The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Rogue Valley Socialists

Socialists to Organize.
    J. B. Osborne of Atlanta, Georgia, arrived in Ashland Saturday from Medford and lectured on behalf of socialism on the plaza in the afternoon and evening. A socialist club will be organized next Saturday. It will be nonpartisan in politics and is aimed to place the Ashland socialists in contact with the socialist lecturers and literature throughout the country and to push the initiative and referendum amendment to the constitution of Oregon which will be voted upon next June. D. M. Brower was elected temporary secretary of the meeting held Monday.
Valley Record, Ashland, June 20, 1901, page 1

    A socialist club was organized at Ashland last week with a membership of forty-five.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, June 28, 1901, page 6

    B. Y. C. Brown of Ozark, Mo. delivered an address to the Socialists of Medford and vicinity Monday evening. He proved himself well posted on his subject and pleased his hearers. Mr. Brown has since spoken at Central Point, Grants Pass and Roseburg.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 6, 1902, page 4

    The Australian ballot law requires 100 voters at a mass convention. Socialists of Jackson County will meet at Medford, Saturday, March 8th, at 10 a.m., to arrange for county, state and congressional tickets.
Medford Mail, February 21, 1902, page 3

Socialist Mass Meeting.
    The Socialists of Jackson County will meet at Medford Saturday, March 8, 1902 at 10 o'clock a.m., for the purpose of arranging for the appointment of delegates to the state and congressional conventions and the nomination of candidates for county offices. The Australian ballot law requires the attendance of 100 voters at a mass convention; therefore a full attendance is requested.
    By order of Executive Committee.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 27, 1902, page 2

Socialist Convention.
    The Jackson County Socialists met in this city last Saturday and organized a County Central Committee and also nominated a ticket for the coming June election. J. W. Wiley was chosen as chairman of the County Central Committee and Walter Scott as Secretary. After endorsing the state and national platforms they nominated the following county ticket:
    J. W. Wiley, of Medford, Senator.
    C. P. Snell and J. A. Thomas, of Medford, Representatives.
    D. M. Brower, of Ashland, Joint Representative.
    Grant Rawlings, of Central Point, Sheriff.
    Wm. Abbott, of Phoenix, Clerk.
    M. L. Hartley, of Medford, Recorder.
    J. A. Smith, of Medford, Treasurer.
    H. Richardson, of Trail, County Commissioner.
Medford Mail, March 14, 1902, page 6

    C. P. Snell, the attorney, who is a Socialist candidate for representative, has gone to Portland to attend the state convention of his party.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 20, 1902, page 5

    Rev. Carl D. Thompson, Socialist, of the Social Crusade, will speak in the Academy hall on Tuesday evening, May 13th, at 7:30 o'clock. His subject will be "Freedom and Fraternity: Home and Humanity--A More Abundant Life for All." An invitation is extended to all to attend.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 9, 1902, page 7

    The Socialist vote cast in Jackson County June 2nd was less than 250. The Prohibition vote may reach 150.
"Local Notes,"
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 12, 1902, page 5

The Socialist Plan.
    January 8, 1904.
    We, the leaders of the Socialist Party, are annoyed a great deal by questions asked by ignorant people, who want to know how we are going to run things and how we are going to take over the railroads, the factories, the mines, the mills and the farms; and how we are going to manage the work. Now, MR. EDITOR, if you will allow me a small space in your capitalist paper, I will explain just how we will run things, when we get control of the government and elect a President.
    O, yes; we will have a President, but he won't get any higher wages, or any better grub to eat than Jerry does, who works on the section.
    Well, to the first question: How are we going to take over this property. Horace Greeley once said that the way to resume specie payment was to just "resume," and the way we will take over this property is "just take." Some of our members are getting so enthusiastic that they have commenced taking some little things already, but we don't intend to take the big things until we get full control of the government. As to management of the work. As everybody must work--we will have no drones--and as some kinds of work are harder and dirtier than other kinds, we will have to shift the men every day, so that each man will do his turn at the hard work and the light.
    In order to do that the country will be divided into districts, say about like road districts, and every morning every man in the district will assemble at headquarters and elect a boss for that day--a sort of an orderly sergeant--who will make the detail for that day and keep a record of each man and the kind of work he is assigned, and hand this report over to the boss that is elected the next morning.
    One of those morning orders will be something like this:
    Saw wood for railroad engine--L. G. Porter, John D. Rockefeller, Oley Olson, One Lung Sing Sing.
    Hitch up the mules and go to Big Sticky and plow--Buck Gillin, J. Pierpont Morgan, Carl Skijunski, Horace Nicholson.
    Teach school--Jack Montgomery.
    Grub chaparral--Prof. Narregan.
    Shear the Bybee goats--Billie Isaacs, Jesse Enyart.
    Tend bar at the corner saloon, and don't forget to put a nickel in the box every time you take a drink--Ed. Robertson.
    You had a hard job yesterday so you can go and stand in front of a cigar store--E. D. Elwood.
    Get out those paramount issues and sun them, they are beginning to smell musty--W. J. Bryan, Chas. Nickell.
    We will have to have some entertainments and amusements and we want to have a circus next week, but it takes a capitalist to get up a circus, but we will get up a circus of our own.
    Go over to that straw pile and turn somersaults--George Merriman, W. S. Crowell, Grover Cleveland, Sam Murray.
    Can practice hanging from a horizontal bar by his eyebrows--Nat Langell.
    Ringmaster--Shorty Hamilton.
    Work on the section--Peter Applegate, Hosteler Johnston, Court Hall, H. C. Mackey.
    Run the post office--Olaf Beauregard.
    Work on irrigation ditch--W. I. Vawter, Marmaduke Jenkins, Con. Leever.
    And so on through the list until every man is assigned to work. There will also be a detail made to run the stores, shops, hotels, saloons, and all the money that is taken in through the day will be taken to headquarters at night and dumped into a box and then taken to the county headquarters, and at the end of every month it will be divided and every man will get an equal share.
    President of Shakemakers Union.
    P.S.--I have been informed that there is a certain dentist in Medford that has been buying scab-made shakes. Therefore I have ordered a boycott, and the members of our union will walk to Grants Pass to get a tooth pulled before we would let him pull it.
Medford Mail, January 15, 1904, page 4

    The Jackson County Socialist Committee met at Medford last Saturday and completed its ticket for coming election in this county, which is now as follows: Joint Representative, D. M. Brower, Ashland; representative, R. C. Messner, J. A. Thomas; county judge, S. H. Holt; county commissioner, Matt. Calhoun; sheriff, Harvey Richardson; clerk, J. D. Williams; recorder, Chas. Gerow; assessor, G. W. Howard; school superintendent, Mrs. L. L. Reame; treasurer, Marion Harley; surveyor, R. W. Kennedy.
"Political Notes and News," Ashland Tidings, March 30, 1904, page 3

PHOENIX, ORE., May 11th, 1904.
    Grants Pass, Oregon.
We have just had Comrade B. F. Ramp with us for the past two days. He is a strong man, a fine and forcible reasoner. He is the most thorough class-conscious Socialist that I ever had the pleasure of meeting. He covered more Socialistic ground in the same time than any man we have had here in the last four years, and his arguments were clean and convincing to non-Socialists. He is just the man we want in Congress.
The Real Issue, Grants Pass, May 15, 1904, page 3, SOHS Research Library

An Announcement.
    Our Comrade, Jos. A. Thomas of Medford, Oregon, is having The Real Issue print in pamphlet form the speech he delivered in the last campaign.
    Commander Thomas has a fine library along economic lines and is well posed on the subject of Socialism.
    This pamphlet will prove good propagande [sic] material and will be ready in a couple of weeks. Send for some 5¢ a copy; six for a quarter.
The Real Issue, Grants Pass, July 15, 1904, page 2, SOHS Research Library

Comrades Attention.
    Joe A. Thomas does not need any of your charity, nor does he claim to know it all. But you need to read his campaign speech delivered in 1904 just before the June election under the title "A Word for Socialism." Single copies 5 cents; six for 25 cents. Address E. P. Hammond, Medford, Oregon; or The Real Issue, Grants Pass.
The Real Issue, Grants Pass, September 1, 1904, page 3, SOHS Research Library

Comrade Rawlings Writes.
    Why do I give $25 to circulate the Appeal to Reason in this state?
    Because it is the best propaganda paper on earth, and because the people's minds today are in a receptive mood.
    Every line of thought and every phase of human action is tending toward and is in harmony with the Socialist philosophy. Man as an animal by natural selection through the struggle for an existence has become social. And when as an intelligent being, through conscious selection, he discovers the fact that he is a social being, he must at once accept the Socialist philosophy--become a Socialist.
    I believe that evolution through natural selection will and is bringing Socialism; but I know that through this same natural selection man has now arrived at that stage of evolution in which conscious selection can materially assist natural selection. I not only believe that environment makes the man, but I know that we can to a great extent make the environment that makes the man.
    The mind is no less the creature of circumstances than the man. Then let us make the circumstances--the environment--for the minds of the old party voters by
putting in their hands a good Socialist paper and keeping in their minds the true Socialist thought. The Socialist philosophy is based upon and is the LAW OF NATURAL HUMAN RELATIONS, and the thought is permeating every line of human endeavor of all classes and conditions.
    There are all of our old Populist friends and thousands of disgusted Democrats turning to us for help since their god has proven false, as well as hundreds of others who through keen intellectual investigation are ready to accept the true philosophy of life.
    These are a few reasons why I proposed to give $25 provided 99 others would give a like amount to give the Appeal to Reason a general circulation throughout this state.
    Comrade Wayland is making the great sacrifice of offering the Appeal for six months for 10 cents in 1000 lots. This will enable us to put the Appeal into the hands of 25,000 old party voters for six months if 99 other Socialists will each dig up $25. So confident was I that the comrades would take up this work, that I sent the $25 to our state secretary some time ago.
Yours Fraternally,
The Real Issue, Grants Pass, September 15, 1904, page 3, SOHS Research Library

Central Point, Oregon.
    Sept. 7, 1904.
    Comrade W. S. Richards of Albany was with us on the above date and made one of the best arguments on behalf of Socialism that I have listened to this year. 1 feel sure that the seed sown did not fall on stony ground. The lecture was delivered at the Town Hall, and we hope that, should Comrade Richards come this way again, he will give us another intellectual treat.
R. C. Hensley.
The Real Issue, Grants Pass, September 15, 1904, page 3, SOHS Research Library

ASHLAND, ORE., Oct. 18th, 1904.
    Have just received and read the Real Issue of the 15th inst. In regard to your question, "Do you want J. Stitt Wilson?" will say I think your suggestion is good and for a starting I would be willing to subscribe $1, and if arrangements could be made to keep him in Oregon for a year and I can find work, I am willing to pledge 50 cents per month.
Yours for Socialism,
"What the Workers Say," The Real Issue, Grants Pass, November 1, 1904, page 1, SOHS Research Library

Gold Hill, Ore., Jan. 8.
    Comrade Robbins and all Real Issue readers:
    I wish to again refer to the subject of organizing Locals and County Centrals; although the subject has been well discussed, no line of action has been adopted. Therefore I would like the Oregon comrades to consider the suggestion offered in the R.I. of Dec. 3, by Comrade Claude S. Howard of Mulino, Or., together with what I have to offer and let us decide what kind of cause to accept.
    I agree with Comrade Howard that our great speakers would get very small crowds at the present time throughout our small towns. They should be preceded by organization and literature.  Therefore if we Oregon Socialists would donate what we each can afford and get a moving picture machine outfit complete as advertised by the Appeal to Reason and equip our State Organizer with it and send Socialist literature and posters and start in our county, making either a partially or a thorough canvass, giving picture shows charging admission, then after the show is over announce a "Free Lecture on Socialism" for the next night. Then after the lecture organize a Local and distribute literature. Then proceed to the next precinct and after having visited each in like manner, organize a County Central. Thus having finished that county proceed to the next. Giving the County Central officer, Comrades Howard's plan of scattering literature to each voter in the county. The State Organizer to send in a weekly report of his financial and social work. Allow him $2 per day after all expenses are paid and balance over, to be used to buy more literature for distribution.
    Counties thus canvassed, Socialism would be thoroughly advertised and the popular vote ready and willing to hear our grand public speakers.
    Were I State Organizer, I would not ask for better fun [funds?] and am confident that by next state election we would carry the majority vote for the grand, great cause.
    Our State Secretary and the editor of the R.I. think this is a good move if we put our shoulder to the wheel and make it go. Now, whoop 'em up, boys! I'll start the move towards the organizing fund with one dollar and more if I can get hold of it. Who is the next? If we intend doing anything in this proposition, let's get the organizer out on duty by the first of May and when his work is complete we will have our hands full in getting the big guns to shooting Socialism through the state.
Sincerely yours for Socialism,
    Raphael Chartraw Messner.
The Real Issue, Grants Pass, January 15, 1905, page 3, SOHS Research Library

Editor Real Issue.
    Acting on your suggestion I write concerning my ideas about what would be best for the success of the Socialist Party concerning a party platform etc. I will scratch down the following. It should be one that would bring us the largest number of followers at the same time adhering firmly to Revolutionary Socialism. As the Christian Church requires as a test of fellowship only that he or she believes Jesus Christ is the son of God so let our platform invite to party membership and comradeship all who openly avow their advocacy and belief in an industrial democracy or commonwealth. Let us make it perfectly clear that socialism is not workable in a political government, that the best we can do at present is to guard what liberty we have by sustaining the free working of the initiative and referendum amendment and the adoption of the same form of government to our municipalities and by electing conscientious men with intelligence enough to be socialists to the to the various offices. On national issues we should insist on all our national domain being either state or territorial. That paternalism through our class laws be withdrawn as rapidly as safety to our finance and commerce will permit.
    The platform should cater to no class; should encourage brotherhood and not antagonism. Fraternalism and not hatred. It should be such a platform that is clear-cut without ambiguity. So that those who run may read that what the socialists want is industrialism, i.e., an industrial government giving to both sexes an industrial citizenship, and giving to all industrial liberty and equality.
    All Trade Union resolutions and perhaps all other resolutions had best be left out. They smack too much of old-time populism. The platform should be clear that we support the constitutional right of private or corporate ownership of industrial property until we get or establish an industrial government whose constitution eliminates this right of ownership and places the ownership of industrial property in the collectivity the same as our educational property is now owned by the collectivity.
Your Industrial Comrade,
    D. M. BROWER, M.D.
The Real Issue, Grants Pass, March 1, 1905, pages 2-3, SOHS Research Library

Ashland, Oregon, Mar. 12, 1905.
Ed. Real Issue.
    Acting on your invitation I write for the Good of the Cause. The first thing a convert to Socialism should do is to espouse the cause of Socialism, and his espousal should be of the kind that all and everybody knows he is a Socialist and then to so inform himself that he can intelligently give a reason for the desire in his heart for an industrial democracy. Knowing the terror of land-lord-ism he should persuade men to turn to industrialism as a form of government which will constitutionally eliminate the landlord and the politicians.
    The relegation of these two classes of men to innocuous desuetude would surely be a great blessing to the common people.
    The industrialist in trying to convert his acquaintance to the Socialist philosophy should avoid profanity. Let the other fellow swear. Oaths and falsehoods are about the only argument the opposition has. The Socialist if he is posted in his cause needs neither and he will do his cause more good by avoiding both. For the Good of the Cause the Socialist should be willing to suffer persecution. All good things come to men out of the womb of suffering. Malice, envy, spite and lies have ever followed those who would help humanity.
    Last but not least a membership in a Socialist local and prompt payment of dues and a willingness to do and dare much to get others to see the light are helps to those who are anxious to see the dawning of a better day. The day when political government will be no more and Industrialism will be all in all as a government among men.
Your Industrial Comrade,
    D. M. BROWER, M.D.
The Real Issue, Grants Pass, April 1, 1905, pages 2-3, SOHS Research Library

    About one hundred people attended the Socialist picnic at the grove on North C Street, on Monday, and a very pleasant time was had. Hon. S. H. Holt was chosen as chairman and introduced Prof. Wells, who delivered the address of the day. Mr. Holt also spoke upon the iniquities of the other parties--speaking by the card--as he has belonged to most of them.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 28, 1905, page 5

    All socialists are requested to attend a meeting at the old K. of P. hall (Smith's hall) Tuesday evening, at 7:30, for the purpose of reorganization of the Socialist Club.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 16, 1906, page 5

    The socialists of Medford will meet at J. C. Smith's store, one door east of Warner's grocery, on Saturday evening, Feb. 2, to make arrangements for a lecturer who will be in this section in the near future.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, January 25, 1907, page 5

    A free reading room has been established upstairs in the building opposite the Palace Hotel on C Street. This reading room is maintained by the Socialist Party of Oregon and the Medford local, but the room is designed to be entirely nonpartisan. Papers and periodicals of all political parties will be welcomed, and the room will be conducted in the manner its name implies, that is a reading room free to all, where people may come and pass a few hours in reading the news of the day or perusing the books and periodicals provided. The reading room is in charge of three trustees, F. S. Day, J. R. Noyes and J. W. Wilson.
Medford Mail, December 13, 1907, page 2

Socialist Club Resolutions
    The following resolutions were adopted by the Medford Socialist Club at a meeting Tuesday night:
    Whereas, the Commercial Club of Medford has seen fit to adopt resolutions purporting to represent the attitude of this city in regard to grievances with the Southern Pacific company to the effect that there is only one grade crossing on the S.P. track within a radius of three blocks, not to speak of the inconvenience of having to ride on local freight trains in the place of the old passenger service. Therefore be it
    Resolved, That this body, the Socialist Party of Medford, do condemn the action of the Commercial Club as unfair, and not to the interest of the citizens of Medford. And that a copy of these resolutions be sent to the daily and weekly press.
J. W. Wilson, Secy.       
Medford Mail, December 13, 1907, page 5

    The Medford Socialists have nominated the following ticket for the city election: for Mayor J. W. Wiley, recorder Perry Stewart, treasurer J. A. Smith, councilman first ward John R. Simmons, second ward Julius W. Wilson, third ward Ernest Walter.
"City Happenings,"
Medford Mail, December 27, 1907, page 5

Adopt Platform Censuring Capitalistic Program and Name Full City Ticket.
    The socialists of Medford Tuesday night nominated a full ticket for the coming municipal election, including a mayor, and adopted a platform as follows:
    "We, the socialists of Medford, in convention assembled, declare our allegiance to the principles of socialism as embodied in the socialist platform throughout the world. We declare that there can never be a lasting prosperity as long as the present system of private ownership of the means of life endures, a system under which not a wheel can turn--unless the capitalist can first be assured of a profit; a system under which the wage earner must always receive less in wages than will enable him to pay back the equivalent of his own product. The result of this must ever be as at present, stagnation in business and idleness of the present system and in its place the establishment of the cooperative commonwealth. We favor all measures which will aid the working class in their contest for political power.
Abolish Contract System.
    "We demand the following immediate measures:
    "The abolition of the contract system on all public works labor, to be hired direct by the proper city officials, with an eight-hour workday, and a minimum wage of $3 per day.
    "The employment of all idle resident workingmen on public improvement.
Demand Road Crossings.
    "The establishment of a public bathhouse and library.
    "We demand the Southern Pacific company be compelled to put in crossings on all of the principal streets crossed by its tracks.
    "We favor a perfect sewerage system. We favor the paving of Seventh Street and the  better grading of other streets.
    "We declare that the present management of our public water system to be a disgrace to our city and pledge our candidates if elected to work for the improvement and extension of the same in every possible way.
In Favor of Recall.
    "We pledge our candidates to work for the adoption of the imperative mandate in our city charter so that the people may recall unfaithful public servants.
    "We demand that the corporations and large property holders be compelled to pay their just share of the taxes, so that the necessary funds may be secured to carry on these measures.
    "We call the attention of the people to the fact that there can be no lasting remedy for the evils of the liquor traffic as long as there is a 7-cent profit on a 10-cent drink.
Full Ticket Named.
    "We, the socialist candidates, agree to sign a blank resignation to be filled out and presented at any time we fail to work for the above measures.
    "Mayor, I. W. Wiley, stock dealer; recorder, Perry Stewart, carpenter; treasurer, John H. Smith, business manager; councilman, first ward, John R. Simmons, carpenter; second ward, Julius W. Wilson, musician; third ward, Ernest Walter, laborer.
Medford Daily Tribune, December 26, 1907, page 1

Socialist Platform.
    We demand the following immediate measures:
    The abolition of the contract system on all public work, labor to be hired direct by the proper city officials, with an eight-hour working day, and a minimum wage of $3 per day.
    The employment of all idle resident working men on public improvements.
    The establishment of a public bath house and library.
    We demand the Southern Pacific company be compelled to put in crossings on all of the principal streets crossed by its track.
    We favor a perfect sewerage system.
    We favor the paving of 7th Street and the better grading of other streets.
    We declare that the present management of our public water system to be a disgrace to our city and pledge our candidates, if elected, to work for the improvement and extension of the same in every possible way.
    We pledge our candidates to work for the adoption of the imperative mandate in our city charter, so that the people may recall unfaithful public servants.
    We demand that the corporations and large property holders be compelled to pay their just share of the taxes, so that the necessary funds may be secured to carry out these measures.
    We call the attention of the people to the fact that there can be no lasting remedy for the evils of the liquor traffic as long as there is a seven-cent profit in a ten-cent drink.
    We, the Socialist candidates, agree to sign a blank resignation, to be filled out and presented at any time we fail to work for the above measures.
Medford Mail, January 10, 1908, page 4

Socialists Adopt Platform.
    MEDFORD, Or., April 20.--(Special.)--The Socialist party of Jackson County has nominated a full ticket for county offices and adopted its platform, which follows the national platform of that party. The nominees are to make their campaign here on measures demanding a full assessment of property with a $500 exemption law. The levying of a special tax for building roads, construction of electric roads, an eight-hour-day law, enforcement of the child labor law and the enfranchisement of women are demanded.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 21, 1908, page 8

Socialists cartoon, September 16, 1908 Oregonian
September 16, 1908 Oregonian

Fistic Encounter Between a Socialist and a Democrat.
    The city coffer will undoubtedly be enriched to some extent Monday because of the fact that E. J. Lewis, state organizer for the Socialist Party, and attorney E. E. Kelly engaged in a fistic encounter on the Hotel Nash corner last night.
    Mr. Lewis was speaking from a box on the street corner and, as we are told, during his talk asked if there was an attorney in the crowd, to which Mr. Kelly made answer that he was one, whereupon Mr. Lewis hurled some caustic remarks in his direction, to which Mr. Kelly, who is a Democrat, took exceptions. After an exchange of compliments (?)  Mr. Lewis intimated that Mr. Kelly get on the box--and that is what Mr. Kelly proceeded to do. It was then that Mr. Kelly hurled a few full-strength caustic remarks in the direction of Mr. Lewis-and about this time the gentlemen commenced a mixup.
    Both were arrested by Officer Cole, and they gave bonds in the sum of $20 each for their appearance before Judge Collins tomorrow morning.
Excerpt, Medford Mail, October 23, 1908, page 2

First Party in the Field for the Coming City Election.
Mayor--Ernest Wolters.
First Ward--Joseph L. Wonderley.
Second Ward--To be filled by the committee.
Third Ward--D. B. Reame.
    The Socialists of Medford met last night in convention and nominated a ticket for the city election, with the exception of a councilman for the second ward, which will be filled by a committee appointed for that purpose. At the meeting the following resolutions were adopted:
    "We, the Socialists of Medford, in convention assembled, again endorse the principles of international socialism. We call the attention of the people of Medford to the fact that all governments are essentially class governments, and that all legislation is primarily class legislation. Taking this for a starting point, it is unreasonable to expect the profit-taking employing class to legislate against their own interest and in the interest of the wage-earner.
    "If the producing class are to receive any benefits from legislation they must organize politically in order that they may elect their own representatives to city, county or state legislative bodies. This is the essence of class consciousness which our President [Theodore Roosevelt] so much deplores.
    "Realizing this truth, we come before the voters of this city in the interest of the working class. And if it should be our good fortune to be elected to any office we shall be found working for the interest of the working class.
    "As measures to the immediate interest of the workers, we offer the following:
    "First--The abolition of all private contracts on public work. Men to be hired direct by the city, thereby doing away with the large profits to wealthy contractors, which should go to the wage-earner in increased wages.
    "Second--We demand the eight-hour workday on all public work, and that union wages be paid.
    "Third--We demand that the city establish a public bathhouse, gymnasium and billiard room, so that men will have a place to go other than the saloon.
    "Fourth--We demand that the property clauses in the city charter be stricken out. It is unconstitutional for property to be made the basis for the holding of office. It is also class legislation.
    "Fifth--We favor the establishing of a city electric and power plant, and furnish consumers with light, heat and power at cost of production. But we call your attention that public ownership can only be a success when its friends are behind it.
    "Sixth--We demand that all street crossings on the Southern Pacific track be thrown open.
    "If you favor these measures there is only one way to get them--that is by voting for Socialist candidates."
Medford Mail, December 25, 1908, page 1

    The Socialists have decided to have a May Day picnic at their hall on G Street, May 2. Many speakers and plenty of music will be the features of the occasion. A moving picture machine has been engaged to furnish entertainment of a highly instructive and entertaining character.
Medford Mail, April 23, 1909, page 8

    If your sewing machine needs repairing, call on D. B. Reame. You need not fear because he is a Socialist to employ him, for he is one of the best repairers and adjusters that ever came to this coast. D. B. is too busy to canvass. All orders left with Madame L. L. Reame, the Human Hair Dresser, corner Fourth Street and Oakdale Avenue, will receive prompt attention.
"Business Locals," Medford Mail Tribune, November 30, 1909, page 4

    One significant result of the recent election is the great growth of the socialist party, which cast a million votes in Tuesday's election.
    Socialists have now elected their first congressman. He is Victor Berger and hails from Milwaukee, which has already elected a socialist mayor, who, by the way, is "making good."
    Socialists this year also elected the mayor of another large city--Minneapolis. Both Milwaukee and Minneapolis have a large population of foreign birth or descent, and it is among this element that the socialist party grows fastest.
    New York and other eastern states, Illinois and the Middle West, cast a large socialist vote. Nearly 50,000 votes were cast in California for socialist candidates, and to their defection is blamed the defeat of Bell.
    In Jackson County the socialists cast an average vote of over 650. In some instances socialist candidates polled a much larger vote, but the strength of the party can be placed at this figure.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 13, 1910, page 4

Will Enter Actively into City Politics at Coming Election--
Ernest E. Wolters, Union Man, Heads Their Ticket.
    Local socialists met Tuesday evening at the hall on North Grape Street and placed a complete city ticket in the field for the coming election. Inasmuch as the socialists polled over 200 votes in the Medford precincts at the last election, they have become quite a factor in local politics.
    To head their ticket, the socialists have named Ernest E. Wolters, secretary of the carpenters' union. Mr. Wolters has for several years past been a resident of Medford and has a large circle of friends.
    In the first ward, W. P. Gould was nominated for the city council, W. J. Dunnhill in the second ward and George H. Millar in the third. The socialists are preparing their platform, which they will submit to the public.
    The socialists state that as Mr. Wolters is actively identified with organized labor that he will poll a heavy union vote.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 7, 1910, page 1

Addresses, Songs and Readings Follow Elaborate Luncheon in Grove Near Talent--
"America" Up to Date Is Rendered.
    A large number of socialists attended the first county picnic held at Phoenix grove Sunday, May 7. Talent local of socialists had charge of arrangements. The affair opened up with a song entitled "America Up to Date" to the tune of "America," and reads as follows:

Our country 'tis of thee,
Land of prosperitee,
    Where whistles blow,
Where children work all day,
No chance to run or play,
Where greed and might hold sway
    Thy name we love.

Almighty God, to thee
Buyer of liberty,
    To thee we sing.
Our land is full of graft,
And William Howard Taft,
Who's smaller fore than aft.
    Our mighty king.

    An old-fashioned lunch was spread on a long table covered with plenty for all. Mrs. F. M. Sweat of Talent was toastmaster, and responses were given by F. M. Sweat, C. M. Pheister, Carl M. Arndt and G. H. Millar. For the afternoon exercises E. E. Walters was elected chairman, and a program was given as follows:
    Song, "The Red Flag"; address by Collins, "The Aims of the I.W.W."; recitation by Miss Sweat entitled "Our God, 'Greed'."
    Other addresses by F. M. Sweat, Harvey Richardson and Carl M. Arndt, including the reading of an article by E. V. Debs entitled "Humanity" by W. H. Shulz, concluded the exercises.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 8, 1911, page 6


Hard Fight to Win Election There Today Is Made.
    MEDFORD, Or., Jan. 8.--(Special.)--After issuing their own newspaper through the campaign, bringing in prominent party speakers and carrying on an energetic canvass of the voters, the Socialist party are confident of winning in the city election Tuesday. Outside of the Socialists there had been little or no interest in the election until Saturday, when the independent voters became active.
    If the three Socialist candidates win they will have control of the City Council. The complete ticket is as follows: City Recorder, Edward W. Egan Socialist, and Robert V. Telfer, incumbent; City Treasurer, John Reter, Socialist, and Gus H. Samuels, Independent; Councilman, First Ward, J. W. Mitchell and L. G. Porter, Independent, Frank B. Sankey, Socialist; Second Ward, Councilman, E. C. Ireland, Independent, Isaac M. Thomas, Socialist, and Percy E. Wynkoop, Progressive; Third Ward, Councilman, T. J. Summerville, Independent, and D. C. White, Socialist.

Morning Oregonian, Portland, January 9, 1912, page 3


Though Campaign Was Most Strenuous in History
of City Machine, Fails to Win Votes.
    MEDFORD, Or., Jan. 10.--(Special.)--Defeated after making the hardest campaign in the history of the Medford Socialist Party, it is generally believed that socialism in Medford is dead as far as municipal politics is concerned.
    All five candidates for city offices in Tuesday's election were defeated, although the party secured outside speakers, ran a paper previous to the election and had a party machine well organized for work at the polls.
    An analysis of the vote shows that while a total of 1174 votes were cast in 1911, and 1926 in 1912, the Socialist vote in 1912 was less than that of a year ago. In the third ward, Millar got 151 votes last year and was elected, while in the same ward this year, White, polling the largest vote of any Socialist aldermanic candidate, got but 128 and was defeated; this in spite of the fact that the total vote was larger.
    The attempt of the Socialists to put a former bootblack, a carpenter and a blacksmith at the head of the city affairs is declared by supporters of the opposing ticket to have aroused resentment of the voters.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, January 11, 1912, page 3

Largest Ticket Ever Put in Field Is Named at Medford.
    MEDFORD, Or., June 25.--(Special.)--The Socialist party at a mass convention Saturday nominated a complete county ticket as follows: Representatives, R. G. Satchwell and D. C. White, of Medford, County Judge, W. H. Breese, of Talent; County Commissioners (two years), G. H. Millar, Medford; (four years), Harvey Richardson, Agate; School Superintendent, Amandus Butcher, Medford; County Clerk, C. F. Bowman, Gold Hill; Recorder, John Peter, Medford; Assessor, E. J. Udell, Agate; Sheriff, F. E. W. Smith, Talent; Treasurer, J. A. Smith, Medford; Surveyor. E. W. Cooper, Sams Valley; Coroner, Dr. E. Davis, Central Point; Joint Representative, Douglas and Jackson counties, C. A. Strickland, Ashland; Justices of the Peace, I. M. Thomas, Medford; C. F. Bowman, Gold Hill; C. W. Sherman, Central Point; W. R. Sparks, Jacksonville; Constable, George Dayton, Gold Hill; W. F. Dunn, Central Point; Joseph Applebaker, Jacksonville.
    The meeting was well attended and much enthusiasm prevailed. This is the largest ticket the Socialist party has ever put in the field In Jackson County.

Morning Oregonian, Portland, June 26, 1912, page 9

    In all probability the local socialists will decide upon the personal [sic] of their ticket for the coming city campaign Sunday afternoon at one of their regular weekly meetings.
    To date no inkling of who their candidates will be has been made public aside from the mayoralty. In regard to this office rumor has it that George H. Millar, present councilman, will be the nominee. Millard is conceded to be a candidate who will draw heavier outside of this party than any other man they could name.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 29, 1912, page 1

Noted Novelist and Socialist Delivers Interesting Talk at the Opera House,
After Which He Mingles with Audience.
    A large number of local people, socialists for the most part, gathered at the opera house Thursday evening, and for 45 minutes listened to Jack London tell of his experiences in connection with his conversion to socialism and the work he has done along socialistic lines since. Mr. London proved a very interesting speaker. He was introduced by Gus Newbury with a few well-chosen remarks. George H. Millar presided and John Dequer welcomed the noted visitor. Several musical selections filled in the evening's program, after which Mr. London met all of those attending the reception which had been arranged by the socialists of Jackson County.
    Mr. London opened his remarks by telling of his experiences in the East when he was thrown into jail for vagrancy. He stated that he had committed no crime, and the imprisonment opened his eyes to the injustice of the system. In part the speaker said:
    "It seemed then that all a man needed was to talk socialism, and any reasoning man would accept it. I became a convert simply because of the rational logic of the thing. I was emotionally converted. But I soon decided that there could be no compromise between socialism and capitalism. It wasn't an academic argument; it was a fight. And any man of manhood and self-respect had either to be in the right or out of it. The straddling position on the fence was not tenable. It was our business not to get on the fence but pull others off.
    "I am telling you my own experiences just as they occurred, and from them you may divine my conception of socialism better than I could give it to you in direct exposition.
    "As I say, I was a hard-working boy. I loved hard work. I secured a position for the Oakland electric railroad. The superintendent seemed overjoyed to see me. I was to learn all about electricity. Then I decided I would marry the superintendent's daughter.
    "They put me to shoveling coal for the furnace. I was to work twelve hours a day and get $1.00 for it. I worked sixteen hours a day. I did the work that two men had done. I became a work-beast. It was sleep, eat, work--day in, day out. Then the fireman told me how I was being imposed upon. My dreams of becoming a great electrician vanished. I decided to give up the superintendent's daughter.
    "In short, I was worked to a frazzle. I was like a man who had eaten too many peaches and couldn't stand the sight or sound of peaches anymore. Only instead of peaches it was work. I was worked out. I decided to loaf and be a hobo."
Medford Mail Tribune, August 18, 1911, page 2

    The local socialists placed a full ticket in the field Friday evening for the coming city election. Their candidates are as follows:
    For mayor, John Reter.
    For councilman, first ward, J. C. Barnes; second ward, one-year term, I. M. Thomas, two-year term, Allan Brackenreid; third ward, George H. Millar.
    For recorder, G. R. Satchwell.
    The surprise in the nominations comes with the naming of Reter for mayor. It was expected that George H. Millar would be the party's choice, he being admittedly their strongest man. Mr. Millar, however, stated that business interests would interfere with a proper conducting of the mayor's office should he be elected. He consented, however, to be a candidate for councilman to succeed himself.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 7, 1912, page 4

    Talent claims the distinction of being one of the few towns in the state with a socialist mayor, William H. Breese getting all but one of the votes cast. There was no candidate in opposition.

"Miss Luke Recorder at Talent," Jacksonville Post, December 7, 1912, page 1

    To the Editor: The Medford church people are turning towards socialism, or at least they are putting some of the socialistic tactics into practice. They have called a meeting for tonight at the M.E. Church to more nearly ascertain the form of government the citizens of Medford need. When they establish their platform of principles, they then intend the candidates shall pledge themselves to support and stand by those principles or they will not support them at the coming election.
    That is the way the Socialists have been doing from its earliest existence.
    We lead the way, they fellow.
L. B. REAM.       
Medford Mail Tribune, December 17, 1912, page 4

Two Citizens of Medford Discuss It on Christmas Morning.
    First Citizen: Good morning. Merry Christmas to you!
    Second Citizen: Same to you! How are you this morning?
    First Citizen: How's yourself?
    Second Citizen: Good! What do you think of the mayoralty situation?
    First Citizen: The socialist candidate is going to be elected.
    Second Citizen: What! You certainly do not mean it?
    First Citizen: Mean it! Of course I do: His election is almost a foregone conclusion. The way matters stand it is practically a certainty.
    Second Citizen: Surely not! Explain yourself. How can you possibly figure out such a result?
    First Citizen: Well, I will tell you. There are in this town about 250 socialist men voters, and you can count upon at least 250 socialist women voters who will all register, making a total of 600. And there are about 1600 or 1700 other voters, of whom probably not more than 1000 will register, and of the other women voters probably not more than 500 will register, making a total of 1500. Indeed, it is very doubtful whether there will be 1500 other voters: For a large proportion of the other voters, both male and female, are not registering; but the socialists, both men and women, as you doubtless know, are all registering; and, moreover, they will all stand together and cast almost a solid vote. So you see there will be about 600 socialist voters and 1500 or less other voters to decide the mayoralty. Now these 1500 voters will be distributed among the four candidates: Watt, Mitchell, Eifert and Gates. And the indications point very strongly to the fact that each of them will poll a considerable vote; probably the lowest of the four will poll 300 votes and the highest not over 500 or 550; which will be 50 to 100 votes less than the socialist will receive.
    Second Citizen: Well I declare! I had never thought of the matter in this light. Your reasoning is convincing. It certainly looks as if the next mayor of Medford would be a socialist.
    First Citizen: It does indeed; and I am much worried about it; for I believe the election of a socialist will greatly hurt the town.
    Second Citizen: So do I, not only in reputation, but things will most probably be undertaken in Medford that a great majority of the voters will be radically opposed to.
    First Citizen: Just so! Because the mayor would represent only a small minority of all the voters.
    Second Citizen: What is the remedy? Can nothing be done? Surely the voters of Medford do not want a socialist at the head of this town.
    First Citizen: I can see only one thing to do.
    Second Citizen: What's that?
    First Citizen: For the four candidates, Gates, Eifert, Mitchell and Watt to get together and two of them withdraw for the good of the town.
    Second Citizen: Yes, but they will not do that. Each one has ambition, and each probably feels that his own election is almost certain.
    First Citizen: I do not think so; they are all men of sense; surely all can see the "handwriting on the wall" and realize that if they all remain in the race there is little or no chance of any one of them being elected.
    Second Citizen: Perhaps so; they all seem to be sensible men, but who would withdraw? How would they decide it?
    First Citizen: Well! They could do it by lot; they could, for instance, throw dice, and the two lowest drop out; or, what perhaps would be better, they could request the county judge recently elected to name nine (or any other odd number) of good citizens of Medford; and these nine good citizens could eliminate two of the candidates; the four candidates agreeing, of course, in advance to abide by the election.
    Second Citizen: Yes, something of this kind ought certainly to be done; and I sincerely hope it will be done. Good day.
    First Citizen: Good day.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 26, 1912, page 4   None of the candidates for mayor dropped out of the race. Eifert was elected.

    The socialists of Medford held a rousing meeting at Smith's hall Thursday evening, at which time their candidates for office in January were endorsed and a platform adopted. The candidates endorsed were: John Reter for mayor; J. C. Barnes, Allen Breckinreed and George H. Millar for councilmen. Following is the platform:
Socialist Platform
    We, the members of the socialist party of Medford, Oregon, while reaffirming our previous platforms and those of the state and nation, desire, in this municipal campaign, to make a special appeal to the working class voters of this city, men and women, and to all others who sympathize earnestly and deeply with their lives of daily toil.
    We declare our readiness to support any plan of action in this city's affairs, social, industrial or administrative, or any extension of municipal activities, that shall give any reasonable promise of maintaining or bettering living conditions in this city for its inhabitants; we are ready to further any plan that will enlarge employment, shorten the hours of labor, increase wages, or raise the standard of living for the members of the working class. This is our platform in and for this municipal campaign. Our candidates are pledged to support this purpose in every way in their power, and to give as clean, faithful and efficient service in office as men can give.
Want Minimum Wage
    We particularly endorse the proposal which has been made by the city council, giving preference to resident laborers on all work done for or by the city, and specifying the sum of $2.50 as the minimum wage for a day's work of eight hours on all city work, and that all work for the city be done on the eight-hour day basis, strictly in conformity with the state law.
    We firmly believe that the municipality can give a better service, and at ultimately lower rates, than any private corporation run for profit, in the operation of public utilities; and we cite the Ashland municipal lighting plant and our own city water plant and public market as examples of municipal efficiency and economy.
    We adhere strictly to our fundamental principles in political action--no fusion, no compromise, no political trading.
Party of Working Class
    The socialist aims and principles and the socialist program of immediate demands for the relief of the workers while still living under the wage system, are all set forth in our national platform; we invite the attention of voters to this platform, and their support of it at the polls.
    The socialist party, local, state, national, international, is the party of the working class--they own it, control it, finance it, manage and dominate it. It is their party, and no other class, and no part of any other class, has any vote in the socialist party's affairs. Its fundamental aim is a complete revolution in the industrial affairs of humankind--a peaceful revolution at the ballot box that shall do away with the drones in the human hive, and leave no room for any but useful workers--a revolution that shall sweep away the entire system of rent, interest and profit, and bring in the day of complete cooperation, on thoroughly democratic lines, in every part of our industrial affairs.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 27, 1912, page 3

    In spite of a final day rush, when over 400 voters appeared at the city hall and registered, the total number of voters registering for the coming city election totaled but 2217 today when the official total was reached. Of this number 1322 are men and 895 are women. in other words, the women total 40 percent of the registration.
    The registration by wards is as follows: 1st, men 449, women 299; 2nd, men 482, women 241; 3rd, men 301, women 255.
    All of those who failed to register must be sworn in on election day in order to vote. This means considerable trouble and delay.
    The final day's work of the registration board was very heavy. Men and women in practically equal numbers appeared.

Medford Mail Tribune, December 27, 1912, page 6

Nominate Candidates for All County Offices
and Approve Old Platform with Additions.

    Socialists from all parts of Jackson County held a mass meeting at Smith's hall, Medford, Tuesday evening to ratify referendum nominees for the Jackson County socialist ticket.
    Jackson County state senator--G. R. Satchwell, Medford.
    Jackson County representative--D. M. Brower, Ashland.
    Jackson County representative--Geo. W. Herriott, Applegate.
    County Commissioner--W. H. Reese, Talent.
    County Clerk--F. H. Chamberlain, Talent.
    County Sheriff--John Reter, Jacksonville.
    County Recorder--E. J. Odell, Agate.
    County School Supt.--Mrs. G. R. Satchwell, Medford.
    County Treasurer--J. A. Smith, Medford.
    County Coroner--W. F. Dunn, Talent.
    They unanimously adopted the previous county platform and included the following as their stand on local issues:
    For profits the evils in present-day society are fostered, and for gain to the exploiting class are they maintained. Therefore by the establishment of industrial liberty will be struck the blow that will free future society from poverty, social vice, and the liquor traffic; dire evils thrust upon us by the capitalist system. Against these degrading wrongs the socialist party battling for economic freedom uses the only effective weapon.

Jacksonville Post, April 11, 1914, page 1

    The case of George H. Minning vs. Geo. W. Herriott, and others, comprising the Applegate Local of the Socialist Party, was heard in Justice Dox's court Tuesday. The action was brought to recover money loaned by Mr. Minning to purchase material used in building the Socialist hall at Applegate. The defendants admitted the debt but claimed it was not yet due, alleging that plaintiff had agreed to wait for his money until it could be paid out of proceeds from the hall, pro rata with other debts. The testimony of several witnesses on each side was taken showing that any such agreement would be voidable on account of the acts of the defendants themselves. Judgment was rendered in favor of Mr. Minning for the amount claimed, with the costs of the action. D. W. Bagshaw of this city represented the plaintiff, and Geo. W. Cherry of Medford appeared for the defendants.

"Local News," Jacksonville Post, November 13, 1915, page 3


Last revised January 6, 2024