The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Medford Pioneers: William Ulrich

Ulrich was an early insurance agent and a founder of the Southern Oregon Pork Packing Company.

    State Food Commissioner H. B. Luce swore out a warrant in Ashland before Justice Luckey last week for the arrest of William Ulrich, manager of the Southern Oregon Pork Packing Company, at Medford, for selling adulterated lard. Another case has been started against Ulrich in Josephine County.
"Northwest News," Hood River Glacier, Hood River, Oregon, December 29, 1894, page 1

    Wm. Ulrich has returned from Del Norte County, Calif., where he purchased a large number of cattle for April delivery.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 28, 1898, page 3

    Hon. Wm. M. Colvig was called to Medford Saturday evening as counsel for Wm. Ulrich who, it is understood, has been charged with buying deer hides. The case will come up for consideration Wednesday, when Mr. Colvig will appear in defense of the accused.
"Jacksonville Items," Ashland Tidings, January 8, 1900, page 2

Wm. Ulrich of Medford Arrested for Shipping Deer-Skins
and Acquitted on Technical Points.

    Wm. Ulrich of Medford, who was arrested by Deputy Game Warden W. G. Kropke of this city in Medford last Monday for attempting to transport deer skins, was acquitted at his trial in Justice Stewart's court in Medford Tuesday.
    It seems that deer skins have been frequently illicitly shipped from Medford, sometimes done up in sacks and billed as "dried apples" or in barrels as "pork" and other fictitious ways. Saturday, the 30th ult., six barrels, four of "dried shinbones" and two of "corned beef," were offered to the S.P. agent at Medford for shipment by a Mr. Shearer, drayman for the Southern Oregon Pork Packing Co. The S.P. agent, not having any classification on his tariff sheet for "dried shinbones," inspected the barrels and, instead of shipping them to Dodge, Sweeney & Co., San Francisco, as the directions called for, notified Wm. Ulrich, who is the secretary and manager of the Southern Oregon Pork Packing Co., that the S.P. Co. would not receive them for shipment and ordered the drayman to take them away.
    The barrels were those commonly used for packing lard, were headed up tightly, and each one weighed about 115 pounds. Though a search warrant was issued and the packing house searched, the barrels were not found after their return to the pork packing company. Ulrich's defense was that, personally, he was not the shipper of the deer skins; that, personally, he did not transport to or offer the skins for shipment, and these flimsy technicalities appeared to have weight with the jury, which was composed of W. T. Kame, E. N. Warner, C. I. Hutchison, W. T. York and F. W. Wait, for they acquitted him of the charge. The case was ably prosecuted by District Attorney C. B. Watson, and Ulrich was defended by Hon. Wm. M. Colvig.
    It is believed that other prosecutions will grow out of this case, for the authorities are determined to put a stop to the outrageous breaking of the game laws that take place in this section of Oregon, and which have been facilitated and made possible only through the crooked shipments of the deer skins, packed and falsely labeled, as in this case for which Ulrich stood trial and was acquitted when the evidence was so strong against him.
    On Saturday a warrant was served on Wm. Ulrich in Medford, charging him with buying deer skins. The hearing in the case will take place before Justice Stewart in Medford Thursday, the 11th inst., when Ulrich will be defended by attorneys Colvig & Reames. Much interest is being taken in the outcome of the case.

Ashland Tidings, January 8, 1900, page 3

    Wm. Ulrich was tried a second time this week, on a charge of buying deer hides. As before, the jury disagreed. The case was then dismissed upon motion of the district attorney. Colvig & Reames represented the defendants.

"Medford Squibs,"
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 15, 1900, page 2

For Buying Deer-Skins.
    The trial of Wm. Ulrich of Medford, arrested charged with buying deer-skins, contrary to the game laws of Oregon, is taking place this afternoon in Justice Stewart's courtroom in Medford. C. B. Watson as district attorney is prosecuting the case and Colvig & Reames are defending Ulrich.
Ashland Tidings, January 11, 1900, page 3

The Jury Hung.
    The case of the State of Oregon vs. William Ulrich, of Medford, charged with purchasing and having in his possession deer-skins, contrary to the enactment of the legislature of 1893, occupied the attention of Justice Stewart's court in Medford all day Thursday last, and did not go to the jury until 10 o'clock p.m. The jury was composed of the following: A. T. Markley, T. J. Boardman, George F. Merriman, N. B. Bradbury, J. R. Wilson and B. N. Butler. District Attorney C. B. Watson presented a most conclusive case gainst the accused, proving by the evidence of the S.P. Co.'s station agent, night operator and freight clerk, and Mr. Shearer, the driver of the delivery wagon, who carted the skins barreled as "dry shinbones" to and from the S.O.P.P. Co.'s warehouse, that the deer-skins were in the possession of Ulrich. The defense, which was conducted by Hon. Wm. Colvig, was on the line of technicalities. After the jury had been out all night, at 7 o'clock Friday morning they asked to be discharged, having failed, after a number of ballots, to agree as to the guilt or innocence of the accused. It is reported on the streets that the jury stood four for the conviction and two for the acquittal of Ulrich.
    The case will be retried in the same court tomorrow, Tuesday.

Ashland Tidings, January 15, 1900, page 3

    It is almost impossible to convict [a] violator of the state game laws, and yet it is very important and necessary that it should be done. A man named Ulrich has been tried three times in southern Oregon for killing deer out of season, and each time the jury has disagreed, although it may be presumed that there was enough evidence to convict. This is very unfortunate. [Portland Telegram.  Did Willy ever kill a deer? If so, when?
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 19, 1900, page 3

    Wm. Ulrich, who is afflicted with a tumor abscess, which affects his vitals, was taken to San Francisco Saturday, and will have an operation performed on him at the Waldeck hospital. He is very sick now.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 4, 1901, page 7

    Word from Wm. Ulrich, who is in San Francisco, is to the effect that he is improving in health and that the physician thinks an operation will not be necessary.

"Additional Local," Medford Mail, April 12, 1901, page 6

    Wm. Ulrich is expected home this week. He went to San Francisco a very sick man, but he returns almost fully recovered, without submitting to an operation.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 18, 1901, page 7

    Wm. Ulrich returned Sunday evening from San Francisco, where has been receiving medical treatment in one of the hospitals in that city. He is very much improved in health, and will soon be able to attend to his business affairs.

"Purely Personal,"
Medford Mail, April 26, 1901, page 6

    Councilman Ulrich and family have returned to Medford from Eagle Point, where they have been living for a few months.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, September 5, 1902, page 6

    Several weeks ago an article appeared in the Mail announcing the probable establishment of a vinegar factory in Medford. Since that time this prediction has been verified, and within a very short time the plant will be in running order. Olwell Bros., of Central Point, are the main movers in this addition to the manufacturing concerns of Medford. They have leased the Slinger & Ulrich packing house in northwest Medford and are busily engaged preparing the building for their purpose and installing the plant.
"New Medford Enterprise," Medford Mail, October 3, 1902, page 2

    William Ulrich returned from the Willamette Valley Tuesday morning with five carloads of young cattle, which he had purchased for himself and Sheriff Rader. When the stock was unloaded here, two were found badly injured and five were dead. After being allowed a rest of several hours, the entire band was driven to Ulrich's ranch near Jacksonville and turned into the pasture.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, December 26, 1902, page 6

    WILLIAM ULRICH. As a man of excellent business ability, who is shrewd and has been decidedly successful in whatever he has undertaken, Mr. Ulrich, who is extensively engaged in ranching pursuits in the vicinity of Eagle Point, Ore., may be rightfully termed a self-made man in the truest sense of the word, for at an early age he was deprived by death of his father and without educational advantages or capital he was forced to make his own way in the world. He was born in Burlington, Iowa, January 18, 1858, and two years later was brought to a home in the Far West by his parents, Christian and Barbara Ulrich, who took up their abode in Jackson County, Ore., in 1860. They settled in Jacksonville, where William grew to manhood. He attended the common schools of that city, but obtained but a limited education, for in 1869 his father died and thus early in life the son was thrown upon his own resources and compelled to work for his living. Obtaining employment on a nearby ranch as a chore boy, he worked one year for his board and clothes, after which he was paid wages, remaining on the same ranch for three additional years, and the following year he was employed in and about the mining camps. He then became apprenticed to learn the baker's trade in Jacksonville, and he followed that line of work there for five years. About that time the railroad was being built in that vicinity, and Mr. Ulrich followed truck teaming for about a year in connection with the railroad camps. Selling his team he went to Medford, and in 1885 he opened a fire insurance office there and did fairly well at this business. He was the organizer and promoter of the Southern Oregon Pork Packing Company, which did a flourishing business in Medford, and for five years was its efficient manager, while at the same time he conducted a retail butcher shop. He subsequently formed a partnership with Mr. Slinger and engaged in the cattle business, and together they carried on a profitable business until the death of the latter, whereupon Mr. Ulrich purchased the interest of his former partner and continued in the business alone. His home ranch in the neighborhood of Eagle Point contains twelve hundred and twenty acres and many improvements have been made upon the farm by Mr. Ulrich since taking possession of it, and it now ranks among the best in this section. He also owns an interest in another ranch up in the mountains, which at the present writing furnishes grazing for about six hundred head of choice Hereford cattle.
    The marriage of Mr. Ulrich took place in June, 1884, with Miss Emma A. Milner. Their family now consists of five children, whose names are William L., Earl, Annie, Gertrude and Loraine. In politics Mr. Ulrich is a  Democrat, and his interest in the welfare of Medford was made manifest by his many worthy acts while a member of the city council, giving, as he did, his support to any and all measures that had a tending to better the condition of the city or the community at large. In fraternal orders, he is allied with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, being a charter member of Banner Lodge No. 23, of Jacksonville, Ore.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Western Oregon, Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904, page 836

    Bill Ulrich, independent candidate for commissioner.
    That's the very latest Jackson County political dope.
    "It's this way," says Bill, "county warrants should be worth 100 cents on the dollar. Elect me and they'll be that way. I'm honest. I'm progressive. I'm a Medford man. The people want a square deal. I'll give it to 'em. Think I'll file for commissioner on the independent ticket. County business on a business basis is my platform. I've got the money to make a hot campaign. My hat is in the ring."
    By filing as an independent Bill will not need petitions. To date the only member of his party--the independent--to register is George Putnam.
"Bill Ulrich Throws His Hat in Ring," Medford Mail Tribune, March 22, 1912, page 1

    A deal was closed today whereby Louis Ulrich of Jacksonville will take possession of Fouts Grocery store in this city on December 1st, and Mr. Ulrich will move his family to this city as soon as he can dispose of his property interests in the county seat. His general merchandise business there will be sold. The cash consideration in the sale is not made public aside from a payment of $2000.
    The future plans of Mr. Fouts have not been definitely decided upon.
    Mr. Ulrich said today that he will move to Medford as soon as his business would permit, and that he intended to build a home in this city in the spring. He has been in business in Jacksonville for years, and is now postmaster at that place. He is one of the best known and most popular business men of the county.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 23, 1921, page 8

Democratic Candidate for

Taxes can and must be reduced and I will reduce them by giving the people a business administration.
The undersigned doesn't need any introduction to the old-timers in this valley, but some of the recent arrivals may be interested in knowing that I was born in Iowa in the year 1858, crossed the plains with my parents in 1860, settled in Jacksonville and have since then resided in this valley. I removed to Medford when the railroad reached the valley, and now reside in this city. Have been engaged in various undertakings and have had a reasonable success in business. Have been a retired business man since 1919, when the firm of Ulrich & Ryan closed a five-year term in the grocery line, meeting with a somewhat unusual degree of success.
    I have never taken much interest in politics, concentrating on business, as business should be conducted according to my ideas, and my experience convinces me that the business of Jackson County, which is really a corporation in the business sense, should be conducted on strictly business principles in the same manner as a good business man would supervise and conduct the business of a corporation. I want to be County Judge solely to give the people of Jackson County such a business administration, if they see fit to favor me with success at the polls, as will make this valley the most prosperous section of Oregon. Such business ability as I have will be devoted unsparingly to the interests of the people of Jackson County. And candor propels the statement that it is high time that the people were turning from the spending idea to that of saving for the next generation, and getting our affairs in better shape.
    When a budget is adopted, it should not be exceeded, except in extreme, unforeseen cases, such as fire, floods and other things over which no one has any control.
    How about it? Let me show what the application of business principles of county business can do. Respectfully submitted,
Candidate for County Judge.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 31, 1924, page 5. A "county judge" was what we today call a county commissioner.

Jackson County vs. Wm. Ulrich
    On June 3, 1918, Deputy Assessor N. N. Lofland assessed the following personal property to Wm. Ulrich: Money, $1000; stocks, warrants, notes and accounts, $2000; 1 Ford automobile, 1917 model, $220; 1 cow, $40; 1 dog, $10. Total, $3270.
    June 6, 1919, Mr. Ulrich paid the tax on $270, amounting to $10.91, but refused to pay on the money, stocks, etc. The total tax was $132.11, which left $121.20 unpaid.
    The unpaid balance was applied to the home of Mr. Ulrich on July 23, 1920, the total cost, penalty and interest being $173.66.
    In 1922, when the county started foreclosure on its delinquent tax liens, Mr. Ulrich's home was advertised for sale. Mr. Ulrich came into the sheriff's office and offered Sheriff Terrill fifty percent of the total amount due if they would receipt the bill in full. When this was refused he went to the county court and on December 9, 1922, the court made an order ordering the sheriff to accept $100 in full payment. This the sheriff refused to do. Then Mr. Ulrich filed mandamus proceedings against the sheriff to compel him to obey the orders of the county court. This hearing was held before Judge Thomas, and in a decision rendered April 23, 1923, Judge Thomas held that the county court exceeded its authority and that Ulrich would have to pay the total amount. Upon the rendering of this decision, Mr. Ulrich filed a motion for an appeal to the supreme court, and the case is awaiting hearing in that court at the present time.
    The following excerpts are from the decision which Judge Thomas rendered in this case on April 23, 1923:
[lengthy excerpts not transcribed]
    The official records of Jackson County show that in 1919 Mr.Ulrich was assessed $400 for money, bonds, mortgages, etc.; $200 for one Ford car; $40 for one cow, and $20 for a dog, a personal property assessment of $660; tax on same, $61.91; real estate, $9470; tax, $389.96; also, Ulrich & Ryan, general merchandise, $12,000; tax, $580.80. Of the above an assessment of $920 seems to have been disputed, is unpaid, was foreclosed by Jackson County and is now owned by the county.
    In 1920 Mr. Ulrich's personal assessment was $540, covering $600 in money, bonds, etc., and one $40 cow. The Ford and the dog do not hereafter appear. Tax, $32.35. Real estate, $3210; tax, $176.45. Ulrich & Ryan, real estate, $320; tax, $13.78.
    This year Mr. Ulrich resisted payment on an assessment of $720; tax, $27.95, which has been foreclosed by Jackson County and is now held by the county.
    In 1921 he was assessed $50 for personal property, tax $3.11, and $3040 for real estate. Tax, $181.14. Resisted payment on an assessment of $320, tax $19.24, which has been foreclosed by the county. No assessment against Ulrich & Ryan.
    In 1922 he does not appear to have been assessed for any personal property, but was assessed $3040 for real estate. Refused payment on a valuation of $320. Tax $13.84, which has been foreclosed by the county.
    In 1923, no personal property; real estate, $3040; tax, $172.37. Resisted payment on $320, which has been foreclosed by the county.
    Mr. Ulrich's rating as a wealthy man is a matter of general knowledge in Jackson County. Mr. Taxpayer, do you think Mr. Ulrich has done his fair share towards the support of our schools, our county, or the city or state in which he lives? Don't you think that if he had paid more you would have had to pay less?
(Paid Adv.)
Ashland Daily Tidings, November 1, 1924, page B1

    Lewis Ulrich, former prominent grocer of Medford, will embark next week in the insurance and real estate business, the exact location of his quarters as yet undecided.
    Having considered this line of activity for some time, Mr. Ulrich has just returned from a trip to Portland, where he was successful in making connections with prominent insurance firms, including the Prudential Life Insurance Company, and others.
    That his place of business will be located in either the Liberty Building or the Medford Building was the announcement made by Mr. Ulrich this morning.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 27, 1929, page 2

    William Ulrich, Jackson County pioneer and well-known resident, passed away at his home, 358 South Oakdale, early Saturday morning at the age of 75 years, 14 days. He had been in declining health since July 1928, when he suffered a paralytic stroke, and had been seriously ill since the passing of Mrs. Ulrich in December 1932. William Ulrich was born at Burlington, Iowa, January 28, 1858. At the age of two years, he came west with his parents, Christian and Barbara Ulrich, who took up their residence in Jackson County, Oregon, in 1860.
    They settled in Jacksonville, where William grew to manhood. He attended the common school of that city, though he obtained but a limited education, for in 1869 his father died, and he was thrown upon his own resources, making his living by labor acquired on a nearby ranch as chore boy for his board and clothing for the first year, after which he received wages for the next three years.
    After this he found work about the mines and then became apprenticed in the baker trade in Jacksonville and followed that for five years. He then took up truck teaming for the camps of the new railroad then being built in that locality. That lasted about one year, and he then came to Medford and in 1885 opened a fire insurance office, in which he did well for those days.
    Mr. Ulrich was the organizer and promoter of the Southern Oregon Pork Packing Co., which did a flourishing business in Medford under his efficient management, while at the same time he conducted a retail meat market. He subsequently formed a partnership with Mr. Slinger and engaged in the cattle business until the death of the latter, whereupon Mr. Ulrich purchased the interests of his partner and continued the business alone.
    At this time he moved with his family to Eagle Point, where for five years they resided on a stock ranch and moved back to Medford about 1910. He later associated himself with Luke Ryan in the mercantile business, from which he retired.
    Mr. Ulrich's acquaintance extends throughout southern Oregon, where he was known as a man of fine character and one whose word could always be depended upon and considered honest in all his dealings.
    He was married June 4, 1884, to Emma A. Milner, to which union were born five children, William L. Ulrich of Sheridan, Wyo.; Earl of Prospect, Ore.; Mrs. H. E. Cornell, Klamath Falls; Mrs. T. A. Carlton, Prospect; and Mrs. W. A. Young of Medford. Also two sisters survive, Mrs. T. J. Kenney of Medford and Mrs. L. L. Savage, Cotati, Calif., and four grandchildren.
    Funeral services will be conducted by Rev. Howell at the Conger chapel at 2:30 Monday. Interment in Medford I.O.O.F. Cemetery.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 12, 1933, page 4

Last revised March 22, 2017