The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Seely Vinton Hall

    Born, April 2, 1893, to Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Hall, a son. Court feels as big as he looks these days.
"Central Point," Medford Mail, April 7, 1893, page 2

    Mrs. J. C. Hall and Master Seely were at Gold Hill this week upon a visit to "Court."

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, March 16, 1900, page 6

    Court Hall this week received a short visit from his cousin, Dr. A. C. Seely, who is surgeon of the Gleneagle, a big steamer running between Tacoma and Hong Kong.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 6, 1903, page 3  Dr. Alvane Cary Seely named a son Hall Seely.

Advertisement, Medford Mail Tribune, September 22, 1910, page 8

    Seely Hall, son of Court Hall, is laid up with an injured knee, received while practicing for a basketball game.
"Personal and Local," Medford Mail Tribune, February 5, 1911, page 5

School Board Will Thresh Out Merits of High School Scandal Tonight
and Case Will Also Be Heard Before Jacksonville Justice of Peace.
    Seely Hall and Professor Cudihy Exchange Blows--
Youth's Father Files Complaint in Court.

    In order to thresh out the scandal which broke loose in the high school Thursday when Professor J. P. Cudihy, teacher of the commercial courses, and Seely Hall, the 17-year-old son of Court Hall, and a pupil in the commercial class, engaged in a fist fight in the main corridor of the school building, the school board will cause both contestants and as many witnesses to the affair itself and the actions which led up to it as can be found to appear before it at the regular meeting tonight.
    According to the findings of Superintendent of Schools U. S. Collins, who investigated the occurrence shortly after it happened, the blame seems to lie equally upon the shoulders of both of the contestants. Both today exhibited discolored eyes.
    In speaking of the happening this morning Mr. Collins said:
Mr. Collins' Statement.
    "Thursday afternoon Hall came to me and told me that he wished to place a spotlight in position on the stage of the opera house for the use of the junior class when they give their annual skit tonight, so I wrote him out an excuse from the first class of the afternoon session. He went to the opera house and, finding that he would not get the use of the stage, hurried back to the school and, although somewhat late for the recitation, hurried into the classroom. According to what I am told, in pulling a chair into place, he allowed it to drag along the floor in such a way as to make a noise, whereupon Mr. Cudihy, the teacher of the class, remarked: "This is no basketball game," and told the boy to do the whole thing over again, but with less noise.
    "This started talk between the two with the result that Cudihy ordered the boy from the room. He obeyed, but in doing so replied: 'If I leave this room I go for good,' and Mr. Cudihy followed him out.
Hall Strikes Instructor.
    "In the corridor, Hall, I believe, took up a stand alongside of the wall and Mr. Cudihy, walking up to him, put his hands under the boy's chin to raise his downcast head. The act caused Hall's head to come in contact with the wall, probably causing considerable pain, whereupon the boy shot his fist out and landed a blow on Cudihy's forehead that cut the flesh over the eye. Cudihy returned the blow, and I understand struck Hall several more times. They broke apart and Hall rushed into my office, closely pursued by the teacher. Their faces were covered with blood and I made them wash and then tell me their story. Just as soon as I had heard Mr. Cudihy's side of the story he returned to his class and then, in order that he might hear of the affair while it was still fresh, I took Hall to the office of Mr. Cochran, a member of the school board, and let him recite his story there."
Father Issues Complaint.
    As soon as Hall returned to his home his father, upon hearing the story, caused a complaint to be issued against the teacher, with the result that the scrape will be given an airing, besides in the presence of the school board, before Justice of the Peace Henry G. Dox in Jacksonville. The case will probably come up for hearing this afternoon.
    At the hearing before the board tonight Miss Jessie Purdy, a pupil in the school who witnessed the encounter in the corridor, will be summoned, as will any others whose presence in the immediate vicinity of the battle might fit them to know something about it.
In Trouble Previously.
    About a month ago Meno Davis, another pupil in Cudihy's class, had an encounter with the teacher which resulted in the filing of charges against the latter before the school board by Arthur Davis, the boy's father. It developed then that Cudihy had chastised the boy with a section of an automobile tire, cut into a piece resembling the the "razor strop" of Grandfather's early days and wielded in true historical style. The board decided the matter, sustaining the teacher in some things, but in a manner satisfactory to the parent. The ruling was laid down then that any of the pupils old enough to know how to deport themselves who violated the rules should be ordered from the classrooms. This method was invoked by Cudihy upon the Hall boy, but by mutual consent, once the corridor was reached the rules of the board were substituted for those bearing the name of the Marquis of Queensbury.
Division in Class.
    Ever since the trouble with the Davis boy the commercial class has been divided, pupils against teacher, and each carrying a "chip." The affair yesterday came as the culmination, and the manner in which it is threshed out by the board will define the future observation of discipline and the limits to which its enforcement may be carried out.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 3, 1911, page 1

Professor J. P. Cudihy, of the Commercial Class of the Medford High School,
Being Tried on Assault Charge Before Justice Dox.
    The trial of Professor Cudihy of the Medford High School, who is charged by Court Hall with having assaulted Seely Hall, his son, in the corridor of the school building here last Thursday, was commenced before Justice of the Peace Henry G. Dox in Jacksonville this morning.
    Up to noon, when a recess was taken for luncheon, only four of the state's witnesses had been on the witness stand, and their testimony tended to show that Professor Cudihy was the aggressor in the fist fight, which took place between him and young Hall. Seely Hall was the first witness called by District Attorney B. F. Mulkey, and he was followed on the witness stand by Superintendent of Schools U. S. Collins, Mrs. Canfield, a teacher in the high school, and Miss Alice Forbes, a pupil. When court reconvened after the luncheon period, the prosecution resumed their case.
    Professor Cudihy is represented at the hearing by attorney F. J. Newman. The defense's case will begin some time this afternoon, and a number of witnesses will be called in an endeavor to show provocation and that Seely Hall was the aggressor.
    The fistic encounter was precipitated by an argument between the two, when Professor Cudihy rebuked Hall for making a noise when entering the classroom after the session had begun. Hall made a retort which angered Cudihy so that he ordered the boy from the room. Another remark followed, with the result that Cudihy followed the boy from the room into the corridor, where the fight occurred.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 7, 1911, page 4

Jury is Out but Twenty Minutes--Testimony Is All in Boy's Favor--
Defendant Alone in Story
    The jury in the case of the state versus Professor J. P. Cudihy for the assault on Seely Hall, March 2, was out twenty minutes last night and brought in the verdict of guilty. The judge will pronounce sentence today. The case was called at 10:45 yesterday at Jacksonville, and the following jurors were accepted: John Dunnington, E. A. Thompson, John Beavenue, Alex Norris, Charles Bayse and F. M. Tungate.
    District Attorney B. F. Mulkey stated that the prosecution would prove that Cudihy not only struck the first blow and followed it up, but also that Hall had not created any serious disturbance and had merited no rebuke.
    Attorney F. J. Newman for the defense stated that he would prove that the boy, Seely Hall, had acted disrespectfully and had refused to leave the room when ordered to go; that when he left Mr. Cudihy had followed with an intent to give a lecture and not to chastise; that he only struck Hall after the boy had hit him and then in self-defense.
    Seely Hall was the first witness called, and he gave a statement that other witnesses substantiated. He said that he had made no great noise when entering and that Mr. Cudihy asked him to leave the room, and he asked if he had done anything to merit it. Hall stated that he was struck first and then he hit Cudihy, Cudihy doing all the punishing thereafter; that as he went into Superintendent U. S. Collins' room, Cudihy struck him at the base of the ear, hurling him across the room.
    Mrs. L. B. Canfield testified that Cudihy struck the boy as he entered Mr. Collins' office; that Cudihy was enraged and attempted to strike again; that he looked positively vicious and cruel.
    Alice Forbes testified that she saw Cudihy striking a blow.
    Superintendent Collins told of the condition of Hall and that he saw Hall propelled into the room from a shove; that he did not see a blow struck. He said orders had been given to teachers not to chastise but to send pupils to the principal, who would either adjust matters or send them to the superintendent for expulsion; that this order was given after the Mino Davis case. He characterized Mr. Cudihy's action with Seely Hall in the office as a "rough demonstration."
    Miss Jessie Purdy testified to Cudihy striking Hall and telling Miss Mears.
    Miss Irene Smith told of Cudihy taking Hall by the collar, bumping his head and striking the boy in a scuffle. When asked by attorney Newman what was the difference between fighting and scuffling, she said:
    "When both are exchanging blows and each hitting the other it's a fight. When one does it all and the other cannot protect himself it's a scuffle."
    This produced a laugh.
    Dolph Phipps and Ned Vilas testified that Seely Hall made no unnecessary noise on entering the room; that the boy took a chair from under the table, which caused a scraping sound; that Hall was not "sassy."
    Cudihy, taking the stand, stated that he had asked Hall to leave several times; that the boy had made a great disturbance; that he was not angry nor had lost his head, and that when he had followed Hall into the hallway and attempted to lift his head so the boy would look at him, Hall struck him over the eye. He said he then sallied in to defend himself. He said Hall had ducked and dodged and attempted to "lick" him, and it looked for a time as though he would. He said Collins had told him to run the roost and he had.
    Dee Wallace testified that Hall had made some noise on entering, but that he was lame and that caused the heavy walk. He said the chair incident was not extraordinary.
    Miss Alice Woodford testified that she had heard Hall say, referring to the Mino Davis case, "I would not take such treatment." She knew of nothing regarding the Hall case.
    Miss McDermott, teacher of domestic science, and Mrs. Frost, teacher of manual training, testified to Cudihy's even temper and cool-headedness.
    The jury went out at 6 o'clock.
Medford Sun, March 8, 1911, page 6

Medford High School Teacher Found Guilty of Assaulting Student
Is Fined by Justice Dox--Costs of Action Amounted to $46.
Seely Hall Was Beaten by Teacher on Thursday--
Pedagogue Said to Have Lost His Temper.

    Found guilty of assault by a jury sitting in Justice of the Peace Henry G. Dox' court in Jacksonville Tuesday, Professor J. P. Cudihy, commercial teacher of the Medford High School, was Wednesday morning fined $5 and costs. The fine was placed at the minimum because of the high costs of the action, which amounted to $46.
    At the trial in Jacksonville Tuesday several witnesses testified on both sides, the preponderance of the evidence tending to show that the assault was an aggravated one and that the treatment meted out to Seely Hall, the 17-year-old pupil, by Cudihy, who is much older and stronger, is said to have bordered nearer on the brutal than the circumstances necessitated.
Occurred Thursday.
    The affair which had its legal hearing yesterday occurred last Thursday in the local high school. According to the statements of those who witnessed the encounter and the events which led up to it, Hall, who had been excused from attending the all-school session of the commercial class, decided to attend the session and, after the period had commenced, entered the classroom. He angered Cudihy by permitting a chair which he was drawing up to the table for his use to drag along the floor, and Cudihy rebuked him sharply. The boy made some kind of a retort and Cudihy ordered him from the room. When leaving Hall remarked: "If I leave the room, I do so for good."
Fight Follows.
    Cudihy followed him to the corridor. Once there, according to the story told by Hall on the witness stand, Cudihy started to fight by "lifting" him under the chin in such a manner as to cause his head to strike against the wall. Hall said that he then struck Cudihy with his clenched fist and the fight started in earnest. After his first blow Hall stated that he was unable to land any more, because of the fact that the older man rained blow after blow upon him, discoloring both his eyes and otherwise bruising him about the face.
Collins Stops It.
    Hall finally escaped and ran into the office of Superintendent of Schools U. S. Collins, where, just as he crossed the threshold of the door, Cudihy landed another blow upon the back of his neck which precipitated him across the room. Further punishment, the witnesses said, was only averted when Collins stepped between Cudihy and the boy.
    Two witnesses at the hearing, Miss McDermott and Mr. Frost, both members of the faculty of the high school, testified to Cudihy's usual even temper and cool-headedness, but the verdict brought in by the jury points to the belief among its members that the teacher had allowed his temper to get the better of his judgment when chastising the Hall boy.
The Jury.
    The jury which tried the case was composed of John Dunnington, E. A. Thompson, John Beavenue, Alex Morris, Charles Bayse and F. M. Tungate. District Attorney B. F. Mulkey appeared for the prosecution and attorney F. J. Newman represented the accused.
    As the result of the decision rendered yesterday, [the] Superintendent of Schools this morning ordered the commercial class of the high school closed until the school board takes action. J. E. Watt, president of the board, will probably issue a call for a meeting of the board tonight when that body will be given an opportunity to either uphold the action of the criminal court and discipline Cudihy or take issue with the decision of the jury in Justice Dox' court and uphold the teacher.
Second Boy Chastened.
    About a month ago Cudihy gained considerable notoriety by chastising David Meno Davis, another pupil in his class, with a "spanker" fashioned from a section of an automobile tire. In endeavoring to maintain his hold upon the boy's collar with one hand, as that the energy devoted to the propulsion of the other bearing the "whacker" might not be wasted, he caused several scratches to be made upon the boy's throat, giving him the appearance of having been choked. The matter was called to the attention of the school board and, although details of the hearing were suppressed by the school board, it is believed that the matter was settled to the satisfaction of the parents of thr boy.
May Remove Cudihy.
    In view of the attitude shown by the court, the question of disciplining the teacher, if such is decided upon, may not have to be brought up before a meeting of the board. If in the opinion of president Watt the facts already proven warrant such action, the authority vested in his office permits of his instructing Superintendent Collins to secure the services of another teacher for the commercial branch of the school.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 8, 1911, page 1

Hall Taxi Co. ad, July 13, 1913 Sunday Oregonian
July 13, 1913 Sunday Oregonian

    Seely Hall, in his 1913 Cadillac Six, made a record run from Bend, Or., to Medford, covering the distance of 215 miles in fourteen hours, leaving Bend at 1:30 a.m. Saturday and arriving in Medford at 3:30 p.m. In all this distance the engine was not stopped once or water put in the radiator.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 6, 1913, page 6

Hall Cadillac ad, November 3, 1913, Medford Mail
 November 3, 1913 Medford Mail

    C. E. Gates, Court Hall and Seely Hall returned Friday from Portland where they attended the Northwest Auto Show. Seely reports seeing a number of former Medfordites, some prosperous, and others privates in the rear ranks of the army of the unemployed. All three proclaim the auto show as a success and a great educational factor to buyers and sellers of machines.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, January 31, 1914, page 2

Crater Lake Motors ad, February 7, 1914 Medford Mail Tribune

 February 7, 1914 Medford Mail Tribune


Motor Party Beats All Records, Reaching Crater Lake Nearly 30 Days Earlier Than Ever Before--Result of Army Engineers' Work Particularly Noticeable on Corkscrew Curve,
Where Grade Is Cut to 10 Percent.

    MEDFORD, Or., June 6.--(Special.)--While the thermometer was at 92 on May 27, breaking all records for the month in Medford, the first motor party to Crater Lake for the 1914 season was shoveling its way through snow drifts 20 feet deep. This climatic contrast within a radius of 35 miles indicates what advantages this unique natural wonder has as a summer resort.
    The motor party made the rim of the lake nearly a month earlier than it has ever before been accomplished. The car invaded the Crater Lake Forest Reserve also, thus making a record as the first motor car to cross the line before June 15.
    Seely Hall, generally recognized as the most capable mountain auto driver in Southern Oregon, made the trip with his Hupmobile accompanied by Ed Weston, photographer of the Medford Commercial Club, and Homer Rothermel, a newspaper man. The party left Medford at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, and reached Prospect, 47 miles distant, at 5:45. Through the yellow pine forests, beyond Prospect, the Hup made a fast run on excellent roads until the winter weather was reached. Snow drifts were encountered from five to 20 feet deep, soft underneath, but they were all negotiated until within a few miles of White Horse Creek. Here the road became impassable, and it was necessary to detour through the forest, Rothermel going ahead with an ax to clear a right-of-way. The car traveled over half a mile, coming back to the road only 200 feet nearer the lake.
    At White Horse Creek, however, the car had to be abandoned, and the party walked on to Arant's Camp, where they passed Wednesday night and walked to the rim of the lake Thursday.
    For over a year Army engineers have been extending new roads within the park, while Superintendent Steel has had a force of men improving the present roads leading to the rim. Instead of a 33-percent grade up Corkscrew Curve, for example, the maximum has been cut to 10 percent, allowing all cars to make the hotel and lodge. Local automobile men declared the running time from Medford will be reduced to an average of six hours, with the return easily made in five hours.
    The auto stage will run from Medford this year three times a week, and arrangements have been made to carry mail, which will reduce the time for first-class mail between Crater Lake and Portland three days. Formerly the mail was carried via Klamath Falls.
    The fishing in Crater Lake is now as fine as anywhere in the state of Oregon, trout being plentiful. Work on the Crater Lake Hotel and Lodge is progressing rapidly. Everything points to a record-breaking season at the lake in 1914.

Sunday Oregonian, Portland, June 17, 1914, page 50

Hall Taxi Co. ad 1914
 September 5, 1914 Medford Mail Tribune

Crater Lake Special Trips.
    Parties wishing to go to Crater Lake during the fine weather can make special arrangements with the Hall Taxi Company. Seven passengers, round trip, $10 each; six passengers, round trip, $11 each; five passengers, round trip, $12; four passengers, round trip, $13.50.
    For particulars phone Seely Hall, manager Hall Taxi Company.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 28, 1914, page 2

    Saturday morning I was standing near the Hotel Nash corner and up West Main Street I saw a beautiful automobile faced towards me at about 100 foot distance. moving so slow that the motion was scarcely discernible. It approached me so quietly that I wondered what unseen power was keeping it in motion. As it came to a stop near me, the driver, Seely Hall, asked me to take a ride in the first eight-cylinder Cadillac shipped out of Portland for 1915. I had only been in the car a few minutes when the fine points of the Cadillac were strongly impressed upon me. We glided out East Main, crossing Bear Creek bridge, slowing down to one and a half miles per hour, then recovering its speed with such ease that it made one think we were floating along through space, yet indescribable. We went on westward, taking the hills, slowing down to four miles per hour, then again immediately picking up and going--well, as fast as the law allows, without any apparent effort, running so smooth, so quiet, so flexible and so easily handled that one relaxes into forgetfulness of the means by which you are carried along.
    The new pleasures and new charms which distinguish this marked advance in motorists is truly wonderful. It is impossible to resist the added charm and zest which the Cadillac eight-cylinder engine contributes to motoring, and the necessity for shifting gears occurs so seldom that one wonders why a gear shift is provided. There is so little mental effort and so little physical effort required to drive the eight-cylinder Cadillac that it almost removes itself from your consciousness. My first ride revised completely my ideas of what constitutes the acme of luxurious motoring.
    With the abundant flow of uninterrupted power, the super-smoothness, the pliant springs, it is aptly said the Cadillac carries its own good roads with it. Your first ride in the Cadillac will convince you that its smoothness and flexibility is not approached by any other car.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 9, 1915, page 4

    Seely Hall, photographer J. B. Palmer and a representative of the Mail Tribune will leave tomorrow in a Cadillac auto in a test trip to Crater Lake, the first of the season. Photographs will be taken for use in publicity work. The party expects to make the lower camp by Saturday night, and spend Sunday at the lake. The auto will be driven as far as possible in an effort to make a record.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, June 11, 1915, page 2

    Charles Young and Seely Hall have formed a partnership to enter the automobile business the first of the year. A garage will be built by remodeling some of the Front Street property soon to be vacated. The agency for the Chevrolet car--which is described as the "automobile sensation of the year"--has been secured.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, December 23, 1915, page 2

    Not until the beginning of next month, if the records of previous years are duplicated, will the road from Medford, Oregon, to Crater Lake be in proper trim for motorists, yet Seely Hall, of the aforementioned town, set out to make this trip early last April. It appears the same spirit that urged Steve Brodie to jump off Brooklyn Bridge prompted Seely to make this attempt; he wanted to show that it could be done. He did not do it, however, but he had lots of fun trying, and incidentally demonstrated to his own complete satisfaction that Zerolene is the motor oil for the Chevrolet, which make of car Hall sells at Medford. Accompanying him on this dash into the wildwoods was S. S. Chadderton, a Standard Oil automobile engineer. In the interests of proper  motor car lubrication Chadderton has seen some strenuous going during the past three years, and he states that this trip made much of his previous experience seem like the sheltered life sort. Here's his log of the adventure:
    "We left Medford at 1:40 p.m., Sunday the 7th of April, arriving at Prospect, a small village in the mountains, 45 miles from Medford, at 4:45 p.m. The road between Medford and Prospect consists of some very steep grades with treacherous turns, and owing to the recent rains it was very soft, slippery and muddy. Several times the little car buried herself clear to the hubs in mud, but with chains on she managed to pull through it, never missing a shot, and only on one occasion did we drop down to second speed; this was owing to a deep ditch that had been formed across the road with the rush of water down from the mountain. We put up at Prospect for the night. Next morning we left Prospect equipped with shovels, axes and all necessary camp equipment. We struck our first snow about one mile from Union Creek, which I should judge is about 10 miles from Prospect. We plunged through this first drift, which was about 15 inches deep and about one-half mile long. We then continued for about three or four miles on the road, when we struck another drift of snow four feet deep and 400 yards long. There was no way to go around it, so we shoveled our way through, first bucking it with the car, then shoveling off the top snow, then bucking it some more. It took us two hours to get through this drift. Proceeding about another four miles, alternately shoveling and bucking the snow with the radiator, we came to five large trees lying across the road, the smallest being 3½ feet in diameter and about 100 to 250 feet apart. On the other side of these trees was a very large drift of snow, so we decided to leave the road entirely and make our way through the timber.
    "You cannot imagine the test on the car here unless you happen to have been in a similar position yourself. We cut down trees, we climbed over fallen logs which were too big to cut, sunk ankle deep in the soft loamy soil, bucked through saplings and shrubbery till you would have thought that there would be no car left. On striking the road again, we were confronted by more snow, so that it was a constant repetition of bucking the snow, climbing over logs, or plunging through the jungle. We camped in the snow on Monday and Tuesday nights and on Wednesday morning about 10 o'clock we found ourselves on Whiskey Creek with snow all around us, in some places 14 feet deep. Seeing that it was utterly impossible to get a car any farther, and as it was continually snowing and the snow under foot very soft, we decided to return to Medford."
    The trip was altogether a splendid test of the car and the automobile products used--Red Crown gasoline and Zerolene. Chadderton is most enthusiastic over the scenery of Southern Oregon, and Hall is just as enthusiastic over Red Crown and Zerolene. He says: "The little Chevrolet never missed an explosion from the time we left the agency until we returned. I am well satisfied with the way Zerolene works, and unhesitatingly recommend it for the cars I sell."
Standard Oil Bulletin, June 1916, page 4

    The most picturesque branch of the army, the aviation section, has drawn a number of Medford youths to enlist. Some have taken their examinations, and others will take them Saturday, the group planning to leave for San Francisco, where heart and nerve tests are made, on Sunday.
    Among those who have either definitely decided to leave or will probably do so are Tom Scantlin, Mutt Williamson, Delbert Jones, Seely Hall, George Holmes, Kenneth Baker and Merle Kellogg. All will go to the aviation section except Holmes, who goes into the quartermaster department.
"Medford Boys Enlist in Army Aviation Corps," Medford Mail Tribune, March 15, 1917, page 2

   Two hundred people gathered at the S.P. station Sunday night to give a sendoff to fourteen of Medford's young men who left for Portland, where they will take examinations preliminary to entering the aviation section of the army.
    At Vancouver barracks the men will take heart and lung tests, and those successful in passing these tests will be sent to the Presidio at San Francisco, where more strict heart and nerve tests will be taken. If this last test is successfully passed the men will be sent on to the aviation barracks at San Diego, which are considered to be the best equipped in the West.
    The men have enlisted for a period of seven years, the first three in the active service and the following four years in reserve. However, if any complete the course in one year with a sufficiently high standing they will then be transferred to the reserve list for the last six years.
    Those leaving last night were: Frank McKee, Merle Kellogg, Seely Hall, Lloyd Williamson, Delbert Jones, Huston Ling, Earl Ling, Jay Olmstead, Dan Watson, Newell Barber, Tommy Scantlin, G. H. Morehouse, Russell Semon and Kenneth Baker.
    Stewart Torney and Mark Leonard expect to follow Tuesday night.

Medford Mail Tribune,
March 19, 1917, page 8

    Seely Hall, who enlisted in the aviation corps of the United States army, writes as follows to his father, Court Hall, from the United States aviation school, North Island, San Diego, California:
    "I am still in the machine shops. I don't know what they are going to make out of me. But as I keep going up, I feel that I am making good.
    "I have now been in the machine shop six weeks. I first started in the valve and cylinder department. Am now in the motor department. Have overhauled my first aeroplane motor. It certainly made me feel happy to be able to do this work. In fact I think I am the happiest boy in the world.
    "They have some of the best motor men in the world here, and they are very nice to me. I consider myself very fortunate in being able to work with such high-class mechanics.
Little Things Harmful.
    "Everything has its own separate adjustments here. The motors are taken down by one set of men and put up by another set. The same way with the bearings, cylinders, etc. It is the little things that the average mechanic overlooks that really hurt a motor. There are so many small things that one can do to make a motor run like new. Airplane motors are overhauled after every fifty hours flight, and we set everything by a thousandth of an inch.
    "The pistons are weighed every time a motor is taken down to see if they are at the same weight. They must weigh within an ounce of each other or it would cause vibration. The bearings must have two-thousandths of an inch play, yet still be able to spin the motor without the least friction. We set the motor five-sixteenth of an inch advanced on the pistons, and it makes all the difference in the world with a motor.
Learning Before Flying.
    "I intend to learn everything possible in the mechanical line before I fly. That is if they leave me here.
    "I had to buy some aviation and motor books. They cost me $4.25 each. We also furnish our own work clothes. I get up at 6:15, have breakfast at 6:30, go to work at 7 and work until 11:30, have luncheon and return to work at 12:30 and work until 3:30. Have dinner at 4:30. After dinner we can go over to San Diego and stay until 12 at night, if we want to.
    "We have went over to Ocean Beach to see a bathing suit parade. Believe me, it was some parade. I thought at first some of them had forgotten to even wear their bathing suits.
Medford Boys in Company A.
    "If you see anything in the papers about U.S. Aviation Signal Corps, Company A, that will be the Medford boys.
    "They give us a great lot of clothes and a trunk, enough clothes to last us two years. Delbert Jones has made his first flight. An airplane was disabled up the coast 60 miles and one our aviators took Delbert along with him to guard the broken airplane.
    "All the boys are getting more interested in their work and are feeling fine. We often think of the big reception that Medford gave us as we passed through from Vancouver.
    "Every one of us wants to make the dear old town of Medford, Jackson County and the state of Oregon proud of us. Remember me to all inquiring friends and Elks."
Medford Mail Tribune, June 30, 1917, page 6

    Seely Hall, the well-known young Medford man serving in the aviation corps at the San Diego training camp, has sent a fine photograph of himself in uniform to the Elks club, which has attracted much favorable attention. He seems to have greatly changed in appearance and is growing fleshier.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, July 10, 1917, page 4

    Seely Hall, who is home on a 10-days furlough from the aviation camp near San Diego, will report back to the camp for duty on August 24, when he will be sent to another aviation post somewhere in the East, probably near Detroit. He is detailed to the other post probably because of the skill and proficiency he has shown in the aviation camp shops. Mr. Hall regrets exceedingly having to part with the other Medford boys, with whom he has been in training for the past five months.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, August 18, 1917, page 2

    Seely Hall, who has been enjoying a short furlough, which he spent on a visit with his parents, left yesterday on the return trip to the aviation training camp on North Island near San Diego to resume his army service. He has been notified that shortly after his return he will be transferred to duty in one of the larger aviation training camps in the East.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, August 24, 1917, page 2

    Seely Hall will give instructions free to lady motorists on carburetor work under the following conditions:
    All lady motorists who wish to take instructions to send us their name and make of car. We then will form a class of six who drive the same make of car. Two lessons will be given for one hour each on Tuesdays and Fridays between the hours of 2 and 3 p.m. The following week we will give instructions on another make of cars, and follow this plan until all applicants have been given instructions.
    The course given free will include many other valuable pointers besides carburetor work.
    .We employ ten expert mechanics. We will classify your car and notify you by phone the day the lessons for your class begins.
    Do not hesitate to send in your name. The lessons will be interesting as well as useful.
    Many automobile owners are under the impression that their work and spare  parts can only l»e secured at the agency where their car was purchased. This is. erroneous, as we are always able to furnish spare parts at the same price as the  agency.
    There is now in our employ four of the best mechanics formerly stationed at Rockwell Field. The ability and skill of these mechanics has been tested under the supervision of the leading motor engineers, designers and instructors employed by our government. Rockwell Field is the pioneer motor field of America, with rigid tests for all mechanics.
    No city the size of Medford possesses the equal of our mechanics in skill. These mechanics are just as we represent. They came on account of our climate, Rogue river fishing and hunting and through the efforts of Seely Hall, who is personally acquainted with the ability of every man from Rockwell Field in our employ.
    The economic value of expert help on automobiles has been proven, for the following reasons: Speed and thoroughness in delivery of work.
    Attention to detail in all repair work on motors.
    Complete knowledge of auto mechanism, and electrical adjuncts.
    In this shop we play no favorites. The owner of a Ford, Chevrolet or a Maxwell will receive the same conscientious service as the owner of a Hudson, Cadillac or Packard. The business of all auto owners is desired, and a satisfied customer at reasonable prices is our aim.
    Our Welding Department can weld anything that breaks. Orchardists, we can weld spray pumps, crank and gear cases. Farmers, we can weld your farming implements. Mining men, we can weld your mining machinery.
    Nothing too small, nothing too big.
Crater Lake Motor Company advertisement, Ashland Tidings, April 22, 1919, page 7

    Court Hall and son have sold their interest In the Crater Lake Motor Co. to E. E. Waters of Oklahoma, for $6500.
    In buying the Crater Lake Motor Company Mr. Waters has purchased the largest automobile repair business between Portland and Sacramento. No change will be made in the present mechanics, and Seely V. Hall will be retained as foreman and chief mechanic. Several other mechanics will be added within the next few days, one of them being Wm. Sullivan, a former Medford man, who has left the Packard agency at Boise, Idaho, to report to the Crater Lake Motor Company.
    Mr. Waters is an experienced garage man, and will endeavor to keep a sufficient force of mechanics to turn out work promptly.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 11, 1919, page 8

    The new Chandler will be handled in Jackson and Josephine counties by Seely V. Hall. Mr. Hall has looked over the different makes of automobiles very carefully and considers the Chandler in a class by itself. Mr. Hall's ability and judgment on the different makes of motors is unquestioned. The Chandler is not only endurable but is one of the most beautiful cars built, having all the mechanical perfection and beauty of design of much higher priced cars.
    Mr. Hall considers that the Chandler is just the car that is needed in southern Oregon to stand up over our mountain roads. The Chandler weighs less than 3000 pounds, with just enough weight for endurance, flexibility and easy riding. The leather upholstering is deep and heavy. On account of the great demand for the Chandler, Mr. Hall is only able to get 10 cars for this season. Advance orders are now being taken.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 31, 1919, page 3

    An effort is being made to form a stock company in Medford for the establishment of a commercial airplane here in the spring, summer and fall to give local people air rides at so much per ride. The promoters, Seely Hall, Frank Farrell and Floyd Hart, argue that such a company with one or more passenger planes would do a land office business here among the city and valley people who have a longing to get up higher before they die. In the wintertime the company would move its flying outfit to northern California and reap a financial harvest there. Messrs. Hall, Farrell and Hart were conspicuous in the airplane service during the war, Hart being a crack flier with a Bosche plane to his credit.
"Local Briefs,"
Medford Mail Tribune, July 10, 1919, page 2   For the rest of the "Old Sturdy" story, click here.

Passengers Carried Over City on Commercial Flights.

    ROSEBURG, Or., Aug. 24.--(Special.)--Many Roseburg citizens took advantage of the opportunity to ride in the air, when the plane belonging to the Medford Aircraft Corporation and piloted by Floyd Hart, Russell Jones and Seely Hall arrived here.
    The plane made flights from the field south of this city and over the business section. The plane will go from here to The Dalles, where passengers will be taken for rides.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 25, 1919, page 9

Medford Aircraft Corporation Ticket, 1919
Medford Aircraft Corporation ticket, 1919
Medford Aircraft Medford Aircraft Corporation ticket, 1919

    Seely V. Hall, sergeant, first-class, 18th Aero Squadron, in charge of motor blocks, Rockwell Field.
"Medford Record in Aviation Is a Splendid One," Medford Mail Tribune, October 13, 1919, page B7

    We have moved from 36 North Central to 18 North Grape Street (the old Auto Exchange). Seely V. Hall Motor Co., Chandler and Cleveland cars.

"Local Briefs," Medford Mail Tribune, August 5, 1920, page 2

    Mr. and Mrs. Seely Hall will leave about the middle of October to spend six months on Mr. Hall's homestead in the Butte Falls section. The work of putting the roof on the cabin was completed last Sunday, and the well-known young people will lead the life of hillbillies for half a year to receive 160 acres of land from Uncle Sam.
    Seely V. Hall spent Sunday in the Butte Falls district, attending to work around his homestead.
"Local Briefs," Medford Mail Tribune, September 21, 1920, page 2

    According to announcement just made by Vernon Vawter and Geo. T. Collins, who are Medford members of the new Crater Lake company which has taken over the hotel, transportation and other concessions of the Crater National Park from Alfred L. Parkhurst, the hotel capacity will be doubled at Crater Lake this summer by the addition of 75 commodious furnished tents with wooden floors, wooden walls eight feet high, doors, and glass windows with screens. These tents have already been purchased and will be placed in use when the season opens July 1st, being erected on the grounds adjacent to the hotel. The hotel and tents will accommodate about 350 guests.
    Messrs. Collins and Vawter also announce that Seely Hall has been chosen to have charge of the transportation between Medford and Crater Lake, and will give all his time to this important duty during the season. It had been announced that an experienced national park man was to have charge of this concession, but the new company wanted a man in charge whom they personally knew was capable and reliable, hence the selection of Mr. Hall. Medford people know that no better selection could have been made.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 30, 1921, page 8

    George Gates, who has charge of the automobile racing program for the Jackson County fair, is finding the task too heavy for a man about to become a benedict. In looking around for help George remembered the American Legion's days of '49 celebration and who was mainly responsible for its success, and the answer was plain--Seely Hall.
    Mr. Hall is probably as well versed in the auto business as anyone in this vicinity both from a mechanical standpoint and the other departments of the game. Mr. Hall will be a great addition to the staff in charge of the fair auto races and it is a foregone conclusion that his acceptance of the post means additional success for the speed entertainments this fall.

Medford Mail Tribune, August 9, 1922, page B5

    There was born to Mr. and Mrs. Seely V. Hall an eight-lb. boy yesterday, Dec. 26, at the Purucker Maternity Home.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, December 27, 1923, page 2

    The Oriental Gardens at the Nat are in festive garb this week because of the masquerade ball which will be held there Wednesday evening. Tom Swem, Seely Hall and Emerson Merrick, assisted by a corps of workmen, have been busily engaged in putting on the finishing touches on the already beautiful hall so that it will be a fitting setting for colorful costumes which will be worn by the masqueraders tomorrow evening. The stage setting, for example, will be different from anything ever seen in Southern Oregon and will be but one of many attractions of Wednesday night's dance. Beautiful lighting effects have been arranged, part of which include enormous, brightly colored hanging lamps with diameters of eighteen feet and more.
    A large number of costumes, varied and colorful, have been secured from Goldstein of San Francisco for the Oriental Gardens' masquerade ball, which will assure something new and novel in the line of masquerade costuming in Southern Oregon. A grand march will be held on the dance floor tomorrow evening during the festivities, and prizes will be awarded for various costumes. Even those who do not dance will find enjoyment in this revue.
    Principal credit for the elaborate and tasty decorations goes to Tom Swem, who is in charge of decorations at the Nat and is associated with Seely Hall in the management of the Oriental Gardens.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 22, 1924, page 5

    Fate recently played a cruel prank on Seely Hall, which at the same time somewhat lessened that encountered by Mrs. Hall, and for this reason the Hall family will not be able to return to Medford for at least two weeks.
    A month ago last Thursday, Mr. Hall left Medford to bring his family home from a visit with Mrs. Hall's parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Olmstead, at Hollywood, Cal. It seems that unknown to the Medford man, Mrs. Hall had been ailing for several days before his arrival in the movie-famous town, and a physician had been summoned who had just diagnosed her illness as a serious case of smallpox shortly after Seely reached the house, which was immediately put under quarantine for a six weeks' period, and all the folks inside of it.
    And inside that house Seely is still marooned with his family and Mrs. Olmstead, although news received from him the other day stated that Mrs. Hall was convalescing nicely and was able to sit up; and further that up until that time none of the others had contracted the disease. John Olmstead escaped the quarantine through being away from home at his place of business when the smallpox quarantine was declared.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 9, 1926, page 3

    At the Kiwanis meeting Monday Seely Hall, who has been one of the principal workers in helping secure the air mail service for Medford, made a splendid talk regarding the air mail service.
    Mr. Hall said in part:
    "Vern C. Gorst came to the Rogue River Valley in the spring of 1910, from Bremerton, Wash. He settled in Jacksonville and started some mining operations back of the Opp mine. One day as he looked out over the valley and saw the Medford-Jacksonville train laboring up the hill to Jacksonville, he thought of a stage line, operating between the two towns. Mr. Gorst went to Portland, where he purchased a 1911 Cadillac and started one of the first stage lines on the Pacific Coast, and the first line in the state of Oregon.
    "In the fall of 1911 Mr. Gorst took in a partner, and formed the company of Gorst and King. They left Medford and started a line between the towns of Marshfield and North Bend. They are now the owners of many of the leading lines on the coast.
    "In the fall of 1925 Mr. Gorst placed a bid on the air mail and was awarded the contract, it being the only air line in the United States which operates independent of the transcontinental. It is over 1000 miles in length.
    "The line is lighted from San Francisco to Los Angeles with 7,500,000-c.p. lights, this being a night flight. Also lighted from Seattle to Portland, night flight.
    "Medford to San Francisco is the longest hop, over the roughest country, one pilot each way a day. They use Pilot Rock, Mt. Shasta, Castle Crags, and the Buttes in Sacramento Valley as landmarks on clear days. When stormy they use compass, maps and watch.
    "'Pat' Patterson and A. D. Starbuck are the boys who will pilot the ships over this hop between San Francisco and Medford. These two boys, if on time, will pass each other just a little south of Mt. Shasta.
    "The line has eight planes, six Ryan M-1 monoplanes, which cost $8400 each, with motors, one Travel Air and one Swallow.
    "A ship will be at Medford at all times, also a mechanic.
    "The time is 14 hours from Seattle to Los Angeles, 3½ hours from San Francisco to Medford; 2½ hours, Medford to Vancouver.
    "Passengers will be carried at 12 cents a mile. Service to start in a very short time."
    Postmaster Wm. Warner, who had talked before the club several times before regarding the air mail, presented a map showing the new route, as well as all the routes in the United States, told of the length of the entire lines, as well as the Seattle to Los Angeles lines, explained the connections, lapsed time between Medford and many cities, gave zone rates and other interesting data.
    Visitors were S. M. Bullis, M. W. Hogan, H. C. Galey, Captain Gay and Phil Lawson of the Salvation Army.
    "Rosy" Rosenbaum received the attendance prize, donated by Paul's Electric Store.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 14, 1926, page 10

June 25, 1927 Medford Mail Tribune
June 25, 1927 Medford Mail Tribune

    The matter of entering into a four-year contract, without recompense, with the Pacific Air Transport company for the use of the landing field inside of the fairgrounds race track enclosure by the latter was also brought up [at the city council meeting], and referred to City Attorney John H. Carkin for examination as to its legality, and to see whether the proper clauses protecting the city from all liability damage were in the contract.
"Talk Details of City Hall Construction," Medford Mail Tribune, July 6, 1927, page 8

    Members of the Medford Rotary Club have no doubt all become "air-minded" after hearing the splendid address on the subject of "The Air Mail and Commercial Aviation" by Seely Hall, state chairman of the American Legion board of aeronautics. Mr. Hall, who is also a director of the P.A.T. Company, covered his subject in a comprehensive manner, reviewing briefly the early history of the air mail on the Pacific Coast. Since the air mail contract was secured by Vern Gorst about a year and a half ago it has been necessary to make many necessary improvements to take care of the increased business. The first planes used by the P.A.T. Company were the Ryan monoplane, which is a similar airship to that which Lindbergh used on his famous transatlantic flight. These planes, however, soon became inadequate and it was necessary to replace them with the new Travelair biplanes which provided more power and better opportunity for maneuvering in the air. It has now been found necessary to place orders for a fleet of the new Boeing planes similar to those now in use on the transcontinental air service. These planes will be of the latest cabin type and will carry four passengers and 600 pounds of mail, and it is expected to have them ready for service on this line by April 1. Mr. Hall spoke of the splendid type of plane being put out by the Boeing factory, which is located in Seattle, and is the largest aircraft manufacturing plant in the entire United States. What is being done to improve air transportation along the coast was mentioned by the speaker, who told of the government plan to establish intermediate landing fields for emergency use every 30 miles. These new fields will be established only where there is no municipal field and will be used for emergency landings rather than for commercial use. Several of these fields are now in course of construction in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Each of these fields will be equipped eventually with a 7,500,000-candlepower beacon, which will prove a boon to night flying. They also will be equipped with the new radio beacons which will permit flying in any kind of weather, fog being no longer considered a serious handicap. With the use of these beacons it will be possible for a pilot to fly directly to his destination and land upon any given field without seeing land, it being entirely possible to maintain his direction by the use of instruments. In speaking of the Medford airport, which was the first air field in the state of Oregon, Mr. Hall stated that the present facilities will no doubt prove inadequate within the next two or three years. It has already been found necessary to greatly enlarge the field in order to provide sufficient landing and takeoff facilities for the large cabin planes which are now being used by the West Coast Air Transport Company. Several large hangars have already been installed at the field, and enough applications for additional hangars have been received to utilize practically all of the present available space.
    "It will be only a short time," stated the speaker, "until such applications will have to be turned down, due to lack of room." The remarkable progress which is being made in passenger service was brought out by the speaker, who predicted that where cabin ships are now carrying eight or ten passengers, within a year's time new and larger planes will carry twenty-five passengers on regular schedule through this territory. Mr. Hall, in closing, admonished his hearers to become "air-minded" and study the progress of aviation and to keep abreast of the times in order that Medford's air facilities might keep pace with the present trend of commercial aviation. To do this will require the securing of a new and larger airport within the near future, and it is hoped that every Medford citizen will lend his best efforts toward the accomplishment of this worthy purpose.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 13, 1928, page 6

    One of the five directors of the national airport executive association, which carries with it the office of district governor for the entire Northwest, was the honor conferred upon Seely Hall, manager of the Pacific Air Transport and American Legion chairman of aeronautics for the state of Oregon, who returned yesterday from Los Angeles, where he attended the first convention of the national association.
    Mr. Hall, in his district governor's position, will represent the association in Northern California, Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Montana, and considerable of his time will be spent in overseeing improvement activities in the leading airports of these states. The standardization of lighting and aeronautic equipment, as well as the promotion of aviation throughout the United States, is part of the function of the board of directors.
    That the organization, which has only been formed this year, already boasts of a membership of 1000 of the leading airports in the country, was a statement of manager Hall, who predicts a 100-percent increase before next convention, which will be held in Chicago next summer.
    The only other West Coast director on the board is Guy M. Southwick, who represents Los Angeles and southwestern territory. Syracuse, New York, St. Paul, Minn., and Fort Worth, Texas are the other points from which directors were elected.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 19, 1928, page 3

Air Pioneer
    Seely V. Hall, local manager of the Boeing Transport, Inc., is not only a pioneer of the Boeing company, but also of aeronautics in Rogue River Valley. Mr. Hall has been with the Boeing company since it was first organized, and was a member of the board of directors.
    During and after the World War, Mr. Hall tested and inspected aeronautical motors at Rockwell Field, San Diego, for three years.
    Following the war, in 1920, Floyd Hart, Frank Farrell and Seely Hall, all well known locally, flew the first civilian plane up the Pacific Coast. This Curtiss Jenny was also the first to fly up the Columbia River Gorge, which has become one of the most used airway entrances to the West. The plane was sold in eastern Washington, after about six months.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 6, 1929, page 6

Russians Fail to Land Here En Route to Oakland--Local War Veterans Escort Big Ship Short Distance Over Valley.
    The "Spirit of the Soviet," Russian plane en route from Moscow to New York, passed over Medford at 3000 feet shortly before 11:30, circling the city once. The Russians were escorted 30 miles by Floyd Hart and Seely Hall, flying the Copper King biplane. The local men met the large ship some distance north of Medford and flew with it to Phoenix, where they turned back to Medford.
    This was the first time that the two men have flown together for 10 years, shortly after the world war, when they purchased a Curtiss ship and toured the coast. Mr. Hart had discontinued flying for a time, but has taken it up again with renewed enthusiasm and is flying just as good as ever, according to Seely Hall.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 19, 1929, page 1

    When M. Ruffaceod, a representative of the Soviet flying plane, passed through here the other day, looking over the lay of the land, or air rather, which the Russian plane would follow on its way south, he was met at the old airport by Seely V. Hall, superintendent of the port, who desired to make an agreeable impression on the advance representative so that he would use his influence to have the foreign plane stop here.
    Advancing with a wide smile and whistling the "Volga Boat Song," Seely reached for the right hand of the visitor, and cordially remarked, "Fine dayski, signor, is it notski? Welcome to our burgoff. Have some vodka?"
    The reply was a loud grunt and a few foreign-sounding words.
    Then Seely launched forth in an eloquent plea for the Russian ship to stop here on its way south, using a mixture of what he thought was pidgin Russian, winding up with "pleasky, whadyesayski?"
    The visitor from Russia calmly looked over his questioner and then ejaculated, "Oh hellsky!" which is a foreign word used to express surprise and embarrassment.
    Anyhow, the Russian plane did not stop here, but flew straight through the valley this noon en route to San Francisco.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 19, 1929, page 8

    The appointment of Seely Hall to the board of directors of the National Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce of America, and as secretary of the Pacific Northwest District, is regarded as a big honor for Mr. Hall and a credit to Medford and Southern Oregon. Only three men on the Pacific Coast are members of the board. The appointment was announced today. It pertains to the executive committee of the airport section of the chamber.
    Mr. Hall is also a member of the board of directors of the National Aeronautics Association. He has been active in aviation for a number of years and headed the airport committee of the Medford Chamber of Commerce, instrumental in the construction of the new municipal airport. He is the superintendent of the Medford airport and is known along the entire coast for his aviation activities.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 19, 1930, page 2

    PORTLAND, Ore.--The state of Oregon now has 48 airports which have been financed or promoted by the American Legion, according to Seely V. Hall, state chairman of the Legion's aeronautics committee. The lighting of fields and the marking of towns and cities for air travel will have an important place in the Legion's aviation program for the future, according to Hall.
Indiana Evening Gazette, Indiana, Pennsylvania, August 26, 1930, page 12

Mr. and Mrs. Hall Leave Soon for Burbank Duties
Medford Mail Tribune, February 18, 1931
    Seely Hall, local manager for the Pacific Air Transport company since it was established in 1926 and superintendent of the new Medford airport since it was completed a year ago, will leave next Saturday with Mrs. Hall and sons for Oakland, Calif. preparatory to taking up permanent residence in Burbank, Calif., where he will act as division superintendent for the Pacific Air Transport lines between Fresno and San Diego.
    Phil Sharp, for some time past manager of the Portland stop for the company, will succeed Mr. Hall in Medford, but information was unavailable today whether the new man would also be field superintendent.
Aviation Pioneer
    Mr. Hall, who has resided in Medford and vicinity most of his life, is one of the local aviation pioneers, and with Floyd Hart was the first man to bring an airplane to Medford to fly for commercial purposes. Four years ago he became connected with the newly established coast air mail line and was one of the local citizens most active in encouraging the construction of Medford's new airport north of the city, providing this section with one of the finest airports in the state.
    Mr. and Mrs. Hall have two sons, both of whom were born in Medford. Mrs. Hall has resided here for some time, but originally came from Michigan. They have been both active in American Legion and auxiliary circles as well as in church and all civic affairs.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 18, 1931, page 3

    It is expected that the city council at its meeting next Tuesday night will decide on Seely Hall's successor as superintendent of the municipal airport, which position has been filled temporarily since by Phil Sharp, the new local manager for the Pacific Air Transport, since Hall's departure to take his new position in Southern California a week ago.
    While nothing definite has been given out as to the identity of the new superintendent, the rumor is strong that the city council airport committee, consisting of C. C. Furnas, chairman; D. R. Terrett and J. O. Grey, will recommend that Sharp will be elected to fill that job permanently.
    It is also rumored that the airport committee has effected a reduction of $900 in the expenses of operating the airport, gained mostly through operating the port beacon less hours at night than previously, and some reductions in salary of the superintendent over what was paid Seely Hall. The beacon, it is said, by this new rule will only be operated whenever necessary to guide the planes arriving in the city.

Medford Mail Tribune, March 1, 1931, page 6

    San Diego, Nov. 12--(UP)--A commercial pilot safely directed two "lost" naval planes down through a heavy fog bank here recently, just before the ships ran out of fuel.
    Seely Hall and pilot Charles P. Sullivan were the heroes of the occasion.
Fourteen naval planes had taken off from the North Island air station and the U.S.S. Detroit and had gone up for a bit of night flying. A heavy fog suddenly blew in from the ocean.
Nine Ships in Air
    Nine of the ships groped blindly for an opening, and, trusting to luck, dove through the mist hoping to strike North Island runway. Six succeeded. One overshot the field and was wrecked at the edge of the bay. Two more ground-looped.
    Three more planes hovered over Lindbergh Field, across the bay. Flares were lit, and they nosed down through the fog. One of the three overturned.
    It was quite dark, and still two ships from the Detroit were aloft. They did not have radio equipment. Their gas supply was low.
Mail Plane Aided
    Pilot Sullivan in his mail plane raced in from Los Angeles, following a radio beam which carried him directly over the airport. By radio he was informed of the plight of the two ships. He located them, and by flashing his landing lights, ordered the navy planes to follow him.
    Hall, the ground man, sat in his cubbyhole atop the airport hangars, listening to the sound of [Sullivan's] motor.
    "Visibility zero," said Hall into his radio telephone. "You'd better not attempt a landing here, Charlie. Stick around a while, and we'll send some flares out to Camp Kearney. When you see them, bring the navy planes in with you."
    Motorists, responding to a radio request of Lieut. Comdr. Ralph Davison, also drove to Camp Kearney and turned their lights on the field. The planes landed safely.
    Kearney, wartime concentration camp, is an auxiliary dirigible base, so far unlighted. In emergencies army, marine, navy and civilian ships use it.
Freeport Journal-Standard, Freeport, Illinois, November 12, 1932, page 3

    Hall in Medford--Seely V. Hall of Seattle, who was formerly superintendent of the Medford municipal airport, is a visitor in Medford. Mr. Hall is with the United Air Lines in Seattle.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, December 27, 1933, page 7

    Under the caption "Introducing," the United Air Lines News, in its last issue, prints the following praise of Seely V. Hall, valley-born and raised, and son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Court Hall.
    "An 'old timer' on the Pacific Coast route of the United Air Lines is a fellow who can recall the days when just about any cleared space was an intermediate landing field, when farmers, drug store clerks and hotel proprietors were 'airway meteorologists,' and when open-cockpit two-seater airplanes made up the line's modern fleet.
    "Seely Hall is an old timer.
    "Now field manager for United's Pacific Air Transport division at Seattle, Seely can tell you how he once rode up and down the proposed air route in a rattling old Lizzie, picking out likely-looking landing spots and appointing weather observers. An observer then was anybody who could tell you whether it was raining, sunshining or snowing, and who could inform you as to whether he could see Si Perkins' barn, the lonesome pine or some other object a quarter to a half-mile away.
    "Hall was born at Central Point, Ore., in 1893, the son of pioneers. He went to school in Medford, drove stages to Crater Lake National Park and, after that, took over an automobile agency. Came the war and Seely enlisted in the Signal Corps branch of the air service. At San Diego he was with Hebe Miller in the motor repair shops of the First Aero Squadron. Russ Cunningham was there, too, as a flying cadet.
    "After the war, Seely bought a Jenny and formed the Medford Aircraft Company. Actually, about 25 people owned the plane, since Seely raised money for its purchase by promising a ride to everyone who bought a $100 share, and there were many responses. With his ship he barnstormed through Oregon and eastern Washington. His plane, incidentally, was the first of the civilian type to fly over the Siskiyou Mountains and to go up the Columbia River Gorge.
    "Wedding bells sounded, and Seely sold the Jenny to pursue various activities until 1925, when he became interested in Vern C. Gorst's plan to start a Pacific Coast airmail line. Selling stock and helping to lay out the route, he became associated with this project.
    "Seely had charge of the Medford station for Pacific Air Transport for four years, then went to Los Angeles as division superintendent. Later he became field manager at San Diego and in September of last year was transferred to Seattle. With Mrs. Hall and their two youngsters, he now is getting accustomed to Washington 'mist.'"
Medford Mail Tribune, January 25, 1934, page 2

Improvement in Air Transport Forecast by Division Manager
    A continually progressive future for aviation was predicted in Salt Lake City Wednesday by Seely Hall of Oakland, Cal., new manager of operations for the western division of United Air Lines.
    "Both comfort and safety have developed speedily in recent years and are at high levels now," he declared. "But even more improvement will be seen along those lines."
    Mr. Hall also believes that as passenger travel increases better and more frequent service will be offered.
    "Right now I have nothing much to say about any particular plans for my organization, however," Mr. Hall said. "I am just making a survey of the territory under my supervision."
    Mr. Hall planned to leave Salt Lake City by plane for Portland, Ore. Thursday, after conferring with local company officials.
    He voiced praise for modern facilities of the local airport, saying it compared favorably with any in the nation.
    After 13 years with the United Air Lines, Mr. Hall was given his new position October 1, when the company created an eastern and western division to facilitate operation. His territory includes all routes west of Cheyenne, Wyo. and Denver, Colo.
Salt Lake Telegram, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 12, 1938, page 12

Heads United's Western Division
    Seely V. Hall has been appointed Manager of Operations for United Air Lines' Western Division between Denver and the Pacific Coast. Hall began his aviation career in the Air Corps during the war, was one of the organizers of Pacific Air Transport, the original airline on the Pacific coast, which is now part of United Air Lines. Since then he has served in various operations supervisory capacities for United. Now he is in charge of flight operations of United's entire system west of Denver.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 14, 1938, page 1

    Seely V. Hall, operations vice-president for the western division of United Air Lines, spent yesterday here on personal business in preparation for his departure soon for Washington, D.C., where he will enter the army air service with the rank of colonel. Mr. Hall, a former Medford resident, and veteran of the air service in World War I, is scheduled to receive his commission on April 25.
    Leave of absence for the duration has been granted Mr. Hall by United Air Lines, he said this morning before leaving on the southbound mainliner. He expects to return here next Wednesday for a brief visit with his mother, Mrs. Court Hall, 315 So. Central Avenue, and his son, Seely, Jr., who has been attending high school here and making his home with his grandmother. Mr. and Mrs. Seely Hall and another son, Owen, make their home in San Carlos, Calif.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 17, 1942, page 6

    From a birthplace on the present site of the Central Point City Hall to a senior vice-presidency of one of the world's great airlines . . . that's Seely Hall.
    While driving early-day stages to Crater Lake, Seely Hall used to look skyward with envy for the occasional 90-per-hour plane flying above. A stint in the Signal Corps during World War I put him in the sky that was to become his life.
    Returning after the war, Seely established the Medford Aircraft Company. Flying a "jenny," he barnstormed through Oregon and Eastern Washington and had the distinction of being the first non-military aviator to fly over the Siskiyous.
    Helping to organize the Pacific Coast airmail line in 1925, Seely Hall was manager of the Medford station for four years. He next became a division superintendent for Pacific Air Transport, which was later to become United Air Lines.
    Elected to a vice-presidency of United in 1940, he was to become responsible for the full management of United's vast military operations for the Air Transport Command across the Pacific and to Alaska. During this assignment, he touched down on practically every island in the Pacific big enough to support a landing strip.
    In 1947, Seely Hall was named general manager for all ground services for United Air Lines. On retirement he and Mrs. Hall returned to Medford to build a new home.
    Where is Seely Hall right this minute? He's far, far away in the area of Tahiti, and it's our guess that he's looking for an island that he possibly overlooked during World War II.
J.W.S., Medford Mail Tribune, February 24, 1963, page 4

Hall Reminiscences About Aviation's Early Days in America
    "The people of Medford never made a better investment than when on April 2, 1929, they voted by a margin of more than 12 to 1 to invest $120,000 in an airport."
    This observation was made by Seely V. Hall, pioneer in development of aviation here, in an address Tuesday before the Medford Rotary Club.
    Speaking at a luncheon meeting at the Rogue Valley Country Club, Hall urged additional expansion of Medford's 35-year-old airport. The main runway, he said, should be extended to 7,000 feet to accommodate large jet aircraft.
    "A new cycle has come in the age of commercial aviation," the speaker reminded his audience. "Medford airport, now 640 acres in size and worth about $7 million, is not adequate to meet the fast-growing population of the Southern Oregon-Northern California area. When the major airlines have recently spent more than $3.7 billion in new equipment and facilities. Medford must keep in step with the growth of air travel. It will affect the economy of every person here.
    Seely Hall, considered the "father of aviation" in Jackson County, recalled how Charley Young and Court Hall, Seely's father, arranged for the first airplane to be brought to Medford back in 1908. Eugene Ely, the pilot of that plane, which landed in a stubble field west of Medford, became the first aviator to land a plane on a battleship.
    Seely Hall, with World War I flying hero Floyd Hart and the late Frank Farrell, naval flier, invested $3,800 in a Curtiss Jenny and launched a barnstorming venture through Oregon and Washington. The field at the south end of Grape Street was the only landing place. Soon a small airport was built at the Medford fairgrounds and dedicated as Newell Barber Field, in honor of a young Medford man killed in France.
    Hall told of the first forest fire patrol based at this airport in 1922, with pilots flying the old wartime DeHavilland planes. Vern Gorst, with an important assist from Hall, Paul B. McKee and other air-minded Medford men, won a first air mail contract for Pacific Air Transport, later to become United Air Lines.
    Weather conditions along the coast, before modern airports and weather stations had been established, were checked by calling farmers in remote mountain areas, Hall recalled. Those were the days when pilots really flew their old-fashioned planes "by the seat of their pants," with few instruments to guide them.
    Seely Hall retired from United Air Lines in 1958 after serving as vice president in charge of all ground operations.
    He was introduced at the luncheon by Morris B. Leonard.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 3, 1965, page 8

Airmail Flight Observance Set
    Forty years ago tomorrow the first direct commercial airline service landed in Medford. Ceremonies recognizing that flight, which put Medford on the air map of the world, will be held at the Medford-Jackson County Airport at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
    Three of the men who put the U.S. mail bags from the Medford Post Office on that initial flight will participate in the observance, D. L. Ferguson, airport manager, announced today.
    They are former postmaster William Warner; Seely Hall, retired United Air Lines executive, who was then with Pacific Air Transport, United's predecessor; and William (Bill) Rosenbaum Sr., who serviced the planes.
    The service, pioneered by Pacific Air Transport, linked Medford with six other cities on the Pacific coast from Seattle to Los Angeles.
    The historic flight was flown by former pilot Vern Bookwalter in an open-cockpit, single-engined 90-mile-an-hour Ryan plane. A large crowd of local citizens gathered at the old fairgrounds for dedication ceremonies. The pouch containing the first airmail from Medford weighed 155¾ pounds.
    The public is invited to the ceremonies to be held tomorrow, Ferguson reported.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 14, 1966, page 1

Longtime residents remember . . .
Medford in the Early 1900s

Mail Tribune Staff Writer
    When Bess Smith Johnston and Seely Hall sat down in the study of Hall's Medford home one day last week, their talk turned to life in [and] around Crater Lake and in Medford between 1914 and 1920.
    Hall drove a tour bus to Crater Lake in days when the road was almost nonexistent. Mrs. Johnston was hostess at the Crater Lake Lodge in 1920 and 1921, until she married Ralph Smith, the hotel steward at the time.
    Mrs. Johnston's father, Horace Venable, arrived in Jacksonville in 1884 and bought a saloon and restaurant at the corner of California and South Oregon streets, in a building now occupied by a leather shop. He kept it for only a short time, trading it for a 160-acre ranch in the Applegate Valley, where Mrs. Johnston grew up.
    This spring, when Mrs. Johnston saw remodeling under way on a building at the corner of West Main and South Central streets in downtown Medford, she remembered a day in the fall of 1915 when the same building was almost demolished by a runaway team of horses hitched to a heavy trash wagon.
    "I remembered I was so unhappy and embarrassed for my father," she said. "He had raised that team. They were gentle as kittens. He sold them to the Medford Fire Department for $600, which was big money in 1911."
    She said that the horses, Tom and Jerry, were full brothers. They were 3 and 4 years old when they were sold. Their sire was a black German coach stallion, and the dam was a dark bay Morgan mare. This was considered a perfect cross for speed and size, bred for light draft duty, she added.
    "They were identical, except the white star in Tom's forehead was larger than Jerry's," she recalled. "Their dark bay coats shone like burnished mahogany in the sunshine. And now, the favorites of Horace Venable's horse ranch in the Applegate Valley were in disgrace."
    As Mrs. Johnston tells the story, "The team had performed well for the city. They learned the routine at the fire hall, stood trembling under the rack as the firemen lowered the harness on their backs, snapped it in place and they were instantly secured to the fire wagon by the crew."
    In 1912, the city replaced the horses with a new motorized fire engine, and Tom and Jerry were relegated to the lowly duty of hauling trash for the city.
    Mrs. Johnston quoted Horace Venable as calling the move "a waste of beautiful horseflesh."
    On what Mrs. Johnston remembers as a warm, lazy fall day in 1915, Tom and Jerry were standing in front of the then-new Medford library, while the attendant gathered leaves and trash from Library Park. He had wrapped the reins around the whip socket.
    "Suddenly, the fire alarm sounded, followed by three blasts, indicating the fire was in Ward 3," she said. "The team lunged ahead, feeling no restraint, so they ran full speed down Main Street, made a sharp right-hand turn on South Central and the heavy wheels of the trash wagon plowed through the corner of the drugstore there, leaving a gaping hole. The horses continued for two blocks until they were stopped, entangled in the reins."
    They were running to Ward 3, Mrs. Johnston added.
    After the incident, the city sold Tom and Jerry to a local farmer.
    The fire engine that brought an end to the career of Tom and Jerry as fire horses was driven often by Hall, who was a member of the volunteer fire department. He also helped train other firemen in the art of driving the engine.
    Hall's father, Court Hall, owned a Cadillac agency in Medford, and Hall drove Cadillacs for the Crater Lake tours.
    In Hall's study hangs a large colored photograph of a 1913 Cadillac on the rim of Crater Lake. Hall is driving and the passengers are Mr. and Mrs. Emil [Mohr], who built the Hotel Medford. The car is standing on the spot now occupied by Crater Lake Lodge.
    Hall has photographs of the first building at Crater Lake, a mess hall, he said. In those days, visitors camped out. He also has a photo of the lodge, taken in 1915, showing part of the roof collapsed from the weight of snow. Other photos show him driving in 14 inches of snow on unplowed roads.
    Another set of pictures shows a demolished automobile. He was driving a hunting party of six in October 1914, when the steering gear on their 1910 Cadillac broke and hurled the car down a canyon. It struck a tree which smashed the gas tank, causing the gasoline to explode. Hall and his passengers escaped serious injury because they were thrown out of the vehicle.
    On June 27, 1915, Hall photographed a group setting out for Crater Lake. One of the passengers was Arthur Perry, "Ye Smudge Pot" columnist for the Medford Mail Tribune. It was Perry's first trip to Crater Lake and he, along with the others, had to walk the last four miles because the snow was too deep to drive through.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 28, 1981, page B2

West Coast Aviation, Airmail Pioneer Seely Hall
    MEDFORD, Ore.--Seely Hall, 91, a pioneer in airmail delivery on the West Coast, United Airlines executive and a founder of Pacific Air Transport, died Monday.
    The cause of death was not released, said Mel Friend of Perl Funeral Home.
    Born in Central Point in 1893, Mr. Hall took his first flight when he was 12--a balloon ride at the Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland.
    He learned to fly planes during World War I, when he served in the Aerial Squadron of the Signal Corps.
Mayfly 1919-8-13
The Medford Aircraft Corporation's Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" on July 13, 1919 near Klamath Falls.
    In 1919, he joined with Frank Farrell and Floyd Hart in buying a 90-horsepower Curtiss Jenny that became the first airplane owned in Medford.
    Vern C. Gorst, who had carried mail during the Alaska gold rush, asked Mr. Hall to help form an airmail service in 1925.
    The airline they formed was called Pacific Air Transport. It won a four-year contract to carry mail from Seattle to Los Angeles on a $64,000 bid and the condition that it only be paid if it beat the trains.
    The only stop on the 1,000-mile flight was in Medford, which had Oregon's only airport at the time.
    The late Medford postmaster, William J. Warner, once said Mr. Hall had more to do with establishing airmail service on the coast than anyone else.
    Pacific Air Transport merged with United Airlines in the 1930s. Mr. Hall served as an executive for United until his retirement in 1958.
Orange County Register, Santa Ana, California, November 24, 1984, page 161

Last revised April 5, 2024