The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Medford News 1934

Medford-related news items from 1934. Also see descriptions of Medford and Jackson County for this year.

Medford Pear and Apple Stocks.
    Medford, Ore., Jan. 19.--Fruit shipments to date from this valley, according to Southern Pacific Railway freight figures, total 1,726 cars of pears, both packed and cannery, and 103 cars of apples.
    Pears remaining here in storage on January 10 according to figures of the Traffic Association were 491 cars, and apples 103 cars.
    The 1932-1933 shipments of apples were 207 cars. With the apples shipped and those in storage, the 1933-1934 season will be about the same. Pears shipped in the 1932-1933 season totaled 2,645 cars. Pears in storage and shipped the present season total 2,207 cars. During December, apple and pear shipments totaled 83 cars.
The Chicago Packer, January 20, 1934, page 10

28-Car Shipment of Pears Leaves Medford for France.
    Medford, Ore., Feb. 16.--Twenty-eight cars of pears, comprising a special train, left here last week for Portland for shipment to France on the motorship "California Express." This is the largest shipment of the winter shipping season from this point. The shipment was made from the Pinnacle Packing Company and the Southern Oregon Sales, Inc., and totaled 18,760 boxes.
    Shipments from the Medford district for the year up to this week total 1,792 cars of pears and 124 cars of apples. Fruit storage figures, as complied by the traffic association, show 258 cars of d'Anjous, 125 cars of Winter Nelis and 106 cars of apples on hand up to late last week.
The Chicago Packer, February 17, 1934, page 16

    Myron Root & Co., Inc., have purchased the packing house formerly used by the Bardwell Fruit Company and the Earl Fruit Company and have established their offices therein. Myron Root, president of the newly organized firm, has announced that Simons & French will represent his concern in New York City this coming season.
    The Pinnacle Packing Company, of which Raymond Reter is general manager, has purchased the large precooling and packing and storage warehouse formerly known as the Big Seven Warehouse, located in the heart of the fruit shipping district. The Pinnacle Packing Company now has four plants in the Rogue River Valley. It was necessary to acquire this new plant in order to take care of the rapidly increasing tonnage handled by the organization.
    Rosenberg Brothers, owners and operators of Bear Creek Orchards, have started construction on a new unit in their plant. It is stated that the new unit will be one of the most efficient packing plants in the West, and will have a capacity of 800 boxes of fruit an hour or 15 carloads in a nine-hour packing period. A new cold storage and precooling unit is also to be constructed, which will give the plant a cold storage capacity of 115 cars.
The Chicago Packer, April 28, 1934, page 10

Big Jubilee Celebration Still Grows
    Medford, April 27.--A statewide historical essay contest open to all high school pupils 20 years old or younger has been announced for Oregon's Diamond Jubilee celebration next June 3 to 9 in Medford. Essay are not to contain over 1000 words or less than 500 words and must arrive in Medford by May 20. There will be a first prize of $25 in cash, a second prize of $10, three $5 awards and five $2 awards. The title of the essay is to be chosen by the contest entrants and may be written around any historical event or personage having connection with the admission of Oregon into the Union. Awards will be made on the basis of neatness, spelling, grammar, composition and clarity of diction. The essays may be handwritten or typed on regular commercial-sized paper and must not have the names of the writers attached.
    A band contest will be one of the features of the celebration. Invitations have been extended to quite a number of bands, with the response so far especially gratifying. Cash awards will be paid to the winning bands. The committee in charge has announced [that] preparatory details for the contest are being rapidly completed.
    Rabbit breeders of Oregon and California have been invited to make entries in the jubilee rabbit show. Cash prizes will be awarded to winning entries.
    The first child born in Jacksonville, R. C. Armstrong of Grants Pass, will take an active part in the celebration. Armstrong was born the early part of 1853, when gold lured thousands to Southern Oregon. The second white child born in Jacksonville, John Griffin of Medford, will also take an active part in the celebration and will appear in the pioneer parade.
    Agriculture, and the important part it played in early Oregon history, will be stressed on Friday, June 5, of the celebration. Definite assurances have been received from Washington, D.C., that Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace will be in attendance. Secretary Wallace, one of the key men of the administration, will deliver the address of the day in Medford and has announced that he has a message of particular interest to agriculturists and to residents of the state as well. An agricultural parade, with entries open to all communities of the state, will also be featured that day, as well as a picnic basket lunch in the city park.
Oregon Journal, Portland, April 29, 1934, page 6

Medford Man's Paper Wins '34 Pulitzer Prize
    Robert W. Ruhl, editor of the Medford, Ore., Mail Tribune, which has been announced winner of the $500 Pulitzer award "for the most disinterested and meritorious public service rendered by an American newspaper during 1933." Ruhl's series of editorials were printed during a fight against Jackson County politicians. His newspaper fought a political group known as the Good Government Congress, thirty-three officers and members of which were arrested for crimes alleged to have been committed during the political feud. Llewellyn A. Banks, then editor of the Medford Daily News, was found guilty of second degree murder for slaying a constable who attempted to arrest him on a ballot theft warrant. This is the first time this award has been made to a Pacific Coast newspaper or to a daily not printed in a metropolitan city.
Calexico Chronicle, Calexico, California, May 8, 1934, page 1

    Approximately 2,450 cars of pears, about 200 under last year's total, is estimated for the 1934 crop, according to Robert K. Norris, horticulturist for the Pinnacle Packing Company. The estimate is based upon observations recently made in 25 of the lead- [omission] detailed information compiled from growers. Bartletts and Comice are to show an increase over last year's crop, but Winter Nelis, Howells and d'Anjous will show a decrease over the same period.
The Chicago Packer, June 2, 1934, page 14

Crop and Trade News in Medford, Ore., District.
    Medford, Ore., July 13.--Almost the entire southern part of the Rogue River Valley was afloat when a heavy rainstorm, one of the heaviest in years, descended in the Coleman Creek and Wagner Creek districts immediately south of Medford late last week. Hail which accompanied the rain damaged pears and apples almost 25 percent. More than five inches of rain fell in less than two hours in the center of the storm area, with more than three inches falling in other districts where the storm hit. Fortunately the storm had spent itself before it reached the main floor of the valley where the largest acreage of fruit is located, so no damage was suffered in the main fruit area.
    Picking of Bartlett pears will commence here July 15, and from present indications a large share of the tonnage will go to canners, who are busily operating here and offering from $30 to $35 a ton, with most growers holding out for the higher figure. With reports reaching here that the Bartlett crop is short in California, growers are not rushing to sell their fruit. Some good f.o.b. sales of Bartletts have been reported which also tends to keep the cannery price from breaking.
    Indications also point to a strong market for late pears, one grower already having received an offer for Rose pears which would net him 40¢ a box. All growers and shippers feel that d'Anjous will return a good price this year and that Comice will be at a premium by packing time.
    Blight conditions, which were bad here this season, it is now found will materially cut down the tonnage of pears from this district.
    A $65,000 addition to the present plant of the Southern Oregon Sales, Inc., precooling and storage plant is now under way and will be completed in time to take care of the present season tonnage. The entire plant will have a capacity of 250,000 boxes of pears and apples, making this one of the leading specialized fruit storage plants of the Pacific Northwest.
    The method of handling fruit in the new addition, which avoids rehandling after precooling, has proven to be both an efficient and satisfactory arrangement and has attracted interest from storage men as far away as Italy and Argentina.
    Funds for the construction were made available through the Spokane Bank for Cooperatives under the Farm Credit Association. Paul Scherer is general manger of the concern.
The Chicago Packer, July 14, 1934, page 20

Medford Pear Crop Is in Fine Condition.
    Medford, Ore., July 13.--Bartlett pears will start moving from this district early next week, and possibly a few cars may move on Monday. Growers and shippers are of the opinion that the volume going out will be moderately heavy by the first of the following week.
    The Medford Bartlett pear deal is a split deal with canneries, and prices canneries pay determine to a considerable extent the volume that is moved fresh.
    The crop is estimated at 1,000 to 1,400 cars this year, with possibilities that 500 to 600 cars will move fresh. The canneries are now quite active over the district. Growers say the crop is in fine shape. The quality of the fruit is good, as also are sizes. Many think the fruit is in better shape than it has been in several years.
    It is estimated there are 400 cars of Bosc pears in the district which should be ready about August 15. The d'Anjou crop is looking fine and should yield around 650 cars which will be ready about August 20. Howells will be ready at the same time.
The Chicago Packer, July 14, 1934, page 20

Medford Apple Crop Better Than Last Year.
    Medford, Ore., Aug. 3.--About 300 carloads of apples will be shipped from the Medford district this season, being principally Yellow Newtowns. The apples this year are of exceptionally fine quality and will be above the average in size. This will be a considerable increase over last season, when 201 cars of apples were shipped from this district. A considerable portion of the apples from here, as usual, will be for export, and heavy orders have already been booked for overseas shipments.
    Ideal growing conditions have prevailed here this season, and plenty of irrigation water has been available to bring the fruit to maturity.
    Only two grades will be packed, extra fancy and fancy, lower grades having been eliminated. The lower grades will be disposed of locally and in nearby markets.
The Chicago Packer, August 4, 1934, page 10

    The pear harvest is now on in full swing in the Medford district, and up to the present time 129 carloads of Bartletts have rolled from this district. Of these 127 cars went to coast canneries and two carloads were packed and consigned to eastern markets. The first picking of Bartletts is still in progress and will be for a week or more yet, when second picking will commence. As soon as Bartletts are out of the way harvesting will commence on Howells, Comice, d'Anjous and Bosc.
    Between $400,000 and $500,000 will be put in circulation in the Medford district in the next two months, according to an estimate of fruit men, which will be the greatest boon to this valley since the big fruit crop of 1929. Every sort of business is expected to feel the surge of the increased money, as workers and orchardists will have some money to spend for the first time in several years. Following the money put into circulation through the fruit harvest will be the money coming to the growers from their crops, and the growers will also be in a spending mood for the first time in years. Bartlett pears which are now rolling from here are bringing $35 a ton top and ranging down to $22.50 a ton net to the growers. Although the fruit crop this year will be about the same tonnage as last year, the generally increased wages and anticipated prices for fruit will put more money into circulation than the past several years. Labor is receiving between 25 and 30¢ an hour in most orchards, compared with 20 and 25¢ per hour last year. Packing house help is being paid an increased scale also.
    An attempt to stir up strife in this district during the packing and picking season by organizing a unit of the Cannery and Agricultural Workers Union has been nipped in the bud by the sheriff's office of this county, and no further trouble is anticipated. For the past month meetings have been held here, and the agitators have been endeavoring to organize fruit workers with a view to demanding a minimum wage of 40¢ an hour. Last week a "Citizens Emergency Committee" of 200 representative growers and packers was organized, and one of the first acts of this committee was to have the sheriff's office appoint 250 deputy sheriffs--these appointees being strategically located in the principal orchards and packing houses throughout the district. A central headquarters was established with a dispatcher on duty night and day, ready to cope with any situation which might arise and in a position to take immediate action to quell any disturbance.
    Two of the leading agitators were arrested several days ago, and a raid on their headquarters uncovered Communistic literature and plans for calling a general strike of workers at the height of the fruit season. One of these agitators was placed under arrest for alleged non-support, and the other agitator was placed under arrest for "advising his colleague to resist arrest," a felony in Oregon, and he was placed in jail unable to raise $5,000, the amount of bail set when he was arrested. In anticipation of labor trouble here this year only local labor has been employed insofar as possible, and with the breaking up of the Communistic element who were making inroads here, it is believed that the situation is now well in hand, and no further trouble is anticipated.
The Chicago Packer, August 4, 1934, page 19

    Earlier estimates of the apple crop from the Medford district, which showed about a 300-car crop, have been changed to 400 cars after a closer check of the apple orchards by the county agent's office. Harvesting of apples will be about three weeks ahead of last year. Picking Jonathans will commence about September 1 and Newtowns around September 10.
The Chicago Packer, August 25, 1934, page 6

Medford Pear Shipments.
    Medford, Ore., Aug. 31.--Pear shipments from the Medford district up to late last week totaled 767 cars, including 198 cars of packed Bartletts consigned to eastern markets and 569 to Oregon and California canneries. Railroad aides reported that pear shipments were departing at the rate of 35 cars per day for eastern markets, marking the release of Bartlett holdings from storage.
The Chicago Packer, September 1, 1934, page 10

    Pear shipments to date from the Medford district total 1,351 carloads. Of this number 713 cars were packed, and 648 were shipped to canneries in California and Oregon. It is estimated that about half of the valley pear crop has been moved, the balance being in local storage. The total crop has been figured at between 2,500 and 2,800 cars. The crop is now moving eastward by rail and boat at the rate of about 15 cars per day from storage.
    Apple shipments so far aggregate 25 cars. Picking of Newtowns is now under way. Winter Nelis pears are also being picked, and it is expected that harvesting will be all over by the first week in October.
    Paul Scherer, general manager of the Southern Oregon Sales, Inc., has resigned as of November 1. Mr. Scherer will move to San Francisco where, it is understood, he will be associated with one of the large chemical companies on the coast. His successor has not been announced.
The Chicago Packer, September 22, 1934, page 10

Rock Kills Coyote
    Medford, Ore.--Rocks aren't the best weapons to use against coyotes, but they'll do in a pinch. County Commissioner R. E. Nealon collected the bounty on a coyote which he killed with a rock.
The Coolidge Examiner, Coolidge, Arizona, October 19, 1934

    Raymond R. Reter, general manager of the Pinnacle Packing Company, and Guy W. Conner, fruit broker, left today for extended eastern trips. Mr. Reter will fly to New York City to supervise the unloading and marketing of 32,000 boxes of Medford d'Anjou, Comice and Bosc pears from the steamship Georgian, which sailed from Portland September 25 via the Panama Canal. While in New York City he will study pear storage, marketing, distribution and sales conditions. On his return trip he will visit marketing agents in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland.
    Mr. Conner will sail from Portland on the Floridian, which also bears 32,000 boxes of Medford pears bound for New York City. On the trip he will note temperatures of the fruit en route and take shipping data. During the past several years there has been a very heavy increase in shipments of fruit from this district by water, and a further increase is anticipated in future years.
    Fruit shipments from the Medford district to date total 1,638 cars, divided as follows: 921 packed pears, 650 cannery pears, 67 apples. Fruit is moving out at the rate of 35 to 40 cars per week. It is estimated that there are 1,000 to 1,200 cars of pears in storage.
    County Agent Wilcox states that the valley crop of apples will fall below the 400-car estimate as a result of the hot weather in September. Movement of pears in eastern markets is now under way from storage.
The Chicago Packer, October 20, 1934, page 16

A "Blue Goose" Gift Pear Package Now Available.
    Medford, Ore., Nov. 16.--The local office of the American Fruit Growers Inc. is putting out a "Blue Goose" gift pear package. The attractive heavy cardboard box contains a dozen of the finest Comice pears, sizes 80 and 90, ten of them wrapped in individual colored foil and the other two in plain "Blue Goose" wrappers. The box is packed with green waxed shredded paper and contains an appropriate gift card and descriptive folder. The office wraps, addresses and expresses these boxes to any point in the East for $1.50 per package and to points in California and the Northwest for $1.35. Wholesalers can arrange to have a quantity of these packages included in any car of standard box pears being shipped to their market, says the local AFG branch.
    G. R. Green, manager of the Medford branch, in speaking of the gift box, said this week:
     "This small box makes an ideal Thanksgiving or Christmas gift, or, for that matter, a suitable gift to be given any time between now and Christmas. Due to the extreme scarcity of Comice, the limited tonnage grown in this country and the strong demand for Comice by French pear eaters, it has been practically impossible to purchase Comice in any market except New York where a few are sold each year, so this gift box is certainly far from just an ordinary gift."
The Chicago Packer, November 17, 1934, page 11

Last revised May 24, 2023