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Mail Tribune 100, May 11, 1921

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

May 11, 1921


With his heart glowing from the warmth of his reception in Medford, Edwin Markham, the famous poet and the dean of American poets, departed this forenoon on the Shasta train for Roseburg where he lectures tonight, and Medford will ever feel grateful for the visit of this noted man who greatly increased his number of local friends and admirers during his short stay here by his geniality and democratic demeanor.

Not only did he captivate a fairly large audience in the high school auditorium with his lecture of last night, but he took the high school student body completely captive by his impromptu lecture before them this morning, during which he gave much of his main lecture and only ceased entertaining and reciting his poems in time to be rushed over to the depot to catch his train.

Mr. Markham was a distinct surprise to Medford with his magnetic personality, wit, humor, learning and philosophy, as shown by his almost conversational style of informal talk introducing the reading of his poems and between his readings. For a man 69 years old he showed pleasing mental and physical vigor, and a kindly and sympathetic attitude towards all the world.

His delightful interpretations of his poems and his reading of them with fine lure and elocutionary effect makes his public appearance all the more welcome and appreciated. And thruout all his lecture he refers to his love for Oregon, the state of his birth, which he had not seen until this week from the time he moved away with his mother from Oregon City to California when five years old.

Of course Mr. Markham did not read all his many poems, but only selected ones, and he closed his lecture last night without having read his most famous effort, “The Man With the Hoe,” but the audience was not to be denied and forced the white-haired and white-bearded poet by long continued applause and shouts of “The Man With the Hoe,” to read that world famous poem. His reading of it gave each hearer a new insight into that classic.

Following last night’s lecture an informal reception followed during which all present were introduced to and shook hands with Mr. Markham, and the domestic class of the high school served ice cream and cakes.

The evening’s enjoyment was much enhanced by Mrs. C. C. McCurdy’s piano solo preceding the lecture, and the vocal solo following it by Mrs. James Hayes, accompanied by Mrs. George Andrews.

Mr. Markham’s appearance here was under the auspices of the high school, and although the high school lost about $30 through the lecture receipts falling that far short of the guarantee, this loss is more than made up by giving Medford such a treat in the appearance of so famous a man.

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com