As It Was

Classics & News: Mon-Fri • 9:30am & 1pm | News & Information: Mon-Fri • 9:57am

Colorful vignettes dedicated to the regional history of Southern Oregon and Northern California. As It Was is an all volunteer effort -- produced by Raymond Scully and narrated by Shirley Patton in partnership with writers from the Southern Oregon Historical Society.

If you have a writing background and would like to submit an As It Was essay for consideration, email your written piece to the Southern Oregon Historical Society at

A collection of As It Was essays is available in a high-quality paperback book at the JPR Store.  Each episode is also available below.



10:00 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Marjorie Skeeters Sax Teaches, Leads Girl Scouts Troop

Episode 2409

A Southern Oregonian who stands out for her contribution to the region and its children is Marjorie Skeeters Sax, who lived in Oregon from 1902 to 1996, except for a few years in California.

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9:51 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Ruch Commmunity Prepares for School Building's Golden Anniversary

Episode 2408

The Drake School in Ruch, Ore., was one of many one-room schools that dotted the Applegate Valley in the 1800s and early 1900s. The school was constructed in 1876 where the Ruch School stands today.

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9:43 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Stallion Chooses between Wild Herd and the Halter

Episode 2407
 Small herds of wild horses formed in the Southern Oregon mountains when pioneers let their stock loose to graze.  In 1930, Jim and Ada Bell coveted a small black colt in a wild herd near their Siskiyou Mountain ranch. When he was a two-year-old, they caught him.
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9:40 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Abraham Lincoln Savage Becomes Southern Oregon Educator and Botanist

Episode 2406


Graduating at the top of his class of 23 in 1896 at the Southern Oregon State Normal School in Ashland, Abraham Lincoln Savage would become over the next 54 years one of the most prominent citizens of Josephine County.


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9:37 am
Mon May 12, 2014

French-born Packer Delivers Supplies to Siskiyou County

Episode 2405

Gus Meamber spent most of his life in Siskiyou County as a packer.  With no roads along the Klamath or Scott River, pack trains were essential for getting supplies to miners, merchants, and farmers.

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9:28 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Emigrants Headed to Oregon Run for Election

Episode 2404


Estimates vary widely on how many emigrants gathered in Jackson County, Missouri, in the spring of 1843 to organize a wagon train to Oregon.  There were at least 500, and one pioneer said the party “numbered over one thousand souls, with one hundred and twenty wagons drawn by ox teams and over three thousand head of loose cattle and horses."

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9:14 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Author Con Sellers Raise Horses, Teaches in Grants Pass

Episode 2403


Born in 1922 in rural Mississippi, Con Sellers enlisted after high school in the Army, where for 16 years he edited Army newspapers and also served as a combat correspondent during the Korean War.

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9:05 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Justice of the Peace Sues Military Officer for Jailing a Civilian

Episode 2402

There was trouble in Port Orford in 1855.  Lt. August Kautz, a German-born officer in the U. S. Army, had arrested a civilian for harassing Indians on the nearby federal reserve.  Kautz jailed the man in the guardhouse for six days.  In response, the local justice of the peace was suing Kautz, accusing him of false imprisonment of a civilian.

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8:39 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Medford Bowler Becomes One of the 50 Greatest of All Time

Episode 2401

Marshall Holman’s first bowling score was a 71. He was only 12 and he considered it “mediocre.”  Attending high school in Medford, he began studying the top local players and adopting their best styles. Seeking stronger competition at age 17, he began driving on weekends in the early 1970s to Portland or Seattle.  Despite his father’s protests that Holman was wasting time, he persevered and started winning.

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8:26 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Chief John Fights to Stay on His Homeland

Episode 2400
 A year after defeating the U.S. Army in the Battle of Hungry Hill in 1855, Tecumtum, the Indian leader known as Chief John, declared he wanted to live in peace with the white man, but would fight rather than be forced onto a reservation.
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