The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Medford Pioneers: Benjamin Franklin Adkins

B. F. Adkins April 30, 1905 Sunday Oregonian
April 30, 1905 Sunday Oregonian

    Another of the old and influential residents of Medford is gone, Dr. Benjamin Franklin Adkins, who died Sunday night. Dr. Adkins came to the Rogue River Valley in [1884]. He settled in Medford when it was but a village. He has been an interested and ardent advocate of the city and labored consistently for its advancement. For some years he was engaged in the hardware business with Benjamin Webb at the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue. He was for over 20 years first vice president of the Jackson County Bank. He has not only seen Medford grow into a city, but he has been a strong factor in its upbuilding.
    Dr. Adkins was a member of the First Baptist Church of Medford from its early beginning. He was active in the securing of subscriptions for the building. He helped in the erection of it, and when it was dedicated helped to provide for the deficit so it could be dedicated free of debt. He was for a number of years the superintendent of the Sunday school and labored for the advancement of the church until infirmity hindered further service. He was deeply religious by nature, having been a member of the church since his boyhood.
    Dr. Adkins was a man of wide experience and broad education. He was born in Greensburg, Indiana, Jan. 10, 1841. He graduated from Franklin College in the class with President Stott of Franklin College and General Morgan. Later he graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Indianapolis, Ind., and also from the Rush Medical College of Chicago.
    He served his country for a time as a soldier in the 1st regiment of Indiana under General Durant. Then he became assistant surgeon at Camp Carrey.
    After some years of successful practice as a physician in New Ross, Indiana, he retired, and later came west, residing in Medford until seven or eight years ago, when he moved to the present home on Riverside, south of the city.
    He died a few minutes after 12 o'clock midnight, May 25th, 1919. It seemed fitting that he should pass on with the going of Memorial Sunday. Dr. Adkins was 78 years, four months and 16 days old. He leaves beside his wife, Mrs. Matilda J. Adkins, with whom he had lived in sweet companionship for over 52 years, a daughter, Mrs. Ora Barnett, and two brothers, Martin Adkins of Indianapolis, Ind., and Dr. John Adkins of Marion, Ind.
    The funeral services will be held at the Baptist Church at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 28th. The I.O.O.F. will have charge of the services at the grave. Dr. Adkins was a charter member of this lodge.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 27, 1919, page 6

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New Ross, Walnut Township, Montgomery County, Indiana:
B. F. Adkins, 29, physician, born in Indiana
Matilda J. Adkins, 19, born in Indiana
U.S. Census, enumerated August 5, 1870

    Dr. Adkins has removed to Indianapolis.
"Personal Paragraphs," Lebanon Patriot, Lebanon, Indiana, May 25, 1876, page 3

    Dr. B. F. Adkins, who moved to your city almost two years ago, has returned to his first love and will practice medicine again.

"New Ross," Indianapolis Journal, August 24, 1878, page 3

New Ross, Walnut Township, Montgomery County, Indiana:
Benjamin F. Adkins, 39, physician, born in Indiana, father born Ky., mother Ind.
Matilda J. Adkins, 29, born in Indiana, father born Tenn., mother Ky.
Ora L. Adkins, 8, born in Indiana
U.S. Census, enumerated June 16, 1880

    T. A. Adkins, merchant. New Ross, was born in Decatur County, Indiana, March 7, 1835. He is the son of Martin and Nancy (Drake) Adkins; the latter born in Kentucky, and the former in Tennessee. Martin Adkins was one of the most successful farmers and stock dealers in Indiana. He owned at his death some 1,200 or 1,400 acres of land and one of the finest farms and mansions between Indianapolis and the Ohio river. He was a prominent Democrat, and was circuit judge of Decatur County for one term. His wife is still living at Colfax, Indiana. T. A. Adkins is a child of his father's second family, his parents having been twice married. He spent his youth on the farm till sixteen years old, when he was sent to school at Wilmington Academy, Dearborn County, Indiana, for two years, then to Archville graded school, and then spent two years in the scientific course at Franklin College. Leaving college, he engaged in the dry goods and grocery business at Eminence, Morgan County, Indiana, where he remained three years. He was then in the livery business one year in Aurora. Since then he has done business at Franklin, Dover, Shannondale, etc., and in March, 1875, came to New Ross, Montgomery County, where he associated himself with his brother, B. F. Adkins, in general merchandising. Their store was built by B. F. Adkins, and is two stories high, 20x80. Here the firm of Adkins & Brother carry a stock of about $6,000, with sales of about $9,000 to $12,000. Their store room is the largest in New Ross. In the Adkins family T. A. is the first Republican, and all the children younger than he follow in his footsteps. He is secretary of the New Ross Union Agricultural Association, and a prominent man. He is a member of the Order of Freemasons and Odd Fellows. Both he and wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church. He was married September 25, 1856. to Mary L. Taylor, daughter of George W. and Nancy J. (Milborn) Taylor, of Aurora, Indiana. She was born in 1831, near Aurora. They have five children: Walker B., Benella R., Harriet L., Pearlie, and Guy.
History of Montgomery County, Hiram Williams Beckwith, et al., 1881, page 401

    Dr. Adkins, lately from the East, recently purchased two acres of land from I. J. Phipps of Medford for the round sum of $800. He will build a residence on it soon.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 6, 1884, page 3

    Dr. Adkins and Webb Bros. are putting up a new store building for business in the hardware and grocery line.
"Medford Items," Ashland Tidings, June 13, 1884, page 3

    Dr. Adkins, of the firm of Adkins & Webb, has let the contract for the erection of a dwelling house for himself, which will be one of the finest residences in the town.
"Medford Notes," Ashland Tidings, September 5, 1884, page 3

    G. W. Howard, Dr. Adkins and W. H. Webb of Medford, accompanied by their families, have gone to view the beautiful scenery afforded along the route to Crater Lake.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 31, 1885, page 3

    Dr. B. F. Adkins, one of our prominent citizens, started for Indiana last week, to visit his aged mother, who is quite ill.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 24, 1886, page 3

    G. W. Howard and B. F. Adkins, who have been paying their old homes in Iowa and Indiana a visit, returned home this week. Welcome!
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 21, 1887, page 2

Medford Public School.
    The following are the names and average standing of the pupils of the Medford Public School, averaging 90 and above in examination for the month of February: Joe Thomas, 90; Lillie Grusch, 90; Mary Baker, 90; Hattie Galloway, 96; Homer Harvey, 94; Cecil Young, 94; Mamie Wilson, 93; Ora Adkins, 93; Milla Riddle, 93; Bert. Brandenburg, 90; Bert. Redden, 95; Minnie Cooper, 95; Clara Mingus; 90; Jessie Worman, 97; Mary Wilson, 90; Ray Young, 90; Mary Isaacs, 94; Meryl Colleen, 96; Helen Holton, 91; Julia Finnerty, 91; Virgie Woodford, 91; May Earhart, 93; Grace Amann, 94; Hattie Landis, 91; Sarah Colleen, 90.
CARRIE BAKER, Principal.
SOPHIE WILSON,         }    Assistants.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 4, 1887, page 3

    Whitman and Adkins received by last freight their improved drill for testing the coal fields east of town.
"Medford Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 19, 1887, page 3

    Manager Koehler has furnished Messrs. Whitman and Adkins a drill with which to test their coal mines east of this place.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 1, 1887, page 2

    Messrs. Whitman, Bell and Adkins are continuing to prospect their coal mine a short distance from here, and the outlook is flattering. We hope to see the energy and enterprise of these gentlemen amply rewarded.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 27, 1887, page 3

    Adkins & Webb have let the contract for erecting a two-story brick building to S. Childers on the site of their present business place.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 23, 1887, page 3

    Work has been commenced on Adkins & Webb's new brick building.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 21, 1887, page 2

    An attempt will be made to induce someone to establish a flouring mill at this place. Dr. Adkins, D. H. Miller and B. W. Powell have been appointed as a committee by the board of trade to solicit contributions toward a fund which will be offered as a bonus to someone who will establish that enterprise.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 25, 1887, page 3

    Adkins & Webb, of Medford, shipped a carload of hogs to Portland last week.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, December 2, 1887, page 3

    Work on Adkins & Webb's big brick building will soon be commenced.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 17, 1888, page 2

    G. W. Howard and B. F. Adkins, with their families, have gone to Crescent City on a pleasure trip. They will be gone about a month.
"Medford Items," Ashland Tidings, July 27, 1888, page 3

    The stone foundation for Adkins & Webb's new brick building is now being cut.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 9, 1888, page 3

    Adkins & Webb have moved their stock of hardware into Childers' new brick building, and the carpenters are already at work moving the old building out of the way preparatory to the erection of their new three-story brick store.
"Medford Items," Ashland Tidings, August 10, 1888, page 3

    The old building formerly used by Adkins & Webb has been moved away, and the excavation already commenced for the walls of the new three-story brick.
"Medford Items," Ashland Tidings, August 17, 1888, page 3

    Work on Adkins & Webb's new three-story building will soon be commenced. It will be one of the best in the county.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 23, 1888, page 3

    The foundation for Adkins & Webb's new three-story brick is completed, and the brick masons are at work. It will be a handsome structure and a credit to Medford--the first three-story business house in the city.
    Adkins & Webb have moved into the lower story of the Childers brick, the upper story of which will be fitted up for offices.
"Medford Items," Ashland Tidings, September 14, 1888, page 3

    Adkins & Webb will no longer sell groceries.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 11, 1888, page 3

    The finishing touches are this week being put upon the second story of the Adkins & Webb building.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 25, 1888, page 3

    Mrs. Dr. B. F. Adkins is spending the winter in Grant County, visiting her sister. She will return in the spring.
"Medford Items," Ashland Tidings, December 7, 1888, page 3

    Adkins & Webb's fine three-story brick building is nearing completion.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 10, 1889, page 3

    The plastering of Adkins & Webb's three-story brick is under way.
"Medford Items," Ashland Tidings, March 1, 1889, page 3

    Hon. Henry Klippel of Jacksonville has rented a room in Adkins & Webb's new building and will move his office here in the near future.
    Adkins & Webb are now busy moving into their fine new building. It is one of the finest buildings in the county, and the proprietors are to be complimented on this improvement to the town.
"Medford Items," Ashland Tidings, March 15, 1889, page 3

    S. S. Pentz' law office is now located in Dr. Adkins' big brick building.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 25, 1889, page 2

    Medford boasts the only full three-story brick business block in the county--that of Adkins & Webb. Angle & Plymale's building adjacent to it will be of the same height.
"Medford Items," Ashland Tidings, May 24, 1889, page 2

    Misses Ora Adkins, Jessie Worman and Mamie Jacobs intend going to Eugene this fall to attend the state university.

    Dr. Adkins and Mr. I. A. Webb will erect a two-story brick building, the excavation for which has already begun, 50x75 feet., on their lot on 7th Street. This will be another ornament to the place, as it will be well built and nicely furnished.

"Medford Items," Ashland Tidings, June 21, 1889, page 2

    A brother of Dr. Adkins arrived from Indiana last week, accompanied by his family.
    Messrs. Adkins and Webb are pushing things on their new two-story brick building on 7th Street, which will be 50x75 feet in size.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 27, 1889, page 3

    The town board last Monday let the contract for constructing the new system of waterworks for Medford by Messrs. Adkins & Webb, whose bid of $6,647.50 was nearly $1200 lower than the competing Portland firm. The contract calls for a six-inch water main with connecting hydrants on the main streets. Power will be furnished by a 35-horsepower engine stationed near the center of town, and pressure will be afforded by a 50-foot tower, to be located in or near the city park, the contract for building which was let separate to Wood, Whiteside & Co., for $3500. To meet the emergency of a sudden conflagration, arrangements will be made for attaching hose to the engine direct, although the pressure afforded by the tower in its proposed location will throw water from the hydrants over most houses in town. The board acted wisely in letting the contracts to local firms.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 5, 1889, page 2

    The brick work on Adkins & Webb's building is progressing rapidly and will soon be completed.

"Medford Items," Ashland Tidings, October 4, 1889, page 3

    Rev. W. B. Adkins, who has been visiting his uncle, Dr. B. F. Adkins, of this place, will leave the coming week for his home in Ft. Wayne, Ind. He has made many friends here who are sorry to see him leave.

"Medford Items," Ashland Tidings, October 25, 1889, page 2

    Misses Jessie Worman and Ora Adkins, who are attending the University of Oregon at Eugene, came home for the holidays.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 2, 1890, page 3

    Dr. Adkins will put up a brick building on his lot east of Webb's furniture store.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 30, 1890, page 3

    Adkins & Webb completed the Medford waterworks this week, and have executed their contract in a satisfactory manner. There is a pressure of over 200 feet, which is sufficient to throw the water a considerable distance over the highest house in town. We may well be proud of this system, as it affords much protection against fire.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 16, 1890, page 2

    Miss Ora Adkins has returned to the Willamette University for the coming term.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 26, 1890, page 3

    Miss Ora Adkins was brought home from the state university by her father last week, the young lady having just passed through a severe attack of pneumonia. She is convalescing now.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 3, 1891, page 2

Officers Installed, I.O.O.F.
    The following officers of Medford lodge I.O.O.F. were installed last week by D.D.G.M. Morris: T. W. Johnson, N.G.; Chas. Strang, V.G.; D. S. Youngs, Sec.; I. A. Webb, P.S.; H. G. Nicholson, Treas.; A. C. Nicholson, W.; E. B. Pickel, C.; B. F. Adkins, R.S. to N.G.; S. B. McGee, L.S. to N.G.; R. T. Young, R.S.S.; I. A. Merriman, L.S.S.; S. Rosenthal, R.S. to V.G.; W. P. H. Legate, L.S. to V.G.; I. Woolf, I.G.: L. M. Lyon, O.G.
Ashland Tidings, July 17, 1891, page 2

    A number of Medford people are camped at the McAllister Soda Springs on Butte Creek, among them being Messrs. G. W. Howard, B. F. Adkins, C. I. Hutchison, Dr. Pickel, Mr. Enyart and families, Roberts & O'Neil, Ed. Phipps, Bert Brandenburg, U. S. Damon, Frank McBride.
"Personal," Ashland Tidings, July 31, 1891, page 3

    Medford boasts of a lawn tennis club and croquet club, and the members thereof can of evenings be seen at the ground on the Adkins premises swinging the racquet and handling the mallet.

"Local and General," Southern Oregon Mail, July 8, 1892, page 3

    Miss Ora Adkins is at home again, after her visit at Olympia, Wash.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 15, 1892, page 2

    Dr. B. F. Adkins and family, Dr. E. B. Pickel and wife, Mrs. J. E. Enyart and Mrs. George Davis left for Dead Indian Springs Tuesday to be gone several weeks.
"Local and General," Southern Oregon Mail, July 22, 1892, page 3

Business Change.
    The old and reliable firm of Adkins & Webb, who started into the hardware business about the time Medford was founded, sold out their big stock of goods to W. H. Simmons and F. B. Cathcart, of Sacramento. The new firm expect to take charge about the first of next month, and are bound to do well as the house enjoys a big trade.
Southern Oregon Mail, August 12, 1892, page 2

    The Medford Business College has been incorporated, and it is the intention of the incorporators, W. I. Vawter, M. E. Rigby and Dr. B. F. Adkins, to construct a $5000 building in the near future. Success to the enterprise.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 23, 1892, page 2

    Miss Ora Adkins is visiting relatives at Halsey, Linn County.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 31, 1893, page 2

    Dr. B. F. Adkins and family expected to leave Wednesday morning for Chicago, but owing to the illness of their daughter, Miss Ada, the trip has been postponed indefinitely.
"City Local Whirl," Medford Mail, May 5, 1893, page 3

    Died--In Medford, May 10th, Ada, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Adkins, aged twelve years and one month. Funeral at Baptist Church Thursday. A more extended notice will appear next week.

"City Local Whirl," Medford Mail, May 12, 1893, page 3

Funeral of Ada Adkins.
    Last Thursday the funeral of little Ada Adkins took place from the Baptist Church in Medford t. The crowd of people who upon this occasion gathered to pay the last sad tribute of love and esteem was probably as large a one as ever congregated in our city upon a similar occasion. Every inch of seating capacity in the church was occupied, and many were compelled to stand--and none were there through motives of curiosity, but all to express their sympathy for the relatives and their great regard for the departed one. Following are the remarks of Rev. T. H. Stephens at the funeral:
    Ada Adkins was born in the state of Indiana, April 10, 1881, and departed this life at Medford, May 10, 1893, aged twelve years and one month.
    Just a few days ago we were called upon to give up our dear sister Waldron, the oldest member of this church, and today we are here to pay the last tribute of respect to the remains of our little sister, Ada Adkins, the youngest member of our church.
*    *    *
    A gentleman said to me yesterday: "No one in town had more friends than Ada Adkins." Her last illness was severe, though of short duration. In the midst of it she possessed great patience and resignation. She was prepared to go.
*    *    *
    Nine years ago the ravages of scarlet fever attacked her, and her death was but the culmination of that dreaded disease. . . .
Medford Mail, May 19, 1893, page 1

    Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Adkins desire us to express to the people of this community, who were so kind and sympathizing during the illness and at the time of demise of their daughter, the most heartfelt gratitude which it is possible to convey. At times of illness and death many of us have found it impossible to frame in language the gratitude which the heart feels, and it is so with the doctor and his family.

"City Local Whirl," Medford Mail, May 19, 1893, page 3

    The lawn tennis club of this city has reorganized, and having had the grounds at Dr. B. F. Adkins' beautiful residence placed in order, are now ready for business.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, June 9, 1893, page 3

    Dr. B. F. Adkins, wife and daughter Ora left Medford Tuesday evening for an extended visit with relatives in Indiana. They will also spend several days at the World's Fair and will be absent from Medford from three to six months.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 21, 1893, page 3

    Dr. B. F. Adkins and family returned from their extended visit in the East last night. Medford isn't hardly itself without the doctor--and all are glad he is with us again.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, December 1, 1893, page 5

    There has been another divorce granted in business circles this week. B. F. Adkins and B. S. Webb, who have been doing team work together for the past ten years, have severed the chain that bound and will drive in single harness hereafter. Their prosperity dates from their first advent in Medford and they are both possessed of many of the chattels and acres of fertile soil which help to make life worth staying here. No person has aught to say of them but they are square, honorable men and have always been such in their business transactions. The large brick block, corner C and Seventh streets, is now owned by Mr. Adkins.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, February 9, 1894, page 3

    B. S. Webb to B. F. Adkins, ½ of lt 9, blk 13, Medford . . . 3000
"Real Estate Transfers," Medford Mail, February 23, 1894, page 2

Will Talk with Jacksonville.
    The Medford-Jacksonville telephone line is settled so far as construction and operation is concerned--its continuance to other points will depend upon the patronage this much of the proposed line receives. Mr. Kerr, the gentleman who has recently put up a couple of private telephone lines in Medford, has arranged with a company composed of Mayor G. H. Haskins, Dr. B. F. Adkins, and City Recorder B. S. Webb of Medford, and John White, of the firm of Reames, White & Co., of Jacksonville, whereby he sells to them a telephone line running between the two points and three instruments in good working order for a consideration, the amount of which we are not at liberty to state. Work on the proposed line has already been commenced, and Mr. Kerr promises to have it in operation inside of three weeks. There will be three instruments placed in immediate use. One of these will be in the drug store of G. H. Haskins, Medford, and two in Jacksonville--one in the county clerk's office at the courthouse and one in the store of Reames, White & Co., the Medford 'phone to connect with both of these. Twenty-five cents will be charged for a five minutes' talk. Tickets have already been sold to the amount of $75 in Medford, which fact points to the success which we may reasonably expect it will reach. Should it prove a paying investment the line will, in all probability, be extended to Ashland and afterwards to Eagle Point and Central Point. The gentlemen who will be owners of the line are among our best and most reliable business men, which is in itself a guarantee of a square deal to the patrons. The failure of the line put up a few years ago was the required payment of a $72 royalty on the instruments and fifteen percent of all money earned--it's different now, no royalty, no percent. May success crown the Medford-Jacksonville telephone line.
Medford Mail, June 29, 1894, page 3

"Sensation" at Glenwood.
    A good deal of excitement has prevailed at the county seat the past few days over what appears to be an elopement affair, in which a prominent married man of the town figures as one of the chief actors. His initials are Austin Barnett, his business real estate, and he is a man who until quite recently bore an excellent reputation as a citizen, husband and father. He is a comparatively young man, has lived in this county most of his life, and was a few years ago made the candidate of his party for county recorder. The woman in the case is Mrs. Beulah Welch, who only last week secured a divorce from her husband. O. D. Welch. For several months past this woman has borne an unsavory reputation and when some of Barnett's friends discovered his infatuation with her they begged him, for the sake of his wife and children and his business interests, to cut loose from her. He tried to laugh the matter off and make light of the anxiety of his friends in his behalf, but finally told them the woman would leave town as soon as she procured her divorce. In the meantime ugly rumors of his actions toward the woman reached his wife and she remonstrated with him, but he denied that there was anything wrong and charged her with being foolishly jealous and uncharitable. To prove that she was not jealous, but still had faith in her husband, Mrs. Barnett last week permitted the woman to come to her home and lodge several nights, because she (Mrs. Welch) was so "lonesome" all alone. On Friday after Mrs. Welch had left the house, a memoranda book was found where she had dropped it upon the floor of her room, which the distressed wife eagerly scanned. The contents of this little book confirmed the wife's worst fears. It contained dates and places of various meetings with Barnett and an itemized account of money paid to her by him at different times, the total footing up to about $240. Mrs. Barnett sent for her husband at once and when he came she confronted him with the indisputable evidence of his guilt and compelled him to admit his faithlessness and treachery. She told him to leave her at once and forever as she would never live with him another day, and taking her at her word the contemptible wretch went downtown and hunted up his paramour and the guilty couple left town together on No. 3 and have not since been heard from. Mrs. Barnett refuses to commence legal proceedings against her recreant husband on account of her children, saying that that she does not want them disgraced by having their father in the penitentiary. She was left without a cent of money to provide for herself and four children, the youngest of which was born but a few weeks ago.
    The feeling against Barnett among the Glenwood people is very bitter.

Malvern Leader, Malvern, Iowa, February 17, 1898, page 3

    Dr. B. F. Adkins, wife and daughter, and D. S. Youngs and wife, who have been spending the winter in southern California, returned home last week.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 24, 1898, page 3

    Dr. and Mrs. B. F. Adkins returned from southern California last week. Their daughter, Miss Ora, did not accompany them, but will come later on.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 28, 1898, page 3

    Dr. B. F. Adkins is being visited by his nephew, Guy Adkins, a prominent merchant of Crawfordsville, Inc.

"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 3, 1899, page 3

    Dr. B. F. Adkins and family returned this week from a six weeks' outing on Little Butte Creek. The doctor reports Miss Ora's health better right now than it has been for several years--which good news all her friends will be pleased to learn.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, August 25, 1899, page 6

    Miss Ora Adkins has gone to southern California to spend the winter for the benefit of her health.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 6, 1899, page 3

    The class of 1861 [of Franklin College] numbered six, and the members are all yet living. They are Gen. T. J. Morgan, of New York; Major G. W. Grubbs, of Martinville; Rev. J. W. Potter, of Greensburg; W. H. McCoy, of Franklin; surgeon B. F. Adkins, of Medford, Oregon, and President W. T. Stott, of Franklin.
"Educational, Literary and Personal Items," The Educator-Journal, September 1900, page 91

    Dr. Adkins:--"Too busy to say a word, but say, hold on, I'll be saving time I guess if I tell you I am building a new dwelling house on my farm, south of Medford. For the last couple of weeks I've been going out to the farm rather early and every man and child I met on the streets has marveled at my early perambulations and I had to stop and tell 'em the whole story."

"Echoes from the Street,"
Medford Mail, March 8, 1901, page 6

    Dr. B. F. Adkins left Monday for a several months' visit in eastern states. He will go first to Indianapolis, Indiana, at which place he has three brothers living, one of whom is now in very poor health. While east the doctor will attend an anniversary meeting of his graduating class. The class consisted of six members and was graduated from Franklin College in 1861. Every member of the class is still living, and all will be in attendance at the celebration. On the day of the graduation Dr. Adkins enlisted in the army, having gone directly from the college to the recruiting office. This was at the time the first call for 75,000 volunteers was made by the government. One of the doctor's classmates is now president of the college from which the class was graduated. After having a good time with his classmates and relatives the doctor expects to attend the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, N.Y.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, April 19, 1901, page 6

    Dr. B. F. Adkins left this week for a visit to his old home in the states east of the Rockies.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 25, 1901, page 3

    Dr. Adkins of Oregon is visiting his brother, T. A. Adkins, and family this week.
"New Ross," Jamestown Press, Jamestown, Indiana, April 26, 1901, page 4

    Dr. B. F. Adkins, who has been visiting his old stamping grounds in Indiana for the last three months, returned home Saturday evening, after a very pleasant vacation. The doctor attended a reunion of the medical class of six who graduated with him at Indianapolis in 1861, just before the war broke out, and which proved to be a very agreeable affair, as one may well suppose. He did not visit the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, as he expected. He says that the exposition thus far has been a failure, and that the attendance is very small, owing to the railroads refusing to give better rates. In the East, the doctor says one scarcely ever hears the fair mentioned, and says he has heard more said about it since he arrived home than he heard during his three months' stay in the East. In coming home, through the South, he experienced some of the hottest, most humid weather in all his experience.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 5, 1901, page 6

    President W. T. Stott, of the Franklin, Indiana, college, was in Medford a couple of days this week upon a visit to Dr. B. F. Adkins. They were classmates forty years ago, both having graduated at the same time from the same college, of which Prof. Stott is now the head.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 12, 1901, page 6

    Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Allen, of Grants Pass, are in Medford upon a visit to Dr. and Mrs. B. F. Adkins. Mrs. Allen is a niece of Mrs. Adkins. They are here looking over the town with a possible view to locating.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, September 6, 1901, page 6

    Mrs. B. F. Adkins left Tuesday for San Francisco, where she will visit her daughter, Miss Ora, and acquaintances for a couple or three weeks.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, November 22, 1901, page 6

    Dr. B. F. Adkins:--"I had a letter from my brother-in-law, J. W. Howard, last week. He is over in Klamath County where he has had 600 head of cattle fattening on the succulent range grass of that county and which he has recently sold to California buyers at a good figure. He is one of the most extensive stock raisers of Eastern Oregon. Himself and family will visit us in Medford holiday week. Yes, I've been away. Went over in the Williams Creek country for a week. Mrs. Adkins and Ora returned to Medford from California on Thanksgiving day."

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 13, 1901, page 7

    J. W. Howard and family arrived in Medford this week and will visit with Dr. B. F. Adkins and family. Mr. Howard is a brother of Mrs. Adkins. Their home is temporarily at Corvallis, Oregon, where their children are attending school. Mr. Howard has been in Klamath and Lake counties during the past summer, where he has had a large band of cattle on the range. These people were accompanied here by Mr. Seaton, father of Mrs. Howard. Some few seeks ago Mrs. Seaton met with an accident up in the Willamette Valley, the same being the overturning of a hack by which she sustained injuries from the effects of which she died a short time thereafter.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, December 27, 1901, page 4

    Dr. Adkins, of Oregon, arrived here Monday and will visit relatives and friends for some time.
"New Ross," Jamestown Press, Jamestown, Indiana, March 14, 1902, page 2

    Dr. John Adkins, of Marion, was at the bedside of his brother, T. A. Adkins, during the last hours of his illness and attended the funeral Sunday.
"New Ross," Jamestown Press, Jamestown, Indiana, March 21, 1902, page 6

    Miss Ora Adkins arrived home yesterday from San Francisco, where she has been for the past three weeks visiting friends and attending the commencement exercises at Mills College, of which she is a graduate. Mrs. Mills, of the college faculty, accompanied Miss Adkins to Medford, while on her way to Portland for her vacation. [Ora was not a graduate of Mills College; see correction below.]

Medford Mail, July 4, 1902, page 3

    A couple of weeks ago these columns in mentioning the return of Miss Ora Adkins to this city, from Mills College, said that she was a graduate of that institution. We were in error in stating that she was a graduate. We should have said a student, she not having had time as yet to complete her course. Newspaper men go wrong in their type expressions sometimes--and this was one of those sometimes.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 18, 1902, page 7

    Miss Ora Adkins left Saturday for a few days' visit with friends in Northern California.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, August 29, 1902, page 6

    Mrs. Chas. La Follette and two sons, of Highland, Calif., were in Medford this week upon a visit to Dr. B. F. Adkins and family. They also visited W. K. Price, of Tolo.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, September 19, 1902, page 6

    Miss Ora Adkins left Medford Monday for Palo Alto and San Francisco, Calif., where she goes for a visit with friends and for the benefit of her health.

"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, October 3, 1902, page 6

    Miss Ora Adkins, who left Medford a few weeks ago for San Francisco, has accepted a business position in that city and will remain there for several months.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, October 24, 1902, page 6

    Miss Ora Adkins is now located in San Francisco, where she has accepted a lucrative position.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 30, 1902, page 3

    Dr. B. F. Adkins has contracted to have a cement walk put down along the side of his brick block on South C Street.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 31, 1902, page 7

    That's a cracking good cement sidewalk which George Priddy is putting down for Dr. Adkins, alongside of the Adkins block--and Dr. Adkins is entitled to a good chunk of credit for the enterprise displayed in putting down such a solid and substantial walk. There is no city ordinance compelling cement walks on this street, but the doctor realizes the necessity of such walks everywhere, and he has thus set the pace for other property owners on side streets. There are 1120 square feet of walk in this chunk--and the cost will be $225, or more.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 7, 1902, page 7

    Dr. B. F. Adkins, of Medford, Oregon, is visiting here.
"New Ross," The Lebanon Patriot, Lebanon, Indiana, July 26, 1906, page 5

    Increasing business has caused the Jackson County Bank of Medford, Ore., to provide a new building, located on a principal business corner. The part of the new building not occupied by the bank will be leased for office purposes. Equipment in keeping with the new building will be installed. This bank has $50,000 capital, $50,000 surplus, and over $500,000 deposits. Its officers are: President, W. I. Vawter; vice-president, B. F. Adkins; cashier, G. R. Lindley.
"Banking and Financial Notes: Pacific Slope," Bankers' Magazine, February 1907, page 301

    The Jackson County Bank, the pioneer banking institution, was founded by W. I. Vawter in 1888, and during the history has been under his management. It was incorporated under the state law in 1893 with a paid-in capital of $25,000. The capital has since been increased to $50,000 and has an earned surplus of $50,000, its capital and surplus of $100,000 giving it the largest working capital of any bank in the city. It has the largest deposit account of any bank in Southern Oregon, and total resources of seven hundred thousand. Its officers and directors are: W. I. Vawter, President; B. F. Adkins, Vice-president; G. R. Lindley, cashier; L. L. Jacobs, assistant cashier; A. A. Davis, R. H. Whitehead; and F. W. Hutchison. Among people who know the officers of the Jackson County Bank, that institution needs no other guarantee. The new bank building, recently completed, is among the best in Oregon and a structure of which not only the officers of the bank but all citizens of Medford are proud.
Medford Mail, April 26, 1907, page 3

    Dr. B. F. Adkins, capitalist and banker, of Medford, Or., has been visiting with his daughter, Miss Ora Adkins.
"Society," Oregonian, Portland, February 28, 1909, page 27

    The graduating class of Franklin College of fifty years ago (1861) will celebrate its semi-centennial during the commencement week of the college. There were six in the class, which comprised Rev. W. T. Stott, of Franklin; Judge G. W. Grubbs, of Martinsville; Gen. T. J. Morgan, dead; Wm. H. McCoy, of Franklin; Dr. B. F. Adkins of Oregon, and Rev. J. W. Potter, dead. Pictures of these gentlemen appear in the Baptist Observer, of Seymour, of June 1, inst., with brief sketches.
Martinsville Democrat, Martinsville, Indiana, June 9, 1911, page 6

    The New Ross Odd Fellows lodge was organized May 1872. It now has a membership of 150. So far as known, John Brent of Eugene, Oregon and B. F. Adkins of Medford, Oregon are the only charter members living.
The Advance Hustler, Advance, Indiana, April 29, 1915, page 1

Old Bible Gives Records of Early-Day Families
in Southern Oregon Section

    An old family Bible, which once apparently belonged to the Benjamin F. Adkins family in the Rogue Valley, several years ago came into the possession of James K. Lathrop, now of 1483 Ridgeway Drive, Medford.
    The Bible, the publication date of which is not given on the flyleaf, but which must have been printed early during the last century, has the usual pages between the Old and New Testaments for marriages, births and deaths. Folded in between pages of the old book Lathrop found several death notices, bordered in black, in the custom of the late 19th century and early 20th.
Marriage Recorded
    The first record entered in the Bible was the marriage of Benjamin F. Adkins (born Jan. 10, 1847) and Matilda J. Howard (born Feb. 11, 1851) on Dec. 9, 1866, when she was less than 16 years of age.
    The Bible records that the couple had three children, H. Otto, Ora L. and Ada N. The deaths of two of the children were also recorded in the Bible, Otto's in 1870 at the age of one year and one day; Ada's in 1893, at the age of 12 years 1 month. Benjamin died in 1919, the Bible records, at the age of 78.
    The death notices folded in the Bible were for John Bell (died March 22, 1889, age 56 years); Ada Adkins; Mrs. Agnes Phipps (died at Paisley, 1894, funeral from the residence of Mr. Arnold Childers near Medford); George S. Walton, 1895, and his wife Samantha, the day following; Jerome F. Fitzgerald (son of W. S. and Mary C. Fitzgerald, in 1879); Carrie L. Lumsden (29 years of age, funeral at residence of deceased's mother, Mrs. E. M. Lumsden, 1897); C. H. Barkdull (age 79, in 1900); Miss Ada Pearl Beckett (age 17, in 1902, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W. Beckett); and Norah Johnson (age 23, year not given, wife of E. S. Johnson and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Plymale).
    Lathrop acquired the Bible 18 years ago in the Midwest. It was given to him, he said, by an old gentleman he knew as "Uncle Amer" Brown, who lived in a rooming house at 22nd and Wabash streets, in Kansas City, Mo. He believes Brown, who only had one arm, used to live in the Rogue Valley. Lathrop has lived here about eight years, moving here from Los Angeles.
    Lathrop said that if any surviving relatives of the persons mentioned in the death notices wish to have them, they are welcome to them by making a request to him. The Bible, however, a gift to him, he plans to keep.
    The book itself is in fairly good condition, and contains the famous old Dore etchings illustrating many of the chapters. An American reprint of the King James version of the Bible, it also includes the Apocrypha, seldom seen in Bibles of more recent publication.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 6, 1950, page B1

Ora Adkins Barnett, 1921
Ora Adkins Barnett, from her 1921 passport

    Barnett Road was named after Ora La Follette Adkins Barnett.
    Ora was born November 22, 1871, in Doth, Indiana, the daughter of Dr. Benjamin Franklin Adkins and the former Matilda J. La Follette, and moved with her parents when she was thirteen to the infant town of Medford. Two older brothers apparently remained in Indiana; three-year-old Ada also made the move.
    Dr. Adkins had retired from medicine by the time of his arrival in Medford and here became what was then referred to as a “capitalist.” Today we'd call him an investor. Once here he wasted no time, within months building a house on North Central (on the current site of the Red Lion) and partnering with B. S. Webb to start a hardware business at the corner of Main and Central. Four years later, in 1888, the partners built Medford's first three-story building on the site; the building's upper floors were devoted to professional offices and Medford's first opera house.
    Dr. Adkins was for over 20 years first vice president of Jackson County Bank, located across the street from his store. He also dabbled in contracting, forming a partnership that built Medford's first waterworks. In 1892 he was an incorporator of the Medford Business College. Dr. Adkins died in 1919 and was buried in Medford's Eastwood Cemetery under the auspices of the Medford chapter of the I.O.O.F., of which he was a charter member.
    The Adkins family was apparently well connected; when Ora applied for a passport in 1911 a note was scrawled over the “Identification” section of the form reading “Reference to Mr. Jesse Adkins, Dept. of Justice, and Sen. [Robert M. 'Fighting Bob'] La Follette”--in lieu of an affidavit of identity. It seems the senator was a close relative of Ora's mother.
    Ora attended Medford public schools and consistently performed near the head of her class. After leaving school she taught for a while, but seems to have spent the majority of her time managing her own and her parents' real estate investments. Ora was plagued with poor health, possibly tuberculosis. Her attendance at the University of Oregon ended in 1891 when she was brought home to convalesce from a life-threatening bout with pneumonia. She spent the winters of 1898 and 1899 in southern California “for the benefit of her health.” In her mid-twenties she attended Stanford University for a term.
    It isn't known how Ora met her future husband, Austin Furney Barnett, one of the many salesmen attracted by the Rogue Valley's Orchard Boom. He was listed as a travel agent in the 1898 Portland directory, and as a real estate salesman in San Francisco in 1904 and 1905. He arrived in Medford in 1910, at the height of the boom, set up business and was prominent in the real estate trade--and left just the boom went bust, in the spring of 1912.
    Ora was Austin Barnett's fourth wife, though she was probably unaware of that fact—on at least one document Austin claimed Ora was his first. Barnett was born March 12, 1868 in Indiana, marrying Elmira “Myra” Gilpin in 1888 in Glenwood, Iowa, where they had six children. He abandoned his Iowa family in 1898, running away with a Mrs. Beulah Welch. Three years later, 
on October 31, 1901, he married cafe singer Alfreda Jamrasch in San Jose, California. Alfreda was granted a divorce on May 31, 1904 on the ground of “failure to provide.” On July 26, 1905 Austin married Martha J. Parsons; she filed for divorce in 1907, accusing him of “cruelly battering her in San Francisco two months after their marriage . . . , of punching her with his fists in Oakland in March, 1906, and of mauling her into insensibility on February 2 in Pacific Junction, Iowa.” At the time the couple had a 10-month-old daughter. The divorce suit seems to have been withdrawn; Martha again sued for divorce the next year on the ground of “habitual intemperance.” She reported that Austin “was once a highly paid circus manager and afterwards canvassed for advertisements, but strong drink ruined him.”
    Barnett's marriage with Ora seems to have been equally rocky. Though they married on December 24, 1914 in Tacoma, the couple don't appear in city directories under the same roof in 1915. Moreover, the 1915 Portland directory lists her as “Mrs. Ora L. Adkins”--instead of Mrs. Barnett. Though I've been unable to find any reference to a divorce, Ora married Austin again two years later in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, on August 31, 1916, and used the Barnett surname for the rest of her life. The 1916 remarriage certificate reflects some ambivalence on Ora's part; she listed her father's first name as “John” and her mother's as “Jane.”
    The second ceremony seems not to have helped; the Barnetts only appear together in the historical record only once, in the 1916 Portland city directory, living in her house at 1600 Division Street.
    The reconciliation of Ora and Austin Barnett lasted less than two years. In 1918 he was living with a Clara Grassen (nearly thirty years his junior) and their new daughter Virginia. Finally, in December of 1919 he signed over to Ora his power of attorney in dealing with the Oregon real estate they held jointly. Austin and Clara were married in Ohio six years later, on December 18, 1924, but Ora may never have known about the wedding. When she deeded the property for the construction of Barnett Road to Jackson County in 1928 she referred to Austin as her “husband.”
    Ora L. Barnett signed that deed, signing Austin's name as well with her power of attorney, on April 5, 1928. She gave the right-of-way for Barnett Road to the county for ten dollars. The other landowner, future disgraced Jackson County Sheriff Gordon L. Schermerhorn, charged the county $450 for an equal amount of property.
    Ora moved in the late 1930s from Medford to Los Angeles, where she died December 22, 1953. Her death passed unnoticed in Rogue Valley newspapers.

Last revised May 30, 2017