The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Intercity Rivalry

Also see Who's Snooty Now?

    We visited Gasburg the other day, and was much pleased to see such rapid progress in improvement. The location for a county town has advantages over almost any other place, being near the center of the farming settlements on Bear, or Stuart Creek, having one of the finest flouring mills in the Territory, also an excellent sawmill, a tan yard, and extensive manufacturing establishments. Being located immediately on the road between Jacksonville and Yreka, at a beautiful site for a country village, with the improvements already in progress, it bids fair to become a rival to Jacksonville in point of trade, for most certainly the location has superior manufacturing advantages and is much nearer the center of the great farming community on Bear Creek, and without doubt if there is not something done by the citizens towards supplying the mines with water, there is no inducement to the farmers to give Jacksonville the preference over a village situate in the center of their settlement, with the advantages of water power for manufacturing purposes. It then seems to us that from present appearances, Gasburg has decidedly many advantages, and it also appears that considerable enterprise is manifested by the citizens in building it up. Then let our Jacksonville friends look to their own interest, and do something that will retain the trade and business of the county at this place, for without some public enterprise, zealously prosecuted at this place, the day is not far distant when we may be compelled to transact all our county business at another point. This can be remedied if the people choose, and the sooner they commence the better it will be for our town.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 30, 1858, page 2

    The money that is invested in property and business in this town [Jacksonville] will remain where it is, and will continue to improve and increase under the influence of the new encouragement afforded by the railroad. Imaginative corner lots on the direct line of the road will continue to be cultivated in corn and wheat, and the ideal town [i.e., Medford] will evaporate entirely, or sink into the insignificance of a second-class saloon and a railroad lunch house.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 19, 1883, page 3

    We clip the following from the Lakeview Examiner of the 12th:
    "From the reports of crimes of all grades reported by the Jackson County papers as occurring in that county, one would naturally arrive at the conclusion that Jackson County includes within its borders some of the toughest and most unprincipled cusses on the coast. The latest case reported is that of James Knox Polk Brown, who is charged with incest with his daughters. J. K. P. B. is a resident of Ashland, but whether the puritanical sentiment of that town upon the temperance question in curbing the propensities of such monsters in one form of debauchery impels them to display their naturally depraved instinct in another and more fiendish form, does not appear. Certain it is that a town whose people profess to have all the virtues and none of the vices of other and presumably immoral places is not helping to add to its reputation for sobriety, propriety, rectitude and morals by permitting such villains to live. There are less godly communities in existence where a case of this kind just mentioned, when backed up by the evidence which appears to make this so damning, would take the guilty wretch to the nearest tree and hang him so high the flies would not bother the corpse. But then such places are not under Christianizing and humanizing influences of which Ashland so proudly boasts.

Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 19, 1883, page 3

    In company with Jacob Wagner, the Tidings editor took a ride through a good portion of the central part of the valley last Saturday, stopping at all the towns and budding cities on the route. At nearly every town the citizens appeared to think that every other town in the valley was on its last legs, and that theirs was to be the chief city of the county. Having seen them all within a very short time, we can report that none are yet buried as completely as Pompeii and Herculaneum, and at every place there was signs of life and hope. At Talent several new buildings give the village an air of improvement and prosperity. At Phoenix little improvement is to be seen, but the town has its flourishing mills and its steady, modest business and is apparently undisturbed by dreams of any mushroom growth in the immediate future.
    The building boom which has made the place so lively during the summer still continues. The fine large brick buildings erected by Geo. W. Williams and J. S. Howard are about ready for the plasterers. The block is two stories in height, and the lower part will contain four fine store rooms. Mr. Howard will occupy his own building--his store in the lower part and a fine dwelling fitted up above. D. H. Miller & Co. will occupy the largest of the other three stores with their hardware and drug business, and the post office. One of the others will be a bakery, and other a jewelry store, it is said. The Byers & Jacobs brick is being fitted up for a hotel and will have 27 fine lodging rooms and a parlor on the second floor. Angle & Plymale, who carry a large stock of general merchandise, are preparing to build a substantial brick store immediately east of the wooden building now occupied by them. The foundation is already laid. A. L. Johnson has just moved into his new brick dwelling, at the front of which is his banking room, fitted up with a fireproof vault of the most approved design. A number of fine dwellings about the town have recently been completed, and two or three wooden business houses are being finished up. I. A. Webb, the contractor and builder, has the contract for several new buildings, among them being a dwelling for Mr. Dorson, in Howard's addition, and A. P. Talent is preparing to put up a dwelling upon his lot. The main business street has been greatly improved by a line of sidewalk on each side within the past two months, and altogether the town looks more businesslike and settled than at the last visit of the writer. D. W. Matthews, formerly of this place, has his drug store in faultless condition and appears to be doing a good business. W. H. Mayfield is landlord of the Central Hotel, R. F. High has a barber shop here, Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert keep a restaurant, and Chas. Hosley, of Ashland, is one of the proprietors of the handsome new meat market recently opened.
    The regular recurrence of circuit court sessions brings life and business to the county seat, but the citizens cannot, of course, view with perfect equanimity the growth of the new towns on the railroad which claim they will cut off generous slices of the profitable trade so long enjoyed by the pioneer town of the valley. In proof of the fact that they still hold a heavy business, however, the merchants of Jacksonville complacently point to the large quantities of merchandise which they receive from the railroad stations--and this is a style of argument not to be disputed. The fire which burned out the old hotel building and adjacent stores has been a real benefit to the appearance of the main street. Just now the citizens are rather enjoying a railroad rumor to the effect that the track is likely to be changed through the valley, so as to leave Ashland, Medford and Central Point all off the line. The origin of the rumor is rather obscure, but as it is the first comfort of the kind Jacksonville has had since the railroad passed her by, she is making the most of it.
    After a discouraging struggle against heavy odds in the opposition of the railroad company, the townsite owners of Central Point feel that they have gained a victory, and are content to rest for the present upon the results thus far attained and the prospective growth of the place which must before long, they believe, compel the railroad to grant them full depot facilities. Their warehouse has already done considerable business. They have a wheat cleaner in operation which has already prepared a good many carloads of wheat for shipment to Portland, and which they intend to have fitted up with more conveniences for the large trade to which they look forward when next season's crop shall be ready for market. They have only a stub switch, which makes it inconvenient to load cars at the cleaner, and they are trying to induce the railroad to lengthen it out. That a strong confidence exists in the location as one favorably situated for a good business center is attested by the start already made in the little town. Besides the completed buildings, sixteen new ones are now in course of construction, the largest one being the new store of C. Magruder, who will move over from his old Central Point store as soon as this is completed. Lack of time prevented an opportunity to learn the ownership and object of the rest of the buildings, but such items will be furnished from there in the future.
Ashland Tidings, October 30, 1885, page 3

    G. F. Pennebaker offered some very wise remarks in regard to the sectional feeling that exists between different business points in this community and earnestly urged the fruit growers of Southern Oregon to rise above such a narrow-minded policy and let individual interest give way to such measures as are for the general good.
Fruit Growers Association of Southern Oregon Record Book, 1885-1889, page 19

The Rogue River Valley.
Grunts Pass Courier.]
    By reading the Oregonian and Jackson County papers, one would naturally infer the Rogue River Valley existed nowhere but in the above county. Jacksonville and Ashland are at least twenty miles from the river, nestling in what is known to a few "old residents" as Bear and Wagner Creek valleys. These two streams emerge into one rivulet between Medford and Ashland, and really the name ought to be given to that of Bear Creek Valley. Ashland, Medford or Jacksonville are no more in the Rogue River Valley than Gold Hill is in Sams Valley--not a whit more. But there is nothing like giving a very large name to a small thing, just for glory, you know. Rock Point, Eagle Point, Gold Hill, Woodville and Grants Pass are really the railroad stations located in this valley in this part of the state, but the towns referred to want to usurp all the glory, seemingly, of what the Rogue River brings to Southern Oregon. Jackson County needs something to help it out of the "kinks," surely.
Valley Record, Ashland, October 25, 1888, page 3

    The principal towns exhibit the usual petty rivalries toward their neighbors, but as each has its own special territory--Grants Pass and Ashland being at either end, Medford in the center, and Jacksonville at the southern boundary of the valley proper--their interests are identical, and each in the main does its share toward the greater development and glory of the famed Rogue River Valley.
P. W. Croake, The Rogue River Valley, "The Italy of Oregon," Glass & Prudhomme, Portland, Oregon, page 27. Undated, written March 1891.

    Some of the citizens of our town are very much wrought up on account of the Central Pointers claiming that place as the terminus of the flume and a determination on their part to leave our town out in the cold, and by way of retaliation some of our leading citizens are threatening to have a railroad extended from Medford via this place up to the timber belt, and then have the S.P. tear up their track from Gold Hill and run a line on the north side of Rogue River to a point above the lower Table Rock, crossing the river at that point and intersecting the road from Medford to this place; and some are so indignant that they threaten to have all the county roads abandoned and leave them without even a county road.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point News," Valley Record, Ashland, March 19, 1891, page 3

    Spikenard post office is now a postal note office. That means it does $2 worth or more of business per annum. It has done over $50 worth of business during September. The gross receipts for the current quarter will be about $70. In the face of this fact there are some dudes who undertake to tell us that we are in the back woods, have no country etc. It is a libel on one of the finest little valleys in Oregon. What we need here, and we are only one of many communities, is a few more live men who will work for their particular locality without libeling every other one in the county. California and Washington forge ahead of us because their people are loyal to the state and the interests of the state. When Oregonians peel off their coats and go to work for Oregon we will have a boom. Talk up your town or neighborhood, work for it, invite settlers, and do not rob them when they come; build decent schoolhouses, improve your roads, speak well of your neighbors, or say nothing; go to church on the Sabbath, rather than go hunting; set and care for an orchard, drink less rotgut whisky, keep fewer cattle of a better grade and feed and care well for these, and see if your country does not boom. Stop cursing Oregon and hire someone to kick you until you get a move on yourself, and you will notice a vast improvement in your neighborhood, right at home too, before three months. Your fences are all down, your house and barn with their surroundings look like thunder, your cows are all scrubs, your chickens are half starved and worse than half bred; you don't have butter on your table three months in the year, and that often unfit to eat; your pipe is a holy terror to decent people, yet you curse Oregon. Curse yourself for a week, and thus be in sympathy with the respectable people around you, then reform and go to work. Southern Oregon is the best country God ever made. If we will do something and keep at it, we can put it in the foremost rank.
"Spikenard Sparks," Southern Oregon Mail, September 30, 1892, page 2

    Every resident of Medford ought to feel proud of his neighbor and his neighbor ought to feel proud of himself, and he doubtless does, and every good housewife or mother ought to feel proud of her husband and son; and all because why--because he walked up to the polls Monday and cast a vote in favor of turning the wheel of time from the deep-worn rut of inactivity peculiar to other localities in the valley, and cast a good, honest vote "For Bonds."
"Everybody Happy," Medford Mail, April 28, 1893, page 2

Medford Mud--Or a Few Hints to Medford.
    The time is rapidly coming when Medford will boom. I live way up toward Ashland, and have been for the past several years doing most of my trading in Ashland, but occasionally in Jacksonville, because I always dreaded Medford mud. But for the last year or two I have been trading almost entirely in Medford, because I find the roads much better than citizens of Ashland, Jacksonville and Central Point would have us believe. But how could you expect Medford to have good roads when they are continually being cut up by the citizens trying to get to that city to trade?
    My advice to the other valley towns is to quit slinging mud at Medford. And my advice to Medford is to cease for a while in discussing large enterprises and go to improving the different routes of approach, so we can get there to trade.
    I venture the assertion that during the dry season, that I can, with plenty of gravel and sand, a street sprinkling and a steam power roller of several tons weight, give Medford good, solid roads in a year or two.
    For cheek and real estate agents, commend me to Ashland. For a big fairground--minus the fair--commend me to the Point. For a demoralized courthouse clique--well, she goes with the ring every time--so did Bloomer, commend me to Jacksonville. But for trade and men of business energy I am going to Medford, mud or no mud. Yours, etc.
Medford Mail, December 15, 1893, page 2

    Quite a number of couples from Jacksonville will attend the dancing party at Medford on Thursday evening. We are pleased to see this evidence of sociability between the two towns.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 22, 1898, page 3

Base Ball in Medford
    There was a ball game in Medford last Sunday. We make this announcement in the first two lines because of the fact that there are probably about two people in the city who did not know of the game until they read the lines above referred to--and we want them to join the majority as quickly as possible. It was the hottest contested game ever played on the Medford grounds. There wasn't any money up on the game, but there was probably $500 or $600 bet on the side--won by Medford people--and contributed by Grants Pass sports.
    There were about 175 people who came up from Grants Pass to see the game--but be it said to the credit of a few of them they did not see it. It was too tough a layout, and instead of going to the grounds after leaving the train they put in the afternoon around town.
    Before that crowd came up here our townspeople thought we had a few average tough young men, but since Sunday they have branded every one of our boys as gentlemen--as compared with others. No sooner had the train upon which the Grants Pass crowd arrived come to a standstill than did the noise commence--by a chorus of loud, coarse and very profane yells. This was repeated several times--much to the disgust of all our people who heard it--also to some who came on the train--who felt ashamed of being caught in that low-lived charnel house of profanity and bad whisky. Nor did the ribaldry cease with the incoming of the crowd. It went to the ball grounds, and there insulted men, women and children. The hoodlums drank whisky from bottles while standing in front of the grandstand, swore almost incessantly, and the vulgar epithets they applied to Medford people were disgusting in the extreme--and the wonder is that the offenders were not arrested.
    After this game was over the streets of our town were made as unpleasant by this rowdyism as had been the ball grounds during the afternoon.
    Such hoodlumism as was displayed Sunday would have been most disgraceful upon a week day, but when it was given vent upon a day set apart for worship and rest, its grating upon the more delicate senses of even our most hardened citizens was noticeable. It was the toughest day in the history of our town--and it will not be repeated; the better class of citizens will not tolerate it; they are up in arms and do not propose to have our town again insulted. The home ball boys did not expect it, and they regretted its occurrence as much as anyone. As we said in the outset, they are gentlemen, and know the usages and customs of good society--and are respecters of ladies--and they were sorely aggrieved because it happened that way--and because that it was on Sunday.
    There is one way in which the Medford boys can further endear themselves to Medford people--don't play ball again on Sunday. It is not a day calculated for sport, and it is not pleasant to have a crowd in town on that day filling the air with blasphemy and indulging in unlawful behavior.
    The Mail knows, from having met several of them, that there are some very fine people in Grants Pass; in fact, there are a great many of them--and we are pleased to know that none of these were among the boisterous ones here Sunday.
    But to return to the game. We said it was hotly contested. Those who saw it will not doubt the truthfulness of this assertion. From commencement to finish there was no time when there was more than one tally in favor of either team, and at the commencement of the last half of the ninth inning the game stood eight to eight, but Medford made a score and the game was finished with Medford the winner.
    The Grants Pass pitcher was from San Jose, and their catcher from Cottage Grove. The Medford pitcher was G. H. Fleming, of the Torpedo team, Portland, and the catcher was H. B. Meyers, of this city.
    Since last Sunday the Grants Pass ball team has been keeping the telephone wires hot between Medford and that place in an endeavor to get another game. Our boys at first declined to have anything further to do with them, but it is now possible that a game may be made for a near date, the game to be played at Ashland.
Medford Mail, August 17, 1900, page 3

    Most of our people are disgusted with the Mail's silly account of the late baseball game, in which the Grants Pass nine and those who accompanied them to this city were abused and maligned in an unwarranted manner. Bliton so often has written himself an ass and displayed his small, jealous nature so frequently, that we have become accustomed to it. Our neighbors should not consider him seriously, for it is not worth their while.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 23, 1900, page 3

One of Wagner's Characteristics.
    With a peculiarity characteristic of the south end of Jackson County, and especially applicable to Fred Wagner, publisher of the Ashland Tidings, the following lines appeared in the Tidings of date August 29th.
    "There is absolutely no truth in the reports published in some newspapers to the effect that Mr. Fred Ulen, the expert stenographer, formerly of Ashland, will teach in a Medford school during the coming winter."
    Following this was a eulogy on Mr. Ulen. The whole item was made, ostensibly, to flatter Mr. Ulen, but those who know the enmity felt for the Medford Academy by certain people in the south end of the county can easily read in the few lines above quoted the malicious and intended slap at the Academy. This flagrant abuse of the Medford Academy is not seen alone by Medford eyes, but the item's intent at injury has been noticed in other parts of the county, and people interested in the Medford school from the rural precincts have called Prof. Van Scoy's attention to the item and have renounced it as an unprincipled, dishonorable attack upon a deserving and promising institution. . . .
    The people in the south end of the county need not trouble themselves regarding the Medford Academy. It is all right and is going to be a "staying" feature in the upbuilding of our city. The Mail would suggest that they pay the strictest attention to their normal school--not forgetful of the fact that it was Prof. Van Scoy who made it what it is--or rather what it was.

Medford Mail, September 6, 1901, page 2

Defaming Our Schools.
    It has never been considered necessary for these columns to advertise to any great extent the advantages derived by students from an attendance at the Medford high school, nor is it necessary now except for the purpose of refuting misstatements which have been circulated throughout the county and which seem to have been made for the sole purpose of injuring our school and building up a school in another town of the valley. For the benefit of those in the county who may not know, we will state that there is not a town in all Oregon outside of Portland that has better school facilities than is offered by the Medford high school. It offers a three years' course with fifteen credits in Latin and ten in German and a thorough commercial course. Students from the Medford high school have been admitted to the University of Oregon as freshmen since 1893.
    The Mail learns with much regret that statements contrary to the above are being circulated throughout the county by representatives of the Southern Oregon Normal. In fact, we have been told that Vice President T. A. Hays of that institution has made such statements and has used them as an inducement in securing students for the normal. We do not know Mr. Hays; we do not know that he has made the statements which he is credited with having made, but we do know that if they were made there was not a semblance of truth in them. If they were made we would much rather believe it was done through ignorance than intent to do injury. If the normal school is in such bad straits that it is necessary to resort to the means reported to secure students, it had best commence all over again and map out a new code of procedure.
    No public institution can add distinction and worth to itself by belittling other institutions of like nature. The people do not take kindly to that sort of argument.

Medford Mail, September 6, 1901, page 2

    There is room in southern Oregon for Grants Pass, Ashland, Medford and Gold Hill all to grow, advance and improve. Each town has advantages and resources which the others have not and each has its own district to contribute to its support. Whatever the future may bring forth, there is at present no cause for jealousy or strife between the towns and any attempt by one to advance its cause by injuring the interests of another is contemptible and should be violently snubbed. Let each advance its interests fairly but remember there is room for all to grow.

Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, August 1, 1902, page 2

    The Ashland Tidings
is highly elated because numerous camping parties are outfitting there for a trip to Crater Lake, and mentions that three excellent mountain roads lead from the Granite City to the lake. Let's see about those roads. One of them is the Dead Indian route, the "excellence" of which is questionable, aside from the mountainous and rocky characteristics, which are all right in their line. The second, we suppose, is the road by way of Klamath Falls and Fort Klamath, but we imagine the Falls people will object to the inference that Ashland is the "only thing" on that road. The third--where is it? Does the editor of the Tidings intend to send the California tourist to Portland, around by The Dalles, down through eastern Oregon and to Crater Lake that way, or will he send 'em back across the Siskiyous and up the Klamath? He surely doesn't mean to claim the Rogue River route--the only good one--as leading from Ashland. That is more nerve than we would suspect even the Tidings of having. If the Rogue River route leads from anyplace, it leads from Medford, and the merchants of this town are outfitting a good many parties, but as they are always doing a big business, a little addition does not create excitement enough to be the occasion of newspaper comment.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 1, 1902, page 7

Talent  News Items.
    The train pulls in to Talent twice a day irregularly. It is allowed to depart peacefully with no material damage done. The engineer invariably rings the bell when approaching town. Our people recognize this as an act of courtesy that is justly due them, and many times the population turns out in force at the depot, and, though it may not be generally credited, the writer has seen at least ten people of both sexes there at one time. We are strictly up to date, beginning the new week at exactly 12 o'clock and one minute Sunday morning. People desiring a quiet rest are cordially invited to a sojourn in our city, as we do not have the noise and bustle of most cities. Oakland and Alameda furnish residences to many of the business men of San Francisco. East Portland performs the same office for Portland. And Talent is not at all like these cities. For some strange and unaccountable reason neither of the earth's poles protrude from our city, though it has long been recognized as the pivotal point about which the earth performs its diurnal revolution. Phoenix is a pleasant village in the suburbs of Talent. Anyone desiring a still more quiet place than our city would do well to locate there, for it is said that the people there will not be outdone in that particular. Ashland is located four or five miles to the south of us. Our people have not considered it of enough importance to warrant a streetcar line connecting it with this city. Some people have gone so far as to intimate that the village in question ought to be considered equal to Talent, but the mention of one circumstance proves beyond a doubt that Ashland isn't in it, viz: It is the will of our people that we license no saloons, and the necessary resultant is, there are none; as for Ashland--well, I've heard that even the hydrants send forth a stream of "booze," if you turn the faucet with the right pressure. So much for the ingloriously defeated would-be champion of "Burntville." It may be that in the minds of some our citizens are bigoted on account of the fame we have unconsciously aroused throughout the world, but we are not--we are simply elevated by conscious pride of our undisputed mastery of the secret of municipal legislation, which has long been sought for by various other cities, and who now turn green with envy as they see our glorious success. But we can afford to be magnanimous. Listen and I will, Prometheus-like, steal the secret of this power of wise government and give it to you, that you may ever look upon me as a benefactor. Treasure it among the holy thoughts of your temple. Here it is: Few people and no officers.
Medford Mail, December 5, 1902, page 5

Coming This Way
    The town of Medford seems to be growing northward and may, perhaps, soon be rated as a growing suburb of Central Point. The Tribune, in a recent issue, says: "H. Snook, the contractor, has commenced the construction of the new school house on the lot purchased by the school board from B. F. Adkins. Some criticism has been indulged in about the acquiring of this lot, not at the price, $700, but some of our citizens think that the new school building will be too near the new Central Point institution of a similar character."
Central Point Herald, August 16, 1906, page 1

    The "just as good" controversy has taken on another phase, no less interesting than that which has occupied the attention of Oregon fruit growers and fruit eaters for some time past. Recently a Hood River paper published a "cold-storage" story to the effect that an apple grower m that part of the state found apples on the ground in his orchard in March that had been preserved by the covering of snow which Nature had spread over them. That's nothing, thinks the Umpqua News, which says that a resident of that section has picked sound and deliciously crisp apples oft his trees in March. "We might have known it because Umpqua Valley beats the world," concludes the News. But the Medford Tribune comes back with one better by saying that in Rogue River Valley the apples keep so long that they are compelled to brand them in order to determine the year in which they were grown. It will be Hood River's turn to tell another story after the Willamette Valley has been heard from.

Sunday Oregonian, Portland, March 31, 1907, page 6

    The Medford Tribune, which is published four miles south of Central Point, "wised up" last Thursday by reading the real news as published in the Herald of that date, and as a result was immediately able to announce to an expectant public that "Central Point is affected with railroadphobia." Railroadphobia is a bigger word than busy Central Point people can take time to pronounce or define, so we will assume the Tribune means that we are suffering from an acute attack of the same disease that, in a chronic form, has so long and so persistently been gnawing at the vitals of our neighboring village. Continuing, the Tribune facetiously remarks:
    "A telephone message from editor Pattison of the Herald states that the purpose of the survey is the location of a new hell, and he should know."
    Now there is where the Tribune man got his wires crossed. The telephone story is a mistake, as well as a fake, for be it known now and forever that Central Point has no desire to run any counterattraction in a line which has so long been monopolized by Medford. Our good neighbors can take all the hell they ever raised up there and welcome. Central Point will take the railroad and a dozen or so factories to add to its present second edition of Paradise and call it square.
Central Point Herald, May 9, 1907, page 2

Medford Wins a Game.
    Medford won a [baseball] game last Sunday from Ashland, and by dint of having three of Central Point's players to help them. Nash, Sanderson and Ross went up and helped our near neighbors to stand off the "Chawtawquans," and the stunt was accomplished without much trouble. The three Pointers each packed in a good tally or two, and it is whispered around that Sanderson played a mean trick on Ashland's pitcher when he stole home from third while the curve artist was "winding up" and actually beat the ball to home plate.
Central Point Herald, June 18, 1908, page 4

    Five miles north of Phoenix is the rapidly growing little city of Medford, practically in the center of the valley and with a wealth of farms and orchards surrounding it. Medford in population ranks next to Ashland and is destined to be the commercial center of the valley. Its growth is rapid and substantial. A short line of railroad connects it with Jacksonville to the west and the Crater Lake railroad has its junction with the S. P. road here and now extends northeast to Eagle Point and is intended to open up a fine body of timber to the northeast. . . . The foregoing marks the distinctive features of Ashland, while Medford's distinguishing feature is its central location in the valley and its consequent advantage as a commercial center. There ought not to be any feeling of rivalry between these two growing little cities, for that in which each excels is not a matter of competition between them, and yet there seems to be a senseless feeling of rivalry with its usual accompaniments.
C. B. Watson, Prehistoric Siskiyou Island and Marble Halls of Oregon, 1909, page 39. This excerpt was printed in the Ashland Tidings on January 21, 1909, page 3

Medford Mossback Saddened by Progress of C.P.
    A Medford mossback, who evidently had not learned that there is a railroad connecting the two towns, walked over to Central Point the other day and looked around for some of his kind, but failed to find them. This made him feel sort of grouchy, and the fact that he reports having rubbed the skin off his heel on the homeward trek is pretty good evidence that he felt justified in exercising the prerogative of every true mossback by registering a vigorous kick. In a column article in the Mail Tribune he thus tells of his harrrowing experiences:
    "I reached the city limits about 10:00 a.m. and found the whole Central Point district apparently dotted with small, clean family residences and outbuildings and I says to myself, 'if this town was only about two miles nearer to Medford.' . . . (Oh, you kiddo) . . . 'No longer can there be seen a vestige of the old landmarks of moss-covered roofs, shacks and rail fences, and but few of the original business men left. . . . This great change made me feel sad. I saw no city officers of any description, no one smoking, no one with flushed face and red nose, . . . no one screaming hot hominy and sauerkraut and cheap beef--as is to be seen daily in metropolitan Medford, . . . and also astonished to not see any ladies on the streets. . . . So far I had not met a friend or stranger to give me a welcome smile or a warm handshake."
    If the Medford mossback is pained by seeing evidence of growth at Central Point he should wear blinders when he comes this way. If he is chagrined because of the disappearance of mossy roofs, shacks and rail fences he should go to the Willamette Valley. If he yearns for the sight of pretty women and failed to see them in Central Point he should rub the dust from his eyes before he comes out again, but if he is really looking for some of his old-time mossback friends he should wear a booster button and a pair of sprinters' shoes next time he comes down. The button will bring out the mossbacks--if there are any left--and the visitor will soon learn why he needs the shoes.
Central Point Herald, February 3, 1910, page 1

    The promoters of progressive moves in Ashland have developed a new way of carrying things. Ssshh! Keep it dark! But hereafter when Medford's foremost citizens conceive of anything to be done which will be to the benefit of the entire valley, Ashland included, and when the cooperation of Ashland as well as that of other towns is sought, let them proceed with utmost appearance of sincerity publicly to knock the proposition, first passing on the wink to all other towns concerned. We've been given the inside tip that this procedure will unfailingly secure results, and without loss of time.
    Medford boosted the interurban [trolley] franchise, and on the first tally the franchise lost out in Ashland; this last time, Medford remained silent, released Ashland from all sense of coercion, turned an apparently indifferent ear and eye that way, and lo, the franchise granted! The fact is, a prominent citizen of our sister town arrived here and quietly dropped the hint: "Mum is the word! It will go!"
    It went--There's nothing like being deep like that!

"Brevities," The Saturday Review, Medford, July 30, 1910, page 1

    Paving in the region of the Southern Pacific depot was also done by the [Leonard and Frost] company, and recollection of this particular project reminded Paul [Leonard] of a story which illustrated the rivalry then existing between Medford and Ashland. In the restroom of the Ashland depot, he said, there was a sign which read "Pull the chain twice, Medford needs the water."
"Leonards Return to Medford; Recall Early 1900s in City," Medford Mail Tribune, April 24, 1966, page 3

Colonists "Misinformed" on the Conditions by Colonist Agent Ed Andrews,
Is Claim Made in Capital City.
    SALEM, Or., April 11.--A communication was read to the members of the Salem board of trade last night from Earle Race, Salem representative, who is to meet the colonists who come to Portland, in which Ed Andrews, a representative of the Medford board of trade, is accused of misrepresenting the Willamette Valley by informing eastern visitors that land in the Rogue River Valley is much more productive than that in the Willamette Valley, and that Willamette Valley farms were never so valuable as those located in southern Oregon. Secretary Hofer of the local board of trade has addressed a letter to the Medford board informing that body of its representative's action, and calling the Medford boosters' attention to the fact that an agreement had been made at the Oregon Development League to the effect there was to be no misrepresentation between locations in this state.
Excerpt, Medford Mail Tribune, April 14, 1911, page 1

Replies to Salem.
    To the Editor: I regret to note in Friday evening's Mail Tribune that I stand in disfavor with one of Salem's boosters. I met the gentleman in question while I was in Portland recently as the representative of the Rogue River Valley, and tried to extend to him such brotherly love as one booster should have for another. And I regret to learn that I have sailed into the icy north of Salem's affections. I realize that Medford should maintain the closest friendly relations with that portion of the Willamette Valley noted for whiskers and rolled barley. They have been of so much assistance to us when we wanted a road to Crater Lake that we should not now make them feel the sting of ingratitude. They advertise in their booklet "The district from which the famous Comice pear is shipped, that brings $7.50 on the New York market." We should be careful in offending a famous pear district like Salem, and I very much regret ever having dropped an idle word about the pear culture in our valley. We should stand uncovered before our superiors, and speak only when Salem nods consent.
    The writer does not remember of ever having said one word in disparagement of any legitimate claims made by Salem's booster, or by representatives of any other part of the Willamette Valley. I may have in an unguarded moment mentioned the excellent pears we raise in the Rogue River Valley, for which I am willing to apologize, if Salem really insists upon it.
ED. ANDREWS.       
Medford Mail Tribune, April 16, 1911, page 4

(Rogue River Courier)
    Medford men are anxious to unite with Grants Pass so as to in the future look after the mining business jointly, and some action along these lines has already been taken. This city feels that it is a large factor in the business, as the real miles are in this county and tributary to this place. Now the big king of animals, Medford, wants the lion and the lamb to lie down together, but Grants Pass fears if they do, the lamb will be inside of the lion.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 27, 1911, page 2

    Because Medford had purchased a Pope-Hartford fire engine, the Grants Pass city council refused to consider this make of machine at their council meeting Thursday evening and purchased an American-La France. At least this was the reason given by several councilmen in open session to manager Keyes of the Valley Auto Co., representing the Pope-Hartford company.
    A committee had been appointed to inspect the five different makes of autos offered, but the committee stopped its labor after two makes had been examined.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 18, 1911, page 4

The Medford Way.
(Jacksonville Post.)
    Early Monday morning Mayor Shaw received a communication from the Commercial Club of Eugene stating that a delegation of business men would arrive in their own car at this place Tuesday morning at 11:30 and would remain in the city until 2:30 p.m.
    The letter further stated that the object of the visit was to get acquainted with the business men and representative men of this city and asked as a special favor that our mayor would see that the party was properly introduced, etc.
    The mayor in all good faith called upon most of the business men in the city, arranging that they go in a body to the depot and meet the train upon which the party was expected to arrive, but lo and behold! Instead of the special car of the excursionists coming according to schedule, some of the so-called boosters of Medford, afraid that if the party was allowed to come here as planned they might get some ideas and impressions of the valley and country not in consonance with those which the Commercial Club of Medford is noted for promulgating, induced the managers of the party to leave their car at Medford, and a few of the excursionists were loaded into autos and in company with some of the metropolitan boosters were driven to this city, where an informal reception, presided over by a Medford man, was tendered the visitors.
    After remaining here 25 minutes the party returned to Medford, where the visitors would be allowed to see things as Medford sees them.
    It is stated that during the stay in this place the visitors were vigilantly guarded by the Medford bunch and not allowed to converse much or come in contact with the "brush" men of this city.
Ashland Tidings, February 22, 1912, page 2

To Scoop the Business.
    Poor old Grants Pass. Just listen to the wail of woe from the Observer, all because V. C. Gorst is to establish an auto line into that city. When the citizens of that country town wake up, and do things instead of looking for something to growl at, outsiders that have business heads will not have occasion to pick up business snaps that they now fail to grasp.
Excerpt, Weekly Independent, Jacksonville, March 28, 1912, page 4

    Friendship between the cities of the Rogue River Valley should be fostered and encouraged. What is good for the valley is good for every town in the valley. If Medford prospers and develops it will add taxable value to Jackson County, thus affording more money without additional burden for the building of good roads and general public improvements throughout the county. The same is true if all the other towns of the valley materially develop. Therefore the interest of the several towns is identical, and no local jealousies should exist. A certain rivalry is healthful, just as brisk competition in the trades whets the wits of competition and results in greater activity. But there is a vast difference between wholesome rivalry and downright splenic jealousy. The first stimulates, the last destroys.
    The writer has not been in Jackson County long, but he has been here long enough to learn that unwarranted jealousy exists between the towns here, and that this feeling of bitterness is extremely harmful to the proper development of the valley. There are many things which contribute to this unwise bitterness, but the chief may be found in the attitude of the Medford press toward other towns and cities in Jackson County.
    A few illustrations will suffice.
    It has been a fixed policy of the Medford press, at least since the writer has had the opportunity to observe it, to ignore and overshadow every section outside of Medford. For example: A ranch is sold at Central Point or at Eagle Point, the Medford papers persistently report the sale as "near Medford." When occasion demands the mention of the mineral waters of the valley, the report locates them "near Medford," and so it goes throughout the list. If a query about Ashland's Chautauqua assembly should fall into the hands of a Medford reporter he would at once send out the information that the Chautauqua Park was "near Medford."
    That is a narrow policy, from a newspaper standpoint, and is selfish, unwarranted, and tends to augment bitterness and resentment.
    Lately the city of Medford has had up a proposition to build a concrete bridge across Bear Creek within the limits of the city. The writer knows nothing of the merits of the project. Whether it is legal or illegal, feasible or impracticable, we do not know, nor do we care. A citizen of Barron precinct objected to the methods and threatened to enjoin the county court from appropriating money for the project. At once the Medford Tribune flew into print with a libelous, unjust and untruthful statement that "Ashland opposed the Medford bridge." There is absolutely no truth in the statement. Benton Bowers, who owns more property below Medford, ten to one, than he owns at or near Ashland, on his own responsibility, declared that if the county court attempted to proceed with the matter he would enjoin its action. Ashland had nothing to do with it, and the Mail Tribune well knew it, but following out its policy to damn everything outside of Medford, it flew into print, with big type, charging that Ashland was antagonistic to Medford's proposed development.
    Pursuing the policy of such unwarranted newspaper attacks on the other cities of the valley, how can Medford expect but that a feeling will grow up against it? Bitterness does exist and none are more responsible for it than those who should be most interested in the development of Medford.
    It is well understood that the Medford Mail Tribune's last attack on Ashland was purely political. It was done in the hope of leading the people of Medford to believe that Ashland was antagonistic to every material interest of that town to the end that it should have an influence on the coming election for county officers.
    If the Medford newspapers change their policy of belittling every enterprise outside of Medford, and attempting to bury every other section of the county in the interest of Medford, this feeling of bitterness will soon be changed to one of friendship, and the valley will be blessed and prosper by reason of it.
Ashland Tidings, May 13, 1912, page 2

    The Medford papers persistently insist that the opposition of Mr. Bowers and associates to the Medford bridge project is a scheme of Ashland against Medford. That claim is pure buncombe [i.e., bunk], and Medford political tricksters and press are well aware of it. It is being used in an attempt to cement the Medford vote against George Dunn because he lives in this end of the county. It is used by the Medford gang to defeat Dunn because it knows it cannot exist as a gang without "refreshments," and that when Mr. Dunn enters the county judge's office there will be no more "refreshments." There will need to be a dollar in value given for each dollar extracted from the Jackson County treasury under Dunn. That is exactly what the gang does not want. It has reveled in green and juicy pastures during the past four years, and it knows that the election of Dunn means the drying up of its succulent portion. Doesn't it beat the band how hard these grafters fight when they feel their meat platter slipping?
    But how about engendering these bitter sectional animosities in order to accomplish it?
    Every move the Medford press makes along these lines but widens the breach. It is the fault of the Medford press, not the citizens of Jackson County, if such high animosity is engendered as will result in the destruction of the prosperity and development of that city.
    That gang cares not for the future of Medford. The fight is a personal one. It is the grafter gang, backed by the Medford press, that is fighting. The individuals composing that gang are after the cash, no matter who is destroyed in its pursuit. Be not deceived. It is not the new bridge this gang fights for. It simply uses that as a means to an entirely different end. If the bridge can be used as the instrument through which the gang can again land at the crib, by fooling the people of Medford to the extent of arraying them solidly against Mr. Dunn at the fall election, the purpose has been accomplished whether the bridge is ever built or not.
Editorial, Ashland Tidings, June 13, 1912, page 2   For the "Medford gang"'s response, click here.

Sponsors of New-Born Club Denounce Medford As They Organize
To Drive Pirates, Grafters and Thieves from Vaults of County.
Taxpayers, Misled by Advertisement of Meeting,
Desert Gathering When Purpose is Learned.

    There will be a non-partisan meeting of citizens at the city hall in Ashland tomorrow (Friday) evening at 8 o'clock, at which time a taxpayers' league will be organized for Jackson County to work in the interest of efficient and economical county administration.
    All persons interested in this movement are asked to be present and participate in the organization.

    Amid a display of forensic fireworks bitterly denunciatory of Medford, heralded by the above announcement of a taxpayers' meeting, with Benton Bowers, E. D. Briggs and Bert Grier as sponsors, the George W. Dunn Club of Jackson County was born at Ashland Friday night. Thirty-two "non-partisan" citizens of Ashland responded to the call, and fourteen, by actual count, quit when the sponsors pled for the spondulix which was to guarantee the newly born a livelihood.
    The most startling announcement made at the meeting fell from the lips of Bert Grier, who was evidently suffering from an acute attack of borborygmus, to the effect that the sinful and outrageous course of Medford had been "discovered." The Medford piratical gang, having looted the vault at Jacksonville, even now proposed, like Samson of old, to carry away the gates of the city. In other words, if the honest and fearless citizens of Ashland failed to throw themselves into the breach, and at once, Medford proposed to make away with the vault, sell it for old junk and pocket the proceeds.
    The remainder of the evening was devoted to a general roast of all who dared to oppose the candidacy of George W. Dunn, and especially Medford.
    "No longer shall it be said," thundered Bert Grier, in the most approved tones of the campaign orator, "that grafters and thieves thrive in Jackson County. We shall seal the vaults of the courthouse with George W. Dunn on guard and keep the rascals at bay who have exploited and plundered the county during the past four years. We as honest and upright citizens must do our duty well."
Excerpt, Medford Mail Tribune, October 12, 1912, page 1

Anything To Beat Medford
    The Ashland Tidings in its issue of October 24 (not the issue sent to the voters of Medford) bolts the representative ticket of both parties and supports the prohibition nominees. This is of small significance in itself, but the reasons given show to what fanatical length this Ashland political clique will go to gratify its splenetic prejudice against Medford. Here is the editorial:
    "It is always wise to work and vote in the interest of your home town. After having given the matter careful consideration the Tidings believes it is of importance to Ashland to have A. W. Silsby of Ashland and G. A. Morse of Talent as representatives in the legislature from Jackson County. It appears that every other candidate for the legislature lives at Medford. There has been ample evidence that the gang at Medford insist that Ashland be discriminated against in every instance where it is possible that the Medford bunch can dictate official action. There will arise many issues in the legislature affecting the interests of this section and other sections of the county outside of Medford. Ashland is looking for a square deal. The way to get that is to look out for yourself. Mr. Silsby and Mr. Morse are capable men. While they are not the nominees of the Progressive Party, they are both progressives, and are as good and capable men as are now before the people as legislative candidates. One of the reasons the Tidings will advocate their election is because they are geographically located so that they will escape the domination of the Medford bunch."
Medford Mail Tribune, October 31, 1912, page 4

Finds Knockers Wrong As Usual
     O. H. Barnhill of Ashland spent Tuesday in Medford interviewing Prof. P. J. O'Gara for a character sketch he is writing for Sunset magazine.
     "I heard in Ashland that Medford was all in," said Mr. Barnhill, "and that half the stores were vacant and times very dull. I walked from end to end on Main Street and found only two vacant store rooms and generally found much better business here than I had been led to expect. I don't see anything the matter with Medford and wish all our other towns were in as good condition.
Excerpt, Medford Mail Tribune, May 27, 1913, page 2

Medford and Ashland Bury Hatchet at Chautauqua.
    MEDFORD, Or., July 13.--(Special.)--A campaign of good will and reconciliation with Ashland was started today when, headed by the Medford band, 500 citizens celebrated Medford day at the Chautauqua in that city. Heretofore, Medford and Ashland have not been inclined to be enthusiastic over each other.
    At a recent meeting of the Medford Commercial Club it was voted to change this policy of antagonism and make Medford day at Ashland a real Medford day. Ashland welcomed the spirit of reconciliation, and a large crowd met the special train at the Ashland station. Before returning tonight Ashland gave Medford three cheers and a tiger, for the first time in the history of the Rogue River Valley.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, July 14, 1913, page 7

    It is to be hoped that a large Medford delegation will attend the meeting of the Southern Oregon Development League at Grants Pass, November 6.
    Extensive preparations have been made to entertain Jackson County visitors, and the community of interest which should unite all southern Oregon demands hearty cooperation upon the part of Medford.
    Rivalry between the cities is a thing of the past--outgrown with the village era. The hammer should be forever laid away, and all communities work together for the common good. Every community presents attractions of its own, and they are not enhanced by depreciating those of neighboring localities. A gain for one is a gain for all.
    With some justice, Grants Pass claims that Medford has withheld cooperation in the past, while Grants Pass has striven, by sending large delegations, to show its friendliness and willingness in cooperative efforts.
    Let Medford show Grants Pass a touch of the Medford spirit by sending a trainload of boosters to view the progress of her sister city. Where Ashland sends a car full, let Medford send a trainload.
    The opportunity is at hand. Let everyone take advantage of it and show that Medford does not do things by halves.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 1, 1913, page 4

    Roughneckism had another inning Saturday night, when bad eggs were thrown at the special car carrying the Ashland rooters by village cutups whose acts have been noticeable for some time past in petty vandalism. Nothing was hit but the side of the car. The local high school will send an apology to the Ashland school for the misdeed, and if the culprits are caught punishment will be inflicted.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, November 23, 1914, page 2

    The Medford Sun, in a recent issue (perhaps thinking to be sarcastic) refers to Jacksonville as maintaining poise, in these words: "That sleepy and sleeping village never ruffled a hair at the news that the lost channel had been found." The people of this city may be sleepy, but when we make up our minds to some course we stay with it. Notice the adoption of our new charter by an almost unanimous vote, and without any hot air merchants legging for it either. Compare Medford's vote on her proposed charter Tuesday after months of agitation and column and column of editorial matter, letters from prominent citizens (?), etc. in both papers. Yes, we have poise--something that Medford seems to lack.
Jacksonville Post, January 16, 1915, page 2

    A deplorable lack of harmony exists between the cities of southern Oregon. It reminds one of village rivalry that should have been long ago outgrown. The prosperity of one city in no way injures the others. Each occupies a field of its own. None can secure prosperity by denying the others. Their material interests can only be served by working unitedly for the common good.
    An attempt was made to pool the interests of southern Oregon at the San Francisco exposition, but after making an auspicious start, Klamath County withdrew and went it alone--and has not been a gainer thereby.
    This petty rivalry and jealousy is shown nowhere so plainly as in attempts to secure the benefits of automobile tourist traffic. Grants Pass has for several years made an organized attempt to divert travel from the Pacific Highway to the coast route, hoping thereby to reap a benefit at the expense of other Oregon towns. Josephine County has refused to cooperate in the movement to make the Pacific Highway a first-class boulevard. Crater Lake tourists are directed to take the Gold Hill-Debenger Gap road--a makeshift highway, and Gold Hill cooperates in the effort to keep tourists away from Medford by big signs along the road--efforts that cannot profit either Grants Pass or Gold Hill.
    Roseburg has retaliated against Grants Pass discrimination by more or less successful efforts to induce the state highway commission to adopt a new route for the Pacific Highway via Glendale and Tiller to Trail, thence to Central Point, which besides being many miles shorter, cuts out Josephine County altogether. This road runs most of the way through the forest reserve, which pays no taxes and will not benefit a settler. Roseburg hopes thereby to reap the benefit of Crater Lake traffic, although that city has done nothing to make Crater Lake accessible or develop it.
    Klamath Falls has for years hammered the Rogue River Valley country. Big signs along the Pacific Highway advertise the tourist to take the Ager route to Crater Lake, and at Klamath Falls every effort is made to keep the tourist from returning via this region, while the central Oregon route is boosted. As a result, the tourist carries away the impression that Oregon is a desert.
    At the meeting of the congressional rivers and harbors commission at Crescent City this week, Grants Pass orators unfortunately allowed their prejudice to get the best of facts by asserting that the Illinois Valley would produce more tonnage than the Rogue River Valley for a railroad, and other assertions along the same line. Great care was exercised that the congressmen should not be given a glimpse of this section, which really will furnish most of the traffic.
    There is a glimpse of hope in the fact that harmony, or near harmony, prevails between Ashland and Medford. Citizens of both towns realize finally that the prosperity of the one is reflected in the other and that what helps one helps both. The same community-of-interest sentiment should exist among all the sections of southern Oregon.
    The tourist is capable of judging for himself as to the respective merits of the various localities. Give him the opportunity. Say a good word whenever possible for neighboring cities--for nothing disgusts the stranger more than the knocker.
    There is no surer way to homeseekers and investors out of the country than to talk pessimistically about it yourself, and next to knocking your own city, the cardinal sin is to knock your neighboring city.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 21, 1915, page 4

    Our esteemed contemp of the Medford Sun seems to be rather peeved that the price of Jacksonville lots has not fallen since the beginning of the European war and devotes about two-thirds of a column of its valuable space (?) to bewailing the fact that values are permanent in Jacksonville while Medford property has been going down the toboggan until it has reached the point where some owners are offering a quitclaim deed to Medford lots provided the grantee will assume the improvement assessments. No wonder our friend is fretful; better invest your money in Jacksonville real estate, where values are fixed on the basis of actual worth and not on hot air.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, September 11, 1915, page 3

    Speaking before the Medford Commercial Club Monday evening, C. W. Robison, representing the Portland Chamber of Commerce, extended the olive branch as follows:
    "You accuse us of trying to hog it all. We plead guilty. You say we have worked against Astoria and Southern Oregon. That is true. But those were errors of the past and have nothing to do with the future. Let bygones be bygones and let us join hands in furthering the welfare of the state. We have reorganized the Portland Chamber of Commerce, we have 2000 young men enrolled as members. They come with a new spirit, and that new spirit is the spirit of team play, of cooperation, of mutual help and assistance. We realize that Portland can only grow and prosper as every community grows and prospers. What helps you helps us, and what helps us helps you. Nothing can be accomplished by a continuation of the spirit of antagonism and enmity. Anything can be accomplished if we bury the hatchet, get together, and united put our shoulders to the wheel for a better and more prosperous state."
    Sounds very fine. Every little while a similar burst of hot air from the metropolis cheers the small towns. Every little while we are discovered anew by a glad-hand junket, and sad experience has taught us that one of these olive branch extensions precedes some new activity to dwarf the development of the state for Portland's benefit.
    Some years ago a special train of Portland business men, representing the Portland commercial bodies, were entertained and feted all along the line. It was followed by intervention by the Portland Chamber of Commerce in the suits brought by Medford to secure more equitable freight rates, and the Portland Chamber of Commerce opposed Medford's contentions before the state railroad commission and the Interstate Commerce Commission--for fear that Medford and other towns would disturb Portland's jobbing monopoly.
    Portland's latest cooperation in building up the industries of the state is an effort to injure the lumber mills of the Willamette Valley by enabling Portland mills to ship to California points as cheaply as those located nearer California, and thus force a concentration of lumber operations in Portland at the expense of the state's development. This effort to "make the state grow and prosper" is thus set forth in an Associated Press dispatch:
    "PORTLAND, Oct. 22.--As the result of new lumber rates made effective today by the Southern Pacific Company between Willamette Valley points in Oregon to interior California points, protest has been filed on behalf of Portland lumber dealers with the Interstate Commerce Commission and a hearing will be conducted by an examiner for the commission here November 18.
    "Under the new tariff Willamette Valley points are blanketed under a rate of 17½ cents a hundred pounds for lumber to the California points affected. The rate from Portland to the same points is 21½ cents."
    Same old game. Can the leopard change his spots or the Ethiopian his skin?
Medford Mail Tribune, October 23, 1915, page 4

    In replying to the Mail Tribune's comments upon Portland's efforts to close the lumber mills of the Willamette Valley by securing preferential rates for Portland, the Oregonian says:
    "There is an opinion in Portland that Portland cannot and will not grow unless the state grows. Any lack of prosperity in Southern Oregon, or any part of Oregon, is certain to find its direct reflection here. It is not true that Portland dwarfs the activity of any part of Oregon for its own benefit. Yet undeniably that is the belief of many good citizens at Medford. It is unfortunate for them, for Portland and for the state, that it has a newspaper like the Mail Tribune, which has deliberately and continuously sought to foment discord with Portland and practically all of Oregon outside the Rogue River Valley. It might be well for Medford to indulge in a candid survey of the situation so as to determine how much of responsibility for the ill feeling, if any, in Medford toward Portland rests with its own vicious little newspaper. It will discover that there is no similar ill-will here. There is no reason why there should be."
    The Oregonian resorts to barefaced falsehood to cover the sins of the metropolis and dodges the issue by attacking the Mail Tribune for having exposed the Pecksniffian hypocrisy of Portland in promising cooperation in the upbuilding of the state while doing its utmost to destroy its development. The Mail Tribune is not an issue, and the compliments paid it are to be expected from the recognized organ of plutocratic predatory privilege, the mouthpiece of "malefactors of great wealth" as well as metropolitan greed.
    "It is not true that Portland dwarfs the activity of any part of Oregon for its own benefit," says the Oregonian.
    Then why did the Portland chamber of commerce intervene in behalf of the Southern Pacific against Medford in the six suits brought by Medford before the state railroad commission and the Interstate Commerce Commission for more equitable freight rates? Why did Portland pay the expenses of attorneys to fight at Salem and Washington the efforts of Baker and Medford to secure a square deal? Simply because Portland feared that her jobbing monopoly would be impaired if interior towns were given a chance to utilize their geographical advantages and develop.
    Why has Portland spent tens of thousands of dollars and fought for years the efforts of Astoria and Columbia River ports to secure the same terminal rates granted all Puget Sound ports, which in consequence have six times the commerce of Portland and Columbia River ports? Simply because Portland figured that she could monopolize this traffic at the expense of other towns and prosper by checking development elsewhere.
    Why is Portland today appealing to the Interstate Commerce Commission to force the same rates for lumber from Portland to California that the mills of the Willamette Valley and further south pay--mills that have many miles' shorter haul? Simply to give Portland a monopoly of the lumber business of the state by throttling its development elsewhere in Oregon.
    Why do Portland jobbers combine to kill new industries started outside the metropolis by underselling at less than cost the product manufactured in the territory affected? The case of the Valley Candy Company in Medford is a specific instance, but many could be cited. Simply to strengthen Portland's monopoly by throttling the development of the state.
    What does Portland do for Oregon except milk it? Do Portland banks loan money in Oregon? Does Portland capital develop needed industries? Has Portland capital constructed needed new railroads? Not yet, though an effort to develop central Oregon is under way--at least on paper. Portland has plenty of money for skyscrapers--let us hope she has [a] little for railroads.
    The list of Portland sins against Oregon is a long one. Innumerable instances could be cited. She has been caught with the goods. But her own lack of commerce and loss of prosperity proves that she is committing hara-kiri. And the last defense the Oregonian can make is resort to falsehood and abuse.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 28, 1915, page 4

    Medford papers take another fling at Jacksonville this week by a pretended summary of an article by David W. Hazen, published in the Portland Telegram Monday. Mr. Hazen did not state that "it has more people in its cemetery than its corporate being, due to waiting for the Southern Pacific to come," nor did he mention the Southern Pacific in any way. The Jacksonville cemetery is the resting place of many hundreds of people, many more than the number stated in Mr. Hazen's article, people who once lived in Jacksonville, Ashland, Medford, Central Point and different parts of the valley, and because of this and the natural beauties of our cemetery far exceeding those of Medford's burying ground, some smart aleck thinks to air his grouch and show the smallness of his soul by another sneer at Jacksonville's people, the living and the dead.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, August 19, 1916, page 3

    Captain Kaspar Kubli, who was born up on the Applegate near the mining village, spent his boyhood days dodging the Jacksonville boys who were "spoilin' fer a scrap."

"When Jacksonville Was Up and Coming," Jacksonville Post, June 16, 1917, page 2

    The following agreement has been made between the student bodies of Medford and Ashland high schools:
    "We, the students of the Medford and Ashland high schools, agree that in the relations of the two schools from now on, there shall be no stealing of caps, pennants or ribbons, or any other conduct to promote unfriendly relations between the two schools, and as far as within our power we will promote friendly relations between the citizens of the two cities.
    "Irvine Terrell, Prest.
    "A. Small Prest.
"March 2, 1921."
Medford Mail Tribune, March 5, 1921, page 2

    The Medford High School fight was greatly enjoyed (?) by the "country rubes" at Trail Tuesday, also the damage done at that place, where they broke widnows, fences, gas barrels were tipped over, faucets broken, gas spilled and yards littered where students were sick.
"Trail Items,"
Medford Mail Tribune, June 1, 1923, page 10

    One more thing I would like to impress on the people's minds is this: In going to Crater Lake you don't have to go to Medford to start. From Central Point to Crater Lake is 80 miles and from Medford it is the same distance, and the five miles from here to Medford is saved. The Medford papers will tell you most any old thing. The fact is us old-timers would rather be hanged in Central Point than die a natural death in Medford.
Simpson Wilson, "Plant Turns Out Gold Brick," Oregonian, Portland, July 17, 1923, page 10

At Last the Park, Hotel Are Again Moved to Ashland
    Ashland is a bitter rival of the town of Medford, 12 miles distant, and so, when in this column there appeared an error the other day to the effect that the Lithia Springs Hotel was being erected in the latter city, the townspeople of Ashland were, to use the words of Dom Provost, hardware dealer of the city, yesterday, "in a commotion." The hotel referred to is not being built in Medford, but in Ashland, and there is doubt in Mr. Provost's mind whether Medford even has a hotel as large and commodious as the one being built in this city. "Ashland is also improving the automobile camp, a box factory has just been completed and a business block is being constructed, as well as the famous hotel," he said. Mr. Provost is staying at the Imperial.--Oregonian.
Ashland Daily Tidings,
January 23, 1925, page 1

Hark, the sudden sound is heard
    Ringing clear from earth to sky?
Let us move the county court house
    To a town that's nearer by.

Never mind, if crops are failures,
    Ye, who till the valley's soil;
Be good sports and move the court house
    It will save us gas and oil.

Never mind, though you are burdened
    With taxes more than you can pay
Boost them up a little higher
    What's the difference, anyway?

Medford wants the county court house,
    Wants to be the "County Seat";
Dig down deeper in your pockets
    Make her happiness complete.

Never mind what it may cost you
    For the bills of course you'll meet;
Think how proud we'll be in Medford
    Just to be in the county seat.
Jacksonville Post, November 5, 1926, page 1

    The egg riots between school students that have marked athletic contests between the Ashland and Medford high schools for several years will be curbed before the final games of the basketball championship series, through the action of the school boards and the county authorities.
    Saturday night at Ashland after the game rowdyism broke loose, and a rotten egg fight occurred in front of the Methodist church, that edifice being splattered. Another group of the two towns clashed near the Southern Pacific overhead crossing on the Pacific Highway and a general free-for-all fight was narrowly averted. Passing autos were bombarded with decayed hen fruit.
    The Ashland school board has expressed its intention of cooperating with the Medford school board to suppress the hoodlumism, and when the next two games are played officers will probably be stationed at vantage points to nab the rowdies.
    The war spirit is a "hangover" from previous football and basketball seasons, but this season's outbreak is the worst in history.
    The trouble started last Friday night in this city and was fanned into action by the stalling tactics of the Medford team in the final minutes of play. A grammar school youth had his nose broken, and others were beaten. This roused the ire of Medford students, who went to Ashland Saturday night loaded with eggs, and their foes were ready for them. After the game the rival groups started looking for trouble, and both found it.
    The breaker of the nose faces legal disciplinary action.
    Citizens of both cities, who enjoy the basketball games for the sake of athletics, stamp the egg riots as a general nuisance and demand that parents, school authorities and peace officers take the necessary steps to stop them.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 21, 1928, page 3

School and County Authorities Seek to Curb Rowdyism
As Athletic Season Ends.

    MEDFORD, Or., Feb. 21.--(Special.)--Because of the bitter rivalry which is all "hangover" from football and basketball games of past years, with the hoodlumism this year declared the worst in history, the egg riots between school students that have marked athletic contests between the Ashland and Medford high schools for several years will be curbed before the final games of the basketball championship series, through the action of the two school boards and the county authorities.
    Saturday night in Ashland after the basketball game rowdyism broke loose and an egg fight occurred in front of the Methodist Church, that edifice being splattered. Another group of the two towns clashed near the Southern Pacific overhead crossing on the Pacific Highway, and a general free-for-all fight was narrowly averted. Passing automobiles were bombarded with eggs.
    The trouble started last Friday night in this city during the final minutes of the basketball game. A grammar school youth's nose was broken and other students were beaten. Medford students went to Ashland Saturday night loaded with eggs, and their foes were ready for them. After the game the rival groups started looking for trouble and both found it.
Oregonian, February 22, 1928, page 1

    More of the recent rowdyism resulting from the bitter athletic rivalry between the Medford and Ashland high schools is published in the latest issue of the Medford Hi-Times, issued yesterday, under the heading on the first page, "History Made in Addled Egg Riot," as follows:
    "The battle cry rang out upon the night air as the enemy approached. This eventful battle took place on the eve of the basketball game between Medford and the so-called 'Lithia City' quintet. Directly after the contest the Lithians congregated at the old junior high school. The Medfordites attacked them with the aid of a Chevrolet truck which was entirely covered with the attackers and their ammunition.
    "After many eggs, pears, and numerous other decayed substances had exchanged hands (and heads) the fight was suddenly interrupted by a member of the efficient Ashland police force. 'Stop, or I'll shoot.' The congregation did stop--stopped waiting for him. The Medfordites got separated in their haste, which tended to reduce their fighting powers.
    "One party ran (and scrambled) up the hill and soon came into sight about 40 feet directly over this outclassed personage. We certainly hope he successfully removed all effects of the volley that followed.
    "While this party was effecting a getaway the other portion was holding a race among themselves up the main drag.
    "After thinking that they were safe out on the high-drive they suddenly became aware that there was cider in the air. Sploosh, sploosh. Thus with a resounding smack our heroes held a brief interview with approximately two bushels of putrid apples. Not daunted by the sudden attack in their front and flank our brave young warriors suddenly made tracks in the opposite direction.
    "After many repeated assaults the wearers of the laurel wreath returned home again.
    "If there had only been some girls to cry shrilly, the result would have been different."
    Then on the editorial page of the Medford Hi-Times appears the following editorial condemning Medford High School students for their part in these deplored rivalry affairs:
    "It is to be regretted that the students of Medford High School cannot resist the temptation to give the school a bad name in the eyes of the townspeople of both Medford and Ashland, by journeying to the latter city and destroying property. It has been a regular occurrence for a certain class of would-be students to do this with the aid of various decayed substances, notably the rotten egg and the spoiled apple. There is nothing gained by this wholesale destroying of clothing and other property, besides the small satisfaction given the offenders in seeing their missiles strike some innocent pedestrian or car.
    "Although students from Ashland High School may have started the violence this year by mobbing and seriously injuring small students from Medford, it was not necessary for the local people to try to get revenge. It would be better for the schools if an agreement could be reached in regard to this subject of dispute."
Medford Mail Tribune, February 23, 1928, page 3

Final Decision Tuesday on Severance of Relations with Ashland--
School Heads and Citizens Disapprove of Rowdyism
    At a conference held this morning in Ashland between Superintendent Briscoe and Superintendent Hedrick, the severance of future athletic relations between Medford and Ashland was being seriously considered. Both the Medford board and superintendent are in entire accord with the Ashland superintendent and board that the existing relationship, which reached a climax in the egg fights of last week, is entirely unsatisfactory and should not be tolerated.
    It is known that a considerable number of citizens in both communities do not relish the unfavorable advertising that the towns are getting in the state as a result of these contacts, and pressure is being brought to bear upon the school officials of both places to sever athletic connections.
    The school people, however, hesitate to take so drastic an action, since the trouble, according to the superintendents, is being caused by less than one percent of the people in each community. It was decided at the conference to postpone final decision until Tuesday, February 28, and unless there can be some guarantee that the student bodies of these schools can get hold of the matter, the outlook for future athletic relations between them was admitted to be anything but optimistic.
    The superintendents and school boards of the two towns are in entire accord and are agreed that the present conditions must be discontinued, even if it means the severance of athletic relations between the two schools.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 24, 1928, page 1

    "In the years past it has been a tradition to stage gang fights with students of Ashland High School," says the latest issue of the Medford Hi Times, out yesterday. "These encounters with our old rivals were eliminated last year. Let's keep up the good record. The business men of Medford have stated that they will not support us if these battles are staged in the future, and school officials declare that all athletic relations with Ashland must be severed if these wars break but anew.
    "A good egg fight is fun for anyone except such innocent tourists as may be passing between Medford and Ashland at the time. For some unexplainable reason these travelers object to being pelted with rotten eggs. Students should try to be peaceable for the good of the school and town in general. If you must have an outlet for your superfluous energy, come out for every game and do your part by cheering."
Medford Mail Tribune, November 23, 1929, page 2

    A near riot, half a dozen fistic encounters, and a no-decision game, were a few of the highlights of the Talent-St. Mary's basketball melee last night.
    The official score read 16 to 16 in the first overtime period, when Val Singler, frosh coach, withdrew his team from the floor and declared the contest forfeited.
Medford Daily News, December 20, 1930, page 6

Parker Says Medford Up to Old Trick
    Hey there, Medford, you big palooka, how come you trying to grab my sawmill here in Central Point? Since when does the city limits of your TOWN join the city limits of OUR CITY? Listen you, I live in Central Point. And my south property line is about 60 feet more or less from this new sawmill's property line, and I am a heck of a ways from Medford. Someday Medford may be part of Central Point, but Central Point will never be part of Medford.
    Now Medford, I like you a heck of a lot, honest I do, but when you try to grab for your glory every good thing that comes to the Rogue River Valley it kinder gets into my English, Irish, French, Pennsylvania Dutch and Algerian blood, and I don't mind telling you so. You've got everything in Medford from soup to nuts, so give someone else a chance to have something for a change. What you say? Come on, Medford, and let us have just a teensy-weensy sawmill. Be a good sport about it. If you don't, why, we will just take the mill anyway. So What.--Archie Parker.
Central Point American, March 25, 1937, page 1

Twenty Years from Now
APRIL 4, 1967
    The people of Central Point with sorrow today observed the tenth anniversary of the terrible disaster that happened to our neighboring city to the south, just ten years ago today. The horror of that disaster. The devastating power of that fragment of an atomic bomb. The chaos in this valley that resulted. All are indelibly engraved in the minds of everyone who lived in Central Point at the time.
    Plans are under way to construct a huge new civic stadium, north of Central Point. This stadium will be owned by the city, but will be leased to the local baseball club. Plans call for a seating capacity of 50,000. The local team finished second in the coast league last year, and the crowds could not be contained in the old ball grounds west of town.
    The state hospital at Camp White is no longer adequate and will have to be enlarged inside of the next year. This was the report of the state senate committee that investigated the hospital last week.
    A new car is reported to be on the market this year that will rise straight up in the air. If this car does what the manufacturer claims, all of the modern highways in the world will become obsolete in a few years. As yet none of these cars have been seen in Central Point.
Central Point American, April 3, 1947, page 2

    Without any apparent reason, a juvenile gang, believed to be composed of Medford youths, beat up a Central Point boy last Saturday night as he sought to escape from his car and get in his home.
    Chief of Police Wallace Bowen said he knew who two of the gang of six boys were and hoped to have the rest of the identities shortly. He said the mother of the beaten youth had said she would sign a complaint, charging assault and battery and disturbing the peace
.    This is what happened, the youths told Bowen. The Central Point boy and two Medford companions were at Cubby's Drive-In when the six youths drove up. They made some slurring remarks about the age of the car being driven by the three youths and then pursued them about Medford.
    When the Central Point boy drove to his home, the six drove in the family driveway behind him, grabbed him when he got out of the car and beat him badly. The two Medford youths, who had accompanied him, locked the car doors and escaped injury.
Rogue River Times, April 19, 1957, page 1

Grants Pass-Medford City Officials 'Bet' on Game
    Grants Pass Mayor Charles B. Gill Jr. yesterday flung down the gauntlet, and Medford Mayor John W. Snider quickly snatched it up.
    Grown incautious over dreams of a Grants Pass football victory over Medford tonight, Gill and his chief of police and city manager offered to bet a dinner with their Medford counterparts on the outcome of the game.
    In a telegram to Snider yesterday afternoon, Gill predicted that the Caveman team "will easily win" tonight's encounter in Grants Pass.
    He proposed that the losers of the bet should buy a dinner for the winners at a restaurant of the winners' choosing anywhere in the Rogue River Valley.
    Gill, in his rashness, could apparently not resist a final barb in his wire. He concluded:
    "We realize that this will be a considerable burden, expense and embarrassment to your city, so therefore if you do not wish to accept this challenge we will not inform anyone other than the news media in both cities."
    With justifiable confidence, Snider fired off an airy reply which crushed the Grants Pass city officials as surely as the Black Tornado will smash their opponents on the gridiron tonight.
    Snider's wire said:
    "Our varsity will be elsewhere playing a college team, but we will be in Grants Pass tomorrow night to watch our junior high eleven beat the Cavemen. We accept your bet. Please rush road maps showing exact location of your city."
Medford Mail Tribune, November 9, 1962, page 1

School Spirit
    To the Editor: Upon reading the letter from "name on file," of Rogue River, I became rather upset. The letter concerned Rogue River and Eagle Point.
    It seems that Rogue River fans fail to note that their cheerleaders were extremely rude at this game, while the same people find fault in the fact that the Eagle Point cheerleaders kept the Eagle Point crowd cheering, not booing, swearing and pouting as were the Rogue River fans (especially the R.R. cheerleaders).
    The fault found in the Eagle Point cheerleaders was that they supposedly didn't allow the Rogue River cheerleaders to lead cheers in the last quarter. If the Rogue River cheerleaders had been standing, not sitting pouting or swearing or spooking Eagle Point basketball players, then they certainly would have got their cheers in!
    Eagle Point cheerleaders gave Rogue River a welcome cheer. Eagle Point was not returned the favor.
    As for being a small school, Rogue River is. But Eagle Point is not a whole lot larger. School spirit counts, so why should it be a discussion of disapproval when a school displays its spirit as Eagle Point fans did at the game, as they do at all the games. I am quite sure Rogue River fans are proud of their team. They should be. Rogue River has a fine school, and as long as I can remember, Eagle Point has enjoyed competing with this school.
    Eagle Point and Rogue River have another game scheduled this season, and I am quite sure that many hope that the same situation does not come of it.
Judy Mynale
Route 1, Box 296
Eagle Point, Ore.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 13, 1966, page 5

Last revised April 15, 2023