[The Walter L. Main Circus parade] was a fine presentation of many things beautiful. There were four bands and a calliope. The Vermont farmer driving his trained pigs and he riding in the little cart was one of the funny features of the parade, while the automobile, or horseless carriage, was one of the most interesting.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 15, 1899, page 7 This was apparently the first automobile to visit the Rogue Valley. It escaped the notice of the other valley newspapers.
The parade contained several features of special interest. Among these may be mentioned the automobile, which brought up the rear of the procession. This is the first horseless carriage that has made its appearance on the streets of Salem and attracted a great deal of attention. Walter L. Main, proprietor of the circus, and several members of his family were the occupants.
"W. L. Main's Circus," The Daily Journal, Salem, September 5, 1899, page 4
Probably the first automobile seen in Southern Oregon passed through the valley one day last week. In it were Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Carmack of Seattle, who are making the trip to San Francisco. They attracted much attention.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 25, 1902, page 1
Jeweler E. D. Elwood received his long-expected automobile Thursday morning, and he is now employed in hitching the machine up and working it into harness.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, May 1, 1903, page 6 This was Medford's first automobile.
The inscription on this early snapshot identifies it as "E. D. Elwood's Baldner Car year 1903
first car in Medford." Photo courtesy Ken Kantor collection.
Hon. J. H. Stewart during the past week received a fine automobile, and with E. D. Elwood enjoys the honor of being the Southern Oregon pioneer in that line.
"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 13, 1903, page 2
A. C. Allen has purchased an Oldsmobile. This gives him and his household two 'mobiles, which fact will enable them to get all needful enjoyment out of Jackson County's thoroughfares.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 12, 1905, page 5
1906 Reo touring car ad
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 23, 1906, page 5
The Mail would caution the scorchers who run their motors after night against the fool, high-speed rate with which they tear through the scenery. Recently Fred Barneburg and D. H. Miller had a narrow escape from being killed in a runaway by two motor cars whizzing by their rig with loud honkings and lights blazing, the car appearing as a demon of destruction to the horse unused to latter-day marvels.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 3, 1906, page 5
W. M. Hodson & Co., of Roseburg, have decided to locate and establish a garage shop in Medford for the accommodation and convenience of the several automobiles in and near Medford. There are, at the present time, twelve of these machines in and about Medford, and as there are not nearly so many as that in Roseburg they decided to shift.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 31, 1906, page 5
The Ashland Tidings, in its Monday's issue, told of a horse driven by two ladies becoming frightened and running away, and that the ladies narrowly escaped serious injury. The above, while in part is true and is lamented by all interested or in any way responsible, still the Tidings goes too far when it says it was caused by carelessness of the motor car driver. The driver of that car was Clarence Hutchison, of Medford, and no person has ever before accused him of driving carelessly. As a matter of fact, he is one of the most careful motor car owners in this section, and upon this occasion he had run his car as far to one side of the road as was possible, had stopped both the car and engine. This was done to insure safety to two teams he was meeting, but the horse which became frightened drove up from behind and attempted to pass when he was starting his engine. He saw the ladies coming at a distance, but supposed, of course, they would wait behind until he was out of the way with his car. This they did not do. There may be careless car drivers in Medford, but Clarence is surely not one of them.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 31, 1906, page 5
A. C. Allen boasts a handsome new Thomas Forty automobile. The big touring car attracts much attention as it speeds through the streets of our city. It was purchased through the local firm of Wm. M. Hodson & Co., who also report the sale of a fine Buick $1550 touring car to Geo. F. King and another car of the same make and price to Hon. W. I. Vawter. This brings the total number of automobiles now in use in this city to nineteen, and there are eight more ordered and sold to parties in this vicinity, as soon as the next carload arrives from the factory.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 19, 1907, page 5
1907 Thomas 40 ad
An All Right Good Car.
A. C. Allen, the orchardist, favored some of his friends with a test trip on his handsome new Thomas Forty automobile touring car a few days since. The party, in addition to Mrs. Allen and baby and little daughter Mary, consisted of Mr. D. H. Miller and Messrs. A. S. Bliton and W. E. Willis of the Mail.LATEST AUTO SONG.
The spin was made out on the country road, to the south, where the thoroughfare was found to be in most excellent condition. With apparently no effort the big car glided along at the rate of fifteen miles an hour, with little power on. Later on Mr. Allen turned on the power, and 24 miles per hour was quickly reached, as was indicated by the novel device known as the autometer, which registers not only the speed at which the car is moving, but likewise tells how many miles have been covered during the trip, as well as keeping a complete record of all the miles traversed during the entire season.
The beautiful big touring car glided gracefully along, and its occupants could hardly believe that they were being whirled through space at a rapid rate, for it rode as easily as if one were in a Pullman and was really much more comfortable.
All the latest ideas are combined in this magnificent auto, and nothing is wanting to add comfort and pleasure to the fortunate occupants of it. The machinery is of the latest and most approved design, and the various devices are remarkably clever. With a forty-five horsepower [engine] and being capable of running at the rate of fifty miles per hour, this $3200 touring car may well be regarded as the very acme of automobiles, and Mr. Allen has every reason to feel much pleased over this investment, for it is going to be the source of much real comfort and pleasure for himself and his fortunate friends. This car was purchased by Mr. Allen through the local auto firm of W. M. Hodson & Co., who are placing many such fine vehicles in this city and surrounding country.
Medford Mail, April 26, 1907, page 8
L. B. Brown--"Yes, my automobile is trained now so that I can stop it without saying whoa! Sometimes it stops of its own accord, and then I am tempted to say other things. It did look rather peculiar, I'll admit, for a man to say whoa to an auto, but did you ever notice a man accustomed to riding horseback in a vehicle that was going too slow to suit his fancy, and notice the involuntary action of his heels, as if he were using spurs? He knows it won't do any good, but he keeps it up anyway. Same way with me. I knew the auto wouldn't stop, but that who came out before I'd had time to think."
"Things Told on the Street," Medford Mail, July 19, 1907, page 1
Medford is to have another auto livery and garage. Messrs. A. W. Walker, George Merritt and J. A. Elmhirst have formed a partnership for this purpose and have ordered nine Reo and Ford automobiles and will be prepared for business soon. They have not determined as yet where they will put up their building.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 26, 1907, page 5
The Medford Auto Co., consisting of A. W. Walker, George Merritt and J. A. Elmhirst received five new machines this week, which they will use for livery purposes. The machines received were one Buick, one Oldsmobile, one Reo, a six-cylinder Ford and a four-cylinder runabout. The company has erected a tent 40x60 on the railroad grounds near Perry's warehouse, which they will use as a temporary garage until a suitable building can be secured.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 2, 1907, page 5
A. C. Allen and family returned last week from a tour of Northern California. They went in their Thomas 40 touring car, with George King, going by way of Crescent City and Eureka and returning by Yreka and the Siskiyous. The whole trip was made without mishap of any kind outside of a broken spring and worn-out tire or so, and everybody arrived home well and hearty, but extremely glad to be in the Rogue River Valley once more.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, August 16, 1907, page 4
Catching Up with Medford.
The fact that a Clackamas County rural mail carrier is experimenting with an automobile for carrying the mail is esteemed worthy of editorial comment in The Oregonian. We are glad to note that old Clackamas is waking up and getting into the procession. The carrier of rural route No. 1 Medford has been using an automobile off and on for the past four months in making his rounds, but the "chug wagons" are so common in this section that no one thought it anything out of the common.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, September 16, 1907, page 6
The Medford Auto Co. have removed from the big tent which has been their quarters to the building formerly occupied by the laundry, on 8th Street, and they are fitting up the premises in shape for their business.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 20, 1907, page 5
The following verses were composed by a Central Point lady especially for the Herald. It has a true ring about it as though written by one who was there.--Ed.
My husband lies under the auto;
My husband swears under the car;
We've sent to the city for someone
And asked them to come where we are.
We're lonesome, lonesome,
Lonesome out here where we are.
My husband lies under the auto;
My husband swears under the car;
He can't get the engine to working,
And so we must stay where we are.
We're lonesome, hungry and
Angry out here where we are.
He's sent to the garage for someone
To tow us to town before dark;
He can't get the spark plug to sparking
It simply refuses to spark.
The spark plug, the spark plug,
It simply refuses to spark.
Central Point Herald, October 10, 1907, page 3
By Mrs. Frank A. Hawk.
E. M. Melden returned last week from a trip to Portland, by auto, being the first to make the round trip this season. He drove the four-cylinder Ford runabout from the Medford Auto Co. and made the down trip in 25½ hours. Coming back he was longer on the road, having been compelled to lay over a day and a half owing to heavy rain in the Willamette Valley.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 15, 1907, page 5
Reputedly (though improbably) the first auto in Jacksonville, a 1908 Dorris.
Norman Devaux of the City Hall automobile company reports the shipment of a carload of Auburns to L. B. Brown of Medford, Ore., the new agent in that locality.
San Francisco Call, March 2, 1908, page 7
One of the troubles incident to the ownership of automobiles is that of keeping polished the many brass mountings. Parenthetically we are going to say that these are not our troubles--they're borrowed. However, Mr. A. C. Allen, who owns one of the best high-grade cars in this locality, has sidetracked this trouble by having all his mountings nickel plated, and if you fellows don't believe the appearance has been improved, just take a look at this car and then shuffle off some of your own trouble, by having the nickel plating applied.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 13, 1908, page 5
Automobile Law.A. W. Walker, the agent of the Reo Auto Company, has received a shipment of cars. He has sold two of these and has a third in stock. The cars were the latest model of the Reo Roadsters and touring cars. Of the numerous cars in the valley at present there are 62 that are owned by people residing within the corporate limits of Medford.
By the courtesy of the Hodson Auto Co., we are furnished with the following copy of the law regulating automobiles, passed by the legislature of 1905.
Section 1.--No automobile, motor vehicle, or motorcycle shall be used or operated on any public high road, highway, park or parkway, street, or avenue within this state, until the owner shall have complied with sections 2, 4, and 5 of this act.
Section 2.--The owner of every automobile, motor vehicle, or motorcycle shall file in the office of the Secretary of State a numbered certificate for each of said vehicles, which certificate shall state the name of the owner of such vehicle, and that he has registered in accordance with the provisions of this act. These certificates shall be numbered consecutively, beginning with 1.
Section 3.--The Secretary of State shall keep a record of all such statements and of all certificates issued by him with their numbers.
Section 4.--The fee for issuing such certificate shall be $3.
Section 5.--The number of each certificate, preceded by the letters "Ore.," shall be displayed upon the back of such automobile, motor vehicle, or motorcycle in light-colored Arabic numerals, at least three inches high, on dark background.
Section 6.--The provisions of the preceding sections shall not apply to automobiles, motor vehicles, or motorcycles owned or operated by non-residents of this state, provided the owners thereof have complied with any law requiring the registration of owners of automobiles, motor vehicles, or motorcycles in force in the state, territory, or federal district of their residence, and the registration number showing the initial of such state, territory, or federal district shall be displayed on such vehicle substantially as provided by section 5 of this action.
Section 7.--Every automobile, motor vehicle, or motorcycle, when driven on any public road, highway, park or parkway, street, or avenue, within this state, shall, during the hours of darkness, have fixed upon some conspicuous part thereof at least one lighted lamp, showing white to the front and red to the rear, and shall have the license or certificate number of said vehicle painted in dark Arabic numerals across the white glass of said lamp.
Section 8.--Every automobile, motor vehicle, or motorcycle using gasoline as motive power shall use the "muffler," so called, and the same shall not be cut or disconnected within the limits of any city or village within this state. Every automobile, motor vehicle, or motorcycle shall be provided with good and efficient brakes. The driver or operator of every automobile, motor vehicle, or motorcycle shall be governed by the usual law of the road by turning to the right in meeting vehicles, teams, and persons moving or headed in an opposite direction, and by turning to the left in passing vehicles, teams, and persons moving or headed in the same direction.
Section 9.--Every person having control or charge of any automobile, motor vehicle, or motorcycle, whenever upon any public street or way, and approaching any vehicle drawn by a horse or horses, or any horse upon which any person is riding, shall operate and manage and control such automobile, motor vehicle, or motorcycle in such manner as to exercise every reasonable precaution to prevent the frightening of any such horse or horses, and to insure the safety and protection of any person riding or driving the same. And if such horse or horses appear frightened, and if requested by signal or otherwise by the driver of such horse or horses, shall not proceed further toward such animal unless such movement be necessary to avoid accident or injury, or until such animal appears to be under the control of its rider or driver.
Section 10.--No person, driver, or operator in charge of any automobile, motor vehicle, or motorcycle on any public road, highway, park or parkway, street, or avenue, within the state, shall drive, operate, or move, or permit the same to be driven, operated, or moved at a rate of speed faster than eight miles an hour within the thickly settled or business portion of any village or city within this state, nor faster than eight miles an hour in the county when within one hundred yards of any vehicle drawn by horse or horses, nor outside of such thickly settled or business portion of any city or village on any public road, highway, park or parkway, street, or avenue at a rate of speed faster than (1) one mile in (2½) two and one-half minutes [i.e., 24 miles per hour], nor over any crossing or crosswalk within the limits of any city or village at a rate faster than one mile in (15) minutes when any person is upon the same.
Section 11.--No person driving or in charge of any automobile, motor vehicle, or motorcycle on any highway, townway, public street, avenue, driveway, park or parkway shall drive the same at any speed greater than is reasonable and proper, having regard for the traffic and use of the way by others or so as to endanger the life or limb of any person, and racing any such vehicles on any such ways or parks is hereby forbidden.
Section 12.--Any proper officer who shall arrest the owner or driver of an automobile, motor vehicle, or motorcycle on an infraction of any part of this act shall take said person immediately before a magistrate and said magistrate shall hear said case at once or, upon request of defendant and depositing $50 as bail, he shall adjourn said hearing for a time not less than twenty-four hours nor more than five days. If it be impossible to find a magistrate within a reasonable time from said arrest, then the arresting officer shall accept bail in the sum of $50 for the appearance of the defendant at the proper time.
Section 13.--The violations of any of the provisions of act shall be deemed a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding $25 for the first offense, nor exceeding $50 for the second offense, nor exceeding $100 for any succeeding offense.
Section 14.--All acts and parts of acts inconsistent therewith or contrary hereto are, so far as they are inconsistent or contrary, hereby repealed.
Filed in the office of the Secretary of State, February 2, 1905.
Medford Mail, April 17, 1908, page 4
New Auto Headquarters
Messrs. J. M. Root and son have secured the entire output of water-cooled cars of a large Eastern factory. The Pacific car was designed by Messrs. Root, and the name is copyrighted by them. It is built strictly according to their specifications, having all of the latest possible equipment, making the Pacific absolutely up to date in every particular. It is exceptionally graceful in its lines and beautifully finished.
The Pacific has a 4-cylinder water-cooled engine, has a very high clearance, 15 inches between the hubs, double chain drive, sliding gear transmission, Bosch high-tension imported magneto, etc., and will run at a very high speed and is a hill climber. The main sales office for the entire coast will be in Medford.
Medford Mail, April 24, 1908, page 5
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 1, 1908, page 5
Last Sunday Mr. Enyart, president of the Medford National Bank, and his wife and mother had quite an experience. They started for the Caster sawmill, as he wanted to look it over for another party, in an automobile, and when they got to the Conover camp, about two miles from the mill, the auto broke down and Mr. Enyart had to walk to Caster's, procure a team and driver to bring his family back to the valley. I happened to pass them at the Reese Creek schoolhouse, as I was coming from preaching at Central, and relieved the overcrowded hack by taking Mr. E. in the buggy with me. At Eagle Point he hired Thomas & Son to take them to Medford with a team, as they could not get Medford over the phone. The trouble seemed to be in getting anyone at Central Point, and just as they crossed the bridge here they met an automobile and that frightened the horses and they started to run and came near running over the bank into the creek. Mr. E.'s mother fainted, and while this was going on outdoors Rev. Mr. Clevenger was making the opening prayer for the evening services in the church, and a large part of the congregation ran out of the house, and some of the ladies almost went into hysterics. The result was Mr. Enyart had to hire a man to go to Agate and phone for an auto to come out for them, and I think that they reached home safely some time that night.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail, July 3, 1908, page 5
AUTO PARTIES COMING.
Four large automobiles have left San Francisco and are headed this way. One of them is the 40-horsepower Thomas, owned by A. C. Allen of the Hollywood Orchard. He left there with his wife and two children, and they returned by train a few days ago. He has with him his father and a party of friends. The other three parties will proceed on to Portland and some of the northern cities.AUTOMOBILES ARE COMING IN BUNCHES
W. M. Hodson, the automobile man, says that so far this season 24 tourists have passed through this city in automobiles, and this route is getting to be the popular one between San Francisco and the north.
Medford Mail, July 31, 1908, page 1
The only accidents which occurred in Medford yesterday were the colliding of J. M. Root's and D. T. Lawton's autos, with the result that the lamps of both machines were demolished. J. Bradbury ran his auto into a fence and thereby put his machine out of commission until it can be repaired.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, October 2, 1908, page 6
A. W. Walker went to Portland yesterday to look up the automobile business. He contemplates putting in a full supply for next season's business.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, December 4, 1908, page 6
R. W. Jones was driving an automobile down 7th Street Sunday and when about opposite the Hotel Moore he attempted to make a short turn, but evidently he misjudged his speed, for instead of clearing the walk he struck the curb and a telephone pole at the same time, smashing a spring and lamp and otherwise breaking the front of his machine. He was able to get away after some slight repairs. He will probably learn not to travel so fast on paved streets.
Medford Mail, December 11, 1908, page 5
A. W. Walker returned Sunday from a business trip to Portland, where he secured the agency for Reo, Mitchell, Stoddard-Dayton and Rambler automobiles for Medford. While in Portland he sold a $2400 Rambler to Mr. Minear, the Griffin Creek orchard man.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, December 18, 1908, page 5
The Valley Auto Company has just received a new lathe, which is adapted especially to auto repair work. Its repair department is now complete, and it is ready to handle promptly anything in the line of auto repairing.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, January, 29, 1909, page 6
Speaking about early spring automobiling, D. T. Lawton tells that it was only a short time ago that he drove his car to Ashland and that in returning to Medford he made the trip in 37½ minutes. From Talent to Phoenix the distance was covered in 4½ minutes, and during this drive his speed indicator showed a rate of 37 miles per hour.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, March 12, 1909, page 6
Every Dealer in City Reporting Many Sales--New Garage Is Finest To Be Found in the West.
Medford leads the world for the member of automobiles in use per capita of population. No other place with the same population has as many motor cars in service. No city in Oregon outside of Portland has half as many autos. Before the close of the present season there will be close to 200 cars owned and operated in and around Medford, which for a city of 6000 people is going some.AUTO REFUSES TO FORD RIVER
Last year there were close to 130 cars here. Already 20 new cars have been received, and the season scarcely opened. Many makes are represented, but as a rule the lighter touring cars are favorites, on account of the roughness of the roads. Lightness, durability and power are the essentials demanded.
The Snyder Motor Car Company has received six 1909 Cadillac "30s," all of which have been spoken for, and others are on the road. As many more have been ordered, with prospects of a demand greater than the supply, as the Cadillac is proving a very popular car this year, and those that want one will have to order early. Mr. Snyder's new garage at Eighth and B streets is rapidly nearing completion and will be one of the largest and finest in the West. Among those who have received their Cadillacs are Fred H. Hopkins, Charles Young, W. W. Glasgow, Horace Nicholson, F. E. Merrick and L. E. Wakeman. Cadillacs have been ordered for F. L. Tou Velle, T. E. Daniels, Claude Loud, John D. Olwell, and one other sale has been made, the name of the purchaser being as yet withheld. Mr. Snyder received word Friday that he could have five more cars this season. All of these have been spoken for, and the deals will be closed at once. He is now negotiating for an additional five. While Mr. Snyder's garage will accommodate 20 cars, it will not be long before it will be devoted exclusively to Cadillacs.
1909 Cadillac 30 ad
A 1909 Buick White Streak. For a photo of Hodson with one of his White Streaks, click here.
Buick Roadsters Here.The Hodson Auto Company received two "White Streak" four-cylinder, shaft-drive Buick Model 10 roadster automobiles Friday morning. The cars are built for speed and power, and Mr. Hodson thinks will prove the most satisfactory in the Rogue River Valley. They are light and are arranged with four individual seats, two in front and two in the rear. The cars are painted white, so as not to show the dust. One was purchased by J. E. Enyart, president of the Medford National Bank.
The Valley Auto Company has sold a Chalmers-Detroit 40 to Wes C. Green. This is the second of these cars sold in the valley this year, the other one being purchased by E. V. Carter of Ashland.
James Ritter has received his 1909 Rambler, purchased from the Medford Auto Company. This concern has received several new Mitchell and Rambler cars, which are being tried out.
1909 Rambler ad
Osenbrugge & Son are showing the new Studebaker car, the "M.F.," a four-cylinder "30," which they think has solved the automobile problem for the valley. The car is a light one and will stand hard usage.
Dr. E. B. Pickel has received his 1909 Packard touring car, with which he is highly pleased. Edgar Hafer is expecting his newly purchased Packard in a few days. These are the most expensive cars so far purchased this year.
Medford Daily Tribune, March 26, 1909, page 1
Charles True in his auto started yesterday afternoon for Waldo, Josephine County, where he is expected to meet some parties coming this way from Crescent City. He will take them in tow and hasten their arrival here.
Dr. E. R. Seely yesterday made rather a speedy trip on his new gasoline motorcycle. He made a professional call at a point five miles above Talent on Wagner Creek and returned to his office in this city in one hour's time. Distance, 30 miles.
Charley True, from the Hodson garage, returned at 1 p.m. yesterday from his trip over to Waldo. He left here Monday at 1:20 p.m., making the trip of 110 miles in good time over mountain roads without a single mishap.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, April 16, 1909, page 5
J. D. Olwell and wife, Mr. Morris and a gentleman by the name of Sherman came out for dinner last Sunday. It is getting to be quite fashionable for the good people of Medford and Central Point to ride out in their autos, take dinner and fish awhile, then return in the cool of the evening.
A. C. Howlett, "Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail, April 30, 1909, page 8
A 1909 Packard like Dr. Pickel's
Even dignified doctors have to encounter the humorous side of things at times, but they must always have the happy faculty of retaining under their lids anything in the way of a joke in which they are the unfortunate ones. Doctors, of course, according to the ethics of their profession, must at all times keep up a dignified bearing that is in keeping with their calling. However, the Evening Telegram has got wise to a good story in which a prominent Rogue River Valley physician is a conspicuous party. The Telegram says:WE LEAD IN AUTOS
Marooned on an automobile in the middle of Bear Creek, a few miles from Medford, Or., a party of physicians, including two Portland medicos, were forced to remove their shoes and hosiery, roll up their trousers and paddle around in the icy water for half an hour before they managed to drag the machine upon dry land. Running at a dangerous rate of speed against time, because of the delay, the automobile pulled into Grants Pass just in time for the Portland men to see their train pulling out. Waiting two hours for the second section, which was crowded, they had to curl up on the hard seats of a smoker and pass a most uncomfortable period until they reached home.
Now that their strenuous adventure is past, the physicians perceive its humorous features, but they are not doing any advertising, at that. Several persons from Grants Pass, however, are not so uncommunicative. In substance, here is what they tell:
Stuck in Midstream.Dr. Coffey and Dr. Pierce attended the annual meeting of the Southern Oregon Medical Association at Grants Pass May 11. The former read a paper on "Cancerous Growths and Modern Treatment," the latter on "Tuberculosis." To show the appreciation of Grants Pass physicians, Dr. E. B. Pickel took them for an automobile tour of the Rogue River Valley, incidentally desiring to make them jealous of his fine new machine. Mrs. Pickel and 11-year-old Carter Pickel rode with them.
When about five miles from Medford, Dr. Pickel tried to demonstrate the marine prowess of his auto and started to cross Bear Creek. In the middle of the stream, about 15 feet from either shore, the tires refused to "bite," and then their troubles began. Almost standing on his head while leaning over the hood, Dr. Pickel tried to crank up, but succeeded only in showering the occupants of the machine with water. With dignified mien, Dr. Coffey then essayed to jump ashore. He made a tremendous leap, but--well, water is always wet.
Shoe Laces the Cause.Discarding his dignity, the physician broke limbs off trees and gathered driftwood to build a pontoon bridge to the automobile from shore. Part of the time was spent in rescuing with a pole the personal effects of the chauffeur, which dropped into the creek while he was cranking up. The pontoon gave way just in time to let Dr. Pierce and Dr. Pickel, who were proceeding shoreward, off the water wagon.
Then the physicians removed their shoes and hosiery and rolled up their trousers. After much coaxing, Dr. Coffey was induced to assist in helping get the machine out of the creek. This performance took almost half an hour, and before it was over all three had cold feet. Then the run for Grants Pass to catch the train began, the "speedometer" showing a gait of 30 miles an hour over a rough road.
"If it hadn't been for you and Pickel losing five minutes lacing your shoes after we got the auto out of the creek, we wouldn't have to sit up all night," growled Dr. Pierce, as they gazed after the train vanishing Portlandward.
Medford Mail, May 21, 1909, page 8
Knights of the horn will be agreeably surprised to learn that the Medford Auto Co. has just received a new shipment of 1909 Reo cars. Another shipment of new 1910 Stoddard-Daytons is due by July 1.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, June 11, 1909, page 2
ONE WAY TO THE FAIR
Burr Family of Sacramento Reaches Medford in Autos
There were several Burrs in Medford yesterday, but the only one they stuck to was W. M. Hodson, proprietor of the Hodson garage. The principal reason for that was the fact that they came in an automobile from Sacramento, Cal., and stopped over here for the night on their way to Portland-Seattle.
The party was composed of Mr. and Mrs. R. P. Burr, Miss Ruth, their daughter; also J. C. Burr and R. O. Burr, who are also of the Burr family, and from appearances it is a pretty good family, too. They have two cars, one a White steamer and the other a Pierce Arrow.
A few days ago it was stated in The Morning Mail that there would be quite a number of automobiles come through Medford on the way from California to the Seattle fair. These two make the number 15 since the fair has opened. From now on it is expected that one or more will be going through here every day.
Medford Mail, July 2, 1909, page 1
County Judge Issues Permit for Auto Races on the Fourth
In the county court of the state of Oregon for the county of Jackson.
In the matter of automobile road races on July 5, 1909.
Notice is hereby given to whom it may concern that permission is hereby granted for the holding of automobile road races between the hours of 1 and 4 o'clock p.m. on the 5th of July, 1909, by the committee in charge of the celebration of that day by the city of Medford, upon the following described county roads of Jackson County, Oregon, to wit:
Along the county road leading from Central Avenue and Seventh Street in said city of Medford to the post office at Central Point, and thence along the county road leading from there to Jacksonville, Or., as far as the point where said road intersects or joins the road from Jacksonville to Medford, and from that point along said last mentioned road to the place of beginning;
Such permission is granted upon the condition that the committee in charge of said races cause the turns and all dangerous places in said road to be adequately patrolled and protected and all persons using said roads during said time are hereby warned to be upon the lookout.
Dated this 22d day of June, 1909.
By order of
J. R. NEIL, County Judge.
Medford Mail, July 2, 1909, page 1
AUTOMOBILE ELECTRIC LIGHTS
James Ritter has had his Rambler automobile equipped with electric lights. This is the only car in the valley which has electric light which is generated with its own power. There are some others, but they are supplied with a storage battery.
Medford Mail, July 2, 1909, page 2
Boy Run Over but Is not Seriously Injured
The first automobile accident in Medford occurred about 7:30 last night.
D. T. Lawton was driving his car west on Main Street, and when crossing the Medford-Jacksonville railroad track Oscar Carpenter, the 12-year-old son of Stephen Carpenter, ran in front of the car and was struck by one of the fenders and knocked to the pavement and one wheel passed over him. The boy was watching a nearby merry-go-round and doubtless did not see the car coming, and Mr. Lawton did not realize that he would so quickly dart in front of his car. Mr. Lawton was driving very slowly; in fact, so slowly that he was enabled to bring his car to a dead stop in going a distance of half the length of the car, this preventing the hind wheel from passing over the boy. The lad was at once taken to Mr. Perry's office and a physician, Mr. Thayer, was called, and after making an examination stated that the little fellow seemed to have suffered but very little from the accident. Mr. Lawton took the boy in his car and took him to his home, in southwest Medford.
Several bystanders who saw the accident were interviewed, and they stated that the car was running very slow and that the accident was in no way the fault of Mr. Lawton.
The most fortunate thing in connection with the accident was the fact that Mr. Lawton had neglected for several days to pump up his tires, and because of this neglect the tires were very soft, whereas had they been full of air the accident might have been more serious.
Medford Mail, July 9, 1909, page 1
KEEP TO THE RIGHT
That Is Advice for Others Besides Owners of Automobiles.
There is almost always a mixup of teams and automobiles at the Main Street railroad crossing when travel has been stopped for a few minutes by passenger trains blocking the way.
Councilman Emerick suggested last night that all drivers of vehicles waiting to cross at these times line up on the right-hand side of the street. For instance, all vehicles moving west should line up on the exhibition building side, and those going east should line up on the side next to the express office. This would leave open space for each lineup to move when the train pulls out. The suggestion is a good one and ought to be carried out.
Medford Mail, July 9, 1909, page 1
Some of the automobilists of the city are now "stripping" their cars for the race on celebration day. This is in accordance with the way the racers do things in the big auto races, and it ought to enable the cars to go quickly over the route mapped out.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, July 9, 1909, page 2
At 2:45 o'clock p.m. yesterday, 16 autos were noticed drawn up alongside the curb in front of different business houses between Fir and Bartlett streets, a distance of three blocks, and yesterday was what is called a slack day, and but little of interest transpiring--in fact it was a very quiet day in this hustling city.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, July 16, 1909, page 2
EXCEEDED THE SPEED LIMIT
W. S. Biddle was placed under arrest yesterday afternoon by Chief of Police Shearer for running his automobile faster than the law allows. The offense took place on Main Street, between the Exposition Building and the Hotel Nash. The complaint was made out under section 2 of the city ordinance, which was recently passed. Mr. Biddle was assessed the sum of $10, which is the minimum fine.
So that those who run automobiles may read, The Morning Mail publishes the ordinance referred to in full. By so doing it is to be hoped that some who might lay themselves liable may be able to save themselves the annoyance and the expense. In other words, "a hint to the wise is sufficient."
Ordinance No. 208.An ordinance to regulate the use of the streets of the City of Medford and passage thereover by automobiles and other motor vehicles and to regulate the speed thereof upon said streets.
The City of Medford doth ordain as follows:
Section 1. All that portion of the city of Medford lying between the west line of Holly Street on the west, Bear Creek on the east and the north line of Sixth Street on the north, and the south line of Eighth Street on the south is hereby declared to be and constitute the business portion of Medford for the purpose of this ordinance.
Section 2. Every person is hereby forbidden to drive or cause to be driven any automobile or other motor vehicle within the business portion of the city of Medford at a greater rate of speed than eight (8) miles per hour, or to drive or cause to be driven any such automobiles or other vehicles over any other street of said city at a greater rate of speed than ten (10) miles per hour.
Section 3. No person shall drive or cause to be driven any automobile or other motor vehicle within the business portion of said city to be driven to and stop along the side or curb of any street within said business portion of said city, except the right side of said automobile or motor vehicle be next to said curb or side of said street.
Guilty of Misdemeanor.Section 4. Every person who shall violate the terms of section 2 of this ordinance shall be guilty of misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished for the first offense by a fine of not less than $10 or more than $25 for the second offense by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $50; for the third offense by imprisonment at hard labor for a period of not less than ten or more than thirty days.
Section 5. Every person who shall violate provisions of section 3 of this ordinance shall be guilty of misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten dollars.
The foregoing ordinance was passed on July 6, 1909, by the following vote: Merrick, aye; Welch, aye; Eifert, no; Emerick, aye; Wortman, aye; Demmer, no.
Approved July 6, 1909. W. H. CANON, Mayor.
Attest. BENJ. M. COLLINS, Recorder.
Medford Mail, July 16, 1909, page 5
FAST TRIP TO LAKE
Party in Automobile Make Journey in a Few Hours
Think of eating breakfast in Medford and an early afternoon lunch on the rim of Crater Lake. This little trick has been performed, and Saturday was the day.
The automobile in which this quick time was made was a Thomas Sixty; its owner and one of the party was G. E. Turman, of Oakland, California; the driver was Russell A. Luther, a Thomas demonstrator of San Francisco. Accompanying these two gentlemen were Walter P. Frick, of Oakland, Calif.; H. C. Kentner and L. G. Porter, of Medford, making five in the party.
The party left Medford Saturday morning at 7:30 and landed on the rim of Crater Lake at 2:15 the same afternoon. On the way up twenty minutes' time was lost in helping a loaded team up Pumice Hill; fifteen minutes for lunch at Union Creek and twelve minutes in replacing a punctured tire, a total loss of forty-seven minutes, which would reduce the actual running time to five hours and fifty-eight minutes. This is the quickest time ever made between these points and one of the party, Mr. Kentner, stated to a Morning Mail representative that no effort was made to make a record. It was seemingly just Mr. Turman's regular pace. The driver says, however, that he can make the trip in less than five hours. When telling of this Mr. Kentner incidentally remarked that when Mr. Turman started out to make a record over this road he would certainly be asked to be excused from being one of the party--not that he would be afraid, but that the pace was too swift.
Pretty much all the varnish on either side of the big car was scraped off from coming in contact with the brush by the roadside, but aside from that the car was in excellent shape when it reached the lake.
The party left the lake at 8:30 Sunday morning and drove to Klamath Falls, reaching there at 1:30 in the afternoon. It being necessary that Mr. Turman remain over a day in the Falls, Mr. Porter and Mr. Kentner returned to Medford by rail, reaching here early last night.
Medford Mail, August 27, 1909, page 1
Machine Backs into Rider and Wordy War Follows
A regrettable and yet a careless accident occurred yesterday, but opinion differs as to who is to blame.
As C. O. White of Myrtle Creek, a wealthy rancher and mine owner of Douglas County, was backing his automobile, a Rambler, out of W. M. Hodson's garage, he accidentally run into P. A. Children, who was riding a wheel, and knocking the rider off, run over the wheel and bent the frame.
Children had tried to ride around the back of the machine and, seeing he was going to be caught, tried to ride up the bank, but failed, and the next minute milk [sic], man, wheel and auto mixed it. The wheel came off second best.
Fault of Both.Children stated that the driver did not blow his horn, and all the bystanders agree with him on this point, but they all said that he could have gone in front of the machine, as he had lots of room, and since the machine was moving backwards this was the logical direction.
Mr. White offered to settle immediately and was very reasonable, and if there had been no words over the affair would have settled for $20, as he asked W. M. Hodson if that would be enough.
Hot Dispute Follows.After a hot dispute over the cause and the responsibility for the accident he offered $10, and then, getting angry, stated that he would give $5 and no more.
As had been stated before, the accident was the result of carelessness on one or the other's part, but as to who was to blame, opinions differ. Each side, of course, says it is the other fellow, but close examination will prove both at fault.
The affair turned out very fortunate, in that the rider, who has just recovered from an attack of typhoid fever, was not hurt.
Medford Mail, October 15, 1909, page 5
In the United States the Census Bureau informs us there is one automobile to every 500 inhabitants. Further research along this line shows that Medford leads the United States, and therefore the world, in the number of automobiles per capita of population, having one automobile to every 30 inhabitants. For many years Pasadena claimed first honors, with one automobile to every 65 residents, and Pasadena is known as "The City of Millionaires." In Medford over 220 automobiles are owned, and dealers report much activity this winter, many machines having been contracted for early spring delivery.
The automobile is not a luxury in the Rogue River Valley. It is a necessity. Long, level roads traversing the valley from one end to the other make it practical. By its use the orchardist is enabled to spend much of his leisure time in Medford, and the merchant is enabled to own ten or twenty acres of fruit and by means of the automobile superintend it in person without neglecting his business in the city.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 2, 1910, page B5
Unique Record Is Held in MedfordMEDFORD, Or., Jan. 22.--(Special.)--Medford is the greatest automobile town for its size in the world. There are 250 registered cars and the population is estimated at 7500, being one for every 30 men, women and children in the city.
The large number of motor cars in Medford is supplemented by probably 100 in other towns and orchard homes of the Rogue River Valley, whose topography, climate and roads are peculiarly favorable to automobilists.
Automobiles can be used in Southern Oregon throughout the year with the exception of three months in the winter, and as soon as the programme for road improvement now mapped out is completed it will be possible to use them the year around. The roads of the valley are level and the occasional rains during the summer prevent them from becoming very dusty. The many side trips up the Rogue River, to Crater Lake, to the Oregon Caves, to the Blue Ledge mining district, up the Applegate River and through the Siskiyous and Cascades, give a delightful variety of scenery and make automobiling a favorite pastime.
The proposed automobile highway that will extend from Medford to Crater Lake and thence to Klamath Falls to be built jointly by federal, state and county governments, will be the most scenic automobile road in the world, passing numerous waterfalls, winding through narrow gorges, traversing immense forests and viewing the many natural wonders of the Crater Lake National Park. It will be possible to make the trip to the lake in six hours from Medford.
Six garages will cater to the Medford public this year. Three of them have been built this winter, and [they are] equipped with all modern appliances, as well as complete repair shops.
During the past year over 200 autos passed through from Lower California points en route to Portland and Seattle, and as the tourist travel becomes heavier each year, indications are that this interstate automobiling will attain great importance in the near future. Medford, being a general supply point, has become a center of the interstate travel.
With the completion of the Pacific & Eastern railway to Butte Falls next June an automobile stage line will be run daily from the railroad's terminus to Crater Lake, enabling sightseers to view this wonder spot after a few hours' ride.
The automobile business for the coming year promises to be the heaviest in the city's history. Already 50 cars have been contracted for delivery during the spring months. Most of these cars are light cars.
Medford has three miles of bitulithic paved streets, which permit automobiling in the city the year around. Contracts are now being awarded for an additional five miles of pavement, to be laid during the coming summer, which will make it possible to use autos throughout a large section of the city during the rainy months. This will still further increase the use of cars and enable Medford to keep its lead as an automobile city.
The favorite way of entertaining visiting delegations as well as prominent men who come to see the Rogue River Valley is to give them an automobile excursion. Last summer, when the members of the California promotion committee stopped off at Medford on their return from the Seattle Fair, they were met by 100 automobiles and taken on a ride through the orchard district to Ashland, where they again took their special train. When the Elks lodge was installed in Medford the visiting members were shown the beauties of the country by auto. When the Pacific Indians held their annual meeting in Medford, the crack shots of the world were taken to the banks of the Rogue, where [a] sumptuous luncheon was laid in the open for the 100 or more sportsmen who enjoyed the day angling. When Secretary Garfield visited Crater Lake, two years ago, he was escorted by a procession of some 20 automobilists, who bade him good-bye at Trail, after a delicious luncheon on the banks of the Rogue. The late E. H. Harriman and other prominent men have been similarly entertained here.
Sunday Oregonian, January 23, 1910, page 70
The new 40-45 horsepower Elmore just purchased by J. S. Vilas of Medford, Ore. yesterday began to assume the appearance of a battleship from the amount of brass work that has been put on the car. A. J. Smith, in speaking of the equipment, said yesterday that it has the best line of accessories that has been put on any of the 48 Elmores he has sold since he came to San Francisco.
R. R. l'Hommedieu, "More New Makes of Cars Arrive," San Francisco Call, February 10, 1910, page 7
Portland-Medford Run Made.
MEDFORD, Or., April 25.--(Special.)--Although the condition of the roads is not of the best at this time of year between Medford and Portland, R. M. Cuthbert, of this city, made the run in his automobile in 22 hours. This is the first time this year anyone has come that distance through Oregon in a machine.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 26, 1910, page 6
TELLS STORY OF SECOND AUTO IN ROGUE VALLEY
It Was an '05 Model of "Bronco" Type--Sometimes It Went
and Sometimes It "Didn't Went"--Miss Keith First Lady Driver in the Valley.
MRS. A. C. ALLEN
In the spring of 1905 Miss Margaret Keith, sister of Mrs. A. C. Allen, brought into Medford the second automobile owned in Rogue River Valley. This car was, like nearly all the '05 models, of the bronco type--sometimes it would go and at other times it would "balk," but at most times it acted in a rather untamed manner. After a time Miss Keith and her sister managed to gain an understanding of its eccentricities to such an extent as to be able to coax the auto out and back home again. And so it was that Miss Keith became the first lady to drive an automobile in the valley.
Outside of the fact that the automobile was an uncommon sight here, it was still more so to see a lady driving the car, and they always drew an interested crowd when "the pesky thing" balked in the middle of the street. At such times the ladies always spurned any aid, but promptly got out the tool kit and in some mysterious way got the car out of its tantrum and started again.
When asked, "How did you know what was the matter with the car?" the reply was, "I didn't know. I simply took out the spark plug, looked at it and put it back. I have not the slightest idea what I expected to find the matter with the spark plug, but if I didn't look there for the trouble where else would I look?"
That question would have puzzled almost anyone at that time. At any rate the treatment seemed to be all-sufficient, for the car would finally start.
Then, too, it was trouble all along the road, for when the car wasn't "kicking" the users of the public highways were, for nearly all--including the horses--resented the appearance of the auto on the road. Things were not so pleasant in those days for the autoist.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 15, 1910, page C1
DEVIL WAGONS RIGHTLY NAMED.
For the man who uses shank's mare, the cost of travel has been increased by the man who rides in his automobile. Such is the conclusion of the Massachusetts commission on the cost of living, says the New York World. It is a good deal like saying that the price of cake fixes the price of bread, but it is true, as common experience proves.HAD NO TIME TO ENJOY SCENERY
So much leather is used nowadays in the manufacture of automobiles that hides are higher, leather is higher and so on down step by step until the price of boots and shoes is raised. It is the same story with rubber. The demand for the crude material in the automobile trade has hoisted prices all along the line, from overshoes to pneumatic tires, and most of all in London, for the shares of new Scotch rubber-plantation companies. The more people ride, the more the man who walks pays for going afoot.
The automobile has developed into an expensive luxury for the people who do not use it. It has added to the cost of maintaining the roads in good repair and of going well shod in dry and wet weather. It has created new styles of clothes and new resorts for dear food and drink. At the present rate of consumption lobsters and champagne are likely to go higher. The only thing that has been cheapened is human life. The cost of high living, as James J. Hill said, has made the cost of living higher. The automobile was well named "the devil wagon."
Medford Mail Tribune, May 20, 1910, page 4
Mrs. Hafer Tells of Her Record-Making Trip to Crater Lake
and How She Saw Only the Rocks and Stumps in the Road.
MRS. EDGAR HAFER
From the map I learn that Crater Lake is 85 miles distant from Medford, and at 7 o'clock in the morning, when driving over Bear Creek bridge, these figures seem to be correct. But by dusk Crater Lake is physically computed to be farther from the starting point than Halley's Comet is from the earth at sunrise today.
Aside from discovering this slight error in mileage, I fail to note any unusual scenery en route. In fact, [I] think the trip from that point of view has been much exaggerated. I saw nothing but crooked, dusty roads, piles of rock, flocks of stumps and a continuous streak of brush, with an occasional stream to bar the way.
The last five miles in the final ascent to the rim of the lake is made by steering the car with one hand while with the other you throw rocks under the rear wheels as the car advances, inch by inch. Meanwhile, the right foot is busily engaged forcing gas into the tired motors, the left foot is kept free for the oft-anticipated leap, should the car slide overboard.
When just beginning to think I had really tackled a strong man's job, unexpectedly ran my car out upon a narrow ledge of rock, and lo! There beneath me 1000 feet lay Crater Lake, of which no pen or brush has, as yet, faithfully given to the world an adequate description of its scenic grandeur.
This, you understand, is from the standpoint of a lady driver.
MRS. EDGAR HAFER.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 22, 1910, page B1
From the Medford Mail Tribune, May 26, 1910. Mrs. Allen's 1905 Oldsmobile was likely the third auto in the valley and the second one owned here, coming after the Walter L. Main Circus' 1899 Sears and E. D. Elwood's 1903 Baldner.
BREAKS ARM WHILE CRANKING HER AUTOMrs. W. C. Green, while attempting to crank her automobile last evening preparatory to starting home from downtown, was unfortunately caught by the "kick" of the engine and suffered a fractured arm. She was hurried home, where medical attention was given. At a late hour last evening she was reported as resting easily.
Mrs. Green is one of Medford's most expert lady drivers and has long operated her machine without injury to herself or to the motor car.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 29, 1910, page 1 Flossie M. Green was the wife of Wesley C. Green.
AVIATOR KELLY MAKES A SUCCESSFUL FLIGHTJudge E. E. Kelly, aviator, is the way you write it now.
MANBIRD MAKES SUPERB FLIGHT
Accompanied Only by His Mechanic, Local Aviator Soars on Main Street,
to Delight of Large Gathering--May Enter Lists Saturday and Sunday
Has anybody here seen Kelly?
Has anybody here seen Kelly?
Kelly who tried to fly.
His start was fast, he rose sublime,
And how that darn machine did climb!
Has anybody here seen Kelly-
Kelly, with his Overland car.
At his first flight held last evening, Judge E. E. Kelly, Medford's only local man-bird, accompanied by Charles A. Malboeuf, mechanic, rose to heights sublime, to the great delectation of a large gathering on Main Street, where the stunt was pulled off. The flight was successful in every particular, and if True Cox can be persuaded to allow further grading to be done in his alfalfa field at Oak Park, so that the proper takeoff can be constructed, Kelly will appear Saturday and Sunday at the aviation meet, entering his machine against the two of Glenn H. Curtiss.
Kelly made no preliminary announcement regarding the flight, else the crowd would have been larger. The fortunate few who witnessed the flight pronounced it the best yet. Jeff Heard says Kelly has Paulhan crowded off the map.
Kelly made his start from the Southern Pacific depot and began to rise into the air at the west corner of the Nash Hotel. Straight up he went, then on a level and then descended. Owing to a slight miscalculation he hit the ground rather hard, but without injury to himself or the machine. The machine used in making the flight was an Overland.
For the uninitiated it may be added that Kelly forgot that a deep trench had been dug across Seventh by the telephone men. He hit an embankment with his automobile first, which hurled him clear of the ditch. Full 20 feet he aviated. When he came to, one wheel was in a wheelbarrow and the other in a mortar box.
A 1910 Overland like the one Judge Kelly flew.
The Overland lived up to its name.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 2, 1910, page 1
June 10, 1908 Oregonian
SHORT TRIPS OUT OF MEDFORD.
"Where shall we go?" "Where shall we spend Sunday?" These are questions one continually hears, and in a part of the world where newcomers are constantly arriving, they should receive some attention.
The fact is that we have here picnicking and motoring possibilities far beyond the average, both in the beauty and quiet of the localities that can be easily reached and in the roads over which one must drive his machine.
Leaving in the morning one can motor to Wagner's soda spring, at the foot of the Siskiyous--about twelve miles above Ashland--and find there a sparkling spring bubbling from the rocks, the cool of the heights, scenery which is incomparable for its kind, and a quaint hotel where refreshments are good. It makes a beautiful day's trip.
Or, if real picnic sequestration is desired, one can drive up lovely Ashland Canyon--the Ashland common council notwithstanding--for a distance of five or six miles. The little stream rushes and gurgles over the rocks, and there are many comfortable and always shady camping spots.
Or, again, up through Eagle Point one may follow Little Butte Creek as far as the Hanley Ranch. This is very accessible, and the stream is beautiful and very inviting to the eye.
Then, one may motor across the Bybee Bridge at Rogue River and subsequently follow the Rogue River to Mrs. Enyardt's ranch, which lies along the shore of the Rogue, two miles above Trail Creek. The roads will be found to be good, the fishing excellent, and one can, if one wishes, secure accommodations for longer than a day's stay.
An easy trip is one that can be taken to Jacksonville, then on down the Applegate, thence, following the Applegate to above Cameron's place. Here the fishing is good and the surroundings exceptionally beautiful.
A longer trip in the same direction would be one crossing the hill at Jacksonville, into the Applegate and then on down to Grants Pass, where, crossing the bridge, the car could be directed back along the river and the valley to Medford again. It is a rarely exhilarating course to take.
Or, cross Bybee Bridge and drive out by Table Rock and Sams Valley, follow the Rogue River to Gold Hill and then return to Medford by way of the main part of the valley.
Out of the Applegate and also away from the Rogue River are many little side trips, too numerous to mention, which one may take and follow devious and beautiful tributaries of the two streams and the main basins.
And one of the most interesting of the possible trips is that to Champlain Gold Dredge. This is reached by following the Rogue River to six miles below Gold Hill at the mouth of Foots Creek. The dredge can be viewed in operation, and the day will be most interestingly and delightfully spent at this place.
These are but a few of the suggestive possibilities for pleasure the valley affords, but the mention of them may succeed in directing some of the questioners to their day's outing.
The Saturday Review, Medford, July 9, 1910, page 1
Two seven-passenger Locomobiles have been purchased by the Crater Lake Stage Company for use between Crater Lake and Medford in the passenger business. These are the first machines to be regularly employed on that route as stage vehicles. The two machines were shipped south on Wednesday and began active service yesterday.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, July 10, 1910, page D4
MAKE SUCCESSFUL TRIP "AROUND THE HORN"A party consisting of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Stewart, Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Amy and Mrs. J. M. Keene have just returned from a most enjoyable automobile trip in Mr. Stewart's auto, "around the horn," as it is known in local parlance, meaning the trip via Crater Lake, Fort Klamath, Klamath Falls, and return by way of Klamath Hot Springs (Shovel Creek) and Colestin. The trip was made without mishap of any kind, and everybody returned in good humor and full of praise of the trip.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 10, 1910, page 5
Cupid has taken a real joy ride, and Medford, the auto city, has set a new fashion in weddings, the automobile marriage, the very latest in hymeneal ceremonies. The originators of the fashion are two popular young people of Medford, Miss Eva Patterson and J. W. Keyes. The ceremony was performed Thursday by Archdeacon Chambers of the Protestant Episcopal Church in a Chalmers-Detroit, and the young people are now speeding away on their honeymoon.
Mr. Chambers was inspecting the new St. Mark's building when he was hailed by Mr. Keyes, who asked him if he wanted to take a joy ride. On an affirmative answer, he was whirled with the prospective bride and groom to Jacksonville, where a marriage license was procured. Then the auto speeded to Ashland, where in a romantic corner of Ashland's beautiful park the motor car stopped long enough for the wedding ceremony. The bride and groom left for California and the witnesses returned home.
The bride is the charming daughter of H. B. Patterson, the nurseryman, and the groom one of the proprietors of the Valley Auto Co., a rising young man of Medford.
Medford Mail Tribune weekly, August 18, 1910, page 3
MEDFORD, THE AUTO CITY
Medford has approximately 400 automobiles for a population of between 9000 and 10,000. Of these 150 are new machines.KNOCKED DOWN BY AUTOMOBILE
Medford leads all places in the world in the number of autos in proportion to its inhabitants, one for every 25 men, women and children.
Medford, at the conclusion of existing contracts, will have a larger area of hard-surfaced streets than any city of its population in the United States, approximately 20 miles of bitulithic and asphalt paved streets. This will enable the continued use of motor cars throughout the year.
Over one million dollars is invested in automobiles by citizens of Medford. Probably a hundred thousand dollars a year is spent operating and maintaining them--all of which bears witness to the prosperity of this section.
There are in daily use in the United States at present approximately 350,000 automobiles. The 1910 production may be placed at 200,000 cars, with an approximate value of $250,000,000.
Large as these figures are, they are exceeded by the annual expenditure for horse-drawn vehicles. Reliable authorities estimate that there are over 7,000,000 of these vehicles used daily in the United States, while the total number of horses and colts in the country exceeds 21,000,000 besides 3,000,000 mules. American manufacturers produce yearly about 1,750,000 vehicles, of which 910,000 are passenger conveyances, with an estimated value of $110,000,000.
In addition there is a yearly expenditure of $125,000,000 for horses and $52,000,000 for harness and wagon, the average upkeep of which is 65 cents a day, compared with the average upkeep of an automobile of 30 cents a day.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 19, 1910, page 4
Medford is certainly "going some," to use a slangy term. A local paper says "over $1,000,000 is invested in automobiles by citizens of Medford. Probably $100,000 a year is spent in operating and maintaining them--all of which bears witness to the prosperity of this section." That is a fact. A Medford man need not mortgage his home to buy one of them.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 23, 1910, page 8
MEDFORD CLAIMS LEADERSHIPMEDFORD, Or., Sept. 17.--(Spl.)--Medford is automobile crazy. The residents of this town were inoculated with this mania three years ago and have been in the throes of it ever since. Poor persons, rich people, all must have a machine, as to be without one is to acknowledge that you are down and out. Persons with no homes of their own have bought machines rather than a house. Families have been known to mortgage their property in order to have a car for a few fleeting months ere it is thrown on the rubbish heap.
IN PER-CAPITA OWNERSHIP OF AUTOS
Town Has One Car to Every 25 Persons--All Are Good Roads Boosters--Fine Boulevards, Including Crater Lake Highway, Now Being Built--Tourist Travel Is Heavy.
It is estimated that the number of automobiles in the immediate vicinity of Medford totals 400. This gives an automobile to every 25 persons, which is claimed to be the largest percentage of automobiles per capita in any city in the world. Medford has 25 automobiles doing livery service, which is a large number for a town of 9000 inhabitants. The large livery business is due to the great number of tourists who come each summer and fall to see the orchards and to go over the road from Medford to Crater Lake.
There is no automobile club in Medford to make an organized effort for good roads. Several attempts have been made to call the automobile owners together, but all have been futile. There is little need, however, of such a stimulating influence among Medford people, as they have been enthusiastic good road boosters from the beginning of the movement in the state and have made wonderful advance along this line of improvement. There is a 12-mile auto driveway up Bear Creek to Ashland, and there is a fair road running down the Rogue River 30 miles to Grants Pass. Jackson County has just completed a fine macadamized automobile boulevard to Jacksonville, five miles from Medford, which is equal to any road in the state.
Medford people have begun the building of an automobile highway to Crater Lake from Medford. Disgusted, but not disheartened, by the nullification of the Crater Lake road bill by the State Supreme Court, the Medford Commercial Club undertook the construction of the road by private means. Twenty-seven thousand dollars has been raised in Medford, and three additional thousand has been subscribed to the undertaking by Portland people. This sum is insufficient to complete the proposed road, but construction work has been begun with $7000 of the $30,000 promised. The Commercial Club will leave no stone unturned until the road is completed. Even over the present road a weekly automobile stage runs to Crater Lake and private automobiles continually make trips.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, September 18, 1910, page 78
MEDFORD MEN WILL MAKE FIRST TRIP
WITH AUTO TO FISH LAKE
Two Medford automobile enthusiasts are planning an auto trip for the early summer that promises to not only test the durability of their machines, but their skill and ingenuity as drivers as well. Dick Slinger and W. H. Hodson are the principals of the trip, and their destination will be Fish Lake. No automobile has ever made the trip, but they are sincere in their belief that they will be able to pilot Slinger's Buick to the lake this summer.
Mr. Hodson is an experienced driver and was the first man to take an automobile to the rim of Crater Lake, and has made many other trips of like nature. Mr. Slinger has spent many years in the mountains in the vicinity of Fish Lake.
The road into the lake is not much more than a pack trail, and it is quite an effort to put a common wagon over it, but these men expect to go equipped with boards with which to raise their machine over stumps and rocks and with sundry other devices for simplifying mountain travel. They expect to make the trip as soon as road conditions will permit.
Medford Sun, February 15, 1911, page 1
VEHICLES MUST KEEP TO RIGHT
City Authorities To Draw New Ordinance To Regulate Traffic
On Main Street in Order To Prevent Danger to Residents.
In order to reduce the possibility of accidents on Main Street, the city dads will in the near future draw an ordinance to supplant the present one, which covers automobiles only, which will provide that penalties for failure to observe the rules of the road at all times. Every vehicle must keep on the right side of the street and must make corners on the outside in order to prevent collisions.
The drafting of the new ordinance will be in keeping with the orders of the chief of police to the patrolmen Friday to see that all rules of the road were enforced.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 19, 1911, page 1
ROADS GETTING IN GOOD SHAPE
Fine Weather Rapidly Drying Up Highways--
Autoists All Good Roads Boosters and Have Accomplished Much in that Line.
The desire of the autoist to speed, probably more than anything else, has brought about a great movement all over the country for the betterment of road conditions. That this is so has been made evident in Jackson [County] during the last year or two, but the end by no means is yet in sight. There is still a great deal to be accomplished before the roads of the county will be in that state where they will attract tourists. Automobilists are the pioneers of good roads boosters, and automobile clubs are still more potent factors in the campaign.
That there will be something doing in good roads lines of Jackson County this summer is taken for granted by all who have read the signs of the times. The automobile fever has become so contagious that it has grabbed nearly every possible victim, and now the number of good roads boosters is almost identical with the number of travelers. Therefore good roads in Jackson [County] will shortly become the rule, not the exception.
There has been organized in Medford an automobile club, and this summer big things are expected. There is something different in the atmosphere, and the obstacles to successful organization of the autoists must all roll over.
What would [you] think of an automobile drive of 100 miles in Jackson County, possible to be made in a day, through a beautiful country, a jaunt that would be a pleasurable outing from one end of the ride to the other?
At the present time likely you would laugh and scoff at the very idea. But, nevertheless, it is said to be a possibility that can be made a reality at comparatively small cost.
Autoists say that right now the trip can be made, although it has been but a few days since considerable rain fell, but the pleasure would be marred in several spots where the road is not fit for auto travel.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 19, 1911, page B2
The automobile of C. E. Whisler acted badly yesterday afternoon on Main Street just east of Central Avenue, and an intoxicated man named F. L. Follansbee was run down and more or less seriously hurt. Mr. Whisler did not seem to have control of the machine. Twice it ran clear over the sidewalk into a throng of people and collided with the Jackson County Bank building. The second time Follansbee was knocked down and, after stopping and talking with him, Mr. Whisler again was unable to control his car, it striking the building, then backed off into the street and crashed into a wagon that was passing.
Follansbee was standing on the sidewalk and a little too much inebriated to get out of the way. He was knocked down, and the wheel ran over his left leg and up onto his side. He bruised his right arm in falling. His face was cut and bruised.
Mr. Whisler tried to induce him to get into the auto and go to a doctor. He refused. That was the subject of their talk before the auto struck the building the second time. The man refused to have a doctor come, and in the midst of an immense crowd he limped his way up the street to the corner of Front, where Chief of Police Hittson took him in charge and forced him to go to Dr. Stearns. The doctor found that no bones were broken, though there may be internal injuries.
Follansbee is a laboring man and stated that he lived with S. L. Bennett, Sr., on Riverside Avenue.
Medford Sun, April 16, 1911, page 6
1911 Detroit Electric ad
FIRST ELECTRICAL AUTO IN MEDFORD
R. H. Parsons of the Hillcrest Orchard has a new Detroit electric automobile, a beauty, and the first one in Medford. A. B. White of Seattle is here instructing the owner how to run it.
Medford Sun, April 21, 1911, page 1
AUTO USED FOR NEARLY EVERYTHING
Some men do not have to live in the midst of a great population to attract attention to their peculiar abilities and become local celebrities. W. J. Hills, for several years clerk of the federal court at Juneau, Alaska, would be a great man alone in the heart of a desert. When a couple of months ago he gave up his extensive real estate business at Seattle to isolate himself on a twenty-acre orchard a couple of miles northwest of Medford, his friends may have thought that that would have been the last heard of Mr. Hills. No so, however. Mr. Hills sports a little red auto, and he has conceived the idea that he can utilize it as a mowing machine, header, self-binder, hay rake and any old thing. It is a little early yet to put it to the real test in haying season, but Mr. Hills could not wait, so within the past few days he has been out in his orchard tract cutting and slashing the foxtail, wild grass and weeds. Hitching a hay rake behind his machine, he has opened the eyes of the neighborhood.
People in the vicinity who thought they were going to lead a dull and prosaic summer were astonished to learn the amount of excitement in store for them, and the past few days they have turned out en masse to witness the performance of the auto hay rake with Mr. Hills in charge of the steering gear. They have cheered him to the echo. The demonstration has been a complete success both as to raking hay and furnishing entertainment for the natives, so much so, in fact, that he will have too little to do on his ranch and will keep up the good work by mowing and raking all the hay for his neighbors far and near. When that is accomplished he will convert the little red auto into a lawn mower, bring it to Medford and mow the lawns of all the people.
Medford Sun, April 29, 1911, page 3
Medford, the Premier Auto City
For some years Medford has led the world in number of automobiles per capita of population. As the years go by, the number of autos increases faster than the population, so the city maintains its lead as the greatest motor car city of its size anywhere.
At least fifty automobiles have already been purchased in Medford this spring. It was estimated, at the close of last season, that there were 400 autos in and around Medford. As a few of these have been shipped away, it is probable that the total number of motor cars here is between 425 and 450, or an average of one to every twenty-five inhabitants.
Conditions are peculiarly favorable for autos in the Rogue River Valley. For nine months in every year, motoring offers an alluring attraction. The country is always beautiful. Streams, woods and mountains call constantly to the love of nature. Fishing and hunting add their attractions. The gold of the summer's sun and the silver of midnight moonlight furnish a delight all their own. Hence everyone who can owns an auto of some kind.
The auto has become a business and social necessity. Each year sees its use increase as each season sees its efficiency increased and its price lowered. The number of factories increased in the past ten years from fifty-seven to 316, the product from $4,748,000 to $194,722,600, the number of autos made from 3723 to 127,289 a year.
The United States government census lists most of the motor cars as "pleasure or family vehicles." Of those made in 1909, only 3288 were listed as "business vehicles" and comprised auto trucks almost exclusively. As yet there are but few of these in the Rogue River Valley, but as the paved area in Medford is extended, the use of these auto trucks will be increased.
Medford Sun, May 6, 1911, page 3
NARROW ESCAPE FRANK MILLER
Run Down by Careless Driver, Local Man Has Close Call.
Mr. Miller, who is a carpenter employed on the new Medford Furniture Co. building, was starting home Saturday evening and crossed the Southern Pacific track on Main Street, riding east, just as No. 16 passenger pulled out. County Fruit Inspector Myers, of this city, was in his machine standing next to the curb opposite the exhibit building, and as Miller crossed the track he swung away from the curb to pass Myers' machine, when a car owned by W. W. Boyd and driven by E. C. Waterman came around the corner of the exhibit building at Front and Main streets, coming from the north, and instead of stopping to await passageway on his own side of the street he swung diagonally across to the opening through which Miller was coming and apparently either not seeing Miller or having lost his head and unable to stop his car he ran man and wheel down, dragging Miller under the car for some 20 feet before bringing it to a stop. How Miller's body passed under the car without killing him is a puzzle. He was practically rolled into a ball, but, for a wonder, no bones were broken. J. W. and Mrs. Myers and their nephew, George Myers, were standing within a few feet of the spot where the accident happened and Mr. Myers was one of the first to reach Miller. From him the Herald secured this account of the accident.
The scene of the crime, May 1909, looking east.
The corner of the exhibit building is visible in left foreground.
Miller was taken to a physician's office in Medford and later was brought to his home here. He will be confined to his bed for some time, but it is thought he will recover unless unforeseen complications from internal injuries should develop.
Waterman has a bad record as a car driver. Only a short time ago Wayne Leever, of this city, had his car wrecked by being run into by Waterman, who was driving recklessly on the wrong side of the street. It is also alleged that he has had various other accidents, it being said that he ran down a girl not long ago and that he has killed more than one valuable dog. It would seem that a man with such a record for carelessness and absolute disregard for the rights of others should be deprived of his license and given a wheelbarrow to "drive" in a back lot.
W. C. Miller, father of the injured man, has retained an attorney and says he proposes to determine what, if anything, can be done towards punishing Waterman for his latest piece of carelessness.
Central Point Herald, May 11, 1911, page 1
MOTOR DRIVERS SEEK PROTECTIONThe worm has turned.
Suggest Rules to Govern Arrogant Encroachments of Pedestrians.
Not much longer will the downtrodden drivers of motor cars and motor cycles put up with the arrogant encroachments of irresponsible pedestrians on the streets and highways.
Too long, already, have they suffered in silence from this growing source of annoyance and danger to themselves and their machines and they now propose a set of rules to govern the action of people who walk, and which may later be enacted into city and state laws. The rules, which seem to be preeminently fair and just to all parties concerned, are here given:
1. Pedestrians crossing boulevards at night shall wear a white light in front and a red light in the rear.
2. Before turning to the right or left they shall give three short blasts on a horn at least three inches in diameter.
3. When an inexperienced automobile driver is made nervous by a pedestrian, he shall indicate the same, and the pedestrian shall hide behind a tree until the automobile has passed.
4. Pedestrians shall not carry in their pockets any sharp substances which are liable to cut automobile tires.
5. In dodging automobiles, pedestrians shall not run more than seven miles an hour.
6. Pedestrians must register at the beginning of each year and pay a license fee of $5 for the privilege of living. There shall be no rebate if they do not live through the entire year.
7. Pedestrians will not be allowed to emit cigarette smoke on any boulevard in an offensive or unnecessary manner.
8. Each pedestrian before receiving his license to walk upon a boulevard must demonstrate before an examining board his skill in dodging, leaping, crawling and extricating himself from machinery.
9. Pedestrians will be held responsible for all damages done to automobiles or their occupants by collision.
Central Point Herald, June 15, 1911, page 1
Quite an exciting, although somewhat unpleasant, adventure was experienced lately by one of the men who has lately become the possessor of an auto. Upon becoming proficient in the art of driving he invited a party of friends to accompany him on [a] trip to one of the neighboring towns. After having dinner there a start was made for Medford, but in the darkness the wrong road was taken. An auto, unlike a horse, does not recognize roads, and it was some time before the mistake was found out, when frantic efforts were made to head the machine for home without avail. After wandering around the greater part of the night, during which time that region of the country was thoroughly explored, the right road was finally found and the party reached Medford in time for an early breakfast.
"In Medford's Social Circle," Medford Mail Tribune, June 25, 1911, page B1
Medford Man Hurt in Auto Wreck.
MEDFORD, Or., July 23.--(Special.)--The Jacksonville auto stage jumped the track last night, seriously injuring J. E. Poole, a barber of Medford, whose place of business was burned Friday night. There were four passengers in the car, but Poole was the only one injured. The car is a complete wreck. The accident happened one and one-half miles west of Medford, and the injured man was brought to this city in another car. Others in the car were A. Rauch, steward and chef of the Imperial Hotel, Portland, J. Kruezer, chef at the Nash Grill, the injured man and Harry Treat, the driver.
Oregonian, July 24, 1911, page 5
RACING AUTO HITS POLE
Men Thrown 20 Feet but Not Hurt, and Neither Is Car.
MEDFORD, Or., July 26.--(Special.)--Driving down Fir Street 30 miles an hour, an auto containing Frank Frazier and Jimmie Corrigan dashed into a telephone pole at Eleventh Street and threw the driver and his companion 20 feet to the side of the road.
Strangely enough neither the men nor the auto were badly injured. They were able to get their car out and drive slowly back to the garage, and now they are hiding from the police.
The accident was the result of a race against time which Frazier was making to demonstrate the superior qualities of his car.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, July 27, 1911, page 16
Buggies Must Carry Lights.
MEDFORD, Or., Aug. 15.--(Special.)--Because of the new law which provides that buggies shall carry lights, M. E. Root will be unable to recover damages from Frank H. Hull, whose auto ran into him the other night. The buggy was completely demolished by the collision and Mr. Root was thrown clear of the wreckage. Mr. Root was going to sue the auto owner, but on the opinion of his attorney that he could not recover [damages] because of noncompliance with the new law, dropped the controversy.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 16, 1911, page 3
Farmers' Anti-Auto SocietyThe following is the new code agreed upon by the Farmers' Anti-Auto Protective Society, which has just held its annual convention in the different States in the Union.
1. On discovering an approaching team the automobilist must stop off-side and cover his machine with a tarpaulin painted to correspond with the scenery.
2. The speed limit on country roads this year will be secret, and the penalty for violation will be $10 for every mile an offender is caught going in excess of it.
3. In case an automobile makes a team run away the penalty will be $50 for the first mile, $150 for the second mile, $250 for the third mile, etc., that the team runs; in addition to the usual damages.
4. On approaching a corner where he cannot command a view of the road ahead the automobilist must stop not less than 100 yards from the turn, toot his horn, ring a bell, fire a revolver, hallo, and send up three bombs at intervals of five minutes.
5. Automobiles must again be seasonably painted--that is, so they will merge with the pastoral ensemble and not be startling. They must be green in spring; golden in summer, red in autumn, and white in winter.
6. Automobiles running on the country roads at night must send up a red rocket every mile, and wait ten minutes for the road to clear. They may then proceed, carefully, blowing their horns and shooting Roman candles.
7. All members of the society will give up Sunday to chasing automobiles, shooting and shouting at them, making arrests, and otherwise discouraging country touring on that day.
8. In case a horse will not pass an automobile, notwithstanding the scenic tarpaulin, the automobilist will take the machine apart as rapidly as possible and conceal the parts in the grass.
9. In case an automobile passes a farmer's house when the roads are dusty, it will slow down to one mile an hour, and the chauffeur will lay the dust in front of the house with a hand sprinkler worked over the dashboard.
Central Point Herald, September 7, 1911, page 4
Although the expenditure of the $1,500,000 to be realized from the sale of bonds recently voted from the sale of bonds recently voted for the improvement of roads in Jackson County has not begun, much good work is already progressing on Jackson County highways about Medford, according to Portland dealers who have been in the southern part of the state recently. A traction engine, drawing a train of eight car wagons, is in constant service, grading and macadamizing the roads. Road improvement work is in progress in many sections of Oregon, and when spring issues its tempting call for country tours the motorists will find an agreeable change in the routes they have formerly traversed.
"Auto Chug Chugs," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, November 19, 1911, page D6
Medford Mail Tribune, February 24, 1912, page 8
Medford Leads State in Automobiles
Statistics furnished by Secretary of State Olcott show that there were 6417 licenses for automobiles issued in 1911 in Oregon. Of these, half were issued for Portland alone, the number of licenses for the metropolis totaling 3208.
Medford, with 243, ranks third in the list of cities, Salem with 277 exceeding her, Eugene with 150 fourth and Hood River fifth with 117. Some Medford owners have evidently not complied with the law, for there are more than 243 cars in the city.
However, taking the secretary's figures in the number of automobiles compared to population, Medford leads the state, having one automobile to every 36 inhabitants, as against one to every 64 in Portland, one to every 50 in Salem and one to every 60 in Eugene.
Jackson County is as much in the lead of counties on the auto record as Medford is of the cities. The record shows a total of 381 licenses issued for the county, these in addition to Medford and Ashland being: Central Point 21, Eagle Point 2, Jacksonville 13, Gold Hill 5, Woodville 3, Wellen 2, Phoenix 4 and Talent 5.
Excerpt, Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1912, page D3
Jackson County Has Many Autos.
According to figures recently compiled at Salem this county is about as well fixed for automobiles and motor vehicles as any in the state and perhaps even a little better. While it ranks third in the actual number of machines in the counties of the state it is generally conceded that when the population is considered it has the most in this proportion. Multnomah County leads with 4887 motor vehicles, Marion is second with 751 and Jackson County third with 576.
The autos in Jackson County are scattered as follows: Ashland 115, Brownsboro 2, Butte Falls 1, Central Point 38, Eagle Point 6, Gold Hill 6, Jacksonville 13, Lake Creek 1, Medford 290, Phoenix 7, Provolt 1, Rogue River 4, Talent 12, Tolo 1, Trail 2, Wellen 3.
The total of motor vehicles is distributed as follows: Ashland 120, Brownsboro 2, Butte Falls 1, Central Point 41, Eagle Point 6, Gold Hill 6, Jacksonville 18, Lake Creek 1, Medford 343, Phoenix 9, Prospect 1, Provolt 1, Rogue River 9, Talent 13, Tolo 1, Trail 2, Wellen 3.
Central Point Herald, February 19, 1912, page 1
Nine Medford autos, accompanied by a brass band, visited this place Monday forenoon advertising the races at Medford July 4-5-6.
Thirty-seven automobiles from Ashland paraded the streets here Monday evening tooting horns and ringing cowbells. They were boosting for the Ashland celebration July 4.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, July 6, 1912, page 3
The Curse of Reckless Auto Driving.
The frequent occurrence of auto "accidents," and especially the multiplicity of the same recently, will no doubt bring forth numerous refrained protests against the scores of speed-ordinance violators who infest our streets, but of course, it's the old story of "locking the barn," etc.
Think of the poor little child severely, and possibly permanently, injured when it's a long chance that if the auto had been going eight miles an hour, or under, the accident could have been avoided, and certainly cars should be driven slow enough, within the city limits, to be under instant control.
Where would a team driver land if he sent his team down the street at even eight miles an hour, looking neither to the left or right? In the quay! and that mighty quick!
Yet auto drivers dash up and down East and West Main, and every other street in town (except perhaps at the corner of Main and Front, where the policemen (?) stay at), from fifteen to twenty-five miles an hour, and motorcycles snort around certainly at forty to fifty miles an hour.
Even at Main and Front, right on the beat of the police from Brown's to the Nash, several accidents have occurred, so it seems the least that could be done would be for the council to have published (or tacked on the telephone poles) the "Rules of the Road," which every auto owner gets with his license, but apparently doesn't read, certainly doesn't heed, compelling their perusal, if not enforcing the ordinances thereon, for not ten percent of the auto drivers observe the rules, and many clip off the "inside corner" of a street with wonderful emphasis, and some drivers, especially the livery drivers, simply ignore the speed ordinances utterly.
Then there are several young ladies, familiar to everybody, who scorch up and down the streets in autos, from the bridge to Washington School and back, and on other streets, in anything but dignified poses, and either staring at some unseen object skyward some 1000 or so miles distant, or turned around chattering and giggling with the occupants of the rear seat; and boys with the dreadful affliction "bighead," who tear up and down the streets hatless, and their eyes blinded nearly shut with the terrific velocity.
All these careless and reckless drivers take for granted that everybody else has to get out of the way. Anyhow, if you don't, they won't. They are privileged to run down such an insignificant thing as a human pedestrian!
And if an auto collision occurs, why, invariably both drivers were on the "right" side of the street, even if only one was on the proper side, or both on the "left" side, or their wreckage "left" by the roadside.
If locomotives that can stop within their length are held down to eight miles an hour on a well-known and never changing path, and bells clanging continuously, why should autos be allowed to literally fly about pell-mell, helter-skelter, haphazard, on all sides of all streets, with seldom, anymore, even the faint squeak of a horn to be heard?
It is high time, and has been for months, that somebody in authority were doing something to correct this dangerous evil, which may result in death any day.
Whose identity can be readily learned at the Mail Tribune office.
"Communications," Medford Mail Tribune, September 24, 1912, page 4
JACKSON COUNTY LEADS IN AUTOS.
Jackson County is first among the counties of Oregon in proportion to population, for the number of automobiles, though ranking third in the actual number of automobiles and motor vehicles. Multnomah leads with 4,887 of the 10,162 motor vehicles in the state. Marion is second with 751, Jackson has 576, Lane is fourth with 412 and Linn fifth with 326.
Of the 8208 autos, Multnomah has 3539, Marion 576, Jackson 506, Lane 359 and Linn 288. Of the 1183 motorcycles in the state, Multnomah has 737, Marion 133, Jackson 63, Lane 36, Linn 81. Of delivery wagons, there are 219 in the state, Multnomah having 158, Marion 17, Jackson 5, Lane 9, Linn 1. Of motor trucks, the vehicle of the future, there are 414 in Oregon, 327 in Multnomah, 19 in Marion, 2 in Jackson, 8 in Lane and 6 in Linn.
The autos in Jackson County are scattered as follows: Ashland 115, Brownsboro 2, Butte Falls 1, Central Point 38, Eagle Point 6, Gold Hill 6, Jacksonville 17, Lake Creek 1, Medford 290, Phoenix 7, Provost 1, Rogue River 4, Talent 12, Tolo 1, Trail 2, Wellen 3.
The Jackson County motorcycles are scattered as follows: Ashland 4, Central Point 1, Medford 49, Phoenix 2, Prospect 1, Rogue River 5 and Talent 1.
The total of motor vehicles is distributed as follows: Ashland 120, Brownsboro 2, Butte Falls 1, Central Point 41, Eagle Point 6, Gold Hill 6, Jacksonville 17, Lake Creek 1, Medford 343, Phoenix 9, Prospect 1, Provolt 1, Rogue River 9, Talent 13, Tolo 1, Trail 2, Wellen 3.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 12, 1912, page 4
Medford Claims Motor-Car Record.
MEDFORD, Or., Dec. 15.--(Special.)--One person out of every 35 in this town has an automobile, which is believed to be the record for the state, if not for the country. Medford, with a population estimated at 10,000, is credited with 290 automobiles and 343 motor vehicles. Jackson County entire, with a population of about 30,000, has 576 motor vehicles and 506 automobiles.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, December 16, 1912, page 5
ROGUE RIVER VALLEY HAS CHARMS FOR AUTOISTSMEDFORD, Or., March 15.--(Special.)--One family in every 60 in Jackson County has an automobile. This is the highest record of the state per capita.
One Family of Every 60 in Jackson County Owns Car and Steps Are Under Way to Form Association--Motorcycle Club Arranges Tours.
According to the latest statistics there are 530 automobiles in the Rogue River Valley, proportioned as follows: Medford, 314; Ashland, 115; Central Point, 38: Jacksonville, 17; Talent, 12; Phoenix, 7: Gold Hill, 6 ; Eagle Point, 6; Rogue River, 4; Wellen, 3; Brownsboro, 2; Trail, 2, and Tolo, Provost, Lake Creek and Butte Falls one each.
Including all motor vehicles, Jackson County has 602 machines at present. Motorcycles are very popular, a motorcycle club having been formed in Medford. This club will run probably several tours through the valley during the summer and will also throw its influence toward the construction of better highways. The membership of the club at present is 59.
Two of the rural postmen belong to the club and carry their routes on motorcycles with a package apparatus capable of carrying 70 pounds. These two routes instead of taking seven hours as formerly are now covered in four hours as a maximum, many trips being made in good weather in three hours.
Low-Priced Cars Popular.In the number of automobiles Jackson County is surpassed only by Multnomah and Marion counties. While there are several high-power and high-priced cars owned by the wealthy ranchers, the great increase the past year has been in the low-priced cars--those around the $1500 mark.
A movement has been started to form a Rogue River Valley Automobile Club, the purpose of which primarily will be to improve the highways in this district and work for conditions which will not only attract autoists from other districts but will add to the pleasure of residents who own machines.
With Crater Lake, the Oregon Caves, fine trout fishing throughout the season and cool mountain resorts within easy reach, automobiles are almost indispensable to the resident who wishes to take advantage of the diversions nature offers.
The road to Crater Lake is now in excellent condition and while the lake hotel will not be open for several months, the recent dry weather has put the highways through the valley and foothills in remarkably fine shape.
Many of the ranchers intend to take a motor trip to Crescent City in July and establish a tourist colony on the coast. W. V. B. Campbell, owner of Somerset Orchard, is the organizer of the excursion. Mr. Campbell is the owner of a Lozier racer and Mercer "Six" and has made a wager of $100 with Stewart Patterson, the Chicago millionaire, that he can negotiate the 132S miles in eight hours or less. Mr. Patterson is an auto enthusiast, owning two Stutz cars and made the journey over the rough mountain roads in nine hours. He maintains this record can not be reduced materially.
Track Service Contemplated.There is a number of Medford people interested in establishing a motor truck service to Grants Pass and Crescent City. Delroy Getchell, president of the Farmers and Fruit Growers' Bank, himself an ardent motorist, was one of the originators of the idea. Since the Crescent City Railroad has become nearer an actuality, interest has subsided somewhat, but it is claimed that with good roads a motor truck service to the seaport could be operated not only on a profitable basis, but would lower the freight rates from inland points to Medford materially.
With the recent establishment of the Seeing Medford Company, conditions of the roads in the valley are certain to improve and more roads will be opened up. This company plans to construct a motor highway to the top of Roxy Anne, the scenic park 1000 feet above Medford, and also to Table Rock, the unusual formation about eight miles north of the city and overlooking Rogue River.
They are also working for a new road over the Siskiyous into California with a lower average grade than the present road and without the toll which is now levied on the Dollarhide Highway. When these improvements are made, local motorists believe Medford and the Rogue River Valley will be one of the most popular touring points in the entire state of Oregon.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, March 16, 1913, page 98
French inventors have designed an automobile suitable for children, having engines of less than a horsepower and guaranteed not to go faster than four miles an hour even on a down grade. It would be a mighty good thing if some grown folks in America were compelled to use just such a machine.
Frank E. Trigg, Central Point, "Farm, Orchard and Garden," The New North, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, June 12, 1913, page 5
KILLED IN AUTO RACE
Machine in Medford Race Turns Turtle. One Killed, Another Injured.
The auto race at the Medford celebration resulted in the death of one participant and the serious injury of another.
As one of the autos containing two men was rounding a sharp corner at a terrific speed, a tire on one of the rear wheels blew up, capsizing the machine and throwing the occupants to the ground. One of the occupants was hurled a distance of some twenty feet, escaping with his life. The other, a young man named Helms, was caught beneath one of the wheels of the overturned machine and almost instantly killed.
Jacksonville Post, July 5, 1913, page 3
Wild Car, Backing on Hill, Speeds 80 Miles an HourASHLAND, Or., Sept 12.--(Special.)--Dead Indian Hill, with its 24 percent grade, did things last Wednesday to H. J. Boyd's auto. He was taking E. E. Bagley and J. J. Cambers, of Ashland, and "Doc" Page, of Medford, out on a business jaunt when his machine died. He set the brake and everybody got out. The brake slipped and the machine backed downhill. Mr. Boyd hung to it in an effort to set the brake, but it was no use.
H. J. Boyd and Party, Out on Business Jaunt, Return to Ashland Two Days Late.
It got up a speed of about 80 miles an hour and crashed into a fir tree down the line, while the autoists stood in speechless horror. The rear axle resembled a Shriners crescent, and the spokes flew in all directions. Mr. Bagley says it got off lucky. If the fir tree hadn't come to the rescue it would have hit a clump of trees farther down at a speed of 187 miles an hour or would have jumped into the canyon.
The men edged it around off the highway and phoned to Julius Hart. Julius got them to Buck Lake and hit a boulder and jammed his transmission case into his flywheel just as it began to rain. The men got into a cabin, but it was necessary to get home, so they started to walk through the wet woods 12 miles to the Jones place. They found a phone at Burton's, four miles away, also dry clothes and grub. They phoned for a hack this time and got home Friday afternoon. They expected to make the trip and return Wednesday.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, September 14, 1913, page D4
EADS BROTHERS BUY FEDERAL TRUCKEads Transfer Company are certainly living up to the standard of progressiveness, having purchased a Federal one and one-half-ton truck and are now able to take care of any size contracts for hauling that may be offered them. The truck was sold through Mr. Gilbert of the Gerlinger Motor Car Company of Portland, and C. E. Gates, the local agent here.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 4, 1913, page 6
BEND TO MEDFORD IN FOURTEEN HOURS
Seely Hall, in his 1913 Cadillac Six, made a record run from Bend, Or., to Medford, covering the distance of 215 miles in fourteen hours, leaving Bend at 1:30 a.m. Saturday and arriving in Medford at 3:30 p.m. In all this distance the engine was not stopped once or water put in the radiator.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 6, 1913, page 6
3-YEAR CHAUFFEUR RACESASHLAND, Or., Oct. 27.--(Special.)--The youngest chauffeur so far recorded is Bobbie Hammond, aged 3 years.
Tree, Not Policeman, Stops Infant and Bobbie Is Sad Now.
Bobble started speeding yesterday, although he had no license, and his
progress was arrested, fortunately, by a tree.
Bobble's uncle, who is Charles Young, of Medford, was visiting Bobbie's parents, who live on a steep hill, with his automobile.
Bobble climbed into the tonneau, released the brakes and--presto.
Neither boy nor machine was injured, but Bobbie vowed tonight he would give up speeding until he reached more mature years. Bobbie "has a reason."
Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 28, 1913, page 1
AUTOISTS TO FIGHT TAXMEDFORD, Or., Dec. 20.--(Special.)--At a meeting of local auto owners at the public library, the Southern Oregon Automobile Association was formed, with A. C. Allen president, Dr. Korinek, vice-president, and H. C. Garnett treasurer. Frank Amy was delegated to secure new members. The immediate work before the association will be to secure the repeal of the state auto tax, which autoists claim is unconstitutional, as it is a double tax, autos being included in the personal property tax.
MEDFORD MOTORISTS WILL REFUSE TO PAY STATE LICENSE.
Southern Oregon Automobile Association Organized and A. C. Allen Is Elected as President.
The membership fees of $1 will be devoted exclusively to a fight against this tax, legal aid will be secured and all members will refuse to pay the state auto tax for 1914.
Although this tax repeal is the immediate object of the organization, the association will be a permanent one and will work for better roads, better laws and better conditions for the autoist. A book describing the best auto drives in Southern Oregon will be issued, and club auto trips are a possibility.
At a meeting in the near future bylaws for the association will be drawn up and details of the anti-tax campaign decided upon.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, December 21, 1913, page 49
AUTO TAX IS HELD VALID
Court at Medford Holds State Has Right to Regulate Travel.
MEDFORD, Or., Jan. 30.--(Special.)--Holding that the state has the right to regulate travel upon its highways and collect fees from vehicles, the same as for registering deeds, Judge F. M. Calkins, of the Circuit Court, this morning declared valid the state automobile tax, contested by the Jackson County Automobile Protective Association through Henry E. Boyden.
The court quotes numerous authorities for his decision, including findings in suits against the validity of the tax on bicycles that also were assessed as personal property, which was the chief contention of the autoists, holding that the license made "double taxation."
Morning Oregonian, Portland, January 31, 1914, page 1
CUT OUT JOYRIDES
Girls under 18 years of age out after curfew hours, and fair members of joyriding parties, much show the written consent of parents and a statement of their ages, by virtue of a police order promulgated by Chief of Police Hittson this morning. The applies to attendance at picture shows, dances and other public places unless accompanied by parents or guardians. The patrolmen have been instructed to strictly enforce the order.
Medford Mail Tribune, quoted in the Jacksonville Post, February 7, 1914, page 1
The same mad motorcyclist who broke all speed laws Thursday night, by tearing up Main Street, repeated his stunt again last night, and a trap will be laid to catch the youth.
Sergeant Pat Mego and Officer Bill Crawford are taking lessons in the operation of an auto. The machine used by day by the city engineer is left for the use of the police at night, for use in an emergency and to save taxi hire.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, March 7, 1914, page 2
F. E. Merrick's automobile backed into a telephone pole Thursday evening with disastrous results to the car. The car was set in the reverse when Mr. Merrick started cranking, and backed away from him.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, March 14, 1914, page 5
MOTORCYCLE MIKE AT HIS OLD TRICKS
"The Motorcycle Fool," who has been sick or disinclined to speed for the last week, returned to form last night and picked out Bartlett Street as a speedway, nearly colliding with an automobile at the Sixth Street intersection while going sixty miles an hour. Now and then he let a yell out of him that woke up the residents. The "Motorcycle Fool" is one of the strangest cases that ever came to the notice of the police. He has a mania for speeding, and satisfies this hobby late at night. He wears a black slouch hat, no coat, riding a red machine. The police expect to help carry him to a morgue as a finale to his speeding.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 20, 1914, page 5
MOTORCYCLE MIKE MYSTIFIES POLICE
"Motorcycle Mike" broke loose again Sunday night, spurting through a crowd returning from church at Sixth Street and Central Avenue and taking the turn north on Front and Sixth at such speed that it was feared he would crash into the curb at the Southern Pacific park. The police are of the opinion that the fool is a farmer boy, newly possessed of a motorcycle and half-crazy on the subject of speed.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 23, 1914, page 6
1914 Studebaker ad
FIRST AUTO ROXY ANN SUMMIT
J. A. Westerlund in a "35" Studebaker accompanied by J. A. Perl, Ralph Norris and C. Y. Tengwald succeeded in reaching a point within five minutes' walk of the top of Roxy Ann yesterday afternoon. The trip was made over the new automobile road which Mr. Westerlund has just completed for the pleasure of automobilists. Those who have been to the top of Roxy Ann are aware of the excellent scenery to be had from this point, and the building of this new road opens up one of the most scenic and easily accessible drives in the county. The trip yesterday was a rather difficult one, and several steep grades were negotiated. These will be cut down, and in the next few days the road will be in excellent condition and any car will be able to make the climb.
Medford Sun, May 29, 1914, page 1
Roseburg now has a "Motorcycle Mike," and it is believed to be the same gentleman who gave vent to his speeding proclivities in this city for a few weeks, and then suddenly stopped. The same tactics are adopted there as employed in this city.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, April 28, 1914, page 2
The modified delights of motoring over the Pacific Highway in Oregon are sweetened by the many good hotels which have sprung up in the towns along its course. No doubt these hotels, for the most part conducted by women, have been nourished, if not created, by the automobile. The traffic arising from this expensive toy is already considerable and its promise is large. It has transformed the standards of hotel keepers, diffused urban comforts through all the big Western Oregon towns, and encouraged a mode of entertaining travelers which has more of Switzerland than of local pioneer days in it. Except in small villages, where motorists rarely stop, the hideous hostelry of olden times is but a nightmare vanished from reality if not from memory.
Nor are good hotels the only mark of the new and energetic Oregon city. It is curious to note the garages which have been called into being by the motorcar, one at least even in small places, half a dozen in bustling centers like Medford. Whoever wants proof that mechanical inventions change the lives and habits of men may profitably contemplate these shops which have sprung up like mushrooms in the last few years and now support a great army of workmen, too, well paid, intelligent and self-respecting. The garages are like Jonah's gourd for growth, and we need not fear that they will wither like that unfortunate vine.
"Medford and Southern Oregon," Medford Sun, June 23, 1914, page 4
A couple of young guys from Medford, accompanied by their sweethearts, hove in town Monday evening in a large automobile. They drove east on the street at a 2:20 clip while spectators stood aghast at the speed demons. Whirling the corner on two wheels they returned up the street on their way home. In passing the guys gave the glad wink to the marshal and recorder, while the ladies smiled that smile of contempt. Indignation was manifested by the onlookers, but as a fellow remarked, "What the deuce can you do! Give us an honorable justice court here and these speed demons and no-light fellows will get what's coming to them."
Central Point Herald, July 9, 1914, page 2
Joy riding on the newly paved Pacific Highway between Talent and Ashland, circa 1915
MEDFORD'S FIRST SIGHTSEEING CAR
The first sightseeing car arrived in Medford Saturday and will be part of the Medford Taxi Company equipment. It was purchased by A. S. Ames of Talent and attracts considerable attention on the streets.
It is a 42-horsepower Packard, has six upholstered seats six feet eight inches long and seats 30 passengers comfortably. The car has [a] 144-inch wheelbase and is strictly up to date. It will make sightseeing tours over the city and valley, and a regular schedule of trips will be arranged soon.
Medford Sun, July 19, 1914, page 4
"This is the third time I have motored from San Francisco to Portland, and each time I find lots of changes. Especially do I notice a different attitude of the farmers toward automobilists. Five years ago they were out with a gun every time they saw a machine, but now 50 percent of them have cars of their own, and the farmers are very hospitable."
R. H. Pease, "Salem Route Vexes," Morning Oregonian, Portland, July 27, 1914, page 4
The Packard excursion car on Ivy Street by Hotel Medford.
Police Judge Gay and Chief Hittson stood aghast with amazement this morning, when William Aiken and George Saunders, arrested for speeding Monday night, without quibbling or equivocation admitted they were guilty, and paid their fine of $10. This is the first time in the history of the city that a speeder has admitted that he was going faster than the law allows. Generally, they have machines geared lower than the law. Aiken was riding a motorcycle and Saunders was driving an auto.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, July 28, 1914, page 2
Leon Lawton was fined $5 and costs in the police court Friday afternoon for speeding on a motorcycle on Riverside Avenue. Lawton's defense was that his machine could not run less than 20 miles an hour.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, August 15, 1914, page 2
Complaint has been filed that joy riders whoop and yell nightly through the residence district, not to mention violation of the speed ordinance.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, August 26, 1914, page 2
The Autoist's Lament
The Ford is my auto, I shall not walk;
It maketh me lie under it in queer postures,
It leadeth me into trouble;
For its sake I go into the paths of debt;
Yea, though I understand my Ford perfectly,
I fear much evil, for the radius rods might break;
And if it has a blow-out in the presence of my enemies,
I anoint the tires with patches.
Surely the thing will not follow me all the days of my life,
Or I will dwell in the house of poverty forever.
Jacksonville Post, October 24, 1914, page 1
THE ROCK PILE FOR SPEEDERS
In these days of freak legislation, fanatical laws and attempts to regulate habits and personal affairs by legal rules, it is refreshing to come across a new idea in city ordinances which, hurting no one, acts as a means of saving lives and reducing the number of accidents. Portland is the city which is to be complimented upon writing into its code a low which has made the place unique in one respect. There are 500,000 people in Portland and there are countless automobiles. Yet in the last nine months there has not been one person injured, much less killed in an automobile accident in that city. And why is this so? Because in Portland the driver of an automobile who exceeds the speed limit is put to work on the rock pile, for from two to thirty days. No fines accepted. If the driver is convicted he must do his time at hard labor and no exceptions are made. Portland's streets are safe to pedestrians. Here is an idea that ought to spread eastward.
Central Point Herald, December 3, 1914, page 2
Jitneys Unprofitable at Ashland.
ASHLAND, Or., Feb. 10.--(Special.)--The local jitney service has been discontinued here, after a month's trial. The nickel fare did not pay. Schoolteachers were its best patrons. The service, however, between Ashland and Medford has been extended, with increased patronage. An auto truck also makes regular trips, handling the freight shipments from Medford wholesale houses to this city and other outlying districts.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, February 11, 1915, page 15
Earl Fisher of the Gates garage has instituted a new Ford service whereby an auto is rented out by the hour the same as a horse and buggy. The owner furnishes everything but a driver. By this means people with auto driving inclinations but with no machine can be accommodated.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, March 30, 1915, page 2
PARENTS PERMIT CHILDREN TO RUN IN FRONT OF AUTOS
The city authorities are looking for a law somewhere in the Oregon statutes providing a penalty for parents who are negligent in the care of children when it comes to risking their lives. Chief Hittson is desirous of applying the law to a number of Medford fathers and mothers living on residence streets who allow their offspring to play in the streets of evenings, in the path of vehicles, while they sit on the front porch and view the proceedings.
According to the police, on several streets, particularly North Riverside, the children play on the pavement, and at the approach of autos, with studied care stand in front of the moving cars, compelling the driver to stop or run over them. Though there have been several near-accidents, the police say, this is looked upon by any number of parents as a joke, and are greatly amused by the ire of the autoists, some of whom have burnt up tires in their efforts to stop.
It is likely that some action will be taken at the next meeting of the city council to curb the annoyance.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 16, 1915, page 8
The Powell Auto Co. has received a Cole "Eight," the second eight-cylinder car in the valley.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, May 17, 1915, page 5
The day of the horse as motive power for drays is about over in this city. In their stead motor trucks will be installed within the next week [or] ten days. A partnership was formed last week between Henry Marsh and Charles Carlton, they purchasing the Adams Transfer Company. A Packard truck is due to arrive this week for their use. W. J. Burbridge is also contemplating the purchase of a truck to be used in place of a team in his draying business.
A 1915 Packard truck ad
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, June 7, 1915, page 2
C. E. Gates Thursday received a carload shipment of eight Fords. Eleven people were waiting for them. Some were so anxious for the machines that they assembled the parts themselves.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, July 9, 1915, page 2
According to a Portland man who has been compiling automobile statistics there are 1074 autos in Jackson County, about one for each 25 persons.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, September 25, 1915, page 3
The jury in the circuit court Saturday in the case of Robert H. Halley, of the Palace rooming house in this city, against the Southern Pacific company, rendered a verdict for the defendant. Halley sued for the value of a new automobile which was wrecked by a Southern Pacific freight train on a private crossing between Medford and Phoenix some months ago. Miss Wilson was driving the machine. In the hurry to cross ahead of the train the auto engine was "killed" while the machine was on the railroad track. Occupants of the auto jumped out and, running up the track, waved the freight engineer to stop. The heavy freight was coming down grade. It appeared to be unable to stop in time to save the automobile. Although the auto was a light one, no effort was made to remove it by hand from the track. The jury decided that its loss should be attributable to the negligence of the plaintiff.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, March 6, 1916, page 2
INJURED IN AUTO ACCIDENT MONDAY
While returning from Ashland Monday evening in an auto, Mrs. Emma Bebb of this city was thrown from the car and sustained a broken ankle, fractured skull and several severe bruises and cuts on the body. The accident occurred the other side of Phoenix about 8 p.m. Charles Mee, a nephew of Mrs. Bebb, was driving the car and the other occupants were Mrs. Bebb's daughter, Hazel, and her son, Irvin T. Bebb.
The accident occurred in this manner: Mrs. Bebb was in the act of changing from the back to the seat in front, her son standing on the running board to assist her while the driver was assisting her with his right hand. The car swerved to the right and was headed for a nearby telephone pole. To prevent the car from leaving the grade Mr. Mee loosened his hold of Mrs. Bebb and turned the car with a sudden jerk. This threw Mr. Bebb several feet from the car and caused Mrs. Bebb to be thrown on her face close to the car, the hind wheel passing over and fracturing her left ankle.
They were traveling at the rate of fifteen to twenty miles an hour.
Excerpt, Central Point Herald, May 18, 1916, page 1
101 autos and 458 persons were registered at the superintendent's office at Crater Lake Sunday. This is the record for any one day in the history of the lake. The Pythian convention last year, with 97 autos, was the next highest.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, August 12, 1916, page 3
Jackson County has 1431 registered automobiles, or one to every nineteen persons. The total in the state is 31, 847, or an average of 1 to twenty-six persons.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, September 16, 1916, page 3
A total of $119,987.45 will be returned to the various counties of Oregon as their share of the 1916 motor license fees. Jackson County will receive $5,906 less $1,060 expenses, making net refund of $4,846. Jackson County ranks fourth in the number of autos, being surpassed only by Multnomah, Marion and Umatilla counties.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, January 13, 1917, page 3
Signs have been placed on the main roads entering the city, requiring autos to "slow down to 12 miles," which is the speed limit fixed by city ordinance. This ordinance will be strictly enforced.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, June 2, 1917, page 3
GORE ARRESTED FOR NOT DIMMING AUTO HEADLIGHTS
"I am innocent of the charge and it will have to be proven against me in court before I will pay a fine," said W. H. Gore today in explaining why he entered a plea of not guilty before Justice Taylor following his arrest by county prosecutor Roberts' motorcycle cop on the Pacific Highway because of not having his auto lights dimmed, in compliance with the state law, as the cop claims.
The motorcycle cop had just arrested a Portland auto dealer on the same charge, and the two were standing by the car at the side of the road, engaged in a loud word wrangle when Mr. Gore and his son Jay came driving by. The cop ordered Jay, who was at the wheel, to stop, but Mr. Gore, who was in the rear seat, thinking that the motorcycle cop and the other man were returning from Hornbrook, ordered Jay to speed up.
The cop then speeded after them on his motorcycle and rode beside their car, calling upon them to stop, without showing his badge or telling them that he was an officer. They also claim that he swore at them repeatedly and was otherwise abusive. Finally, when he showed his badge, they stopped the car and submitted to arrest.
"The law says that the front lights shall be dimmed when the safety and convenience of the public demand," said Mr. Gore today, "and there was certainly no occasion for us to dim our lights that night, as there was no one on the highway ahead of us except these two, who were standing by the car at the side of the road and wrangling."
Otto Schneider, the Portland auto dealer arrested that same night, pleaded guilty before Justice Taylor yesterday and was fined $5 and court costs.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 28, 1917, page 4
Charles C. Furnas, ex-mayor of Medford who died here Tuesday, established the first automobile service station in this city in December, 1918.
The Medford Service Station, as the enterprise was known, was erected by Mr. Furnas at Main St. and Riverside Ave. where the then two-way Highway 99 passed through Medford. The tire sales and service part of the firm's operation was conducted in the adjoining building which now houses Wainscott's Pharmacy.
"First Gas Station Run by C. Furnas Who Died Tuesday," Medford Mail Tribune, April 17, 1958, page 1
A number of persons from this city attended the opening at A. W. Walker's garage at Medford last night.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, May 4, 1918, page 3
Speed cop McDonald on his green motorcycle collided with an auto driven by Mrs. F. M. Radoyan at Medford Wednesday afternoon. McDonald was thrown to the ground, badly bruised and his machine badly damaged.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, February 1, 1919, page 3
AUTO TAX DECLARED INEQUITABLEMEDFORD, Or., Feb. 22.--(To the Editor.)--I have just read, in your issue of the 21st, your editorial and also a letter on the proposed increased license on automobiles to build the roads of the state. I heartily endorse the statements expressed, but would like to add a little to them. You said, in part, referring to the man who owns an old car, "that man is likely to try to knock the whole road building scheme to pieces." You erred slightly in this statement, for you should have said "will'' instead of "likely," for I can promise now that we fully intend to fight it tooth and toenail. Just so sure as this legalized holdup carries we will fight it at every turn, and if there is a hole left in it as big as the eye of an needle we will find it.
Old Models of High Horsepower Are Practically Confiscated.
The writer has always been one of the best of friends of the good roads movement. I owned the second car brought to the Rogue River Valley and have worked for and donated money for good roads, but when a piece of confiscatory legislation passes which will prevent me from using my car on the roads I naturally lose interest and become an enemy. I own an old 48-horsepower car which cost me actually less than $400 and is today assessed at $150. This car is ten years old, being a 1909 model. I own it because I cannot afford another. I use it almost entirely in my work and actually ran it less than 1000 miles in the state of Oregon in 1918. The proposed act will place a charge of $65 per year, if I understand it correctly, upon this old rig, which is valued at $150. Besides this, the tax on gasoline will mount up considerably, and especially will it hurt when you understand that we are paying 27 cents a gallon now. Also think of what it means to the man in Eastern Oregon who has to pay already from 35 to 40 cents per gallon for gasoline.
The absolute injustice of it all is so apparent that no one should have to pause to see it clearly. The whole scheme shows on the face of it that the legislators know that the people at large would not stand for it, for they refuse to refer it and pass it under an emergency clause, when it is palpable that no emergency exists. One legislator, according to the report in the paper, stated that every member of the legislature knows that his constituents are solidly back of this law. That is not true, for the Jackson County delegation, to my own personal knowledge, received protests in plenty against it. Also for his information, I can add that if this outrageous tax is put on automobiles we will fight it even through the courts. This is not a threat but a fact.
Here is a specific case of injustice, and there are many more. I know a man who, like myself and others, owns an "old rattletrap" of a car. He works steadily six days in the week. On Sundays and occasional holidays he can take out his "old bus" and get a little new life with his family in the woods. He probably does not run his car 500 miles in a year, yet this law will place a tax on his car at such a price that he cannot use it. In other words, though he is taxed on his home to build roads and is therefore entitled to use them, yet he is prohibited by a tax he cannot pay. It is an outrage.
The whole plan is wrong when they make one class pay the entire cost of a scheme which every individual uses and gets the benefit of. I can cite you to a piece of road in southern Oregon which the county built at a big expense. It was no sooner completed than a company purchased some timber from the government, put in heavy tog teams and tractors, closed the road entirely at one place, and practically ruined it. Yet the auto is blamed for all the damage and must build roads for these tractors and heavy teams to ruin. I can name you several of these examples.
Besides the tax on gasoline and "other engine fuels" means that every person that uses gasoline, kerosene or distillate or even crude oil must pay to build the roads, while a man with a steam tractor, using wood fuel, can hook on a train of log wagons, rip up the road and not pay. Or he can use "hay burners" and cut the roads to pieces without paying a cent. Under the fuel oil tax the cleaners must pay a tax on their gasoline for cleaning purposes. The farmer must pay a tax on his kerosene for his lamps. The orchardist must pay a road tax when he sprays his fruit and many who use the fuel in various ways other than in cars must pay a road tax.
There are too many acts of injustice under this to mention, but I would like to know why these roads cannot be built out of money from direct taxation? Or, if the users of the roads must pay for it all, then why not make a wheel tax on every vehicle? Or why not tax the school children alone for the school, placing a tax graduated (unequally, of course) according to age? Or why not--but what's the use?
A. C. ALLEN.Morning Oregonian, Portland, February 25, 1919, page 12
FORDS WILL GO 'HAYWIRE.'
Ulrich's Delivery Truck Capsizes.
Friday morning when Lewis Thompson was making the usual morning delivery for Ulrich's store, the Ford delivery truck he was driving took a notion to go "haywire," and no sooner thought than done.
Lewis was turning around in the street and ran into some sand. When he tried to straighten up his wheels, the steering apparatus had evidently passed the center, and instead of turning in the direction desired they went the other way.
The car turned over, with the wheels sticking straight up, pinning Lewis underneath. The seat and windshield protected him, but made it impossible to get up.
A crowd soon formed and lifted the car over on the wheels, and considerable surprise was manifested when Lewis got up and walked off.
The steering wheel was cracked, the top bent and the top of the windshield bent; that being the extent of the injury to the car. It was driven back to the store, loaded with a fresh supply of groceries, and away she went, just as though turning over was an everyday occurrence.
Jacksonville Post, August 16, 1919, page 3
Recent statistics show that in Jackson County there are 2595 automobiles, 939 of which are Fords. The total number of cars in the state is 75,044.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, September 6, 1919, page 3
When the automobile came it was predicted it would make the horse extinct. Horseflesh costs more than ever as equestrianism continues to grow in favor. Now the oracles say the aeroplane will eliminate both automobile and horse, but like the horse, the automobile grows in number and favor. The saturation point in the automobile industry is always being predicted but never reached. It will be found that horse, automobile and airship each have their purpose and will increase in number as new needs are found for them and the population grows.
From an article in a current magazine are taken a few quotations on the subject of the automobile:
"The automobile stands unique as the most extravagant piece of machinery ever devised for the pleasure of man."
"The people are becoming car poor as their ancestors became land poor."
"In this craze for automobile ownership, the joy of security in the future is sacrificed for the pleasure of the moment."
"The whole scheme of domestic life centers in the motor car."
"Once the man who borrowed in order to buy a car was looked upon as dangerous."
With some of these statements some will agree, but it is invariably the careless who predict disaster and chaos because so many of their neighbors are on wheels and exchange old cars for new every year.
It is manifest from the popularity of the auto, from the universality of its use and from the jealous tenacity all car owners cling to their cars, whether palaces on wheels or decrepit derelicts, that there are satisfactions derived from the automobile which the critics of the automobile have not discerned.
Ashland American, April 15, 1927, page 2
After having had it painted a bright red color by inmates at the county jail, Deputy Sheriff Lewis Jennings has again painted his motorcycle, this time changing the color to a reserved gray. The deputy figured that red would make his machine too conspicuous and easy to see by prospects he might have in mind to arrest.
"Brevities," Medford Mail Tribune, August 7, 1927, page 3
ACCOMPLISHES CLIMBING FEAT
What is believed to be one of the most difficult hill climbing feats ever performed by automobile was successfully accomplished last month when H. F. Lange of the Armstrong Motor Company of Oregon drove a new Austin bantam to the summit of Table Rock over a wagon trail that has not been used for years.
News of the feat, which was accomplished by a standard model Austin coupe with no special gear reductions, was received here Wednesday by Ray Little, president and manager for the Austin Motor Sales Company, local Austin distributors.
In the ascent of the trail, grades as steep as 40 percent were encountered, with loose rock and large boulders adding additional handicaps. After reaching the top the bantam machine was driven to the front of the rock facing Medford and was photographed as evidence of its feat. Perched on the edge of the great rock, with the vertical rock wall dropping hundreds of feet to the valley, the tiny bantam when viewed from below resembled a fly sitting atop a barrel. Both motion and still pictures were taken of the car.
Lange gave credit to Ethyl gasoline for a share of the success of the demonstration. E. F. White, Jack Worth and Carl Williams were official boulder movers for the climb. The first two named sustained slight injuries when the car, in motion, hurled stones at them from under its tires. They plan to use shin protectors and baseball masks the next time the climb is made.
On completion of the climb, Lange made the following statement: "I believe that an automobile cannot be put to any harder test than driving up to the top of Table Rock. Every part of the car is subject to the most terrific strain, and the body twist and wrack is sufficient to break any but the best material and construction."
The run was officially observed by a representative of the Medford Mail Tribune.
Oakland Tribune, October 26, 1930, page B7
Survey Shows That Young Men Still Speeding on Street
There is no moral to the following; it is plain common sense.
Part of this information was given us by a business man. He says that for nine days after the fatal accident that occurred recently, the young men of the town drove very carefully, slowed up on every corner, but the tenth day he saw various ones turning corners on two wheels, especially when there happened to be young ladies on the corners. High school girls stood on the street and made the boys drive out around them. One of the worst corners at the noon hour is the corner of Pine (commonly called Main) and Fourth streets. This being a paved street, most of the school children pass that way. Everything possible should be done to prevent an accident there.
Youth has ever been the same and needed the curb of the older generation. One party held their breath every time a certain car whizzed by their corner, but did nothing about it. They often said it was a wonder some child was not killed. The driver of the car was a neighbor boy, and it would be bad to have the neighbor sore at them. But which would be better: to have the neighbor sore, or grieve on account of their son cutting short the life of a little child?
Every man or woman who sees a person driving recklessly enough to endanger life, and does not report it or speak to the driver about it and warn him that he will report it if he ever sees him do that again, is guilty if said driver kills someone. Our laws should be enforced. People will report fast driving, but when asked to swear to it, they say, "Oh, I don't want anyone to be mad at me. Can't something be done and keep my name out of it?"
What do people make traffic laws for, to talk about how dreadful it is for someone to break them? Every man, woman and child living in a community should be partly responsible for every accident in that community. Not only [the] driver of a vehicle should be careful but pedestrians and bicycle riders are often far more to blame. We have seen bicyclists take chances that it was only the presence of mind and quick action on the part of the driver that saved their lives.
Central Point American, April 17, 1941, page 1
To the Editor: There wuz an article in the Mail Tribune about a Brush car which I never wrote. It said: "There was a guy in Ashland who drove a Brush. He put mountain dew in the gas tank and got 31 miles to the gallon."
The figures are wrong. Sometimes I used a gallon of gas to get away from the fireplug. Sometimes I made 91 miles and never used a drop of gas. It all depended on the carburetor, thermometer, barometer and altimeter. When I made 91 miles, I used teenagers to push the car. We tried everything to start the engine. Place the car in gear, prop up one wheel and try Russian roulette. Not a bang. The football team would put the car in gear, pick up the hind wheels and run, then drop the hind wheels onto the ground and see what happened. It didn't start the engine, it just blew the spark plug down the northeast side of ol' Pompadour [Butte]; the engine wuz spinning like it never spun before, but it didn't start the engine. The high cliff was a great temptation, but we didn't.
The only time I ever got the engine going good wuz when I put mountain dew in the carburetor and cranked the car in reverse. It leaped over the sidewalk into a plate glass window of a jewelry store full of diamonds. The newspaper said: "High school student hits $10,000 diamond jackpot with $2.49 Brush car."
After this happened, I never cranked the car on the same side of the street as the police station. I figured there wuzn't no use taking the windshield into the police station to get the ticket on it. I ain't the guy wot started puttin' windshields on cars. Since they put windshields on cars and parking meters in Jackson County, I ain't done nothin' but pick parking tickets off the cotton pickin' windshield.
There is a law against pasting literature on the windshield, but there ain't no law against a policeman plastering the windshield with $15 worth of parking tickets.
Everett Acklin,Medford Mail Tribune, February 12, 1961, page 5
Medford Service Station in the 1920s
In about 1953 the dealership was acquired by Jim Shoemaker, who brought in a partner, William (Bill) T. Clark, previously a Portland district manager for Goodyear. They operated and expanded the dealership to its peak during the 1960s. Clark and Shoemaker operated the main store with a recap shop and a truck tire store on Crater Lake Highway. In 1974, Bill Clark sold the dealership to the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.
As a company-owned store the dealership closed the truck tire store on Crater Lake Highway and the recap operation. After 11 years operation, as a Goodyear company-owned store, the dealership was sold to the Roseburg Goodyear dealership, who operated the dealership until 1988.
Medford Tire Service ad, Medford Mail Tribune, March 23, 1989, page B15
Last revised May 8, 2013