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Old Medford stock certificate is a mystery

My uncle owned a hardware store in Medford about 70 years ago, and he must have talked my dad into buying some shares of "The United Company of Oregon" dated 1947-1949. I discovered the stock certificates and wondered what became of the business. It was trying to discover oil, and this investment was probably even dumber than some that I have made.

The company address was 201 W. Main St., Medford, and the officers in the letterhead were: Ed V. Andersen, President; J. Verne Shankle, First VP; W.J. Crane, Second VP; Dale H. Franklin, Treasurer and George H. Jackson, Secretary. If you have any records that are quickly available, it'd be fun to know what happened.

— Ron M., Huntington Beach, Calif. 

Looking through Polk directories from 1946 through 1951, we weren't able to track down any sort of "United Company" other than the likely not-relevant airline. In the 1948 Medford Polk directory, 201 W. Main St. was listed to a "Barbecue Grill" restaurant owned by Dell and Theodora Ward. Nothing similar to what we'd imagine a "United Company of Oregon" to be called appeared to be adjacent to that address, but it's possible our readership has memories and information we haven't tracked down.

That's not to say we came up empty in our search. Assuming the possibility of slight misprints on the letterhead, the board appears to all have been local businessmen.

In searching for a president named Ed V. Andersen, we found an Edwin V. Anderson, owner of Anderson's Super Thrift Market in 1948, located at 202 N. Front St.

The search for First Vice President  J. Verne Shankle led us to photographer J. Verne Shangle, whose studio was located at 134 W. Main St. 

Second Vice President W.J. Crane was the last board member whose name didn't have an exact match. We found Ashland osteopath Dr. William J. Crandall, whose practice was located at 11 S. Pioneer St.

Treasurer Dale H. Franklin owned Franklin's Restaurant at 1470 Kings Highway, and Secretary George H. Jackson was a lawyer with a practice located at 208 W. Main St.

—Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.