The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Medford News: 1928

Medford-related news items from 1928. Also see descriptions of Medford and Jackson County for this year.

    "This property has more than doubled in value since 1917 and the shopping traffic increased accordingly," was the statement made by Mrs. Addie Halley, owner and manager of the Halley Block, corner So. Central and Eighth streets.
    The Halley property occupies a location in the very heart of busy Medford. Within the past two years the new $100,000 Hotel Jackson, erected just across Eighth Street, and other nearby improvements have contributed to the enhancement of values in this particular part of the city.
    During the past year, Mrs. Halley, appreciative of the fact that Medford is constantly going forward, razed a section of the Halley Block and herself planned the substantial modern unit, 45x100, that provides fine store rooms with modern second-story hotel rooms, at a cost of $25,000.
    The entire block, however, covers a site 140 feet fronting on Central and 100 feet on Eighth, two-story, with the Palace Hotel rooms above.
    "I intend to rebuilt the north section next year," states Mrs. Halley.
    Mr. and Mrs. Halley came to Medford in 1888, have invested and improved properties, and their great faith in the city was abundantly justified as values went up on every side, and the city doubled in population.
    The Halley Block with its nearly 140,000 square feet of ground-floor space contains five business rooms, occupied by these prominent firms.
    In the north room is the Klocker Printery, one of the prominent commercial printing enterprises of the city, that is well equipped and does high-class work.
    Stewart's Outfitting Store, known locally as the "Army Store." This firm handles a comprehensive stock of durable clothing and footwear suitable to the needs of working people, as well as camping goods. Ralph Stewart, one of the younger business men of the city, is the proprietor.
    The double store room in the center of the block houses "Louie's" [Ulrich] Cash Grocery. This is a home name in every local household. The store carries leading national brands, fresh vegetables, fruits and dairy products. Free delivery, combined with courtesy to customers, has won much favor for "Louie's" store.
    Miss Taylor's Cameo Hat Shoppe occupies the next location south. Miss Taylor is one of the best-known milliners in Southern Oregon and has been here for years. Her displays have been exclusive and distinctive in character, finding favor with women. Miss Taylor has always in stock the popular-priced millinery that is admired and desired by many.
    Occupying the corner room at South Central and Eighth streets, the handsomely appointed and popular store, known as "Shield's," occupies a room 100 feet deep with frontage of usual width. This store is a favorite shopping place with women, and carries ready-to-wear apparel, piece goods, novelties, notions and a big stock of holiday goods of all kinds. Mr. and Mrs. Shields look after their customers personally, and the clerks are also pleasant and obliging. The store was formerly on West Main Street.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1928, page H5

Valley Rogue River Valley's 1927 Fruit Crop Was $4,199,820.80.
    Medford, Ore., Jan. 20.--The value of the 1927 fruit crop--pears and apples--shipped from the Rogue River Valley totaled $4,199,820.80, according to figures compiled by C. T. Baker, secretary of the Rogue River Valley Traffic Association.
    The total amount received from the pear crop f.o.b. Medford was $3,416,000 and for apples $873,820.80. Of this sum $3,299,000 was returned to the Medford district and $117,000 to the Grants Pass area.
    The sums received for pear varieties, which have been checked with the figures of packers and growers, is as follows: Six hundred and twenty-four cars of Bartletts brought $365,000. Six hundred and eighty-six cars of packed Bartletts brought $713,440. Returns from 462 cars of Boscs were $720,720. Five hundred and eighty-five cars of d'Anjous brought $912,600. Shipments of Winter Nelis amounting to 284 cars returned $114,400. Eighty-eight cars of the Howells brought $114,400. One hundred and thirty-seven thousand, two hundred and eighty dollars was received from 80 cars of Comice. Two cars of mixed pears brought a return of $3,120.
The Chicago Packer, January 21, 1928, page 31

    Nine miles of pipe have been laid in the Bear Creek Orchards here for tree spraying purposes. This is the first orchard property in the Rogue River Valley to put in a pipe system for spraying, and the installation is being watched by all large fruit growers.
    A novel way of installing the pipe was inaugurated in that instead of digging a trench, a subsoil was used. First, a trench was turned as deep as the machine would go, maintaining a depth of 14 inches. The next time through the pipe was fastened to the subsoiler and dragged along at the bottom of the furrow, laying the pipe as fast as a man could wall.
    At one time a length of 900 feet of inch and a half pipe was dragged into place at one time, said Dave Rosenberg, one of the owners of the Bear Creek Orchard. A tractor was used in the operation.
    Considerable activity is under way in the packing house district. Two new additions are in process of construction, renovations are under way and other building contemplated that will bring the total expenditure up around $50,000. Among the new additions is a two-story structure for the Medford storage and precooling plant. It is to be 40 by 70 feet in size and will provide additional packing floor space and more room for cold storage. The firm is planning on the installation of new equipment, and after the building operations are over will have spent around $18,000. The new section is being built between the storage plant and the packing department. The present cooling tower will be removed and placed on top of the new building.
    R. H. Parsons, of the Pinnacle Packing Company, has a crew of men at work on an extension to his packing plant which will provide more floor space. The addition is 70 by 75 feet in size and one story high. Remodeling, reflooring and other changes in the present building at the Pinnacle, together with new equipment, will necessitate an expenditure of $15,000.
    Other packing houses are planning extensions and improvements, but are not yet ready to announce details. All the packers are looking forward to a good fruit season, and are making preparations accordingly.
The Chicago Packer, March 17, 1928, page 10

    Medford, Ore., March 23.--The first car of fresh-packed strawberries ever moved from the Rogue River Valley was shipped from here this week, being consigned to New York. These strawberries were packed and shipped by the Bagley Canning Company, and the experiment is being watched with a great deal of interest and if successful will develop into increased plantings of strawberries. This carload shipment consisted of 135 barrels. The strawberries were packed fresh then frozen and kept in storage and will be used principally by hotels and pie makers.
    E. S. Coe, local manager of the American Fruit Growers, has called for bids for the erection of a large packing plant for the use of his organization. It will be erected on the fruit row and with trackage on the Southern Pacific property. This will be one of the most up to date and modern plants in Medford and will be equipped to handle a large tonnage of fruit.
The Chicago Packer, March 24, 1928, page 10

Pears Came Out of Storage in Excellent Condition.
    New York, April 20.--The reward for the proper handling of fruit when put into storage and carefully taken care of through the storing season was demonstrated Monday of this week when E. W. J. Hearty, Inc., sold a car of Eskimo d'Anjou pears on the dock for $7 for the first choice, which is the record-breaking price of the season. The records show that the pears were packed and placed in the pre-cooling room of the Medford Pre-Cooling & Ice Company, at Medford Ore., the day they were picked in the early part of last September. They were immediately shipped to New York, arriving here September 22, 1927, and went into cold storage on that day. The Hearty firm had 36 cars of pears stored in New York City and has been selling them since December. All of the cars came out in good condition, but there was some apprehension on the part of the firm as to which cars to hold until the last. The car in question was inspected on the docks by the government men, who reported as follows: "Pears firm to ripe, mostly firm ripe, ground color, showing green to turning yellow, stock shows no decay."
The Chicago Packer, April 21, 1928, page 14

    "Medford's biggest store for little things," the slogan adopted by David and Harry Rosenberg for their 5¢ to $1 store, which opened yesterday morning at 10 o'clock, was echoed and re-echoed through the local shopping area yesterday and approved by the shoppers and curiosity seekers who visited the new store for the first time.
    Everything from Rogue River Valley apples and pears to ladies' ready-to-wear was on display in their separate departments, and the numbers of courteous clerks were kept busy through the day waiting on customers.
    Wearing apparel for men, women and children, novelties and household necessities of every sort, even including phonograph records, garden supplies and office supplies and such a list of small articles are there go be seen in the new store that the casual shopper would be more able to recount what he did not see than to give an adequate list of what he did.
    Although both David and Harry Rosenberg assisted with the opening of the new place of business yesterday, they will not be actively associated with the management of the store. The store is to be managed by Richard Wilson, experienced hand in this line of business, having been connected for 10 years with the Metropolitan and Woolworth chains in the East.
    "We wish to hank the merchants of Medford as well as the many residents of Southern Oregon, who have cooperated in making our opening such a great and encouraging success," said David Rosenberg late yesterday.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 6, 1928, page 8

Precooled Pears Brought High Price in New York.
    Hood River, Ore., May 11.--P. F. Clark, Pacific coast manager for E. W. J. Hearty, last week received a telegram from New York City announcing that a carload of "Eskimo" d'Anjou pears, shipped by his company from Medford, had topped the season's market, averaging $6.79 per box. The pears of the extra fancy grade in the car sold from $6.65 to $7, while the fancy grade sold from $6.35 to $6.70 per box, averaging $6.29 [sic].
    "The fine prices received for these Medford d'Anjous," said Mr. Clark, "clearly point to the value of precooling. This record car was delivered to our packing house about September 8, 1927, packed and placed immediately in pre-cooler rooms. It was shipped by P.F.E. on September 11, arriving in New York City on September 22. It was inspected twice a week until January 1 and weekly thereafter."
    The Hearty company is enlarging its precooling facilities at its Medford plant.
The Chicago Packer, May 12, 1928, page 18

    Ralph S. Besse, of the department of farm management, and W. S. Brown, of the department of horticulture, of the Oregon Agricultural College, are in Medford and with County Agent L. P. Wilcox have completed a study of the production cost of pears in the Rogue River Valley, during which they will gather economic information from the growers on the pear crop of 1927. An unbiased analysis of the elements of the cost of production; the reasons for high and low costs; and practices which produce low costs, as well as those which make costs high, is what the investigators are seeking.
    A deal was closed this week whereby the Guy W. Conner property at the corner of South Fir and 11th streets came into the possession of the C&E Fruit Company, of this city, of which W. F. Biddle is president, and James E. Edmiston secretary and manager. The property consists of a concrete warehouse, 100 by 100 feet, five lots extending from the railroad tracks to Fir Street and the packing house equipment. Work has started on the enlargement of the plant, with a floor space of 170 feet by 100 feet. The warehouse on the railroad tracks, near Main Street, known as the Earl Packing Plant and controlled by the C&E Company, has been leased to Steinhardt & Kelly, who will operate their own packing plant this year.
The Chicago Packer, May 12, 1928, page 18

Start from Medford, Ore. District About Aug. 1.
    Medford, Ore., July 13.--It is expected that the first cars of Bartlett pears will commence rolling from here about August 1. The season this year is somewhat advanced over last year, owing to ideal growing conditions, and every orchard reports an exceptionally fine crop of pears. Packing houses here are all getting ready for the heavy movement of pears which will commence then and continue for several months. Extensive improvements have been made in nearly all packing houses, and packing facilities have been greatly improved so the crop will move from here much more smoothly than it has ever been handled before, according to growers and shippers.
The Chicago Packer, September 18, 1928, page 15

A Few Words on the Recent History of Medford
    In 1917 the City of Medford was practically broke, to all intents and purposes. That is, it had bonds maturing and interest payments due, for the payment of which there had been no provision made. There were no funds on hand to meet these obligations, and the City was confronted with a serious financial situation which was not only an embarrassment to the then administration, but also seriously jeopardized the financial credit and integrity of the City of Medford.
    Up to this time no administration had worked out and perfected a comprehensive plan by which the future progress of the city might be assured and its bonded and other obligations met as they matured. In this grave crisis a number of leading citizens and business men were prevailed upon to undertake the very considerable task of reorganizing the city finances as they then were, and of formulating a policy which would be businesslike and adequate for the future.
    This was the beginning of the so-called Citizens' Committee, who then reorganized the finances of the city and mapped out a forward-looking, comprehensive program, under which program city affairs since then have been handled in a sound, businesslike manner and the financial standing of the city put on a premium basis.
A Few of Medford's Recent Accomplishments
Since this program has been made effective the city has:
• Has more than doubled in population.
• Modernized and increased in efficiency its fire department.
• Procured the armory building for Medford.
• Erected a warehouse and plant for the Street and Water Department.
• Doubled the available space in the present city hall.
• Cooperated with Jackson County in securing the present fairgrounds.
• Cooperated on the present air field.
• Purchased property and installed buildings in the present playgrounds.
• Acquired Jacksonville Railway and its valuable right of way without cost.
• Made possible the removal of the county seat to Medford.
• Cooperated in securing the establishment of our largest payroll, the Owen-Oregon Lumber Company.
• Opened up and graded over eight miles of dirt streets.
Paved approximately forty blocks.
• Opened up Sixth Street to West Main Street.
• Opened other streets to provide arteries for rapidly increasing traffic.
• Installed over three miles of sanitary sewers.
• Acquired perpetual rights to a water supply sufficient for a city of 30,000 people, and has constructed a water system unsurpassed in the entire country.
• Paid off over $485,000 worth of city bonds.
All of this has been accomplished with but a very slight increase in the millage tax for strictly city purposes.
    M. N. Hogan, Chairman.
Advertisement, Medford Mail Tribune, October 30, 1928, page B3

    At the meeting of the Kiwanis Club this noon, turned over to the Chamber of Commerce as a general civic forum, it was voted to form a Chamber of Commerce committee to make a survey of the city and report back to the chamber upon the feasibility of instituting a community chest in Medford for the year 1929.
    The motion to this effect was made by E. C. Corn, following several speeches and a general discussion, all in favor of the community chest idea, Carl Swigart presenting an amendment to include members of the service clubs on the committee, which was adopted.
    The following committee was then named: C. C. Lemmon and Carl Swigart from the Chamber of Commerce, Howard Scheffel and Al Hagen from the Rotary Club, Wm. Warner and C. M. Kidd from the Kiwanis, Dr. E. W. Hoffman and A. C. Hubbard from the Lions.
    Ted Baker, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, was the first speaker and emphasized the fact that a community chest would save the people of Medford approximately $7000 of the $22,000 total now contributed on the hit-and-miss plan of individual drives.
    Pop Gates gave a forceful speech in favor of the idea and aroused applause when he said that he would personally favor a special city tax to raise money for charitable purposes, so that every taxpayer would have to contribute his proper share. He added that he feared such a plan would never be adopted, however, so he not only favored but would work for a community chest.
    Mayor-elect A. W. Pipes maintained there were things both for and against the community chest idea, but that if it would save 30 percent of the present expenses of local charities and cover the same ground, as claimed, he would certainly be for it.
    Previous to the community chest discussion, E. C. Gaddis, representing the Chamber of Commerce, awarded the prizes to the following winners in the outdoor Christmas illumination contest:
    First prize, J. C. Barnes; second prize, Mrs. Larry Schade; third prize, Beaumont DeLosh, and fourth prize, Mrs. James W. Young.
    John Mann, president of the Chamber of Commerce, presided.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 31, 1928, page 4

Mayor Alenderfer and Councilmen Hubbard and Jacobs Retire
After Long and Noteworthy Service--New Officials Highly Qualified.

    The annual change in the city administration . . . occurs Monday night, January 3rd, when A. W. Pipes becomes mayor, succeeding Mayor O. O. Alenderfer, who retires to private life after four years of notable service, and A. C. Hubbard, councilman of the first ward and vice president of the council, and J. W. Jacobs, councilman of the fourth ward, retire after years of like efficient service, to be succeeded by E. M. Wilson and R. E. McElhose, who are regarded as highly qualified to fill the positions.
    The large growth of the city of Medford in recent years has brought added responsibilities to the mayor and council in meeting the necessary needs of a growing city. Moreover, these needs have been met without an increase in the tax levy, and as this growth is continuing the new mayor and city council, the latter with six holdover members, will face like responsibilities in the matter of handling the city's finances economically while keeping pace with Medford's development and progress.
    Incidental to this coming change in administrations a review of the notable achievements during the past four years under Mayor Alenderfer is given, as follows:
New Million-Dollar Water Supply.
    The most important improvement during the recent growth of the city undoubtedly has been the new water system which was completed a little over a year ago. It replaces our old water system which had its source in the murky waters of Fish Lake with a pure water system gathered from springs which does not see the light of day until it emerges from the faucet of the homeowner, 30-odd miles away in Medford. What such a system means in the health and future prosperity of Medford and its environs can hardly be estimated.
Fire Protection.
    Following closely after a pure water system in its order of importance is the protecting of the business men and homeowners from the catastrophe of possible conflagration by fire.
    The city has made notable improvements in the fire department, thus placing it on a high standard of efficiency. First and foremost is the purchase of [a] new pumper, auxiliary truck and other much-needed equipment, and scarcely less important is the building of a new fire hall just on the edge of the business district, costing approximately $15,000. This new fire hall will be modern in all particulars, with the ground space allotted to firefighting equipment and a repair shop, and with provision in the second story for quarters for the fire chief, a dormitory for regular members and volunteers, a recreation hall, shower baths, etc. There is also provided extra vacant lots and a drill towers where necessary fire drills can be put on without interfering with traffic.
The New City Hall.
    Another important improvement to the city is the building of the new city hall costing $60,000, which was authorized by vote of the people in order to move the courthouse to Medford. It is furnished free to Jackson County for five years, at the end of which time it will return to the city for use as a city hall. This new building is located at Fifth Street, just one block from one of the main business streets, is ideally located as a new city hall, is of concrete construction, three stories high, and while it will shortly be inadequate for use as a county courthouse it will be adequate for many years to come to house the city offices.
    Quite a bit of the cost of this building will be paid for by savings made by the citizens and the city itself in not having to go to Jacksonville on all city and council business. Provision was also made that when the old city hall is sold the money received is to be used in taking up the new bonds, with the result that with these two sources available very little, if any, of the cost of the city hall will be reflected in increased taxes.
    A new warehouse, used jointly by the water department and the street department, is another much-needed improvement. An up-to-date building of concrete, it houses all of the city equipment. This building cost much less than the others, only some $10,000, and is paid for by the sale of a couple of vacant lots which the city owned on South Riverside Avenue which, due to the growth of that section of the town, had increased materially in value.
Sixth Street.
    Among other improvements during recent years has been the opening up of Sixth Street as a major traffic artery; nicely paved with concrete, it will increase the values all along the thoroughfare. More recently a movement has been started for a modern lighting system, and bids will be let at the first meeting of the new year for its first installation, thus in a few short months transforming Sixth Street from a non-important closed thoroughfare to a major business artery.
Other Improvements.
    It might be thought that the above enumeration is quite a sufficient recital of recent improvements, but they are not all.
    The city purchased the Jacksonville railroad, in order to hold it for railroad developments and a possible sawmill; has dredged Bear Creek for some four or five blocks in order to remove the menace of flood danger, and purchased a grader and street roller which the city sadly needed in order to grade and repair its streets, this latter equipment being purchased without cost to the taxpayers out of the city's part of the county road money which it obtained for the first time this year.
Street Improvements.
    In the past year or more the city has laid four miles of water mains, three and a quarter miles of sewers, graded and graveled four miles of streets and paved, either with concrete or asphalt, about three miles of street, a total improvement of approximately $200,000, one-half of which has been for paving. Compared with the vast amount of work done in 1910 to 1912, the recent paving program has been less than 10 percent, but sewer improvements have been approximately one-third of those in former years, while the water mains recently laid have been more than equal to the amount laid in the former years, due to the laying of a new distributing system in connection with the new Big Butte water system.
Building Permits.
    Building permits during the past four years [have] held up remarkably well, showing practically no decrease for 1926 over 1925 when they were $779,000, and only an approximate $100,000 decrease for each of the years 1927-1928, running well over a half million dollars for the year just passed.
City Lots.
    Not a little of the building has been due to the policy of the city in selling off the city lots taken over by it for delinquent assessments, on convenient terms that could be met by its citizens and at reasonable prices. For the first time in ten years the year just past saw the city with its shelves cleaned of practically all of its paved lots.
    While it still has a few, and a good many lots off the pavement which it has had to take over, yet compared with something more than 2,000 lots that were originally delinquent, a great part of which it actually had to take over, the assessment problem is well on its way to solution, after many years of the most arduous work on the part of former mayors, councilmen and city employees.
    It is estimated that [with] another year or two of continued growth, the city will have cleaned up all of the lots, marking the completion of ten years of work in clearing up this most difficult problem.
    One might go in for another column if one were to relate all of the improvements which have come to Medford in the past little while, but suffice it to say that all these improvements show a big growth of our city, and not only growth but hard work and intelligent efforts of the recent administrations and of the various mayors, councilmen, water commissioners and city officials who have had these tasks in charge.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 31, 1928, page 3

Last revised January 18, 2023