The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Medford Pioneers: Charley Wolters

    Chas. Wolters came down from Ashland Monday. He is now a resident of Medford, and will open a first-class bakery in a few days.
"Medford Brevities," Ashland Tidings, November 20, 1885, page 3

Nuptial Vows.
    WOLTERS--ALFORD.--At the residence of the bride's parents, in Talent, Wednesday evening, Jan. 13th, occurred the wedding of Mr. C. W. Wolters, now of Medford, and Miss Ollie, youngest daughter of ex-Commissioner A. Alford. The wedding guests, who were nearly all relatives of the bride and groom, were invited to partake of an elegant supper after the ceremony had joined the hands and lives of the happy couple, and the congratulations extended by those present will be joined in by many friends of both the bride and groom in this part of the valley. They will reside in Medford, where Mr. Wolters has recently taken his place among the enterprising business men of the new town.   
Ashland Tidings, January 15, 1886, page 3

March 13, 1888 Southern Oregon Transcript
March 13, 1888 Southern Oregon Transcript

    Chas. Wolters has recently had a number of board signs erected, calling the attention of his friends to the fact that he still does business at the old stand on a larger scale than ever.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 1, 1892, page 2

    M. L. Alford of Ashland is looking after Charley Wolters' interests during the latter's chase after health and pleasure.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 12, 1892, page 2

    Mr. C. W. Wolters and family, of Medford, Ore., have been spending several weeks along our sea shore. Mr. Wolters is a native of this city and left here when an infant, this being his first visit since. He is proud of his birthplace and met many friends of his father, and himself and his family have made many more during their stay. His father is now a resident of Jacksonville, Ore., and is remembered by all the oldtimers, being in business here thirty-two years ago. Mr. Wolters is one of the prominent merchants of Medford.--Crescent City Record.
"Local and General," Southern Oregon Mail, August 26, 1892, page 3

    We are sorry to learn that John Wolters, the baker, will leave for Medford this week, to conduct the mechanical department of his son's bakery.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 26, 1892, page 3

    John Wolters has removed to Medford, and Jacksonville is without a baker.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 2, 1892, page 3

    C. W. Wolters is now the agent for Wadham's sugar depot in this place, and will hereafter supply the retail dealers. He this week received a carload of the saccharine matter.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 9, 1892, page 2

    C. W. Wolters last week enlarged the capacity of his grocery store by tearing out the partition in the building, which greatly improves the appearance and increases its size considerably.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 28, 1892, page 2

    You are cordially invited to call at Mr. C. W. Wolters' store, March 6th and 7th, and try the delicious "St. Charles" Evaporated Cream, which will be served free with hot coffee.

"City Local Whirl," Medford Mail, March 3, 1893, page 3

    You have undoubtedly seen in illustrated papers the picture of an infuriated bovine in a china shop, but all this hilarity has been eclipsed by Charlie Wolters and his bicycle in a grocery store. He was practicing, and the codfish, bacon, canned goods, showcases, tin cans, Charlie and his bicycle were piled up several feet deep. Most stood looking on, and while thus engaged "that tired feeling" came over him as he began devising means of extracting and putting together again the several parts of Charlie's anatomy which were strewn about the store. The severed members were finally buckled together, and as Mose pressed the button Charlie did the rest. He plunged into the street and run off, bang against a telegraph pole. He then ran into a team of horses, got his wheel broken and a bruised leg. If there was anything he didn't run into, it was located on the second story--he wasn't reaching that high--was playing them close to the ground. If he insists upon a more rapid means of locomotion than the ordinary walk we would suggest that he put a pair of pedals and a seat onto a logging truck.

Medford Mail, June 30, 1893, page 2

    A little nearer the business center of Medford, and in fact so close as to make the property very valuable, is where we find the good-natured and clever C. W. Wolters.
Medford Mail, July 14, 1893 et seq., page 1

    One of the most enterprising establishments we feel called upon to mention is Wolters, the grocer; he is one of the oldtimers in Medford, and carries a stock of groceries and gents' furnishing goods hard to beat in quality and prices.
Medford Mail, December 1, 1893, page 1

    In Medford, Oregon, February 12, 1894, John C. Wolters, aged 75 years.
    Mr. Wolters and family came to San Francisco at an early day and from there moved to Crescent City, where they remained a number of years, and in 1862 removed to Jackson County where they have since resided. His wife died twenty-one years ago, since which time he has remained single. He was an honored and highly respected citizen and a member of the Odd Fellows lodge in Jacksonville, which order took charge of the burial. He leaves two sons, C. W. and H. H. Wolters, both residing in Medford, and a daughter, Mrs. Sophia Helms, residing in San Francisco, and a great many early-day acquaintances and friends to mourn his demise. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. S. P. Grant, at the residence of C. W. Wolters, in this city, on Tuesday, and interment was made in the Jacksonville cemetery.
    Mr. Wolters had been in poor health for several months before his death, and while all possible medical attention was given, it was apparent from the first that the thread of life was slowly but surely unwinding and a separation of its strands might be expected at any time.
Medford Mail, February 16, 1894, page 3

    Merchant C. W. Wolters and wife returned Tuesday from the fair. Seventh Street in Medford isn't itself without Charlie. Few men in Medford is missed more than is this two hundred and odd pounds of good nature.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, May 18, 1894, page 2

Dispensed With, Yet Not Forgotten.
    Your correspondent met with some of his old friends not long since and talked for several hours over old times, when teaming, or freighting, was largely indulged in by the farmers of Rogue River Valley.
    The time of which I am about to relate was twenty years ago. One H. P. Deskins, then living at or near the mouth of Bear Creek, was the owner of several large teams and did considerable teaming into Rogue River Valley from different points, such as Crescent City, Roseburg, Redding and various other places, and he employed several men as teamsters. I was one who made application, and was accepted and enrolled as a mule driver. Our first trip was somewhat burdensome, but after that teaming became a second nature, but when the rainy season set in and the roads became impassable and the teamsters were shut up on the farm, it was like a wild beast shut up in a cage, until the freighting season again opened up, and this was immediately after grain seeding in the spring, when the roads would again be lined with teams. The teamster, as one of the types of the frontier, is seldom ever introduced in print without allusions to his ingenious and picturesque profanity (it is an old saying, and perhaps a true one, that to find out a man's true character is to start across the plains with him, with an ox team), whereas it is his silence, rather than his utterances, that gives him among his brethren of the way almost the distinction of a species. He has every claim that hardships can give to popular sympathy, yet, even to the most inexperienced imagination, he pursues his way in silence among those fateful, dangerous roads, over mountains on narrow graded roadbeds, then along the valley, where the dust rises like a cloud almost to suffocation, the names of which will soon be legendary. As a type he was involved [sic] by these roads to meet their exigencies, and like a picture drawn by Mary Hallock Foote, entitled "The Last Trip In," is one of powerful imagination, and should possess that which rightly belongs to sex, namely, the heroine of the age.
    In the year of 1874, just twenty years ago last summer, a party of teamsters started for Roseburg, after freight for Fort Klamath. Among the teamsters was a youthful boy, with modest, feminine graces. The modest training of his kind parents at home was so far different from the experiences he was soon to be initiated into that it came near being too much for one of such frail constitution. The second day out from home this youth met with an accident that almost proved fatal to him. He was driving in the lead, and reached the summit of a mountain, when his team became unmanageable and started at full speed down the slope on the other side and was soon lost to view, but not long, however. Soon as the dust cleared away we spied the wagon and team a short distance from the road, but the wagon was empty of its occupant. We stopped our teams a short distance back and ran down to where the wreck was and found, lying by the wagon, instead of the pale-faced youth, a dusty, bruised-face lad. The team had left the road and run the wagon against a tree, throwing the boy heavily upon the ground, which accounted for his bruises. I expected he wondered if he would live to get back to his parental roof. By the time the trip was made the youth was thoroughly acquainted with the ways of the mule skinners, as they call themselves, and submit to be called by the derogative allusion to the kind of animals they drive. Yes, the boy lived and still lives, and is a living statue, and occupies a position in the oldest and neatest grocery store in Medford, known all over the valley as the C. W. Wolters grocery store.
J.R.H.  [probably John R. Hardin]
Medford Mail, November 2, 1894, page 4

    Wolters, the grocer, is laying in a large stock of fruit jars, which jars are to be sold so reasonable that they will not jar the purses of purchasers to any great extent. Charlie is always alive to the desires of his customers, of whom there are not a few, and which number is increasing daily, because--he treats everybody alike, and square.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, May 24, 1895, page 5

    C. W. Wolters received a carload of sugar Monday.
"Bits of Local Railway News," Medford Mail, September 20, 1895, page 1

    C. W. Wolters has sold a half interest in his grocery business to H. H. Howard, who represented Chas. Hegele & Co. of Portland for a number of years. The firm is a strong one, and will doubtless do a big business.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 15, 1898, page 3

October 7, 1898 Medford Mail, page 7
October 7, 1898 Medford Mail, page 7

    The firm of Wolters & Howard, the grocerymen, is being dissolved, and an invoice of the goods taken this week Mr. Wolters has sold his interest in the business to Mrs. Fellows, mother of Mrs. H. H. Howard, who will be associated with Mr. Howard in the business. The store will be conducted hereafter under the name of H. H. Howard & Co. Mr. Wolters has not as yet disclosed his intentions for the future, but it is presumed that he will again enter business here.
"Personal and Social," Southern Oregon Eye, October 26, 1899, page 3

    Chas. W. Wolters, who has been our leading grocer since Medford assumed proportions of a town, has temporarily retired from business. His interest in the firm of Wolters & Howard has been purchased by Mr. H.'s mother-in-law, Mrs. E. B. Fellows.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 2, 1899, page 3

    Chas. W. Wolters is acting as salesman at the mercantile establishment of White, Harbaugh & Co., a position he is well qualified to fill.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 23, 1899, page 2

    C. W. Wolters is sort o' betwixt and between on a building proposition. He came pretty close this week to getting a notion into his head that he wanted to put up about three brick store buildings on his lots, corner South C and Eighth streets, but he didn't quite get worked up to a positive conclusion. He has since been offered a fairly good figure for the ground, and this he is now considering. He has a good piece of ground, and if two or three good store buildings were to be built thereon there would probably not be any doubt but that they could be rented at a good figure.

"City Happenings," 
Medford Mail, March 16, 1900, page 7

    C. W. Wolters and wife are visiting relatives and friends at Klamath Falls.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 30, 1900, page 2

    It is rumored that C. W. Wolters will engage in the mercantile business at Talent before long.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 30, 1900, page 3

    C. W. Wolters has sold his residence property, corner of South C and Eighth streets, to J. E. Bodge, consideration, $1325. Mr. Wolters will engage in the mercantile business at Talent--will probably buy the Roper store.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, August 3, 1900, page 6

    Chas. W. Wolters, late of Medford, has purchased F. P. Roper's stock of goods at Talent.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 13, 1900, page 3

    C. W. Wolters and family have packed their household effects and are moving to Talent, at which place Mr. Wolters has purchased a stock of general merchandise. These people are Medford pioneers, having lived here for fifteen years, during all of which time Mr. Wolters has been engaged in mercantile business, save during the last year. Charlie has always been a prime favorite in business and has always done his share of the trade. He is public spirited and has always taken a hand in every enterprise that has come up for the town's good. Both himself and his estimable wife have friends innumerable in Medford, who, while regretting their departure, will be glad to hear news of business success in their new home.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 10, 1900, page 7

    Merchant C. W. Wolters, of Talent, was in the city Wednesday upon business. He reports that he is doing a splendid business and that indications point to its continuance.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, September 28, 1900, page 6

"Ham" Wolters Is Dead.
    The following two items are taken from a San Francisco paper:
    "H. H. Wolters, a sand teamster, of 9 Folsom Street, was driving yesterday morning when his team ran away. He was thrown violently to the corner of Webster and Chestnut streets and removed to the Central Emergency Hospital, suffering from a fracture of the left leg and bruises on the head, face and scalp."
    "Died--Wolters--In this city, June 24, Herman H. Wolters, a native of New York City, aged 46 years and 11 months."
    The deceased was formerly a resident of Medford, where he was at one time engaged in business. He was among the very first business men to open shop in the city. He was a brother of merchant C. W. Wolters, of Talent.
Medford Mail, July 25, 1902, page 2

     C. W. Wolters, the good-natured and always happy merchant at Talent, was in Medford a few days since. While still feeling good as of old because of Medford's progress, he is not neglecting to boost for his home town--which he says is taking on all kinds of shape which indicates a good, healthy growth. New buildings are being put up and new businesses established, and there is not only seeming but actual prosperity everywhere.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, June 22, 1906, page 5

    C. W. Wolters, formerly engaged in the mercantile business in Medford, later a merchant and banker in Talent, is ill at a hospital in Ashland. His brother-in-law, M. L. Alford, cashier of the First National Bank in this city, was in Ashland Thursday to visit him. Mr. Wolters, he says, is a very sick man, and the attending physician does not give his friends much encouragement as to his probable recovery.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, May 24, 1912, page 2

Wolters, Pioneer Merchant Here, Dies Suddenly
    C. W. Wolters, a pioneer grocery merchant of Medford and later a banker and merchant in Talent, died at a hospital in Ashland Saturday morning. The remains will be brought to his home in Talent where funeral services will be held, the date of which has not as yet been determined.
    Mr. Wolters had been in poor health for some time and spent the past winter in California. He was taken to the hospital, where an operation was performed for the relief of his trouble, but he did not rally from the effects of the operation.
    More than twenty years ago Mr. Wolters engaged in the mercantile business in Medford, first as a baker and later he put in a stock of groceries, which business he conducted for several years. His place of business was in the Miles Block [the Hamlin Block], where now Mr. Lawrence has a jewelry store. A few years ago Mr. Wolters moved to Talent, where he bought considerable real estate and where he also engaged in the mercantile business. Later he organized the State Bank of Talent and was its first president.
    Mr. Wolters was universally liked because of his jovial demeanor and his strict honesty and integrity.
    He leaves a wife, the daughter of A. Alford of Talent, one son, Chester, and a daughter, Mrs. Eva Pellett. Mrs. Wolters is a sister of M. L. Alford, cashier of the First National Bank of this city.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 25, 1912, page 1

    C. W. Wolters was born in Crescent City, Cal., February 1, 1861, and died last Saturday, May 25th, being 51 years, 3 months and 24 days of age. His parents moved from Crescent City to Jacksonville, Ore., when he was but one year old, at which place he was reared until 18 years of age, then he moved to Ashland, Or., with his parents, where he resided for seven years. He was united in marriage with Miss Olive Alford, the daughter of A. Alford of Talent, Ore. Shortly after his marriage he went into the bakery business in Medford, which business he gradually worked into a grocery store, in which vocation he remained until 1901, when he moved to Talent, where he embarked in the general merchandise business until burned out February 1, 1911, but he at once constructed the large concrete block, corner of Wagner Avenue and Q Street, which bears his name, it being the first practically fireproof building in Talent.
    Everyone that has lived in or visited the community in which Mr. Wolters has lived of late years has met him in either a business or social way, and it mattered not how a person would come in touch with him, the same impression would predominate, that he was a cheerful, obliging, kind, honest and a strictly moral and honorable man, also a Christian man, being a member of the Baptist Church at Talent.
    While of late years Mr. Wolters had not been an active lodge worker, having spent about all his leisure hours at home, however, he has been quite a lodge worker in his younger days, being one of the charter members in the K. of P. at Medford, withdrawing his membership from the lodge at Ashland to help institute said lodge. He belonged to the Blue Lodge of the Masons and the Eastern Star at Medford, the commandery at Jacksonville, and several others of the degrees in Masonry, including Shriners at Ashland, went into the A.O.U.W. (Workmen) at Medford; the I.O.O.F. at Talent when it was instituted, and the Modern Woodmen of America, also at Talent.
    While Mr. Wolters has always been a hard worker, he has also always enjoyed the very best of health until about the last year, in which time he has gradually declined, but to no great degree until taken down with his final sickness of a few weeks ago. He died at the Granite City Hospital at Ashland, April 25, having undergone an operation, after which complications set in, causing his death.
    The funeral services were held at the late residence, Tuesday, May 28, services being conducted by Rev. Shields of Medford, assisted by the I.O.O.F. lodge of Talent, and interment was made by the Masonic order of Medford and Ashland combined, interment being in the I.O.O.F. cemetery at Medford.
    Those of his immediate family left to mourn him are his wife, son, Chester C., and daughter, Eva Pellett, all of Talent.
Ashland Tidings, May 30, 1912, page 8

    Mrs. C. W. Wolters and son Chester, of Talent, have moved to Medford and are living at 435 North Central Avenue. Mrs. Wolters formerly resided in Medford, her husband having been one of the pioneer merchants of the city.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, December 21, 1912, page 2

    Chester O. Wolters of Ashland, who gives his occupation as "waiting till dinner is ready," was in Medford yesterday exchanging extravagant yarns with C. G. Peebler of the Peebler real estate agency. Mr. Wolters owns up to being a native son of Jackson County, having been born here when very young. His father, he says, was the first settler to club a pear out of a tree in Rogue River Valley. And again, the father of Mr. Wolters owned and operated the first grocery store in this city. It was located where the First National Bank now stands. [His store was to the east of the bank site.] The Ashland man admitted that he could tell a lot of other things that people wouldn't believe and which he had difficulty believing himself, hence, he stated, he often says nothing when a few words from him would make the folks pop their eyes out.
"Locals," Medford News, May 20, 1928, page 2

Last revised February 2, 2018