The Medford Monitor

The Medford Monitor was the first newspaper published in Medford, Oregon, beginning publication on February 20, 1885, just four days before Medford's incorporation. Sadly, only two issues of this pioneer newspaper are known to exist. One issue is preserved in the archives of the Southern Oregon Historical Society, the other in mine.

Published by Michael Angelo McGinnis (who would go on to write acclaimed mathematical works, be imprisoned for fraud, and earn a governor's pardon for a "proof" of Fermat's Theorem before dying penniless from the effects of syphilis), the Monitor provides a rare glimpse into not only Medford's history, but into the life of every boomtown struggling for its place in the West in the closing years of the 19th century.

The Monitor consisted of four seven-column 18x24-inch pages, only two of which are indexed below. Local news was limited to pages one and four. The Monitor had what was known as "patent insides," meaning that pages two and three were boilerplate national news, features and advertisements, apparently preprinted by a Portland newspaper.


Volume 1, number 1, February 20, 1885

Volume 1, number 4, March 14, 1885

To make citations a little easier to find in the column, the letter "a" or "b" in the indexed reference refers to "above the fold" or "below the fold."  Take care to read the entire half column; many citations appear multiple times.

Last revised June 29, 2010