© 2022 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Anderson Creek Takes Name from Early Phoenix (Ore.) Settlers

Anderson Creek, which enters Bear Creek at the south end of today’s Phoenix, Ore., was named for Eli Knighton Anderson and his brother, two of the first settlers in the Rogue Valley.  

Born in Indiana, Eli Anderson, at age 23 in 1849, drove an oxen team and wagon to California for the gold rush.  He first tried mining at Redding Springs in Shasta County, and then he and his brother James filed for neighboring land grants near today’s Talent,  Ore., in 1852.  The brothers built a shared cabin straddling the property line between their claims.  
Anderson planted seeds from the Willamette Valley, and by the following fall, sold wheat in the Rogue Valley at eight dollars a bushel.  He started orchards of apples, pears, and peaches and was an early owner of the Ashland Flouring Mill and Ashland Mine.  
When he was 30, Anderson married Elizabeth Myer, daughter of a neighboring farmer.  The Myers had crossed the plains from Iowa three years earlier.  
The Anderson couple raised eight children in a farm house on Anderson’s original land claim until they moved to a house on East Main Street in Ashland in 1909. 

Sources: "Oldest Pioneer of the Rogue River Valley Country Passes." Medford Mail Tribune 15 Mar. 1912. Web. 15 Jan. 2014. "The History of Talent and Historic Preservation Policies and Strategies." City of Talent. Web. 16 Jan. 2014

Amy Couture has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Oregon, a master’s in teacher education from Eastern Oregon University, and a master’s in history from Minnesota State University, Mankato.  A former teacher and cross-country coach, she is the author of 14 historical vignettes in the book, Astorians: Eccentric and Extraordinary.