The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Medford News: 1913

Medford-related news items from 1913. Also see descriptions of Medford and Jackson County for this year.

Unusual Features Brought Out by Statistics--
Bank and Postal Business Increase--Fruit Shipments Largest on Record.
    Statistical 1913 brought forth several features, but no devastating calamity as far as the Rogue River Valley was concerned. One fire of consequence occurred in Medford--the burning of the Union Livery Stable and seven head of horses.
    There were 50 deaths and 132 births in the county, 138 marriages and 53 divorces filed, 37 being granted. The mortality list includes a number of pioneers, including Edwin C. Root of beloved memory. Two public officials passed--Sheriff August Singler killed by the bullets of a young outlaw, and Mayor W. W. Eifert, who died of a sudden attack of heart failure.
    The public improvements number the finishing of the Page Theater, the Bear Creek bridge, and the preliminary ceremonies on the Pacific Highway construction.
    There were two murders, and three deaths by accident--two by hunters being mistaken for deer in the woods and one by auto racing at the fairgrounds.
    The fruit crop was the largest in the valley's history and the prices the best. The bank deposits show a heavy increase. A gain of 12 percent in the school attendance was recorded.
    A political storm centered the entire year over the council, and broke the last month of the year in a campaign being waged for economy in city affairs, depriving councilmen and mayor of salary, and two recall petitions being filed.
    Indicative of the prosperity of Medford and adjacent country is the quarterly reports of the four financial institutions of the city filed October 21, 1913, showing an increase of $204,496.14 for August, September and October over the same months in 1912 and a gain in deposits of $337,482.65 since August 9, 1913. October 21, 1913, $1,893,853.39 [was] on deposits in Medford banks, and this does not include receipts from the heaviest fruit shipments of the year.
    Bankers of the city report a healthy tone in valley money circles, with the prediction that the deposits for 1914, from present indications, will pass the $3,000,000 mark.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1914, page 1

Average Amount Spent Annually by 101 Women Wage Earners in Miscellaneous Occupations in Oregon (Outside Portland).
Information obtained from Ashland, Baker, Eugene, Forest Grove, La Grande, Medford, Oregon City, Pendleton, Salem and Vale:
Room and Board . . . $278.62
Clothing . . . . . . . . . . . 137.50
Laundry . . . . . . . . . . . .  16.00
Carfare . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21.00
Doctor and Dentist . . . 18.00
Church and Lodge . . . . 12.52
Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6.54
Recreation . . . . . . .  . . . 20.50
Total  . . . . . . . . . . . . . $510.68
$9.82 a week; $42.55 a month.
Wage Information for 1133 Women Wage Earners in Oregon (Outside of Portland)
Wage information was received from the following towns and cities: Albany, Ashland, Astoria, Baker, Cottage Grove, Dallas, Enterprise, Eugene, Forest Grove, Hood River, Grants Pass, La Grande, McMinnville, Medford, Oregon City, Pendleton, Roseburg, Salem, Springfield, Stockton, The Dalles, Union and Vale.
No. of Employees       Industry            Avg. Monthly Wage
88 .
. . . . . . . Canneries . . . . . . . . $35.00
. . . . . .  Condensed Milk  . . . . . . 38.00
. . . . . .  Woolen Mills  . . . . . . 37.50
18 . . .  Hotels and Restaurants  . . . 31.65
. . . . . . . . Laundries  . . . . . . . . 39.50
. . . . . . . . Office Help . . . . . . . . 35.50
. . . . . . . Retail Stores . . . . . . . 39.21
. . . . . . . Stenographers . . . . . . . 50.00
. . . . .Telephone Operators . . . . 33.07
Report of the Social Survey Committee of the Consumers' League of Oregon on the Wages, Hours and Conditions of Work and Cost and Standard of Living of Women Wage Earners in Oregon with Special Reference to Portland, January 1913, pages 22 and 23

    Wells Lounsberry of Medford, Ore., who last August robbed a mail car on a Union Pacific overland train between Kansas City and Lawrence, Kan., was found guilty in the Federal Court in Kansas City, Kan. He was sentenced to serve seven and a half years in the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth.
The Ordway New Era, Ordway, Colorado, January 24, 1913

    MEDFORD, ORE.--J. A. Westerlund and C. Y. Tengwald have applied for a franchise to operate a trackless trolley system in Medford.
"Construction," Electrical World, January 25, 1913, page 221

Fruit Growers Organize.
    Medford, Ore., Jan. 24.--At a recent meeting of the new organization known as the Rogue River Co-Operative Fruit Growers' Assn., by-laws were adopted and the following directors elected: J. A. Perry, D. W. Stone, J. G. Gore, M. A. Dickerson, W. H. Brown, H. A. Gray, jr., S. A. Nye, D. E. Phipps and George Andrews.
    The organization will be perfected at a meeting to be held January 25.
The Chicago Packer, January 25, 1913, page 15

    MEDFORD, ORE.--A petition in bankruptcy will be filed against the Merrivold Shop, booksellers and stationers.
"Business Notes," The Publishers' Weekly, February 1, 1913, page 365

    Probably the most historical spot in all Oregon today is the region of the Big Applegate, where even the roadside is literally strewn with the history of Oregon.
    Some 12 months ago a sleek gentleman appeared in that country in the guise of Bosworth [Boswell?] and began gathering local biography. For bait he used the honeyed flattery of a biography in a four-volume centennial history of Oregon to be published by the Clarke Publishing Company, a Chicago concern, which he represented were getting out a history of Oregon written by Joseph Gaston. It is alleged that the soliciting biographer (up on the Applegate they leave off the bio*) would write off the data on a notebook for a history of the biographee and thereafter induce the graphee to sign his own biograph, but ingeniously folded beneath the biography was a contract and note ranging from $25.00 to $75.00 according to the amount of honey contained in the writeup, and calling for the payment of said sum upon the delivery of a four-volume history of Oregon.
    Yesterday was delivery day on the Applegate, and the outraged members of the stung club in that vicinity were unanimously repudiating the biographical agreements with the 25- and 75-dollar story in them. Pat Swayne, who drove in from the upper Applegate last night, reports the road blocked with the numerous volumes dumped into it and says it is probably the most historic highway in the world today. One family was stung for four sets ranging from 25 to 75 dollars, and the sixteen volumes stacked up in the road in front of that ranch rise in the majestic proportions of a Bartholdi statue enlightening the Applegate.
    Many Medford people were also stung and charges of obtaining notes under false pretenses will be probed by the grand jury next month.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 19, 1913, page 1
  *Leaving the word "grafter." Click here for more tales of nefarious doings in the historical publishing game.

    A shock at Medford, Oregon.
--A slight earthquake is reported from Medford, Oregon. It occurred at 12:40 p.m. March 15, 1913; no damage was done.
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, March 1913, page 35

    D. J. Stull's paint shop, Fifth and Grape streets, Medford, Ore., was gutted by fire February 13.
"Gossip of the Trade," The Painters Magazine, March 1913, page 300

    Word from the Frank Soper family is to the effect that they have decided to cast their lot with the people of Medford, Ore., and that Mr. Soper has purchased a half interest in the real estate business of J. W. Dressler of that city. Mr. Dressler was a former resident of this county, living at Glen Elder.
"News and Comments," Beloit Daily Call, Beloit, Kansas, March 20, 1913, page 6

    The Milton Bradley Company have secured the contract to furnish watercolor paints in Utah for the next five years. This contract was secured by the company's representative, Miss Jennie Cameron, whom teachers in Oregon will remember very kindly as having attended numerous institutes in this state. Miss Cameron was formerly a teacher in Medford, Oregon, and previous to that she was the principal of one of the grade schools at Owatonna, Minnesota, under the supervision of Supt. P. J. Kuntz, now of Salem.
"General School News," Oregon Teachers' Monthly, April 1913, page 474

Judge Calkins to Remove.
    ASHLAND, Or., April 20.--(Special.)--F. M. Calkins, Circuit Court Judge for the First Judicial District, which embraces Jackson and Josephine counties, is about to remove to Medford in order to be nearer the county seats of the respective counties, thus expediting court business. Judge Calkins will make the contemplated change about May 1.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 21, 1913, page 5

    Mr. Van Berkilo, formerly of Salinas and other towns, is now at Medford, Oregon, in an up-to-date studio.
"Notes and Comment," Camera Craft, May 1913, page 244

Raising Poultry on Large Scale.
    Medford, Ore.--The poultry raisers of this county recently formed an organization known as the Jackson County Poultry Assn. It will be the object of the organization to make poultry products one of Medford's principal exports in a few years. All kinds of chickens will be raised, as well as turkeys, ducks and geese.
The Chicago Packer, May 31, 1913, page 13

Condition of Fruit Generally Is Good--
At Ashland the Peach Crop Will Be 75 Percent of Last Year.
    Medford, Ore., May 30.--The apple crop in the Rogue River Valley will not be as heavy as last year, but owing to the increased acreage coming into bearing, the output will be about the same. The Newtown, which bore so heavy last year, will not have more than 50 percent of last year's yield. A. C. Randall, president and general manager of the Rogue River Fruit Growers' Assn.., stated that he estimated this year's crop of fruit for the valley at 850 to 1,000 cars. This he divided into apples about 500 cars, pears from 350 to 400 cars, other fruits and berries to make up the balance, 100 cars. The acreage planted to fruit in the Rogue River Valley according to Mr. Randall is approximately 50,000 acres, and 50 percent of this amount is planted to pears. The varieties are as follows: first Bartlett, Bosc, Winter Nelis, Comice, DeAnjou, etc.
    Of the acreage set to apples 75 percent are Newtown Pippins, next in order is the Spitzenberg, Jonathan, etc. The peach crop will be as good, but the acreage is not large and same applies to the prune crop.
    The Rogue River Valley Fruit Growers' Assn. has a membership of 450 growers. They are making new improvements to enable them to handle this year's crop to a better advantage. They are also figuring on a cold storage plant. They have not yet decided definitely just what the size, or system they will put in. The Northwestern Fruit Exchange will market their crop this year.
    A new organization will be in the field this year to be known as the Rogue River Cooperative Fruit Growers' Assn. The association has a membership of about 100 growers. Mr. J. A. Perry is president. They intend to put up a warehouse and packing plant to handle this season's crop. They will be open to all buyers.
    The Producers' Fruit Co. will also be in the field this year. They handled 375 cars of Rogue River Valley fruits in 1912 and are making arrangements to do a larger business this year. They have 7 shipping stations in the valley. E. M. McKeany is manager.He stated that on 76,902 boxes of Newtowns exported, all grades and sizes, they netted the growers 87¢ per box.
    Ashland, Ore.--The peach crop will be about 75 percent of last year's yield. Shipments will begin to move about July 15. The prospect for cherries is good, and growers expect about a normal crop. The varieties are Royal Anns, Bings and Lamberts. Many acres are being planted to berries, such as blacks, Logans and gooseberries.
    The Ashland Fruit & Product Assn. has quarters in a new concrete building put up last fall. The association will have ample room to handle the crop in this section for several years to come. M. C. Lininger, general manager, states that they will confine their coming operations to pears and tomatoes. The berry acreage in bearing is not large enough to put in a pack this season, but next year they will have a large supply.
    The Powell Bros. have constructed a new cider and vinegar plant, and will handle the fruit that the grower is unable to find a market for.
The Chicago Packer, May 31, 1913, page 15

    The Upland Hardware Company, Uplands, Cal., has been sold to Ware & Sons, formerly of Medford, Ore.
"Business Changes," Pacific Hardware Journal, June 1913, page 25

    Word comes that Mr. and Mrs. George Roberts, who recently left Beloit for a visit at Sioux City and various other points, with the intention of going to Medford, Ore., have reached their destination and are greatly pleased with the West. It is the intention of Mr. Roberts to engage in the barbering business at Medford.
Beloit Daily Call, Beloit, Kansas, June 14, 1913, page 1

New Precooling Plant.
    Medford, Ore., June 20.--Work has begun on the Rogue River Fruit and Produce Assn. precooling and storage plant, same to cost $40,000. The structure will be completed about August 1.
The Chicago Packer, June 21, 1913, page 19

His Mechanician Escapes With a Broken Hip and Few Bruises
    Medford, Ore.--Don Helms, 20 years old, was killed when the car he was driving in a five mile automobile race collided with another car and turned turtle. Helms was crushed under the car and lived only 10 minutes. Mechanician Marks also was pinned under the car, but escaped with a broken hip and a few bruises.
Delaware City Press, Delaware City, Delaware July 11, 1913, page 1

    A few days ago contracts were let at Medford for the construction of a $40,000 pre-cooling and storage plant, the contract calling for its completion by the 15th of August, in time for the first shipment of pears. The building is to be 80x124 feet in size, and will have a capacity of 100 carloads.

"Portland Letter," Jacksonville Post, July 12, 1913, page 1

Defeat of Bud Is Terrific Calamity to Medford
Tragedy Stalks Streets on Fourth of July When Returns of Twelfth Round Arrive.
    Bud Anderson's defeat at the hands of Leach Cross was to Medford as the earthquake to San Francisco. This from Arthur G. Perry, a newspaperman, to a Portland friend:
    "Bud's defeat was a terrific calamity. I put 18 bones down on him and Leach knocked it into the grasping mitt of Frankie Edwards. However, I borrowed $15 of it back, which Frankie says is no percentage at all for a Market Street man. He won about $500 on the result, and he seemed to have a good 'hunch.'
    "Tragedy stalked our streets when the twelfth round came in. Leon Haskins was all in, and it took everybody to console him. Court Hall branded the Western Union wires false and Dr. Emmens fainted. In falling he grabbed Tom Fuson by the vest, ripping all the buttons off the same. Bob Kerr was so put out that he had a re-attack of the rheumatism.
    "Guernsey swore, and when I asked his opinion he said it was just another piece of 'economic injustice.' Judge Kelly said he had a dream that it was going to end that way.
    "I read the returns at the Page Theater, and Kelly yelled so loud that I thought he was trying to get Dick Donald at the ringside at Vernon to confirm the sad report.
    "A gloomier day never dawned in the valley of the Rogue. It was pathetic, aye, tragic, and had Gabriel blown his horn the surprise could have been no greater."

Sunday Oregonian, Portland, July 13, 1913, page B4

Postman to Carry Weather Flag.
    MEDFORD, Or., July 13.--(Special.)--By an arrangement between Uncle Sam and the local weather bureau, the ranchers of the Rogue River Valley will be able to have a forecast of the weather by mail, every morning. Many of the routes are handled by motorcycle postmen, and each wheel will fly a flag at the wheel post showing what the weather of the following day will be.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, July 14, 1913, page 7

Work on Electric Is Resumed.
    MEDFORD, Or., June 16.--After several week's rest, work on the Medford Interurban Railroad has been started again, and the steam shovels are grading the right of way near the Sacred Heart Hospital. The electric cars have been ordered from St. Louis, and will be of the most modern and approved design. The rails are expected to arrive early in September, and, from present indications, the first mile of the road should be in operation from the center of the city to Siskiyou Heights by November.
Morning Oregonian,
Portland, July 17, 1913, page 12

    Medford papers state that actual work on the construction of the trolley line in that town was commenced Monday. Hope it will continue.

"Local News," Jacksonville Post, July 19, 1912, page 3

Dr. J. M. Keene, Politician, Mixes with Water Superintendent.
    MEDFORD, Or., July 20.--(Special.)--Dr. J. M. Keene, a well-known politician throughout Oregon, and George M. Trana, superintendent of the city water works, engaged in a rough and tumble fight in front of the Medford Furniture & Hardware building Saturday, and both men will appear before Justice of the Peace Taylor Monday to answer a charge of disturbing the peace.
    The trouble started over Trana shutting off Dr. Keene's water supply, when the water superintendent alleges he refused to obey the sprinkling laws. The doctor denied this, but paid his fine and incidentally gave expression to his opinion regarding the water superintendent. As the doctor came up in his motor Trana met him and, receiving no reply to his query as to whether the doctor had expressed the sentiments credited to him, started a right hook to the jaw. The doctor fell down, but, by the hair, pulled Trana after him and proceeded to get on top of him. At this point the two men were separated.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, July 21, 1913, page 12

Medford's Pre-Cooling Plant.
    Medford, Ore., July 25.--Medford will have a pre-cooling and storage plant. This district has long been in need of cold storage to handle the crop and to pre-cool fruits before shipping east. A contract was let to construct a $40,000 plant, which will be ready for service about August 15, in time to handle pears.
The Chicago Packer, July 26, 1913, page 3

    The Rogue River Fruitgrowers' Association is having the big building on North Evergreen that it bought of the Crater Lake Lumber Company put in shape for the coming season's business. This will make the third company to maintain a warehouse in Medford, besides which there will be others to compete for the fruit crop.
    J. W. Casey of Portland, the well-known representative of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, is in Medford again. He estimates that there will be 400 carloads of pears and 600 carloads of apples shipped out of the valley this season.
    John Collins and his family arrived from San Diego, Cal., during the week and have located in Medford for the present. Mr. Collins is a pioneer of Rogue River Valley, as also is his brother, Thomas Collins. Fifty-three years ago they camped on the land where the Natatorium now stands, which was then covered with grass and brush. Jacksonville was the only town of importance in southern Oregon in those days.
    Mike Spanos and George Seymour, whose appeals to the supreme court were decided against them, will soon be brought to Jacksonville to be resentenced by Judge Calkins. They will then be returned to Salem for execution. Governor West will be petitioned to commute their sentences to life imprisonment.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, July 30, 1913, page 2

Isaac Woolf, Pioneer, Dead.
    Isaac Woolf, who had resided in Rogue River Valley for nearly 40 years, died at his farm near Medford Saturday night, of heart disease, from which he had been ailing for some time. He was 76 years of age and is survived by his widow.
    Mr. Woolf was a veteran of the Civil War and an organizer of Chester A. Arthur post, Grand Army of the Republic. He was also a charter member of Medford lodge of Odd Fellows and Olive Rebekah degree lodge.
Ashland Tidings, August 7, 1913, page 2

Ground for Park Offered.
    MEDFORD, Or., Aug. 21.--(Special.)--At the last meeting of the city council Dr. Hart, of this city, offered to donate to the municipality 40 acres of land near Bear Creek for an extensive park and recreation ground. Plans were submitted providing for an artificial lake, ball grounds, playgrounds and tennis courts and the interurban railroad now in course of construction will be tracked to the park if the city decides to accept the offer. The matter was referred to the committee on parks, and they will inspect the property with the city engineer tomorrow and report at the next council meeting.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 22, 1913, page 11

    Medford, Ore.--Our little dog who was so badly crushed beneath the wheels of a big auto Friday is today well. When he was hurt I 'phoned to a friend to treat him. At that time the swelling was awful, and his leg was thrown toward his back badly out of place. A veterinary was called to set the misplaced leg, but he said it was no use. the dog being thirteen years old and the shoulder broken, he could not help him. He advised me to chloroform him, but I knew my friend was speaking the word of truth, which was doing its work. My daughter sent off the telegram to you. Saturday the leg resumed its normal position and the swelling went down. Sunday morning he walked across the street and since that time has trotted around as usual. Surely God, who is in the midst of us, is mighty and they that get still enough to hear that still small voice will know of the doctrine. I feel very thankful to the Father and grateful to this dear friend here and to you through whom the Word of God worked in such perfect harmony.--E.B.S.
"Health," Unity magazine, Kansas City, Missouri, September 1913, pages 246-247

Inexperienced Pickers Trim Ben Davis Trees and Leave Gravensteins.
    MEDFORD, Or., Sept. 1.--(Special.)--O. V. Meyers, local orchardist and taxicab proprietor, ordered some pickers from the city to finish taking in his crop of Gravenstein apples.
    Instead of picking the Gravensteins, of which there were only a few on the trees, they stripped the orchard of Ben Davis apples, green and about as big as walnuts. Mr. Meyers is out a good crop of apples and declares he will pick the apples himself after this.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, September 2, 1913, page 10

Rogue River Growers Are Happy.
    Medford, Ore., Sept. 5.--E. M. McKeany, former representative of the Producers Fruit Co. of this city, has resigned, and in his place the company has appointed J. H. Randolph. Mr. Randolph has been in the fruit business for the past 17 years. During the past six years he was manager for the Producers in El Dorado County, Cal. In speaking about the prospects in the Rogue River Valley, Mr. Randolph had the following to say. "The crop this year will amount to 1,000 cars of apples and pears. The quality of the fruit is unusually fine, clean and smooth. We are now in the midst of Bartlett pear shipments, and the Producers Fruit Co. is booking eastern orders daily for fancy Rogue River Bartletts at $2 per box f.o.b. cars, Medford. This is a splendid price, and growers are happy. The apple movement will begin the latter part of September, and the outlook for a prosperous season is at present very encouraging."
The Chicago Packer, September 6, 1913, page 9

    T. R. Wisby, who died in [St. Johns] this week, was a veteran of the Civil War and had lived in Oregon for 24 years. The funeral services were conducted from Blackburn's Chapel, and the interment was made in the Grand Army Cemetery. Rev. J. R. Johnson officiated. Mr. Wisby leaves a widow and five daughters, Mrs. Lois Evans, Medford; Mrs. Lolo Lindley, St. Johns; Mrs. William Bullock, Edna, Wash.; Mrs. Delia Kearns, Rainier; Mrs. George Beauchamp, Medford.
"Park Sites Studied," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, September 28, 1913, page 41

    The Medford Concrete Construction Company, managed by C. A. Semon, is operating a basalt quarry and a crushing and screening plant on the P.&E. Railroad, near Medford, Oregon. The principal work there is supplying crushed basaltic rock of any required grade for road and street macadam and paving.
    This company also operates at Medford a plant for machine-made concrete pipe for sewers and other purposes, using the Thomas pipe machine for this purpose.
"Rock and Concrete Work," Cement and Engineering News, October 1913, page 299

    The Rogue River Fruit & Produce Association completed its new cold storage warehouse at Medford, Ore., the first of September when several carloads of pears were placed in storage. The plant is equipped with a 25-ton Vulcan refrigerating machine as reported in the August issue of Ice and Refrigeration.
"Frigiferous Particulars," Ice and Refrigeration, October 1913, page 276

Rate Hearing at Medford, Ore.
    The Oregon Railroad Commission held a hearing recently at Medford, Ore., on the application of the Home Telephone & Telegraph Co. of that city for an increase in rates. The company introduced figures to show that it is now losing an average of $2,000 a month on its business. Merchants and councilmen of Medford filed a formal protest against an increase in rates on the ground that it would mean a loss of business to them through many residents ordering their telephones [taken] out. The commission adjourned to meet at Salem this month for a further hearing of the case.
Telephony, October 4, 1913, page 34

Both Protest Innocence with Last Words and Declare Themselves Ready to Go.

(Salem Bureau of the Journal)

    Salem, Or., Oct. 31.--With heads erect, shoulders squared and without a visible tremor, Frank Seymour and Mike Spanos walked to the death trap at the state penitentiary this morning at 8:30 o'clock, and paid the penalty for the murder of George Dedaskalous at Medford in September of 1912.
    "I'm ready to go," said Mike Spanos just before the death mask was adjusted over his head. "We are not the boys who killed this man. I say this as my dying words. I forgive everybody and hope everybody I have wronged will forgive me. I will pray to God for all of you and hope you will do the same for me."
    Frank Seymour made no reference to the crime from the scaffold, but to the last he also maintained he was innocent.
    "Gentlemen, I would like to say a few words," he said. "I have but a few minutes to live, and I forgive all, and ask the pardon of all. I hope I will be the last to drop through this death trap in the state of Oregon."
Seymour Nervy.
    Seymour preceded Spanos into the death chamber. He was the first to mount the scaffold, where he displayed unusual nerve while he calmly waited for Spanos, and the three priests and attendants to mount the platform, so there would be quiet in which to speak his last words. He was dropped into eternity a fraction of a second ahead of Spanos, and was the first to be pronounced dead by two minutes.
    The condemned men entered the death chamber at 8:30. The traps were sprung at 8:34, and Seymour was pronounced dead just 10 minutes later and Spanos 12 minutes later.
    They were accompanied to the scaffold by Father Moore, chaplain, and Father Miller of Verboort, and Father Victor of Tigard.
    Several days ago the men embraced the Catholic faith, and were baptized Tuesday of last week. They were given holy communion at 7 o'clock this morning by Father Moore in the prison chapel. When they were returned to their cells the two other priests gave them the last absolutions and said the prayers for the dying.
    On the way to the scaffold the priests read the miserere. After the traps were sprung, as the men dangled in midair, Father Moore finished the prayer for the dying.
    Last night when Father Moore admonished them to tell the truth and confess, he said they maintained that they did not commit the crime. Spanos asked the chaplain to write to his mother in Greece and to an uncle in this country, telling them of his death. He sent no word to his wife and seven stepchildren.
Both Young Men.
    Spanos was 21 years old and Seymour 19.
    At the time of the trial in Medford, confessions from the men were given in evidence. Seymour confessed that they lured Dedaskalous to a deserted spot near an old box factory and killed him in order to rob him. The men repudiated these confessions, and contended they were obtained by third degree methods on the part of the officers. The cases were appealed to the supreme court chiefly on this ground, and the higher court affirmed the convictions . The confessions were largely substantiated by other evidence, as the club and piece of gas pipe mentioned in Seymour's confession were found.
    Several days ago the condemned men gave statements to Warden Lawson, in which each of them charged the crime to Thomas Fricas, who, they declared, got into a quarrel with Dedaskalous because Dedaskalous would not give them money with which to buy more whiskey. These statements declared that Seymour had gone after the liquor himself, although it was Sunday, and was not present when Fricas committed the crime. They said after the deed was done the three agreed not to say anything about it, and if one of them confessed the other two were to go against him.
    It was claimed that they were implicated in two other murders, but Father Moore said they stoutly maintained last night that they knew nothing of them.
    Seymour was born in Vancouver and was raised in Portland. Spanos came to this country from Greece when he was 5 years old.
Oregon Journal, Portland, October 31, 1913.   Clipping in SOHS scrapbook, M24E, box 2.

Seymour and Spanos Protest Innocence on Scaffold.
Proceedings at Salem Pass Without Hitch and 10 and 12 Minutes After Trap Is Sprung
Convicted Duo Pronounced Dead.
    SALEM, Or., Oct. 31.--(Special.)--With apparently not the slightest fear, but protesting their innocence to the last, Mike Spanos and Frank Seymour, slayers of George Dedaskalous, of Medford, went to their deaths calmly on the scaffold at the State Penitentiary today. The necks of both men were broken, and there was not a hitch in the execution plans. The bodies were removed to a local undertaking establishment and will be buried tomorrow in the Oddfellows' Cemetery, Rev. Frank Moore, leading spiritual advisor of the men, having arranged for the purchase of lots.
    Ten minutes after the traps were sprung Seymour was pronounced dead, and two minutes later life in Spanos' body was pronounced extinct. Seymour, walking between two guards, three clergymen of the Roman Catholic Church leading the procession, reached the scaffold first. Awaiting the arrival of Spanos, Seymour walked to the railing and, addressing the spectators, said:
    "I have but a few minutes left to live, and I forgive all and ask the pardon of all whom I have wronged. I hope I will be the last person to drop through a trap in Oregon."
    He backed to a trap door and, Spanos coming to the railing, calmly said:
    "I am ready to die. We are not the boys who killed this man. I forgive everybody, and I hope everybody I may have wronged will forgive me. I pray to God for all of you, and hope you will do the same for me."
    Rev. Fathers Moore, LeMiller and Victor prayed until the physicians said the men were dead. The last rites of the church were administered to the condemned men just before they were led to the scaffold. Seymour and Spanos maintained their innocence to the priests and prison officials to the last, declaring that Tom Freks, under arrest at Medford on another charge, was the guilty man.
    It was the theory of the prosecution that Seymour and Spanos were the slayers of Dedaskalous, whose body was found under a warehouse on the Southern Pacific tracks at Medford September 23, 1912. Dedaskalous two days before had drawn his savings of several hundred dollars from a bank, intending to start for his former home in Greece the day his body was found.
    Seymour was 19 years of age and was born in Vancouver, Wash. His father was a policeman in Portland for a number of years. The parent deserted his wife, taking the boy with him to California, where, when he was 13 years of age, the lad was made to shift for himself.
    Superintendent Lawson announced tonight that Seymour and Spanos had left letters for him in which they blamed whisky for all their troubles.
Oregonian, Portland, November 1, 1913, page 16

    James R. Howard, a pioneer of Jackson County, died November 5 at El Centro, Cal., funeral November 8. He was born in Kentucky, following his old friend, Tennessee Smith, to the Rogue River Valley 35 years ago, and following farming until three years ago, when he left to engage in the dairy business in the Imperial Valley. He leaves a wife, Mrs. Ella Howard, and eight children: J. W. Howard, Ashland; John Howard, Oakland, Cal.; Tom Howard, Redding, Cal.; Elmer Howard, Ashland; Mrs. Tilley Crosby, Ashland; Mrs. May Smith, El Centro, Cal.; Miss Ada Howard, El Centro; Matthew Howard, El Centro.
    Among the brothers and sisters of the deceased are: Mrs. J. H. Atwell, Medford; W. M. Howard, Medford; Mrs. Rachael Adkins, Kentucky; Mrs. Mary E. Rutledge, Wichita, Kan.; J. C. Howard, Mesa, Cal.; T. M. Howard, Centralia, Okla.
Ashland Tidings, November 10, 1913, page 4

    The White Sox and Giants are now on the ocean bound for Japan, they sailing as per schedule, from Victoria, B.C. on November 19. The two teams played at Medford, Ore., on November 17 and, in a drizzling rain, the stands and bleachers were filled to overflowing, but not a fan left until umpire Klum called the game in the sixth. By this time it was pouring and the outfielders carried umbrellas in chasing flies. Despite the water and mud it was a sensation game abounding in one-handed stops. Immediately after the game the party sat down to a banquet given by the Commercial Club, and the special got away for Portland shortly after 5 o'clock. The Sox didn't have a chance to score. George Wiltse showed marvelous control, while Joe Benz was hit in bunches. The Giants got a lead of two runs in the first inning, Snodgrass and Magee scoring on two singles and a couple of outs. Some great defensive work kept the Giants at bay, but in the fifth Lobert's and Merkel's doubles were worth another tally.
Excerpt, "The Tour of the World," Sporting Life, November 29, 1913, page 5

    The tour was now almost completed, so far as the United States was concerned. As a matter of fact, but two more games were played in the United States. One was at Medford, Oregon, November 17, when New York defeated Chicago, 3-0, in a driving rain. The game only lasted six innings, and as it was coming to a finish the outfielders carried umbrellas over their heads as they ran for the ball. Immediately the game was over the players were given a banquet by the Commercial Club.
"Another World's Tour of Base Ball Players Successfully Completed," Spalding's Official Base Ball Guide, 1913, page 46

    Everett Marsh, a former resident and business man of this city, now located at Medford, Oregon, in a letter to D. A. West and wife, writes interestingly of the western city and of the Greensburg people who have gone there. He says he keeps in touch with matters at home through the News. He says business is good in Medford, and that the fruit crop in that section was immense. He states that Grandma Conner will be ninety years old on the 22 of February. Brazier Kirby is living on his ranch near the city and is in the insurance business. Bob Boyl has a good position with an auto company. Mr. Marsh speaks of Forrest Edmeades and various other ex-Greensburgers, and says all are doing well and in good health.
Greensburg News, Greensburg, Indiana, December 5, 1913, page 6

Electrical Company Said to Be Doing Business Illegally
and Contract with City Is Rejected.

    MEDFORD, Or., Dec. 13.--(Special.)--In addition to the recall of the members of the City Council whose terms hold over, and a decision of the question as to whether or not the Mayor and City Councilmen should be deprived of their salaries, the people of Medford will vote on a charter amendment January 13 allowing the California-Oregon Power Company a 25-year franchise.
    The present charter forbids franchises to public service corporations for over ten years with the exception of electric streetcar lines and gas companies, and the local electric company asks the same exception in regard to power for electric lighting.
    The present franchise with the electric company was declared invalid by the City Attorney because it held for 20 years and it is charged that the company is conducting its affairs without authority from the city.
    The company has been paying 5 percent of its gross annual earnings to the city under this franchise with the privilege of paying $20,000 at the end of five years and thereby freeing itself from further 5 percent payments. This five-year period ended in June 1912, when the offer of $20,000 was refused by the City Council, and since then the city has not  been paying for its lights and the company has been making no payments to the city.
    By the proposed amendment it is hoped that the deadlock will be broken and the matter settled on a businesslike basis.

Sunday Oregonian, Portland, December 14, 1913, page 7

Fruit Shipments from Rogue River Valley Satisfactory.
    Medford, Ore., Dec. 26.--J. H. Randolph, manager of the Producers' Fruit Co. of this city, makes the following report for the season.
    Fruit shipments from Rogue River Valley for the season just closed: Apples 534 cars; pears 419; peaches 23; mixed 27; total 1,003 cars.
    The total at the close of the season will probably amount to 1,100 cars--which will not only be the largest fruit shipment ever made from the valley, but will exceed the original estimate by 100 or more cars. These shipments were made from Medford, Central Point, Ashland, Grants Pass, Gold Hill, Phoenix, Talent, Rogue River and Merlin--all being in Rogue River Valley, within a distance of 30 miles. Two-thirds of the total shipments were made from the Medford district.
    Although complete returns have not been received, a sufficient number have been recorded to make it certain that better average prices have been secured by fruit growers this year than for many years. About $1,200,000 cash for the 1913 fruit crop is considered a fair estimate of the returns to the growers.
    Prices on apples have ranged from $1.25 per box for the poorer varieties, to $2 and $2.25 f.o.b. Medford for the first grade Spitz and Yellow Newtowns. The pears have ranged from $1.50 to $2.32 f.o.b. for Bartletts, while Comice and Anjous have varied from $2 to $4 per box f.o.b. Medford.
    Apples and pears from this valley have gone into more local and foreign markets than ever before. Jonathans have [been] sent to Australia and South Africa, where they secured surprisingly good prices, while Germany and England have taken a larger supply of local fruit than ever before.
    Everything points to another large crop in 1914, the present estimate being 1,500 cars.
The Chicago Packer, December 27, 1913, page 16

Last revised May 8, 2021