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Mail Tribune 100, May 23, 1919

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

May 23, 1919


While tons of all kinds of rubbish, tin cans and old stoves were gathered up and hauled to the dumping grounds Medford’s annual clean-up yesterday was almost fraught with tragical consequences due either to some family trying to get rid of a big gray tomcat or the prank of some wicked practical joker.

Everything was going lovely and the dumping ground in the rear of the old water works station on South Riverside along the west bank of Bear creek was rapidly filling up when the excitement started.

Ole Arnspiger, the city engineer, city water superintendent, city electrician and city purchasing agent, and past leading knight of the Elks lodge felt so pleased at the situation that when Oscar Stinson’s wagon began to unload he stood on the Bear creek embankment and prepared to take a picture of the grand sight with his camera. Oscar had just thrown off a gunny sack half full of rubbish which bursted on hitting the dump, and out between Ole and Oscar jumped a big tomcat spitting, hissing, whirling and snarling in circles.

“Mist Alcrity,” ejaculated the startled city poobah as he stepped backwards on a tin can, which pitched him and all his titles into raging Bear creek, from which quickly came shouts of “Ph-ph-halp!”

“Holy Smoke” cried the equally startled Oscar as he quickly seized a club for self defense. Oscar’s thought in time of dire peril always turn to religion.

“What’s the matter! Smatter!” called Superintendent Runyard as he rushed out from the public market, suddenly saw the feline whirlwind and connecting unexpectedly his right foot with the top of an old bucket skidded away to join Ole in the creek.

After a few more whirls the big cat which the trip estimated all the way from five to fifteen feet long and proportionately wide, and which according to all information obtainable was frankly excited, started at immense speed to Main street, turning the corner sharply to the west in front of the Gates store where Bill Gates and Otto Jeldness were holding a street consultation.

“Me cheeild, I must save her!” exclaimed Bill as he started for home at his Peoria gait to protect the new baby from harm.

“My dog,” shouted Otto, who had lost 16 dogs in the past 13 years by violent deaths, as he also started for home.

As the excited cat shot up East Main street still spitting Harry Manning who was sunning himself in front of the Wonder store and who had a fight last week with a west side rooster, or rather it was a White Orpington, gave one glance at the oncoming cyclone, and dived into the store calling out in high Caruso-like tones “Papa! Pagliachi!”

When the bunch of excitement passed by the Commercial club Secretary Steel calmly watched it turn down the railroad track and disappear, and inquiringly remarked, “Is it a grizzly?”

News from 100 years ago