The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Joseph G. Martin

    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

    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.
    Table Rock, Jan. 31, 1892.
Medford Mail, February 4, 1892, page 3

    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

    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

    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.
Medford Mail, December 18, 1903, page 4

    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.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 27, 1904, page 1

    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

A Productive Section.

    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

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:--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?
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.
Medford Daily Tribune, October 3, 1906, page 2. The October 2 issue, with the first installment of this article, is lost.

    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

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 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.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 8, 1909, page 2


    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."
Medford Mail Tribune, November 29, 1909, page 6

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.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 17, 1910, page 7

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?
Medford Sun, May 12, 1911, page 5

    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

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

    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

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

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

    [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

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

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 November 3, 2020