Wacky Medford, Oregon

A Halloween Bear Story.
Editor Valley Record.]
    Charley Carney has just returned from the mountains, where has been rusticating for some time, and relates quite an interesting adventure with a bear, which is worth recording: Armed with his Schnellbacher 45-70, Charley took his horse and rode some distance from his companions; tethering his horse to a tree in the dense forest, he cast his eagle eye around for game, and when several rods from his animal he discovered an immense bear glaring at him full in the face. Now, Charley wasn't loaded for bear; otherwise this would have been a simple and ordinary bear story.
    The bear wasn't troublesome, but whenever Charley would start to retreat, bruin would advance a few paces toward him, and if Charley would advance toward the bear, bruin would show his teeth and retreat a few steps. Thus, with considerable maneuvering around, about the same relative positions were maintained. Charley searched his pockets for a suitable weapon, and finally found a ten-penny nail. A bright idea seized Charley; he carefully drew the shell from his Schnellbacher and inserted the nail. The bear was standing with his tail against a tree, and Charley took aim, fired and nailed the bear's tail to the tree. The bear was now unable to advance, and Charley retreated to where his horse was tethered. Arriving at this point, another brilliant idea struck Charley; taking his riding whip and returning to the scene of the adventure, he began plying the bear with the whip, in spite of its howls and protests. Finally the hide was so loosened that the bear jumped out of its skin and made its way around a rock pile.
    Charley calmly drew the nail from the tree, slung the skin over his shoulder, mounted his horse and returned to camp. Unfortunately while the hunter was crossing a large stream the bear skin fell off and was lost. Charley, however, has the ten-penny nail and would be pleased to show it.
    Note.--Readers will find the moral of this story posted on lone pine.
Valley Record, Ashland, November 17, 1892, page 1

    A young man in Medford, who poses as a mining expert, and who is quoted as an authority on rock formations in this vicinity, ran against a snag the other day, but crawled around it in a manner highly satisfactory to himself. He was shown some mineral-bearing rock that had perplexed the festive prospectors throughout the valley, and at first glance gave his decision without fear or trembling lest he should meet an adverse opinion. One of the bystanders, not wholly satisfied with the sage views expressed, asked the young man where he obtained his knowledge of minerals, to which he replied: "I was a minor twenty-one years previous to reaching my majority." His opinion was accepted without further dissension.
"The Town Talker," Medford Mail, February 24, 1893, page 3

    Horace Nicholson gets funny sometimes and one of his peculiar freaks caught him Monday afternoon when he rushed into our office and exclaimed: "Say, come down to the store and see if you can't talk Beek, Whiteside & Co. off the notion of moving their stock of goods to Central Point." "Are they going to move?" we asked. "Got goods all packed up now." We hastened ourselves to the scene of "packing up" and sure enough there were the goods packed and standing in the middle of the room. We expostulated and entreated with them to change the course which we thought they had mapped out, but to no avail. We then began penciling on our little tab our grief and the town's grief at their departure and we predicted that they would return ere many moons and went so far as to intimate that if they went to Central Point they would go up the flume. Just about that time Mr. Whiteside let a double-geared stove [of a hint] drop from the second floor and we tumbled [to the truth]. They had their goods off the shelves making a few repairs. Hod. Nicholson is, as near as we can arrive at it, a delineator of facts not always in accord with Biblical teachings, but we'll try and square scores with him if it takes several years of our valuable life.
"City Local Whirl," Medford Mail, March 17, 1893, page 3

    One good turn deserves another. A few weeks ago the boys about town were having a laugh on Bert Whitman for shooting ducks after life had been extinct for several hours, but we haven't heard of his "swiping" any green pumpkins thinking they were ripe watermelons, but that is what cashier Enyart did a few nights ago. He and Bert Whitman were out driving and Bert kept thinking how he was to get even on the duck deal when a happy thought struck him real hard. "Whoa! There are watermelons out there, Enyart, swipe 'em," and Bert pointed to a green field some distance from the road. Mr. Enyart proceeded to "swipe 'em," and after packing a couple of the largest melons he could find over two rail fences and a quarter of a mile of stubble ground he showed up at the place of starting. He then proceeded to carve, but the green pumpkin he carved and the ripe melon he thought he carved don't belong to the same vegetable family. Bert laughed and said something about duck, and then Enyart said something, but it wasn't a quotation from his Sunday school lesson leaf.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, September 1, 1893, page 3

An Easy Way To Get Rich.
    In conversation with Shorty Pickering the other day, we asked him the easiest way to make money. He replied: "That's easy. Money makes money. No one is so poor that he cannot raise up a penny to start on. Now, upon the first day of the month deposit one cent in the bank, and on each of the succeeding days of the month double your deposit. Follow this program faithfully, and at the end of the month you will be agreeably surprised to find that your account will show the sum of $5,368,799.12 to your credit. With that little sum all you have to do is retire and let the other fellows hustle." We imagined these figures were a trifle exaggerated, but a pencil and paper soon convinced us. Now, if some kind friend will only loan us the "starter."
Medford Mail,
March 16, 1894, page 3

   Mail Office Devil:--(His letter to Secretary Morton.)--"Knowing that the department over which you have the honor to preside is more than willing to encourage agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, and various other foreign and domestic brands of culture, I now sit down and take my pen in hand to ask a trivial favor of you. I have a nice patch of ground, large enough to milk a cow on, in Medford, and I am anxious to have a garden that will be useful as well as ornamental. I would like to raise Havana cigars, and I will esteem it a favor if you will send me a few boxes as seed. Please also state whether cigars should be planted at the dark of the moon, or when planet equinox is in perihelion. In addition to this, kindly tell me what perihelion is, and whether a blond horse would fatten on it. I saw the word in the almanac, and am curious to know what it refers to. Now, don't fail to send the cigars, as my garden ought to be attended to right away."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, April 27, 1894, page 2

   Dr. [E. P.] Geary as a bicycle hostler cannot be put down as a crowning success. As a matter of fact, the grooming of his wheel has been sadly neglected of late. It has neither been sponged, curried or rubbed down for several moons, and its neglect was becoming noticeable, but a few of the doctor's good friends gave him a benefit one day last week. He had left his wheel standing on the sidewalk while he did a little office work. In the interval his friends "swiped" the wheel and in the rear of one of their places of business they applied cleansing and burnishing lotions, and a short time thereafter the wheel was in its place again, but it had been transmogrified into a thing of beauty. The doctor came on the scene a little later, but the wheel he knew not--and for the next several hours he rode a borrowed wheel, believing someone had appropriated his.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, July 20, 1894, page 3

   When Medford "fellers" run themselves short of ways and means to provoke a little sport it must be when the temperature is decidedly chilly. Last week they were running short of material to work upon and there was a chance for a big gap to appear in their before-unbroken program when a happy thought showed itself upon the inventive surface of their fertile brains. Over in Hamilton & Palm's real estate office office U. M. Damon has displayed several varieties of electric call bells, which goods he is selling. These bells were brought into use in perpetrating their jokes. An unsuspecting gentleman passing on the street would be invited in to look at the workings of the bells and by invitation he would press one one of the buttons and a call number would show itself in the glass front. This, the crowd, which was standing around, would declare was "call for beer." By prearrangement Dave Crosby, one of the caterers for Hotel Medford [predecessor to the Nash Hotel, at Main and Front streets], would be standing on the corner by the hotel and at a given signal by someone standing in Hamilton & Palm's office he would at once proceed to draw a bucket of beer and forthwith appear in the aforesaid office with his several rounds of beverage, and with the remark--"who rang for this beer?" The victim always paid for the treat and not until five rounds of treats had been indulged in did the passerby come to the conclusion that the opposite side of the street was a safer and more economical thoroughfare. The Mail is not, ordinarily, given to biting at another man's game, as Charlie Wolters will attest, but this one seemed so easy that one of its publishers walked right in--and pushed the button. "Rosy" [haberdasher Simeon Rosenthal] was another of the victims, but he likes those things--so long as the boys have fun.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, June 14, 1895, page 8

    Merchant I. A. Webb has been in bed several days this week and the family physician has been giving him a goodly amount of attention--all of which was required; and court plaster, bandages and splints have been the predominating household commodities for a time equal to the days of illness. Mr. Webb is really not sick, but he is a badly disfigured community and it came about like this:
    Last week one day Dr. Pickel and himself were "jogging" their wheels on the new bicycle track--and "jogging" rather swiftly, when Mr. Webb's wheel struck a stone--and the rider struck the ground very forcibly and for nearly one full turn of the track he continued to plow mother earth with his proboscis and other parts of his anatomy. He was gathered up and brought home and is improving all right, but he was a badly broke up man--his face, hands and limbs all being badly bruised and the cuticle removed. Since the mishap the gentleman is wont to awaken during the night and sermonize. During one of these spells of lonesomeness he is reported by Mrs. Webb to have sent forth a little sermon something after this style: "We hereby warn our brothers, yes, and sisters, whether bloomered or not, that these wind-blowed-up bicycle wheels are devices of the demon of the River Styx. They are contrivances to entrap the feet of the unwary and skin the nose of the innocent. They are full of guile and deceit. When you think you have broken one to ride and have subdued his satanic nature, behold it bucketh you off in the road and teareth a great hole in your bloomerloons, and the cuticle from your nose. Look not upon the bicycle when it bloweth up its wheels, for at last--sometimes at first--it bucketh like a bronco, and hurteth like thunder, by jingo. Who has court plastered legs, nose and face? Who has ripped pantaloons? They that dally with a diabolical bicycle."
"News of the City," Medford Mail, July 5, 1895, page 5

Found at Last
    It has been talked around town that I should not have the exclusive right to use Crater Lake as a sign. I think that I have done more to solve the mysteries of Crater Lake than any man in Southern Oregon. For proof I attach a clipping from the Ashland Tidings of three years ago.
    “P. W. Paulson has in a jar among the curios at the Elkhorn Cigar Store an egg which D. I. Waldroop caught the sea serpent in Crater Lake in the act of depositing on the rocky shore of that wonderful body of water. The story of the sea serpent in Crater Lake has been told every year since that hole in the mountain was first sunk but Dan is the first man who has been able to bring home any tangible proof of its existence. No others of the party made the descent to the waters of the lake at the time Dan made the discovery hence there is no reason to doubt his story. C. C. Walker promptly classified the peculiar formation, has given it an appropriate long-handled classical name and is now anxiously waiting for developments."
    Good people don’t forget to drop into The Crater for your candy and cigars.
D. I. Waldroop, Prop.
Medford Mail, November 8, 1895, page 4

    As a Chinese tradesman Horace Nicholson is hardly up to the standard of those of Oriental birth. On Monday of this week one of the almond-eyed, with braided appendant, went into the store of J. Beek & Co. after quicksilver. The Mongolian didn't just exactly kum-tux the name of the article he wanted, but with the fingers of one hand he endeavored to pick up an imaginary something from the palm of the other, saying as he did so, "You catch him, you no catch him; you got him?" Horace insisted that it was a flea he wanted, but fleas didn't go with the Chinaman, and when he said something about gold dust Horace fell behind the counter, apparently dead, and John Norris came to the rescue and sold the Chinaman twenty-three pounds of quicksilver.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, November 29, 1895, page 3

    There was a whole town full of hilarity on Wednesday evening of this week, and all because a young fellow named Hayden, a miner on Evans Creek, came to town with gold dust in his pocket, a disposition to partake of red liquor in his mind, and later on an overstock of the above-named distilled wheat and corn in the recesses of his inner man. His first skirmish was in putting his hand through the Turf Exchange Saloon windows--in different places. From there a disturbance was booked for Hotel Nash, but here he met with an introduction that suggested he had better "hit" the sidewalk in the high places if it was his personal safety he prized. His next roundup was at G. L. Webb's Racket [Store]--and it was here his racket terminated. He wanted to buy tobacco from Mr. Webb, but as George didn't carry that line of goods Hayden became angered thereat--and trouble commenced to brew right there and then. Hayden ordered Mr. Webb out of the store--Mr. Webb returned the compliment of the evening, but neither accepted the invitation. Hayden reached for his hip pocket, Mr. Webb reached for Hayden, Mr. Webb's hand met Hayden's face--and there was a scuffle, a broken showcase, a hole in the glass store window large enough for a fellow about Hayden's size to get through. There being no other alternative Mr. Webb had gathered the young man to himself and fired him, head first, through, the window onto the sidewalk. Mr. Webb states his Racket is too small for a racket of that nature, and next week he will move to more commodious apartments. Hayden was afterwards gathered in by Marshal Cofer, a large dirk knife taken from him, and he was landed in the city bastille. Yesterday morning he paid his fine, $8.60, put up security for damages done store fronts and departed, probably promising himself to do so no more.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, February 7, 1896, page 5

    That bicycle intent at punism was all right had Bliton [editor of the Medford Mail] agreed to allow it to run in the usual trail of an April fool joke, but he didn't--hence the fun that was to have been was transformed into a real live business proposition of tremendous proportions. It was like this: On the morning of April 1st Bliton tied his bicycle to a convenient hitching post in front of the Hotel "Shorty" [Shorty Hamilton--proprietor of the Nash Hotel]. J. H. Bellinger and his able aide, Mr. Milligan, figured that it would be a real sport to "soak" Bliton's wheel for a few "schooners" of beverage, and they had a real immense laugh at our expense--which laugh and the consequent results were something after the pattern of the sport which our grandfathers used to tell us that an Irishman had with a bull. To shorten our story we will say that upon a certain bright, sunshiny Monday morning, the first one following April 1st, Mr. Milligan led Bliton's wheel from behind Court Hall's bar [the Turf Exchange, at Main and Front] to The Mail office door and there left it--and Bliton paid not a cent of the debt contracted when the wheel was left as collateral security to quench an April fool thirst--but, upon the debt side of our ledger on a page where J. H. Bellinger's name appears at the head is found this item: "To use bicycle three days, at $1.50 per day--$4.50." There is, our readers will observe, a genuine joke connected with this affair, but there has a mist gathered over Mr. Bellinger's eyes and he sees it not a little bit.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 15, 1898, page 7    Translation: Bellinger and Milligan "borrowed" Bliton's bike to use as collateral for some beer, but when they returned it Bliton billed them for approximately three days' wages.

    The latest in the line of secret societies is an order known as the "Buffaloes." From all accounts it is not of a particularly serious nature--in fact, it is decidedly otherwise. Good fellowship and eleven cents are the qualifications of membership. The fundamental rules of the new order are as follows: "Members must always carry a one-cent piece; handshaking must be done by the left, the right being reserved for punching; all drinks must be piloted to the lips with the left hand; sign of the order, the left hand over the left ear; absolutely sobriety and silence must be observed by the initiated of a week's standing; initiation fee, the coin in the possession of the candidate nearest to eleven cents. These are the cardinal rules. Any breach of them by a 'Buffalo,' if called, means the purchase of something drinkable for the crowd."
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 19, 1901, page 7

    A "guber" straw ride was given Wednesday evening by Misses Fannie Haskins and Aileen Webber. A four-horse team was hitched to a wagon and hay rack. The bottom of the rack having been bountifully supplied with straw, the following named young friends of the ladies above mentioned were asked to take seats thereon: Misses Bessie Hammond, Pearl and Edith Webb, Cleo Lucus, Virgie Woodford, Prudence Angle, Mrs. C. I. Hutchison, chaperon, Messrs. Narregan, Chitwood, Foster, Ramsey, Crandall, Webb, Butler, Haskins. A drive was made to Jacksonville, and from there to Central Point and back to Medford. The participants in this excursion of fun and frolic relate some very amusing incidents while making the drive, one of which was when they stopped at a farm house to quench their thirst. The hour was late and the farm people had retired, but the well was found and the thirst quenched, and in return for the drinks so bountifully partaken of a serenade was proposed. A song was started but very abruptly stopped--a couple of revolver shots from an upstairs window of the aforesaid farm house having been the means of creating a "huskiness" in the throats of every member of the party--and immediately thereafter there was a dead calm broken only by the swift patterings of four fleet-footed equines. The former didn't mind their helping themselves at his watering trough--but he took a couple of shots just for luck--when they commenced to sing.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 2, 1901, page 7

    Perry Stewart:--"Saturday evening, before going to Red Men's lodge, I bought a dozen eggs, carried them in a paper bag to the anteroom of the lodge hall, where I left them until I was ready to go home. The next morning my wife and I were to have eggs for breakfast. I sat in the kitchen beside the stove, and when my better half had everything in readiness for frying the eggs, she brought out the paper bag, took out an egg and broke it. To her surprise there was only a shell, and the next egg (?) proved to be the same. She asked me what the trouble was with my head that I was bringing home empty eggshells, and I inquired of her if she was awake yet. Upon personal inspection I found that someone had made a small opening in either end of each shell and had extracted the contents. We found a piece of money in the bag, but we had no eggs for breakfast. I'll tell you right now, that some of the Indians certainly enjoyed the joke of seeing me carry home empty eggshells, but they will never catch me that way again."
"Things Told on the Street," Medford Mail, February 22, 1907, page 1

Dr. Elijah Barton Pickel

    Street Commissioner Higgins:--"One evening last week, as I was passing by the new Jackson County Bank building, I heard someone hammering on a window above me and calling for assistance, and looking up at a window in the third story I beheld the faces of doctors Pickel and Hargrave. My first impression was that they had been kidnapped, but they called to me and told me to go for Wes Johnson. I found Wes and we went to the building, where we found the two above-named gentlemen waiting, but very impatiently, for they were getting hungry. It happened that Dr. Pickel had invited Dr. Hargrave to go to the bank building and look at his new offices, and they tarried so long that all the men left the building and the door was locked by Wes Johnson. The two prisoners had called to innumerable persons who passed along the street, but they only smiled, waved a hand and passed on, thinking nothing of seeing the two doctors at the window. When relief came the two men were somewhat in a bad humor, as it was the hour for their evening meal, and they were beginning to think that they would be compelled to remain prisoners for the night."
"Things Told on the Street," Medford Mail, March 1, 1907, page 1

One Will Be Used To Draw Strings Through Pipe
    Work on the laying of the underground conduits for the telephone company is going forward rapidly, and in a few days the first step toward making Medford a thoroughly modern city so far as the position of the telephone wires is concerned will have been completed.
    Curious citizens have been watching the installation of the pipes beneath the surface the streets [and] are more or less puzzled over the fact that no wires have been placed in the tubes and an opportunity, apparently, left for grave difficulties to arise. To the uninitiated it seems that nothing short of a miracle would ever put the wires in the long underground tubes after they had once been embedded in cement.
    However, the problem in other cities is a simple one, although it may not prove so in Medford. As is well known the Rogue River Valley has never harbored a rat in the memory of man, and for that reason the local telephone officials are giving the matter more or less thought.
    It is rumored, however, that a large, vigorous rat is to be imported from Portland, properly greased and then, after a stout silk cord has been made fast to his tail, induced to enter one of the conduit tubes. Immediately behind the imported rat will be placed a Medford cat with a long-standing desire to partake of rat meat. The cat will also be the bearer of one end of a stout cord.
    Even the novice will instantly understand that the process just described will easily solve all difficulty in stringing the wires through the conduits. Even rats, through the inventiveness of man, are now harnessed like the waterfalls and compelled to do useful work. It is not the intention, however, to keep the imported rat permanently in this section, for he can find constant employment at good wages elsewhere.
Medford Mail, April 16, 1909, page 1

    J. W. Lawton had a lively mixup yesterday with a colt he was leading behind his buggy. It became frightened, and in the scrimmage fell down. Part of the time Wes was on top, and then again he wasn't. Several bystanders took a hand; finally the colt got loose from all of them and went home disgusted.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, April 30, 1909, page 2

Medford Mail Tribune, March 25, 1910Pennies Were in Great Demand
   After it became noised abroad the past few days after placing a card in his window that Tom Bartholomew, proprietor of a local pharmacy [West Side Pharmacy at 206 West Main--current site of Britt Festivals' office], would give $15 for 1909 Lincoln pennies, many of those who heard of the offer sought Bartholomew to dispose of their coins, only to find out that they had not quite the required number.
    The knowledge that the drug man had suddenly become interested in rare coins came as a surprise and many people hearing that the offer was spot cash, dug into their purses where they had kept the Lincoln pennies as pocket pieces, and proceeded to offer them on the altar of Mammon--the $14.99 profit looked good to them.
    Staid citizens in automobiles dashed frantically up in front of the store, school girls who saw a prospect of a new bonnet, matrons who needed the money on account of the rise in prices and in fact almost everyone who was told of the apparently generous offer fell a victim to Tom's joke--for joke it surely was, which was readily discovered as soon as one of the pennies was offered.
    "Sure I'll give $15 for 1909 pennies," said Tom, when those who wished to make a trade approached him. "Where are the pen nies?"
    "I have only one penny," said one of his customers.
    "Well, you must get 1908 more, as to get the $15 you must have 1909 of them."
    "Stung," murmured the victim, and there was quite a large number of him, including several of the other sex.
Medford Mail Tribune weekly, March 10, 1910, page 3

Gold Is Being Used to Pave City's Streets
   "Do you know," said T. Cameron of Jacksonville, "that the newly paved streets of Medford will be partly of gold? It is a fact, though. The sand being used by the Clarke-Henery Company comes from the cyanide plant of the Opp Mine and carries values amounting to an average of $1 to the ton. It is impossible to et the full percentage of gold by any process; 90 percent is the best that has ever been accomplished. Based on a $10 valuation per ton, the sand now being used in mixing the cement for street paving has gold to the amount of $1 in each ton. So that Medford will have golden streets, partially at least."
Medford Mail Tribune,
July 21, 1910, page 2

Smallest Circus in World Prepares for Summer Engagement at "Nat"--
Owner Seeks Three-Inch Space Wherein to Place "Ring."
    The smallest circus in the world is in training quarters at Medford, and its hundreds of animals are now being put through their paces ready for a summer engagement at the Natatorium. If any of the beasts escape, there will be great excitement around town and a general hunt instituted that will only end with the death of the animal. The owner of the circus hopes to be able to obtain about three inches as a show ring. That is all the needs, for his performers are fleas--not the common everyday product, but genuine, high-salaried artists.
    Fleas at this time of the year are somewhat out of season. The summer is when they are at their best, peekaboo waists and openwork stockings offering but slight resistance.
    To a reporter who interviewed him last night, Mr. Alonzo Sloan, the showman, was somewhat reticent. He preferred to "talk Medford," which he said impressed him as being "some town."
    "Although I have some two hundred fleas," he said at last, "they are, of course, not all stars, some of them being only understudies taking their first lessons in the dramatic art. To perfect a flea performer takes a very long time, as first he must be broken of jumping, a habit which they all, unfortunately, inherit.
    "This is accomplished by placing a loop of the finest gold wire about their necks, the idea being to have him so weighted down at the front end that when he tries to spring he merely turns a hand-flip. To break a flea of jumping takes about fifteen months. The fleas I use are the German, or human, fleas. Their average life is about 20 years, and they are so strictly 'human' that no amount of persuasion will induce one to eat dog. They multiply very rapidly, but I never can gather up the courage to kill them, so, when they look like they are going to become excess baggage, I just turn a few thousand loose wherever I happen to be.
    "In my show the star attraction is the ballet. This consists of twenty-five specially selected animals who dance Oriental dances in perfect unison and accord. It takes about an hour and a half to dress the fleas for this act in the morning, so we leave them dressed all day. They are dressed by means of a microscope and a pair of tweezers."
Medford Mail Tribune, March 5, 1911, page 3

Wizard Tou Velle to Save Nation
Editor [Ben Hur] Lampman of Gold Hill Jap War Fame
Announces Wonderful Discovery Which is to Save
United States from Yellow Invasion,
(Gold Hill News.)
    Colonel Tou Velle of Medford, rival of Luther Burbank and famed inventor of the alfalfaberry, realizing the imminence of war with Japan, and knowing that the United States is woefully short of gunpowder and the means to manufacture the same, has set to work to propagate a gunpowder plant, which, when watered with a solution of saltpetre, will in an amazingly short time produce pods or bolls containing a fine quality of the stuff that will send a steel jacket bullet singing on its errand of death. Some danger will attach to the culture of the plant. If the pods are allowed to overripen, they are likely to burst with an exclamatory pop, such as may be heard at the Crater Lake Club in Medford any time from 11 p.m. till 5 a.m. Thus, if a single pod is allowed to become too ripe and explode, a whole field may be set popping, and the harvest ruined. Colonel Tou Velle is confident that he will get the results he desires by a hybridization of the red pepper plant, the mustard plant, the lima bean and the jimson weed. The Medford Commercial Club has passed a resolution endorsing his efforts, as it is considered that in case he is successful in propagating the gunpowder plant, the country will not only be safe from the Japs, but the achievement will be another long advertising plume in Medford's already finely decorated war-bonnet. The colonel expects his new vegetable explosive will be more powerful than the Japanese shimose, the most terrible explosive now known to warfare. The soil in and around Medford, owing to its wonderful richness and thickness, is expected to prove the best adapted for the culture of the new plant, whose product should, and undoubtedly will, be known to the world as touvellite.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 21, 1911, page 6

Did This Dog Commit Suicide?
Feared Prize Homely Canine of the Valley
Grieved Over its Insignificant Appearance
and Made Way with Itself--Has Disappeared.

    The prize homely dog of the valley has disappeared. It is a forlorn looking, woebegone, sad-faced animal that appears to have lost its best friend and to be hopelessly adrift, a derelict in the dog world--neither smart, nor frisky, nor big enough to be valuable for sausage. Its head is abnormally long and its body absurdly short, while its wiry hair tries in vain to hide its defects.
    The dog gives the impression of perpetually grieving over its insignificant appearance and to be contemplating leaving this vale of tears and sorrows by the shortest possible route. Indeed, it would not cause much surprise if investigation proved it had actually committed suicide, though drug store records fail to disclose any purchase of poison made by the animal.
    This apology of the canine world answers to the name of Kirrie, and is the property of Mrs. George B. Carpenter, who is quite proud of it, presumably because there is no dog in its own peculiar class of beauty, at least not in this neck of the woods. "It" is what is known as an Aberdeen Scotch terrier. "It" is said to be a prize winner, presumably as a freak, at least there can be no other reason trumped up for a blue ribbon.
    "It" can't be very far away, for its legs aren't long enough to make either speed or distance records, but if you see it, telephone Mrs. Carpenter at the Eden Valley Orchard.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 18, 1911, page 4

Locked Up at Medford.
    You never can tell what may happen to people who go to Medford. A story is going the rounds that two well-known Central Point ladies, who are both prominent in Rebekah circles here, got locked up in that city Wednesday when they attended the Odd Fellows anniversary celebration. There were no charges filed, however, and when the ladies were finally given their liberty they were not required to pay any fine.
    The facts were that these two ladies went to the depot to meet a friend that evening and, being tired, they sat down to rest in the waiting room, and before anybody could say "scat" the hardhearted janitor locked the building and went to supper. The wait was long, but it was finally rewarded with liberty. The "imprisonment" being at the dinner hour, the ladies are both willing to swear that the cause of their detention was not being "full."
Central Point Herald, April 27, 1911, page 4

Ray and Frazier to Start Cat Farm
    Before leaving for San Francisco, Col. Frank H. Ray left with Frank Frazier plans for establishing a cat farm, which promises to be a fortune maker for the promoters. A limited amount of stock is offered for a few days by Mr. Frazier.
    Colonel Ray's plan for this great money coiner shows his Wall Street training. It is as follows:
    The object of this company is to operate a large cat ranch near Tolo where land can be purchased cheaply. To start with, we will collect about, say, 100,000 cats. Each cat will average twelve kittens a year. The skins will sell for from 10 cents for the white ones to 75 cents for the pure black. We will have about 12,000,000 to sell, at an average of 30 cents apiece, making our revenue about $10,000 a day.
    A man can skin fifty cats a day. He will charge $2 a day for his labor. It will take about 100 men to operate the ranch, therefore the profit will be about $9,800 a day.
    We will feed the cats on rats, and will start a rat ranch adjoining the cat ranch. The rats will multiply four times as fast as the cats, and if we start with 100,000 rats we will have four rats a day for each cat, which is plenty.
    We will feed the cats on rats, and in turn will feed the rats on the stripped carcasses of the cats, thus giving each rat one-fourth of a cat.
    It will be seen by these figures that the business will be self-acting and automatic. The cats will eat the rats and the rats will eat the cats, and we will get the skins.
Medford Mail Tribune weekly, November 30, 1911, page 3  It's become necessary to point out that this was a joke, attributed to different entrepreneurs all across the country. No one ever actually intended to start a self-feeding cat farm.

Editor Ruhl Catches a Cat
   Paul Revere's ride was a walk compared to the ride of Robert Ruhl, editor of the Medford Sun, who fled homeward Tuesday night after a vain endeavor to catch and tame a pretty little black and white cat found peaceably trotting by the wayside.
    Visions of long winter nights with no tabby dozing by the Ruhl fireside accomplished Ruhl's ruin as astride his pert steed he ambled at a fox trot under the soft light of a July moon.
    The "cat" and Mr. Ruhl discovered each other about the same time.
    The next time Mr. Ruhl discovers a cat for family selection it will be at a cat show with a catalogue.
    Medford peacefully slumbering dreamed not of the cataclysm enacted at Siskiyou Heights where, denied admission to house and home, Ruhl spent the balance of the night in the woodshed studying natural history.
    Between times with pencil and paper, he figured the dimensions of a grave for his new flannel trousers while the family with smoke helmets on said things through cracks in the door.
    Ruhl's saddle mare has been turned over to the Medford Fire Department, who are testing some new hose. The cat--a Pole by birth--is still at large.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 2, 1912, page 2

    Mose Barkdull, champion bait fisherman of Medford, has invented a bait by which he expects to break all records this year in Bear Creek. Mose has a new breed of fishing worms, and he's ready. Last fall Mose filled a big box with rich dirt and caught half a bushel or so of fat worms.
    Then he took about four dozen old rubber overshoes and two dozen old automobile tires from Old Doc Yak and ground them up fine in the hay cutter and mixed them with the dirt in the box.
    Now the worms have eaten all the rubber, and some of them will stretch eight inches and snap like a rubber band. Mose don't reckon the suckers can pull them off the hooks at all.
    If a fish does manage to pull the worm off the hook it will snap so hard and hit the fish on the nose and stun it, so Mose can catch it with his hands.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 10, 1915, page 6

Coin Shower Deluges Workmen.
    Workmen employed on the ditch of the Rogue River Canal Company set off a charge of dynamite under a stump and then the air was filled with dollars and half dollars. The blast uncovered a money cache that had apparently been buried there since the early sixties. Most of the coins were of the mintage of the fifties, and when the fall of coin began there was a wild scramble for it. The cache contained about $500, according to some; others placed the amount as high as $2,500. Some Spanish coins were found among the United States coins. How the money came to be beneath the stump, or why or when is a mystery.--Ashland (Ore.) dispatch to Los Angeles Times.
Beloit Daily Call, Beloit, Kansas, January 8, 1916, page 3

    While tons of all kinds of rubbish, tin cans and old stoves were gathered up and hauled to the dumping grounds, Medford's annual cleanup yesterday was almost fraught with tragical consequences due either to some family trying to get rid of a big gray tomcat or the prank of some wicked practical joker.
    Everything was going lovely, and the dumping ground in the rear of the old water works station on South Riverside [about 101 S. Riverside] along the west bank of Bear Creek was rapidly filling up when the excitement started.
    Ole Arnspiger, the city engineer, city water superintendent, city electrician and city purchasing agent, and past leading knight of the Elks Lodge, felt so pleased at the situation that when Oscar Stinson's wagon began to unload he stood on the Bear Creek embankment and prepared to take a picture of the grand sight with his camera. Oscar had just thrown off a gunny sack half full of rubbish which bursted on hitting the dump, and out between Ole and Oscar jumped a big tomcat spitting, hissing, whirling and snarling in circles.
    "Mist Alcrity," ejaculated the startled city poobah as he stepped backwards on a tin can, which pitched him and all his titles into raging Bear Creek, from which quickly came shouts of "Ph-ph-halp!"
    "Holy smoke!" cried the equally startled Oscar as he quickly seized a club for self-defense. Oscar's thoughts in time of dire peril always turn to religion.
    "What's the matter! 'Smatter!" called Superintendent Runyard as he rushed out from the public market, suddenly saw the feline whirlwind and connecting unexpectedly his right foot with the top of an old bucket skidded away to join Ole in the creek.
    After a few more whirls the big cat, which the trio estimated all the way from five to fifteen feet long and proportionately wide, and which according to all information obtainable was frankly excited, started at immense speed to Main Street, turning the corner sharply to the west in front of the Gates store, where Bill Gates and Otto Jeldness were holding a street consultation.
    "Me cheeild, I must save her!" exclaimed Bill as he started for home at his Peoria gait to protect the new baby from harm.
    "My dog!" shouted Otto, who had lost 16 dogs in the past 13 years by violent deaths, as he also started for home.
    As the excited cat shot up East Main Street, still spitting, Harry Manning, who was sunning himself in front of the Wonder Store [315 E. Main], and who had a fight last week with a west side rooster, or rather it was a White Orpington, gave one glance at the oncoming cyclone, and dived into the store calling out in high Caruso-like tones "Papa! Pagliachi!"
    When the bunch of excitement passed by the Commercial Club Secretary Steel calmly watched it turn down the railroad track and disappear, and inquiringly remarked, "Is it a grizzly?"
    Nevertheless five wagons and one auto truck worked from morning till night and there was one less cat and considerable less dirt, this morning.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 23, 1919, page 3

Tribune Scribe Victim of April Fool Xmas Joke
    Some wags had downtown Medford convulsed with laughter this forenoon with an ante-Christmas Day prank which partook of the April fool variety and made many citizens feel cheap.
    They had a big paper sack stuffed with paper from the ends of which stuck out prominently turkey legs and the head of a turkey, which they placed in the middle of the street car track opposite the Postal Telegraph company office [at 110 East Main]. It looked for all the world as tho a big fat turkey had dropped out of some passing delivery wagon or auto, and most people--pedestrians on the sidewalks, or riders in cars--passing by thought so, and bit accordingly.
    Of course after lifting the package each realized that he had been sold without hearing the loud guffaws of laughter which came from the waiting crowd on the sidewalk, grinned foolishly and then joined the crowd to witness the next victim’s surprise. Among those who bit hard were Chief of Police Timothy, Sheriff Terrill, Colonel H. H. Sargent, and--Romeo Koppes
[Mail Tribune reporter Roma Addison Koppes].
Medford Mail Tribune, December 24, 1920, page 8

    “Live cleanly, press forward, and dye well," Master Dyers and Cleaners. Pantorium Dye Works.
“Local and Personal,” Medford Mail Tribune, January 18, 1921, page 2

    A keg of cider in the office of former Prosecuting Attorney Roberts of Medford, Oregon, exploded and the fermented liquor flooded the Medford National Bank beneath, keeping the office force, from clerks to President W. H. Gore, busy with mops and pails. The affair was reported to Prosecuting Attorney Rawles Moore, who defeated Roberts in the last election. Moore said the keg had been seized some time ago and in the confusion of office moving had been overlooked.
"World News Tersely Told," Sausalito News, February 26, 1921, page 1

    Numerous sequels could be written by local residents to the picture "Imagine My Embarrassment" talkie, which will open today at the Rialto, featuring Nick Stuart, pretty Sue Carrol and other film favorites.
    Catching one of the first glimpses of the advance displays advertising the production, Fred Colvig, druggist, next door to the Rialto, blushed to the roots of his hair as his mind flashed back over a few of the more notorious events of his life.
    One of his most embarrassing moments was when he attended a local banquet with one of his closest friends a few years ago. The friend, assuming a nonchalant air, took a trusty cigarette from his case, lighted it, and seeing no tray handy, thrust the match, which he believed extinguished, in his back pocket. In a few seconds Fred's friend was retreating through the door backwards fanning the blaze, which was on the verge of demolishing the entire seat of his trousers.
    Don Collier, local manager of the Western Union, says he is never embarrassed--but is often sad. The latter state, one of the deepest melancholia, overtakes him often during the course of the baseball season.
    There are only a few ways of embarrassing a Scotchman, according to Bill Gates, who uses his friends Fred McPherson and Bill Lydiard as living, breathing examples.
    "Fred was most embarrassed once, when he took two of his friends to dinner, offered with a flourish to pay for their meals and they took him up on it," he said. Bill Lydiard's worst moment came when he went to church and put a quarter on the collection plate, thinking it was a nickel, according to the groceryman.
    Bill Gates himself, however, who disclaims any Scotch ancestry, recounted his greatest moment of chagrin as the time he went to pay the preacher for performing the marriage ceremony and found out that he left all his money in another suit, miles away.
    Joe Cave, night officer on the local police force, says he is often subjected to embarrassment by people taking him for Officer Peck. The latter, listening in on the recital, returned the compliment by shifting it into reverse.
    George Prescott, traffic officer, admitted the allegation that one of the most embarrassing moments of any officer's career is being forced to arrest a pretty bit of femininity for "stepping on the gas."
Medford Mail Tribune, September 22, 1929, page 2

Medford Mayor Misses Wash Day, Recovers His Motor
    When Mayor Wilson, of Medford, went out to tackle his weekly washing stunt, he found that someone had been there ahead of him. Being of a practical mind he soon discovered that something was missing; the motor had been removed.
    Straight to the phone went the mayor, as he called the police chief explaining his loss.
    "Yeah!" said the chief, "I have the motor here, and the boys who stole it."
    "Fine work," exclaimed the mayor. "We will buy you a new police car to replace that frolicsome Paige."
Central Point American, October 9, 1931, page 1

Last revised May 23, 2019