Profiles of some personages and personalities of early Medford.
Medford's first architect, man of mystery.
N. S. Bennett
He arrived in 1889; his Eden Valley Nursery provided many of the fruit trees that once populated the Rogue Valley.
Notes on the most popular man in Jackson County--until he made off with the county treasury.
Charles Wesley Broback
Broback made time to co-found Medford when not riding herd on his passel of trouble-magnet sons.
John H. Butler
Butler traded a can of kerosene for two acres of land, helped found the Medford Furniture & Hardware Co., built the Woolworth Building--and lost it.
Minister, Wild West show promoter, womanizing editor on the lam--Carlisle published Medford's second newspaper, the Southern Oregon Transcript.
George Horatio Chick
The mine promoter may have been on the up-and-up--but he sure managed to leave a lot of unhappy people in his wake.
Though he was never a judge, Judge Colvig was for many years Medford's biggest booster.
Franklin Lafayette Cranfill
Coming to Medford in its first year as a 40-year-old carpenter, he built Cranfill & Hutchison into a venerable Medford dry-goods emporium.
Notes and photos on Ansel A. Davis and the Davis & France Medford Roller Mills.
Second Ford dealer, mayor and pillar of the community.
William A. Gates
"Peoria Bill" Gates outgrew his circus ambitions and brought modern grocery merchandising to the Rogue Valley when he co-founded the Groceteria.
He arrived at the height of the Orchard Boom and soon became president of the Farmers and Fruitgrowers Bank, safely seeing it through the Great Depression.
Notes on the life of one of Medford's early opticians.
Gores and Ishes
The Gore and Ish families played a prominent part in early Medford and in the development of the area long before the town was thought of.
Vern Centennial Gorst
The real brains behind Pacific Air Transport.
The beginnings of a page on the aviation pioneer.
Another druggist, though only since 1909. He talks about the Orchard Boom, in full swing when he arrived, and running a sideline orchard.
The history of Medford's first tailor and the Holtan family, as told by Marguerite and John Black.
James Sullivan Howard
He didn't do quite everything he's credited with, but his efforts were crucial in turning the townsite into a town.
Asahel C. Hubbard
A scion of Fortunatus Hubbard, he and his brothers grew a farm implement dealership into the oldest hardware store in Oregon, Hubbard Brothers.
William F. Isaacs
''Toggery Bill" was a pioneer Medford haberdasher, Rogue River booster, and fishing guide to the stars.
Ashba Logan Johnson
The Rogue Valley's first booster, he invented and disseminated the phrase "The Italy of Oregon"--before making off with the Sunday school's treasury.
George Pierre Lindley
No fireworks here, just the quiet life of a public-spirited citizen.
John C. Mann
Lured to Medford in 1910 by a booster pamphlet, he stayed to found a venerable merchandising firm--Mann's Department Store.
Michael Angelo McGinnis
Educator, mathematician, syphilitic madman, M. A. McGinnis founded Medford's first newspaper, the Medford Monitor.
He owned the M.M. Department Store, created in 1894 from the ashes of the New York Cheap Cash Store. He describes the birth of the Orchard Boom.
Oregon's first Socialist officeholder was also Medford's first councilman to be framed by the mayor..
John T. C. Nash
The clipper ship captain survived Indian attacks to find a fortune in gold--and used it to build a hotel in downtown Medford.
The Central Point boy became the Phantom of the Exhibit Building and Medford's original "live wire."
The Swedish blacksmith built in Medford even before the town even had a name--and was witness to its naming.
Dr. Roland Pryce
An early Medford physician, he struggled with alcoholism and tuberculosis before a poignant death in the arms of his Gold Hill bride.
Clara Belle Purucker
"Auntie" Purucker shepherded over 1800 Medford babies into the world in her South Orange Street maternity home.
The human bullseye and fearless editor of the Medford Tribune occasionally paid a price for his editorials.
He never practiced in Medford but bought the Nash Hotel and developed the Blue Ledge Mine, soon becoming mayor and Medford's biggest booster.
The railroader should have been Medford's most hated man, but he managed to become the opposite.
Snafu, the Foul-Mouthed Parrot
Notes on the World War II veteran who made his name in Medford as a "cussing tropical woodpecker."
Joseph H. Stewart
He didn't do quite everything he's credited with, but he is the man who brought commercial orchard practices to the Rogue Valley.
He arrived as Medford began in 1884 and ran his drug store on Main Street for over 50 years. He reminisces about Medford's beginnings and Bear Creek.
From New York City newsboy to construction contractor of the Craterian, the Natatorium, the Elks Club, Hotel Jackson, Medford National Bank and more.
He almost turned tail when he saw the dusty town of Medford in 1908, but saw opportunity and began the manufacture of Mission furniture and lamps.
He built the Railroad Saloon and stayed to become Medford's pioneer insurance agent and founder of the Southern Oregon Pork Packing Company.
William I. Vawter
The attorney founded Medford's first bank and built a mansion at the corner of Main and Holly that figured prominently in its social history.
Weeks & Orr
John and Fred Weeks and their in-law Eugene Orr in 1892 founded a Medford furniture company that continues to this day.
He worked in several lumber yards in Medford--including its first--before starting his own in 1894 and providing the material that built the town.
Last revised August 1, 2011