The Infamous Black BirdSouthern Oregon History, Revised

Medford Pioneers:
Profiles of some personages and personalities of early Medford and Oregon.
See also the page on other Rogue Valley pioneers.

Dr. Benjamin Franklin Adkins
Early Medford developer. Barnett Road is named after his daughter.
Capt. B. R. Alden
Leader during the 1853 Rogue River Indian war..
Oscar Odell Alenderfer
Instrumental during Medford's mid-1920s boom.
Albert Cooper Allen
Author, horticulturist, filmmaker.
The Andrews Family
They gave up the spotlight to raise fruit in the Rogue Valley.
Llewellyn Banks
The murder he committed ended the Good Government Congress of the 1930s.
The Barneburgs
Pioneer ranchers of East Medford.
W. J. Bennet
Medford's first architect, man of mystery.
N. S. Bennett
He arrived in 1889; his Eden Valley Nursery provided many of the fruit trees that once populated the Rogue Valley.
Albert S. Bliton
Editor of the Medford Mail, Medford's best booster.
George Endeavor Boos
Briefly influential secretary of the Medford Commercial Club.
Peter Britt
The well-known pioneer photographer of Jacksonville.
Charles Wesley Broback
Broback made time to co-found Medford when not riding herd on his passel of trouble-magnet sons.
Edward G. Brown
His Medford saloon survived Prohibition and the Depression both.
John H. Butler
Butler traded a can of kerosene for two acres of land, helped found the Medford Furniture & Hardware Co., built the Woolworth Building--and lost it.
William Caldwell
Desperado, first man killed in Medford.

James A. Cardwell
Gold miner, Ashland founder.

Charles Boynton Carlisle
Minister, Wild West show promoter, womanizing editor on the lam--Carlisle published Medford's second newspaper, the Southern Oregon Transcript.

George Horatio Chick
The mine promoter may have been on the up-and-up--but he sure managed to leave a lot of unhappy people in his wake.

Pinto Colvig
Local boy made good.
William M. Colvig
Though he was never a judge, Judge Colvig was for many years Medford's biggest booster.

Olive Cooper
Heroic nurse of Medford and Glendale, Oregon.
Franklin Lafayette Cranfill
Coming to Medford in its first year as a 40-year-old carpenter, he built Cranfill & Hutchison into a venerable Medford dry-goods emporium.

Ansil A. Davis
Notes and photos on Ansil A. Davis and the Davis & France Medford Roller Mills.

William Eifert
Mayor of Medford. I reserve judgment on whether he did what they say he did.
Elmer Dwight Elwood
Early optician and jeweler of Medford.
Earle Emlay
Was he really going to make moves in Medford--or was it a con?
Jesse Enyart
Bank cashier, booster, marksman.
Sebastiano J. Fagone
Ben Fagone--successful write-in candidate, unsuccessful Medford mayor.
Charles E. "Pop" Gates
Medford mayor, the Rogue Valley's second Ford dealer.
William A. Gates
"Peoria Bill" Gates outgrew his circus ambitions and brought modern grocery merchandising to the Rogue Valley when he co-founded the Groceteria.
Winfield R. Gaylord
Minister, Socialist firebrand, Medford motorcycle mechanic.
Dr. Edward Payson Geary
One of Medford's first doctors, he had a big hand in making Medford the medical center of the valley.
Delroy Getchell
He arrived at the height of the Orchard Boom and soon became president of the Farmers and Fruitgrowers Bank, safely seeing it through the Depression.

Dr. Judson G. Goble
Notes on the life of one of Medford's early opticians.

James P. Goodall
Jacksonville resident, managed to serve in every American war, and most of the Indian wars, from 1835 to 1865.

Gores and Ishes
The Gore and Ish families played a prominent part in early Medford and in the development of the area long before the town was thought of.

Vern Centennial Gorst
The real brains behind Pacific Air Transport.
Edgar Hafer
Manager of Medford's Iowa Lumber Co.
Fred Alton Haight
Medford music teacher, diarist, a man barely holding it together.
J. Court Hall
Saloon keeper, Medford developer.
Seely Hall
The beginnings of a page on the aviation pioneer.
The Hamlins
Trouble magnets.
George H. Haskins
Medford apothecary, Medford mayor.
Fred Heath
Another druggist, though only since 1909. He talks about the Orchard Boom, in full swing when he arrived, and running a sideline orchard.

William Marcellus Hodson
Pioneer Medford auto dealer, holder of the record for the Medford-Roseburg run.
William Hoffman
Pillar of the nascent community.
Olaus Holtan
The history of Medford's first tailor and the Holtan family, as told by Marguerite and John Black.

James Sullivan Howard
He didn't do quite everything he took credit for, but his efforts were crucial in turning the townsite into a town.

Asahel C. Hubbard
A scion of Fortunatus Hubbard, he and his brothers grew a farm implement dealership into the oldest hardware store in Oregon, Hubbard Brothers.
Frank and Fanny Hull
Photographers of the Orchard Boom.
James Mason Hutchings
Peripatetic paper peddler, magazine publisher, early Yostemite booster.
Clarence I. Hutchison
Medford merchant, partner with H. U. Lumsden.
William F. Isaacs
''Toggery Bill" was a pioneer Medford haberdasher, Rogue River booster, and fishing guide to the stars.
Edson "Jerry" Jerome
A Medford mid-century mover and shaker.
Ashba Logan Johnson
The Rogue Valley's first booster, he invented and disseminated the phrase "The Italy of Oregon"--before making off with the Sunday school funds.
Jacob Johnson
Jackson County's first and only black justice of the peace.
Margaret Keith
The noted recluse who left Jim Allen a bundle.
Reese P. Kendall
Author of Pacific Trail Camp-Fires.
Henry Klippel
Jackson County miner since 1852, held half the county offices at one time or another.
Blaine Klum
Cartoonist and ad man of the early 20th century.
Mondula Leak
He left an enduring mark.
Julia Levenberry
Maybe she wasn't a madam after all.
George Pierre Lindley
No fireworks here, just the quiet life of a public-spirited citizen.
Harold Union Lumsden
Medford merchant, partner with Clarence I. Hutchison.
William H. Lydiard
Partner in the groundbreaking Groceteria markets.
The Mackeys
The red-headed photographer and his brother.
John C. Mann
Lured to Medford in 1910 by a booster pamphlet, he stayed to found a venerable merchandising firm--Mann's Department Store.

J. G. Martin
Entertaining man-about-town.
William Martin
With Jo Lane in 1853, he led a company of volunteers in 1855-56.
Michael Angelo McGinnis
Educator, mathematician, syphilitic madman, M. A. McGinnis founded Medford's first newspaper, the Medford Monitor.
Ive McKinney
Forest Service pilot, ill-fated barnstormer.
The Medynskis
Fred was a failed distillery owner and a Klondike riverboat engineer.
Clarence Meeker
He owned the M.M. Department Store, created in 1894 from the ashes of the New York Cheap Cash Store. He describes the birth of the Orchard Boom.
The Merrimans
Jackson County's blacksmith dynasty.
The Miksches
Millers and owners of Monarch Feed and Seed.
George H. Millar
Oregon's first Socialist officeholder was also Medford's first councilman to be framed by the mayor.
David Henry Miller
Medford's pioneer hardware merchant.
Scott Morris
The Spikenard herbalist.
Olive Murray
Debunking the myth.
John T. C. Nash
The clipper ship captain survived Indian attacks to find a fortune in gold--and used it to build a hotel in downtown Medford.
Gus Newbury
Arrived on the stage in 1881, progressed from teacher to lawyer to politician.
Patrick Joseph O'Gara
The plant pathologist who made the fruit industry possible.
James O'Meara

Editor of the Oregon Sentinel during the runup to the Civil War.
Olive Osborne
Oregon Registered Nurse No. 1.
The Osenbrugges
Fruit and Studebaker dealers.
The Owings Brothers
Rogue Valley photographers.
Dr. Frederick Carroll Page
Orchardist, builder of the Page Theater.
Charles and Callie Palm
Barber, Medford's first millionaire.
Emil Peil
The Swedish blacksmith built in Medford even before the town even had a name--and was witness to its naming.

The Phippses
Founders of Medford.
Dr. Elijah Barton Pickel
The man most responsible for making Medford a medical center.
Charles H. Pierce
Both of 'em--we had two.
Dr. Elias Hull Porter
Retired army surgeon who moved to Medford and started his own hospital.
Luther Goodwyn Porter
Timber baron, and father of Medford Mayor George Porter.
Max Pracht
Founder of the Peachblow Paradise and all-round character.
Dr. Roland Pryce
An early Medford physician, he struggled with alcoholism and tuberculosis before a poignant death in the arms of his Gold Hill bride.

Mahlon Purdin
From blacksmith to lawyer to Medford mayor.
Clara Belle Purucker
"Auntie" Purucker shepherded over 1800 Medford babies into the world in her South Orange Street maternity home.

George Putnam
The human bullseye and fearless editor of the Medford Tribune.

The Ray Brothers
Gold miners and developers of Gold Ray Dam.
The Reameses
Stablemen, attorneys, banker, U.S. Senator.

Dr. John Francis Reddy
He never practiced in Medford but bought the Nash Hotel and developed the Blue Ledge Mine, soon becoming mayor and Medford's biggest booster.

Will Rogers
It was a big deal when the humorist visited Medford.
Albert S. Rosenbaum
The railroader should have been Medford's most hated man, but he managed to become the opposite.
Simeon Rosenthal
Early Medford haberdasher.
Ed Russ
Rev. Edward and son Edwin Russ, East Medford millers.
Snafu, the Foul-Mouthed Parrot
Notes on the World War II veteran who made his name in Medford as a "cussing tropical woodpecker."
J. W. Snider
The story of a Medford dairyman.
Joseph H. Stewart
He didn't do quite everything he's credited with, but he is the man who brought commercial orchard practices to the Rogue Valley.
Charley Strang
He arrived as Medford began in 1884 and ran his drug store on Main Street for over 50 years. He reminisces about Medford's beginnings and Bear Creek.
Richard I. Stuart
From New York City newsboy to construction contractor of the Craterian, the Natatorium, the Elks Club, Hotel Jackson, Medford National Bank and more.

Albert Clifton Tayler
Medford's pioneer footfitter.
John R. Tomlin
And the Tomlin Box Co. in Medford.
Top Taxpayers
How much these guys paid in taxes.
Everett G. Trowbridge
He almost turned tail when he saw the dusty town of Medford in 1908, but saw opportunity and began the manufacture of Mission furniture and lamps.
Charles E. Tull
Medford stableman, horse doctor and abortionist.
William Ulrich
Early insurance agent, founder of the Southern Oregon Pork Packing Company.
The Van Dykes
The Medford merchants and fishermen.
William I. Vawter
The attorney founded Medford's first bank and built a mansion at the corner of Main and Holly that figured prominently in its social history.

Alfred K. Ware
Former mayor of Northfield, Minnesota, briefly a mover and shaker in Medford.
I. A. Webb
Another Medford merchant.
Weeks & Orr
John and Fred Weeks and their in-law Eugene Orr in 1892 founded a Medford furniture company that lasted a hundred years.
Who's Who
Dozens of mini-bios of other Rogue Valley people.
Ed Wilkinson
The disgraced Medford butcher.
The Willekes
Frank was the model for Goofy.
Verna Forncrook Wilson
Growing up in Medford in the 1920s.
Charley Wolters
Early grocer of Medford and Talent.
Wallace Woods
He worked in several lumber yards in Medford--including its first--before starting his own in 1894 and providing the material that built the town.

Last revised February 17, 2020