The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Tomlin Notes

Death of Margaret Tomlin.
    News has been received of the death of Miss Margaret Ely Tomlin in Ashland, Ore., March 31. Her sister [sic], Mrs. John R. Tomlin, was with her and will accompany the body home, arriving Monday morning. Miss Tomlin was the only daughter of the late John H. Tomlin of this city. She leaves three brothers, H. L. Tomlin and John R. of this city and Walter M. of Purcell, Ok. The funeral services will be at the home of H. L. Tomlin, 631 Benton Boulevard, Monday afternoon, April 5, at 2:30.
Kansas City Star, Kansas City, Missouri, April 2, 1915, page 4A

    Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Tomlin of Kansas City, former residents of Medford, and interested in the Three Oaks Orchard, are visiting the valley and expect to remain two weeks.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, April 23, 1915, page 2

    Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Tomlin of Kansas City, who are interested in the Three Oaks Orchard in this valley, are here visiting with friends for several weeks.

"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, April 24, 1915, page 6

    Articles of incorporation have been filed for the Tomlin Box Company, with a paid-up capital of $15,000 for the manufacture of fruit boxes and shook at Medford--an industry that will give steady employment to a dozen men as well as create a market for local lumber and supply orchardists with box materials.
    The company has leased the old planing mill property on North Fir Street, recently occupied by the Korinek Veterinary Medicine Company, and a complete plant, consisting of the most modern machinery equipped with individual motors has been purchased and shipped and will be installed by April 1 if possible.
    Officers of the corporation are John R. Tomlin, E. T. Tomlin and A. E. Reames. Paul Hansen, until recently with the Medford Sash & Door Co., will be in charge of operations at the factory. Lumber will be purchased from the various local mills along the Pacific & Eastern, though the company may later acquire its own timber tracts.
    The capacity of the plant at the outset will be 3000 fruit boxes per day. If the business justifies it, the plant will be enlarged to take care of all the business offered.
    Mr. Tomlin is a part owner in the Three Oaks Orchard, which he purchased in 1910. For two years he made his home in Medford, then returned to Kansas City to re-enter the grain brokerage business. He returned to Medford last summer and has spent the interval since studying the box industry and visiting all the factories on the coast.
    Mr. and Mrs. Tomlin have leased for the summer the Rebec orchard residence and will make it their home.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 9, 1918, page 8

    Jud Edsall and Fred Stillwell came in Monday evening from Prospect, with the boiler for the new sawmill that is to be placed at the junction of the P.&E. and S.P. railroad and Tuesday went back with the truck to bring out the rest of the machinery. So I guess that Medford is really going to have a large saw mill in the vicinity at last.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, November 1, 1918, page 3

    John R. Tomlin of the Tomlin Box Company has purchased a tract of about five acres of land at the Crater junction of the Pacific and Eastern and Southern Pacific railroads from the Big Bend Milling Company and will soon begin the erection of a large box factory. New machinery has been purchased in addition to that utilized at the present site of the factory, in the Korinek building on North Fir Street, which will be moved, and the new plant will be ready to operate in the spring, affording a steady payroll for the valley.
    The capacity of the factory will be nearly double the present capacity, or about a carload of manufactured shooks a day. In addition a sawmill has been purchased and is ready for installation, while will ensure a good market for small cuts of logs by ranchers and timber owners.
    Since the box factory opened last spring, it has been in steady operation and is now marketing boxes in California and elsewhere. The shook is in demand as it has the reputation of being the best in the market.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 29, 1918, page 6

    Ed Welch, one of the mill men in the new mill in Medford, was here for dinner Saturday. He came out to load a large boiler on a car to be taken to Medford to be put in the Tomlin mill. Mr. A. J. Howd came in on the train Saturday morning and took a crate of turkeys out to his ranch. He and Ezra Whitley were diners at the Sunnyside.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail Tribune, December 24, 1918, page 3

    John R. Tomlin of the Tomlin Box Company has purchased a tract of about five acres of land at the Crater junction of the Pacific and Eastern and Southern Pacific railroads from the Big Bend Milling Company and will soon begin the erection of a large box factory. New machinery has been purchased in addition to that utilized at the present site of the factory, in the Korinek building on North Fir Street, which will be moved, and the new plant will be ready to operate in the spring, affording a steady payroll for the valley.
    The capacity of the factory will be nearly double the present capacity, or about a carload of manufactured shooks a day. In addition a sawmill has been purchased and is ready for installation, which will ensure a good market for small cuts of logs by ranchers and timber owners.
    Since the box factory opened last spring, it has been in steady operation and is now marketing boxes in California and elsewhere. The shook is in demand, as it has the reputation of being the best in the market.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 29, 1918, page 6

Industries Are to Resume Operations and Payroll of $1000 a Day Is Expected.
    MEDFORD, Or., April 23.--(Special.)--Medford celebrated tonight the successful conclusion of the drive to secure $50,000 to clinch the retention and operation of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad from this city to Butte Falls, The required amount was reached at noon after a campaign of one week.
    This $30,000, with a like amount donated by timber interests at Butte Falls, will total $50,000 for initial payment on the purchase of the road and $10,000 for preliminary .operation. The sale price of the property is $270,000.
    With the announcement of the successful result of the drive, John Tomlin announced he would start construction of a $20,000 box factory near the railroad. The Applegate Lumber Company, which has been idle several months, will resume, and the Big Pines Lumber Company will start logging operations immediately in the Butte Falls district. The Butte Falls Lumber Company, with a new $100,000 plant completed ten months ago, will also start operations. This will mean the establishment of a payroll of $1000 day.
    A telegram was sent tonight to the owners of the Butte Falls Lumber Company in the East announcing the result of the drive, and it is expected the deal will be definitely closed in short time and the property turned over.
    The details of operation have not been made public, but it is believed the timber interests will operate the railroad for the first few months as a logging road exclusively.

Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 24, 1919, page 5

    Mr. and Mrs. John R. Tomlin of Medford, Ore. are visiting Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Neale at the Hotel Fontenelle.
"Personals," Daily Bee, Omaha, Nebraska, January 14, 1920, page 11

    Tomlin Box Co., Medford, has a capacity of 20,000 feet of shook to the eight-hour shift. It cut 2500 M feet of shook in 1918 and 1500 M feet in 1919, all of which went into fruit boxes for the domestic market. The company operates a planer, two cutoff saws, a scrap cutoff saw, a single vertical resaw, a twin vertical resaw, a box printing press and a cleat machine.
The Timberman, February 1920, page 80F

    The annual meeting of the stockholders of the First National Bank was held Tuesday, January 11. The management reported the most successful year in the bank's history. After paying a dividend $20,000 was added to the surplus. The resources of the bank at this time are over $1,400,000.
    All the old directors and officers were re-elected, John R. Tomlin being added to the board to fill the vacancy caused by the death of F. K. Deuel.
    The stockholders were well pleased with the bank's progress and complimented the officers for the same.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 15, 1921, page 2

    The Tomlin box factory is now running full capacity and turning out between 7000 and 8000 boxes a nine-hour day. About 75 men are employed. This is the largest output and force since the plant was etablished, and the plant is also running full capacity for the first time.
"8000 Boxes a Day Tomlin Factory," Medford Mail Tribune, July 22, 1921, page 3

Busiest Lumber Mill in the County Is on Tomlin Property--
Over 50 Men Employed Cutting 35,000 Feet per Day.

    The busiest lumber mill in Southern Oregon just now is the mill at the Tomlin box factory, in north Medford. About 35 thousand feet of lumber is put out daily, and the box factory has a capacity of approximately 8000 apple or pear boxes every 24 hours.
    The past few weeks Mr. Tomlin has installed new machinery and equipment in both the sawmill and box factory, and whenever circumstances justify can enlarge to a 50,000-foot capacity. Over 50 men are being employed at the present time, and boxes are being sent all over the Pacific Coast and even down to Mexico.
    The logs for the Tomlin mill are trucked in from the hills near Medford and also some logs are sent in from the Grants Pass and Glendale districts.
    At the present rate of growth Medford promises to have in the Tomlin property one of the largest box factories in the state in the near future, for it has made a steady and consistent growth since its establishment.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 9, 1922, page 20

    Faith in Medford and Southern Oregon has again been evidenced by some of the leading business men of Medford in organizing a corporation with a capital of $100,000 to engage in business here.
    Articles of incorporation have been filed by Harry H. Rosenberg, John R. Tomlin, W. W. Walker and David H. Rosenberg for the Commercial Finance Corporation with a capital of $100,000.
    This concern will engage in the business of financial investments of all kinds and will have their offices in the front rooms over the First National Bank.
    It has long been recognized by the business man of this locality that there existed a large field for the activities of a concern of this kind. That it will be a successful and a valuable addition to the business circle of Medford and vicinity is strongly evidenced by the high standing and previous success of its sponsors.
    Rosenberg Brothers, consisting of Harry H. Rosenberg and David H. Rosenberg, have long been recognized as among the leaders here in the production and marketing of fruit and retailing of spray material.
    John R. Tomlin is well known as the originator and president of the Tomlin Box Company, employing about 100 men.
    Mr. Walker has been associated with the First National Bank as vice-president, and has had considerable experience with financing of this nature.
    The officers of this concern will be Harry H. Rosenberg, president; John R. Tomlin, vice-president; W. W. Walker, secretary and manager and David H. Rosenberg, treasurer.
    Mr. Walker will shortly resign his position as vice-president of the First National Bank, to take up his new duties as manager of the new concern, to which he will devote all of his time.

Medford Mail Tribune, January 3, 1925, page 8

    The Tomlin box factory Wednesday received ten new flat cars, which will be used in hauling logs over the Medford logging railroad. The flat cars were switched to the Tomlin plant this morning, and will be put in operation as soon as weather conditions permit.
"Owen-Oregon Co. Will Soon Ship 15 Cars per Day," Medford Mail Tribune, January 29, 1925, page 3

Sawmill Completely Destroyed, Origin Unknown--Other Industry Menaced.
    Over $25,000 in damage was caused to the Tomlin Box Company at the end of North Central in this city when the company sawmill was completely destroyed last night by flames of an unknown origin.
    The Tomlin sawmill blaze, covered by insurance, was discovered shortly before 10:45 and had already enveloped the large building, 130 feet long, in flames when the fire department arrived. The flames, which shot high into the heavens amid heavy clouds of black smoke, were put under control after a short fight with one line of pressure from the Stutz pumper and hoses from hydrants located near the blazing building.
    No plans have been made as yet for the rebuilding of the destroyed structure, which was erected in 1920 and was capable of turning out between four and five thousands of feet of lumber per hour for box factory consumption. During the course of the six years past, the mill had been enlarged several times. The equipment, with the exception of a few pulleys and drive wheels, is said to be beyond salvage value.
    Numerous comments were heard today in regard to the work of the fire department in putting the flames under control in the comparatively short time of one hour and a half, every spark being thoroughly extinguished. The situation last night had conflagration possibilities, with the box factory building a short distance away, together with seven million feet of stored lumber to the south. To the north, but removed for some distance, was the Owen-Oregon Lumber Company mills and yards. The wind, however, was blowing in the opposite direction, toward the city.
    After the fire was over and while preparations were being made to return the city fire equipment to the station, the Stutz pumper broke down because of a broken transmission in the crankcase. The new part, however, is expected to arrive tomorrow to put the large machine back in working order.
Excerpt, Medford Mail Tribune, September 24, 1926, page 1

    Work was started yesterday morning on the construction of a new sawmill of the Tomlin Box Factory, at the end of North Central Avenue. The old mill was destroyed by fire a month ago. The first task under way is clearing away the wreckage. The new plant will be the same size as the old one and cost about $35,000. It is expected to be in operation by February 1st, in time for the next season run. As formerly, the machinery will be electrically driven.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 26, 1926, page 8

Business Shows Big Increase--Make All Kinds Box Shook--Building New Modern Mill--Employs 225 Men.
    When the Tomlin Box Company commenced business at the corner of Fifth and Fir streets in the spring of 1918, it was with the intention of confining its activities entirely to the manufacture of pear and apple boxes for local needs.
    One year later the company purchased a plant site at the junction of the Southern Pacific and Medford & Butte Falls logging railroad, erecting thereon a thoroughly modern box factory. The best high-speed woodworking machinery obtainable was installed, each machine being driven by a separate motor, with power purchased from the California Oregon Power Company.
    To utilize all of the various widths of lumber with a minimum of waste, it was necessary to manufacture other shooks in addition of pear and apple, hence the company broadened its activities and soon began marketing a portion of its product in California. Subsequently it has sold boxes of one kind or another delivered to eastern states and to Old Mexico.
    This outside business has increased gradually until now only about one-fifth of the factory output is disposed of in the Rogue River Valley. From an operation of 2,000,000 feet of lumber in 1918, the business has increased each year, in excess of 20,000,000 feet of pine lumber being manufactured into box shooks during 1926.
New Mill Being Erected.
    Six years ago a band mill for sawing logs was added to the facilities, to operate in conjunction with the box factory, and it has since been a very essential part of the business. The mill was recently destroyed by fire, but is now being rebuilt on the same site. This new single band mill will be of the latest improved type, and should be completed and in operation by March 1, 1927.
    In addition to the lumber produced in its own mill, the company purchases lumber from numerous mills in Jackson County.
225 Men Employed.
    During the fruit packing season, it is customary to operate a night shift, and employment in the yard, mill and factory is given to about 225 men. This does not include the men engaged in logging operations.
    Throughout the winter months, when business is confined to the manufacture of various commercial containers and packing cases, about 75 men are employed.
    John R. Tomlin is president of the company; John A. Currie vice president, and Floyd H. Hart secretary. In the office are Oscar M. Anderson, Robert I. Flaherty and Miss Lurline Leavell.
    C. H. Herman is yard superintendent; Walter Sinclair factory foreman and Frank Glidden mill foreman.
    The management is quite proud of its efficient and loyal organization.
    This is one of the institutions that is helping make Medford a factory center.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 2, 1927, page F5

    The new sawmill of the Tomlin box factory to replace the one destroyed by fire last fall will be completed and in operation about April 1st. Construction on the plant is well under way and the machinery is expected to arrive within the next day, ready for installation.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 16, 1927, page 4

Replaces Structure Destroyed by Fire Last November--Fully Equipped with Modern Machinery--Will Employ 100 Men.
    Under construction since November, the Tomlin  Box Company saw mill at the end of North Central Avenue was put in operation for the first time today, following a careful program of preparation. The new mill, to be used in connection with the box factory, takes the place of the one destroyed by fire last October with a loss of more than $25,000 and means employment for approximately 100 men.
    The building is two stories high and is 32 feet by 120 feet in dimensions, with the lower floor constructed of concrete and upper floor made of laminated wood six inches thick. The interior is painted with oil and fire-resisting derby white, while the exterior is finished in moss green trimmed with white. The roof is made of tin.
    The machinery consists of an eight-foot Prescott band mill saw with two roller bearings designed to care for extremely heavy strain to enable the use of 12-foot, 16-gauge band saws. The edger is four feet by fifty with a back driver table. In addition there are two cutoff saws, a trimmer and overhead endless chain log haul and lath machinery. Lumber is transferred overhead and across a street to a 200-foot sorter on a level with the yard trams, with all machinery driven by electric motors. Including the wood crews, the mill employs 100 men, according to J. A. Currie, vice president of the company, today.
    The Tomlin Box Company was organized in 1919 and ships its products to all parts of the nation, with a large part finding its way to the Mississippi River country. The present officers of the company are: John R. Tomlin, president; J. A. Currie, vice president; Floyd H. Hart, secretary.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 8, 1927, page 1

The Tomlin Co. Improving Plant for Big Year
    The Tomlin lumber mill and box factory has shut down operations for a few days to clean out their pond, make some improvements and install new machinery preparatory to a greatly enlarged business this year.
    The company not only furnish box shook for local fruit packing houses, but have an extensive business in California among the packers of oranges, lemons, berries and other products.
    They recently constructed a new sawmill with modern equipment to replace the one destroyed by fire last year.
    This company has been enjoying an increasing business from the first.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 24, 1927, page 6

    The Tomlin Box Company's mill was put in operation again Tuesday, after being shut down a short time to add new machinery and make other improvements, preparatory for an increased business for the fruit, orange, melon and berry crops in Oregon and California.
    The company is optimistic over prospects for large crops in all coast states.
    The box factory has been in operation all this year.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 11, 1927, page 3

750,000 Pear Boxes Being Turned Out--
Improvements To Be Made Soon As Season Rush Is Over.
    The Tomlin box factory is now operating on a day and night shift, in order to handle the box business incidental to the beginning of the fruit harvest on the Pacific coast.
    According to John R. Tomlin, president of the plant, they will manufacture 750,000 pear boxes this season for the local pear crop, and estimates this is 80 percent of the local pear box demand. Last year the plant turned out in the neighborhood of 900,000 boxes. Mr. Tomlin figures that the decrease is due, to some extent, to a large portion of the local Bartlett crop being sold to the canneries.
    Mr. Tomlin says that he has been unable to get any line on the apple crop situation locally, except that the apples this year are of a high quality, and free from worms. He looks for a good apple showing and a highly favorable year for the fruit men.
    The box factory, besides manufacturing pear boxes for valley needs, is also turning out heavy orders for grape boxes for the grape districts of California.
    The Tomlin factory, after the harvest rush, contemplates a number of changes in the plant, including the installation of a pony planer and other equipment. There will also be a general changing around of the machinery, to increase the efficiency and output.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 2, 1927, page 8

    John R. Tomlin, owner of the Tomlin box factory, has purchased the Walter Bowne residence on the Old Stage Road for a consideration said to involve approximately $25,000. The sale involved the trading in of Mr. Tomlin's residence on Siskiyou Heights, which Mr. Bowne and family are now occupying. The Bowne residence s one of the most attractive places in the valley, the property including several acres of alfalfa land under irrigation. The Tomlin residence now owned by Mr. Bowne was built and occupied by George Putnam, former editor of the Mail Tribune, now editor and publisher of the Salem Capital Journal.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 14, 1927, page 5

Capacity of 5000 Feet per Hour--Make All Kinds of Box Shook--
Business Shows Rapid Growth.
    One of the most successful of southern Oregon lumber enterprises is the Tomlin Box Company, which operates a new mill and box factory north of the Medford city limits. Back in 1918, when John R. Tomlin established his first box factory at the corner of Fir and Fifth streets in this city, it was his intention to supply box material to accommodate the orchards of southern Oregon. One year later the company purchased the plant site at the junction of the Southern Pacific line and Butte Falls logging railroad, north of Medford, where a model box factory was constructed with the very latest high-speed electrically driven machinery.
Growth Is Marked
    When in 1918 this firm was manufacturing box materials in this city, approximately 2,000,000 feet of pine lumber was converted into box shook. Now, with a new sawmill which was completed this spring, an excess of 20,000,000 feet of lumber is utilized annually, evidence of the remarkable growth of this organization in less than seven years. The Tomlin plant [is] now operated the year 'round, with more than 200 men on his payrolls.
New Mill Complete
    Late last fall, the sawmill of the Tomlin Box Company was destroyed by fire, and this spring a new mill was erected which is considered a model of its kind. It is modern in every detail, with electric and steam-driven equipment and has a capacity of 5,000 feet of lumber per hour. The better grades of lumber are shipped to eastern and middle states for the manufacture of windows and doors. The lower grades of lumber are manufactured into box shook in the factory adjoining the mill. Since its completion the Tomlin sawmill has been operating day and night to meet the demand.
Box Factory Expands
    The box factory has grown and expanded until it is now producing over six hundred cars of shook annually, the principal portion of which is shipped into the state of California to the fruit and vegetable trade. Tomlin boxes are used extensively in the shipment of oranges, lemons, grapes, raisins, prunes, peaches, pears, apples, cantaloupes, lettuce and other fruits and vegetables, canned goods of all varieties and many industrial products.
Officers Local People
    John R. Tomlin heads the organization of the Tomlin Box Company as president and treasurer, while Floyd H. Hart is vice-president and secretary. G. M. Anderson is assistant secretary. R. I. Flaharty is assistant treasurer. Miss Lenore Knudson is in the office, and Henry Herman is superintendent. The factory foreman is Walter Sinclair. Frank L. Glidden is mill foreman, and John Pearce has charge of the yard. This organization is practically all composed of Medford people, and the large majority of employees live in this city.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 14, 1927, page B2

    The members of the Medford Rotary Club learned many interesting things about the box industry and its relation to the community today when Floyd Hart, secretary of the Tomlin Box Company, delivered a splendid fifteen-minute address on this subject.
    Mr. Hart's address developed many hitherto unknown facts concerning the local box industry. He stated that over 85% of the products of the Tomlin Box Company are marketed in California, which means that a considerable amount of money is brought into Medford from that state, approximately $2000.00 per day. Of the money received for this product over 90% stays in the community, stated Mr. Hart, the largest part of this being for labor. The present output of the Tomlin Box Company is between 40,000 and 50,000 boxes per day. A great deal of interest was taken in the following facts and figures concerning the different types of boxes manufactured by the local industry: Lettuce crates, 160,000; orange boxes, 385,000; raisin boxes, 387,000; asparagus crates, 150,000; cannery cases, 100,000. In this connection the speaker stated that all of the boxes for the Alpin Milk Company were made locally. Another interesting statement concerned the output of boxes for grapes. The speaker stated that last year they sold 975,000 boxes for wine grapes and only 60,000 boxes for table grapes. Boxes for packing Old Dutch Cleanser are also made here, the local factory turning out as many as 1000 per day at times. Many thousand crates for cantaloupe and honeydew melons, as well as broccoli, are also made in the local box factory. It was a revelation to all to learn that of the entire output only a small percentage of boxes were used for pears and apples, 175,000 pear boxes and 250,000 apple boxes being manufactured during the year 1926. Mr. Hart also touched upon the possibilities of Medford as a lumber center, stating that approximately twelve billion feet of pine is to be found in Jackson County. This is one of the last white pine belts in the entire United States. The local timber, however, is very inaccessible and is held mostly in comparatively small blocks. Many other interesting facts and figures were brought out by the speaker, who concluded his talk with an invitation to the local club to visit the Tomlin box factory at some future date.
Excerpt, Medford Mail Tribune, October 18, 1927, page 8

Tomlin Box Company Builds New Mill in 1927
    From a small beginning made in 1918 at Fir and Fifth streets in Medford, the Tomlin Box Company has grown from an infant industry into one of the big payroll industries of the city. The first year the company commenced business its factory required only 2,000,000 feet of pine lumber in manufacturing fruit boxes, while the year just past 20,000,000 feet of lumber was required for the same purpose.
    Last year a new up-to-date sawmill was built and new box factory equipment added to the plant, bringing it into its present efficiency and making it one of the best in Oregon.
    The company's sawmill the past year cut 10,000,000 feet of pine lumber, and considerably more than this was purchased from various small sawmills throughout Jackson County. Of this amount 20,000,000 feet of lumber was converted into fruit and commercial boxes. Of this output 15 percent went to the local fruit growers and the remaining 85 percent went to the California market, requiring 700 railroad cars to convey this product to the consumers in the adjoining state.
    The timber cut by the company's mill is supplied from Butte Falls or other points north, Siskiyou districts to the south and the foothills on the west side of the valley. These logs are delivered to the company's pond by the Southern Pacific railroad, the logging road to the Butte Falls territory, and by trucks.
    The site of the company's sawmill and box factory covers several acres and is in the factory district adjoining the city limits on the north, on the main line of the Southern Pacific railway. The equipment of the Tomlin Box Company's sawmill is an 8-foot bandsaw mill with a capacity of 5,000 feet of lumber per hour, and electrically driven. The planing mills and box factory is most complete in modern equipment, electrically driven and has a capacity at this plant of 60,000 feet of lumber per shift of eight hours. There are 13 electric motors employed in operating the mill running from 5 horsepower to 100 horsepower, while it takes 31 motors to operate the box factory, with motors ranging from 5 horsepower to 100 horsepower.
    The Tomlin Box Company is headed by John R. Tomlin, president and treasurer, and Floyd H. Hart, vice-president and secretary; O. M. Anderson is assistant secretary, R. I. Flaharty assistant treasurer, and Miss Lenore Knudsen is in the office, C. H. Herman superintendent, Walter Sinclair factory foreman and John Pearce yard foreman. All the members of the firm are Medford people, and the major part of the employees reside in the city.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1928, page D2

    A general resumption of the timber industry throughout Jackson County in the spring opening of the industry is at hand with the starting of the Tomlin Box Company's mill in Medford next Monday. While the Owen-Oregon Lumber Company operated its mill at Medford, its logging railway between Medford and Butte Falls and its logging crews at Butte Falls all winter, as well as the small mills in the north part of the city, the Tomlin Box Company, which depends largely upon the small contracting logger for its log supplies, closed down its mill this winter for several months to do general repairs.
    Floyd H. Hart of the Tomlin Box Company, who spent nearly a month in the company market field in Southern California, returned recently and is busily preparing to commence a general resumption of the sawmill for another season's run in the box factory, which has operated all winter with a full force.
    He reports a very favorable trip in the South, and that a splendid opportunity is at hand to expand the company's business in that field, but that the company prefers to expand in efficiency in its present output and is devoting considerable expense on that line in both the sawmill and box factory. He reports the output of the plant last year at 20,000,000 feet of pine lumber, which was converted into box shooks. Of this total output, the company's mill at Medford cut 10,000,000 feet, while the balance was purchased in the open market, principally from the small mills throughout Jackson County.
    The company contracts for its log supplies from several sources, which are conveyed to the Medford mill both by rail and auto trucks. A large camp is established by a Medford firm on Wagner Creek, cutting logs which are hauled by auto trucks and loaded on the railroad cars at Talent. Steve Thomas of Medford is shipping logs to the mill from the Siskiyou Mountains over the Southern Pacific railway. James W. Lawrence and W. H. Melton are shipping from Rogue River by rail. George Mathewson of Medford is shipping from Butte Falls over the Medford & Logging Railway, while James Eaton and Fred Fick are hauling by auto truck from the Jacksonville district.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 17, 1928, page 8

    The Tomlin Box Company of Medford has for one of its regular customers the Nestle's Food Company, manufacturers of Alpine milk, a coast product so well known to housewives as well as tourists and campers.
    The box shook shipped from the local mill goes principally to the Oregon plant of the company at McMinnville, and is cases in which the milk is shipped, some of which return to Medford and is found on the shelves of our local merchants.
    In 1927 the Tomlin Box Company sold almost $100,000 worth of shook to the Nestle's Food Company, and the first three months of this year it has been $15,000, a substantial increase.
    E. R. Phipps, Nestle's Food Company representative for southern Oregon, who was in the city today, says he is glad the Oregon milk is conveyed in locally made boxes.

Medford Mail Tribune, April 6, 1928, page 3

    Announcement was made today of the change in corporate name of the Tomlin Box Company to Timber Products Company. The new name was adopted by the stockholders of the company as more representative of an extended field of operation and is the result of material growth in facilities and a greater field of service.
    Officers, board of directors and management will remain the same under the new name as under the old and the policies and methods of operation that have characterized this concern in the past and will be continued.
    The Tomlin Box Company has grown in its eleven years of existence from a small plant furnishing a limited number of boxes to shippers located in its immediate vicinity to one of the principal operations in the pine-producing district of Southern Oregon and Northern California, its lumber, sash and door material and box shooks being now shipped into all parts of the United States.
    From a modest box factory employing a handful of men during the local fruit season, facilities have been augmented until today it is one of the principal industries of Southern Oregon, with a thoroughly modern saw mill, remanufacturing plant and box factory employing several hundred men in a year-around operation.
    John R. Tomlin is president of the company and Floyd H. Hart vice-president and general manager. O. M. Anderson, assistant secretary, is in charge of the shipments. C. H. Herman is superintendent, W. A. Sinclair factory superintendent, G. W. Click mill foreman and Lynne E. Smith yard foreman.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 24, 1929, page 3

    WAGNER CREEK, Ore., Dec. 6.--(Special.)--Mr. Tomlin, connected with the Tomlin box factory in Medford, recently purchased section No. 15, known as the Raster timber tract, on upper Wagner Creek. The Skeeters brothers will begin logging it off in the spring.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 6, 1930, page 1

    Mr. and Mrs. John R. Tomlin of Medford, Oregon have arrived for a winter stay in Coronado and are at the Vanderbilt Apartments, 1412 Tenth Street. Mr. Tomlin is president and manager of the Wood Products Company of Medford.
"Personal Items," Coronado Journal, Coronado, California, January 21, 1931, page 10

    Among the recent guests at El Cordova were Mr. and Mrs. W. Jefferson Davis of Los Angeles, former San Diego residents.
    Taking an apartment for the winter were Mr. and Mrs. Walter W. Kroger. Also registering for an indefinite stay were Mr. and Mrs. John R. Tomlin of Medford, Ore.
Coronado Journal, Coronado, California, December 23, 1931, page 7

The purchase by [George] Hunt, Medford theater owner, of the Tomlin country residence on the Old Stage Road six miles from Medford was announced by the new owner, who said that he and Mrs. Hunt planned to move into their new home about August 1. In the meantime, the spacious Hunt residence on Wellington Heights will be placed on the market, Mr. Hunt said.
    Located on the 19-acre Tomlin estate is a two-story, 11-room white frame house of early American architecture, considered one of the most beautiful dwellings in southern Oregon. It was constructed about 25 years ago by Walter Bowne, now of San Francisco, and has been occupied by Mr. Tomlin since 1928.
    Profuse with shrubs and trees, and with an artificial lake with a small island in the center and a bridge leading to it from the shore, the estate is viewed by many as the loveliest in this part of Oregon. There are a small walnut and filbert orchard on the land and a larger tract of alfalfa.
    Mr. Tomlin, part-owner and founder of Timber Products Company in 1917 and a large stockholder in the Medford Ice and Storage Company, said that he and Mrs. Tomlin planned to spend considerable time in southern California but that Medford would always be his home. Mr. Tomlin said he planned to acquire in the near future a smaller residence in Medford.
    The transaction was handled by Charles A. Wing and the Wahl Agency.
"Tomlin Country Place, Cargill Apartment Sold," Medford Mail Tribune, July 13, 1941, page 10

    Work of installing the first unit of machinery in the plywood plant of the Timber Products company will be completed and ready for a test run in a couple of weeks, General Manager Floyd Hart said today. No definite date has been set for starting the plant, but Mr. Hart thought it would be around the first of the year.
    The plywood plant will be operated as an experiment, and if results justify will be enlarged, it has been announced. Considerable research has been made to determine if Southern Oregon timber is adapted to plywood manufacture.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 25, 1941, page 8

John R. Tomlin, Well-Known Civic Leader Here, Dies
Long-Time Resident Was Semi-Retired

    John R. Tomlin, 78, a semi-retired lumber executive and rancher, well-known for his civic endeavors and philanthropies, died last night while visiting at the home of friends.
    Mr. Tomlin, a resident of this community for 40 years, was born July 7, 1879, in Nebraska. He moved to Medford in 1907 and remained for several years, then left for a time and returned in 1917 to make his home. His residence was 1503 East Main St.
    He started ranching here, and bought and sold several of them, then founded the Tomlin Box Company, in a small way, designed to supply boxes for the fruit industry. It prospered, and developed into Timber Products Company, one of Southern Oregon's most successful business ventures. It was sold recently to the Cyprus Mines Corporation of Los Angeles for several million dollars.
Philanthropic Activities
    Mr. Tomlin was well-known for his philanthropic activities, but his gifts to many of the community's charitable and welfare organizations were made on an anonymous basis, with Mr. Tomlin insisting that he not be identified as the donor.
    One of his recent major gifts was money for the construction of the new Girls Community Club, but he again insisted that his part in this not be known until after his death.
    He was a member of the Rogue Valley Country Club and the Elks Lodge.
    Survivors include a nephew, Walter Tomlin of Medford.
    Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Perl Funeral Home, with Dr. D. Kirkland West, of the First Presbyterian Church, officiating.
    Honorary pallbearers will be Eugene Thorndike, Frank Farrell, O. M. Anderson, Dr. E. R. Durno, B. E. Harder and Alfred S. V. Carpenter.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 10, 1957, page 1

Last revised June 27, 2023