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As It Was: Rogue River Becomes Perfect Little Town in 1912

The year 1912 was an auspicious one for the residents of Woodville, Ore.  The town’s original name had been Tailholt, but that changed to Woodville, in honor of pioneer postmaster John Wood, when the railroad came in the early 1880s.

In 1912, the residents completed a municipal-owned water system and electrified the entire town. They built sidewalks and cleaned streets. The city council outlawed pigs and other livestock from running at large.  They transformed a beautiful grove of trees into a public park. They changed the town’s name from Woodville to Rogue River with the blessing of voters, the Post Office Department and the Southern Pacific Railroad.

The one blight on the charming community was the railroad depot. The old one was in the middle of Main Street and on the opposite side of the tracks from the town, creating a hardship for everyone.  But 1912 also brought news of a new depot to be built on the same side of the tracks as the town and next to Main Street instead of in it.

By the end of 1912, Rogue River had become a perfect little town.

Source: "Town Gets Depot." Ashland Tidings, 27 June 1912, p. 4.

Alice Mullaly is a graduate of Oregon State and Stanford University, and taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York; Mill Valley, California; and Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. Alice has been an Southern Oregon Historical Society volunteer for nearly 30 years, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.