The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Medford Pioneers: Mahlon Purdin 
Mahlon Purdin

    Mahlon Purdin to Wm. Worlow, one-half interest in the Worlow & Rummel sawmill on Antelope Creek. Consideration, $175.
"Real Estate Transactions," Oregon Sentinel, April 9, 1879, page 3

    Purdin & Ellison are taking pictures for the citizens down here, and are doing well.
"Applegate Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 18, 1880, page 3

    Parties from Eagle Point speak highly of the oration delivered by W. J. Stanley on the Fourth. M. Purdin read the Declaration of Independence, and a large crowd assembled at the exercises.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 8, 1882, page 3

    M. Purdin, our photographer, has been visiting relatives and friends in Washington County.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 29, 1886, page 2
March 13, 1888 Southern Oregon Transcript
March 13, 1888 Southern Oregon Transcript

    Mart. Purdin had one of his fingers ripped open by an unclinched horseshoe nail one day last week, the restive horse catching the flesh with the nail point when in the act of jerking his foot loose while being shod.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 16, 1891, page 2

    Miss Iva Purdin lost three days this month on account of sickness, the only time lost during the entire eight months.
"Local Items," The Young Idea, Washington School publication, April 1891, page 3

    April 24, 1891.
    I thought I would write and tell you where I am. I am in London. It is a pretty place.
    I am going to school. There are eight rooms in the building and about 400 scholars going to school. I am in Prof. Clark's department. I wish you could come and go to school here.
    I got a glimpse of Queen Victoria as her carriage passed through the park the other day.
    We took a sail on the Thames River Monday. It made me very dizzy-headed.
    I think I shall stay here until next December. They are going to give a three weeks' vacation next month, and I think I shall go to Paris and spend a week. I went to a circus last Friday.
    I guess I shall close. Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain,
Yours most sincerely,
"Letters in Language Class," The Young Idea, Washington School publication, April 1891, page 2  Iva's trip is apparently imaginary.

    Miss Iva Purdin lost three days this month on account of sickness, the only time lost during the entire eight months.
    Messrs. M. Purdin and I. A. Webb, directors of No. 49, paid the different departments an official visit during the month. Call again, gentlemen.
"Local Items,"
The Young Idea, Washington School publication, April 1891, page 3

    Your correspondent hears the name of M. Purdin mentioned in connection with the office of sheriff of Jackson County. He is one of our best and most prominent citizens, and would make a first-class officer.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 12, 1892, page 2

    M. Purdin, assignee of the estate of Kincaid Bros., insolvent debtors, has been discharged from his trust. He did his work well.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 12, 1892, page 3

1893-1894 Hotel Medford business card

    Mrs. M. Purdin entertained her mother, Mrs. J. L. Worlow of the Antelope section, for several days recently.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 15, 1892, page 2

    The Grand Central Hotel is still under the management of the firm of Harris & Purdin. Steps are being taken to settle up the business of the firm, owing to the death of Mr. Harris.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 14, 1892, page 2

    M. Purdin has changed the name of the Grand Central Hotel to Hotel Medford, and as he has been busy in making long-needed improvements in the arrangements and management of the hotel, the traveling public will soon have to admit it to be one of the very best-managed hostelries in the southern part of the state.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 6, 1893, page 3

Nash Hotel ad, January 20, 1893 Southern Oregon Mail
 January 20, 1893 Southern Oregon Mail

    Rogue River Valley citizens are right onto themselves when it comes to realizing the value of a trust [i.e., a monopoly]. Recently managers of the Hotel Oregon at Ashland made a deal by which they consolidated that and the Ashland House management, and the consequence is both houses will do a good business, the one as a lodging house, the other as the hotel of the city. At Medford, landlord Purdin has also seen the point and has leased the Clarendon Hotel, which he will in future use as a lodging house annex of the Medford hotel, ensuring a good round profit from both buildings.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 3, 1893, page 3

    Hotel Medford now uses menu cards, which add to its metropolitan features. Landlord Purdin is the right man in the right place.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 31, 1893, page 2

    Weeks Bros. of this place have just finished and put in place one of the finest bars in the county for landlord Purdin, of the Medford hotel. It was nearly all of hard wood and finely finished.
"Phoenix Items," Ashland Tidings, April 7, 1893, page 2

    Ira Purdin is chief clerk at Hotel Medford.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 21, 1893, page 3

1893-1894 Hotel Medford business card

    Landlord Purdin was the recipient of a testimonial a few days ago, in the shape of a handsome scarf pin, from one of his many friends among the commercial tourists.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 18, 1894, page 2

    M. Purdin, of Hotel Medford, has given up his lease of the old Clarendon frame building, and Geo. Justus will try and start it up
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, February 22, 1894, page 3

     Mr. and Mrs. Ira E. Purdin, of Forest Grove, this state, stopped of Saturday for a day's visit with landlord Purdin. These people are prosperous farmers of the Willamette Valley and are returning from a visit to the Midwinter Fair. Mr. P. is a nephew of our popular hostelryman.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, February 23, 1894, page 3

    Mr. and Mrs. Ira Purdin of Forest Grove paid landlord Purdin a short visit last week, while on their return from San Francisco.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 26, 1894, page 2

    M. Purdin, chairman of the Democratic central committee, who went to the midwinter fair election day to escape the lightning that struck the Democratic Party, returned home Monday.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, June 14, 1894, page 3

    M. Purdin returned Sunday from a trip to Pokegama where he was offered a hotel, but did not take it.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, October 25, 1894, page 6

    M. Purdin was called from San Francisco last week, his family having the measles. This disease in a mild form has been operating on the children of Medford for several months, but no deaths are yet reported.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, November 22, 1894, page 4

    Ex-Mayor M. Purdin and family left Wednesday to locate at Oakland, Cal., where Mr. Purdin expects to do something when the new railroad from San Francisco to Bakersfield starts up.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, January 31, 1895, page 3

    M. Purdin returned Saturday from Oakland, Cal., and is having a dwelling house built on his lots. Mrs. Purdin and the children stopped at Sisson and will remain there until their new home is ready. Mr. Purdin has bought Merriman's blacksmith shop and will go into his old trade again.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, March 14, 1895, page 3

    Mrs. M. Purdin and children returned Tuesday from a visit with relatives at Sisson.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, July 25, 1895, page 3

    The blacksmith shop of Merriman & Purdin has dissolved partnership, Mr. Merriman having purchased Mr. Purdin's interest.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, August 23, 1895, page 5

    George F. Merriman, the blacksmith, has purchased the shop formerly owned by Merriman & Purdin.
"Medford Items," Valley Record, Ashland, August 29, 1895, page 3

    M. Purdin received his commission as postmaster for the city of Medford on Monday on this week. The writer of these lines called the turn on him as he saw him walking up the street after getting his mail. We knew from the elasticity of his walk and the diamond-like brilliancy of his face that he had the commission in his inside pocket--we knew from actual experience. He walked and acted just as we did when similarly afflicted--back in North Dakota in '85. Mr. Purdin upon receipt of his commission at once commenced arrangements for taking possession of the office. Everything leading up to taking possession seemed to have arranged themselves about right. The Adkins brick block was in shape Tuesday morning for the reception of G. L. Webb's stock of Racket goods, and work of moving was upon that date commenced. Mr. Purdin's new post office boxes arrived Tuesday morning, and on Thursday the work of rearranging the post office room, in the Halley block, was commenced. The post office department suggests a change in postmastership upon either the first or fifteenth of each month--Saturday is the fifteenth, and it will be upon the evening of this date that the office will be transferred to its new quarters and into the hands of M. Purdin. George Howard, he who has been assistant to Postmaster Howard for several years, will assist Mr. Purdin for a few weeks in familiarizing him with the routine office work. Ira Purdin will also assist in the office until such time when Miss Iva Purdin shall have completed her studies in the public schools when she will enter the office as an assistant.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, February 14, 1896, page 5

    M. Purdin has been granted a patent on his paper toothpicks. The invention promises to cut quite a figure, as it is a valuable one.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 17, 1898, page 3

    Lin Purdin is with us again since the saw mill at Klamathon shut down.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 25, 1898, page 3

Miss Iva Purdin, who has been attending the Ashland normal school, returned home last week, suffering from an attack of mumps.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 15, 1899, page 3

    Miss Iva Purdin writes that she arrived safely at Kemmer, Wyo., and will at once take charge of a school in that district. We expect her to steadily increase the success which has already attended her as an educator.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 11, 1899, page 3

    Lin Purdin has heard from the examination he took early last fall for admission into the government railway mail service. He passed a very satisfactory examination, but it will probably be several months before there is a vacancy in the service. Lin is now Southern Pacific freight clerk in Medford.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, January 12, 1900, page 7

    It is reported that M. Purdin, the retiring postmaster of Medford, will open a large and first-class lodging house in that city as soon as he is retired of his official duties.

"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, January 22, 1900, page 3

    The curious are wondering why Lin Purdin goes to Jacksonville semi-occasionally.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 22, 1900, page 2

    M. Purdin is visiting his son Ira at Redding, Calif.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 12, 1900, page 3

    Ex-Postmaster M. Purdin returned Wednesday evening from San Francisco and Redding, Calif. He was accompanied by his son, Ira, who is ill with malaria fever. While in San Francisco Mr. Purdin arranged with a foundry for the manufacture of castings required in the manufacture of his patented paper toothpicks.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, March 23, 1900, page 6

    The Mail regrets being called upon this week to chronicle the death of Mr. Ira E. Purdin, which occurred on Wednesday, from an abscess of the lungs. Deceased was a son of ex-Postmaster M. Purdin, of this city, and for the past three or four years had been living in California. About two weeks ago he wrote his father, who was in San Francisco upon business, stating that he was not feeling well and wanted to return to his home in Medford. His father immediately went to Redding, where Ira was then stopping, and at once brought him to Medford. Upon arriving here medical attendance was at once secured, and everything possible was done to for him but to no avail and death claimed its victim. Deceased was not quite twenty-five years of age. Funeral services were held at the family residence, corner of North B and Sixth streets, on Thursday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock, Rev. O. J. Gist officiating clergyman. The parents have the sympathy of all Medford in this their said bereavement.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 30, 1900, page 7

DIED.--In Medford, Oregon, on Wednesday, March 28, 1900, Ira Ellis Purdin, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. Purdin, aged 24 years 7 months and 21 days. The funeral services were held at the residence, corner North B and Sixth streets, on Thursday, March 29th, at 2:30 o'clock, Rev. O. J. Gist, officiating clergyman. He was laid to rest in the Odd Fellows cemetery in the presence of a large concourse of sorrowing friends and relatives.
Medford Enquirer, March 30, 1900, page 5

    Miss Iva Purdin returned home last Saturday from Kemmerer, Wyoming, where she has been teaching school since last fall. Her school term did not end until May, but upon receiving word of the serious illness of her brother, Ira, she gave up her school. She will not return.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, April 6, 1900, page 6

    Miss Iva Purdin returned last week from Kemmerer, Wyoming, where she has been teaching school for the past few months.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 12, 1900, page 2

    Miss Iva Purdin has taken a position as clerk in the Medford post office, a position she held for several months during her father's incumbency of that office. She is very capable help and Postmaster Merriman is to be congratulated upon having secured her services. Miss Mae Merriman is becoming quite proficient in the office work, and between the three--Postmaster Merriman, Miss Mae and Miss Iva--the office is being well and faithfully looked after. Miss Letha Hardin and Lin Purdin, former employees, have severed their connections with the office.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 13, 1900, page 7

    Miss Iva Purdin is acting as one of Postmaster Merriman's assistants in the Medford post office.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 16, 1900, page 2

    The supreme court has admitted to the bar the following law students recently examined . . . Mahlon Purdin, Medford. . . .
"Newly Fledged Attorneys," Daily Journal, Salem, October 9, 1900, page 3

    M. Purdin, our former postmaster, was last week admitted to practice in the supreme court, having passed a creditable examination.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 15, 1900, page 2

    M. Purdin has purchased the Merriman blacksmith shop. He is a veteran knight of the forge and will find no trouble in pleasing the many customers of that establishment.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 5, 1900, page 2

        The Fish Lake Water Company has filed articles of incorporation, capital stock $200,000. M. Purdin, Rufus Cox and I. L. Hamilton are the incorporators. Their purpose is to extend the Butte Creek-Medford water ditch.
"Oregon Industries," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, November 11, 1900, page 4

    Lin Purdin, who has been in San Francisco for several months, employed in a box factory, returned to Medford Sunday evening for a visit with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. M. Purdin.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, March 29, 1901, page 6

    H. H. Mitchell, the blacksmith, and his brother, J. W. Mitchell, of Montague, Calif., last week purchased the blacksmithing business of M. Purdin and took charge of the same last Monday morning. Mr. Mitchell will arrive in Medford about thirty days to remain permanently.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, April 19, 1901, page 2

    M. Purdin is erecting a 30x36-foot blacksmith shop near his residence, on North B Street, opposite the Mitchell, Lewis & Staver Co.'s implement house. He expects to have it completed and be at work therein by July 1st. Mr. Purdin's many Medford friends will be pleased to learn of this positive indication that he is henceforth a permanent resident of our city.

"Additional Local," Medford Mail, June 21, 1901, page 6

    M. Purdin has completed his new blacksmith shop on North B Street and has opened for business.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 5, 1901, page 7

Announcement to the Public.
    I wish to announce to the people of Medford and vicinity that I have opened a blacksmith shop in my new building on B Street, just north of the Medford Bank, and opposite the brick store of the Mitchell, Lewis & Staver Co.
    The shop is fitted with latest and best tools and stock, and all work will be guaranteed. Norway iron will be used in all repair work.
M. PURDIN.           
Medford Mail, July 5, 1901, page 7

    Lin Purdin, representing the Chicago Portrait Co., has returned from Ashland.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 18, 1901, page 5

    Lin Purdin was out from Medford last week soliciting orders for Hicks & Walker's marble works. He succeeded fairly well in this section.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail, May 17, 1901, page 5

    Miss Iva Purdin is employed as saleswoman for a few weeks in J. G. Van Dyke & Co.'s store.

"Additional Local," Medford Mail, June 28, 1901, page 6

    Purdin's blacksmith shop--near Medford Bank. All work guaranteed.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 9, 1901, page 7

    Purdin's blacksmith shop--rear of Medford Bank. All work guaranteed. 
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 6, 1901, page 7

    Lin Purdin and Roy Richardson are over in Coos County selling pictures for the Chicago Portrait Company.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 13, 1901, page 7

    If you want superior blacksmithing call on M. Purdin, whose shop is in the rear of Medford Bank. His prices are reasonable, and he gives satisfaction.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 19, 1901, page 7

    Miss Iva Purdin, who is teaching school at Woodville, visited over Saturday and Sunday with her parents in this city.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, October 11, 1901, page 6

    Stan Aiken came down from Prospect this week and while here enlivened the town to quite an extent by giving us a runaway. His team became frightened at a bicycle while near the Simons second-hand store and ran east on Sixth Street, then south to Seventh, where they were caught after turning the hack bottom side up. In passing Mr. Purdin's place the hack was thrown astride his picket fence, and the pickets were stripped from the posts the full length. Frank Hull, in endeavoring to stop the team, was thrown down and quite badly bruised but not seriously. Mr. Aiken was thrown from the hack and he, too, was injured but not badly.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 11, 1901, page 7

    Miss Iva Purdin, of Medford, is teaching at the Scotts' school house on Evans Creek and both scholars and patrons are well pleased with her work.

"Woodville Items," Medford Mail, November 1, 1901, page 5

    Lin Purdin returned to Medford Saturday evening from his pilgrimage of several months in the coast country. He will remain in Medford during the winter.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, November 15, 1901, page 6

    Miss Iva Purdin, of Medford, closed a very successful term of school on Evans Creek, at the Scott school house, last Friday evening with an entertainment and box supper. The literary program and the military and doll drills did credit to both teacher and pupils.

"Woodville Items," Medford Mail, November 22, 1901, page 5

    A dramatic company has been organized in Medford, and the first entertainment is booked for holiday week and will be the presentation of a three-act drama entitled "The Heart of a Hero," by McIntyre. The cast is Lin Purdin, in the lead role and the hero of the play; Emmett Barkdull is the villain. W. J. Mahoney is an estray from Si Perkins' combination; Sid Cole is a squire with dignity and gray whiskers; George Porter is a "jude" from the city; Homer Rothermel is an office boy; Mae Merriman is lead lady; Carrie George is a poor old maid, in other words a spinster, with an object but no prospect; Gertrude Wilson is an asylum inmate; Florence Toft is a coquette with dashing ways but a heart that's all right. Rehearsals are now on, and advertising matter will soon be out. Since the above item was put in type the company has made different arrangements and will put on "In the Toils" instead of the play above mentioned.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 6, 1901, page 9

    Plows sharpened, pointed and laid in first-class shape. Purdin's blacksmith shop, B Street.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, January 31, 1902, page 7

    Miss Iva Purdin returned Saturday evening from Sisson, Calif., at which place she has been acting as assistant postmaster for several weeks.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, February 14, 1902, page 6

    Miss Iva Purdin, who served as assistant postmaster at Sisson, Cal. for several weeks, has returned.

"Medford," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, February 16, 1902, page 21

    C. W. Jenkins, of Browning, Mo., arrived in Medford last week and will open a wagon-making shop in M. Purdin's blacksmith shop. Mr. Jenkins comes highly recommended from the East and no doubt will meet with success in this locality. His family arrived Monday of this week.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, March 7, 1902, page 6

    Miss Iva Purdin will leave for Woodville Sunday where she will open the spring term of school.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, March 14, 1902, page 6

    Ira E. Purdin and family, of Forest Grove, Oregon, passed through Medford Thursday evening of last week. They have been spending the winter in Southern California, and were on their way home. Mr. Purdin is a cousin of M. Purdin of this city.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, April 25, 1902, page 6

    Ira E. Purdin, a cousin of M. Purdin and a prominent citizen of Washington County, and his family, who have been spending the winter in California, were on a recent northbound train, en route home.
Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 2, 1902, page 5

    Miss Iva Purdin, who is teaching a successful term of school near Woodville, visited at home Saturday and Sunday.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 2, 1902, page 5

    Purdin's blacksmith shop back of the Medford Bank is prepared now to do all kinds of blacksmithing and wagon work. E. M. Jenkins, a first-class wagon maker, is in charge of that department and guarantees all work turned out by him. Carriage painting also done.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 9, 1902, page 7

    Miss Iva Purdin returned from Woodville Saturday where she has just closed a two months' term of school.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, May 16, 1902, page 6

    M. Purdin and Wes. Johnson were respectively elected justice of the peace and constable of Medford district.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 5, 1902, page 5

    Miss Ella Knight, of Sisson, Calif., arrived in Medford Wednesday for a visit with her cousin, Miss Angie Purdin. Upon her return she will be accompanied by Miss Iva Purdin, who goes to Sisson to accept a position in the post office at that place.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, June 13, 1902, page 6

    Miss Ella Knight of Sisson, Calif. is visiting Misses Purdin, who are her cousins. Miss Iva Purdin will return with her.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 19, 1902, page 7

    J. E. Bodge, Judge M. Purdin and "Billie" Isaacs were down at Rogue River Sunday having a good time catching fish. Mr. Isaacs, the acknowledged king fisherman of the Rogue River Valley, is said to have outdone all previous records upon this occasion, having caught a thirteen-pound chinook salmon with a six and a half ounce rod, a number eight fly and a very light line. The time required in landing the fish was just one hour and twenty minutes, and it required all of "Billie's" skill to do it in that time.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, August 29, 1902, page 6

    M. Purdin met with quite a painful accident, in his shop on North B Street, Tuesday morning. While working a horse, the animal jumped and landed on Mr. Purdin's foot, crushing it badly. Fortunately no bones were broken.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 29, 1902, page 7

    Lynn Purdin, formerly a typo and all-'round printer in the Mail office, has taken a position as clerk in the Medford post office. Mr. Purdin has served in this capacity before and is conversant with the work in every detail, hence it is but to be presumed that he will fill the bill, and his efforts prove satisfactory to the department and patrons of the office. Miss Letha Hardin, who was formerly clerk in the office, expects to leave within a few weeks for California.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 5, 1902, page 7

    Miss Ivy Purdin, who has been at Sisson, Calif. for some time, returned a few days since.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 2, 1902, page 2

    Miss Iva Purdin is teaching a successful term of school in Meadows district.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville,
October 30, 1902, page 3

    Judge M. Purdin has been laid up for several days past with a dislocation of a bone of the shoulder. The dislocation took place a couple of years ago, but it did not become painful until quite recently, but it is now making up for any time it may have heretofore lost.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, November 14, 1902, page 6

    'Squire Purdin is confined to his room with a dislocated arm, the result of injuries received a long time ago, but of which he has only recently become aware.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 19, 1902, page 4

    Mark Purdin, of Forest Grove, Or., is in Medford upon a visit to his brother, Judge M. Purdin.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, November 21, 1902, page 6

Hotel Changes Hands.
    I. L. Hamilton, who has been the landlord of Hotel Nash for a number of years, concluded to retire from the business some time ago, and this week sold the lease, furniture, etc. to C. C. Ragsdale. Possession has already been given, and M. Purdin is acting as manager, assisted by D. W. Crosby. Mr. Ragsdale was for a number of years a resident of this county, but lately has been operating in stock and wheat at Williams, Colusa County, Calif. He will arrive in Medford during the next fortnight. Mr. Hamilton has numerous other interests, to which he will now give more attention to.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 10, 1902, page 1

    Tuesday morning I. L. Hamilton sold his interest in the Hotel Nash to C. C. Ragsdale, of Willows, Calif., and turned the property over to M. Purdin, who represents Mr. Ragsdale in the deal. The new proprietor is not expected here until the first of the year. In the meantime the business will be conducted by Mr. Purdin in a manner calculated to win the good will of all the patrons of the house. . . . Judge Purdin is no novice in the hotel business, he having been proprietor of this same hostelry some ten years ago. The Mail
man and his family was harbored by mine host Purdin ten years ago this coming January. At that time we thought that he was one of the best men on earth--and we are of the same opinion still. Mr. Ragsdale, the gentleman who will eventually be in charge, is a former Jackson County man, having been engaged in farming near Tolo. If he is as good a hotel man as he is a farmer and all-round good fellow, he needs no fixin'.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 12, 1902, page 7

    Miss Iva Purdin, of Medford, is the guest of Miss Cora Purdin.

"Society: Forest Grove," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, February 1, 1903, page 18

    Louis Bagger & Co., attorneys at Washington, D.C., send us the information that M. Purdin, who is the inventor, and G. H. Haskins have obtained a valuable patent for improvements in apparatus for printing paper bags. It is highly spoken of by all who have seen the device, and promises to prove a bonanza for the patentees. A printed copy of this patent will be furnished free to any reader of this paper on application to the above-named attorneys.

"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 4, 1903, page 2

    Miss Iva Purdin has been engaged to teach the Wolf Creek school, and will begin Monday.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 8, 1903, page 3

    Mrs. M. Purdin of Medford scalded her face quite badly recently with hot water from a tea kettle which she was removing from the stove.

"Our Personal Column," 
Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, August 13, 1903, page 3

    Information from Boise, Idaho says that Lin Purdin, a Medford boy, is now playing an engagement in that city with the Raymond Stock Company. A program, which has been received, shows that Lin is cast for the "Czar of Russia,," in the great Russian war drama of "Michael Strogoff."

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 26, 1904, page 5

    Attorney Purdin:--"Yes, my leg is getting along first rate; but pretty slowly. Say, I never appreciated those funny pictures about that mule, whose name is 'Maud,' until I got mixed up with that bronco's heels. It will be some time before I'll fool around any more light-heeled equines."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, December 16, 1904, page 1

Miss Cora Purdin
    FOREST GROVE, Or., April 12.--Miss Cora, the 23-year-old daughter of Ira E. Purdin, died here today after a lingering illness. She had been a student of the State Normal School.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 13, 1905, page 4


It Takes Days to Work the Scheme, but Rich Returns Make it Profitable.
    Medford, Ore., Dec. 12.--The prosecuting attorney of Jackson County would like to learn by telegraph of the whereabouts of a man six feet tall, with drooping shoulders, who smiles readily, is of ministerial appearance and who poses as a farmer.
    Such a one recently drifted into the office of an attorney of this city and last week walked away with $200.00 which that gentleman gave him, without having received an equivalent therefor.
    The swindler employed the lawyer to make a collection for him, giving as the name of the debtor a reliable farmer living in another town. He told the attorney that he and the farmer had trouble over the account of $250.00, that the farmer had offered $150.00 in settlement and that he, the swindler, ordered the debtor to leave his premises. He instructed the lawyer to write to the alleged debtor that if he did not pay the $250.00 forthwith he would bring an action for its collection. He then informed the lawyer that he was going to a town in an adjoining county, and would return in a few days. A day or so after he left, the lawyer received a letter signed by the name of the alleged debtor in which the information was conveyed that he, the debtor, had received the letter, and that he well knew his liability to the swindler, but that they had quarreled over the account, as it should not be over $150.00 but rather than have a lawsuit he was willing to compromise the matter and pay the sum of $200.00 for which amount he sent the check, payable to the order of the lawyer, instructing him to get settlement in full of the matter for that amount or return the check to him, as he would let a jury settle the case before he would pay any more.
    In a day or so the swindler returned and the lawyer informed him of the receipt of the letter and the check and the offer to compromise for $200.00. After a proper amount of hesitation he agreed to accept the sum offered and to pay the lawyer a small fee for collection. The check being payable to the lawyer's order, he took it to the bank and got the money, paying the amount agreed upon to the fellow who departed after profuse thanks for services rendered. The check on reaching the farmer through his bank was pronounced a forgery, and the indebtedness as described by the swindler, a myth.
    Either by forged order or by verbal request on the Postmaster, the swindler got possession of the letter written by the lawyer demanding the payment, and simply wrote reply as purporting to come from the farmer, drawing a check for the $200.00 and making his offer of a compromise. The lawyer's client did the rest.

Placer County Republican, Auburn, California, December 14, 1905, page 3

    Attorney Mahlon Purdin was, last week, the victim of a very clever swindler, and by the swindle someone is out $200.
    The story of the swindle as perpetrated upon Mr. Purdin is told in the following lines:
    About two weeks ago a man, clerical in appearance and fairly well dressed, called at his office, in Medford, and, after introducing himself as Jos. Addison, stated that he had a claim of $200 against W. R. Kincaid, a farmer living south of Ashland, and he (Addison) wanted Mr. Purdin to take the matter up with Kincaid with a view to settlement. Addison stated that he had recently purchased a farm near Talent and that during the past fall Kincaid had driven a band of cattle past his place and had asked permission of him (Addison) to put the cattle in his corral overnight; that one of Kincaid's men had left a barn door open and that during the night a vicious animal from the herd had entered his barn and had killed one horse and injured another so badly that it had to be killed; that when the havoc wrought during the night had been discovered Kincaid had agreed to put up $150 as payment for the team, but this Addison would not accept, claiming the team to be worth $250. They had some hard words and parted, leaving the matter unsettled. Addison asked Mr. Purdin to write to Kincaid stating that if he (Kincaid) would pay him $250 he would settle the matter, otherwise he would sue him for $300, the alleged value of the team. A letter was written by Mr. Purdin to Mr. Kincaid as per instruction and within a few days he received a reply stating that he would not pay him $250 as the team was not worth that amount, but that he would pay $200 rather than to have further trouble and he enclosed his check on the Bank of Ashland for that amount, payable to Mr. Purdin. A couple of days later Addison dropped into Mr. Purdin's office to learn what had been done in the mutter and he was shown Mr. Kincaid's letter. After a proper hesitancy he agrees to accept the compromise and Mr,. Purdin took the check to the First National Bank, drew the money and handed it to Addison, who, very generously, gave Mr. Purdin $15 for his trouble. A receipt in full was given by Addison in full settlement of the claim.
    Immediately Mr. Purdin wrote to Mr. Kincaid stating that he had effected the settlement and enclosed the receipt. A couple of days later Mr. Purdin had his letter and the receipt returned to him with a note from Mrs. Kincaid saying there had been a mistake made and that his letter was undoubtedly intended for some other person, as Mr. Kincaid had had no dealings with Addison and did not know such a man.
    Mr. Purdin at once took the matter up with the bank and learned from cashier Alford that the Bank of Ashland had passed the check and had given his bank credit for the amount.
    Addison in the meantime had made himself scarce in these parts and has not since been seen or heard from. Of course the whole affair was a forgery from start to finish, and the story told on Kincaid was a lie. The forgery must have been a very clever one to have passed the Ashland bank without detection.
    A fuller description of the swindler is here given:
    He was fully six feet tall, slightly stooping shoulders, dark complexion and smooth shaved; front teeth very darkly discolored; would weigh about 180 pounds and was neatly dressed in dark clothes, with soft black cloth overcoat and soft black hat; smiles readily and has the appearance of being a preacher, a teacher or doctor more than a farmer; smooth talker and uses good language.
    This same fellow, it is learned, tried the same scheme on attorney J. R. Neil at Jacksonville, and would have pulled down $200 over there had he not, presumably, become frightened after making the raise here. In this instance his claim was against Fred Rapp, a farmer, also living near Talent. The forged check was sent to Mr. Neil and would undoubtedly have been paid. Mr. Rapp is a juryman at Jacksonville this week and while there Mr. Neil informed him that he still held his check for $200 in payment of the claim. Mr. Neil was very promptly informed that he had no check signed by him for any claim--and further developments proved the forgery--and by the same person who
swindled Mr. Purdin.

Medford Mail, December 15, 1905, page 1

    A deal was closed recently whereby Lynn Purdin, foreman in the Central Point Herald office, became the owner of the Record printing plant in the Whiteside building. The plant was installed last summer by Mrs. Maple, who with her husband engaged in the printing business. The town proving too small, however, to support two newspapers, Mrs. Maple decided to dispose of the plant, which is very complete. Mr. Purdin has not decided just what he will do with the plant, but that he has a good outfit is unquestioned..
Medford Mail Tribune, March 25, 1910, page 1

    Mahlon Purdin and family have moved into their new residence, just completed, on North Central Avenue.
"Social and Personal,"
Medford Mail Tribune, June 5, 1910, page 5

    Judge Mahlon Purdin has disposed of his valuable lot on North Central Avenue to Mr. Vorbick.
"Social and Personal,"
Medford Mail Tribune, June 15, 1910, page 5

Residence, 328 North Central Avenue; office, Jackson County Bank building, Medford Oregon. Born in Linn County, Missouri, March 22, 1853. Son of Caleb Boyer and Rachel Browning (Fuel) Purdin. Came to Oregon in 1864. Married to Lizzie Worlow. deceased September, 10, 1874; Rena B. Ely, May 3, 1909. Attended country schools only. Admitted to bar at Salem, Oregon, October, 1900. Postmaster, Medford, Oregon, 1896-1900; member Oregon Legislature, 1909; member A. F. & A. M. and K. of P. fraternities.
History of the Bench and Bar of Oregon, 1910, page 208

    M. Purdin from Jackson County, being in the state legislature from that county four years ago, was in town Tuesday. Mr. Purdin was in Vale last in 1864, and confesses that he can see nothing of the Oregon Trail. Mr. Purdin will be in Malheur County for some days, making Ontario his headquarters.
"News of the Week Tersely Told," Malheur Enterprise, Vale, September 20, 1913, page 3

    At a special meeting of the city council held Friday night, Mahlon Purdin, pioneer resident of Medford, and well known in political circles, was named successor of the chair left vacant by the death of the late W. W. Eifert.
    Judge Purdin received five votes and J. A. Perry one. The action of the council came as a surprise, it being generally understood the appointment would be made at the regular meeting Tuesday night.
    Before naming Judge Purdin the council held a conference with him earlier in the week, and he agreed to take the place.
    Judge Purdin has been a resident of Medford for over twenty years and has served as mayor before, holding the job in 1890. He has also been city attorney, justice of the peace and postmaster.
    The oath of office will be administered to the new mayor at the regular meeting Tuesday, and he will assume the duties of his office at once thereafter.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 4, 1913, page 6

Recent Tax Levy, Which Runs Up to 12 Mills, Last Straw
Which "Breaks Camel's Back" and Demand for Action Heard.

    MEDFORD, Or., Dec.--(Special.)--Petitions are being circulated for the recall of Mayor Purdin and every member of the City Council.
    Friends of Mayor Purdin, who was named by the Council to take the place of the late W. W. Eifert, say his term does not expire at the coming election on January 13, and therefore those who oppose him are making doubly sure by starting a recall petition. In the case of City Attorney Foss, appointed to replace Bob Telfer, the court held his term held through the unexpired term of his predecessor, so this precedent at least supports the friends of the Mayor.
    The failure of the present city administration to curtail city expense, in spite of the fact that conditions demanded it, is the main cause for the recall movement. Medford grew rapidly up to 1911, but [in] common with other communities in the country the growth since then has been less.
    Instead of reducing municipal expenses, just as all business men have reduced their running expenses, the city fathers have retained the same force in all departments, [and] maintained two automobiles which have been used for fishing parties and excursions, it is alleged, and in general been indifferent to and defiant of the pleas of the taxpayers to start active retrenchment.
    The straw that "broke the camel's back" was the recent tax levy which increased the levy 2.l mills or a total of 12 mills, and aroused a storm of protest which has not been equalled in the city history for many years.
    An initiative petition was circulated for an amendment to the city charter cutting off the salaries of Mayor and Councilmen--the Mayor getting $75 and each Councilman $25 a month--and the recall petitions followed, Councilman Stewart being the first victim named.
    A movement to secure the commission form or city manager form of government finds considerable favor. It is the present plan first to secure competent and representative business men as members of the Council and then go about the business of redrafting the charter.

Sunday Oregonian, Portland, December 7, 1913, page 12

Mayor's Philanthropy Unappreciated
    MEDFORD, Or., Dec. 18.--(Special.)--Mayor Purdin has decided to abandon the Santa Claus role. Hearing of a needy family, his honor sent flour and bacon and a few other necessities. The man of the house sent back word that he would like to have a pound of any well-known smoking tobacco, two pounds of twist chewing tobacco and the red beans delivered exchanged for white. That was a little too much for the mayor. Hereafter the city will give no aid to needy families until the conditions have been investigated thoroughly.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, December 19, 1913, page 7

Proposal Is for Commission Form or Same With City Manager--
Plan Will Be Offered to Council.

    MEDFORD, Or., Feb. 6.--(Special.)--Mayor Purdin announced tonight that he not only favored a commission plan of government, but intended to have a new charter for Medford drafted providing for a commission both with and without the city manager feature, which he would submit to the City Council and suggest that an election be called for, the people to decide which form they wanted, if any.
    This decision followed the receipt of a municipal survey drawn up by Professor Dan Sowers, of the University of Oregon, suggesting a number of fundamental changes in Medford's present form of administration.
    "The present charter," declared the Mayor, "is antiquated and unwieldy, and in my opinion it would be better sense and economy for Medford to adopt an entirely new charter rather than attempt to reconstruct the old one. What Medford needs is, first, a better system of government and, second, a group of men or a city manager working in conjunction with a group of men, who can devote their undivided attention to city affairs.
    "Since taking office I have become more and more impressed with the imperative need of change in our fundamental charter form. I  appointed a charter commission to investigate and report, but they have never come together, so for the good of the city I have decided to take matters in my own hands and have a new charter drawn up."

Morning Oregonian, Portland, February 7, 1914, page 7

    Mayor Purdin will not be a candidate for mayor at the city election in January. He said Monday that no salary, no political remuneration or love could induce him to enter the race. "I will take to the hills first," he said. Mayor Purdin was appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Mayor W. W. Eifert.
    Councilmen Medynski and Sargent are both mentioned as the candidates for the highest office in the city.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 10, 1914 ,page 6

    Lynn Purdin has resigned the foremanship of the Record, a position which he has diligently occupied for the past five years. He will become associated with the Montague Messenger as publisher and editor, a newspaper property which has recently been reestablished under the control of a joint stock company. He will assume these new duties February 1. His family will remain in Ashland until spring.
"Ashland and Vicinity," Medford Mail Tribune, January 31, 1916, page 5

    "I came to Portland in 1864," said Mr. Purdin, "when I was 11 years old. In 1873 I went to Central Point to work at my trade as a blacksmith. Later I moved to Eagle Point, where my son Lynn, here, was born. Later I went to Medford. That was along about 1883. In 1876 I used to hunt jackrabbits through the brush where Medford now stands. At that time there wasn't a house there. I studied law of evenings and was admitted to the bar in 1900, and have practiced at Medford ever since. I have 10 children. My daughter Angie, here, married A. P. Talent, whose grandfather, A. P. Talent, was the father and founder of the town of Talent."
    Later Lynn Purdin told me how he happened to break into the newspaper business. "It was the movies that made a newspaper owner out of me," he said. "I was graduated from the Medford high school in 1898. I worked as a printer's devil on the Medford Mail while going to school. I learned to set type, but standing at the case sticking type did not appeal to me, so I hit the road with Georgia Harper. We played all over the West. We played 'The Count of Monte Cristo,' and also Shakespearean roles as well as light comedy. When the movies came in we went out. I found that my old trade of sticking type would still buy pork chops, so I went back to the case. I bought the Gold Hill News. When I left, Rex Lampman took it, and later his brother Ben, who, by the way, is a mighty good newspaper man, ran it. Later I secured the Globe at Central Point, going from there to Ashland as mechanical superintendent of the Ashland Record. I bought this paper last month.…"
Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, June 17, 1920, page 10

    Word was received today by Judge M. Purdin of the death of his brother, Mark Purdin of Los Angeles, last night. Mark Purdin has visited his brother several times in Medford.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, February 2, 1924, page 2

    Atty. and Mrs. M. A. Purdin and Mrs. Ora Welch of this city, and Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Purdin of Central Point, are nursing minor bruises and scratches as the result of the former's Willys-Knight touring car turning over Sunday.
    The accident occurred at the point where the Central Point road connects with the Crater Lake Highway. with Atty. Purdin at the wheel, the car had entered the highway from the Central Point road and was headed northward, when it skidded in loose gravel and turned completely over, demolishing the windshield, top and otherwise damaging the car. None of the occupants were caught beneath the auto, and aside from a few bruises and a rather severe shock are none the worse for the accident.
    Mr. Purdin says he was driving rather slowly, but failed to reckon with the loose gravel.
Jackson County News, July 2, 1926, page 1

    The libel suit of Mahlon Purdin, local attorney, against the Medford Printing Company, publishers of the Mail Tribune, is set for trial on Monday, February 2, according to the circuit court docket.
    [The suit] grew out of an alleged scurrilous document said to have been written by a bitter group of proponents of the Washington School site against the advocates of the armory site. Kelly, Phipps and Purdin were referred to in the document in obviously uncomplimentary language.
    The article was rejected by The Medford Daily News as libelous, but was printed the next day in The Medford Mail Tribune on the front page under a bold headline.
Medford Daily News, January 9, 1931, page 3  The article referred to was printed May 14, 1930.

    Judge Mahlon Purdin, veteran lawyer of Medford, who was taken to the Sacred Heart Hospital in a serious condition the first of the week, was reported last night to be greatly improved, after a restful day in which he was free from pain and able to sleep.
    Judge Purdin is known as a sterling citizen who has been held in high esteem and affection by his hosts of friends in the valley for many years. He was at one time postmaster in Medford, and has always taken an active part in Masonic orders of this city.
    Members of his family returning from the hospital yesterday declared they felt much encouraged, and thought the Judge might be able to return to his home before many days.
Medford Daily News, February 11, 1931, page 3

Beloved Citizen Succumbs to Heart Affliction Aggravated by Cold--
Held High Office During Career
    Mahlon Purdin, 78 years old, for nearly 60 years a resident of Medford and the Rogue River Valley, passed away at Sacred Heart Hospital last night, April 16, 1931, from a heart affliction, aggravated by a severe cold contracted last winter, and ills incident to old age. He was one of the city's most respected and best-loved citizens.
    "Judge" Purdin, as he was generally known, crossed the plains with his parents when a boy of 11 years, leaving with a "covered wagon" caravan from his birthplace, Linneus, Missouri. After a short stay in the Willamette Valley, the family moved to this county, where deceased lived for 58 years.
Twice Named Mayor.
    For many years Judge Purdin was active in the civic, social and political life of the city and county. He served two terms as mayor of Medford, was postmaster for a term, and held several other public offices. He was also identified with many local fraternal organization, being worshipful master of the Masonic Lodge for four years, and was a member of the Medford lodge of Elks. About 40 years ago he operated the Nash Hotel, then 30 years ago he entered the practice of law in this city, and was engaged in this profession until his last illness.
Had Wide Acquaintance.
    Besides his widow, Mrs. Rena Purdin, he leaves to mourn his loss the following children: Mrs. Iva Schueler, Gateway, Oregon; Lynn Purdin, Kelso, Wash.; Emory Purdin, Modoc Point, Oregon; Angie Talent of Tigard, Oregon; Lyle Purdin, Medford; Dewey Purdin, Las Vegas, Nev., and Miss Mary Browning Purdin, Medford.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 17, 1931, page 1

    In the death of Honorable Mahlon Purdin the bar of Southern Oregon has sustained a notable loss, and the state of Oregon has lost one of its finest type of pioneer citizens.
    Judge Purdin was a sincere friend, an able counselor, and his qualities of sterling honesty are a byword among the members of the profession who knew him.
    The bar of Southern Oregon unite in heartfelt condolence to the widow and the members of his family, and requests that a copy of this memorial be spread upon the minutes of the Circuit Court Journal of Jackson County, Oregon, also entered in the minutes of the Bar Association of Southern Oregon, and that the same be published in the daily papers of Medford, Oregon.
By E. E. Kelly, President.
T. J. Enright, Secretary.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 18, 1931, page 2

    Last rites for Mahlon Purdin, pioneer resident of the city and valley, who passed away Thursday, April 16, 1931 at Sacred Heart Hospital, age 78 years, will be held Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock, from the Conger chapel on West Main Street.
    The Rev. William B. Hamilton of the St. Mark's Episcopal Church will conduct the service. The Masonic lodge, in which he was a member for many years, and held high office, will have charge of the services at the grave.
    The following friends of many years will act as honorary pallbearers: William Budge, Alfred Weeks, C. A. Knight, J. A. Perry, Dee Bowman and J. F. Mundy.
    The active pallbearers will be: C. E. Gates, Orla Crawford, John C. Mann, Harry Skyrman, Glenn O. Taylor and J. E. Stewart.
    He is survived by five sons and three daughters, besides his widow, Mrs. Rena B. Purdin, as follows: Fred Purdin, Medford; Lynn Purdin of Kelso, Wash.; Emory Purdin of Modoc Point, Ore.; Dewey Purdin of Las Vegas, Nev.; Mrs. Iva Scheuler of Gateway, Ore.; Angie Talent of Tigard, Ore., and Mary Browning Purdin of Medford.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 19, 1931, page 2

Last revised January 22, 2024