on the Pierces
Bad news--the Rogue Valley was blessed with TWO Charles H. Pierces:
Charles Hopkins Pierce--timber, banking, cannery, autos--arrived 1889
Another Charles H. Pierce arrived in 1905 and dealt in real estate. He was father to (among others):
Clarence C. Pierce--real estate, insurance
Archie C. Pierce--freighting
Chas. Pierce has returned from a trip to Washington and Alaska territory.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 16, 1890, page 2
Chas. H. Pierce of Medford was in Klamath County on timberland business a few days ago.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 6, 1891, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce has returned from a business trip to Roseburg and other points.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 27, 1891, page 3
Pierce Bros. have bonded a large amount of timber land in this valley, which, together with what they own individually, gives them the call on about 15,000 acres of the choicest timbered land in the West. They will have no difficulty in disposing of it for a handsome profit over the original cost. It lies at the head of Rogue River and in the Jenny Creek section, and is composed of selected quarter sections.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 9, 1891, page 3
L. L. Angle and Chas. Angel of Medford were in Jacksonville yesterday. The former informs us that he has negotiated the sale of 5000 acres of timber land located in the Jenny Creek section to eastern capitalists for $35,000. Pierce Bros. of this place were largely interested in the deal, which is one of the very largest ever consummated in southern Oregon or northern California.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 13, 1891, page 3
C. H. Pierce, the well-known timber expert, has gone east on business, and will no doubt cause a revelation in his line when he returns.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 1, 1892, page 3
The Jackson County Bank was incorporated on the 21st inst. with a capital stock of $50,000 by W. I. Vawter, G. W. Howard, J. E. Enyart, Wm. Slinger and Chas. H. Pierce. The officers are: W. I. Vawter, Pres.; Wm. Slinger, Vice-Pres.; G. W. Howard, Cashier; J. E. Enyart, Asst. Cashier. The bank takes up business February 1st under the new reign.
"Local News," Medford Mail, January 28, 1892, page 3
Numerous residents of Ashland, as will be seen by our official reports of real estate transactions, have recently sold their timber claims in the Jenny Creek section to Pierce Bros. for the eastern syndicate for whom they are operating, as well as other timber land investors. Extensive operations may be looked for in this timber belt before many months go by.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 19, 1892, page 3
Charles H. Pierce, who sprained his ankle not long since while in the Jenny Creek section, was compelled to return home for medical treatment. He is able to be about again, however, and left for Sacramento yesterday morning.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 29, 1892, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce has returned from his trip to California and will soon leave for Jenny Creek, to resume the work of estimating the timber on the land he is interested in.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 6, 1892, page 3
C. H. Pierce, a land speculator of Medford, Oregon, is in this city.
"Personal and Social," Woodland Daily Democrat, Woodland, California, May 26, 1892, page 3
Pierce Bros., who are now in the Jenny Creek section, estimating the amount of timber on the large body of land they have purchased, assisted by an eastern expert, are gratified to find that the average is even larger than they expected. That region contains one of the most extensive and best tracts of timber land on the coast and will soon be the scene of extensive lumbering operations.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 3, 1892, page 3
Joe Pierce, who has been in the Jenny Creek country for some time past, returned to Jacksonville the forepart of the week and will stay awhile.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 10, 1892, page 3
Pierce Bros. have suspended cruising operations in the Jenny Creek and Klamath River sections for the present. Mr. Leonard, an expert who came from Pennsylvania to assist them, started on his return home during the week.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 17, 1892, page 3
Mt. Pitt's towering form looms up in monarchical grandeur, while its snow-covered back glistens in the sun. From C. H. Pierce, who explored the mountain last summer, we learn that from its summit 13 lakes and three rivers can be seen. The principal lakes are the two Klamaths, Aspen, Buck, Fish, Squaw, Four Mile Lake, Twin Lakes and Lake of the Woods. The three large rivers are Klamath, Rogue River and the headwaters of the Sacramento. There are fewer mountains that give a wider and more interesting amount of scenery than Mt. Pitt's summit. The mountain is 10,000 feet above sea level.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, June 23, 1892, page 3
The Klamath Lake Plateau.
Charles H. and Joseph G. Pierce, of Medford, Or., yesterday purchased 5000 acres of fine timber land on the Klamath Lake plateau. This purchase was the second made by the Pierce Bros., they having purchased 10,000 acres of land in the same locality only a few months ago. In the same locality Pardee, Cook & Co. of Chicago have purchased 14,000 and own besides 50,000 acres of government land adjoining. Together with the Pierce Bros., the latter firm propose to at once begin the working of the timber on their lands, and it is supposed that a large number of men will be shortly employed.
The Morning Call, San Francisco, June 25, 1892, page 3
Joe Pierce, who has been a resident of Jacksonville and Medford for the past few years, will leave for his old home in the East soon, to permanently remain. He has made many friends during his stay here.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 19, 1892, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce, who has been looking after his interests on Puget Sound, returned home during the week.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 26, 1892, page 3
Joe Pierce on Monday left Jacksonville for New York state, where he expects to remain permanently.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 2, 1892, page 3
Chas. Pierce departed a few days ago for a brief visit to his old home in Pennsylvania. He will return to the region before Christmas.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 7, 1892, page 3
WILL TALK RAILROAD.
Charles H. Pierce Gone East To See Prominent Capitalists.
Charles H. Pierce, who together with an eastern syndicate owns about 37,000 acres of sugar and yellow pine in the eastern part of this county, accompanied the editor of the Klamath Falls Express from Medford to Ager on Oct. 3. Mr. Pierce was on his way to New York and Pennsylvania on a business trip and may accomplish a great deal of good for this county ere he returns on December 1.
"The first thing I shall do while East," said he, "will be to call on Moran Bros. of the N.C.&O. railroad and who have a party of surveyors out now finding a feasible route for extension of their line. It's my impression that they have but little knowledge of the great resources of Klamath County, and I shall do my utmost to inform them.
"Our own company has the capital to build a railroad, but we haven't much faith in sawmills; we prefer to sell stumpage, but if we do build mills it will be in the woods.
"If Pardee, Cook & Co. would join us in our effort, I believe a road would be built speedily, but they have been to big expense in their Klamath River enterprise, and having a costly mill at Pokegama, they want to give that plan fair trial. Their chute at Shovel Creek will cost $20,000, and their payroll ranges from $6,600 to $8,000 per month."
Mr. Pierce takes back to New York with him the photograph of a sugar pine tree at Jenny Creek that contains 39,000 feet of lumber.
Southern Oregon Mail, Medford, October 14, 1892, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce left for the eastern states a short time ago, to be gone some time. He will be absent several weeks on timber land business.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 14, 1892, page 2
Chas. H. Pierce took east with him the photograph of a sugar pine tree in the Jenny Creek section that contains 39,000 feet of fine lumber, a whole lumber yard in one tree, according to eastern ideas.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 14, 1892, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce, who has been in New York and Pennsylvania for some time past, will return to Jacksonville in a short time, accompanied by a younger brother. Joe Pierce will remain at his home in New York state for awhile.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 23, 1892, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce, who has been in New York and Pennsylvania for some time past, will return to Jacksonville in a short time accompanied by a younger brother. Joe Pierce will remain at his home in New York state for a while.
"Personal," Ashland Tidings, December 30, 1892, page 3
OREGON & CALIFORNIA PINE LAND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY: Charles Hopkins Pierce and Joseph G. Pierce, managers at Medford, Oregon. Charles H. Pierce is a native of the Empire State, and dates his birth at Forestville. His education was received at the home academy and Cornell University, where he completed his studies in 1884. Following this Mr. Pierce took a two-years' course in law, reading under the eminent Judge J. H. Orvis, of Belford, Pennsylvania. In September 1886 he came to Washington and became bookkeeper and manager at Blanchard of the Store & Lumber Company, in the interests of Governor Alger until 1889. He came to Medford in the same year, having spent the winter in Alaska, and returned to Medford the following spring. The first year was spent in preliminary work in his own interests. He improved timber belts, and discovered that the timber lands, bordering on the rivers and lakes in this section, by far surpassed all other timber in the section. In December 1889 Mr. Pierce, in company with his brother, Joseph, became interested with the Hon. A. C. Hopkins, member from Pennsylvania, and a prominent lumber merchant of that state, by which a consolidation of interest was effected, and by July 1, 1892, the purchase of 35,000 acres of yellow and sugar pine timber land was consummated. The plans of the company have not at this writing been fully determined, but it is highly probable that in the near future this famous line of timber belt will be developed by means of a branch railroad from the Oregon & California main line. In addition to the above timber interests Mr. Pierce is interested in the Coos Bay water frontage, besides owning valuable city property in Seattle, Washington, and also financially connected with the Jackson County Bank, of Medford.
Joseph G. Pierce is jointly interested with his brother, and makes a specialty of surveying boundary lines.
Rev. H. K. Hines, An Illustrated History of the State of Oregon, 1893, page 1293
The annual meeting of the stockholders of the Jackson County Bank was held at Medford last Saturday, and W. I. Vawter was elected president, Wm. Slinger, vice-president and J. E. Enyart, cashier. The directors for the ensuing year are W. I. Vawter, J. E. Enyart, Wm. Slinger, A. A. Davis and C. H. Pierce. Satisfactory dividend was declared besides passing a creditable sum to surplus account. The small amount of stock yet on standing was entirely taken up by the present leading stockholders and resolutions passed to increase the capital stock as fast as the growth of the valley would justify.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 10, 1893, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce returned from his eastern tour during the past week, and will remain some time in this section. He will pay a visit to Klamath County soon.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 10, 1893, page 3
Charles Pierce, the timberland man, has been in the bay city during the past week, and will probably not return to Oregon before April.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 17, 1893, page 3
The Bells Ringing Again.
At Jacksonville on Tuesday afternoon of this week, the marriage ceremony of Mr. Chas. H. Pierce, of Medford, and Miss Laura G. Harrison, of Jacksonville, was celebrated at the residence of the bride's mother. The wedding was a very quiet affair, there being, aside from the clergyman, Rev. Ennis, only Prof. G. I. Newbury and Miss Britt present.
The bride is one of Southern Oregon's most talent and respected young ladies, and but recently returned from an attendance at the St. Helen's Hall, Portland. The groom is one of the most prominent business men of Oregon and owner of large interests in the famous sugar pine timber belt near this place. He is also one of the directors of the Jackson County Bank of this place. The happy couple left Tuesday evening for Seattle, at which place Mr. Pierce will engage in the wholesale lumber business, with eastern headquarters at Philadelphia. In June they will make an extended tour throughout the eastern states.
Medford Mail, April 14, 1893, page 3
The residence of Henry Harrison of Jacksonville was the scene of a quiet wedding last Tuesday, when Chas. H. Pierce and Miss Laura Harrison were made one. Mr. P. is one of the most energetic and successful business men of southern Oregon, who enjoys the good will as well as the respect of the entire community, while his accomplished, amiable wife is also deservedly popular. They left for Seattle, Wash. immediately after the ceremony (which will be their home for the present), accompanied by the congratulations and best wishes of all who know them.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 7, 1893, page 3
Mrs. C. H. Pierce of Seattle is in Chicago, visiting her sister-in-law.
Chas. H. Pierce of Seattle, the well-known investor in timber land, is in the Jenny Creek section, accompanied by his brother Albert.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 9, 1893, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce went north Saturday evening, accompanied by his brother Albert, after being in the Jenny Creek section a fortnight. Mrs. Pierce has been making a tour of the East during his absence from Seattle.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 23, 1893, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce, formerly of Jacksonville, is now general passenger agent of the Washington Southern railway, with headquarters at Seattle. He is well qualified for the position.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 12, 1894, page 3
It is reported that C. H. Pierce, formerly of Medford, who owns a big tract of Klamath River timberland, has been appointed general passenger and freight agent of the Washington Southern Railway of Seattle. Mr. Pierce is a clearheaded business man with great mental resources, and the company secured a very capable man when they appointed him.
Valley Record, Ashland, Oregon, February 15, 1894, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce and wife (nee Miss Laura Harrison) of Seattle, Washington, arrived here yesterday from their trip to the East, and will remain a few weeks. Mr. P. will look after his timber interests on Jenny Creek and the Klamath.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 11, 1894, page 3
Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Pierce arrived in Medford Saturday evening from Chicago and other eastern points. Both these people are former residents of Jackson County, where they have a great many friends who are glad to welcome them on their short visit, which will be about ten days, during which time Mr. Pierce will visit the Klamath country and look over his extensive landed interests. They will then return to their home at Seattle.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, June 15, 1894, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce, the well-known timber land man, arrived Tuesday from Seattle with Mr. McDonald, a capitalist, and he will take Mr. McDonald on a summer's outing through all the timber belts from here to Feather River, Cal.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, July 19, 1894, page 4
Charles H. Pierce is in Southern California looking after business interests. Mrs. Pierce is visiting Jacksonville.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, September 27, 1894, page 3
Chas. Angel, the timber land expert, left Monday for an absence of seven weeks, going to San Francisco and returning via the timber belt in Fall River Valley, where he and Chas. H. Pierce are estimating an extensive tract with a view of purchasing.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, October 18, 1894, page 3
His Faith Pinned on Southern Oregon.
From the Klamath Falls Express.
Charles H. Pierce, who until recently owned large tracts of timber land in the Jenny Creek section, writes to the Express editor as follows: "I have been in Southern California and a little in Old Mexico lately, and can unhesitatingly say that I saw no such good country as that I traveled through in July and August en route from Medford to Reno. Others with me on both trips are of the same mind." Mr. Pierce is a great believer in the future of this country.
Medford Mail, October 19, 1894, page 4
Mr. and Mrs. Chas. H. Pierce of San Francisco are camping at Spring Creek, Klamath County, the guests of Jos. G. Pierce and wife.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 15, 1898, page 2
Chas. H. Pierce of San Francisco has been spending some time in the valley, looking after the interests of his uncle, congressman Hopkins of Pennsylvania, who has large timber interests in this and Klamath counties.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 14, 1898, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce of San Francisco has contracted to handle 2,000,000 feet of yellow and sugar pine lumber from the upper Rogue River section. It will be manufactured by the mills of Proudfoot & Gray, J. E. Olson and one other party.
Mrs. L. J. Pierce of Forestville, N.Y., mother of Chas. H. and Jos. G. Pierce, died suddenly on the 16th last. She was 59 years of age. Endowed with many noble traits of character, she is mourned by all who knew her.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 21, 1898, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce, who is now engaged in the warehouse and transfer business at San Francisco, expects to return to the valley during 1899 and engage in the lumber business on upper Rogue River on a large scale.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 19, 1899, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce arrived from San Francisco Friday. He comes to look after his interests on upper Rogue River, being interested with R. A. Proudfoot in the manufacture of lumber.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 14, 1899, page 2
W. F. Wilkinson of Big Butte spent yesterday in Jacksonville, trading with our merchants. He reports that there is a great deal of travel on the Rogue River road this year--much more than ever before, to say nothing of the business that is made by the big steam lumber outfit Proudfoot, Pierce & Co. are operating between Skookum Prairie and Medford.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 12, 1899, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce has disposed of his interests in San Francisco, to engage in the lumber business in southern Oregon, and with his family will arrive in Medford this month, for permanent residence. They will be quite welcome.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 4, 1900, page 3
Chas. H. Pierce and wife arrive from San Francisco Friday, and will become residents of our town, having rented the Faris dwelling. They are quite welcome.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 29, 1900, page 3
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Pierce arrived in the valley, from San Francisco, Friday evening, and will remain for some time in Medford. Mr. Pierce has timber interests in the Rogue River sugar pine belt which will claim his attention.
"Personal," Ashland Tidings, January 29, 1900, page 3
Charles H. Pierce has arrived with his family from San Francisco to make a permanent home in Medford.
"Society: Medford," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, February 4, 1900, page 14
Messrs. Coleman Bros., of Ashland, and C. H. Pierce, of Medford, are here negotiating for the purchase of the property of the Eugene Canning & Packing Company, and, if successful, declare it to be their intention to run the cannery the coming season to its full capacity, handling all kinds of fruit and eatables. The plant originally cost $24,000, and is well equipped.
"Mails Interrupted," Morning Oregonian, Portland, March 6, 1900, page 4
"Joe" Pierce, publisher of the Klamath Falls Express, is no back number advocate of the wonderful resources of that very productive region. He has recently gotten out, at his own expense, a pamphlet which is a decided credit to the locality--and a monument to Joe's progressive spirit. It is a pen and halftone picture of everything grown in that locality, everything cut from the giant forests, caught from the mountain streams or shot with the marksman's aim. It is a jewel, and if Klamath County don't profit by it there is no fault chargeable to Mr. Pierce. Charlie Pierce, the Medford man of push, is Joe's brother, and if he don't do something one of these bright spring days to overturn the accustomed lethargy of the valley we shall be very much mistaken in our man.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 9, 1900, page 7
East Medford precinct, Oregon:
Chas. H. Pierce, 35, born N.Y. Feb. 1865,
father born N.Y., mother Conn., lumberman
Laura H. Pierce, 26, born Mo. Jan. 1874, father born England, mother Mo.
U.S. Census, enumerated June 23, 1900
[Real estate agent Charles W. Palm has sold to Chas. Pierce] three and one-half acres of land in southwest Medford, consideration $600. This property is located just east of and adjoining Prof. N. L. Narregan's house. It is very suitably located for a good home, and Mr. Pierce expects to build a fine dwelling house thereon within the next few months.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 27, 1900, page 7
Miss Isabella Butler, of Palo Alto, Cal., who has been the guest of Mrs. Charles Pierce, left Thursday to visit Portland.
"Medford," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, August 26, 1900, page 12
FRUIT CANNERY PROPOSITION.
TO THE PEOPLE OF MEDFORD AND VICINITY:--For the past year I have been working with Mr. John W. Coleman, of Ashland, toward the establishment of a fruit and vegetable cannery at some point in the valley, and except for the severe frost of last May we should undoubtedly have made a start last year. That fruit and vegetables of the finest flavor can be had in abundance and to compete with other canneries I have never doubted, the only serious drawback urged by my friends being that freight rates might be prohibitive. Under the liberal and progressive direction of Mr. C. H. Markham, general freight agent of the Oregon lines, I do not fear this contingency and have been often assured by Mr. Markham that he would encourage this industry in every possible way, and that it was not the present policy of the company to let possible industries at the smaller points languish because of a desire to build up terminals only. Mr. Coleman has been canning fruit and vegetables at Ashland for the past four years and so far he has never been able to one-half supply the local demand, and has not been troubled about freight rates, nor does he fear the future in this respect.
I have sampled peaches, pears, tomatoes, sweet corn and string beans canned by Mr. Coleman and do not believe his goods are surpassed in quality on this coast. His peaches and tomatoes have more than a local reputation, and many people consider them equal to the very best home canned. Mr. Coleman's aim has always been to put up a little better goods than any competitor, and he is extremely neat and careful in his work. Nor does he stint in quality, rather the reverse. The cans are all solid filled, whether market requirements call for same or not, and the syrups are rich and heavy--"like your mother used to make." Mr. Coleman has a natural skill and ability in his line which, coupled with a desire to give high value, must surely win out. I regard him as able to undertake a pack of any size with certainty. He is also familiar with the local soils and climatic conditions, the markets and the people, and could start off with more assurance than an eastern expert probably could. We would propose to pack 100,000 cans the coming season, the bulk of the pack in the following order: Tomatoes, peaches, pears, blackberries, plums and apples. We should also can enough sweet corn, peas and string beans to get them on the market with the expectation of making a large vegetable pack the second year. Tomato catsup we expect to put up considerable of, and we shall work into jams, jellies, fruit butters, pickles, etc., as fast as possible. In order to keep running most of the year we shall try pumpkin and mincemeat late in the fall, and may pack pork and beans if yield and prices are right. We shall also be prepared to can strawberries any year when there is sufficient crop, but we do not count on any regular supply.
What first induced me to first consider a cannery proposition was the probability that sweet corn could be raised here in quantity and quality each to the best eastern corn, and if such proves the case our corn pack will eventually equal everything else combined.
There is a present demand in the Pacific Northwest for three million cans of sweet corn annually, and not a can is packed west of the Missouri River. For the most part it comes from Maine, New York and Iowa. Last spring I procured Hickok and Early Crosby corn seed from New York state canneries and had a little planted near Medford. Those who tasted it said it was the sweetest and best corn they ever ate. We expect peas and beans to be equally good in this soil and climate.
We wish to start right and not be handicapped by lack of capital now or later. We want to make all provision in advance to can 100,000 cans the coming season, double that quantity the second year, and from three to five hundred thousand cans the third year. The Salem cannery is reported to have canned 600,000 cans last year and to have had their pack all sold early in the season.
Our proposition to the people of Medford and vicinity is to organize a $10,000 stock company, and Mr. Coleman and myself will take half the stock if the balance is subscribed locally. We propose to call for fifty percent only to be paid up about May 15th, and in no event will there be a call for more than $6000 this year. Possibly we may not find it necessary to call for payment of any additional the second year, but we wish it understood that we shall probably call for the balance of forty or fifty percent to be paid up about May 15, 1902
We expect to declare dividends from the start and regularly, and nothing that can be thought of for the Rogue River Valley is bound to be a more certain paying investment than a cannery well conducted. We will employ about thirty hands the first season, but this should soon grow to employ 100 persons. Not only would a cannery relieve the glut which has always been here in a grade of fruit just below the grade which will alone bear transportation east, but it would enable many people of moderate means to get a good living from three- to ten-acre tracts in small fruits and vegetables under intensive cultivation. It will serve to get our farmers out of wheat raising and into more profitable lines.
We have also a proposition from the Ashland creamery to put in a skimming station here if 2000 pounds of milk can be depended on daily, with the understanding that when our dairymen have built up a sure supply of five or six thousand pounds daily Mr. Perozzi will gladly join with us, in putting in a creamery here. As we will have abundant power we could easily handle this and probably should if sufficient patronage could be assured. While a creamery would be of considerable benefit to the farmers hereabouts, it would never employ more than two or three persons, and in a strictly industrial sense would never benefit Medford as a cannery would.
It should be a comparatively easy matter to get the balance of the capital stock subscribed here under terms we offer, particularly as ample time is given to raise the money. We do not wish or expect any man to cramp or burden himself, nor should this be necessary with the wealth and population hereabouts. Besides, the chances are all in favor of the stock being a good-paying investment, and to Medford will be worth five times what it will cost. Respectfully,
CHAS. H. PIERCE.
Medford Mail, February 1, 1901, page 6
Chas. Pierce returned Tuesday from a business trip through the Willamette Valley. Mr. Pierce has given up the cannery project at Ashland, and will go to Eugene and take charge of the cannery at that place, which he will run in connection with the Allen cannery of Salem.
Medford Enquirer, May 11, 1901, page 5
Chas. H. Pierce of Medford, who is well known for his enterprise and ability, is organizing a company for the purpose of starting a cannery somewhere in the valley--probably at Talent. This would prove an important business proposition in more ways than one.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 14, 1901, page 7
Chas. H. Pierce has returned from his trip to the Willamette Valley and eastern Oregon. He will not start a cannery at Ashland, but will operate one at Eugene and another at Salem.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 16, 1901, page 5
Chas. H. Pierce, of this city, and Mr. Coleman, of Ashland, it is understood, will soon go to Eugene and take charge of the cannery at that place.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 17, 1901, page 7
Messrs. Allen have sold the Eugene fruit and vegetable cannery to a company, the leading spirits of which are Chas. H. Pierce and John W. Coleman of Ashland. It has plenty of means, while at least one of its members is a practical canneryman. They will do a general business, expecting to start the plant on Royal Ann cherries in June. The company is particularly interested in having a full crop of tomatoes planted, for which it will pay remunerative prices.--[Guard.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 23, 1901, page 7
The Messrs. Allen have sold the Eugene cannery to a company the leading spirits of which are Chas. H. Pierce and John W. Coleman, of Ashland, says the Eugene Guard. The company has plenty of means, while the above gentlemen are practical cannerymen. They will do a general business, expecting to start up the plant on Royal Ann cherries in June. The company is particularly interested in having a full crop of tomatoes planted, for which it will pay remunerative prices. If you want plants and further particulars, call on the gentlemen above named at the Hotel Eugene. They will make contracts for all acreage offered and furnish the plants.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 24, 1901, page 7
Charles H. Pierce, of Medford, and John Coleman, of Ashland, are preparing to conduct a fruit cannery in Ashland this fall. They expect to put up 70,000 or 80,000 cans of fruit during the season.
"Notes of Medford," Morning Oregonian, June 29, 1901, page 4
Chas. H. Pierce of Medford, who with J. W. Coleman of Ashland has leased the Eugene and Salem canneries, has been engaged in canvassing southern Oregon for orders. He feels certain that he will supply this section with at least 10,000 cans of vegetables and fruit.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 11, 1901, page 7
Joe Pierce, publisher of the Klamath Falls Express, was in Medford for a few hours Saturday. He was en route to New York City, where he expects to remain upon business for three months. Mr. Pierce has large timberland interests in the Jenny Creek country, and his business east is upon matters relative thereto.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, August 2, 1901, page 6
Charlie Pierce has contracted with Mr. Davis, living west of Medford, for the pickling of several barrels of cucumber pickles. The cucumbers are to be put in brine and after they have stood a sufficient length of time they will be put into vinegar and sealed in bottles and kegs and placed on the market. Mr. Pierce is desirous of contracting for several barrels more with other parties hereabouts should there be any who are growing cucumbers.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 2, 1901, page 7
C. H. Pierce and his wife and Mrs. Harrison and her sons have become residents of Ashland.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 19, 1901, page 7
Chas. Pierce was down from Ashland a couple of days this week. He reports that his cannery has done a flourishing business this season.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, November 1, 1901, page 6
Chas. Pierce, one of the proprietors of the Ashland cannery, reports a fairly good season's work, but it was not nearly what it could have been had the surrounding country been able to supply enough fruit and vegetables to keep the cannery in operation at its fullest capacity. In all there were six carloads of canned product put up, of which five carloads have already been sold and shipped, leaving only one carload to supply the demand until another crop comes on. The cannery put up 1500 cans of corn, 28,000 cans and 800 gallons of tomatoes. In all they have put up 59,000 cans, including a small run of peaches and pears. The cannery is now putting up pumpkins. The inability to secure sufficient raw material at Ashland to keep the cannery running at its full capacity has demonstrated to the management the impracticability of the cannery's location, and it is not beyond a possibility that it will be moved to Medford in time for next year's run. There is not sufficient suitable land for the growing of vegetables around Ashland to ever make the project the success which its owners hope for. The greater amount of goods put up this year came from the vicinity of Talent and from between Talent and Phoenix, and it is said that the producers of these two localities would much prefer to haul their products to Medford than to Ashland because of the fact that it is a downhill pull this way while it is all uphill going to Ashland. The management have decided that the profitable vegetable belt of the valley is all the land along the Bear Creek bottom from Talent north to Tolo, and a conclusion has been about reached that a cannery located at Medford would draw business from all this scope of country, whereas, with a cannery at Ashland, it cannot hope to draw from only a small portion of the south end of the tract. The cannery put up this year one and a half tons of corn--it could have put up twenty tons could that amount have been secured. It put up forty-two tons of tomatoes--but it could have handled 100 tons or more, and it was the same with nearly all other articles that are being canned. Surely there seems no good reason why these people should waste their time on an operating scale so diminutive when it is possible for them to more than double their business.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 8, 1901, page 7
A SHORT FRUIT CANNERY TALK
Since it has been positively determined that a fruit cannery is to be established in Medford renewed interest in the enterprise is manifest on every side. In order that our people may know what to grow and expect a market for, we have asked Mr. Chas. Pierce, one of the projectors of the cannery enterprise, to furnish these columns with items bearing upon the matter, and he has this week given us the following:
"It is now settled beyond doubt that a cannery will be permanently operated in the Rogue River Valley, of a capacity at least sufficient to supply the demands of the Southern Oregon and northern California territory, with a fair prospect of our being able to reach the whole coast territory with some products.
"We are advised by the Southern Pacific officials, and our own experience has taught the same, to push such articles as do not require sugar in the canning, for trade conditions are such that on sugar we cannot hope for any reduction in existing freight rates. However, this handicap will not prevent our canning a considerable amount of pears, peaches, cherries, berries, etc., where sugar is a main component, for the local territory, and there will be occasional years when we can pack these fruits for outside territories. This year if we had been properly equipped we could have canned and sold several carloads of gallon pie apples and gallon pie blackberries at some profit, but this requires a much more perfect organization than we were working under. Our advices are that there will be a large and steady demand for these two articles, also gallon pie peaches for many years to come, and as no sugar is required we shall not hesitate to pack them liberally when we can buy the raw material at reasonable prices.
"In this connection I would advise the planting of a largely increased acreage of blackberries in the valley. The Lawton blackberry seems best adapted to general purposes; the Kittatinny berry gives considerable promise, but is not yet thoroughly tested in this soil and climate; the Evergreen berry we particularly advise against, as it is small and unattractive and runs largely to core and seed, and comes in bearing too late for canner's use, at a time when peaches and tomatoes occupy his attention fully. It is not likely that we could ever use the Loganberry extensively for canning, though if we embrace preserving in glass later on, this berry would be in larger demand.
"Blackberry culture has proven extremely profitable at Ashland, and common report is that the yield is often above $500 per acre. The entire Applegate district and portions of the Little Butte, Wagner Creek, Anderson Creek, Thompson Creek and Griffin Creek districts seem splendidly adapted for raising blackberries, not to mention a considerable part of the main valley where the water supply is reliable. We feel that this is one branch of small fruit culture we can safely encourage the grower in undertaking.
"As to strawberries we are in doubt. If any certain means of protecting against spring frosts could be devised to work economically which would materially increase the yield, there is no doubt of a cannery's ability to work up the surplus, but prices are beyond the reach of a cannery at present. The market does not warrant our encouraging a decided increased acreage in raspberries, gooseberries or currants, though a small increase would help a cannery.
"Through the Mail we shall shortly have more to say about vegetable supplies, which will always be our main pack, being most staple, requiring no sugar and being obtainable in quantities."
Medford Mail, November 15, 1901, page 2
Chas. Pierce, the gentleman who is arranging to establish and fruit and vegetable cannery in Medford, has purchased W. S. and H. M. Crowell's interest in the Palm-Whitman cigar factory in this city. Mr. Pierce is a hustling man of business, and the Mail is heartily glad he is to become a permanent resident of our city. He has progressive ideas on business lines and as well a determination to carry his projects and enterprises to a point where good is sure to come to himself and the people generally.
An article from Chas. Pierce on tomato culture in the valley will appear in these columns next week. The tomato, Mr. Pierce figures, will in a few years be one of the leading revenue earners in this part of the county.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, November 22, 1901, page 6
Chas. H. Pierce has purchased the third interest in the Whitman-Palm cigar factory owned by W. S. Crowell.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 28, 1901, page 7
Mrs. C. H. Pierce returned last week from quite an extended visit in Portland. She is now visiting relatives in Ashland, but will soon become a permanent resident of Medford, Mr. Pierce having decided to move here from Ashland.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, December 6, 1901, page 6
C. H. Pierce, for several weeks past, has been troubled with a lame knee, the result of a bruise, and instead of improving the limb has grown worse and this week it was decided to put [it] in a plaster of Paris cast, which was done and it will be at least two weeks before the cast will be removed. Dr. Jones is the attending physician.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 28, 1902, page 7
Chas. H. Pierce, who has been suffering from a badly sprained leg for several months, is still confined to his bed, with the limb encased in plaster paris. We hope to see his familiar form on our streets soon again.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 27, 1902, page 4
The fruit and vegetable cannery for Medford is all off for this season. Mr. Pierce has decided to operate the cannery at Ashland and not put one in here. The Mail is very much aggrieved at the outcome of this much talked-of enterprise. The farmers hereabouts have met several times during the winter and had agreed to plant a sufficient amount of acreage to corn, tomatoes and other vegetables to give a cannery all the raw material it could possibly handle, but Mr. Pierce, the gentleman who it was expected would put in the plant, has found himself somewhat crippled in the matter of sufficient funds to establish a cannery of the proportions he had mapped out. It will be difficult to again soon arouse the same enthusiasm for a cannery which has been manifest among the growers during the past few months. The way which seems now possible will be in the establishment of a cannery in advance of any guarantee from the growers. The fact, however, has been proven that the raw material can be produced, and will be produced, when there is a demand for it, but that demand must be in substantial evidence. The publisher of this paper has taken a deep interest in this cannery proposition, and no person regrets the unfavorable turn which it has taken more than he does. However, we must not despair. The field for a successful operation of a plant of this nature is here, and it will be but a short time before a man of enterprise and capital will drop in among us ready to handle our products, but the cannery must be in evidence before a guarantee to produce is given by the farmers.
Medford Mail, April 4, 1902, page 7
Chas. H. Pierce, who has been confined to his room for some time with an injured leg, is able to be about again.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 10, 1902, page 5
C. H. Pierce, who was interested in the Medford cigar factory, has sold his interest to his partners.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 24, 1902, page 5
C. H. Pierce has gone to San Francisco, to receive treatment for his leg, which was hurt a number of months ago. He has been joined by his wife.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 29, 1902, page 6
Mrs. C. H. Pierce has returned from San Francisco. She informs us that an operation has been performed on her husband's limb, which promises to be entirely successful.
The report that Chas. H. Pierce, who went to San Francisco to have his leg operated on, was obliged to have the limb amputated, is without foundation. He is getting along as well as could be expected.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 5, 1902, page 2
The many friends of Chas. Pierce will be pleased to learn that he has returned from San Francisco almost entirely cured.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 15, 1902, page 7
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Pierce, of Klamath Falls, were in Medford last week upon a visit to friends.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, September 19, 1902, page 6
Mrs. C. H. Pierce left Monday evening for Portland, to attend the wedding of Miss Gertrude Watson, daughter of Judge E. B. Watson, formerly of Jacksonville, which takes place Easter Sunday. Miss Watson is a school mate of Mrs. Pierce. She will be married to Rufus Holman, who is the head of one of the departments of the Allen & Lewis mercantile establishment. Mrs. Pierce will spend a month in Portland--Ashland Tribune.
"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 25, 1903, page 2
C. H. Pierce will engage in raising ducks on a large scale, on the ground of the Ashland Canning Co., which will have a large quantity of offal to dispose of. While in Medford a few days since he purchased about 50 of the birds from Rev. G. C. Love and Wm. Bain. As they command a good price in all of the markets Mr. P.'s enterprise ought to prove remunerative.
"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 27, 1904, page 1
C. H. Pierce and family, of Hiawatha, Kansas, arrived in Medford this week and have located, temporarily, in the Joe Thomas residence out near the Grove school house. Mr. Pierce is a gentleman of considerable means, and it is quite probable that he will decide to invest some of his surplus capital in Jackson County real estate.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 27, 1905, page 5
Mrs. C. H. Pierce is preparing to enter into the business of rearing hothouse plants on the east side, and in a short time will be prepared to furnish flowers, shrubs, etc. for all occasions. Mrs. Pierce has had considerable experience in raising flowers and shrubbery and is confident that ideal conditions for such work are to be found in this vicinity.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 2, 1906, page 5
C. H. Pierce received this week a consignment of household goods, consisting of a carload from his former home in Nebraska.
"East Medford Items," Medford Mail, June 1, 1906, page 5
C. H. Pierce & Son (Charles H. and Clarence C.), real estate
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon, Washington and Alaska Gazetteer and Business Directory 1907-08,
A Busy Season of It.
Chas. H. Pierce, of Ashland Canning and Preserving Company, who is also director of the "experiment station" for the Fish Lake Ditch Company on the edge of the "desert" at Agate, has been putting in considerable time lately at the station, and reports all prospects as pleasing there in the line of vegetable and fruit production. The large strawberry plantation made this spring. as well as the tomatoes and the peach trees, are all thriving by the aid of the water from the ditch available there now. Mr. Pierce is promised a busy season of it attending to the work in connection with the operation of his extensive cannery plant there and the gardens, too.--Ashland Tidings.
Medford Mail, June 14, 1907, page 1
C. C. Johnson has gone to Medford for the summer, where he will superintend the building of C. H. Pierce's fine residence.
"Chaparral Scratches," Medford Mail, June 21, 1907, page 3
C. H. Pierce & Son have recently platted 40 acres near Medford into 4-acre tracts, at from $425 to $600 each.
You will find no better acreage for the money. These tracts are just what you want, so don't go to sleep and let the other fellow get his pick and you take what is left at an advanced price.
Advertisement, Medford Mail, September 20, 1907, page 2
C. H. Pierce closed the addresses with a brief resume of the work of the Commercial Club and voiced the sentiments of those present when he asked that the public lend its moral support in its organized effort for boosting for a Greater Medford.
"All Medford Turns Out To Bury Hammer," Medford Mail Tribune, January 14, 1908, page 1
The Pierces, February 3, 1908 Medford Daily Tribune
SOLD MANY LOTS.
The sale of lots, or small tracts of land, in Pierce & Son's Medford Heights addition, east of Medford, began yesterday morning and will continue all of today. Fully 100 prospective owners visited the tract, and a dozen or more lots were either sold outright or were contracted for. Mr. Pierce says that the success of the sale was due to the Morning Mail.
This tract of land is situated just two miles east of the center of Medford, or a little better than one mile from the corporate limits of the city. It contains 370 acres of land and is most admirably located for a colony of small homes. It has been divided into tracts of from two to 20 acres, and these are being sold at from $90 to $150 per acre. The soil, Mr. Pierce, who has investigated, states, varies in depth from three to nine feet. The most of it is very suitably located for tree planting and homemaking; it has been provided with streets, or lanes, so that each tract has an outlet to a country road; there is a school house on the land, and an old, bearing orchard on a few acres of it. The owners of the tract have reserved about 30 acres of the tract for park purposes. This is situated on the south part of the land, and here they propose clearing out all underbrush, leaving only the oaks and other shade trees standing, and maintain a park for the pleasure of those buying tracts of land from them. This park land lies quite high, all of it overlooking the main part of the tract, while near the center of the park tract there is a high butte, from which a view of six towns of the valley may be had, as well as all the prominent orchards, as well as the full length and breadth of the valley. This entire park reserve is covered with oak trees, and the ground lies so high that all of it is well drained.
Messrs. Pierce & Son do nothing by halves, as was evidenced yesterday. They furnished four automobiles and carriage transportation to all prospective buyers, to and from the tract, and at the noon hour a free luncheon was served.
Today these same conveyances will be furnished, and more if needed, and they want us to extend an invitation to everybody to enjoy a ride to this very beautiful tract.
Medford Mail, July 17, 1908, page 1
C. H. Pierce & Son ad, July 3, 1908 Medford Mail
STRIKES OIL AT MEDFORDMEDFORD, Or., Oct. 2.--(Special.)--Excitement prevailed on the streets and in public places this evening, when it became known that oil had been struck two and one-half miles east of Medford. Many persons made haste to purchase property in this district, but found that others had secured options and bought up everything in the neighborhood.
C. H. PIERCE STARTS EXCITEMENT BY DISCOVERY.
Said to Have Brought Oil to Surface by Lowering Can 300 Feet Down Well Bore.
C. H. Pierce is the owner of 300 acres where the oil discovery has been made. About six weeks ago he started to bore for what he then stated was water, but which he now states was in the hopes of getting oil. He secured the services of H. A. Troxel. an experienced driller, and put down an eight-inch well. At a depth of 50 feet a fair supply of water was struck, but as the contract called for 500 feet the drilling was continued.
Last Friday night at a depth of nearly 300 feet it was noticed that there was oil on the drill and the following night, at a depth of 305 feet, Mr. Pierce let down a can attached to a wire, and when he pulled it to the surface found it full of oil. He repeated this several times, getting oil every time.
The oil reaches to within 63 feet of the top of the well. Several experts are said to have made an examination of this well and the oil and are of the opinion that the well will turn out to be a regular gusher. For some time past it had been suspected that there was oil in this vicinity. It could be seen coming out of the ground in small quantities at a spring north and east of where this well is located. About a year ago G. Miller sank a well to a depth of 115 feet on the east edge of the city, but could not use the water because of the oil taste.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 3, 1908, page 3
C. H. Pierce & Son (Charles H. and Clarence C.), real estate
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon, Washington and Alaska Gazetteer and Business Directory 1909-10,
W. V. Moore, who has served Hotel Moore so ably as clerk for several months, has purchased a one-third interest in the C. H. Pierce & Co. real estate firm. Mr. Moore is one of the finest, best-natured and genial gentlemen in this city and the Morning Mail wishes him success.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, August 13, 1909, page 2
East of the reservoir and hidden by Medford Heights is the little home and other improvements of A. B. Williams and Charles McGougan, who were the pioneer settlers in the Pierce subdivision. They have a young orchard of about 1000 trees with a good start and are preparing to make their land productive until the trees get to bearing.
C. E. Cook, the nurseryman, has also made a start along the same lines in that same subdivision, while Mr. Webb and another party are each building small homes in the Barnum tract. Several other parties who have recently purchased small tracts in this neighborhood and about the city reservoir contemplate building in the spring. A recent arrival who purchased a tract just west of Hillcrest is building a barn and later will erect a handsome two-story house on the west slope of the nob on his land.
Mr. Pierce contemplates extensive improvements on that part of his subdivision, which he has reserved for himself, including Medford Heights. On the top of the heights he proposes to erect an observatory and to park adjoining ground on the east. He is already having the land cleared for this purpose.
"Nob Hill Section Is Rapidly Growing," Medford Mail Tribune, December 22, 1909, page 2
C. H. PIERCE & SON
A spirit of enterprise is reflected in each department of Medford's business affairs, but in none is it accompanied with so much efficiency as in the real estate business, in which department typically successful representatives are Messrs. C. H. and C. C. Pierce, doing business under the firm name of C. H. Pierce & Son.
These gentlemen transact every sort of business relating to real estate, and their four years' successful effort have given them an unusual and exact knowledge of local conditions as well as a wide experience and financial responsibility of a high order.
The firm has done some conspicuously successful work in platting the Pierce subdivision, "Medford Heights," and the highest credit has come to them upon the skill and judgment shown in handling the Barnum tract of 160 acres, divided into five- and ten-acre tracts, one-half mile from the city. No more expert representatives in their special lines, either for city or country property, can be found in the city. It is their intention to organize and enlarge their business during the coming year by admitting a number of leading citizens to membership in the firm.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 2, 1910, page B11
A. Conro Fiero and Mrs. George Harvey have purchased twenty-three acres on Medford Heights adjoining the city from C. H. Pierce, paying therefor $4600. It is the intention of the new owners to cut it up in suitable tracts and place it on the market with the view of making the Heights one of the choice residence districts of Medford.
The Rogue, March 1910
923 East Main, Medford Oregon:
Charles H. Pierce, 53, born Iowa, parents born in New York, real estate agent
Anna L. Pierce, 46, born Kansas, father born N.C., mother born Ky.
Nine children, eight living
Clarence C. Pierce, 24, born Kansas, real estate agent
Ed S. Pierce, 21, born Kansas, florist, part owner
Bertha M. Pierce, 19, born Kansas
Lillian C. Pierce, 17, born Kansas
Ralph E. Pierce, 15, born Kansas
Bryan L. Pierce, 13, born Kansas
Helen G. Pierce, 10, born Kansas
Archie C. Pierce, 7, born Kansas
U.S. Census, enumerated May 2, 1910
Pierce ad, July 2, 1910 Medford Saturday Review
MEDFORD GREENHOUSE WILL BE ENLARGED
Ed Pierce, proprietor of the Medford greenhouse, will spend six to eight thousand dollars this year in enlarging and improving his greenhouses to meet the demands of his growing business. He received a carload of glass this week to start the improvements.HOPKINS WILL FILED
Mr. Pierce is an experienced florist and believes in furnishing the public with the best to be had.
Medford Sun, May 7, 1911, page 3
PENNSYLVANIA REPRESENTATIVE BIG LAND OWNER.
Late Legislator Bequeaths 40,000 Acres in Oregon to Family. State Will Profit.
KLAMATH FALLS, Or., Oct. 30.--(Special.)--The will of the late Albert C. Hopkins, Representative in Congress of Lock Haven, Pa., who was the owner of about 40,000 acres of timber lands in Jackson and Klamath counties, has been filed for probate with County Clerk DeLap. The property is to go to the widow and two sons, mainly, and is subject to a trust for 20 years, with the widow, Matilda G. Hopkins, son William Hopkins, Thomas R. Weymouth, of Oil City, Pa., and Isaac Shaffer, Jr., trustees.
To the sons is left $50,000 each if 21 years old at his death, and if they survive the 20-year trust, together with the widow, they are to get the property, save $100,000 which is to be the widow's. Shaffer is to get $5000 a year as trustee and the other trustees not less than $3000 a year each. If the son, William, died, according to the will, Joseph G. Pierce, of Klamath Falls, a nephew, was to be trustee in his stead, but Pierce died a short time ago. If the sons do not survive the trust the widow is to get three-tenths of the estate and the remainder is to be divided mostly among nephews and nieces, including Joseph G. Pierce and Charles H. Pierce, of Medford, nephews. If Shaffer serves as trustee 20 years he is to have $25,000 and a proportionate sum for service less than that time.
Of the 40,000 acres of timber land Hopkins owned in Klamath and Jackson counties, this county has 32,089 acres, assessed at $599,262. If the county assessment rate is the same this year as last the Hopkins timber holdings will pay $8389.66. As the state inheritance tax is in no case less than 1 percent, assuming that the 8000 acres of timber land in Jackson County are assessed as high as the Klamath County acreage, the state will collect about $8000 as a tax on the inheritance.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 31, 1911, page 5
C. H. Pierce & Son (Charles H. and Clarence C.), real estate
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon, Washington and Alaska Gazetteer and Business Directory 1911-12,
Medford Northeast Precinct: L. G. Porter, chairman; Will Humphry, second judge; E. E. Kelly, third judge; George R. Lindley, first clerk; Verne Canon, second clerk; Clarence Pierce, third clerk.
"Election Boards for 1912 Named," Medford Mail Tribune, January 15, 1912, page 4
Remember your wandering friends looking for a choice place to make a home and tell them of the auction sale of acreage in the Pierce subdivision, Wednesday, March 20. Should they buy and settle in this beautiful suburb of Medford, in days to come they will always thank you for the bit of information.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, March 19, 1912, page 2
Mrs. Julia A. Myers, of Cedarvale, Kansas, who has been in Medford several weeks visiting her daughter, Miss Mable Myers, a teacher in the Roosevelt School and her brother-in-law, C. H. Pierce, and family, left Tuesday for her home.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, October 2, 1912, page 2
I. D. Phipps vs. C. H. Pierce et al., suit to declare and foreclose mortgage.
"Court House News," Medford Mail Tribune, October 16, 1912, page 4
Clarence C. Pierce, real estate
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon, Washington and Alaska Gazetteer and Business Directory 1913-14,
Auction Sale of Acreage
The undersigned has decided to make another auction sale of 2½- to 5-acre tracts in the Pierce Subdivision between the 15th day of April and the 15th of March.
Since my sale last March much improvement has been done in this locality, positive evidence that this is the preferable location for building suburban homes.
Two nice homes and a number of smaller ones have been built this past summer and fall. Building is now going on in this neighborhood; a new free rural delivery now passes through the Pierce Subdivision. An electric power and light line has been recently been constructed. With good roads, free soil and city water, a home here is a little ranch in the city.
For particulars and terms write me.
C. H. PIERCEMedford Mail Tribune, February 18, 1913, page 2
928 E. Main Street, Medford
"CUT IT OUT!"To the editor: A certain newspaper published an editorial not long since with the above title. It seemed to refer to certain political conditions now existing in our city.
C. H. Pierce Wants to Know What City Official Is Being Persecuted
In the minds of many citizens there seems to be a question as to what ought to be "cut out," the lawbreakers or the officers who are keeping their office oath. There is a great howl about political persecution against a certain official who has been arrested and tried for alleged violation of law.
Where should the cutting out come in, against the violators of the law or the officer faithfully keeping his oath of office?
The law-abiding citizens should at once look into this matter, and if it is found that the officer, with a clean reputation, and trying to do his duty in the enforcement of law, is not in reality the man who is being persecuted instead of the other fellow.
Has our fair city come to the awful moral condition that a clean, honest man cannot hold office without being hounded out by a mob of lawbreakers and their sympathizers? If such is the condition, which it seems is the case, it is high time to "cut it out."
C. H. PIERCE"The Sun's Letter Box," Medford Sun, March 30, 1913, page 4
Order your Christmas wreaths now from Pierce, the florist, real English holly used in wreaths, also cut flowers. Order early and avoid disappointment. Pierce, the florist, phone 374.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, December 14, 1914, page 2
Clarence C. Pierce, real estate
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon, Washington and Alaska Gazetteer and Business Directory 1915-16,
Mrs. C. H. Pierce of Siskiyou Heights, who sustained injury to her left last Sunday evening by tripping over the rise in the pavement in front of the Nichols and Ashpole meat market on Main Avenue, is improving rapidly.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, April 23, 1915, page 2
The first moves of the campaign inaugurated by city authorities to eliminate danger spots throughout the city have begun. A force of men are at work removing the pavement from in front of the Nichols and Ashpole meat market. The sidewalk will be made level clear across, eliminating the elevation over which Mrs. C. H. Pierce tripped a week ago, sustaining injury to her leg. Owners of property facing on sidewalks considered dangerous will be instructed to make repairs. Two or three accidents within half a month is the cause of the step.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, April 26, 1915, page 2
At the suggestion of the finance committee the city council last night settled the damage suit of Mrs. C. H. Pierce for injuries received by a fall on the sidewalk before Nichols and Ashpole meat market, for $400, the plaintiff to pay the costs.
"Settle Pierce Damage Suit," Medford Sun, March 6, 1916, page 6
Clarence C. Pierce, real estate
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon, Washington and Alaska Gazetteer and Business Directory 1917-18,
C. H. Pierce, the florist, formerly of Medford, but now situated on a farm northeast of here a few miles, was in town Friday and so was Joe Riley and Joe Sickel.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, December 16, 1918, page 3
Clarence C. Pierce, real estate
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon, Washington and Alaska Gazetteer and Business Directory 1919-20,
Hillcrest Road, Medford Oregon:
C. H. Pierce, 63, born Iowa, parents born in New York, retired
Anna L. Pierce, 55, born Kansas, father born Va., mother born Ky.
Clarence C. Pierce, 33, born Kansas, insurance salesman
Helen G. Pierce, 20, born Kansas, school teacher
Archie C. Pierce, 17, born Kansas, farm laborer
U.S. Census, enumerated February 19, 1920
Oak precinct, Ashland, Oregon:
C. H. Pierce, 54, born N.Y, parents born N.Y., mother Conn., garage accountant
Laura Pierce, 26, born Mo., father born Nova Scotia, mother Mo.
U.S. Census, enumerated January 2, 1920
C. C. Pierce, insurance
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon, Washington and Alaska Gazetteer and Business Directory 1921-22,
Clarence C. Pierce, insurance, 30 N. Central
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon, Washington and Alaska Gazetteer and Business Directory 1923-24,
Clarence C. Pierce, insurance, 30 N. Central Ave.
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon, Washington and Alaska Gazetteer and Business Directory 1925-26,
CHAS. H. PIERCE IS CALLED BY DEATH
Charles Herbert Pierce, a resident of Medford for the past 20 years, passed away at his home east of this city, at 7:30 Thursday evening, Feb. 26, at the age of 68 years, 3 months, 16 days.
The Pierce family came to Medford in 1905 and since that time have been closely identified with business interests in this city and vicinity, also prominent in social and church circles, belonging to the Christian Church of Medford.
Mr. Pierce is survived by his widow, also eight children: Mrs. L. G. Gentner of Michigan; Mrs. E. J. Bratney, Portland; Mrs. Cecil Culbertson, Medford; L. B. Pierce, Roseburg; R. E. of Glendale, Calif.; G. E., Archie and Clarence, all of Medford.
A wide circle of friends extend sincerest sympathy to the bereaved family. Funeral services were held at the Conger Funeral Chapel Monday at 2 p.m., Rev. Howe officiating.
Jackson County News, March 6, 1925
C. H. Pierce, who will head the Pierce-Harrison company as president, is well known in this city, having lived here before moving to Ashland. While here he was active in civic, business and financial circles and has scores of friends who welcome him again in business in this city. W. W. Allen, who was formerly of the sales force of Harrison Brothers of Ashland, will act in the same capacity in the Medford firm.
"New Chev. Dealers in Medford," Medford Sun, September 20, 1925, page 6
Pierce Auto Freight Lines Inc., Archie C. Pierce, president-manager, 229 N. Riverside
R. L. Polk & Co.'s Oregon, Washington and Alaska Gazetteer and Business Directory 1931-32,
PIERCE AUTO FREIGHT LINE EXTENDED TO S.F.
The Pierce Auto Freight Lines are extending their operations into California and are starting daily service between San Francisco and Bay points to southern Oregon.
The Pierce Auto Freight Lines, a southern Oregon-owned and -operated firm, started operations between Portland and southern Oregon seven years ago.
Extension of their operations into San Francisco will enable the firm to serve between Portland and San Francisco, covering a total of 725 miles daily.
Chas. W. Spencer, manager of the Medford station, left yesterday for San Francisco to take charge of the San Francisco station.
Addition of the California operation will increase the number of employees working for the Pierce Auto Freight Lines to a total of 40.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 25, 1935, page 6
Pierce-Martin Firm Growing
The Pierce family, coming to Medford from Nebraska, established their real estate, insurance and loan business here in 1906, a son, Clarence Pierce, later assuming local responsibility. Moving from the Palm Building in 1944 to the present location at 425 East Main Street, he was joined three years ago by H. O. Martin from Petersburg, Tex. Martin had already been in the insurance business ten years. Recently the firm expanded its personnel to include John and Fred York. John York has charge of the office; his brother Fred is outside solicitor. The latter has been taking training in life, fire and casualty insurance, recently returning from Portland, where he took a special course in life insurance. New and modern equipment has been added to the place of business, and during the years the firm has won many friends.
Medford News, August 18, 1950, page 7
Safe truck drivers, Pierce Freight Lines, April 12, 1957 Rogue River Times
Christmas lighting contest for homes won by A. C. Pierce . . . normal.
"Shopping Area, Lumber Make Top News," Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1958, page 6
The A. C. Pierce display wins the Junior Chamber of Commerce outdoor Christmas lighting contest . . .
"Elections Among Most Significant Stories," Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1959, page B3
. . . And the Old Phipps HouseMedford Mail Tribune, October 18, 1964, page B1
By Eva Hamilton
Mail Tribune Staff Writer
When doors of the Phipps estate house, 923 East Main Street in Medford, open Oct. 24 to the Junior Service League's "Monster Mash," a shock tremor may move through stately rooms, hallways and stairways, empty for the past five years, as they surrender to ghoulish costumes and modern decorum.
But playing host to a party will not be a new experience for the southern colonial dwelling which stands today as the most authentic example in Medford of the Greek Revival in architecture.
The classic columns and entablature, admired through the years by discerning persons who rounded the corner at East Main and Crater Lake Avenue, echoed in their earliest days to party revelry.
The house was home to the eight children of Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Pierce, who built the three-story dwelling soon after coming to Oregon from Lincoln, Neb. in 1905.
Hours of StudyIts architecture evolved from "hours of study and prayer" as Mr. and Mrs. Pierce considered plans to meet the needs of children, parents, grandmother and gardener-florist, who were "the family."
It became the nucleus of high school entertaining in Southern Oregon. The gathering place of schoolchildren, church groups and neighbors. The station, so to speak, for persons of many ages longing for their first ride in an automobile.
Charles H. Pierce had the fifth automobile in Medford, an EMF. Its motor was always running, despite the fact that roads were rough and muddy and many streets were roads. A ride in an auto was still a novelty in the early 1900s, and various members of the Pierce family took turns at the wheel to acquaint friends and relatives with "motoring."
First Tennis CourtsThe first tennis courts in Medford were located on the Pierce property [Medford had a tennis court as early as 1888], and every evening in good weather young people lined up at the fence for their turns on the courts.
The high school tennis tournaments were played on the Pierce courts, and the 1910 junior-senior high school reception (it was not called a prom then) was held in the Pierce house.
The following year it was setting for another large high school party--this time for seniors of Ashland and Medford. It was a reciprocal event. The first joint party was held in Ashland with Theresa Miekle, who became a superior judge in San Francisco, as hostess. Theresa Miekle and Lillian Pierce were good friends, and they regretted the enmities developing from the strong athletic rivalry between their two high schools. In the feminine role of pacifists they decided to do something about it. The parties were the result. Thirteen was the lucky number of the Medford High School class of 1911. They were 13 girls and 13 boys in the class, and they came from 13 states.
Have Coach for FriendsIn 1911, when the Christian Church held its national convention in Portland, Mr. and Mrs. Pierce were "accorded a real honor," their sons and daughters recall. The Southern Pacific turned over one whole coach to them so their friends and relatives who came west for the convention could travel to Medford "in style" to visit them. There were 22 persons in the house party. They came from Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas and Illinois, and while they were in Medford the Pierces celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.
Contractor for the construction of the house, which started in 1907 according to an insurance policy, was C. C. Johnson. He also built the Liberty Building, now known as the Leverette Building, on Main Street. Big Pines Lumber Company, owned and operated by Bert Thierolf, furnished the lumber. The acreage was also site of Medford's first greenhouse [Medford's first greenhouse was probably Frank Sutter's, built on North Central in 1892], which was operated by Mrs. Pierce and son G. E. (Ed) Pierce.
Mr. Pierce and son Clarence were in the real estate business as C. H. Pierce and Son. Pierce told the contractor if he followed specifications closely he would add $2 a day to his wages. This brought the total to $6 a day for the contractor.
Young Son DisappearsWhen construction was well under way, and the six large columns that still give Grecian character to the house were placed on the ground preparatory to their installation, the youngest member of the Pierce family disappeared, Mrs. Bratney of Portland, the former Bertha Pierce of Medford, remembers.
He was Archie (A. C. Pierce of Pierce Heights). The search by family and neighbors failed to locate the child. His frantic parents called the police. They, too, couldn't find Archie. About an hour later all realized the curious youngster had been having his afternoon nap inside one of the columns. One of the carpenters was first to see the little boy's feet protruding as he backed out of his classic quarters.
The house included 12 large rooms, two large hallways, front and back stairways, pantry, bathrooms and linen closets of sizes to meet the needs of such a large family.
Trees Are PlantedThe trees which shade the large lot today were planted by Pierce 56 years ago. Visiting in Medford during the summer, Mrs. Bratney toured the grounds and expressed the hope that whoever buys the property will retain the "grand old trees." The giant palm was given to A. C. Pierce by Mr. and Mrs. Dolph Phipps, administrators of the estate, and was transplanted at his home.
The dream of Mrs. Pierce, mother of three daughters, that one of them would come down the stairway of the house as a bride, was not realized. The family moved from the house before the daughters married.
Still living in the Medford area today, however, are Bryan Pierce, now of Rogue Valley Manor; Ralph Pierce, Hawthorne Apartments; Clarence Pierce, 3126 Madrona Lane; Mrs. L. G. Gentner, 22 South Groveland Ave.; and A. C. Pierce, of Pierce Heights.
Her interest in elections recently spurred by the League of Women Voters Candidates Fair, Mrs. Gentner recalled the story of one of the parties in the classical house which had an election season lending proof that "Your vote makes a difference."
Celebrate BirthdayThe family was celebrating Ed Pierce's 21st birthday July 20, 1909. It was election day, too, in Medford. The election had been called to decide whether the area north of Main Street and east of Crater Lake Avenue would be brought into the city. The Pierce property was in that area. Ed intended to cast his first vote for the proposition.
A few minutes before time for the polls to close he realized he had not exercised his franchise. He rushed to the neighboring house, which was the polling place. When the votes were counted the annexation was approved by one vote.
It was I. J. Phipps, early settler, who became owner of the house. The exact year no one seems to remember. It soon became home to his widow, his son, Dr. I. D. Phipps, and sister, Miss Mae Phipps. The residence of the Phipps family in the house was interrupted only by death. Mrs. I. J. Phipps died in 1928, Miss Phipps in 1944 and Dr. Phipps in 1959.
During the five years the house has been vacant it has been vandalized several times, according to Mrs. Dolph Phipps. All chandeliers in the upstairs were broken. The shades on chandeliers in living room, dining room, hall and parlor were shattered. Glass was kicked out of windows and wainscoting ripped from the kitchen--all of which may be just a challenge to witches and monsters to haunt the place when the witching hour for the Service League party is sounded at 8 p.m. Saturday.
The Pierce Family: Reflections of Part of Medford's History
By Eva Hamilton
Mail Tribune Staff Writer
The family came first--then the house. It stood at the corner of Crater Lake Avenue and East Main Street in Medford, its Grecian columns gleaming white in sun and rain, a landmark recalled by all who passed the way from 1908 to 1967.
This is the story of the family, Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Pierce, and their eight children, for whom the house was built--told to report some of their achievements and their losses, which are a part of Medford history.
A later story will relate new life for the house. The spacious lot at Crater Lake and East Main Street is now empty except for trees planted by Pierce 65 years ago. But the family and the house have a future which their histories should imply.
Pierce and his wife, Anna Laura, and their eight children came to Oregon from Nebraska in 1905. They lived in the Mt. Tabor area in Portland for several months before continuing to Medford, then "boom town" of the state.
Fruit Leading LureFruit was the leading lure. From East and Middle West people were coming to Medford, just as numbers had responded to the cry of "gold" half a century earlier at Jacksonville.
It seemed a likely place to enter the real estate business, and Pierce and his eldest son, Clarence, opened an office in 1907. Pierce then borrowed money to build the home he considered suitable for his large family.
"The Pierce mansion," as some called the home which the loan financed, was the third dwelling to house the Pierces after their arrival in the Rogue Valley.
They lived first at 2488 Jacksonville Highway in a house that remained standing at that address until gutted by fire in January 1970, according to Bryan Pierce of 516 W. Jackson St., Medford, one of three members of the immediate family still living.
Two-Story StructureThe second Pierce home was a two-story structure at 121 Crater Lake Avenue. A small greenhouse was built close by to satisfy Mrs. Pierce's desire for flowers.
The family was living in this house in 1906, Bryan remembers, [and] for "a good reason." His brother Clarence came bounding down the stairs one morning to declare: "I'll bet there was an earthquake last night." No one refuted his wager and would have lost had he done so. For it was April 6, date of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.
The home which followed was the three-story house on Crater Lake and East Main--a charming combination of Greek revival and Southern plantation architecture, razed in 1967.
The trees in the parking strip had just been planted when a Hull photo was taken in 1912 of the Pierce residence in East Medford. The palm tree on the left of the lawn was given to Archie Pierce when the house was sold by Mr. and Mrs. Dolph Phipps to Goldon Logan as salvage in 1967. The stone foundation was mined from the quarry at the foot of Medford Heights.
The foreman on the construction was C. C. Johnson. The house was built for $6,000 (the loan) and built well. The top floors were divided into three large bedrooms, four small bedrooms, a sewing room and one "busy bathroom."
Rooms on Main FloorThe main floor was comprised of parlor, living room, dining room, pantry, kitchen, storage room, fruit room, wood room (for the kitchen) and a half bath. There were large hallways on each floor.
A large greenhouse was constructed on the grounds to the east of the house. It later became a business, the "first and only greenhouse in Medford for many years," Bryan commented. [Medford's first greenhouse was probably Frank Sutter's, built on North Central in 1892.] It was operated by his mother and brother, G. E. (Edward) Pierce, and was expanded from year to year.
"We boys enjoyed sleeping on the third floor porch under a canopy of bright (no smog) stars. The Milky Way was so clear," Bryan reminisced, adding "it is seldom seen today."
He also remembers the many informal church and school parties for which the Pierce house was an ideal setting, his father's EMF, one of the first automobiles in Medford, and the tennis courts on the Pierce grounds where high school tournaments were played. Tennis was the "in thing," just as it is again today.
Boom Followed by PanicThose were the good years. Then the boom was followed by a bust, "a panic depression," Bryan described it, "which hit many people hard financially, including Dad. He finally lost the house through mortgage foreclosure. This was about 58 years ago, and the home was never again occupied by a family as such. Dr. I. D. Phipps, a bachelor, lived in the 12-room home until his death."
The Pierces moved from their dream house, of which Bryan speaks with obvious nostalgia, to property owned east of Medford and started to build again "piecemeal."
"A number of humorous things happened on that property," Bryan commented as he reviewed the family's ups and downs. His father had some drilling under way for artesian water when someone apparently planted oil in the hole.
"Great excitement resulted, but not for long. Ralph found a gold watch at the site, and I remember my father saying 'someone got so excited about the oil he stood on his head and lost his watch'," Bryan retold the story of the "discovery."
Problem with Dead Skunk"A real problem occurred when a dead skunk was found in the well." It was removed, and time and a cleansing job restored a good water supply.
"Father never realized his artesian water, but the 500-foot well is still there off Pierce Road."
Speaking of the EMF, which stood for E. M. Flanders, Bryan said the car had carbide lights, and he regrets that he probably killed a lot of fish in the Applegate with the same. His father had sent him to chauffeur another real estate man into the Applegate country for a fee of $15, he related the episode.
Fording the stream, the auto got stuck, and Bryan emptied the carbide. "I imagine I killed a lot of fish," he stated apologetically. "A farmer charged $5 to pull us out. He got his money, but I never got my $15. We drove from Ruch to Jacksonville by moonlight. The track, ruts I should say, were plain in the dirt road, so it wasn't too difficult."
All the Pierce boys but Archie, who was too young for World War I and too old for the second, served in the Army.
Describes Experience."The only thing I fought was mosquitoes," Bryan described his experience in the U.S. Army Air Force. "I was located in Louisiana. When a hurricane struck we had 250 planes; only 40 were worth repairing after that storm. We hurriedly wrote home to assure our families we were all right. They hadn't even read about it. The government didn't want the enemy to know about the loss. There was just one very small item in the press."
Mr. Pierce died in 1925 and Mrs. Pierce in 1945. Clarence continued in the real estate and insurance business, later sold to H. O. Martin. An avid hunter, Clarence died on the trail on the opening day of deer season in 1967. "He was 82," Bryan stated, then continued with the family statistics.
The Pierce sons and daughters (above) were photographed at the home in February 1925, when all were called to Medford by their father's death. Left to right are Clarence, Archie, Bryan, Ralph and Ed; and Helen, Bertha and Lillian.
"Bertha, Mrs. Earl Bratney, the eldest daughter, lives in Portland. Her husband, also formerly of Medford, is retired from Portland General Electric Co. The acreage on the hill at the end of Kings Highway was location of their first home. They planted an apricot orchard, which still bears fruit.
Carry on Greenhouse"Ed and his wife, Ruth, carried on with the greenhouses. They built a large greenhouse by the Lone Pine School, specializing in tomatoes and cucumbers. After this place was sold they developed a large Hereford ranch east of Roxy Ann Butte. Ed died in 1948. His widow is living in Medford.
"Lillian, best known on the Pacific coast for her flower arrangements and flower show judging, died in 1967. Her husband, Dr. Louis Gentner, is retired as entomologist at the Southern Oregon Experiment Farm.
Ralph started his career as a newspaper man in Medford, then developed a furniture business in Los Angeles, where he was well known in banking and country club circles. He retired and returned to Medford with his wife, Lu. He died while visiting in California in October, 1969.
Bryan started his electrical career at B. W. Paul's shop in Medford in 1912. He was a licensed electrical supervisor for many years and was an engineer at the Rogue Valley manor for several years prior to recent retirement. He and wife Eudora continue to live in Medford.
Taught School in CountyHelen, the youngest sister, taught school in Jackson County and married Cecil Culbertson, Antelope area dairy rancher. She died in 1948.
Archie (A. C. Pierce), the youngest of the eight sons and daughters, pioneered the Medford-Portland auto freight business in 1925. It expanded into a 500-employee payroll. Since retirement from that venture he has engaged in homesite developments in Medford and at Ruch. With wife Helen he resides at Pierce Heights.
"Taps have sounded for the beautiful residence which was the Pierce home--now but a memory," Bryan concluded his recent soliloquy.
But this is not entirely true. If the local Pierces will travel to 7143 Wagner Creek Road, Talent, drive down a narrow dirt road and ford the stream, any day now, they will find a surprise in store for them.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 19, 1973, page B1 See the article in the August 26, 1973 Mail Tribune about the plans to rebuild the Phipps house.
State's No. 1 Carrier
Pierce Started in Late 1924
When Archie C. Pierce and his Pierce Auto Freight Lines chose a slogan for the company logo, an appropriate choice was "Oregon's No. 1 Carrier."
Not only did the phrase express the firm's pride in its service, but it had a double, even triple, meaning.
For Pierce Freight had been issued the state's No. 1 Public Utility Commission certificate (permit). Pierce also was one of two truckers who were the first to offer general merchandise auto freight service from Portland to Medford.
Also, Pierce Freight was the first to include Medford to Portland service; that also accommodated businesses in the intermediate cities of Grants Pass, Roseburg, Eugene, Albany and Salem.
When the firm extended to Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area and to Crescent City, Calif., the Medford headquarters office became the hub of a major truck line. The head office later moved to Portland, prompted by the high volume of business.
The line began late in 1924 when Pierce went to Portland and traded his solid tire Federal truck for a GMC model with pneumatic (air-filled) tires in front but with solid tires yet behind.
A 22-year-old with just one truck of his own, Pierce at first was the collector of orders, the driver, the deliveryman and the mechanic.
When he sold out 30-plus years later in 1955, the company had 500 employees and 300 trucks and trailers.
Today, when someone praises him for his shrewdness and his foresight, Pierce, now 82, responds, "I wasn't smart to get into the trucking business. I was hungry. I couldn't find a job."
The Washington, Kan., native came to Medford in 1905.
He had worked for Eads Transfer and had hauled fruit for growers Leonard and Alfred S. V. Carpenter. Leonard Carpenter loaned Pierce the money to buy the Federal truck, and he did other local hauling. But winter approached and Pierce ran out of jobs. Hence the truck swap.
Pierce says he and Guy Cox, who had Medford Transfer Co., started taking orders and offered twice-per-week service from Portland to fill them. "We were sort of working together," he adds.
He says his brother, Brian Pierce, bought out Cox, then he (Archie) bought out Brian.
"In those days," he says, "there was no problem getting all the freight you wanted to haul."
"The only previous service," Pierce notes, "had been rail service. It took about a week for rail freight from Portland to Medford."
Too, he says, merchants had to go to the railroad depot to get their freight or hire someone to bring it to the store for about 15 cents per 100 pounds.
Pierce says he charged the same rates as Southern Pacific and delivered the goods to the merchant's door.
He says the rates in 1924 were 82 cents per 100 pounds for fourth class, 96 cents for third, $1.15 for second and $1.37 for first.
Delta Lines, eventual successor to Pierce, has a different means, by commodity, of figuring rates. But a Delta spokesman said charges today likely would be $10.24, $11.95, $14.22 and $16.22.
Quite often Pierce ran empty to Portland. At times, however, he went north with fruit, household goods and some miscellaneous items.
When he first added San Francisco, Pierce Freight ran once per week Medford to Portland and Medford to the bay city. Service increased to several times a week. Eventually Pierce offered daily overnight service from Medford to both points.
The Medford-Portland drive in the early days was far tougher than it is now. "But to a young guy it was no bother," Pierce maintains.
Pierce says the trip took 14 hours. The two-lane Pacific Highway (U.S. 99), without a center line, went through all the individual towns and was narrow and crooked. Drivers encountered hundreds of curves between Grants Pass and Roseburg.
"The Crescent City run was wild, and still is in a way," Pierce says.
A long line of cars would form behind a truck traveling up a mountain in low gear. Motorists, unable to pass, became very unhappy with the slow pace, he says.
On the other hand, he says, "I could drive between Medford and Portland all night and seldom see a car."
He says he drove for about a year until the business started to increase, and he needed more time for the business end of trucking. Guy Montonye and Dee Emerick were the first drivers he hired.
Pierce mentions that the young line gave rides to "hitchhiking" Medford businessmen until the insurance company took a dim view.
Pierce Freight carried orders from Medford merchants first-hand to Portland suppliers. Once daily runs started, this accommodation was faster than mail order service. Pierce says the firm was told the company was acting illegally by competing with the Postal Service.
"But we continued to do it anyway," he adds.
Service expanded to include Corvallis, Lebanon and Sweet Home, and Pierce Freight bought out two small truck lines serving the Willamette Valley area.
The company purchased a Grants Pass to Crescent City line also, and for years carried mail between the two communities.
Oregon didn't regulate truck lines when Pierce began hauling. The firm received Certificate No. 1 on July 7, 1933, after state legislation empowered the Public Utility Commissioner to set up a motor carrier program. Laws limited the scope and rights of truck lines. They enabled the commissioner to set load limits and regulate rates.
Pierce at the time still was the only long hauler on U.S. 99 serving all points between the state's north and south borders with both interstate and intrastate service. Oregon California Nevada Fast Freight and Consolidated Freightways, nevertheless, were competitors early in the Pierce operation.
Motor freight pioneers blame the railroad industry for stringent regulations that put a number of motor carriers out of business during the Depression of the 1930s.
Yet Pierce says his line had no problem of getting a good volume of business. He credits the newness, uniqueness and the speed of truck service.
A 1958 issue of Traffic Manager magazine says Pierce met the challenge with new types of equipment, cheaper fuel and lower maintenance costs.
When the firm incorporated in 1931, the officers included Archie Pierce, president; Leonard Carpenter, vice president; Ben Harder, of Medford National Bank, treasurer; and George Roberts, attorney.
Pierce says he still owed Carpenter on the truck loan, and Carpenter accepted stock in the company for the balance.
When Pierce Auto Freight Lines sold out to a new group of individuals in 1955, the late Glenn Jackson became a principal owner.
Pierce's father, Charles H. Pierce, was in the real estate business early in the century. The elder Pierce owned a 500-acre subdivision lying between Hillcrest Road and the Lone Pine School.
Out of the trucking business, Archie has been engaged in property development. He has been associated with Tucker Sno-Cat Corporation and traveled to Antarctica as a representative of the firm.
Today, Pierce says he thanks God for his many blessings and good fortune in his business ventures. He also says loyal employees and good executives were vital to the success of Pierce Auto Freight.
"I think we were helpful to Medford from the standpoint of our service to merchants and farmers," he also says.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 6, 1985, "Medford's 1st Century," page 26
Pierce Hauled Unusual, Valuable Cargo
Pierce Auto Freight Lines hauled cargo both unusual and valuable during his 31 years of ownership, says Archie C. Pierce, the founder of the line.
On one occasion, he says, the firm transported a 4-ton tombstone from the granite quarry above Ashland to a southeast Washington community. The huge stone was unloaded right at the graveside.
Pierce haulers also have carried two kinds of mint cargo--coins from the San Francisco Mint to Portland and liquid spearmint valued at $1,000 a barrel from Albany. "Boy, were the coins heavy," Pierce recalls. Quicksilver was transported from the Sutherlin area.
The line hauled ammunition and other explosives during wartime.
Pierce says the late rancher, Charlie Hoover, promoted the transport of livestock by truck. Pierce says the quicker trip, as compared to rail, benefited stockmen because animals' weight loss was less.
For the company, the trucks were something of a mess to clean up.
Another truck line brought freight labeled "honey" from California to Medford for transfer and shipment north. Pierce put a stop to this hauling when he learned the true nature of the goods. This was during Prohibition, and the merchandise was alcoholic.
Safety on the road gets strong emphasis from motor carriers, and Pierce is proud of the nationwide recognition, both publicly and within the industry, his drivers earned the truck line. The company earned a national safety award from the National Safety Council in 1941.
In 1950 John Castner was National Truck Driver of the Year as the result of the American Truckers Association national roadeo competition. He had driven 900,000 accident-free miles in 12 years. Castner met and talked with President Harry Truman and was shown with the President in pictures that appeared in newspapers across the country.
Pierce's relationship with God is important in his life. For a number of years Pierce presented turkeys to employees at Christmas time. One year he presented Bibles. Some employees expressed disappointment. They said they couldn't eat the Bible.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 6, 1985, page 27
Archie Pierce, 94, Dies
Longtime Resident Started Area's First Trucking Firm
By PEGGYANN HUTCHINSON
of the Mail Tribune
Archie C. Pierce, who started hauling freight from Medford to Portland in 1924 and later became a real estate developer, died Friday (Aug. 15, 1997) at a local foster home. He was 94.
Pierce's company, Pierce Freight Lines, would eventually hold Oregon Public Utility Commission permit No. 1, as well as California Interstate permit No. 1. In the early days only a license plate was needed to haul freight.
His competition was the railroad, which took an average of one week to get freight to Portland from Medford. Pierce's trucks delivered their freight to Portland overnight.
Pierce built his reputation on hauling fruit, winning the business of local orchardists. He pioneered the use of double trailers in Oregon.
Pierce's stress on highway safety earned his company first place in the National Safety Council competition in 1942. Parts of his safety campaign were adopted by the American Trucking Association. One of his drivers was named Driver of the Year three times.
During World War II, Pierce was chairman of a state group seeking ways to economize on fuel. In the early 1950s, he was appointed by Oregon Gov. Paul Patterson to President Eisenhower's National Safety Council.
When Pierce Freight Lines was sold in 1955, the company's nerve center was in Portland. The company's 500 employees and 300 trucks and trailers operated out of 12 terminals.
Pierce had come a long way since arriving in Medford in 1902. The Pierce family--including eight children--came west from Kansas.
Among the first homes their father built was the large white house that stood at the corner of East Main Street and Crater Lake Avenue, later known as the Phipps House.
In 1934, he married Helen High, a Medford school teacher, who survives.
After selling the truck lines, Southern Pacific, which he had fought for years, had him survey its trucking operations and make suggestions.
The late Emmitt Tucker, founder and owner of Tucker Sno-Cat, sought Pierce's financial help. Pierce helped raise the needed money through stock sales in the corporation. He remained on the Tucker Sno-Cat board for many years. Since the U.S. Navy was a major customer, Pierce was able to visit Antarctica, where Sno-Cats were used.
Pierce later became involved in real estate, developing the area between Hillcrest Road and Cherry Lane as well as Sunshine Village in Ruch.
He helped organize the Medford YMCA and sought funding for its first building as well as developing a YMCA camp at Diamond Lake. He was in on the planning for Rogue Valley Manor and served on its board for 25 years.
In retirement the Pierces traveled.
Through the years he was active in a number of different churches, most recently attending Ashland Christian Center.
Arrangements will be announced by Perl Funeral Services.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 16, 1997
Archie C. Pierce
The memorial service for Archie C. Pierce will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Siskiyou Memorial Chapel. The Rev. Maurice Pierce, his nephew, will officiate.
Mr. Pierce, 94, of Medford, died Friday (Aug. 15, 1997) at a local foster care home.
He was born Dec. 16, 1902, in Washington, Kan., the youngest son of eight children of Charles and Anna Pierce.
To get away from the cyclones of Kansas, the family moved west in 1905--putting their possessions, including buggy and horses, in a freight car.
The family owned the first telephone in Medford, the second automobile, and had the first commercial greenhouse.
During the Depression, the family lost their home at East Main Street and Crater Lake Avenue; it later became known as the Phipps Estate.
Archie Pierce attended Roosevelt School and later what is now Lone Pine School, his father having donated the land to the county. Economic times forced him to drop out during the eighth grade to help his parents.
He would later return to school and attended what is now Oregon State University.
He pioneered the first truck line in Oregon--Pierce Freight Lines--in 1924. He sold it in 1955. At its peak it employed 500 and had 300 trucks and trailers.
On March 4, 1933, in Salem, he married Helen High, who died Jan. 30, 1997.
His second career was in real estate development. Two [of his projects] were Sunshine Village at Ruch and BelAir Heights in Medford.
He and his wife traveled extensively throughout the world.
Mr. Pierce served on the board of Tucker Sno-Cat for many years, helped organize the Medford YMCA, and was an original member of the Rogue Valley Manor board, serving on it for 25 years. He was a member of Medford Rotary Club for 64 years.
For years the family had a Christmas nativity scene at their home. They also shared their Squaw Lake Ranch in the Applegate with hundreds of area church youth. He was a member of the Christian Center in Ashland.
Survivors include a son, John Pierce, Medford; a daughter, Mary Elizabeth Veach, Cusick, Wash.; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Arrangements: Perl Funeral Services.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 18, 1997
Last revised December 22, 2020