The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

J. W. Snider

    Mr. John W. Snider, of Clark County, who has been employed on the Home farm since December 2, 1901, a "Son of a Veteran," has been assigned by the superintendent temporarily to take Mr. Buck's [the night watchman] place.
Xenia Daily Gazette, Xenia, Ohio, February 28, 1903, page 5

    John W. Snider, of Clark County, who has been engaged at work on the farm, was detailed by the Superintendent as night watchman and the appointment was confirmed.
"Board Meets at the O.S.&S.O. Home," Xenia Daily Gazette, Xenia, Ohio, March 16, 1903, page 16

Miss Maud M. Frederick Becomes the Wife of Mr. John W. Snider.

    A marriage which will be somewhat of a surprise was solemnized at the office of the Probate Court on Monday morning. Mr. John W. Snider, who has for some time been acting as a policeman at the O. S. and S. O. Home, came to the office accompanied by his bride and secured a license to wed Miss Maud M. Frederick, who is also employed at the Home. Mr. Snider is 31 and the bride is 21. They were married by Squire Barnes, who tied the knot in his usual dignified manner.
Xenia Daily Gazette, Xenia, Ohio, December 1, 1904, page 8

    Capt. Louis Merrifield, of Cleveland, has been appointed by the superintendent to take the place of John W. Snider, resigned, as night watchman, and assumed his new duties last night.
"O.S.&S.O. Home," Xenia Daily Gazette, Xenia, Ohio, December 17, 1904, page 7

North Medford:
John M. Snyder, 38, dairy farm, born Ohio, father born Ohio, mother Virginia
Maud M. Snyder, 26, born Ohio, father born Ohio, mother Virginia
Delmar O. Frederick, 22, brother-in-law, born Ohio
Ralph Buckman, 15, servant, born Ohio, father born Iowa, Mother Oregon
1910 U.S. Census

    The Medford Dairy, owned and run by J. W. Snider, successor to Warner & Snider, is situated one mile west of Medford.
    Several modern improvements have been installed which make it one of the most up-to-date dairies in Southern Oregon.
    An aerator is used which cools the milk to 54 degrees before it is bottled. A bottle filler is used which fills eighteen quart bottles per minute. Sanitary milk tickets are also used, which prevent contagious diseases from being carried from one house to another.
    Mr. Snider has been in the dairy business five years, and by his honesty and alertness has built up a large trade.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 22, 1910, page 26

    To the Editor of the Tribune: Having seen the editorial in the Sun of the 5th, I wish to reply in the following manner:
    In the first place, we have a pure food and dairy law which fully covers my business, and the state dairy inspector has called on me twice in the last year and made analyses of my products, and at one time gave a milk test of 4.2 percent and the other time 4.4 percent butterfat, and as the law only requires 3.2 percent, which shows that I am giving my customers the pure, fresh milk as it comes from the cows without any adulteration. I will pay to any person the sum of $500 who will take milk off from my wagons at any time and have same analyzed by competent authority who finds the same adulterated in the slightest manner. I have furnished parties in this city who have young babies who will gladly give testimony that their children have done nicely on the milk and will state that in some cases they even found the milk too rich. I am in no position to state what class of milk my competitors are selling, but hardly think they lay themselves [omission] competent authority who finds some adulterating their goods, and while we have a state law protecting the people against the sale of adulterated milk, I would not object in the least for this city to pass an ordinance conforming with the state laws, and further, at any time that the city health officer would like to test the products of my dairy he is welcome to do so, and remember, my offer of $500 holds good.
    I also ask any officials or individuals to come and visit my dairy at any time, and I will show them around.
                        J. W. SNIDER.
                        Medford Dairy, September 5.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 7, 1911, page 4

    The Medford Dairy, J. W. Snider, proprietor, has decided to extend its milk route to cover all of that portion of the city of Medford lying east of Bear Creek bridge, and hereafter Mr. Snider will serve customers in any part of that territory, as well as other parts of Medford. Mr. Snider guarantees the milk from his dairy to be pure, sanitary and fresh. The milk furnished is highly recommended as an excellent baby food. Phone Pacific 201-J3; or Home 285-M.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 23, 1911, page B8

    In the Sunday morning paper the question was asked, "Why Medford Pays More for Milk than Ashland and Grants Pass?" If the people of Medford were to visit those dairies and visit the Medford dairy, owned by J. W. Snider, which was visited by the state dairy inspector and the health officer of Medford, and given the highest score of any dairy in Jackson and Josephine counties for healthy cows and barn and milk, run in the best sanitary conditions. Mr. Snider's is the only dairy that has an up-to-date sterilizer to sterilize his bottles and cans to 170 degrees, killing all germs. If the people of Medford wish to go back to the old way of hauling milk in cans and measuring it in measures on the street in the dust. In most of the eastern cities of 10,000 the state law does not allow milk to be sold out of cans on the street for private families, and we feel there is nothing too good for Medford people. We are the first to introduce bottled milk, also sanitary milk tickets in Medford. If we were to sell milk the old way we soon compete with the prices of Ashland and Grants Pass. It cost us $1200 the past year to bottle the milk alone without the delivering. We make two deliveries daily with our three wagons of pure Jersey and Durham milk, which we guarantee to be sanitary.
    Watch for the yellow wagons.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 9, 1912, page 5

200,000 Bottles of Milk a Year

    The Medford Dairy, owned and operated by J. W. Snider, is doing its utmost to keep the stride with Medford.
    Mr. Snider came here eight years ago from Ohio, and has been giving the people of Medford the best milk that good Durham and Jersey cows can give.
    He has sixty cows that are well groomed every day. They are all healthy and kept so by the good attention they receive. Swinging stanchions have lately been installed, which adds greatly to their comfort.
    He has all modern apparatus such as filter, cooler, bottle filler, etc. The utensils are all heated to 170 degrees before using. Sanitary tickets and caps are used, thus preventing disease being carried from one home to another. The milk is conveyed to the bottle room and cooled to 52 degrees shortly after being milked. All these have helped Mr. Snider to get the best score of any dairy in the valley.
    Three wagons delivered over two hundred thousand bottles of milk and cream in 1912. Two deliveries are made daily, delivering milk, cream, skim milk and buttermilk to any part of the city.
    Mr. Snider wishes to thank the people for their patronage and says that 1913 will find him doing as he has done in the past, giving to the people the best. He invites the public to visit his dairy, located one-half mile west of Medford.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1913

Story of a Medford Dairyman
By A. D. Cridge in [the] Portland Journal.
    MEDFORD, Ore., Dec. 13.--One of the most successful men in Jackson County is J. W. Snider, the dairyman of Medford. He and his wife came to Oregon nine years ago from Columbus, O., with a capital of $800, for which they had both worked hard. He was 30 years old and she 21. They rented 14 acres of land and started in the dairying business with two cows. Everybody was going into fruit at that time, but Snider and his wife took to cows, supplemented with chickens, turkeys and pigs. The 14 acres soon became too small to feed his cows, and the firm of Snider & Wife bought feed and began to deliver milk to the hotels in a wagon.
    "My wife," says Snider, "is the best milker in Oregon. At different times when I was detained on business she milked 50 cows herself. Any man who milks 25 cows at a milking is a good hand. She can do it, and has milked 50 on a pinch more than once.
    "Our first big contract was to supply the dining cars on the railroad. We had to buy milk and cream to keep it up. We had to buy cows, too, and that took our savings. When we left that place after eight years we had saved up $10,500, but for a while we had to buy cows and machinery and feed. We contracted for whole fields of carrots and I bought hay from one man one year that came to $20,000. Chickens? Well, we got out of the chicken business after a while, but we made some money from them. One time a sudden demand was made on us for 30 roasting fowls. It was near midnight when we started out to levy on our neighbors, for we had none to spare of our own. We went different ways, she with a buckboard and I on horseback. We got those chickens into Medford by 3 in the morning, and were up all night, as there was milking to do when we got home."
Big Place Now.
    Now the Sniders have rented the W. H. Gore place of 640 acres and have 150 cows and 75 young heifers. Last summer they sold 800 tons of hay from their 360 acres of alfalfa and kept about the same amount for feed. This ranch is rented for $10,000 a year. It is the biggest rent for other than a fruit farm in Southern Oregon. The value of the dairy products sold by the Sniders will pass $36,000 this year. Their dairy herd is a cross of Durham with Jersey. They have a few Holsteins.
    As part of the business are 150 hogs, Duroc Jersey crossed with Poland China. There are also 200 turkeys being prepared for the holidays.
    "I was raised on a farm," said Mr. Snider, "and a good farm, and my father was a good farmer. When I was 21 he gave me a horse and buggy and $100, and I worked on one farm for five years. When we married and came west we chose Medford out of all the towns we heard of, and have never felt dissatisfied. We never raised any fruit. I have loaned money to some fruit men and have some loaned out now. This fruit business never interested me much. When we came here people were selling their cows to put in fruit trees on their pasture land. We bought them--all we could. The fruit men did well, or at least lots of them have. It never seemed in my line. I saved money working for $15 a month on an Ohio farm, and afterwards as guard in a state orphan asylum. Some of my men say they can't save money on $35 to $50 a month.
    "My wife keeps the books and draws all the checks and pays all the bills. She knows all about the business. I look after every detail of the dairy to see that all is done right. The dairy inspector can't come too often to my place. We learn something from him every time he comes around, and we are always ready for him.
Looks Good.
    Mr. Snider is not an old-looking, toil-work-appearing man, but an active business man in the prime of life, justly proud of his success but giving full credit to the junior member of the firm. He employs from 10 to 35 persons on his place.
    The milking begins at 2:30 in the morning, and milk is put on the delivery wagons in time to reach the customers for breakfast. Three wagons and an automobile are used for the Medford trade.
    "Why do you not buy a farm instead of renting?" was asked.
    "Well, we never had money enough to buy land and cows at the same time, and so it always looks as if renting was the only [way]. We had to have cows. I need 300 cows on that ranch now. It does not pay to raise feed to sell; or at least it pays better to feed it out to cows, hogs and stock. The ranch is rented on a basis of less than six percent of its actual value, and cows net more than that on their cost. Perhaps we will buy a ranch of our own, and if we do it will be in Southern Oregon. The lease is for 10 years, however. Two of my brothers have got fine farms in Ohio. We all liked farming."
Medford Mail Tribune, December 15, 1913, page 4

    In order to accommodate the increase in business an addition has been built to the milk depot of Snider's Dairy, on North Grape Street, for storage room, ice cream room and office, giving them over 800 feet more floor space and making it possible for them to better accommodate their customers. They manufacture, wholesale and retail milk, cream and ice cream and may add other lines in the near future. Their equipment is up to date in every way and the plant is in charge of D. O. Frederick, who has been with the dairy for ten years, and he is ably assisted by Mrs. Frederick.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 23, 1920, page 5

    One of the biggest business deals of the new year is the sale of the Eldridge Dairy & Produce Co., formerly the Independence Creamery, to J. W. Snider, D. O. Frederick and Howard Grover, who take charge March 1st. The new owners will continue the business at the present location on North Bartlett Street and will wholesale and retail butter, ice cream, milk, cream and poultry. The present quarters are being rearranged to accommodate the milk and cream business that the Eldridge people did not handle.
    J. W. Snider has been in the dairy business here for 17 years, except the last two years, when he sold to D. O. Frederick, who has operated Snider's dairy ever since and about six months ago Howard Grover purchased an interest and has been connected with the business. Their city distributing plant and bottling works on North Grape Street will be moved to the creamery on North Bartlett. J. W. Snider will be manager of the new firm.
    The company's dairy is located on the W. H. Gore land west of Medford and comprises 640 acres, 250 of which is in alfalfa. They have a high-class herd of cows and one of the best-equipped and most sanitary dairies in the state.
    They will continue to purchase all the cream, milk and poultry they can from the farmers.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 17, 1921, page 3

    The new proprietors of the Eldridge dairy, Messrs. J. W. Snider, D. O. Frederick and Howard Grover, took charge today and are moving their milk and cream station from North Grape to the North Bartlett location where all their business will be combined. They do a wholesale butter, ice cream and produce business and wholesale and retail milk and cream business.
    Mr. Eldridge has not decided what he will do as he likes Medford very much and may decide to re-enter some kind of business here. Neville Eldridge has accepted a business with the new company and will remain here.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 1, 1921, page 4

    Seventeen years ago Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Snider came to Oregon and started in the dairy business in a meager way with only a few cows and delivered the milk to their customers and poured it into lard pails.
    Medford was a "country town" then, and many were the hardships serving the public, but through perseverance and selling only the best products and a square deal they built up an industry, now the Snider Dairy & Produce Company, which is recognized as one of the leading industries of the kind on the Pacific Coast. Their products rank among the best, which years of experience have taught them is the only kind that the public really appreciate.
    The dairy business has greatly increased since the Sniders commenced business, which is due in a measure to their work.
    Messrs. J. W. Snider, D. O. Fredericks and Howard Grover recently purchased the Eldridge Dairy Produce Company, one of the largest industries of its kind in Southern Oregon or Northern California [and] have combined their dairy, produce, milk, cream and ice cream business, all of which is conducted in the up-to-date plant on North Bartlett.
    This is strictly a home institution, uses home products, employs home labor and asks for the patronage and good will of the people of the city and valley.
    See their exhibit at the Chamber of Commerce this week. They also furnish the ice cream free for the banquet Friday night.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 26, 1921, page 7

    The Snider Dairy & Produce Co. has just completed the purchase of the property they occupy on North Bartlett Street from K. C. Eldridge, on an option taken several years ago. While the price is not stated, it is around $15,000, and is a splendid bargain.
    The property is a half block off Main Street, the lot being 72x150, and has a one-story brick building covering a big portion of the lot.
    The Snider Company purchased the equipment five years ago from Mr. Eldridge and have added new machinery several times to meet their increased demands. They conduct a wholesale and retail ice cream, soft drinks, butter and dairy business and have Southern Oregon and Northern California as their territory.
    Mr. Snider has been in the business here for 22 years, and five years ago Howard Grover entered the firm, and these two are the sole owners.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 11, 1926, page 3

Owner of Dairy and Produce Co. Succumbs As Recovery from Kidney Complaint Near.

    John Snider, 58, owner and operator of the Snider Dairy and Produce Company of this city and Grants Pass, died this morning at 10 o'clock at the Community Hospital of heart failure following a three weeks' illness.
    Mr. Snider's death came as a shock to his family and friends, as his condition was reported improved a short time before his death. He was recovering from a kidney illness which necessitated his entering the hospital a week ago, and had eaten breakfast and stated that he was feeling better earlier this morning.
    He is survived by his widow and two children, Mary Elizabeth, who is a student at Oregon State College, and John, Jr., who is attending the junior high school in this city, and two sisters and two brothers in Ohio.
Funeral Friday
    Funeral will be held at the Conger Funeral Parlors Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock, Rev. D. E. Millard reading the service. Interment will be in the Medford cemetery.
    Mr. Snider, who had played a prominent part in the civic and business activities of Medford since 1904, had won the confidence and respect of his associates and competitors and will be remembered by many friends.
    He was a member of the Medford Elks Lodge, Knights of Pythias and Redmen.
    Pall bearers for the funeral will be selected from members of the staff of the Medford and Grants Pass creameries, which he owned and operated.
    Mr. Snider was born May 13, 1872, in North Hampton, Ohio. He was married in Xenia, Ohio, December 12, 1904, and left immediately for Medford, Ore., where he made his home until his death.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 22, 1930, page 1

Exemplifying an Old Proverb
    "If a man build a better mouse trap or make two blades of grass grow where one grew before, the world will beat a path to his door."
    Twenty-five years ago J. W. Snider founded a small dairy in Medford. A stickler for cleanliness and sanitation, an advocate of purity of quality, the Snider Dairy & Produce Co. today stands as a monument to his efforts.
    With the increase in business came the building of an organization, the association and training of men to carry on, to produce and ensure products of the Snider quality and purity. Rapid growth necessitated assistance in the management, and 10 years ago G. H. Grover became a member of the firm. With the passing of Mr. Snider, Mrs. Snider and Mr. Grover assume the management, thus assuring a combination of the high quality and purity that has always characterized the Snider Dairy & Produce Co. products.
    Today--as always--"Snider makes it right" is true of every product of the Snider Dairy & Produce Co.
Advertisement, Medford Mail Tribune, October 29, 1930, page 4

Two-Story Concrete Structure Will Be Among Best in State--
Work Expected to Start Immediately

    Plans for an extensive building program were announced today by the Snider Dairy and Produce Co., to involve construction of a new plant twice the size of that now operating on North Bartlett, at a cost of many thousand dollars. An estimate on the money to be expended will not be given out by Mrs. Maude Snider, president of the company, until the contract is let this week, she stated this afternoon.
    The plant will be a two-story concrete building and will be erected at the same location now occupied by the company on North Bartlett.
    It will be one of the most modern creameries in the state of Oregon and will handle a volume of business double that now going through the local plant.
    The demands of increased business realized during the past year, in spite of all the depression talk, have necessitated construction of the new plant, Mrs. Snider stated.
    Complete plans for the building and the amount to be spent on the construction will be announced in the very near future. Work on the construction will start as soon as contracts are awarded.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 14, 1931, page 1

Snider Dairy and Produce Company
For Pure Pasteurized Milk, Cream and Dairy Products
    This plant located on North Bartlett, telephone 203, Medford, Ore., is now being practically rebuilt, new modern machinery is being installed such as new bottling room equipment, new pasteurizers, new ice cream freezers, new cold storage equipment. When completed this will be one of the most modern dairy plants in the entire state.
    This modern up-to-date dairy is one of the best known in this community. It is clean and sanitary in every particular. It is their endeavor to give the people of this community the best that can be had in pure pasteurized milk, cream, and dairy products.
    Their milk is pasteurized as soon as it reaches the plant. For this, they have strictly modern machinery, and their place and equipment is immaculate. Pasteurization of milk means to heat the milk to 142 degrees, holding it at that temperature for a given length of time and cooling it quickly. Thus the bacteria is eliminated and the qualities of the milk are unharmed.
    "A bottle of milk is a bottle of health," is an expression of today that is quite in order. Many people can point to their pure, healthful milk and say this. A glass of milk at ten in the morning and three in the afternoon wards off that tired feeling. It beautifies the skin and the complexion. Everywhere, school and health authorities are insisting that milk be served to school children. Serve milk at meal time and between meals too, to the whole family. Milk consistently used builds health and vigor in the frailest body, colors pale cheeks, revitalizes wasted nerves. Order extra milk today from the Snider Dairy and Produce Company.
    In this Industrial Magazine we take great pleasure in complimenting the management of this dairy upon their modern business methods. The people of this community are indeed fortunate to have them here.
Jacksonville Miner Industrial Magazine, January 11, 1935, page 4

Last revised May 3, 2024