Medford in 1913

The Baptist church, southeast corner of 5th and Central, and the high school, circa 1910.

MEDFORD. Jackson County. Population 10,500. Settled in 1884, incorporated as a city in [1885], located in the Rogue River Valley on Bear Creek and Southern Pacific railway, 328 miles south of Portland, 5 east of Jacksonville, county seat. This city attracted national attention in 1910 by the remarkable growth in 10 years as shown by the census, the gain being 393 percent, only 2 points in the Union having exceeded that record. It is the commercial and business center of Jackson County and the Rogue River Valley. The city is well built and possesses the appearance of a metropolitan center many times its size. It has a total of 18 miles of asphalt-paved streets, 32 miles cement sidewalks, 26 miles sewers, 27 miles iron water mains constructed during the past two years at a cost of $1,700,000. All religious denominations are represented. It has 4 banks, 2 daily and weekly newspapers, Medford Mail Tribune and Medford Sun, splendid schools, water works, electric light and power plant, large hotels and stores, lumber industry employing over 1000 men. Fertile lands adjacent and extensive quartz and placer mines in vicinity. Ships lumber, flour, grain, fruit, livestock. Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co., Independent Telephone Co., Rogue River Valley Telephone Co. Telegraphs Postal and Western Union. Express Wells Fargo & Co.
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon, Washington and Alaska Gazetteer and Business Directory 1913-14,
page 310     Abbreviations spelled out to facilitate searching.

   Medford is a railroad city located on the open plain and surrounded by as fine a grain and fruit country as there is north of California. Almonds, grapes, figs, melons and all kinds of vegetables are also raised to perfection. It is near the middle of the valley, which measures about 50 by 25 miles. Its outlook is bright; its greatest evil being a liquor distillery, as well as a winery at Jacksonville, six miles away. The Baptists here have the largest church, and the best house in Southern Oregon. The building is of brick, well located. It was begun in 1885. A parsonage was built in 1893. The only addition to the church its first year was a boy, Charlie Fredenburg, who has since entered the ministry.
Charles Hiram Mattoon, Baptist Annals of Oregon, vol. II, 1913, page 392

    The city of Medford has expended $1,768,576.17 for city improvements to date.
    The city of Medford expended $1,567,286 of this amount during the past four years.
    The city of Medford has 18.61 miles of improved, hard surface streets, or 366,214.7 square yards of pavement, laid at a cost of $889,604.29.
    The city of Medford has 27.79 miles of water mains in its distributing system, laid at a total cost of $247,563.99.
    The city of Medford has 26.26 miles of sanitary sewers, laid at a cost of $203,887.42.
    The city of Medford has 1.91 miles of storm sewers, laid at a cost of $22,282.
    The city of Medford has 26.34 miles of concrete sidewalks, laid at a cost of $97,350.05.
    The city of Medford has 8 miles of board walks, laid at a cost of approximately $10,000.
    Medford has miscellaneous improvements made at a cost of $32,888.
    Medford has a 23-mile gravity water system, constructed at a cost of $275,000.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1913, page C2

    "With Medford Trade Is Medford Made."
    This slogan, to be used on buttons, on the bottom of ads, and for general publicity work, has been accepted by a committee of business men as the winner of the first prize of $5 in the Merchants Association contest. The slogan was submitted by A. B. Schuster, 1427 East Main Street.
    The second prize, $3, was won by Pavlin Debley, aged 11 years, and the slogan reads:
    "Medford merchants still the best,
    Medford climate does the rest."
    Loraine Lawton, North Apple Street, was awarded third prize, $2, on the following:
    "North, south, east or west,
    Medford merchants are the best."
    In all there were 40 contestants, some of whom submitted a number of slogans, bringing the number up to over 75. The slogan could not contain more than 10 words, had to contain the word "Medford," and had to urge the idea of trading in Medford. Many of the slogans were considered very good, and the judges deliberated for a long time before making their decisions.
    Some of the other slogans handed in are:
    "Keep Medford money in Medford; trade at home."
    "Patronize local merchants and Medford will grow."
    "Medford trade for Medfordites."
    "Home trade keeps the M-O-R-E in Medford."
    "Made for maids and men on merit in Medford."
    "Altogether, for irrigation, the trolley and greater Medford."
    "Get the spirit: Buy at home; watch Medford grow."
    "Keep the Medford dollar in sight."
    "Home trade means greater Medford."
    "Keep your money in Medford."
    "For prices that will fit your purse, try Medford first."
    "The best buyer buys in Medford."
    "If I can help Medford 'twill benefit me."
    "Make Medford grow."
    The prize winners may receive their money by calling on John H. Carkin, secretary of the Merchants Association, at his office over the Jackson County Bank.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 11, 1913, page 3

    Oregon and the Northwest are suffering from the effects of land speculation. The era of rapid development of the past decade attracted in its wake a flock of speculators, whose contribution to prosperity consisted in inflating values.
    It is doubtful if any form of gambling is harder upon a country than land gambling. It upsets and unsettles communities. Give a touch of the get-rich-quick magic of buying on margins today to sell at an advance tomorrow, and the individual is spoiled for the humdrum life of toil.
    Land speculation is the same in theory, farther reaching in results, as faro, roulette, poker and other games of chance. It not only demoralizes the individual, but the community as well. It retards rather than builds up, creates a fictitious base and supplants plodding development with feverish expectancy and anticipation, a hectic flush that counterfeits real health.
    Land speculation not only withdraws individuals from useful production, but also land. No permanent prosperity can be built upon the process of swapping property, increasing valuations or staking out town lots. The citizen who lives by a raise in the price of property due to the growth of the community fulfills no useful part in the community's existence--is simply a parasite upon it.
    Inflation of land values is simply trying to discount today the development of tomorrow. The speculator is trying to cash in advance the industry and enterprise of the next decade or two. His contribution to society is no more beneficial than that of any other gambler.
    Productive work is the real basis of prosperity. Land is worth just what it can be made to produce. Without labor it is unproductive and therefore valueless to the community. No one is entitled to more than he creates, but everyone is entitled to all that he creates. But what does the speculator create?
    Every section has to go through the land speculative era--sometimes several succeeding speculative crazes. After artificial inflation has had its day, there is always the reaction--the period of depression--and the community is then in much better shape, much healthier, much sounder. When the artificial inflation has been squeezed, and people cease trying to live without labor, cease discounting the future and get "down to brass tacks," quit grafting and go to work, then the community has an assured future--and the sooner it realizes this the better.
    The entire Pacific coast country is going to have a phenomenal development during the next decade, following the completion of the Panama Canal, the San Francisco exposition and the railroad and highway development in prospect. But care should be exercised in every community to make prosperity permanent by preventing land speculation and inflation, that the future may not be too far discounted and that there may be no prolonged period of depression following.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 18, 1913, page 4


Nearly $2,000,000 Spent by City in Four Years and Buildings Costing Almost $200,000 Rise in Five Months--Surrounding Country Bids Fair Soon to Produce Millions.
    20 miles pavement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000,000
    30 miles water mains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       250,000
    27 miles sewers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       204,000
    2 miles storm sewers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         25,000
    27 miles concrete walks  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       100,000
    23-mile mountain water gravity system  . .       275,000
    Total city improvements in last four years  $1,854,000
New Buildings in 1913.
Page Theater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 50,000
Bonded warehouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     50,000
Concrete bridge  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     40,000
Hanley block, Mealey block and others .     35,000
New residences  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      22,000
Total building in five months . . . . . . . . . . $197,000
    MEDFORD, Or., June 21.--(Special.)--Medford is a boom town no more. The boom has passed, and the place now is a healthy, progressive city of about 11,000 people, growing consistently and steadily, with civic pride, enterprise and wealth of natural resources, the quality of which cannot be excelled in any part of the country. City improvements have continued, real estate has been active, and new residences have been and are being built steadily.
    In round numbers there are 4000 acres of bearing apple and pear orchards contiguous to Medford, and 58,000 acres of orchard coming into bearing, making a total of 62,000 acres, or approximately 4,000,000 fruit trees. which, if not another acre is planted, will mean that in seven or eight years Medford will be shipping out at least 60,000 cars of fruit.
    While the passing of the boom has discouraged promoters and land sharks, it has placed not only fruit raising, but all lines of business upon a sound and substantial basis and has put land values where they belong at a figure which will invite the man with money to invest and who wants stability, outdoor life, recreation and a substantial and steadily increasing income on his investment.
    And speaking of recreation, a cursory exposition of Medford s resources can not be given without calling attention to the wonderfully healthful and delightful life which is open to the residents in this district.
    It generally is conceded among sportsmen that the finest trout fishing in the state is to be had in the Rogue River, which can be reached by an hour's drive from the Hotel Medford. Not only can the river be reached, but the best fishing holes. While cutthroat and rainbow trout can be caught readily in Butte and Bear creeks and adjoining lakes, the steelhead trout fishing is the greatest sport and attracts fishermen from all parts of the country during the summer months.
    In the fall bear and deer hunting and quail and duck shooting, which cannot be surpassed anywhere, are within an eight-hour journey at the most.
    But when the pleasures of day-to-day life are considered, hunting and fishing do not exhaust the subject. Medford's climate is ideal. The average rainfall is from 26 to 28 inches a year, the thermometer rarely reaches freezing from one year's end to the other, the summers are warm, but nights invariably are cool, there are no mosquitoes, thunderstorms or cyclones, and the death rate is but nine in 1000.
    This may have the familiar tingle of "booster" talk. Nevertheless, these are cold facts, which can be verified by referring to the report of the Oregon State Board of Health.
    Furthermore, with a splendid golf and country club two miles from the city, with a university club, gun club, woman's club, horse club, auto club and tennis club, the social side of life in the valley offers opportunity to all people, whatever their personal tastes or inclinations.
    This year Medford has completed its paving contract, which makes it the best-paved city of its size in the country. Within the city limits there are 20 miles of asphalt-macadam paving. A new $40,000 concrete bridge has just been opened over Bear Creek, which divides the city, and the $50,000 Page Theater, accommodating 1200 people, was opened May 19. The new $50,000 bonded warehouse, built by George M. Anderson, the moving picture magnate, is open for business, having been completed last April to accommodate the increasing wholesale trade.
    Last week ground was broken for the new Bullis interurban electric line, which Medford people believe will do much toward developing the valley and making Medford a commercial and industrial center. Ground has also been broken for a half-million-dollar cement plant at Gold Hill, tributary to this city, to be known as the Portland Beaver Cement Company.
    Negotiations have been started through F. M. Fauvre and W. H. English, prominent Indianapolis capitalists, for a $5,000,000 electric power plant on the Rogue River to rival the California Oregon Power Company, and the survey for the Crescent City-Medford road to the Coast has been completed.

Sunday Oregonian, Portland, June 22, 1913, page 60

Apple and Pear Shipments Estimated at 1200 Carloads for This Season.
Jackson County Will Have Share of Pacific Thoroughfare Complete Within Year--
City Is Growing and Is Beautiful.

    MEDFORD, Or., Oct. 22.--(Special.)--Coming to Medford at the present  writing you will hear as the chief topics of conversation the prices and yields of fruit, principally Newtown and Spitzenberg apples, and the reconstruction of that portion of the Pacific Highway in this county. Every reader of The Oregonian knows that Jackson County voted bonds to the amount of $500,000 for road building in the county, which was nullified by the Supreme Court, but later another vote was taken and the bonds again authorized. These bonds were sold a few days ago at a premium of $7800, which is perhaps a record-making sale for Oregon bonds of that character, the interest being 5 percent.
    Just now the authorities are busy on the 13 miles of the Pacific Highway north of the California line, this stretch of road leading over the Siskiyou Mountains, and of course connecting up at the state line with the California road over the same mountains. It is declared that a road has been laid out with no grade to exceed 6 percent, and little with so steep a grade, and work is going forward in real earnest. From this stretch northward through the county the present road is good, but it will be all hard surfaced, and in a year from now Jackson County's part of the Pacific Highway will be a delight to travelers.
Fruit Crop 1200 Carloads.
    Medford commission merchants, who are best versed in the fruit business, aver that the pear and apple crop of the territory tributary to Medford will this year amount to about 1200 carloads. The prices of early-shipped pears and apples were good. the. prices of those being shipped now are better and they have still an upward tendency. The best Newtowns and Spitzenbergs are now bringing in excess of $2 a box. A record pear sale was some time ago made, for a half car lot, of $5 a box. These were extra fancy D'Anjous. That was a rare instance and it must not be quoted broadly that Medford pears sold for that price.
    It is said that there are 140,000 acres of good-to-fair fruit land in what the Medford people call "the Rogue River Valley." The Rogue is a long river. It has many valleys. There are Rogue River valleys almost from its source to the Pacific. The Rogue River flows through the valley here a number of miles from Medford. It might save confusion if the country around Medford was spoken of as the Medford Valley. The town is surely big enough and prosperous enough and  important enough to monopolize the name of its tributary country.
    How many people has Medford? That is a hard question to answer. The census of 1910 recorded them at a little less than 9000. During the next two years after the census the town gained, lost and stood still by spurts. During the last year there has perhaps been a substantial increase. It looks like it to the occasional visitor. Now the people say the population is all the way from 10,000 to 13,000--perhaps the first figure is nearer the truth than the latter.
City's Beauty Marvelous.
    Medford is a city of marvelous beauty. The townsite is magnificent. The streets are wide and, as a rule, well paved. Indeed, they declare they have "the best-paved city in the world." In the city limits they have between 22 and 23 miles of high-class paved streets, and three to four times that many miles of good curbing and cement walks.
    Medford put in a superb water supply at a cost of nearly half a million dollars before the paving was done, and also as near a perfect system of sewerage as could be devised. The business streets are lined with fine buildings. They have no great skyscrapers, but business houses far above the ordinary in cities of this size. But it is in residences that the city shines. The residence districts really are magnificent, showing that the people who reside there have means and know how to erect and maintain fine homes.
    A good way to get a line on a town is to see what is being done by the banks. Medford has three banks, and their statements are as follows: Medford National, capital and surplus, $142,000; deposits, $600,000; W. H. Gore is president and John S. Orth, cashier. First National, capital and surplus, 
$167,000; deposits, $586,000; F. K. Deuel is president and M. L. Alford, cashier. Jackson County Bank, capital and surplus, $184,000; deposits, $471,000. W. I. Vawter is president and C. W. McDonald, cashier. Farmers and Fruitgrowers Bank, capital and surplus, $52,000; deposits, $91,000; Delroy Getchell is president and L. L. Jacobs, cashier.
    The town has some notable buildings. The Natatorium is one. Portland has no structure in the same class. As sort of side issues there are two of the finest halls in the state in this building. Another is the Hotel Medford, which is not surpassed by any hotel in the state outside of Portland, and none of the Portland hostelries surpass it in the way of. accommodations, while its charges are moderate, when the high class of service, the variety and quality of food and the cooking are taken into consideration. The new Carnegie Library building is a remarkably handsome structure, while its location makes it far more attractive than it otherwise would be--its fine lawns, beautiful trees and spacious grounds. The Southern Pacific depot is also a showy building, commodious and well kept, and the depot grounds are superb.
    Medford has one of the most active commercial clubs in the West. The present president is J. A. Perry, the secretary is F. W. Streets. The latter is on the job all the time, the former whenever it is necessary. The club has a building on the railroad right of way, about two blocks above the depot, with a wide cement walk reaching from the depot. In this building is as fine a display of fruits, vegetables, cereals and other products as can be found anywhere, and the rooms are visited by large numbers of strangers and travelers.
    The Medford people are in a sense the proprietors of that great natural wonder Crater Lake. This is the place to come by rail to get to this greatest of all Oregon show places. There is a fair wagon road from here there and autos will take one there and back for $10. This is a trip that every American ought to take, for Crater Lake is one of nature's masterpieces. Many scientists say it is the first of Western scenic wonders.

Oregonian, Portland, October 23, 1913, page 7

Last revised January 14, 2013