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As It Was: Witham Family Opens Popular Medford, Ore., Businesses

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

The small business did so well that a single-story concrete building that sold auto parts, the Witham Service Stations, opened on South Riverside and Eighth streets five years later. By 1937, the business continued expanding other buildings and took the name Witham Super Service.  After World War II, a new company, Witham Parts and Equipment, began selling trucks.

Medford grew along with the Withams.  The construction of Interstate 5 changed the use of Highway 99.  Rod Witham and his father, Harlan, built a truck stop on 20 acres along Biddle Road near the North Medford interchange.  Between 1965 and 1968 the truck stop was expanded to include a gas station, a repair shop and Witham’s Restaurant.  The Witham Truck Stop celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015.

Witham Truck Center was popular with both long haul truck drivers and locals before being sold and            closed.  One of the owners remarked, “We’ve done well in this town.”


Sources: Stiles, Greg. "Witham Truck Center announces deal." Mail Tribune, 2011, mailtribune.com/archive/witham-truck-center-announces-deal; "Witham Service Station." Landmarks and Historic Preservation Agenda. City of Medford, Oregon, 2018, pp. 13-14, www.ci.medford.or.us/./LHPC%20%206-5-18%20Agenda%20packet%20scann; Gossen, Scotty. “Scotty Gossen Exposed” Apr. 2015, scottygossonexposed.blogspot.com/2015_04_19_archive.html.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from 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. 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.