Within the city limits of East Medford is a little fruit ranch of five acres owned by George Andrew Jackson, a pioneer of 1854, and a man who has acted as well as thought since he took up the burden of life in the Far West. A fair measure of success has come to him as a miner and stockman, but at present his existence is a leisurely one, and devoted to fruit-raising principally, although he spends considerable time in taking parties to the mountains, and exploiting the many charms of this well-favored locality.
Mr. Jackson has reached the biblical allotment of years, but notwithstanding his seventy years of age he enjoys good health, and still looks at life through roseate glasses, seeing the beauty and kindliness in both human and inanimate nature. He was born in Missouri, October 13, 1833, and comes honestly by his fondness for stock of all kinds, for both his father, William Bartlett Jackson, and his grandfather, Wilham, were judges par excellence of the horse, and acquired their livelihood through his purchase and sale. Grandfather William was quite a character in his way, and no more enthusiastic horseman was known in Henry County, Ky., whither he removed from Virginia at a very early day. While he owned a farm, his revenue came principally from horse-trading and selling, into which he ventured with true Kentucky enthusiasm. He married in Virginia, and in Kentucky, his son, William Bartlett Jackson, was born. In 1828 the latter removed to Sheridan County, Mo., where he was joined by his father, where he lived to be eighty-six years of age, his latter life being spent with his children. His son William followed his example in business, became an excellent judge of horses, and carried to a successful finish many a shrewd trade. Unlike many thus employed he gained a reputation for integrity and fair dealing, and at the time of his death in 1859, at the age of sixty-five, left many friends to mourn his loss. His wife, formerly Eliza Berry Owens, was born in Kentucky and died in Missouri, having reared a family of six sons and three daughters, of whom George Andrew is the second son and third child.
George Andrew Jackson was twenty years old when he left his home in Missouri and crossed the plains to Sacramento City, Cal., arriving in the fall of 1854. After four years of rather successful mining at Diamond Springs, Eldorado County, he made his way to The Dalles, and from there up through the Yakima country to the Fraser River, British Columbia, in 1858, reaching there . , of the same year, he gave up a paying packing business and made the long journey to Eugene, coming by way of canoe to Fort Hope, by steamer to Fort Langley, by a Hudson Bay steamer to Victoria, and United States steamer Constitution to Olympia. From there he came with horses to Cowlitz Landing, from there with Indians and canoes to Monticello, and from there to Portland on the steamer Cowlitz, finally reaching Eugene January 1, 1859. A month later he went to Jacksonville, Ore., and engaged in mining for a couple of months, and then went to California with a band of cattle, returning soon after and engaging in a cattle business on the Rogue River. For twelve years he was one of the well-known men in his vicinity, his large ranch being located six miles above Table Rock. Success came to him, but the responsibility was a wearing one, and in 1871 he sold his stock and engaged in raising fruit, particularly melons, for the Portland market. He came to Medford in 1893, purchased his five-acre tract, and has since led a peaceful and not too busy life in a home where comfort, hospitality and good will prevail.
Independent in his views, Mr. Jackson inclines rather to the Populist Party, drawn thither by his intense sympathy with the downtrodden and unfortunate element in the world. In 1894 he was elected assessor of Jackson County, serving two years, and in 1896 was elected county clerk for two years. Socially he is connected with the Fraternal Union of America. Mr. Jackson married, in Jackson County, Ore., February 12, 1874, Sarah A. Myers born in Scotland County, Mo., and daughter of Jacob Myers, an Indianian who located in Missouri at a very early day. Mr. Myers came to Oregon in 1864 and at present lives on his ranch near Table Rock, having attained to the advanced age of eighty-nine years. William Bartlett Jackson, named for his grandfather, is a bookkeeper in the Medford Bank, and is the only child born to his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson have opened their hearts and home to an adopted daughter, Gridley. Mr. Jackson is respected by all who know of his earnest and industrious life, and through his coming here Medford gains a large-hearted and noble-minded citizen.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Western Oregon, Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904, pages 905-906
NOTE IN EMAIL, should be verified: George Andrew Jackson served as the Jacksonville City Clerk, 1894-1898. He may have also served as mayor, but that has not been verified.