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Mail Tribune 100

June 24, 1915


An unusual story of hard luck is the experience of Mrs. J.S. McKenzie, who for the past year has had a stall in the public market. Her husband is an invalid and unable to labor, and it has fallen to Mrs. McKenzie and her daughter to do the work.

"We came here in November, 1913," states Mrs. McKenzie, "and had $1,500 in cash and our livestock. We rented out the old Soliss place on Griffin creek from Wm. Schebel, agreeing to pay him, upon representations made to us of the places productiveness, $1,000 rental. We were told that 200 of the 240 acres were tillable, with not 10 acres waste on the farm, that there were 12 acres in alfalfa that never failed to cut five tons to the acre and that the creek was a running stream throughout the year from which we could irrigate. We paid $200 cash and gave a mortgage for $800 on the livestock. We spent the balance of the $1,500 in purchasing seed and sowing the place.

"We are practical farmers and understand farming, though on account of the difference in climatic conditions between Iowa and the Rogue River valley, we made mistakes through following the advice of the owner of the place. For instance, we planted some grain in April (too late we know now), and lost it all.

"After we got on the place, we found that there was only five acres in alfalfa instead of 12, that there was 10 acres in waste land and only 95 acres suitable for grain, and the season too dry to produce a crop. We realized, from our investment of $1,500 and labor, only $37 from alfalfa and $40 from pears. Our money was gone and our landlord foreclosed on his mortgage, taking our stock. I paid Mulkey and Cherry $50 to bring suit for misrepresentation on the part of Mr. Schebel, but the case was lost.

"To prevent our being stripped of everything, our kind-hearted neighbors raised $182, which was paid Mr. Schebel, who teased my daughters pony, a cow and colt. I have rented five acres near town and am running a truck garden, selling my products at the public market and trying to make a living. I want to publicly thank our Griffin Creek neighbors for their unselfish help. All we ask is a square deal and a chance to make a living."