Wes Howard Surprises Medford With a Gift

Nov 11, 2016

It’s difficult to describe Wes Howard.  He’s been called a curmudgeon, hermit and hoarder. Others say he was sincere, friendly, helpful, charitable and an intelligent, informed and concerned citizen.

Howard was born in 1916 and lived his entire life on his parents’ 60-acre Ross Lane farm in Medford, Ore. 

Howard scared off children from his property with a gun, cooked on a wood stove, and never had indoor plumbing or a telephone.  He also permitted kids to build bike trails and he gave pencils and apples to Halloween trick-or-treaters.  Howard served on the Medford Citizens Planning Advisory Committee from 1976 through 1995.

When he died in 2003, he surprised everyone by leaving an estate worth about $11 million for developing a sports park on the Ross Lane property. The man some people said hated kids wanted them to make their sports dreams come true. 

Today, Howard’s house is gone and the Wes Howard Memorial Sports Park is mostly undeveloped with only two soccer fields, a parking lot and restrooms.  Recently, the Wes Howard Foundation offered to donate five acres to the Logos Charter School.

 

Source: Thomas, Teresa. "Logos to receive a slice of Wes Howard Memorial Sports Park." Mail Tribune, 12 Feb. 2015 [Medford, Ore.] . Accessed 23 Oct. 2016. www.mailtribune.com/article/20150212/NEWS/150219845; Southern Oregon Historical Society MS1313, miscellaneous articles and notes about Wes Howard, compiled by Rosalind Rhinehart.