The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Medford News: 1924

Medford-related news items from 1924. Also see descriptions of Medford and Jackson County for this year.

Says Pear Growing Is Now Predominant Industry
in Rogue River Valley.

    Hood River, Ore., Jan. 4.--Pear raising has become the predominant industry of the Rogue River Valley, according to Crawford C. Lemmon, manager of Sgobel & Day at Medford, Ore., who has been here with his wife and daughter spending the holidays with relatives.
    "Apples," said Mr. Lemmon, "have become a sideline with Medford fruit dealers. The fruit tonnage of the Rogue River Valley this year will reach 600 cars of apples and 2,000 of pears. The former were chiefly Newtowns with a few Spitzenbergs and Jonathans. The pears were divided as follows: Bartletts, 800 cars; Howells, 150; d'Anjous, 400; Bosc, 250; Winter Nelis, 250 and Comice, 240. Many apple trees are being pulled out, while the new plantings are being made exclusively of pears."
    While here Mr. Lemmon received a telegram from New York, announcing an offer of $3.60 per box on a carload of fancy Winter Nelis, delivered there. An offer of $3.75, with every prospect of the bidder raising it to $4, he said, was made on a car of extra fancy Winter Nelis.
The Chicago Packer, January 5, 1924, page 10

    Medford, Ore., Jan. 4.--A movement is on foot here to secure a new cannery for this section, which will be ready for operation next season. Present cannery facilities are inadequate, and the Chamber of Commerce has this new movement as one of its winter activities.
    Much satisfaction has been expressed by growers and shippers here over the operation of the government inspection of apples and pears, which was inaugurated here last year, but only this year being adhered to on a large scale. With one or two exceptions every shipper in this valley used this service the past season.
    Hundreds of acres of excellent varieties of apples are being pulled up here at the present time. The desire of many growers to get rid of their apples is becoming so general that several concerns have appeared which offer to pull up trees at so much a tree. The work is done by tractors of the larger type, and two and three trees are pulled up at one operation. In most instances where trees are pulled out growers are replanting with pears of the Bosc and Bartlett varieties, principally the former, which is particularly adapted to this valley.
The Chicago Packer, January 5, 1924, page 10

    Fire of undetermined origin at Medford, Ore., destroyed the Page Theater, with an estimated loss of $100,000, caused the death of Amos H. Willett, 30, prominent Medford business man, and grave injuries to Roy Elliott, Medford fire chief.
"Western," The Winslow Mail, Winslow, Arizona, January 11, 1924

News Notes from Medford, Ore. Section.
    Medford, Ore., Feb. 15.--The Guy W. Connor Fruit Company has announced its January sales amounting to $88,409.81 for 42 cars of Anjou and Nelis pears. The 25 cars of Anjous brought $55,644.07, making $4.28 per box received for this fruit in New York. The 17 cars of Winter Nelis brought $32,765.74, or $3.49 per box delivered in New York. Simon, Shuttleworth & French handled the New York end of these sales.
    Notice that unless old orchards are pruned and sprayed this coming season they will be condemned was issued last week by the Oregon State Board of Horticulture, through J. E. Stansbery, state inspector. It is advised that owners of old orchards plant young trees of select varieties at this time, that as soon as the young orchard comes in bearing the old trees may be taken out.
    The Medford Chamber of Commerce has just completed statistics covering the marked advance in production made in Jackson County, and comparisons are here submitted:
                                                            1911              1923       Gain over 1911
Acres irrigated land . . . . . . . . . . . .  7,500            35,000            27,500
Carloads pears (round numbers) . .     500              2,000               1,500
Acres alfalfa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7,000            20,000            13,000
Acres corn  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4,000              8,000                  400
No. hogs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10,800            12,100               1,300
No. dairy cows (inc. young stock)   3,500               6,500              3,000
No. farms having over 200 hens . .        10                  100                   90
    In 1911 sufficient turkeys were raised to supply home trade, and a very few express shipments were made. In 1923 several carloads of turkeys were shipped, and it is estimated that 1,000 percent more turkeys are being raised than in 1911.
The Chicago Packer, February 16, 1924, page 16

    Reports at this time indicate the formation of a good strong local association of apple and pear growers in this district. While considerable opposition is encountered, the need for cooperation is recognized, and a very satisfactory tonnage is already assured. Robert Shinn has been retained as manager and knowing Bob as we do, there need be no apprehension on that score. The Medford people certainly have our best wishes for the best of success.
The Oregon Grower, magazine of the Oregon Growers Cooperative Assn., April 1924, page 7

Fruit and Berry Growers Elect..
    Medford, Ore., April 4.--The Truck and Berry Growers' Union, recently organized here, has elected the following officers: John Demmer of Medford, president; Cecil London of Talent, vice president; Herman D. Powell of Medford, secretary-treasurer. G. E. Pierce, W. L. Townsend and O. Rogers were elected to act with the president and secretary as an executive committee. The object of this union is to promote truck and berry growing in the Rogue River Valley, not only for local and nearby markets, but also for canneries, and for carload shipments. It also aims to encourage the growing of none but high quality produce.
The Chicago Packer, April 5, 1924, page 29

Medford Growers Form a Co-op Exchange.
    Medford, Ore., April 4.--A "Growers Exchange" has been organized by local pear and apple growers and incorporation papers taken out under the laws of Oregon. Already several hundred growers have signed up in this new organization. With the passing out of existence of the old Oregon Growers' Co-operative Association it was felt that an organization was needed to carry on the operations originally outlined by the old organization, but this new organization differs from the others in that growers have the option each year to withdraw with no penalties attached. Growers will participate in packing and other profits, and it is also the plan to create a reserve for the purpose of making advances to growers if needed. A marketing arrangement has been perfected by the Growers' Exchange with Denny & Co., and all fruit handled through the Exchange will be sold through Denny & Co.
The Chicago Packer, April 5, 1924, page 31

    Medford, Ore., April 18.--John Denney of Denny & Co., Chicago, visited Medford several days ago on a tour of inspection of the various districts throughout the country in which his company does business.
    Cannery representatives are busy in this district endeavoring to secure tonnage of the 1924 Bartlett crop, but as yet have not been successful in securing any appreciable tonnage. Growers here are reluctant to sign up their Bartletts until they find out what the California Bartlett deal will be this season, and many express themselves as being in favor of [not] again shipping their pears unless the price is in the neighborhood of $50 or better for No. 1s. Returns to growers last year on Bartletts shipped East were quiet satisfactory, and if conditions this year appear similar to last year there will again be a heavy tonnage packed and shipped East.
The Chicago Packer, April 19, 1924, page 28

Canning Plant Sold.
    Medford, Ore., May 2.--A deal has just been consummated whereby the Bagley Canning Co. of Talent, Ore., takes over the interests of the Ashland Preserving & Canning Co. of Ashland. Mr. Kuzer, the manager of the Bagley interests, states that the Talent plant will be closed down and the newer and more modern plant at Ashland operated on a more extensive scale.
The Chicago Packer, May 3, 1924, page 31

Frost Damage in Medford, Ore. District.
    Medford, Ore., May 16.--Since the first frost damage, experts have been going over the fields here very thoroughly and find that about 50 percent damage was done to pears and apples by the several freezes, including that of last week. Some orchards in the valley were entirely wiped out, while others will only suffer light losses. Orchards that smudged will harvest normal crops, and no damage whatever can be found in these orchards. There are, however, in the main, a majority of orchards that do not smudge, and these will be heavy losers this season.
The Chicago Packer, May 17, 1924, page 33

Fruit Damage About 50 Percent.
    Medford, Ore., May 30.--It is now believed that the loss to apples and pears during the recent frosts will amount to about 50 percent. The past few days has brought on a considerable drop of fruit, a part of this of course being natural, but much of it can be attributed to the recent frost. The local frost service has been discontinued for this season and Floyd Young, the government expert in charge, is now busy preparing his reports and data, which will be made public in a few days.
The Chicago Packer, May 31, 1924, page 12

Crop and Trade News from Medford, Ore.
    Medford, Ore., July 25.--The addition to the Rosenberg Brothers modern cold storage plant in their Bear Creek Orchard, which has been under construction for the past several months, and which will increase their cold storage capacity to a total of 40 cars, will be completed this week. The cost of building this cold storage plant is $40,000. The Bear Creek Orchard is said to be the only orchard in Oregon with its own modern cold storage plant.
    In addition Rosenberg Brothers have also made substantial additions and improvements to their packing plant. Next year they plan to build a new all-steel packing plant at the orchard, and they will then remodel the present frame packing plant into a spray making plant.
    The first cars of Bartlett pears will roll from here July 28, the opening date of pear packing here. Practically all pears will be hand sorted and packed this year, the use of graders for pears having been discontinued by virtually all shippers here. Pears are sizing up well. It is now believed that very little of the Bartlett crop will be turned over to canners, and the canners realizing this are strengthening their bids for Bartletts. Quotations of $55 for No. 1 and $35 for No. 2 are being made to the growers at the present time, with very few takers. Growers believe that prices for packed Bartletts are going to be good and seem to be willing to gamble on their chances this year.
    Pear growers here are expressing concern over the embargo effective July 21 in California against certain Oregon fruits, and if it is made to include pears, it will work a great hardship on this district, inasmuch as practically all of the pears from here move through the state of California. However, it is not expected that the embargo will include pears, owing to the rigid inspection of pears and the excellent preventive measures used in growing pears, which practically eliminate any danger of their being carriers of infection.
The Chicago Packer, July 26, 1924, page 14

    In a careful check of tonnage that will move from the Medford district this season, the following figures have been arrived at: Bartlett pears 450 cars; other varieties of pears, 550 cars, making a total of 1,000 cars of pears. It is also estimated that there will be about 300 cars of apples shipped from here this season.
    Continued dry weather is causing much concern to growers here, especially those who do not irrigate, and unless rains come soon there will be a considerable decrease in tonnage this fall.
    The bulk of the pear tonnage from the Medford district this season will be controlled by the following shippers: Dennis, Kimball & Pope; Denney & Co.; Sgobel & Day; Stewart Fruit Company; Earl Fruit Company; Guy W. Conner; American Fruit Growers Inc. and Rosenberg Brothers.
    Prices for pear and apple shook will be about 1¢ a box cheaper this season than last season in this district. No advances in labor, both in orchards and packing houses, are expected, and if anything there will be a reduction in these items.
    A new firm entering the packing and shipping field here is the firm of Greenwood & Co., of San Francisco. The local representative will be C. M. Speck, who last year represented Northard, Lowe & Wills. It is reported that this firm will deal principally in apples.
    Local canneries have now completed their run on Royal Anne cherries, and report a successful run, although the crop this year was light. Growers received from 5 to 7½¢ for their cherries from the canners.
    Icing facilities have been increased 100 percent here by the enlarging of the local plant, and this will mean a speeding up of loading operations, and a saving of a number of hours in the movement of cars from this point.
The Chicago Packer, August 9, 1924, page 10

Estimated Apple Movement from Medford.
    Medford, Ore., Aug. 8.--Guy W. Conner, broker and carlot distributor, gives the following comparison between the apple and pear crops of the years 1923 and 1924: Apples, 1923, 698 cars; 1924 325 cars. Pears, 1923, 2,320 cars; 1924, 1,350 cars.
The Chicago Packer, August 9, 1924, page 48

Medford District Expects 350 Carloads of Apples.
    Medford, Ore., Aug. 8.--About 300 carloads of apples will be shipped from the Medford district this season, principally Yellow Newtowns. Heavy frost damage earlier in the season is principally responsible for the short crop this year. The tendency in this valley is to discontinue apples and go heavier into pears, the latter having proven more profitable year in and year out.
    Most of the apples which will be shipped from here this year will be from irrigated orchards, and the apples will be of excellent quality and pack. Only extra fancy and fancy grades will be shipped, other grades going to canners and cider mills.
    Apple growers here are feeling quite optimistic over the outlook for good prices this fall, and as a result have been giving their orchards excellent care and attention, with a view to growing apples that will command good prices. Careful attention has been paid to spraying, cultivating and thinning, and in spite of the continued dry spell this valley has been having the apples will size up well and be up to average.
The Chicago Packer, August 9, 1924, page 51

Medford Pear Deal Is About Completed.
    Medford, Ore., Sept. 12.--The pear deal is about over. Packing and shipping of Bosc pears will wind up about the middle of the week, and most of the Anjou tonnage has already moved, leaving only some Comice and Winter Nelis pears to ship, and the tonnage of both of these latter varieties is very light this season.
    This is a freak season here, and perhaps the first one when Newtown apples have commenced moving while pears were still on the trees. This week will see considerable shipment of Newtown apples, picking of which is already under way and will continue until the crop is in and packed out.
    The tonnage of late pears will be considerably lighter than was earlier predicted. The cut in earlier estimates is due to worm damage during the latter part of the season, which is causing a heavy throw-out of late pears into the cull class. Several old standby brands of late pears will not be seen on the streets this season, owing to their orchards having been completely frozen out last spring.
The Chicago Packer, September 13, 1924, page 26

Pears and Apples at Medford, Ore.
    Medford, Ore.,  Sept. 26.--To date 472 cars of pears have moved from here this season, and practically all pears are now rolling east, excepting Winter Nelis pears, packing of which has now commenced.
    If plans now under way materialize Medford will have a large pre-cooling plant for pears in operation by next season. Archie Ash, owner of a large warehouse here, plans to convert his building into a pre-cooling and cold storage plant at a cost of [illegible], and the plant will be modeled after those now in operation at Watsonville and other California points. Details are now being worked out, and it is expected that construction will commence by November 1. Capacity of the plant will be 400 to 500 cars.
    Picking and packing of Yellow Newtown apples has commenced here, and cars of this variety are moving eastward. The Newtown crop in the Rogue River Valley is very short this season, and the season will be of short duration. About 200 cars will probably represent the tonnage from here this year. A few cars of Spitzenberg and Jonathans will also run from here.
The Chicago Packer, September 27, 1924, page 42

Apple and Pear Shipments from Medford.
    Medford, Ore., Oct. 17.--One thousand seventy-nine cars of pears and 90 cars of apples have been shipped from here this season up to the present time. There will probably be 30 more cars of pears, mostly Winter Nelis.
    The apple crop here this year is almost a failure, and the tonnage that will be shipped will be the lightest in years. It is not expected to reach 200 cars.
    Continued hot weather throughout the summer is given as the reason for the principal damage to the apple crop, which earlier was estimated at 500 cars. Apple crops which were scientifically cared for show over 50 percent cull run, mostly worms, and some crops show as high as 90 percent cull run. With conditions existent like this it is hard to estimate what the total tonnage will be, but it is safe to state that 200 cars will closely represent the tonnage.
The Chicago Packer, October 18, 1924, page 13

Large Shipment of Fruit Trees Arrives in Medford.
    Medford, Ore., Nov. 23.--Along with the fact that the largest shipment of fruit trees, 24,000, ever received coming to Medford from Toppenish, Wash. at any one time was unloaded here several days ago, to help fill orders already given by orchardists and farmers in the valley, comes the news from local fruit authorities that more fruit trees, mostly pears, will be planted during the next year than ever before in this valley's history. Also the fact became generally known that much new planting of fruit trees has been going on for months past. This situation was not generally known. It had been the belief that tree planting was about at a standstill, but upon investigation it was found that close to 100,000 new trees were planted during the past year.
    The record-breaking shipment of 24,000 trees, just unloaded, is but the forerunner of more tree shipments, which will arrive daily from now on, it is said.
The Chicago Packer, November 29, 1924, page 4

Pre-Cooling Plant Planned.
    Medford, Ore., Nov. 28.--Archie S. Ash, owner of a large warehouse here, is now in Sacramento having plans drawn for the converting of this warehouse into a pre-cooling plant of 150-car capacity. Local fruit shippers have assured him of sufficient tonnage to take care of the capacity of the plant when completed. It is planned to have the plant in operation before the next pear crop comes in.
The Chicago Packer, November 29, 1924, page 5

Medford, Ore. To Have Large Cold Storage Plant.
    Medford, Ore., Dec. 5.--The Archie Cash Cold Storage Company has announced that it will construct a large cold storage plant here. Construction work on the new plant will be started early in January, and will be rushed to an early completion through the use of the most modern methods of building.
    The new cold storage or pre-cooling plant will have a frontage of 480 feet along the Southern Pacific tracks and will be located directly north of the building now occupied by the Mason & Ehrman Co. It will have a capacity sufficient to pre-cool 2,000 carloads of pears and apples, and have room for the storing of an additional 1,000 cars. The plant will be provided with the latest appliances for cold storage and pre-cooling purposes.
    According to Mr. Ash, even with the large amount of floor space to be provided, the plant will hardly be of sufficient size to care for the apple and pear crop of the Rogue River Valley for more than a few years.
The Chicago Packer, December 6, 1924, page 13

Medford Orchardists to Protect 1925 Fruit Crop
With Orchard Heaters.

    Medford, Ore., Dec. 26.--Five carloads of orchard heaters arrived here last week and were immediately delivered to orchardists who had ordered same for the protection of their 1925 fruit crop. Practically every orchard in the lower parts of the valley will in the future be equipped with orchard heaters or smudge pots, the heavy losses of the past season acting as a stimulus in the orchardists assuring themselves this added protection.
The Chicago Packer, December 27, 1924, page 11

Last revised October 20, 2019