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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Joseph Gist Martin

Carrol Township, Platte County, Missouri
Dillard Martin, 36, farmer, born in Virginia
Rachel Martin, 34, born in Kentucky
Josephine Martin, 7, born in Missouri
Joseph Martin, 6, born in Missouri
Alvinia Martin, 8 months, born in Missouri
Polly Martin, 4, born in Missouri
George Martin, 2, born in Missouri
Mary Martin, 1, born in Missouri
U.S. Census, enumerated October 27, 1850


McMinnville Precinct, Yamhill County, Oregon
Dillard Martin, 46, farmer, born in Virginia
Joseph Martin, 15, born in Missouri
Susan Martin, 6, born in Oregon
U.S. Census, enumerated July 19, 1860


    NEVADA LETTER--We take the following items of news from a letter which we have just received from J. G. Martin, who used to go to school at the Grove but is now soldiering it in the inhospitable wastes of Nevada.
    He says that it began snowing at Camp Halleck, where he is garrisoned, on the 25th of October. He says that the Order of Patrons of Husbandry is almost unknown there but thinks that if they were more numerous and there were fewer whiskey shops the state would be more prosperous and we coincide with Joseph in his remarks.
Washington Independent, Hillsboro, November 27, 1874, page 1


MARRIED.
MARTIN-THOMPSON--At the residence of Alex. Thompson, on Rogue River, February 15, 1877, by Rev. C. H. Hoxie, Joseph G. Martin to Miss Mary Thompson.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 24, 1877, page 3


    The aged father of Jos. G. Martin of Table Rock precinct, who has been very sick for some time, is reported in a critical condition.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 8, 1891, page 3


Roads.
    Editor Mail:--In presenting this common but, I think, useful subject for a brief consideration in the columns of your wide-awake and fearless journal, the Medford Mail, I do this simply in behalf of the community I live in and do not expect to revolutionize the whole road system from ancient times down to the present, nor have I any pet theory or particular system to offer the public on the subject of roadmaking, but more in particular to call the attention of our honorable county court once more and cause them to more fully understand and realize the sad and deplorable condition of this piece of public highway in our midst, and of which they are the direct custodians. This piece of road I call your kind attention to is the gray, sticky or adobe land that the road is made of, if made at all, and stretches a distance of two miles around the base of the upper Table Rock, and is a portion of the Fort Klamath road leading up Rogue River, and from appearances of this piece of road as regards travel, anyone would conclude this was the boundary line between this section and the interior of the valley, for the guideboard says, most emphatically, thus far shalt thou travel and no farther, during the months of November, December, January and February. And now, Mr. Editor, just think of this being our only direct thoroughfare to our county seat and different trading points, and to be so completely shut off and isolated, possibly for four months, and quite frequently longer, naturally causes us, as law-abiding citizens, to speak out boldly for reform. You may possibly ask what our road supervisor is doing that he does not put this piece of road in a condition for winter travel. It is simply this: because the territory or jurisdiction that he controls is too great for one man, and he devotes his time and labor principally to the mountains and foothills, and by the time he gets to where the labor should be directed or used, it is about all exhausted. He then fills up the old wagon ruts, throws out a few loose rock and broken rails that have been used as the last resort in removing this terra firma from the wheels of the wagon so they can revolve, and possibly the first band of sheep or cattle that comes along will roll all these things back down into their old accustomed places. This done, he pronounces this piece of road in good condition for summer travel, admitting it is thus does not ensure us a winter road, which is beyond question the most interesting and important part of the season for the farmer and merchant. Now, while I claim to mingle with and represent a portion of this prosperous community on the north side of Rogue River, I can see no particular reason why we should not have our share of public assistance, judiciously applied, to make this piece of road what it should be--a passable winter-traveled public highway, and should bedding this piece of road with rock and then gravel be found to be too expensive, then why not cause a new survey and change the roadbed to the river bottom, on different land, which is owned by Mr. Thomas Curry and William Bybee, which gentlemen are too well known for public-spiritedness and generosity to not willingly favor all public improvements. We further suggest to our honorable county court that a limit of one year be the length of time for each road supervisor to hold office, instead of the three-year system as at present adopted, as the ideas of men on roadmaking are very great, and in one year's time a man can bring to the surface about all the ideas he has, and if not good it causes retrograde instead of progression.
J. G. MARTIN
    Table Rock, Jan. 31, 1892.
Medford Mail, February 4, 1892, page 3


    Adoption of Frank Hall, a minor. It was ordered that his name be changed to Frank Martin, he having been adopted by J. G. Martin of Table Rock precinct.
"Probate Court," Valley Record, Ashland, September 30, 1897, page 1


    Joseph G. Martin, Beagle, $10.
"Northwest Pensions," Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 9, 1901, page 4


    J. G. Martin, of Beagle, was in Medford Saturday. The gentleman has been in poor health of late and has decided to rest from the arduous duties incident to farm pursuits. He will dispose of his farm and chattels and purchase a residence in Medford that his son may receive the benefits afforded by our excellent school facilities. Mr. Martin is a fine gentleman, and the acquisition of this excellent family to our city's population will be grounds for congratulation on our part.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, November 22, 1901, page 6


    J. G. Martin, the Beagle farmer, was in the city Friday. He reports everything humming out his way. He said nature was everlastingly doing business with the fruit and cereal crops both in his locality and all along the road from his place to this city. Said he never saw so many signs of prosperity before. The farmers and orchard men are out in their most earnest efforts endeavoring to keep pace with Nature's wonderful goodness in distributing its lavish bounty. The fields are being well tilled, the farm buildings are being improved and there seems not a place anywhere that is not one of bustle and hurry. Truly the valley is endeavoring this spring to outdo her former best efforts, and the drones who have previously had a disposition to whittle goods boxes are now kept busy keeping out of the way of the march of progress which is taking a firmer hold.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, May 17, 1902, page 6


MR. MARTIN'S ADDRESS.
    The following address was delivered by J. G. Martin, of Beagle, at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Reunion:
Comrades, Ladies of the Relief Corps, Ladies and Gentlemen:--
    I am truly glad that I have the honor of standing in the presence of a remnant of our nation's defenders. I do not appear before you today to act in the role of that honored profession as a public speaker, orator or lecturer--this many of you know--but only to contribute my mite in assisting to enliven the routine hours of camp life of the old Grand Army boys who have assembled here in Gold Hill for a few days of pleasure, pastime and recreation.
    A few days ago as I was sitting in the shade at noontime, the thought occurred to me that the word "soldier" might be a very appropriate and interesting subject for an occasion of this kind. Now, I do not claim a place in the ranks of the Grand Army of the Republic, but I do courteously ask a place in the gatherings and exercises as a brother comrade, as an ex-soldier in the Indian wars of 1870 to 1875. This word "soldier" is a small word of only two syllables, but it is well and favorably known to us all in history, and I question whether there is a word in all the English language that is clothed with brighter and more interesting history than the word "soldier," for the meaning of this small word applies to a great man that wears the blue, the honored and respected uniform of the United States army. The veteran soldier's life is by no means a life of ease, comfort and idleness, as some might suppose, but on the contrary, his is a life of hardship, danger, disappointment, anxiety and submissiveness, and this great man never knows what minute or hour the bugle may sound him to horse, perhaps for the last time, but he stands as firm as the mighty oak of the forest, that never shirks or quivers from duty, and is always ready and willing to obey that old familiar command, "Forward, march!" His daily duty in camp life in time of peace is rather dull and a trifle monotonous, especially the infantry branch, but he is expected to answer promptly to all drill calls, take his turn at camp life, eat his regular three meals of hardtack, bacon and beans, drink his coffee and familiar bean soup, and growl. But all these things make him the great man he is. Yes, he is the greatest man on the earth for the short space of two hours that he walks his lonely, dangerous beat, for no President, emperor, king or commanding general has greater power than this private soldier. He controls the post and all of its surroundings, and when he commands you to halt and give him the countersign, it would probably be well for you to act wisely and obey the summons at once. This soldier man is as the great meteor that flashes across the continent, for he comes and goes when and where we know not; for he is the man that is ordered to the front to fight our battles on land and sea, put down riot and quiet disturbances in the civilized and uncivilized parts of our great country, battling with the heat and unhealthfulness of some tropical climate, or maybe exposing himself to the cold, bleak storms of the north. Little do we in civil life realize this great man's mission and his dangerous calling. While we are comfortably situated in our pleasant homes around the warm, cheerful fires of winter, or perhaps rusticating in the cool, shady resorts of summer, this man soldier stands as a sentinel and protector to our homes by day and night. These aged, careworn, decrepit, veteran soldiers of the Grand Army of the Republic, the few that remain of that gallant and honored band, are the men that brought our nation out of darkness, shame and disgrace, and caused the bright sunlight of prosperity, happiness and contentment to spread her wings all over this great America and brought our beloved, tattered flag, the "red, white and blue," the emblem of our country's greatness, with all of its bright and shining colors, without the loss of a single star, where she floats today with honor and respect on land and sea.
    Who shall be credited with these great achievements of the past? The echo from these great mountains that look down upon us answers, "The veteran soldiers of the past and present." There is a remnant of that gallant band whose great, noble commander foresaw that the old ship of state would soon need a new platform. The hull of the old ship was sound to the core and this great general inserted a historical clause in that old, familiar platform, which reads, "Nothing but an unconditional surrender, or I will fight it out on these lines if it takes all summer." These were the grandest, noblest words that were ever spoken by any general of ancient or modern times; these few words sealed and cemented our grand old Union forever. I can imagine the joy that swelled the bosom of that grand army of defenders.
    Now, fathers and mothers that are assembled here today, I would admonish you to teach your children from infancy to honor and respect the veteran soldier of the Grand Army of the Republic, and when our national memorial day makes its annual visit, to never forget the duty you justly owe as citizens to these grand old veterans by placing a little flag or flower on his lonely grave, although hidden in the most obscure and deserted cemetery in our country. And as I look over this audience of intelligent faces and look upon those careworn, decrepit Grand Army veterans that are assembled here, I make my most humble bow to them for the gallant, heroic deeds that they have accomplished in the past, and left to us such a grand and glorious heritage for the present and future generations to protect and enjoy. The shadow of these grand old protectors is growing shorter, their ranks are growing thin, their step is no longer quick and elastic, and perhaps ere another encampment makes its annual visit we may not all be able to answer another roll call and hear the bugle sound "Taps" again.
    In conclusion, allow me to thank you kindly for honoring me with your presence and attention.
Medford Mail, September 26, 1902, page 2


    We are glad to state that our old friend, J. G. Martin of Beagle, has had an increase of pension from $14 to $24.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, May 15, 1903, page 6


    Contractor E. W. Starr has sold his residence property on North C Street to J. G. Martin, of Beagle. The consideration was $1050 and the deal was made through the Palm-York real estate agency. Mr. Starr will, in all probability, put up another residence for his own occupancy. Mr. Martin expects to occupy his new purchase, but will not do this before a year from this fall.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 6, 1903, page 5


GOOD ROADS.
    I am officially authorized by Antioch and bordering districts to send a special invitation to our Hon. County Judge to pay us a visit during the months of December, or January, 1904, and be an eyewitness to the condition of a piece of county road, three-fourths of a mile long, lying at the base of Upper Table Rock. It is used by many people and is in as great a section of our country as perhaps any other thoroughfare in Southern Oregon. The piece of road in question was made, according to history, in the year 1903, and it still remains in its virgin state, and not a dollar's worth of labor has been expended to improve its condition by our county administrations down to the present time. If the county court will come to our assistance with the county rock crusher and funds and build us a permanent winter road, it would not only open up and enhance the value of property, but would be greatly appreciated by the patient and progressive people on the north side of the river. Your humble scribe was introduced to the above piece of road twenty-eight years ago one dark, rainy winter night when he lost his shoes and bearings, and has known its condition continuously since. We would like the county court to travel the above-described piece of road in a light conveyance, if not by daylight, then come out some of these moonlight evenings and you will be able to think and say enough "cuss" words to determine your future destiny. We would be a more prosperous people if we could only get our winter produce to the metropolis when it commands the highest price, but we are kept from visiting the towns during the holiday season all for the want of a few hundred dollars judiciously expended on this piece of road. I did intend writing each one of these gentlemen a letter, but with your kind permission I ask space in the columns of our family newspaper, the Medford Mail, knowing that it reaches more homes than any other county paper, and would certainly have more official bearing on our honorable county court by the publication of this unworthy article in its columns.
JOSEPH G. MARTIN.
Medford Mail, December 18, 1903, page 4


    There is all kinds of dissatisfaction among the taxpayers this spring. Many instances have been brought to the attention of the Mail wherein there seems to be something radically wrong. One of these instances is that of Mr. J. G. Martin, of Beagle. Mr. Martin owns no real estate, but his taxes this year on his stock and farming implements were $27. Last year his taxes, on about the same amount of taxable property, were $12. There must surely be something out of joint somewhere when a difference of such magnitude appears. One of Mr. Martin's neighbors, who owns 160 acres of land and about the same amount of personal property as does Mr. Martin, was compelled to pay only $29 taxes.

Medford Mail,
March 25, 1904, page 4



    County Assessor Jones:--"I noticed in your columns a few weeks ago an editorial in which it was told that J. G. Martin, of Beagle, felt himself aggrieved because of what appeared to him an excessive taxation of his property. Since reading the above-mentioned item I have taken pains to look up his case. One of my deputies assessed in that locality, and I have secured a detailed list of Mr. Martin's assessment. It shows that the total of his assessment, after deducting $75 exemption on household goods, was $870. All of this was on stock and farming utensils, and each item is written out separately. I really do not see wherein Mr. Martin has any complaint to make on the grounds of unjust assessment. If it is the tax levy that has made his taxes seem excessively high, why it is the equalization board and not the assessor to whom he should have felt aggrieved. The cause of his stated increase in taxes is probably due to the fact that there was an exemption of only $75 allowed last year. This year the exemption is $300 and comprises two cows, two horses, harness and wagon, ten sheep, five hogs and household furniture--but the total of all these must not be more than $300. If a taxpayer has no stock, then the $300 exemption may be applied to household furniture if he has furniture to that value, and if his furniture has a greater value than $300, then all in excess of that must be assessed. I wish you would ascertain, if you can, the name of the neighbor Mr. Martin told you of, who owned as much stock as he (Martin) together with 160 acres of land and whose taxes were only a few dollars in excess of his."

"Street Echoes," 
Medford Mail, April 8, 1904, page 1


    Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Martin of Beagle were in Medford Monday upon business. Mr. Martin has been suffering for a few weeks past with quite a severe attack of lung trouble.
"Purely Personal," 
Medford Mail, April 15, 1904, page 4


    Last Tuesday, while Jos. G. Martin of Antioch was inMedford, his team became frightened and ran away. His wife was in the wagon with him at the time, but escaped without injury by jumping out. Mr. M. stayed with the horses as long as he could, and did not fare quite so well, being thrown to the ground. The animals were soon stopped, however, and before any serious damage resulted.
"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 27, 1904, page 1


What Was Not Here in 1876
    My trip to Medford last week, accompanied by my wife, was one of pleasant thought and reflection. The day was warm and balmy, and as we rode along, viewing the many farm houses that dot the landscape on either side, my mind wandered back twenty-seven years and I recalled to memory some of the sad and pleasant changes that have occurred in that time. Then we ferried the river--50 cents a trip; no railroad traversed the county; not more than one-fourth of our many beautiful farms were in existence; Medford, Gold Hill and Central Point were unborn; all freight came by team from Roseburg or Redding and travelers came by stage. The famous Olwell orchard was then farmed to grain; the many costly and important bridges that span our rivers were not built; no telephone lines and but one telegraph line passed through the county. Many of the pioneer citizens who were active in county affairs at that time have passed away, but their names and memories should be respected and honored by all. Theirs was the high privilege of molding and directing the upbuilding of the commonwealth, so that the present generation may enjoy its present and future prosperity. Among those illustrious citizens we may mention a few, some of whom have already crossed the great divide: M. R. Ish, P. Dunn, Isaac Constant, T. Magruder, Thos. F. Beall, Thos. G. Reames, M. Hanley, J. B. Wrisley, G. Karewski, T. Chavner, Joseph Satterfield, Thos. Raimey, Haskel Amy, Thos. Collins, Mr. Pickens, Joseph Hanna, W. J. Plymale, E. D. Foudray. The construction of the Rogue River bridge marked a new era in the growth of the county and did more toward the development of our resources than any other public improvement.
J. G. MARTIN.
Medford Mail, April 29, 1904, page 1


    Tuesday Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Martin, of Beagle, were in town and while here came near having a serious accident. In driving down Seventh Street a singletree broke, which frightened the team. One of the horses began to kick and in the melee the pole was broken. Fortunately the runaway was stopped before serious damage resulted. As it happened Mrs. Martin had alighted from the vehicle before the accident occurred amd J. G. was too old a pioneer and reinsman to allow the team to get away from him. However, a new pole and doubletree was needed before they could start on their homeward journey.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, 
April 29, 1904, page 5


SHALL HOGS RUN AT LARGE?
    This is one of the amendments that Mr. Voter will be asked to vote upon on the 6th day of June, 1904. Mr. Editor, I, in behalf of my neighbors and friends, consider this hog question one of the most important of all the amendments we are to use our franchise for or against. It's a question that directly affects one of the leading industries of our county. Should it become a law, three-fourths of the middle and poor class of foothill farmers, who look to this one industry as their principal resource for the maintenance of their families are directly interested, it is this class of farmers that it will work a most grievous, unwarranted imposition upon. It's a simple, direct, unpolitical question and one that every farmer should consider and thoroughly understand and one that will, if passed, work a very great hardship upon him, and we think it should be voted down on June 6th. We would be pleased for the friends of this unjust measure to tell us what great harm the hog does running at large on the foothill farms bordering on the central valley. Of course, the hog naturally roots a little in the early spring months and a portion of the winter, but it is generally for roots that produce weeds that another stock will not eat. We contend the hog has just and legal right to the commons with the crop of berries and acorns, his natural feed, and where is the animal that can get it so perfectly as the hog and be of such a great amount of benefit. Hogs are the small and middle-class foothill farmer's main stay and support in maintaining his family. Their places are generally small, the land unproductive and many are so situated that they can't raise grain enough for their chickens and are dependent upon the outside range for their hogs to grow into a condition for market. It is to the foothill farmer that the man who buys hogs for shipment looks for his fall shipments. It's from these hardy foothill farmers and their remote localities that the buyer gets his fine, healthy porkers, and to vote this direct hardship upon this class of our citizens who are striving honestly to maintain themselves and families we think is radically wrong, unjust, unprincipled and not doing to others as you would wish to be done by. Your humble writer has had twenty-seven years of personal experience and observation along these lines and to retard one of the leading industries of the county by voting this burdensome measure upon the poor and middle class of farmers by compelling them to confine their hogs and buy feed the year around would be ruinous and they would be compelled to abandon the business.
J. G. MARTIN.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 27, 1904, page 1


    Died--June 5, 1904, at the family residence, near Winters, Calif., Mrs. Rachel Moody, wife of Homer L. Moody, aged 48 years, 3 months and 6 days, of consumption. She leaves a kind and affectionate husband and four small children to mourn her irreparable loss, besides an only brother J. G. Martin, of Beagle, and one sister, Mrs. Josephine Smith, of Red Bluff, Calif. Mrs. Moody was a native pioneer lady of Oregon, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Dillard Martin, having crossed the plains in an ox wagon in the year 1852, settling on a donation claim five miles east of McMinnville, Ore., where she was born and grew to womanhood. Her bright, Christian character, a true mother, a devoted companion, is the bright heritage she has left her children, husband, relatives and friends to keep in sweet remembrance.
J. G. Martin, "Beagle Items," Medford Mail, June 17, 1904, page 3


Old Times and New.
By J.G.M.

    It was on Saturday, November 20, 1904, one of those warm-hearted, soul-cheering autumn mornings, that makes one feel as if life was real and worth living for, that your humble, invalid writer, accompanied by his son, Carl F. Martin, started out on a four-mile pleasure jaunt for what is known by old-timers as the town of Gasburg. We took the Southern Pacific railroad tie pass of traveling, instead of the winding, muddy county road, thinking the latter was some shorter and the path along the track more dry and smooth, which we found to be the case. We took a last farewell look at our beautiful city, Medford, with the lively, thrifty appearance she always wears and were soon journeying south, looking over the country, with its many attractions from both sides of the railroad, where the iron horse goes thundering by every few hours. The country is dotted with many beautiful farm houses, green lawns, driveways and all the surroundings so clean, healthy and prosperous. We admired the well-kept orchards, grain and alfalfa fields, with pastures stretching away to the foothills. Many of the fields were dotted with men and teams plowing and seeding. We saw grain in almost all stages. Some fields were carpeted with an unusual rank growth, while in others the grain was just peeping though the ground, and many were just being sown. It was right here, Mr. Editor, my old copy came to memory after forty years of forgetfulness, which reads: "Plow deep while sluggards sleep and you will have corn and wine to keep." This country lying between these two places looks to be a very productive section of Rogue River Valley, with only four miles apart. What a great contrast, from a hustling, bustling city to a village as still as a church yard.
    On our way we noticed the whistling quail and the old familiar ground squirrel running to and fro and many fat, saucy porkers in company with the independent overland hobo tourist, feeding on the red-cheeked apples from those great wealth-producing industries, the apple orchards of Jackson County. 11 p.m. and we find ourselves opposite the old town of Phoenix, but as we look back over that beautiful stretch of level railroad we can see a portion of our city of Medford in the distance. As we enter the town and stroll along her once-busy streets we were amazed to see how quiet and still a town could become, for her future was once bright and promising for the county seat, which she enjoyed for a brief period during the overland stage station travel, and was also considered a popular trading center and was the home of the well-known Olwell flouring mill, with many business houses, hotels and saloons, churches and schools, with many attractive residences, lawns and orchards. Many of those old business houses are still to be seen, covered with the old familiar webfoot moss, but have long since fallen into decay and only old memories of the past cluster about them, for old Gasburg or Phoenix is destined to eternal sleep of forgetfulness, for time has wrought wonders with Phoenix. She has one street or road that divides the town, the main thoroughfare from California to Roseburg. The old scars on the old mossback fences from the practical whittler's jackknife are still to be dimly seen among the bygone relics. We were about ready to depart for home when we met a gentleman friend who informed us it was recovering from a few months of business stagnation and was about to enter upon a year of push and prosperity, as the old town was about to have a land boom.
Medford Mail, December 23, 1904, page 1


A New Year's Feast.
BY J. G. MARTIN.

    J. G. Martin, wife and son Carl were made the recipients of a special invitation to a New Year's dinner Sunday at the residence of Mrs. S. Whitney, on C Street. When we arrived at one p.m., the hour appointed for dinner, we found our worthy hostess in good health and spirits. Although the busy hands had grown tired, you could see the kindly heart is still young. After the usual New Year's greetings were dispensed with, we were ushered into the dining room, where everything was so clear, cozy, bright and cheerful, and the family table fairly tottering and quivering under the burden of toothsome viands. Our New Year's dinner was cooked and prepared by a lady of eighty anniversaries or more. There is a record to be proud of, for not alone does her age and solitary life entitle her to all the respect possible, but the word mother, grandmother, combined with a true, noble, Christian character, that reveals itself to you from day to day, entitles our worthy hostess, Grandma Whitney, to one of the best beloved Christian ladies Medford afford. For you may search the heavens and no star shines brighter and no words have greater meaning in the English language than the words mother, grandmother and a Christian lady.
Medford Mail, January 6, 1905, page 1


MEDFORD OF TODAY.
By J. G. MARTIN
    Let us pause on this, the twenty-first anniversary of our beautiful city, Medford, and turn back the leaves of history for twenty years or more and think what we owe to those who, through much time and patience, have made it possible for us to enjoy the city's many privileges. Many of the original founders of our city have long since passed over the divide, but as I pause before the different business houses I note a remnant of that hardy, well and favorably known class still doing business at the old stand. Although old time has bowed their forms, dimmed their vision, they are still as enthusiastic and interested in the upbuilding, advancement and future development of their beautiful city as in days long since passed by. The foundation of Medford was laid out in the year 1883, as near as possible in the very center of the beautiful Rogue River Valley, on both sides of Bear Creek [the original townsite was on the west side only], a beautiful, crystal stream [other reports suggest Bear Creek water has always been murky], which divides the East and West Medford, with one of the most beautiful and substantial bridges in the county. Bear Creek drains the entire valley, a distance of thirty miles, from its source to where it empties in to Rogue River. Well may the city of Medford lay just claims to prominence over other sister cities for natural advantages. The future promises that she will be the principal city of Jackson County and the county seat, of which she is justly entitled to be. The city of Medford borders on and lies adjacent to all the leading grain, fruit and alfalfa fields, and the great stock and mining interests of the valley all center in Medford. As the shipping center of the valley, all the products naturally gravitate to the city of destiny, for the stock raiser, the orchardist and agriculturist have long since become acquainted with the cash market of the valley. The city is no one-man or one-street town, as some of our sister citizens and cities would have you believe. She has had no property boom, but [is] a city of slow of and steady growth, for her development did not take place until she was cemented with the outside world by the Southern Pacific railroad, and that steady development has continued with unabated vigor to the present day. The growth of the city is not only to be seen in the handsome business blocks and beautiful residences, but in the increased population from the last census. Medford has made herself famous for her hospitality in welcoming and extending the warm hand of friendship to capitalists to locate and share in the city's promising future, knowing full well that the many church steeples, telegraph and telephone lines of which our city is so abundantly blessed and all of which have their individual places, do not complete the makeup of a city, but the assistance of every legitimate business that may give life and attractiveness to all classes that may visit our city, thereby ensuring a healthy financial circulation for the upbuilding and improvement of our fair city.
    Medford is recognized and acknowledged as the center of education of Jackson County, pupils coming from adjacent counties to avail themselves of the high order of educational privileges the Medford schools so freely offer. Prof. Narregan, with his able corps of qualified teachers, spares no pains in keeping the educational status of the Medford schools in the lead. Medford school buildings, playgrounds and surroundings present such a clean, neat, attractive appearance, and the street and highways leading to the beautiful school building, which has no peer in Southern Oregon, is quite commendable to the resident owners. Medford streets are many and are wide and well drained, and her miles of sidewalks are exceptionally well cared-for and above all things clean. Medford today claims a permanent population of 2500 people. Although the youngest city of Rogue River Valley, she is fast forcing herself to the front as a manufacturing city of much prominence. She is an exceptionally healthy city, as our leading physicians will testify. The resident portions of the city walks are lined with beautiful evergreen, ornamental shade trees, and the yards are carpeted with handsome lawns, monthly [sic] roses and sweet-scented flowers that have the perennial bloom, each one vying with his neighbor in making his or home the most beautiful and attractive.
    We cannot in the space allotted give individual mention to all the business houses in the city, but will say that there are 150 businesses and professions being vigorously pushed in our city. How many are employed in these various industries and are made happy from them and what amount of wealth is gained from them? Yet if our beautiful city was settled as it might and ought to be there would be room for many times the number of business houses that now exist.
    With this brief introductory I present this not very interesting article to the many readers of the Medford Mail, hoping that
[it] may be instrumental in helping along the car of progress which runs so smoothly in our city of Medford.
Medford Mail, January 13, 1905, page 1


    Guardianship of Carl F. Martin, formerly Carl Hall, a minor. Ordered that county clerk pay to J. G. Martin, guardian, $39.86.
"Probate Court," Medford Mail, February 3, 1905, page 1


JACKSON COUNTY'S FUTURE
BY J. G. MARTIN.

    The weekly talk alone from the newsy columns of the Medford Mail, of the building of the Medford & Crater Lake Railroad to the Butte Creek country and other places of so much interest, gives the people of Medford and the county some encouragement and confidence in its future building. But when we can see work begun and hear the shrill whistle from the locomotive, then our confidence cannot be shaken, and that event will be greeted with much enthusiasm, not alone by the people of Medford, but by the progressive citizens of the entire county, for then we will be sure that a new era of prosperity is at hand and that the various industries and the great possibilities of old Jackson County that have been lying unexplored and undeveloped for these 1905 years will be brought to the surface and show to the world what she possesses. The survey and building of this railroad, with its indescribable and far-reaching benefit and advantages to our city and county, will be beyond comprehension, for it certainly will ensure new life in every channel of trade, expand and increase the varied industries and resources of our county and develop new mines of different kinds and build new towns. Beautiful homes will spring up out of the wilderness of brush and timber and rolling hills, and the veil that has covered and obscured from sight these many centuries will be lifted and the grand, magnificent scenery and marvelous wonders of nature will command the attention and admiration of the whole world. While this era is fast approaching we should bestir ourselves to prepare for and make good use of the many advantages that are about to be conferred upon us.
    The Medford & Crater Lake road should be encouraged and not a stone thrown in the way of its success. In view of the great benefit and advantages that will come to each and all of our citizens from the Lewis and Clark Exposition, which is about to open and which will show the world the greatness of the Northwest, would it not be well for us to consider with what degree of cleanliness, thrift and prosperity the cities and villages of the county presents to the tourist and homeseeker on their visit to the great state of Oregon. Would suggest that we paint our houses, whitewash our outbuildings and fences, scrape the old moss-covered roofs and let cleanliness, thrift and prosperity all along the route be a feature.
    Oregon is forcing herself to the front as the banner state of the great Northwest, for not alone can she be boasted indisputably of possessing the most healthy and salubrious climate on the face of this green earth, but she takes a front rank among the leading agricultural, fruit, stock and mining industries. She may well feel justly proud of old Jackson County, with her varied resources and possibilities. The construction of the Medford & Crater Lake road will be the key that unlocks Jackson County's storehouse of unhidden wealth. It will show to the world her majestic mountain scenery, her Crater Lake National Park, with its lake five miles long and seven miles wide and twenty miles in circumference, with its perpetual snows and unfathomable depths of clear, cold water. There is no perceivable outlet nor inlet to this great, lofty, remote body of fresh water, which is an unexplained mystery, and which is beyond the comprehension of man. It will open up the thousands of acres of fir, cedar, hemlock and pine timber, that is only waiting for the building of the road and the manufacture and transportation of this great source of wealth to other markets. We have not time nor space at this to discuss fully all the advantages of the Medford Crater Lake Railroad, for we think no pen can fully unfold nor brush can paint its far-reaching benefit to our city and county.
Medford Mail, March 3, 1905, page 1


    Our old friend, J. G. Martin, who has been suffering from a severe attack of neuralgia and heart trouble, is convalescing under the treatment of Dr. Jones, we are glad to state.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 24, 1905, page 5


Call Attention to Southern Oregon.
BY J. G. MARTIN

    MR. EDITOR:--I am sitting on this fair spring day at my favorite window in my own home and as far as my eyes can reach I can see a golden abundance. I know it is yet springtime, but the sun blazes down with July-like warmth, a gentle reminder of the near approach of summer, and the sad departure of those three lovely spring months that banish winter and bring to our aid and special use the warm sunshine, chinook winds and refreshing showers, infusing new life, hope and animation in all things about us. Their benefit to the vegetable kingdom is incalculable, both to man and beast. The dense forests and orchards clothed in their dark green foliage of full leaf, while upon the fruit trees are little, rosy-cheeked apples, brown pears and purple plums peeping through the thick green foliage, and the garden one gorgeous mass of spring flowers and vegetation, with the large fields of alfalfa and grain, clothed in their most inviting and prosperous crops, unprecedented perhaps in the history of the county, all of these and many such blessings unnoticed by man are the fruits of the fleeting months that are about to pass into history. Probably there has never been a country so widely advertised and generally talked of right at this time as the state of Oregon and it is equally true that the character and possibilities of none have been so little understood and neglected as the southern part of the state. This your humble writer took particular note of on my first trip into Rogue River Valley on the overland stage in 1876. When the stage reached Rock Point, the passengers made inquiry of what  beautiful country they had gotten into and they were told they were still in the state of Oregon, Jackson County. They appeared a little surprised and remarked they supposed they had gotten into Southern California, They were told the Willamette Valley was all of Oregon, but the tourist and homeseeker of today is beginning to read and investigate and is no longer content with the constant rains in the old webfoot counties of the Willamette Valley. Nor do the people of the East care to linger much longer in a land of ice and snow, blizzards, hurricanes and tornadoes, when a land of sunshine and flowers is in reach of them all, for the sun never shone on a fairer land than this. Our blessed state, with all its inviting conditions, stands waiting the coming of a thrifty immigration from our sister states, and our people stand ready to extend a welcome with warm hearts, instructive tongues and generous sympathy.
    Old Jackson County, with its glorious hills and beautiful valleys, teeming with their green growing crops, the harvest time of which should be a time of great rejoicing and thanksgiving for the bountiful yield to a genuine industry, and Rogue River Valley will still be a power of strength, a garden of prosperity and a home of delight to a happy, thriving population, and nestling in the center and surrounded by all this wealth and beauty stands the infant of this great valley--the city of Medford,the youngest in years, but the oldest in population and wealth, and her push and enterprise and growth are attracting the attention of the entire country, and her wide, clean, cool, shady streets, full of life and activity, with her many church steeples pointing heavenward, a sure index to her purity of character and morality. And now, briefly speaking, we would say that men who desire to make comfortable homes for themselves in the finest climate in the world, who have means to make a beginning and the resolution to face new conditions, encounter new difficulties, work out new plans and study new problems of cultivation and management, will find in Rogue River Valley a field for their best efforts.
Medford Mail, June 9, 1905, page 1


A Productive Section.
BY J. G. MARTIN.

    I have just returned from a brief visit of one day from the old familiar Antioch section, in the northern part of the county, and from a neighboring hilltop I had a good birdseye view of the whole district. The old landmarks still look quite familiar, the old New Hope Baptist church that was dedicated in 1880, that is long since abandoned and given over to the owl and squirrel, the two pioneer, up-to-date district school houses, Antioch and Mound district, stand out quite prominently in the distance, nestled in the dark green foliage of oak groves, where these two perhaps the oldest district schools of the county have acted their part well. Forty years as the cradle of American education and as the scenery which has always fostered and still fosters the national doctrine, "equal rights to all." I know from my pant experience it's the general impression of many that the majority of the land lying adjacent to the base of the Upper Table Rock on the north is hilly, dry and  unproductive and mountainous, and is too frequently called the chaparral country, the natural home for the rabbit and coyotes; but to Mr. Homeseeker or tourist let me say to you that a visit to this interesting section of our county at this time would surely convince the most skeptical that there is no just grounds for such misrepresenting of a section of our county that plays such an important part in the raising of grain, stock and fruit, and which furnishes the Medford Lumber & Box factories with such a fine quality and quantity of clear building lumber. As I glance over the expanse, twelve miles square of country, I am much surprised to note the many permanent changes that have taken place in my absence of one brief year. New farm houses have been built, old ones remodeled and painted, and the worm rail fence has given way to new, up-to-date post and plank fence, and the young fruit orchards that were planted one year ago have made wonderful growth. The past season being so very suitable and adapted to seeding all classes of land, everyone has apparently cultivated it and the golden grain is of good height, well filled with a plump berry and is waving from every nook and corner of the fields. There are three headers to be seen busily engaged cutting and stacking their twenty-five to thirty bushel per acre grain. The whole section seems to be more thoroughly worked and developed. I had the pleasure of stepping across the field where your humble writer cast anchor twenty-eight years ago and resolved to be a hayseed farmer. It was here, Mr. Editor, I run my maiden furrow and took in a partner for life. Pleasant memories cluster around me here. These fields are now the property of the Glass Bros., the well-known threshing machine men, and those same fields, that have been sown to grain continuously for the past twenty-eight years, have immense crops of wheat waving over them. There are two creeks that drain this entire country, the Snider and Constant, and empty into Rogue River. This section of our county has been sadly and shamefully neglected by our honorable county court since its settlement, by not giving to these law-abiding citizens their share of public road improvement. I will, in brief sketch, mention some of the many solid farmers of that isolated part of Jackson County: S. H. Glass, Glass Bros., Mrs. Morris Case, C. F. Case, Robt. Deamon, Howard Rodgers, G. W. Stacey, John Rodgers, Wm. Davis, James Briscoe, M. A. Houston, Wm. Jones, John Gregerson, Wm. Scott, Mrs. Jane Martin, Martin Bros., Jesse Richardson, Hon. J. W. Merritt, Mrs. Mary Vincent, L. C. Coleman, Prof. Narregan, Frank Rodgers, Mrs. Dr. Lindsley, P. Foster, Neal Gage, Mr. Johnson, Ed. Nichols. These are the principal grain-producing farmers. There are many small farms in the foothills that raise hogs and poultry,. Many of these settlers have resided here continuously for the past thirty years in this part of Jackson County and waited patiently for the new era of activity that is seemingly about to dawn upon them by the building of the high line ditch and the almost positive assurance of the building of Ray's railroad from Gold Hill to Prospect. Then the chaparral thickets and desert lands will be made productive, and where now the poison oak flourishes the rose will bloom.
Medford Mail, July 21, 1905, page 1


    J. G. Martin:--"I have just received a letter from my sister, Mrs. Smith, who resides at Red Bluff, Calif., and she reports that the thermometer stood 118 in the shade on July 15th, and that several prostrations from heat had occurred among harvest hands."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, July 21, 1905, page 1


Many Observations.
BY J. G. MARTIN.

    MR. EDITOR:--I made a hurried circuit of about forty miles Wednesday through the heat and dust, over the most productive, beautiful and interesting portion of Rogue River Valley. Progress, improvement and prosperity was to be seen on the right, left, front and rear in every section I passed. The grain is cut and the fields are dotted with agricultural wealth. The meadow fields are dotted with shocks of green alfalfa, and orchards are bending with red-cheeked apples, pears and plums. I took notice of no sunburnt fruit. The corn fields appear larger, more numerous and with larger ears than usual. I found the roads badly cut up, as travel seems to be immense. I met many teamsters bound for the queen city of the valley, Medford, with lumber for the Iowa Lumber & Box factory, wheat, wood, fruit and melons for Medford merchants, all wearing a broad smile of contentment and happiness. I briefly touched at Central Point, Agate, Table Rock, Sams Valley, Gold Hill and Tolo. We crossed Rogue River on the centennial bridge built by Mr. Michael Chavner in the year 1876. Mr. C. was a pioneer, progressive citizen in the early development of the county and state. All the above-named places seem to be making slow, permanent improvements. Gold Hill seems to lead in hustle, bustle, life and activity in trade. I am not quite positive but pretty certain I got a glimpse of Mr. T. J. Miller, the new editor of the Gold Hill News. He was in his shirtsleeves, pencils behind each ear and pockets full of sample copies of his much-improved paper. I am told the financial venture is proving a success. On my trip--in my gazing about for something attractive aside from the happy and contented farmer surroundings--my attention was riveted on two or three district school houses and other surroundings. Out near Agate, over in the Table Rock and in Sams Valley proper, some school houses are built in favored places of natural, shady groves. We all know district schools frequently stand small and weatherbeaten beside the county road, and many of them look about as they did twenty-five or fifty years ago, although some of them, but not all, have a flag pole above them now, which was not there when the men of today were children. How familiar the grounds and surroundings about the buildings! They consist of about a quarter or one acre of land, selected probably because it was good for nothing else and not a tree to offer a hand's breath of shade for a measly grasshopper, jackrabbit or coyote about the school house, not a vine or shrub to be seen. The school houses above mentioned are models of cleanliness and are an honor to any community, but we think a little improvement could be added to make the house and surroundings doubly attractive. We would suggest these: The fencing of your school grounds, the planting of trees, vines and shrubbery--some kinds of quick growth--don't wait for Arbor Day in particular, because it is set apart for that purpose, but make use of any available time. The children should be directly interested in this public work. Then, children, prevail on your parents, teacher and citizens of the whole district to assist in beautifying your district school grounds. A few rows of green, shady trees would add much to the cheerfulness and attractiveness of the house and play grounds. In the care of planting and attention to their growth this early training in childhood would certainly reward you and be a step forward for the betterment, not alone while you are attending school, but to those that may come after you.
Medford Mail, August 18, 1905, page 1


A Joint Anniversary.
    A joint anniversary birthday dinner was given Tuesday at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Martin, on North C Street, in honor of Mrs. Susan Whitney and J. G. Martin, the former's birthday coming on the 15th and the latter's on the 14th. Mrs. Whitney has reached the eighty-seventh milepost hearty and progressive, an aged pioneer lady of our prosperous city, to which she is wholly devoted. It is your humble writer's sixty-first anniversary and fifty-two years in the state of Oregon.
J.G.M.
Medford Mail, August 18, 1905, page 5


Medford's Progress.
BY J. G. MARTIN.

    Have just returned home from an afternoon's stroll over a portion of the western part of our beautiful city. I made my maiden visit to Medford's green, cool, shady city park, a sweet, pure place of cleanliness, refinement, beauty and loveliness. Show me a place among our older sister cities in Rogue River Valley, unless made by nature, that can compare in the least with the few acres that have so recently been encircled and transformed into a place of so much loveliness and beauty. I gazed about until my eyes leaked and my neck became stiff and refusing to turn on its pivot, counting the foundations of new houses to be built, those partly built and those completed in the brief space of time of two months. I became so much interested in our city's growth I just sat down and said, Medford forever. She is forcing herself to the front in every capacity. She is asserting herself in superiority and knocking the persimmon. They cannot shut Medford off. Gold and silver, fruit and stock; the captivating location of the valley, the men of brains, vigor and originality; self-reliance and she is irrepressible. All eyes are turned upon her. Millions of hopes are staked upon her resources, her sunshine, and we venture they will all be realized. The rich man comes here to grow richer, the poor man to better his circumstances, the sick come for health and strength, and those that are discouraged and disconsolate come for the cheer and comfort and to enjoy the hospitable society our city is known to offer.
Medford Mail, September 15, 1905, page 1


A Visit to Medford's School.
By J. G. Martin
    I have been promising myself a grand treat from time to time by paying the popular public schools of our growing city a brief visit, but unforeseen circumstances would apparently arise about the time I was ready to go and prevent me from availing myself of that visit I so much coveted, until Wednesday of last week, when I made my start and as I strolled along the street I asked myself the question, How is an entire stranger going to get admission to this beautiful, strong institution of learning, where six or seven hundred pupils of all ages and sizes are gathered for their mental, moral and physical culture? I looked upon buildings a model of beauty and loveliness, surrounded by clean, well-kept walks and outbuildings with a cool, green, shady playground. I took notice as I entered all the doors and windows were thrown open and so many sentries were walking to and fro apparently on the alert, but I put on a bold front and not receiving any challenge I soon reached the top of the winding stairway and knocking at the door of the fifth grade room, I politely made my business known and the teacher, Miss Talbert, kindly invited me to a seat. Right here, Mr. Editor, I must confess I felt not a little abashed on coming in so very suddenly and meeting and looking over this little sea of clean, bright, promising, fidgety faces of fifty-two boys and girls; but after listening to a number of the exercises, which were both interesting and instructive to me, my fright gradually wore off and I became reconciled and grew easy and comfortable, and wished I was young again, for my thoughts began to wander back into the dim past and the pleasant memories of my boyhood school days began to return to me when I surveyed the old blackboard and heard that familiar whisper from boys and girls. The same antics and spirit of restlessness pervades the school room among the children of the present day as of the past, no improvement along these lines as I could see from the old method, but not for a moment do I wish my readers to imagine I would have the world, our world, set back to the old days, for the present as a whole is always better than the past. I found the school room of Miss Talbert's clean, bright, cheerful and comfortable and the teacher, I should judge, to be an industrious, painstaking instructor and her method of conveying her ideas to others simple, plain and practical, and her order and discipline excellent. At recess I was much interested in the pupils marching into their respective rooms with so much military precision, order and quietness, which reflects much credit upon teacher and children. I met Prof. Signs by accident as I was about leaving the school room. An introduction to this well-known educator I considered quite an honor, but from his warm handshake and the bright, cheerful welcome he gave me, persuades me to believe he is a gentleman and worthy of the high and honored position he is entrusted with, and if there can be any advancement and improvement along the educational lines of Medford's popular schools they will, as in the past, continue to advance with the assistance of his able corps of teachers keeping the progress, popularity and high standard it now enjoys, both in moral and educational training, always in the lead.
    In conclusion permit me to say since vacation time is over and the new school year has begun in earnest, Hurrah for Work should be the motto and watchword from each grade, and I hope sometime in the near future to be permitted to visit each grade of our city school and get acquainted, which I think is an individual duty required and should be more generally practiced by both patrons and friends, for without their assistance and encouragement and the industrious, punctual perseverance of the pupils of each grade there can be but little harmony or noticeable improvement and advancement with your children.
Medford Mail, October 20, 1905, page 4


    MR. EDITOR:--Last Monday morning a friend called at our home rather hurriedly in my absence, informing Mrs. Martin that he had heard of J. G. Martin being lost, but it proved to be a fake, however, for I was easily traced and found diligently employed picking up the little purple prunes and silver-skin plums in the clean, attractive plum orchards of Messrs. Lozier and Pheister, one mile east of the city, where the ground is carpeted with from two to three fifty-pound boxes per tree of delicious, marketable fruit and their dryers running day and night. While busily at work in a humble position filling my bucket, a well-dressed gentleman approached me, saying, "You seem to have the orchard all to yourself and a soft snap, too, I should judge, with all this beautiful fruit banked around you." I at once informed the gentleman this was a soft snap of a fifty-acre tract and if he was hunting employment I would not be in the least selfish, but would willingly give him, his relatives and friends 49¼ acres of the soft snap, with good will, bucket, old overalls and shoes as a friendly act, but the tourist and homeseeker was soon lost sight of in the green foliage of the trees. When quitting time came I called on Messrs. Lozier and Pheister and demanded my time, informing them that I had learned the friction was all in the back and knees in picking u prunes and if I continued I should have them furnish a thoroughbrace for my back and pads for my knees. They both spoke at once, saying, "Another Missouri tenderfoot." My first thought was my hip pocket, which never saw a gun, but this move appeared to make them a little mild in their explanation and saying with a little more sympathy that after about thirty days of constant work at this business these imaginary aches and pains would disappear. Just think imaginary when a man is doubled up like a jackknife. Mr. Editor, I have since disappeared from their orchard and can be found at home to my friends, lying on a spring mattress with Mrs. M. applying XXX horse liniment to my spinal column. Whether this will give me relief and make me whole again is a question of some doubt.
J. G. Martin, "A Few Medford Items,"
Medford Mail, October 26, 1905, page 1


Improvements in Antioch.
BY J. G. MARTIN.

    Mr. EDITOR:--While strolling about among the good citizens of old Antioch district a few days ago, my attention was attracted to some notable improvements contemplated in the very near future, or as soon as it rains. The parties that are making this welcome experimental venture in fruit growing among the foothills of that undeveloped section of our country is none other than L. B. Brown, a well and favorably known, progressive citizen of Medford, and W. G. Stacey, a well-known, practical farmer of that section. Both of these two gentlemen have acquired a good slice of what has been considered by many to be almost worthless, unproductive and very unattractive tracts of land, and charming places to be away from in the winter, with early pasture and an excellent harbor for the coyotes and jackrabbits. But from the posts, plank and wire seen distributed around Mr. Brown's three hundred acres and Mr. Stacey's eighty, we conclude at once that these unnoticed tracts of land will soon be enclosed, plowed and cultivated and the virgin soil of 380 acres will be planted to fruit. The two tracts are very pleasantly and conveniently situated one and a quarter miles from Antioch school house, among good, progressive citizens. Mr. Brown's land is an ideal location. All lies facing the sunny south, deep soil and excellent drainage and live water all the season. Mr. Stacey's is principally oak-timbered land and well sheltered and protected from winds. Being familiarly acquainted with the above-mentioned land, I am always glad to make public mention of anything that has a progressive tendency for the settlement and the betterment of the people of the north of the county that have so long been considered a cipher in the affairs of the county. And we are glad to note this land has fallen into the proper hands, for with their well-known successful business methods and experience we can only predict for them a bright, successful venture.
Medford Mail, November 17, 1905, page 1


    MR. EDITOR:--Tuesday of last week I donned my derby hat, shined my boots and hiked away on the evening train from the queen city, Medford, for a couple of days' sightseeing and social mingling with the G.A.R. people at their state encampment at Grants Pass, the pretty county seat of Josephine County. The first thing of interest that attracted my attention from the car windows after leaving the city of Medford was the areas of Rogue River Valley covered with alfalfa, hay shocks, clean orchards and waving grain fields. On my arrival in Grants Pass I found it at its zenith, gorgeously dressed and arrayed in the red, white and blue bunting, flags and portraits of our martyred presidents and distinguished generals, stretching auspiciously across the principal streets, and I could not but note how cool, clean and inviting an appearance the city presented, with her costly, handsome brick blocks and attractive residences. The Pass is unquestionably a very popular trade center, I should judge from the large stocks of goods to be seen representing every branch of industry. Hotels, restaurants, livery stables and places of amusement seem to be doing fairly well. I found the G.A.R. encampment grounds situated in a beautiful oak and pine grove, a quarter of a mile west from the city, where quite a little town of white tents were stretched and old glory and a big cannon were quite conspicuously to be seen. Near the G.A.R. encampment grounds the city was having excavated a piece of ground for their $20,000 school building. I met our good friend, Charlie Dickison, formerly a solid farmer of Jackson County, but now conducting one of the most popular and attractive livery and feed stables in Southern Oregon. I soon learned from personal observation the Pass was not a dry city, but I should judge a moral and religious city, as her many church steeples indicate. My attention was naturally attracted to the dress and gaiety of the city ladies, and my impression was that everybody and everything movable was trying to outshine each other in dress of all the colors of the pretty rainbow. The exercises, music and speaking were interesting. Good order and behavior about the encampment grounds prevailed. Our sister county, Josephine, certainly does not lay any claims to agriculture, for I had my first hay shock to see after leaving the vicinity of Medford, in the banner hay, fruit and grain district of the famous Rogue River Valley. Now, Mr. Editor, is not the merry-go-round boy and firecracker and the stirring martial music from the band when "Johnny Comes Marching Home," that makes a fellow that has any respect for himself and country to just naturally feel a little patriotic and would like to see the old G.A.R. reunions come around more frequent? Is not those harmless, pleasant and attractive amusements the key that unlocks the pleasant social pastime of the hour?
J. G. MARTIN.
"A Few Medford Items," Medford Mail, June 29, 1906, page 8


    MR. EDITOR:--While the family were sitting busily engaged at our morning meal Friday of last week there came a "rapping, tapping" at our front door. I at once answered the call and, opening the door, there stood a well-dressed lady with flushed face and trembling lips, and from appearances something of a serious nature had happened to her. I at once courteously asked what was wanted and invited the lady in, but she declined the invitation, saying she was about to lose her soul. I at once offered sympathy, almost crying, saying I thought this was the first case that had developed in our city of moral and religious teachings. She explained the situation, however, by showing me the sole of one of her $4 shoes torn partly off by striking her toe against one of these ancient spikes that dot our plank sidewalks so conspicuously and which are becoming from day to day a bigger nuisance to the safety and pleasure of all that walks over them. Then too, Mr. Editor, I had a little personal experience a few evenings ago over my own sidewalk while delivering a pint of milk to our nearest neighbor. I struck the toe of my shoe against a projecting nail. That tells the whole story of spilled milk and a skinned knee, but I enjoyed a few moments of sweet satisfaction by turning around and locating the nail and soliloquizing a little. It was not until then, Mr. Editor, that I could realize the unpleasant and humiliating situation of the lady who lost her sole. Now will you kindly grant me space in the columns of The Mail to offer a seasonable suggestion to our honorable city council as a cheap remedy for an improvement on our ancient plank sidewalks? Pass an ordinance that all property owners be required to get new stringers and turn over the old boards, and use those which are suitable, and but a few new planks would be required to make their walks safe. Experience teaches us driving a nail down into a rotten stringer can't be made to stay long. Certainly none can complain at this trivial financial outlay for the improvement of their property, not alone for the safety of our home people, but give to the visiting stranger and homeseeker the impression that our motto is progress and our property owners delight in seeing her miles of plank sidewalks both safe and attractive.
Joseph G. Martin, "A Few Medford Items," Medford Mail, July 20, 1906, page 5



Reminiscences of a Pioneer
Continued from yesterday.
    Many changes undreamed of by us in 1876 have come about. Jacksonville and Ashland were the two principal trading points in the valley, and our exports and imports were freighted [by] teams to and from Roseburg and Crescent City, giving to our county a long and discouraging drawback to immigration and the development of her many diversified industries. In 1876 trade and exchange of produce for your many wants was the prevailing custom. Today everything is done on a cash basis. It has just taken thirty years to change our complete county. Politically it has changed from Democratic to Republican, for in 1876, a man's nomination was equivalent to an election. My first taxes were paid to Sheriff Manning of this county in 1878. James Birdseye was the first Republican sheriff elected in the county. I can recall but few of the business men of Jacksonville in 1876, but we gladly recall a few of the names whose forms are bent and are grey and grizzled with time. Among them we note J. Nunan, P. Donegan, P. J. Ryan, Mr. DeRoboam, J. R. Neil, Judge Prim, Judge Colvig, Judge Hanna, Adam Smith. There may be others that we have overlooked, but not intentionally. Time and space will not permit us to enumerate the names of the many prominent public men that have passed over the divide since 1876. It is hard for us to realize in these days how great a part they played in the settlement and civilization of our county.
J. G. MARTIN.
Medford Daily Tribune, October 3, 1906, page 2. The October 2 issue, with the first installment of this article, is lost.


My Summer Outing.
    MR. EDITOR:--Since coming to Medford I had been promising myself from time to time a short tour to the summit of our venerable peak, Roxy Ann, which faces our city about four miles northeast, with her hills and lowlands dotted with prosperous homes, graceful curves, and towering so lofty and gracefully above the valley. I have frequently, in passing, admired her, wondering how, when and where she came in possession of her historical name, Roxy Ann, but careful inquiry seems to say that the origin is conjectural, but appearances would indicate she had been scooped up out of our beautiful valley in the dim past by nature's mighty hand, but who cares, as long as she is carefully and everlastingly anchored and productive of an extensive rich coal mine. At this point, Mr. Editor, my promised visit to Roxy's summit occurred to me, and the annual outing season was coming to a close and I became seriously interested, nervous and fidgety about my day of sightseeing and recreation, and at once became a little alarmed for fear all the summer folks would return home and I would not be counted in the swim of fashionable life, so I resolved to go at once somewhere, if only for a day. Considering the late date, my situation and surroundings would not permit of my making a trip to any of the leading fashionable resorts and [I] would have to content myself with a day's outing in the vicinity of home, and as I have said I was some interested in our home, Roxy. I thought I would spend the day climbing her rolling, graceful curves, that look so near and yet so far from the city, and see what lay on the other side of her towering summit. So last Monday morning was the day appointed tor me to start on my day's outing. My first thought was to break the news gently to Mrs. M., because I had been keeping this jaunt a profound secret to the family, but in the meantime had been unusually thoughtful, kind and courteous to her and getting everything in apple-pie order for my day's absence, Well, at the evening meal the bomb exploded, revealing my intentions and arrangements for my day's outing, and to my surprise and disappointment came a positive remonstrance from Mrs. M,, saying my advice to you is to cancel this long, lonely, adventuresome day's journey and stay at home, keep company with the bucksaw and wood pile, and you will find recreation plenty, for a while. Everything except suicide was thought of, and my manly patience and forbearance was taxed almost beyond control, and I do believe old pioneer Job would have lost his reputation for patience under such trying circumstances, but I did not, for I'm an angel when it comes to patience and forbearance. I just simply replied: "I thank you, Mrs. M., for your seasonable advice, but I cannot consider it for a moment at this late date nor would I listen to Dr. Keene, William Bryan, nor would the presence of a furious Iowa cyclone interfere with my plans." For I was determined to absent myself from the city's hustle, bustle, dust and heat, and escape for a day the smoke from her mills and factories, the life of our city. So I set out as early as possible after a hasty breakfast with two hard-shell biscuits, a half section of the tourist's favorite, the old, reliable, indigestible bologna sausage, as a noonday lunch and two bottles, one for colic, sunstroke, snakebite or any emergency that might suddenly or unexpectedly arise, and the other just half filled with just common Medford water, kind of a ballast for the other hip pocket, which was the cause of my losing so much valuable time and patience in getting hold of the right bottle, when only imaginary emergencies existed. Well, I walked out into the road minus coat, tie and socks, determined to keep cool for one day and resemble a genuine tourist if possible. How natural it is for a lazy fellow starting out afoot for an outing to look for a ride, but not a sign of a wagon could I see going or coming my way, but as I had been told before leaving the city that the distance was only about nine miles, I could easily make the trip in the specified time of one day and I resolved to walk one way at least. So I continued on my way as rapidly as possible in the cool freshness of the morning over the red-hot, dusty roads and through long, winding lanes, but all these marks of civilization were soon passed and I was left to the mercy of a rough, pathless course; but like all Missourians had to keep up a great deal of whistling to keep up courage and I have not the least doubt that many a bear, deer, skunk and lizard received a severe fright at my thundering noise or slipping and flailing about. Occasionally I would halt for a short rest and view Medford, the beautiful, green oasis of the valley below, feel of the tonic bottle, examine the cork, for I was on the alert, as I expected to meet sudden and unexpected emergencies, which was about every fifteen minutes or oftener. It was not long before I reached the tall firs and pines, which rose so high into the air on all sides, telling me I was nearing my coveted destination, the summit. About four hundred yards farther on I caught the first glimpse of the green carpet of the intervening summit--at 11:30 a.m., four hours and a half walk, scaling the ancient peak from her base to the summit. We shall always consider this schedule time for a Missouri tenderfoot, invalid tourist. But for being an indefatigable walker I would never have accomplished so marvelous a task. My next thought was lunch and rest for one hour under the cool, broad, shady branches of one of our dear old Roxy's stately firs. For on reaching my destination I was tired, worn, hollow-stomached, weary-headed and felt as though I was homeless, friendless and a lone wanderer among the tall firs, pines and the expectation of meeting a ghost of old Indian Chief Sam, or of some of his braves, who still stand guard over his once happy hunting grounds on the summit of this princely peak. The day was ideal--clear and smokeless-- and I had an excellent view of our county, her beauty and fertility, when her summer and golden-hued autumn loveliness is at her zenith. I had an elegant, uneventful climb and I consider my trip worth a lifetime, but if I should go again I should prefer a ride home, at least, in a cushion chair. There may be invalid tourists hunting for other worlds to conquer, but I am not longing for other peaks to climb.
J. G. MARTIN.
Medford Mail, October 5, 1906, page 3


Now He Wants To Be Kicked.
    MR. EDITOR:--Since I last wrote you of my distressed condition due to my short experience in picking up plums, I feel very grateful on this bright, cheerful, autumn morning of informing my friends and the many readers of the favorite, newsy, family week, the Mail, of being fully recovered. The XXX liniment worked like a charm, removing as the orchardists will say all imaginary pains and aches, and straightening my bent back, and my knee cap or knee pan has worked back to its natural position. All these welcome, pleasant, unexpected changes in so short a time is certainly a miraculous freak of nature and I feel as though I was credited with a new lease of life, for my physical condition seems to be in a strong, vigorous stage of life, so much I at once reconsidered my future course and resumed plum picking again in Mr. Lozier's orchard or what is known as the Thomas fruit orchard, three miles west of Medford, with my wages raised, a pleasant, three-mile walk and the kind, thoughtful promise from Mr. L. of a future position for 1907. This I will take under advisement, read and reflect over during the long winter evenings. Such tokens of esteem, dear me, and to be pleasantly remembered to such lucrative positions away in the dim future is certainly very encouraging to new beginners, and now with everything as bright and promising about me it does seem so strange to me when a fellow seems to be getting along fairly well in life there will some confounded, unforeseen trouble arise to cross his pathway, cloud his mind, checker his everyday industrious, orderly life, causing him to almost believe he was born under an unlucky star, Well, I had no sooner received instructions from Mr. L. on a bright, crisp, autumn morning of last week and got deeply interested and absorbed in my pleasant calling, when the sound of footsteps nearby attracted my attention. Looking up I saw a good-looking, well-dressed gentleman approaching me very leisurely, sampling the plums and looking at things generally. I presume my position as a picker also attracted his attention, for I was flattened out on the ground like a government postage stamp and his first remark was, after exchanging compliments of the day, the future weather outlook, fruit prospects, etc. If there is any real, solid comfort in picking up plums you will certainly get your share as a Missourian. I accepted this as a compliment from this pleasant stranger, whose mission and destination was still a clouded mystery to me, and I was quite at a loss to know how to approach him, for I wanted his name, calling and his business in the plum orchard. We neither said anything for awhile. Finally I broke the silence, after getting nervous and fidgety trying to suppress my inquisitive questions. When I said to him, I think the man that set out this vast acreage of valuable land to these small, insignificant, worthless plums certainly made a financial mistake at least, which I presume the gentleman can now see without glasses. I continued to give him pointers on fruit, stock, hay and grain raising, and finally wound up by saying I thought the owner, whoever he may be, rather careless and indifferent in allowing his pretty farm to look so run-down and unattractive. This appeared to be enough "taffy," for the stranger got up, stretched himself and said: "I have never realized any great revenue from my plum orchard, but will in the near future make some changes by setting out different varieties of fruit in it." In a few moments this stranger who had been listening so attentively to my unsolicited suggestions was soon lost sight of in the screen foliage of his own orchard. My memory at once called up my boyhood days when my father's old ram sheep would come up unexpectedly and butt me down and keep butting me after I was down. So I wanted this capitalist and owner, Mr. Thomas as I have since learned his name to be, to kick me and keep on kicking, for I felt so indescribably small. A thought occurred to me that I would get permission of Judge Purdin, of Medford, to canvass his library for a printed form that I might clothe it with suitable language as an apology, which is certainly due from me, but could find nothing. I have since 'phoned to the gentleman. I am ready to fold my hands and am prepared to die. Now, Mr. Editor, this is the second snap that has crossed my path in life. First when we got married and our mother-in-law came to live with us, and my last was unsolicited suggestions to a capitalist in a plum orchard.
J. G. MARTIN.
Medford Mail, November 16, 1906, page 2


    J. G. Martin:--"I had a letter this week from my aunt, in Clay County, Missouri, in which she stated that the snow was six inches deep and the 'beautiful' was still falling. Those fellows who are complaining of the few frosty mornings we have been having here ought to have a sample of the Middle West weather fired at them."

"Things Told on the Street," Medford Mail, November 30, 1906, page 1


    We started from Seventh Street at 8 p.m., and with a short ride of sightseeing in the city before leaving, I pointed out to him the three beautiful bank buildings, the Lawton and Hubbard bricks, the Moore brick block in West Medford, the new brick post office and telegraph building, and the pretty, attractive, eight-room North School building, in the distance, with countless new residences, clean streets, cement and plank sidewalks, telegraph and telephone lines, and the whiz of the automobile, which has become one of the fixed attractions of Medford in the past three years. Medford's progress and development has increased her population and valuation of property one half since your humble writer became a resident three years ago. We then started north and were soon clear of the city limits, but our team was brought to a sudden halt by the shrill whistle from the P.&E. train which came thundering along for Medford, with a full coach of passengers. This is another new enterprise and one of the most gigantic, far-reaching enterprise that has ever actually developed in the Rogue River Valley, and now traverses our valley for twelve miles. Well might we, of our city and county, rejoice and doff our hats in humble appreciation for the energy and go-aheadiveness of this new railroad company's great financial undertaking, for the building of this road we think will be the key that will unlock the great storehouse of Jackson County's wealth, and that we may not only hear but use the long-felt want of this great development, not alone to our city, but the bright and promising future of all Southern Oregon.
J. G. Martin, "Progress of a Few Years," Medford Mail, July 26, 1907, page 3


A Pleasant Stroll.
(By J. G. Martin.)

    Being a brief account of my pleasant experience for a couple of hours' walk in company with two of Medford's popular grandmothers.
    Last Monday morning I stepped out on the sidewalk in front of our place on North C Street for a couple of hours' stroll, which my calm patient nature is so fond of enjoying, and to note the rapid changes that are taking place from day to day in our restless city, and give my impaired health the benefit of these balmy, sunshiny autumn days, which Rogue River Valley somehow is so favorably adapted to. I had no sooner set my No. 9 shoes on the walk when two attractive, neatly dressed ladies came walking leisurely along talking and laughing, and apparently enjoying the sunny side of life in the late autumn sunshine. I at once recognized them as two of our most estimable grandmothers, whose acquaintance we are delighted to enjoy. I at once saluted them with one of my most humble and polished bows, that but few Missourians are gifted with. They stopped and returned the compliment by inviting me to accompany them on their walk. I hesitated, for I felt so measly small and unworthy of this honor, but after recovering from the sudden shock, I says to myself if the age of 61 years doesn't entitle [a] fellow of my fashionable cloth to accompany two of Medford's modest and most estimable grandmas around a few blocks of our city, what amount of grey hair will. Well, we walked and talked and talked and walked and we became very enthusiastic in our recollections over the old days of the dim and trying past when they, as mothers, toiled late and early to raise their children properly and battled the dangerous
side of pioneer life, and the grandmas of today find it a pretty difficult task to accustom themselves to the present rapid changes of dress, fashions and customs. But we suppose we must be content and patiently abide by the changes, for we have reached the summit and are now traveling on the down grade on the shady side of life. And then I looked at their bent forms, feeble footsteps and frosted hair and into those cheerful but wrinkled faces and dim eyes, where still traces of the beauty and charming smiles of other days still linger.
    I could not suppress the manly tear for one of their number that has preceded them, and that was so near and dear to the writer and my memory at once carried me back to the few brief years when these were the gay, attractive, innocent school girls, when life was full of hope, but time has changed them to the venerable grandmas and [they] are now as the withered summer rose of the past, but the sweet fragrance of their womanly character and worth clings to them as ever, and are indelibly impressed in our hearts as priceless mementos of the past. Then patient reader let us bear and forbear with our dear grandmothers in their short span of life, for it is to them we owe our existence, and that we should teach our children to honor, love and respect their dear affectionate grandma, for we can't think a home is complete without one, and I can't call to memory the hours that have passed so pleasantly as those passed in company with these two estimable grandmothers of our city, on that beautiful autumn day.
Medford Mail, November 22, 1907, page 3


    To the Editor: I have just returned home to the bustling city of Medford, with two badly peeled heels and the caboose of my city trousers and derby hat in a very unpresentable appearance, a frequent reminder of my interesting trip.
    To begin with, my mission to the north was for absolute rest to my run-down nervous system and to enjoy if possible a four-days' social visit among the hospitable homes of my old Arkansas friends and neighbors in the northern part of the county when butchering time was at its zenith and the air was full of the sweet, appetizing odor of the delicious delicacies of the season.
    My two miles' walk around the base of the upper Table Rock, over the newly drained and graveled county road, was both pleasant and interesting. When at last I reached the terminus of this modern improved road my thoughts traveled back to the days of the dim past.
    I was much surprised and delighted to see many of the long-delayed improvements and developments of this favored locality beginning to materialize out of the old mossback rut. Since my last visit I note the many rural free delivery boxes that dot the country roads. New orchards have been planted, old ones dug up, enlarged and replanted with the leading varieties of commercial fruit, the ancient, dilapidated rail fence that has served its time and purpose so faithfully for the past half century has at last given way to the modern wire Page fence, and many of the landmarks of chaparral that have long been a menace and unpleasant sight to the country's thrift have been removed by the hands of industrious farmers.
    I was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Scott, the well-known farmers and stockraisers, whose hospitable home of 1300 acres of diversified land, like that of many of their neighbors, is well improved and attractively situated. How much more attractive these large tracts could be made should they be cut up into quarter sections, thoroughly cultivated, with good farm houses, 20 or 30 acres of choice varieties of fruit, small alfalfa fields, diversified farming, with clean, attractive surroundings. Not until then can we think this favored locality, with its rolling hills and productive valleys, be made a source of plenty. The problem of irrigation is easily solved, and experience with orchards bearing for the past 40 years is sufficient evidence that this great acreage of virgin soil, sheltered and protected from wind and storm, could be made an ideal fruit and alfalfa belt, nearly approaching the condition of the Garden of Eden, under the cover of the whispering cottonwoods of the beautiful Rogue River, and her tributaries that drain the country.
    In conclusion, I wish out of courtesy to acknowledge the many farmers and the hospitable kindness I received at the hands of these industrious Missouri and Arkansas farmers, and only regret that I could not stay longer.
J. G. MARTIN.
"Communications," Medford Daily Tribune, December 20, 1907, page 6


Our Old-Fashioned Mother.
    I thank God some of us in Southern Oregon have had a dear old-fashioned mother--not a woman of the present day, enameled and painted, with her great head of false hair, her curls and bustle, whose jeweled hands never washed a dish nor felt the clasp of baby fingers, but a dear old-fashioned, sweet-voiced mother in whose eyes the love light shone, and whose own hair threaded with silver lies smooth upon her faded cheek, and whose dear hands, worn with the toil of an active life, gently guided our tottering helpless steps in childhood and smoothed our pillow in sickness, always reaching out to me in loving tenderness. Blessed is the memory of the old-fashioned mother, for it comes to us now like the sweet perfume of Southern Oregon fragrant blossoms. The music of other voices may be lost forever, but the indelible memory of her will echo in our souls forever. Other generations will fade away and soon be forgotten, but her memory will shine on until the lights from Heaven mansions shall glorify our own. When in the hurried paths of busy life our feet wander back to the pioneer homestead, standing once more in the low, quaint room, once hallowed by her presence, how the feeling of boyhood innocence and dependence comes over us and we bow in the warm sunshine streaming through the western window of the old log house, just where long years ago we knelt by our mother's knee lisping our first prayer. How many times since those happy childish days, when the tempter lured us on, has the sweet memory of those sacred hours, with dear Mother's words, her faith and prayers, saved us from sin. The fleeting years have filled great drifts between her and us of today, but they have not hidden from our sight the glory and pure unselfish love of our old-fashioned mother.
J. G. Martin.
Medford Mail, January 10, 1908, page 3


J.G.M. Visits School.
    I felt pretty despondent, sick, blue and lonesome Tuesday of last week so I hiked away for new scenery and a brief visit with Mrs. Logan, the popular teacher, and her forty clean, bright, promising, industrious pupils of the 6th grade of our North School, but I must confess on the start I have neither space nor language at command to express the pleasure and satisfaction enjoyed in that brief space of time. I was surprised at the magnificent order kept by this teacher with so little effort and friction, and I became much interested while there listening to the methods of teaching many class exercises and would briefly suggest to the parents and guardians of the training and educational development of their children's future to pause for a moment in their busy lives and say I will give a couple of hours to mingle socially and inquiringly with the departments and learn the progress of my children in their various studies in this bright, clean, cheerful place of learning, and should you have any of the many symptoms your humble writer was afflicted with Tuesday they will quickly be dispelled and should. you be so fortunate as to be in a healthy, happy mood you will still be made happy by your presence and a kind cheerful word of encouragement to teachers and pupils which we think is a plain duty we justly owe to our city schools.
J. G. Martin.
Medford Mail, February 7, 1908, page 1


    J. G. Martin has a badly sprained ankle, caused from stepping off the narrow sidewalk into a thick patch of weeds that grows so luxuriously from each side of the streets. This is what a fellow generally gets in his pioneer days by being polite and modest to the ladies in giving them all the walk. In the future he will be a middle-of-the-road man if a collision is inevitable.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, July 31, 1908, page 5


TAKES TRIP TO SNYDER LAKE
J. G. Martin Writes Entertainingly of Trip Through Orchard Districts of the Rogue.

To the Editor:
    Last Sunday morning, October 21, by special invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Medley, late arrivals from Missouri, but recent converts to Rogue River Valley's balmy climate and the busy, attractive Medford, they insisted I should accompany them for a day of pleasure and sightseeing through the highways and byways of the rich, diversified farming and orchard section of the New Hope country on Snyder Creek, some 20 miles north of the county. Our trip was one of pleasure and surprising changes from start to finish, for the roads were smooth and hard and the day was one of those warmhearted and cheering autumn days that seldom, if ever, visits any other country save the Rogue River Valley, the land of sunshine, progress and plenty. My newly made friends and companions were delighted to see the broad, deep, swift, crystal waters of the famous Rogue River, with its big, toothsome silverside salmon cautiously sporting about, the envy and admiration of the passerby. We note, in crossing to the north side, the Modoc Orchard Company making extensive preparations for planting their 160 acres to fruit. A happy surprise was in store for us when we reached the base of Table Rock to note it being apparently so near from Medford and yet so far, dotted with such a variety of timber, with its base almost surrounded with extensive orchards, alfalfa fields, well-improved farms and modern surroundings, all tinged with the touch of autumn loveliness.
    Although it was Sunday, many fields were dotted with teams, plowing and seeding, while [in] other newly sown fields grain was up, covering the ground with a bright promise. Many fields and gardens were still carpeted with huge pumpkins, watermelons and big ears of yellow corn still hanging, with fat porkers in evidence to prove the productiveness of the northern part of our rich county, so long isolated by distance from the rapid changes in real estate.
    We arrived at our destination at 11 a.m. and found the New Hope Baptist Church, built some 20 years ago by Rev. A. J. Slover, a pioneer Baptist minister, still intact, but long since given over to bats and owls, as many of the faithful, earnest workers and charter members of this once-thriving, busy place of worship have moved away, while others have crossed the unknown divide and are only known to memory. While in the vicinity we were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. E. D. Wilhite, pioneers, whose fertile farm of 80 acres of commercial fruit, alfalfa and timber has but few equals and no superiors north of the county in cleanliness and productiveness. As far as the eye can see in any direction improvement and development is the keynote. Our dinner with these kind, hospitable people is the most difficult of description for your humble correspondent to tackle, but the old-fashioned pumpkin pie and delicious sweet cider--the kind our mothers made--tells the whole story, that made us feel so happy and contented and left an indelible impression on our Missouri minds that a bright and promising future awaits the New Hope country.
J. G. MARTIN.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 8, 1909, page 2

   
PAST AND PRESENT MANNERS OF BOYS AND GIRLS

    Editor Mail Tribune: A few days ago,while wife and I were basking in the warm autumn sunshine at our front gate, discussing and admiring the many elegantly dressed ladies passing in their many varieties of autumn colors and costumes that would keep the rainbows guessing whether God gave all his beautiful colorings to the cold, green earth below or the starry heavens above, and to note the indescribable bevies of clean, rosy-cheeked school children leisurely passing to and fro, our attention was particularly attracted to a bright-appearing boy of some 12 summers, perhaps, who came sauntering aimlessly up with but little concern apparently, smoking the favorite cigarette, and stopped in front of us, and without introduction or any preliminary remarks, said: "Hello, Joe and Mary. Did you folks see that old guy of a rainbow of a man that just passed by with gray hair and beard and carrying a cane?" Well, kind reader, if a thunderbolt from a Southern Oregon sky could not have struck us with more force and astonishment than to hear the words just spoken from the innocent lips of this bright, mischievous youth, and our feelings were touched with sympathy and pity for the unlimited neglect of his home training and the lack of a judicious application of that old-time remedy, hazel and peach tree sprouts. But sweet memory at once recalled to mind my limited experience in home training of the boys and girls in the good old pioneer days of 50 years ago. Briefly told, we were taught what obedience means at home and at school and that never-to-be-forgotten indelible copy that manners makes the man, but does the above apply to this fast, busy age of attractive environments, and the knotty question arises, has there been any noticeable improvement in the teaching of manners, morals and the proper respect due to the aged gentleman and lady among the young boys and girls of the 19th century, which we think is the keynote and foundation of their future lives. But we leave this for the modern parent and educator to answer.
    Well, we looked our Young America boy acquaintance over pretty carefully and became fully convinced he was not a Medford boy, but one of those no, yes, hello, filthy cigarette, old guy class of boys that had perhaps been smuggled into our clean, virgin city of good manners and morality from some of the old pioneer mossback cities of the north, the home of reform schools and [line omitted] and many other fruit and society pests which, we note, are moving rapidly south to taint and infest and corrupt our beautiful indescribable Rogue River Valley of peace, power and plenty.
    In conclusion, permit your humble writer to suggest to the clean, bright, promising young boys of our young city to be prepared to meet all these vicious habits with the manly words, "No, sir."
J. G. MARTIN.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 29, 1909, page 6


TELLS OF GREAT CHANGES MADE PAST 34 YEARS
View from Summit of Table Rock Has Altered Greatly During Past Generation--
J. G. Martin Writes Interesting Article.

To the Editor:
    As the days are getting longer and the nights shorter, it seems the time of year when the mind of poor much-abused man inclines to green fields, climbing mountains and running brooks, so I thought I would hike away and spend a strenuous day in pursuit of pleasure and sightseeing in climbing the rough and rugged sides of the north Table Rock and note the present changes going on in beautiful Rogue River Valley and recall to mind my first visit and its impressions it gave in October, 1876. Well, I left Medford, the city of progress and morality, at 6 o'clock in the evening, wrapped in stillness, and as I write, the weather man holds the key that promises a warm, clear sunshiny day; an ideal one for long-distance sightseeing.
    I found the the county roads leading to the north Rogue River bridge, noticeably straightened now and comparatively smooth and much improved with good bridges, culverts, drainage, finger boards giving distances, etc., for the benefit of the modern traveler and but for the constant dodging of teams, autos, clouds of dust, jaded dogs with their tongues out and tails half mast, a countless variety, apparently my walk to the walk would have been of but little interest to your many readers, but I reached the south base at 10 p.m., a bit leg weary but game, and continued my walk around to the north side where I spent twenty-five years of my industrious life very pleasantly stirring the fire among the industrious law-abiding citizens of that rich, agricultural section of north Rogue River that lies in the shadow of this historical mountain on the north, south and west and borders on the east by the clear crystal waters of the majestic Rogue River that is clothed with a dense forest of cottonwood trees whose beauty and attractiveness is unsurpassed. My first greeting from an old settler was by Mr. Jack Rabbit, but I did not take him for a lamb and try to corral him like Dr. Oliver said his herder did. After resting for half an hour, looking over familiar scenes in Antioch and mountain districts, I began my climb on the only trail that leads by the only waters among the towering cliffs. Firs and the dense forests of the beautiful evergreen, mahogany, where the indescribable varieties of sweet-scented mountain flowers grow so profusely. I reached the barren summit at 11:30 p.m., without accident, with no stir of life to be seen. Naturally a bit of loneliness crept over me, but I soon got interested in my bottle and graham gems and a comfortable seat on the soft side of a huge boulder overlooking the valley from the south. Here I recall my first visit from this point in '76, with dust rising from the overland stage coach, Jacksonville and central pioneer towns and a few farm houses in the distance, hills and valleys dotted with countless horses and cattle, with no railroad nor telegraph or telephone lines. Thirty-four years of rapid undreamed-of changes, improvements and developments, pictures to me an indescribable change as I sit looking over the beautiful fruitful valley in the distance, the curling of smoke from the furnaces of new manufacturing cities, magnificent farm houses, orchards, shrill whistles from the various railroads, telegraph and telephone lines that circle the valley, checkered with endless fences are now to be seen, tells the whole story how a slow mossback Southern Oregon then looked in 1876 and how the attractive picture looks today, May, 1910.
    Well, feeling pretty well rested, I left the summit at 1:30 a.m. by the south trail, reaching my home in the city of Medford at 10 a.m., tired some, bruised some, with a strange itching all over, as though I had contracted a mild attack of the seven-year itch that I recall the pioneer Missouri kids were afflicted with that came to Oregon in 1853.
J. G. MARTIN.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 17, 1910, page 7


    Mr. Thompson and son Karl of Spokane, who are sojourning at the home of the former's sister, Mrs. J. G. Martin, will visit Jacksonville relatives before going south.
"Personal and Local," Medford Mail Tribune, January 13, 1911, page 2


Transformation of This Valley of Wonders
Editor, Medford Sun:
    Sir--I was pleasantly remembered recently by a special invitation from my much esteemed neighbor and fellow townsman, Samuel Bateman, of North Maple Street, to accompany him for a day's rest, sightseeing and recreation to our sister city of Central Point, so we took tie-pass at 8 o'clock in the morning, leaving noisy, busy Medford behind for a day. We became interested in our walk from the start, as the day was warm and cheerful and the view delightful. My friend became at once infatuated with the sights and scenes through Rogue River Valley. They were so indescribably different from Montana, his former cold, bleak, fruitless home, and he also made it pretty interesting for me, pointing out the different towns and landmarks and their names that dotted the valley in the distance. We reached the city of Central Point at 10:30 o'clock fresh and game as a bantam rooster, found the city's streets full of farmers' teams, a very desirable class of citizens that gives life and activity and a pretty good indication that she is getting her share of the valley trade. Also the right impression to the visiting stranger.
    Central Point, centrally located as it is, is a trading center and in the midst of fruit, grain and alfalfa fields galore, now clothed and carpeted with much promise; with her clean streets, attractive business houses, residences and brick building in construction, certainly points to a city of much promise. Here, somewhat bewildered, while looking about me with the untold changes and developments of the old Rogue River Valley, I at once called to memory my first ride through this section in the fall of '76. Things moved pretty slowly and quietly in those pioneer, mossback days, with Jacksonville and Ashland as the only two trading points. Their supplies were furnished from Roseburg, consuming about two weeks' time by freight teams, with amusing scenes of balky horses, breakdowns and cuss words through Cow Creek Canyon.
    At that time old Rogue River Valley cultivated about one-quarter of its choice land. The balance was pastured, as stock raising was the principal industry. One wagon road then split the valley north and south, marked with stage stations and a cloud of dust from the overland coaches. One bridge, and it toll, spanned the Rogue at Rock Point. The court house, church and residences of Jacksonville and Ashland were principally wooden structures of the pioneer pattern, and the log residences and school houses dotted the country districts with the old worn rail fences. No party politics in those days. Every man who had any respect for his country or his yellow dog voted the straight Democratic ticket. Wheat was 40 cents a bushel, flour 50 and 75 cents a sack at the Phoenix and Eagle Point flouring mills, then run by water; hogs, cattle and sheep were a drug on the market. Ducks, quail and jackrabbits were as numerous as the stars and about as gentle as the barnyard chick. The circuit rider minister earned his salary of spuds, sorghum, flour and an occasional crazy quilt donated by some good Christian sister, for preaching the good old-time religion. But those were the good, old, happy, independent days when a man could kill his deer, catch his fish and dam the Rogue with salmon and fatten his hogs all without a license; also pay his 50 or 75 cents for the privilege of being put across Rogue River on Captain Bybee's ferry boat.
    But to my pioneer farmer, merchant and associates of thirty-five years ago that are still living, and we hope enjoying health, peace and contentment on the sunny side of life, what do we observe today spread out before us in this rapid life and activity? Can we realize the endless transformation of this grand old Rogue River Valley in this brief space of time that has unfolded to us such a charming, lovable valley, newly clothed with indescribable changes and improvements in every industry over the dear old Rogue Valley that is almost forgotten, save her history. The new valley is now before us, the envy and admiration of all Oregon, the most attractive spot on earth for the tourist to rest and recuperate and the homeseeker to cast his everlasting lot. Isn't it pleasant for us today to see and admire the new Rogue Valley with her eight thrifty incorporated cities and suburban towns galore that dot the new valley with unsurpassed beauty and with her three undreamed-of railroads, telegraph and telephone lines that traverse the most remote sections of the new valley, with three free bridges that span the broad, swift Rogue River and as far as the eye will permit us to see her countless acres of clean commercial fruit orchards, with productive farms without number that have been carved out of the once rough, uninviting tracts once considered worthless to the pioneer farmer, orchardist, and speculator that gave us the interesting history of the old Rogue River Valley while in its infancy.
    And now, patient, reader, is not the credit mostly due to the advent of the iron horse of the Southern Pacific Company, the new emigration of capital, custom and methods of industry that have so completely revolutionized the aged, decrepit Rogue River into this young, hopeful valley and gave to you, Mr. farmer, orchardist, stock raiser and speculator, a brighter and more promising future?
J. G. MARTIN.
Medford Sun, May 12, 1911, page 5


Story of Rogue Valley Pioneer
by J. G. Martin, Sage of North Medford

    It was in February, 1876, just after finishing a five-year term of enlistment in the First Regular U.S. cavalry service, that I drifted in Southern Oregon on the overland stage and at once resolved to settle down, get married and be a free and independent granger farmer, to grow up in the then comparatively new agricultural district at Table Rock. At that time this district covered all the country of north Rogue River Valley, which seemed to be very productive and inviting in its luxuriant growth of wild native oats and abundance of game, fish, coyotes and skunks. It was sparsely settled with a class of industrious ex-Confederate Missouri farmers. I at once cast my lot with them on a 160-acre tract of black adobe land, perfectly level and enclosed in one big field by a worm rail fence of the native bull pine variety made way back in the '50s, perhaps when Indian Chief Sam laid claim to Rogue River Valley. Although an inexperienced tenderfoot, so to speak, I knew enough about the farmer's occupation and his arduous labors that it required some capital, strength and industry, with which I was not overburdened, especially the former. The precious springtime weather was passing rapidly, which caused my ambitious, restless nature to become fidgety, for I did want to be a farmer so badly, so I at once invested in a team and machinery to begin plowing and seeding. On April 30th, 1876, I made my maiden effort to run a furrow across a 40-acre tract. When I reached my flag stake I stopped my team and looked back. No evidence of a furrow could be seen, only a little dirt occasionally was disturbed, and it was rolled in a cigar shape, with about ten lbs. of Jackson County dirt clinging tenaciously to each of my plowshares, with only my plow beam and handles in sight and my horses grown about six inches [taller] apparently since I started. I did manage to get back from the place I started, but with a badly punctured system of nervous prostration, and turned out my team without an invitation. I sat down for a moment to meditate and asked my Creator and myself the question: "Is this a part of the great state of Oregon or Hades?" I congratulated myself on the thought of having such a strong willpower that I could protect my early pious Sabbath school training by not using more emphatic language on this trying occasion, but would keep it in reserve for the next trial. After dinner I rode six miles horseback to Sams Valley post office, our nearest post office, without a saddle, and did not sit down comfortably again for ten days. I got a copy of the Oregon Sentinel, a pioneer Republican paper published by editors Turner and Frank Krause, and it gave notice of a Republican county primary to be held at Antioch school house the following Saturday. I says to my wife: "I shall attend, being a Simon pure Lincoln man, and can perhaps get some history of this peculiar soil and how to cultivate it from some experienced farmer at the Republican primary."
    Well, I was on time and waited two hours overtime at Antioch, the pioneer school house of the county, and no one came, so I wrote out my credentials, signed them as chairman, secretary and delegate to the Republican county convention to be held in Jacksonville two weeks hence, and adjourned the meeting.
    Here I was, a stranger in a strange part of Oregon, married to one of Iowa's fairest of orphan girls right on the verge of trying to farm 160 acres of Jackson County's black friendly land with the name and sight of a Republican, a curiosity, with no grandmother or mother-in-law to go to for sympathy or money. Can it be I had a monopoly on bad luck? We will see. The following Saturday was Democratic county primary and out of curiosity I attended. The house was full and my neighbor Democrats kept coming on foot, horseback, in wagons. After listening to an afternoon's loud and boisterous speeches, fifteen delegates were elected to the Democratic county convention, to be held in Jacksonville--what a contrast--but these were palmy days for the Democratic Party, for a nomination was equivalent to an election.
    I returned home and consulted my nearest neighbor, F. J. Martin, a German, a practical farmer of fifteen years' experience in plowing, seeding and cultivating his 160 acres of grey sticky. His friendly advice was of untold value to me in that trying time, for it completely knocked discouragement and uncertainty out of my experimental venture and gave me the key to success beyond our expectations of twenty-five years of continuous residence as a sticky farmer. Today a field of sticky land looks good to me, although so much shunned and despised, and as I pass I cannot but doff my hat to its strong, productive nature as the only soil on God's green earth that governs man in its cultivation.
Medford Sun, September 10, 1911, page 12


DIED.
    Mary R. Martin, wife of J. G. Martin, 624 N. Central Avenue, died at 5:40 o'clock Monday morning at the Sacred Heart Hospital. Mrs. Martin had been a resident of Jackson County for 35 years. She lived at Antioch for 25 years before coming to Medford seven years ago. Mrs. Martin was born in Fulton County, Pennsylvania in 1851. She leaves her husband and one son, Carl. The funeral services will be held at the residence Tuesday afternoon at 1 o'clock, burial to be in the Jacksonville cemetery. Rev. E. O. Eldridge will officiate.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 13, 1913, page 4


    Mary R. Martin died Monday morning at her home in Medford after an illness of some few weeks. She is survived by her husband J. G. Martin, and prior to moving to Medford several years ago they had resided in Antioch district for 25 years. Mrs. Martin was born in Fulton County, Pennsylvania, in 1851.
"Local Mention," Central Point Herald, January 16, 1913, page 3


TOO MUCH SMOKE IN COUNCIL
J. G. Martin Unable to Endure Fumes in City Hall
    To the editor: Last Tuesday evening I accepted a kind invitation from my friend, Mr. G. W. Dow, of the Home Grocery, to accompany him to the council meeting, it being our first visit to see and hear the evening exercises by the big four or six that we have heard and read so much about of late. It so happened we were a bit late in reaching the city hall, which we found full of Velvet tobacco smoke and jammed with many of the business and representative citizens of the city minus ladies. I got lost from my friend Dow, and in the next half hour I was firmly anchored and wedged in tight as the proverbial sardine. At this point I began to realize my cramped and uncomfortable position and the foul smoky surroundings, and at once began looking about me for a way of escape. That looked both difficult and discouraging, for I felt as though I was growing more and more like a U.S. revenue postage stamp.
    But the thoughts of freedom and fresh air encouraged me to make a start for the street, but on turning suddenly around I collided with a lady with my whole system so full of smoke I was unable to apologize although extremely modest in the presence of ladies. I almost fainted while trying to squeeze by her, but I finally reached the street where I found about 250 interested citizens waiting to get a seat or standing room in the city council chamber. They at once asked about room.
    Disappointed in my first visit to Medford's city hall, for I expected a good, clean, comfortable seat and try and form an unbiased impression of the doings of our city fathers, perhaps mixed with a little fun and excitement something like the Apache Indians when they go on the warpath, but it was not to be, so I hurried home to wait for the newsy morning Sun and see what external injuries I had received in the jam.
    I found my front side, back side, right and left side badly bruised, and am now laid up for repairs waiting patiently for another city election with a square deal to the entire city.
J. G. MARTIN      
"The Sun's Letter Box," Medford Sun, April 5, 1913, page 4


BUREAU SECURES BERKELEY WIFE FOR AGED RANCHER
    A journey of 700 miles, a portion of which was over the picturesque stage routes of Northern Oregon [sic], then on a fast express train which each minute brought him a mile nearer the woman he was soon to claim as his bride, followed by a courtship of three days, constituted the romance which led to the quiet wedding last night of Joseph G. Martin, 66, and Miss Alice Sedgewick, 61 years old.
    Mrs. C. A. Bell of Los Angeles played the role of Cupid in this romantic drama, of which a picture of the bride is the whole foundation for the romance.
    Martin, who is a pioneer of Medford, Ore., and a retired rancher, tired of living alone. He corresponded with Mrs. Bell, and a short time ago was sent a picture of Miss Sedgewick of this city. Attracted by her picture, Martin started a correspondence, and a few days ago came here to claim her as his bride.
    The wedding was performed at the home of her nephew, R. W. Sedgewick, on Wheeler Street, by the Rev. R. C. Eastman, pastor of Knox Presbyterian church. It was a quiet affair, only the immediate relatives of the bride being in attendance. The couple left today for Oregon, where they will make their home.
    Miss Sedgewick has lived in this city a number of years, and for the past several months has made her home with Mr. and Mrs. Ed. L. Berg, on Grove Street.
    The bridegroom is prominent in Medford, where he was one of the first settlers. Recently he sold his extensive property holdings and retired from active business. He has prepared a neat little cottage, where he will take his bride.
Berkeley Daily Gazette, Berkeley, California, August 15, 1913, page 1


RETIRED RANCHER, 66, WEDS BERKELEYAN, 61
Marriage Ends Correspondence Courtship Dating from Receipt of Photo

    BERKELEY, Aug. 15.—The marriage last night in this city of Miss Alice Sedgewick, 61 years of age, and Joseph G. Martin, a pioneer of Medford, Ore., and a retired rancher, who has four more milestones to pass before reaching three score years and ten, culminated a correspondence courtship of three days, which began after the groom had received a photograph of [her] from a Los Angeles marriage bureau.
    Rev. R. C. Eastman, pastor of Knox Presbyterian Church, performed the ceremony at the home of the bride's nephew, R. W. Sedgewick, in Wheeler Street. The wedding was quiet, only the immediate relatives of the bride being present. The couple left today for Oregon to make their home. Miss Sedgewick has lived in Berkeley for several years, lately having made her home with Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Berg in Grove Street.
San Francisco Call, August 16, 1913, page 3


PHOTO WINS A HUSBAND
Medford Man Uses Mails to Secure a Wife.

    Medford, Or., Aug. 19.--J. G. Martin, a resident of Jackson County 50 years, surprised his many friends by returning to this city with a bride from Berkeley, Cal., whom he met through the agency of a Los Angeles matrimonial bureau. Mr. Martin was sent a picture of Mrs. Alice Sedgewick, 66 years old, of Berkeley, Cal., and was so taken with her appearance that he left for that city immediately, and, after a courtship of three days, the two were married.
    Mr. Martin, who is 66 years old, came to Medford in the early '60s, homesteaded a large tract of land, which he recently sold at a generous figure. Mrs. Sedgewick had lived in Berkeley with Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Berg for several years. They were welcomed to their new home by a large number of old pioneer friends.
    "We both decided," said Mr. Martin, "that we were tired of living alone and would go hand in hand through the remainder of our lives."
Eugene Guard, August 19, 1913, page 6


Marries in Haste.
    Medford, Aug. 19.--J. G. Martin, the well-known pioneer of North Oakdale, surprised his many friends yesterday by returning from Berkeley, Cal., with a bride.
    Mr. Martin left for the California clay the day after he had seen the photograph of Miss Alice Sedgewick, and after a courtship of three days the marriage was solemnized at the Knox Presbyterian Church by Rev. R. C. Eastman, a nephew of the bride.
    Mr. Martin came to Jackson County in the early sixties and is well and favorably known throughout Southern Oregon. Mr. Martin recently celebrated his 66th birthday, while his bride is five years his junior.
    When the news spread last night that the marriage had occurred Mr. and Mrs. Martin were obliged to hold an informal reception, so many friends of the groom insisted upon offering their congratulations.
Ashland Tidings, August 21, 1913, page 1


NEW INDUSTRY IN CITY
J. G. Martin Inspects Bean Agate Factory.
To the Editor:
    I started out for a brief forced walk Wednesday morning, not for rest and recreation, for I had a full stock of that piled up around the garden hoe, but to note the rapid changes and scenes, that I might divert my mind and thoughts a brief time from that constant dull aching in my pet carbuncle--whose rise and cavity reminded me of Mt. Pitt in the distance, and I could wish it as far away.
    My attention was suddenly and unexpectedly attracted by the noise of machinery running, which I soon located in a new frame building, about 20x40 in size, on the west side of Beatty Street among promising gardens, lawns and fragrant flowers, near the pretty residence of Mr. and Mrs. Lathrop. Here I noted the rapid up-to-date changes in adjusting their surroundings, in their ripe experiences among fancy poultry and journalistic lines that qualifies them for success in their new home. Time and pain will prevent more than brief mention of the new agate industry in our city, which was conceived, built and equipped by the present owner and manager, Mr. Bean. I found him to be a very pleasant, accommodating gentleman, showing me the many little wheels, pulleys and belts, from the rough, ugly agate to the most delicate article finished for the market. The constant dripping of one drop of water does the polishing. Mr. Bean informs me he is away behind with his orders, but will, in the near future, enlarge his plant, adding other machinery and help.
    I returned home weak and trembling, profusely covered with sympathy and loaded with carbuncle cures.
J. G. MARTIN.
Medford Sun, May 27, 1916, page 4


A SUMMER VACATION IN '63
    It was June '63 when the old district school of McMinnville, now the famous Baptist college of Chandler and Murtoon, professors, was closed for the term. In company with a classmate and native son, Alf Taylor, I was allowed two months' vacation and advice.
    Our thumb-stained books were hurriedly packed away and our improvised grip, a sack with its drawstring, was soon partially filled with a change of socks, our flowered bosomed shirts, which gave us a fashionable appearance, and with two large loaves of gingerbread, from our pioneer mother's skillet, which we decided would be supplies enough for a two months' trip, and with a few byes and tears and our pockets thinly lined with cash, we were off in the swim of schoolboy excitement, on board a two-horse springless wagon, carrying mail and passengers to Portland.
    We arrived safely and found the city brilliantly lighted with kerosene lamps, with her 30,000 people and wood rats galore. We had seen Portland before, but never rode on a steamboat on the broad Willamette. But our vacation route was scheduled to see new places, sights and scenery, and we took passage on a little sternwheel steamboat called Webfoot for The Dalles. This boat reminded us of Robert Fulton's first patent of 1765, but we were delighted with our ride on the broad, still waters of the Columbia, with her green forest scenery and shores dotted with Indian villages and their ponies, dogs, and smoking chinook salmon.
    We reached The Dalles, the head of steamboat navigation of 100 miles at dusk in the midst of a sand and wind storm, and not being accustomed to keeping our mouths closed, we got everything full but our grips.
    It is here the Columbia River divides the two great states of Oregon and Washington and here we saw and rode on our first railroad, a 16-mile portage from The Dalles to Celilo. Here we found another steamboat waiting to carry us, passengers and mail, to old Fort Wallula and Lewiston.
    We were landed at the former place and put in a busy night scratching and shaking our clothes to rid them of supposed fleas, which proved to be non-hoppers. After enjoying a 50-cent breakfast, we took the foot route for Walla Walla, 35 miles distant. Heat, dust and alkali water made this day of our vacation one long to be remembered. We reached the city of Walla Walla at sundown. We bathed our blistered feet, swollen eyes and mouths in the shade and the cool waters of Mill Creek that runs through the city, and here we ate our last crumb of Mother's good gingerbread, which we counted on for our whole vacation. Here we realized we had been too hasty in laying in our supplies, and we shed our first tears at thought of home. That night we were permitted to sleep in a vacant horse stall, covered with horse blankets of questionable age and unquestionable maturity.
    Next morning we counted our cash--$5 apiece and 300 miles from home! But we treated ourselves to a breakfast of ham and eggs that tasted like home and had the good fortune to hire out to a farmer to work in the hay field at $1.50 per day. We worked there for a month, then returned to Walla Walla and through the convincing talk of two old prospectors we got the contagious mining fever and outfitted ourselves at once with saddle ponies and a pack horse and equipped with these along with provisions and cooking utensils, and with the addition of an old double-barreled shotgun, cut in two to make it look more dangerous, we started for Helena City, Montana.
    The gun we had no occasion to use and felt that we would be safer in the next county if it should go off, still, its possession was a great source of comfort to us.
    Our route led us via Snake River, Pend Oreille Lake, Bitterroot Valley, Blackfoot Agency to the pioneer mining city of Helena-as quiet as a sabbath day in our home town, and were told that the mining population had gone to Lincoln, Madison and Jefferson gulches, newly discovered gold diggings six miles northwest.
    We rented our jaded ponies for a couple of days and then joined the stampede for Lincoln Gulch. We met miners returning, who told us the mines were a bilk, which was very discouraging as we expected to get us each a claim and still get rich quick.
    The next morning, Sunday, we looked over the noisy, busy city of tents, sluiceboxes, gravel and boulders. We found the gulch here about one-half mile wide and a little over one-half mile long. Outside of this district you could scarcely find color, but claims were recorded and prospect holes sunk for two miles around. The water for mining purposes was brought from Blackfoot River in a five-mile ditch. We found the main street blocked with pack trains unloading their goods from Fort Benton. Music, hurdy-gurdy dancing, gambling, drinking and the rolling of billiard balls.
    With the noise of hammering I saw frame houses were springing up like magic, and every man wore a red shirt and a revolver. What a change from our slow, sleepy home town of McMinnville, 500 miles away.
    As soon as our ponies had been given a week's rest, we expected to start for home, as we were already two months overdue there, but this was not to be, for we both went to work, I in a wholesale and retail liquor house and my chum on a ranch at $60 milking 20 cows night and morning.
    After ten days of this life we left for Webfoot. He said he was going where cows didn't kick and red apples and civilization could be seen, and where six-shooters, like sunshiny days, were a curiosity. I remained two years with my job, until the mines were exhausted and the business closed out.
    I arrived at home three days before my majority and cast my first vote for Lincoln in 1864.
    Time in her restless changes can never efface from memory the pleasures and satisfaction that cluster around our first vacation.
Medford Sun, July 26, 1916, page 4


DIED.
    [Joseph] G. Martin died at his home, 624 North Central, Sept. 14, aged 71 years. The deceased, who served in the Civil War [sic], leaves only his widow. Funeral services will be held at Perl's chapel at 4 p.m., Dr. Rollins of the First Methodist Church officiating. Interment will be in the I.O.O.F. cemetery, Medford.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 15, 1916, page 6


OLD PIONEER PASSES AWAY
J. G. MARTIN SUCCUMBS TO DISEASE--AGED 72 YEARS.
Voted for Lincoln--Fought Against Indians in 1865--Beloved by Many.

    In the death of Joseph G. Martin, of North Central Avenue, which occurred Thursday morning, another stalwart pioneer of Oregon has gone to his rest and reward.
    Mr. Martin came into earthly being in Clinton County, Missouri, in 1845, and came to Oregon with his parents, by the time-honored ox team express, in 1852 [sic], his father settling on a donation claim near McMinnville. He attended the district school of that place until the summer vacation of 1863, when, in company with a schoolmate, he started on a trip to Portland, which was extended to Walla Walla where they met miners returning from the harvest of golden sands and nuggets from the gulches and bars of Montana, whose tales so fired their imagination that they procured saddle horses and struck the historic trail to Helena, from which point they went to Lincoln Gulch, a nearby placer camp, where Mr. Martin remained until the fall of 1864, when he returned to his home at McMinnville, arriving just in time to cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln, a fact he ever cherished with pride.
    A narrative of this trip was written by Mr. Martin during his last illness and published in the Sun on July 25 [above].
In the U.S. Service
    In the summer of 1870 Mr. Martin visited San Francisco at a time when there was considerable excitement occasioned by the outbreak of the Indians of Arizona and New Mexico. Mr. Martin was accompanied by two young men of Oregon, and it required but little persuasion of the recruiting officer to rouse their patriotism to enlist in the cavalry branch of the United States army, in which Mr. Martin served for five years, his troop, under the command of Captain Fred Grant, making several dashes across the border into Mexico in pursuit of the wild Apaches.
    Upon leaving the army his character, on the official discharge, was designed as "excellent," an unusual and worthy compliment.
Settles in Jackson County
    Soon after leaving the army Mr. Martin settled near Antioch in this county, where he followed agricultural pursuits until 1902 when he became a resident of Medford, establishing a pretty home on Central Avenue, where he resided until his death. This home, beautifully adorned with fruit trees, berry bushes and flowers, furnishes convincing evidence of Mr. Martin's taste, care and love of nature in productive garb.
    Mr. Martin's first wife died some years ago in Medford. Three years ago he again married, to the wife who survives him. He is also survived by a sister, Mrs. Josephine Smith of California, and several nieces and nephews, among whom is Mrs. Ed Ramey of Central Point.
    Beginning while a resident of Antioch, Mr. Martin has been a frequent contributor to the columns of the Medford Sun, his letters being welcome because of the freshness of the news, expressed with brevity and genuine humor.
    Mr. Martin was tall and slender and, owing to his military experience, was stately in his manners. His disposition was most kindly, and in his business relations and associations with his neighbors he was honorable, just and accommodating to the extreme.
    The afflictions of the flesh that came to Mr. Martin were greater than those of the average man, he being confined, at one time, for three months in a hospital owing to an attack of smallpox with complications, all of which afflictions he bore with great fortitude and uncomplainingly.
    For five weeks prior to his death he was confined to his room and bed, suffering acute pain, his disease being malignant cancer, during all of which time his greatest solicitude was concerning the trouble his condition imposed on his wife, who constantly attended to his needs with intelligent and loving care that has won the admiration of all friends.
    In all the higher qualities that make a man manly--the greatest tribute he can earn--Mr. Martin possessed in the highest degree, and he justly merited the reward that is his.
    Funeral services were held yesterday afternoon at the Perl undertaking parlors. The casket was draped with the Stars and Stripes and embanked with masses of flowers. Rev. J. C. Rollins of the Methodist Church briefly and with deep feeling referred to recent interviews he had had with Mr. Martin and his desire to express his faith in the saving grace of Christ, and commended Mr. Martin's services to the country.
Medford Sun, September 17, 1916, page 8


    Died--Thursday night, September 14, at the family residence, 624 North Central, Medford, J. G. Martin, aged 70 years. Mr. Martin was a pioneer rancher of the Antioch district and was a correspondent for the Medford Mail for a number of years. His friends are legion in this valley, who are sorry to hear of his death, as it takes away from us one of our trusted friends, and one who would always extend a helping hand and a kind word to those who needed it.
"Antioch Items," Medford Mail Tribune, September 20, 1916, page 5


Pioneer's Funeral Held.
    Medford, Or., Sept. 20.--The funeral of Joseph G. Martin, who passed away Thursday evening, aged 72, was held in this city Sunday afternoon. Mr. Martin came to Oregon with his parents in 1852 by ox team from Ohio, locating near McMinnville. After an extended experience in the mining regions of other states Mr. Martin returned to McMinnville in 1864, just in time to vote for Abraham Lincoln for President.
Oregon Journal, Portland, September 20, 1916, page 13


    Old settlers in this vicinity were very sorry to hear of the passing of J. G. Martin in Medford a few days ago. "Uncle Joe," as he was familiarly known in these parts, resided among us for several years, during which time he won the high esteem of all who met him.
"Table Rock Tablets," Medford Mail Tribune, September 23, 1916, page 5


J. G. MARTIN PASSES
PIONEER OF 1862 DIES AT HIS HOME IN MEDFORD.
Early Settler First Was Prospector, Later Serving in Indian War.
Widow and Sister Survive.

    MEDFORD, Or., Sept. 23.--(Special.)--In the death of J. G. Martin last week Jackson County lost one of her oldest and best-known pioneers. Mr. Martin was born in Clinton County, Missouri, in 1845, and came to Oregon with his parents by ox train in 1862 [sic].
    The family first settled near McMinnville, where Mr. Martin attended the district school until the summer vacation of 1863 when, in company with his schoolmates, he started on a trip to Portland and Walla Walla, finally proceeding to Helena, Mont., where news of a rich gold strike attracted the youthful adventurers.
    In the summer of 1870 Mr. Martin rode horseback to San Francisco, where considerable excitement was occasioned by an Indian outbreak in Arizona and Mexico. Enlisting in the cavalry under Captain Fred Grant, Mr. Martin served for five years, his troop making several Indian dashes over the border in pursuit of the Apaches.
    Soon after leaving the army Mr. Martin married and settled on a claim in Jackson County near Antioch, where he farmed until 1902, moving at that time to Medford. Mr. Martin is survived by a widow and sister, Mrs. Josephine Smith, of San Francisco, and several nieces and nephews, but no children.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, September 24, 1916, page 11


    Joseph G. Martin, 1852, born in Missouri in 1845, died at Medford, Or., September 14, 1916.
"343 Oregon Pioneers Have Answered Last Call in 12 Months," Oregon Journal, Portland, July 19, 1917, page 15


    Joseph G. Martin, Co. I 1st U.S. Cav.
"Soldier Dead in IOOF Cemetery," Medford Mail Tribune, May 30, 1934, page 8



Last revised June 23, 2022