one square meal a day.
    Jacksonville, Aug. 17, 1930.
"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, August 18, 1930, page 7

No Use for Floaters
To the Editor:
    In yesterday's Tribune an article appeared where a lady had a wonderful inspiration regarding the men congregated around the chamber of commerce building. Her heart seemed to bleed with sympathy regarding those men. Now no one denies that this is a time of slack employment throughout the entire country. I own a small eating place and have plenty of opportunity to come in contact with this class of men.
    They are, as a general class, a set of floaters, and why the people of any community should finance a man, or set of men, to travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back again is more than I know.
    Here is a typical case: A man came in the restaurant and was hungry. We gave him something to eat. Thirty days ago he had been at Wichita, Kansas, making $25 to $40 per week; had $65 in cash. He started west, used up the $65, left his car in California and hiked up here. He seemed to be surprised there was no job available.
    What this class of men will have to learn is that the rolling stone "no ketchum the moss," that it takes money to travel, in fact the government says 7¢ per mile for auto. Also that in times of depression one place is as good as another.
    Who was serving soup for Ezra Meeker, the '49ers, the pioneers that settled Kansas and Nebraska and withstood the hot winds, grasshoppers and 57 other pests? They were sturdy, self-reliant, with a definite purpose in view, namely establishing a home. They were not running from place to place, expecting to find a bonanza.
    The only people that ever accomplished anything are the ones that stuck to something for a long term of years.
    Medford, Aug. 19.
"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, August 19, 1930, page 7

"Bindle Stiff" Finds Aid in Group of Job Seekers
By Eva Nealon
    His pack appeared worn and dirty, but heavy as he moved slowly down the street this morning with worn soles dragging on the pavement. The face which showed beneath his cap, set low on his forehead, was expressionless except for lines of fatigue beneath his eyes. He approached a group of job seekers, gathered near the fountain by the Chamber of Commerce building.
    He stopped, mumbling to one, then another. No one heeded his plea. He started on down the street, readjusting his pack with a slight shrug of the shoulders.
    Then from the back of the small crowd a voice called "Hey!" The weary one turned as a man with weather-worn face and grimy clothes approached him and thrust a hand into a ragged pocket. He drew out a small coin and handed it to the "weary," who took it , mumbled, and started on down the street. The donor edged back into the group of unemployed.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 26, 1930, page 5

Moocher's Story Points Warning
For Youths to Avoid Transgressions
By Ernest Rostel
    "Mister, could you spare a fellow a dime or two?" asked the youth. "I've tramped from up north today and my pockets are empty."
    He had stopped a Medford resident at the rustic drinking fountain near the Chamber of Commerce, and the young beggar's eyes betrayed hunger and weariness to the listener.
    "Come, we'll feed you, and you'll remember that you did not go hungry in Medford."
    Seated in the warmth of a restaurant, the youth had a story to tell--of blasted hopes, of kin who had forgotten him, and of a place where he had spent two long years, an outcast of society. A week or two ago, the youth, who gave his name as William Delaney, had a number and a cell in the Washington state reformatory at Monroe, serving time for attempting to crowd too much enjoyment into one evening.
    With a friend, he had rented a car from a taxi agency, became intoxicated and finally succeeded in smashing the cab and sending his friend to the hospital. He had kept the machine out too long and, in all, sufficient events had occurred to send him to Monroe.
    "I had a good job, friends, and all that makes life enjoyable," he related, "but things came easy and I wanted more than my share of excitement. I took a drink, another followed, and then some more. I wanted to see if I could drive the machine when I was drunk. It landed me in the penitentiary, and I lost everything.
    "I became sick of the tiny cell where they placed me, tired of the guards always around me, and made no friends in the several hundred blighted souls who called the place home--some for life. I became sorry for myself. Each evening we were locked in at 7, and each morning at 6 we arose. For weeks I could not sleep. I pounded the pillow, kicked the cell walls and wished that I were the lowliest beggar rather than stay in the place.
    "I did not write to my dear old dad," he continued. "I did not want him to know where I was. He wanted me to go to college instead of quitting school when I did, and wanted me to stay with him in New York to enter his business instead of striking out west.
    "Day after day I marked the calendar that another day had brought me closer to freedom. My spirit was not in the prison walls--it was home with the folks and that's where I'm heading now, hoping to get there before the Christmas snows. Some of the prisoners tried to get me to break rules because they had already broken them, and so spoil my chances for a parole. Others were planning how they would do their next 'job' better when they got out so they would not be caught," he continued.
    Through it all, Delaney--just 22 years old--kept his head, and came before the parole board a month or so ago. His sentence was not yet done, but the two years he had spent were not marred by infractions of rules and he was paroled. He took the parole papers from his pocket and explained that each month he was to send one back to the prison, giving a complete report of his activities.
    "Believe me," he said, "I aim to send them back. "I wouldn't want to go back to that cell and prison routine, if I had to die. I know how to appreciate liberty and hope that other young fellows will think twice before doing some deed that will take them away from their fellow men. When they let me out, they gave me a new suit of clothes and, most of all, freedom. I'm starting in all over and shall always tread the straight and narrow."
    Delaney's story was over. He reached for the cap given him at the prison, gave thanks for the meal and went out in the cool air of the November evening. Today he is somewhere on the Pacific Highway, hiking south, and then a little later east to kinfolks, whom he plans to tell that he had been absent on a boat voyage that took him to the far corners of the earth. They'll never know he was a prisoner out west, if his secret is not betrayed.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 2, 1930, page 5

Local Jail Is Haven to Bedless Men
    The rush of hungry, homeless men to the police station in quest of a place to sleep continues night after night. As many as twenty indigents, and always at least eight, are allowed to sleep in the city jail, police say. In the jail the unfortunates at least find warmth, blankets and a place out of the rain.
    Police believe that it is wiser to permit the down-and-outers to slumber in the jail, rather than have them wandering about the streets of the city all night.
    Most of the men are not criminals in any sense of the word, just hungry, dirty, unfortunate men in search of a place to earn a living. As it is, they get little out of life, and suffer the utmost in misery, in so-called prosperous America.
    It is said that Medford sees little of the vast number of unemployed throughout the nation, as most of the unfortunates travel by the other railway line through Klamath Falls, and into California.
    Last night an aged married couple entered the police station in search of something to eat and a place to sleep. They had walked the streets for hours, and had found no aid. Finally, as a last resort, they went to the police station. They were traveling from California to the home of a relative at Burns, where they expected to be allowed to pass the winter. Hitchhiking along the Pacific Highway had proven a slow mode of travel for the unfortunates.
Medford Daily News, December 14, 1930, page 5

Twenty-Five at Work in County Since Monday--
Must Be Residents of Jackson County.

    Registration of unemployed men of Jackson County, for work on the state highway widening projects, initiated as a means of furnishing relief, continued briskly today, with close to 30 men registering with the county court.
    C. H. Armstrong, resident engineer of the state highway commission, reported that about 20 men had put to work since Monday, neediest cases receiving preference. At present the work is not thoroughly organized, but the state highway commission is working on a systemized plan.
    It is planned to place the men at work on both the Pacific and Crater Lake highways in Jackson County, widening the narrow places. Similar work has started in Douglas and many of the Willamette Valley counties.
    One ironclad rule is being adhered to in assigning work: Those employed must be married men and bona fide residents of Jackson County. Single men with dependents will be given consideration after married men with dependents have all been cared for.
Transients Refused
    Two single men, who have been residents of the county since last May, were denied their applications. A number of transient laborers met the same refusal.
    "The single man gets just as hungry as the married man with dependents," said County Judge Alex Sparrow this morning, "but he has no hungry children. He has nobody to hustle a meal for but himself.
    "We are not going to provide work for transients. The county judges and highway commission specifically agreed to this. They felt that transients should have remained at home in the first place. The present depression will be something of a blessing if it weeds out part of the auto tramps. I have hopes that a few, after they have starved all winter, will have sense enough to settle down and go to work, and not spend their last dollar for gasoline."   
Medford Mail Tribune, December 17, 1930, page 7

Jobless Men Live Outdoors Near City's Environs
    Hungry, jobless, homeless, sleeping under the drab December skies, shaving under the grey morning light, washing in water flaked with ice--that is the fate of hundreds of unfortunate men this winter. An even twenty men were observed yesterday grouped around inadequate fires near the Owen-Oregon Lumber Company mill, and close to the railway tracks.
    Apparently, in spite of their misfortunes, the men desired to remain neat and clean, because several of them were washing. One was shaving a heavy beard. His barber shop was the wide expanse of territory; his mirror an old tin can.
    Only one of the unfortunate wanderers possessed an overcoat--the rest were insufficient garbed.
    The men were of all ages, ranking from time-worn unfortunates of sixty to youngsters that should be attending high school and turning out for sports. Instead, they are putting up a losing fight against life.
    The men were engaged in trying to cook very meager food over a fire. There was no protection from the icy December winds.
    The twenty did not represent all the unfortunates that passed the night in that locality. Many of them had drifted on south when morning gave a slight respite from the winter chill. Many more of depression's victims slept on hard bunks at the city jail. However, to them the jail is heaven after the cold ground.
    Medfordites, having warm, comfortable homes and many blessings during the Christmas season, can feel doubly fortunate in that they are not suffering as manifold thousands are in the United States this winter.
Medford Daily News, December 20, 1930, page 3

    There are other creepy things besides those incidental to movie mystery plays, and they are small and numerous in Medford's city prison, despite that the latter is thoroughly cleaned often--sometimes. And among the moneyless and homeless traveling fraternity there are some men whom nothing could please. As witness:
    A fairly well-dressed young man belonging to the temporary hobo class during a rainy night recently applied at the police station for a place to sleep, and was conducted into the prison, given some blankets and then gratefully lay down on one of the cell cots to sleep. The only other occupants of the prison were several other hobo sleepers, and rhe prison was left unlocked.
    A half hour later the finicky young man surprised the policeman on duty by entering the police station and while scratching his itching body in various places, politely saying:
    "Thanks tor the accommodations but I can't use 'em. They (the
creepers) are too much for me."
    Then he disappeared into the rainy night, while the several other
hoboes continued to slumber and scratch.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 19, 1931, page 3

Hitchhikers Forbidden to Solicit Rides on Highways--
State Constabulary Will Be Kept Busy

    The new state traffic law, effective June 6, providing that it shall be unlawful for any person to stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride from the driver of any private vehicle, will have its drawbacks in enforcement. The law, passed by the last legislature to curb the practice of the small army of homeless transients picking up rides along the highway, is apt to result in quite an increase in jail population if arrests are made as soon as the law is effective, officers say.
    The principal burden of enforcement will devolve upon the shoulders of the new state police, to be organized in August, and until then it is likely local state traffic officers will carry on an educational program warning tramps and hitchhikers to forsake the habit of standing by the road and flagging motorists.
Hard on Itinerants
    A local driver, upon picking up a transient yesterday for a few miles' lift, told the hiker of the new law. The man said he was 77 years old and said the highway was his only means of transportation.
    "What next are they going to legislate against us on whom fortune has frowned. I used to be an iron moulder but advancing years caused me to be cast aside and now I'm trying to do any kind of work I can find," he said on commenting on the information.
    "I wish the law was in effect now so they would place me in jail with the assurance I would have two or three meals a day and a place to sleep. I have nobody in the world in the way of kin or friends," he continued, "and jail would be a good place for me. Many of the men looking in vain for work feel the same way about it as I do."
Law a Protection
     He was told the law was passed as a protection for the motoring public against the type of tramps who accept rides and in many cases rob their good Samaritans. In other cases, stopping to pick up transients along the highway has caused serious accidents.
    In reply the white-haired transient, who appeared neat despite his ragged clothing, deplored the condition and condemned those men who made it hard for the respectable "tramps" to get along in the world. He carried no roll of blankets and had no topcoat. He said he spent most of his nights in the open by a camp fire and begged for his food, but was always in search of work.
    He did not know why he left Los Angeles, as he knew conditions were just as bad in the north but thought if he saw some small town this side of Portland he would just stop there and wait for something to turn up. Hiking does not agree with his 77 years. If the new anti-flagging law was in effect, he said, he could go to jail without committing any serious crime.

Medford Mail Tribune, April 22, 1931, page 1

Many Women Ride Rods and Camp in "Jungles" with Army of Jobless
    SALEM, June 18.--(AP)--Among the transient army of the unemployed whose veteran troopers and new recruits are riding up and down the Pacific Coast these days in freight cars, "on the rods" of passenger trains or on top of the coaches, are many women as well as men.
    Officer O. F. Victor, of the Salem night patrol, who for years has covered a beat centering at the Southern Pacific depot, says practically every freight train that goes through here carries women as well as men. Always there has been a percentage of women among these free passengers, Victor says, but this season he thinks there are more than ever before. This also is true of the men, on account of the scarcity of employment.
    Officer Victor doesn't like to refer to them as "bums" or tramps.
    "Are they a hard lot?" he was asked. "Do they look as if they had led wasteful and dissipated lives?"
    "No," he declared. "They are very intelligent people, most of them, and they are not out to make trouble for anyone. Many of them, between trains, camp in the jungles near the yards and sleep in the empty boxcars. I get a kick out of talking with them. They tell me things that I don't see in the newspapers, and they know more about the actual condition of the country than Hoover does."
Medford Mail Tribune, June 18, 1931, page 9

Lion's Plan May Curtail Panhandling in Medford
(By Irva Fewell)
    In a cheery, well-lighted room finished in pale green, with shiny white oilcloth covering the tables, and attractive bouquets of fall garden flowers set here and there, hungry men in Medford receive food--if they are willing to work hard at the woodpile for 15 minutes.
    The kitchen, where substantial servings of meat and vegetable stew, bread and coffee are served every day, is located in the basement of the Salvation Army building on North Bartlett Street and is being sponsored by the Medford Lions' Club to rid the city of professional beggars. Meals are served from 7 to 9 in the mornings and from 4 to 6 in the evenings.
    Only those who will work for 15 minutes cutting, sawing and stacking wood, however, are fed. The project has been put into motion by the local service club to eliminate from the community beggars unwilling to work, according to George W. Newberry, club president.
    Several Lions' Club members have small books of 10 tickets, which have just been issued, and each one is good for an opportunity to earn a meal at the kitchen, which was opened the first of the month. The tickets are given "panhandlers" instead of coins.
    Reports have been made by Lions that fellows on the streets asking for money, who claimed they were hungry, refused to accept the tickets.
    One club member told of distributing 10 of these stubs, giving them to men who asked for money. A check made with the kitchen revealed that only three reported for work, in order to receive food.
    Police will be asked by the club to cooperate in the elimination of professional beggars in Medford, and those who will not split wood for desired aid.
    Plans will be perfected at a meeting this evening of the Lions' committee of aid for the working out of a plan to put in common use the tickets entitling men to work for meals. Carl Stuart is chairman of the group.
    Business men who have been told about the checks to be given, instead of money, Mr. Newberry said, seem convinced of the adaptability of the plan. However, it is not necessary for a man to have a ticket to earn food, it was pointed out.
    Ensign J. R. Pack of the Salvation Army is cooperating with the service group, and is in direct supervision of the project.
    Although the kitchen has been in operation for only a short time, it seems to be proving a success, Ensign Pack stated. An average of between eight and ten persons are fed daily. The woodpile, located directly in back of the Army headquarters, is kept in order by the workers. The wood is used to cook the food in the kitchen and is hauled to the grounds by the Salvation Army.
    President Newberry declared that "the purpose of the project is to help every person willing to work and show he is on the level, and to discourage the beggars. The woodpile gives him a chance to prove what he is."
Medford Mail Tribune, November 10, 1931, page 3

Bridge Expert Was Hobo in Medford 20 Years Ago
    Ely Culbertson, "the magnate of bridge," now engaged in a contest attracting worldwide attention, with Sidney Lenz, to determine the merits of their respective systems, and a $5000 against $1000 wager, came to this city about 20 years ago as a hobo, contracted double pneumonia, spent several weeks in a local hospital, and washed dishes in a Front Street restaurant, according to an article appearing in the December 9th issue of The Outlook, entitled "Culbertson: A Soldier of Fortune."
    The portion of the article bearing upon his experiences here are as follows:
    "He ate three meals a day until he arrived in Medford, Oregon, near the California border, the toughest town for hobos from Alaska to Lower California. When courtly manners failed to get him a meal, Culbertson took a job as a dishwasher in a "hash joint" near the railroad station. After four hours of work he collapsed and was taken to a hospital suffering from double pneumonia brought on by many days of exposure and lack of food. When he was discharged as cured, the
desire for a cigarette led him to a hobo camp at the edge of the town. The man from whom he bummed a match took offense at his request and a free-for-all fight started. Within half an hour all the combatants were arrested. Culbertson fainted when thrust into a cell. He awoke in a hospital two days later, suffering from a relapse."
    Culbertson, when detained here, was "beating his way" to San Francisco where remittance checks waited, from Canada, where he was the instigator of a strike among railroad construction workers. The strike was settled, and one of the conditions was that Culbertson make himself scarce. He was then about 20 years of age, and a "revolutionist."
    Culbertson, educated and with Chesterfieldian manners, experienced little difficulty in securing meals, "by hitting the back doors."
    Medford, according to the article, enjoyed the reputation of being a "tough town" for hoboes. W. H. Canon was the police judge, and W. H. Shearer the chief of police.
    In those days, the Southern Pacific water tank, 100 yards below the Main Street crossing, was the loafing place of transients, so it was probably there that the present bridge leader had his fight. In the same period, there were two restaurants on Front Street, the "Manhattan Cafe," and the "English Chop House."
    The Sacred Heart Hospital was the only institution of its kind here then, so it was within its walls that Culbertson found care and treatment for the "double pneumonia," and the relapse brought on by battling for a cigarette, too soon after his discharge. After his second recovery, Culbertson journeyed to San Francisco where he loafed for five months, and then joined a revolution in Mexico.
    No one could be found who remembered Culbertson, or any of the incidents that marked his short stay in these parts.
    At present, however, "the Culbertson System" is popular among bridge enthusiasts of the city and valley, among its many students being Mrs. Maude Newbury, one of the first of the local people to adopt it.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 13, 1931, page 4

    The mystery of who slew Vinton Beall's three-month-old calf a week ago was solved yesterday by the sheriff's office.
    The animal was butchered in Beall's barn, by two transients, and taken to the "jungles" near the stockyards, and shared with other travelers. The veal was stewed by the wayfarers.
    Deputy Sheriff William Grenhemer traced the calf to the "jungles," where the hide and shank bones were found. Beall identified the hide.
    The calf thieves departed these parts after a full meal on a northbound freight, according to the evidence collected.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 25, 1941, page 8

"Wino" Problem Nothing New, Will Improve
    Chief of Police Clatous McCredie declared yesterday that in his opinion the so-called "wino" situation in Medford was not as bad as it is in other cities of like size on the Pacific Coast, and that most of the trouble would be over in a week or so, as soon as some of the transients move on to other fruit working sections.
    At the city council meeting this week, a delegation of businessmen in the area around South Front and South Central appeared to ask the council to do something about the "winos." Suggestions ranged from hot seats to running them out of town.
    "The trouble is that some of them are local residents, with local families," McCredie said. "You can't run those people out of town. Others are woods workers who come to town once or twice a month to blow their stake. They are glad to get out of town when they sober up.
    "Others," McCredie said, "are fruit workers, and they work a few days and then drink a few days. They will be gone as soon as the fruit season is ended, or it gets a little colder. And from reports," he said, "I believe Medford hasn't nearly the problem along that line that other cities have."
    The delegation of businessmen said that the drunks had been pestering people and business houses on the south side of town, had been committing obscene acts, and being nuisances in general. McCredie said that city officials have been aware of the situation for a long time, but that the situation is not now as bad as it had been, and
would get better.
    "Some of the worst pests are local residents," McCredie said, "with families here. If their families can't make them work, I don't quite see how we can. We don't have concentration camps in this country--yet."
Medford News, October 18, 1946, page 1

Last revised April 11, 2024