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Mail Tribune 100, Oct. 25, 1920

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

Oct. 25, 1920

SARGENT WARNS LOCAL MERCHANTS OF THEIR DANGER

To the Merchants and Business Men of Medford,

Gentlemen:

As a warm friend of Medford, will you kindly permit me to call your attention to the following facts;

Medford depends more for her prosperity upon trade that comes from outside the city than from trade that comes from inside. The feeders of Medford and the trade from the country around the city bring to her the greater part of her business. Cut Medford off from this trade and within a year she would not do half the business she is now doing. The feeders are the small cities of the valley about Medford, and Jacksonville is one of the most important because she gets no merchandise except from or through Medford; and practically all her products that she sends out go to or through Medford. Phoenix on the south and Central Point on the north are feeders, but the former gets merchandise from San Francisco and the latter from Portland that never comes to or goes through Medford. Compared to Jacksonville, they are each only half feeders as it were.

In Jacksonville there is no clothing store, no furniture store, no jewelry store, no butcher shop, no garage, etc., etc. Jacksonville people buy their automobiles, furniture, millinery, clothings and meat at Medford, and now that the bank of Jacksonville has failed all our people bank in Medford. There are living in Jacksonville, quite a number of retired cattlemen, farmers, miners, soldiers, and others who are fairly well off, and Medford gets nearly all their trade; what it does not get Jacksonville does get and Medford always gets its profit or toll on that. Thus we see that anything which hurts Jacksonville in a commercial way will hurt Medford in the same way: for commercially Jacksonville is a suburb of Medford.

The removal of the court house to Medford will necessitate the abandonment of the jitney line, probably result in scrapping the Medford-Jacksonville railway and greatly weaken if it does not ultimately destroy the town of Jacksonville. The destruction of Jacksonville will be a severe blow to Medford. If this should happen, possible you may thin the Jacksonville people will move to Medford; but they will not. The cost of a new courthouse added to Medford’s already high taxes will be more than they can stand; they will hunt another clime, and another county where taxes are much less even though it may not have as fine a courthouse ...

Another point: Army friends are writing me about the country with a view of coming to Medford and buying homes! They are asking about the climate, and the fishing and hunting and the taxes, but they do not say a word about a courthouse, nor do they care a rap about it.

As men of vision and foresight, I ask you earnestly to consider these things before you cast your ballots at the coming election.

Very sincerely yours,

H. H. SARGENT

— Alissa Corman;acorman@rosebudmedia.com

News from 100 years ago