Medford in 1949

Clean Up South Front

    The horrible death of Mrs. Margaret Cornell, victim of a sex fiend, brings into glaring prominence the need, in Medford, for a cleanup of conditions on South Front Street, where Mrs. Cornell had admittedly been hanging out, and where her attacker undoubtedly lurked.
    South Front Street has long been a sickening sore on Medford otherwise fair face. Derelicts, human dregs, winos, prostitutes hang out there, and it has become a breeding place for immorality and for just such a tragic disgrace as the crime of Tuesday morning!
    It is true that hardly a day passes that Medford police do not lead some babbling, staggering drunk from that district to the city pokey, to sober up, and at night the number increases. It is also true that what Medford has of that sort of disgraceful condition is pretty well confined to that area. But it still doesn't mean that the condition should get as bad as it has there.
    The city police have confined Medford's scum to that specific district. They must be credited with that. But we believe a closer check should be made on just what goes on in that district and how drunk a man or woman must get before being trotted off to the can to sober up.
    If the tavern operators on Front Street do not tighten the reins and clean up their own houses, then the city officials are certainly going to do it for them, and the public in Medford is going to demand such action forcefully. Things have gone just about as far as they can go. They have gone further than there was any excuse for them to go. It is a disgrace that such conditions have existed, and now is the time to do something about it.
    When, right in the center of a city, a street such as South Front can become so bad that even ordinary drunks won't go there, it's getting out of line. For a long time it has been a street that a man certainly wouldn't want his wife or children to walk down during the late afternoon or evening, and there isn't any sense in that.
    The Medford News calls upon the tavern operators on South Front to clean up, and if they don't, the Medford News will see to it that officialdom cleans them up.
A. Moore Hamilton, Medford News, April 22, 1949, page 4

Last revised January 4, 2009