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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Medford Pioneers: Wallace Woods


Surprise Party.
    A leap year surprise party was given to Wallace Woods by a number of young people last Friday evening, at the residence of his parents in this city. The gathering was a regulation leap year affair, the ladies inviting the gentlemen and doing the escorting for the evening. This state of affairs in itself rendered the occasion an enjoyable one. The party consisted of: Misses Mamie Isaacs, Millie Howlett, Bessie Brouse, Bertha Stewart, Myrtle Woodford, Grace Foster, Clara Skeel, Mamie Nicholson and Helen Colvig; Messrs. Chas. Penninger, Ulysses Damon, Gabe Plymale, Robt. Galloway, Robt. Foster, Bert Brandenburg and Hiram West.
Medford Mail, January 21, 1892, page 3


    Wallace Woods, whom everybody knows to be a good, square boy and who has been in the employ of Klippel & Marcuson for some time past, has secured the agency for the Sugar Pine Door & Lumber Company at this place and is now duly installed in his new position. He proves conclusively that he is anxious for your trade by placing an ad in this paper.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, January 12, 1894, page 3


    Wallace Woods, who has been in the employ of Klippel & Marcuson for some time past, has taken the agency of the S.P.D.&L. Co. at Medford.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 18, 1894, page 2


    Wallace Woods has instituted a new deal in the lumber business. He delivers all lumber or wood purchased of him, free to any part of the city.

"All the Local News," Medford Mail, February 23, 1894, page 3


    Wallace Woods is going around on three legs these days, or rather on one good one and one that's crippled. Last week his team and wagon got him mixed up somehow and he came out of the melee with a sprained ankle--and glad he was to get out with so slight an injury.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 20, 1900, page 7


    Wallace Woods unloaded four carloads of lumber this week. The same day these were received two carloads of wheat and one of ice were sent out--showing that business continues good at the Southern Pacific depot. The amount of local freight received at this station is very large, it being one from one to four carloads daily.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, July 19, 1901, page 7


    Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Woods and Mrs. Asahel Hubbard started for a few weeks' trip into Klamath and Lake counties Wednesday morning. They will meet Asahel over there in the tall timber and the four will camp, fish and hunt in various localities.

"Purely Personal,"
Medford Mail, July 26, 1901, page 6


    Loren Damon and family have moved to Medford from the Wallace Woods ranch, near Central Point. Mr. Damon will operate the Barneburg place east of Medford the coming season and will soon move thereto.

"Additional Local," Medford Mail, March 28, 1902, page 6



    Wallace Woods and O. E. Gorsline are making preparations for moving their respective lumber yards. Mr. Woods will take Mr. Gorsline's present site, while the latter will establish headquarters near the oil tank. It is likely that a business building of some kind will go up on the site of the Woods lumber yard.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 25, 1902, page 7


    On Monday of this week Wallace Woods sold his residence property on the corner of Eighth and G streets to Emanuel King, late of Grand Rapids, Mich. The price paid was $1500. Mr. Woods will buy other property and erect a dwelling thereon, and Mr. King will occupy his new residence at once. This deal was made through the Palm-York real estate agency.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 16, 1902, page 7


    Wallace Woods has purchased a piece of land 130x247 feet in East Medford, from L. G. Porter. The land is situated just west of Dr. W. S. Jones' palatial residence and faces East Seventh Street on the south and on a street on the west which Mr. Porter has platted. The price paid was $650. Mr. Woods will at once commence the construction of a fine dwelling thereon. The building which he will put up will be 36x44 feet in size, and in shape it will be all kinds of ways that Wallace and architect Palmer can think of--in fact it is going to be put up for convenience--that's the principal object, and if beauty can be mixed with it without interfering with its convenience it's going to be pretty, too. It will be one story high. This is decidedly a very pretty building spot, and Mr. Woods is to be congratulated upon having acquired it.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 30, 1902, page 7


    Wallace Woods has purchased a sightly piece of land in East Medford of L. G. Porter, and will in the near future build a handsome residence on it. L. A. Palmer, the well-known architect, has prepared plans for it.

    There is a great amount of building going on all over Oregon this spring. Wallace Woods, one of our lumber merchants, reports that it is almost impossible to get flooring and rustic lumber at any of the mills along the line. All the mills seem to be running at full blast, still they are unable to supply the demand.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, June 5, 1902, page 5


Another Cozy Home in Medford
    The rock and sand is now being gotten onto the ground for Wallace Woods' new residence in East Medford. The main part of the dwelling will be 24x32 feet, with two additions, each 12x12, for bedrooms, and a kitchen, 12x20. The two bedrooms will form wings to the house, and a wide veranda will extend from them for the entire distance around the front of the house. Work on the house will be commenced as soon as Childers Bros. gets the foundation completed. E. W. Starr, who has the contract, will push the work so as to have the house ready for occupancy by September. The house will be a modern cottage in style and will be quite handsome and the perfection of convenience, having bath rooms, hot and cold water and all the other accessions that are so appreciated by the housewife.
    There are some two acres in Mr. Woods' grounds, and the soil being first class, East Medford can soon boast of having one of the prettiest yards in all Medford--a town noted for beautiful lawns.
    Work was begun Monday on Mr. Woods' carriage house and wood room by E. W. Starr. This building will be 14x32 feet. A fine barn is also under construction, John R. Collins having that contract. The main part of the building will be 20x32 feet, 16 feet walls with an additional 16x20 for stable purposes, to which a harness room, 6x8 feet, will be built. When all the improvements are completed, Mr. Woods will have one of the best-appointed homes in Medford.
Medford Mail, July 4, 1902, page 2


    Emanuel King, a gentleman who arrived in Medford a few weeks ago with his family and who purchased the Wallace Woods property in this city, has purchased the S. H. Sykes orchard, south of Medford. The sale was made through the Palm-York real estate agency.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, July 4, 1902, page 6


    Work was commenced Monday on the new packing and fruit warehouse of F. H. Page & Son, on the site of Wallace Woods' old lumber yard. The building will be 50x100 feet--fronting fifty feet on the railroad track and being 100 feet deep and sixteen feet to the eaves, and will be used to pack and store fruit in. G. B. Hoyt is in charge of the work.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 19, 1902, page 7


    Wallace Woods has his new residence, in East Medford, nearly completed. It is one of the prettiest homes on that side of the creek, and while much of the architect's skill was brought into use in making it a thing of beauty, nothing has been lost in its convenience.

"Additional Local," Medford Mail, December 26, 1902, page 6


    Wallace Woods has sold his lumber yard in this city to J. H. Chambers, of Ashland. Mr. Chambers is here taking account of stock. Mr. Woods will have charge of the Medford yard. Mr. Chambers is a member of the Ashland Manufacturing Co., but his deal here is a side issue in which the company is not interested. All the dimension lumber hereafter furnished this yard will be from the company's mill, on Neil Creek. Mr. Woods has built up a fine business here, and his many friends here will regret to learn that he is to retire from the business, but they'll be glad to know that he is to be retained as salesman. Mr. Chambers is a very pleasant-appearing gentleman and seems to be a thoroughly good business man. No person will question his good judgment in making the deal for the Medford yard.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 20, 1903, page 7


    J. H. Chambers of Ashland, who has met success in the lumber business, last week purchased W. W. Woods' yards in Medford. Wallace will act as his salesman for awhile.
"Local Notes,"
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 25, 1903, page 1


    Wallace Woods has purchased from E. C. Boeck the Mitchell & Boeck blacksmith shop and ground upon which it stands. The price paid was $2300. The lot is 25x140 feet in size, and just as soon as the lease of the present occupants expires, which, however, will not be for nearly a year, Mr. Woods will erect a two-story brick building thereon.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, January 26, 1906, page 5


    E. L. Burdick has sold his interest in the Woods Lumber Company. Mr. Wallace Woods retains his interest in the company and will continue as manager.

"Additional Local," Medford Mail, January 24, 1908, page 2



Woods Lumber Company.
    The Woods Lumber Company is doing a tremendous business these days. They have already unloaded five carloads of lumber this week, and as many more are expected this week. This simply shows the demand for building material. It also shows that a great many of our building people are patronizing this company, where they get honest goods at lowest prices.
Medford Mail, October 2, 1908, page 4


    There has been a wonderful amount of building done in Medford this summer, and the end is not yet by a good bit. Some idea as to the amount of building material being used may be reached when we tell you that for over two weeks last past the Woods Lumber Company has received an average of one carload of lumber each day--and there are four carloads booked to be received yet this week. The Woods Lumber Company is becoming deservedly popular with the contractors and building people of Medford--and this because of the fact that the company does as it agrees to in every instance.
"Prosperity for Medford," Medford Mail, November 13, 1908, page 4


WOODS LUMBER COMPANY.
Elects Officers and Directors for the Ensuing Year.
    At the meeting of the stockholders of the Woods Lumber Company held yesterday afternoon in their offices here, the following were elected directors to serve for the ensuing year: C. N. Snyder, M. D. Zwight and A. A. Snyder, all of Glendale, Or.
    The new board of directors elected the following officers: President, D. M. Snyder; vice-president, M. D. Zwight; secretary and treasurer, C. A. Wilson; manager, Wallace Woods.
    Last year's work showed a very satisfactory balance on the right side of the ledger, and plans were discussed for enlarging the business and plant for the next year's work. Among other things, it was decided to build an additional lumber shed so that more lumber can be kept under roof.
Medford Mail, January 22, 1909, page 1


Keep Pace with Town.
    The Woods Lumber Company is building an addition to their sheds. The new shed will be 60x116 feet in size. The firm's growing business makes this increased shed capacity necessary.
    In discussing the matter, Secretary Wilson said: "The outlook in our line of business is better than ever before, and we mean to keep pace with the increased demand for our goods, due to the rapid growth of the city. Medford, from all indications, will experience a greater growth this coming summer than ever before."
Medford Mail, February 5, 1909, page 6


    What lumber yard in Medford has been here the longest? Owns its own mills and its own timber, its dry kilns, planing mills, etc. They take the lumber out of the tree and bring the finished product in all its various dimensions and varied finishes to the local market, where they fill your orders as promptly as paved streets and good teams can do it. One of their hobbies is long timbers, or any other kind to order. The company is incorporated. The very name suggests lumber and lots of it.
    Woods Lumber Co., cor. S. Fir and Ninth sts.

"What Do You Know About This?"
Medford Mail, December 9, 1909, page 6


Woods Lumber, March 1910
Woods Lumber, March 1910, as seen from the roof of St. Mary's Academy on the corner of 11th and Holly. Click on the image for a larger view. The false front, center left, reads "Woods Lumber," a banner hanging over Fir Street, at right, reads the same.\

Oldest Yard in Medford
    The oldest lumber yard in Medford is that of the Woods Lumber Company. It was established by Wallace Woods when Medford was a mere village, with only a few stores and not many dwelling houses.
    Land was cheap in the Rogue River Valley at that time, for the delightful climate and wonderful opportunities were practically unknown to the outside world, but people soon heard about it and Medford began to grow, and so did the Woods Lumber Company.
    Two years ago a company was formed consisting of O. N. Snyder, president, Archie Wilson, secretary, and Wallace Woods, manager, and the property was enlarged. Now the Woods Lumber Company has the largest stock of lumber and building material in Southern Oregon, owning their own timber, mills, kilns and yards.
    Their sawmill, which has a capacity of 50,000 feet of lumber per day, is located on their timber lands near Glendale, Oregon, while their kilns and planing mill are built within the limits of that city.
    The planing mill is equipped with the latest improved machinery and is capable of putting out a timber 20x30 inches, surfaced on four sides.
    The company owns an entire block of ground in Medford located between Fir and Grape streets on the east and west, and 10th and 11th streets on the north and south, with sheds 60x220 feet in size.
    They carry a complete stock of rough and finished lumber, moldings, and everything in that line, also a full stock of cement, plaster, building paper, deadening felt, paints and oils, and in fact everything in the way of building material can be purchased at their Medford yard.
    At present their offices are being enlarged and remodeled to have better facilities for the office force.
The Rogue, March 1910


Lumber Contract Secured.
    MEDFORD, Or., April 27.--(Special.)--The contract for 150,000 feet of lumber to be used on the construction of the Medford and Grants Pass Southern Pacific depots was secured by the Woods Lumber Company of Medford.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 28, 1910, page 6



BUILDING IS FAST EAST SIDE
Local Lumber Company Hauls Large Quantities of Material
to East Side of the City for Residence Building.
    On Saturday the Woods Lumber Company of this city delivered 40,000 feet of lumber on the east side of Bear Creek for new residences and hauled a little amount to that side of the city today. Within the past week over 125,000 feet of lumber has been delivered by this firm east of Bear Creek.
    "Building on the east side of the creek," states manager Wilson of the company, "is very rapid. A large number of houses are being erected, and they are all substantial. And not alone on the east side is there building going on."
    Mr. Wilson has purchased the interest of Wallace Woods in the company. Mr. Woods has purchased an interest in the Ashland Manufacturing Company.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 21, 1910, page 8



PET BEAR GOES BACK TO THE WOODS
    D. B. Russell's pet bear broke loose Thursday evening and lit out for the tall timber. Not finding any forests suitable for his habitation and determined to find the next best substitute, [he] made his way "back to the Woods," by taking refuge on a lumber pile in the yards of the Woods Lumber Co. When discovered he ran out and climbed a nearby tree, from which he was finally dislodged.
    It is wonderful the way a common black cub bear will display good sense by going straight to the Woods in quest of shelter.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 26, 1910, page 8

Medford Mail Tribune, August 28, 1910
Medford Mail Tribune, August 28, 1910

BEAR RUNS WILD ON CITY STREETS
    For the first time since the municipality of Medford was organized the citizens of the city have seen a black bear run wild down Main Street. Yesterday afternoon Topsy, the pet bear of D. M. Russell, made a wild dash out of his store, tipping over a palm on the way to the open street beyond. Then followed a wild stampede down Main Street. People stopped and held their breath as the bear galloped past. Dogs took up the chase, but a few swift slaps from the bruin put an end to their attempts to check her flight.
    Topsy, contrary to the conviction of the people on the street, was not running for the mountains, but was simply returning to her kennel at the home of Mr. Russell on Tenth and Grape streets, where she thought it was time to receive her supper.
    Topsy was captured some weeks ago in a trap on the Klamath Indian Reservation, and still bears the marks of the steel trap.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 28, 1910, page 8


MUCH LUMBER IS DISTRIBUTED
Medford Is Clearing House for Valley--
Woods Lumber Company Doing Great Business Throughout the Valley.
    The Woods Lumber Company is keeping up Medford's reputation as a distributing center. They are shipping lumber to Central Point, Eagle Point, Phoenix, and several good sales have recently been made in different parts of the valley to be sent out by teams.
    The Woods Lumber Co. is furnishing the lumber for J. F. Hollis' fine home, now in course of construction on [the] corner of Tenth and Oakdale Avenue.
    The architects and contractors McIntosh and Albert are building several buildings at Gold Hill, and the lumber has just been shipped from Medford, furnished by the Woods company.
    Albert & McIntosh have a record for good, substantial buildings, as shown by the fine houses of L. B. Rowe on Central Avenue, Charles Young on North Central, Captain Packard, Wheeler, McIntosh and others about town.
    The big orders and demand for lumber so far away from Medford simply proves that this city can and does make the right prices, and the fact that the Woods Lumber Co. is shipping cars almost daily proves that they are able to make the right prices and furnish lumber in any quantity and dimension.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 12, 1910, page 4


    Mrs. Wallace Woods gave a dinner Friday at her home, 91 Church Street, in honor of Mrs. George V. Gillette, who soon leaves for her new home at Portland. Mrs. Woods' guests were Mrs. George V. Gillette, George Virgil Gillette, Jr., Mrs. Torbert Sanford, Mrs. N. E. Woods, Mr. Wallace Woods, Harold Woods, Ahijah Woods and Caslyn Schwein of Chico, Cal.
"In the Social Realm," Ashland Tidings, August 29, 1912, page 4


    William P. Woods, a veteran of the Civil War, died at his home in Medford Tuesday morning, aged 71 years. Mr. Woods came to the valley in 1888. He is survived by two sons and two daughters, all residents of Medford. Funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon, Rev. W. F. Shields officiating.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, April 3, 1915, page 3


    Wallace Woods' lumber yard on Genessee Street has a full line of lumber, shingles, sash, doors, screen doors. Phone 108.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, September 13, 1921, page 2



OBITUARY
    WOODS--Nancy E. Woods died at the home of her sister, Mrs. G. W. Colvig, in Grants Pass, Oregon, Wednesday, August 17, 1927, from infirmities due to old age. Mrs. Woods was born in Platte County, Missouri, November 4th, 1845, being 81 years old at the time of her death. She crossed the plains with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson Dyer, who were a part of an emigrant train which left Platte County, Missouri in 1864 and settled near Canyonville, Oregon, and to this union were born two children. The daughter passed away in infancy and the deceased is survived by one son, Wallace W. Woods of Medford, Oregon, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, four sisters and two brothers: Mrs. G. W. Colvig, Grants Pass; Mrs. Wm. McCurdy, Roseburg, Ore.; Mrs. Susie Henson, Glendale, Ore.; Mrs. Alonzo Jennings, Napa, Cal.; brothers Thomas Dyer, Grants Pass; William Dyer, Los Angeles; Samuel Dyer, Medford.
    She was a member of the South Methodist Church. Funeral services will be held at the Perl Funeral Home Friday at 2:30 p.m., interment in the Medford cemetery, Rev. R. Nelson officiating.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 18, 1927, page 2


Wallace Woods in Business 39 Years
Head of Retail Lumber Firm Opened [Oldest] Yard Here in 1894
And Has Been Continuously in Business Since--Is
Native of Oregon and Has Not Wandered Far
Afield from Birthplace in Douglas County

    Medford and Jackson County are not without their veterans in various lines of business and industry, and the retail lumber business is no exception.
    Wallace Woods, founder and senior member of the company that bears his name, is the outstanding veteran retail lumber dealer of this city and county. Woods engaged in that line in Medford away back in 1894.
    Unlike a majority of those who have been engaged continuously in the same line of business for 30 years or more, Wallace Woods is a native of Oregon. He was born in Canyonville, Douglas County, in 1873, and has spent his entire life in Southern Oregon. His father, A. E. Woods, was attracted to the gold fields of Jacksonville in 1852. He followed mining for several years, finally drifting to Canyonville, and later to Roseburg, where he quit mining and learned the trade of a harness maker.
    Wallace Woods arrived in Medford with his parents from Roseburg in 1885 [the year was 1884], being attracted here with hundreds of others by the completion of the Southern Pacific [then the Oregon and California] railroad.
    "As I remember it--I was only a boy of 11 years--they held a big celebration here during the late summer or early fall of 1885 in honor of the completion of the railroad," says Mr. Woods.
[He must be remembering the Fourth of July 1884 celebration.] "An excursion train brought people to the celebration from points north. The road was well completed toward Ashland, but trains were not being operated between here and that point."
Meets A. C. Hubbard
    At this juncture Mr. Woods relates that he and A. C. Hubbard have often engaged in arguments as to the year the road was completed through this city to Ashland, although the two have been close friends ever since their early boyhood days here.
    "Asahel Hubbard was the first boy I met here. We were made acquainted at a Sunday school picnic held on [the] Rogue River a short time after I arrived here with my parents in [1884], and have remained steadfast friends through all of the 48 years," he said.
Recalls School Mates
    Woods recalled school at what later became known as Washington School, where the new courthouse is now located. In fact his only schooling was obtained in that school, which was attended by many of the present residents of Medford and Jackson County.
    A. C. Hubbard, Dee Roberts, who resides on West 10th Street, John Barneburg, the older Earhart boys, Frank Van Dyke and Ed. Gore were among the boys who were attending the old school at the time Woods was enrolled. Some of the girls who were pupils during that early period were Mrs. Henry Workman, Mrs. J. M. (Dr.) Keene, Mrs. Jessie Cossi, Mrs. Ora Burnett and the sisters of Frank Van Dyke.
    "The old schoolhouse was surrounded by a growth of thick chaparral," says Mr. Woods.
Enters Retail Yard
    Woods' experience in the retail lumber business dates back to the days when he attended the old public school. His first work was a part-time job with a man by the name of Steel, who operated a small retail yard on 8th Street.
    Later Woods was employed by Henry [Klippel]. 
[Klippel] was, according to Woods, a prominent man of the pioneer era of Medford, and located here after making a fortune in the gold fields of Gold Hill. While [Klippel] was absent from Medford, attending to his duties as one of the commissioners of the World's Fair at Chicago, Woods managed his yard. He also obtained employment and experience in the yard of Henry Smith, who opened the first retail lumber business in this city.
Engaged in Business
    Woods engaged in business for himself in 1894 on a small tract of ground on South Fir, where the sheds of the Rogue River Lumber Co. were later located [at 113 South Fir], and which were destroyed by fire about 18 months ago.
    "Being able to obtain only short-term leases, I was compelled to move often," said Mr. Woods.
    Woods opened a retail yard at Ashland in 1910, which he operated until 1914. In 1921 he established a yard in this city at the corner of [711] East Main and Genessee, where he continued to operate until 1929, when the company moved to the present location of [613] East Jackson Street [and Genessee]. The present plant, one of the largest and most modern in Southern Oregon, was built in units, and construction was started some years before final completion.
Sees Better Years Ahead
    The retail lumber sheds of the company which Mr. Woods directs are not only among the most spacious of any similar plant in the southern part of the state, but the company carries in addition to lumber a complete line of builder's hardware, paints and roofing materials.
    Wallace Woods has enjoyed the experience common to men in other lines of business. "There have been prosperous years and I have had my lean years," he says. "Recent years have been lean ones, but I have an abiding faith that better years are closely approaching and that Medford and the valley will again enjoy an era of growth and development."
When Sales Were Slow
    Woods tells of some of his experiences during the early years he was operating a retail yard. There were times when business was so slow that in order to make a turnover of his stock he traded lumber for hay and grain which he shipped to outside markets.
    Although there were years when sales were slow, Mr. Woods says that the price of lumber here never did drop to the exceeding low figure that often prevailed in many other districts. He recalls that the cheapest price ever paid for lumber was that manufactured at Saginaw, this side of Eugene, by the Booth-Kelly Lumber Co., many years ago.
    Aside from his enthusiasm for fishing, which he still enjoys today, Woods says he never had much time for sports and hobbies. During several years he engaged in farming as a sideline, but finally centered all his efforts on his chosen business.
Son Enters Business
    Mr. Woods met and won Miss Dora Knowles, a Jacksonville young lady, back in 1894. Three sons were born to the union, all of whom are living. they are Gerald, of Portland, Harold of Medford, and Ahijah of California.
    Harold Woods, the second son, is an active member of the Wallace Woods Lumber Co. and is expected to carry on the business under the name of Woods after the father retires. He joined actively in the business eight years ago and is one of the progressive young businessmen of the city.
    Although Wallace Woods has been a busy man during the 39 years he has been in the retail lumber business, he found pleasant diversion fishing [the] Rogue River and other streams of this district, a sport that has been common to a majority of the veteran businessmen of Medford. In addition he made and kept a large circle of friends whom he rates as one of his richest possessions.
Medford News, September 1, 1933, page 1



Last revised February 20, 2017