The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Jackson County 1906

    Jackson.--Population 13,628; Jacksonville is the county seat; Jackson County has 199,183 acres in public reserve, out of a total area of 1,779,662 acres; of her total area, 1,282,463 acres have passed from the government, 8,934 in the last two years, leaving a total of 298,016 acres unappropriated land, of which 220,741 acres are surveyed and 77,275 acres unsurveyed; the latter is timber, grazing and fruit. There is some building stone in the county of an excellent quality; mining for gold is extensively followed; asbestos, coal, copper and quicksilver found in the county; the land is rolling, mountainous and level; Rogue River furnishes an excellent water power; the roads are good; pine and fir timber abound; Rogue River is used for floating logs and lumber; the fuel is wood, which brings from $4 to $6 per cord; wheat is the principal product; there is a poor house, occupied by fourteen males; the general health is good; climate fine; mineral springs with great curative qualities exist in the county. R. P. Neil, of Ashland, Oregon, cut seventy tons of alfalfa hay from sixteen acres of land in Jackson County in July 1904; the ground is what is known as the black, sticky land; no irrigation. Jackson County peaches find a ready sale in New York and Boston; Southern Pacific railroad passes through the county.
Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor of the State of Oregon 1904-1906, Oregon State Printing Department, page 152

Bright Prospects in Southern Oregon
From the Medford Mail.

    Unless all indications are deceptive the year 1906 will be one of unparalleled growth and development in Southern Oregon in general and Jackson County in particular.
    Never before has this section attracted so much attention from people of all classes.
    Miners, orchardmen, lumbermen, all kinds of business men are finding out that the many and varied resources of Southern Oregon offer a field for their energies unsurpassed anywhere.
    Jackson County is just starting on a steady, upward march toward prosperity, which nothing can stop.
    Next year will see the mineral-seamed hills to the west and south begin giving up the stored wealth of centuries in greater proportion than ever before. East of us the vast pine and fir forests will begin paying tribute, and in return a stream of wealth will flow into the pockets of the people.
    A start at least will be made toward the irrigation of the valley, and within a few years after this is accomplished not two, but many blades of grass will grow where none grew before. Orchards, gardens and happy homes will take the place of the waste places, and nowhere on earth will there be a more prosperous vale than that of the Rogue. All this will not come in a day, to be sure, but the start toward it will be made during 1906, and most of us will live to see its realization.
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 2, 1906, page 4

D. C. Wilson in Oregon.
    The following is taken from a letter received from our old friend D. C. Wilson, who will be remembered as one of the early settlers of this valley. Mr. Wilson left here some two months since and was shortly afterward followed by his family with the exception of his oldest son, who remained here. He seems to be highly pleased with his new home. What he says about that country will no doubt be read with interest.
    "Enclosed find a dollar, for which send me The Echo. We like this country very much. Fine winter weather, only a frosty night once in a while. We are in the heart of the famous Rogue River Valley, Medford being five miles east of the county seat, Jacksonville, Jackson County, Oregon. We are on the S.P.R.R. 330 miles south of Portland and about 15 miles north of the California state line.
    "This is a great fruit country. A Mr. Perkins realized $5.00 per box for pears here, or $7.40 in London. Spitz and yellow Newtown Pippin apples have brought as high as $7.00 in the same market. Mr. Wm. Scheble, a brother to the Schebles of Wenatchee, had two old pear trees in his dooryard that were not sprayed, pruned, cultivated or irrigated, and the fruit from those two trees brought $82.25. Mrs. [sic] Perry, the fruit dealer here, showed me the shipping bills and check stubs, so I know there is no mistake.
    "Hogs and corn do equally well here. Lots of oak and acorns. In fact, it is said that in the western part of our county wild hogs are becoming quite a nuisance.
    "Health is generally good, and the people seem quite prosperous. They should be, as there are so many diversified industries from which they can earn a living. Agriculture, horticulture and mining and timber is becoming quite a factor with us as there is a branch railroad line going out from here into the mountains, and big mills are being constructed up near Crater Lake some thirty miles from here."
The Leavenworth Echo, Leavenworth, Washington, January 5, 1906, page 1

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  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.

Last revised May 29, 2019