on the Medford Post Office
James S. Howard appointed February 6, 1884
The claim is made for Medford that it has the largest post office receipts of any town in the United States that is without a free delivery service. The receipts for the year 1908 were $14,597.65. The receipts for 1907 were $10,844.08, which gives a gain of $3,753.57 for the last year, a proof that Medford is growing rapidly. The regulations of the Post Office Department require that a post office shall have receipts exceeding $10,000 a year before a free delivery service is granted. Application was made by Postmaster Woodford some months ago for free delivery service for Medford, but the request was turned down for the time being by the Postmaster-General, he alleging that the government was without funds to meet any added expense in the postal service. It is expected that the free delivery will be granted with the beginning of the April quarter for this year.
The Medford post office is now twenty-five years old, having been established in the spring of 1884. The first mail was kept in a cigar box, then as the business grew a soap box was installed, partitioned to have nine compartments. Then later a small dry goods box with sections was added to the equipment. And Medford, then as now, was a growing town and soon this equipment would not suffice and a case, made of 1x6 lumber and having thirty sections, was put up and soon this was replaced with a full complement of call and lock boxes. All this equipment of the pioneer post office for Medford is now in the office of J. S. Howard, the veteran surveyor, in the Adkins block, and is among the most treasured relics that Mr. Howard has of early days in Rogue River Valley.
Mr. Howard was the first postmaster for Medford and held the office for eight years, and then in after years he served six years more.
"Some Interesting Facts in the History of Medford," Rogue River Fruit Grower, January 1909
It is understood at Medford that the mail for Jacksonville will be made up on the train and put off at Medford. The Medford post office will be established soon, it is expected.
Ashland Tidings, February 29, 1884, page 3
A post office has been established with J. S. Howard as Postmaster. His bonds were forwarded to Washington several days ago and the office will be opened in a few days.
"Medford Notes," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 1, 1884, page 3
J. S. Howard has added an apartment to his store building at Medford, in which the post office will be kept. He has received his commission and will be ready in a few days.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 21, 1884, page 3
The Medford post office is now open for business and mail will go to and come from there direct hereafter.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 21, 1884, page 3
The post office at Medford with J. S. Howard as Postmaster and the [Wells Fargo] & Co.'s express with A. L. Johnson in charge will be in working order in a few days more.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 22, 1884, page 3
All the paraphernalia for a post office at Medford has been received by J. S. Howard and mail matter can be sent there now.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 29, 1884, page 3
A number of the prominent residents of Medford were in town Thursday. We asked one of the party what they were doing here when we were informed that the Medford post office was still in doubt, since the commencement of Democratic rule, and that outside assistance was required to locate it. Our advice would be to let well enough alone and keep Max Muller and J. S. Howard as postmasters in their respective towns.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 14, 1885, page 3
David H. Miller appointed August 25, 1885
The "offensive partisan" machine has reached Southern Oregon. At Roseburg Wm. N. Moore has been appointed postmaster, and at Medford David H. Miller succeeds J. S. Howard. Besides these eight other appointments for Oregon have been reported within the past few days.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, August 28, 1885, page 3
An Eagle Point correspondent, under date of Aug. 31st, says: After today the mail will come direct from Medford to this place instead of from Jacksonville as formerly. Steps will soon be taken to make it a daily mail instead of tri-weekly, as now.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, September 11, 1885, page 3
The fine large brick buildings erected by Geo. W. Williams and J. S. Howard are about ready for the plasterers. The block is two stories in height, and the lower part will contain four fine store rooms. Mr. Howard will occupy his own building--his store in the lower part and a fine dwelling fitted up above. D. H. Miller & Co. will occupy the largest of the other three stores with their hardware and drug business, and the post office.
The post office at Medford has the handsomest set of private lock boxes in Oregon. They were purchased by Mr. Howard and sold by him to Mr. Miller, the present P.M.
The post offices at Grants Pass and Medford have about the neatest set of private lock boxes in the State..
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 13, 1885, page 3
The post office will soon be in new quarters.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 29, 1886, page 3
The post office is now established in the lower story of Williams' fine, large building, and presents a neat appearance. Vrooman, Miller & Co.'s superior stock of stoves, hardware, tinware, etc., is also being displayed there.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 12, 1886, page 3
Our post office needs more boxes badly.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 14, 1889, page 3
A good deal of brotherly love is said to be severely strained in Medford over the prospect of a change in the management of the post office.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 21, 1889, page 2
The Journal learns that Mrs. Susie M. West, formerly a resident of this county, is an applicant for the position of postmistress at the town of Medford in Oregon, where she now resides, and that a strong fight is being made on her behalf. The Journal hopes Mrs. West will win, because it knows that she is in every way well qualified for the position, an earnest worker in all good works, exceedingly popular in the community in which she lives, and possesses an unfailing courtesy so essential to a public officer. The Journal wants to see efficient Republicans in office who will so conduct affairs as to compel the respect of the general public, and if Mrs. West secures this appointment there will be one office, at least, of which this will be true.
The Columbus Journal, Columbus, Nebraska, May 15, 1889, page 3
The four years' term of the present incumbent of the Medford post office will expire with the last of June, but as yet it is not known who will be his successor. Numerous applications for the appointment have been made.
"Medford Items," Ashland Tidings, May 24, 1889, page 2
James S. Howard appointed September 25, 1889
J. S. Howard has secured the post office. His principal competitor for the post office was a general favorite in this place, and would not resort to Howard's tactics, even to secure so desirable a position. Howard ascribes his success to the fact that he "entertained" our congressman, while custom forbade his competitor being equally hospitable.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 10, 1889, page 3
J. S. Howard took charge of the Medford post office last Thursday."Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 7, 1889, page 3
The Medford post office was moved into its new quarters, J. S. Howard's store, the other day, and the retiring P.M. has put up at the old office the sign "Closed four years for repairs," following the example of his predecessor and successor, Mr. Howard.
"Medford Items," Ashland Tidings, November 8, 1889, page 2
The demand for lock boxes at the post office has been so great that the number has been doubled. Our town is still growing rapidly.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 10, 1890, page 2
In 1891, business totaled $349.93 for a two-month period. The postmaster, Medford's first, James S. Howard, was still in office. He received $166.67 for two months' salary, his monthly pay being $83.33.
A post office clerk, according to the same form, which did not list his name, was paid $33.33, and costs for rent and heating of the building totaled $26.67, again for two months.
One special delivery letter was delivered during the two months, and a fee of eight cents was collected by the postmaster for same.
The sworn statement of business is notarized by Willard Crawford on Oct. 3, 1891. The Medford post office, established Feb. 6, 1884, was then seven years old.
"Indicator of Medford's Growth Seen in Records," Medford Mail Tribune, February 13, 1963, page 1
Representative Hermann has been interesting himself before the department as to increase the classification of the Medford post office, in Jackson County, and is now informed that an order has been issued making it a presidential office.
"For a Second Term," Oregonian, Portland, May 23, 1891, page 10
The business of the Medford post office has increased so much that the department at Washington has made a presidential office of it.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 29, 1891, page 2
Our post office is now a presidential office, and a new commission has been issued to the present incumbent.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 3, 1891, page 3
J. S. Howard was commissioned as postmaster of Medford on the 5th.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 12, 1892, page 2
J. R. Erford is mentioned as an aspirant to the position of postmaster of Medford.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 2, 1892, page 2
Be Brief and to the Point.
Persons visiting a post office on a busy day think that it makes no difference how they ask for mail. Were there but few asking for mail it would make no difference, but where, as is frequently the case, hundreds ask for mail in a single day, it does make a difference whether the party stepping to the window says "Is there any mail for John Smith?" or whether he says "John Smith." The supposition is that the applicant at the general delivery window wants mail and while postal employees are not averse to politeness, the giving of the name is not an impolite way, and as it gets right down to the point it is much preferred. The same rule holds good for stamps. The clerk does not know what denomination you want if you say "25 cents worth of stamps," but if you way "25 cents' worth of twos" or "ten twos and five ones" you have been brief and explicit, and the clerk will appreciate your effort to help him expedite the work.
Medford Mail, March 3, 1893, page 2
J. A. Slover and Chas. Strang are applicants for the Medford post office."Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 3, 1893, page 3
D. H. Miller, Chas. Strang, J. R. Erford and J. A. Slover are candidates for the office of postmaster at Medford.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 17, 1893, page 3
Business at the Medford post office is increasing steadily. On the adjustment of salaries just made by the department at Washington the postmaster's salary was increased from $1100 to $1200.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 7, 1893, page 2
Mahlon Purdin appointed December 24, 1895
"News of the City," Medford Mail, February 14, 1896, page 5
Ex-postmaster Howard in his work of taking down and placing to one side the old post office fixtures made the discovery of a curio--Medford's first post office. It is a wooden box twelve inches wide and twenty-two inches high and nine inches deep, and in it are pigeonholes in which was placed both the letters and papers coming through the mails for ALL the inhabitants of the town at that time, which was in 1884. The first registered letter which came to the office was entered upon the register book by Miss Nettie L. Howard, she who is now Mrs. B. S. Webb. This was in April, '84. J. S. Howard was the first postmaster, and it was in '85 that the town was incorporated--and in a cleanup of this week a large ugly-looking knife was unearthed, the same being the weapon with which he defended himself against an attack of Broback, one of the original townsite owners. The attack having been brought upon by Mr. Howard having posted in his store window a telegram from Salem announcing the fact that the incorporation bill had passed the legislature. Broback was opposed to incorporating and Mr. Howard favored it. Mr. Howard states that as now, for the first time in something like twenty years, he is not encumbered by any public office, he will give his attention to mineral surveying and engineering.
Medford Mail, February 21, 1896, page 5
The salary of the postmaster at Medford has been increased from $1,300 to $1,400.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 6, 1896, page 3
Post Office: 28 S. Central, north half of Halley Block
1898 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, page 6
Postmaster Purdin's term of office expires in a few weeks, and several Republicans are industriously endeavoring to succeed him, among whom are C. W. Wolters, A. M. Woodford and Horace Nicholson. The incumbent has made a painstaking, accommodating official, and few would be much averse to allowing him to serve in his present capacity indefinitely.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 27, 1899, page 3
It is rumored, and the authority seems reliable, that Geo. F. Merriman will be appointed postmaster of Medford, vice M. Purdin, whose term is about to expire. There are several other aspirants, among whom are H. G. Nicholson, C. W. Wolters and A. M. Woodford. Mr. Merriman has gained considerable distinction as a Republican politician, who never wanders after strange goods. His appointment would give satisfaction.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 4, 1900, page 3
George F. Merriman, January 15, 1900 Oregonian
Geo. F. Merriman has been appointed postmaster of Medford, to succeed M. Purdin, whose term expires next month. He will make an excellent official.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 15, 1900, page 2
George F. Merriman of Medford has been appointed postmaster at that place by the President.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, January 15, 1900, page 3
George F. Merriman appointed January 17, 1900
G. F. Merriman has received his commission as postmaster of Medford and yesterday, March 1st, he took upon himself the duties incident to the position. The Mail don't see a thing in the way of George making a first-class postmaster, and we are of the opinion he will give us good service. There are two essentials quite necessary in successfully conducting a post office. One of them is the accommodation of the public to the greatest extent possible and not infringe upon the rules and regulations as laid down by the department. The other, and principal one, is to always have your office books posted to date and cash in the safe in sufficient amount to check even with the cash book. The public ofttimes expect more of a postmaster than the rules and regulations of the department will permit him to grant. When a postmaster tells you that he cannot comply with some request you have made or favor you have asked, don't get angry and cuss him. It will do no good. He knows the rules and regulations and you don't, and all the blasphemy you can heap upon him will not lessen his chances for serving out his full term as postmaster. There is little chance for controversy between postmasters and the office patrons, and a postmaster who is discreet will not engage himself in argument. On the other hand, patrons are entitled to courteous treatment at all times. Even if the same question is asked an hundred times a day by different parties, each is entitled to a civil answer.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 2, 1900, page 7
Miss Letha Hardin is acceptably filling a position as clerk in the post office.
G. F. Merriman, Medford's new postmaster, assumed the duties of his office on March 1st. George will make an accommodating and efficient official.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 5, 1900, page 3
Miss Iva Purdin has taken a position as clerk in the Medford post office, a position she held for several months during her father's incumbency of that office. She is very capable help and Postmaster Merriman is to be congratulated upon having secured her services. Miss Mae Merriman is becoming quite proficient in the office work, and between the three--Postmaster Merriman, Miss Mae and Miss Iva--the office is being well and faithfully looked after. Miss Letha Hardin and Lin Purdin, former employees, have severed their connections with the office.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 13, 1900, page 7
Miss Iva Purdin is acting as one of Postmaster Merriman's assistants in the Medford post office.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 16, 1900, page 2
R. H. Halley is having a good bit of improvement made about the Medford post office. A new floor has been put down in the lobby, four-foot wainscoting has been put on, the ceilings and walls have been kalsomined, and the front, both inside and out, is being painted--a pure white. The changes which are made and being made add materially to the appearance of the place--in fact, make it one of the neatest and coziest places in the city.
"Additional Local Items," Medford Mail, April 20, 1900, page 6
The salaries of the postmasters of Ashland and Medford have been raised $100 a year each. They get $1700 and $1500 per annum respectively now.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 21, 1900, page 3
Medford has been most fortunate in the matter of securing good postmasters. Now there was Judge Purdin--good postmaster at every spot in the road--and following right after him in the office was G. F. Merriman--just as good a man, and one who is filling the requirements squarely to the letter. He is accommodating and courteous to everybody. There are no favorites--all are treated alike, but treated with every consideration possible, and obey the postal laws. The morning mails are distributed and the office is open by seven o'clock--which is a big accommodation to many, particularly working people. The girl clerks in the office, Misses Mae Merriman and Letha Hardin, are obliging always, and attentive to patrons. Up one side and down the other there can be found little ground for registering a complaint against the Medford post office.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 13, 1900, page 7
The patrons of the Medford post office are much amused at the importance assumed by one of our local newspapers, which seeks to leave the impression that our worthy postmaster is endeavoring to curtail its influence and usefulness through the authority invested in him by virtue of his position. Mr. Merriman spares no pains to accommodate everybody, but insists on transacting his business in a legal manner, even if it interfere with the ideas or pocket of some prejudiced individual.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 10, 1900, page 2
The receipts of the post offices of the three leading towns of the valley have been growing steadily, as will be noticed by the following statistics: Ashland--for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1896, $3859; 1899. $4984; 1900, $5595. Grants Pass, 1896, $4221; 1899, $4959; 1900, $5331. Medford, 1896, $3214; 1899, $3497; 1900, $3907.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 29, 1900, page 3
Postmaster Merriman has fitted up the post office with a gas plant, which furnishes first-class light and plenty of it.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 26, 1900, page 3
Postmaster Merriman and his assistants, Misses Mae Merriman and Letha Hardin, had anything but a summer picnic the latter part of last week and the first of this, wrestling with huge mail sacks of Christmas presents. One morning five of those monster sacks came in filled almost to overflowing with boxes and bundles of Christmas good cheer, while the outgoing sacks were equally as numerous and as well filled. The office force, however, were equal to the occasion and handled the work with remarkable deftness.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 28, 1900, page 7
Monday was garden seed day at the Medford post office, and Postmaster Merriman and his two assistants were kept busy all day distributing the two large mail pouches of seeds which were sent to various parties in this section by Senator Simon, from the agricultural department. Usually these free seed are sent in small lots at different times, but this time they came in a bulk--a departure from the regular order of things not particularly relished by the post office force.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, March 29, 1901, page 6
Miss Mae Merriman, our clever deputy postmistress, was at Gold Hill, attending the Harvey-Miller nuptials.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 18, 1901, page 7
Postmaster Merriman has recently put a new safe into the Medford post office--built especially for the accommodation of post office business. It's a big one--and a good one.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, June 21, 1901, page 6
Miss Letha Hardin, who has been delivery clerk in the Medford post office for the past year and a half, left Monday morning for Petaluma, Calif., where her father, J. R. Hardin, has decided to locate and where Miss Letha will make her home. The young lady has a great many friends in Medford who regret her departure but who are wishing her all kinds of good fortune in her new home.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 19, 1901, page 6
Miss Rydal Bradbury has taken a position as delivery clerk in the Medford post office. She is seemingly a very competent young lady and will undoubtedly prove herself equal to every duty and accommodating to the patrons of the office.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 19, 1901, page 7
The postal department has authorized postmasters to refuse to deliver mail to school children, except on written requests of parents, in order to remedy the vexatious habit of continually calling for mail which has been formed by children in many towns.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 23, 1901, page 7
It is given out from Washington that now very soon all postmasters above fourth class will be required to wear uniforms. The uniforms will be navy blue with brass buttons, and the department will furnish them. The move is not a bad one. There ought to be some out-of-the-ordinary something about a postmaster which would distinguish him from the average townspeople--as a convenience to himself and the public. Modesty forbids his wearing a placard--"I'm the postmaster"--but if the blue uniforms are worn generally by postmasters and by orders from the department, the unprinted placard will be there and can be worn without shocking the sensibility of the "I detest notoriety" make of government officials.
The Medford post office clerks are nearly through with two weeks of hard work. Christmas always brings a power sight o' work to the government officials who handle Uncle Sam's mails. The Medford office, however, is well equipped with proficient help--and the patrons of the office are the beneficiaries thereby. Postmaster Merriman is one [of] the most particular and absolutely correct postmasters the Mail publisher has ever had to do with--and his clerks, Misses Mae Merriman and Rydal Bradbury, have long since caught the infection and are as painstaking as is Mr. Merriman.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 27, 1901, page 7
Miss Mae Merriman, one of the popular clerks in the Medford post office, went to Colestin last Saturday for a week's vacation and rest.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, July 18, 1902, page 6
Mrs. Hattie Bartlett left Monday for Ft. Jones, where she will be employed for a month in the post office.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, October 24, 1902, page 6
Postmaster Merriman has added eighteen large, new lock boxes to the Medford post office. The demand for lock boxes has been so great of late that this addition was an absolute necessity. These boxes, being larger than the other ones, will soon be gathered in by our merchants, who receive large quantities of mail. If business keeps up for any great length of time at the pace it is now going, there will soon be need for another enlargement of the post office--and Postmaster Merriman will prove himself equal to all demands.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 31, 1902, page 7
Postmaster Merriman is adding more convenience to his Medford post office. Messrs. Weeks & Baker are putting in 165 "blind" boxes, which are put in wholly for the convenience of the help in the office. There are a great many patrons of the office who do not rent boxes, but who get their mail from the general delivery, and it is no small task for the clerks to go through the mail each time these parties call. It is to do away with this to quite an extent that that new boxes are being put in. The new boxes, however, will be so arranged that the patrons cannot see from the outside whether or not they have mail. To be able to segregate the vast accumulation of paper mail in the office at the time of distribution is the principal object of the new boxes.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 14, 1902, page 7
Mail matter from the East has been delayed by snow blockades, and many letters and packages expected from far-off friends failed to arrive in time for Christmas Eve. The delay caused a shortage of sacks in the post office, and as a result some of the second-, third- and fourth-class matter failed to leave here upon the day of mailing. Postmaster Merriman appealed to the postal clerks for all the sacks they could spare and got the outward-bound mail off as fast as possible under the circumstances.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 26, 1902, page 7
Complaint has been made to postmaster Merriman by patrons of the Medford post office, concerning the conduct of a certain class of young men in the lobby of the office. It is their habit to congregate there during the distribution of mails and to engage in fights and loud talking and to disfigure the walls of the building by writing upon it and by destroying the placards and official notices posted thereon. This conduct has gone as far as Mr. Merriman will permit, and unless these young men control themselves in a more orderly manner in the future he will exert the power given him by the post office department. Sec. 268 of the Postal Laws and Regulations provide that: "Post offices must not be allowed to become resorts for loungers or disorderly persons, or the scene of disputes or controversies. * * *
Whenever necessary, postmaster should call on the civil authorities to preserve order, and if they refuse the office should be closed." No discrimination will be made in any case, and the offenders will be dealt with as they justly deserve.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 27, 1903, page 7
ABASHED BY ACTOREGONIAN NEWS BUREAU, Washington. Feb. 5. Through an effort to straddle an issue, and to be on both sides of the fence at one time, Representative
Oregon Senators a Little Wrathy at Hermann.
HE STRADDLED AN ISSUE
All Pick a Postmaster, Then Another Man Was Named.
PETITION MOVED HERMANN
He Commended It to Roosevelt Who Took It That He Desired Woodford
Instead of York Appointed at Medford.
Hermann has inadvertently caused the two Oregon Senators considerable embarrassment. Some time ago Mr. Hermann, in a letter to the Postmaster General, strongly recommended the appointment of a man named York as Postmaster at Medford. York was acceptable to both Senators Mitchell and Fulton, who expected the appointment would be made.
Before the papers left the department, however, Hermann received a petition from the Grand Army men of Medford urging the appointment of Alonzo M. Woodford as Postmaster. The petition had many signers, and made a pretentious showing. In one of his carefully worded letters, making no recommendation whatever, Representative Hermann forwarded this petition to President Roosevelt, and "commended it to his careful consideration."
The President, entirely Ignorant of the fact that Hermann had recommended some other man for this office, naturally concluded that he wanted Woodford appointed, and as the recommendation of a Congressman is recognized as final in such appointments, Woodford's nomination was promptly sent to the Senate on January 18. The Senators were astonished when they heard of the appointment, and were at a loss to understand why Hermann's recommendation had been ignored, and it was only recently that they discovered what had really transpired.
President Stands Pat.It is rumored that the subsequent meeting with the Congressman from the First District was interesting, to put it mildly. The Congressman disclaimed all responsibility., and besought the Senators to intercede with the President and ask him to withdraw Woodford's nomination and appoint York. The embarrassment of the delegation was explained to the President today, but he flatly declined to reconsider his action, especially when told that Woodford would unquestionably make a good Postmaster. He said the natural inference from Hermann's letter, and the accompanying petition, was that he wished Woodford appointed, otherwise he could see no reason why the petition should have been filed in that manner.
Senator Mitchell was. asked this after soon whether he would oppose Woodford's confirmation.
"That's a matter Fulton and Hermann will decide," said he. "I have nothing to
do with it."
Senator Fulton was asked the same question. "That's a matter entirely In Mitchell's hands," said he, and there the matter rests.
Woodford will probably be confirmed.
Oregonian, Portland, February 6, 1904, page 2
Alonzo M. Woodford appointed March 1, 1904
April 25, 1904 Oregonian
Woodford's Nomination Confirmed.
The following telegram is taken from the Portland Oregonian:
Washington, March 1.--The Senate today confirmed the nomination of A. M. Woodford as Postmaster at Medford, Or. This action sustains the announcement made in these dispatches some time ago that President Roosevelt would not embarrass himself by recalling Woodford's nomination, once it had been made, even though Representative Hermann had intended that this appointment should go to William T. York.
The Oregon Senators, finding that further suspension of Woodford's nomination, as requested by Representative Hermann, would avail nothing, consented to his confirmation today.
Medford Mail, March 4, 1904, page 1
A. M. Woodford, Medford's new postmaster, sent off his bonds to Washington Wednesday, and he will likely take charge of the office on April 1st. His bondsmen are I. L. Hamilton, D. H. Miller, F. E. Payne, G. L. Davis, Wallace Goods and Dr. W. S. Jones. Mr. Woodford will have Dr. H. M. Butler for his chief clerk. Dr. Butler will have charge of the money order and registry departments as well as to keep the general accounts of the office, duties that he is well qualified to fill, for he is an expert bookkeeper. Mr. Woodford has not announced who the other clerks are to be, but it is probable that he will employ his daughter and one of the present clerks. Mr. Woodford will retain his agency for the Standard Oil Company, as attending to the company's business requires so little time that it will not interfere with his post office duties.
Jacksonville Sentinel, supplement, March 11, 1904
March 9, 1906 Medford Mail.
Carrier William Warner photographed at Noah S. Bennett's residence in Medford.
Postmaster Woodford reports that the postal receipts in the Medford post office for the year ending March 31, 1906, will show an increase of $1000 over the receipts for the year ending March 31, 1905. Another increase in postal receipts of about $1500 will take the office out of the third class and place it in the second. Eighteen months more--if good old Medford keeps up her present licks--and this "higher up yomp" will be made.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 30, 1906, page 5
Postmaster Woodford and assistants were kept quite busy for several days disposing of the mail which had piled up as a result of the trains having been put out of commission during the recent storm and which began to arrive at the Medford office last Friday, on which day thirty bags of mail were received and distributed.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 5, 1907, page 5
MEDFORD OFFICE ADVANCED
The Medford post office will be advanced from the third to the second class on July 1st, having reached the point in postal receipts required by the department. During the year ending March 31,1907, the postal receipts for this office were over $8,700, an increase of about 30 percent over those of the year before. As $8,000 is the sum necessary for advancement, it will be seen that the Medford office had a good margin. The advancement in class also carries with it an increase in the postmaster's salary of $200 per year, and additional help in the office. Should the mails for Eagle Point and other upriver points be sent out from this office, as is altogether likely when a train service is inaugurated on the P.&E. road, two more clerks than the office now has will be necessary in order to handle the greatly increasing amount of work brought about by this circumstance.Post Office in New Quarters.
There is another thing to be considered in this line, and that is that with the present rate of increase in population and a corresponding increase in postal receipts, by next year the receipts will have reached $10,000 and we will be in the free delivery class. But the government will not establish free delivery in any city until the streets are all named and marked and the houses numbered, the streets lighted and good sidewalks provided. Ashland is in the free delivery class, but cannot get the service for these reasons. It's up to the people of Medford to see that these drawbacks are removed before another year, so that when eligible, the city can at once secure free delivery of mails.
These things can all be done in that space of time. Indeed they all should be done at once, regardless of the matter of free delivery. Let's be the first Southern Oregon city to secure this service.
Medford Mail, June 7, 1907, page 1
Saturday afternoon postmaster Woodford received telegraphic instructions to move into his new quarters in the Big Bend Milling Co. building on North C Street, and Saturday night the work of moving was accomplished.
The new quarters are roomy and convenient for the work of the office, and are fitted up in the most up-to-date manner. The furnishings are of quarter-sawed oak and are handsome as well as substantial. The boxes are all fitted with combination locks, and the old key and call boxes have been entirely done away with. There are five hundred of these boxes, and more can be added as the needs of the office demand.
The only criticism to be offered is that the lobby is rather small and liable to cause considerable congestion during the rush hours. However it is not a fatal objection nor even a very serious one.
The popular salutation for the first few days, among those accustomed to the old-style key boxes, was "have you forgotten your combination yet." The feature of the new boxes is that it is impossible to close them without locking them at the same time. This will prevent people from leaving their boxes unlocked for the benefit of individuals with prying proclivities.
Medford Mail, July 26, 1907, page 1
Post Office Hours.
For the benefit of the Mail readers Postmaster Woodford has kindly given out the following information regarding the post office hours:
GENERAL DELIVERY HOURS.
Open 7:30 a.m. weekdays and on Sundays immediately after the trains come in. Close 7 p.m.
MONEY ORDER HOURS.
The money order department will be open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., except on Saturday evenings, when it closes at 5 p.m.
No. 15--Southbound--10 a.m.Medford Mail, September 13, 1907, page 3
" 16--Northbound--4:40 p.m.
" 11--Southbound--8 p.m.
" 12--Northbound--8 p.m.
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
No more will Postmaster Woodford disturb the morning naps of those who room in the post office building with the thump-thump of the canceling stamp, as on Wednesday of this week an automatic canceling machine was installed. This is the same machine that the Grants Pass papers swelled up about when one was placed in the office at that place.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, January 10, 1908, page 5
Ralph Woodford:--"Recently, when a post office inspector was here, we made an estimate as to the number of pieces of mail matter dispatched from the Medford office, and the estimates made were an average of 56,000 each month. This is nearly 2,000 for every calendar day of the month. I fancy that's not so bad, in fact I know it is going some, and then when you figure the amount of mail matter which comes into the office for distribution I fancy that's coming some, too. Another thing which makes us feel pretty good is the fact that we are charged with making only sixteen errors in throwing mail during the entire year just past. You understand that every letter we tie in the wrong bundle or every package we put in the wrong sack is charged up against us by the postal clerks on the train as an error and it is reported to the department--and we have made less than two of these errors a month for the past year."
"Things Told on the Street," Medford Mail, January 24, 1908, page 1
MEDFORD'S FIRST POST OFFICE.
Medford's first post office, made out of an old soap box, can be seen in the windows of Hussey's cash store, on West Seventh Street. It was constructed in 1883 by J. S. Howard, "the father of Medford," at that time postmaster, mayor, express agent, store keeper and general pooh-bah of the crossroads. [Howard didn't become mayor until 1885; Medford's first express agent was A. L. Johnson, Howard succeeding him in May 1884.]
Though only containing a few partitions, the box was ample for the mail business of 25 years ago. Medford at that time had but one frame house, that occupied by Mr. Howard, who ran a general merchandise store, surveyed the townsite between times and did other public and private business of too many kinds to catalogue. [All three Rogue Valley newspapers of 1883 agree that the town site was surveyed by Charles J. Howard.]
With the survey of the railroad through Medford began the growth of the city, which has continued steadily ever since. The soap box was soon too small and had to be discarded for more modern conveniences.
From the small beginning of a soap box a quarter century ago, the post office has grown until it now occupies a storeroom 35x100 feet in size, and even it is too small. The half-dozen partitions have expanded into 500 self-locking boxes, with many more demanded. Instead of the two minutes a day taken to sort the mail of 25 years ago, the entire time of half a dozen people is consumed. The few straggling farmers coming for mail have been multiplied into thousands, and a long line of expectants stand in wait anxiously after every train. The $2 or $3 monthly receipts have now been rolled into over $1000 a month, and only the masterly inactivity of the city council in not enforcing street signs and house numbering prevents as many letters being brought to each house in the city daily as was brought to the Medford of 1883.
Excerpt, Medford Daily Tribune, December 15, 1908, page 2
PREPARING FOR FREE DELIVERY
Street signs are making their appearance all over town. In a short time all the signs will all be painted, and they will be put up as soon as possible. This will prove a boon to the many new residents of Medford.
City Recorder Collins reports that a large number of people are making application to City Engineer T. W. Osgood for official street numbers, and that the work of numbering the houses is going on at a rapid rate.
This matter interests all the people of Medford, for it is the lack of house numbers and adequate sidewalks that keeps Medford from enjoying a free delivery of the mail. Sidewalk building is going on apace, and soon Medford will be in a position to demand free delivery.
Assistant Postmaster Ralph Woodford, when asked by a Mail representative how long it would be before Medford could secure free delivery after the requirements as to house numbering and sidewalks had been complied with, replied that it would not be before July, because the present appropriation was exhausted and the new one would not be available until the beginning of the next fiscal year, July 1.
However, Mr. Woodford said that the local post office would make application at once because it takes the inspector about four months to get around and make his report after the application has been made. Besides, those towns which get their applications in early stand a better chance of getting the money for establishing free delivery.
The local office now has 800 boxes, and every available space for boxes is utilized. If the city had free delivery less than half that number of boxes would be required.
As it is, there are not enough boxes, and the general delivery window is overworked, as can be seen at most any time of the day from the long line of people before the window waiting for their mail.
When free delivery is established the post office department will probably allot two carriers to Medford, one on foot in the business district and one with a car in the residence district. Two deliveries a day will be made.
Medford Mail, January 22, 1909, page 3
FOR FREE DELIVERY.
Assistant Postmaster Woodford Is Working for It.
Assistant Postmaster Ralph Woodford is not going to allow anything which can be removed to remain in the way of a free mail delivery for Medford. He has but recently completed a map of the city, showing all streets and alleys and the names of the streets. This has been no small job, and Mr. Woodford has burned the midnight oil a great number of times in its preparation.
"What's doing in the free delivery matter?" was asked Mr. Woodford, to which he replied: "Nothing, to my knowledge. A special representative of the government is liable to drop in here almost any time, and when he gets here and looks over the situation I can probably give you a news item. Until then, we will all have to wait."
Medford Mail, May 28, 1909, page 4
MAIL DELIVERY NOW ASSURED
Proposed District Mapped Out and Inspect by Post Office Official.
For two or three days past post office inspector Morse has been to Medford, and in company with Assistant Postmaster Woodford a thorough canvass of the entire city was made with the one point in view, that of establishing a free mail delivery system for the city.
If free delivery is ordered, the delivery will be made on the following streets, provided sidewalks are put down by October 1:
All streets north of Main and south of Jackson, between Front Street and Riverside Avenue. On Central Avenue north to Court Street; on Beatty Street north to one block north of Liberty Street. All streets south of Main Street and north of Ninth Street, between Front Street and Riverside Avenue; Central Avenue south to the city limits; Riverside Avenue from Ninth to Twelfth streets; Main Street east to the city limits; Grape Street north to Jackson Street; Jackson Street west to one block west of Alder Street; Holly Street north to Second; Second Street west to one block west of Olson Street; Oakdale Avenue north to Fourth Street; Fourth Street west to one block west of Olson Street; all of Orange Street north and all of Olson Street; all streets south of Main and north of Eleventh Street; between Orange and Evergreen Street; Holly Street south to Twelfth Street; Grape Street south to Thirteenth Street; Oakdale Avenue south to the city limits; Main Street west to city limits.
Street Letter Boxes.Street letter boxes will be located as follows:
On Main Street at the intersection of Cottage, Bartlett, Front and Grape streets and Oakdale Avenue; on Central Avenue at the intersection of Eleventh, Third and Beatty streets; at the corner of Bartlett and Jackson, Laurel and Tenth, Oakdale Avenue and Eleventh, and Oakdale Avenue and Fourth.
There will be two carriers. Main Street will be served three times daily; at 8 o'clock a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The residence sections will be served twice daily. Carriers will leave [the] post office for these deliveries at 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Sidewalk construction within the limits as given above should be rushed with all possible haste. Some of the streets within the limits have no sidewalks at all. These will be necessary before October 1.
Excerpt, Medford Mail, June 11, 1909, page 1
Mail Carrying for Medford Will Start September 15.
WASHINGTON, D.C. June 22.--The post office department advises me that Medford will have free city delivery beginning September 15, with two carriers and one substitute.
W. C. HAWLEY.
As will be seen by the above dispatch from Representative W. C. Hawley at Washington, D.C., free delivery for the city of Medford is to begin September 15. All the other particulars regarding the free delivery were published exclusively in The Morning Mail a few days ago, and was very welcome news to the citizens.
It is not known as yet who the two carriers and the substitute one will be, but it is likely that the postal authorities will find but little difficulty in getting men to fill the places.
Medford Mail, June 29, 1909, page 5
H. H. Harvey Is Regular Carrier and Rutherford Kerr Substitute.
The Medford post office was yesterday apprised of the fact that H. H. Harvey had been appointed a regular mail carrier for the city of Medford and Rutherford Kerr had been appointed a substitute carrier. These gentlemen recently took a civil service examination in Medford for these appointments. Mr. Kerr did not make application for regular carrier, as he is desirous of completing his school course in the Medford High School.
As there are two carriers required for the service here, Rollan G. Beach of Lincoln, Nebraska has been transferred from the carrier service in that city to Medford, and is to report for duty on September 15.
Medford Mail, September 3, 1909, page 1
BETTER MAIL SERVICE.
Beginning today train No. 16 will carry pouch mail for Portland and all points north of Portland. This mail will be carried in locked pouches in a baggage car, and these pouches will not be opened until they are delivered into the Portland post office.
(This will be a great convenience to people having business correspondence with Portland concerns, in that mail on this train will reach Portland in time for the morning delivery, whereas if letters are mailed on the regular evening mail train they will not be delivered until the afternoon of the next day. Nothing but letters will be carried in these pouches.
Medford Mail, September 3, 1909, page 1
NEW POST OFFICE SUBSTATION OPEN
The substation of the Medford post office opened for business yesterday. The station is located on West Main Street, at the intersection of Grape Street. Miss Marion U. Merrill is in charge, and at this station stamps, stamped envelopes and postal cards may be purchased. Money orders may also be purchased here, and letters and parcels may be registered.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 17, 1911, page 1
WOODFORD IS AGAIN NAMED AS POSTMASTERA. M. Woodford, who has served as postmaster in this city for the past eight years, has been nominated for another four-year term, President Taft having sent his name to the Senate for confirmation. Inasmuch as Mr. Woodford's record with the postal authorities is without a flaw, and he has the endorsement of Congressman Hawley and no opposition has developed, his appointment will undoubtedly be confirmed.
Nomination Is Sent to the Senate by President Taft,
and Will Undoubtedly Be Confirmed--Congressman Hawley Recommends Him.
HAS SEEN BUSINESS GROW FROM $5000 TO $33,000
Has Held Office for Past Eight Years and Now Will Hold It Four Years More.
Mr. Woodford has seen the business of the local post office increase from $5000 to $33,000, and the number of clerks increase in like proportion. Free delivery has been installed, and a modern office fitted.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 11, 1912, page 1
POSITIONS OPEN FOR CLERK CARRIER IN MEDFORD
An examination for clerk and carrier will be held at the post office in this city on April 13, 1912. Age limit, 18 to 45 years. Married women will not be admitted to the examination. This prohibition, however, does not apply to women who are divorced or those who are separated from their husbands and support themselves, but they are eligible for appointment only as clerk.
Applicants must be physically sound, and male applicants must be not less than 5 feet 4 inches in height without boots or shoes, and weigh not less than 125 pounds without overcoat or hat.
For full information address William J. Warner.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 20, 1912, page 8
Medford Postmaster Named.
OREGONIAN NEWS BUREAU, Washington, June 8.--The President today nominated J. Ralph Woodford postmaster at Medford.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, June 9, 1912, page 37
J. Ralph Woodford appointed June 14, 1912
WARNER IS NAMED ASSISTANT POSTMASTER
William J. Warner, who has discharged the duties of chief clerk in the local post office during the past two years, has been appointed assistant postmaster, succeeding Ralph Woodford, who was recently appointed postmaster.
Mr. Warner is also clerk of the civil service examining board, with headquarters in this city.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 27, 1912, page 3
The U.S. Civil Service Commission announces that a male clerk-carrier examination will be held at Medford, Oregon, on June 24, 1916, to establish an eligible register from which selection may be made to fill vacancies as they may occur in the position of clerk or carrier at the Medford, Oregon post office. The age limits are 18 to 45 years. Men only will be admitted to this examination. The entrance salary for clerk or carrier, post office service, is $800 per annum with annual promotions up to $1000 per annum for efficient service.
* * *Appointment of a postmaster for Medford is not likely to be made before the last of August, and maybe not before then. Congress is so absorbed in the work of passing tariff, appropriation and preparedness measures that the fattest plum in southern Oregon is being passed unnoticed. If congress should adjourn in a hurry, in the dog days, it would throw the appointment until the next congress. All the dozen or so avowed and silent seekers of the job in this city are as confident as a candidate before the primary. The elimination of Judge Canon by appointment to a fatter berth was great joy to the remainder.
"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, May 28, 1916, page 2
There was considerable scurrying around Thursday among aspirants for the post office job. Postmaster Woodford's time was up Tuesday. There seemed to be the impression that an appointment would be made. Those on the "inside" maintain that District Attorney Clarence Reames can name the man, and that it will be a dark horse.
"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, June 16, 1916, page 2
GEORGE P. MIMS NOMINATED TODAY FOR POSTMASTER
WASHINGTON, Sept. 6--President Wilson today nominated George P. Mims postmaster at Medford, Or.
----Colonel George P. Mims comes of an old and influential southern family. He was born at Prattsville, Tenn. in 1861, and has had a varied business career, having been merchant, banker, hotel man, farmer and orchardist. In 1885 he was appointed by President Cleveland postmaster of Newport, Tenn., and in 1888 resigned to go west. He has never been a candidate for any office, but has always been a Democrat, in season and out.
Colonel Mims has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1889, first locating in Douglas County. From there he moved to Idaho. In 1907 he came to Medford and has since resided here. He owns the Seven Oaks orchard, north of Central Point.
Colonel Mims' appointment followed a long contest among local Democrats for the office. Many candidates were in the field and many knockers. Postmaster Woodford's term expired in June, and Colonel Mims will take office as soon as his bond is approved.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 6, 1916, page 1
COL. MIMS TAKES OFFICE TODAY
Colonel George P. Mims of Seven Oaks officially assumes charge of the Medford post office today--the fattest federal plum in southern Oregon. The appointment came at the end of a year of political maneuvering, during which protests galore were filed against him, and all the weight the Democratic machine in Jackson County could bring to bear was brought. Colonel Mims was appointed and confirmed in the last days of the last congress. He is a lifelong friend and college chum of Postmaster General Burleson.
Colonel Mims was born in Tennessee in 1862, and is a typical southern gentleman of the old school. His Democracy is untainted with the modern nonpartisanship, and this is one reason why he won. Though not exactly popular with the high lights of his party, he is popular with the rank and file and is well known throughout the city and county, where he has lived for nine years, owning an orchard near Seven Oaks.
All the old employees of the post office will be retained, they being under civil service rules.
Medford Sun, October 1, 1916, page 2
Postmasters to Be Appointed on Merit
An executive order issued by President Wilson provides for the future appointment of first, second and third class postmasters by competitive civil service examination.
Incumbents of office are not affected, but in the future when vacancies occur as the result of death, resignation or removal, the civil service commission will hold open competitive examinations. The name of the highest eligible candidate will then be submitted to the President. No person more than 65 years old shall be examined.
Although the order is framed to remove postmasters from politics, the Senate has the right to reject the President's appointees.
Excerpt, Ashland Tidings, May 7, 1917, page 7
Postmaster Mims has finally succeeded after a long period of pleading in having the post office department allow another carrier for Medford. The new carrier will go on duty October 1. This will make six city carriers and a parcel post delivery carrier, and means that after October 1 Medford residents will get their mail more quickly. The city will be divided into six divisions instead of five, as at present.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, August 17, 1917, page 4
Wm. J. Warner, acting, appointed June 13, 1920; Mims retired May 13, 1921
P.O. RECEIPTS IN 1926 BREAK CITY RECORDS
Total Business at Post Office Past Year Nearly Three Times
What It Was Ten Years Ago--Records Show Steady Growth of City--
History of Post Office.
ANNUAL POSTAL RECEIPTS, MEDFORD, OR.
August 1912 Parcel Post Acct.
November 1917--3¢ postage
July 1919--2¢ postage
With receipts for 1926 estimated at $69,254, the United States post office here has shown a continued growth since 1915, the year which marked the end of a general three-year slump throughout southern Oregon. Growing from a two-man post office when it was established more than 40 years ago in the building now occupied by the Marsh grocery store on East Main Street, nearly 30 men are employed at the present time under the efficient direction of William J. Warner, who has been the local postmaster for a number of years past, following a continual post office service since 1903.
After going through the hands of Charles Strang and M. Miller, the post office was under the management of J. S. Howard in a building the site of which is now occupied by the First National Bank on East Main Street, and from that location it was moved to the Klocker Printery building on South Front Street, where Mr. Warner first became connected with the post office. In 1907 the location was changed to the Medford Book Store building on North Central Avenue, where at that time it was listed in the third class and had, in addition to a postmaster, an assistant and one clerk.
With the arrival of 1908, Medford commenced to show signs of an unusual growth, materially affecting the post office, which a year later inaugurated a city delivery service with two letter carriers. In September 1908, receipts, recording breaking for that time, totaled $13,454.91, and in 1911 reached the peak with $33,527.49, in keeping with the inflated business conditions of that period. However, in 1913 the total dropped to $26,114.72, after which a gradual rise was noted. Receipts for 1925, with $64,900.85, are approximately $5000 less than the total for 1926.
In 1916, the post office moved to its present quarters in the federal building on Sixth Street at the corner of Holly, where equipment is of the latest type and every convenience installed for facility in handling large quantities of mail. The building, of brick, is the last word in design and includes modern features, such as an elevator, large heating plant, perfect illumination and ventilation.
The entire first floor is occupied by the post office in addition to a small portion of the basement. The second floor of the three-story structure is occupied by the United States district court rooms, the Crater Lake National Park Service, United States Army recruiting service, Internal Revenue offices and the office of the district clerk. The Crater Lake National Forest Service occupies the greater share of the third story, with the exception of one office occupied by George E. Hougen, United States post office inspector for seven southern Oregon counties, having permanent quarters in this city.
The Medford post office is the distribution point for southern Oregon and northern California for the coast air mail route, which has a terminal here, the only one in the state. Mail received here by air is sent as far north as Eugene and south for 200 miles. Medford is also the distribution point for mail intended for outlying districts, including Eagle Point, Trail, Prospect, Jacksonville and the rich rural country surrounding the city on all sides. Mail is also sent from here to Crater Lake and Diamond Lake during the months that the season is open for these two popular summer resorts.
The present post office force includes the postmaster, two supervisors, eight carriers, eight clerks, four substitutes, train messenger, special messenger and others.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 2, 1927, page 11
The post office vacation season is now in full swing. Hugo Guenther and G. A. Sanden, clerks, and Robert Newland, carrier, will return to duty tomorrow from their vacations, whereupon J. A. Neff and M. E. Harper, carriers, will start on their vacations. The vacation of Lewis Crocker will begin next Monday and that of F. E. Nichols will begin next Thursday. Following the return last week from vacation of Roland Reach, assistant postmaster, Postmaster Warner went on his vacation early this week.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, July 19, 1928, page 2
ROOSEVELT NAMES FRANK DE SOUZA NEW POSTMASTER
Has Lived Here 11 Years, and Formerly Edited Newspaper in Phoenix, Arizona;
Will Take Office After Jan. 1.
Attorney Frank DeSouza, chairman of the Jackson County Democratic Central Committee, received word from Washington, D.C. yesterday afternoon that he had been named postmaster of Medford.DeSOUZA TAKES POSTMASTERSHIP MONDAY MORNING
The announcement does not come as a surprise to DeSouza's backers but as somewhat of a shock to many who were under the impression no appointment would be made until late in the spring.
Backed by ManyDeSouza had the recommendation of practically the entire Democratic Central Committee and of many other leading Democrats of Jackson County.
He also had the support of most of the upstate democracy, with whom he has been in close contact for several years.
DeSouza will not take office until after the holidays, he announced, as no definite instructions have been received except notice that he must make bond. DeSouza said that it would be unwise to take over the office during the Christmas rush of business, as Postmaster W. J. Warner has his organization equipped to handle the rush, and there is no use disturbing it.
Been Here 11 YearsDeSouza has lived in Medford for 11 years, coming here from Phoenix, Arizona, where he practiced law, and earlier in his life edited a newspaper. He has been associated in law practice with the firm of Kelly & Kelly, on South Central Avenue.
"I am very grateful for the appointment," DeSouza said, "and certainly want to thank my friends for their support. I hope I can conduct the office and discharge my duties to the satisfaction of everyone."
Official notice of the appointment has not been received, he said, but is expected sometime this weekend. The official notice is something of a formal affair.
Medford News, December 22, 1933, page 1
Postmaster W. J. Warner announced today that he had received official notice from Washington, D.C., of his retirement from office December 31, at which time attorney Frank DeSouza will become Medford's acting postmaster.
Mr. Warner is retiring under the recently adopted retirement law, having completed 30 years of service with the Medford post office. He went to work here August 1, 1903, as mail carrier on R.F.D. No. 1, the first rural route established in southern Oregon.
He has put in what he described today as "30 glorious years" here. They brought him steady advancement from carrier to postmaster and thousands of friendships, which he expects to continue in retirement. He has been postmaster since July 1, 1921. He was named acting postmaster June 3, 1920, following the death of George Mims, and was named his official successor the following year, having served as assistant postmaster since July 16, 1912.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 26, 1933, page 6
November 19, 1930 Medford Daily News
Warner Looks Back Over Interesting 30 Years
on Retiring As Postmaster
By Eva Nealon Hamilton
In saddlebag, in two-wheeled cart, in automobile, he has watched the rural mail travel--from three to 35 members he has watched the post office staff grow, in the "30 glorious" years he has served the government here, W. J. Warner, who retires as postmaster December 31, recalled yesterday, reviewing his experiences associated during that time with the delivery of the mail.
Comedy and tragedy have intermingled in his dealings with the public. Snow has lain deep in the Rogue River Valley, and floods have crossed the paths of many carriers. But the letters have never missed delivery in the 30 years. (How many postcards he read during the time, Mr. Warner didn't say.)
Started in 1903.On August 1, 1903, he entered the employ of the government as a rural mail carrier on R.F.D. No. 1, the first rural route established in southern Oregon. The roads were rough and transportation poor. In a funny little wagon, which resembled the modern milk delivery, he made the route. Six weeks of the winter it was necessary to desert the wagon to go horseback with the mail in the saddlebags. In the summer the same territory was often covered with a bicycle. During all the five years he carried the mail, he never used anything "fancier" than a two-wheeled cart, drawn by two horses, for the winter.
While he was covering the Medford route the late Jim Grieve was taking the mail over R.F.D. No. 1, Central Point, which was established the following October.
Many Still Patrons.Many of the people served on that rural route are still patrons of the post office, Mr. Warner said yesterday, mentioning N. S. Bennett, Polk Hull, Bill Hansen, Mrs. R. E. Land, the Guches and the Lofland families.
The mail was always light, for parcel post had not been established and the maximum weight was four pounds. Letters, newspapers and magazines made up the pack.
The post office was located on  South Central, where the Klocker Printery now stands. In 1908 it was moved to the position occupied by the Medford Book Store. Then in 1916 Medford was granted a new post office, the present building [the federal building, NW corner Sixth and Holly].
Tragic Episode.The dynamiting of the mail train in the Siskiyou tunnel by the DeAutremonts Mr. Warner described as by far the most harrowing experience of his career. The mail inspectors were in this city at the time, and with them Postmaster Warner rushed to the scene of the explosion. He refused yesterday to describe the horror of the tragedy he witnessed there in the loss of Elvin Daugherty, mail clerk. But he quoted the mail inspector as saying "They put in enough dynamite to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge."
Mr. Warner also sat in the county jail at Jacksonville while Roy DeAutremont made his confession. The investigation and the trial, he recalled yesterday as "very grueling."
Postmaster in 1921.After five years as a rural mail carrier, during which time he "wore out" 27 horses, Mr. Warner was promoted to the position of clerk in the post office. That was in 1908, and he continued in that capacity until July 15, 1912, when he became assistant postmaster. In 1920 Postmaster George P. Mims died and he was named acting postmaster and became his official successor in 1921. He has served Medford as postmaster continuously since that time.
December 31 he will retire under the recently passed retirement law, to be succeeded by attorney Frank DeSouza, recently appointed acting postmaster under the new Democratic regime.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 27, 1933, page 5
Frank DeSouza, acting, appointed December 31, 1933
HISTORY, ACTIVITY CITY'S POST OFFICE
TOLD FOR ROTARY
Postmaster Frank DeSouza and Assistant Postmaster Rollie Beach entertained the members of the Medford Rotary Club at a luncheon in the basement banquet room of the Hotel Medford today, with an interesting talk and interview dealing with the history and activities of the Medford post office. In his excellent review of the local post office, tinged with generous bits of humor concerning the part politics play in the postal system, Mr. DeSouza paid tribute to J. S. Howard, the first postmaster, who assumed charge of the post office here upon its establishment in February, 1884. Mr. Howard also was the initial mayor of this city, was known as the "Father of Medford," and filled the office of United States commissioner. It was his son who surveyed the city of Medford, according to DeSouza.
"With the establishment of the Medford post office here in 1884, this year of the celebration of Oregon's Diamond Jubilee might also be a year of celebration for the golden anniversary of this city," Frank DeSouza said. "Although the first train arrived in Medford in , the recognition of this city by the postal department might be considered the real 'cradling' of Medford."
D. H. Miller was Medford's second postmaster, followed by J. S. Howard for another term, M. Purdin, George Merriman, George Mims and W. J. Warner. The speaker also paid special tribute to the excellent administration of Mr. Warner, who served as Medford postmaster for 12 years.
The first post office here was located on South Front Street, on a spot where hot dog sandwiches are now dispensed. The second location was next to the First National Bank, then the present location of Marsh's grocery [130 East Main]. Before the erection of the new federal building, the post office was housed in the building now used by Koke-Chapman [office equipment, 34 North Central]. In 1916, the fine new federal building was erected and immediately became the home of the post office.
A small box, which was actually Medford's first post office, was shown by Frank DeSouza, together with a larger box which was used as the second mail container.
As another feature of the program, Mr. DeSouza interviewed Rollie Beach, assistant postmaster, who has served in the postal service approximately 30 years. In Mr. Beach's interesting remarks, the method of handling mail was described and suggestions offered for more extensive use of various phases of the postal service. Mr. Beach called attention to the fact that 37 people are now employed in the Medford post office, with an annual payroll of approximately $65,000.
Introducing the program for today, Wilson Wait's two band members, Jack Terrett and Cyril Sander, presented musical numbers. Jack entertained with a bass horn solo, and Cyril pleased the Rotarians with two fine piano numbers. Visiting Rotarians were G. A. Allen of Tacoma and W. M. Moses of Grants Pass.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 17, 1934, page 7
Frank DeSouza appointed March 15, 1936; retired January 30, 1949
P.O. SUBSTATION LACKS ATTENDANT
Medford postal station No. 1 at 31 North Bartlett Street was closed yesterday after receipt late Friday of the resignation of Miss Edna Eifert as clerk in charge. Miss Eifert's resignation was attributed by Postmaster Frank DeSouza to ill health and overwork.
The station will remain closed pending receipt of instructions from the post office department at Washington, D.C., Mr. DeSouza said. The postmaster anticipated that the instructions would authorize the calling of bids to operate the station. The contract, Mr. DeSouza said, provides that the operator or clerk in charge must furnish the quarters, light, heat and necessary equipment.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 6, 1941, page 10
MOORE HAMILTON NAMED ACTING POSTMASTER HERE
DeSouza's Retirement Effective on May 1; News Editorship Announced
Moore Hamilton, editor of the Medford News and chairman of the Jackson County Democratic Central Committee, has been named acting postmaster of Medford effective May 1, it was announced today by Frank DeSouza, postmaster, whose retirement becomes effective on that date.
Hamilton's name was proposed recently for the position by Monroe Sweetland, national Democratic committeeman for Oregon, and was approved by the local Democratic group. Announcement of the appointment by the President was made by the postmaster general.
Inspector ComingA post office inspector will visit here on April 30, and transfer of title and responsibility will take place at the close of business on that date, DeSouza said. Hamilton will not be eligible for a permanent appointment until he takes civil service examinations.
Hamilton said today that DeSouza will assume the editorship of the News as soon after May 1 as possible. Hamilton also said that he will immediately call a meeting of the Democratic committee, and will tender his resignation as chairman.
A native of Kansas, Hamilton came to Medford in 1911, moving to Central Point in 1915, and returning to Medford to make his home following his graduation from Oregon State College in 1930. His family consists of his wife, Eva, and three children, Alex, 14, Nancy, 11 and Robert, six.
Hamilton, 45, was a member of the Oregon legislature during the regular and special sessions of 1935. He was a Democratic candidate for mayor of Medford last fall.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 11, 1949, page 1
Alexander Moore Hamilton appointed May 1, 1949
HAMILTON TAKES OVER DUTIES AT LOCAL POST OFFICE
Eleventh postmaster for Medford since the post office here sold its first stamp on February 6, 1884, A. Moore Hamilton took the required oath Monday and entered upon his duties as acting postmaster, succeeding Frank DeSouza, who retired after serving since January 1, 1934.
Since taking office, Postmaster Hamilton has been busy receiving congratulations of friends, at the same time surveying the duties he will perform in one of the principal first class post offices in the state.
"I realize there is much to do to make sure that Medford patrons of the office are taken care of in the manner the Post Office Department requires of its workers in the postal service," Mr. Hamilton stated. "We must do everything in our power to keep pace with this prosperous community. I find in this office well-developed plans for an extension of service to many who are not now fully served. This will be done as fast as possible."
Post Office Inspectors J. A. Eidswick of Medford and H. E. Young of Eugene checked the office Saturday and Sunday, and had matters in shape Monday morning to deliver all of the office equipment and assets, including the wholesale stamp stock of $150,000, over to the new official.
Medford's post office was opened the same year as the arrival of the Southern Pacific [in 1884 it was the Oregon & California Railroad], two events which were rated as important in those early days. The postmaster was allowed $399.68 for three months expense and $25 monthly for clerk hire.
J. S. Howard, under an appointment by President Chester A. Arthur, was the first postmaster, assuming his duties in February, 1884. He surveyed and platted the city in lots and streets [the surveying was done by his son Charles J. Howard], many of which had different names than they now bear. [The streets were initially only lettered and numbered.] He was elected the first mayor of the city [he became the first mayor with a charter change, but the first man elected mayor was E. P. Geary], and for many years was in civic matters. Much of his work and planning left a lasting imprint upon Medford.
Postmasters who followed him were D. H. Miller, who was named by President Grover Cleveland in 1886, and followed by Mr. Howard, who returned to the office November 1, 1890 by reason of the election of Benjamin Harrison as President, which changed the politics of the party in power.
Succeeding postmasters were as follows: M. Purdin, February 1896, by President Cleveland, who had been returned to power; George Merriman, March 1, 1900, by President William McKinley; A. M. Woodford, April 5, 1904, by President Theodore Roosevelt; F. Ralph Woodford, June 15, 1912, by President William H. Taft; George P. Mims, October 5, 1916, by President Woodrow Wilson; W. J. Warner, June 3, 1920, by President Warren G. Harding; Frank DeSouza, January 1, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In 1928, the annual stamp sales were $88,055.42. In 1938, the receipts had grown to $110,800.52, and in 1946 reached $315,780.46. On September 15, 1909, R. G. Beach transferred to the office from Lincoln, Nebr., and in the same year he and H. H. Harvey, now retired, went into service as the first city delivery carriers. The roster now includes 22 city carriers, 26 clerks, three rural delivery carriers, two star route carriers, together with airport and depot mail messengers.
Supervisors in the office with Postmaster Hamilton are the following: Hugo H. Guenther, assistant postmaster; Otto W. DeJarnett, superintendent of mails; Earl H. York, assistant superintendent of mails; and Henry Gault, building engineer.
In 1915, while Wm. G. McAdoo was secretary of the treasury, Medford was given a post office building at an expenditure of $125,000. In 1940, the building was remodeled and refurnished at an expenditure of $275,000. It is now fifth in volume of business in Oregon, and continues to grow.
In the early days of Jackson County, when roads were rough and travel was slow, small post offices, usually in a small country store, dotted the valleys and mountains. Of these established prior to Medford, with the date and name of the first postmaster, the following remain:
Jacksonville, Feb. 18, 1854, probably James Dugan; Ashland, May 17, 1855, Abel D. Helman; Phoenix, Jan. 3, 1857, Samuel H. Miller; Applegate, Aug. 30, 1858, John O'Brien; Eagle Point, April 25, 1872, Andrew McNeil; Central Point, April 25, 1872, Const. Magruder; Brownsboro, Feb. 13, 1873, John Bilger; Sams Valley, Feb. 13, 1873, James W. Hayes; Rogue River, Feb. 8, 1876, John Woods; Williams Creek, Mar. 14, 1876, John A. Lewman; Prospect, July 5, 1882, Harry P. Deskin; Talent, Feb. 5, 1883, C. M. Harvey; Colestine, Aug. 8, 1883, Edward J. Farlow.
Medford News, May 6, 1949, page 1
Senate Confirms Moore Hamilton in Postmastership
A. Moore Hamilton, acting postmaster here since May 1, 1949, has been confirmed by the Senate for permanent appointment to the position, it was learned here today.
Hamilton, former editor of the Medford News and chairman of the Jackson County Democratic Central Committee, was named by President Truman to succeed Frank DeSouza in the postmastership. DeSouza served the office here from 1933 to 1949.
Hamilton's appointment for permanent postmaster was submitted to the Senate earlier this year by the President.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 2, 1950, page 1
Pioneer Post Office Items Found in Vault
Two items used by Medford's first postmaster were found recently by city employees during remodeling work at the city hall.
The items are a cigar box-type container, used for incoming mail by Postmaster J. S. Howard in December 1883, and a 13-separation sorting box, used later when mail volume increased.
They were found in a vault in the city hall during remodeling, and apparently were left there by the late Mayor Clarence Meeker. They were presented to him by W. B. Roberts, Wagner Creek Rd., Talent, grandson of Postmaster Howard, to be presented to the Southern Oregon Historical Society, of which Mayor Meeker was a member.
Used in Store
The rustic post office pieces were used in Postmaster Howard's store, which at first consisted of a tent [I've never found this assertion elsewhere] on what is now Front St. between Main and Eighth sts. He later constructed a wooden building to house the store and post office.
The cigar box-type container was used for incoming mail, through which valley residents would sort to find their mail. When volume increased, Howard built a 13-separation sorting case, similar to the present-day general delivery facilities, and sorted them alphabetically for easier handling.
Also found were survey chains, used by Howard, who also was an engineer. He surveyed the original city of Medford for [the] Southern Pacific railroad. [All three Rogue Valley newspapers in 1883 agree that the town site was surveyed by Charles J. Howard; the railroad in 1884 was the Oregon & California Railroad.]
Medford Mail Tribune, November 5, 1957, page 1
Alexander Moore Hamilton died August 11, 1962
Indicator of Medford's Growth Seen in Records
An authentic indicator of Medford's growth during the 20th century was reported this week by J. A. Eidswick, acting postmaster at the Medford post office.
Going through some old files, he uncovered forms gathered by several postmasters, who apparently started to record the history of the Medford post office. The statistics tell the growth story more vividly than words.
In 1891, business totaled $349.93 for a two-month period. The postmaster, Medford's first, James S. Howard, was still in office. He received $166.67 for two months' salary, his monthly pay being $83.33.
A post office clerk, according to the same form, which did not list his name, was paid $33.33, and costs for rent and heating of the building totaled $26.67, again for two months.
One special delivery letter was delivered during the two months, and a fee of eight cents was collected by the postmaster for same.
The sworn statement of business is notarized by Willard Crawford on Oct. 3, 1891. The Medford post office, established Feb. 6, 1884, was then seven years old.
In 1962, during a two months' period, the Medford post office did $153,000 worth of business. During two months the post office delivered 940 special delivery letters. Total receipts for the year were $915,110.98, an increase of $50,000 over 1961.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 13, 1963, page 1
Alva N. Bradford, acting, appointed April 12, 1963
Post Offices in County Receive Zip NumbersThe contract for establishment of another post office substation in Medford has been approved, the regional director of the Postal Service at Seattle notified Al Bradford, acting Medford postmaster, today.
All Jackson County post offices have received Zip Code numbers, preparatory to adoption of the new U.S. postal department plan for expediting the mail, which becomes effective Monday, July 1.Medford to Get P.O. Substation
All patrons of the post offices are scheduled to receive postal cards before that date informing them of the code number under which they will receive their mail. Al Bradford, acting Medford postmaster, announced today Tuesday was the last day for assigning code numbers.
An extensive program for acquainting the public with the program has been outlined by the United States post office department. It starts with the postal card coverage of all areas.
There will be decals of Zip (Zone Improvement Plan) Code numbers placed on all mail collection boxes and on all trucks carrying the mail. The lobbies of post offices will have pictures of "Mr. Zip" prominently displayed with the code number of the particular post office attached.
Will Wear Buttons
Window clerks in the post offices will wear "Mr. Zip" buttons to remind all patrons to include their five-digit Zip Code number on all outgoing mail.
Postmaster Bradford recently attended the Seattle conference arranged to acquaint all postmasters in sectional centers, of which Medford is one, with the details of the new system of improved mail dispatch and delivery. The conference was conducted by James J. Symbal, regional director, who had received his briefing in Washington, D.C., where he helped work out the national program.
The conference included the northwestern states in this region, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
When the new system becomes effective Monday all mail carriers also will display "Mr. Zip," the little character designed to sell the big project. The Zip Code number of the particular post office being served also will appear on mail bags and mail satchels of all mail carriers.
In Section 975
After July 1, anyone living in the Medford area will be living in section "975," the first three digits of the Zip Code number which will be used by all patrons of this region.
The last two digits of the Zip Code number will indicate the particular post office by which the patron is served.
The complete number for Medford patrons is 97501. Patrons served by the Central Point branch will be addressed with 97502.
Other post offices of Jackson County with their postmasters and code numbers include: Ashland, Parker T. Hess, 97520; Butte Falls, Mrs. Maude J. Arnold, 97522; Gold Hill, Harry Force, 97525; Eagle Point, Jim Wallis, 97524; Jacksonville, L. H. Valentine, 97530; Phoenix, Mrs. Marie Furry, 97535; Prospect, James Heston Grieve, 97536; Rogue River, F. G. Petrie, 97537; Shady Cove, Howard Nutt, 97539; Talent, Roger Smoot, 97540; Trail, Mrs. Eva Albert, 97541; White City, Mrs. Neil Bryan clerk in charge, 97542.
Number May Change
It was understood here that the White city code number might be changed since the post office is to become a branch of Medford. The Zip Code numbers were being assigned before plans for the transfer reached completion, Bradford explained.
The first digit, or "9," stands for the Pacific Coast. The second digit, "7," indicates the state of Oregon, and the third digit, "5," identifies the sectional center, which is Medford for Jackson and Josephine counties.
In addressing mail the Zip Code number should be placed on the same line and one space after the name of the state to which the letter is being sent, the postmasters pointed out today.
"When the project moves into full swing, the United States will have the most modern system of mail distribution and delivery in existence," the Jackson County postmasters noted.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 26, 1963, page 1
The new station will be in Moore's Toy World at the Medford Shopping Center, effective Dec. 1.
It will be in the northwest section of the shopping center.
Mrs. Irma Moore will hold the contract for operation for the station and will act as clerk in charge.
Establishment of the station, Bradford said, is in keeping with the program of the post office department to make postal service as convenient as possible for patrons.
With opening of the new station in the shopping center, Medford will have four post office substations in addition to the main post office. The others are the Village Variety on Stewart Avenue, Grandview Market, Crater Lake Avenue, and at Main Street and Riverside Avenue in downtown Medford.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 26, 1964, page 1
Alva N. Bradford appointed July 30, 1965
A fifth substation of the Medford Post Office has been approved, Al Bradford, postmaster, announced this morning. The contract for the fifth station was awarded Richard H. Glass of West Main Pharmacy, the Seattle regional office of the U.S. Post Office Department informed the Medford Post Office and Glass, president of West Main Pharmacy, Inc.
The station will be established in the West Main Pharmacy, 2355 Jacksonville Highway, effective Nov. 16.
The other stations are in Village Variety, on Stewart Avenue, Grandview Market, 2330 Crater Lake Ave., the Medford Shopping Center and on East Main Street at Riverside Avenue.
"PO Substation Wins Approval," Medford Mail Tribune, October 18, 1965, page 1
Zip Codes for Two Areas in Valley to Be Changed
Central Point and White City will be the only post offices in Jackson County included in the change of zip codes announced yesterday by Postmaster General Lawrence F. O'Brien, Medford Postmaster Al Bradford reported today.New Post Office Ready by Feb. 1
Both these post office stations will assume the Medford zip code number of 97501 after Jan. 15.
Central Point's zip code is now 97502 and White City's 97542. They will keep these numbers until the effective change date.
In announcing the reduction of zip code numbers, affecting 643 cities, the postmaster general emphasized that no changes in the adopted program will be made until after the Christmas mailing season is completed.
The reductions have been ordered, he stressed, in keeping with new nationwide standards to move the mail more smoothly and efficiently in the future.
All independent post offices in Jackson County will retain their present zip code numbers, Bradford said. These are: Ashland 97520, Butte Falls 97522, Eagle Point, 97524, Gold Hill 97525, Jacksonville 97530, Phoenix, 97535, Prospect 97536, Rogue River 97537, Shady Cove 97539, Talent 97540 and Trail 97541.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 9, 1965, page 1
John D. Todd of Todd Construction Company, Roseburg, contractor for construction of the new Medford Post Office and Federal Office Building on Eighth and Holly streets, has informed the Medford Post Office that the building will be ready for occupancy Feb. 1, Al Bradford, postmaster, reported this morning.Postal Service to Start in New Building Thursday
Notice was received yesterday from the Seattle office of the U.S. Post Office Department stating that the post office lease on the annex building would terminate March 1.
The annex on Holly Street behind the present post office was leased a number of years ago when the mail volume outgrew the post office capacity.
Termination of the lease indicates that the Post Office Department is expecting occupancy of the new building to reach completion on or before March 1, Bradford explained. March 1 was previously reported by the post office as the target date toward which moving plans were being directed.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 14, 1965, page 1
Tomorrow will be the last day for the public to receive postal service at the Medford Post Office on Sixth Street.
The box section and the windows will be open to patrons in the new Federal Building and U.S. Post Office on Eighth Street Thursday morning, Al Bradford, Medford postmaster, announced today.
The post office will not be completely moved, however, until the weekend. The incoming main building and the annex will start operating in the new quarters Monday, March 14.
Dedication of the new building is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday with Richard James Murphy, assistant postmaster general, bureau of personnel, Washington, D.C., and Congressman Robert B. Duncan as principal speakers. Officials from the Seattle Postal Region will also be in attendance.
All other agencies to be moved from the Sixth Street building to the Eighth Street structure by the General Services Administration are now occupying their new quarters.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 8, 1966, page 1
The Medford Post office contract station in the Village Variety and Garden Shop Inc., 771 Stewart Ave., was closed last night when the civil division of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department attached all merchandise of the store.
"Village Variety, Post Office Substation Closed," Medford Mail Tribune, March 2, 1966, page 1
Postal Substation Location Listed
Contract for establishment of postal substation No. 4, to replace the one formerly in Village Variety, has been awarded the Thrifty Drug Store at the corner of Stewart Avenue and King Street, Al Bradford, Medford postmaster, announced today.
Max Larson, manager of Thrifty Drug and the approved substation contractor, is now remodeling the store to provide space for the postal substation. The opening date will be announced, Bradford said.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 1, 1966, page 1
"Don't forget to change your address."
This typical mailman's goodbye was called to Mr. and Mrs. George. A. Eppinger as they approached "zero hour" for their departure from Medford Post Office Substation No. 1 Thursday.
June 30 was their last day on duty. They turned the keys over to Mrs. Elva Hofmann, recently awarded the contract by the Post Office Department, and ended a career of 20 years in post office work in Medford. Mrs. Hofmann checked in as the Eppingers checked out with no delay in the movement of the mail from 403 East Main Street.
The contract station was located at 26 S. Central Ave. when the Eppingers took over the operation. The first move for them was to the Pennywise Drug Store on East Main Street. They continued to operate the station when the location became occupied by Bell's Gifts and Homewares, then went with the station to a home of its own in the Sparta Building.
For Three PostmastersThey worked with three official Medford postmasters and two temporaries during those years, they recalled as they prepared to entire retirement. The late Frank DeSouza was postmaster when they were awarded the contract shortly after World War II. They continued under the late Postmaster Moore Hamilton and worked with Klamath Falls Postmaster Chet Langslet and Postal Inspector Jack Eidswick as they filled the interim awaiting appointment of Al Bradford.
"George Eppingers Retire after 20 Years with Postal Department," Medford Mail Tribune, July 3, 1966, page 6
A. Bruce Fisher, acting, appointed June 12, 1981
Leslie H. Young appointed September 5, 1981
Medford Gets 2nd ZIP
Medford will become a two-ZIP-code city for mail delivery July 1.
The new ZIP code for all Medford addresses east of Interstate 5 will be 97504, said Postmaster L. H. Young today.
Young said the Medford delivery area for some time has exceeded the carrying capacity of a single ZIP code because of city growth.
He said carrying capacity involves both the memory capacity of sorting clerks and the eventual use of an additional four numbers on present ZIP codes.
The 97504 number also will be necessary to make use of automated sorting equipment scheduled for installation in 1985, Young said. He said long-range plans--five years from now and beyond--call for a postal station in East Medford and would require a separate ZIP code.
Young said mail will continue to be delivered for a time with the old ZIP code, 97501, which still will apply to areas west of the freeway. But he said postal customers in the new code area should make corrections as soon as possible.
The Postal Service will notify major publications and national mailers.
The Medford Post Office applied for the East Medford ZIP code late last year, Young said.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 12, 1983, page 1
A Century of Postal Service
The railroad brought the post office to Medford on Feb. 6, 1884--one hundred years ago Monday.
When the Oregon and California Railroad Company line from Portland completed the Grants Pass to Phoenix section, a post office was opened here.
J. S. Howard, express agent, storekeeper and surveyor, was appointed postmaster. [Howard was Medford's second express agent, succeeding to the office in May 1884.] A cigar box in Howard's store was designated as the mail collection point.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary, Postmaster L. H. Young and Southern Oregon Philatelic Society members have arranged a ceremony cutting stamps instead of a ribbon at 10 a.m. Monday in the main post office, 333 W. Eighth St., Medford. This will open the post office for its second century.
The post office in Medford is at its fifth location. At different times it occupied three downtown buildings until the federal building-courthouse at 310 W. Sixth St. was built from architect Frank Clark's design. [The architect was U.S. Treasury architect Oscar Wenderoth, not Clark.] The post office remained there until it moved into its present location on March 10, 1966.
As part of the celebration, the Southern Oregon Historical Society will exhibit photographs from its collection plus 16 frames of early stamps. Society members will serve coffee and cake until 2 p.m.
A special stamp booth and a commemorative cancellation will be available in the lobby on Monday.
Attending the celebration will be Al Bradford, former Medford postmaster, who now is manager, sectional center postmaster in Eugene and Richard Smythe, special assistant to the regional postmaster general.
Tours of the post office will be scheduled during the week and are available by calling 776-3604.
The society is offering a cachet cover of the "100th Anniversary of Medford Post Office," featuring the early post office site and the first postmaster, with a special pictorial post office cancellation for $1 each. Requests should be sent with a large self-addressed envelope to P.O., 100th Anniversary 1984, 1090 Shafer Lane, Medford 97501.
Shortly before the post office was established, the community had been named Medford by David Loring, a civil engineer connected with the railroad's right-of-way operations. [The decision was made in consultation with the town founders.]
The Medford post office handled its first registered letter in April 1884. Rural mail service began in 1903.
In 1909 the postmaster applied for permission to start city delivery in Medford. His letter to Washington, D.C., dated April 8, 1909 points out that the city's population had grown from 1,910 in 1900 to 5,330, according to a census just completed by the city council.
Post office receipts had risen from $5,701.82 on June 30, 1905 to $12,757.33 on June 30, 1908, and to $15,451.81 on March 31, 1909.
The postmaster called this growth "phenomenal."
The post office had 694 boxes, all rented, with a waiting list of 50 applications, he said.
"There is at all times a line of patrons at the General Delivery window of from five to 30 people waiting to get their mail and during the hours when the mails arrive the lobby is crowded beyond its capacity," he wrote.
He continued, "In addition to this, new industries are starting with the city and adjacent country contributary to this office, which will greatly increase the population within a very short time, and without Free Delivery it will be almost impossible for us to conduct the business of this office in anything like a creditable manner."
Apparently Medford filled the Post Office Department's requirements for city delivery, because it was started on Sept. 15, 1909, with two carriers, one substitute carrier and 12 letter boxes.
The next major change in carrying the mail came on Oct. 2, 1929, when the first air mail flight was made from the Medford airport.
Medford continued to grow. A post office inspection made in September and October 1930 reports a population increase of 96 percent between 1920 and 1930. The 1920 census showed 5,657 residents and 1930 had 11,095.
The report also shows the Medford office force consisted of a postmaster, William J. Warner, who was 46 at the time and drew an annual salary of $3,600; an assistant postmaster, superintendent of mails, nine regular clerks, two substitute clerks, eight regular carriers, five substitutes, four rural carriers and two star route carriers. Yearly salaries ranged from $2,700 for the assistant postmaster to $1,900 for a clerk.
Today, the Medford post office operates with nearly 200 employees and handles a quarter of a million pieces of mail a day.
Mail is delivered on 47 routes in Medford, Central Point and White City. Of these, 35 are in Medford. More than 30,000 deliveries are made each day.
In earlier times, before the Post Office [Department] became the Postal Service, postage was low--one cent for newspapers and for postcards. According to Young, in those days the taxpayers subsidized the post office by making up any losses out of general revenues.
"Now, the Postal Service has to pay its own way," Young says. "This means that the people who use the services we provide are paying for them, instead of taxpayers who may not make much use of the post office."
Medford Mail Tribune, February 3, 1884, page B1
Rodney B. Upham, acting, appointed August 26, 1986
Leon J. Sagalewicz appointed February 27, 1988
James M. Foucault appointed February 6, 1993
SPECIAL DELIVERYA bright red awning on a former auto dealership will create a vivid signpost for residents looking for the new U.S. post office in downtown Medford next week.
The Postal Service's last day in its old building will be Saturday,
when the doors will close to the public at 2 p.m.
By Damian Mann
At 8:30 a.m Tuesday, the Medford post office will open at its new address at 325 S. Riverside Ave., leaving behind the 333 W. Eighth St. location that has been its home for more than 40 years.
The new building, formerly the site of the Dollar GMC dealership, has attracted some postal customers who assumed it was already open for business.
"I like the color and the racing stripe," said Brian McRoy, a 63-year-old Medford resident who stopped by the site thinking the new post office was open.
The Postal Service's last day in its old building will be Saturday, when the doors will close to the public at 2 p.m.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, everything will be moved to the new location at the corner of Riverside Avenue and 10th Street..
Postal workers were busy Thursday preparing post office boxes and installing equipment in the new 4,800-square-foot building that will offer retail services and post office boxes.
"It made sense to relocate," said Ron Anderson, a USPS spokesman in Portland.
Much of the old 26,000-square-foot location on Eighth Street was no longer used. Sorting and distribution operations had already been moved to Sage Road.
The post office building, which also formerly housed U.S. Forest Service staff, was sold to Jackson County for $2,026,900 last August.
Jackson County is preparing to convert the building into a central location for the county's health services operations.
The post office signed a 10-year lease with two five-year options with the Dollar GMC building's owner, Alan DeBoer
Anderson said he could not reveal how much the lease payments were on the new building.
He said the post office should see a reduction in expenses because it no longer has to maintain the much larger Eighth Street building.
Retail hours will remain the same, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday. The post office is closed Sundays.
Post office customers will notice one big improvement at the new location. A large parking lot surrounds the Riverside building, which was formerly used as a vehicle sales lot.
"It'll be a lot easier with the parking," McRoy said as he surveyed the new building. "The red color lets you know where it's at."
Medford Mail Tribune, May 25, 2012, page 1
Last revised November 10, 2016