Earliest Inhabitants

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The Earliest Inhabitants

Long before Europeans arrived in the Rogue Valley Native Americans camped here to harvest and process acorns from the oaks that grew in the prairie all around. They periodically burned the brush on the valley floor to encourage acorn production and lure the deer and elk where hunting was easier. Spear points and grinding bowls have been found on the Hanley Farm. 

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The Hanley Farm

Martha, Mary and Claire Hanley

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Martha, Mary and Claire were orphaned in 1904. Martha spent some time in Chile with her Aunt Ella, then lived in Eastern Oregon with her uncle Bill. Mary moved to Butte Creek Ranch with Michael Hanley II, and Claire was raised by Alice in the Hanley home. When Alice died she left the property to the three sisters, and eventually all of them lived there together. None of them married. Mary was the last Hanley to live in the house, which she donated to the Southern Oregon Historical Society prior to her death in 1986.

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Michael Hanley II, 1871-1933

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The Hanley's youngest child, Michael, inherited his father’s Butte Creek Ranch property at the age of 18. He spent his life ranching there and added additional acreage. He was also involved with his brothers in other ranching endeavors.

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Ella Hanley Bush, 1869-1925

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Ella was a traveler. She spent time in Alaska with her brother Ed, and married mining engineer Harry Bush in 1903. The couple lived in Chile, where Mr. Bush operated a large copper mine for 16 years. The couple then returned to the Rogue Valley and took up residency in Medford.

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Ed Hanley, 1863-1943

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Ed headed to Alaska during the Yukon Gold Rush, where he became partners with Jack Dalton, sold mining supplies and ran a toll road. Later he moved to Seattle and developed a cannery operation, but he also maintained ranching interests on property next door to and across the road from Hanley Farm.

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William Hanley, 1861-1935

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Bill Hanley gave up on school when he was 10 years old, determined to be a cattle man like his father. By 17, he had left home for the opportunities in wide open Eastern Oregon, where he and his wife, Clara Cameron from Jacksonville, eventually owned the Bell A Ranch plus the 16,000 acre OO Ranch. Bill Hanley, known as "Sage of Harney Valley", ran unsuccessfully for Oregon Governor and for U.S. Senate, but he was more successful in promoting highways and railroads for Eastern Oregon.

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Alice Hanley, 1859-1940

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Alice Hanley spent her life in the Hanley home. She cared for her parents until their deaths, and raised her niece Claire from the age of six, in addition to managing a farm of over 100 acres. Alice also helped establish the Oregon Home Extension Service and served on its Board from 1919 until her death. In 1922 Alice ran against a Ku Klux Klan candidate for state representative. The KKK defeated Alice and many others that year, and briefly controlled Oregon state government.

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John Andrew Hanley, 1855-1901

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Michael and Martha Hanley

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The Hanley Farm and Family

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Southern Oregon Historical Society takes pride in its ownership of Hanley Farm, which was willed to the Society by Mary Hanley in 1982. She lived there until her death in 1986.

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The Hanley Farm and the Family

Southern Oregon Historical Society takes pride in its ownership of Hanley Farm, which was willed to the Society by Mary Hanley in 1982. She lived there until her death in 1986.

The Farm had been in the Hanley family since 1857, when Michael and Martha Hanley purchased 636 acres. The saga of the Hanley family is not only about pioneering and farming. It includes Alaskan gold rush adventures, a daughter who lived in Chile, trips to Guatemala and Cuba, insanity, and fortunes made and lost. 

SOHS Files on the Rogue River Indian Wars

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Early Days of the Automobile First page

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SOHS has many more automobile photos and articles!

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The Rogue River Wars page one

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The Rogue River Indian Wars

1929 – Hugo F. Lange, vice president of Armstrong Motors, drives Essex Challenger to the top of Lower Table Rock

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1929 – On June 25, 1929, the Medford Mail Tribune reported that Hugo F. Lange, vice-president of Armstrong Motors, claimed the honor of being the first person ever to reach the summit of Table Rock in a car.

 

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1924 – Pacific Highway was the longest paved surface in the world, from Canada to Mexico

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Long before cell phones distracted drivers... (1926)

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This columnist believed drivers were "too fanciful"

fanciful

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