Ish Family

August 29, 2017

The most photographed plot is Jacksonville’s Pioneer Cemetery is that of the Ish family. Jacob Ish, son of a Virginia plantation owner, came west in 1861 to escape the Civil War. He purchased 320 acres about three miles from Jacksonville and started a ranch. When opportunity arose, Ish added to his holdings. He eventually became one of the largest landowners in Jackson County with over 5,000 acres, including the site of the Medford Airport. His fields were some of the most productive in the Valley, and his ranch became known for its “broad fertile acres, sturdy stock and immaculately maintained buildings.” Ish died from bronchitis in 1881, leaving his wife Sarah one of the wealthiest women in the county. A “woman of strong character and rare business ability,” Sarah managed the Ish ranch until her death in 1906.