Thursday, December 30, 2010

Friday's Family Photos (Webb)

These are a few wonderful Webb Family photos. Enjoy!

Rev. James Barney WEBB, 6 Dec. 1823 - 2 Aug 1901

Emma Webb Noland, abt 1868 - 1954

George Bell Webb, 8 Jul 1855 - 21 Aug 1914

Agnes Pittman Webb, 17 Feb 1856 - 16 Oct 1883

Guy Webb, 24 Jul 1877 - 5 Oct 1939

Frank Webb, 5 Sept 1879 - 4 Oct 1912

Eva Bell Webb Loops, 28 April 1882 - 15 Sept 1966

And Who is this? Looks like George Bell Webb there in the center... and the boys in the top-hats? Anyone know?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

J.S. Howard: Founding Towns was a Family Tradition (SOHS)

by Rodney Coleman, regular contributor to Southern Oregon Heritage Today.
Originally published in: Southern Oregon Heritage Today, Nov, 2002; 4:11

James Sullivan Howard, dubbed "the Father of Medford" when he did on November 13, 1919, was born April 21, 1932, to Sullivan and Elizabeth Howard in Mason, New Hampshire. Educated in Illinois, Howard married Margaret E. Snuggs in 1855. In 1860, the couple and their three children moved to Jacksonville, where Howard became a successful surveyor and civil engineer.

In addition to advancing regional development by conducting a preliminary survey for the Southern Pacific Railroad and engineering the COPCO COndor Dam, Howard examined surveys for the U.S. Office in Oregon and Arizona until 1898, and opened a bakery and butcher hsop in Jacksonville's historic Kubli Building in 1875.

After fire destroyed Howard's business in 1884, he built a general store near modern-day Front Street between Eight and Main streets in Medford. Howard later recalled that contemporaries criticized his choice of location, at first, calling in it the townsite of "Mudville,", "Rabbitville," and "caparral", but suggested he "laughed last" after he "got in right" with railroad officiallys and witnessed Medford's growth and incorporation two years later.

A familiar presence at the Nash Hotel in Medford's early days, Howard became president of the Town Board of Trustees and Medford's first mayor in 1885, postmaster, and Wells Fargo agent. As one of Medford's founders, Howard had followed in the footsteps of his father, who co-founded Wethersfield and Kewanee, Illinois, in 1837 and 1854. However, the "rags to riches" lore associated with his arrival in Jacksonville with "only fifty cents in his pocket" also distinguishes J.S. Howard from other proud and resourceful pioneers of his day.

Rogue River Catsup

by William Alley (historian and certified archivist)
Published in Southern Oregon Heritage Today, Nov 2002. 4:11

When Frank L. KNIGHT decided to expand his Portland-based pickle and vinegar packinghouse to include the manufacture of catsup, he spent two years studying the processes involved and seeking a suitable location. Ultimately Knight accepted the recommendations of the experts at Oregon Agricultural College in Corvallis and selected Medford as the location of his new catsup plant. "The Rogue River Valley," Knight was told, "produces a tomato that is particularly adapted to catsup manufacture." By locating his plant in Medford, Knight could turn the tomatoes into catsup within a few hours of their being picked; "That is a mighty important factor in making high grade catsup."

The Knight Packing Company opened its Medford plant on the south end of Front Street in the summer 1916. Initial production capacity was estimated at fifteen tons of tomatoes per day, with room to expand to thirty tons in the future. By 1925, the plant was processing thirty-five tons of produce per day, the equivalent of 2,750 gallons of catsup.

After harvesting, Rogue Valley tomatoes were delivered to the plant where they were washed in large tanks. They were then scooped onto a conveyor belt, passing by employees who trimmed the tomatoes and removed any defective ones. The fruit was then washed again and steamed before being dropped into the chopper, which separated the seeds and skin; the remaining pulp was then sent to large kettles where it was cooked with onions, garlic, and spices. After cooking, vinegar, salt and sugar were added to make the finished product. The catsup was then packed into five-gallon cans and shipped to Knight's Portland facility where it was bottled in sixteen-ounce bottles.

Knight's Rogue River Catsup, the only catsup manufactures in Oregon, was an immediate success. At the end of the first eight years, the company could boast a 75 percent share of the Portland catsup market, and distribution had expanded to include parts of Washington, Idaho, and California. The company even went so far as to copyright the name "Rogue River" in connection with any tomato-based product.

The presence of the Knight catsup plant had an immediate impact locally. In addition to providing a significant payroll, the acreage devoted to commercial tomato cultivation soon increased. In 1924, the plant's production capacity was doubled to take advantage of the increased availability. The plant was again expanded in 1936 with the arrival of new, modernized equipment. No longer did the catsup need to be shipped in bulk to Portland for bottling. With the new equipment, the Knight Medford plant was now producing catsup at a rate of fifteen bottles per minute.

Knight's Rogue River Catsup flourished in Medford for twenty-five years, but the end came suddenly in the early 1940s. By 1942, the Knight Packing Company had disappeared form the local directories. The October 1925 issue of The Volt, the newsletter of the California-Oregon Power Company, now preserved in the collected of the Southern Oregon Historical Society, gives us a brief snapshot of a now-forgotten local industry.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Calling Webb Family Researchers

My ggGrandfather was George Bell Webb of Kinston, NC.
He was first married to Agnes Pittman, dau of Francis Marion Pittman and Louisa Mewborn, and had three children: Guy, James Francis "Frank" , and Eva Bell (my gGrandmother).

Agnes died in 1883 and he later married her sister Emma, and had two daughters: Agnes Webb Stacy and Carrie Lulu Bernard.

My gGrandmother Eva Bell Webb Loops saved so much; so much from the Webb family. And apparently her daughter Georgebelle Loops Smith also did a bit of research and was in communication with the Webb family.

I have pictures.
I have crazy tons of pictures.
I have pictures that I know no one in them, except that they are this WEBB family.

Agnes as a child; Carrie Lulu as a child, on and on and on. But these are the two evident from the writings on the photos.

I need help. I need someone to tell me who these are - and I can send you the photos too!

I'll get around to scanning and posting online. But if you are of this family, please contact me, because I need help. I've been given an amazing gift, and I know this needs to be shared with other researchers.

Contact me:
And please stay posted here on the site, because I'll be posting photos as soon as I start scanning.

They're Just People

I am a bit overwhelmed at the moment, but I have to share my adventures tonight into the world of the Loops family. I had mentioned my Uncle Frank's passing a few months ago, the end of his generation of Loops, and the rememberall of our family. He was also the youngest son of Charles I and Eva Webb Loops, and lived near his sister Georgebell who'd passed 15yrs prior. Which means, he had all her "stuff".

Today arrived all of their combined "stuff".

As the Historian of the family, as my father described it, it just made sense to send everything to me. Everyone else would enjoy a few moments of nostalgia and awe (and confusion and great overwhelmed feelings), and then it'd go into the closet.

I feel overwhelmed with the 30lbs of "stuff" that arrived at my house tonight, but I also feel very honored. Eva Bell Webb Loops, my gGrandmother saved; her daughter Georgebelle saved that and continued on with her own genealogy research and more. It is evident in these boxes that I now hold 100+years of pictures, bibles, letters, research, history.... that is our Loops family, and also our Webb family.

I get to keep this! And I will. I will scan and digitize; save and save and save. I need more fire-proof boxes, but I will get them. I will put in special folders and files and help document the mix-matched findings that are stored in these two boxes. And I will help create something that can be passed on further. (oh, my dear son, I wonder if you'll even want it... you will have little choice, you know? it's you or your uncles).

I haven't digested fully yet what is included in these boxes. I will have much more to say as I dig deeper. Tonight was simply a 3hr look over everything, and then back in your box you go.

But it's overwhelming. So long to research a family and to now have faces to that family. Here you are, George B. Webb, in photo. Photo after photo, there you are. You were as alive as I am today, with emotions and love of your children and interest in your wife and political ambitions or whatever... you were alive. You are not simply a date in a book... you were a man.

Love letters from Charles E. Loops "the first", to Eva, 1901-1903, when they were both young and separated, yet in love and soon to be married. They were both beautiful - I know this now... I have pictures. And their handwriting is beautiful and learned. They were young people in love, and to read the letters between them is beautiful and heart-warming, and confirming that.... they were people. Just... people. Alive and in love, as much I have had romantic feelings in my life.

I think sometimes I get caught up in the names and dates. I try to remember the stories, the realities that are our ancestors, that they lived and breathed just the same. But to finally see pictures of their then fashion and hair-styles, read their style of writing, to really see what their day was focused on.... it becomes real. I don't know how I can do this with people hundred's of years back, aside from watching movies that place me in that time, but for now.... at least I have a visual face on my ggGrandparents. It's amazing.

SO MUCH more to share as I digest.

For now, I'm in awe.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Southern Oregon Historical Society

I just have to post my exciting news.... as an avid amateur genealogy fanatic, that I just got a new job at the HISTORICAL SOCIETY (yay!) is a little piece of heaven for me :-)

I will be working with membership/development, first working to fix the database and other techno issues with the society. But soon, working to find new ways of fund-raising and development, getting more people involved, promotion, etc.

How exciting!

I live in Southern Oregon, but am not originally from here. So my experience with the research library with the historical society is nil. But they have been active for nearly 80yrs. The research library is worked all from volunteers, a very active group who are largely tied to historical communities here. It will be fun and exciting to learn more about the history of this area!

And of course, the SOHS is tied in with the Genealogy Society (yay!). There may be opportunities to begin teaching some classes with the two, as well. I already teach genealogy classes through The City, but what a wonderful expansion to consider through the historical society!

All in all, a great new addition to my life.

I hope to start including some information on Southern Oregon history and fun facts into this blog, as it becomes more of my working life.

For now, a few links:

Southern Oregon Historical Society

Southern Oregon Stories - SOHS Blog

Jackson County Genealogy Society/Library