The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Medford News: 1926

Medford-related news items from 1926. Also see descriptions of Medford and Jackson County for this year.

Salient Points in Rotary Meeting.
    New grade school and new wing to high school will be needed in 1927.
    Over 200 lots sold by city in 1925 at total of $125,000.
    Sixth Street to be opened up in 1926.
    City attorney's office has alone sold $85,000 worth of city lots, the commission on which would pay the city attorney's salary.
    New city building for street department, to cost $12,000, entirely paid for by sale of city property on Riverside.
    For the first time Medford's city streets are to be properly repaired, $5000 being put in the budget for this purpose.
    Salaries of city policemen raised and council expects to raise the salary of the chief of police next year to $250.00 a month.
    Community Chest endorsed by local service clubs.
    Service clubs to cooperate with city to put in comprehensive system of children's playgrounds.
    Water commission to erect a standpipe near Coker Butte so city will not only get three times as much water under the new system, but secure greatly increased and even pressure throughout the city.
    New water system should be completed and
in use May 13, 1927.
    People must expect less water in 1926, due to increased population and consumption.
    Bids for construction of new water system will be asked in March, 1926.
    The Medford Rotary Club held one of the most successful meetings in its history Tuesday night at the  Hotel Medford, when the speakers of the evening were representative heads of many of the most prominent organizations of Medford and each speaker related in detail the results of the past year's efforts in civic work and gave outlines as to the plans for the coming 12 months.
    Glenn Fabrick, president of the Kiwanis Club, was the first speaker, and gave a detailed account of the past year's accomplishments, including aid given defective children in this community, cooperation with the county health nurse in bringing about a better living condition, work in obtaining the National Guard encampment in Medford, their efforts regarding the development of the proposed road to the Oregon Caves. They also cooperated with the city regarding the new water system and the voting of the water bonds. The Kiwanis Club also had charge of the last Red Cross drive and contributed materially to the success of the community Christmas tree this year.
    For next year's work they have in mind cooperating in the improvement of a public playground and to aid in the proper supervision of the amusements.
Schools Are Filled.
    Elmer E. Wilson, president of the Medford school board, spoke on the increased attendance in the schools, and at the present time there are 520 students in the Medford high school and 60 or 70 more will become high school students in February. This increase in students in the high school will make it necessary to use every possible resource at this time and the school board have made provision to use temporary additional quarters until the completion the new high school.
    The school board will pay off a portion of the bonded indebtedness this year. The coming year they expect to have the entire four-year high school course in the new high school building now being erected, and the 7th and 8th grades will then fill the present high school building on North Bartlett Street. The increase in population and the increase in the school attendance will necessitate an increase in the teaching force.
    In reviewing the work on the new high school building now under construction, the speaker said that this building will be one of the best of its kind in the country and that the taxpayers are receiving full value for every dollar expended. The contractors are doing the most excellent work, all departments of the school board and the school force are working in harmony to get the maximum results.
New Grade School.
    From present indications, taking the past year as an example of the growth of our city, it is anticipated that by the fall of 1927 it will be necessary to construct a new wing to the new high school building to take care of the increase and it will then be necessary to construct a new grade school for Medford. Also the school board is now planning on acquiring additional sites for school buildings, in the proper locations within the city.
    Justin Wesley Judy, president of the Lions Club, spoke of the accomplishments of the newest service club in Medford. They cooperated in helping install the National Guard encampment last summer and did the lion's share in obtaining so favorable consideration of the proposed road to the Oregon Caves. They also helped defray the expense of the Jackson County athletic meet at the fair grounds and they are very active in child welfare work in this community, having accomplished great good in their efforts.
Community Chest.
    The Lions Club desires to sponsor a community chest with the aid of the other clubs and civic organizations of Medford. They are sponsoring the moral code of ethics for the school children of Jackson County. They believe that the joint meetings held between various clubs and civic organizations are a great benefit because it helps prevent the duplication of effort.
    O. O. Alenderfer, mayor of the city of Medford, spoke of a few of the accomplishments of the city administration, expressed appreciation for the support that has been given his administration in their efforts to put over many needed accomplishments. The mayor spoke most highly of the excellent work being accomplished by City Treasurer Berrian and his aid in the work in connection with the city finances at this time. The city has been able to pay off $75,000 of its bonded indebtedness during the last year.
    In view of the growth of the city and the additional work necessary, the salary of the chief of police has been raised to $150 per month and the policemen to $130 per month. The mayor, at a later date, will recommend the salary of the chief of police be raised to $250 per month at the proper time, for the reason that the additional work that will be necessary, will justify this salary.
    In 1928 the city will receive a portion of the money from the county road funds to be used in the improvement of the city streets. This work of keeping dirt and macadam streets within the city in proper repair has been a problem during the last several administrations, but the present administration through its work and that of the past few administrations will be able to solve this problem to a great extent by obtaining a portion of the funds in 1928.
Open Up 6th Street.
    The Southern Pacific Company has definitely promised to open up the Sixth Street crossing when the Natron Cutoff of the Southern Pacific is completed, thereby relieving the main line through Medford of a portion of the heavy traffic now carried. The opening of Sixth Street will relieve, to a great degree, the traffic congestion of the present Seventh Street crossing.
City Attorney's Office Pays.
    The mayor spoke regarding the city attorney and the work he has been accomplishing in his efforts to help clear up the sales of the city's lots on paved streets. While $125,000 worth of real estate has been handled during the last year, the city attorney's office has handled approximately $85,000 worth of this business or a total of over 2200 separate pieces of property and at the present time all paved lots, previously owned by the city, are sold and are now back on the tax roll, increasing the city's revenue materially.
    The water department and the water commission will soon be located in their new water building, now being constructed. This will give ample facilities for the proper care of these departments and a portion of the water department equipment. The city has set aside $5000 for the repair of the streets, and this will be used as required.
    The mayor called attention to the accomplishments of Mr. Davis, formerly of the water department, now city purchasing agent, who will have charge of all the city purchasing for the various departments, and the heads of the various departments will be responsible to him for the purchases made in their regular departments and these facts regarding the expenditures of the various departments will be made public from time to time so that the citizens may know what they are obtaining for their money. The park and playground will be provided for in the proper manner as conditions arise, as the various administrations have had in mind at the proper time that these parks and playgrounds should be developed and tracts have been acquired by past administrations for this purpose. The sum of $3000 is provided in the budget to improve these grounds for the benefit of the children of Medford.
    Several years ago there were 2256 pieces of property with unpaid taxes on the paved streets of Medford. The work of the present and previous administrations since that time has cleared the city of these pieces of property.
    In his closing remarks, the mayor paid tribute to the efforts of the various organizations and civic bodies for their help in making Medford a larger and better city, and he extended to the citizens of Medford greetings for a prosperous New Year.
The Water Situation.
    Harry L. Walther. chairman of the Medford water commission, spoke on the accomplishments of the water board. The approximate total expense for 1925 was $83,199.30. The year 1925 shows a growth of 200 new water users for the city of Medford or 8⅓ percent increase over the previous year. The maintenance on the present system cost $25,000 last year and $23,098 this year.
    The water commission expects to call for bids for water bonds during the first half of March, and when these bonds are sold the commission expects to open bids for the construction of the new pipe line.
    The water commission and the city are completing a new city map bringing this down to date with all the additions to the city and the new pipe line of the water system to be shown. They plan on the equality of the distribution of the water in the various parts of the city. They also figure that they will gain 30 pounds in pressure in the pipe line, and may expect a new completed water system between May 15th and June 1, 1927 and that this new system will have three times the present water capacity.
Medford Legion.
    Richard E. McElhose, manager of the Medford post of the American Legion, spoke on the accomplishments of the legion during the past several years and especially during the last year under his administration and he placed special stress on the need of patriotism and the education of our children along this line. The accomplishments of the American Legion during the last several years have been of great importance, he said.
    They helped complete the last big endowment drive of five million dollars. Medford's quota for this drive was put over in two hours and fifty minutes. The legion has helped in community service recently and they have taken part in the ceremonies in Jacksonville for those who wish to acquire naturalization papers.
    They completed the uniform decoration of the city streets with flags during the last year and are working with the G.A.R., D.A.R., and other organizations and hold joint meetings with other legion posts of Jackson County. They were instrumental in obtaining the new golf course at the fair grounds. The 20-piece drum corps of the American Legion is one of the finest of its kind in the country and has attracted much attention and favorable comment from all who have had an opportunity to see and hear it.
    The legion was also instrumental in helping secure the National Guard encampment in Medford in 1925 and helped put over the Boy Scout drive for 1926. They plan to increase their membership from 231 members at present to 288 this year and to compete for the first prize at Marshfield this season and to take part in various work. Especial stress was placed on the business men of Medford to close their places of business on Armistice Day and to properly observe this occasion.
    Fred W. Scheffel, the new manager, expects to carry on the good work already started and to increase the accomplishments of the legion in Jackson County.
Merchants' Association.
    John C. Mann, president of the Medford Merchants' Association, spoke of the object of the association in promoting good fellowship among the merchants of Medford, the aiding and financial support in the work of the community projects, the elimination of unfair competition, elimination of fake and unsatisfactory advertising during the last year, saving the merchants of Medford over $5000.
    Special stress was made on the efforts to increase trade at home support that is now being accomplished. The Merchants' Association built and equipped the merchants' building at the Jackson County fair grounds and this is not only a great asset to the merchants, but is an added feature to the fair grounds. The merchants have decorated the streets each season with Christmas trees and have cooperated in making the community Christmas tree a success each year.
    They sponsor and advise the forming of a community chest, the improving of a play ground and improving the city auto parking ordinances in the city. They desire to cooperate with the rural districts of Southern Oregon in every practical way in order that the residents of these communities may get better results from their efforts and to bring about a closer and better understanding between the merchants of the city and the residents of the rural communities.
    The Merchants' Association believes that there should be a ban on street carnivals.
    The past year's accomplishments of the Merchants' Association have been marked with success and the hopes for 1926 are for a greater and better accomplishment to be made.
Crater Leader Gets a Laugh.
    E. C. Ferguson, president of the Crater Club, spoke in lighter vein, and what had not been accomplished by the other organizations, had been completed by the Crater Club. They had accomplished great work in helping the community. They had acquired the airplane mail service, had installed the new clock on Vernon Vawter's banking institution, had made possible the championship football team of Southern Oregon.
    The Crater Club is beyond any question one of the livest organizations in the country and has accomplished much good in the community.
    Robert H. Boyl, secretary of the Medford Chamber of Commerce, spoke in behalf of the president and the chamber. He reviewed the past year's accomplishments and gave much interesting information regarding the air mail base that is to be established at Medford and the fact that this will draw mail in this office from points as far distant as Marshfield, Bend, Oregon and Chico, California.
    Mr. Boyl called particular attention to the necessity of a community chest and the work which is required to make such a move a success. He called special attention to the Odd Fellows convention and to the D.O.K.K. band and the benefits of such organizations to the city. He also called attention to the necessity of cooperation between the service clubs and various organizations of the city with the Chamber of Commerce and the work that can be accomplished in cooperating with the Merchants' Association in Medford, the efforts of the fruit growers in marketing local products, the establishment of the labor bureau at Medford and the benefits to be derived from same, the State Horticultural Society and the meetings held in Medford.
    Mr. Boyl gave a very interesting review of the work of the Chamber of Commerce during the last year and the necessity of the local cooperation of all organizations during the coming year and called attention to the many interesting features in connection with work in the community.
    Carl A. Swigart, president of the Medford Rotary Club, spoke briefly on some of the various undertakings during the last year, the appreciation of the members of the club of the efforts of the various organizations in making a meeting of this kind such a success and thanked the various speakers for the information they had given and hoped that more meetings of this kind might be held so as to create a better understanding between all the clubs and civic organizations of the city.
    The banquet was most excellent, and the music furnished by Alford's orchestra was greatly appreciated.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 7, 1926, page 7

Fruit Shipments from Medford, Ore. District.
    Medford, Ore., Jan. 8.--That Medford in the past season was a clearing house for 2,966 cars of fruit which brought a return of $3,559,200 was the declaration of Robert Boyl, secretary of the Medford Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Boyl used $1,200 as the average value of a car of fruit, which, according to local fruit men, is a conservative estimate.
    Fruit shipped from other points in Medford's trade territory would make the total even greater if figured in, it was pointed out.
    Of the fruit shipped from Medford 2,530 cars were of pears, and 334 were of apples. There are probably 100 more cars being held in storage, which will be shipped later.
The Chicago Packer, January 9, 1926, page 29

    A man in this town was planting garlic one day last week. We are not giving names, but the gentleman's wife told us, assuring us that the family never use it, that each year it was transplanted faithfully. Now, surely, he doesn't expect to find a market for this vegetable in Jacksonville! Historians tell us that the ancient Greeks when they went forth to battle carried with them a supply of onions and garlic. But we are not anticipating war in Jacksonville, and if we were it would hardly be according to military tactics to warn the enemy of our approach.
"Garlic Is Planted by J'ville Resident, Identity Secret," Medford Mail Tribune, February 26, 1926, page B1

To Build Camp for Transient Labor in Medford, Ore. Orchard.
    Medford, Ore., April 16.--To aid in solving the problem of keeping transient pickers during layoffs due to rainy weather, the Bear Creek Orchards are putting in a modern auto camp ground, according to Dave Rosenberg, one of the owners.
    The camp will be built on the order of the best California orchard camps, said Mr. Rosenberg. It will be equipped with shower baths, running water, sanitary facilities and individual bungalows.
The Chicago Packer, April 17, 1926, page 10

Heavy Pear Crop in Medford, Ore. District.
    Medford, Ore., April 19.--Fruit is commencing to form on the trees, and present indications are for a very heavy pear crop this fall. It will be another month before the danger period is over from frost, and up to the present time it has been necessary to smudge nine times. The temperatures, however, have at no time dropped to a point beyond control, and no perceptible damage is in evidence from the few frosty nights that have prevailed here with the exception of a few small unsmudged orchards, where the damage is quite noticeable and practically cut the tonnage from these properties in half.
The Chicago Packer, April 17, 1926, page 24

New Sales Company Formed at Medford.
    Medford, Ore., May 14.--Organization of the Southern Oregon Sales, Inc., was effected here recently, and the stockholders include some of the largest fruit growers in the Rogue River Valley district. The board of directors selected at the meting is as follows: Leonard Carpenter, president; Gordon Voorhies, vice president; Otis Booth, secretary-treasurer; John Pike, Chandler Egan and Corning Kenly.
    The primary business of the organization will be the packing and sale of Rogue River Valley fruit.
    The company will maintain its own sales offices in New York City, under supervision of H. A. Rabe, formerly general eastern agent for the Stewart Fruit Company. Paul Scherer, formerly with the local office of the Stewart Fruit Company, has been chosen as general manager of the company.
The Chicago Packer, May 15, 1926, page 10

Second Largest Sign in West Virtually Assured for This City
Air Mail Plane Will Bear Medford's Name, Body is Assured
    A mammoth electric sign, to be erected at a cost of over $600, was virtually assured for Medford Tuesday night when the Chamber of Commerce and city council entered into a cooperative agreement to finance it. The Medford Retail Merchants Assn. will be asked to bear part of the expense, and it is believed that they will do so.
    The sign, as designed by Frank O. Strickland, representative of the Federal Sign Co., will have 24-inch exposed globe letters, and will be visible and readable for 10 blocks. It will be hung at Main and Riverside streets, and will be visible from both sides. In addition to having "Medford" in 24-inch illuminated letters, it will advertise Medford as the gateway to Crater Lake, point to Crater Lake Boulevard and to the main business district.
One Sign Larger
    Only one sign on the Pacific coast, according to Mr. Strickland, will be larger, that of the Orpheum Theatre, at Salt Lake City. It will be of porcelain steel, and will last for years without repairs.
    By the cooperative arrangement the Chamber of Commerce will pay $250, the Merchants' Assn. will be asked to pay $100 and the city will pay the rest of the expense. The display will have letters eight inches taller than those on the sign recently ordered for Ashland, and will be as large as any sign in California.
    In addition to authorizing the expenditure of $250 for an electric street sign, the Medford Chamber of Commerce directors dealt with many other features looking to advertising the city at their Tuesday night meeting.
To Bear Name
    A letter from the Pacific Transport Company assured the Chamber that one of the air mail planes will be called "Medford," carrying the name of this city up and down the entire coast.
    It was agreed to paint the interior of the Chamber building, and arrange for frequent changes of exhibits showing tourists and local residents the many assets of the valley. Other features taken up were the entertainment of visiting national guardsmen at the encampment, giving permission to the pageant association to establish a ticket booth in the Chamber building, and keeping the auto registration booth open early in the mornings, at noon and late in the evenings.
    It was reported that Olen Arnspiger, representing the land settlement committee of Jackson County in Owens Valley, Calif., is making remarkable progress.
Jackson County News, June 4, 1926, page 1

American Fruit Growers Establish Branch Office
in Medford, Oregon.

    Medford, Ore., June 25.--The American Fruit Growers Inc., are establishing a permanent branch agency in Medford, it was announced today by Vice President F. T. Fogg of Los Angeles, who has made the city his headquarters for the past week, while investigating the local territory in regard to fruit conditions. A packing house is scheduled to be erected immediately on South Front Street, equipped with the latest fruit handling machinery. Earl Coe, fruit grower and packer of White Salmon, Wash., has been appointed manager.
    The quality of fruit as grown in Southern Oregon, which can be handled advantageously through is organization, is the inspiration for the establishment of a branch in Medford, Mr. Fogg said.
    The Medford pre-cooling and storage plant contract has been awarded to W. H. Merritt, a well-known local contractor, for the erection of a packing house, 160 by 70 feet, at the corner of Eleventh and Front street, for the use of the American Fruit Growers, giving them a complete system to handle the fruit. Work has been started and will be rushed in order that the structure may be completed by July 1, for this year's crop.
The Chicago Packer, June 26, 1926, page 17

Medford, Ore. Pears to Start Around July 15.
    Medford, Ore., July 9.--According to present indications a number of valley orchardists plan to commence the picking of Bartlett pears July 15, which is considerably in advance of the usual time for harvesting Bartletts, and about July 25 the picking season will be in full swing. The crop is reported to be very good, and an especially heavy tonnage of Bartletts will be shipped this year. The valley has had unusually dry and hot weather this season, and all crops are approximately a month in advance of normal picking time.
The Chicago Packer, July 10, 1926, page 7

Fruit Notes from the Rogue River, Ore. District.
    Medford, Ore., July 30.--The picking and packing of Bartlett pears in the Rogue River district commenced July 19 on a small scale, and up to the present time 18 cars of pears have been shipped, 12 of which were packed and sent East and one car shipped to a California cannery. By the end of the week picking was in full swing, and from 25 to 50 cars a day were rolling from here and will until the crop is cleaned up. Owing to the lack of interest in buying on the part of canneries this year, it is predicted that a large part of the tonnage will be packed and shipped East. The Bartlett crop is especially fine this year, and a special effort is being made by all the packers to put out an excellent pack and of the best quality. All pears are being wiped, and in most instances machinery has been installed for wiping and polishing the fruit. The county agent's office has also installed a laboratory for the inspection of pears, and every effort is being made on the part of the shippers to conform to governmental standards and requirements.
    Packing houses of the Rogue River Valley are making preparations for one of the biggest years in the history of this section. The pear and apple crops are especially heavy, enough so that many orchardists have to use props to keep the limbs from breaking with the heavy load of still-unmatured fruit. Last year's record of fruit shipped out of Medford was 2,004 carloads, and it is predicted by fruit men and railroad officials that this year's crop will top this figure considerably. Over 1,000 people will be employed in the packing houses to handle the big crop, and local box factories are running night and day manufacturing shook for the handling of the crop.
    Two new packing plants have entered into the field this year, Southern Oregon Sales Company, which took over the old Oregon Growers Plant, and the American Fruit Growers Inc., a national concern, has built a new model plant here.
    In preparation for the enormous amount of ice used in icing the fruit cars being shipped out of Medford, the Medford Ice & Storage Company has 2,000,000 pounds of ice in storage to take care of the estimated requirements of 240,000 pounds a day in the icing of outgoing refrigerator cars.
    The Medford Ice & Storage Company's new storage plant on South Fir Street will be operating in time for the handling of the big fruit crop, according to Harry E. Tomlinson, manager. This new storage plant will double the facilities for storing fruit, and many growers and private concerns have already signed up space in this plant for the storing of their fruit.
The Chicago Packer, July 31, 1926, page 9

Near Wind-Up of the Medford, Ore. Pears
    Medford, Ore., Sept. 17.--Up to the present time 1,640 cars of pears have been shipped from the Medford district, and from now on there will only be a light movement of pears as the crop is practically cleaned up, and future shipments will consist principally of apples which are now being packed. It is estimated that there will be in the neighborhood of 500 cars of apples roll from the Rogue River district this season, mostly Newtowns.
The Chicago Packer, September 18, 1926, page 15

    Chicago, Nov. 22--(AP)--A verdict in favor of the government was returned by a jury in federal judge Cliffe's court Saturday in the test suit involving 2,294 boxes of apples of the Sun Crest Orchard Company, of Voorhies, Ore., near Rogue River. The company now has the choice of destroying the shipment or cleansing it of the possible effect of a poisonous spray used by the orchard concern. Apple interests of the Northwest have been watching the case with interest.
Daily Globe, Ironwood, Michigan, November 22, 1926, page 10

Last revised October 18, 2022