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.

Speed Phillips never made much money, but prospected for gold all his life. Both his grandfathers were “forty-niners” in California, one seeking his fortune as a dairy farmer and the other as a builder.

 Four Spencer brothers moved their families from Pennsylvania to Oregon in 1905 to take advantage of the Homestead Act. The Spencers and other families staked their claims in deep woods atop a 4,000-foot ridge six miles north of Butte Falls, Ore.

 Three irrigation districts in Southern Oregon first realized in the 1930s that their infrastructure was deteriorating.  Founded years earlier as private companies, they also realized they couldn’t afford the expense of preserving the orchards and fields of the Rogue Basin.

 The dreaded disease of poliomyelitis, rushed through Southern Oregon in November 1935.  Also known as infantile paralysis, polio first hit Klamath County with isolated cases in October that led to school closures. 

 On Feb. 12, 1936, former President Herbert Hoover gave a radio address from Portland, Ore., to honor Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. The Lincoln Club of Jackson County urged all members to arrive in time at its banquet in the Medford Hotel to hear the 7 p.m. radio broadcast.

During the Great Depression, movie theaters offered special entertainment in addition to movies. The week of Sept. 8, 1935, featured an opportunity for local girls to compete in a “Dance to the Stars” contest cosponsored by the Medford Mail Tribune at the Craterian Theater in Medford. 

 One of the successful Depression Era Civilian Conservation Corps camps in Southern Oregon was on Roxy Anne Butte in Medford, Ore.  In November 1935 new recruits who had nearly frozen in their tents in Vancouver, Wash., arrived at Roxy Anne’s Camp Prescott.

 It was Friday, Nov. 29, 1940, when Clarence and Alta Walbert left Medford in the fog for Portland, Ore., in a Piper Cub owned by a Medford Flying Club friend. 

 In the summer of 1894, the Eugene Debs’ American Railway Union called on its workers to support striking Pullman Company workers by preventing any train with a Pullman car from running anywhere in America. 

 Blue whales were on the brink of extinction in 1978, when organizations that included Oregonians to Protect Whales and Greenpeace sponsored an Oregon initiative to prevent state and local governments from buying products from whaling nations.

 Blue whales were on the brink of extinction in 1978, when organizations that included Oregonians to Protect Whales and Greenpeace sponsored an Oregon initiative to prevent state and local governments from buying products from whaling nations.

 During World War I, it was hard to find Christmas trimmings and gifts in 1917, especially for a low-paid Forest Service Ranger living 15 miles from the nearest store. That’s how it was for ranger Harold Smith and his wife, Angie.

 In 1883, William and Irene Willits homesteaded nearly 500 acres in the mountains above Elk Creek in Jackson County, Ore. They had both been teachers, but liked the idea of living far from their neighbors.

The Fir Milling and Planing Company produced lumber at its mill in Ashland, Ore., from 1946 to 1962.  Seeking access to the Eastern Seaboard, the owners located the mill next to the Southern Pacific tracks on Tolman Creek Road.

Post-war families were pouring into the Rogue Valley in 1947, their children crowding Central Point Elementary School.  There just wasn’t enough classroom space to handle them.

Politicians today may not often be referred to as “first citizens in industry, character and real merit,” but in 1914 that’s exactly how some citizens of Roseburg, Ore., characterized City Treasurer Agnes Pitchford.

As It Was - Episode 2262

Harold Merrill grew up in Ashland, Ore. Many of his stories are recorded by an oral history transcript at the Southern Oregon Historical Society. One of them is about a high school jinx in 1913.

As It Was - Episode 2253

As It Was - Episode 2247 A large number of blacks from the rural South became mill workers in the 1920s in the lumber company towns of McCloud and Weed, Calif. The Long-Bell Lumber Co. bought out Abner Weed’s mill and recruited workers from its mills in Louisiana and Alabama, paying each worker’s $89 train fare to the Northwest. By the mid-1920s, one thousand of the 6,000 residents of Weed were black.

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