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Medford History, Oregon

The Medford history, has a close connection to Oregon and California Railroad. In the early 1880s, Oregon-California Railroad engineers, David Loring and S. L. Dolson, planned a railway route through the Bear Creek Valley. The proposed route was to cross the creek at the ‘middle ford’, where they also planned a new township. The work of laying the railroad tracks was completed in 1884 and this is regarded as the formal date of establishment of the new settlement. Initially, the township was named ‘Middle Ford’; but David Loring renamed it ‘Medford’ after his home-town, Medford, Massachusetts.

Medford History– Important Events of The Initial Days

Few remarkable things happened in the opening years – the area’s first building was built in January 1884 and a school district was established by the year-end; however, the most important thing to happen was certainly the establishment of the post office in February. Set up in the same first building (built by James Sullivan Howard), the post office brought Medford the recognition as a town in 1885. (It will be worth mentioning here that J.S.Howard served as the postmaster for the initial ten years). Following its incorporation, a committee was formed to look after local administration to enforce law and order.

Medford History– The 20th Century

The 20th century brought about enormous changes. Apart from being incorporated as a city in 1905, Medford experienced all-round progress.

Automobiles started running on the newly-built roads and a second heavy-duty bridge was built over Bear Creek. Medford’s renowned library, the Medford Carnegie Library, was completed in 1912. Medford’s stunning development in different spheres ultimately led to its being declared the county seat of Jackson County in 1927, replacing Jacksonville.

Year 1955 saw this US city switching to the Council-Manager form of administration. As per this system a professional city manager is appointed by a governing body (comprising an elected Mayor and eight elected city-councilors) to take care of the city’s administration. The Council-Manager is directed by the governing body.

In the following years, efforts were made to boost the city’s infrastructure. The completion of Interstate 5 in 1967 is just an instance of all that has been done to turn the once-upon-a-time remote area to a modern American city.

In its 125 years of history, Medford has made overwhelming progress and it is still continuing on the path of progress. Present-day Medford has everything – highways, malls, plazas, residential complexes and today Medford stands among major cities like Portland, Salem etc in South Oregon.

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