Medford in 1919

Photo taken May 30, 1921, looking West down Main at Central

MEDFORD. Jackson County. Population 11,000. 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. It is the commercial center of Jackson County. The city is well built and possesses the appearance of a metropolitan center. It has asphalt-paved streets, cement sidewalks, sewers. All religious denominations are represented. It has 4 banks, 2 daily and weekly newspapers, splendid schools, water works, electric light and power plant, large hotels and stores. Fertile lands adjacent and extensive quartz and placer mines in vicinity. Ships fruit, livestock. Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co., Independent Telephone Co.
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon, Washington and Alaska Gazetteer and Business Directory 1919-20,
page 192     Abbreviations spelled out to facilitate searching.

    Medford (pop. 12,000, alt. 1,374 ft.) is located in the very heart and center of the Rogue River Valley, far famed for its pear and apple orchards. Here natural conditions favor the building of a large city; all the agricultural, horticultural, timbered and mining wealth within a radius of fifty miles is tributary, and for this reason Medford has become a metropolitan city of paved streets, beautiful homes, inviting parks, large hotels and solid business blocks.
Automobile Blue Book, vol. 8, 1919, page 305

   Medford, with a population of 10,000, is located near the center of the Rogue River Valley, in Southern Oregon, on the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad. It is also the terminus of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad and the Rogue River Valley Railroad. Medford is the largest city, and the most important financial, trade and shipping center of the district. It is also the gateway to Crater Lake. The chief developed industry tributary to Medford is fruit raising, and some of the most highly developed apple and pear orchards of the valley are nearby. A variety of smaller fruits, berries and market garden products are also grown, and large yields of alfalfa. Other industries are dairying, stock raising, farming, mining, lumber, etc.
    The 1910 census credits Medford with the most rapid growth,with two exceptions, of any city in the United States, during the past census decade; the population increase during the period was 393 percent.
    Medford receives an annual average rainfall of 25 inches, and the altitude is 1377 feet. It is located on Bear Creek, which is a tributary of Rogue River and which drains the greater part of the tillable area of the valley.
    Few if any cities the size of Medford have a greater length of first-class paved streets, there being a total of twenty-five miles; also twenty-eight miles of cement sidewalks, and a twenty-three-mile gravity water system. The water is brought from a natural lake reservoir in the Cascade Mountains. The city has gas and electric light and power, a public park, a $20,000 public library, a new $140,000 hospital, a four-story federal building, a $50,000 passenger depot, several first-class hotels, four banks, a large new opera house, a sanitarium, five fruit packing plants supplemented by precooling houses and storage warehouses, two box factories, three lumber mills, two fruit and vegetable canneries, a large fruit dryer and evaporator, two large creameries, two ice plants, flour mill, sash and door factory, cabinet and office fixture factory and several other factories.
    Medford has a modern equipped high school and four other public school buildings, with first-class schools, business college, Catholic school, music conservatory, eleven churches, and two newspapers, the Mail Tribune and the Sun, both of which have leased wire Associated Press news. There are about 30 lodges represented, a number of women's clubs and a University Club.
    Medford is headquarters for the Crater Lake National Forest Service, and the offices of the county pathologist and the U.S. Weather Bureau for Southern Oregon are located here.
    Medford brags of her beautiful streets, elegant homes, and modern business houses.
"Facts Concerning Cities and Towns Southern Oregon," Medford Mail Tribune, August 12, 1919, page B2

Last revised May 18, 2021