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Mail Tribune 100

May 22, 1916


Tomorrow the people of Medford will vote upon a charter amendment authorizing the issuance of $300,000 bonds for the construction of a railroad. The question of where the railroad will be built, or as to who will build it, will come up for consideration after the bonds have been authorized. Tomorrow's election simply authorizes the city to entertain a railroad proposition from any or all sources, and another election will be necessary to pass upon propositions submitted.

Medford must assist in the development of the natural resources of the adjacent country if the city and the country are to grow and prosper. Medford must demonstrate its own faith in its own resources before it can attract capital. Hence the proposal to enter the railroad business to develop tributary territory.

Nature has placed one of the largest mineral belts in the country at our doors. Development of the prospects and mines have gone as far as possible without transportation. It is to provide this transportation that the city is about to cooperate in the construction of a railroad.

It is hoped that the proposed railroad will be a link in a railroad to the coast. This can, however, only be discussed when the projects are presented to the people for action, and it is beside the present issue, which is the authorization by charter amendment of municipal railroad building.

The idea of the city's entering the railroad business is repugnant to many — yet it seems the only way we can secure the operation of mines — which will mean more to the city, if the history of other mining camps is repeated, as we believe it will be, than the horticultural and agricultural development. The mineral resources are the greatest resources of the valley — and if Medford is to cease marking time, must be developed.

The Lord helps those that help themselves. We have been waiting, like Micawber, for something to turn up. It hasn't turned. If we want to accomplish anything, we must start it ourselves. We have built a fine, modern, up-to-date city, but provided nothing for the people to do to make a living. We are shy industries and pay rolls. A vote for the bonds is a vote to loan municipal credit to secure them.