Luana (Loffer) Corbin

As It Was Contributor

Luana (Loffer) Corbin was born and raised in Jackson County in the Phoenix area.  Her parents owned a farm and fruit orchard, and she spent her childhood in the country.  After graduating from St. Mary’s High School in Medford, Corbin enrolled at Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years.  She considered teaching at a small country school as a wonderful experience that helped her appreciate regional history.  After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.

Children and learning are her passions.  She lives with her husband, Richard, and a black lab, Kelly, on a small farm outside Phoenix.

A trick sharpshooter and fancy roper named Ruben Peyton grew up in the same town in Kansas as Buffalo Bill Cody, although Peyton was 11 years his junior.

The Medford, Ore., softball complex at Jackson Park is named after Ben and Helen Fagone.

The first automobiles came to Grants Pass in 1904, resulting in a declining number of horse-drawn carriages on the roads.

Born in Port Angeles, Wash., in 1946, Bill Warren grew accustomed to airplanes flying over his family farm beneath the flight path of the local airport.  When he was eight, the family moved to Medford, Ore., where Warren soon became a fixture at the airport.  Warren held the controls of an airplane for the first time at age 10, and by 15 he had earned his private pilot certificate.  He was headed for a career in aviation.

Brooklyn native Barney Murphy filed a 160-acre land claim on the lower Applegate River in 1854.  Most of the land lay south of the river and included the mouth of Gray’s Creek.  That is how Murphy, Ore., got its name.

One World War II soldier stationed at Camp White, Sgt. Jimmy Dunlevy, became a solid citizen of nearby Medford, Ore., after the war.

A nurse who went ashore on Normandy Beach immediately after World War II’s D-Day invasion of France, Florence Louise Platko Schilling, moved in 1946 to Ashland, Ore.

Raised in Beaumont County, Calif., Fred Warren Kelly was described as very modest with a ready smile.  In high school, he earned many honors in track and field competition before graduating in 1911.

Ancient people etched designs thousands of years ago on southwest-facing basalt boulders some five miles east of Adel, Ore., in the high plateau between Klamath Falls and Lakeview.

In the late 1800s, William and Irene Willits quit their school teaching jobs to establish a new home in the Cascade Mountains.  Near Upper Elk Creek in Southern Oregon, they chose a site with mountain scenery, tall pines, beautiful wildflowers, streams and rock cliffs.

A treacherous part of the Applegate Trail in the 1840s was sliding covered wagons down steep mountain slopes.

William S. Phillips loved art and aviation.  Growing up in Los Angeles, he often spent the day sketching aircraft.

At one time Ashland was called the “Carlsbad of Oregon,” referring to the large number of mineral springs in the area.  One of the more attractive soda springs emerged from the banks along Emigrant Creek on the stage route between Ashland and Klamath Falls. 

Descendants of early Irish immigrants who became sheepherders and cattlemen still live in the Southeastern Oregon town of Lakeview.

The first automotive electric store in Medford, Ore., Witham’s Battery and Electric Service, was established in 1923 by H. Clay Witham.

One of the oldest known business sites in Jacksonville is located at the corner of California and Oregon Streets, occupied today by the Scheffel’s Toys store. 

The early 20th century actor Jack Holt, who at one time had been a resident of Klamath County, was known for his Westerns.  Movies were silent with musical accompaniment before sound movies arrived.

The first public school district in Southern Oregon, School District No. 1, opened in Jacksonville on  Aug. 11, 1854.

The Camp White Army training base and prisoner-of-war camp east of Medford during the Second World War had a population of 35,000 desperately in need of a newspaper.

More than 160 years ago, 19-year-old Francis Carr of Ireland and his younger brother, James, landed in New York City, where Francis taught school for 15 years and studied law.  He also lost a wife and one son in childbirth and three children to smallpox.

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