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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Medford Pioneers: The Trowbridges

There were two E. G. Trowbridges in Medford--Edwin G. Trowbridge (senior) of the Medford Iron Works and Everett G. Trowbridge (junior) of the Mission Furniture Works--and the newspapers often didn't bother distinguishing between them.


113 South Holly, Medford Mail Tribune, January 2, 1927.

    W. H. Hamlin has sold his residence property in West Medford to Benj. J. Trowbridge, of Douglas County, Oregon, consideration $1050. Mr. Trowbridge was formerly engaged in the mercantile business in Douglas County and will probably follow a similar business here. He expects to arrive in Medford soon with his family. The sale was made through R. T. Lawton's real estate agency.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 12, 1901, page 7


    A change took place in the personnel of the Medford Machine Shops last week, M. M. Gault having disposed of his interest in the concern to E. G. Trowbridge, and the members of the company now are Wm. Cook, C. P. and C. O. Danielson and E. G. Trowbridge. The new member of the firm is a thorough machinist and engineer and has already taken up his end of the work in the shop. Mr. Gault is as yet undecided as to just what he will do, further than that he will do a lot of improvement work around his residence and take life easy for a short time, at least.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 13, 1905, page 5


    There has been another change in the management of the Medford Iron Works. E. G. Trowbridge, who last week purchased the interest of M. M. Gault in the business, Monday bought the interest of Wm. Cook, and now owns two-thirds of the capital stock of the concern. The Medford Iron Works and machine shop comprises the most complete and up-to-date plant of its size in Southern Oregon, and the firm is prepared to do anything in their line of work. It is the intention of the management to increase the capacity of the plant from this time on as fast as possible. Several new hands will be employed shortly. Mr. Trowbridge and the Danielson boys are energetic, lively young men, and it is their purpose to make things hum around the shops. Mr. Cook is as yet undecided as to his future movements and may seek a change of climate.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 20, 1905, page 5


    Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Trowbridge left Tuesday morning for a few days' stay at Portland. Mr. Trowbridge's special mission is the purchase of a considerable amount of new machinery for the Medford Iron Works, of which he is a member.
"Purely Personal," Medford Mail, December 21, 1906, page 5


    Last Thursday afternoon, Florence, the five-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Trowbridge, met with an accident which came little short of being fatal. She and her mother had returned from a drive, and Mrs. Trowbridge left the little one sitting in the buggy while she unhitched the horse. One strap was left fastened, and when Mrs. Trowbridge led the horse from the shafts he became frightened and started to run, dragging the vehicle after him. The little girl was thrown out, and it is thought struck on the step of the buggy as she fell. Her left ear was torn almost entirely from her head, and a deep gash cut near her eye. Several stitches were required to close the wounds, but, barring a close resemblance to a defeated pugilist now, she is getting along finely.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 14, 1906, page 5


IRON FALLS THROUGH ROOF
Foundry Employees at Medford Create Rain of Metal.
    MEDFORD, Or., March. 3.--(Special.)--While breaking up heavy castings with giant powder at 6:30 this evening by employees of the Medford Iron Works was in progress an overcharge scattered fragments of iron all over the townsite. A piece of casting weighing 25 pounds struck the Hale residence, several blocks from the foundry, and crashing through the roof lodged in the chamber occupied by Mr. Hale. Other particles were carried half a mile to the city park. As the hour was early few pedestrians were abroad and no serious accidents are reported.
Morning Oregonian, March 4, 1907, page 22

Medford Iron Works 1907-4-20p23OreMiningJournal
April 20, 1907 Oregon Mining Journal

Dissolution Notice.
    Notice is hereby given that the co-partnership heretofore existing by and between E. G. Trowbridge and C. P. Danielson, doing business in Medford under the firm name and style of Medford Iron Works, is by mutual consent this day dissolved, the interests of Mr. Danielson having been acquired by Mr. Trowbridge. All accounts due the said firm are payable to Mr. Trowbridge, who will continue the business, and all accounts owed by the firm will be paid by him.
    Dated at Medford, Oregon, this 10th day of July, 1907.
E. G. Trowbridge,
C. P. Danielson.
Medford Mail, July 19, 1907, page 4


NEW INDUSTRY
Mission Furniture Works Makes Auspicious Beginning.
    Medford has a new industry. It is small yet, but it is growing and shows that Medford is a profitable field for other industries. And they will come. Some are on their way now; others are bound to come. The logic of the situation demands it, for where there is a big scope of rich territory tributary to a town, manufacturing plants, wholesale houses and other business concerns must come there as surely and inevitably as the tides follow the moon.
    A couple of months ago a young man who wasn't afraid started in to manufacture mission furniture and cabinet work right here in Medford. His friends told him that he was doomed to failure because the town was too small; but the young man could see into the future and knew that Medford was destined for greater things.
    So he built a small and temporary factory on rented ground--for Medford was growing so fast that he was unable to rent a building--and went to work. Already he has more work than he can get out, and his quarters are too small for his rapidly growing business. But he has shown what can be done and has put the fainthearted to shame.
    E. G. Trowbridge is the young man's name, and the Mission Furniture Works is the title of the new concern. It is located at Eighth and G streets.
    Among other jobs that the Mission Furniture Works has turned out are desks for Gaddis & Dixon, the Page wire fence men, who have recently opened an office here. The concern also made the tables and chairs for the offices of Porter J. Neff, attorney-at-law.
    This is but a beginning, but it shows what can be done and presages the Greater Medford when manufacturing concerns will be as common as today they are few.
Medford Mail, January 15, 1909, page 1


    E. G. Trowbridge, proprietor of the Mission Furniture Works, will leave Sunday for Hancock, Mich., his old home, in response to urgent telegrams from his wife and mother. He expects to return in a few days.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, January 15, 1909, page 6


    E. G. Trowbridge, Sr., of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, arrived in Medford Sunday and will visit for several days with his sons, B. J. and E. G. Trowbridge, and their families. It will be no fault of the boys if the old gentleman does not remain permanently. As a matter of fact, they have promised to "rope him" should he attempt to leave.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, March 5, 1909, page 5


THAT CHRISTMAS PRESENT.
    A nice piece of cabinet work or mission furniture makes an ideal gift, very appropriate and useful. We specialize in making the "out-of-the-ordinary" pieces. In fact, anything in the mission furniture or cabinet work lines made to your order, any finish you may desire. Drop in and get our prices.
    MISSION FURNITURE WORKS,
    Shop near corner Eighth and Holly streets.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 2, 1909, page 6



MISSION FURNITURE WORKS OUTGROWS ITS PRESENT SITE
    Only about two years ago a young man came to Medford with the idea of starting a mission furniture works. A great many people discouraged him, saying that Medford was too small. After looking over the field he decided to start a small shop. It was a success from the very first, and in less than a year after starting three additions have been added to the original shop.
Reorganizes.
    Realizing that the present quarters were entirely too cramped and that more room and more machinery was required, Mr. Trowbridge decided to reorganize. In looking around he found I. S. Tuttle of Oakland, Cal., a man of very wide experience in the mission furniture field. Mr. Trowbridge and Mr. Tuttle have founded a company and propose to give to Medford a furniture works that will be a credit to a city twice the size of this.
Orders New Machinery.
    New machinery has been ordered and will arrive in time to go into the large, new building, plans for which are now being prepared.
Sample Rooms.
    The new building will contain large sample rooms, showing [the] complete line of goods made by this company, many of which will be very odd and exceptionally attractive and desirable.
House Cabinets.
    This firm will be prepared to do all kinds of house cabinet work in a first-class manner and giving a much more artistic effort.
    Many people will be glad to learn of this addition to Medford's industries and an increase in the payroll.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 22, 1910, page 8


    Mrs. A. H. Trowbridge, of Hancock, Michigan, mother of E. G. Trowbridge, Jr., who has been the guest of Mr. B. J. Trowbridge, left Thursday for her home via Portland, where she will be the guest of Mr. Graham Greer for a few days. Her son accompanied her as far as Portland.
"Society," Medford Saturday Review, October 22, 1910, page 4


RETURN TO HEAR OF MOTHER'S DEATH
    Just returned from a visit to their mother in Sheboygan Falls, Wis., and happy in the thought that they had left her so much improved in health, Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Trowbridge and Ben J. Trowbridge were astounded, as they stepped off the train here Sunday afternoon, at the receipt of a telegram informing them of the elder Mrs. Trowbridge's sudden death.
    They had made the trip to their former home upon the receipt, some time ago, of news that their mother was ailing. When they left her to return here she was apparently fully recovered.
    Owing to the great distance they will be unable to attend the funeral.

Medford Mail Tribune, January 2, 1911, page 1


Overland Monthly, December 1912, page xxi

Medford Mail Tribune, April 6, 1914
Medford Mail Tribune, April 6, 1914

MEDFORD YOUTH ACCIDENTALLY SHOT HUNTING, ALASKA
    WRANGEL, Alaska, May 17.--Harold accidentally shot himself today. Wire disposition of body.
W. D. GRANT,
Deputy U.S. Marshal.
    The above telegram was received Sunday night by E. G. Trowbridge of the Medford Iron Works, bearing the sad news that his son Harold, employed as engineer for the gasoline launch at the Madden & Hanley cannery, was accidentally shot and killed Sunday morning. Details are lacking, but he and Houston Ling of this city and other friends were on a hunting trip. The first message brought the bare news of the death. The second told meager details.
    Harold, it is gathered from the second telegram, tripped while carrying a gun and the load struck him in the side, causing almost instant death.
    Harold would have been 18 years of age in June. He was born in Roseburg, but has resided in Medford the past ten years and was well known and popular. The news of his tragic death brought sorrow to scores and has prostrated his mother.
    The remains will be shipped to Medford for burial.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 20, 1914, page 2t


    The body of Harold Trowbridge, who was killed in a hunting accident in Alaska last Sunday, will arrive in this city next Sunday according to present plans. The funeral announcement will be made later.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, May 20, 1914, page 2


    The Medford Iron Works, . . . managed by B. T. Trowbridge, makes mining machinery, derricks, automobile parts and nearly everything on special order that is made of iron.
*    *    *
    Medford also has a furniture factory conducted by E. G. Trowbridge, Jr., known as the Pacific Furniture & Fixture Factory, where tables, chairs, davenports and chests are turned out. While this industry is still in the primary stage, with the proper local support there is reason to believe it will eventually become a life-sized institution, for the raw material is here, machinery is installed, help is available and the market is constantly growing.
"Medford Unites to Support Rogue River Valley Infant Industries," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, February 13, 1916, page 66

Pacific Furniture and Fixture Co. ad, December 17, 1916 Medford Mail Tribune
December 17, 1916 Medford Mail Tribune

    The Trowbridge Cabinet Works has been in operation in Medford for ten years and recently erected a new factory on South Grape Street with 5,000 feet of floor space, and have plans made and lumber purchased for an addition to be built soon to add 1,000 feet more floor space. The plant has modern equipment, does all kinds of wood work and is the home of the famous Pacific cedar chest. E. G. Trowbridge, Jr., is owner.
"Medford Infant Industries Embrace Wide Field and Deserve Support of People," Medford Mail Tribune, October 13, 1919, page B1


NEW FACTORY IS BEING ERECTED BY LOCAL IRON WORKS
    Among the new latest business changes and the new concerns started in Medford are the expansion of the Medford Iron Works and the building of its new plant following the purchase by Harry D. Mills of a half interest in the growing concern.
    With the coming of Mr. Mills, manager of the Butte Falls Lumber Company, as a partner of Ed Trowbridge, the Medford Iron Works is building a fine plant at the end of North Central Avenue, beside the railroad track, which will be under cover within a week, and in use within a month. It will be equipped with the latest machinery and appliances for a concern of its kind, and will specialize in tractor and truck work, for which there is a big field in this section. In the latter regard the Medford Iron Works will be the only establishment for this purpose in southern Oregon. Among the equipment will be a traveling crane by which a tractor or truck can be carried any place on the machinery floor. Both Mr. Trowbridge and Mr. Mills are widely and favorably known throughout Jackson County.
    The new structure will be a frame building covered with corrugated iron, 40 by 100 feet in dimension. The machine shop in front will occupy a space of 75 by 40 feet, and the rest of the space will be occupied by the foundry.
Excerpted, Medford Mail Tribune, October 8, 1920, page 6


BUSINESS MAN MARKED SUCCESS
    It is always a pleasure to note the success of a citizen who enjoys the good will of all and who has materialized his plans to a degree of community importance.
    E. G. Trowbridge, Jr., owner of the Trowbridge Cabinet Works, came to Medford in 1908 from the state of Michigan and with a heart full of self-confidence, and a willingness to work, started into business for himself in the vicinity where now stands the First Presbyterian Church. That was nearly twenty years ago. From the beginning his close application to business fidelity to the merits of the quality of his manufactured products and by prompt service his business has continued to expand until he now has one of the largest and best-equipped plants in his line in Oregon.
    Mr. Trowbridge has gathered into his working organization some of the most skillful artisans available. He operates the year 'round, and has played a big part in the building and interior finishing of business houses and residences. He specializes in store fixtures, built-in supplies and pews for churches.
    Ably assisting Mr. Trowbridge constantly in the office is Mrs. Trowbridge, who is among the exceptionally capable business women of Medford.
    During 1927 Mr. Trowbridge erected a large building to house his new lumber yard and building materials headquarters in the city. This annex to the cabinet works business affords facilities to supply a customer with everything he needs in home building, from foundation to chimney top. Nationally known brands of materials are carried in stock and in sufficient quantities to take care of any and all orders.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1928, page F3


TROWBRIDGE MAKES KYLE HOME MATERIAL
    The beautiful Robert Kyle model home on the corner of Rose Avenue and West 4th Street, opened yesterday to the public for inspection, and which will continue throughout today, is to a great extent a product of the Trowbridge Lumber Company.
    All of the lumber and building material for the exterior of the building was furnished by this concern. The interior cabinets, trimmings, windows, doors, glass and glazing was supplied by the Trowbridge Cabinet Works. The local building company is one of the pioneer industries of Medford, having been established here in 1908.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 11, 1928, page 3


TROWBRIDGE, Everett Going, manufacturer; b. Hancock, Michigan December 20, 1881; to Oregon 1908; Michigan College of Mines; m. Katherine Esther Semon. Mason, B.P.O.E., K.P. Republican. Protestant. Address: 10th & Grape Streets; home: 907 West 11th Street, Medford, Oregon.
Who's Who in Oregon 1929-1930, Oregon City Enterprise, page 220


Medford Iron Works
    E. G. Trowbridge bought the Medford Iron Works in 1903 and was located where Hall's cafeteria now is until 1920 when he patented the Medford Quartz Mill and moved to his present location to secure more room. Before selling his patent in 1926 he sold over 300 of these mills to customers all over the West.
    Mr. Trowbridge says that due to high labor costs mining has fallen off in the last 27 years but that the company has recently received more inquiries from all over the country than they have for many years.
    The iron works has grown with the city and now has a complete foundry and modern equipment.
    Mr. Trowbridge is an expert in his line.
"Brief History of Old-Time Medford Firms Given," Medford Mail Tribune, September 29, 1930, page 8


Trowbridge Cabinet Works
    E. G. Trowbridge, Jr., started in 1908 to make "Mission furniture" and has gradually grown into the cabinet and millwork business.
    Mr. Trowbridge's father taught him the cabinet building when he was just big enough to stand up to a bench, and he is the only one in the business who has stayed here more than 20 years. Now he has a modern-equipped mill and instead of only one or two employees has from 16 to 20. He has furnished a large number of the homes and business buildings in the valley with all their mill work, including modern showcases and enjoys a large business in northern California.
    Three years ago he added a lumber yard which carries everything in lumber and building materials.
"Brief History of Old-Time Medford Firms Given," Medford Mail Tribune, September 29, 1930, page 8


    Celebrates Birthday--Mrs. A. E. Trowbridge of Medford, who celebrated her birthday Monday, was surprised Sunday when her son, D. L. Flynn, also of Medford, brought her to Grants Pass to spend the day with her daughter, Mrs. George T. Peake. The following enjoyed a dinner and visited for the afternoon: Mrs. A. E. Trowbridge, Mr. and Mrs. D. L. Flynn and daughters Dorothy and Jacqueline, Mr. and Mrs. George T. Peake, and Patricia, Hollister and Betty.--Grants Pass Courier.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, November 4, 1931, page 7


Small Shop Grows to Big Industry
Trowbridge Cabinet Works, Founded by Everett G. Trowbridge
25 Years Ago, Is One of Largest and Most Complete in Oregon;
Business Founded on Enduring Policy Is
Responsible for Continued Success.

    A "one-horse" shop started in Medford back in 1908 for the manufacturing of mission furniture has grown into the largest and most modern cabinet works between Salem, Ore., on the north, and Weed, Cal., on the south.
    The man who founded the small mission furniture shop, who nurtured it through the years of its infancy and gradually developed it into one of the leading industries of this city, and who has been its directing head through all of the quarter of a century of its existence, is Everett G. Trowbridge, whose name the firm bears today.
    Of the veteran businessmen who have been heads of firms in this city continuously for 20 years or more, Trowbridge is the first one noted as having come from Michigan, in which state he was born in 1881. Needless to say, he was quite a young man when he arrived in Medford 25 years ago and engaged in business, and is yet a young man, being only 52.
    It was the ambition of young Trowbridge to become a mining engineer. To that end he enrolled in the Michigan College of Mines, where he studied until sustaining a serious injury to his eyes. While awaiting a complete recovery from that injury, Trowbridge started work in his father's cabinet factory. "I always possessed a desire to create things of wood," said Trowbridge, "and my interest for mining soon centered in cabinet making."
Comes Here for Visit
    Some time before Trowbridge entered his father's cabinet shop his uncles, Ed and Ben, left Michigan and made the long trip out to Oregon, locating here in Medford. The desire to visit his uncles and to get a glimpse of the West induced the younger nephew to start for Medford.
    "I had no idea of remaining in Medford when I arrived here in 1908," said Trowbridge. "I intended only to visit Ed and Ben, and then return home. In fact, Medford looked none too good to me at that time. There was no pavement and the streets were either dusty or muddy, as the case might be. People, or some of them, were drinking water from Bear Creek, and altogether the town did not attract me. As the days passed, however, the town and valley grew on me, and it was not long until I decided to remain."
Opens Furniture Shop
    Here Trowbridge relates that there was a marked demand for mission furniture, particularly mission electric fixtures. He rented a small structure on South Holly and opened for business under the name of the Mission Furniture Works.
    Trowbridge recalls that his products sold quite readily and soon he was forced to hire a man. Soon after another employee was added and he launched into the cabinetmaking business.
Business Grows Rapidly
    Close attention to business, and following the never-failing policy of turning out high-quality work, resulted in a constant and all but rapid growth of Trowbridge's business. The small shop started in 1908, and in which he was the only workman for a time, expanded until 1919, when Trowbridge erected the plant that is now located on South Grape, and which occupies one-half of a block of ground.
    Upon completion of the new plant Trowbridge changed the name of the firm to the Trowbridge Cabinet works, under which it is operated today.
Plant Is Modern
    When the Depression swept over the country the Trowbridge Cabinet Works . . .
[remainder of article not on microfilm; original newspapers lost]
Medford News, August 18, 1933, page 1


E. G. TROWBRIDGE TAKEN BY DEATH
    Edwin Guy Trowbridge, a resident of Medford for the past 33 years, passed away at his home Tuesday evening at the age of 63. He was born at Hancock, Michigan and in 1902 came to Oregon, settling in Medford, where he was united in marriage to Esabelle Boyden. Besides his widow he is survived by one daughter, Mrs. Elbert Farlow, and one grandson, Bobby Farlow, both of Ashland.
    Private funeral services will be held from the Conger funeral parlors Thursday at 2 p.m. Rev. W. H. Eaton will have charge of services and interment will be made in the Jacksonville cemetery.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 23, 1935, page 5



Trowbridge to Start Sash & Door Factory
    Everett Trowbridge, owner and operator of Trowbridge Cabinet Works for [the] past 32 years, announced in Medford that he will open the Trowbridge Sash and Door Factory located at Tenth and Grape streets, Medford.
    The new factory will engage in the manufacture of windows and doors and will carry a complete stock of glass and wallboard. The concern does not plan to do cabinet work but will offer reglazing work, Mr. Trowbridge stated.
    Mr. Trowbridge's original concern, known as the Trowbridge Cabinet Works, played an important role in the building of this city, as many homes have been erected in and near Medford since the establishment of the company in 1909. Everett Trowbridge is active in business and club circles here and has taken an active part in civic work during the past many years.--Mail Tribune.
Central Point American,
January 9, 1941, page 2


V. J. NAMITZ BUYS CABINET FACTORY
FROM TROWBRIDGE
    The Trowbridge Cabinet Works, located at 10th and Grape streets, has been sold to V. J. Namitz, well-known Medford resident, according to an announcement today by E. G. Trowbridge, who has owned and operated the plant for the past 33 years.
    Mr. Namitz, who has lived here seven years, has been representative of W. P. Fuller & Co. in this territory. Prior to coming here he had twenty years experience in mill work and building supply business. He has changed the name of the pioneer business to the Medford Millwork Co. Mrs. Namitz will have charge of the office.
    The plant is equipped to manufacture all kinds of mill work, sash and doors. Mr. Namitz will continue to carry a large stock of glass.
    Mr. Trowbridge says he is not retiring, although he has made no future business plans. He says he has plenty of work which needs attention, but first he is going to catch up on some of the fishing and resting he missed during the years he operated the mill works.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 15, 1941, page 3



E. G. TROWBRIDGE DIES OF SUDDEN HEART AILMENT
    Everett G. Trowbridge, 62, prominent Medford business man who founded the Trowbridge Cabinet Works in 1908 and was a resident of this city since that time, died of a sudden heart attack at 10:30 a.m. today at his home in the Oak Grove district. Funeral arrangements will be announced later by Perl's.
    Mr. Trowbridge, who was born December 20, 1881, in Hancock, Mich., had been failing in health for the past three years and had retired from the business in July, 1941. He was in his rose garden this morning when stricken, and passed away a short time later in his home.
    Mr. Trowbridge was a longtime member of the Presbyterian Church and was affiliated with the Medford Elks lodge, the K. of P., Crater Lake Chapter 32, Royal Arch Masons and No. 13 A.F. and A.M., Hillah Temple of the Shrine, Malta Commandery No. 4 and was a charter member of the Kiwanis Club with a record of 100 percent attendance.
    He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Catherine Trowbridge; two brothers, Clyde B., of Royal Oak, Mich., and Earl L., of Lansing, Mich., and one sister, Mrs. William Warmington of Escanaba, Mich.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 8, 1943, page 3



Last revised March 9, 2017