Alice Mullaly

As It Was Contributor

Alice Mullaly was raised in the same Central Point home where she lives today with her husband, Larry. A graduate of Crater High School, Oregon State, and Stanford universities, she taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York.; Mill Valley, California, and at Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. She retired from Southern Oregon University where she trained new mathematics teachers. Mullaly’s husband was also a teacher as are her two daughters. Her husband is a Southern Pacific Railroad historian, and both of them enjoy hunting for “the story” in primary sources. Alice’s mother was an early member of the Southern Oregon Historical Society, and Alice has been an SOHS volunteer for nearly 30 years. She enjoys the puzzles people bring to the Research Library, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.

The Rev. Robert Read asked his Bishop for the hardest assignment in the Episcopal Diocese of Sacramento.  In 1947 that was St. Paul’s in Crescent City, Calif., where Sunday school was held in a pony barn. He and the congregation transferred a chapel from Camp White, Ore., to Crescent City.

The Medford Commercial Club teamed up in 1908 with Sunset Magazine to produce an attractive, 64-page booklet about Medford, Ore., and the surrounding Rogue River Valley. The book reports on the climate, the orchards, land prices, building booms, the scenic wonders, lumbering, and mining for everything from coal and gold to copper and mercury. It was a heaven on earth.  Anyone in Medford would tell you so.

It all started when a partner in the Golden Rule Stores in Colorado and Wyoming started his own store in Kemmerer, Wyo., in 1902.  His name was James Cash Penney.

It was nearly sundown when Frank Mathers left his neighbor’s house to walk the half-mile home in the early 1850’s just east of Phoenix, Ore. He assured the neighbor he did not need a gun as mountain lions only came out at night. Frank’s son Marion tells the story, as follows:

The government promised in the Treaty of 1864 that established the Klamath Indian Reservation to supply a lumber mill and maintain its operation for 20 years.

As a youngster, Emma Bolt, the daughter of Applegate, Ore., merchant and miner John Bolt, once invited a hungry and sick stranger to supper.  Her Mother obliged and nursed the man back to health.  He was given shoes at Emma’s request and slept in the girls’ playhouse.  He told Emma “You are kind ma petit and the good God will bless you.”

An old trail up the east side of Lower Table Rock near Medford, Ore., had a grade that reached 38 percent.  Early automobile enthusiasts couldn’t resist the temptation.

Sportsmen formed a rod and gun club in 1912 in Riddle, Ore., that invited the whole community the following Labor Day to a venison barbeque.

Mel and Glen Crocker ran the Crocker Brother’s Union Station on Central Avenue in Medford, Ore., in the early 1950's. But they were more than that.

The county jail in Jacksonville, Ore., had nine prisoners before the night of the October 1909 escape. The sheriff was away and the deputy thought he had everything under control when the prisoners took their customary after-dinner exercise in the corridor outside their cells.  Seeing all was calm, the deputy left for his supper from 6 to 7:30 p.m. When he returned all was definitely not right.

During World War II, keeping troops entertained on their long sea voyages was a major task. Technical Sgt. Larry Wagner of Ashland, Ore., knew just how to do it.

Grants Pass High School has two 1948 state football championship trophies.  There’s a tragic story behind how that happened.

Public schools across the country began introducing hands-on agriculture as a supplement to the academic curriculum around 1900.  Oregon mandated that agriculture be taught in upper grades.

In 1958, Mrs. Una Inch retired after 25 years as assistant superintendent of schools for Jackson County, Ore.  She treasured her retirement cake that featured a little red school house surrounded by a fully equipped playground.  It was baked by Johnny Wilson of Central Point, who had been a special education student in a program Inch started.

The First World War had been over for nearly a year, but anti-German sentiment was still strong in Southern Oregon.  Louis Neidermeyer, a prosperous farmer from Nebraska whose parents were German, came under attack from the American Legion Post 15 of Medford.

The debate continues over the merits of saving or demolishing old buildings. People are overheard insisting, “That old house needs to come down to make room for a parking lot,” or, the opposite, “That 100-year-old home built by our town’s pioneer doctor needs to be saved.”

The strong hands of John Hoerster were tanned and rough with scarred fingers, but those hands were made for fine violins.

Linsy Sisemore remembered plowing his wheat fields in Sams Valley, Ore., during the 1880's.

Harry and David’s first retail store in Medford, Ore., opened on May 5, 1928, as a “five-and-dime” store that also sold fruit.

In the spring of 1893, Jackson County, Ore., earned the sobriquet of “Sucker County” after William Gooch arrived in Jacksonville to promote the Economy Flour Bin as a marvelous invention.  Gooch guaranteed the metal bin with a sifter at the bottom was water, insect and rodent proof.  He didn’t mention foolproof.