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Chronicles of the Okanogan







Omak Stampede Boosters, 1935. First mayor of Omak, W.H. Dickson.

Trick roper at the 1935 Omak Stampede.

New Omak Stampede Arena, 2009.

Biles-Coleman sawmill 1934 (top photo) and in 1922.

New dance pavilion, 2010.

Omak graduate, Jessie Long Jim, Princess America, 1926. Omak School, 1913.

Current mayor of Omak, Cindy Gagne.

Omak High School, 2010.

ng i t 1 00 Years of Community a r b e l e C

City of Omak

2 North Ash St., P.O. Box 72, Omak, WA 98841 509-826-1170

Photos courtesy of Okanogan County Historical Society and The Chronicle


Elizabeth at 3, her nose already in a book

“ I have always admired your vast knowledge of the newspaper business and your ability to learn new technology. You have seen it all in your years at The Chronicle! Katie (Andrist) Montanez

Elizabeth around 10 years old

“ When I think of Elizabeth, I see a woman examining the world through her camera’s lens and telling us what she discovered. Al Camp

Elizabeth as a college student

Elizabeth Barta Widel

We doubt she believed she would put in this many years when she started at The Chronicle in 1954. She probably didn’t think that one day she would be among the most-senior journalists in the Northwest. Chances are she didn’t foresee writing one of the longest-running columns in history. But that’s exactly what Elizabeth Barta Widel has done. For 56 years, Elizabeth has kept the wheels of The Chronicle turning in various ways. Among her duties at The Chronicle are some positions that no longer exist, such as Linotype operator (she is pictured doing this very duty on the cover). She has been society editor, copyeditor, columnist and a variety of other things through her years, moving from hot lead Linotype to computer design programs and dark room to digital photography. At 93, Elizabeth still writes her column – now in the 2,700s – and writes reviews of musical and theatrical productions. For her service, her inspiration, her dedication and all the things we can’t put into words, we at The Chronicle are honored to dedicate this book to the legendary and extraordinary Elizabeth Widel. Below are stories and tributes from those who have known her over the years. Barbara Barta, sister: Elizabeth was born on July 8, 1917, in Chicago, Ill., the oldest with three younger siblings to follow – Bob, Dave and Barbara, who is 11 years younger. Their parents were Marie and “Dave Durias” Barta, a Hungarian who rarely went by his name Dezso after immigrating to the U.S. The family comes from a long line of longevity – Dad lived to be nearly 100, and Mom and the two brothers into their 80s. Elizabeth was always a good reader and liked to sketch. “I think of her as an extremely creative person,” Barbara said. “She has a way of putting words together. “She’s totally, totally honest and dedicated to anything she puts her heart to.” There are several things Elizabeth is known for that have origins from long ago. Barbara shared a few: • Photography During the Depression era, the Barta family had a camera, but rarely enough money for film. When Elizabeth moved to Omak, she and husband, Glen, both had cameras and her love for photography was born. Now, most who know Elizabeth know of “her inability to leave the house without her camera.” Her token phrase has been, “Did you ever try to take a picture with a camera you left at home?” • Geology “She obviously is a dedicated rock hound,” Barbara said. That all started as a student at Northwestern College, when she took a geology class and, apparently, liked it. • Knowledge of the area Elizabeth originaly came to teach at Brewster in the 1940s. She was hired for typing and business classes, but taught more than she thought she would or had prepared for. “She fell in love with the country,” Barbara said. There she also met Glen and became godmother to his son. Years later, she became stepmom when she moved back to marry Glen in 1954. The two of them started exploring the Okanogan together. “She soaks up knowledge; she craves knowledge,” Barbara said, a trait Elizabeth inherited from her father. Merilynn Wilson, Chronicle coowner, 1950s-1970s: The Wilsons moved to Omak in 1957 with four children when they bought The Chronicle. Elizabeth operated the Linotype in the back shop and ran the front office supply store. Linotype was the most complex typesetting machinery according to Merilynn. Aside from avoiding squirting hot lead on yourself, you had to punch each letter into

the machine with a keyboard that wasn’t arranged the same as a typewriter. A rare talent was for people to “hang” the Linotype (get ahead of it and have to wait for it to catch up), but she and Glen, the shop foreman, both could. “She was very fast and very smart at everything she did,” Merilynn said. She was also a great proofreader, spelling better than most reporters. “She loved the great outdoors, as did Glen,” Merilynn said. After their regular jaunts around the area, the Widels started submitting photos and occasional columns for the paper. Bruce Wilson thought it might be good to run these regularly and thus the column “Exploring the Okanogan” began. She taught the Wilson children photography, Merilynn said. She loaned them her own cameras and put together a dark room in the Wilson house. By the time the Wilson children left home, they knew photography and spelling because of Elizabeth. “Elizabeth was always there for us,” Merilynn said. “She was always there for her friends.” “It’s a remarkable career – she’s a remarkable lady. She could do almost anything – and did. “She’s been a fixture in the community for a long, long time.” Ralph Malone, photography student 1960s, now Omak city administrator: In 1963, Ralph’s mother, Kitty, was head nurse at the Omak hospital. Elizabeth was in for surgery and decided to make a photo documentation of the experience. When it was all over, she visited the Malone house to show Kitty her album. The family then started exploring with Elizabeth, back when she was working on her 300th column. Elizabeth bought Ralph his first 35 mm camera for his next birthday and taught him to work in her darkroom. That resulted in several county fair blue ribbons. “She was very interested in sharing her love of photography,” Ralph said. Working with her was a great part of his early teen experiences. “I spent many days and hours in the company of Elizabeth during the mid ‘60s. Our family made many trips into the forest investigating the geology, the vegetative types and animal life around the Okanogan in the years following Glen’s passing (in 1961). “During these several years, Elizabeth was always making thoughtful presents for people from the photos she took. It might be a single enlarged photo or a photo journal that was of particular interest to the recipient. “I accompanied her on one occasion when she presented one of her creations to its intended receiver. When she made the presentation she said, ‘I hope you will enjoy this.’ “Afterwards she shared with me that she never gave a present and asked, ‘How do you like it?’ possibly putting the receiver in an awkward position. Instead she simply indicated in a statement her hope that the gift would bring joy to the receiver. “That was a valuable lesson that I have carried with me through all of the 46-some years since and that I remember each time I am in the position to present a gift to a friend.” Mary Koch, Chronicle co-publisher, news editor, 1970s-1990s: On Aug. 29, 1974, John E. Andrist’s “Walking Softly” column was entitled “Fuss ‘n Feathers,” which directly quoted Elizabeth stating she wanted no “fuss ‘n feathers” over the fact she was observing her 20th anniversary with The Chronicle. So, John more or less snuck his tribute into the paper by (thanks to phototypsetting) setting the type himself. (Elizabeth now wryly points out that just a few years earlier, when papers were produced by

Linotypers, John could not have pulled this off.) The column is a lovely tribute, commending especially Elizabeth’s accuracy, and replete with John’s unintentional typographical errors. John introduced that column by referring to Elizabeth as “one of the most remarkable women in my life.” The really big change in technology was from hot metal to “cold” type or photo typesetting, and The Chronicle’s first machine in that era was a Justowriter. It was a much faster process, but not fast enough for Elizabeth. “Dozens of times a day,” John wrote, “the machine buzzes that it’s too busy for any more words, and Elizabeth sits back a bit and waits for modern machinery to catch up. “The guy who sold the machine to us couldn’t believe it. I asked if he didn’t have any way to make it run faster so Elizabeth wouldn’t have to wait. ‘There’s nothing,’ he said, and walked off shaking his head.” And here is the Elizabeth story nearest and dearest to Mary’s heart: “Not many people know that in 1970, when John began the process of buying The Chronicle from Bruce and Merilynn Wilson, Elizabeth provided part of the down payment in exchange for a couple shares of stock. John made her one of the officers of the corporation. “Two years after his disabling stroke, John and I reluctantly concluded that we had to sell the paper. Despite the incredible efforts of the staff, his disabilities and my duties as his caregiver precluded our ability to provide adequate management. The sale meant that Elizabeth had to release her shares, and she was deeply saddened. I tried to cheer her by noting, ‘Elizabeth, you’ll have a fabulous return on your original investment.’ “She answered, ‘I don’t care about the money. I wanted the stock.’ “Or in other words, the ownership. “The thing is, when it comes to the heart and soul of The Chronicle, Elizabeth remains the majority stockholder.” Dee Camp, Chronicle news editor, 1979-present “Elizabeth is a remarkable woman and a dedicated journalist. Long after most people think of retirement, she’s still going strong into her 90s. “She’s a transplanted Midwesterner, and her “Exploring the Okanogan” column provides an upbeat, thoughtful perspective on her adopted county and state. She marvels at the area’s beauty, geology, people, plants and animals, and conveys that sense of wonder and appreciation to her readers. “Over the years, she’s tackled a variety of tasks at The Chronicle, always doing what’s right and what’s best for the reader and the business. “It’s the same in other aspects of her life, from church and club activities to historical work or sticking by family and friends through thick and thin. Her wisdom and thoughtfulness are immense, and her wit is right on target. “She’s a woman of many interests and talents – church lay speaker, bulletin editor and long-time treasurer, historian, author, photographer, music aficionado, former choir director, woodworker, outdoorswoman, recycler, avid reader – the list goes on and on.” For The Chronicle’s 90th anniversary in 2000, she wrote about technological changes and the outlook ahead: “And so this paper goes on in the centuries-old tradition of giving the people the news of what is going on, for people want to know. If they don’t get the information from a responsible source, they will guess, and that frequently leads to rumors which are anything but responsible.” And, with typical Elizabeth style and grace, she concluded, “What we most want is to merit the confidence of the readers – and to go on doing more of the same.”

For her passion, dedication and love for her community, Elizabeth has changed my perspective and become my inspiration.

Elizabeth is an inspiration to all who know her and I have truly been blessed by her friendship. Judy Z. Smith

Sheila Corson

” Elizabeth working the phones in 1957

Elizabeth at her desk in 2007


The Okanogan County Irrigation Project was the catalyst that brought development and homesteaders to the Okanogan Valley in the early 1900s. At left, a map printed in The Chronicle shows the extent of the project in the central county. Below, a new orchard outside Omak takes advantage of irrigation.

Table of Contents Foreword...................................................................3 May 20, 1910, edition...............................................5 1910s – A Decade of Beginnings......................14 1920s – A Decade of Growth.............................22 1930s – A Decade of Development...................30 1940s – A Decade of Tragedy............................40 1950s – A Decade of Recovery..........................48 1960s – A Decade of Controversy.....................56 1970s – A Decade of Calm..................................66 1980s – A Decade of Progress...........................74 1990s – A Decade of Change.............................82 2000s – A Decade of Challenge.........................93 Afterword..............................................................100 On the cover: Top photo: Elizabeth Widel inputs data on the linotype printing press at The Chronicle in the 1960s. Left to right photos: The Biles-Coleman lumber mill train carries logs from Cougarville on Omak Mountain to Omak in the 1920s. Chronicle operations used to include setting lead type and then running it through the printing press. Omak founder Ben Ross’ cabin was the first building in the city.


Chronicles of the Okanogan Presented by The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle

Foreword A century ago, The Chronicle was founded, in part, as a voice for the residents and community of unincorporated Omak. We’re proud to continue that tradition today, serving not only as a voice for the city of Omak, but for all of Okanogan and Ferry counties. And so it is with great pride, that we bring you “Chronicles of the Okanogan,” a unique look at the history of our area as told by our newspaper’s publishers, editors and reporters. This book is a compilation of the inaugural sixpage May 20, 1910, edition of The Chronicle and 10 special sections printed in the pages of the newspaper each month since our 100th anniversary. “Chronicles of the Okanogan” contains all the stories that appeared in those special sections, as well as several additional photographs, creating an insightful, comprehensive look at the events that shaped who we are and what Okanogan and Ferry counties have become. While we can’t present you with all the stories of the people and events that shaped our two-county area, we strove to provide you with a cross-section of news, sports and noteworthy events. The stories in this book all appeared in the pages of The Chronicle over the last century, and we’ve reproduced them exactly as they were published, with some slight corrections to spelling and grammar. A few stories also had to be abbreviated in order to give you a wider view of our history, heritage and culture. There are words, stories and editorials that by today’s standards may be considered derogatory, slanderous or prejudicial. Our intent was not to shield you from the truths of our past, but to give you an accurate account as told by The Chronicle. The book has not come without its challenges. Chronicle employees spent hundreds of hours scanning hard-to-read, deteriorating original copies of our newspaper. We spent many, many more

hours working closely with staff and volunteers at the Okanogan County historical and genealogical societies. During those hours of research, we’ve been able to identify significant people of each decade, develop a comprehensive timeline of local history and point out the state, national and international events that influenced local life. This truly is a unique look at our local history. But this book is not just a compilation of stories and photographs. It also sets the tone of the times – in the descriptive words used by those who witnessed and reported on the events shaping our history. As we pointed out, this book is the result of countless hours of work. It would not have been possible without the assistance of several individuals and volunteers representing the historical and genealogy societies. While several individuals assisted us, two Chronicle staffers deserve special recognition for their extraordinary work. Reporter Sheila Corson and graphic artist Julie Bock took on the task of researching stories, tracking down photographs and designing the pages. They did so while also keeping up with numerous other duties at the newspaper. Their work ethic exemplifies that of the generations of Chronicle employees who preceded them, and is an inspiration for future publishers, editors and reporters. We at The Chronicle are proud to bring you this must-read history book. We hope you enjoy it. Best,

Roger Harnack, publisher

Acknowledgements • This book could not have been completed without the help of the knowledgeable, helpful staff and volunteers at the Okanogan County Historical Society and Okanogan County Genealogical Society. We borrowed their finely-bound volumes of The Chronicle in 10 installments over nine months, scanned dozens of their photos, re-

searched their historical books, scrolled through microfilm and asked countless questions. A full-page advertisement is featured on Page 12 of this book, recognizing them and giving readers the chance to contact them for their eye-opening archives of our great county.

• We also could not have made this book without the support of our advertisers, six of whom bought ads in every special section we released over the last year. Rawson’s Department Store, Omak Clinic, Hamilton Farm Equipment, Sunrise Chevrolet, Baines Title Co. and Gene’s Harvest Foods each have a full-page advertisement in this book, most of

which are near the decades in which they opened for business (Baines is even older than we are, so it outdates our book). Thanks to all our advertisers, both aforementioned and otherwise in this book, who made “Chronicles of the Okanogan” more affordable to those who will have the delight of owning a copy.


The Chronicle’s first edition May 20, 1910 On May 20, 1910, owner and publisher Clarence P. Scates released the first edition of The Omak Chronicle to many eager readers. With financial backing from area businessmen W.S. Shumway, C.E. Weatherstone, Ben Ross, John Godfrey and Conrad Knosher, the paper finally hit the streets. Beginning on the next page, the entire six pages are reprinted exactly as they appeared, errors and all (it was much harder to change a typographical error in those days, so give Scates a break).

When this “Iron Printer” arrived at The Chronicle, Scates invited the entire community to look it over. A Model K Linotype, the new printer could “distribute 270 characters per minute,” Scates boasted, with 90 characters possible.

Clarence P. Scates’ house was also the first Chronicle office, pictured here (the business sign is on the far left).



Continued on Page 10





Continued from Page 5


Okanogan County Historical Society & Museum

1410 2nd Avenue North, Okanogan, WA 98840 • 509-422-4272 www.okanoganhistory.org • Okanogan County Historical Museum • Wilson Research Center • Okanogan County Genealogical Society • Okanogan Fire Hall Museum The Okanogan County Historical Society The Okanogan County Historical Society formed in 1963 to preserve our colorful heritage, the society operates four museums, publishes a quarterly magazine, The Okanogan Heritage and maintains a research center. It has copied and cross-indexed thousands of historical photos, compiled hundreds of pioneer interviews, erected signs at numerous historic sites, preserved old buildings and marked many Indian and pioneer trails. In 1984, the Okanogan County Historical Society became the first to

Conconully Museum, Conconully, Wash. 509-826-1221

receive the Washington State Historical Society’s Robert Gray medal for “distinguished contributions” to preservation of local and state history.

The Wilson Research Center The Wilson Research Center was named for society founders Bruce and Merilynn Wilson. It contains a library of Northwest history, photo collection of pioneer photographers, pioneer interviews, microfilmed newspapers, maps, and miscellaneous historical county documents. A searchable

Okanogan Highlands Museum Molson, Wash. 509-476-2517

Shafer Museum, Winthrop, Wash. 509-996-2712

computerized index of these materials is in progress.

The Okanogan County Genealogical Society The Okanogan County Genealogical Society is located in the Wilson Research Center,

the Genealogical Society has 600+ volumes to assist in the study of family history.

The Matsura Collection

Frank S. Matsura arrived from Japan in 1903. Having a keen interest in photography, he captured the essence and growth of the Okanogan area through 1913, chronicling everyday life and activities, construction projects such as the building of Conconully Dam and the diverse people of the Okanogan. He left a collection of

glass plates and nitrate film which the Society has preserved, copied, exhibited, filed and indexed. Many of these photos are on display in the museum and are available as postcards in the gift shop. Books about Matsura and his photography are available through the Okanogan County Historical Society.

The Ladd Collection George B. Ladd, Detroiter, sourdough, homesteader and photographer covered the years 1903 through 1946 and left a collection of some 20,000 negatives. It is a treasure trove for the researcher who wants photographic documentation of events, places and people during the early development and growth of our county. Copies of historically significant photos are on file.

1910s A Decade of

Beginnings With several area cities and businesses in their infancy and others to be born during this decade, 1910-1920 was a time for many beginnings in the Okanogan Valley.

Omak bustles with its beginnings in June 1910, less than a year before its incorporation (Hanson photo).

One of the most heated battles during the decade (aside from World War I) was the battle over the county seat. At the time, it had already jumped from Ruby to Conconully. Riverside, Omak and Okanogan wanted the seat. Okanogan won out in the 1910 election and has kept the seat ever since. The advertisement at left ran in The Chronicle in its first edition and others.


Before the bridge was built in 1911, this ferry provided transport across the river.

These volunteers are grading in 1914 what one day will be Omak Avenue.

A Ladd photo from June 5, 1907, shows Omak from the west, looking toward the Okanogan River and what one day would be Eastside Park.

This advertisement appeared regularly in The Chronicle.

Along Omak’s Main Street, locals dig a trench for the first water lines in 1910. (Matsura photo).


Ma ay M y 22 00 ,, 11 99 11 00 –– M M aa yy 11 99 ,, 11991290

At The Chronicle, we take great pride in our heritage and history here in the Okanogan. To show our enthusiasm and to celebrate our 100th anniversary, over the next 10 months we will be printing a monthly section highlighting news from each decade of The Chronicle. This first installment of our “Chronicles of the Okanogan” series includes stories and photographs of some of the newsworthy events covered by our editors and reporters between May 20, 1910, and May 19, 1920. Next month, the section will highlight news from May 20, 1920, to May 19, 1930, and so on. The sections, which will mirror the newspaper’s appearance from the time period covered, will print the third week of each month through next February, when the city of Omak will celebrate its 100th anniversary. We hope you enjoy the series. Best,

Frank Matsura photo The Main Street of Omak, 1910, With Folks Carrying in Water Pipes to Set Up The New Water System.

Roger Harnack Chronicle publisher

TIMELINE 1910 May 20 – First edition of The Chronicle printed. May 27 – Halley’s Comet appears in the sky. June 10 – Omak to have bridge, bids advertised by council. June 10 – Okanogan County goes dry by an overwhelming vote. Aug. 12 – Main St. is graveled in front of 20 lots. Aug. 20 – “Big Burn,” the largest wildfire known, consumes 3 million acres, several towns and 87 lives. Oct. 14 – Chinese Pheasants introduced to Okanogan County. Nov. 4 – Water system done. Dec. 16 – Okanogan County population 12,887. 1911 Jan. 3 – One million acres announced open for homesteading on reservation. Jan. 13 – A 97-2 vote of the residents of Omak approve incorporation. W.H. Dickson defeats town founder Ben Ross as first mayor. Jan. 27 – Great Northern Railway says the railway will be extended from Pateros to Oroville without delay, once the weather clears. March 10 – Omak’s East Side Park approved through work of Sen. Wesley L. Jones, with the signature of Pres. Taft. March 17 – Grover Baggott, 19, suffocates when the walls of a ditch he was digging along modern day Kermel Grade collapsed. He was the son of prominent homesteaders and a popular football player, described as a “manly, likeable young man with hosts of friends.” April 20 – Thousands of women march for suffrage in New York City. April 21 – The largest group of settlers on record move to the Northwest – 90,000 in one month. May 6 – Tribal members protest at Orient when the government declares it will only give allotments in $50 increments so that the Tribal people don’t “spend foolishly.” May 26 – Omak drawbridge completed; June 17 celebration with a baseball game and military band set. June 2 – Omak schools double in size, adding four new classrooms to accommodate the new students. June 9 – Omak drawbridge collapses. (See story) June 23 – 200 residents take a steamboat excursion down the river from Omak to Wenatchee for $5 each. July 14 – John McDonald sentenced to six months to one year for bootlegging six bottles of whiskey to “Indian Tom Kapoosal” behind the Riverside Saloon. Continuedon onpage Page 16 2 Continued

WATER SYSTEM READY OMAK INCORPORATES OMAK Local Man Sets Record for Installing Pipe Vote is Nearly Unanimous, Ross Defeated, Dickson Named Mayor January 13, 1911 With but two dissenting votes, Omak declared for incorporation at the election held Saturday, at the count of the ballots showing 97 votes for and 2 against incorporation. The vote would have been larger but that a number of the gentler sex did not avail themselves of the prerogative of franchise. W. H. Dickson was elected mayor, defeating Ben Ross, the Citizens ticket candidate, by a majority of 25. The original ticket of councilmen and treasurer, consisting of F. H. Keller, W. S. Shumway, Theron S. Stoddard, E. E. Warwick, Ira

BRIDGE COLLAPSES Bridge Falls Into River, Expert Blames Builder June 9, 1911 With several men and two wagon loads of stone, the steel draw of the newly completed Omak bridge collapsed and fell in the Okanogan river, Saturday forenoon. None of the men, all of whom were in the center of the structure at the time the accident occurred, were injured. The draw is a total wreck, although a portion of the steel can be utilized. After a thorough examination by J.W. Bowerman, a prominent consulting engineer of Seattle, the verdict was given that the draw was weak and was not constructed in accordance with the contract. County Commissioner R.L Wright, in reviewing the accident later stated: “Mr. Hoft, the representative of the William Oliver Bridge company of Spokane, which had the contract, advised me in the presence of R.L. Picken and Emmett George to pull two wagonloads of stone to the center of the draw and then swing it at right angles. He then advised us to lower the jacks at each end until the ends were supported on the piling, and then to haul the loads out and dump them behind the protecting piling to prevent them from washing out. We proceeded to do this, placing the loads as near the center as possible and had swung the draw almost completely into place, when the center supports buckled and the top cords then

Graffis and Dale Rice, treasurer, was elected. Barton Robinson, M. F. O’Connor officiated as judges and A. T. Greene as inspector. The newly elected officials will not hold their first meeting until the returns have been approved by the state officials and a charter is granted. The county fathers have already placed their stamp of approval upon the entire proceedings and nothing but mere formal proceedings stand in the way of Omak becoming an incorporated town of the fourth class. Omak is the sixth town in Okanogan county to attain this distinction.

giving way, allowed the structure to drop into the stream.” The county commissioners immediately sent for Mr. Bowerman to examine the structure to ascertain the cause of the accident, the blame for which he places entirely on the shoulders of the contracting company. The county still retains approximately $8,000 of the contract price and the money will not be paid over until a satisfactory adjustment of the matter is made. The following is the report and letter of Mr. Bowerman to County Engineer McGuin and the letter sent by the county commissioners to the William Oliver Bridge company: It is an exceedingly unfortunate thing that the accident occurred but every one, including the consulting engineer, is agreed that it is fortunate that it occurred when it did and that every one of the men on the bridge escaped without injury. While the wreckage extends into the channel, all of the boats are able to pass by safely. F.A. McGuin Co. Engineer Dear Sir: I have examined the wrecked draw bridge at Omak, Wash. Being built by the Wm. Oliver Co, of Spokane, for Okanogan County and find that same is not constructed in accordance with the contract and advise either of the following methods on adjusting the matter: First; that the contractors rebuild the work in accordance with their contract and at their expense and furnish and erect any extra metal that may be required by the county engineer at 8 cents per pound. Secondly; that the contractors accept a reduction of $5,540 from their contract price and turn the

November 4, 1910 Eighteen days from the time work was started, the water was turned on in the water system installed by the Omak Townsite company. During that time, four miles of pipe was hauled from Brewster, four miles of ditch was dug, the pipe was placed ready for business and the people of Omak were treated to the sight of a heavy stream of water under a pressure that will assure them of adequate service and adequate fire protection. But one spring is turned into the pipe line at this time and next spring when the big dam is constructed and all the water available is used, the system will be one of the best in the country. “I feel well satisfied with the system,” stated E. B. Cox, manager of the Omak Townsite

company and in charge of the work of installation. “We will complete the dam this week and the water that was turned on Tuesday was simply some that we allowed to run into the pipe seventy feet below the spring, with twenty feet less pressure. Two hundred and fifty thousand gallons a day are now flowing from the springs and if necessary two other springs can be tapped. Omak can feel justly proud of its water system and of the wide-awake, progressive men who have taken the initiative and installed a system costing thousands of dollars. All persons taking water shall keep their own service pipe, stop-cocks and apparatus in good repair, and protected from frost at their own expense. And shall prevent any unnecessary waste of water; and it is expressly

stipulated between the Omak Townsite company and its water takers, that no claim for damages shall be made against it of the town of Omak by reason of the breakage of any service cock or service pipe, or leakage therefrom. All leaks on service pipes in the streets, and in and upon all premises supplied, must be promptly repaired by the owner or occupant, and on failure to make such repairs, the company will turn off the water, and charge one dollar for turning on again. All willful waste of water, or waste through neglect of servants or agents, or by fixtures out of order, or by allowing water to be taken from the premises by persons having not right to its use will be sufficient cause for stopping without notice the supply.

George B. Ladd photo The New Steel Bridge in Omak As Completed.

Frank Matsura photo The New Steel Bridge After Collapse. work over to the county as it is. Respectfully, Bowerman and McCloy By J.W. Bowerman Wm. Oliver Bridge Co. Spokane Wash. Gentlemen; Enclosed is a copy of the engineer’s report concerning our contract with you at Omak, Wash. The commissioners have

decided to make no further payments on this work until some adjustment can by made in the matter. The commissioners concur in the engineer’s report and desire that you accept one or the other of the proposals contained herein. As the bridge is badly needed and as the time of completion expired April firstly. Last, the commissioners do not

desire any farther delay in the completion of this work and wish to advise you that unless an adjustment of the matter can be arrived at, within one week from date they will be obliged to declare your contract forfeited and proceed to finish the work at your expense. Very respectfully, R.L. Wright R.A. Nixon


Chronicle 1910s staff:

RAILROAD COMES TO TOWN Great Northern Construction Has Reached Omak Creek, Only a Few Hours Work Necessary to Reach Town

C.P. Scates, Editor and Publisher, 1910-1913

Franklin A. De Vos, Publisher 1913, Owner 1915

Centennial staff: Publisher: Roger Harnack Section editor: Sheila Corson Managing editor: Dee Camp Advertising: Lynn Hoover Research/design: Julie Bock Katie Montanez Elizabeth Widel Photos courtesy of: Okanogan County Historical Society

TIMELINE 1911 (continued) Aug. 18 – Chief Sarsarpkin, Loomis, honored by gravesite improvements including fencing and a new monument. Chiefs from Moses, Columbia, Okanogan, Nespelem, Colville, Lakes and other tribes join for the ceremony. Sept. 1 – St. Mary’s Mission school is completed. (See photo) Sept. 15 – The road from the Omak Hotel (modern day Juniper Street) to Pogue Flat (now known as Ross Canyon Road) completed by local contributions totaling $281.50. Salaries for workers were $5.50 per day with a horse team or $2.50 per day for a shoveller. Nov. 3 – Gov. Hay visits Omak, gathering a surprising crowd of 600 to talk about the railroad. Nov. 3 – A census shows 11 automobiles in Okanogan County for its 12,887; such high numbers of vehicles blamed for the high cost of living. Nov. 10 – New company tasked to build a new Omak bridge for $5,005.38, slated for completion in 90 days. 1912 April 14 – The Titanic sinks after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York; 1,503 perish in the Atlantic Ocean. Sept. 13 – Over 200 students enrolled in Omak schools. 1913 April 4 – The railroad arrives in Omak. Oct 10 – The first comic strip appeared in The Chronicle. 1914 Aug. 1 – Germany declares war on Russia, declares war on France (Aug. 3) and invades Belgium (Aug. 4). Continuedon on page Page 3. Continued 17


Greatest Event in History of Okanogan Valley The Cause of Much Rejoicing April 4, 1913 Considerable excitement was aroused on our streets shortly before noon Wednesday when the construction train laying the steel on the Great Northern right of way came into sight around the bend of the river east of town less than two miles away. The work was carried down almost to the crossing of Omak Creek where it was halted until the bridge across that creek can be completed. The pile driver has been working at this point since Monday and it is probable that the bridge will be completed before the end of the week, after which it is only the work of a few hours to complete the line into town. What the completion of this line means to Omak or what changes and advances it will make necessary and possible few of us have any adequate conception, and so long have we waited and longed for this thing that now we can hardly realize that the railroad is a fact.

Monday is Gala Day in Town of Omak April 11, 1913 Early Monday morning the tracklaying machine which had halted to await completion of the bridge over Omak Creek crossed that obstruction and got into action. Plans had been made to give the children of the various schools an opportunity to see the machine in operation that afternoon but when word was passed out that the machine would not be used at that time schools were dismissed and on foot, on horseback, in buggies, carriages, hacks, wagons, drays, people flocked to the railroad. By noon the track had reached a point some half mile beyond the station site and the next two days were occupied in putting the track into better shape, building side tracks, etc. At the time this is written, Thursday, the track has been extended to a point some two miles south of this place and will probably reach Okanogan about Monday. The crew constructing the telegraph line will be here within a few days as they were this side of Tonasket several days ago.

Omak Depot Has Most Elaborate Facilities Shipping Center in Pateros May Be Only Depot Greater May 2, 1913 The Wenatchee World in a write-up last week of the Depot facilities to be provided the different towns along the line of the Oroville-Wenatchee road, was unable to leave Omak out of the running, as that paper has a habit of doing. The reason for this is the fact that Omak is slated for the most elaborate facilities of any town between Wenatchee and Oroville, save possibly Pateros, which will be the shipping point for the entire Methow Valley. According to the article referred to, Omak will be given a station 30 x60 feet, with pens for stock shipments and extensive industrial trackage. The Great Northern telegraph construction crew reached Omak this week having completed the line up to this point. The

company is putting in a full metal circuit line and will install both telephone and telegraph instruments, the same lines being used for both sets of instruments, giving in this way a double service.

Editorial: We Should Take Pride in Railroad June 16, 1913 Uncle Jim Keeps His Promises It came. It went. It has come and gone again. What? Why that first passenger train our old friend and benefactor James J. Hill has been telling us about these many long years past. To be sure, it is only a mixed train coming only three times a week. Schedule? Oh yes, it leaves Oroville at 8 o’clock a.m. and arrives down this way whenever it feels like it. Leaves the end of construction at 2:30 p.m. and comes up the valley just as fast as it likes to, but for all these eccentricities it is a train – a passenger train – and we are glad of it, yes, proud of it, and will ride on it the very first chance we get, see if we don’t. The first train pulled into Omak at 11:10 a.m. Monday morning, deposited five passengers, posed for photographer Ladd and rolled on with its merry crowd of Oroville and Tonasket excursionists. Mrs. F.S. Beale and three children and Miss Jessie Sigrist, of Oroville,

were the first passengers and the editor had the honor of receiving the first letter and express package via rail. The fare from here to Oroville, one way, is $1.25 and for the present all freight arriving at Omak must be prepaid out of Oroville and taken care of at this end by the party to whom consigned as there is still neither station nor agent at this point. The carpenter crew are busy on the Riverside depot now and will arrive here probably by next week. It has been a long heartbreaking struggle to wait for the construction and completion of this railroad but now that the feat has been accomplished things will hum in the valley of the Okanogan, new settlers will flock in to cultivate the many idle acres and the present hardy residents can reach the outside markets with their fruit and farm products. Capital which has been sparing to enter here can now safely be invested with every assurance of good returns. The era of prosperity is upon us, the labors of the past are about to be rewarded by the emoluments of success, comfort and one of the most beautiful valleys on the face of the earth. Our backing is of the very best and of such a stability as to make for permanency of the future.

George B. Ladd photos The First Passenger Train (Above) and the First Train Ever to Reach Omak (Bottom) Come Into Town on the New Rails.

EDITORIAL: SUPPORT RAIL Much Flour Shipped in County, Needs More Efficient Methods Power Franchise Opposed, Anti-Saloon Campaign Launched State-Wide Saloon-owning Masons reprimanded January 16, 1914 The first full carload shipment of freight from the south to come over the new railroad was a car of Peach Blossom flour from the Wenatchee mills and consigned to the Omak Mercantile Company. This makes the fifth car of this same flour that this company has distributed in the Omak territory since June, 1913, and the product has been carted in here in various ways. In the good old days, it was brought by boat in high water to the dock at Omak. Later in the season the boat had to leave it at Brewster here it was pitched onto the old wharf boat to be picked up by the freighters or the auto truck, as the case might be, to be hauled over and through the dust and dirt for some thirty odd miles to Omak. Once this summer it was necessary to ship a carload around by the way of Spokane and Oroville to get it in here by rail. This is just a sample of the hardships that the Omak vicinity, rancher as well as merchants, have had to endure all of these past years. While we have been waiting for rails to be laid. It also illustrates very nicely what a pleasure it will be when the road is finally completed to Wenatchee and through

shipments will come all the way by rail and not have to be transferred at Pateros as it now becomes necessary.

Frank Matsura photos Men Lay the New Railroad Track (Above). The Track Laying Machine Was A Sight to Behold (Bottom).

Opposing forces in both the north and south parts of the county are busy trying to keep the Okanogan Power Company from securing a franchise and their combined efforts may succeed in delaying things for a short time though none of them have presented any real objection when the matter is carefully and lawfully sifted down, as the laws of the land very fully cover the regulation of such companies and there is little or no danger of their hurting anyone, except possibly, in a competitive way the Similkameen Power Company. The north part of the county wants, and must have, electrical energy and we believe the franchise will be granted. A state-wide anti-saloon campaign has been launched and from every side comes prophecies of success for the drys. The movement to abolish the old-style saloon has swept the country during the past few years and just recently down in Arkansas such a strong organization as the Masons sent out an edict that any member of that order signing a petition to have a saloon established in their town would be considered in bad standing with their lodge.

A Map Printed in The Chronicle Shows How the new Omak Railway Station Fits in With the Rest From Oregon to B.C.

People Decade


Frank Matsura A June 20, 1913, article from the Okanogan Independent told the great loss of photographer Frank Matsura: A shadow of sorrow was cast over the community early in the week by the sudden death on Monday night of Frank S. Matsura, the Japanese photographer who has been a part and parcel of the city ever since its establishment seven years ago. Although an unpretentious, unassuming, modest little Japanese, Frank Matsura's place in Okanogan city will never be filled. He was a photographer of fine ability and his studio contains a collection of views that form a most complete photographic history of this city and surrounding country, covering a period of seven or eight years. Whenever anything happened, Frank was there with his camera to record the event. He has done more to advertise Okanogan city and valley than any other individual. Furthermore Frank Matsura was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He was one of the most popular men in Okanogan and was known from one end of this vast county to the other. He was well educated, being a graduate from a Japanese college at Tokio, and had done newspaper work in his native land. He came from a wealthy and aristocratic family in Japan.

of the

1914 (continued) Nov. 20 – The U.S. started requiring photographs with passports. 1915 Jan. 21 – The first Kiwanis club is founded in Detroit, Mich. Feb. 5 – D.D. Davenport wins bid for courthouse; $19,300 is the price. June 4 – Second mail route assured, carrier #2 to start work. Sept. 8 – F.A. De Vos purchases The Chronicle. 1916 July 1 – Colville Reservation opened to homesteaders. July 15 – The Boeing Co., known originally as Pacific Aero Products, was founded in Seattle by William Boeing. Sept. 1 – Railway work starts in the Methow Valley. 1917 April 6 – War is declared. Nov. 26 – The National Hockey League forms.

Ben Ross

Dr. Joseph I. Pogue

Father Etienne de Rouge

Born in Illinois in 1859, Ross started out as a farmer. After studying to be a civil engineer, he helped lay out the towns of Spring Valley, Ill., and Gray’s Harbor, Wash. In 1900, he homesteaded near Alma, now Okanogan. In 1907, he platted a town in his alfalfa field and called it Omak. He died in 1937 and is buried next to his wife, Hattie, in the Riverside Cemetery.

Dr. Pogue began the movement to get Alma on the map as an irrigation project. In 1905, the city’s name was changed to Pogue. But in 1907, it was changed to Okanogan. Hurt by the name change, Pogue met up with Ben Ross and together the two founded Omak. In 1904, Dr. Pogue was elected as a state senator, representing Okanogan, Douglas and Ferry Counties. He died in 1940 and is buried next to his wife, Marion, in the Omak memorial Cemetery.

Father Etienne de Rouge from France founded St. Mary’s Mission in 1886 to minister to the bands of the Colville Federation. The present Catholic church dates from 1910. The adjacent Paschal Sherman Indian School is now managed by the Colville Confederated Tribes. Father de Rouge died in 1916 of an apparent heart attack.

RESERVATION OPENED TO HOMESTEADERS South Half Proclamation Expected Only Small Area Withheld for Grazing April 28, 1916 As Secretary of the Commercial Club, P.A. Mitchell received the following telegram Thursday: ‘Have just succeeded in having Commissioner Sells certify last necessary papers to land office regarding opening Reservation and hope President can sign proclamation before Sunday. Although I have been unable to secure everything we wanted, only comparatively the smallest area of agricultural land will be withheld and opening will go forward as planned. C.C. Dill, Congressman Fifth District.” Th Omak Commercial Club has quietly kept after this Reservation opening and are pleased to be the first to make this sooner announcement of this great land offering of Uncle Sam in this State. The persistency of the Club in this Reservation matter has been due to the strategical location of Omak, backed as it is by a highly developed Government Irrigation Project on the west, a Government addition to the town of 213 acres which is the natural center for the main water grade roads leading to all points of the Colville Reservation.

Names to be Entered In Homestead Drawing

make their selections. After this latter date, the remaining land will be open to settlement under the regular land laws. The advantages of Omak as a registration point and a place where settlers will naturally flock are many. The Great Northern railway station at Omak is actually located on the Reservation, being situated in a Government addition of some 213 acres to the present town on the west side of the river; the main water grade-roads lead from the town to all parts of the reservation where the majority of the homestead lands are to be found; an Indian sub-agency is located here with Government officials already in charge; a Government telephone line reaching across the reservation through the Indian agency in Nespelem connects with the outside world here; accommodations for visitors are ample and more places are being provided; and best of all, it is best view the wonderful development that has taken place within the past few years on the Government irrigation project which practically joins the reservation on the west.

Congressional Proclamation Printed May 19, 1916

May 5, 1916 Omak is one of the registration points for the opening of the South Half of the Colville Indian Reservation according to a proclamation signed by President Woodrow Wilson Wednesday morning in the presence of Congressman C.C. Dill and his secretary, Frank Funkhouser, which will throw something like 400,000 acres of land open to homestead. Actual registration for this land will begin on July 22nd, 1916. On July 27th the actual drawing will take place at Spokane. The holders of successful numbers will be allowed the time intervening between September 5th and October 18th, 1916, in which to

I, Woodrow Wilson, president of the United States of America, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the act of congress approved March 22, 1906 (34 Stat. L., 80) do hereby prescribe, proclaim and make known that all the nonmineral unalotted and unreserved lands within the diminished Colville Reservation, in the state of Washington, classified as irrigable lands, grazing lands or arid lands, shall be disposed of under the general provisions of the homestead laws of the United States and of the said act of Congress, and shall be opened to settlement and entry and settled upon, occupied and entered only in the manner herein prescribed.

E.F. Taylor photo The Tent Office of the Omak Locators, Who Helped Locate Land for Homesteaders for a Fee.

Great Chance to Lease One Omak Man Wins Horse Goes Off Bridge Allotments Allotment Drawing Luckily, no one June 9, 1916 Total of 90,410 Register to injured in strange One of the most wonderful Win, With 50 Winners chances for the incoming settlers accident involving Four Winners in County on the Colville Indian Reservation will be the privilege Dr. Pogue that is granted the Indians to lease their fine land holdings on terms and periods of time that will allow the renter to make some big money on a small investment. The following statement is one that was officially sent out some time ago by Superintendent J. M. Johnson, who has had full control of this reservation and who will still retain control over the Indians for some time to come, gives a fine idea of how liberally the department expects to handle this side of this opening business. To Prospective Lessees of Indian Land: The Indian allotments on the south half of the Colville reservation are pending approval by the Secretary of the Interior and until they are approved the land will not be subject to lease in the usual manner for a term of years. However, labor agreements may be made through this office, by which agreement the Indian allottee becomes the employer and the lessee the employee.

July 28, 1916 Omak had one winner in the first fifty names drawn for land on the Colville Indian Reservation, out of a total registration of 90,410, in the person of Joe M. Coffey, who drew No. 26. Mr. Coffey is a brother-in-law of T.W. Robbins and lives just west of town. He is a gentleman who can, and undoubtedly will, file and move upon his claim and make it his home. Okanogan County had four number holders in the first hundred names drawn. J. M. Coffey, No. 26, Omak; D. Maske, No. 29, Oroville; A. Hartmon, No. 50, Nespelem; E. W. Roberts No. 58, Riverside. Washington state came in strong as a leader for winners and that is taken to mean that most of the number holders will become actual settlers. Great satisfaction is being expressed locally for the fine way in which envelopes seemed to have been mixed up before the drawing started.

Sept. 22, 1916 A most peculiar accident befell Dr. J.I. Pogue Wednesday evening as he was driving a heavily loaded truck of apples across the bridge over the Okanogan river at this place. In passing another wagon near the center of the bridge, the doctor drove a little too close to the edge of the structure and the hub of the front wheel hit a brace throwing the tongue of the wagon against the outside horse with such force that the railing broke throwing the animal over the side where it hung, back down, by the harness. As many straps as possible were unbuckled and the balance cut letting the horse fall into the water. No damage whatever was done except the few parts of the harness which had to be cut.

1918 Soldier directory of those overseas and serving stateside is published every week. Advertisements encouraging rationing, patriotism and war support run 2-3 per week. March 29 – German sympathizer George W. Stair thrown in prison for 30 days after several locals start riot to torment this “Kaiser lover.” April 19 – Enemies sink the Tuscania with Omak boy Harry J. Johnson aboard. The boy was declared missing, presumed dead, but a couple weeks later his parents were informed that he had survived. Oct. 11 – The first sign of the major flu epidemic strikes the area. (See stories) Nov. 15 – WWI Peace declared. (See story) Nov. 15 – List of 25 names and addresses of “slackers” printed for not contributing to war efforts. Dec. 6 – The first two Omak boys killed in the war are revealed – Henry C. Rehbein and Percy Reed. 1919 Jan. 10 – Flu declared not bad in the area with only 40-plus cases reported. Jan. 17 – Department of Interior sells 24 million feet of yellow pine, 1 million feet of red fir and larch and some white fir to Omak Fruit Growers to construct apple boxes. March 14 – Talk about changing Omak’s name to Hesperides is argued against in a letter to the editor. April 4 – The city holds a party for returning soldiers. April 25 – Modern day school site chosen; Ben Ross will sell 10 acres at $250 per acre and Willard George at $300 per acre. A bond for $30,000 will cover the building and equipment costs, with some money to spare for contingency. Aug. 1 – Newspaper boasts of a $1 million apple crop – the largest ever. Aug. 8 – Dr. J.I. Pogue invents a machine to lid and stamp apple boxes. He plans on building a manufacturing plant in the city. Oct. 10 – The boys’ school at St. Mary’s Mission burns to the ground under mysterious circumstances. Oct. 10 – Voters almost unanimously approve an $8.5 million bond for the Okanogan-Methow irrigation project. Oct. 23 – America’s first daylight saving time experiment ends. Nov. 21 – Daring aviators land a plane on Omak’s Main Street after shouting warnings to the folks below. No person or property was damaged. 1920 March 19 – The mill at Disautel starts production. The box plant is nearly complete. April 9 – Huge 20horsepower engine arrives for lower flat irrigation pumping. May 14 – State legislature appropriates $666,000 for the Shellrock pump plant.


MILLIONS OF APPLES EXPORTED First Shipment Commenced 1885 With 176,107 Boxes, This Year’s 1910 Crop Numbers 510,362 Boxes July 1, 1910 The first shipment of Western boxes apples commenced in 1885, when three cars were sent by American growers. No accurate report was kept till 1898-99. The total shipments in boxes to Europe was: 1898-1899


1899-1900 1900-1901 1901-1902 1902-1903 1903-1904 1904-1905 1905-1906 1906-1907 1907-1908 1908-1909 1909-1910

149-515 205,333 296,447 212,587 388,975 66,001 416,260 252,011 286,206 520,792 510,362

Total………………3,479,596 There will be a special meeting of the Omak Commercial Club on next Monday night at 8 o’clock p.m. at the Chronicle office. Important business will come up for consideration. C.P. Scates, Secretary

APPLE CROP INCREASES TEN TIMES Harvesting Problem Must Receive Immediate Attention Nov. 19, 1915 Last week saw the practical windup of the 1915 apple shipping season from the Omak station, and the Chronicle published the total figures as 200 car loads, which is correct from an actual standpoint, though there are at least two more cars of fruit being stored for later shipment so it will really be 202 cars. This total shows just 42 cars more than was estimated by inspector Stanley Nagely and when his report was first turned in he was given the laugh right and when he tried to explain that it would really go over his estimate, he nearly lost his position, but time has vindicated this gentleman. There were only about twenty cars of apples shipped out of Omak in 1914 so the increase for this year was ten times over that of last year. Taking into consideration all the conditions entering into this production of apples on this project in figuring for what 1916 will bring forth and it can easily be seen that 2,000 cars are a most likely conclusion though we have heard of no one who dared put it as being larger than 1,500 cars. If it should only go to 1,000 cars, this point would be coming into the apple producing limelight with very noticeable rapidity. With the above facts before you, how can you deny the fact that Omak and adjacent territory is now due for a wave of prosperity? It took lots of outside labor to care for the crop this season, what will happen next year? Each individual must get to work on his particular case this very moment or he will find his extra fancy fruit going to waste for want of proper facilities in handling at harvest times next fall. The Wenatchee-North Central Fruit Distributors have made a distribution of $51,400.00. This was a partial payment of 50 cents per box on Jonathans, Grimes Golden, King Davids, Winter Bananas, Delicious, odds and end varieties, also all “C” Grade. $28,626.00 of the above amount was paid to the Omak Unit. This has been distributed though the Unit to its members. Final payment will be made on each

A Map Printed in The Chronicle Shows the Area of the Okanogan Irrigation Project, as Well as Areas of Timber and Wheat Production, Among Other Things.

FEATURES OF IRRIGATION PROJECT Forty Years to Pay For Benefits Derived, No Interest For 4 Years, No Principal Year 15 A Graph Printed in The Chronicle in 1916 Shows How the Apple Crop Has Changed Nation-Wide, Having Set a Record High For Shipments in 1914.

George B. Ladd photo The Shipping of Apple Boxes in 1915 Was a Major Ordeal. variety just as rapidly as returns are received. The varieties on which returns will be made first are Grimes Golden, Winter Bananas, King Davids, Delicious, and Jonathan, also all “C” Grade. A portion of the Winter varieties will not be sold until later. The Wenatchee-North Central Fruit Distributors are holding these in storage at the various shipping points. Since Omak was not equipped to hold any fruit in

storage, arrangements were made for storage space with the Columbia Ice & Cold Storage Company at Wenatchee. This method enables the selling organization to have all fruit under personal supervision; also saves expense in excessive eastern storage costs and interest on freight. It further avoids confining our fruit to any particular markets; by holding all fruit at shipping point, the most desirable markets are available.

Aug. 15, 1919 In an effort to be absolutely fair and to give nothing except absolute facts regarding the what and whys of the MethowOkanogan Irrigation Project, the Chronicle had Johnson & O’Connor, attorneys of Okanogan, search out and write the following statements that they could glean from engineer’s records and the laws of the state. All hearsay and conjectures or prospective outcomes have been forgotten and only actual legal fates set down that will hold as well after the district is organized, if it is, as they will now in showing the land owners just what they were voting for and what they can really expect, and again we say, what they will get should this question be carried at the election. Some facts concerning Methow-Okanogan Irrigation Project: What is it? A plan to divert the waters of the Methow river for the purpose of furnishing more water for lands in Okanogan, Chelan and Douglas counties. How many acres or irrigable land in the proposed district? Estimated at 50,000 acres, mostly in Okanogan county, extending roughly from Riverside to Chelan county line; some in Chelan county, south of Pateros; some in Douglas county, on Bridgeport Bar. All poor and sandy lands have been left out in this estimate and will not be supplied with water under any consideration. Water supply: Measurements for eighteen years prove supply is ample. In any event, no greater acreage will ultimately be watered than can be supplied, with certainty, year after year, with minimum of nine acre inches of water per month; which is more than has ever been

allowed for lands in any project in this state before. Mode of diversion: By ditch from Methow river, thru a tunnel under divide, to distribution system. Character of construction contemplated: Permanent; which will make first cost somewhat larger, but will greatly reduce maintenance cost. Cost: Estimated maximum cost per acre, $200; actual cost probably less. Distribution of Cost: Lands watered will be assessed according to benefits received. Lands having partial or full water rights will retain these rights, and will be given equitable credit therefore. How district will be financed: District will issue bonds, the amount to be determined by final estimate of cost made by State Reclamation Board. These bonds will be purchased by the State, or sold thru its agency, to private buyers. Federal Reclamation Service may co-operate. Payments by land owners: Bonds will run 40 years, and will include amount sufficient to pay interest for four years. Two per cent of principal will be payable the 15th yr., and bonds will be gradually retired over 25 year period. Interest cannot exceed 6 per cent, and will be as much less as bond buyers will take. State has indicated that if it buys, interest will be 5 per cent per annum. Who can vote: All persons, residents of the State, and citizens of the United State, holding title or evidence of title to land (including contract holders) within proposed district. Where lands are owned by corporations, written authority must be given by some agent, which must be filed with elections officers.

TWO FIRES DESTROY RIVERSIDE More Than $75,000 in Damage Done, Fires Hit Within One Week of Each Other April 7, 1916 Two of the most disastrous fires that have ever occurred in Okanogan County hit the town of Riverside, both in the last week. The first blaze started about Saturday noon and swept away twelve building with a loss of $25,000, partly covered by


insurance. Early Friday morning, fire started in an empty barber shop and by the time it could be extinguished had razed a whole block of buildings to the ground, resulting in a loss of $50,000. The fire fighting in both cases had to be done with a bucket brigade as the water system was

undergoing repairs, the pipes contained not a drop of water and it was impossible to use them had there been any electricity to run the pumps. While the loss is great, it is a miracle that the whole town did not go. The direction of the wind saved the balance.

George B. Ladd photo A View of The Irrigation Project From Robinson Flat.

LANDOWNERS NEARLY UNANIMOUS Future of Valley Assured, Progress and Prosperity Guaranteed With Approval of Irrigation Project May 30, 1919 Practically 900 votes were cast from all parts of the district with the Omak polling place piling up the greatest total, more than half the entire vote, 494 votes, all but 13 of which were for more water. At Brewster, 95 voters favored the proposition and only 1 went against it. Okeh gave a unanimous consent by 45 votes. Chelan the same with 28 wet votes. Chelan the same with 28 wet votes and Malott 118 votes all wet. There were six negative votes on the Bridgeport Bar. The directors, as nominated, Chas. T. Borg, Pateros, M. B. Howe, Waterville, J. R. Everett, Boston Heights, Frank Garber, Okanogan, and John S. Petersen, Omak were elected. The next step will be the vote on the bond issue which will be taken just as quickly as the state engineers, now in the field, can prepare sufficient data upon which accurate cost figures can be computed. The eyes of the world will be upon this valley, its gigantic project and its tunnel, the longest in the world and great publicity will thus be gained that could not be purchased for any amount of cash and the result will have to be a large influx of settlers. The plans of the state reclamation department call for the best of construction thruout and the frills and follies of all former irrigation projects will be let out of this one. The first step along this line being the soil survey that has already been completed and which cuts out all poor or doubtful lands, leaving only the cream of the valley soil to receive water. The voting of this 50,000 acre district guarantees the watering of practically every acre of the best land from Wenatchee to Penticton B.C., or in fact it might be said, to the head of Okanagan Lake, a distance of almost 250 miles. By this we mean, that the best lands in this great valley are either now receiver water or a definite step has been taken to put the water there. Many busy development years are ahead of this vast inland empire and with the experience of the past, the task should be both a pleasant and a profitable one.

FLU PANDEMIC HITS OKANOGAN COUNTY Spanish Influenza Is Very Malignant Form of The Grippe Oct. 11, 1918 This terrible “new” disease called “Spanish influenza” is only our good old friend “The Grippe” under a war name and appearing in a very malignant form. Take precautions not to take a cold and if you get one take especial care of yourself. The real danger from Influenza lies in the fact that the patient neglects caring for himself and the weakened condition of the system makes it easy for pneumonia, meningitis, and other fatal diseases to take a hand and start the patient going “west” as the boys in the trenches say. A late Government Bulletin on this disease says of its treatment: “It is very important that every person who becomes sick with influenza should go home at once and go to bed. This will help keep away dangerous complications and will, at the same time, keep the patient from scattering the disease far and wide. It is highly desirable that no one be allowed to sleep in the same room with the patient. In fact, no one but the nurse should be allowed in the room. “If there is a cough and sputum or running of the eyes and nose, care should be taken that all such discharges are collected on bits of gauze or rags or paper napkins and burned. If the patient complains of fever and headache, he should be given water to drink, a cold compress to the forehead and a light sponge. Only such medicine should be given as is prescribed

by the doctor. It is foolish to ask the druggist to prescribe and may be dangerous to take the socalled “safe, sure, and harmless” remedies advertised by patent medicine manufacturers. “If the patient is so situated that he can be attended only by some one who must also look after others in the family, it is advisable that such attendant wear a wrapper, apron, or gown over the ordinary house clothes while in the sick room, and slip this off when leaving to look after the others. “Nurses and attendants will do well to guard against breathing in dangerous disease germs by wearing a simple fold of gauze or mask while near the patient.” This same bulletin goes on to explain how to guard against the disease as follows: “Keep the body strong and well and able to fight off disease germs. This can be done by having a proper proportion of work, play, and rest by keeping the body well clothed, and by eating sufficient, wholesome, and properly selected food. In connection with diet, it is well to remember that milk is one of the best all-around foods obtainable for adults as well as children. “So far as a disease like influenza is concerned health authorities everywhere recognize the close relation between its spread and overcrowded homes. While it is not always possible, especially in times like the present, to avoid such overcrowding, people should consider the health danger and make every effort to reduce the home overcrowding to a minimum. The value of fresh air through open windows can not be over emphasized. “Where crowding is unavoidable, as in street cars,

care should be taken to keep the face so turned as not to inhale directly the air breathed out by another person. “It is especially important to be aware of the person who coughs or sneezes without covering his mouth and nose. It also follows that one should keep out of crowds and stuffy places as much as possible, keep homes, offices, and workshops well aired, spend some time out of doors each day, walk to work if practicable – in short, make every effort to breathe as much pure air as possible.” “Cover up each cough and sneeze, if you don’t you’ll spread disease.”

Volunteer Flu Nurses Needed Quickly for Riverside Ill Oct. 18, 1918 Nurses, nurse helpers and those willing to do ordinary household work around the homes of those afflicted by the Influenza are needed badly and all such persons are requested to send their names to Mrs. Geo B. Ladd, chairman of the local Red Cross Branch, or to F.H. Keller, chairman of the Home Service section of the Red Cross Branch at this place. There is no Influenza contagion of a serious nature here at Omak but our neighboring town of Riverside is crying out for help and must have it. Who will volunteer for this work under the direction of the Red Cross? It is truly a war work that must be cared for at once. While this disease has not hit this community in the spreading contagious form as yet, local Red

George B. Ladd photo Shortly After the Highway From Omak to Nespelem Was Opened, Traffic Was Backed Up Over the Pass.

 George B. Ladd photos St. Mary’s Mission, Above in 1913, Added New Buildings, Including the School, Over the Years. The Boys’ Dorm Mysteriously Burned Later. In the Photo on the Right, Students of the School (Names Unknown) Show Their Creation from Binding Together Small Sticks.

Cross officers are making plans for the opening of a hospital, if possible, to care for such local cases as may need attention. The shortage of both nurses and household help makes this step absolutely necessary and is the only way an epidemic could be handled or controlled if it should get started as it has in some places. Don’t hesitate about volunteering, if you can do so as there is much suffering to be relieved RIGHT NOW. REMEMBER THIS! We are all, or ought to be, members of the American Red Cross and each of us will have to assume our share in this home work just like we have in the outside war work. Don’t leave all of the work for the officers to do and if you do shirk your share do not get caught criticizing those who are working because some one might jolt you a stiff uppercut. These are piping war times and a lazy critic is a dirty traitor.

Health Officer Quarantines Okanogan County October 25, 1918

FLU CLAIMS FIRST VICTIMS Chief and Son Both Claimed by Influenza Last Week November 22, 1918 The Swimptikin family have made their home for years upon the beautiful flat at the mouth of Omak creek just across the river from Omak and being one of the old school Indians, he always objected to the cutting up of the land into allotments and the fencing of the same. Charley had a pretty belief in true brotherly love which held that all land belonged to the great spirit and that no one had a right to fence it off and say this piece is mine and that one is yours because it was all only ours to use while life lasted and this life lease of enough upon which to glean our living was all the Great Spirit ever intended and that we should share it in common

Frank Matsura photo Chief Swimptikin without strife or claims to actual ownership. By inheritance, Charley claimed the use of all the flat east of town and he fought to the last to have his beliefs and rights thereunder respected but the progress of civilization decreed otherwise. Pete, the oldest son of Chief Charley followed his father to the grave this week Wednesday from the same disease.

County Division Bill Before House Faulkner Deceives, Intros Bill

Committee Kills County Division Bill

Omak Chronicle,

January 27, 1911

February 3, 1911

An order has just been received from the State Board of health prohibiting any public gathering in this county until further notice. This applies to rural, as well as town, schools, churches, theatres, pool rooms, public gatherings of any kind whatsoever.

Like a thunderbolt out of a clear sky came the announcement that Rep. J.W. Faulkner had introduced, Thursday, a bill in the legislature proposing that Methow county be created. This coming after Faulkner’s solemn pre-election assurances that he would introduce no bills of any description unless he was assured that the voters of the county were in favor thereof. Faulkner has double crossed the voters but the bill will not be passed until every effort of the people of the valley has been exhausted. This would indicate that every thing has been cut and dried in advance and the indication is only strengthened by a letter received this week from Faulkner in which he defends his action in the flimsiest manner with subterfuges which would not deceive a schoolboy. A portion of the letter follows: Olympia, January 20, 1911 “Yesterday I introduced a bill in the House for the establishment of a Methow county, taking the watershed between the Okanogan and Methow valleys as the dividing line. During December, the papers of the county generally advertised the fact that a petition was being circulated asking for such division. The petition, bearing the signatures of about eighty per cent of the voters in the territory of the proposed county, was presented to me some ten days ago. As not to exceed a half dozen persons from Okanogan county have in any manner notified me within the last month that they were opposed to the formation of a Methow county, I take it for granted that there is no general opposition t it, and shall to the extent of my ability work for the passage of the bill.” Respectfully, J. W. Faulkner

All county division measures have been smothered in committee, according to a telephone message received from Dr. J. I. Pogue, now in Olympia as the representative of Omak in the fight to defeat any measures toward that end. No details beyond the bare fact that the petition asking for division were frowned upon by the solons.

H.M. Fryer County Health Officer

Will Work Against Cosgrove County Bill February 17, 1911 No sooner had the opponents of county division departed for their respective homes than another bill providing for the creation of Cosgrove county out of the north four tiers of townships of Okanogan county, was introduced in the Senate and received the unanimous recommendation of the Senate committee that it be passed. On receiving the news W. S. Shumway left Saturday for Olympia and on Sunday, Arthur Lund, the Riverside banker and County Commissioner Robert L. Picken of Tonasket hastened toward the capitol for the purpose of working to defeat the measure if possible, and on Wednesday, urged by the citizens of Brewster and Pateros, former Senator Dr. J. I. Pogue of this place who reached home on Saturday, returned to Olympia for the same purpose.

Senate Kills Cosgrove February 24, 1911 Olympia, Feb. 16 – (Special to the Chronicle). This afternoon the Senate voted 25 to 16 to indefinitely postpone Cosgrove County bill. Oroville fighting hard and still at it. King county fighting division. Spokane county on fence.

The First Comic to be Printed in The Chronicle was This One, in October 1913. Milt Gross Was a Popular National Cartoonist at the Time With His “Mr. Peck” Comic Strip.



How Locals Contributed to War Through Liberty Loans, Stamps, More

Early Morning Congress Vote Declares War on Germany

Feb. 11, 1919

Naval and Militia Reserves Called Up, German Ships Seized, Rules Govern Conduct of Enemy U.S. Citizens

To the Editor, The people of this community will doubtless be interested in the amounts raised here for the different government loans and also for the various benevolent enterprises incident to the world war. Subscriptions to First Liberty Loan $5,000 Subscriptions to Second Liberty Loan 11,550 Subscriptions to Third Liberty Loan 21,350 Subscriptions to Fourth Liberty Loan 6,450 Total: $64,350

April 6, 1917 Washington D.C., April 6 – At 3 a.m. today, Congress voted the war resolution by a vote of 373 to 50, Washington Congress men Dill and La Follete voting against the measure. President Wilson has signed a declaration of war against the Imperial Government of Germany, the naval and militia reserves have been called to active duty, German ships in American ports have been seized and rules made to govern conduct of enemy citizens in this country.

Savings and Stamps thru postoffice: Total amount loaned to the U.S.:

$25,212.25 $89,562.25

Amount collected for Y.M.C.A. Amount collected for Red Cross, 1st drive Amount collected for Red Cross, 2nd drive Amount collected for Salvation Arm Amount collected for United War Work Amount collected for Armenian relief ’18 Amount collected for Armenian relief ’19 Total:

$477.05 1,352.90 1,728.23 52.58 1,724.60 433.58 390.61 $6,158.55

These amounts are made up of cash actually paid and do not include subscriptions yet unpaid. There were also raised very considerable amounts by the local Red Cross both in membership fees and in donations which would increase the total contributed by this community to war activities. Signed, J.H. Sidey

The Chronicle Printed Many Advertisements to Support War Efforts. Sometimes These Came in The Form of Cartoons Against the Kaiser, Leader of the German Armies, or Plain Advertisements From the U.S. Food Administration to Remind Folks to Ration, or Advertisements Reminding Folks to Purchase Liberty Bonds That Loaned Money to the U.S. Government or Stamps That Supported the War Efforts (Also See Below Left).

TWO OMAKERS GIVE LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY First Locals Killed in Battle Remembered, Community Feels Great Loss After Peace Declared, Bad News Comes to Family, More Losses Expected to be Announced

Rehbein Killed in Action Reed Dies in Service Henry C. Rehbein was the first Omak young man to give his life in the great cause of world redemption and his Omak friends sorrow with the parents and relatives at the passing of this bright young man who had elected to cast his lot in this community. Henry made several attempts to volunteer before his turn came in the draft but was never able to make it owning to slight physical deficiencies. He was accepted in the regular draft and was soon on his way to France and the firing line, with very little preliminary training as a soldier. He met his death in action on September 29 and this community will always honor his gold star in our large service flag.

This community was both saddened and shocked Wednesday to learn of the death of Percy Reed. The young man was training in Uncle Sam’s radio service and had been transferred to a military camp at Austin, Texas. Death was caused by an attack of influenza and Percy was ill for two weeks before death overcame him. His sister Ethel reached him the day before he died and accompanied the body to the family home in Seattle. Friends in this community will always remember Percy as the clean, jolly young man who was always the picture of health and happiness. Dec. 6, 1918


Nov. 15, 1918 The whole world howled with joy Sunday night and the most of Monday and Monday night as well. Locally, the news arrived about 8 a.m. Monday that the armistice had been signed and thirty minutes later a complete Associate Press news dispatch was received and on the streets giving part of the details of the


German surrender. Pandemonium at once broke loose and finding it dry work standing around making loud noises for its own amusement, the populace began to load up with flags and noise producing instruments of all kinds and started for Okanogan to assist our neighbors in raising the roof by adding out din to theirs. The county seat patriots had been touched by the same

lonesome bug and their population was met on the road bound for our town to assist us in the great joy making. The combined forces returned to omak where great joy was expressed in the most noisy American fashion when the combined crowds journeyed back to the county seat to repeat the demonstration. The Omak Band had been gathered in from the surrounding

country by this time and being augmented by several Okanogan musicians, a fine patriotic musical program was pulled off. The fire bells, school bells and church bells of every town were badly overworked instruments that day for sure. It was a simple case of joy unbounded and there was nothing to do but shout and no one could shout loud enough to satisfy their joy.

As Names of Boys Lost Overseas Came Into The Chronicle Office, Memorials Like This Were Printed. All Local Names Were Revealed After the War Was Over, So That Families Who Had Hoped Their Sons Had Escaped Death Learned Otherwise After They Had Already Celebrated Peace. The News of Soldiers’ Deaths Took Much Longer to Reach Families Than the Declaration of Peace.

1920s A Decade of

Growth Technology and business began to arrive and boom in the area in the 1920s. The Biles-Coleman mill started its mega-company, telephone service arrived and hydroelectric dam plans formed.

A conceptual drawing for the new Omak High School, built in the 1920s. Left: A new Kodak camera is advertised in the paper.

In 1923, a new tank-like logging truck hauls trees to the Biles-Coleman lumber yard.


The Omak Commercial Club, now known as the Chamber of Commerce, gathers to honor founder Ben Ross (behind fountain with hat) and the town’s 25th year of growth in 1932 at the downtown James J. Hill Hotel.

The 1925 Okanogan Rodeo winners pictured: Henry Michel, Ed Ingersoll and Matthew Bill show their prize saddles and chaps.

The Okanogan-Cariboo Trail map boasts of railways, bathing beaches, camping and other tourism attractions along what is now known as the U.S. Highway 97 corridor. Right: New shoes in the 1930s range from $2.45 to $6.85 per pair. This rock still sits in Omak’s Civic League Park in honor of founder Ben Ross, photographed with that same old hat in 1932.

Women’s fashion changed drastically in the 1920s, as shown in this advertisement.


May 20, 1920 – May 19, 1930

Established May 20, 1910 - Second in a Ten Part Series

George Ladd photos (Left) Omak’s Main Street in 1929. (Below) View of Omak from the Okanogan River Towards Bridge.

TIMELINE 1920 May 26 – Shellrock Pump Bill wins in Senate. June 25 – $42,000 school bond issue carries easily – new high school building larger than any in county now assured. July 9 – Mail route established, Omak to Condon’s Ferry. Aug. 26 – Women allowed to vote. Nov. 4 – Fire destroys the Fink block on Omak’s Main Street. 1921 Jan. 14 – After the Wenatchee District Co-op Association members present information to a packed theatre, some orchardists sign onto the group for apple marketing. Many don’t want another organization to join. Jan. 14 – The “Lady Nicotine” campaign against tobacco usage spreads across the nation. The Chronicle refuses to print the article. March 18 – McLaughlin Dam project is approved by the Okanogan Water Users Association. April 1 – Gas rises to 37 cents per gallon. April 8 – The BilesColeman mill in Wenatchee announces it will begin operations that week, expecting to turn out 1,000,000 boxes per year. April 15 – Joe Louie, or “Big Louie” sentenced to 30 days in jail for attempting to kill Suzanne Leo, whom he claimed was an evil medicine woman who caused the death of his son and threatened his own life. Other Indians attested to her power, but the court said the control of evil spirits was not a proper defense. April 29 – The Ruby mine ceases operations after the death of its president, but expects to resume soon. It resumes June 24. May 6 – The MethowOkanogan Irrigation District divorces into two entities. June 3 – State legislation requires automobile licenses to be enforced after Aug. 1. Licenses cost $1; fines are $5. July 15 – Building permits now required within Omak city limits. Aug. 5 – Tunk Creek Lumber and Box Company destroyed by fire, a big crimp in orchard box supply. Aug. 19 – Publisher F.A. DeVos welcomes a baby girl, Mary Catherine, who caused a delay in the paper’s production. Dec. 2 – National apple exhibit puts high rank for area apples. County-wide apples win 42 of 44 categories and Omak wins 17 of 19 city categories for Jonathan, Winter Banana, Arkansas Black, Spitzenberg, Grimes Golden and Delicious apples. Dec. 16 – The Okanogan Irrigation District looks into the “electrification” of wells. Dec. 16 – The new Omak High School is complete; a party is slated for Dec. 20. Continued on on Page Page 2. Continued 24

BILES-COLEMAN MILL OPENS Cut 15 Million Feet Lumber, Make 2 Million Boxes; Seventy-Five Men Employed Feb. 24, 1922 The starting Monday of the sawmill of the Biles-Coleman Lumber Company, on the mountain east of town, begins what will be the record season’s timber cut for north central Washington up to this time. The plans of this organization now call for a cut of ten to fifteen million feet for the season and in their efforts to do this, they now have some 4,000,000 feet of logs already piled on the skidways along the three and a half miles of logging railway they have run up Wanicut creek. This lumber is all to be made up into boxes at the Omak box plant of this company this spring and summer and means that more than 2,000,000 boxes are to be manufactured at this place. At the present time, a crew of forty men is being employed at the sawmill and thirty-five more are in the woods getting out logs. Within thirty days, it is planned to have the sawmill running a full twenty-four hour shift and turning out anywhere from 100,000 to 110,000 feet of lumber a day. In fact, it is planned to run the mill past the regular season so there will be a hangover of several million feet of lumber that will be thoroughly seasoned for the box plant to begin on next year. Over a mile and a half of the present logging railway has been constructed during the past forty days over the frozen ground and the present track will need to be moved into new timber by the middle of this summer. At this time, only three trucks of 18,000 feet of logs are being brought in over these tracks each trip but this will soon be doubled and a steam unloader installed at the mill that will unload one truck of logs a minute into the mill pond. A good illustration of the up-to-theminute ability of this organization is well illustrated by the fact that they are able to start sawing in this zero weather and to successfully do so are keeping their mill pond from freezing by the judicious use of steam. A well appointed woods camp and commissary has been erected at the woods end of the railway and a new warehouse and office is now being built at the mill. The Daly Bros. will again be in charge of the lumber hauling contract from the mill to the box plant here at town and are prepared to transport from 60,000 to 70,000 feet of lumber every twenty-four hours. This lumber hauling contract is the vital connecting link

Simmer photo The Heisler Engine and Train Carried Logs Through Cougarville for the Mill.


Simmer photo The New Mill Pond at Cougarville in the Early 1920s. between these large logging and sawmill operations and the large box plant here in town but no one who saw these gentlemen move lumber off the mountain last summer doubt their ability to make good on the enlarged job this summer.

If you wish to view the largest lumber operations that have ever been staged in this neck of the woods, take a run up to the BilesColeman mill any time within the next thirty to sixty days, it will repay you. Continuedon on Page Page 28. 6. Continued

County All-Star Team Selected March 19, 1925 The selection of an Okanogan County All-Star team as selected by secret vote of coaches and officials within the county was compiled as follows: Each player receiving a choice for a position on the first team was given two votes and being named on the second team gave him one vote. Those who named a captain for their team chose Gliden of Brewster, although not all of the coaches named a captain. In some cases a man lost a position on the first team by being named for two different places. This was true of Burnham of Oroville.

Indian Becomes Attorney

The votes are as follows: Gliden — Brewster, 10 F H. Dew — Tonasket, 9 F Christianson — Brewster, 10 Herrin — Tonasket, 8 G Wick — Brewster, (B) 6 Curtis — (0) 5. Burnham (0) 10. McCormack — (B) 7. Holmes — (T) 6. Burnham received 6 votes for center and 4 for forward so in as much as the vote was divided I took the liberty of selecting him as second choice for center.

Omak High School Girls Basketball Team, Champions for 1921-22. Back Row (Left to Right) Ruth Weatherstone, Lucille Weatherstone, Coach Robert Clemons, Florence Miller, Hazel Shumway. Front Katie Meyers, Hazel Elsea, Helen Shumway, Ellen Miller, Julia Biles.

Feb. 8, 1923 Paschal Sherman, always considered a local indian lad because of his attendance at the school at St. Mary’s Mission, has been admitted to the bar of this state for the practice of law. The rise of this young man marks the fulfillment of the life work of Father E. de Rouge, now deceased, and founder of St. Mary’s Mission just east of Omak. It was Father de Rouge’s life ambition and work to educate the Indians of this part of the state in the hope that he could thus better their station in life and make them better citizens. The young generation was his hope, Paschal one of his brightest pupils. The good father felt he would be satisfied if he could live to see one of these Indian lads reach the point in life to which Paschal has now attached himself. He has now attained as he was sure such a one would be fired with ambition to buckle in and assist in the uplift work of his own people. Friends, Indians and whites, have watched this bright young man climb and have been proud that his early training was in this community. They wish him continued success, whether or not he elects to return and become a leader of his people as Father de Rouge had planned.


Chronicle 1920s staff:

INDIAN NEEDS INVESTIGATED Biles, Blackwell and Woody Form Investigating Committee

Franklin A. DeVos, 1913-1926

Frank Emert, owner, publisher 1926 Associate Editors: Henry S. Hurd 1925-1926 Anna Mae Rigby 1926 Elliot Curry 1927-1929

Centennial staff: Publisher: Roger Harnack Section editor: Sheila Corson Managing editor: Dee Camp Advertising: Lynn Hoover Research/design: Julie Bock Katie Montanez Elizabeth Widel Photos courtesy of: Okanogan County Historical Society

TIMELINE 1922 March 9 – Wm R.H. Dodge ship designer and builder of the Atlantic Coast died. March 20 – Proclaimed American Legion Employment Day. March 30 – 200 cars of apples shipped for the season. April 20 – Fire destroys Glenwood Mercantile Co. in Riverside, a pioneer store. June 15 – L.M Klessig sold dairy and milk route to M. E. Stratton. July 6 – Biles Coleman wins baseball series. Aug. 24 – Omak land yields $385 per acre. 1923 Jan. 1 – The Chronicle costs 5 cents per copy, or $2 for a year’s subscription. Feb. 1 – Omak construction requires 10 train carloads of bricks – the most in the county – from the Oroville brick yard. March 1 – Orchardist A.J. Stahmer wins the 1922 Delicious apple prize contest at the Mid-West Horticulture Exposition – a $10 prize. April 5 – The Chronicle runs an advertisement celebrating the first radio transmission to England. May 17 – Steel arrives to expand the railway for Omak Creek valley with Biles-Coleman in charge. May 24 – New Omak bridge proposed, a 400-foot cement bridge, since the current bridges costs $2,000 per year in upkeep. May 31 – Omak Lake hailed as “Little Lake Chelan;” Editor DeVos predicts the lake will one day teem with boats and the shore will shelter many summer homes. Continued on on Page Page 3. Continued 25


March 1, 1929 An open hearing will be held Monday morning at 9 a.m. at the courthouse at Okanogan when a committee will hear testimony on living conditions among the Indians of the Colville Indian Reservation. The United States Department of the Interior in a letter to Indian agents throughout the United States declares that “There has been much propaganda in certain newspapers and magazines in regard to alleged conditions of the Indian residing on Indian reservations. Some of these charges are to the effect that the affairs of the Indians are not properly supervised, that their property is not protected, that they don not receive proper medical attention, and that the Indians are not making the progress that they should under Government supervision.”

NEEDS OF INDIANS TOLD BY COMMITTEE March 5, 1929 A report of the investigation of Indian life on the Colville reservation and recommendations for the improvement of the condition of the Indians has been completed by the committee.

The committee was composed of C. E. Blackwell and O.H. Woody, Okanogan and J.C. Biles of Omak. Much Testimony The reports of the committee without their recommendations covers 27 typewritten pages, largely composed of questions and answers taken during the hearing last Monday. Only a small part of the testimony was transcribed as it was estimated that the full report would have covered probably 79 page. The committee recommendations are published below. Medical Attention This committee is firmly of the opinion that a hospital for the exclusive treatment of Indian patients should be established on the west side of the Colville Indian reservation, suitably equipped to give adequate service in surgical cases and care of tuberculosis patients. Lack of attention for the government’s wards is causing many of them to die from tuberculosis. In the case of children at least the disease cold often be arrested if it were possible to give proper treatment. Under the existing contract, Indians are given some medical and surgical attention, but the latter may often be denied through inability of the patients

to finance the hospitalization. Proper coverage of the health field can only be given through establishment of suitable hospital facilities. More and more the Indians are mingling with the whites and being admitted to the public schools and the tuberculosis menace among the tribes has become a matter of concern to all people in communities where Indians reside. We recommend that a broader inquiry than it was possible for this committee to make be undertaken to determine whether the Indians are being given the medical and surgical attention to which they are entitled under existing physicians’ contracts. Statements that Indians seek the services of other doctors because the government appointed does not answer their calls or because they feel he is neglectful in their treatment warrants a check-up on the general treatment afforded. Rehabilitation Cattle holdings among the Indians has been greatly depleted by a long period of drought and poor market conditions. We recommend that some means be provided whereby the older Indians may be reestablished in the stock-raising business on a small scale. There is need of more active assistance both on the part of the government and the public in

obtaining employment for the younger Indians. We recommend organization of a self-improvement council by the young Indians assisting members of the tribes in the conduct of their affairs. Payment of Rentals Particular efforts should be put forth to keep lessors and those Indians who have individual agreements for the sale of timber, pasturage, etc., informed regarding the collection of their accounts. In the minds of the Indians there is is much mystery about these affairs and a great deal of suspicion. The Indian

beneficiaries do not understand the situation when their rentals and fees are collected and the situation that arises, not only among the Indians but indirectly among the whites, is not conducive to this department. Conditions Less Favorable On the Colville reservation, Indians were better off 20 years ago than they are today. This statement is based on our own observations as well as testimony by Indians. This condition, however, is in line with the experience of white dry land farmers in the same district and is largely attributable to climatic conditions.

Giant Local Fruit Picked Largest Cot In The World Mammoth Bartlett Pear Aug. 5, 1921 An apricot bearing the above notation has been causing a lot of comment by all who have seen the article in the display window of F.L. Kane’s furniture store. This particular member of the local apricot family came from the Bartin Robinson orchard just north of town and measured nine inches one way and eight and the three-quarters the other. Best of all, it had a numerous flock of brothers and sisters who crowded it closely for Jumbo honors and the quality was A1.

Aug. 30, 1021 The largest Apricot in the world was said to have been grown on the local project and now comes the giant Bartlett pear. This “pumpkin” of pears was taken from the Wm. Hatcher orchard just north of town and only weighed twenty-five and a half ounces and looked like a young pumpkin size. Could the aforementioned apricot, and this pear, have been pickled in one huge glass jar, they would have graced any museum with honor and small chance of being eaten.

Commercial Club Asks For Pool Hall Hours Entire Train Derailed, Demands Midnight Closing According to Law Engineer Duffy Killed Feb. 25, 1921 Thursday morning’s southbound passenger train was completely derailed by a broken rail about two miles north of the Chelan station. This break was caused by falling rocks that had been loosened by the spring thaw on the bluff above the track. The accident proved fatal to Engineer Duffy, of Oroville. When he saw the derailment was unavoidable, the engineer jumped to save himself and was crushed on the rocks. A speeder was secured and the injured man rushed to the Pateros hospital, but life had left the body before medical aid could be reached. W.H. Dickson and a Mrs. Guile and daughter and Mrs. C. O. Scott and children were the only local passengers aboard the train and while the passengers were all badly shaken, the pleasing report comes through theat none of them needed medical attention. The train left the track, most fortunately, on the bank side, so none of the cars were turned over but had it gone off on the river there would have been a terrible loss of life and property.

KILLED BY LIGHTNING July 31, 1928 A few centuries ago one would have said that the evil of the air bore a grudge against William Walter Paxton. For just a month ago, lightning struck a fence not a hundred feet from where Paxton was standing in his field. The lightning traveled along the barbed wire fence and paralyzed a pig nearby. Paxton came to town afterwards and told of the incident. And then while the farmer was cutting grain in his field, four miles from Meyers Falls last Tuesday lightning struck again and killed Paxton. The bolt traveled through his body, through the binder, through the tongue of the machine and laid out the four horses in a row, one on top of the other — all dead. This was the first time in more the 25 years that anyone had been killed in Stevens county by lightning, old residents said.

NESPELEM FIRE CONSUMES BUSINESSES Aug. 7, 1924 Nespelem was visited by a fire early Tuesday morning that consumed the Howard Hotel and the empty store building of Doughrty & Son. Neither of these buildings were occupied and the funrishings had been removed from the hotel building some months ago by the parties who had the place leased. No one knows how the fire started and the practically no fire protection, it is fortunate that more of the business section wsa not caught by the flames. The Howards figure their loss close to $3,000 with no insurance whatever.

SAVES DROWNING LAD March 17, 1922 Little Del Mundinger had a mighty close call from leaving this world Tuesday afternoon and had it not been for the prompt and courageous action of F. R. Hendrick, the lad would undoubtedly have lost his life. In company with several of his little playmates, Del was playing along the river bank above the bridge. Mr. Hendrick was busy at the plant and had heard the lads calling and playing about and was not paying any attention to their shouting until he rather subconsciously noted a tone of fear in their shoutings. Going to the river bank to make sure all was right, the lads shouted to him that one of their number was in the river. Rushing to the bank, Mr. Hendrick caught sight of Del’s little red cap under the ice, where the current had carried his little six year old body. Diving under the ice, the lad was quickly brought to the surface but it was a strenuous twenty minutes work to bring back signs of life in the sturdy little body. Warm blankets, coupled with immediate medical attention and loving home care soon put the lad back in the running, for what is hoped will be a long and useful life.

October 14, 1926 Closing of pool rooms at midnight, according to city ordinance, was demanded by the Omak Commercial Club at its Monday meeting, the resolution further requesting that the city marshal and county sheriff give loafers the choice of going to work or leaving town. The resolution passed unanimously by the Commercial club follows: Whereas, the laws and ordinance of the Town of Omak have not been enforced during the harvest season, and the pool rooms have been permitted to remain open at all hours of the night and have remained open all night. Now, therefore, be it resolved, that it is the sense of the Omak Commercial Club, representing the businessmen of the town, that the pool rooms should be closed at 12 o’clock, midnight, and it is asked that the marshal be instructed to see that this is done. Be if further resolved, that the town marshal and sheriff make every effort to rid the town of idlers, and that such be given the choice of going to work at

standard wages or leaving town. Be it further resolved, that a copy of this resolution be furnished the mayor, every member of the council, city marshal and city attorney. E.W. Champion, President J.S. Courtright, Secretary

Impediment to Harvest The pool room question arose during a discussion of labor shortage for harvest operations, and the fact that pool rooms were remaining open all night contrary to law was declared to be a definite hindrance to harvest work. A.H. McDermott introduced the subject declaring that not only was there a group of loafers playing a crooked game of cards and filching money earned by regular laborers, but also the very fact that workers were spending their nights in a pool room rendered them unfit for work the next day. A second thought which developed in the discussion was the removal of those whose purpose was not the seeking of work. E. E. Caldwell related a conversation he had heard

Monday between a rancher and a pool room loafer, the latter grilling the rancher upon wages, accommodations, size of apples, height of trees and so on. “In other words,” said Mr. Caldwell, “he wanted the job brought in for him to look it over. The job was finally refused and the rancher returned home without help. Another angle of the question was brought out in the assertion that some of those who were hanging around pool rooms were actually ranchers who had better be home resting for harvest work. A. H. McDermott, who has taken an interest in the providing of labor declared that there were possible accommodations for 100 men in the community, invalidating the contention that there is need of pool rooms in lieu of a lodging house. After a heated discussion of the matter, it being evident that opinions was solidly for closing pool rooms according to law, at midnight, the resolution was put by President E. W. Champion and passed without a dissenting vote.

SHOOT GUILTY COUGAR Jan. 8 , 1925 Independent hunter, Wash Vanderpool, of Winthrop, killed the cougar that is believed to have killed the Olema lad early in December. The cat was shot over on Beaver Creek, a few miles northwest of Olema, beyond where the first party of hunters in the field Shuttleworth, Haley and Hildebrand lost the trail. This party of hunters had gone north and were working back toward where Vanderpool shot the animal on Wednesday. The cougar is not such a large cat but is an old female whose teeth and claws show her age and whose tawny body proves she has been unsuccessful in obtaining all the wild food she needed. In phoning in this news, deputy sheriff McCauley stated he felt sure the guilty animal had been killed but the hunters reported signs of other cougars in the same locality so the enlarged campaign by the state hunters will be highly pleasing to everyone.

Omak’s Apple Blossom Float in 1922.

People Decade of the


John C. Biles and Nate Coleman

Disastrous fires hit several times in the various mills and plants of Biles-Coleman. A fire in 1928 took out a plant, which Biles had rebuilt in 92 days. Just before it opened, another John C. Biles and Nate disastrous fire burned down the Coleman started out as loggers, mill. That was also replaced partnering in 1920. quickly with a sprinkler system In 1921, the Omak Fruit installed. Growers mill was having Biles became mayor of financial problems, so Biles and J.C. BILES NATE COLEMAN Omak in 1928-1932. Coleman purchased the mill, When the Depression starting a business that would homes and businesses in the struck, Biles-Coleman stayed in become the largest in the county. county. business, even though Biles had to Having the Indian timber Biles secured a half-billion acrecut everyone’s salary back, including contract, business boomed. As the feet unit of timber in 1924. The his own. Biles died in 1932 and left city grew, Biles-Coleman mills business had gotten too big for the business to his son-in-law, Ross logged and cut wood for new Coleman, so he sold out to Biles. L. McNutt.

1923 (continued) May 31 – The “most scenic ever made” film features area aspects along the Columbia Basin. June 28 – A change in legislative laws two days before the special Omak school elections makes those elections illegal. The vote is redone July 7. July 12 – The road from Omak to Riverside is paved for $52,620. Aug. 2 – Omak Hospital opens, a 28-foot by 70-foot building with a screened sleeping porch and nearly full basement — the first baby born in the hospital July 31. Aug. 10 – Day of national mourning held for former president Warren Harding. Businesses close from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 6 – Labor Day celebration goes well except for the car race, in which a vehicle took a wrong turn and drove off the bridge with a flat tire. No one was injured. Oct. 4 – Bide-a-Wee Theatre opens with vaudeville acts. Oct. 11 – County and state taxes are lowered for the year. Oct. 25 – Construction begins on Biles-Coleman lumber mill. Nov. 22 – “Golden Rule Sunday” enacted by President Calvin Coolidge, where each family is to serve a meal with the same menu as orphanages in the East the first Sunday after Thanksgiving. Nov. 29 – 1,000 Fords ordered to Japan to help with earthquake recovery. Dec. 27 – Water piped to East Omak.

Princess America II Jessie Jim In 1926, Omak High School student Jessie Jim represented Okanogan Indians at the national Indian Congress pageant in Spokane. She won the title of Princess America, the second girl to do so, and for the next year traveled the nation in this role. Princess Jessie represented all American Indians at the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City and the Sesqui-Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. She met multiple governors, senators and other politicians. In October of 1926, she met Queen Marie of Roumania. She was born in 1906 to Long Jim and Annie, both Chelan Indians, near where Fort Okanogan once stood. She married after the end of her reign and moved to Spokane, where she died in 1969.

Rev. Frederick W. and Kathleen Pugh Born in Salcomb, Devonshire, England, Rev. Frederick W. Walker Pugh pastored the Omak Presbyterian Church from 1922 until his death in 1927. His wife, Kathleen, and he married in Wales in 1902 and immigrated to American for their honeymoon. He pastored several churches, slowly moving farther west until moving to Omak in January 1922. By then they had four children – Eric, Kathleen, Gwendolyn and Roger. Rev. Pugh served as the president and vice president of the county’s Ministerial Association until his death after a paralytic stroke on Feb. 7, 1927. As he was half conscious in his deathbed, he preached his last sermon. Mrs. Pugh lived for 31 more years as a widow in Omak. In 1934, she took over the reins of the Omak library, known for her thick British accent and censorship of books that were inappropriate for children. She was librarian for 22 years.


1924 Jan. 3 – The old Omak bridge is moved to make way for the new. Construction is halted by –26 temperature. The freeze breaks all 12 school radiators. Jan. 10 – J.C. Biles Lumber Co. and BilesColeman Lumber Co. merge with a value of $500,000. Feb. 3 – 28th President of the United States Woodrow Wilson dies. April 3 – Businesses told to close from 1-3 p.m. April 11 for city clean up day. May 15 – Riverside fire, fatal car accident, café fire in Pateros and Winthrop drowning all hit in one weekend. The Riverside fire sets a record for the city, having had 50 buildings destroyed by fire in 8 years. June 2 – Native Americans allowed to vote under the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. July 10 – Reclamation Director Dr. Elwood Mead visits the county and throws in his support for the electrification of pumps at Green Lake. July 17 – 3,500 people gather for the opening of the new Omak Bridge (which still stands today). Nov. 20 – The future site of Grand Coulee Dam is surveyed. Dec. 25 – The Bureau Hotel in Okanogan burns. It is later replaced by the Cariboo Inn, which still stands.

Henry Livingston Saw County Before Civil War, Was Prospector Jan. 1, 1929 A man whose life almost spanned the history of civilization in North Central Washington died last Friday at Conconully. He was Henry Livingston, who died at the age of 108, four months and 19 days. He had been taken to Conconully on the previous Sunday when he became ill. He had made his home at Tonasket for over 70 years, being there long before the town was started. Followed Gold Rush As a young man, Mr. Livingston followed the gold rushes of the then new West and it was the first gold rush into the Okanogan County that brought him here. After participating in the California Gold rush, following the forty-niners, he came north with a group of miners on the Cariboo gold rush in 1857. He told of panning $100 a day in gold in British Columbia and in 1858 saw the comet that passed the earth in that year and threw the Indians into panic, thinking that the end of the world was at hand. He came down to the Columbia River at a time when many Chinamen were in this part of the state. He used to tell of finding a $100 nugget in the Columbia that was stolen from him at the place where Okanogan now stands. Came to Ruby Mr. Livingston was one of the first miners to reach Ruby, the first boom town in the county. When the strike took place at Loomis, he went there and was later in the rush to Republic in Ferry county. He visited in Seattle in 1853 when that city had only 10 people. Later at one time he worked in Yesler’s sawmill, Seattle’s first industry. Knew Indians Through his long association with the West he came to know the Indians intimately and in early days had many encounters with them, both friendly and as enemies. As an ambassador from the whites, he once conferred with Chief Tonasket. He related how on one occasion,

he had gone to try to pacify this warlike group of the Indians who had camped at the mouth of Aeneas creek. Arriving at the Indian camp he found them hungry. He had brought a stick of dynamite with him and lighting this he threw it into the Okanogan River, the explosion bringing enough dead fish to the surface to feed the whole tribe. The dynamite had been brought in from Ellensburg. Mr. Livingston was the oldest living man at the time of his death who had penetrated the Okanogan county before the Civil War. He knew Kit Carson, on of the most famous of pioneer personalities. His funeral was held from the community church at Tonasket.

First Annual Car Show in Okanogan, March 1921. Blackwell Building Shown.

SPEEDY PACKER AT WORK Sept. 28, 1922 According to his employer, W. C. B. Randolph, that speedy apple packer, Jack Rogers, is up to his old tricks again. Mr. Randolph states the Rogers turned out 285 packed boxes the other day in a little less than 10 hours.

Lester Rounds photo Okanogan Rodeo Horse Race, 1925.

1920 Health Report Released Jan.. 28, 1921 Every citizen should read this accounting of Miss Althea L. Steiert, of her five months of service. Try to see the meaning of her visits where comfort and advice are needed by patient and family. Consider that each case a possible center of infection is made safe if her directions are followed. Study carefully the facts as to our children. Patients visited, recorded – 180 Tuberculosis – 164 Left county – 16 Died – 8

Non-tuberculosis – 4 Recorded other diseases – 5 Patients on record Jan. ‘21 – 147 Active Tuberculosis – 50 Arrested Tuberculosis – 39 Suspected Tuberculosis – 47 Other diseases – 11 Visits made since July 21, 1920: New cases – 29 Tuberculosis – 25 Other diseases – 4 Tuberculosis visits made – 182 Co-operative visits – 54 Instructive visits – 199 School visits – 35 Total visits – 288

Schools visited since Sept. 1920: Schools visited – 26 Health talks – 51 In the town and 15 country schools the children were weighed and measured and inspected for defects. Children examined – 398 Under weight with defects – 223 Under weight no defects – 41 Normal weight with defects – 69 Defective teeth – 108 Diseased enlarged tonsils – 152 Adenoids – 14 Impaired vision – 4 Enlarged glands, goiter – 32

Lymph glands – Mentally deficient – Tuberculosis suspects Children found normal

– –

9 4 3 84

Most of these children have been referred to their physician or dentist and notices sent to parent urging them to have the defects corrected. Many parents do not realize that it is poor economy to send a physically defective child to school and expect intellectual development. Literature on the rules of health have been distributed. Respectfully, Althea L. Steiert R.N.

1925 Feb. 26 – Shell Oil Co. installs the first 20,000 gallon storage tank in the county in Omak. March 5 – A rum runner flees from the sheriff, causing a car chase at “a mile a minute” down Main Street. His accomplice throws rum bottles at the sheriff’s car until the sheriff is able to shoot out the vehicle’s tire and cause it to stop. March 12 – Dozens of livestock are pushed over a cliff by three juveniles, who were arrested and then later cleared of charges. April 9 – Construction begins on St. Mary’s Mission new school and 22-foot by 265-foot swimming pool. May 28 – A $5 reward is offered for the capture and conviction of bootleggers. July 2 – New pump doubles Omak fire protection. Continued on on Page Page 4. Continued 26


TIMELINE 1925 (continued) July 30 – City owns Civic League Park. Dec. 17 – The Cariboo Inn opens in Okanogan. 1926 Jan. 7 – Family illness forces publisher DeVos’ family to take an extended vacation. Mrs. Anna Mae Rigby acts as editor while many locals write in area news for a few months. April 1 – The Golf Club completes its first golf course. June 3 – Water pump installed at Shellrock Point for orchard irrigation. July 8 – Three new pumps are recommended to provide a total of 9,000 acre-feet of irrigation. July 8 – Frank S. Emert takes over ownership of The Chronicle. Several editions of the paper are missed. July 15 – Grady Cope, robber, escapes from jail. A $500 reward is offered, plus $50 from the county, state and sheriff’s office for a total of $650. He is found July 27. July 22 – 23,000 acres burn in the Chelan and Okanogan forests with 500-600 firefighters battling the blaze. Aug. 5 – Moses Mt. Fire shuts the Biles-Coleman mill down. The workers start fighting the fire instead. Oct. 7 – Publisher Emert releases a family bulletin announcing the birth of his third child, Phyllis Joy. Oct. 7 – The First Methodist Church ceases its hospital services due to the community’s prosperity and the presence of the hospital. Oct. 14 – The orchard laborer shortage causes businesses to close for a full day so that workers can help harvest and save the crops. Oct. 21 Thieves steal a car from Pateros, then rob a Winthrop bank that night. They were unsuccessful at blowing up the safe, but were able to get $500 from the tills. 1927 Jan. 6 – The first medical flight from the county is made by Major Jack T. Fancher, who saves the life of his nephew, Billy, by taking him from Tonasket to Spokane. April 14 – BilesColeman electrifies its mill. June 16 – The Methow Valley celebrates the arrival of a new power line by Washington Water and Power Co. with a banquet. July 7 – The Hotel de Grubb becomes the Peerless Hotel after a remodel in Oroville. The Peerless is still in operation. Aug. 25 – East Omak airport is declared unsafe due to power lines; a new field is chosen north of town. Sept. 22 – The Omak Masonic Lodge building is complete. It still stands. Dec. 8 – J.C. Biles is elected mayor of Omak. Dec. 15 – The display of the new Model A Ford brings a crowd of 200 people to gather for a celebration dance long into the night. Dec. 15 – Shellrock Point pump plant is washed out by an ice dam. Dec. 22 – Pateros initiates an 8 p.m. curfew for minors.

Omak Hospital Will Be Opened Next Week June 28, 1923 Omak’s new hospital at the corner of First Avenue south and First Street west, will be opened to the public early next week. Dr. L.S. Dewey, the promoter and financial backer of this most needed and worthy enterprise is to be highly complimented upon the faith he has shown in the community. This may not be the most spacious structure of its kind, but there will be few in its class that are better appointed or equipped for real medical service and the comfort of the patients so well thought of at every point in the new building. From seven to twelve patients can be comfortably cared for on the main ground floor that is light and airy. The operating room is also on this floor as is the convenient sun parlor at the rear that has a floor space of 10x20 feet. Convenience starts at the front door of this institution with a portico extending out over a raised driveway that allows the conveyance bringing sick or injured up the level of the front entrance and at the same time

Nov. 19, 1925 Omak now has a power driven fire truck, fully equipped to carry men, hose, chemicals, and most of the necessary fire fighting equipment that is needed in a town of this size. The city fathers feel they picked up a bargain in the GMC

Omak Hospital Built in 1923 by Dr. Dewey. under cover and protected from either rain or sunshine, hail or snow. The doors of all rooms are of a three foot six size, the beds on castors and everything handy to remove the sick in case of a fire. Down in the basement, which is really less than half basement there is a commodious kitchen excellently appointed even to a large size Lang range, food elevator to the first floor, wash room and four bedrooms for the nurses and assistants. The building is so placed upon its 65x142 lot that there is

ample room for beautiful lawn and flower beds. It is next to the pretty Hubbert lawn and just across the street from the City Park. The operation of this institution will be in charge of Mrs. Della Fox, who is an experienced trained nurse. All licensed doctors in good standing will be privileged and welcomed to care for their patients here. If you have not already done so, call around and inspect this modern building. It is a credit to the community.

MCLAUGHLIN DAM APPEARS TO BE FEASIBLE LOCAL BOARD APPEARS TO FAVOR CONSTRUCTION February 18, 1921 The preliminary plans and estimates for the proposed McLaughlin dam and power plant on the Okanogan River about seven miles above Riverside arrived here last week and are considered by the local board of directors, and those who have seen them, as very promising and favorable report. The total cost of the dam, power plant, transmission line, together with the pumping plant at Shell Rock Point and its discharge system is placed at a

total cost of $733,661. Of this amount, the government has already appropriated $666,000 which is ready and available as soon as the legal entanglements with the Methow-Okanogan project can be straightened out. The plans call for a dam approximately 150 feet long with the power plant at the east end of the dam adjoining the G.N. railway tracks. The report states: “The head is normally 20.5, feet but this will be reduced during periods of flood to 10 feet, or less, and

during extreme low water the head will be increased to 23.5 feet. Curves showing the flow of the Okanogan River at Okanogan and the power available at the McLaughlin Canyon power site with a head of 15 feet are attached covering the period of 1911 to 1920. This record shows the maximum flow is approximately 22,000 second feet and the minimum is 700 second feet. Sufficient water is available to operate the plant at full capacity up to the 20th of August each year.

5,400-Acre Feet Of Water In Reservoirs

Jan. 27, 1922 The irrigation prospects for this community for 1922 are absolutely the best since the big drought hit the country several years ago. In fact, this project is safe right now for the season with what water is now in the reservoirs at Conconully and what can be taken from the local wells and lakes were there no snow in the mountains at all, which is far from being the case. Project manager Casteel gave these absolute figures to the Chronicle Wednesday morning: Storage in old reservoir, can be taken out by gravity, 2,400 acre feet; new Salmon Lake reservoir, 3,000 acre feet, can be pumped.

This makes a total of 5,400 acre feet now actually in storage. In fact, Mr. Casteel states that past experience shows that much more than 3,000 feet can be taken from Salmon Lake, but he has kept his figures conservative. These figures take no account of what can be pumped from Duck Lake, the regular supply from the private wells or the extra 3,000 acre feet that is figured can be taken from private wells over and above what is actually needed by the lands upon which the wells are located. Added to this is the fact that recent measurements at the Chas. Conger ranch only 4,000

feet elevation, back in the Conconully water shed, shows 14 inches of solidly rain packed, frozen snow, resting upon water soaked and thoroughly frozen ground. Upon this, six inches of light snow has fallen, not counting what came this week Wednesday, and from all indications here in the valley, the snow this week must have been a big one back in the hills. Reports last fall from all parts of the mountain country in this county told of how the springs and creeks were back to normal flow and that the ground was thoroughly soaked before it froze and before any great amount of snow had fallen.


model that they purchased from the city of Newport. A machine of this character gets very little actual running and this one seems to be in A1 condition and will probably last Omak for several years, before there will be any need to exchange it for larger, snappier equipment.

State To Adjudicate Salmon Creek Water A survey preliminary to the adjudication of water rights on Salmon Creek, Okanogan County, has been ordered by R. K. Tiffany, supervisor of hydraulics. The adjudication will involve water rights for the Okanogan irrigation district, a federal reclamation service project, it was said. The foregoing news dispatch from Olympia is the best bit of news this locality has had for many a day as it means the

settlement of a problem in our water supply that should have been cared for many years ago. Project manager Casteel and director Petersen took special pains to get in touch with supervisor Tiffany when he was up this way on Whitestone matters recently and they have certainly secured immediate action out of the new administration where old regime paid no attention to their many pleas.

The H.S. Gym Feb. 10, 1922 We now have a much needed balcony in the H.S. Gym which will add about 160 to its capacity to hold spectators. And this without the cost of a penny to District No. 19. Some time ago Mr. Wright, manager of the Columbia Valley Lumber Company, volunteered for his company to donate one half the lumber needed for such a balcony. The Alumni headed by Burton Cast and Bernard Middleton sponsored the financing of the other half of the lumber, plus other necessary supplies. They met a ready response from several business men, Mr. Wright of the Columbia Valley heading the subscription list with $10. Mr. Worrall volunteered to

draw the plans and supervise the installation. On Thursday and Friday an enthusiastic group of volunteers worked hard under Mr. Worrall’s direction. Mr. Campbell and Mr. Minnich each donated their expert services for part of the time. Most of the work was done by High School students who plunged into the task ahead with fervor. Two sides were completed for the game Friday night with Okanogan. There were fully 145 spectators on the balcony at this game. Honor and credit to the Columbia Valley Lumber Company, Mr. Worrall, Mr. Cast and Mr. Middleton, the boosters of the project, the business men contributing, and all others who lent a hand. The Omak spirit wins!

OMAK GETS 24-HOUR TELEPHONE SERVICE July 12, 1923 Call the doctor, or send your important messages at night through the Omak telephone office from now on, if you wish. This is a service that has long been desired at Omak and one that should be highly appreciated by the patrons of the office. The office door will be closed and locked at nine p.m., as formerly, but an

operator will be on duty to receive and send all messages at any time of night of day, except Sunday and holidays, when the office will be open only as heretofore. An additional night operator is required, and while the pay offered is not real fat, there should be a good opening for some young person with a liking for this sort of work.

Brewster Bridge Which Opened July 3, 1928. The Bridge Cost $600,000.

Twisted Cords Running through the telephone cord are a number of delicate, flexible wires.

1928 April 12 – The Omak school population doubles in 8 years. Another new building is needed. May 10 – Omak school bonds approved by voters for an eight-room grade school, two-room school building and two new sites for $35,000. May 31 – The Chronicle prints twice per week on Tuesdays and Fridays. June 12 – A strange man known only as “Crowley” wanders around Wauconda and Toroda, forcing housewives he finds alone to feed him. He is finally arrested.

Continued 27 Continued on on Page Page 5.

City Buys New Fire Truck Painted Red and Everything

“Kinks” are formed when this cord is allowed to become twisted, and some of these wires may be bent or broken. This means a “noisy” telephone line. You cannot hear or be heard as well. In fact, a twisted cord may cause a complete interruption of your service. Keeping the telephone cord straight will give you greater satisfaction in the use of your telephone.

Lobby of the James J. Hill Luxury Hotel Which Opened Jan. 3, 1930.

CAPTURES BOOZE — SHOOTS A MAN Nov. 22, 1923 Booze, over 170 cases, five autos, six men, five alive and one dead, two stills, three coils, 10 gallons of moonshine and the destruction of 200 gallons of mash represents the work for Monday night done by Sheriff E. J. Wilson, Chief Deputy B. McCauley, deputy Ed Howell, of Riverside, Arthur Beddy, Douglas County deputy sheriff, and special deputy Clair Ward of Okanogan. The prisoners in the case are booked as Jack McCrea, James Wilson, Joe Miller, Bob Hendrickson and O.J. McCullough. The dead man’s name is Sterling, a young fellow who was in the prime of life. There were seven or eight cars in the party and it is presumed that all except the five captured reached the Condon ferry and made a crossing before the sheriff’s posse reached there. Sheriff Wilson is badly grieved over the fact that he was

responsible for the shooting of Sterling and believes the shot that killed him was a chance one, as the man was attempting to make his escape over the rocky breaks out on the reservation, and that his head must have bobbed up just as the shot was fired. An interesting phase of this record arrest is the fact the prisoner O.J. McCullough seems to be some sort of leader in this particular booze outfit as he suggested to Sheriff Wilson that a serious error had been made in picking up this crowd of whiskey runners as he, McCullough, had paid a prominent Okanogan county citizen $500 for a clearance for his booze caravan through the county at this particular time. Our kindly sheriff, in his proverbial quiet manner, informed Mr. McCullough that he had evidently paid his clearance fees over the wrong counter. The heavy hand of the law will some day soon be

very likely to drop upon said purported “prominent citizen.” These fleeing cars of booze were rounded up over on the reservation. Deputy Ed Howell got the first one near the Riverside station and catching the morning southbound train was able to fire at the other seven cars from the train. The caravan was seen from the Omak station as it was stopped and waited for the train to leave the station before proceeding up the Corkscrew grade. Deputy Howell’s shot caused the booze autos to turn north near Riverside and he hoped to reach Okanogan to secure assistance in catching the bunch. He got word through to the sheriff and that gentleman and his posse were able to land on the rear guard before they reached the top of the grade. Three cars were captured here and the fifth one over on the Goose Lake flats. Later Reports – The sheriff’s

Ramsey, Symonds Case Up To Jury Sept. 21, 1928 The case of the state vs. W.A. Ramsey and Edith Symonds went to the jury this afternoon after an all day session. They are charged with lewdness, the state basing its charge on the accusation that they were living in the Savoy hotel in Omak without being married over a period of two months. Both are familiar characters in Omak. Ramsey having worked as a mechanic her and

played ball while Miss Symonds had been living at the Savoy for some time. The two defendants took the stand in their own defense. They maintained that Miss Symonds was working for Ramsey, cooking him two meals a day in his apartment for $1.00 a day. This it was contended accounted for her numerous trips to the apartment testified to by Mr. and Mrs. T. A. Johnson, who operate the hotel. Other witnesses for the state were C. R. Carrothers

and Marshal Jesse Latshaw. The two were arrested on the evening of July 5 by Mr. Latshaw and Deputy Sheriff M. W. Hatcher in Ramsey’s apartment at the Savoy. Defense witnesses were Clarence Hopkins, Luther Robbins, Fred Kenny and Edward Mellinger. H. N. Martin was attorney for the defense. Prosecuting Attorney H. A. Davis and Special Prosecutor Chas. Johnson handled the case for the state.

Lester Rounds photo Sam Friedlander and his family poses with a new automobile during the Okanogan Rodeo in 1925.

force landed another booze car above Riverside Tuesday evening that undoubtedly belonged to the caravan that was taken in the day previous. Donald Stewart and George Whipple were added to Sheriff Wilson’s boarding list. This car’s

cargo had been cached. The man shot on Monday morning has been identified as B. A. Warner, of Spokane. The force in charge of this caravan was found to have eight revolvers and three rifles, all loaded and ready for business.

THE KLAN IS HERE April 3, 1924 It has been known for several months past that there were a few members of the Ku Klux Klan living in the Omak community and from now on you may be assured that a full grown Klan is with us. At least, if not now, it soon will be here. An authorized Klan orator, of Seattle, delivered an eloquent address to a large audience of invited Omakers at the Omak Auditorium last week, the object of this meeting being the enlistment of new members. While the speaker gave few of the inner workings of his order, he did, in most respects give a highly moral and entertaining lecture that was designed to give his audience the impression that the Klan was among the truly better class societies of our nation and that their aims and objects were all of the highest moral, religious and patriotic character. As above stated, this publication feels that a mighty good impression was left with this local audience.

OUR KLAN IMPRESSIONS Ever attend an invited party that you had not been invited to be one of the guests? The editor of this sheet innocently pulled this stunt at the Ku Klux Klan meeting last week Wednesday evening. Presuming upon the ordinary license of newspaper reporters, and not being aware that the particular Klan meeting was a invited party, we butted in, obtained a seat, and heard most of a very interesting lecture by the Klan organizer.

We were not “sold” on the organization by the talk given, nor do we believe we shall ever be included in the ranks of the “hooded” band. One thing about this meeting impressed us mightily and that was the class of citizens who had been “hand picked” as suitable for membership. Take it from us, folks, the best of the Omak citizenship was represented at this meeting and we know not whom they seek in other parts but they sure went after the best we have at every turn. The Chronicle has never feared the Klan, nor has it in any way attempted to defile it. Our attendance at the meeting last week left the impression that no upright citizen need ever have any fear of it, at least so far as the Omak branch is concerned. We do believe, however, that the Klan is treading upon treacherous sands when it antagonizes any religious society, either the heads thereof or the membership at large. To us, it is a proven fact that the upholding of the fundamentals or our government, as constituted, will prevent the domination of any sect, society or creed from gaining control of the reins of temporal government and mixing of church and state. We are a forward-looking and working nation, one that has never backed up to take on the discarded robes of the by-gone dark ages, and we cannot believe that future generations will ever do so. We know they will not, provided we of this generation give them the broad viewpoint of human freedom we all love so much.

LARRABEE ASKING AN INVESTIGATION Accused Commissioner to Have Commercial Clubs’ Committee Act

Jan. 6, 1927 An investigating committee composed of a representative from each of the Commercial Clubs of the Second district has been asked by John Larrabee, Okanogan County commissioner who is accused of irregularities in office, the charges having been filed by William O’Connor, prosecuting attorney of the county. Mr. Larrabee’s letter follows: To the Commercial Club of Pateros, Washington, Gentlemen: Recently the prosecuting attorney of this county made certain charges of misconduct against, and caused the arrest of the county commissioner from your district; also he or his friends, or both, have caused to be circulated various statements and accusations intended to destroy your confidence in your commissioner and to bring him into disrepute throughout the county. Therefore I am requesting that since I am the said accused commissioner I must strongly urge that your president call a meeting at an early date and that the club select at that meeting one citizen to serve as a member of an investigating committee. I am requesting that the committee proceed immediately to investigate the official acts and expenditures of your commissioner during the two years I have held that office; to make the investigation thorough; to report their findings; and if the use of the office for personal benefit at the expense of the county be found to have taken place, then the report must so show. In due fairness to all parties, including the public, I request that the committee be instructed also to investigate the conduct of the office of prosecuting attorney of the county during the same two years. This investigation may help

the committee determine motives and other matters involved in my arrest. If wrong-doing be found to have occurred in this office let it not only be reported but also laid before the proper authorities as the basis for prosecution.

conduct in the prosecuting attorney’s office there is a new prosecuting attorney in that position and I have no doubt but that he will perform the duties required of him and will be without fear or favor.

O’CONNOR DEMAND LARRABEE BOARD SUBMITS REPORT IS LARRABEE QUIT Jan. 13, 1927 William O’Connor, former prosecuting attorney of Okanogan county and who recently filed charges of irregularities against John Larrabee of Pateros, county commissioner of the second district, submits for publication the following letter upon the Larrabee case, written by himself to L.D. Brown of the state department of municipal accounting:

Feb. 17, 1927 The report of the investigation committee by the Commercial Club follows: The net results of the committee’s investigation into Mr. Larrabee’s conduct of the office of county commissioner and road supervisor of the Second District have been that we find that he has economically, conscientiously and honestly administered the affairs of that office.

Dear Sir: I have been giving the matter of the claim due Okanogan County upon the Murray contract considerable thought. I have gone over the matter at some length in checking the same and I am forced to the conclusion that it will take approximately $2,500 to make Okanogan County whole in this matter. There is approximately $250 for gas and oil. There is the further sum of approximately $1,250 for labor. The county also has a claim for use and damage to nine fresnoes, seven plows, one grader and two Ford trucks which were practically new. These trucks cost the county in the neighborhood of $1,140 and have depreciated fully 50 percent by use in the construction of this grade and $600 would not make the county whole upon these trucks. If Mr. Larrabee or his friends have any charges to prefer against me by reason of my

“NOT GUILTY” SAYS JURY ON LARRABEE CHARGES May 19, 1927 “Not guilty” was the verdict of the jury last Saturday on charges of malfeisance in office brought against John Larrabee, county commissioner, by William O’Connor, former prosecuting attorney of Okanogan County, who conducted the case against Mr. Larrabee. The charges against Mr. Larrabee concerned details of management of construction of a highway on the west side of the Methow River between Twisp and Carlton. Nineteen of the charges brought by Mr. O’Connor went to the jury. The counts against Mr. Larrabee charging an interest in the contract under which the highway was constructed were dismissed by the court who ruled that every citizen of the

county is interested in the contract and that it must be shown that the defendant was beneficially interested. The counts upon the use of county property were thrown

out as it was not shown that Mr. Larrabee received profit. The jury took the case at 1:15 Saturday afternoon and at 3:30 returned a verdict of “not guilty.”

Our Police Court June 28, 1923 Checking up the docket of the Omak police court shows the following cases: E. Shurmack, speeding, $5 Mrs. J.N. Staton, traffic, $2.50 Frank Shaw, drunk, $10 Walter Garrett, drunk, $12 S.C. Garrett, drunk, $12 Wm. Buchanan, drunk, $12 P. Marchant, drunk, $15 P. Marchant, drunk, $15

Chas. Belknat, drunk, $12 R. Kooster, drunk, $12.50 John McLean, drunk, $9 P. Marchant, drunk, $12 James Carrell, drunk, $12 Tom Perre, drunk, $12 John Doe, drunk, bond forfeited for $15 E. Peasley, speeding, $5 M. Barlett, drunk, $12 M. McCauley, drunk, $10.70 J. Anderson, drunk, $12 Chas. Dutcher, drunk, $25

HORSE KILLING BEE March 5, 1925 Several weeks ago, wild rumors came floating down the valley of how prominent stockmen of Tonasket had been killing the range horses and selling their bodies to Borst & Bull, at Ellisford, for hog feed. The thing that brought these stories to light was the finding of the bodies of several ranch horses belonging to up-river ranchers. Investigation of these yarns by the officers disclosed a condition that could not be couped with in a hurried manner. Before these Tonasket stories were cold, came the terrible tale of the mose cruel slaughter of a great number of horses in a deep canyon at the lower end of the Tunk Valley. Here again, had the flower of the work stock of nearly every rancher in the valley been slain, this time by

most of them forced to leap off a high cliff to have their bodies torn mangled on the trees and rocks hundreds of feet below. Upwards of eighty head are reported to be numbered in the killing. Tunk Creek ranchers have organized and raised a fund of $500 to aid in convicting the men they believe guilty of this outrage. No official stone shoule be left unturned to assist these ranchers and not one cent of their fund should be used to prosecute their case. This is a crime against the whole state. Men who would take part in, or countenance such acts, even against dumb brutes, are a terrible menace in any civilized district and should be given the lawful limit of punishment. Note: The grand jury declined to prosecute the accused parties.

TIMELINE 1928 (continued) June 15 – The Swanson Mill fire in Ellisford causes $10,000 damage. July 3 – Brewster dedicates its new bridge over the Columbia with a parade, steamer excursion to Fort Okanogan and more. The bridge cost $600,000. July 27 – A Brewster grass fire threatens homes on Paradise Hill. Farms are burned, people evacuated and “all able-bodied men” are called out to battle the 20,000-acre blaze. Sept. 11 – The Commercial Club votes to do daylight savings to give growers an extra hour of daylight. Sept. 18 – J.C. Penney’s opens in Omak. The building still stands. Sept. 25 – The Brewster bridge keeper shoots and accidentally kills “Whitey” Norlund when he tries to run the bridge without paying the toll. Bridge keeper J.O. Beason is later freed when the death is ruled accidental. Oct. 12 – Quick thinking by volunteer firefighters saves Pateros from a fastmoving fire. Nov. 6 – President Herbert Hoover wins by a landslide victory. Nov. 23 – Fred J. Fine, Oroville Gazette pioneer, dies. 1929 Feb. 1 – Wauconda records –32 degrees. Feb. 5 – 3,000 rose plants ordered for countywide beautifying of gardens. Feb. 12 – Another BilesColeman plant is destroyed by fire at $300,000 damage. This second fire becomes the biggest in area history. Feb. 12 – A bad week for large buildings, Pateros’ Skookum warehouse burns, causing $25,000 damage. March 1 – The Red Apple Theatre in Omak shows the first talking picture in the county, “Beggars of Life.” March 29 – Gov. Hartley approves the OmakOkanogan paving project for $170,000, the Pateros Bridge at $77,000 and the Methow Valley Highway at $182,600. May 3 – An air show at the Okanogan Airport draws thousands and hundreds take their first flight. Aug. 2 – The cornerstone of the county fair building placed in Oroville. A celebration is held for the first Okanogan Valley International Fair (Canadian entries were welcome). Sept. 17 – Okanogan County gets first place in apples at the state fair. Nov. 1 – Tonasket train strikes a truck and kills driver Clarence F. Bandtman of Okanogan, a 45-year-old husband and father of three. Nov. 1 – 21-year-old boxer Don Taylor’s heart fails during a boxing match he was winning. Nov. 5 – The highway between Omak and Okanogan opens through Shellrock Point. 1930 Jan. 3 – The James J. Hill luxury hotel opens with a gourmet dinner; 600 attend. It’s Spanish design cost $150,000. Jan. 17 – A fire damages the Kane Store and destroys the Omak Trading Company building. Jan. 17 – The tenth anniversary of Prohibition is celebrated by a dinner at the Omak Presbyterian Church. Jan. 24 – 16-year District Court Judge C.H. Neal, 70, dies of a stroke. Feb. 18 – East Omak annexation approved. Feb. 18 – Oroville gets talking pictures. April 1 – Two Canadian youths arrested for theft, escape, and more theft. They escape again by prying the bars of the jail apart. April 11 – The federal government allocated $2 million to the state for roads, $3,582 goes to Okanogan County. May 2 – Okanogan turns on its first street lights. May 16 – 250 acres on the reservation are put up for sale to be used as farms.


BILES-COLEMAN MERGE Large Lumber Interests Merge, Now Capitalized at $500,000 Continued (Continuedfrom FromPage Page 23 1) Jan.. 10, 1924 Final papers in the deal to merge the J.C. Biles Lumber Company and the Biles-Coleman Lumber Company, under the name of the latter, were filed in Olympia and accepted by state officials on December 27, 1923. This means that the new company organized to take over the purchase of 500,000,000 feet of timber on Omak creek, east of Omak, goes out of existence and in its place will remain the Biles-Coleman Lumber Company with its capital stock increased $500,000. President J.C. Biles states that the old company had built up a most enviable reputation among the mill interests of the state of Washington, had its line of bank credits and business associations all formed and a list of mid-west and eastern customers that it would be expensive to convince that they were not dealing with a new and untried firm in place of the old reliable one they had come to know and trust. Also, the Coleman family, especially the boys, retain strong interests both in the stock of the company and as the active heads of important departments of its activities. When it comes to sawmill operations, the Biles-Coleman company feels it has an organization second to none. Their mill up on Omak mountain east of town had an operating period last year of a total of 2,598 hours with only 37 hours of lost time. The new sawmill to be erected in town this spring must have a capacity of at least 25,000,000 feet annually and will undoubtedly be so built that two shifts of men will be kept busy through the season. The local box shook plant has a capacity of turning out 2,500,000 shooks in a season and the shop lumber and door and window sash departments are being lined up for equally large production.

PLANTS KEEP OPEN HOUSE, BIG DANCE PLANNED Dec. 11, 1924 Five months from the time of the beginning of actual construction, the new Omak sawmill of the BilesColeman Lumber Company is sending out its regular daily cut of lumber and will soon be limbered up to full

capacity. Both the company and the community is going to celebrate this industrial event next week Tuesday, December 16. The sawmill and manufacturing plant will hold an open house all that day for visitors from parts of North Central Washington and in the evening the employees of the company, and the public, will be the guest of the Biles-Coleman management at a dance and special program at the Omak Auditorium. After many miles of travel and the inspection of many modern sawmills, Messrs J.C. Biles and the Coleman boys have selected a mill that was designed for speed efficiency and quality work. They have purchased the very latest designs of proven mill machinery for every part of the plant. Starting with the power plant, they installed a high-powered Corliss engine and Sterling water tube boilers. These boilers have a rated horsepower of 1,000 and can be made to produce 1,100 hp. in a forced pinch. Over sixty men are now employed at Camp 1 of the company getting out logs at the beginning of the timber belt a few miles east of the Mission and it is keeping this crew mighty busy to supply sufficient material for the mill. With a daily capacity of 120,000 feet, it will be seen that a large crew in the woods is a necessity and that the logging railway up Omak Creek will run many trains every day. Over 90 percent of the lumber being milled by the Biles-Coleman Lumber Company is a fine grade of western white pine, the balance being fir and larch. From this lumber, the Company manufactures box shooks (many kinds and sizes), cut sash and door stock, and window, door and cellar frames.

MILL, KILNS FIRE MOST SPECTACULAR EVER Jan. 11, 1929 The fire that destroyed the Biles-Coleman Lumber Company sawmill and kilns on Sunday afternoon, September 23, was one of the most spectacular and costly ever seen in North Central Washington, and it was seen at close range by some 2,000 people. The loss was estimated by company officials at $250,000. It included the

sawmill, 12 dry kilns, and between 300,000 and 1,000,000 feet of lumber. Just how the fire started is not known. A number of men were at the mill doing repair work and it was they who first discovered it. Spread Rapidly The fire spread so rapidly that the men had little opportunity to quell it. They were driven away from inside hydrants to which they had attached a line of hose and were unable to turn off the water. This materially lessened the pressure on other hydrants. Had water pressure been available, it is thought that the kilns might have been saved. The great cloud of smoke that arose from the fire attracted people for miles around. As it was Sunday afternoon, many people were out driving, and they came by hundreds to get a close up of the big blaze. Company Busy J.C. Biles, President of the company, was in New York at the time of the fire. Other officials immediately got busy, however, on the work of preparing to re-build. The ashes were still warm when a clearing crew was on the job. The only part of the mill saved was the boilers, which withstood the heat. The smokestacks withstood the heat for some time, but finally fell. The loss was covered by insurance.

FIRST LOG CUT IN NEW MILL Jan. 11, 1929 Ninety-two working days after the fire, the Biles-Coleman sawmill cuts its first log. The new mill is much like the old in some respects, and in fact stands on the exact same site as the old one, yet a transformation has been wrought in these last ninetytwo days that is hard to believe. The old mill was in reality a comparatively new mill, having been in operation only seven years but the rapid mechanical progress is stamped in almost every phase of the new mill work.

Barney McNett photo Nate Coleman Sitting on Tank, with Carl Coleman, Engineer, Ben Holcomb Fireman, Other Unknown.

The Biles-Coleman Lumber Truck is Stacked Full.

Barney McNett photo

Burt Cast photo

The Biles-Coleman Logging Railroad is Loaded And Ready to Go.

Biles Coleman New Omak Mill and Pond on Omak Creek, 1922


Chronicle Ads (Above) A Prophetic Ad Paints a Picture Of Omak’s Future From June 1924. (Right) Montana Bill’s Wild West Show Advertised in June 1921.


Jan. 3, 1924 The problem of foresty is becoming very acute, according to the annual report of the foresty service of the United States Department of Agriculture. The report shows that the annual drain on the country’s forests amounts to 25,000,000,000 cubic feet, while the growth replaces annually 6,000,000,000 cubic feet. Obviously there is necessity for systematic reforestation if the country is not to undergo a famine in timber within a comparative short time.

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1930s A Decade of

Development Advancements led to the construction of Grand Coulee Dam, multiple new highways throughout the county and several new businesses, despite the Great Depression. The Omak Stampede also began its now 78-year legacy.

The Okanogan County Courthouse in 1931 is only a portion of what it is today (Ladd photo).

While cowboys try to hang on to bucking broncos, locals drive up on the hill behind Omak High School to watch the 1933 Omak Stampede.


An advertisement from Frank’s Motor Service shows the new 1939 Dodge Luxury Liner.

May 20, 1930 – May 19, 1940 Established May 20, 1910 - Third in a Ten Part Series

TIMELINE 1930 June 6 – Car licenses in half of 1930 are more than all in 1929. June 13 – Harry Figlenski completes a dam for his personal irrigation near Synarep. June 27 – Omak has 400 percent population gain in 10 years with 2,547 people, second in size only to Wenatchee for North Central Washington. July 4 – 20 arrested in county liquor raids. Aug. 1 – James Gratton confesses to arson of Okanogan warehouse and is judged insane. Oct. 3 – Omak Evaporation Company employs 100 people and turns out 5,000 pounds a day from cull apples. Oct. 17 – Omak Trading Co., Nickel Motors, Nelson’s Jewelry and Union Oil’s new service station open the same day, bringing 3,000 to special ceremonies. Nov. 11 – Omak voters approve city status for the town by a 58-3 vote. 1931 March 3 – “The StarSpangled Banner” is proclaimed the national anthem by President Hoover and the Congress. March 28 – Oroville Pharmacy damaged by fire. April 7 – A 20-acre island just south of Omak sold to Bailey Martin for $800. April 10 – Miss Helen Staton is named princess for the 12th annual Apple Blossom Festival. April 17 – Fred G. Redman wins bid for OmakTonasket Highway $30,103. April 26 – Millionaire Thomas D. Stimson, prominent Seattle business man killed in a plane crash near Nespelem. May 5 – Fewer marriages, but more divorces in county in 1930. June 10 – 31 graduate from Omak High School, largest class so far. Aug. 25 – Riverside Depot closes. Sept. 14 – About 10,000 people gather at the proposed site of Grand Coulee Dam to boost project. Nov. 13 – Old Omak landmark Ben Ross Cabin torn down. 1932 Feb. 26 – Twisp newspaper bombed, no apparent reason. March 1 – Lindbergh baby abducted from family home in East Amwell, New Jersey. May 28 – Jim Hill Natatorium (pool) opens. Oct. 28 – J.C. Biles dies of pneumonia at age 61. Oct. 28 – Tonasket bridge opens and draws large celebration crowd. Nov. 8 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt elected as President of the United States. 1933 Jan. 1 – Virgil Marcus Duchow wins first baby crown for 1933. March 31 – The Civilian Conservation Corps is authorized and 2.5 million men are employed over the next 9 years. April 13 – Flames threaten Omak High School, blaze discovered in furnace room. July 28 – Ten gallon hats are new feature at county fair. Aug. 29 – City of Omak ordered to correct method of sewage disposal. Oct. 17 – Albert Einstein arrives in the U.S. as a fugitive from Nazi Germany. Dec. 5 – The 21st Amendment ends prohibition. 1934 Jan. 2 – Unemployed teachers offer free French courses to keep working. Continued on on Page Page 2. Continued 32

George Ladd photos (Left) A 1934 shot from Kermel Grade shows the city of Omak, including the smoke from the Biles-Coleman mill in the back center. (Below) Main Street Omak looking north in 1938 shows many businesses and cars on one of the few paved streets in the county.

GRAND COULEE DAM BEGINS Huge Project Will Be Twice As Large As Boulder Dam April 24, 1934 The birth of a vast industrial empire that will increase immeasurably the wealth and population of the state and work vital benefits to this region awaits only the inauguration of developments at the Grand Coulee dam, now nearly ready for construction, according to James O’Sullivan, secretary of the Columbia Basin commission, and one of the workers responsible for approval of the project by the state and federal governments. “Very few people in the Northwest realize that at the Grand Coulee dam site on the mighty Columbia river the foundations for a new empire that will double the population and immeasurably increase the wealth of the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho are now being laid,” Mr. O’Sullivan states. “At the point where the Grand Coulee, the ancient but abandoned channel

Big Auto Caravan Inspects New Omak To Nespelem Road Chamber of Commerce Members First Over Road

Group Of 50 On Trip

Ruth Kelley photo No. 1810 An aerial view of the dam construction looking towards what will be Lake Roosevelt. of the Columbia, intersects the river, the federal government under the direction of the Bureau of Reclamation is now making extensive preparations for the construction of the first unit of the grand Coulee dam and power plant. The reports of the war and interior departments demonstrate that this development, when completed to its full height, will constitute the master key dam on

the entire Columbia river, will afford the longest stretch of navigation of any dam on the stream, develop the largest and cheapest block of electric power in the United States, vastly increase the power at every damsite downstream, integrally reduce the floods on the lower river and will make possible in the future the gradual reclamation, when as needed, of

the richest body of semi-arid land left in the West. “The plans and specifications of the first unit of the Grand Coulee dam and power plant, which will be ready for bidders in April 1934, will call for the construction of a gravity dam 150 cubic feet high above low water, 3,400 feet long on the crest, requiring 2,000,000 cubic Continued on on Page Page 2. Continued 32.

First ‘Omak Stampede’ Celebrated Although the Stampede is traditionally said to have started in 1933 by stockmen Leo Moomaw and Ted Bernard, it wasn’t until 1934 that The Chronicle made any mention of it. By then, Omak business owners had pitched in to create a large purse and the name Omak Stampede was coined.

September 1, 2 and 3. During the following wee, the Pendleton Roundup, which attracts scores of noted riders, will be staged.

July 31, 1934 Plans for an “Omak Stampede,” expected to be one of the largest celebrations ever held in this section of the state, are being pushed rapidly forward, and the affair has been announced for Saturday and Sunday, August 25 and 26. Featuring the stampede will be a rodeo schedule to be held on the high school athletic grounds, at the foot of the hill just west of the high school building. Arrangements for construction of an arena and chutes on the grounds are being made. The arena will be located within the track circling the field. Leo Moomaw and Tim Bernard, widely-known rodeo promoters, will bring their string of wild horses to Omak for the show. The same horses will perform that showed during the recent rodeo at Waterville. Riders famous over the entire country undoubtedly will enter the stampede, it is believed, due to the fact that the Omak show will be held just a week prior to the Ellensburg rodeo, where the world championship bronc riding contest will be held

Aug. 21, 1934 Considered the world’s best bucking horse rider, Irving Collins, of Miles City, Montana, has announced that he will compete in the bucking contest which will feature the Omak Stampede, set for Saturday and Sunday, August 25 and 26, at the Omak athletic grounds. Collins has won three world championships in riding and one in bulldogging, and has appeared at the best known rodeo shows of the country. He will compete with other noted riders for a $250 purse, which is expected to be increased to about $500 by the addition of riders’ $5 entrance fees. A $50 silver mounted belt also will be awarded the winner of this event. Ed Peasley, who has won firsts at all the Okanogan and Cheney rodeos, has announced that he will enter the bucking contests. Interest manifest over the county indicates that the Stampede will draw about 5,000 visitors to the city during its twoday showing. Preparations at the grounds have been completed and grandstand seating facilities

Complete Plans for Big Stampede Saturday, Sunday

Omak Stampede photo Bev Connor fights to stay on in 1935. for upwards of 3,000 spectators is assured. Parking space for cars around the arena is also available and many hundreds will view the events from their machines.

Thousands To View Weekend Contests Aug. 24, 1934 Rivalling the world-famous

Pendleton Roundup for the number and fame of contestants who will be entered, the Omak Stampede will be held at the local athletic grounds tomorrow and Sunday. One of the most imposing lists of riders and ropers ever assembled in the Northwest, which includes holders of world championship titles, will perform for the Continued on on Page Continued Page6.36.

June 6, 1929 The dream of local residents for the past 25 years came true Monday when the first caravan of cars drove through the Coyote Creek Canyon section of the Omak-Nespelem Road. About 50 Chamber of Commerce members from Omak, Okanogan and Nespelem made the trip, going into the canyon at the west end, where they drove through the canyon to its east entrance and then returned up over the old summit road back to the contractor’s camp near the west entrance, where luncheon was served. Five More Weeks Elliot & Company, contractors to build this section of state secondary highway No. 10-A, expects to have the road completed within about five weeks it was learned. The road through the canyon was first surveyed by Senator H. E. Smith in 1913, and later attempts were made through local subscriptions in this community and Nespelem to build the road, and the Indian service also spent some money to construct a road through the canyon coming in from the east side, but the project was too much for available finances, and although the road was not made, the idea of such a road had never been abandoned. Among those present on the trip Monday, who contributed to the building of the road some eighteen years ago, were Senator J.M. Koontz, Nespelem, E.D. Clough, R. S. Meader, John O. Mackey and W. S. Shumway. Elevation Lowered Many of those who accompanied the caravan expressed surprise when they found the highest point on the new road is at its entrance into the west end of the canyon. This cut-off through the canyon means the elimination of the steep, winding road up over the mountain top, shortens the distance and lowers the maximum elevation of the road. Public officials present on the trip were: Senator J.M. Koontz, county commissioners F.F. Corporan and E.F. Taylor, and county engineer R.P. Ryker. Elliot Donates To Band The usual collection was taken by Secretary J.S. Courtright for the lunch, but when he presented it to Mr. Elliot, the contractor declared his company was their hosts, and would not accept the money. He asked, instead, that the money be given to some worthy organization, and it was decided to present the amount to the Omak band for music funds.


Chronicle 1930s staff:

WORK BEGINS Structure Is Massive, Thousands Employed Continued from from Page 1. Continued 31

Frank Emert, owner, publisher

Centennial staff: Publisher: Roger Harnack Section editor: Sheila Corson Managing editor: Dee Camp Advertising: Lynn Hoover Research/design: Julie Bock Katie Montanez Elizabeth Widel Photos courtesy of: Okanogan County Historical Society

TIMELINE 1934 (continued) Jan. 5 – Brewster’s new log church holds its first service after fire destroyed the building a year before. Jan. 12 – The state gives $12,000 for the Tonasket airport to be built. Jan. 23 – State Civil Works Administration director slashes 252 of 652 county jobs. Jan. 30 – A bus line opens from Omak to Grand Coulee. Feb. 16 – Two dogs kill 54 sheep overnight at P. Dickson’s ranch. Dickson kills one dog, the dog’s owners kill the other. Feb. 20 – Nespelem gets $180,000 for a hospital from the federal government. March 23 – Residents protest as milk price minimum set to 10 cents for a quart and cream at 30 cents a pint. March 23 – The liquor division sets the profit distribution for liquor sales at 40 percent to the state, 20 percent to counties and the rest to cities. April 6 – County wage scales set between 45-90 cents per hour. April 17 – Two Civilian Conservation Corps camps are set up in the Colville Forest; 226 are hired. April 27 – East Omak floods when the river rises 10 feet above normal levels. May 4 – 300 workers fill Civilian Conservation Corps camps in Methow Valley. May 22 – Biles-Coleman wins a $247,355 settlement against Washington Water Power for the 1929 fire that destroyed its mill. Workers caused the fire while thawing water pipes. Although WWP appealed multiple times, the decision was upheld, setting the state record for highest amount awarded in court. May 29 – The town of Coulee Dam is plotted. June 9 – Graves Machine Shop (now Hamilton Farm Equipment) opens. June 29 – The first legal shipment of liquor for sale arrives in Omak to be sold at Owl Drug Store. July 27 – Okanogan’s Paramount Theater is damaged by fire that starts in the projection room. Manager C.C. Ervin is pulled out of the flames by his wife and although he sustains burns to his arms and face, could have been killed. Ironically, the film playing was “Death Takes a Holiday.” Continued on on Page Page 3. Continued 33


yards of concrete, and a power plant that will develop 700,000 installed horsepower. The federal government has allocated $63,000,000 for the construction of the first unit. Massive Structure “The completed structure will be about 440 feet high, 400 feet thick, 4,100 feet long, and will contain 11,000,000 cubic yards of concrete. There will be a roadway 24 feet wide across the top of the high dam. The power houses will generate 2,560,000 installed horsepower, at a cost of 1.14 mills per kilowatt hour for the prime and 5 mill for the secondary or flood water power. The cost of the completed dam and power plant is estimated to be about $172,000,000. “The ultimate power development at the Grand Coulee will be twice as great as that at Boulder dam and onethird larger than the combined development at Niagara Falls. “Plans of the engineers seem as titanic as the work of nature. They plan to lift the waters of the Columbia river from the pool to be formed by the high Grand Coulee, a height of 300 feet, by twenty 800 second-feet pumps, each driven by a 33,000 horsepower motor. This 16,000 cubic feet of water per second, constituting a river larger than any stream in the State of Washington except the Columbia itself, will be pumped into the abandoned channel of the Columbia, and for this purpose, 660,000 secondary or flood water horsepower will be required. The annual cost of this pumping, however, is but $1 per acre. Forms Big Lake “The pumps will discharge through ten-foot pipes, each less than 1,000 feet long, into a canal which will be about two miles in length. The canal will discharge into the Grand Coulee reservoir, which will be formed by the construction of two dikes in the Grand Coulee, one of which will be two miles from the Columbia and the other near Coulee City. This lake will be 27 miles long, from one to three miles wide, and from 20 to 80 feet deep. It will have a capacity of 329,000 acrefeet of useful storage. The total cost of the high dam, full power development, and irrigation works will be $393,000,000.

New York Company Bids Five Millions Lower Than Other June 19, 1934 SPOKANE, June 18 – Submitting a bid of $29,339,301.50, Silas H. Mason, Inc., of New York City, one of the oldest Eastern contracting concerns, underbid by over five million dollars the only other bidder. The other bidder was Six Companies of Washington, Inc., who offered to do the work for $33,555,582. When informed of the amount of the Mason bid, representative of Six Companies appeared greatly surprised.

Thousands Hear President Speak Aug. 7, 1934 Unfolding his vision of the benefits to come from the Grand Coulee dam, in both the “low” and “high” phases, President Franklin D. Roosevelt Saturday addressed the largest crowd ever assembled in this section of the state, a crowd estimated at about 15,000 persons. Preceding President Roosevelt’s address, a host of dignitaries spoke to the crowd, their talks also being sent over radio station KHQ. Text Of Speech “Senator Dill, Governor Martin, my friends. I go back a long, long way in my interest in the Grand Coulee. Some people in this country think that this is a new project. I remember very well that in the campaign of 1920, when I was out through the Northwest, it was a very live subject at that time. “My old friend, Senator Dill, being of an historical turn of mind, went back to the dark ages fourteen years ago and dug up a speech that I made in Spokane, and he brought it to me on the train, and I am going to read it to you. “ ‘Coming through Montana and Idaho it has made me think very deeply when you cross the mountain states and that portion of the Coast states that lie well back from the ocean, you are impressed by the great stretches of physical territory. Just land – territory now practically untouched by hand, but destined, it seems today, to contain the homes of thousands and hundreds of thousands of citizens like us – a territory to be developed by the nation. As we were coming down the river today I could not help but think as everyone does of all that water running down to the sea.’ “Well, there is the text of what we are trying to do in this country today. Then I went on and said: ‘It is not a problem of the State of Washington, it is not a problem of the State of Idaho, it is a problem that touches all the other states in the Union; it is a problem,’ as I said then, ‘that interests us away back in little old New York State.’ “We have made a beginning and I like to think that they are only beginnings and that in our life time we are going to see out across with our own eyes this project taken up on a vastly greater scale. It has taken fourteen years for that to come true, but it is on its way and most of us who are here today are going to be alive when this dam is finished and the Bonneville dam is finished and a lot of other dams are finished. “The chief engineer was telling me a few minutes ago that eventually completion of the dam is going to mean the doubling of potential power of every city on the Columbia river between here and the mouth of the Snake and the means of distributing power from the Snake down to the ocean level – a 50 percent increase to the potential power that they have got today – and that means a lot. “It is going to affect families on the Columbia river basin; it is going to affect the whole mountain states and the Pacific Coast territories, and we are going to see, I believe, with our own eyes electricity and power made so cheap that they will become a standard article of use

Ruth Kelley photo No. 1813 Cranes and concrete trucks continue construction.

Ruth Kelley photo No. 1824 Concrete begins to build up at the dam site. not only for manufacturing but for every home within the ridge. “A great many years ago – seventy or eighty – a great editor in the city of New York said, ‘Go west, young man.’ Horace Greeley is supposed to be out of date today but there is a great opportunity out here for even people in the East, in the South and in some of the parts of the Middle West – from submarginal lands – who have proved pretty conclusively that it is a mighty difficult thing for them to earn an adequate living on those lands. “And so I leave you here today with the feeling that this work is well undertaken, that we are going ahead with a useful project and making the most of the benefits of our country.”

Work Is Started At Coulee Dam Aug. 17, 1934 GRAND COULEE DAM – “Silas Mason has started!” That was the message that set the dam site agog Tuesday. A scrapper started work at exactly 3:15 o’clock unannounced but as soon as several workmen saw it in action and noticed the smile on the face of Harvey Slocum, general superintendent, standing nearby, it was a secret no longer. Inside a half hour the entire dam site knew of the event.

$100,000 Released In Weekly Payroll Feb. 8, 1935 BY NELSON A. CHENEY GRAND COULEE DAM – Although officials of the MWAK (Mason-Walsh-Atkinson-Kier) will not reveal the exact payroll

Elmer Anderson photo No. 888 Scaffolding is in place for concrete pouring and more. of the company, it is believed that the weekly sum is in the vicinity of $100,000. Last week the payrolls listed 2,615 men in the entire area. Of those, possibly 53 percent are skilled workmen, while the remaining half is divided between semi-skilled and unskilled. The skilled workmen receive at least $1.20 per hour, with the rest of the scale running down through 90 cents, 75 cents, 65 cents and 50 cents for common labor. On this basis, it is estimated that the payroll with come within a few thousand one way or the other of $100,000.

Work Tremendous At Coulee Dam Sept. 26, 1939 The speed at which work is going forward on the largest concrete dam in the world continues to smash all world records. During the month of August, 397,994 cubic yards or 800,000 tons of concrete were placed in the dam. The total exceeded the previous record by more than

2,400 cubic yards or 4,000 tons. The 10-day record for concrete placing also fell. The amount placed during the last 10 days of August totaled 159,042 cubic yards or over 300,000 tons, compared with the previous high of 155,695 cubic yards. On August 27, a new unloading record of 81 carloads of cement was established. The highest number previously unloaded in a single day was 79. To date, more than 3,100,000 barrels, or 12,700 carloads, of cement have been brought for Grand Coulee construction. About 5,500 men were working on the dam at the end of August. Man-hours of employment created during the month reached 824,000. The pay roll totaled $840,000. The contractor’s job of finishing Grand Coulee Dam is half-done. A total of 3,000,000 cubic yards of concrete have been added to the base of 4,500,000 cubic yards completed early last year. The entire dam will have a volume of more than 10,000,000 cubic yards, enough to pave 5,000 miles of standard 20-foot highway.

Ruth Kelley photo No. 1834 Men stand in line to pick up their paychecks for work at Grand Coulee Dam.

The spillways first open while construction continues.

People Decade of the


Leo Moomaw & Tim Bernard The Bernard-Moomaw Rodeo Company, founded in 1933, won recognition throughout the 1930s and 1940s rodeo world for their bulls and bucking broncs. Leo Moomaw, one of seven children, was born to Sam and Ellen Moomaw in Addy, Wash., in 1894. Although he suffered polio as a youngster, his love for horses helped him overcome any ill effects. Tim Bernard, born in Chinook, Mont., in 1897, moved with his family to the Prosser area where he attended high school. He worked summers on ranches in Montana, attended the University of Washington and became a loan officer in a Spokane bank. In 1933 with two other men, they staged the first Stampede Rodeo at the Omak athletic field. It was not a financial success and Moomaw-Bernard had to bail out that first event. By 1940 they were into Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and all over the Pacific Northwest. Moomaw died in 1969. Bernard died in 1979.

Many rodeo men acknowledge the MoomawBernard stock contracting partnership had a significant influence on the sport of rodeo, especially in the Pacific Northwest and for generations of cowboys. Tim Bernard and Leo Moomaw are both inductees to the Omak Stampede Hall of Fame in tribute to their role as its founders.

John S. Petersen

Dr. Enos E. Copple

Born in Denmark in 1874, John S. Petersen came to America in 1895 and to Omak in 1902. Before Omak, he went on the Klondyke Gold Rush for three years. He married Marie Johnsen in 1901, with whom he had seven children. They lived on Pogue Flat with a large orchard homestead. He also owned buildings on Omak’s Main Street. He served as director of the Okanogan Irrigation District for 19 years, director of the Washington State Horticultural Association, director of the Washington State Chamber of Commerce and served as county commissioner from 1928-1932. In 1931, Petersen earned a certificate of honor from Washington State college for outstanding work in agriculture. At the time of his sudden death in October 1936, Petersen, 62, was president of the Citizens State Bank, president of Petersen, Keller and Shumway warehouse company and president of the Okanogan County Production Credit association. A Chronicle editorial at the time of his death said he was known for his great success, earned by “his intelligent industry and perseverance.”

Dr. Enos E. Copple was born in Illinois in 1874 and lived in Okanogan County 31 years before his death in a tractor accident in 1938. When he first arrived in Omak, he set up an apple orchard and dentist practice north of town with his wife, Bertha, and three sons. He was a director of the Omak Fruit Growers warehouse company, the Pacific Northwest Fruit Tree, Inc., and the Okanogan Irrigation District He was best known for his 24 years of service to Omak schools as board member. He served as superintendent of the Omak Presbyterian Sunday school and an elder of that church. When Copple died at 64, The Chronicle said, “His greatest field of usefulness was his work in behalf of the moral, intellectual and spiritual development of the youth.” The newly built Junior High School was renamed after Copple a couple weeks after his death.

No. 2687 Smokejumpers in Region 6 were (left to right) Virgil Derry, George Honey, Francis Lufkin and Glen Smith.

A successful flight by Cloyd Artman off an Oroville mountainside.

Oroville Youth Takes Glider Flight Cloyd Artman Remains In Air Over Five Minutes July 29, 1932 Oroville – Culminating some 35 successful glider flights, Cloyd Artman hopped from the top of Elemeham mountain Wednesday morning, 1,400 feet high, and remained in the air five and one-half minutes before landing. The landing was perfect, spectators said, the glider skimming over the grass for 50 feet before coming to rest.

Artman graduated from the Oroville High School this spring. He built the ship himself. It is 32 feet long and weighs 175 pounds. Take-off is made with the aid of a 50-foot elastic rope.

Glider Collapses; Artman Killed April 13, 1937 Cloyd L. Artman of Oroville, junior at Washington State College, and a fellow club member, Frank See, sophomore from Colfax, were instantly killed when the two-seated glider in which the were riding crumpled in mid-air and dropped

400 or 500 feet to the Snake River bank at Wawawai southwest of Pullman Sunday. Mr. Artman was one of the nations most prominent sailplane enthusiasts, and was claimant to several amateur soaring records. He had the unofficial world’s record of more than 13 hours of sustained flight, and had a mark of more than five hours at more than 5,000 feet altitude. Artman was a member of the Washington State College Aero Club, and the plane in which the two were riding had just recently been built by club members. The plane had been up for little more than five minutes at the time of the dive.

Forestry Plane “Drops” Firemen With Parachutes Oct. 13, 1939 Winthrop – For the first time in the history of the United States forestry service, men are being dropped in parachutes form soaring planes to fight fires. Forest Service Stinson monoplane No. 1 this week is practicing the feat here and hereafter the plane will be used in actual service in the transporting and dropping of smoke chasers at the scenes of isolated forest fires. The practice work will continue until snow flies, letting the men and supplies down in stands of small lodgepole pine.

Testing Plan The suits worn by the “jumping” smoke chasers are of canvas lined with sponge rubber and reinforced with leather. It is hoped the experiments will prove the practicality of transporting firefighters and supplies to fires and dropping them. Sunday one jumper landed with in 20 feet of the yellow ribbon placed on the field as a marker. Winthrop was chosen as the scene of the experiments because of the variety of terrain and kinds of forests to wok over. The experiments are under the direction of David P. Godwin of Washington D.C. and Otto Lindh, Portland, both of the fire patrol. Beach Gill of Maine of the department of agriculture, also assists.

STRIKE ENDS Strike Settlement Ends Long Picketing At Biles-Coleman

106 Men To Return

George. Ladd photo Workers ready boards in one of the Biles-Coleman mills in 1934.

Aug. 2, 1938 An agreement which ended the two year old strike called by Local Union No. 2570 of the Lumber and Sawmill Workers against the Biles-Coleman Lumber company was made last week and approved by the union Thursday evening. The union members who have not obtained regular and substantially equivalent employment, who had applied for reemployment, will be

returned to their former positions beginning today. 106 To Return Yesterday the union committee had submitted a list of 106 men for reemployment who will report for work today in the various departments. Following the approval of the agreement by the union, pickets and strike signs were removed. The strike was called May 4, 1936, and the plant was shut down for a period of five weeks and reopened June 9, 1936, with a non-union crew. Adjustments are being made by the company in order to work as little hardship as possible among the men who must be replaced.

1934 (continued) Aug. 28 – Jessie Jim named Fair Queen. Sept. 4 – Quarantine set county-wide for infantile paralysis. No gatherings allowed; schools closed. Sept. 21 – The National Relief Administration decides Biles-Coleman has more workers than it needs and lays-off 200. An editorial slams the administration for its poor judgment. Sept. 21 – Quarantine lifted for infantile paralysis. Oct. 2 – Biles-Coleman jobs restored. The back and forth with the Relief Administration and local jobs continues for several months. Oct. 30 – The Chronicle lambastes the Okanogan Independent, alleging slander of J.R. Laycock, county commissioner candidate. Editorials run for two weeks, but Laycock still loses the election. Dec. 21 – Work begins on the rail bridge near Grand Coulee Dam. 1935 Jan. 1 – Crime rates show a 50 percent rise in one year with twice the number of drunks reported. Feb. 5 – An avalanche near Mazama kills a miner; two women are rescued. Feb. 12 – The county establishes its planning commission with 9 members. March 12 – The state OKs the purchase of Brewster’s bridge for $150,000, ending the toll. March 12 – The state Legislature approves a 2 percent sales tax, despite public complaint. March 29 – Estimates place 12,000 people within three miles of the Grand Coulee Dam site. April 9 – Indians vote against a “self-government” plan 562-421, but federal requirements make the tribe organize as a corporation. April 26 – The Brewster bridge sells for $488,083, with partial ownership to the state, partial to Okanogan County, partial to Douglas County. May 7 – The excavation at Grand Coulee Dam ends. May 24 – Grand Coulee Dam attracts 5,000 tourists in one day. May 28 – The Confederated Colville Tribes elect its first council with two districts to represent them. The Omak District representatives are Albert Orr, Peter Gunn, William Desautel and Moses George. The Boyd-Inchelium District representatives are Peter Lemery, Alex Covington, Barney Richard and Christine Galler. June 1 – Babe Ruth retires from baseball. June 4 – An unknown arsonist burns down the Grand Coulee News building. Aug. 13 – Bertha Robbins, 19 of Omak, is the first Omak Stampede Queen. Sept. 24 – A statewide campaign cracks down on drunk driving and works to educate the public on the risks. Nov. 22 – Meningitis outbreak kills a few. 1936 Jan. 14 – Donald Roy Rench wins first baby of 1936 crown. Feb. 21 – New selfcontained ice cream machine installed at The Peacock Café. Aug. 18 – Matthew “Bughouse” Dick sweeps Suicide Races. Sept. 4 – Early morning fire of incendiary origin destroys C.L Fisher packing shed. Oct. 17 – John S. Petersen, prominent Omak orchardist and businessman found dead. Nov. 3 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt re-elected President. Nov. 24 – The Chronicle installs new presses. 1937 Jan. 12 – Master Chapman wins first baby crown for 1936.

Continued 34 Continued on on Page Page 4.


TIMELINE 1937 (continued) Jan. 21 – Claire F. Pentz named Stampede President. Jan. 26 – First pension checks received in county. March 22 – Ben Ross, Father of Omak, dies at the age of 77. May 6 – The Hindenburg dirigible explodes, killing 36. July 17 – Kiner’s Drive-In Market opens. June 4 – Construction begins on Omak Junior High School, $103,280. 1938 Jan. 28 – Governor Clarence D. Martin dedicates the new Omak Junior High School. March 1 – Colville Indian Tribes approve their constitution and set up a 14member council. April 22 – Malott homes destroyed by flood. May 3 – County land sale, district one, brings in $4,492.75 for 3,189 acres and 49 lots. May 17 – County land sale, district three, brings in $10,850.16 for 8,221 acres and 100 lots. May 31 – First soap box derby held in Omak. June 7 – County land sale, district two, brings in $8,500 for 8,200 acres and 16 lots. June 28 – The national minimum wage passed at 25 cents an hour. July 22 – Three Omak men arrested for sabotaging Biles-Coleman by placing dynamite in piles of logs. Aug. 2 – A St. Mary’s Mission building burns to the ground. Aug. 2 – The two-year Biles-Coleman strike ends with a settlement. With many men having found other work, only 106 return to work at the mills. Sept. 6 – Biles-Coleman workers form their own independent union with 300 members. Sept. 27 – Dr. Enos E. Copple killed in tractor accident. Sept. 27 – Omak voters approve bonds in the amount of $175,000 for the construction of a sewer system and plant. Oct. 30 – Orson Welles broadcasts the War of the Worlds radio drama, causing panic as many think the broadcast is of actual events. The Halloween Eve joke lives in infamy. Nov. 22 – The state Supreme Court demands that pension payments rise to $30 per month from $22 per month. Dec. 9 – A new St. Mary’s Mission building is dedicated. 1939 July 7 – W.E. Clarkson Sawmill destroyed by fire in Tonasket. Aug. 14 – Proclaimed Dr. Pogue Day in Omak. Sept. 5 – Germany invades Poland, effectively beginning World War II. The U.S. declares its neutrality. Oct. 13 – Forestry planes ‘Drop’ first smokejumpers. 1940 Jan. 23 – Smallpox and chicken pox vaccines require children be vaccinated or quarantined for 21 days. Jan. 26 – The Twisp Mining Co. sues Alder Group Mining Co. for $270,000, claiming ore it mined and sold was on property belonging to Twisp Mining Co. Feb. 16 – George B. Ladd begins construction of a new photography studio on Main Street Omak. March 12 – The State Supreme Court rules that Okanogan County Public Utility District No. 1 was legally formed. George Shaw claimed it was not properly advertised and a majority of voters did not approve of it. April 19 – The first ore is processed through the American Graphite and Minerals Corporation at a new mill on Moses Meadows. Molybdenum, gold and graphite processed. April 30 – The Okanogan County PUD is denied the right to condemn Washington Water Power property. May 17 – Okanogan bus lines begin service to Spokane.


MOUNTAIN OF MOLYBDENUM Body Of Ore Here Largest In World; Many Investigate 1,500 Acres in Moses Mountain Country Contains Rare Alloy For Steel July 11, 1930 The story of the discovery and proposed development of what appears to be the largest deposit of molybdenum ore in the world and which is located about 25 miles east of Omak was told at a meeting of Omak business men and those interested in developing the project at a dinner held at the James J. Hill hotel last evening. From molybdenum comes molybdenite, used as an alloy to harden steel. It is a rare deposit and much in demand. The deposit is very extensive and easily accessible according to the two men. It lies in the Moses mountain region and is lightly covered with soil, in some places the rock even projecting through. It is about one and a half miles long and varies in width from one-half mile to a mile. The deposit is at least 1,500 feet in depth and perhaps deeper. Seventy-four claims covering about 1,500 acres have been located. Samples from every section of the deposit have been sent away for assay and in each case has shown a percent of molybdenite running from .007

to as high as two percent. Ore Very Satisfactory “The ore is not high grade” said Mr. H.L. Hull, attorney for the Molybdenum Mines Company, “but is more satisfactory in that it is not. The high grade veins of molybdenum have been found difficult to mine, in every case running out in a short time. They are seamy and unreliable. The only high grade deposit being worked is a small one in New Mexico. Discovery Romantic It seems that a number of years ago a man working for the Biles-Coleman company was out hunting on Moses mountain. The rocks of the section aroused his curiosity and he took some samples back with him. These were sent to C.W. Smith at Oroville for assay for gold. Smith reported that there was little gold in the sample, but a more valuable product, and advised sending samples to other places for assay. This was done, and the second assay also showed the value of the deposit. The finder reported to his brother-in-law, George W. Bryant, living at Colville at the time. Bryant had done a little prospecting and was immediately interested. Last fall Mr. Bryant engaged in conversation with a Yakima man who was at the time a member of a firm organized to exploit a small deposit of molybdenum near Yakima. Finding both were interested in

similar projects they made arrangements for the Yakima firm to investigate the property near Omak. This was done and the Molybdenum Mine company immediately hired claims on the Moses Mountain territory. Since that time, work of developing the project has gone ahead steadily. R.D. Shearer, Sunnyside, member of the board of directors of the company, stated that the word molybdenum is practically an “open sesame” in the steel manufacturing trade. Although the vice-president of the United States Steel corporation was in conference when Mr. Shearer called on him, in less than five minutes he was admitted to him upon hearing that he brought world of a molybdenum deposit. Governments Interested Representatives of both the Japanese and British governments have conferred with officials of the firm in regard to the property, due to the fact that molybdenite is essential in the building of battleships, artillery and airplanes. Some of the articles in which the steel used must be hardened with molybdenite were named during the dinner. These include battleship armour plates, artillery, planes, automobiles, nearly all tools, sheet metal, sewer pipes, oil well casings and radio tubes. The company officials state that recently the use of the metal has increased tremendously.

No. 3564 photo The opening of the Jim Hill Natatorium on May 28, 1932, brought swarms of people to test the waters.

George Ladd photo No. 305 The post office built in 1939 still serves as the Omak post office today.

POST OFFICE COSTS $74,000 Sept. 19, 1939 Purchase of the Harris Hall corner for the site of the new post office building which is to be erected in Omak, was recommended Saturday by the joint treasury-post office committee. The site had been offered by Fred Harris for $5,000, and is located at the intersection of Main Street and First Avenue. The Second Hand Store and

Eagle’s Hall are now located on the lot, and according to the proposition offered by Mr. Harris, will be torn down to make room for the post office building. At the time of the call for bids in the spring, nine locations were submitted for consideration. Allocations of $74,000 was made in May for the purchase of a site and construction of a new federal building in Omak.

OMAK THEATRE REOPENS New Theatre Largest In This Part Of State July 11, 1939 Marking another milestone in the progress of Omak and the Okanogan Valley, the new Omak Theatre will be formally opened tomorrow evening at 6:15 by Mayor John O. Mackey. Construction of the theatre, which is the largest and the most up-to-date show house in North Central Washington, outside Wenatchee, was started two months ago under the direction of Greime & Fasken, who operated the Gem Theatre for the past seven years, and have been operating the Fox Theatre for the past five years. Has 600 seats The new theatre, representing the last word in fireproof construction, is built of concrete with stucco and tile front It is built on the company’s Gem Theatres site, is the same width as the old building, but is 40 feet longer. The building has a capacity of 600 seats, all in one modern auditorium, without balcony or loges. The lobby is three times wider than the lobby of the old building. The auditorium is designed to afford the highest degree of perfection in acoustics, this attaining a new, absolutely lifelike screen sound quality. Complimenting the accoustically designed auditorium, the company has installed the latest RCE sound system and the new type

projection machines. The 13x18 feet screen is the largest screen north of Wenatchee. The building provided with two air conditioning plants, one for the player and apartment at the front and another for the auditorium itself. Tow oil burners will heat the building in cold weather. Affording the most modern conveniences for patrons, ladies’ lounge and a men’s smoking room have been included in the building, and a popcorn and candy booth, with doors opening onto the street from the lobby. The lot just south of the new theatre has been graveled, and with the space at the rear of the building parking room for 75 cars has been made obtainable.

DeTro Buys Shop Aug. 22, 1939 Riverside – L.C. Kaufman has sold his Texaco service station, and home to Hugo De Tro, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Mr. De Tro has also purchased from the town the town park adjoining the Kaufman property. He will turn the entire property into a tourist camp, and will build several modern cabins. It is an especially attractive location and will be on of the finest small tourist parks between the British Columbia line and Wenatchee. Cassell Forrester is running the service station for his cousin, Mr. DeTro.

Okanogan Depression Not Very Bad, Experts Say July 8, 1930

EDITORIAL: A MENTAL DEPRESSION Experiments have often shown that a perfectly healthy individual can often be made to feel quite sick through purely mental means. If a dozen persons tell him he is sick, he will run a temperature in a few hours. Such is the case with the United States at the present. Started by the stock market crash last fall, people began telling one another that a business depression existed, that money was tight. They literally talked the nation into depression – mental depression. Strictly speaking, there is nothing wrong with the country except fear. If by some magic means people could forget that they had heard anything about a period of depression, life and business would continue as usual. If everyone would go do as usual – improve his home, expand his business a little, take the usual week-end trips and the usual vacation and go about life as usual, conditions would be as usual. Wise business men realizing that this is the time, more than

ever, to keep up business and unafraid of a condition which they realize to be largely imaginary, are going ahead with their ordinary policies. July 25, 1930

FIGURES SHOW TIMES NOT HARD OLYMPIA, July 24 – One after another, businesses are compiling figures instead of “guesstimating,” and making the surprising discovery that the much-discussed “hard times” do not exist for them. The latest group to announce it is exceeding all previous records is that of savings and loan associations with 295,000 member-stockholders in Washington. The associations have fully recovered from the depression caused by last year’s stock market crash and have more assets than at the same period in 1929, A.R. Gardner, secretary of the Washington Savings and Loan League told the United Press. The 295,000 members had $161,350,000 invested in the 72 associations, an increase of $3,550,000 over savings of July 1, 1929. Automobile licenses and gasoline tax business has

consistently indicated that more automobiles are being licensed and are burning more gasoline than ever before in history. Record yields and fair prices on everything but wheat are being freely predicted for agriculture and horticulture. A firmer butterfat price and a four-cent advance by September on butterfat is expected by Dr. Robert Prior, head of the dairy and livestock division, state department of agriculture. The state’s cash resources increased $1,786,053.01 over 1921 in the fiscal year ending June 30, Charles W. Hinton, state treasurer, said.

1920 debacle. “The climb will be healthier than that after any previous depressions,” Klein declares. “The condition of 1929 was hysterical. We are heading toward an earned prosperity rather than an hysterical one. We will arrive at the brass tacks era rather than another brass band age.” Klein points out that 11 depressions in the past 40 years were, on the average, of about 13 months in duration. In no case, he adds, have these depressions, especially that of 1929, covered areas on the business map as have those of 1907 and 1921.

Aug. 19, 1930

SAY DEPRESSION WILL SOON END NEW YORK, Aug. 18 – “Good times” will return to America in October, bankers of the country voted, 2 to 1, in a poll analyzed in the forthcoming issue of American magazine by Dr. Julius Klein, assistant secretary of the Department of Commerce. The remaining one-third of the bankers polled put the date no later than January 1. All predicted a healthier condition than that which proceeded the

Jan. 2, 1934

EDITORIAL: THE NEW YEAR Looking back over a year which marked the beginning of the end for the depression, Okanogan county residents may share with the country the optimism and genuine hopefulness that has been born in recent months. They may look into a New Year that holds more of promises than any since those first dismal days when the nation and the world were caught in the grip of business

collapse. The return to normalcy, gaining momentum almost before the public had become aware of the start, has had its effect in this community and in the county to a marked degree. Business, agriculture and industry have moved sharply forward and the prospects are becoming brighter as the forward move becomes more manifest throughout the world. New payrolls, principally those sustained by government relief programs, have lent their benefits to the many steady payrolls of the county. Distributed among people who have been forced to reduce expenditures to the limit, this new money is being turned directly into the channels of trade, a vital factor that is reflected in sales increases. The year 1934 begins in a world that has seen the worst and is climbing rapidly back to a normal economic level. Editor’s Note: The Depression was only lightly felt in Okanogan County, especially because of the jobs with Grand Coulee Dam’s construction. Businesses still struggled and families had a hard time getting food on the table at times, but compared to the rest of the nation, the Okanogan fared well.

War Editorials

American Red Cross Spends $10,547.70 In Malott District

Sept. 5, 1939


Help 41 Families June 10, 1938 A total of $10,547.70 was expended in rehabilitating the 41 families who were given relief through the American Red Cross following the recent flood disaster. Several of the families have left Malott and established homes elsewhere. All of the families that were assisted were not residents of Malott, but part of them were from the Loop Loop district. Of the amount expended $400 was contributed by Okanogan county and the remaining $15,147.70 by the National Red Cross. Provided Food Mass feeding at the Malott community hall cost $186 and $250 was expended in assisting families in cleaning wells and cellars preparatory to moving back into homes, supplying special pumps for this cleaning and delivering water to families for two and one half weeks. This amount included both the labor and materials used. Relief, food and clothing and other maintenance supplied to the individual families was $547

Warren Moore photo No. 1539 The Malott flood submerged homes and tore others apart. and $2,051 was used for household goods, including necessary furniture, dishes, kitchen utensils and home and garden tools. Rebuilt homes The largest sum was expended for building and repair, which amounted to approximately $6,348. This was used in assisting families in construction of homes and outbuildings, barns, poultry houses, wood sheds, etc., also repair of flumes for family gardens, well tops and fence material. For agricultural relief, livestock, chickens, pigs, feed, garden seed, $271.75 was

Sept. 19, 1939


Elmer Anderson photo No. 893 Flood damage blocks a road. expended, and $758.95 for occupational rehabilitation and $135 for medical care.

All of these figures are approximate, Red Cross officials state.

Sept. 2, 1930 OROVILLE – Her two brothers were saved from drowning Sunday afternoon by Miss Doris Gay, Oroville High School student and a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E.B. Gay. The group were with a party of people enjoying the water and beach on the west side of the lake just south of the Canadian line. Merle Gay got out beyond his depth by endeavoring to catch a water ball which floated beyond his reach. Suddenly realizing his plight, he started back to shore and went under. Brother Plunges In Seeing his predicament, his younger brother, who swims slightly, plunged in fully clothed. Upon reaching his brother he was unable to give assistance and it was only a moment’s time before the two were struggling together in the water and going under repeatedly. Realizing that she would be unable to save both alone, even though a good swimmer, Miss Gay dragged a good sized log near the water and swimming with it, managed to push it within reach of the two. They clung to the log while Miss Gay pushed it to shore. She had not been in the water previously and was also fully dressed. Goes For Aid Miss Gay drove to town for Dr. R.B. Kerkow while others of the party worked on the two men. Both are confined to their beds as a result of shock, Merle Gay being quite ill. Merle Gay, who formerly resided on the coast, only recently came here with his wife and daughter and was to stay in Oroville during the apple harvest. Cecil Gay resides in Oroville with his wife and baby.

Wife’s Affections Valued at $15,000 Feb. 6, 1931 Fifteen thousand dollars damages for alleged alienation of his wife’s affections are sought by John A. Johnson of Oroville in a suit filed Wednesday against Lee French. In the complaint filed by Johnson he states that he “has suffered great distress of mind, body and estate and has been dishonored and disgraced.” According to the complaint, French began paying attention to Johnson’s wife, Gertrude, about September of 1929. Johnson charges that French gave her money and gifts and

THE LEGION’S ATTITUDE TOWARD WAR The stand for American neutrality and adequate armament taken by the American Legion in session at Chicago last week was only to be expected from men who have seen and experienced the ordeals of modern battlefields in a foreign land, and who realize the futility of America trying to settle European conflicts. But there are those who tell us that America must show the people of Europe how to rule themselves, that we must stop “Hitlerism” and that we haven’t enough troubles at home to keep us busy. And so often they are those who haven’t participated in warfare, are too old to be called and who haven’t any sons to sacrifice.

“sought to persuade her to leave plaintiff.” He states that in May of 1930 his wife was taken to Portland, Oregon, by French and that he sent her to California from there, giving her money for expenses. The plaintiff complains that while he was working on his ranch near Oroville, French persuaded his wife to go to shows and other places with him and that he “willfully and wickedly” gained her affections, thereby depriving the plaintiff of the comfort, society and affection of his wife.

Dec. 8, 1939

WORTHY OF INDEPENDENCE While it is not to be expected that Finland can long resist the invading Russian hordes, that little country is deserving of the admiration of other nations for her splendid fight. And popular approval in the United States will be given the proposal to use this year’s national debt payment due from Finland to alleviate the suffering in that country. With the courage, industry, honesty and progressiveness that have been displayed by the Finns it is unlikely that if they now lose their freedom they will long remain a subjugated people. After all communism is the economic philosophy of the weak and the Russian communists will not strengthen their position in the world by their unwarranted invasion of Finland.

No One Interested In Boys’ Live Skunk Aug. 23, 1932 A nauseating odor crept over Omak Thursday evening. Business houses that were still open were saturated with it. Proprietors looked apprehensively under counters and into dark corners, while many customers sought the fresh air of the sidewalks. It filled the theatres, and patrons of the cinema decided it was time to go home anyway and departed. Then two boys appeared coming down Main Street with a bag over one shoulder, the unmistakable smell heralding their approach from all sides. It preceded their arrival by 10 or 15 minutes. Young Bill Kirby and a friend had captured a skunk alive and decided they would bring it down town to exhibit it! The animal was deposited on the sidewalk in front of the Petersen & Fisher Pool Hall, but no one evinced the slightest curiosity in the catch. Their dusty tramp having ended in failure, the boys gathered up the sack and departed.

Football Players Are Given Letters Feb. 25, 1936 At a student assembly at the high school Friday, members of last season’s football team were given letters, the presentation being made by Coach Robert Parry. A list of the lettermen follows: Kenneth Thompson, junior; Nels Petersen, senior; Wayne Johnson, senior,; John Duncan, senior; Johan Maloney, senior; Wm. Stradford, sophomore; Fred Rusk, senior; Ralph Mundinger, senior; Howard Hendrick, senior; Ted Hampton, senior; Ted Holmes, senior; Rodney Van Brunt, senior; Harold Love, junior; Lester Everett, sophomore; John McNett, junior; Roy Brown, junior.

Experts who are mathematically inclined are engaged in calculating the cost of war. These experts are also interested in ascertaining who pays this cost. In any final analysis the taxpayers carry the burden. These are homely questions, and are in order at the present time since Europe is once more in flames. War costs, in the past, have been calculated after the conflict is over. The cost of the World war, fought from 1914 to 1918 was tremendous. It was in excess of 297 billion dollars. An indication may be given from the fact that borrowings from the United States by the allies amounted to around $12,000,000,000 more or less. What the present conflict in Europe will cost in the opinion of the experts, is that it will amount to around a million a minute for the duration of hostilities. The mere fact that experts calculate war costing a million dollars a minute immediately suggests the futility of it. But it is not money cost alone that war is abhorred. Approximately 10,000,000 young men were sacrificed in the last World war fought in Europe. The value of their lives to the world cannot be estimated. Oct. 3, 1939


History is repeating itself rather quickly in Europe for only a quarter of a century has elapsed since the World war began. Nearly the same causes will be given for both conflicts. Germany will fight a war to make possible her expansion, to overcome what Hitler claims is the British policy of encirclement and to free herself from the impositions of the treaty of Versailles. Poland will fight for her national existence and France and England will also fight for similar reasons. President Wilson’s plea for fighting “to make the world safe for democracy” is being resurrected and Hitler is being placed in the same light as was Kaiser Wilhelm 25 years ago. However, there will be few so gullible as to believe that it will be a “war to end wars.” Human nature has changed but little in the last 5,000 years and time has frequently shown that when a nation becomes so insolent and decadent that its people are no longer willing to die in defense of their liberty, they soon lose it. Yes, history is repeating itself and the roar of artillery will again be heard over the decaying bones of the finest of world’s youth of a generation ago, as another generation is planted.

An editorial cartoon spoke volumes for the desire for the U.S. to stay neutral in what would be World War II.

INFANTILE PARALYSIS CLAIMS LIFE ALL MEETINGS BANNED Sept. 4, 1934 An order prohibiting all public gatherings in Okanogan county during the present infantile paralysis danger period was issued yesterday by the Okanogan County Board of Health. The board’s order followed the death of the first victim of the dread disease in this county, Roy James, sixteen-year-old son of William James, who died Sunday afternoon at Oroville after a three-day illness. Death was pronounced due to infantile paralysis which attacked the respiratory muscles. Fair Closed Monday The ban applies to all public gatherings, including schools, churches and theatres. The county fair at Oroville was closed yesterday in compliance with the order as announced by Dr. E.M. Bevis, county health officer. Two Suspicious Cases Dr. Bevis said yesterday that two suspicious cases in the county are being closely watched. One of those is William Smith, Pogue Flat, and the other is at Okanogan. One infantile paralysis patient at Oroville has recovered from the disease and been released from medical care. Public gatherings have for several days been prohibited in many other sections of the state in an effort to break the epidemic which has swept throughout the state during recent weeks. Scores of cases and several deaths have been reported in larges cities, but the disease did not appear in

Okanogan county until last week when Sonny Towne, third grade student at Okanogan, became ill with the disease. Editor’s Note: Infantile Paralysis is commonly known as polio, a vaccine for which was not discovered until the 1950s. It was among the most feared of all diseases in the early 20th century.

Jan. 9, 1940

A VETERAN’S VIEWPOINT Aghast at the war clouds sweeping over Europe, a veteran of the Belgian army, now an American citizen addressed his fellow citizens through the columns of a San Francisco newspaper. He wrote: “To the best country in the world: Please let us keep out of war. Let us keep in our own place – live in happiness and give God thanks for it…Why do I write this? Because I saw it all, went through it all. I was there when the first shell was fired at Belgium, and when the last was fired. I am the only one left out of a family of nine. Now I pray every day my gratitude that I was allowed to come here and live in peace and contentment. Please let us mind our own! And let us keep our America safe and clean. One who became an American – Ardis Mallard.” That simple appeal, based on tragic experience and written from the heart, is one of the most moving and patriotic editorials that has seen print. No comment could add to its force. March 26, 1940

22 Men Indicted For Liquor Feb. 13, 1931 Spokane – Feb. 12 – Twentytwo Ferry county residents, including former Sheriff Ernest Clemons, were accused of conspiracy to violate the national prohibition laws in federal grand jury indictments Wednesday. The indictments list 44 alleged acts, including importation, transportation, possession, sale and delivery of intoxicating liquor. Twelve of the defendants have been released on bond, one is in custody, but the rest have not been arrested. Those indicted are J.P.C. Wright, alias Currie Wright; Cecil Weer, Jack Kenyon, Ernest Clemons; Claude Tillotson, alias L.C. Bruce; Jacob Knuth, Ambrose Landy, alias C.A. Lewis; Ernest Lutes, Kelly Hall, John Falconer, Paul Hutton, R.E. Benedict, William Harms, John Jernigan, Ted Olson, Ver Secrast, R. C. Hirst, alias Bud Hirst; Fletcher Douglas, George Atkins, Joe Dilly, John Doe Gugat, R.H. Johnson, alias J. Brennon.

THE LITTLE NEUTRALS Recent reports from Europe indicate that the most unusual war over there may take a new turn this spring. At first, when the conflict started, most people had horrible mental pictures of cities destroyed by wholesale bombing, and thousands of men slaughtered in assaults on the Maginot and Seigfried lines. But nothing like that has happened. Up to this time, the only nations really hurt have been two comparatively small ones – Poland and Finland. And many observers are beginning to wonder whether, when spring weather comes, the little nations may be in for some more punishment. With a stalemate existing in western Europe, many military experts are now of the belief that war will break out in the Balkans. The nations of southeastern Europe recently made a desperate effort to find a remedy for keeping out of the struggle. They don’t want to fight, but it is doubtful whether they can keep from being drawn in. It will be a sorry day for these little unoffending bystanders if they finally turn out to be the ones worst injured in this European struggle. April 12, 1940

IT’S NORWAY’S TURN In a similar position to that in which Finland was recently placed little Norway has her back to the wall battling to defend herself against the “protection” offered by Hitler’s legions, and the old fighting spirit of the Norsemen is again being revived. Reports from the new northern front indicate that unlike Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Denmark, Norway will not be so easily absorbed. The little nations surrounding the war zone want peace but only force is recognized in Europe today. Belgium, Netherlands or Roumania may be next. This is a reminder, too, that American liberties are only safe so long as the nation is adequately prepared to defend them. In fact we hear nothing today from those who a few years ago were speaking loudly against reasonable armament for this country.


CELEBRATION CONTINUES Continued (Continuedfrom fromPage Page 31 1) thousands of spectators expected to attend the show. Sponsored by business men of Omak, the Stampede is being put on under the direction of Leo Moomaw and Tim Bernard, both widely known throughout this section. Mr. Bernard is running the largest herd of cattle in the state on the reservation. He has served as judge at the Pendleton, Ellensburg, Waterville and Yakima roundups and has entered as a roping contestant in several famous shows. Expert With Horses Mr. Moomaw, who is in the cattle business near Monse, has been engaged in rodeo work for years and is considered one of the best judges and handlers of bucking horses in the country. He is a noted rider and has competed at the Pendleton Roundup. Illustrating the type of contestants who already have signed entry blanks for the Stampede, of the four finalists in the world’s bucking contest at Pendleton last year, three will compete in the show here. Leading a field of 193 riders at Pendelton in 1933 were Floyd Stillings, Irving Collins, Norman Stewart and Jack Meyers, and all but Stillings will ride in the Stampede. Approximately 50 contestants are definitely lined up for the state championship bucking contest which will feature the Stampede. In the roping events, 20 are expected to enter and 15 will compete for the bulldogging title. Practically every outside contestant has won Northwest shows this summer. Wednesday evening the grounds were given a heavy soaking and fire hoses have been installed on the grounds so that water may be applied just before the show Saturday and Sunday. The management declares that there will be absolutely no dust at the Stampede grounds.

Stewart Captures State Riding Title Before Big Crowd Visitors Fill Omak Aug. 28, 1934 Winner of world championships at the Pendleton Roundup and the Cheyenne, Wyoming rodeo, Norman Stewart added another name to his list of victories by cinching the Washington State championship in bucking at the Omak Stampede Saturday and Sunday. Stewart, with scores of other noted ropers and riders, performed before two of the largest crowds ever assembled in this city. Approximately 2,000 spectators viewed the opening day’s events Saturday, while a crowd estimated at twice that

number attended the show Sunday. Grandstands and bleachers were filled to capacity, and hundreds viewed the fast-moving performances from cars parked around the arena, along the brow of the hill just east of the rodeo grounds and even as far away as the grade to Pogue Flat on the west. Streets Crowded Omak streets were jammed Saturday and Sunday by the hundreds of visitors drawn to this community to see the Stampede. Saturday night streets were so crowded it was difficult for pedestrians to make any headway. Practically all the spectators were enthusiastic at the well regulated manner in which the Stampede events were run off. Despite the fact that nearly half a hundred bronc riders performed each day, and nearly as many calf ropers and bulldoggers, the show moved ahead smoothly and rapidly.

Stampede Stands Ready For Crowds Coming Next Week BUCKING HORSES BROUGHT IN YESTERDAY Aug. 16, 1935 Built to provide comfortable seats for more than 4,000 persons, the grandstand and bleachers at the Omak Stampede grounds have been completed by a crew working under the direction of John Dawson, construction manager for the rodeo association. Unusual efforts have been taken to making seating facilities the best possible, officials declare. Wide seats with plenty of foot space have been installed and edges of the seats have been beveled to round smoothness. Many Seats Provided The covered grandstand will seat approximately 1,500 patrons, all of whom will have an excellent view of all the rodeo events. The stand is located just north of the corrals and chutes from which the bucking horses will start. Bleachers will provide seats for about 3,500 Stampede patrons, officials estimate. Both the grandstands and bleachers have 12 rows of seats, spaced so that the patrons in the front will not interfere with the view of those in rear seats. South of the grandstand and parallel to the six chutes the association has constructed a high stand, equipped with several rows of seats, where

contestants will remain during the events. Just above the chutes a special stand has been installed for the rodeo announcer, who will broadcast descriptions of the rides and events via a loud speaker hook-up. Livestock which will perform in the Stampede will be held in eight large pens. A catch pen has been built at the east end of the rodeo grounds, and a wire fence will surround the entire arena. Yesterday Tim Bernard and Leo Moomaw, who are providing their string of bucking horses and other stock for the big show, brought in about 40 head of their best bucking horses, including such famous steeds as Dynamite, Badger Mountain, Wild Woman, Fan Dancer, Widow Maker, Doc Roberts, Lightning Creek and others. They will be grain fed until the rodeo next Saturday and Sunday, August 24 and 25. Directly north of the stands, and at the crest of a high ride, will be the starting point of one of the featured events of the Stampede, a “suicide horse race.” Riders will spur their mounts down a precipitous bluff, swim the Okanogan river and race to the center of the arena. Prizes will be offered first, second and third place winners each day.

Everything Ready For Big Stampede; Expect Thousands Aug. 19, 1935 With only four days remaining before the opening of the second annual Omak Stampede, committee workers who have had charge of the affair during recent weeks are completing final arrangements for the big two-day show. Indications point to one of the largest crowds ever gathered at a similar affair in this county. State-wide interest in the Stampede has been reported and it is expected that thousands of visitors will be in Omak Saturday and Sunday, August 24 and 25. Besides the Stampede events, which will be presented at the new arena, the entertainment committee has arranged a number of special entertainments. Friday and Saturday nights Stampede dances will be held at the Omak Auditorium, featuring special music and various entertainment numbers. During the Stampede programs at the arena, a “suicide horse race” will be run, starting from the top of the steep 400foot embankment north of the grandstand, and ending in the arena after a thrilling race down the cliff and through the river.

Ladd Photo.

A trick roper performs for the crowd at the Omak Stampede in 1935. The Suicide Race Hill is in the background.

Photo courtesy of Ted Moomaw.

Dynamite, famous bucking horse of Leo Moomaw and Tim Bernard bucked off as many as 300 riders in his rodeo career. He died in 1937 and Moomaw buried him where he lay and placed a monument for the great bucking horse of the ‘30s.

Celebration Draws Many To Nespelem July 7, 1931 The picturesque little village of Nespelem and the Colville Indian Agency have been busy the past few days entertaining the hundreds of people who came here to attend the annual Indian Celebration. Each year the celebration, taking place in a large, natural, amphitheater in the Okanogan hills, attracts many people, both whites and Indians. Visitors began arriving Thursday, coming necessarily by horse or auto since Nespelem is 40 miles from a railway. Thursday afternoon saw scores of tepees pitched in the Indian village, with smoke curling from them and Indian children playing in their doorways. Some of the heavily bedecked Indian braves were members of the famous Chief Joseph’s band. Some of these people have been coming to Nespelem for the July Fourth celebration for 30 years. The first was in the year 1900. Chief Joseph and his band attended that year and Dr. Hudnutt, who still lives in Nespelem, says, “There were a thousand horses and many

thousand people at the first celebration. The affair was very peaceful and no one was injured. Chief Joseph was a proud old fellow but he took a liking to me and we often talked together. He disliked the whites in general, holding as he did the feeling that his tribe had been wronged. Grief probably shortened his life.” Within the townsite is the tomb and monument to this chief who once defied the white man. Three-Day Rodeo The rodeo is always the outstanding event of the celebration. It was held Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Sunday the bronc riding contest was won by Ed Peasley of Omak. Willie Simpson ran Peasley a close second. Peasley also won the calfroping contest Sunday, his time being 63 seconds. Peasley, teamed with Ernie Will, was first in the wild cow milking contest with 31 seconds as the time. Wins Mountain Race Louis Friedlander, Nespelem, won the mountain race Sunday. Matthew Dick took a hard fall during this race but was uninjured.

Members of the 1935 Omak Stampede Boosters traveled from town to town paticipating in parades and other events to attract visitors to the Stampede.


Paul Gray and Harold Churchill rode steers as part of the Sunday’s program. Friday the bronc riding contest was won by Ray Hunt of Nespelem. George Friedlander was first in the calf roping contest, his time being 51 seconds, and Joe Hopkins and Jack Condon were first in the cow milking contest with a time of 1 minute and 20 seconds. “Rocky Canyon” was judged the best bucking horse Friday. He was ridden by Joe Hopkins. Hopkins and Hunt collided once and both were thrown, receiving slight injuries. Jack Condon won the mountain race Friday. Saturday Howard Garber and Ray Hunt won the wild cow milking contest with 43 seconds time. Joe Hopkins won the calf roping contest with 43 seconds time. Joe Hopkins won the calf roping contest with a time of 56 seconds. Hunt was first again in the bronc riding contest and Louis Friedlander won the mountain race. It is estimated the 2,000 people attended the celebration Saturday and almost as large a crowd was present Sunday.

Serving you for 77 years

1934-2011 In 1934, George Graves and his brother-in-law and best buddy, Earl Hamilton, formed a partnership, purchased the machine shop equipment owned by C. E. Blackwell Co. and opened Graves Machine Shop in the back half of the building which now houses Okanogan Truck & Tractor. In 1936 George and Earl purchased property and built a new concrete block building on First Avenue where the Kahlow Livery Stable originally stood. George designed and fabricated the machine which was used to form all the blocks used in the construction of the new facility. Wes Colyar supervised construction and laid all of the blocks. Jack Hamilton (age 11) spent that summer mixing cement.

George and Earl, duck hunting, a favorite pastime. 1978 picture of three generations of Hamiltons. Jack (2nd), Earl (1st), and Greg (3rd). The 70s were a growth period for HFEC — adding John Deere in 1971 and moving to our present building (in 1976 during a snowstorm).

1960s picture of Jo, Jack, Earl, Norm Benson, Don Doering, and Ralph Parks (Jack’s cousin and partner in HFEC). Picture is in front of building Earl and George built on 1st Street in 1934 and operated at that location until 1976.

1980s picture of Rose Turner, Hedy Doering, Mary Hamilton, Rita Heinlen, while attending John Deere 50 Series Tractor Intro at Superdome in New Orleans. HFEC added Polaris Recreational products and Turbomist sprayer lines in 1980s.

4th generation Conor Hamilton joins father Greg, and grandfather, Jack, in business and starts out learning and managing the Napa Parts business acquired in 2009.

During HFEC’s 75 years, we have been fortunate to witness and be a part of the many changes and the slow but steady growth of Okanogan County. We are appreciative and thankful for the customers and employees that have supported and directed the growth of Grave’s Machine Shop into Hamilton Farm Equipment Center as it is today. Gary Allard, Tony Call, Greg Hamilton, Charlie Fitzgerald, Josh Lingle, Aaron Randall, Steve Cagle, Monte Morgan, Wayne Turner, Tom Brantner, Geralyn Covey, Kevin Oyler, Leon Hoover, Megan Hobbs, Tim Tugaw, Butch Herriman, Chris Bowling, Darren Pfitzer, Debbie Springer, Boyd Kinney, Dave Judd, Ron Engeland, Glenda Vahovick, Justin Workman, Dallas Covey, Conor Hamilton, Kelly Lickfold, Mary Hamilton, Mike Maloney.

Serving North Central Washington Since 1934

1 Patrol St., Okanogan • 509-422-3030 • www.hamiltonfarmequip.com

Sales . . . . . Parts . . . . . NAPA . . . . . Service . . . . Pipe & Tool Rental . . . .

. . . . . .

.509-422-3030 .509-422-3034 .509-422-3820 .509-422-4840 .509-422-5440 .509-422-3040

North Valley Hospital St. Martin’s Hospital Established in 1937 Operated by the Dominican Sisters

Grand Opening 2010

North Valley Hospital County Operated Since 1972

509-486-2151 ● www.nvhospital.org

203 S. Western Ave, Tonasket WA

Wauconda Cafe and Store Wauconda was founded in 1898 as a mining community. The three Hedges Brothers from Wauconda, Ill., discovered gold in the area and decided to name the mine after their hometown. Four mines, the Oregonian and three Wauconda Mines, eventually operated in the area, quickly swelling the area's population to over 300. By 1900 the town had a general store, and by 1901 it had a post office. At its peak there were about 335 residents. In the early 1900's the output of the mines declined and they were eventually closed. When the State built Highway 20 on a route that bypassed the second town site, the store was relocated to be on the new road. The abandoned former

Established 1898

Open 7 days a week, 365 days Thank You

Kenny & Martha Steward • Neal & Maddie Love town location has the Wauconda Hall, which continues to celebrate Flag Day every year. Present-day Wauconda is much smaller than the old mining boomtown. Its small commercial district has a Post office, gas station, general store, and café, all with a single private owner. In 2008,

Present day Wauconda Cafe and Store

owner Daphne Fletcher placed the town's commercial properties, along with a residence, up for sale with an asking price of $1,125,000. In March 2010, Fletcher put the combined properties on the EBay online auction website, promoting the sale as a "town for auction." A couple from Healesville, Victoria in Australia, won the auction with a purchase price of $370,601, but failed to complete the transaction due to financial and health concerns. Two weeks later, the café, store and gas pumps, including a running post office, was sold to a couple from Bothell, Wash. Neal and Maddie Love.

We want to thank everyone in helping Neal and I get Wauconda, back on track. The day after we bought Wauconda, the entire community came and helped us clean - Joel and Sara Kretz, June Mercantile, Roberta Jones, Angie Jones. In addition, Max and Linda Maxwell. Gary and Pat Willits, Kenny and Martha Steward, Jasmine Martindale, Anne and Cheryl, Jay and Lisa. The Coffee Crew, has stuck with us Dennis, Ron, Bob, Dave, Bill, Fred, had the following individuals not given us the insight and history. Shirley Chunn, Sonny and Kathy Rounds, Corey, Pauline, Sandy K, Ray G, Fred, and Sally. Max and Linda M, Kenny & Martha S,

John and Kristy Breezee, Carol Breezee, Lanny and PJ Batterman, and Brock Hires. All of the Wauconda Community has been so helpful, in the history of Wauconda. We want to thank SS Meats, Grant’s, Al’s IGA, Ace Hardware, Tonasket, and Hardin’gs in Republic; and Pine Grove Fuel for their fuel and help. We purchase from local area businesses, from food to fuel to produce. We serve fresh food, nothing is premade, and is made to order when you come in, you are on Wauconda Time, nothing happens fast, sit back and enjoy your friends, company at the H.O.W.- Heart of Wauconda.

Wauconda Cafe and Store old time

2360 Hwy. 20,Wauconda • 509-486-4044 (HOGG)

1940s A Decade of

Tragedy From the first attacks on Dec. 7, 1941 to the declaration of peace in August 1945, millions were killed, including 75 from the Okanogan Valley. In the same decade, the area experienced its worst flood on record, causing millions in damage.

During times of major rationing, rival papers The Okanogan Independent and The Omak Chronicle both canceled their Tuesday editions, reducing to a weekly status.

To encourage the purchase of U.S. War Bonds and Stamps, advertisements and community celebrations were held regularly.


The Heckendorn Bridge outside Winthrop collapses in a flash flood.

A dog sled team gets ready for Alaskan adventures alongside Omak Lake.

The completed, operational Grand Coulee Dam lights up the night.


The Omak Hospital stood on the corner of Ash Street and First Avenue in 1941.

A few local soldiers stationed in Egypt in World War II send a photo back with the Great Pyramic and Sphinx in the background.

May 20, 1940 – May 19, 1950

Established May 20, 1910 - Fourth in a Ten Part

TIMELINE 1940 Feb. 2 – Frank Sinatra makes his singing debut in Indianapolis. May 1 – The Olympics are cancelled. May 31 – 636 individual tax returns filed in Okanogan County in 1939. June 25 – Nespelem maintains lead in valley baseball league. June 28 – Okanogan County census figures: 24,619 for 1940. Oct. 16 – Draft registration begins for men ages 21 to 36. Nov. 5 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt re-elected to third term. Dec. 22 – Dr. J.I. Pogue, county pioneer, is called by death. 1941 Feb. 21 – Nespelem gets electric lights. March 1 – Captain America first appears in a comic book. March 22 – Grand Coulee Dam begins operation. April 8 – Sixteen foreigners, mostly British, apply for citizenship in Okanogan County. April 16 – The Conconully Reservoir went over the spillway for the first time since 1917. April 25 – A 40-pound wolverine is caught near Riverside in a trap. July 11 – 35 people, including an infant, are trapped in their vehicles headed over Hart’s Pass when a huge, sudden storm causes mudslides and six inches of hail. No one is injured. July 22 – Electric storms strike 150 fires in the Chelan forest. Oct. 31 – Mt. Rushmore is completed. Dec. 7 – Pearl Harbor is attacked by Japanese. 1942 Feb. 19 – Executive Order 9066 confines 110,000 Japanese-Americans. April 18 – The first “Stars and Stripes” newspaper for Armed Forces prints. April 24 – Registration of men ages 45 to 64 starts. June 12 – Anne Frank receives her diary as a birthday present. July 4 – Suicide Race cancelled due to Bev Conner drowning before the race. Aug. 28 – Intensive drive started to obtain scrap materials – steel, brass, rubber, rope, dry rags and fats. Things needed to help win the war. Sept. 11 – Sawdust Makers will help growers harvest crops, due to labor shortage. Oct. 16 – Stores are closed to help growers harvest apples. Nov. 26 – “Casablanca” premieres. Dec. 11 – Selective Service Registration for 18 year olds begins. 1943 Jan. 15 – War Bond purchases in the county over $623,000 during 1942. Jan. 22 – Omak has 360 men in the armed forces. April 9 – Oklahoma families move to Okanogan county to help aid food production. April 13 – The Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. is dedicated. May 13 – Lt. Randall Harsh is an Italian prisoner of war. July 15 – War Bond sales in county goes over the top with purchases of $100,050.

Continued (Continuedon on Page Page 42 2)

(Left) No. 4349 – Omak has more trees than buildings in 1947.

(Above) No. 50– Crews dig up Omak’s streets to lay new water mains in the 1940s.

WAR DECLARED AGAINST AXIS Several Local Men Are Stationed At Pearl Harbor Dec. 9, 1941 The attack on the Hawaiian Islands by Japan has been brought close to the minds of local people as several men from Okanogan County are stationed there with the United States Navy. Although The Chronicle was not able to find out just where all the men from the county are stationed at the present time, it is known that several from Omak are at Pearl Harbor. Wm. Allard of East Omak had just received a letter from his son, Perry Allard, who wrote that he expected to be home for Christmas. Then, came the news of the war, and young Allard was on the Oklahoma, one of the ships reported struck. Kenneth and Clayton Randall, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Randall of Omak, are with the U.S. S. Selfridge, a destroyer at Pearl Harbor; also Dean Sutton, another Omak boy. George James Lipincott of Okanogan was with the air craft carrier, Lexington also reported hit. Tom P. Johnson, son of Mrs. C. Wallace of Omak, is on the Enterprise and George Haeberle, Jr., of

Omak on the Bulch, both in the Pearl Harbor area of the Hawaiian Islands. Ernest Sturmer, a former employee of the Washington Water Power Company at Okanogan now has a government job at Pearl Harbor. No news has been received regarding any of these men.

Teaming Up For The War

Defense Bond Sale Drive To Be Started Soon On Big Scale Will Be On Sale At Post Offices To Raise Funds For Defense April 29, 1941 The United States Defense Savings Bonds and Postal Savings Stamps will be placed on sale May 1, as part of the national effort to make America impregnable. Postmaster R.H. Mitchell announced today that plans are nearly completed for this community, along with thousands of others from coast to coast, to do its full part at the opening of the savings program. Postmaster General Frank C. Walker, in a letter to postmasters throughout the country, said that the help of local postmasters would be “a real service to

began teaming up for printing their papers after Jan. 20.

the country.” He transmitted the thanks of Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau for the help that local postmasters had already given in the sale of United States securities, and also Mr. Morgenthau’s thanks in

advance “for the cooperation, which he knows you will give to this new effort.” Similar to Baby Bonds The new Defense Savings Bond is similar to the familiar “Baby Bond” of

WORST FLOOD IN HISTORY Okanogan Valley Flood Recedes Most Disastrous Flood In County’s History Leaves Huge Loss June 3, 1948 The worst flood in the history of Okanogan County left residents in a state of fatigue Wednesday as the battle to control rivers eased up. Only one loss of life was reported. The water was dropping steadily Wednesday. Hardest hit in the disaster was the Methow Valley where dozens of homes, buildings and complete orchards were washed away by torrents of water that gave little warning in the narrow valley. Okanogan Valley losses were still not computed this week and actual damage will probably never be accurately figured. Began Wednesday Water in the Okanogan River, which had begun rising two weeks ago, began rising sharply Wednesday as hot weather began to melt snow in the higher mountain

regions in Canada. By Thursday morning it was evident that flood conditions were inevitable. Rallying as one, the residents of the county began the fight to control the ever-increasing river that was to prove successful. Highest Ever One by one the old-timers began admitting that the river had risen to the highest level in their life span. First store to close because of flood conditions in Omak was the South End Grocery which by Friday morning was engulfed by water that continued to flow into the residential districts of southwest Omak. Altogether over 100 homes were evacuated in Omak. Two houses, a oneroom building and a fourroom structure, were washed away. Many others were washed off foundations. Evacuees were either housed in apple orchard cabins or found housing with friends. Sandbagging Vital While the evacuation was underway, hundreds of men, women and children kept up the clock-round sandbagging program as outlined

–Chronicle ad

As part of the war effort to ration paper, the Okanogan Independent and the Omak Chronicle

by city officials. A dike system from the northern bend of the river at the edge of the city to below the south city limits was erected. As the river rose, more layers of bags were put in place. Volunteers prepared sandwiches and coffee on an unbelievable scale. Sleep was at a premium. Sleep Scarce Saturday night saw a fatigued community, many who had not slept in 24 hours. Mayor Robert Hampton led the way in the defense of the city he is head of. In 96 hours, Hampton slept 14 hours. There were others like him. An attempt to list the people who fought the flood would read like a city and county directory of residents. All of the truck equipment, bulldozers, scrapers, steam shovels in the county were rushed to areas where they could do the most good. It is doubtful if the flood could have been controlled without that equipment on the job. A shortage of sandbags was evident from the very start. Thursday morning the first plane load of bags came (Continuedon on Page Page 46 6) Continued

which more than five billion dollars worth have been bought by more than two and a half million Americans since 1935. A Defense Bond may be purchased May 1, or thereafter, for $18.75. In ten years, this bond will be worth $25. This is an increase of 33.3 per cent, equal to an annual interest return of 2.9 per cent, compounded semi-annually. Any time after sixty days from the date of purchase, the bond may be redeemed for cash, in accordance with a table of redemption values printed on the face of the bond. To spread investments widely among all the people in America, a limit of $5,000 has been set on the amount of these bonds to be bought by any one person in one year. The bonds are in denominations of $25, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000; all of which are sold for 75 per cent of their maturity value and all of which mature in ten years. Make Larger Issues For larger investors who can afford to purchase up to $50,000 worth of bonds a year, the Treasury department has issued two additional kinds of Defense Savings Bonds, but these will be sold only through (Continuedon onPage Page42 2) Continued

Huge Dam Completed

An aerial shot of Grand Coulee Dam soon after its completion shows much of the area, all the


way back to Steamboat Rock (top of photo) in the distance.


Chronicle 1940s staff:

Frank Emert, owner, publisher Robert E. Neilson, City Editor ‘47-’49

Don K. Duncan, City Editor ‘49

Denzil Walters, City Editor ‘49

Vivian M. Lambert, Society Editor ‘49

Pressley R. Watts, Ad Manager ‘47-’50

Centennial staff: Publisher: Roger Harnack Section editor: Sheila Corson Managing editor: Dee Camp Advertising: Lynn Hoover Research/design: Julie Bock Katie Montanez Elizabeth Widel Photos courtesy of: Okanogan County Historical Society

TIMELINE 1943 continued Sept. 5-6 – The Stampede held in the fall due to World War II. Oct. 7 – County exceeds one million dollars in War Bonds. 1944 Jan. 13 – Marine Major Gregory ‘Pappy’ Boyington reported missing in action during raid. Aug. 24 – Conconully loses several buildings in a fire; its store, post office and several homes wiped out by midnight blaze. Nov. 29 – John Hopkins Hospital performs the first open-heart surgery. 1945 Jan. 20 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt is sworn-in for his fourth term. Feb. 1 – The Precht Funeral Home opens in Okanogan. Feb. 23 – Okanogan County birth rate is three times higher than deaths in 1944. April 12 – President Roosevelt dies of a brain hemorrhage, vice-president Harry S. Truman sworn in. April 30 – Adolph Hitler commits suicide. May 8 – Germany surrenders to allies. Aug. 6 – The atomic bomb ‘Little Boy’ is dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. Aug. 9 – Atomic bomb ‘Fat Man’ is dropped on Hagasaki, Japan. Aug. 15 – Japan surrenders with the surrender documents finally signed aboard the deck of the American battleship USS Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945, ending the war. Sept. 13 – 1,129 pupils enrolled in the Omak School District. Sept. 20 – First National Bank of Okanogan purchased by Seattle First National Bank.

Continued 43 (Continuedon on Page Page 3)


List Of Dead Rises, Tales Of Courage Told (Continued One) Continuedfrom from Page Page 41 banks and by direct mail from Washington D.C. They are intended for associations, trustees and corporations, as well as individual purchasers. For the smaller investor who wants to buy a government bond on an easy payment plan, the post office will have a new series of postal savings stamps at 10c, 25c, 50c, $1, and $4. Each purchaser of any Savings Stamp higher than 10c will be given, free of charge, an attractive pocket album in which to paste his stamps until he has enough to buy a $25 bond or one of higher denomination. Thirty million of these albums are now being prepared.

Donald James Is First Omak Man Reported Killed May 8, 1942 Donald James of Omak, 20, has been killed in action according to word received from the war department by relatives yesterday. He is the first man from Omak in the military service to have given his life in the present war. While no further information was given by the government, it is believed by relatives that he was on the Bataan peninsula. He enlisted in the Marine Corps a year ago last August. He was born in Wenatchee November 21, 1921, and came to Omak with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George James, when he was small. Besides his parents he is survived by three sisters, Mrs. Travis Pipkin, Ripley, California; Mrs. Geo. Cleghorn, Nespelem; and Mrs. C.W. Hamilton, Omak; and three brothers, George and Ray of Omak and Paul of California.

Two Omak Men Decide In London World Is Small Nov. 13, 1942 It is a small world after all, two Omak youths discovered. Although American armed forces are scattered to the four corners of the globe, two from the old hometown meet in London — Jud Lockwood and Warren Gasser. Jud writes that he had made a trip into London, and when in a large railway station ready to return to his camp, he met Warren. They were so amazed to see each other they could hardly talk at first, but after getting used to the idea that they were both actually there, they discovered that

they have been at the same camp, but didn’t know it until meeting in the big station in London.

Three Strong Brothers Serving March 5, 1943 Sgt. Otis R. Strong, who has been on fifteen day leave from duty with the U.S. Marine Corps in the Pacific, returned to duty on Saturday, February 28. His youngest brother, Garland, joined the Marine Corps force and also departed for training camp, leaving Seattle with his brother, Sgt. Otis Strong. There are now three of the brothers with the Marine Corps. Sgt. Otis has been in the South Pacific for two years. Pfc. Robert E. has also been in active duty and was with the Marines at Guadalcanal, and is still in Pacific waters somewhere. Garland, the youngest brother, who just joined the Marines, was born in Omak in 1926, and hopes to do his bit for his country. These boys are the sons of Mr. And Mrs. Alvin A. Strong.

Stampede Taboo Till War Is Won June 10, 1943 A decision that it would be out of place to hold the annual Stampede during war times, was made at the meeting of the Omak Stampede Association Thursday night, so there will be no more of these western events until the war is over, according to President Paul F. Maley. Many inquiries have been made regarding the Stampede, Mr. Maley states, but because of the war it will be out. The association is in good financial condition reports showed, and surplus money has been invested in defense bonds.

Obtain Permission To Hold Stampede July 8, 1943 Permission to hold a rodeo in Omak on the Stampede grounds was given Leo Moomaw, Tim Bernard and Ross Woodard, who appeared before the meeting of the city council Tuesday evening. The rodeo will be held Labor Day weekend, for two days, Sunday and Monday, September 5-6, according to present plans, and the celebration will be a rodeo only, with no carnival. The Omak Stampede Association will have no connection with the affair, as

In Case of Air Raid...

Air raid rules were printed in many newspapers shortly after

Fighting Back With Junk

–Chronicle ad

the war declaration, like this one printed in 1942.

Junk drives supplied materials for all sorts of military equipment – guns, bombs, planes and

more. This editorial cartoon encouraged folks to turn in their junk to help fight the war against

it is being promoted by the three men, Moomaw of Omak, Bernard of Tonasket and Woodard of Loomis.

Okanogan County Prisoners of War Are All Released

Capt. Ehlers Reported Dead Oct. 14, 1943 The death of Captain Gordon Ehlers, who was in active duty overseas, has been confirmed by the war department. Captain Ehlers, son of County Treasurer and Mrs. W.H. Ehlers, was on a transport boat in Alaskan waters when he lost his life, it is reported. He is Okanogan’s first war casualty. A-S Robert Ehlers, who is in flight training at Santa Ana, California; his sister, Mary, from W.S.C.; and their aunts, Mrs. Purdue of Cashmere, and Mrs. Head of Burke, Idaho, are spending a few days in the Ehlers home in Okanogan.

German War Prisoners Will Work Harvest Sept. 28, 1944 Okanogan County is to have a prisoner of war camp at Malott during the apple harvest season, it is announced, with German prisoners stationed there to help with harvest work in an effort to relieve the labor shortage. First Lieut. G.H. Harrison will command the Malott camp, with Capt. William G. McAllister supply officer. From the camp at Malott the prisoners will be taken out to various orchards to harvest fruit. Each group of prisoners will be accompanied by a military guard. First Prisoners Arrive A labor construction company of engineers, guards and war prisoners arrived Monday and work started immediately on the construction of a stockade and tents for war prisoners and the tents for camp personnel and guards. The camp at Malott is being set up for about 630 men. All affairs pertaining to the prisoners will be governed entirely according to the rules and regulations of international law arrived at in the Geneva Convention in 1929. This determines that no social contact by service men or women or civilians can be made with the prisoners and the only conversation held with them is to be entirely official. It also protects all war prisoners from abuse and insults from either the military personnel or from civilians. It is understood that the camp will remain in the county as long as the serious labor shortage continues.

June 14, 1945 All service men from Okanogan County, who had been reported as prisoners of war, have now been released and have been heard from by their families, according to Mrs. Flossie Harsh, prisoner of war chairman for the Okanogan County Chapter of the American Red Cross. Lieut. Randall Harsh and S-Sgt. Pierre Joseph of Omak, who were prisoners in Germany, returned home the first of this week. Other prisoners to be released are Pfc. Fred Hallam of Omak; T-Sgt. Robert L. Harvey, Mason City; T-Sgt. Joshua E. Rowton, Molson; Pfc. Lawrence J. Doerr, Oroville; and Lieut. Arlo Warp, Omak. Lieut. Harsh Arrives Lieut. Harsh arrived in Omak Tuesday evening and will have 60 days at home, before he reports to Santa Monica, California. He was taken prisoner when his plane was shot down over the water near Italy, while flying from a North African air base on April 11, 1943. He was first in an Italian Prisoner of War camp, then was taken into Germany ahead of the Allied Invasion of Italy, stationed at Stalig 3, then Stalig 7-A at Moosburg. After released from the Moosburg camp, while he was at La Havre, France, before sailing for home, someone spoke to him one day on the street. It was Dale Gordon, formerly of Omak, who had also been in the Moosburg camp, although neither one knew the other was there. Dale is also with his parents at Spokane. Lieut. Harsh arrived back in New York on June 4, and went from there to Fort Lewis and Seattle before arriving here Tuesday night.

S-Sgt. Joseph Puzzles Captors In Fall From Sky June 28, 1945 What are you, Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, Mexican? These were the questions his German captors asked when S-Sgt. Pierre Joseph, a full blood Okanogan Indian, landed among them after bailing out of his bomber in April 1944. The sergeant never enlightened them as to his race — just let them keep on wondering. And it was apparent that they had never seen a true American. Bailing out of a burning bomber at an elevation of 22,000 feet has thrills not many would wish to experience, but S-Sgt. Joseph came through with

–Omaha World-Herald

Mussolini, Hitler and Hirohito, depicted in the junk pile. only scratches on his legs which he received on the tree in which he landed. S-Sgt. Joseph dropped like a rocket for about three miles before he opened his chute then when the air caught in the chute the force was so terrific it jerked his flying boots off his feet. When he came near the earth his parachute caught in a tall tree and he was left dangling thirty feet in the air until some German civilians cut him down. After 13 months in a German prison camp he is back home for a 60-day furlough before reporting to Santa Monica, California. He has the air medal with two clusters and a unit citation.

Community Celebrates War’s Finish Aug. 16, 1945 “The war is over!” This was the glad news that came over the radio to Omak residents at 4 o’clock Tuesday. Within two minutes after the president announced, “This is official,” the whistle at the Model Laundry started blowing, with E.T. Stewart and O.E. Storch pulling the cord. Cars started racing down the streets with horns in full blast, the city fire siren and the Biles-Coleman Lumber Company whistle added to the din. Store and office workers ran out onto the street, and started shouting, “This is it! The war is over at last!” Flags soon lined the street, and more cars kept coming as employees of Biles-Coleman shut off their machines and headed for town or home. The laundry whistle blew continuously for over onehalf hour. In the evening, members of the American Legion and other service men held a parade, and a celebration dance was held that night at Maple Hall. Lights burned late in many homes as families and friends gathered to talk over this memorable occasion, the ending of bloodshed, and peace throughout the world. Wednesday morning car owners could drive up to any service station and say, “Fill ‘er up.” Fuel oil and blue point canned fruits and vegetables are also off the rationing list. Red point foods, sugar and shoes are still rationed. The mill and factory of the Biles-Coleman Lumber Company is closed until Friday. The local stores also closed Wednesday. ~~~


of the

Decade Gregory “Pappy” Boyington

Those Who Gave Their Lives For Freedom • Staff Sgt. Lloyd L. Acord, Brewster • Pfc. Charles Allie, Tonasket • Sgt. Ross Alexander, Methow • Cpl. Wilmer A. Ayers • T-4 John H. Bloomquist • Sgt. Earl S. Boone, Omak • Paratrooper, Philip Brancheau, Nespelem • T-4 Sherman E. Bumgarner, Omak • Sgt. Archie G. Dery, Omak • Frances DeSoto, Omak • Pfc. Jesse Devore, Oroville • Pvt. Lyman R. Dixon • Staff Sgt. Berthrun C. Dodge, Omak • Norman Eastman, Omak • Capt. Gordon Ehlers, Okanogan • T-5 Kenneth W. Eighme, Riverside • Lt. Winston G. Emert, Omak • Cpt. Robert Ennis, Winthrop • Lt. Robert E. Everett, Omak • Pvt. Glenn A. Fateley, Omak • Pfc. Wilbert H. Fredrichs • Lt. Louis J. Fuhrman, Tunk Valley • Capt. Boyd H. Gallaher • Roy Robert Grillo, Grand Coulee • Vernon Haggstom, Omak • Robert Hender • Allen Holocomb, Winthrop • Pvt. Walter Hopkins, Omak • T-5 Harold D. Howe, Elliforde • Pfc. William R. L. Howe, Wauconda • Pfc. Joseph J. Irey, Omak • Donald James, Omak • Thomas Jentoft, Omak • C. E. Johnson, Omak • Pvt. Willis R. Johnson, Omak • Col. Newton M. Jones • Paul Leonard Kermel, Omak • Sgt. Elvin T. Kirkendahl, Nespelem

• Staff Sgt. Vernie D. Liebl • Lt.Loren Love, former Omak teacher • Tech. Sgt. Robert H. Lull • Frederick T. Martin, Omak • Thomas Edgar McKinney, Omak • Edward Frances McKinney • Staff Sgt. Allen I. McLean, Okanogan • Sgt. Don Medford, Pine Creek • Staff Sgt. Herman Miller, Tonasket • Capt. Roger L. Miller • T-4 Sgt. Vernon Miller, Omak • Tech. Sgt. Matthew Mitchell • Pfc. Gordon H. Nickell • Pvt. Leonard Nixon • Theodore Olsen, Riverside • Pfc. Earl V. Pasley, Brewster • Staff Sgt. Arnold W. Paul • Sgt. Robert L. Perry, Omak • T-3 Gilbert E. Rise, Molson • Pvt. Joseph E. A. Ryan • Pfc. Wayne E. Siemons, Okanogan • Lt. Gordon J. Smith, Omak • T-5 Ralph H. Smith • T-5 Roger L. Stone, Pine Creek • Sgt. Matthew Swimptkin, Omak • Pvt. Ross E. Talbott • Pfc. Preston Thornton, Oroville • Pfc. Walter R. Thurlow, Twisp • Carroll Tollett, Wauconda • Lt. John J. Vandiver, Malott • Pfc. John E. Vernon • Lt. Claude W. Vroman • Raymond Weak, Omak • T-3 Lee Roy H. Weitman, Omak • Pfc. Dock M. Westberry • Sgt. Abel J. Williams, Nespelem • Lt. William Worrall,Omak

The above names are those Chronicle staff were able to gather from several records. If anyone knows of other World War II dead from Okanogan County who are not listed, or have more information on those listed above without rank or hometown, please contact us.

Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, part Sioux Indian, was a United States Marine Corps officer who was an American fighter ace during World War II. He earned both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross. He commanded the famous U.S. Marine Corps squadron, VMF-214 (“The Black Sheep Squadron”) during World War II. Boyington became a prisoner of war later in the war. He retired from the Marine Corps at the rank of colonel. Boyington was born on Dec. 4, 1912 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He moved to Okanogan in his junior year of high school. His mother and stepfather lived in the area, running an apple orchard. In 1930, Boyington entered the University of Washington, where he joined the ROTC. Boyington graduated in 1934 with a B.S. in aeronautical engineering. He died Jan. 11, 1988 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. (See Story Below)

Virginia Grainger Herrmann Virginia Grainger Herrmann was the first woman to become the county superintendent of schools (1890-92 and 1896-98). She rode horseback throughout the county, organizing schools and teaching until an instructor could be found. She first came to the county as a widow in 1887 from Whidbey Island, along with her two children. She was a University of Washington graduate. The Grainger pasture was in Okanogan, where the main business area now is. She moved to Alma in 1893 and lived over the trading post she ran, where she was also postmistress. She learned to speak Chinook and become friends with many Indian chiefs, such as Joseph, Moses, Tonasket and Aeneas. Herrman donated some of her property for the building site of the schoolhouse and the Presbyterian Church. Virginia Grainger Elementary School is named after her, as well as the county building which now houses the county commissioners and other county offices. She died May 17, 1948, at the age of 89 and was buried in the Omak Memorial Cemetery.

Boyington leaves legacy Local Fighter Is Near Record Dec. 30, 1943 With four Zeros shot down Friday in a raid on Rabaul and another one Wednesday in the same area, Major Gregory Boyington, son of Mrs. E.J. Hallenbeck of Okanogan, has now boosted his total score of Jap planes downed to 25, which is only one short of the American record of 26 held in the war by Major Joe Foss and that in World War I by Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker. A recent news release from Bougainvillea states that Boyington, a veteran of the American volunteer

group in China, handles his fierce, deadly Corsair fighter as he would a toy. Boyington is the leader of the U.S. Marines formidable Black Sheep Squadron, and has been fighting Japs for four years.

Major Boyington Reported Missing June 13, 1944 After achieving his hopes of tying Major Joe Foss’ record of downing 26 Jap planes, Marine Major Gregory Boyington of Okanogan, never returned from the raid over Rabaul on January 4. The accompanying pilots saw the ace fighter pilot and

leader of the “Black Sheep Squadron” send his 26th Zero spinning down in a ball of fire. He was then seen diving on a formation of Zeros below, and disappeared below a cloud. He was not seen again, and searchers have failed to sight either the plane wreckage or the life raft that pilots carry. Always Led In a letter written December 20, to his stepfather, E.J. Hallenbeck, deputy county auditor, Major Boyington stated: “As you have always taught me, there is nothing worth while unless you earn it … You taught me that the faith that I held could beat anything in the world.

Chronicle Family Loses One Of Its Sons Lt. Winston Emert Missing In Action July 27, 1944 Lieut. Winston G. Emert, of the U.S. Army Air Forces stationed in Italy, has been reported missing in action over Germany since July 7, according to a message from the War Department received here Thursday of last week by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank S. Emert. He was a navigator on a Liberator Bomber and had been overseas since the first part of June.

A Tribute To Lieut. Winston Gerald Emert By His Dad July 19, 1945 Dead! Dead — they tell

me. Dead — the lad whom I so proudly held in my arms only a few short years ago — who gave me my first thrill of fatherhood. Dead? It is not so! Spirits like his never die. I see him still as he accompanied me along the streets of Omak, as he cheerfully toiled on the Chronicle, as he represented his high school in debate, as he served as superintendent of his Sunday school. I hear his voice in a room at the University of Washington pleading for me to give him written consent to his voluntary enlistment to help fight the nation’s battles in the skies. I hear his voice reassuring words as he left for camp — “I’ll be all right Dad, I’ll be all right.”


I hear his voice as he told me about the planets, the constellations and galaxies in God’s great universe. Then I think how his life shines out as bright as Sirius. I see him on the morning of July 7, 1944, as he again volunteered — that time to take the place on a mission over Germany of a comrade who fell ill. That was to be expected of him. Like the spirit of the great Galilean Navigator whom he followed, he was willing to bear the cross. No, he is not dead. He has received a finer sextant, a perfect ship and charted his course to a better world, where his ears perhaps are now attuned to the music of the spheres that he studied. And his earthly star has not fallen. It has been purified and made permanent. His star has turned to gold!

“I have learned that many things have to be used to achieve a good purpose. I have had to send men to their deaths. I have had to write to their mothers and fathers; to young wives with children. “The only consolation I have is that I led my boys into anything they went into.”

Boyington Honored By Huge Crowd Sept. 27, 1945 Okanogan County residents turned out to form the largest gathering in its history when Lieut. Col. Gregory Boyington and other returned service men were honored at a big celebration held Sunday afternoon in Okanogan. The Colonel was deeply

moved by the ovation in his honor, stating that he had been given receptions in San Francisco and in Seattle, “But, they weren’t anything like this.” A dinner was given Saturday evening in Col. Boyington’s honor. The big celebration began at 1 o’clock Sunday with a parade headed by color bearers, followed by the Colonel and his son, Gregory Jr. seated on the back of the seat of an open car, where he waved greetings. Other member of his party and family followed, with colorful floats, school children with hundreds of flags, veterans of both World Wars, an Army detachment from the prisoner of war camp; the “future Pappys” carried model airplanes, and the Okanogan School Band.

Radiators Into Rifles

This advertisement showed how junk items could be formed into war

–Chronicle ad

equipment during junk drives.

1946 Jan. 1 – Covey’s in Omak starts business. Jan. 24 – The first meeting of the United Nations is held with 51 nations. Jan. 30 – The first FDR dime is issued. March 5 – Dr. L.S. Dewey is called by death. March 14 – Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Wm. C. Brown resigns after 16 years. April 1 – Jackson’s Chevron in Nespelem opens for business. April 1 – 400,000 mine workers strike nation-wide. April 25 – Pioneer resident Barton Robinson dies at age 77. He built, owned and operated the Omak Hotel in 1908. May 6 – Curly Moss appointed Okanogan County Sheriff. July 9 – Voters approve Omak School District building program. Sept 26 – Labor camp opens in East Omak Park for harvest hands. Dec. 21 – Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” premieres. Dec. 21 – New bus depot opens at 19 First Ave. North. (See article Omak Streets Receive New Names.) 1947 April 10 – Grape average may reach 365. April 15 – Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Baseball’s barrier against colored players when he debuts at the base for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He later is named Rookie of the Year. April 17 – Contract to build the Omak Memorial Swimming Pool awarded to McKellar with a low bid of $53,734. May 8 – Construction begins on Omak Feed Store at the corner of 4th and Main Streets. June 25 – The tennis shoe is introduced. July 3 – Norma Lee French chosen Stampede Queen. July 7 – Fire destroys the new Oranda Theater in Oroville. July 25 – Brownie’s Auto Supply opens its new $65,000 headquarters in Omak. (Now the Mirage Theater) Sept. 4 – Omak’s population at 3,528. Sept. 4 – New Ross Canyon Road now in use. Sept. 18 – William Cary charged with 1st degree murder for fatally shooting three of his four children. Sept. 18 – Sports section added to The Chronicle. Oct. 2 – Parking meters urged for the city of Omak. Oct. 14 – Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager is first to break the sound barrier. Oct. 23 – Pateros youth, George B. McKown, 14, dies from injuries received in a scrimmage football game at the Pateros High School. Oct. 23 – Omak Pioneers are the only undefeated football team in North Central Washington football. Dec. 11 – Installation of parking meters in Omak begins. 1948 Jan.8 – Record high for county with 881 babies born in 1947. Jan. 30 – Mahatma Gandhi assassinated. Feb. 26 – Biles-Coleman donates $5,000 for lighting the Omak High School field. March 1 – Al’s IGA in Tonasket opens. April 1 – The Big Bang Theory is proposed. April 7 – The World Health Organization formed. April 8 – Oroville Airport approved by U.S. as port of entry. May 17 – Pioneer educator Mrs. Virginia Grainger Herrman, 89, passes. June 10 – Teacher shortage felt in Omak. June 17 – Omak City Council changes the name of Okanoma Cemetery to Omak Memorial Cemetery to honor the war veterans. (Continuedon on Page Page 44 4) Continued


CHIEF JOSEPH DAM PLANS APPROVED Twenty Generators Scheduled For 1962; Cost — $234 Million Jan. 12, 1950 Construction plans for the Chief Joseph Dam have been approved by a board of nationally known engineering consultants, it was announced Saturday. The dam will be located on the Columbia River near Bridgeport, Douglas County. The great project, which is to be second only to Grand Coulee, among the world’s producers of hydro-electric power, it will get under way immediately, according to Col. E.C. Itschner, chief of the Seattle office of Army Engineers. Power in ’56 “As now programmed, the work will continue until 1962,” said Itschner. “At that time it will have 20 generators, each with a rated capacity of 64,000 kilowatts. The estimated cost of the project at that time will be $234,000,000.” Itschner insists the dam and powerhouse will be finished by 1956, with three generators operating at the time. Although the plans allow for a total installation of 27 generators, the last seven may be installed between 1962 and 1970. Preliminary Work Begun Preliminary work, costing $2,000,000 has already been submitted to bids. Tacoma and Vancouver firms have been awarded contracts for the 10½ mile access road from Brewster to the Chief Joseph site. Bids have also been accepted for the installation of two bridges. “The first contract for actual construction, involving excavation of more than 35,000 cubic yard from the powerhouse intake

canal, is scheduled for award next month,” said Itschner. Coulee Still Tops The canal will be 40 feet deep, 3,600 feet long and will average 1,000 feet in width. Its bed will be nearly 160 feet above the present river bed. “The powerhouse, to accommodate the eventual 27 generators, will be larger than Grand Coulee’s,” said Itschner. “It will measure almost 2,000 feet, and is to be constructed on the left bank of the river, at an angle to the axis of the dam.” Grand Coulee still retains the upper hand, however, in kilowatt statistics. At Coulee

TIMELINE 1948 continued July 26 – Executive Order 9981 ends segregation in the U.S. military. Sept. 9 – The Washington Flying Farmers held their third annual convention in Omak. Nov. 2 – Truman wins presidential re-election. Dec. 2 – Omak completed its football season 20-7 victory. Dec. 30 – The Campbell Hotel in Twisp destroyed by fire; at least 4 people die. 1949 March 31 – Denzil Walters joins Chronicle staff. April 4 – NATO is formed. June 29 – Apartheid begins in South Africa. Aug. 13 – First night Suicide Race, torches lit the hill. Dec. 22 – John K. Duncan joins Chronicle staff as city editor. 1950 Jan. 19 – New $450,000 Tonasket school is dedicated. Jan. 26 – Okanogan County’s first triplets were born. The red headed trio of boys were born to Mr. and Mrs. Roy Walker of Okanogan. (See photo). Jan. 31 – Truman approves building a hydrogen bomb. Feb. 15 – Walt Disney’s “Cinderella” is released.


constructed. August 1951-February 1952- Half of the permanent dam will be built within the coffer-dam area, extending from the north (right bank) to the middle of the river. The dam will be only 20 per cent of its final height at this time. May 1952-August 1953South half of the permanent dam will be started while water is carried over the north half. Substructure of the powerhouse will be started and the cofferdam will be ready for removal. August 1953-September 1954 – South half of dam will be raised to full

First County Triplets

Rider Lost Life In Okanogan River While Attempting To Cross Saturday To Enter Stampede Suicide Race. July 10, 1942 The body of Bev Conner, who was drowned Saturday afternoon when he attempted to swim his horse across the Okanogan River near the Stampede Grounds, was recovered Tuesday morning about 11:15 o’clock, when it was seen by two boys lodged against an old car body near the bank of the river back of the Martin Log Cabins in south Omak. Billy Russell and Wayne Hawks, while playing along the bank, saw him, and called the Martins, who notified the law enforcement officers. Funeral Held Wednesday Funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon at 4 o’clock from the Community Church in Tonasket, and burial was made in the Tonasket Cemetery, with Yarwoods in charge. Beverly Conners, who was 28 years old, was born in Washtucna, but had lived most of his life in this county. He had been employed by Tim Bernard since he was about 17 years old. He was married to Martha Zachman, and also

leaves a six-month-old daughter. His mother was drowned when he was sixmonths-old. The tragedy occurred near the close of the rodeo performances Saturday afternoon when he tried to cross the river to enter the Suicide Race, instead of going the long way around across the bridge to get to the top of the hill. Couldn’t Swim He had no saddle on his horse, and only a buck rope. When the horse in midstream floundered, he attempted to shift back to get hold of the horse’s tail, but missed and the strong current of the river, still in flood stage, swept him down stream, as he could not swim. Not many people saw him, as the crowd was intent on the Brahma bull riding which was going on in the arena at the time, but those who did see him, were not close enough to give any aid. Boats were soon on the river and search was made with drags; but the river is so high and there are so many old cars and wires in the river through that area, it was difficult to do a very thorough dragging job.

Mosquito Control Program Underway In This District Mrs. Lee Roy Walker looks fondly at Jody, the smallest of her redheaded trio, while Jeffrey sleeps soundly. James, the big boy at birth, can’t keep his eyes off the photographer. “What’s

Murder in 1918 Is Again In News Nov. 25, 1943 Okanogan — Prosecutor Melvin C. Rooney and Sheriff C.H. Pritchard of Cowlitz County were here last week checking records of a

there are only 18 generators but each has a rated capacity of 108,000 kilowatts. Detailed Plans Actual construction phases of the dam were revealed in detail by Itschner Saturday. “The engineers could find no practical way of diverting the river from its present course,” said Itschner. “Consequently the dam will be constructed in a series of steps, first on one side and then the other.” The stages of construction will be: Winter of 1950-51- A cofferdam, 1,550 feet long and 60 feet high will be

Last Rites Held For Bev Conner, Drowning Victim

25-year-old murder case for which William R. Horner is to be tried at Kalama next Monday, although he has been confined in state’s prison for it since that time. The records show that Horner went hunting with a friend, Frederick W. Bassett, a San Poil River rancher, November 19, 1914, and Bassett was reported accidentally slain. Horner and Mrs. Bassett and the two Bassett children moved to Cowlitz County thereafter and county clerk’s records indicated Mrs. Bassett deeded the Okanogan County ranch and personal property, valued at $5,000, to Horner on May 15, 1918. Two days later Mrs. Bassett and the two children, aged 10 and 8, were slain. Horner returned to Okanogan County and was arrested. He pleaded guilty before Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge William T. Darch on May 28 to a charge of murdering Mrs. Bassett, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Title to the Okanogan County property went to Mrs. Bassett’s heirs. Recently counsel was appointed for Horner and he was remanded to the Cowlitz County sheriff for trial on grounds a jury should have been impaneled to determine the degree of murder and the punishment for it when he pleaded guilty.

going on here?” he kept trying to say. The triplets were born at 10:45 a.m., January 25, 1950 in St. Martin’s Hospital, Tonasket. — Photograph by Crowe’s Studio

House Mover Has Many Troubles While On Highway Sept. 9, 1941 Telephones were wrecked, a pig killed and two others knocked out, and the electricity cut off Friday afternoon, when a house, which was being moved by Jesse Kennedy up the state highway, contacted a telephone line, breaking it. When the telephone line broke it curled up over a power line. The electricity went through the phone line and down a fence where three pigs were in a pen at the Neil Stalcup place, knocking out two and killing one of them.

The accident happened near B.F. Perry place on the highway between Omak and Riverside. The telephone line was a part of the Apple Growers Telephone Company. It was this same house, which the highway department workers were trying to pass earlier in the day on the Disautel Road, when the gravel truck turned over down an embankment, fatally injuring W.E. Benedict, 46, of Wenatchee, who died that evening at the Omak Hospital.

June 20, 1946 The health department of Okanogan County announces that mosquito control work has been going ahead under the direction of the Okanogan County Health Department. Several large areas around Okanogan and Omak were sprayed by air on Monday. In the past several weeks breeding areas in the northern valley have been sprayed. Several large orchards in the OrovilleTonasket area have sprayed their cover crops with DDT with very gratifying results. Many Adults As there are a tremendous number of adult mosquitoes

on the wing, it is advised that individuals treat their lawns to control those in their own areas and thus help to prevent further building up of the mosquito population. Material recommended is 25 per cent DDT in emulsifiable oil, one part to 80 parts of water as a spray in vegetation, or one part 5 per cent DDT in emulsifiable oil to 20 parts of water. Screens may be sprayed or painted with fly spray containing 5 per cent DDT. More detailed information may be obtained at the Okanogan County Health Office.

John Richardson Is Whitman Star Oct. 24, 1946 John Richardson, who won three letters in football at Omak High School, has been burning up the Whitman grid-iron this fall with his stellar play as firststring fullback. Richardson, also a star catcher for Nig

Borleske’s ball team in the spring, drives hard through the line when packing the pigskin, and the manner in which he backs up the line was an important factor in Whitman’s recent 7 to 6 win over Whitworth College of Spokane.

Carry Hopes For Undefeated Football Season

The 1947 Omak Pioneer Football Squad. Bottom, from left: Don Storm, Neil Dunckel, J. Taylor, L. Little, David Groche, (on elbow) D. Main, Bob Moorehouse, (on elbow), D. Taylor, J. Woodside, Bob Carlton, Ken Johnson. Second row, left to right: Lawrence Perry, Roy Taylor, Ron Payne, Ron

Geuin, Don Moore, Hal Alsid, Lawrence Whalawitsa, Bob Myers, Pete Stewart, Duane Carlton, Dean Martin, Denny Saris. Third row, left to right: Bob Matthews, Naid Vaughn, Don Clark, Dick Dennis, Ken Knowles, Gary Griffiths, Lawrence Weitman, Bob

–Photo by Omak H.S.

Rogers, Keith Simmonds, Sonny Laughery, Rod Dodge. Top row, left to right: Laverne Mabbott, assistant coach, Perry Baker, Tom Wright, Tom Jensen, Harry Halstead, Ken O’Brien, Harry Zier, head coach.

Colville Indians Seek Huge Sum For Former Lands March 18,1941 In a concerted move to secure the $13,000,000 approved by Congress to reimburse them for various lands and rights between the summit of the Cascades west of the Okanogan, also around Wenatchee and Moses Coulee as well as certain hunting grounds in the Rockies, Indians of the Colville Reservation at a meeting held Saturday at the Nespelem Council Hall voted unanimously to send a delegation to Washington, D.C., to see why they have not received the money. A second meeting will be held next Saturday at Inchelium, and a third at Omak on Saturday, March 29, where it is expected similar action will be taken. Lands taken without compensation by the white men from Indians, it was stated total 3,785,644 acres, of which nearly 2,000,000 acres lie on the

Okanogan side, 570,000 acres along the river near the dam and over a million acres on the Colville side. Recall Old Treaty This land was signed over to the white men in 1855, it was stated, and the Indian believe it is time they are being paid. Albert Orr, a graduate of the Omak High School, was chairman of the meeting Saturday, and Mrs. Grace V. Coil was secretary. Members of the council are: L.H. Runnels, Tonasket; Albert Orr, Omak; Steve Cleveland, Monse; Daniel Samuels, Disautel; Henry T. Nelson, Curlew; Joe Adolph, Disautel; Mrs. Florence Quill, Inchelium; Barney Rickard, Inchelium; Peter Gunn, Marcus; Victory Nicholas, Inchelium; Henry Covington, Keller; Marcel Arcasa, Nespelem; Hiram Runnels, Nespelem; and Grace V.B. Coil, Elmer City.

Lefty Joe Marchand Twirls Five-Hitter As Club Runs Wild May 18, 1950 The Omak ball club crawled out of the cellar Sunday, blinking its eyes in the bright sunlight. The life of a mole temporarily forgotten, the squad went out and knocked over Summerland 9 to 3, the start of a stirring one-game winning streak. The big gun behind the lopsided win over Summerland was lefty Joe Marchand — the answer to a tired manager’s dream. Long plagued by the inability of his hurlers to keep the “fat ones” away from enemy swatsmen, Manager Shattuck was about ready to throw in the towel. Then along came Marchand to stand Summerland batters on their respective ears with a beautiful 5-hit pitching stint. Thank You, Sir! While the enemy was whiffing the ozone harmlessly at Marchand’s slants, the Omak nine was hitting Summerland’s Evans as if they owned him. They belted him for 11 hits, with single runs coming in the third and fifth innings, 3 in

Omak’s Championship Hopes Are Based On This Group

the fourth and 4 in the eighth. Glen Mallet continued to pace the hitting parade, knocking out three for five, including a pair of threebagger. Manager Shattuck showed his charges how it was done by hitting two for four, and Joe Marchand proved he could hit as well as pitch by smacking a single and a triple in three trips. The Mighty Have Fallen Elsewhere in the league, Penticton snapped the Mansfield winning streak at two straight. Penticton won the game 12 to 7, with 10 Mansfield errors figuring strongly in the outcome. Out-hit, but not outscored, Coulee Dam triumphed over Brewster 4 to 2 in another league game. The Dammers haven’t tasted defeat since the first game of the season. Tonasket edged Oliver 10 to 6 in a game which was marked by 15 miscues. The winners displayed less fumbleitis than their cousins from across the border, winning in the department of the game 5 to 10.

Presented here is Omak’s 1946-47 basketball squad. From left to right (standing) Neil Dunckel, Duane Flint, Coach Harry

depth of the lake within a few feet from the shore. The accident happened at a stretch of road over which a steep cliff towers, where occasional rockslides endanger traffic. Witnesses said the bus was proceeding slowly in a blinding snowstorm, struck a snowcovered rock and went out of control. Every family but one in the Twenty-Five Mile Creek area was left bereaved by the accident. Six families lost two children each. The dead are: Ronald R.

— Photo by Ladd

Richard Woodruff Front row: Dean Martin and Dorman Taylor.

Dec. 21, 1948 Dobbins, a horse living on North Prospect Avenue, fell into a cistern Sunday night while returning to his home in a nearby field. As he neared an intersection and momentarily blinded by an oncoming car he slipped to discover himself in 12 feet of water. Being an Army remount and having had to learn to swim while in the service, Dob treaded water for three and one-half hours. At midnight, Frank Wilcox, local fire chief was summoned and in a short time the cistern was pumped to a level where Dobbins could stand up. “I wish to thank the spectators at the scene of my accident for their prompt action. Three and one-half hours treading water doesn’t sound difficult but I sincerely wish that six or seven of those guys who were standing around would have the chance to find out,” Dobbins said.

★★★★★★ Omak Streets Receive New Names Miss Rae George Seen On Screen In Omak Theatre Sept. 19, 1946 Many Omak Theatre patrons were surprised and delighted to recognize Miss Rae George, formerly of Omak, in the cast of the movie, “The Bride Wore Boots,” which played Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at the Omak Theatre. Miss George, who has been employed as an extra in Hollywood for some time, was in the scene where the group of secretaries applied for a position and again in the scene depicting a hotel party. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. P.D. George of Omak and is a graduate of the Omak schools.


Search Continues For The Ill-Fated Bus In Deep Lake Chelan

Nov. 29, 1945 One of the state’s most shocking accidents occurred Monday morning when a Chelan school bus being driven in a blinding snow storm, left the road and plunged into Lake Chelan drowning 15 children and the driver. Five children and one adult escaped from the lake. Efforts have been made by several divers to locate the bus including a group from the naval air station on Whidbey Island, but so far these efforts have been unsuccessful because of the great

Zier, Robert Webster, Richard Johnson Second row: David Groche, Billy Russell, Robert Carlton, Jack Price,

Horse Thanks All Who Gave Prompt Action Last Sunday

Ayers, 14; Larry Miller, 6; Betty Miller, 9; Douglas Hale, 8; Stewart Hale, 6; Jean Keck, 13; Donna Keck, 7; Dorothy Davis, 17; Henry Davis (brother), 16; Bernard Gilmore, 7; Ruth Halley, 9; Louis Aklund, 11; Barbara Aklund, 8; Ann Dam, 10; Carl Dam, 6; Jack Randle, driver, recently discharged from the Army. Those who escaped were Mrs. Ted Brown; Bobby Watson, 8; Don Mack, 13; Ethel Keck, 9; Peggy Rice, 16; another girl, 17, niece of driver.

The Omak Depot 1948

As City Council Approves Plan Feb. 19, 1948 By a unanimous vote Tuesday night the Omak City Council decided to change the names of practically every street and avenue in the city. Under the plan, proposed by the Omak Business and Professional Women’s Club, all streets west of Main will be named after trees. Under this plan, which will go into effect when new street markers are installed within 60 days, First Street West becomes Ash Street, Second

Street West will be Birch, Third Street West will be Cedar, then Douglas, Elm and Fir. All avenues south of Central Avenue will remain the same. All avenues North of Central Avenue will bear the names of fruits; First Avenue North will be Apple; Second Avenue North will be Berry; Third Avenue North will be called Cherry and then Dewberry and Elder. Streets in East Omak are still under consideration by

the women’s group who will report back to the council at a later date. Meanwhile work continued this week on the construction of street markers and signposts which the Omak Chamber of Commerce and the Omak Kiwanis Club are financing. Present plans call for one eight-foot post on each corner set in concrete. Mayor R.P. Hampton said Wednesday that he hopes the job can be completed by April 17.

Maybe There ‘Ain’t No Such Animal’ But 5 Here Think They Saw Air Discs July 10, 1947 There may be no such thing as a ‘flying disc’ but at least five persons in Omak are convinced they saw something strange overhead late Monday. Their description of it fits closely the mysterious objects which have been reported seen in nearly every state and parts of Canada during the past two weeks. Whatever it was, it appeared to be very large, circular and of whitish color, according to Harold Eastman, Omak Jeweler,

who was the first to notice it. Eastman spotted it while watching a plane about 7:30 p.m. Monday. He called his wife and several neighbors and they observed it for nearly a minute before it passed out of sight. At High Altitude To Eastman the object appeared to be “about twice the diameter of the moon” and was moving from east to west at a very great height. It passed either through or beyond clouds that were estimated at

9,000 feet elevation. Eastman expressed doubt that the object could be a weather balloon, latest theory to be advanced. “It was travelling at too great a speed to be carried by air currents,” Eastman said. “I don’t believe it took over a minute to pass beyond the horizon. It certainly was travelling far faster than the cloud it passed.” The other witnesses agree in describing the object and as to the speed it was traveling.

Liquor Profits Set New Record Oct. 7, 1941 The most profitable year’s business since the inception of the system, was completed on September 30, by the State Liquor Control Board, according to compilations made in the office of State Auditor Cliff Yelle. During the fiscal period ending on that date the board distributed in profits the sum of six and one-half million dollars. Of the total the state treasurer’s office received

$2,275,000; counties, $845,000; and cities and towns, $3,380.00. Okanogan County’s Seat Okanogan County’s share was $47,012.54, with $19,203.65 going to the county treasurer’s office; $9,141.18 to Omak; $5,438.74 to Okanogan; $3,582.94 to Oroville; $1,977.05 to Tonasket; $1,565.23 to Pateros; $1,431.48 to Twisp; $1,417.90 to Brewster; $1,106.09 to Winthrop;

$969.35 to Nespelem; $640.38 to Riverside; and $538.55 to Conconully. King County came in for the largest share for the state’s counties, receiving $1,396,564.63; and San Juan County the smallest with only $5,424.87. The state auditor’s office reports that the highest previous year’s business was for the fiscal period ending September 30, 1940, when a total of $5,250,000 was distributed.

Suicide Newsreel Set For Weekend At Omak Theatre

— x03206 Okanogan County Historical Society

Sept. 9, 1948 North Central Washington’s premier showing of Warner Brother’s Pathe newsreel pictures of the 1948 Omak Stampede Suicide Race will be held at the Omak Theatre Friday and Saturday nights, according to Ike Rodgers, theatre manager. “As a special feature of the premier, we are inviting all of the participants in both days’

Suicide Race to be our guests at the theatre,” Rodgers announced Tuesday. Entered in the race were Basil Paul, Nespelem; Alex Dick, Omak; Aeneas Dick, Okanogan; Leonard St. Peter, Omak; Mose Sam, Omak; Joe Harry, Omak, winner of the Saturday race; Isaac Jack, Nespelem; Bob Sutton, Riverside, winner of the Sunday event; David Condon, Malott; Henry

Michel, Nespelem; and Sam Joseph, Disautel. Seen In Canada Rodgers announced that in addition to the showing of the Stampede newsreel in every U.S. theatre using Warner Brother’s Pathe News, all Canadian theatres would also see it. “I really believe that this is the greatest publicity ever received for the Stampede,” Rodgers said.


FLOOD LOSS SET AT $6,895,520 June 10, 1948 An estimated $6,895,520 worth of flood damage was reported to the central flood committee at Okanogan Monday by city, county, state, federal and other agencies within Okanogan County. The figures submitted were estimates made at the request of the Washington State Congressional Delegation, governmental agencies and Governor Mon C. Wallgren. Maley On Committee On the central flood committee, appointed last week by the county commissioners, are Walter B. Schrock, Okanogan; John E. Maley, Omak; Milt Todd, Brewster; R. B. Kennison, Winthrop; and Lewis Prince, Oroville. Estimating the highest town damage was Twisp with a grand total of $244,000. Omak estimated $155,650; Okanogan $198,630; Pateros $79,500; Riverside $11,000; Winthrop $122,000; Oroville $68,600; Tonasket $25,000; Elmer City $67,200; and Conconully $13,850. Agency Breakdown Rural areas reported a

total of $1,441,090 worth of flood damage. Included in this category were farms destroyed or damaged, rural property loss, farm crops lost or damaged, farm pastures damaged and livestock damage. Private incorporated irrigation districts figured their loss at about $428,199. The state highway department estimated that it would take $990,000 to replace highways and bridges damaged. The county engineer’s office turned in an estimated $594,000 damage loss. Highest figure on estimated damage was turned in by the only federal agency, the Chelan National Forest. They reported a loss of about $2,257,000 in roads and bridges. The forest service lost 45 bridges and numerous culverts. The Okanogan County Public Utility District estimated losses at $200,000 principally in the Methow Valley. Equipment Coming Seven pieces of heavy equipment arrived in the Methow Tuesday night from the Bureau of Reclamation at Grand Coulee Dam. Included in the equipment were three dozers, three D-4 Caterpillars and a 5/8 yard dirt crawler. Bailey bridges were being erected in Twisp and Oroville this week.

The dikes around the town of Okanogan saved it from the floods. The

railroad tracks, however were inundated.

County Flood Toll Figures Given To Special Committee

The 1948 flood hit the Methow Valley the hardest. Here, you can see a Twisp Mill building falling

into the raging river with the bridge, now split in half falling into the river, in the background. Other

–Photo 4181 by Thelma Richards

buildings lost included a church and several homes.

WORST FLOOD IN HISTORY Continuedfrom from Page Page 41 (Continued One) in. On that plane were 5,000 bags. There were 43,000 more to arrive by Monday noon. Critical Period Most critical stage in the fight to save Omak probably came Saturday morning when the river rose almost as fast as sand and bags could be put on the dike. Tuesday morning residents rose to hear that the river had dropped three inches during the night. From then on the river dropped and water in store basements raised.

Completely out of business is Stewart & Botchek, located in the basement of the Pentz Furniture Company building. Workers were ferried across the half-mile lake which formed between the east end of the Omak Bridge and East Omak. Business houses began opening Wednesday but trying to rearrange stock was the biggest business on hand. Beer Sales Stopped Beer sales were cancelled upon the request of Mayor Hampton Friday afternoon. Gasoline shortage and too

many cars on the streets interfering with flood workers prompted the clamping down of gasoline sales Monday. Water became scarce when only one of the city’s five wells remained out of high water on Monday. A break in one line brought fear to the minds of city officials Monday. First sign of the flood receding came from Robert Lindscott, foreman at the Similkameen Power House near Oroville at noon Sunday when he said that the water had begun to drop in volume over the Similkameen Dam.

Monday noon all pumping operations were ordered halted as water pumped from basements began to run back into sunken portions of streets that had been dug up last year for the installation of the new sewer system. At noon Monday the water at the Similkameen Dam had fallen 12 inches from the alltime high of 36,000 cubic feet per second. Typhoid centers were set up in Okanogan, Omak and Oroville Monday with county health officials inoculating everybody that desired the shots.

Several homes and buildings are flooded in Omak. Many families

–Photo by Bruce Wilson

evacuated ground.

The bridge above Pateros near the Larrabee family land was washed out in

the beginning of the flood on May 29, 1948.

Transfer Of Power Company Property Will Be Tomorrow May 10, 1945 Transfer of the properties of the Washington Water Power Company in Okanogan County is to be made to the Okanogan County Public Utility District on Friday of this week according to Paul W. Hand, P.U.D. Manager. The transferral of properties will take place in the courthouse at Okanogan at 10 o’clock, with representatives of the power company and the P.U.D. present. L.J. Kerrick, who has been manager of the Omak district for several years, has been named superintendent of operations of the utility district, Hand announced, and Lloyd Busey, who has been in the sate auditor’s office for several years, will be located in Okanogan with the P.U.D. The usual service and rates will be continued in




–Photo #4191

Bottling Works Plant Operation Started Monday

Chugging Along

the county, Mr. Hand states and the majority of the employees of the Washington Water Power Company will continue their positions with the P.U.D. A superior court hearing to determine whether the power company will be compelled to sell electricity to the P.U.D., is also set for Friday of this week at Okanogan.

Douglas Allen State Mile Champ May 30,1946 Entrants from Omak High School made a good showing at the Inland Empire Tennis Meet in Spokane this past weekend, and the state track meet in Pullman, Saturday. Don Flint won first place in the boys singles tennis meet by winning five matches, and Rex Morgan and Wally Moore won first place in boys’ doubles by winning four matches. Douglas Allen took first place in the mile with a time of 4:35.6. Robert Carlton placed fourth in the high jump.

The steamboat Bridgeport sails underneath an uncompleted bridge

Omak Man Wins Pacific Coast Boxing Championship March 25, 1941 Fred Spiegelberg of Omak, a student at the State College of Washington, won

–Photo X03206

over the Columbia River.

the Pacific Coast Collegiate boxing championship in the 175-pound division by defeating Bersado of San Francisco, a broadcast from Sacramento, California said. Spiegelberg won by

–Photo by Wenatchee World

knockout in the fist round. He will travel east to Pennsylvania State to compete in the nationals. Spiegelberg is also a member of the State College Football Team.

June 16, 1941 Manufacture of bottled pop was done for the first time in Okanogan County Monday, when the Omak Distributors & Bottlers started operations at its plant in Omak, with the trade name “Dubl Valu.” Byron Harris, owner, recently completed the construction of a 116 by 32 foot building at a cost of $2,700 on First Street West and First Avenue South. Machinery valued at $4,600 was installed last week. Three men will be employed all the time and four part of the time. The plant is equipped with a steam boiler for bottle washing, with a Miller Hydro bottle washer, with Peerless water filterer and purifier, and a Dixie filler. Twelve flavors of pop will be put out by the plant – orange, lemon, lime, grape, strawberry, cherry, root beer, lime, kola special, crème, Dr. Nutt and the grapefruit drink Rummy.

PRECHT-HARRISON NEARENTS CHAPEL OKANOGAN COUNTY CREMATORY “Over 65 years of caring, professional funeral service.


“Omak and Okanogan’s First & Only Local Crematory”

Susan Graves (Secretary), Richard Rozales (Cemetery Caretaker), Michael Nearents (Owner), Amanda Graves (Bookkeeper), Glenn Graves (Crematory Operator), January 2011.

Michael Nearents, Henry Precht and Ted Harrison, May 2002

About Us

The Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel carries on a tradition of affordable, caring, dignified, funeral and cremation service that began over 65 years ago. Our funeral home has been and still is a genuinely family owned and operated funeral and cremation provider for Omak, Okanogan, and the surrounding areas. The Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel or “P-H-N Chapel” works together with the Okanogan County Crematory, which happens to be the first and only crematory to be built within over a 90 mile radius of the cities of Omak and Okanogan. One of the rare aspects of the particular cremation service that is offered through P-H-N Chapel is that the families will be able to speak directly

with the person who will actually be performing the cremation right here locally. Having the 1st and only local crematory means that families no longer have to deal with the extra costs, uncertainties and risks involved with having their loved ones taken all the way to Spokane or Wenatchee in order to be cremated. This unique aspect of our funeral home not only gives people the peace of mind knowing that someone local can now accomplish the cremation process in its entirety, but also provides families with the small town caring and reliability at a time when they need it the most. It is because of this combination between more than adequate facilities, a local crematory and our

Our staff

Michael Nearents Owner, Funeral Director, Embalmer

Michael Nearents is a lifelong resident of the Okanogan County and has had over 28 years experience in funeral service. Michael graduated from Okanogan High School in 1979. He began working in 1983 under the guidance of Henry Precht (who founded “Precht’s Funeral Home” in Omak in 1946 ) and his son, Ted Harrison. He worked for Henry and Ted at the Precht-

We pledge to honor a loved one in whatever way that a family may deem appropriate in order to help them get through the most difficult of times.

Glenn Graves is a funeral director at the Precht-HarrisonNearents Chapel in between Omak and Okanogan and the owner/operator of the Okanogan County Crematory. He began working at the funeral home after graduating from Okanogan High School in 1999. After graduating college in 2004 with a bachelor’s in

Services Whether for basic services, full mortuary services, or any other type of funeral services that may have been requested, you can rely upon Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel to offer the most competitive pricing, the most caring and respectful staff and to understand and respect any request that you have.

Whether it is just the basic services that are needed or if the family desires a memorialization that calls upon traditional mortuary services, the Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel is by far the most flexible, affordable and understanding choice for those in need.

Glenn Graves Funeral Director and Crematory Operator

Harrison Chapel in Omak, Barnes Chapel in Okanogan, and the Precht’s Methow Valley Chapel in Twisp as an apprentice funeral director and embalmer. He attended Wenatchee Valley College graduating in 1986. Michael then attended Mt. Hood Mortuary College and became licensed in funeral directing and the embalming arts. Michael worked for Henry Precht and Ted Harrison until he took over the ownership of the funeral home in 2002 and it became known as the “PrechtHarrison-Nearents Chapel”.

genuinely caring, professional family staff that allows for Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel to provide the most accommodating and affordable funeral and cremation service available to our communities.

philosophy, Glenn was licensed as a funeral director and now works alongside his father-in-law, Michael Nearents at the Precht-HarrisonNearents Chapel. At the end of Spring 2006, He completed the construction of the crematory facility that is located just outside of Omak and Okanogan on the ranch that his great-grandfather homesteaded in 1916. Glenn and Amanda are expecting a baby in July and hope to move to the ranch to raise their family.

Location An increasingly wide range of options and services are now being offered. If you have questions about any aspect of the funeral process, our caring, courteous family staff will do their best to provide answers and offer suggestions, if needed.

Contact information Funeral Home Phone: 509-422-3333 Email: phnc@communitynet.org Web Site: www.omakfuneral.com

The Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel is centrally located in between the cities of Omak and Okanogan on the main thoroughfare known as Elmway which connects the two towns together. The Chapel itself lies just far enough off of the busy street to allow for a calming and private setting that families appreciate for having services and when making arrangements.

2547 Elmway PO Box 1610 Okanogan, WA 98840

Crematory Phone: 509-422-2353 Email: glenn@okanogancountycrematory.com Web Site: www.omakcrematory.com

1950s A Decade of

Recovery As the throes of war ended, development began again. The 1950s were marked by Chief Joseph Dam’s completion, changes in American Indian policies at the national level and development of a cure for polio.

Students sneak a peek of what could be their new classroom in Omak. Right: Construction is under way at Chief Joseph Dam in Bridgeport.

An advertisement from Meadowmoor Dairy, Omak, announces a new invention – the milk carton.


May 20, 1950 – May 19, 1960 Established May 20, 1910 - Fifth in a Ten Part Series

TIMELINE 1950 June 25 – Korean War effectively begins when the North invades the South, backed with Soviet weapons. 1951 Jan. 4 – Blackwell’s in Okanogan celebrates 50 years of business. Jan. 18 – Indians get $100 per capita; seek repeal of the Indian liquor law. April 5 – A steel bridge replaces the wooden bridge at Ellisforde, which had cost $7,000 in maintenance in two years. April 12 – A $525,000 hospital expansion gets underway in Tonasket at St. Martin’s by the Dominican Sisters of Washington, Inc. April 19 – Brewster is gripped by rabies scare; 85 dogs are vaccinated. May 29 – Rufus Woods, Wenatchee Daily World editor dies. May 31 – Omak schools begin tradition of Camp Progress. June 21 – The Trinity Lutheran Church, Omak, dedicates its new building, still standing at the corner of Ash and Fourth Street. July 5 – Coulee Dam streets and sidewalks are paved. July 13 – Motel Nicholas opens. July 19 – The State Parks Board recommends adding Osoyoos Lake and Alta Lake as state parks. Aug. 2 – Frank George, Nespelem, becomes first vice-president of the National Congress of American Indians. Aug. 9 – The new Bridgeport bridge over the Columbia River is dedicated. Sept. 13 – An air raid is scheduled for Sept. 21. Nov. 1 – Nespelem voters appoint a council of 14 to curb juvenile delinquency by cleaning up the town and finding things for the youth to do. Nov. 8 – The new $500,000 Coulee Dam school is dedicated. Nov. 16 – Loy McDaniel named state cattleman of the year. Nov. 21 – Fire destroys the Malott school. Nov. 29 – Oroville voters approve a levy for a new auditorium and PE building for the school. Dec. 10 – New Omak Fish Hatchery dedicated. 1952 Jan. 10 – Miss Peggy Ann Rainsberry of Tonasket first baby of 1952. Feb. 23 – New Okanogan Armory Building dedicated. March 19 – 24-hour skywatch scheduled. April 23 – New record set for first day of fishing – 57,000 trout according to check.

Continued 50 (Continuedon on page Page 2)

(Above) Robert M. French, Conconully cattleman, drives his 300 head of calves through Okanogan to market in February 1958. This

photo was taken at Second Avenue and Pine Street, with the clock tower visible at right. — Chronicle photo

(Left) Omak’s streets in 1959 at the intersection of Central Avenue and Main Street looking

north. A traffic light had not yet been installed. — Chronicle photo

Chief Joseph Dam Completed Chief Joseph Dam Dedication Tuesday; Ceremony Will Mark 7 Year’s Construction June 7, 1956 Tuesday’s dedication ceremony at Chief Joseph dam will cap nearly seven years of work on one of the world’s greatest hydroelectric plants, exceeded in capacity in the United States only by Grand Coulee dam. The first contract on the $193,000,000 project was let June 29, 1949. Two bridges, an access highway, housing, intake channel and rightabutment excavation and the first coffer dam were completed within two years. The first concrete was poured in the main dam in September of 1951. The first concrete in the intake structure was poured September 11, 1952. The first three generators went on the line August 20, 1955. Others will be added to an eventual total of 27 units and a total production of more than

1,700,000 kilowatts of electricity. The dam stands 205 feet above the Columbia riverbed and is 4300 feet long and the intake structure and the powerhouse are 2036 feet long.

Thousands Attend Dam Dedication June 14, 1956 BRIDGEPORT – Chief Joseph Dam, newest Columbia river hydroelectric project, was dedicated Tuesday to the accompaniment of the rumbling spillway waterfall, the sound of swooping jet planes and the voices of elderly Indian tribal leaders speaking in their native tongues. The structure, named for Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, was termed by Harold Stassen, who represented President Eisenhower as dedication speaker, a vital link in the development of the Columbia basin. The former Minnesota governor reviewed the nine-year history of the project through its construction phases, now

A family surveys the new work of Chief Joseph Dam as it spills for the first time into the Columbia River at the nearly over, and pointed out that as more generators are added, the project will increase the power output of a network which now produces more electricity than that of any other state.

Indian Policies Changing National Policies Arouse Suspicions, Bring Division March 8, 1951 Efforts to set Nespelem tribesman free have aroused support from two more quarters, it was announced this week by Hiram B. Runnels, vice president of the Colville Indian Commercial club. Now in the Indian camp are the Northwest Sportsmen’s association and a national group of Indians with headquarters in Hartford, Conn. Re-Distribution Runnels’ group of Colvilles is demanding immediate re-opening of the reservations to mineral entry, liquidation of the Colville agency and distribution of $1,659,721 now held in trust for the tribe.

A New York magazine is reportedly making a study of the local situation to determine whether Nespelem Indians are being held in a semi-slave status. Senator Harry P. Cain (R-Wash.) recently introduced a bill in the senate which would distribute funds among the tribesmen. Runnels, who is the chief spokesman for the Commercial club group, was the principal opposition witness at a hearing in Spokane last fall on a bill before congress to restore 818,000 acres of tribal ownership. Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) has been asked by John E. Hamilton, president of the National American Indian Defense association, to investigate the proposed restoration of 818,000 acres. Proposal Rapped Hamilton told Senator

– X03179 Corps of Engineers

dam’s dedication on June 12, 1956.

Chiefs Speak Indian speakers at the ceremony included Chiefs Jim James and Kamiakin and Peter Dan Moses. Speaking through an interpreter Chief James alluded to the fact that his

ancestors had lived in this area for centuries and concluded: “It gives me pleasure that my children and your children will benefit from this dam.” (Continued on Page 4)

Gal Suicide Racer

McCarthy that the HoranMagnuson-Murray “restoration” proposal is an attempt to transfer $1,650,000 in Indian funds from the control of congress to that of an irresponsible tribal council under control of the bureau of Indian affairs. Members of the Northwest Sportsmen’s association, Ephrata, this week sent wires to Horan, Cain, Magnuson and Senator Butler of Nebraska opposing the HoranMagnuson bill.

Indians Ask Land Title; Chamber Approves March 22, 1951 A bill which would give the state jurisdiction over offenses committed by or against Indians on Indian reservations has been introduced into the senate by Sen. Harry P. Cain, it was announced this week. (Continued on (Continued onPage Page53) 5)

Rusty Tawes, Pendleton, Ore., was the first woman to enter the Suicide Race

in 1959, causing quite a stir. — Chronicle photo

Girl Rides in Suicide Race Aug. 9, 1959 The 26th annual Omak Stampede last weekend set a host of records as more cowboys received more

money and more injuries than ever before. Arnie Wills’ 4.4-second arena bulldogging mark was (Continued onPage Page50) 2) (Continued on


Chronicle 1950s staff:

Snowstorms Shut Down Town Snowstorms Close Roads, Schools; Reservation District Still ‘Digging Out’

Frank Emert, owner, publisher 1926-1957

Bruce Wilson, owner, publisher 1957Douglas S. Leach,

Feb. 23, 1956 Sunday’s and Monday’s almost continuous snowstorms laid a heavy blanket of wet snow over Okanogan county’s already above-average coating to paralyze traffic movement in many rural areas. The snowfall, which measured 21 inches in the mid-valley area and more at higher elevations, was accompanied on the reservation plateau by hard winds Monday and soon filled in roads which had been largely cleared of the barrier deposited there in the blizzard of Wednesday of last week. Schools Close Nearly all the schools in the county were closed Monday and only that of

Ad Manager, ‘51-’52

Vivian Lambert, Society Editor ‘49-’51

J. Blaine Schulz, City Editor, ‘51-’52

Lee DiMeo, Society Editor, ‘51-’54 Harley Heath, Ad Manager‘52-

Charles Kerr City Editor ‘52-

Elizabeth Barta Widel, Society Editor, ‘54-’57

Edna Pfitzer, Society Editor ‘57-

Joe Sinclair, The Smilin’ Ad Man Who Aims to Please ‘57-

Centennial staff: Publisher: Roger Harnack Section editor: Sheila Corson Managing editor: Dee Camp Advertising: Lynn Hoover Research/design: Julie Bock Katie Montanez Elizabeth Widel Special Thanks to: Okanogan County Historical Society

TIMELINE 1952 Continued July 24 – Tim Bernard is Okanogan County Cattleman of 1952. Aug. 14 – Daisy May Drive In first business of its kind in the valley. Oct. 25 – J&S Drug Store opens. Nov. 1 – First hydrogen bomb exploded on Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. Nov. 4 – Dwight D. Eisenhower elected president of the U.S. 1953 Jan. 1 – First TV in Okanogan County is installed. April 25 – DNA doublehelix model published. May 12 – New Tonasket Hospital dedicated. July 27 – Korean War ends with an armistice signed between North Korea, South Korea, U.S. and China. Aug. 19 – The U.S. assists in the overthrow of the Iranian government. (Continuedon on page Page 3) Continued 51


Oroville operated Tuesday as bus route roads were declared unsafe or even impassable. The county basketball tournament, which was to have opened Tuesday at Omak, was postponed until Wednesday. The heavy snowfall caused at least one instance of major damage to a building, the 6 p.m. Monday collapse of the Pateros American Legion hall. The resulting slushy highway condition contributed Tuesday to the county’s second traffic fatality of the year. A Keller man, Alex Sorimpt, was killed when his automobile left the highway nine miles east of Omak. County equipment, at least that which was not down for repairs after the long grind of last week’s blizzard, was concentrating on the Duley Lake area where some ranchers had been isolated for more than a week and in some

A grange hall roof collapses under 1955-1956 Another casualty was the heavy snow, just one of many Stampede Arena. structures to suffer in the winter of — Chronicle photo instances have been rotary plow back into replacement after its long unable to get feed to their operation Wednesday to stretch of operation last cattle. help speed the work there. week. Officials hoped to get a The plow required a motor ~

Find Polio Vaccine EDITORIAL: “LET’S DO IT OURSELVES” Jan. 21, 1954 For 16 years the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis and its county chapters have spearheaded the attack against polio. It is a purely voluntary organization financed solely by the March of Dimes. It grew out of the recognition of millions of people that polio could be conquered only through an expensive and expansive effort. This is the American way of doing things, as opposed to the totalitarian way in which government does it all and the people must simply accept what is done. Some people believe that neighborliness should stop at the borders of their own community. They would have the government take over all large health and welfare programs. These people can’t realize what this kind of government program would involve. As President Eisenhower recently said when talking about voluntary agencies: “The slogan of a true democracy is not – Let the Government do it. The true slogan is – Let’s do it ourselves.” This is sound reasoning. Voluntary organizations such as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis should continue to be an integral part of the American way of life. They provide a bulwark against regimentation and totalitarian tendencies.

POLIO VACCINE AVAILABLE Aug. 2, 1956 Adequate supplies of polio vaccine now are available in the state of Washington to provide protection for all age groups, it was announced this week by R.W. Cool, chairman of the Okanogan county chapter of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. All restrictions on age for the use of commercially

purchased vaccine have been removed, Cool reported, and the state health department has been urged to develop a program to encourage the greater use of the vaccine. According to Dr. Bernard Bucove, state health director, the incidence of polio is generally highest among children between the ages of one to nine and the rate of incidence does not drop off markedly until after the age of 30. Although only about one-third of the total number of polio cases occur in persons over 20, two-thirds of the deaths caused by this disease occur in that age group. Cool said the polio vaccination program should be extended throughout the summer. “By expanding immunization programs even during periods of rising polio incidence, it should be possible to protect many more children and pregnant women, the groups of greatest risk, before the peak of polio season of late summer and early fall,” he explained. “Vaccine given in August will prevent paralytic cases, and even deaths, in September.”

Reunited After 48 Years May 28, 1958 A Canadian named Johnson who used to be a Norwegian named Christianson has been visiting an American name Olson who used to be a Norwegian named Christianson. The men are brothers. The host in this mixedup affair is Bjarne Olson, Omak mechanic, who recently traced down his older brother, Jake, whom he had last seen in May of 1911. But let brother Jake tell the story. He was 11 when it all started and can make it all clear — well fairly clear, anyway. It was in May of 1909 that a Norwegian widow named Christianson

High School Band

The Omak High School band performs in the school gymnasium in uniform. New uniforms were purchased by the received the loan of steamer fare to America for herself and her sons, Jake 9 and Bjarne 2. She came to Minnesota and got a job as a cook but apparently had difficulty supporting the two boys and eventually gave them into the care of the family named Olson, which had loaned her the passage money. Eventually, she consented to their adoption and proceedings had begun when in 1911, Mrs. Christianson married a man named Gus Johnson and decided she wanted her sons back. Jake the elder, 11 by this time, tired of the foster home and ran away to rejoin his mother. He recalls going with his mother to the Olson home to attempt to get the younger brother back. It was in May, 48 years ago this month. It was not a stormy interview as Jake recalls — the Olsons simply refused to give Bjarne up. His adoption had become final by this time and Mrs. (now) Johnson had to give up and leave without him. Something must have been said during the interview that things would be different if Mrs. Johnson would pay the rest of the money loaned her for fare but — “My stepfather wouldn’t dig down for it,” said Jake. The Johnson family went to Saskatchewan and homesteaded at Hudson’s Bay Junction in 1912. Jake took the name of his stepfather. He enlisted in the Canadian Army March 22, 1915 and served four years in England and France during WWI. He returned to Canada

Omak Chamber of Commerce for the band in 1957. — Chronicle photo

in 1919, married and has in recent years been a pump man in a copper mine at Flinflon. Bjarne, meanwhile, had grown up in Minnesota and had taken the surname of his foster father. He married and raised three children. In 1942 the family came west and Bjarne Olson worked for a time for a railroad at Seattle and later at Omak before taking his present job at Petersen Motor Company, Okanogan. It was Bjarne’s request that the Canadian Mounted Police track down his brother that eventually brought the two together, ending the separation of 48 years and 1,500 miles. Olson has three children, Mrs. Roy Bradshaw and Mrs. James Howard, Omak and Ted Olson, Okanogan and three grandchildren.

Girl Races (Continued (Continued from fromPage Page49) 1) shattered and for the first time a one-event specialist, bullrider Delbert Pack of Kennewick, won the allaround championship. But Saturday morning a vivacious 17-year-old Pendleton, Ore. girl slipped into town, and from then on the Stampede was hers. Rusty Tawes, who runs a 57-acre alfalfa and pasture ranch, announced she had come to ride in the Suicide Race. “Good grief,” sighed the Stampede Committee when it learned Friday Rusty was on her way. Visions of severe bodily injuries, a crippled horse and lawsuits swirled

through the head of general chairman Gordon Lecoy. The matter was debated for hours with no decision. Saturday, calm and persuasive, Rusty argued her case. She was armed with her parents’ permission, relieving the Stampede liability (though back home her mother, who had seen the Suicide Race televised on “You asked for it,” was scared to death). The Plunging Suicide Race course is a far cry form pole bending and other horse show events Rusty was used to. But she practiced it four times, with veteran Suicide Racer Francis Charette supplying advice. An hour or so before the Saturday night Suicide Race, Rusty’s 12-year-old trick horse, Duke, slipped or broke his tether and wandered into the night. Early Sunday morning Rusty found Duke placidly grazing in East Omak. Sunday afternoon, for the first time in history, a woman rode in the Suicide Race — without a saddle, only halter and reins. At the top of the cliff Rusty and Sammy Joseph collided briefly. The Pendleton girl trailed most of the riders down but swam and splashed across the river to place sixth among seven entries — with Alex Dick completing another sweep to make his record 19 out of 21. “A real wild bunch,” Rusty gasped after the race. She was ringing wet, and still choking dust she had swallowed. “Real nice fellows though. Next year I’m going to get here a week early to practice.”

People Decade

George Burrell Ladd was born Oct. 8, 1871 in Detroit, Mich. His father, Burrell W. Ladd, was a photographer and his two brothers were also photographers. Ladd took part in the Yukon gold rush in 1898. He homesteaded in the Okanogan Valley in 1903 north of Riverside, operating a stock ranch. He married Agnes Lenega in Spokane on July 10, 1910 and the couple moved to Riverside, then to Omak in 1912. He then opened a photography studio in town after years of photography as a hobby. In the earlier years of his business, Ladd traveled by horseback throughout the area taking family photos. He also served on the Omak school board, was a member of the Omak Masonic Lodge and was an elder at the Omak First Presbyterian Church. After his death in 1954, his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd F. Whiting, took over the studio. The Okanogan County Historical Society has more than 30,000 negatives from Ladd’s career. He is buried in the Omak Memorial cemetery.

of the

Paschal Sherman

Elizabeth Barta Widel

Frank Grant Wapato was born to Charley and Matilda Wapato in Chelan in 1895. He also took a traditional Indian name - Quas-quay or Blue Jay, which in ancient tradition had the power of traveling great distances and announcing news on its return. At the death of his father in 1906, Wapato and his brother, Paul, went to school at St. Mary’s Mission. There, Father Etienne DeRouge mentored Wapato, who later took the name Paschal Sherman. He acted in school plays, was a sports star and headed off to St. Martin’s College in Lacey. He then attended Catholic University in Washington, D.C., receiving a master of arts and then a Ph.D. in constitutional history. In 1920, he studied at the Washington College of Law and received a master’s degree in patent law. For 44 years, he worked as an attorney with the veteran’s bureau in Washington, D.C., contributing to multiple programs and field manuals to help veterans. He participated in the inaugurations of Nixon and President John F. Kennedy. Sherman took an active role in Indian affairs after 1953 when Congress passed a resolution to terminate Indian rights and reservations. He joined the National Congress of American Indians and served as its treasurer. He was also involved in the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and American Indian Civil Liberties Trust. He was warmly introduced in meetings by Northwest Indian leaders as “Dr. Sherman – the only Indian with five college degrees.” After a heart attack killed him in April 1970, telegrams poured in from across the nation. His body was flown back for burial at St. Mary’s Mission. When the Colville Confederated Tribes took ownership of the mission school in 1974, it was renamed Paschal Sherman Indian School.

Elizabeth Barta came from Chicago to Omak in 1954, marrying Glen Widel, Chronicle employee, shortly after becoming society editor for the paper. Elizabeth and Glen began their column, “Exploring the Okanogan” on May 9, 1957, shortly after publisher Bruce Wilson took over. After Glen passed away in 1961, Elizabeth continued the column, now at 2,695, 53 years later. She still copyedits and writes her column every week, now at 93 years old. Below is the Widels’ first column:

From Mountains to Wild Flowers, Little Escapes Widels’ Viewfinders Introduction: This is the first in a series of Okanogan County pictures from the files of Glen and Elizabeth Widel, shop foreman and Linotype operator at the Omak Chronicle. The Widels travel nowhere without their cameras, and during the past several years have built up a striking collection of scenes and distinctive landmarks from every corner of the Okanogan.

It should be understood from the outset that we are strongly partisan in our views: we love Okanogan county in all its sprawling size, from the dramatic grandeur of the Sawtooth range on the west down to the shyest wildflower hiding in the grass. Weekends we like to provision the car, grab the cameras and take off. En route we notice wildlife (the oddest car counter we ever saw was a doe deer on the Loup Loup one Sunday afternoon), geologic formations, communities and their histories, and ever and always the mountains. Most people, we have found, do not know the names of their near mountains. They live in the presence of grandeur and can’t identify. What’s the name of your peak? If we were to meet you one weekend, we probably would ask, for we like to know. And in addition to stopping just to look and sort of drink it in, we also try to see it through a viewfinder. Thus we can have all the county in all seasons, even with six feet of snow keeping us in the valley come winter.

That’s My Grandson!

Marriage Prospers For 74 Years of Shared Work, Joy May 17, 1956 OROVILLE – Parents of Mrs. James A. Harding, who would not allow her to marry until she was 20, would be satisfied now that the young couple knew their own minds. For on April 23, in a family reunion and cakecutting, Mr. and Mrs. Harding marked the end of the seventy-fourth year of a marriage which has ripened through decades of hard work and shared joys and tribulations. Present for the event were members of a clan which now numbers two sons, a daughter, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Nears Century Mark Harding, who will be 100 years old on August 28, is alert and clear of memory. He has been confined to a wheel chair for the past two or three years because of arthritis. Mrs. Harding, 96, still cooks the meals upon which her husband has thrived for nearly three quarters of a century, and which his good digestion still enables him to enjoy. In recent years she has had to forego the ironing and heavier homestead chores. Harding was born on August 28, 1856, at Defiance, Ohio. Mrs. Harding, the former Sarah Eliza Kegerrels, was born on April 14, 1862, at Madison City, Indiana. Married in 1882 Her parents moved to Butler, Missouri, in 1882, and there the young couple formed their lasting partnership on April 23 of that year. Their sons, Raymond, Oroville, and Allen, Kent, were born at Butler. In 1884 the family


George B. Ladd

moved to Sheridan, Wyoming. They farmed there for 18 years, raising cattle, wheat, oats, and amidst the headshaking of neighbors, introduced successfully the first corn and apple trees grown there. Their daughter, the present Mrs. Bernice Edna Hoskyn, was born at Sheridan. Health Forced Removal Both Mr. and Mrs. Harding developed catarrh, a condition for which their doctor advised removal to a different climate, so in 1907 they came to the Okanogan valley. They had loaded their worldly goods, including six head of horses and a flock of chickens, into a railroad car at Sheridan. The family bought tickets for Molson, then the end point for passenger service, but the Hardings arrived there in time to ride the first passenger train to make the winding trip on down to Oroville. The Hardings bought a part of the original Archie Martin homestead four miles north of Tonasket on the west side of the Okanogan river. At the time they moved into their 10 by 12 shack there were only 12 families between Tonasket and Oroville. Harding sent back to Stark Brothers in Missouri for 2,000 apple trees and

set them out. He hauled lumber from a Havillah sawmill and built a house. He was active in pioneer efforts to make use of Whitestone lake for irrigation purposes. Orchard Complete Loss The third year brought a dry fall and winter which wiped out Harding’s young orchard. He sold the land and moved to Oroville. There he bought the property where the family has lived for more than 40 years. Harding’s industry and his dearly-bought experience in orcharding brought him steady employment as a manager and operator of many small orchard ownerships. For about 10 years he was a janitor for the Oroville school system, a work in which his son, Raymond, succeeded him. No Recipe Harding has no answer to the stock questions asked those of advanced years. Tobacco he has never used, but whisky he would not go without, he says. “A tablespoon of whisky and one of hot water with a little ginger in it will knock a cold right away,” he declares. “I’ve used about one-half pint every two years for that purpose. I don’t like the taste though.”

Nels Petersen Sr. scans LIFE Magazine for a rundown on the exploits of his grandson, Billy, at the National Boy Scout Jamboree. Freckle-faced Billy’s infectious grin greeted LIFE Magazine readers all over the country this week (July 27, 1950) — quite an honor for a lad who grew up in Riverside and Omak. — Chronicle photo

Comic Book Law Effect Is Awaited June 2, 1955 Keen interest is expressed locally by parents and merchants in the probable effect of the new state law controlling comic books, a law which will go into effect June 9, according to County Prosecutor John Hancock. The measure sets up a licensing system for publishers and wholesale

and retail dealers, defines objectionable material and provides for receiving and investigating complaints and, if necessary, revoking the license of the person or organization handling objectionable material. Merchants contacted were uniformly in agreement with the outlook expressed in the letter, but pointed out that sifting the mass of material shipped to them several times a week was a job beyond most of their means.

1953 Continued Oct. 29 – 49-year-old Twisp Opera House goes down in flames. Oct. 30 – Cold War begins in earnest after President Eisenhower executes a top secret document calling to expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Dec. 30 – First color TVs go on sale. 1954 Jan. 14 – Twelve vehicle fatalities are reported in the county for 1953. Feb. 11 – The county tax bill exceeds $1 million for the first time. Feb. 18 – Coulee Dam urged to incorporate as a city instead of remaining government-controlled. Feb. 23 – The first largescale polio vaccines are distributed in Pennsylvania. March 11 – Omak passes $400,000 school bond for new buildings. March 18 – The 1,500th phone is installed in the county. May 6 – A cold snap of 17 degrees overnight freezes apple blossoms in the Okanogan Valley. May 13 – William Fancher, Tonasket, presides over state Cattlemen’s Association convention in Okanogan. He was reelected at the meeting. May 17 – Brown vs. The Board of Education ruling calls racial segregation in schools unconstitutional. June 10 – The first answering machine installed in an Omak doctor’s home. June 17 – Harrison’s Watch Shop (now Harrison’s Jewelers) opens in Omak on Main Street with Charles “Johnny” Harrison as owner. Son Dean Harrison (current owner) is listed as 18 months old. July 15 – The Silver Mountain Mining mill operation is near completion on Horse Spring Coulee. July 15 – Civil Air Patrol organized for the county. Aug. 12 – Publisher Frank Emert becomes Washington Newspaper Publishers Association president. Aug. 19 – Cable system hookup announced for Omak, planned to begin Oct. 1. Aug. 26 – The first edition of The Chronicle with Elizabeth Barta Widel on staff. She hasn’t left since. Sept. 2 – Fire destroys a bowling alley, restaurant, barber shop, second story apartments and damages a sporting goods store in Omak. Sept. 23 – Columnist and ad manager Harley Heath, 73, is struck by a car in Okanogan and spends the next 24 weeks in a Seattle hospital or staying with his daughter in Olympia. He never misses a column. Oct. 28 – 520 children sign up for 4-H. Dec. 23 – The Chelan Forest name is changed to Okanogan Forest within the county, effective Jan. 1. 1955 March 24 – Maley’s in Omak opened. March 24 – East Omak School construction began. July 17 – Disneyland opens in Anaheim, Calif. Aug. 18 – $173,000 Omak High School approved. Sept. 9 – Fire destroyed the gymnasium, the girls dorm and the farm formans living quarters at St. Mary’s Mission. 1956 Jan. 5 – A cabin fire claims the life of Phillip Bedard, 46, a former rodeo rider. Jan. 19 – President Eisenhower’s budget requests $1.5 million for reclamation projects in Okanogan County. Feb. 2 – Portions of the Stampede Arena grandstands are just one of the many victims of heavy snowfalls and consequential collapses of buildings throughout the valley.

Continued 52 (Continuedon onpage Page 4)


TIMELINE 1956 Continued Feb. 2 – Stockmen receive relief feed for their cattle because the long, hard winter cut off their feed supply. March 12 – 102 Congressmen from southern states call for a resistance to desegregation. March 15 – The hard winter continues to take its toll – many cows miscarry their calves due to malnourishment. April 11 – The state secures money for building dikes in Oroville, Riverside and Omak to avoid another 1948 flood. April 19 – Old Man Winter kills half of the deer herd in the county. Aug. 23 – Twisp-Wagner Lumber Co. buys 115 million feet of timber for $994,000 from the U.S. Forest Service. Aug. 23 – Smokejumper Chief Francis Fufkin gets national recognition for his efforts, including a $300 award. Sept. 20 – The Thriftway Store opens in Omak. Sept. 25 – The first transAtlantic telephone cable begins operations. Nov. 6 – Eisenhower easily wins presidential reelection. Nov. 15 – A push begins to construct a North Cascades Highway. Nov. 29 – An expansion of the county courthouse to include a jail is bid at $166,000 and approved. 1957 Jan. 24 – After 30 years, Publisher Frank Emert announces he will sell the paper to Bruce Wilson, effective April 1. Feb. 21 – Carl Precht, principal of Emert school and director of elementary education for Omak schools is awarded a life membership in the Washington Congress of Parents and Teachers. March 21 – Okanogan gets a new four-room primary building. April 4 – Although she no longer co-owns the paper, Mrs. Frank Emert begins her “My Favorite Recipe” column with submissions from locals. April 11 – Locals fly to Seattle to seek steady commercial flights out of Omak’s airport. April 25 – Colored lights are added to Grand Coulee Dam to make it an even better tourist attraction. May 2 – The Kiss family escapes Hungaria and the “hammer and sickle” and arrives in Okanogan. May 16 – Construction of Janis Bridge and the rest of the highway to Ellisforde is delayed by high water. May 30 – Conconully experiences a minor flood. July 4 – Smokejumpers are celebrated, told they earn their $1.76 per hour. Aug. 22 – The new Blackwell building opens in Okanogan with five new businesses. Sept. 5 – The Omak First Presbyterian Church celebrates 50 years. Oct. 10 – Okanogan celebrates its 50-year celebration. Nov. 21 – Another new Omak High School bond is approved by 83 percent for $109,000. Dec. 5 – Eighteen bighorn sheep are reintroduced to the Sinlahekin, trucked in from British Columbia. Dec. 19 – Tunk Valley rancher Stanley Hixson suggests turning Riverside into a “living museum” of Okanogan County to attract tourists and more business. 1958 Jan. 2 – Former Mayor R. P. Hamptoln died of a heart attack. Jan. 9 – Wendy Kay Millard first baby of 1958. Jan. 31 – Explorer I, the first U.S. space satellite, launched by the Army at Cape Canaveral. April 10 – New Twisp Post Office is opened. (Continuedon onpage Page 5) Continued 53


Coulee Dam Seeks An Act of U.S. Congress March 18, 1954 The community of Coulee Dam, acting through its advisory city council, has requested Congressman Walt Horan to introduce into congress a bill drawn at the request of the council, to provide for ending federal ownership of the dam site town and for aid in forming a municipality under state laws. Rod B. Hartman, secretary of the advisory city council, said that a copy of the bill, which is based upon recommendations in a study made for the Bureau of Reclamation by Dr. George Shipman of the University of Washington, was submitted also last Friday to the Columbia Basin Commission at a meeting in Spokane. Two Sides Were Heard Hartman said the bill

and the views of the advisory council were presented at that meeting of representatives of Grand Coulee on the Grant county side of the Columbia river. It was a request emanating from Grand Coulee that Coulee Dam be vacated by the government and turned into a park site that precipitated the disagreement that led to the Shipman study. In their latest proposal to the Columbia Basin commission, Hartman said the Grand Coulee representatives urged that Engineer’s town, the permanent dam maintenance personnel quarters, be allowed to incorporate but that the former Mason City area in Okanogan county gradually be cleared of its residents and eventually eliminated.

Such a course, Hartman points out, would mean the end of Coulee Dam as an Okanogan county community. State Will Take Stand The importance of the testimony before the commission is that the commission has been asked by the governor to make a recommendation as to what the state’s stand should be on the future of Coulee Dam, Hartman said. Alluding to the request for immediate legislation to allow the community to become a self-governing municipality, the advisory council secretary said he thought the initiative shown by the Coulee Dam townspeople acting rather than waiting for the bureau of reclamation to act “certainly shows the democratic process in action.”

Janis Bridge Construction

Crews construct Janis Bridge, south of Tonasket, in 1957. High water delayed its completion. — Chronicle photo

Museum Town to Incorporate Soon Jan. 16, 1958 Riverside — In the early days at Riverside women had no fruit jars in which to put their jam and jelly. “There were lots of beer bottles, though, and someone found a way to cut off the top parts and convert them into jelly glasses.” This anecdote, told at the Friday night town meeting of Riverside folk, exemplifies the pioneer ingenuity and determination with which Riverside is facing the job of turning itself into a historical museum of county history. FRIDAY night in the school building townsfolk heard its temporary committee come back with a voluminous report on possibilities of the project, then instructed the

committee to go ahead and incorporate the venture. The committee met Sunday at the Tunk Valley Museum of Stanley Hixson, a committee member and author of the “museum town” idea, and scheduled another meeting for this Wednesday night to draft by-laws. Bill Booher, committee chairman, presided Friday night as Russel DeTro reported, in a half-hour talk, on the information his group had collected in the one week since it was elected. Other members, all present, are Hixson, Bill Hobart, Eary Hawkins and Roy Tugaw. Mrs. Martin Hanson was elected secretary. DeTro told his fellow citizens that for about $5,000 all unoccupied lots

of the original plat of Riverside, including the old post office building and one residence, could be obtained for the project. The committee suggested that memberships and bonds be sold to get the project under way, concessions and admission charges being counted on to retire the bonds. Suggestions collected by Hawkins included: reconstruction of a riverboat, constructing small replicas of the town as it used to be and of its pioneer drawbridge, reconstructing the old horse race track, securing an old steam locomotive, providing horseback trips, “salting” a mine for tourist prospectors, and contacting for advice commercial “ghost towns” elsewhere.

Farm Labor Group Says Workers Came From Interior Mexico Oct. 4, 1951 The apple harvest got off to a good start this week with 352 Mexican laborers and sufficient domestic help working in various parts of the Okanogan and Methow valleys according to reports from the Okanogan county farm labor committee. The Mexicans are good workers, the committee said, although some of them are slow if they are new in the apple harvest, and some aren’t used to ladders. Most of them are from the interior of Mexico and were flown into Wenatchee last week from El Centro, California. Contract Cancelled A contract for more Mexican workers was

cancelled recently, when the farm labor committee believed there was sufficient domestic help in the county and the outside help wasn’t needed. “In the fall there was a certification for more Mexican laborers than were needed,” committee members said. “We have not imported Mexican help to the detriment of domestic employment,” the committee added. The contract for more laborers from south of the border was entered into several months ago and was cut down because the committee believed there was not enough seasonal demand.

“If the apple harvest is sufficiently well underway, the Mexican workers may be transferred into the beet harvest in Washington and Idaho around the middle of October. Our aim is not to harm the domestic situation,” committee members said. Wages At Home For a day’s wage at home, these south of the border workers earn about five pesos or the equivalent of 56 American pennies, but the families manage to live on this wage, workers in the Methow explained. In their own country, the men work if field of peas, corn, potatoes, beans, melons, wheat and similar crops.

Airport Deeded to the City of Omak June 21, 1956 A deed to the Omak airport from the federal government was presented to the city of Omak at a special meeting of the city council Tuesday evening with Mayor L.M. Moran presiding. The airport was constructed during World War II for the use of the army air force by the state highway department for the Bureau of Public Roads. It was the only one of its kind built in the State of Washington and was thought needed in the defense of Alaska. Large Investment At the time it was

constructed the estimated cost was placed between $400,000 and $500,000. However, Dixon stated Tuesday that at present construction prices it would cost from $750,000 to $1,000,000. Its runway is paved for 4,700 feet and is graded and surfaced for a total of 8,000 feet. Preparations are now being made for lighting the runway and erecting a beacon and wind cone. A committee of the Omak Chamber of Commerce led by Earl M. Robertson is also working to have it placed on the schedule of the West Coast Airlines.

Editorial: The Declining Number of Farms Jan. 12, 1956 The farm population has been declining while the size of the average farm has been increasing. The agricultural economists seem virtually unanimous in believing that this trend will continue, with fewer farmers and bigger farms. The reason for it, of course, is the technological revolution that has resulted from mechanization, electrification and other gigantic forward steps that farming has taken in a comparatively short period of time. Some people, however, fear that all this progress involves a serious danger – a danger that the family farm may be on the way out, and that the future of farming lies in huge, corporationtype enterprises. For instance, some large, mechanized wheat farms can produce wheat at a dollar a bushel.

While the price-support loans were intended to protect smaller farmers with higher production costs, they have been only partly effective, because thy made the production of surpluses profitable and surpluses now overhang the market. Furthermore they have been of more aid to the larger growers than to the smaller ones who really have needed more help. Figures have recently come to light which show how big some payments are. One Montana wheatgrower got $430,000 in 1954. A Mississippi land company got $1,292,000 for cotton sold to the government at an artificial price. Nearly $180,000 went to a corn grower in Iowa, and Louisiana rice-planter got $486,000. However, it is probably that politics will largely determine policies in attempts made to solve the farm problem.

Omak Little League First Half Champs

The 1958 Union Fireballers posed proudly after winning the first half championship in Omak’s Little League. First row, from left, Bob Fately, Larry Webster, Larry Stradford, Orville Smith, Keith Davis; second row, assistant

manager, Joe Robbins, Tony Allen, Ron Palmer, Greg Hillyer, Art Edwards, manager Eldon Nash; third row, Terry Davis, Phillip (Whitey) Golm, Gary Watts, Jim Monnin, Bob Roberts, Richard Fewkes. — Chronicle photo

Commissioners Set Up County Weed Area June 4, 1953 A motion authorizing the establishment of a countywide weed extermination area was adopted Monday by the Okanogan County Commissioners, who said that a formal order of establishment for the area probably would be signed at their June 8 meeting. Two Noxious Weeds County Agent Gordon Woodrow reports that six weeds are troublesome in Okanogan County and treat two of them are seriously so. These are Russian Knapweed, and Klamath or goat weed, which is poisonous to stock. Also a cause of livestock losses is water hemlock, a plant which grows in moist sites along irrigation canals and streams.

Other weeds which are bothersome are Canada Thistle, Whiteton and Yellow Star Thistle, Woodrow said. Favor Persuasion Petitioners for the establishment of the district and those who spoke at the hearing generally agreed that the countywide area should emphasize persuasion and education rather than compulsion, at least at first. Unlike a local weed district the countywide area may launch a general attack on designated weeds and may work on other than cropland. The commissioners stated that a weed supervisor would be employed to carry out the district’s program.

New Policies Divide Tribesmen (Continued from (Continued fromPage Page49) 1) In the introduction to S. 1077, Sen. Cain said it now is impossible for a law enforcement officer to arrest an offending Indian for the commission of a crime and prosecute him in the town or state courts if the crime was committed within the exterior boundaries of an Indian reservation. Sen. Cain described the rights-of-ways from Grand Coulee dam to the city of Omak as technical “Indian reservation” land. “Likewise, State highway patrolmen have no jurisdiction to arrest an Indian for the commission of a crime on a state highway or county road running through the exterior boundaries of an Indian reservation,” Sen. Cain said. Citing sec. 1151, title 18, of the United States Code, as his authority for the statement, Sen. Cain urged that the time is long past due when a certain set of laws should apply to Indian citizens and a different law apply to the ordinary citizen.

Tribesmen Support Indian Land Bills; Ouster Vote Talked March 22, 1951 NESPELEM – Tribal members overwhelmingly repudiated the Colville Indian Commercial club at the general meeting held at the Colville Indian Agency council hall on Saturday, announced Frank George, tribal relations officer. Tribesmen went on record supporting Congressional bills S.378 introduced by Senator Warren G. Magnuson and Senator James E. Murray and H.R. 2387 introduced by Congressman Walt Horan which provides for restoring to tribal ownership certain “opened” lands upon the

Colville Indian reservation. “At the same time they also went on record to refute the Colville Indian Commercial club which purported to disseminate and/or represent the views of the Colville Indians,” George said. “They stated they did not subscribe to the philosophy or views of the Colville Indian Commercial club, and that the petitions submitted to the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs on November 21, 1950, were not representative of the Colville Indians because many of the petitioners’ signatures had been obtained under false pretenses,” he added. Sharp Disapproval The assembled Colville tribesmen also voiced sharp disapproval of legislation as follows: 1. Senator Harry P. Cain’s S. 835 which provides for a liquidation of the tribe’s cash assets on deposit in the Treasury of the United States. 2. Object to Cain’s S. 1077 and all similar bills which would make the Indians of the sate of Washington amenable to the state criminal laws. 3. Opposed all “emancipation” bills like H.R. 3073, S. 485 and H.R. 457. The Colville Indians oppose these bills on the ground that it is discriminatory legislation with implications creating in the public mind an impression that Indians are not citizens. 4. Also opposed the Bosone Indian resolution which tribesmen charged with pretending to be aimed at the liquidation of Federal Indian affairs. 5. Another bill drawing the fire of the Colville tribesmen was S.J. Res 1 which would amend the Constitution to take out the part giving Congress the right to regulate commerce with the Indian tribes. This bill would

Welcome to Omak

Biles-Coleman lumber is used to construct new welcome signs for Omak

in May 1957. The signs still stand. — Chronicle photo

Editorial: High Court Makes Historic Decision May 27, 1954 When the Supreme Court justices decided unanimously this week that segregation in public school is contrary to our constitution, they handed down a decision which was long over-due. Those of us who have lived in the northern states continuously can hardly appreciate the attitude of our Southern neighbors. Perhaps they should not be criticized too severely for adhering to a custom which has been accepted as part of their society for several generations. In some instances, even the colored people accepted the situation without rancor – something to which they had given little thought. Yet in a country where we stress equality, where we tell the world we believe in liberty for all classes and respect the rights of the minority groups, there is no place for segregation in our public schools. The adjustment in the Southern states will be difficult and take time. It was something, however, that had to come sooner or later. Otherwise our constitution would be more or less a mockery. – Chewelah Independent

Editorial: Nothing Will Happen Aug. 5, 1954 In the light of that wise and far-reaching historic and momentous Supreme court decision outlawing racial segregation in the public schools, there seems to exist some uneasiness in the minds of some parents, teachers and school officials concerning the outcome. The answer is that nothing will happen. Children do not have all the prejudices of their elders. The white and negro children will most assuredly adjust themselves to the changes; they usually make such adjustments easily and more readily than adults.

knock down all federal laws relative to Indians with one big blow. Support Bills “The mandate of the people attending the meetings at Inchelium, Keller, Omak, Malott, and Nespelem clearly indicated that they wholeheartedly supported land bills H.R. 2387 and S. 378, which the rebel group oppose and who had been active in soliciting support from various organizations,” George said. George Friedlander, chairman of the Colville Business Council, lashed out against the Colville Indian Commercial club with a stinging remark. He disclosed that any tribesman duped into signing the petitions for the rebel group had signed retractions and urged that others do the same. There were stirring speeches on the part of the elder tribal leaders by Chief Jim James, Chief Victor Nicholas, Peter Dan Moses, and Chief Billy Curlew. They all stressed the importance of retaining a land-based economy and urged that a more secure tribal economy be established for the coming generations. Lewis H. Runnels, secretary of the Colville Business Council, told the assembly that if they were tired of going into the mountains to get venison; if they were tired of hunting and fishing to supplement their subsistence items, they should make themselves free of the tribe through a proper relinquishment. As for himself, he emphatically stated he loved the old Indian way of life. He cherished his Indian heritage and the other phases of Indianhood. He favored the land bill and predicted its passage into law during this session of Congress. Notify Washington Louis Wapato made an

impressive delivery on why they should have their “opened” lands restored so that the clouded status could be removed and then the Indians would be assured of more than a beneficial usage of the lands. In touching on the opposition to the bill, Wapato implied that someone was attempting to acquire Indian lands through insidious action. At the Malott meeting, Wapato disclosed he had been offered money to work against the land bill. Wapato had refused. At the Nespelem meeting, Chief Jim James disclosed he had been offered a bribe to work against the land legislation. Wapato urged that all Indians work together to protect their tribal resources. He pointed out that if they lost anything, it would be because the Indians themselves were a party to the act.

5-Year-Old Girl Lost Overnight On Reservation

on after she had taken off or lost her shoes. Dog Was Brought In After searching in the darkness the hunters sent for Bud Morris and his cougar dog. Morris came immediately and picked up the trail but the ground was so dry and so many people had trampled and ridden over the area that it was difficult to keep the scent. As it grew colder and darker more than 100 searchers were on the job including Sheriff Gordon V. Jones and deputies, volunteer firemen from Okanogan, national guardsmen with mobile search lights, and many neighbors and other volunteer helpers. Crossed Rough Country In the darkness the dog led the searchers into what is known as the chalk hills area, although no one had thought it possible that she could have traveled that far. The chalk hills are sharp ridges a few feet wide at the top with deep canyons between. A person or horse losing footing on these ridgetops would fall and roll for hundreds of feet. The child, with only a pale moonlight to show her the way, crossed these chalk hills. Grass Impaired Tracking From this point on the girl was traveling through heavy bunchgrass which made tracking almost impossible. About daybreak the searchers found her shoe print in a cowtrail. It was later learned she had walked barefoot for much of the night. After donning her shoes she continued southward and about 8 o’clock, hearing dogs barking at the Guy Waggoner ranch

Oct. 21, 1954 By Mrs. Jack Wells Lost Saturday night in some of the roughest country on the South half of the Colville reservation and sought for 18 hours by more than 100 searchers, five-year-old Joyce Abel, appeared Sunday morning at a ranch many miles from her starting point apparently none the worse for her experience. The girl, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Darrell Abel, Odessa, was missed about 3 p.m. Saturday from the ranch home of her grandmother, Mrs. Alzora Abel, south of Duley lake. The girl apparently became confused and lost when she ran out to meet riders bringing in horses from the Jack Wells ranch. Search Began Neighbors, Jack and George Wells, Lawrence Crofot, Bud Lenner and the Abels began to search for her. As it grew later the sheriff was notified. Mrs. John Goldmark flew over the area in her plane until dark but could not see the child. A call for help went out to all neighbors and friends. Lying to the south and east of the Abel ranch is the Tumwater basin, a rugged place, cactusgrown and full of deep canyons, cliffs and dropoffs. After searching the wheat fields with no success, Lenner finally found Joyce’s tracks about two miles from the Abel home and leading into this basin. Later her tracks were found a mile farther

Sept. 13, 1951 The legislation currently before Congress to restore 818,000 acres of Colville Indian land to tribal ownership was given firm approval Monday night by the Okanogan Valley Chamber of Commerce. The bills were devised to develop the great natural resources of the Colville Indian reservation and aid the Indians in their own program to achieve their economic and cultural independence. The Okanogan Valley Chamber, which represents nine Okanogan county centers, endorsed the legislation by resolution, providing a revenue to Okanogan and Ferry counties in excess of $20,000 a year in lieu of taxes. Approximately 27 per cent of Okanogan county and 20 per cent of Ferry county land is now untaxable by counties as tribal property.

Omak Girl Artist Puts on Canvas Faces of Indians of This District July 4, 1957 By Charles C. Kerr A 13-year-old Indian girl, artist, Carol Orr, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Orr, Omak, is busy these days putting the finishing touches on portraits of her people which she plans to exhibit August 2-4 at the Indian student art show at Cheyenne, Wyo. This will not be the first public showing of Carol’s work, but it will be one of the biggest exhibitions in which she has entered in her three years of oil painting. Carol is a descendant of Archibald McDonald, early Hudson’s Bay company factor, and of Chief Moses. Although she does landscapes, animals, birds and flowers and has worked in pastels, pencil, pen-and-ink, charcoal and water colors, portraiture seems to have become her most serious interest. This interest has turned strongly toward the painting of her own people, especially of the elderly Indians of her area. She is now at work on portraits of an old Keller couple, Jim James and his wife, Lucy, and one of George Nanamkin, interpreter at the Colville agency. Others who have sat for her include her father and mother and her sisters, Chief Cleveland Kamiakin, Nespelem, and her grandfather, James Orr, Nespelem. Artistic ability is a strong family trait, according to Mrs. Orr, who has encouraged Carol to make the most of her talent. A first cousin of Orr is a noted Canadian painter of horses. A cousin in California is a landscape painter, and an aunt in Idaho works in water colors. A younger sister, Margaret, paints and a still younger one, Veronica, shows a strong talent for modeling in clay.

headed in the direction of the sound and soon arrived at the Waggoner farmstead. She told Waggoner she was lost and was looking for her Grandma Abel’s place. The Waggoners immediately took her to the Abel ranch. The girl seemed in good condition in spite of her 18 hours of being lost. Her feet were scratched, bruised and blistered. She had torn a patch off her overalls in her journey but had stopped, picked it up, put it in her pocket and brought it home.

McCormack Big Medicine At School; Named No. 1 June 15, 1950 With men who know baseball best — “It’s Ross McCormack two to one.” That was the general consensus of opinion at Professor Tommy Thompson’s baseball school in Wenatchee this week. McCormack mastered the curriculum in three short days and convinced onlookers that he’s ready for graduate work in Abner Doubleday’s grand old game. The Omak strong boy — outstanding in three sports during his high school days — literally set the old professor on his good right ear with a display of wrist hitting that would have done justice to terrible Teddy Williams himself. McCormack was unanimously acclaimed No. 1 boy from a field of 150 top NCW ball players ranging in age from 16 to 23.

TIMELINE 1958 Continued June 24 – Smoke jump flight ends in tragedy; four killed when plane rams ridge. Oct. 2 – 16th generator goes online at Chief Joseph Powerhouse. Dec. 10 – Jet airline passenger services inaugurated in the U.S. with a flight from New York City to Miami. 1959 Jan. 3 – Alaska becomes the 49th state. Feb. 5 – Skywatch ends. May 28 – Enoch Walker winner of the 1959 Broncomak. June 11 – Washington State Wages and Hours Act goes into effect. July 9 – United Growers Storage & Packing Plant in Tonasket destroyed by fire; cost $750,000. July 10 – A&W Drive In opened in Omak. Rootbeer 75¢ a gallon. July 20 – The Similkameen Dam and Powerhouse shuts down. Aug. 17 – An earthquake felt in Omak. Aug. 21 – Hawaii becomes the 50th state. Oct. 17 – Double O Lanes has its grand opening with 16 bowling lanes. 1960 Jan. 7 – The U.S. recognizes a new Cuban government under Fidel Castro. March 17 – Omak places eighth in state class A basketball tourney. March 24 – Loretta Jones crowned 27th Omak Stampede Queen. May 5 – Two fisherman were killed in Conconully Reservoir after being struck by a Sea-Bee plane taking off in the reservoir.


Furious Blaze Guts James J. Hill Hotel Oct. 3, 1957 Two wings of the James J. Hill hotel are burned-out shells today after a Wednesday afternoon fire leaped up a kitchen wall and spread through the attic of the 27-year-old structure. A semi-detached motel wing escaped with minor damage. Harry Fischnaller, the proprietor, said the hotel had been appraised at $280,000 and was insured for $221,000. Guests were registered for 70 of the 90 rooms in the hotel-motel but all escaped safely. Two men helping volunteer firemen were overcome by smoke.

Omak Fire Chief Frank Wilcox said the blaze started in grease in an exhaust fan housing connected to the cookstove of Paul’s cafe, located in the hotel building. Firemen were summoned about 3 p.m. and quelled what was apparently a minor fire. But at 3:20 p.m. a second alarm was sounded and all of Omak’s firefighting equipment was rushed to the scene as smoke began pouring from the attic windows as far as 150 feet from the original fire. A huge crowd gathered almost immediately. Soon a light gray smoke was curling from under the eaves around the entire building.

Black smoke from the attic coiled away from the hotel, limiting visibility in downtown Omak to hardly two blocks. The droning of fire pumps and shouts of hose crews were punctuated with screaming sirens as Okanogan and Malott firemen and equipment came to the aid of Omak’s hard-pressed crews. Seven trucks fought the blaze. Spectators, high school boys and even prisoners from the city jail, helped firemen string hose lines. Other volunteers assisted in removing some furniture and records from shops and offices in the hotel building.

National Award Winning Photo

This is the Avery Houtz barn fire picture taken by the Omak Chronicle in May of 1958. The photo was named the best news photo published in a weekly newspaper in the United States during 1959. The award was made by judges in the National Editorial Association

nationwide contest. Earlier, the Washington State Press awards contest selected the picture for its ‘best of show’ award as the top photograph published in any daily or weekly newspaper in this state last year. — Chronicle photo

Warehouses Mount Night Fire Watch Oct. 1, 1959

Armed guards are walking nightly beats at Okanogan Valley warehouses since Monday nights unexplained fire t Ellisforde leveled the plant of Ellisforde Independent Growers. At Oroville where Stadelman Fruit Company’s plant burned last spring, watchmen already were on duty. Tonasket, which lost three warehouses this summer, two allegedly by arson, is keeping close watch on its remaining facilities. At Omak, Okanogan and Malott watchmen are making telephone calls to the sheriff’s office at twohour intervals all night. Delay in receiving a call will result in investigation by the warehouse management or a law officer, if one is in the vicinity. “The warehouse people are spooked.” Sheriff Russell Will said today, “and I don’t blame them a bit.” A nigthwatch reportedly is being kept at Brewster and Pateros plants also. The Ellisforde Independent Growers Warehouse went up in flames before dawn Monday the day it was to start packing operations. The building, recently enlarged, represented an investment of about $300,000, according to Manager Bernard Schons. It had a total handling capacity of about 140,000 boxes. Lost with the building were several thousand boxes of apples and pears and two railroad refrigeration cars. The blaze was first seen about 4:20 a.m. by Erval Pearson, who lives a short distance east of the


warehouse. The entire north end was ablaze then, he said. “I called Tonasket firemen, hung up and called Oroville firemen. By the time I had pulled my clothes on the Tonasket firemen were there.” Omak and Okanogan rural fire crews were called also and a total of six pumpers soon threw a protective drench over the Haskell and Burn Warehouse a few yards south of the blazing building. A brisk north wind heightened the danger of the fire spreading. Okanogan rural Fire Chief Bill Houston cited the work of the firemen who accomplished an apparently impossible job in saving the second warehouse. “In our fire chief meetings we had discussed all possibilities involving warehouse fires and this case had doubted if we could save one of those buildings if the adjoining one ever caught fire and got a good start.” Firemen pumped from irrigation water sources and from the Okanogan River. The scent of burning fruit was apparent as far away as Tonasket and charred paper packing supplies were windborne for several miles south of the fire. The blaze ignited and weakened a cross-arm on a 33,000-volt power line. Power was off at Ellisforde, Oroville and Loomis, for about one hour while repairs were made. Manager Schons voiced appreciation of the work of firemen. He said it is uncertain whether his firm will rebuild immediately.

There is insurance but it will not cover the loss, he said. Underwriters representatives and the sate fire marshal’s office are investigating the blaze. On Monday Leslie Stambaugh, 39, Tonasket, who faces two counts of arson in connection with two Tonasket fires, had a psychiatric examination in Spokane, Sheriff Will said. The examination was requested by Stambaugh’s attorney. A report of the result has not yet been received, Will said. Upon this report may depend whether the defendant will go on trial for allegedly setting the fires which destroyed the Tonasket United Growers Plant on July 5 and the Regal Fruit Company building on August 14. Stambaugh has been held in jail in lieu of $20,000 bail since the Regal fire.

Nespelem Farmer Escapes Death In Crushed House Feb. 19, 1953 Nespelem — Mrs. Fred Anthony’s brother, J. J. Hodgens, had a narrow escape, February 2, when an unusual landslide occurred at his home near Hopkins Canyon, ten miles down the Columbia River from here. The impact of the sliding earth demolished his home. It buried a tractor, swept away barn, killing a horse the was inside. The wall of the house fell against the stove and kept him from getting crushed. He was in bed at the time of the slide.

James J. Hill Hotel Fire 1957

Onlookers watch as the James J. Hill Hotel goes up in flames the afternoon

of Oct. 2, 1957. — Chronicle photo

New Year Plane Crash Takes Two Lives Jan. 8, 1953 Howard and Bert Evans, Okanogan cattlemen, were killed shortly before noon on New Year’s Day when the light plane with which they had been hunting stock struck a power line and crashed on a hillside two miles east of Omak. Cyril Vance, who was at the Byron Vance farm just across the Okanogan River from the scene of the accident, informed officers that the plane was flying at low altitude and approaching a band of horses when it suddenly veered as though attempting to miss a power line extending up a draw. One wing struck the power line and the craft whirled over and crashed upside down about 200 yards north of the power line.. After striking the steep snow covered hillside, the crumpled plane slid downward about 80 feet, coming to rest about 100 yards from the county road. Eyewitness William Walters, another west side rancher, heard the crash and seeing the wreckage told Mrs. Walters to call the sheriff’s office. Walters was the first person to arrive at the scene. He and Sheriff Lester H. Moss found the two men hanging partly out of the cabin of the overturned and crumpled plane. The fuselage and wings of the plane had made a distinct imprint in the snowy hillside at the point of impact. Fragments of the craft were strewn over a wide

area. So crushed was the cabin that investigators had difficulty removing clothing, maps and other belongings of the brothers. The plane, nearly new, was purchased a few weeks ago by Bert Evans, who was flying it at the time of the accident. The two had taken off from the Okanogan Airport at about 11 o’clock intending to look over their horses. The crash occurred about 15 minutes later. Hundreds of persons, the merely curious and friends and acquaintances of the Evans brothers, climbed the slippery hillside during the afternoon to look at the fallen plane. PUD linemen worked all afternoon repairing the broken power line. Many At Funeral Bert Evans, who was 43, was born November 25, 1908, at Blaine, Howard Evans, who was 38, was born on August 21, 1912, also at Blaine. Their parents were Mr. and Mrs. William T. Evans of whom only their mother, now living at Okanogan, survives, their father having died in 1943. The family came here from Adams County in 1917 and the elder Evans began cattle ranching on the Colville Reservation near Timentwa. Besides Howard and Bert, the family included another brother Tom, and two sisters, Margaret and May, all of whom live in the Okanogan vicinity. Grew Up To Ranching The brothers grew up to the cattle business and to

horsemanship. Bert, then a boy of nine years, rode eight miles to and from school ever day in that first year. He attended first Cameron Lake School, then a school at Long Lake and finished the eighth grade at the Duley Lake School in 1926, where Howard Evans also got his schooling. Roads and transportation the early 1920’s on the reservation made high school attendance a matter of moving to town so the formal schooling of the two brothers ended at the eighth grade. From then on they studied the cattle business and in their early teens were doing men’s work in riding and stock handling. Expert and enthusiastic horsemen both had records of top performances in rodeos. Rodeo Champion Bert took riding championships at the Calgary Stampede, the Pendleton Roundup, the Lewiston Rodeo, at various Oregon shows, and at Everett and Seattle rodeos. He gave and outstanding performance on Badger Mountain, the county’s heroic and legendary bucking horse, now retired. Both brothers were members of the Okanogan County Cattlemen’s Association. Bert Evans was operating the reservation cattle ranch formerly belonging to his Mother. Howard Evans had been part owner of the Okanogan Auction Company Salesyard until he sold out recently to go into the rodeo stock business.

Wounded Omak Vet Receives Silver Star Jan. 21, 1954 An Omak soldier convalescing from wounds received while organizing and directing the defense of an ambushed patrol in Korea in December 1952 was honored here Wednesday by the presentation of the Silver Star for gallantry in action. Recipient of the award was Sergeant First Class Clyde D. Townsend, son of Mrs. Julia Cook, Okanogan, who was released from the veteran’s hospital in Seattle early last month and has since then been living in Omak with his wife and their 10-months-old daughter, Diane. The action which the slightly built Townsend, then barely 23 years old, distinguished himself, was at Satae-Ri, Korea, on December 29, 1952. According to the order of award, Townsend was the leader of a patrol which had been sent out in front of the position of his unit, Company L. 224th Infantry Regiment, 40th Division, to

bring in a wounded enemy soldier. Patrol Ambushed The patrol was ambushed and attacked twice, Townsend being seriously wounded in the legs. His leadership and encouragement of his men in repelling the enemy and conducting an orderly withdrawal was credited with saving the unit. Townsend was born in Tennessee and came to Washington with his parents in 1945. He entered the army April 6, 1948, took his basic training at Ford Ord,

Calif., and was sent to Japan where he spent 30 months. In November 1951 he came back to the United States on rotation and was stationed at the Presidio at San Franciso, Calif., until May of 1952 when he went to Korea. He was in action there until wounded in December. He was then evacuated to Japan and returned to the United States January 31, 1952 and to Madigan hospital where he remained for six weeks before being transferred to the Seattle hospital.

From 1950 to the present Learning the business, Matthew Rawson, Laresa Rawson (cousin), Mark Rawson.

Okanogan Days 1976 — “Our grandpa sold boots to your grandpa.” Bob Rawson, holding a pair of Justin 1776-1976 commerative boots and grandson, Mark Rawson.

Bob and Helen Rawson, 1940

In 1950, R.G. “Bob” Rawson and his wife, Helen, started R.G. Rawson's Department Store. Bob Rawson started out as a young man working in Moscow, Idaho, for a department store. His formal training began when he worked for the original J.C. Penney Co. Store in Lewiston, Idaho. From there, he worked for Casey's in Colville and eventually opened his own store in the Hillyard district of Spokane. He sold that business and moved to Okanogan and became merchandise manager for C.E. Blackwell. In 1950 when he opened his own store, Bob had already developed a strong bond with many of his customers. With five small children at home it was difficult, but because of Rawson’s customer service and knowledge, the business grew. “Take care of your customers, and they will take care of you,” Bob preached. Since 1950, we at Rawson’s have always tried to find what our customers need and sell those items at competitive prices. “You can’t sell out of an empty wagon,” was another saying of Bob’s. Rawson’s is always full of great merchandise. In 1971, Richard and Bonnie Rawson came back to Okanogan and eventually became a part of Rawson’s Department Store. Since then, their son Mark has joined the business to help carry on the tradition as the third generation of Rawsons’ to serve the community. Rawson’s has been a part of the community and organizations county-wide, giving back as much as we can. We especially recognize and appreciate our customers and thank them for giving us a chance to serve them. Thank you, Richard, Bonnie and Mark Rawson

Left to right, Bob, Helen, Maureen, Richard, Bonnie, Julie, Justin, John, Cathy, Hank. Front, Mark, Laresa, Matthew.

Bunnyrama — Okanogan Chamber of Commerce. ‘Bison’ Bill Laws in bunny suit


Since 1950 Downtown Okanogan • 509-422-4247

1960s A Decade of

Controversy With the Vietnam War in full force, residents waited anxiously for loved ones to return while the nation debated the war’s value. In Okanogan, one of the most controversial trials of the valley’s century took place – the Goldmark libel case.

Gene Henrie of Gene’s Harvest Foods posed for this gag photo in the alley to the west of Main Street, Omak, after a heavy rain.

Road grading clears the way for the new U.S. Highway 97 in East Omak.


May 20, 1960 – May 19, 1970

Established May 20, 1910 - Sixth in a Ten Part Series

Bird’s Eye View

The city of Omak in 1965 during Stampede weekend. The Highway 97 bridge was three years old. The Main Street/Central Avenue stoplight was installed four years earlier. — Historical Society photo

TIMELINE 1960 July 1 – The 50-star flag debuts in Philadelphia, Penn., reflecting Hawaii’s statehood in 1959. July 27 – A B-25 Fire Fighter crashes killing two. Aug. 4 – Leo Moomaw presented with a lifetime chute pass to the Stampede. Nov. 8 – John F. Kennedy is elected president. Dec. 26 – the Loup Loup Cafe and Meredith’s, part of the Monroe Building in Okanogan, destroyed by fire. 1961 Jan. 1 – The Winthrop School burns down; it was originally built in 1914. Feb. 15 – The entire U.S. figure skating team is killed in a plane crash with dozens of other people on the way to the world championships. April 17 – Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba is repulsed; the U.S. had intended to overthrow Fidel Castro. May 4 – A pair of runaway freight cars shatter the early morning quiet. May 5 – Alan B. Shepard, Jr., is the first U.S. astronaut to man a sub-orbital space flight. May 16 – Chief Jim James passes away. He was the last chief in the Colville Indian Federation. June 1 – KHQ Editor John E. Andrist joins The Chronicle staff. June 1 – A KC-135 InFlight Refueling Tanker based at Larsen Air Force Base, Moses Lake named after Omak. Aug. 13 – Construction of the Berlin Wall begins; the wall would last 28 years. Sept. 28 – St. Mary’s Mission celebrated 75 years. Oct. 22 – W.S. Shumway, an Omak Pioneer, passes away at the age of 83. 1962 Jan 25 – The mercury hits 38 below in a cold snap. Feb. 20 – Lt. Colonel John Glenn is the first U.S. man to orbit earth. March 20 – The Old Methodist Church, 19 N. Douglas, Omak, falls victim to fire. March 22 – The 1962 World’s Fair opens in Seattle. March 29 – BilesColeman grants $1 million loan. May 17 – Larry Emerson has a fat 191 bowling average. April 9 – Penny Schneider chosen 1962 Omak Stampede Queen. Aug. 9 – The historic Omak Central School gutted by fire. Two firemen were hurt. Oct. 1 – 3,000 troops quell riots to allow James Meredith to enter the University of Mississippi as the first Black student, guarded by federal marshals. Oct. 14 – The Cuban Missile Crisis begins, concluding in 38 days. Nov. 12 – Okanogan tops Omak to win league crown, 17-7. Nov. 22 – Mildred Ames named Washington State Barrell Racing Champion. Millie and Wild Rose scored 1,105 points. Dec. 6 – The Tillikum House Nursing Home opened its doors. 1963 Jan. 3 – The OmakOkanogan area switches to dial telephone service.

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Vietnam Fighting Hotter, Says Veteran March 6, 1969 An Army Sergeant who has returned to Omak from 14 months duty in Vietnam said this week that his company’s casualties increased during February apparently because of the bombing halt over North Vietnam. Ray Little, who returned Tuesday from 14 months service at Chu Lai where

he was a radioman and rifleman said that his company had had three men killed in enemy action from January 1, 1968 through January 1969. In two weeks in February just before Little’s tour of duty ended, seven men in the company were killed in sporadic action. “The bombing halt coupled with the holiday cease fire apparently

allowed the enemy to bring more arms and ammunition in from the north,” Little observed. BECAUSE Little’s tour of duty ended with five months of his discharge date, the Army gave him an early discharge in line with a recent policy for Vietnam Veterans. A former employee of Bramer Hardware and a 1965 graduate of Omak

High School, Little said he probably will begin working in the Coulee Dam area after a month of “just loafing.” His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Percy Little. “When talking about Vietnam,” said Little, “it is vitally necessary to establish the fact that it is not a war in the real sense. There is no united front but as many fronts and rears as units. All units are

fighting their own battles, each of which is connected to the other only in a vague commitment to the same cause.” Little said that he felt the United States owes air support at least to the 650,000 or so Americans presently in Vietnam. “None of the soldiers I talked to felt that the bombing halt has helped.” (Continuedon on Page Page 61) 5) (Continued

Goldmark Trial Gets Under Way Family Accuses Eight of Libel DON CARON SEEKING DISMISSAL OF CLAIMS Jan. 3, 1963 OKANOGAN – Two new actions have been filed recently in the $225,000 libel suit being brought by John and Sally Goldmark of Okanogan against five individuals and three corporations. One defendant, Don Caron of Okanogan, has filed a motion asking the Okanogan county superior court to strike both claims against him by the Goldmarks. Caron is the ex-forest ranger who quit his job rather than cease anti-communist writings. He is now state coordinator for the John Birch society. Caron and his wife are named defendants in two of nine claims filed by the Goldmarks. One, claim No. 5, alleges that the Goldmarks were damaged by a column written by Caron and published in the Okanogan Independent last September. Caron, the Independent, and the Birch Society are named defendants in the $25,000 claim. Caron is named, along with all the other defendants, in claim No. 9 in which the Goldmarks ask $225,000 damages because of what they claim was a conspiracy allegedly involving all eight

defendants. CARON CLAIMS, in an affidavit accompanying his motion to strike his name from both claims, that he did not mention the Goldmarks in his newspaper column and that he had no previous knowledge of any of the claims against the other defendants for which each is now being sued by the Goldmarks.

GOLDMARK HEARING SET FOR AUGUST 9 July 25, 1963 OKANOGAN – The next hearing on motions pending in the $225,000 Goldmark libel suit will be held Friday, August 9, in Okanogan county superior court. Preparation included depositions taken from John Goldmark, Sally Goldmark, and George Wilson of Brewster by attorneys representing the John Birch society and Don Caron. The depositions began last Tuesday morning and wound up at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Wilson, former Okanogan county Democratic Central committee chairman, testified for slightly more than two hours. John Goldmark was on the stand from more than two

days. Mrs. Goldmark was questioned for a day and a half. TWICE DURING the depositions attorneys invoked a stipulation and barred all spectators – including defendants – from the courtroom and questioned the Goldmarks in secrecy. John Goldmark’s secret session lasted perhaps an hour. Mrs. Goldmark was questioned almost two hours behind closed doors. Attorneys for the Goldmarks have entered a motion seeking a summary judgment in their favor against the $242,000 counterclaim filed by Don Caron. The counterclaim alleges that the Goldmarks were responsible for Caron’s being forced to resign from the U.S. Forest Service in 1961. Mrs. Goldmark testified in her deposition that she became interested in Communism during the depression of the 1930’s. She said she had first been impressed by the terrific poverty she saw on a trip through Latin America. THEN, AFTER getting a job in New York, she was even more stricken by the vast unemployment. She said she worked evenings in soup kitchens serving the “bread line” men who had been “suddenly thrown out of work.” During this period – about 1933 – Communism was being advertised in newspapers as “the way (Continued on onPage Page58) 2) (Continued

“See Here, Ump...” Bat boy Billy Gunn, 5, takes up a point with umpire Don Picard at the Little League diamond where Billy is a member of the Bico Braves. – Chronicle photo

Little Leaguers Are State Champs Aug. 4, 1966 Quincy — Kelly Stevens pitched a 3-hitter and lashed a grand slam home run in the first inning as Omak’s Little League AllStars won the District 6 Championship here Friday

by defeating Moses Lake Pacific League All-Stars 7-3. Lead-off batter Jack Heggie opened the top of the first with a pop single to left center. Jerry McCandless smashed the (Continued (Continued on on Page Page62) 6)


Goldmark Trial Under Way

Chronicle 1960s staff:

Bruce Wilson, owner, publisher 1957Harley Heath, Ad Manager‘52-’67

Charles Kerr City Editor ‘52-’61

Joe Sinclair, If you can’t afford coffee, he’ll buy you a cup ‘57-

Marilynn Feil Society Editor ‘60-

John E. Andrist News Editor ‘61-’66,

Colleen Reienes Office Manager ‘61-

Merilynn Wilson Society Editor ‘62-

Grant Heppenstall News Editor ‘66-’67

Pete Pegnum News Editor ‘67-

Centennial staff: Publisher: Roger Harnack Section editor: Sheila Corson Managing editor: Dee Camp Advertising: Lynn Hoover Research/design: Julie Bock Katie Montanez Elizabeth Widel Special Thanks to: Okanogan County Historical Society

TIMELINE 1963 continued March 21 – The final 27 prisoners are removed from Alcatraz Penitentiary and the facility is closed. March 21 – Julie Fenske named 1963 Omak Stampede Queen. June 17 – Laws requiring recitation of the Lord’s Prayer or Scripture verses in school are deemed unconstitutional by an 8-1 vote of the Supreme Court. June 27 – Dr. James Bone begins practice in Omak. Aug. 28 – The Civil Rights march on Washington, D.C., includes more than 200,000 people to hear Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Aug. 29 – A 99-year land dispute with Mexico is resolved with the Chamizal Treaty, establishing the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico. July 4 – Omak IGA owner Darrell Ferguson presents his business jacket to new owner Gene Henrie, 37, as the latter takes over operation of IGA in Omak. (now Gene’s Harvest Foods) Sept 5 – Enrollment in Omak schools hits a record high of 1,418. Nov. 22 – John F. Kennedy is shot and killed in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas; Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in on Air Force One. Shooter Lee Harvey Oswald is shot and killed on television two days later in police custody.

Continued 59 (Continuedon onpage Page 3)


A New Historical Society Much due to the efforts of Bruce and Merilynn Wilson, the Okanogan County Historical Society began in the 1960s, producing the Heritage quarterly, cataloguing tens of thousands of photos, archiving newspapers and more. Among the original team, Wilson is pictured in the upper right corner, with another familiar face, that of Elizabeth Widel, in the front, third from the right. – Historial Society photo

Suicide Race To Be Movie Piece Aug. 6, 1964 Larry Lansburgh, movie producer-director, and a crew of cameramen plan to film the Omak Stampede Suicide Race Sunday as a test to determine whether the race would make a fitting climax to a film story Lansburgh hopes to do about an Appaloosa horse. “There are lots of problems with something like this,” said Lansburgh. “We’d like to make it look like pretty wild country but we have to find camera angles to avoid telephone poles, houses and other buildings.” Lansburgh said he planned to shoot color film on Sunday’s Suicide Race. If it turns out to be suitable — and he might know this by the time the race is

finished — his plans might call for a re-run of the race. “If this works out and we get a story, it would be great national publicity for the Omak Stampede,” said Lansburgh. “It would be something they couldn’t afford to buy.” Lansburgh hasn’t written a story yet, nor does he have the movie sold to any film studios. He is in Omak on speculation, hoping to find a key to a climax of a story about an Appaloosa horse, a girl and a couple of rodeo clowns. He pointed out that the Suicide Race lasts only about a minute, perhaps two, and would provide only a short part of the film’s action. “We’ll shoot movies of the race and some rodeo action and perhaps some crowd reactions,” said Lansburgh.

Wilson Seeks Senate Post Disney Movie Opens April 25, 1968 Bruce A. Wilson, publisher of the Omak Chronicle for the past 11 years, announced this week he will be a Democratic candidate for the state senator from the second legislative district (Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens and Pend Orielle Counties). The incumbent is Senator David E. McMillan of Colville. Wilson, 47, said he feels that the vast second district, extending from the summit of the Cascades to the Idaho border offers “a wholesome and desirable way of life” — one that can be preserved only through economic developments tied to the area’s resources and a strengthening of local government.

July 21, 1966 Omak will make its bid to become the motion picture center of the world Sunday when Walt Disney’s “Run, Appaloosa, Run” featuring the WorldFamous Omak Stampede Suicide Race opens for a week at the Omak Theater. “Appaloosa” marks the first time a motion picture or any substantial part of one has been filmed in Okanogan County. A crew headed by independent producer-director Larry Lansburgh spent several weeks here in the spring of 1965 shooting sequences along the Okanogan River. “Appaloosa” opened in metropolitan centers in early July. Or rather,

Disney’s “Lt. Robin Crusoe” starring Dick Van Dyke opened in early-July with “Appaloosa” as the second attraction. LANSBURGH SAID when he arrived, that the Suicide Race would be publicized in the movie, and he kept his word. The name in the film has been changed to “Hell’s Mountain Suicide Race” but Omak is memorialized once in the dialogue and twice on the screen, though it would have been helpful if the heroine, Adele Palacios, had not stood in front of the Omak Stampede poster so much of the time. WHETHER “Appaloosa” wins an Oscar or not, it can’t do the Stampede any harm and some viewers may be attracted by the beautiful Okanogan County scenery it portrays. Many local people will recognize themselves in the movie. Ray Patnude may or may not be ‘local.’ Married to a Colville Indian, he had been living at Coulee Dam briefly when he was signed to play the role of the heroine’s brother. Among the longtime hometown talent, only Claire Pentz drew a speaking role, as the starter for the Suicide Race. But hundreds of other Okanogan County citizens appear particularly in the final sequence based on the end of the race. About 2,000 showed up at the Stampede arena that day to provide a crowd for the climax. The Omak High School band makes a dazzling entry.

Wilson Named Chairman Jan. 16, 1969 OLYMPIA — As the 41st session of the Washington State Legislature convened this week, State Sen. Bruce Wilson of the Second Legislative District was name chairman of the Senate Committee on Parks, Recreation, Capitol Grounds and Veterans Affairs. Senator Wilson also was name Vice Chairman of the Committee on Cities, Towns and Counties — the Senate’s “local government” committee. Wilson is a member of the committees on Agriculture and Horticulture, Higher Education and Libraries, and the Appropriations Sub-Committee of the Ways and Means Committee. Wilson was sworn in as a State Senator as the 41st session convened Monday.

Hand Carved Doors Donated The new Omak library building in 1968 received hand-carved doors from Mrs. John Goldmark, Seattle. Carver Walter Pettit (left) and designer Walter Graham (right) demonstrate their use. (In 2010, the library is undergoing remodeling. The doors will be put on display inside the library for safe keeping.) – Elizabeth Widel photo

(Continued (Continued from FromPage Page57) 1) out of this mess,” Mrs. Goldmark said. One of the ways out, she continued, was through the Worker’s school in New York, a night school sponsored by the Communists and staffed by lecturers from numerous colleges and universities. Mrs. Goldmark said she attended Worker’s school classes on economics and social problems one night a week during two winters. During this time she also had her first taste of racial discrimination. In 1935 she got a job with the emergency relief administration in Washington, D.C., (later to become the WPA). At this time, she said, she joined the Communist party. She began paying dues, but was never issued a card. Eight years later, after she’d married John Goldmark in 1942 and was moving out of Washington, she left the party. MRS. GOLDMARK said she had no further contact with the party or with any party members since 1943. She said she was contacted in 1949 by the FBI and testified in 1956 before the house unAmerican activities committee. Mrs. Goldmark was asked why, after her husband went into public life, she didn’t reveal her past party membership. She was asked also why she had never discussed details of her Communist party membership with her husband. Explaining that Goldmark had never asked her she said, “I felt that I had joined the party in good faith to find out what it was and what it offered. I felt I had done no wrong but that I had made a mistake. “I FELT that I could best correct the mistake by living as an honest, upright, loyal American citizen.”

Goldmark Trial Begins, Holden Is First Witness Nov. 7, 1963 By John E. Andrist OKANOGAN – The $225,000 Goldmark libel case got under way in Okanogan county superior court Monday, slightly more than a year after the heated primary election campaign which gave it birth. With Judge Theodore S. Turner of King county on the bench, a jury was selected Monday in surprisingly short time. Much of Tuesday was given over to opening statements by both sides. About 2 p.m. Tuesday, the first witness took the stand. He was Ashley Holden, Sr., publisher of the Tonasket Tribune and one of the defendants. Holden was summoned as an adverse witness by the plaintiffs, who will present their case first. He was still on the stand Wednesday afternoon. PLAINTIFFS’ attorney Rhesa Mansfield focused his questioning on a news article published July 12, 1962, in the Tribune and an editorial published August 30, 1962, also in the Tribune. Goldmark claims he was libeled by both. Referring to the news article, Mansfield read a statement declaring Goldmark was a member of the American Civil Liberties union and that the ACLU is “closely affiliated” with the communist movement in the United States. Holden said he felt there was nothing in the July 12

news article which should be retracted. GLENN HARMON, attorney for the defendants, dropped the bombshell in his opening statement. The defendants, declared Harmon, would convince the jury that “Sally Goldmark never got out of the Communist party…” and would prove conclusively that “Irma Ringe Goldmark and John Goldmark have never deviated from the Communist Party from the day of their marriage to this day…and that John and Sally Goldmark are in fact under Communist party discipline.” Earlier Tuesday, Goldmark attorney Bill Dwyer of Seattle outlined the plaintiffs’ case. The plaintiffs would prove that statements which led to the suit were false and malicious and that the defendants had conspired to commit the libels “to paint the Goldmarks as communists in the eyes of the public,” Dwyer said. HE SAID the defendants were out “to smear…to ruin” John Goldmark and that they attacked him through his wife and eldest son, Chuck. He said that at one time false rumors identified Goldmark as the leader of all Communists in the Northwest states. Attorneys for the Goldmarks are ready to call at least 43 witnesss. Most observers agree with attorneys’ estimates that the case will be in court at least for 4-6 weeks.

Convicted Defendants Seek Retrial Jan. 30, 1964 The next battle in the long Goldmark court war is up to presiding judge Theodore S. Turner of Seattle. He must set a date for hearing arguments on nine defense motions aimed at upsetting the $40,000 verdict of the nine men and three women who sat on the Goldmark trial jury. The jury found the defendants guilty on five of the nine charges of libel brought by John and Sally Goldmark. THE DEFENDANTS and the amount of each award made by the jury to Goldmark were as follows: Claim 1, Ashley Holden, Sr., and wife and Tonasket Publishing company, $12,000 for newspaper article announcing Goldmark’s candidacy for re-election published July 12, 1962. Claim 2, Ashley Holden, Sr., and wife and Tonasket Publishing company, $13,000 for editorial identifying Goldmark as a “tool of a monstrous conspiracy” published August 30, 1962. Claim 3, Albert F. Canwell and wife, the Holdens, Tonasket Publishing company, $2,900, printed version of “An Interview With Al Canwell” published under the American Intelligence Service name in August, 1962. Claim 4, Don Caron and wife, $100 for Caron’s helping to distribute 400 copies of “An Interview With Al Canwell.” Claim 5, Canwell and wife, $5,000 for the tape recorded “An Interview With Al Canwell.” Claim 6, Canwell and wife, Holden and wife, and Loris Gillespie and wife, $7,000 on libels against Goldmark at the August 23, 1962 American Legion meeting in Okanogan.

People Decade


Harley Heath Called one of the most beloved residents in the area, Harley Leander Heath spent 40 years in newspapers in Okanogan County. Born Sept. 25, 1880 in Indiana, Heath came to the county to help a friend for 30 days and stayed for 57 years. He arrived by steamer in 1910 with $10 in his pocket and a wife and daughter 2,000 miles away. He was part or full owner of the Okanogan Independent from 1926-1948. When he sold out at 68 years old, he didn’t retire. A few years later he started working for his former competition, The Omak Chronicle. He started his popular column, “Seen and Heard In the Okanogan” in the 1920s at the Independent and revived it in the Chronicle until his death by a stroke on April 9, 1967. He was also known for his signature pipe, almost never pictured without it. (Except here.) His wife of 48 years, Maude, died in 1948. His daughter, Max, gave him two grandsons and 10 great-grandchildren by the time of his death. The Heaths are buried in the Omak Memorial Cemetery.

of the

Frank George

Claire Pentz

One of the charter members of the Colville Business Council, Frank George gained national renown for Indian affairs. George held the titles of executive director, vice-president and, at the time of his death, secretary of the National Congress of American Indians. He was also affiliated with the Washington State Indian Tribes and the Ad Hoc Committee of Northwest Indians. He was a supervisor for the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. Through all his dealings, he became personally acquainted with President John F. Kennedy (with whom he is pictured above). George is listed in the “Who’s Who in Washington State” and the “Book of Outstanding American Indians.” He was born Oct. 21, 1912 and died after an illness in November 1968. He spent his entire life as a Nespelem resident. He and wife, Ann, had been married 32 years at the time of his death. He is buried in the Chief Joseph Cemetery.

Credited with first bringing the Suicide Race to the Stampede, Claire Pentz was also a long-time Omak businessman. Pentz, 73 at his death in 1972, was honored by a somewhat spontaneous “Claire Pentz Day” in 1964 when people in the town decided to celebrate his innovative ideas and impact to the community on his 65th birthday. He spent 35 years in the furniture industry, having started during the Depression with his wife, Min. Pentz had his hand in many committees and organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, Masonic Lodge, Elks, Tunk Valley Grange and more. He was also president of the North Cross-State Highway association, which helped business corridors flourish. He was grand marshal in the Stampede parade in 1972, only a couple months before his death. Born in 1899 in Pennsylvania, Pentz came to Omak in 1921. He and his wife, who died in 2000, are buried in the Omak Memorial Cemetery.

Okanogan County’s Olympic Champ Dies

Third Powerhouse Approved June 16, 1966 Washington, D.C. — The far reaches of Okanogan County will provide the space needed to make Grand Coulee Dam again the largest hydroelectric power project in the world. President Johnson Tuesday signed a bill authorizing construction of a third power plant which eventually will add 3.6 million kilowatts to Grand Coulee’s capacity. The new power plant will be located on the Okanogan County side of the Columbia River. It will be equipped with 12 generators of 300,000 kilowatts’ capacity each. The first is scheduled for operation in 1973. Three more generators would go on the line at Grand Coulee in 1974 and all 12 would be operating by 1983 to help meet what the President termed a “desperate need” for additional power. The $390 million authorization measure was co-sponsored by Senator Jackson and Congressman Tom Foley.

Nobel Winner Visits The President Mr. and Mrs. Walter Brattain arrive at President John F. Kennedy’s Nobel Prize dinner at the White House on April 29, 1962. Brattain, who grew up in Tonasket, won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1956 with two others for inventing the transistor. He worked at Bell Labs, New Jersey. – Historical Society photo

Jan. 15, 1970 Death has come to Okanogan County’s only Olympic games champion. He was Charles E. Dvorak, an early-day resident of Conconully and Molson who had won the Olympics pole vaulting championship in 1904 at St. Louis. Dvorak died December 18 in a Seattle area convalescent home. He was 92. A native of Chicago, Dvorak graduated in law from the University of Michigan where he was a track star. He placed second in the Olympic games pole vault event in 1900 at Paris, France, and won in 1904 with a leap of 11 feet, 6 inches. (Modern vaulters with flexible metal poles approach 18 feet.) Following his track career, Dvorak came to Okanogan County. He worked for banker L. L. Work at Conconully from 1907 to 1909 and practiced law in Molson in 1909 and 1910. After a brief coaching stint at the University of Idaho, Dvorak moved to Seattle where he coached at Franklin High School

Dvorak in 1904 and later, for many years, at Roosevelt High School. He retired in 1947. Dvorak must be ranked as one of Okanogan County’s most notable athletes though he lived here only a few years. Others who might fall in this classification would have to include the late Alec Arcasa, the Colville Indian who played with Jim Thorpe on Pop Warner’s great Carlisle Football Tames, and Tonasket’s Greg Gavin, who this season was named a National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (small college) first string All American Football Player.

Local Girl Honored For Saving Man’s Life Oct. 13, 1966 A freckle-faced, towheaded 13-year-old Omak Camp Fire Girl blushed with embarrassment and surprise Tuesday noon as the applause of more than 300 of her classmates rang through the Copple Gym acclaiming her a real-life heroine. Jan Featherly, daughter of the John Featherlys of Omak, was a bit dazed by the occasion, a junior high assembly at which she was the surprised recipient of the National Lifesaving Award of the Camp Fire Girls of America, an honor given only once before to a North Central Washington girl. The presentation by her Camp Fire Leader, Mrs. Earl Nansen, assisted by the president of the sponsoring Omak Kiwanis,

Jan Featherly Irwin Mullenix, and Wenatchee Camp Fire executive Mrs. Mildred Naughton, was a long distance in time and space from the beach at Osoyoos, B.C., where Jan had towed an unconscious swimmer from deep water in July, 1965.

THE DROWNING swimmer was 17-year-old Ervin Hordos, about twice the size of the Omak girl, who was then 12-yearsold. Jan, a junior high band drum majorette, and other members of the band were swimming at the Osoyoos Beach following a performance in the Cherry Festival Parade July 1, 1965, when some of them noticed Hordos in trouble in deep water and going under. Jan’s story: “I swam over to him. He was about two feet under and I grabbed his hair and pulled him up. I got him to the log boom and got his head out of water. I didn’t know it but he was unconscious. “I started for shore and

the girl who was a lifeguard met me and took him the rest of the way. “I didn’t even know what I was doing, I just grabbed him wherever I could get hold. I got him by the head and started swimming. He looked awful. I didn’t even know if he was alive or not. I sure was scared.” Climbing aboard the Omak School bus bound for home a few minutes later, Jan was relieved to learn from the bus driver that the young man was responding to artificial respiration. AN ENTHUSIASTIC swimmer since she was 6, the Omak eighth grader has since the rescue passed the Red Cross Junior Lifesaving Course twice at the Omak Pool. Jan lists swimming as her favorite pastime, with

tennis, volleyball and other minor sports as close seconds. She’s a clarinetist in the senior high band and has been in Camp Fire for five years, a member of Mrs. Nansen’s active group, now the Shelter Junior Hi group. JAN’S PRESENCE of mind in a dire emergency was noted on the award citation, which continued, “Her good judgement and quick action undoubtedly resulted in saving Edwin Hordos from drowning…We are especially pleased to know that Jan’s experience in Camp Fire Girls helped her respond so capably at a time when another’s life was at stake.” Mrs. Nansen, in making the presentation, praised Jan for her friendliness, enthusiasm, loyalty and modesty.

1964 Jan. 9 – Mobs engage U.S. troops at the Panama Canal; 21 Panamanians die along with four U.S. troops. Jan. 13 – Beatlemania strikes the U.S. with the release of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and the first album “Meet the Beatles.” March 12 – George Laycock elected Omak mayor. March 26 – Ginger DeTro named 1964 Omak Stampede Queen. April 2 – Darlene Moses selected as the first Colville Indian Princess for the Omak Stampede. May 21 – John Gebbers named 1964 Cattleman of the year. June 29 – The U.S. Congress bans discrimination in jobs, voting and accommodations in Civil Rights legislation. June 30 – The first bucket of concrete poured at Wells Dam. Aug. 7 – The Tonkin Resolution authorizes the president to take action in Vietnam after North Vietnamese boats attack two U.S. destroyers. Oct. 23 – The Omak Bypass (Highway 97) opens. Nov. 3 – President Johnson is re-elected. Nov. 26 – Fire guts Central Chevrolet on Omak’s Main Street. 1965 Jan. 1 – Penny Ann Williams is the first baby of 1965 at 4:07 a.m. Jan 29 – Timak Magazine features a story of Bob Wegner of Auburn, Wash., who rode a bull named Salty for a $1,000, at the 1964 Omak Stampede. Feb. 7 – President Johnson orders the continuous bombing of North Vietnam below the 20th parallel. March 18 – Diane Dewey chosen 1965 Omak Stampede Queen. April 1 – Carleen Desautel named 1965 Colville Indian Princess. April 20 – Ground breaking ceremonies for the new Omak hospital held. Aug. 11 – The Watts race riot begins in Los Angeles with a five-day siege ending in the deaths of 34 people and property destruction of more than $200 million. Oct. 15 – The first public burning of a draft card protests the Vietnam War. 1966 Jan. 6 – Price Motors (formerly Central Motors) opens its doors on Okoma Drive, Omak. Feb. 17 – Dr. M.L. Ledgerwood of Okanogan named to the Veterinary Board of Governors for the State of Washington. March 17 – Connie Vance named Omak Stampede Queen of 1966. March 31 – DeeAnna Marcellay named Colville Indian Princess. May 12 – The average monthly wage rises to $480 in Okanogan County. July 10 – Mid-Valley Hospital dedicated. Sept. 15 – James Wesley Bryant, 20, a 1965 Okanogan graduate, killed by a sniper in Vietnam. Nov. 8 – First black U.S. Senator in 85 years, Edward Brooke, is elected in Massachusetts. 1967 March 23 – Sherry Hendrex chosen 1967 Omak Stampede Queen. March 28 – Tonasket High School Gym destroyed by fire. March 30 – Connie Villalovas chosen Indian Princess for the Omak Stampede. June 23 – A three-day summit with President Johnson and Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin ends in a mutual declaration that no crises would lead to war between the countries. July – Black riots in several U.S. cities break out, finally ended by 12,500 federal troopers and National Guardsmen. (Continuedon onpage Page 4) Continued 60


TIMELINE 1967 continued Aug. 10 – Omak Little League All-Stars become Washington State Champs. Oct. 2 – Thurgood Marshall becomes the first Black Supreme Court justice. Nov. 13 – Glann Kittrell, 47, manager of the Wagner Lumber Product Mill in Twisp found slain. 1968 Jan. 1 – Lennette Kae Judd is the first baby of 1968. Jan. 23 – North Korea seizes the U.S.S. Pueblo, accusing the crew of spying. The prisoners are released on Dec. 22, but North Korea still has the ship in its possession to this day. March 21 – Kethy Ensminger chosen Omak Stampede Indian Princess. March 23 – Joanne Longmoor named Omak Stampede Queen. March 31 – President Johnson announces the slow-down of bombing in Vietnam and announces that he will not seek re-election. April 24 – Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., by James Earl Ray. April 25 – Omak’s Double O Lanes destroyed by fire. May 5 – Omak’s new Elks Lodge dedicated. June 5 – Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy is shot at a victory celebration in Los Angeles by Sirhan Sirhan; Kennedy dies several days later. Aug. 8 – Omak’s Little League All-Stars are No. 1 in the state for the second year. Sept. 5 – Famed cougar hunter, Boyd Hildebrand dies. Nov. 5 – Richard Nixon wins presidential election. Nov. 15 – The new Omak High School Vocational-Technical Center dedicated. Nov. 21 – Omak’s new firehall and police station completed. 1969 Jan. 18 – Vietnam War peace talks begin. U.S. troop numbers reach their maximum in April with 543,400. A withdrawal begins July 8. Jan. 30 – Two Omak youths die from carbon monoxide asphyxiation in a snowbound car. Feb. 6 – 17-year-old Greg Hendrick rescued after being buried alive by snow. March 17 – Eletha Heath crowned Miss Omak Stampede 1969. April 24 – Omak seventh grader, Jeff Brown, wins the Washington State High School Speech Championships in Seattle. June 22 – Leo Moomaw, Stamped co-founder and long-time stock contractor passes away. July 17 – Okanogan Warehouse District hit by fire. July 20 – Apollo 11 reaches the moon; Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to walk on the surface of the moon with Edwin E. Adrin, Jr., joining him. July 25 – Nixon signs a new Vietnam policy, one of many to be protested throughout the year. Aug. 14 – Ted Harrison joins his father in business at Precht-Harrison Funeral Home of Omak. Aug. 14 – Big Jim, famous Suicide Race horse, wins all three Suicide Races with Merval Allen aboard. Sept. 11 – Biles-Coleman purchases Wagner’s Lumber Products in Twisp. Sept. 13 – The new $275,000 Riverside Bridge dedicated. Sept. 25 – No more liceses for gambling devices or pinball machines. Nov. 20 – Alcatraz is occupied by 14 American Indians in a standoff over Indian issues. Nov. 21 – The Internet, called Arpanet, is invented through the U.S. Department of Defense and is used to connect several universities. (Continuedon onpage Page 5) Continued 61


Riverside Folks Gather for Bridge Dedication Sept. 18, 1969 Dear Boss, It was a shame you were committed to a trip to Stevens County and couldn't be at Riverside last Saturday when they dedicated the new $275,000 bridge. It was just the comfortable kind of occasion you would have enjoyed. The sun was shining, with clouds scudding over the hills beyond looking as if they had been especially laundered for the event. And from the time when the first folks began to gather about 10 a.m., until the last ones left for home in mid afternoon, the bridge in the background served as a ribbon to tie together all the people attending the dedication ceremony and the community potluck dinner afterward. There must have been almost 400 of 'em. There were plenty of oldtimers reminiscing about bridges of other days and Riverside's glory of another time, a good scattering of Johnny-come-latelys who had arrived in the Okanogan within the last 30 or so years and who were pleased with the progress marked by the completion of the new curving concrete span, a smattering of passers-by from other areas who just happened by and took in the community-wide celebration on an impulse and a handful of public officials there to represent the various

agencies which had made the new bridge possible. It was a great day. Leo and Walt Fuhrman sat in the park after lunch remembering the ferry which was operating where the new bridge is now, when their family moved up Tunk Creek in 1901. "It was just a small boat crossing by cable hung above the river," Walt recalled. "I don't know when it started because it was operating there when we came to this country.” The first bridge went up at Riverside in 1903, and Dick Sutton remembers it well. "I was about 18, and Chet Williams and I hired out to cut the poles for the new bridge. We cut the trees at the north end of Blue Lake, peeled them and hauled them to the site for a dollar a pole,” Dick replied. Dick drove his car over the new bridge Saturday right after Riverside City Treasurer, Lucile Paxton, cut the dedication ribbon. The honor was hers because she's been active in the city government since 1956. The honor went to Dick partly because he had been the first man to drive across the second bridge when it had been completed more than 50 years ago. "No ceremony then," he said. "I just drove across in my grain wagon. Guess I just happened along right when it was finished." The first pile bridge at

Welcome to Riverside The new $275,000 Riverside Bridge dedicated on Sept. 13, 1969. — Chronicle photo Riverside became a draw span a year later when it was found to be too low for riverboats which came upstream above there in the spring. Dick reported, “They just cut out a section and fixed it to a cable and winch on shore so it could be raised. About a year later the cable broke and the draw section fell and was smashed to bits. They built another draw span the next year.” The second bridge was put up during World War I as the Great Northern Railroad came up the Okanogan Valley on the east side of the river. In those days, Riverside was still a booming community with a big Blackwell's store, a bank and a big hotel, among the other busy businesses in town. When that bridge was torn down recently, Ken

Crofoot was one of those Riverside area residents who acquired some of the old planks. He's going to build a root cellar with some of them. There is no sign of the old narrow wooden bridge with the criss-cross super structure left at the side except for a pile of gravel on the upstream side of the new crossing. The design of the sweeping new bridge, reported Riverside Mayor Ed Thiele at the dedication, is a copy of a bridge at Ellensburg which has won 12 national design awards. A bench marker indicating the height of the 1948 flood which was taken from the old bridge will be attached to the new structure, according to County Engineer Art Griffin, who was at the ceremonies Saturday.

Speaking at the dedication County Commissioner Ed Winslow said the stretch of Okanogan River between Janis near Tonasket and Keystone near Riverside was the only piece in 75 miles of the Okanogan which did not have a road on both sides. "I look forward to the eventual day when this bridge will be an important link of that last stretch of road," he added. Commission Chairman Jack Abrahams and Commissioner John Carlson also were on the program. So was Gene Phillips, representing the state highway department's aid office and Robert Nelson of the Nelson Construction Company of Ferndale who built the bridge. No one could disagree. - Merilynn Wilson

Jones Threshing Bee Revives Old-Time Era

Looks Like A Bird Bath

Oct. 25, 1962 PINE CREEK — "…just like the time our hands sprung a leak in our water tank and the old engine had to quit work…" "Yep, but this one is a bit smaller than the old thresher we used to use." Memories of days 40 and 50 years past were swapped, recalled and talked over by Okanogan County pioneers and earlyday farmers, some of whom in greasy bib overalls, were swarming around steam tractors at the Evan Jones Steam Threshing Bee. It's an annual event, not altogether free or of ritual, but entirely free schedule, program or concern about the length of the day. Old-timers whose legs would buckle if Mother asked them to stand these long hours in a corn patch take on a full day of babying the steam tractors of Evan and Tom Jones without a wince. JONES SPONSORS the event as a part of his hobby. He does not say much about the reasons but some of them are pure sentiment. A man, a 3-tined fork, and an old separator are the priest, knife and altar of this ritual. Dick Sutton of Riverside mounts his haystack early in the afternoon before most of the

July 28, 1966 They're building the biggest birdbath in the world on Brewster's Flat this summer. The bird which will use this big, white, steel and aluminum birdbath is going to be flying 23,000 miles over the equator at the International Dateline That bird won't bathe in the big saucer on a pillar, he'll talk to it. This birdbath in Communications Satellite Corporation's giant dish antenna at the earth station site on Brewster Flat. When the big dish is pointed straight up, it looks like a birdbath. Aside from the big dams, it is the tallest manmade structure in Okanogan County, the heaviest piece of equipment in Okanogan County, and one of the most precise, delicate instruments anywhere in the world. This Antenna looms 105 feet above Brewster Flat. Its dish is 65 feet in diameter. It is gleaming white and will be lighted at night both by floodlights around the base and by lights on the dish itself. The giant structure, not counting the base, weighs 250 tons. It is taking about 5,000 man hours to build it and will take another 2,000 man hours to align it. "We are 90 percent complete on the section and ironwork phase," said D.D.

Height of Threshing Bee Straw spews from the discharge pipe unnoticed as Dick Sutton heaves another bundle onto the separator table and a crowd gathers. Jones bought the separator new in 1915. — Chronicle photo steam fiends are even ready to start threshing. He leans on his pitchfork and remembers. An occasional visitor climbs the ladder to talk to him while all over the 40acre pasture engineers squirt oil, hook up water, throw on more wood, and drive Jones's tractors around aimlessly. ALL, THAT IS, except the long, long belt, which runs from the giant pulley on one of the steamers - the Buffalo Pitts this time. High on his haystack Sutton repeats the ritual. He was the first man to throw a sheaf of grain on the separator when Jones bought it and put it to work

for Walt Smith's dad on the old Judson ranch (latter the Harley Paine place) near Riverside. Sutton throws the first bundle on. A big group of young and old crowd around the grain spout. Old-timers who don't care about engines may understand sack sewing. Fingers stiff with age and gnarled with rheumatism and arthritis push the needle through and make the "ears." Another Jones Threshing Bee is come and gone. So are the mountains of food the ladies bring for the noon (or 1:30 p.m. or whenever the men get hungry enough to leave the engines) potluck.

Nespelem Sawmill 1966

(Junior) Madron, superintendent for Rohr Construction, which is building the antenna. "We'll have in about 5,000 man hours on the erection alone. It'll take another 2,000 to align the reflectors on the receiving-transmitting unit." Those 5,000 man hours don't take into account the fabrication time on the structural parts of the antenna, said Madron. The antenna was designed and built by Rohr at San Diego, Calif. "This is the first model of this type of antenna ever to be erected," said Madron. "It has gone very smoothly so far. All the pieces were precut according to a design and shipped here. Tolerances are extremely close." While The ironwork is 90 percent completed, the project as a whole is only about 60 percent finished. The antenna is slated to begin talking to Comsat's "bird" December 1. Mandron, who has built eight huge antennas for various purposes around the world, described Comsat's big birdbath as an "az-el" (azimuth-elevation) antenna. It is tremendously powerful and extremely precise. All of its face surfaces are designed to focus incoming radio beams on a small receiving unit mounted on a quadrapod standing over the center of the dish.


Woman on TV March 14, 1968 An Omak woman, Mrs. Neil Dibble, will appear on NBC TV's daytime "Jeopardy" show at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 28. The program was taped in mid-February when Mrs. Dibble was visiting in New York. She had written ahead to inquire, and on her arrival competed with 200 other applicants for 10 openings on the contestant-type program. "They didn't want more

than one contestant from the same city," Mrs. Dibble reports, "so being from Omak, Washington helped." Shows were being taped far in advance, Mrs. Dibble learned, so camera crews would be freed for spring political broadcasts. During the program Mrs. Dibble won $200 and a set of encyclopedias, none of which she will receive until the show has been aired.


Brewster Bridge Destroyed By Fire The 1966 bridge catches fire in the middle decking in 1968. Because so much of the bridge collapsed, a new bridge had to be built later. – Chronicle photos

Violent Fire Caused by Runaway Truck April 7, 1964 Locked in a mortal embrace, a huge lumber truck and a volatile gasoline delivery truck — both without drivers — hurtled into the north end of the Omak business district last Thursday morning and burst into flames. IT ALL BEGAN with a coffee break, one 27-yearold Fred Scott of Tonasket, driver of the lumber truck, will never forget. Coming from Tonasket, Scott pulled his tractortrailer rig off the highway shortly before 8 a.m. He parked it near the union hall, set the brakes, and went into Best’s Diner across the street for a cup of coffee. The brakes slipped and the truck began rolling downhill. The truck rolled into the curbing which forms the triangle in front of Omak Feed & Supply and gaining momentum, turned down Main Street. Further down the hill and across Main Street, Glenn Ritz was inside his Texaco Service Station talking to Okanogan

TIMELINE Continued 1970 Feb. 12 – Early morning blaze closes Stevens Elementary School in Omak. March 26 – Mary Hall named Indian Princess for the Omak Stampede and Debbie Ferguson named Omak Stampede Queen. April 22 – The first Earth Day is held with antipollution demonstrations. Several children walk to school instead of riding the bus. May 4 – Four students at Kent State are killed by nine National Guardsmen during a protest against the Vietnam War.

Texaco Distributor, Carroll Hardin, whose delivery truck was parked at the curb in front. RITZ GLANCED UP to see the loaded lumber truck bearing down on Hardin’s gas truck. He yelled at Hardin. The two stared as the 30-ton truck smashed into the load of high-octane gasoline. The lumber truck pushed the gas truck backward down the final grade leading into the north end of Main Street. At the last of the four service stations clustered in this explosive area, Sam Tverberg, Jr., was sitting in his father’s pickup waiting for his dad to finish talking with Dale Reese in front of Dale’s Union Service. The three heard the muffled crash and saw the two trucks angling across Main Street toward them. Reese beat a hasty retreat into his building. Young Tverberg leaped out of the pickup and raced for the corner of the Union lot. Tverberg Sr. tried to get into his pickup. “I grabbed the door handle and it came right at me,” Tverberg recalled later. “I was smashed against the truck and thrown backward 20 feet.” The hood of the gas truck crashed down on his arm. The gas truck careened off the pickup toward the center of Main Street. The trucks rolled nearly across the street and came to a stop. With the impact of this latest collision, the underside of the gas truck burst into flames. Fire leaped 40 feet into the air. Reese said the impact sent the pickup hurtling down the street. It took out a parking meter in front of the City Finance and bowled over a trashcan. Later, it was learned,

Cuban Blockade Supported Oct. 25, 1962 Okanogan County residents gave overwhelming support to President Kennedy’s quarantine of Cuba this week, though many of those interviewed by the Omak Chronicle said they wished firm action had been taken some time ago. At the same time Carl F. Precht, Omak civil defense coordinator, urged local residents to remain calm and prepare themselves on an individual family basis for whatever emergency might arise from the explosive international situation. Precht said there are no provisions for community fallout shelters in Omak, and said all civil defense plans here are based on each family caring for itself. Two mothers of Omak servicemen admitted their first thoughts were of their sons.

Mrs. W.W. Behymer whose son, Kelly, a 1961 Omak high school graduate, is stationed at Beloxy, Miss., said, “I don’t see how he (President Kennedy) could do anything else. We can take only so much from Russia. I am hopeful it will get straightened out.” Mrs. Mark Bullock whose son, Bill, is stationed with the navy in Japan on the destroyer Frank Knox said, “I think anyone who has a boy in the service worried. But at least he has had good training and is on a good ship.” Referring to the President’s decision, Mrs. Bullock said, “I think this should have been done at the Bay of Pigs and it wouldn’t be so rough now. We can’t let them (the Russians) come over here and run us off the face of the earth.” ~

that had the pickup not deflected the two runaways, they probably would have plowed into his gas station and the corner of the City Finance Office. THE TRUCKS had come to rest only the width of a sidewalk from Frank’s Motors. Inside the DodgePlymouth agency, Mac McGillivrae was working at his desk when he heard the crash and looked up into a mountain of flames. “Right then the phone rang,” said McGillivrae later. “As I answered it there was an explosion and the front windows were breaking in. I dropped the phone and ran.” FIRE CHIEF Hugh Miller, alone at the station, took the call. A voice said, “We’ve got a little fire down here by Dale’s Service Station.” Miller hit the station siren. When Frank Knighton arrived, the two wheeled out in the city fire engine, figuring they should not have much trouble with a little fire. As he rounded the corner at the stoplight Miller was stunned by the sight of a cloud of black smoke boiling several hundred feet into the air. Miller radioed Okanogan for help and asked Biles-Coleman Lumber Company to release volunteer firemen. Four miles south Dr. M. L. Ledgerwood, Okanogan veterinarian, was delivering a calf at the former Parm Dickson Ranch. He saw the column of smoke and heard the explosions. He figured each was a gas truck blowing up and exclaimed, “There goes Omak.” IT WAS 8:15 a.m., Miller and Knighton were playing water on the fire as other volunteers dashed up to pull more hose off the truck and join the battle.

Flames seared their faces as they worked only 30 to 40 feet away. As it turned out, two of the four tanks on the Texaco gas truck bad been ruptured. Burning gasoline flowed down the east gutterline of Main Street for half-a-block. But safety valves in the two remaining tanks were working properly, helping to relieve the pressure. Soon firemen were spraying fog from all angles. ONLY MINUTES after he had dropped his telephone at Frank’s Motors, McGillivrae returned to the showroom. McGillivrae, Ivan Farrar, Leroy Heinz, Lloyd Davisson and Eddie Desautel drove 10 new cars and trucks out of the showroom. Two hundred spectators gathered. Many stood within 60 feet of the flaming gas truck. Some smoked cigarettes. School children clustered about. Police Officer Col. Cleghorn and Clarence Laughery used loudspeakers to warn the crowd away. Nobody moved. FIGENSHOW said his 1955 Freightliner Truck and Freuhauf trailer, valued at $35,000, were total losses. He said the load of lumber, destined for Quincy was valued at $1,200. Fire Chief Miller said other estimated damages include Hardin’s gas truck $10,000, Frank’s Motors $2,900, scorched car in Frank’s showroom $500, Jim Hill Motel $50 and Tverberg’s pickup $200. Figenshow said Scott, who had driven for him for three months, said the parking procedure followed by Scott was normal. “Apparently there was a failure in the brakes,” Figenshow said.

Freight Train Kills 13 Cows Jan. 14, 1965 RIVERSIDE — A northbound freight train plowed through part of a herd of 38 Yoder dairy cattle at 3 a.m. here Tuesday, killing 13 of the animals and injuring half a dozen more in a nightmare experience for the crew of the local Great Northern freight. The cattle, which included dry dairy cows, heifers and some beef animals, were strung out along a quarter mile of the Great Northern right-ofway north of the Riverside crossing. Several of the animals appeared to have been thrown a considerable distance by the impact. Others left deep furrows in the snow where they skidded into an open area. Carl Yoder said the train crew called him by telephone shortly after 3 a.m. Yoder said the engineer told him he

hadn’t seen any of the cattle and was almost through the herd before he realized he’d hit something. The cattle had been moved to a field north of Yoder’s ranch recently and were being fed there. They had broken through the fence and were headed home, using the railroad right-of-way to avoid knee deep snow, when they met the freight train. Yoder said he has lost about seven cattle in separate accidents on the railroad in the past year or so. He said he’d never lost one in the previous 15-20 years, but the addition of heavier rails recently enabled the trains to move faster. Yoder said the railroad had paid him in the past for the animals killed by trains and he expects this would be repeated. He said the cows would cost about $250 and the calves $150.

Vietnam Fighting Hotter (Continued from Page 1) 57) (Continued Peace talks in Paris do not have much meaning to a soldier who is just trying to live through each day, Little noted. “The Viet Cong, or the National Liberation Front as they call themselves,” said Little, “don’t have many resources, but they make amazing use of what they do have. I have great respect for their ingenuity.” THE WAR has had a devastating effect on the agricultural economy in Vietnam, said Little. The

majority of those Vietnamese living in the rural areas with whom Little had contact were unaware that there is a North and South Vietnam …. That’s about as far as their political knowledge goes,” he said. They don’t realize what the fighting is all about. They just accept it because they’re conditioned to it.” Little, who arrived in Vietnam as a private and left 14 months later as a Sergeant, spent his R&R (rest and relaxation) leave in Bangkok, Thailand.

Men Honored, Killed By Vietnam Battles Sniper Fells Bryant Sept. 15, 1966 James Wesley Bryant, 20, a 1965 graduate of Okanogan High School, was reported killed by sniper fire in Vietnam earlier this month. Bryant, a marine private first class, was on guard duty at a rest area in Vietnam when felled by a sniper’s bullet. He died later of the wound. Plans are being made for a military funeral here after the body arrives, in about two weeks. Bryant was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Bryant, now of Omak. He grew up with an aunt, Nellie Bryant of Okanogan, as his foster mother and lived most of his life with her. Bryant was born April 25, 1946, at Omak.

Redthunder Wins Purple Heart Nov. 23, 1967 U.S. ARMY, Vietnam — Army Sp/4 Keith D. Redthunder, 22, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Redthunder, Nespelem, received the Purple Heart Medal November 6 during ceremonies in Vietnam. Redthunder received the award for wounds received in action while serving in Vietnam. Redthunder, whose wife Sharon lives in Coulee Dam, Wash., is assigned as a team leader in Company C, 3rd Battalion of the 199th Infantry Brigades 7th Infantry.

Martin Dies in Vietnam Feb. 6, 1969 Military funeral rites for Pfc. Merle James (Jimmy) Martin, 20, who died in Vietnam January 28 from wounds suffered in a land mine explosion, are slated for 2 p.m., Thursday, at the Precht Funeral Chapel. Wounded January 14 while serving with the 25th Mechanical Infantry Division, Martin was taken to an Army Hospital where he died. The son of Mr. And Mrs. Merle Martin of Omak, he was born here on September 26, 1948, attended Omak Schools and graduated with the high school class of 1967. A former Biles-Coleman Lumber Company employee, Martin enlisted in the Army in April, 1968. Survivors include his parents; two sisters, Mrs. Robert Hull of Wenatchee and Connie of Omak; and a brother, Arthur D. of Omak.

Heroism Is Cited by Army Sept. 18, 1969 Richard Bradshaw of Omak has been awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism. Bradshaw and another soldier, both members of the 83rd medical detachment, were given the award in Vietnam following their actions in a minefield. According to the Army, “These men distinguished themselves by exceptionally valorous actions while responding to an emergency call sent to an airfield dispensary indicating an American civilian and a Vietnamese had entered a minefield and had been killed or wounded. “Without the aid of mine detection equipment, they entered the area of the suspected minefield, exposing themselves to an extremely dangerous situation, knowing they could easily be killed or wounded. “They worked expeditiously and calmly and assured proper handling procedures were used to avoid further complicating the wounds already inflicted.”


The Chronicle

SPORTS Jeff Harriman Sets Record in Jr. Olympics June 2, 1966 CASHMERE — Omak's junior high squad ended a successful season by piling up 34 points here Saturday to place fifth among 17 teams in the Junior Olympics. Sterling Junior High of East Wenatchee won with 67 points. Five new records were set — one by Omak's Jeff Harriman, who leaped 5 feet, 6¾ inches, his best ever, to win the Class A high jump. Omak took four other blue ribbons as Kyle Kennison won the Class C 50-yard dash in 6.6 seconds, Bill Irey cleared 4 feet, 10 inches in the Class C high jump and an undefeated Class B 440yard relay team composed of Scott Weaver, Dennis Tortorelli, Randy Bradshaw and Mike Martin won its event in 50.6' John Steiner had the

days best qualifying time in the Class C 100-yard dash. He won his heat in 12.4 seconds but placed second to Baxter of Othello in the finals. Baxter won in 12.6. Martin won second in the Class B broadjump and 100-yard dash. Weaver was third in the Class B 75-yard dash and Bob O'Neils fourth in the Class C 75-yard dash. Omak's Class C 440yard relay team finished third. Members were Steve Nelson, O'Neil, Steiner and Kennison. Also competing from Omak were Doug Nelson, fifth in the Class A 880yard run in 2:18.2; Don O'Neil, sixth in the Class C broad jump; Steve Sparks, sixth in the Class C broad jump; Steve Sparks, sixth in the Class A broad jump; and Dewey Thompson, Class C broadjumper. Charles Rinker was Omak's coach.

Undefeated Distance Team Omak’s cross country team poses proudly with the trophy it won by capturing first place in the Spokane junior division cross country race. Pictured are front (from left) coach Bernie Newman, Dave Gelvin, Mike Petersen and Frank Cotter; center, Tom Poole, Wendell Beetchenow and Larry Howard, and back, Arrin Brown and Kelly Hancock. — Chronicle photo

Cross Country Team Stands Undefeated Nov. 12, 1964 Omak's first attempt at cross-country racing has brought the school a record it may have a tough time defending. The fledgling squad has gone undefeated in four starts this fall, topping tough competition at Wenatchee two times and besting the junior division teams of the Spokane-area schools this past weekend. Cross country is a race of both endurance and speed in which each individual's score goes toward his team's score in the final standings. The smaller the score the higher a team places. Cross country teams are divided into junior and senior divisions on the basis of age, coach Bernie Newman explained. Runners ages 15 and under are in the junior division and those 16 and older in the senior division. "OUR TEAM is predominantly sophomores and runs in the junior division this year," said Newman. "Next year we'll move into the senior division." Omak placed first out of about 10 schools in the


junior division which attracted 89 runners. Team scores for the first six places were Omak 85, Gonzaga 89, Roger 102, North Central 123, Farris 156 and Moses Lake 192. Dave Gelvin was Omak's top runner. He placed fifth in the field, covering the 1.94-mile course in 10 minutes 54 seconds. Frank Cotter placed 16th, Wendell Beetchenow 16th, Kelly Hancock 17th and Tom Poole 33rd. CROSS COUNTRY has been made a major sport at Omak High School in its first year, and team members will earn letters for their participation, said Newman. Each of the teams members now has run at least 100 miles in practice and competition. Three Omak runners were in the senior division races. Here they faced a field of 125 runners. Mike Petersen placed 58th, Arrin Brown 77th, and Larry Howard 102nd. A team consists of five runners, or of the first five runners from the same school to finish a given race. With only three runners Omak couldn't qualify as a team in the senior division.

Pony Express Spills Jim Leslie of Chesaw tumbles from his horse at right as the rest of the pony express races mill about trying to switch from one horse to the other. Leslie rolled free of the falling horse, scrambled to his feet and swung aboard his next mount in time to place fourth in the race. — Chronicle photo

Joe Schneider Cops Pony Express Races Sept. 23, 1965 OKANOGAN — Joe Schneider of Tonasket won both Okanogan County Fair Pony Express Races this year, reestablishing himself at the lead in a dangerous race which saw one horse pitch to the track and send its rider tumbling beneath another horse. Jockey Jim Leslie of Chesaw, riding for George Schneider, was tumbled to the track in the first exchange of mounts in Saturday's Pony Express Race. He was shaken but unhurt and was able to scramble back to his feet, swing into the saddle on his second mount and finish the race in fourth place, out of the money. Last year's fair derby winner, Vivo, owned by Leila Fowler of Williams Lake, B.C., and ridden by Keith Davis of Omak, repeated last year's mark by winning both the 1 1/8thmile fair derby Sunday and the half-mile Saturday. Davis also booted home the fair's fastest quartermiler, Bay Lady, entered by her trainer Jerry Nelson of Riverside. Bay Lady won both the

Saturday and Sunday events. Davis was one of the winningest jockeys on the track. Saturday: Quarter-mile open — Bay Lady, Gerald Nelson; Scotty, Beryl Warren; Topper Boy, Joe Schneider; Rocket, Kathy Higgins. Quarter-mile kids' race — 8-12 years — Donna Kohls, Mike Blue, Danny Kidwell, Letty Mae Hall. Three-quarter-mile open — Circuitous, Bob Anderson; Native Gem, Fowler; Buta Minute, Pearle Beamer; Jo-De-go, Virgil Cremeen. Women's Texas Barrels — Diane Nelson, Vicki Mills, Barbara Clarkson, Darlene Cook. Kid's Boot Race — D. Kohls, Billie Blue, Gary Ramey. Half-mile open — Vivo, Fowler; Okanogan, Kate, Beamer; DeRail, Cremeen; Waltz Bass, G. Fox and S. Rounds. Quarter-mile Kids' — 1316 — Bob Crowell, Scott Pryor, Eletha Sasse, first heat; Darlene Cook, Dorothy Hall, Vicki Mills, second heat. Musical pairs — Vicki

Mills and Les Tugaw, Joe Welton and Vivian Sandaine, Debby Monroe and Gary Ramey. Quarter-mile open — second heat — Dina Charge, Virgil Vance; Teddy McQue, Lucky Hall; Vaga Zoo, Bert Edwards; April Showers, V. Sandaine. Walk, trot, run, 15 and under — Joan Longmoor, Chris Carter, Mary Sue Hall. Individual scurry, 16 and under — S. Pryor, D. Kohls, B. Clarkson, Les Tugaw and Janelle Kissling, fourth place tie. Four and a half furlong — Appealing Deal, Beamer; Ever Do, Steve Cleveland; War Bonnet, Vance; Punch River, Dianne Nelson. Pony express — J. Schneider, Skip Burbank, D. Nelson and G. Schneider. (J. Schneider and Burbank rode as well as entering their respective strings; Miss Nelson and G. Schneider were owners, not riders.) Sunday Quarter-mile open — Bay Lady, G. Nelson; Topper Boy, J. Schneider; Vaga Zoo, Edwards; Shoo Fly, Vance.

Texas barrels — Bob Crowell, Bill Mills, Mitchell Mills, Bill Kohls. Four and a half furlong — Buta minute, Beamer; Hi-Irish, L. Hall; Hope Heel Fly, Barney Dick. Three-quarter mile open — Circuitous Anderson, Appealing Deal, Beamer; Jo-De-Go, Cremeen; Ever Do, Cleveland. Half-mile — Scotty, Warren; Okanogan Kate, Beamer; Punch River, D. Nelson; Waltz Bass, Fox and Rounds. Chariot race — Sam Kidwell, Joe Schneider Women's quarter-mile — J. Pryor, Janice Edwards, Janice Moomaw, first heat; D. Nelson, Jeannette Kissling, Mildred Ames, second heat. Two and a half furlongs — Dina Charge, Vance; Teddy McQue, Hall; Rocket, Vicki Anderson; Star, George Schneider. One-Mile fair derby — Vivo, Fowler; CMS, Sam Cassell; DeRail, Cremeen. Individual scurry, 17 and over — Cecil Tugaw, Karen Lane, Polly Truax. Pony express — Joe Schneider, Cliff Hildebrand, Butch Yoder.

Little Leaguers Are State Champs (Continued (Continuedfrom FromPage Page57) 1) next pitch off the center field fence for a double, Heggie holding third. Big Randy Lynn was hit in the back by a pitched ball, filling the bases. Stevens looked at one ball, then smacked a home run over the left field fence onto the Quincy Grade School playground. Observers said it was one of the longest home runs hit at Quincy this season. OMAK MADE IT 5-0 in the second inning when Terry Best singled between short and third, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on Lynn’s single off the right field fence. Meanwhile, Stevens was mowing down the Moses Lake batters. He struck out eight of the first nine to face him. In the fourth inning, after Stevens had pitched nine innings of nohit tournament ball (six the previous Friday when he blanked the Moses Lake Americans 5-0). Omak ran into a spate of trouble. With one out second baseman Mike White fumbled a hard bounder and Moses Lake’s Patric McGratha reached first. Stevens struck out David Rhoads on three pitches but Terrence Melbye, his opposing pitcher, singled to right. Bill McBee bounced to second. First sacker Jeff Mallett dropped White’s throw and two runs scored.

THIS MADE the tally 52 and Moses Lake, overwhelmed by Stevens’ fast ball, showed signs of life. But Omak brutally squelched the uprising. Lynn teed off on Melbye’s second offering. The ball disappeared into the grade school playground and Omak led 7-2. A bulky shadow cast by the Mormon Church across the street covered the infield as Friday’s game moved into the last of the fifth. It had been a hot afternoon, but finally it was cooling. The state championship pennant Quincy’s Little League All-Stars won in 1964 flapped occasionally atop a new center field scoreboard presented by the Quincy Lions Club. Stevens struck out two Moses Lake batters. Bruce Russell singled to right and stole second. Richard Butler walked. Stevens was now relying more on his curve than on speed. McGratha slapped a sharp single to right, scoring Russell. BUT STEVENS struck out Rhoads to end the inning, and struck out three batters in the sixth to end the game. This gave him 17 strike outs, and a total of 34 for two tournament games. Omak’s 10 hits included two singles by third baseman Dan Lockwood. After the game, Stevens

and Lynn were presented with the balls they had blasted into the playground, and Stevens was given another as the winning pitcher. Omak had won convincingly but displayed defensive weaknesses on those rare occasions when Stevens was not taking

care of everything. The fielding star was the Moses Lake shortstop, Russell, who handled four chances flawlessly. Omak’s batting order consisted of Heggie lf, McCandless ss, Lynn c, Stevens p, Gary Robbins cf, Lockwood 3b, Mallett 1b, White 2b and Best rf.

First Batter Jack Heggie, lead-off batter for the Omak Little League All-Stars, opened the district championship game against Moses Lake Pacifics at Quincy with a single to left center. — Chronicle photo

Since 1963. . . Novembe r 1976

1965 Gene Henrie


Carol and Dave, March 1987 Mike and Bob, 1993

Gene’s crew, July 1993

Gene Henrie, Oct . 1969

Mike, Tom and Bob Today

. . . to the present. . . We look forward to serving you in the future! Gene's Harvest Foods 22 W. Apple • Downtown Omak • 509-826-0212

First Presbyterian Church of Omak Over 100 years of . . . . . . Service

. . . Ministry

. . . Outreach

9 South Birch St., PO Box 826, Omak, WA 98841 509-826-1290 www.fpcomak.org • fpcomak@fpcomak.org

1970s A Decade of

Calm Compared to the difficulties of the past few decades, the 1970s was relatively slower and more stable for the Okanogan Valley. Some developments – the North Cascades Highway, for instance – improved the area. The biggest event was the 1972 flood, which destroyed records and prompted many cities to improve their levees.

Tiger Tamer Jamie Miller placed first in the Okanogan Days parade in June 1979 with his striped labrador. Bret, center, and Shane Wehmeyer’s clown dogs took second place. Right: Rescuers and the three rescued boys show how high up the boys had been trapped while climbing around Shellrock Point. Okanogan firefighters rappelled to carry them down.


The 1972 floods begin with rain pouring heavily on Omak’s Main Street. Before long, many of these streets would be in several inches of water.

Despite this great effort from Okanogan’s Joe Robbins, Brewster still beat the team in a 1977 game.

Omak wrestler Matt Christoph uses an arm bar to turn Oroville opponent John Smith in a 1976 match. Left: Lucky Jones displays the first registered cattle brand of Washington State, which is older than its 1935 registration date. The brand comes from a rancher in Winthrop and was found in 1972.


May 20, 1970 – May 19, 1980

Established May 20, 1910 - Seventh in a Ten Part Series


Flooded streets A photo of Omak shows the swollen Okanogan River filling East Side Park, as well as some streets during the devastating 1972 flood. More flood photos are on Page 6. – Chronicle photo

June 8, 1972 Swollen by a violent spring runoff, the Okanogan River last week became a relentless torrent of brown, bone chilling water, pouring across thousands of acres of farmland and forcing its way into cities and towns. It was the greatest flood in the Okanogan Valley since 1894 — greater than 1948, an outpouring so monstrous that most who lived here then felt such a thing could never happen again in their lifetimes. But the river last week was 1948 and more — surging across the lower reaches of East Omak, rising into homes along Okanogan Second Avenue, rupturing dikes or flowing across them, upwelling to turn earth into muck. Omak and Okanogan became cities under siege. Olive-green Army trucks manned by National Guardsmen helped evacuate families. Thousands of volunteers filled and placed sandbags. Dump trucks roared down streets with fresh loads of dirt. Bulldozers snarled along dikes to shore up weak spots saturated by seeping water. Red-eyed with fatigue — like many others — the people making decisions clustered about desks in round-the-clock command posts as fresh trouble

TIMELINE 1970 June 4 - Sgt. James Fisher, 20, killed in action in Vietnam. June 5 - The new Mid-Valley Bank opens. Dec. 17 - Bighorn sheep released on Mt. Hull. 1971 Jan. 1- Omak Elks Lodge destroyed by fire. Jan. 2 - Ban on cigarette ads on television goes into effect. March 18 - Marlene Marcellay of Brewster chosen Omak Stampede Princess. March 25 - Karen Suder of Omak chosen Miss Omak Stampede. April 8 - Hamilton Farm Equipment buys Cariboo Sales, Inc. and becomes a John Deere dealer. July 5 - Legal voting age lowered from 21to18. July 17 - Bico celebrates its 50th anniversary. Aug. 19 - Big Jim with Don Wood aboard sweeps all three Suicide Races. Sept. 30 - Debbie Ferguson crowned Miss Rodeo Washington Oct. 1 - Walt Disney World opens in Orlando, Fla. Nov. 1 - Butch's Electric starts business. Nov. 18 - Omak Cross Country wins another State Class A Championship. 1972 Jan. 27 - Former Chronicle publisher Frank De Vos dies in Oregon at age 89. Feb. 10 - Wild turkeys transplanted into Havillah area. Feb. 21 - President Richard Nixon travels to China in a "journey for peace." March 13 - Valley Lanes opens. March 13 - Dairy Queen opens. March 16 - Rae Ann Moses crowned Stampede's Colville Indian Princess. March 23- Joanne Femling crowned Miss Omak Stampede. March 30 - North Vietnam attack is largest in four years, prompting bombing raid by U.S. forces. May 22 - Nixon is the first U.S. president to visit Moscow, Russia. June 1 - Skookum closes its packing shed in Omak. June 17 - Watergate crisis begins when four are arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Convention headquarters. July 6 - Colvilles celebrate 100 years. Sept. 2 - North Cascades Highway opens. Nov. - Nixon wins reelection. Nov. 13- Arnie Will, 61, widely known cattle rancher, rodeo star and left-handed roper, dies. Nov. 23 - Omak claims another Class A cross country championship. 1973 Jan. 22 - Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling says that a woman cannot be prevented from having an abortion in the first six months of pregnancy. Jan. 27 - Paris Peace Accords signed to end the war in Vietnam and the military draft; all troops are out of Vietnam by March 29. March 22 - Cindy Taylor named Miss Omak Stampede.

Continued 68 (Continuedon onpage Page 2)

spots were reported by radio. Women served thousands of meals in the Omak Presbyterian Church and at Okanogan High School. Police and guardsmen stood at many corners, directing traffic and keeping avenues cleared for emergency vehicles. They waved back at clusters of excited teen-agers sitting on mounds of sandbags whirling past on flatbed trucks. At night, patrols tramped along the dikes, their flashlights weaving in search of fresh cracks or sogginess. Helicopters chattered overhead. Portable generators howled, pumping water from flooded sewer lines. People who had never seen each other before became comrades in crisis. The dikes built along the Okanogan River following the flood of 1948 took a terrific beating. Some collapsed, as at Riverside. Some were overflowed. Many became dangerously saturated with water. But at Omak and elsewhere, the main dikes held. Had Omak’s west side dike broken down, there would have been two feet of water on downtown Main Street and hundreds of more homes inundated. (Continued on (Continued on Page Page72) 6)

The Omak Pioneers are A-No. 1 in football Dec. 6, 1979 It wasn't just 23 football players who won Omak's first state class A football championship Dec. 1. It was an entire community. Many Omak residents had a hand in putting Omak on the map for its football prowess, either by giving the team traveling money, going to faroff playoff spots or even by washing a game uniform for the thirteenth time. The Omak team has hung up its pads after a three-month season after becoming the proud owner of a monstrous trophy for a year and a more modest prize for keeps. If Omak Coach Gary Smith has his way and his returnees prepare hard, the Pioneers may earn the right to keep the traveling trophy another year, Smith says. Omak was on the brink of elimination from playoff consideration all season, after dropping a 6-0 decision to Lake Roosevelt in the first game this fall. But the Pioneers dusted themselves off and hung in to win 12 straight games for the Caribou Trail League and the state A championships.

They met their match in the state final with Langley, but held off the Falcons powerful ground game to win a white knuckler 7-6. Omak got its only seven points in the first quarter on a Craig Harlow-to-Terry Monahan 10-yard pass and a Jeff Talmadge one-point conversion. The Pioneers allowed Langley one touchdown on a fumble recovery but stopped the Falcons from succeeding on a two-point conversion try to win the game. The Omak-Langley contest provided the most tensionpacked game of Kingbowl III for the 30,000 high school football fans who drifted in and out during the day. But Omak's 1,800 to 1,900 fans – many of whom traveled over 200 miles to Seattle that day – were glued to their seats until the outcome became clear in the final seconds. Those same Omak fans slid, slipped and got stuck in freshlyfallen snow on their way home but all arrived safely even if hours later than usual. About 200 Omak supporters welcomed the championship team home with cheers and music when the players arrived early Sunday evening at the

Champion team Omak's Pioneers 1979 State Class A Football champions. (front, from left) Marion Ives, Steve Wheldon, Chuck Davis, Dwayne Marchand, John LaGrou, Clint Little, Gregg Grattan, Terry Tonasket, Ken Colyar, Chris Blanchat, Eric Freimuth, Curt Harlow, manager Tim Springer; (second row, from left) Asst. Coach John Coen, Guy Wareham, Doug Womack, Kevin Whittle, Dave McCormack, Lonnie Garvais, Steve Springer, Don Truitt, Dana Dykes, Steve Goldman, Craig Harlow, Steve Wertz, Geral Hersey, manager, Jeff Colyar; (third row) manager Brad Smith, Head coach Gary Smith, Barry Cowan, Greg Baker, Ben Booher, Randy Stafford, Pete Drobeck, Abe Reese, Boone Petersen, Tracy Goff, Joe LaGrou, Jeff Talmadge, Terry Monahan and Asst. Coach Don Rash. high school. Before heading back, all the team, coaches and coaches' wives took an hour out to visit Denny Hart, the Grand Coulee Dam Junior High quarterback whose neck was broken in a game at Omak earlier this fall. Denny was presented a check for $4,203 collected by

Omak students, residents, and businesses and a football signed by all the Omak players. The Omak team might have had poorer accommodations and fewer paid meals without the contributions to special accounts and raffles hastily organized by the Omak Boosters. Sending the team to

the Kingbowl cost $2,800. Gate receipts, Associated Student Body funds and reimbursements from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association defray only part of the costs, Smith said earlier. (Seemore more sports sports stories (See storiesfrom from the 1970s 1970son onPage Page71) 5)

A highway dream comes true Sept. 2, 1972 For more than 100 years men dreamed of a northern crossing of the rugged Cascades. Today, September 2, 1972, that dream comes true for all. Where once only trappers, prospectors and hunters trod there runs in broad sweeps Washington’s newest highway. Realization of the dream has been the goal of countless hundreds. For a time, it seemed only a remote goal for the little handful of westside and eastside men who kept the dream alive. Early dreamers conjured mineral wealth pouring form the Cascades along the proposed route. Ranchers and farmers of eastern Washington saw it as a quick trip to market for cattle and produce. Businessmen saw it bringing lower

freight rates to the remote towns and villages of Okanogan and Ferry counties. But the importance of the highway today will be mainly recreational. Those dreams of commerce will be answered by the travel business more than any other as Washington and out-of-state tourists alike are lured by beauties and scenery found nowhere else. Even the achievements of opening such a route is embroiled in controversy as outspoken advocates of protection oppose opening the fragile lands of the North Cascades to the masses. Yet the highway is here. It crosses a land that belongs to all America and opens to all what previously could be enjoyed only by very few. Travelers are urged to enjoy the scenery, appreciate the wonders of nature, and join all in protecting the fragile

wilderness through which they travel. The first official effort to enter this northern crossing came in 1893, when the legislature of that year appropriated $20,000 for the road. That money went to surveys. A route was chosen in 1895 — but it is not the route you follow today. The finding of the best route took half a century until finally, in the 1950’s, intrepid highway engineers staked out the road. Even then, as late as 1956, there was not heavy official concerns about the road. But men stepped in to push the completion. Men like the Methow Valley’s George Zahn, a member and later chairman of the State Highway Commission. With the help of congressmen and legislators, Zahn and others obtained

federal as well as state funds for the route. Although he didn’t live to see the job completed, George Zahn deserves a great measure of credit. By the time the big push came, state highways wound their way to Diablo Dam on the west and Mazama on the east. That left a 65-mile stretch of road to build. It cost millions to complete and took more than 15 years, but today the American public has at its car door a scenic wonder like no other. Countless other publications are detailing the history and development of the North Cascades Highway. The U.S. Forest Service has an outstanding brochure-map on the history in route. We’ll save our space to capture for you some of the spectacle. It speaks for itself.


Chronicle Chronicle 1970s staff: 1970s Staff:

Bruce Wilson, owner, publisher 1957-1976

Students held for bombing Riders are charged Feb. 27, 1975 Two Tonasket high school students are under house arrest after having placed a homemade bomb in the boys' restroom at the school Feb. 19. The 15-year-old has been charged with construction of a bomb and the 16-year-old with aiding and abetting. They are scheduled to appear in court March 10. Less than $100 damage was done and no injuries were incurred. The boys reportedly

placed the small bomb in the towel dispenser of the restroom in the main hall, checked to see that no one was in the area, then returned and lit the fuse. It went off about 8:35 a.m., 10 minutes before classes began for the day. The bomb was a small glass bottle about the size of a pill container or baby food jar, filled with gunpowder, wrapped with wire and medical tape, and had a paper fuse. Jim Wescott, handling the case the juvenile department,

said the boys just picked up the materials around. He said he wasn't sure they knew the extent of the damage they could have caused. For example, if they had used primer cord for the fuse, they might have blown the whole wall out. Because the bomb had expanding room, damage was negligible. "I'm not satisfied with how much of it was prank and how much was intent to cause damage," Wescott said. Jerry Mills, principal of the school, said he thought the boys considered it a prank and didn't really think of the consequences of what could have happened. This is the Okanogan valley's first school bombing.

in Wild West stunt Feb. 9, 1978 The wild and woolly west came back to Okanogan briefly at 7 p.m. Monday when three local cowboys rode their horses into the lobby of the Cariboo Inn. While the stunt apparently was a lark, the trio now faces charges of disorderly conduct. All three were apprehended later by Okanogan Police with assistance from the sheriff's office. The patrolmen gave chase as the trio rode away from the Cariboo Inn in three different directions. Two of the horsemen actually rode into the lobby, turned their horses around the room

and rode back out, witnesses said. The third didn't make it inside. Ed McConnell, Assistant Chief of Police at Okanogan, said disorderly conduct charges were filed against Doug Ralston, 29; Dale Crossland, 30; and Donald Lindquist, 37. He said they apparently pulled the stunt on a lark, and that they declined to give a reason for it. They also declined to admit having pulled the trick, he said. McConnell said the chase took several minutes and covered several city blocks as the mounted riders sought to outmaneuver patrol cars.

Salinger novel removed from Omak High library John E. Andrist, owner, publisher 1976Joe Sinclair, Ad Manager ‘57-’70

Jim Picking Ad Manager ‘70-’71

Paul Sams Ad Manager ‘71-’72

Mike Garvis Ad Manager ‘72-’74

Bill Cenis Ad Manager ‘74-’75

Ed Powell Ad Manager ‘76-

Howard Stateman News Editor ‘74

MLou Keeney News Editor ‘75-’76

Mary Koch News Editor ‘79-

Dee Camp

Contrast in size Contrasting in size, but equals in interest, Trampas Smith, 4, Riverside, and his reserve champion cow pose proudly for a picture. — Chronicle photo

City News Editor ‘79-

Centennial staff: Publisher: Roger Harnack Section editor: Sheila Corson Managing editor: Dee Camp Advertising: Lynn Hoover Research/design: Julie Bock Elizabeth Widel Special Thanks to: Okanogan County Historical Society

TIMELINE 1973 Continued March 22- Theresa Best crowned Colville Indian Princess. May 24 - Pioneers win Class A Baseball title. July 12 - Fire guts Omak Fruit Growers Warehouse. Sept. 27 - Marla Moomaw chosen Miss Omak Stampede for 1974. Oct. 10 - Vice-president Spiro T. Agnew resigns over charges of tax evasion; Gerald Ford replaces him. 1974 March 14 - Ken Greene and Don McCormack sign to play football for Washington State University. March 28 - Bruce Wilson to seek return to state senate. April 18 - The Corner Shelf in Omak opens. May 7 - Impeachment hearings begin against President Nixon, who is charged with criminal conspiracy to obstruct Continued on pagejustice 69 in the Watergate scandal.


(Continued on Page 3)

April 12, 1979 J.D. Salinger's novel, Catcher in the Rye, has been removed from the shelves of the Omak High School library following complaints about the book from two parents, according to Supt. John Turner. The complaints, about that book and several others on recommended reading lists at the high school, were originally brought to the Citizen's Advisory Committee by Ted Rollins and Phil Lindeman, both parents of high school students. Rollins and Lindeman also brought their objections before the Omak School Board at its March 26 meeting asking that a committee be formed to review reading materials at the school. Although it was earlier reported in The Chronicle that two other books in the library, Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver and Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford, were objected to, Chuck Brandt, head of the media center,

Four hurt in train wreck April 15, 1976 TONASKET — An open padlock and a "cocked switch" caused the derailment of four cars and injuries to four trainmen in a Burlington Northern train over Bonaparte Creek at Tonasket Thursday evening. "It might have been kids tampering with the switch," said C. F. Intlekofer, director of engineering for the Seattle region. He was on the scene early Friday morning to investigate the derailment and start cleanup operations. Oscar Larson, BN agent in Omak, explained that a manual switch is used to adjust rails so a train can be moved onto a siding. "But the switch handle has to be secured after moving the rails," he continued, "or it's a cocked switch. That means when the train hits the dividing

rails, it doesn't know which way to go." A large padlock used to lock the switch was found hanging open Friday. Larson said it could have been opened by hitting or jarring it just right. That left the manual switch unprotected, and anyone could have tampered with it, he said. When Thursday's train hit the dividing track, it jumped the rails, chewing up creosotesoaked ties as it thundered across the bridge, where the engine stopped on its side like a toy train. Two cars behind the engine jackknifed into the creek and a third car jumped the rails. The other six cars and caboose were not involved in the derailment. All the cars were empty, ready to be filled with wood chips and apples. Four men were injured in the wreck. Fireman Norman Pulver,

43, Okanogan, was hospitalized with fractured ribs. Treated for shock and minor injuries were engineer William Sprague, 25, Loomis; brakeman Lynn Freeman, 38, Omak and conductor Eugene Fritts, 35, Riverside. Damage to tracks and cars was estimated at $50,000 by Intlekofer. About 100 feet track was damaged. Rails were completely ripped up and the 6foot-high bridge was partially collapsed. Two dozen railroad employees worked four days clearing the track so trains could start running Monday night, and cleanup went on into the week. Tonasket citizens came out in scores to take pictures and watch the cumbersome removal of the cars. It was the first time a derailment had occurred on the bridge.

pointed out that those books were not on the shelves nor owned by the district. "Those other books are on recommended reading lists by individual teachers in individual classrooms," Brandt said, "but they are not in the library." Turner explained that the removal of Catcher in the Rye was a temporary measure only until a committee could be formed and the matter resolved. "There was a complaint about the book and it was pulled from the reading list until we settle this," he said. Turner explained that

according to board procedure the complaints must be put in writing. This has been done, he said, and a committee selection process has begun. "I have names of probably 15 or 20 people who have contacted us saying they would serve on the committee," Turner said. "Probably by next week we will have decided on a reasonable mix of teachers, community members and students to serve on the committee and will have defined their task." He added that any decisions were five or six weeks in the future at least.

Colvilles close lake Aug. 19, 1971 Colville business council members voted last Friday to close Omak Lake, effective immediately, to all use by nontribal members except to provide for ingress or egress to lake cabins and property by non-members. Council members also refused to continue payments in lieu of taxes to Okanogan and Ferry Counties and adopted a resolution requesting legislation to provide for retrocession of criminal and civil jurisdiction to the tribes. The lake closure came in a resolution which was adopted on a vote of six yes, one no, and two abstaining. Four council members were absent, including chairman Mel Tonasket, Barney Rickard, Charlie Quintasket and Joe Kohler. Wording of the resolution for the closure cited vandalism of summer cabins by nonIndians, littering of beaches and pollution of the ecosystem by non-Indians, non-Indian fishing on the lake in disregard of laws, and non-Indian killing

of seagulls and water fowl and irresponsible discharge of firearms. Also mentioned were careless and negligent operation of powerboats and water skiing endangering fishermen, boaters and swimmers. Harry Owhi, executive secretary for the Colville Tribes, said today that the matter of the Omak Boat Club lease did not appear to play a major part in the decision to close the lake. He also noted that while non-Indians have the right to cross the lake by boat to reach summer cabins and/or nontrust property, they couldn't use the lake for water skiing of boating without violating the resolution. Cecil Hendrick, Omak Boat Club Secretary, said today that his group is still waiting for a response on their request for a meeting with tribal officials on the matter of their lease. He also noted that without access to and use of the lake, the Boat Club lease is virtually useless.

Riverside lad escapes freezer May 20, 1971 "Never get in a freezer." Beezer Sutton, 12, knows from experience. He spent four hours locked inside a chest-type deep freezer Sunday at Riverside and survived because he kept his head. "Tell yourself you're not going to die … think about it, and keep telling yourself that over and over." Was his advice for anyone in a tight spot. Sutton credited first aid training gained in Riverside schools with saving his life. "We've had classes on it the last two years," he said, "and the first thing was to keep your head, don't panic." "Boy at first I did, I was really mad … then I got scared …. And I prayed, 'God help me', and then I remembered that first aid lesson." Beezer (his first name is Gary, but few call him that) is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bob

Sutton, Riverside. His own cool thinking, his good luck at finding an object with which to pry up the lid of the freezer, and his Dad's intuition all can be credited with his being alive to tell his story. Young Sutton, a sixth grader at Riverside, was at the barn behind the Harvey Petersen place east of Riverside about mid-afternoon Sunday. He'd gone to feed his horses and was messing around the old freezer in which were stored sacks of oats, buckets and some horse tack. He'd taken off a ring and laid it on the edge to the open freezer. It fell inside as he reached down for something. Beezer, a wiry, active 69pounder to whom to think is to act, bounced into the freezer and rummaged for the ring. The lid slammed shut, giving him a tough whack on the head. When he'd overcome his

anger and fright, Beezer rummaged for something to try to open an air hole. He found a pair of long-handled hoof nippers and forced the lid open a crack. That provided his air for the next four hours. "I slept a little, prayed some, and thought an awful lot," said Beezer. He also had to strip down to his shorts because of the heat and spent some time keeping the sun from pouring through the crack he'd made to get air. Meanwhile his Dad was worrying about him. "Something kept bothering me that things weren't right," said Sutton. "I hadn't seen Beezer for a couple hours and he's usually around every 10 minutes." Sutton, a husky rancher with a handshake like a bear, started looking. Some hour or more later, his search led to the barn.

Stay out of these Beezer Sutton, 12-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Sutton of Riverside spent four hours inside of this deep freezer. — Chronicle photo

"The horses were still in the corral, and they should have been on the mountain by then," he said. "I thought I heard a voice and ran for the corral. Then the voice was behind me." Beezer called again from the white box prison and Sutton knew. The effort with which he

jerked open the freezer lid snapped off the hinges as the lid swung backward. Things happened fast, but not so fast that Sutton didn't use the nippers to pull the latch off the front of the freezer box. By Monday Beezer was back running in a track meet.

People Decade

Known as “Mr. Omak Stampede,” Paul Maley spent 40 years volunteering for the Stampede (25 of those years as its president), was a business owner for 40 years and was involved in multiple civic groups. Maley said one of his best accomplishments was helping to get the Indian Encampment to the Stampede, forming a close relationship with many Tribal people. He came to Omak at age 14, driving a Model T to join his older brother, John. He later met and married Annie Lou and they had three children. The Maleys announced in the summer of 1980 they would move to Hawaii to escape the cold Omak winters. Before they could move, Paul died of an apparent heart attack Aug. 15 at age 66. Businesses closed for owners to attend his funeral. Immediately, a memorial fund was set up. Maley was also known as an “irascible, aggressive, outspoken and profane” individual, who also was friendly and cared about his town, according to Chronicle Publisher John E. Andrist, who went to battle with Maley more than once. That battling led to a deep friendship and respect. He is pictured at left receiving the Stampede Hall of Fame statue in 1978. He is buried in Omak Memorial Cemetery.

of the

Loretta Nansen

Don McCormack and Bob Picard

Donald Ross McCormack continued his father Ross’ love for baseball, taking it to the pros. McCormack graduated from Omak High School in 1974. He was a fourth round draft pick for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1974. On Sept. 30, 1980, the 25-year old McCormack made his major league debut with the Phillies. He played for them from 1980-81. McCormack went on to manage the Reading Phillies and was a bench coach of the Long Island Ducks. He currently lives in Clearwater, Fla. And works in Long Island, N.Y. Bob Picard graduated from Omak High School in 1968 and headed to college at Eastern Washington University. He was drafted in 1973 by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was one of the few EWU football players ever drafted. He played for the Eagles from 1973-75, then was picked up by the Seattle Seahawks and then the Detroit Lions. After suffering a minor injury, and being traded, he changed careers. He now lives in Pennsylvania with his family.


Paul Maley


There isn’t much in Omak’s community that Loretta Nansen didn’t have a hand in. In her 45 years as a community volunteer, Nansen started a recycling project, began the precursor to the food bank and was involved in more organizations, clubs and other groups than can be named in the space allowed. She was recognized not only with local awards, but state and national volunteer awards as well. Nansen and her husband, Earl, raised three children in Omak since moving to the community in 1940. In her later years, Nansen became ill and traveled to Arizona for the winters. She still kept things moving from afar. She died in March 1986 at age 70. An editorial from then-Chronicle editor and publisher John E. Andrist said: “It would be impossible to note all that Loretta caused to happen, created, got others to create or built herself in her 45 years as Omak’s leading volunteer. It would be impossible also to count the hundreds of people whom she helped directly, the thousands more whose lives will be better because she wouldn’t give up on a civic project.” Nansen is buried in Omak Memorial Cemetery.


Stampede to honor Alex Dick for 33 Suicide victories Aug. 9, 1973 Alex Dick, the premiere Omak Stampede Suicide Racer of all time, will be honored during Friday night’s rodeo performance. General chairman Buck Golm will present Dick with an engraved belt buckle and two lifetime passes. The buckle says simply, “Alex Dick, Winner of 33 Suicide Races, Omak Stampede.” It took 27 years of coming down that hill to provide the wording for this buckle and the reason for Friday’s ceremony. During those years Alex Dick compiled a record which ALEX DICK may never be equaled. He won his first Suicide Race in 1941. He and his horse Brownie — “just a cayuse,” Alex says — were at their peak and virtually unbeatable from 1949 until 1962. During this period they won 23 of 28 Suicide Races, including 11 in a row and 17 out of 18. Fresh waves of challengers appeared. It hardly mattered. Nearly always, it was Alex Dick and Brownie, streaming wet from crossing the river, who burst into the arena ahead of the pack, sometimes by a dozen yards or more. Dick says all he did was let Brownie run. “He liked that race,” Dick says. “He started with the gun. He never pulled back coming down the hill. He went as fast as he could, all the way.” Alex’s wife Julianne recalls that when Meeker’s carnival set up its rides each Stampede weekend and the carnival sounds began, Brownie, grazing near the Dick home in East Omak, would perk up his ears. “He knew it meant racing,” she says. “He was ready.” Born in 1918 near Malott, Alex Dick entered the 1939 and 1940 Suicide Races with a horse named Tuffy. He placed but did not win. Aeneas Dick and Martin Timentwa were winning most of the Suicide Races in those days. In 1941, Dick appeared on Brownie, Tuffy’s brother. Brownie was about 5-years-old. They won the second race that year. They lost a race in ’42, won five of the next six, and by the late 1940’s had started winning nearly all the time. A legend arose that Brownie was blind in one eye. Not so – Alex lost an eye bull riding in the Tonasket rodeo of 1948. He also competed in earlier days in calf roping, wild cow milking and other events. Brownie had both eyes and clearly, everything else a Suicide Race champion required — including a rider with what politely would be referred to as nerve. Brownie was 32-years-old, a remarkable age for a horse, and Alex was 49 when they competed in their final Omak Stampede Suicide Race in 1967. Jolted off, Alex broke a leg and retired. The following year, Alex’s son Barney rode Brownie in a pony express relay at the Okanogan County Fair. A week later the Dicks found Brownie, then 33, dead in their pasture. A 30-year-plus man at Biles-Coleman Lumber Company, Alex Dick is now 55 and never returns to watch a Suicide Race. He’s had a hankering to compete again. He feels that he and Brownie in their prime could have given Big Jim, the long-striding bay who has come to dominate recent Suicide Races, more than a run for his money. But Mrs. Dick is firm on this subject: “Alex has broken the same leg in the same place twice. No more.” Alex will be on hand Friday evening, though, to receive a tribute justly his, and also will assist in a memorial to Claire Pentz planned for Saturday evening’s performance.

Claim bed race title Racers from The Men’s Store claimed this year’s Omak Bed Race title, unseating defending champions Safeway. Runners included (from left) Pete Drobeck, Randy Stafford, Bob Lay and Bob Henrie. Relief runners were Mike Peterson and — Chronicle photo Bryan Coffey. The passenger is Stephanie (Cissie) Rowland.

Riverside school annexed to Omak July 15, 1976 Riverside school will officially become part of the Omak school district today (July 15) under final approval granted by the State Board of Education July 9. The state board approved the annexation recommendation made this spring by the county committee on school district organization after Riverside voters defeated a key bond issue last fall, said Pete Lolos, education services district superintendent. Had the bond issue passed, property owners in Riverside would have helped fund a new junior high school in Omak. Since Riverside students attend school in Omak, the law

requires them to participate in that funding or be annexed into the Omak district. In 1965 Riverside graduated its last high school class. The district then began bussing its 9th through 12th grade students to the Omak district. Last September 29 fire destroyed Omak’s Copple Junior High School. When asked to help finance construction of the new school, Riverside twice voted no. But annexation does not mean that both districts will completely share each other’s debts, Lolos said. Each will retain all bond issue debts it incurred before 1970. For Riverside this totals $33,000, he said.

And for Riverside taxpayers that $33,000, plus all bond issue debts incurred by the Omak School District after 1970, will mean property taxes of about $3.72 per $1,000 on their assessed property valuation, he said. Riverside voted down an annexation proposal last year since they were forcibly annexed this year, construction on the new junior high school would cost property owners in both districts more money, Lolos said. If Omak had annexed Riverside last year, the state would have provided 90 percent of those construction costs. Now it provides only about 61 percent, he said.

Mel Tonasket will run for Congress again Nov. 30 , 1978 Even though his recent campaign for the Fifth District Congressional seat retained by Spokane Democrat Tom Foley was unsuccessful, Mel Tonasket of Omak says he will run again in two years. The campaign left Tonasket “about $4,000 poorer personally,” he said. He said he spent about $14,000 on the race, with only about $12,000 coming in from other sources. “That was a hefty financial drain and those people who say

I ran as a spoiler are incorrect. I’m not going to tap myself out for either one of those guys (Foley or Republican challenger Duane Alton). That’s garbage, “ he said. Both Foley and Alton collected nearly $400,000 for their campaigns for office. “I’m going to run again, all right,” Tonasket said. “This time, it won’t be with only $14,000 and 14 weeks to get things going. We will be better prepared.” Tonasket picked up nearly five percent of the vote in

primary elections and an even higher total in the Nov. 7 general election in the Fifth Congressional District. “If you look at this thing on a voter-per-dollar basis,” Tonasket said, “I’m the only one who didn’t have to go out and practically buy the votes I received.” “I’m pretty confident that I will do very well against Foley in the next election,” Tonasket said. “He is really not the old political smoothie I expected to have to go against. I’m not scared of him in the least.”

1974 Continued May 16 - Pam Webster chosen Omak Junior Miss. May 20 - Kruse Electric opens for business. July 1 - New Okanogan County Juvenile Center opens. July 11 - Cal Bowling appointed Omak Fire Chief. Aug. 9 - Nixon becomes the first president to resign his office. Gerald Ford becomes president. Sept. 8 - President Ford pardons Nixon for his role in Watergate. Sept. 16 - Ann Shove crowned Miss Omak Stampede 1975. Dec. 12 - Fire guts the Peerless Hotel in Oroville; one man dies. 1975 Jan. 16 - The East Omak Community Center set to open. Jan. 23 - Groundbreaking for a new grocery store in Okanogan announced (Yoke's then, later to become the Food Depot). Feb. 20 - Fire destroys the Malott fire hall, causing $125,000 in damage, including destroyed vehicles and equipment when the door controls were melted shut. Feb. 27 - No one is injured when a charter bus rear-ends a school bus, which rear-ends another school bus off U.S. Highway 97 outside Malott. March 6 - Mr. and Mrs. Emmit Aston give Bird Island to the city of Omak. March 6 - The first satellite communication in the county used between nurses at Mid-Valley Hospital and nurses at University of Washington. April 24 - Wilford Davis convicted of first-degree murder of Peerless Hotel owner Donald Mock (aka David Stafford). April 29 - Communist forces take over South Vietnam, forcing an evacuation from Saigon. May 15 - The Okanogan County Museum opens, having cost $40,000 plus countless volunteer hours. June 19 - Thrifty Foods, Okanogan, destroyed by fire. Aug. 7 - Wenatchee Valley College-North relocates to Christ the King school campus, which closed years before (its current location on Apple Avenue). Aug. 14 - Six weeks before the apple harvest, the Omak-Okanogan packing plant is destroyed by fire. Oct. 2 - Fire guts Copple Junior High School in Omak, a $3 million loss. Oct. 30 - Mid-Valley Hospital opens its new $500,000 facility. Dec. 18 - The Hiram "Okanogan" Smith orchard placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Dec. 25 - The Okanogan Independent newspaper announces it will end publication. 1976 April 1 - Leslie Harlow named Omak Junior Miss. April 8 - Wilsons sell The Chronicle to John E. Andrist and his wife, Donna. June 10 - Omak Cinema has a new owner, Lawrence Lassila. July 8 - Dick Niemeyer is new Omak Junior High School principal. July 20 - Viking I lands on Mars, providing the first color photos of the Red Planet. Aug. 19 - Casey Nissen, 17, sweeps all three Suicide Races. Sept. 9 - Wilma Hampson named Omak Teacher of the Year. Sept. 30 - Rita Hughes is chosen Miss Omak Stampede 1977. Oct. 7 - Bernadine Best is named Princess of Omak Stampede. Nov. 2 - Jimmy Carter beats President Ford in a close election. Nov. 26 - Microsoft becomes a registered trademark. (Continuedon on page Page 4) Continued 70


TIMELINE 1977 Jan. 20 - Omak Fire Department gets a new recruit – Cinders, a 9-week old Dalmatian. Jan. 21 - A majority of Vietnam War draft evaders are pardoned by President Carter. March 3 - Tim Caryl, Omak, and Mike Harris, Okanogan, are state Class A wrestling champions, 197677. March 10 - The Brewster Bears boys’ basketball team are state champions for the third year straight. March 17 - Bev Wilson Furniture, Okanogan, destroyed by fire. April 28 - Susan Beamer chosen Omak Jr. Miss. July 13 - New York City blackouts result in massive looting and disorderly conduct in a 24-hour crisis. July 28 - Maple Hall burns to the ground. Aug. 18 - Walt Davisson aboard Shane sweeps all three Suicide Races. Sept. 21 - Fifteen nations, including the U.S. and Soviet Union, sign a nuclear proliferation pact, slowing the spread of nuclear weapons. Oct. 6 - Linda Martin crowned Omak Stampede Queen. Nov. 17 - Tonasket boys win state cross country title. 1978 Jan. 28 - Jeroni's Tavern purchased by Bill and Barb Davis and renamed The North Country Pub. March 2 - Tim Caryl, 129 pounds, state wrestling champ for the second year in a row. April 17 - Randy Stafford breaks Omak High School's oldest track record by throwing the discus 145 feet. April 18 - Senate votes to return the Panama Canal to Panama on Dec. 31, 1999. April 20 - Lorrie Fraley chosen Omak Junior Miss. July 13 - Krystal Nissen of Nespelem crowned 1978 Miss Washington High School Rodeo. Sept. 17 - After 12 days of secret negotiations, the Camp David peace agreement between Israel and Egypt is signed. Oct. 5 - Jana Clark crowned Miss Omak Stampede. Oct. 12 - Two people killed in a plane crash at the Omak Airport. Nov. 9 - Harrison Jewelers holds a grand opening of its new store at Main and Central, Omak. Nov. 9 - Deb Copenhaver named to the Stampede Hall of Fame. Dec. 7 - Dave Best, Kartar Valley, claims Indian National Finals Rodeo Saddle Bronc title. Dec. 21 - Dale Lisenby, Omak Pioneer, named to the All-State Football Team. 1979 Jan. 25 - Mary Henrie becomes Omak's first woman Chamber of Commerce President. Feb. 8 - Katie (Andrist) Montanez officially joins the staff of The Chronicle. She is still there. Feb. 22 - County Extension Agent Gordon Woodrow, retired after 30 years in office. April 26 - Miss Monica Dolgner named Omak Junior Miss. May 24 - Tim Bernard, co-founder of the Omak Stampede, dies at age 88. June 7 - Okanogan Bulldogs State A Baseball Champions. June 28 - Mary Henrie chosen head of Wenatchee Valley College Board of Trustees. July 12 - Dee Camp joins The Chronicle staff. She is still there. July 20 - Al Camp joins The Chronicle staff. He is still there. Aug. 2 - Salmon Creek Fire sears nearly 7,000 acres. Aug. 30 - Elizabeth Widel celebrates 25 years at The Chronicle.

Continued 71 (Continuedon onpage Page 5)


County honors vets of 'unwelcome war' June 7, 1979 Five veterans of what county commissioner Russell Will termed "an unwelcome war" were honored by the county June 1 in ceremonies at the Okanogan Legion Hall. Dale Rawley, Oroville; Orvil Woodward, Okanogan; Bill Chasteen, Brewster, William Michelsen, Twisp, and the late Henry F. Wilson, Nespelem, were recognized in the Presidential Certificate Program for Outstanding Community Achievement of Vietnam Era Veterans. The awards were part of a nation-wide Vietnam Veterans Week observance initiated by the Carter Administration. "It was an unwelcome war, a political war," Will said, "but we owe them so much that they went and did serve regardless of what they felt was right."

The recipients were nominated through American Legion posts throughout the county as veterans who met the administration criteria of having "demonstrated outstanding community achievement at the local or state level." Rawley, who was not present, is a fireman and member of the ambulance crew in Oroville. He is married with two children. Woodward, who earned a Purple Heart and a presidential unit Citation while in the military, is a member of the Okanogan County Sheriff's Posse. A service disabled veteran, Chasteen is head for the wastewater section of the Brewster sewer facility. Michelson, an Omak native, has served as a reserve on the

Twisp Police Department for the past year and works with the Boys Brigade of the Calvary Baptist Church in Twisp. He is retired from the county road department on a medical disability. Wilson, who died April 11, 1979, as a result of an accident, received the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart and Bronze Star while in Vietnam. He also was reported missing in action for a time. Wilson's 12-year-old son, Mark, received the award for him. Don Ludwik, Ninth District Vice Commander for the American Legion, said one veteran whom he did not name was chosen for an award but declined, saying there was someone more deserving than he.

Editorial —

Vietnam View Jan. 25, 1973

No one can say the war in Vietnam has ended. This remains to be seen. But at least the involvement of America's young men apparently has been brought to a close. And most importantly, the prisoners of war - some held in captivity for nearly 10 years - will be coming home.

Omak and Okanogan County, we are sure, join in the feeling of relief which prevails throughout the nation. Our challenge now is to remember how it happened so it will not happen again. - Bruce Wilson and John E. Andrist

Vet, 92, recalls war duty


Oct. 26, 1972 Veterans Day, 1972, was of no particular import to Okanogan County's last Spanish-American War Veteran, 92-year-old Gilmore W. Behymer of Omak. Indeed, since the date was changed, the Okanogan County pioneer wasn't even aware Monday, Oct. 25, was a special day. But he did take that day to recall, in a mind sharp with the details of 70 years ago, his service in the Philippine Islands at the close of the war and during the Filipino Insurrection that followed. As a young man of 21, Behymer enlisted in the infantry in

Portland, Ore., on November 20, 1901, and after meager training at the Presidio in California, boarded the transport Kilpatrick for the 31-day crossing to the islands. During his 14 months overseas he served with C Company of the 8th Infantry, I Company of the 8th Infantry, and also with B Company of the 2nd Infantry. He recalls vividly the patrol on which he and a small scouting party of about 15 captured Filipino general Mulvar and his family in the jungle. Mulvar, he says, later was deported to Formosa. He also remembers every detail of a supply wagon train to the interior which he accompanied. Mules pulled the three wagons down dusty trails. Food for the men that day consisted of two slices of bacon between two hunks of bread, he reports. He remembers an abortive attempt to beg food from a native house where the lone female inhabitant was too busy praying at a religious shrine to pay any attention. Through his time in the Philippines, he learned enough Spanish to communicate with

most of the people. The language knowledge came in handy one evening when a young boy insisted on taking him to his home for dinner with his family. The meal began with the passing of a large coconut shell bowl of water for rinsing the fingers. Next, a bowl of rice, then a bowl of fish stew were passed, guest and family dipping in with fingers, in turn. One of the old veteran's prize possessions is a .30-40 KragJorgenson rifle with his name engraved on the barrel. It is not the one he had in the Philippines Campaign, he admits, but one just like it. Returned to the states in the spring of 1903, Behymer was stationed at Fort Logan, Colo., where he was discharged on November 19, 1904, after three years in the service. At that time he was earning $15.60 a month as private, first class. He headed west almost immediately to homestead near his brother in the Tunk Valley above Riverside, hiking there on foot from the steamboat dock at Brewster where he alighted. A few years later, in the spring

Veterans honored Five Okanogan County Vietnam era veterans were honored June 1 for their contribution to their communities. Pictured are (from left) Bill Chasteen, Brewster; Mark Wilson, Nespelem, who received the award for his fatner, now deceased, Henry F. Wilson; Orvil Woodward, Okanogan and William Michelsen, Twisp. Dale Rawley of Oroville, also honored at the ceremony, was not present. — Chronicle photo

Danielson wins Bronze Star for Vietnam Duty Sept 30, 1971 PHU BAI, Vietnam - Sgt. Ted L. Danielson was awarded the Army's Bronze Star Medal here August 16 for his service in combat during the period May, 1970, to December, 1971. Danielson, a 1967 graduate of Omak High School, was a Specialist Five when the award was presented and has since been advanced to the rank of sergeant. He was stationed in Vietnam for 16 months and expects to be discharged from the service in January. The Army citation's formal language declares Danielson to have been an excellent combat soldier, of sound judgement, loyalty, diligence and devotion to duty. Danielson, son of Mr. and Mrs.

H. L. (Danny) Danielson of Omak, served in the Army security agency in communications at Phu Bia, 50 miles south of the demilitarized zone.

of 1907, he returned to Colorado to marry Florence Brown at Littleton and bring her to his Okanogan Country home. The Behymers farmed in the valley where their only child Wesley was born, with Grandma Bartlett the only one to help with his delivery. Young Wesley learned to read by deciphering the newspapers used as insulation on the Tunk Valley cabin walls. About 1916 the family moved to the west side of the Okanogan River near Omak, where they continued to farm just east of the old city dump for many years. They spent their first winter in Omak in a 3-sided shelter built against the bluff on their new farm, surviving both that and the local flu epidemic which followed. Both also were active in the William O'Connor Camp of the Spanish-American War Veterans and its auxiliary, centered in Okanogan, and, as members in

the organization became scarce, in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Omak-Okanogan Post, of which he is a proud life member. After a brief stay in a rest home, the gaunt old veteran now lives in his Garfield Street home in East Omak with his son, in the same area where for years he regularly made the rounds of a Sunday morning to take the neighborhood youngsters to the United Methodist Church. A bit feeble and considerably hard of hearing, Gilmore Behymer is still mighty sharp when it comes to details of the past as well as the present. "Don't remember everything, but then who does at 92?" he smiles. He's one of only a few more than 3,000 living veterans of the Spanish-American War in the United States today, and he's mighty proud of that, regardless of when they're celebrating Veteran's Day nowadays.


Vietnamese family introduced to life in Okanogan County July 31, 1975 By MLou Keeney "I looked at maps and this is the first place I chose," said one of Okanogan county's newest residents, Hien Thi Phan. Hien Thi Phan is one of a family of eight Vietnamese refugees that members of the Ellisforde Church of the Brethren are helping to start a new life in their newly adopted country. They are Hien, her husband Dzang Nguyen Van, and their six children. And as soon as they are cleared, Hien's brother and parents will also come to Okanogan county. Hien, Dzang and Dr. Vernon Kinzie had just returned Monday afternoon from a daylong venture into the realm of red tape, getting social security numbers, identification papers, applying for financial aid. Hien spoke in quiet, low tones, her dark eyes reflecting the concentration needed for her very good attempt at pronunciation of the English language. She is the only one of the group who speaks English. As Hien was interviewed, Dzuy, a restless 3-year-old who had been without his mother all day and who was in a new land, a new house, and surrounded by

new people, vied for his mother's attention and got it until Dzang intervened and handed Dzuy over to 13-yearold Thanh, who ably babysits her younger siblings. The family arrived at the Tonasket home of Dr. and Mrs. R. V. Kinzie about midnight last Saturday and after sleeping in strange beds, rose to an early breakfast of scrambled eggs and went to church with their host family. They are Buddhists, Geneva Kinzie said, but they plan to attend the Brethren church because "you have helped us; we go to church with you," Hien explained. There were two beginnings to the meeting of two peoples. For the Vietnamese family it began on April 24. Dzang, a first lieutenant in the Vietnamese army, and Hien, a clerk for the civilian office of the U.S. Development agency, traveled to Saigon airport where they spent the night with their six children, anticipating departure with the U.S. Army forces. The next day they boarded an army helicopter and took a 4hour trip to Manila, the Philippines. After a 4-day stint there, they "went by Boeing" to Guam, stayed five days, then

"went by Boeing" again to Camp Pendleton, Calif., Hien said. Their three months at the army refugee camp was bad, she added. It was very dusty, they lived in a tent, and sometimes they had to wait in line more than an hour for meals. Adding to their discomfort was the restriction of bringing only three suitcases for the eight of them. But they were together. And they were waiting for something to happen. The meeting began for the Kinzies when Larry Tobisks, who knew of the social work done by the Brethren church, approached the church deacons with the idea. The deacons made the recommendation to the board, the board accepted it, it went to the missions and service commission, and finally Jim Rothrock, Melvin Verbeck and Richard Weddle drove to the Spokane airport to pick up the family. The arrangement to stay with the Kinzies was ideal. Dr. Kinzie, who practiced in Tonasket for 29 years, retired the first of July. Mrs. Kinzie is a moderator of the Brethren church. Their family is raised, and they have four empty bedrooms in their large, sunny house overlooking downtown

Tonasket. "They are very concerned with everybody," Mr. Kinzie observed. "After meals everyone picks up his own dishes and takes them to the kitchen." She said Thanh, besides babysitting, has been a big help in the kitchen, grating potatoes and carrots and washing dishes. At one point Hien asked Mrs. Kinzie her age. After Mrs. Kinzie replied, Hien said with great respect, "Oh, old." Mrs. Kinzie laughed and explained that in Vietnam older people are treated with much reverence, and the younger people are honored to help them. "Every time I get up to go do something," Mrs. Kinzie said with a chuckle, "they all get up to come help me." At another time Mrs. Kinzie said Hien noticed the refrigerator out back that is used for extra freezer space and for keeping boxes of fruit. Hien was very impressed — "two refrigerators," she said, amazed. "It's given us a little something else to do," Dr. Kinzie explained. The stay at the Kinzie home is temporary until mobile homes are bought and set up on church land for the family. Water is in but a better septic

tank is needed, Dr. Kinzie explained. Church members have plans for a linen shower for the family. Donations would be greatly appreciated, Mrs. Kinzie noted. "They will have five children at Tonasket grade school this fall, and they all need good clothes," she said. "Also food staples, bedding, toys, tools, just about anything would be welcome." Hien sat in a chair beside her husband, divested of her youngest son. "It's a nice place," she said. "I want to live here and learn more." When asked what her feelings are about leaving their homeland and coming to this land to start again, Hien grew silent, glanced at her husband, struggled for words, then slowly shook her head and in a quiet voice, "I can't say." Behind the silence, sounds of Sesame street rolled down from upstairs, where the youngsters were watching television and taking baths. Then to bed again, in a strange land, a strange house, with strange customs - waiting the few days until they will have a home of their own again.

Oestreich title paces Bulldogs March 7, 1974 Okanogan's Tracy Oestreich won the state Class A wrestling crown at 108 pounds last weekend to lead the Bulldogs to a fifth placing in the team scores. It was the first time a Bulldog wrestler had placed in state competition. Oestreich's first and fourths by Steve Eylar at 122 pounds and Pat Sutton at 148 pounds gave the Bulldogs a team total of 37 points, half a point out of fourth place. How does it feel to be a state champion? "Fine," said

Oestreich soberly. The Okanogan sophomore is the son of Paul and Marjorie Oestreich of Okanogan. He's been wrestling two years in school competition and four years at home against big brother Mike, a 135-pound senior. Oestreich was undefeated throughout this season and lost only three matches last year as he went to the state but missed placing. This year he scored a series of decisions to win the crown. What does a sophomore

champion do with his crown? He'll work out this summer with other young Okanogan wrestlers to help them get started for next year. Tracy wrestles at 108 pounds and normally carried about 115 pounds on his compact but broad shouldered frame. He said it isn't much trouble to stay "at weight." He also has turned out for baseball and track. Oestreich defeated Halldorson of Sultan 7-5 in the first round and decisioned Hilderbrand of Republic 15-3 in second round action.

Bramer catcher Cookie Hansen first girl named All-Star July 26, 1979 When players, coaches, umpires and the league's board of directors selected Denise "Cookie" Hansen June 27 as the first girl ever on the Omak Little League All-Stars, she said she was the only one surprised. The 12-year-old catcher said her fellow players and all stars, girl friends, her parents and two older brothers think "it's great." Cookie and pitcher Gary Reese were the only two players chosen from the Bramer's team to the 14member All Star team. "She's a good catcher," said Reggie "Red" Reese, who says he has coached "Sis" for four years. Dee Gardner, Cookie's mother, says that when Cookie was small, she would watch and

TIMELINE 1979 Continued Sept. 1 - American Pioneer XI passes Saturn, the first satellite to do so. Oct. 4 - Lisa Power named 1980 Miss Omak Stampede. Nov. 1 - Chrysler bailed out through federal government for $1.5 billion loan guarantee. Nov. 4 - The Iran Hostage Crisis begins – 63 Americans are among 90 hostages in the Tehran embassy with 3,000 followers of Ayatollah Khomeini demanding the former shah be returned to Iran to stand trial. 1980 Jan. 4 - President Carter announces an embargo on grain and technology to the Soviet Union due to its invasion of Afghanistan. Jan. 10 - Bankrupt Tonasket mill sells for $3 million to the only bidder, Rainier Bank. Jan. 31 - Spacing on the Omak bridge tested by having a school bus and lumber truck attempt to pass with only inches to spare. The city hoped to gather legislative support for funding a new bridge. March 27 - Actor Peter Fonda visits the Colville Tribal Business Council to seek support for a new film he hoped to shoot in the area. April 12 - The U.S. Olympic Committee votes to withdraw athletes from the Moscow Summer Games because of the Afghanistan invasion by the Soviet Union. April 17 - Ten runners race from Winthrop to Omak to raise money for a new Wenatchee Valley College-North campus; $10,000 is raised. April 24-25 - An attempt to rescue the Iranian hostages fails with eight Americans killed and five wounded in a mid-air collision. May 18 - Mount St. Helens erupts with the force of 500 atomic bombs, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damages. (More to come in the 1980s edition of Chronicles of the Okanogan.)

even play with brothers, Danny, 14, and Gary, 16, both former Little League players. Danny now plays with the Omak Babe Ruth All Stars. Cookie played one year in Pee Wee and three years in Little League. The five-foot five-inch eighth grader said she also plans to play center on the girls' basketball team at Omak Junior High School this year. Cookie started as catcher for the All Stars and dropped only

one ball in the team's opening round 12-4 win July 20 over Moses Lake International, said coach Mike Gariano. Omak then beat Eastmont 12-4 in the North Central District Tournament July 21 to advance to the district finals against Ephrata this weekend. Cookie, however, says this is the last year she plays baseball with boys. Instead of advancing to the Babe Ruth league next year, she says she will join girls' softball league.

Alex Arcasa wins Hall of Fame spot Dec. 21, 1972 A Colville Indian athlete, the last Alex Arcasa of Nespelem, was one of 14 American Indians named to the Indian Athletic Hall of Fame, at Lawrence, Kansas, this fall. Arcasa made his mark in the athletic world as a halfback at Carlisle Indian School from

1909 to 1911. He played right half while another Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Thorpe, made headlines at left halfback. Arcasa entered Carlisle College in 1909 as a freshman and nailed down a reserve position. In the following years he played a starting right halfback position and despite his small stature (5-foot-8, 156

pounds) was a stalward blocker, tackler and ball carrier for Carlisle. The Indian Athletic Hall of Fame was opened this fall, and Arcasa's was the first name inducted into its honor roll of outstanding American Indian Athletes, a proud mark for the Colvilles and for Okanogan County.

Greene honored by Omak Chamber June 15, 1978 Ken Greene of Omak a firstround selection in the recent National Football League college draft, and his parents, Russell and Eleanor Greene, were honored at an Omak Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday, June 6. Greene, a Washington State University standout as a defensive back, was the 19th player selected in the 1978 pro draft. He went to St. Louis Cardinals as a defensive back. "I think I'm doing okay in the mini-camps I've been attending," Greene said. "We go through strength and agility drills and other excersises and I feel good about what I've done." Greene was an All-

American as a defensive back at WSU and was picked to play in three post-season bowl games after his final season as a Cougar. He also was recently named the top North Central Washington College male athlete by the NCW Rotary Club of Wenatchee. Greene, a 1974 Omak High School graduate, will be playing for former Oklahoma Sooner head coach Bud Wilkinson in St. Louis. His last coach at WSU in Pullman was Jackie Sherill. Greene's former high school football coach, Gary Smith, said, "I feel pride in Ken's other accomplishments as well as for those on the football field. "Ken is more than a college

and professional football player," he added. "He is an allaround person." Ev Phillips said Greene "has added a lot to the pride people feel in Omak. It's a great thing to be watching a team play on television and be able to say one of the players is from Omak." Greene said he probably would report to regular rookie camp some time in July and added he was looking forward to playing in the Cardinal defensive backfield. "It's going to be a real challenge," he said. "There are a lot of good players looking for positions and I think I have a pretty good chance. About all I can do, I guess, is the best I can."

Robbi Small returns, victorious Aug. 4, 1975 Omak has an Olympic winner. His name is Robbi Small, and he has just returned from the Special International Olympic Games held in Michigan last week. Small, 14, won two sixth place ribbons, one in 50-yard dash and one in the long jump. In the qualifying rounds he won seventh and eighth place ribbons also. He was one of 3,200 youngsters to participate in this year's Internationals competition. The Internationals are held every four years, with nationals every two years. Small and 74 other children from Washington State were flown by chartered jet from Seattle to Lansing, Mich., last Wednesday after a rush fundraising drive to finance the flight. He arrived home Monday evening. In between he had some great experiences, including the 7-mile high jet ride which at times was pretty rough, his father, Gene Small, reported. The roughness didn't stop the kids' thirst, however. The 75 consumed 582 cans of pop during the flight. The Washington delegation joined groups from all 50 states, Germany, Belgium, Brazil,

Canada, Mexico and the Philippines on the Central Michigan University campus for the athletic events. They were entertained by famous stars and athletes, including Sally Struthers, Arte Johnson, Charlton Heston and Rafer Johnson and met Eunice Kennedy Shriver, one of the founders of the Special Olympics. Days were long, starting at 6 a.m. with breakfast, and they were often filled with exchanging souvenirs from home states and countries. Those who had been to the Olympics before knew the ropes and came prepared with buttons shaped like their home states, samples of products from home, such as grits from Alabama and dice from Nevada, and kids were loaded with special possessions to remind them of their trip, including specially minted Bicentennial silver dollars. On Sunday each state and county delegates was sent to a designated city within Michigan, where they were treated royally. Small and other Washingtonians went to Midland, where they toured the city, enjoyed free bowling and visited the Michigan State Fair. The Olympics was covered by all three major television

ROBBI SMALL networks, and Small was featured by all three also. It seems the uniform jackets, provided by the Air Force Reserves for all the Washington State delegates, were ordered in men's sizes. The children were swallowed up in the jackets, covered with buttons, pins, ribbons, and whatever else could be attached. It made quite a picture. Pictures were something else Small brought home with him, including pictures of himself with celebrities. And Dad took about 3,000 pictures, too. It's a trip they can't forget, even if they wanted to! And they don't.

Flying Robbin Gary Robbins’ leap was sharp and high, but not quite quick enough to beat a lanky Allen Smith to the ball as the Cashmere lad dominated this action at Omak’s goal. — Chronicle photo

Brewster express claims state title March 10, 1977 Spokane — St. John's Eagles almost — but not quite — derailed the Brewster Bear express on its way to an all-time record here Saturday night. But the Bear Express wouldn't derail and Brewster wound up the first high school in state history to claim three consecutive state basketball championships on a 50-49 overtime win. The win came the hard way as Brewster's Roger Boesel engineered the express with a clutch free throw, a steal, a miracle block and a few other gyrations, including drawing the fifth foul on Walter Flatt, leveling the height advantage St. John held in overtime win. It wasn't just a Boesel trip, however. Every Brewster Bear had a piece of the action. Tall Dale Smith matched up with tall, and heavier, Walter Flatt of St. John and drubbed the husky lad in rebounds, scoring and moves. It didn't start out that way as Flatt and company bounced ahead 6-2 while Smith missed six or seven straight shots under

intense pressure from Flatt and a sagging man-to-man defense which had him double and triple manned at times. But when Smith was covered, Boesel went to work, and Brewster's firemen kept the express rolling, coming from behind twice, never faltering never giving an inch. Brewster trailed 10-6 at the end of the first period and didn't catch the Eagles of St. John until mid-way in the second quarter when a Boesel free throw gave them a brief 13-12 edge. St. John responded by bounding ahead 21-13 before Boesel again hit, then repeated for eight unanswered points and a 21-21 tie with 1:30 left in the half. The half ended with St. John leading 25-23. Brewster returned with new vigor. Dave Smith led the attack for a time hitting two free throws, feeding Eric Driessen for two more points and hitting a lay-in on a feed from Boesel to take the lead 37-35 with 1:25 left in the period. Dale Smith and Flatt exchanged baskets early in that

period and Brewster built a head of steam. One 2-pointer was credited to the Bears when Flatt was charged with goal tending on a Marty Wick driving lay-in. Then Smith fouled out with 3:10 on the clock. Terry Smith (not related) came into the game, and Brewster shifted its offense. Boesel again took the lead, scoring a field goal for a 47-47 tie. The score went to 4949 and Boesel stole a St. John pass with 1:11 on the clock. Coach Dick Olson called time out. Brewster came out in a stall with Dave Smith, Wick and Driessen moving out front to control the ball. It was Smith's turn to set the pace and his control was outstanding. The stall ran the clock down to the 2-second mark and Boesel took a feed from Smith and dashed for the basket. His jumper hit the rim and bounced toward midcourt at the buzzer. Overtime was every bit as tense. Brewster controlled the tip and immediately went into its stall pattern. With 1:49 on the clock, Craig Schneidmiller fouled Boesel.

The former Okanogan County free throw champ hit his first, missed the second, and Brewster led 50-49, but Flatt took the rebound. St. John went for the basket but missed, and Dave Smith took the rebound. He was fouled by Scott Hollingsworth but missed the gift attempt. Still, despite the tension, Brewster seemed calm on the floor. On the sidelines, Olson was losing his voice. There were time outs, hurried instruction, and new plans. St. John stalled after Smith missed his gift toss. Marty Wick tied up Flatt and the jump was foregone. St. John stalled again, called time out with 37 seconds on the clock, and then ran its emergency play. Boesel flew out of nowhere to block the shot. St. John took the ball out of bounds and Flatt tried to drive the key, fouling Boesel. It was Flatt's fifth and he left the floor with 20 seconds on the clock. Brewster took the ball out and lost it to St. John. Again St. John drove for the basket, but

Tim Siler was whistled for another foul on the drive and Brewter called another time out with 8 seconds to play. Boesel was headed down court with the ball when Ramon Vance fouled him. Again the gift toss missed. Dave Smith tipped the rebound out front and Brewster had possession when the buzzer sounded. That gave the Bears their 82nd consecutive win, their third consecutive state Class B title, and a flood of relief that brought tears all over the Spokane Coliseum. There was a brief presentation ceremony and Brewster retired to the locker room — slowly. Fans just wouldn't let them go. The list of honors goes on. Dale Smith, Roger Boesel and Dave Smith were named to the all-tournament team. Dale set a new scoring record for State Class B tournament play, hitting 345 points in four years (16 games). Boesel's tournament career produced 234 points, fifth high in the all-time rankings.


Greatest flood since 1894 buries valley Thousands work to save cities, property, homes (Continued from (Continued fromPage Page67) 1) The great rush of water which poured down the Okanogan Valley last week came after heavy snowfalls in the Cascade Mountains had been kept locked up by a cool spring. Over Memorial Day weekend an early-summer heat wave pushed temperatures into the 90’s and the freeze level rose abruptly to 14,000 feet. Nearly every snow bank below that level began melting at once. In trickles, streams, cascades, the waters began coursing into the upper Similkameen and Okanogan Rivers. Soon the Similkameen, roaring into Okanogan County from British Columbia, had fused with Palmer Lake to form a single body of water 10 miles long. At Oroville, where the Similkameen pours into the Okanogan, providing 80 percent of its flow, the deluge spread across the river bottoms, forming another lake a mile wide and reaching almost to Tonasket. By last Tuesday the main stream was invading Tonasket. Home were evacuated Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The rising river threatened Riverside, where an early struggle got under way to preserve the dike system. At Omak and Okanogan there were signs of a flood everywhere. The river invaded East Omak through the Stampede Arena, where a desperate effort to throw a dike across the arena grounds failed Wednesday night. By then homes in East Omak and behind Okanogan’s Second Avenue were being flooded and evacuated. Thursday and Friday were days of repeated crises and frenzied activity as several thousand local residents with hundreds of reinforcements from government agencies fought to preserve west-side dikes. At times, Omak was within minutes of disastrous breakthroughs. The flow of the Similkameen River, last week reached its peak of 18.7 feet at Nighthawk at 4 p.m. last Wednesday, but its lessening flow only permitted huge volumes of water backed up into Lake Osoyoos and points north to reinforce the Okanogan’s surge. The Okanogan crested at 22.54 feet at 5:30 a.m. Saturday at the Janis Bridge below

Tonsaket, as compared with a 21.79-foot crest in 1948. Curiously, the Okanogan River apparently reached its highest level in the OmakOkanogan area some six hours earlier, at about 11:30 p.m. Friday. But the extent of flooding and many other factors can affect readings at various points. The Army Engineers estimated the maximum flow at 44,000 cubic feet per second. The high in 1948 was 40,900 cubic feet per second. But by Saturday, many stretches of dike had been reinforced and only a final massive effort behind a block of Juniper Street needed to protect the towns. Monday morning found the river level down two feet from its crest and the Army Engineers’ Leonard Juhnke, flood engineer for the Okanogan and Methow Valleys, declaring: “It’s been a long, hard fight but things are now going our way.” Juhnke issued a preliminary damage estimate of $6.8 million in the Okanogan Valley. He said that without the 1949 dikes and the effort to maintain them, another $3 million in damages would have occurred. He declared the corps of engineers’ “Operation Foresight,” a 2-month effort earlier this year to strengthen dikes, had prevented an additional $408,000 in damages. Civil Defense Director Bain Crofoot estimated 500 Okanogan County homes had been evacuated. These included some up the Methow Valley, where a violent but shorter flood ripped at riverbanks but caused only an estimated $190,000 in damages. Public Works Director Ev Philips, who directed the flood fight in Omak, said 200 homes were evacuated here, many as precautionary measures, and about 100 were partly flooded. At Okanogan Mayor Otto Yusi, who personally directed the 5-day struggle, said 59 homes were flooded and 200 were affected by floodwaters. There were no serious injuries. The only flood-related death was that of 70-year-old Harley K. Eskridge of Loomis, who Thursday morning returned to his evacuated home on Palmer Lake to check the water level. While going down some steps leading to the lake, he either slipped or the steps gave way. His body was recovered by skin divers. The Army Engineers’ estimate of about $7 million in damages for the Okanogan and Methow Valleys is far higher than the 1948 estimated damage figure of $1,520,000.

A walk on the wet side A pedestrian and vehicles navigate Omak’s Ash Street at the corner of Central Avenue while the rain keeps pouring down. – Chronicle photo Inflation accounts for part of this. So do additional developments along the rivers. It is certain the 1972 flood was the most costly in the history of the Okanogan River Valley. Though more water may have come down in 1894, the Okanogan country then was sparsely settled and the towns were mining camps located in the foothills. Enormous resources were mustered to fight last week’s flood. The corps of engineers’ force in Okanogan County mushroomed to 50 people. The corps swirled through its initial $100,000 allocation in four days — and asked for more — in contracting for 106 tractors, dump trucks, flatbeds, portable generators, and other pieces of equipment. The corps also hired more than 650 people. Going rates were $30-$35 an hour for a tractor, $20 an hour for dump trucks, $10 an hour for flatbeds. Workers signed up at the Okanogan City Hall for $3.26 an hour. After Gov. Daniel J. Evans declared Okanogan County a flood disaster area at 4 p.m. last Wednesday. Okanogan’s 161st Infantry National Guard Company was mobilized.

Row boats and Army trucks Second Avenue in Okanogan became a river for row boats. The Army National Guard assisted in helping evacuate and sandbag the area. – Chronicle photo

Sandbags to save businesses Many folks sandbagged homes and businesses to keep the raging waters out. Here, residents are saving an Omak dental office. – Chronicle photo

A muddy mess The Omak Stampede Arena suffered damage during the floods, which left behind huge pools and splintered wood. – Chronicle photo


I don’t remember a lake being here... Civic League Park becomes a lake.

– Chronicle photo

1980s A Decade of

Progress School construction projects, new businesses and entrepreneurs reflected the increase in population and development of the area. Two fires also occured – Omak school and church arsons and a home fire that killed three children.

Bass player Ted Jones, Okanogan, winks at the crowd during the 1985 Pioneer Picnic.

This train derailed outside Ellisforde on July 11, 1984, dumping four carloads of wood chips and tearing up 600 feet of track, but injuring no one.


Dressed as a “moral-minded matron,” Carl Precht encourages Omak Stampede workers Dick Wilkie, Donna Short and Ed Thiele to be sure their T-shirts stay dry, a joke after a controversial wet T-shirt contest was held.

Oroville player Mike Thornton, left, steals a rebound from Brewster’s Gary Knowlton during a summer basketball tournament in 1982.

Omak pilot Gene Smith dumps water on a grassfire outside Riverside in September 1987.

Mike Thornton, Branch manager NMLS#160217

715 Okoma Dr., Omak 509-826-1965

Eagle Home Mortage, LLC NMLS#41184. All rights reserved. This is not a commitment to lend.


May 20, 1980 – May 19, 1990

Established May 20, 1910 - Eighth in a Ten Part Series


Dedications provide red-letter day for schools

1980 May 22 – Larry Schreckengast was hired as a meter reader in Omak. Aug. 5 – Edna Emert, wife of long-time Chronicle publisher, Frank Emert, dies. Aug. 14 – Walt Davisson aboard Sir Charge wins the Suicide Race. Nov. 4 – Ronald Reagan beats President Jimmy Carter in a landslide victory. Nov. 15 – Donna Hammack crowned Miss Omak Stampede 1981. 1981 Jan. 8 – Brothers Steve and Jeff Dykes invent a board game called “Triage.” Jan. 15 – Mary Henrie named Omak’s Citizen of the Year. Jan 20 – After Reagan’s inauguration, 52 American hostages are released from Tehran, Iran, for the return of $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets. March 30 – Reagan survives an assassination attempt – a shot to the chest. June 11 – Ellie Smedile was chosen Omak’s Teacher of the Year. June 13 – Omak’s new swimming pool is dedicated. July 2 – Omak librarian Rachel Steiner retires after 18 years. Aug. 12 – IBM introduces its first personal computer, the IBM 5150, which sold for $1,565. Sept. 13 – Gene Henrie of Gene’s Harvest Foods, wellknown businessman, dies. Sept. 22 – Sandra Day O’Connor is unanimously approved as the first woman to serve as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. 1982 Jan. 28 – The first Conconully Outhouse Races are held. Aug. 15 – Hugh McCauley scored a hole-inone at Okanogan Valley Golf Course’s 17th hole. Sept. 29 – Colville tribal leader Lucy Covington dies. Oct. 6 – Donna Short closes career as an Omak city councilwoman. (Don’t worry – she’ll be back.) Oct. 20 – Omak’s Presbyterian Church celebrates 75 years. Nov. 13 – Vietnam veteran’s memorial dedicated in Washington, D.C., with 58,000 names of those killed or missing in action. Nov. 20 – The Attridge triplets are born – Bryan, Jill and Kim. 1983 Feb. 23 – Chris Williams, Tonasket, takes the Washington state 178-pound wrestling crown. March 23 – The “Star Wars” program, Strategic Defense Initiative proposal first made to intercept incoming missiles. June 18 – Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space. July 16 – The 50th anniversary of Grand Coulee Dam celebrated. Aug. 12-14 – The 50th Anniversary of the Omak Stampede is held, with Tana Pitts as the queen. Aug. 14 – Dave Best, Omak, wins the all-around cowboy title at the 50th Omak Stampede. Sept. 24 – Jody Wooten is named Miss Omak Stampede 1984. Oct. 12 – Ground broken for the first $800,000 building project of Wenatchee Valley College. Oct. 19 – Karl Doering, long-time rodeo cowboy clown and member of the Omak Stampede Hall of Fame, dies. Oct. 23 – Terrorist bomb kills 241 U.S. peacekeeping troops in Lebanon; a second bomb kills 40 in a French barracks 2 miles away.

Continued 76 (Continuedon onpage Page 2)

North, East, PAC complete

City View

Winter lingers atop Omak Mountain as spring 1983 hits the rest of the

Okanogan valley. – Chronicle photo

It’s a done deal! Employees own Omak Wood Products Jan. 4, 1989 Two signatures on a bill of sale in New York at 11 a.m. Omak time Wednesday, Dec. 28, turned controlling interest in Omak Wood Products over to its employees. It was the first time in a quarter-century that the lumber milling operation, begun 66 years ago, returned to local ownership. Lloyd Groomes, business agent for Local 3023 of the Lumber, Plywood and Industrial Workers Union signed the bill of sale to purchase the mill for the employees. Al Dunlap, president and chief executive officer of Sir James Goldsmith’s operations, signed for the seller, Cavenham Forest Products, Inc. A brief round of speeches, punctuated by champagne corks and a toast concluded the event. The signing was almost anticlimax to an intense day and a half which preceded the event.

“I suspect Lloyd Groomes singed some 500 documents before he finally got to the bill of sale,” said Doug Princehouse, president of the board of directors and manager of Omak Wood Products. On Dec. 27, the board of directors of Omak Wood Products, Inc., held its first official meeting in borrowed offices on Wall Street. Princehouse was elected president of the board, Mike Carr was elected treasurer and Kevin Curtis was named secretary. Carr, controller for Omak Wood Products, is the only officer who is not a member of the board. Curtis is an analyst for Aylward & Finchem, Washington, D.C., law firm representing the employees during the buy-out negotiations. He and David Aylward, one of the owners of the firm, were both elected to the board of directors. Local members include Groomes, Bill Neely and Arnie

Evenson from the local union, Jerry Combs from midmanagement, and Princehouse and Mike Askea from management. Also prior to signing the bill of sale, the buyers had to work out final details with DBL on the nearly $50 million debt created to finance the purchase and provide working capital. Princehouse said later that the entire amount had been provided by DBL as interim financing until the investment banking firm could sell bonds to back the purchase. “That’s a measure of their faith in the deal,” said Princehouse. “It’s rare for them to put all of their own money on the line like that.” Princehouse said $35 million went immediately to Cavenham and $8 million went to banks securing the company’s deposits on contracts for timber purchases from the U.S. Forest Service. (Continuedon onPage Page79) 5) (Continued

Nov. 29, 1989 Omak’s $11.2 million worth of new and renovated school facilities were dedicated Nov. 21 to the past, present and future. During a full day of celebrations, the North, East and Omak Middle schools each had a share in the limelight. In a concluding ceremony at the new performing arts center that evening, superintendent Vic Power dedicated the facilities to: - The teachers and citizens of the past, who laid the groundwork for the Omak School District; - The citizens of the present who approved the ambitious construction project; - The students, who as citizens of the future, will rely on modern school facilities to move them out of the industrial age and into an age of technology. “Our young people will work in a world so changed we cannot even imagine what it will be like,” said Power. How the district is preparing youngsters for a high-tech future became readily apparent to visitors, who toured the new facilities. The three R’s still are being taught, but even very young students cheerfully use computers to hone up on reading and ‘rithmetic skills. And writing means learning to master a typewriter keyboard at a very early age. The dedication ceremonies involved the requisite number of officials and visiting dignitaries, but at each school the students themselves cut the symbolic ribbons to open the buildings. At North School, Brien Bowling, Jan Dow-McDonald, and Eli Van Brunt wielded the ceremonial scissors. This new school “was worth waiting for,” pronounced second grader Patrick Kenny, keynote speaker. He observed that North students were shuttled to temporary classrooms for a yearand-a-half after their school burned and while the new $4.2 million structure was being built. Now, he said his school has “the best library I have ever been in.” It is, principal Betty McKee told visitors, the only time they’ll ever see so many brand-new books in the library. Everything in the old library was destroyed by the fire and had to be replaced.

“I have to say thanks to the taxpayers,” said school board member Jill Princehouse, “for recognizing that this is the place to spend their money.” Rep. Steve Fuhrman, RKettle Falls, said he was impressed when he saw North’s 175 students gathered outside the building for the ribbon cutting. “It is overwhelming when you see all those little kids out there,” he said. “I guess it’s up to us to educate them to realize there is a God and realize they have to work and not just live off government and taxes.” At East School, special guests included Safeway manager Gary Glover. Last year’s fourth and fifth graders were housed in the now-empty Safeway store so construction could proceed. Those students will have “special memories” of their store-front school, said Rick Jones, principal last year at East. Some of the more hilarious events from that era were recalled in a choral reading by students of Nancy Walters. Cutting the East School ribbons were Eric Laducer, Charlene Everts and Jason Acord. At Omak Middle School, principal Judy Tassielli and student body president Kim Berschauer greeted guests and cut the ribbon. In the first official gathering in the new performing arts center, teacher Marcelle LaGrou told the history of the school buildings at that site. That evening, more than 400 people turned out for a community dinner catered by the Goodwill Coalition and prepared by the women of the Omak Community Center. The crowd swelled for the final ceremony, with some people standing in the 560-seat auditorium and others watching from the adjacent multi-purpose room on closed circuit television. Masters of ceremony were John E. Andrist and Mary Koch, who portrayed homesteader Sarah Robinson, Omak’s first school teacher. Entertainment included music by the high school band, the “Omak Select,” Middle School chorus, and encore performance by the East School choral reading group and creative dancing by North School students.

Omak man charged with arsons March 2, 1988 A lifelong Omak resident remained in the Okanogan County jail March 1, accused of setting $6.5 million worth of school and church fires. Adrian Julius Howe, 23, was arrested Feb. 24 and, amid a throng of television crews and reporters, made a preliminary court appearance the next day. He was charged Feb. 25 in Okanogan County Superior Court with five counts of firstdegree arson and one count of second-degree arson. Howe’s arrest came just days after formation of an arson task force that drew on local, state and federal investigators. The first-degree arson charges allege that Howe set two fires that destroyed much of North Omak Elementary School dec. 6 and Dec. 14, two fires that gutted the Free Methodist Church Feb. 8 and Feb. 13 and a fire that demolished the First Presbyterian Church Feb. 15.

Get your feet comfy

Another Feb. 15 fire damaged a house owned by the Free Methodist Church used for storage. That fire brought a second-degree arson charge. ‘Sanity has returned’ In the days since Howe’s arrest, activity at the Omak Police Department and Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office has slowed considerably, said police chief Pete Sirois and sheriff Jim Weed. “Sanity has returned,” Weed said. “I’ve been able to rest much better” at night, said Omak school superintendent Vic Power Feb. 29. Howe was arrested Wednesday afternoon and officials, who have been besieged by nationwide media, called a press conference for Thursday morning. After persistent pressure from the press, Howe’s name, age and hometown were released Wednesday evening. Additional

details were released during the press conference. Howe made an initial court appearance Thursday morning and bail was set at $250,000 cash. Public defender Scot Stuart was appointed to represent Howe, and Superior Court Judge Jim Thomas informed the prisoner of his rights. As of late Feb. 29, no arraignment date had been set. (Continued on (Continued on Page76) 2) Page

Church destroyed by arson

Flames pour from the Omak Presbyterian Church, destroyed by arson Feb. 15.

It was the third building destroyed by arson. – Chronicle photo


Chronicle 1980s staff:

John E. Andrist, owner, publisher 1976Mary Koch News Editor ‘79-

Dee Camp City News Editor ‘79-

Al Camp Sports Editor ‘81-

Centennial staff: Publisher: Roger Harnack Section editor: Sheila Corson Managing editor: Dee Camp Advertising: Lynn Hoover Research/design: Julie Bock Elizabeth Widel Special Thanks to: Okanogan County Historical Society

TIMELINE 1983 continued Oct. 25 – U.S. invades Grenada to depose Marxist regime. 1984 Jan. 4 – Okanogan County PUD begins purchasing lower cost power from Wells Dam. Jan. 11 – Ice jams cause Okanogan and Similkameen Rivers to back up, flooding fields. Feb. 15 – Owner Mary Hursch cleared of arson charges in tavern fire. March 7 – Chamber of Commerce proposes tourist center in East Side Park – $10,000 donated to the remodel. March 7 – Tonasket girls and Oroville boys get gold in state basketball. March 21 – $5.12 million county jail opened with ribbon-cutting ceremony. April 4 – Colville Tribes announce plans for a $9.1 million sawmill north of Omak. April 25 – Three brothers die in HUD housing fire outside of Omak. April 25 – Okanogan Senior Center dedicated. May 16 – Corps of Engineers sees feasibility in a high dam on Similkameen River at Shankers Bend. May 30 – 75 years of the Okanogan Fire Department celebrated. June 6 – Loomis man Donald Lawless wins $1 million in lottery drawing. June 27 – Ground broken for Wenatchee Valley College North’s lab building. July 11 – Train derails near Ellisforde, dumping four carloads of wood chips, tearing up 600 feet of track, but injuring no one. July 12 – Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale selects Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, making her the first woman to earn that nomination. July 25 – The 500- to 700-year-old bones of an Indian girl are reburied in a ceremony after being dug up near Wells Dam.

Continued 77 (Continuedon on page Page 3)


...Arson arrest big media event (Continued (Continuedfrom fromPage Page75) 1) Court reporter Peggy Melvin said arraignment must be held within 14 days after charges are filed. She said she had no idea when Howe might be arraigned. In his presentation of probably cause, prosecutor Jack Burchard told Thomas Feb. 25 that Howe was at the scene of several fires and had turned in the alarm for the first school fire. The prosecutor told Thomas that during an interview with police officers Feb. 24, Howe admitted starting all six blazes. “He made a detailed confession of information that would only be known by the person who started the fires,” Burchard told Thomas. That information was corroborated by other information gathered by investigators, he added. Burchard said the maximum penalty for conviction of firstdegree arson is life in prison and a $50,000 fine. But he added that it is unlikely that such a stiff sentence would be given, if Howe is convicted, because of the nature of the crime and Howe’s lack of a criminal background.

Arrest was big media event The arrest of Adrian Julius Howe in connection with a series of arson fires in Omak brought dozens of reporters to Okanogan Feb. 25. The biggest press contingent to hit the county in some time crowded onto the sidewalk in front of the Okanogan County jail for a 10 a.m. press conference. Then the throng moved into the courthouse for Howe’s initial appearance. Reporters came from ABC Network News, the Associated Press, KHQ-TV and KXLY-TV in Spokane, KING-TV and KOMO-TV in Seattle, the Spokane Spokesman-Review, as well as local news organizations.

One reporter flew from Denver to Seattle Wednesday night, then to Omak by chartered plane. Okanogan County sheriff Jim Weed said he was a little surprised at the dozens of cameras aimed in his direction. Reporters literally blocked the sidewalk into the jail and trampled the shrubbery between the courthouse and jail sidewalk.

‘Just a nice kid’ Adrian Julius Howe, 23, was charged Feb. 26 with five counts of first-degree arson and one count of second-degree arson in the fires. Howe sat quietly during his initial court appearance Feb. 25, answering softly, “Yes, sir,” when Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Jim Thomas asked if he understood his rights. The defendant, a former firefighter for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, is employed at Colville Indian Precision Pine mill near Omak, said sheriff Jim Weed. Although he had fought fires, there was nothing in his background to indicate he knew about arson, Weed said. “No prior (arson-related) conduct has been established,” he told reporters Feb. 25. Howe told Thomas that he’d completed his junior year at Omak High School and had attended elementary school in Omak. He is the adopted son of Ben and Lena Howe, Omak, is single and has a child. “I thought of him as just a nice kid,” said North Omak principal Betty McKee, who has known Howe since he attended North. McKee said she joined the Omak School District staff about the time Howe was a third-grader and said she vaguely remembers him being in some remedial classes she taught. “I didn’t know much about him after he left elementary school, but I had no problems

Three brothers die in HUD house fire Tragic fire ruled accidental April 15, 1984 Fire swept through a frame house at the Colville Confederated Tribes’ HUD housing development northeast of Omak early Friday morning, April 20, killing three brothers who were sleeping inside. Dead are Bryson Mathew “Guy-Guy” McDonald, 4, Thomas Lawrence “Tom” McCraigie, 6, and Lex Darrell “Bubba” McCraigie, 11. Their parents, Daniel and Adeline McDonald, were a few doors away visiting neighbors and were not injured, said Omak Fire Chief Cal Bowling. All three died of smoke inhalation, said Doug Boole, Okanogan County coroner and prosecutor. Investigators from the state Fire Marshal’s Office, Omak Fire Department, Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office and Colville Confederated Tribes combed the wreckage immediately after the fire and again Friday afternoon. They are ruling the fire accidental but of undetermined cause. The fire was reported at 12:23 a.m. by a neighbor, Collene Manual, and shortly afterward by another neighbor, Stella Baker. Bowling, the first firefighter on the scene at 12:33, said a neighbor reported hearing screaming inside the house. Because of the fire’s intensity, Bowling said the fire had to be “knocked down” before rescuers could go inside. At 12:38 the first engine arrived and firefighters began dumping water on the blaze. Bowling said it took just minutes to cool the fire enough for firefighters Kevin Bowling and Les Sutton to don air packs and

begin the search. In the meantime, the boys’ parents arrived and Danny McDonald led Kevin Bowling and Sutton around the house to the two younger boys’ bedroom window, Cal Bowling said. The chief, who is Kevin Bowling’s father, said he couldn’t describe his feeling at seeing his own son entering the burning building. The firefighters found the younger boys immediately and they were carried to the waiting Omak ambulance, the chief said. Thomas was dead at the scene, but Bryson, still alive, was taken to Mid-Valley Hospital. He died at the hospital, Bowling said. Lex’ body was found in the living room. Lex and Tom McCraigie were students at Paschal Sherman Indian School, Lex in fourth grade and Tom in kindergarten. Mass was said Friday at the school for the boys and for all the children because they were so upset, say school officials. Lex’ classmates in Karen Sam’s classroom are planning to hold bake sales and other fund raisers to raise money for the family. They also are thinking about starting a memorial fund for the boys, school officials say. Mike Ostlie, criminal investigator for the tribal police, said he and two other investigators probed the ruins for several hours immediately after the fire. He said it appeared that the fire’s “hot spot,” or approximate place of ignition, was in a couch in the living room. Tribal Prosecutor Bob Widdifield and county prosecutor Boole agreed that the fire was accidental and said they are not contemplating any criminal charges.

Melted and torched

Melted chairs and torched books and shelves are all that is left of North Omak Elementary School’s library

after two fires. All books were replaced in the new building. – Chronicle photo

with him there,” she said. “I was very, very saddened when I heard” of his arrest. McKee said she had written a thank-you note to Howe, who turned in the alarm for the first school fire Dec. 6.

Howe guilty, apologizes June 1, 1988 “I’m sorry that I caused so many people so much discomfort,” Adrian Howe told Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Jim Thomas after pleading guilty to five counts of first-degree arson April 26. Howe, 23, admitted he started fires last winter that destroyed North Omak Elementary School, Omak Free Methodist Church and the Omak First Presbyterian Church. The school and Methodist church each suffered two fires. “I hope they can rebuild their lives and I hope I can rebuild my life,” he continued, adding that he hopes the people of Omak can forgive him someday. Howe’s plea came after extensive discussions among prosecutor Jack Burchard, Howe, defense attorney Scot Stuart, fire

Arson Firefighters try to put out the second arson fire at again the Omak Free Methodist Church. – Chronicle photo

victims, community members and others, Burchard said. A few advocated locking Howe up and throwing away the key, while others suggested he not be punished at all, Burchard told the court. But most urged a middle course, he added.

Howe was sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison for each count, to be served concurrently, with credit for 93 days served. He has been in jail since his arrest Feb. 24. A sixth count of seconddegree arson was dismissed.

Stampede wasn’t the only big blowout Aug. 17, 1983 Rain, thunder, lightning and high winds pounded the Okanogan Valley Aug. 10-11, flooding downtown Omak, knocking out power and ripping out a section of irrigation flume near Ellisforde. The storm, which dumped 2.53 inches of water on Omak, entered the county in the Brewster area, cut a swath up the valley and exited over the Lost Lake area. Republic received about three inches of rain the night of Aug. 10-11, according to Forest Service information. Omak city workers and downtown business owners spent the night sandbagging their buildings when storm sewers clogged, but water still crept inside some. Omak City Engineer Ev Philips reported the City Council Aug. 15 that damage to city property is around $2,000 to $3,000, and clean-up costs will equal that. “Ultimate damage to city hall, I cannot answer,” he said, noting that floors were buckling and water had gotten into the sawdust in the ceiling. New carpet soaked Mike McNeil of McNeil Floor Covering said his building received about an inch and a half of water that caused an estimated $7,000 damage to several rolls of new carpeting. “It’s going to take a while to dry out,” he said Aug. 11. “It’s all laid out in the store. “A lot of people helped out. We sandbagged the doors, but there was a lake behind the store (in a parking lot) and the water just came in under the walls. There’s not much you can do about that.” Several classrooms at Omak High School also were flooded when storm drains couldn’t handle all the water. School Superintendent Vic Power said he expects the carpets to dry with minimal damage thanks mostly

Party after flood

Days after flash floods filled some streets, the Stampede grand parade proceeds as planned. – Chronicle photo

to quick work by local fire departments with portable water vacuums that sucked up most of the water. Water also seeped into basements around town and a tree blew over in Merle Martin’s yard on North Locust Street. ‘They just drowned’ The downpour proved too much for about 100 sparrows roosting in a large tree in Alice Utke’s front yard, in north Omak. The day after the storm Utke found their bodies lying all over her yard. “They just drowned,” she said, noting that most afternoons it “sounds like a menagerie” in her yard. She picked up the birds, but stopped counting at 70. Okanogan City Clerk Jim Neher said water damage in that city apparently was confined to a couple basements and the EZE Cleaners building. Electricity to south Okanogan was cut off for four and one-half hours when a tree severed a power line, said PUD senior engineer Duane Dahlquist. Another power outage, lasting an hour, was reported northeast of Omak when lightning apparently hit a line.

State highway crews used around 700 yards of material to fill gullies cut in road shoulders, sald Larry Bowers of the State Department of Transportation. A mud and rockslide blocked Highway 20 near Washington Pass, but was cleared by noon Aug. 11. Break sends water rushing About a foot of water washed across County Road No. 7 north of Ellisforde when an OrovilleTonasket Irrigation District flume ruptured, sending water cascading over a hillside and onto the road. District Manager Lowell Felt said irrigation water was shut off Aug. 11 until repairs to the wooden structure could be made. Although little damage was done, Tonasket School Superintendent Jerry Mills said district officials picked an inopportune time for a roofing job at the junior-senior high building. “We had roofing off a section of the locker rooms when the storm came through,” he said. “Fortunately the ceiling is concrete, so it didn’t’ do much damage.” Still, “it’s kind of swampy in there,” he said Aug. 11.

People Decade

State senator. Newspaper publisher. Historian. Bruce A. Wilson, 70, died June 16, 1991, after battling heart disease and emphysema for years. He had been publisher of The Chronicle for 18 years until deciding to focus on his legislative career, where he represented area residents for 12 years. Among his accomplishments as senator were the “medex” bill, which allowed ex-military medical corpsmen to work as physician’s assistants, the Open Public Meetings Act and the Sunset Law. After retiring following his third term, Wilson focused on writing. He chose to research and write a history for his adopted home, Okanogan County. The book today is known as “Late Frontier, A History of Okanogan County, Washington,” published in 1990 and donated to the Okanogan County Historical Society, which Wilson helped found. In 1991, the book received the Governor’s Writers Award. His wife, Merilynn, was by his side, co-owning, co-founding and coresearching throughout the years. The two were named Citizens of the Year in 1990. They had five children, two of which died before Wilson. Two sons, Duff and Scott, followed in their parents’ footsteps, taking up journalism. Scott Wilson publishes the Port Townsend Leader today.

of the

Mel Tonasket

Lucy Covington & Shirley Palmer Two long-time councilwomen and advocates for Tribal people died in the 1980s. A Colville Tribal Business Councilwoman for 22 years, Lucy Covington, 71, died Sept. 20, 1982. She was known nationally for her battle against terminating the Colville Reservation in the 1960s. A descendant of several chiefs, Covington represented area tribes on the national and local levels. She was instrumental in getting the Trading Post built in Nespelem and starting job training and housing projects. Shirley Palmer served on the council longer than any other member – 28 years – and became known as a historian for local families and Tribal information. She had planned on writing a history, but never was able to get to it. Also a fighter in the anti-termination camp, Palmer brought the battle to the halls of Congress herself. Palmer also operated an arts and crafts store in Coulee Dam. She died June 13, 1989, at age 66.


Bruce Wilson


Often a controversial figure, Mel Tonasket left his mark on Colville Tribal affairs. He spent 19 years on the Colville Tribal Business Council, often as chairman, until stepping down in 1989. He was first elected during the reservation termination dispute. At 31, he became the youngest Tribal council president in the nation. Tonasket ran for Congress in 1980, when a majority of his fellow Tribal members rallied behind opponent Tom Foley, who won the election. But six years later, support was back on Tonasket’s side to elect him for the third time to the council chairman position. He left the council in 1989 to take a position with the Indian Health Service in Portland, Ore. When he stepped down, a farewell program gathered about 200 people to praise his service and offer him going-away gifts. Tonasket spoke also, telling the group not to slow down, but band together. In an interview with The Chronicle in 1989, Tonasket said, “I’ve been lucky. You know, some people are searching for a reason to be alive. I never really had to search.” Tonasket now lives in Omak.


Newlyweds are the talk of the town Marriage of 90- and 92-year-olds becomes hot topic Oct. 2, 1985 Minnie Payne, 90, and Ed McLean, 92, were planning on a quiet little wedding followed by a quiet marriage lasting the rest of their lives. Well, the wedding was quiet enough, but now they’re the talk of the town. “A week ago today we were married and we’ve been going around like a button on a barn door ever since,” chortled McLean Sept. 26. Moments later the phone rang — a friend to the bride’s. “She says she’s still in shock,” reported the new Mrs. McLean with what can only be described as a schoolgirl’s giggle. The two are relishing the limelight almost as much as they’re enjoying what appears to be a perfect marriage. They’ve known each other for 34 years. Most of those years each was happily married to someone else. In 1963, Minnie lost her husband, longtime Omak businessman Hank Payne of Hank & Earl’s. Some years later, Earl, her son, also died. Then in 1982, the first Mrs. McLean, Melvina, died at 83. A couple of months ago, Ed began serious courting. “She was alone, and I was alone,” he recalled. “Our bodies and minds were so full of grief and sorrow, we decided the rest of our lives to be happy and enjoy it together.” “First we thought we’d elope, but they caught us at it,” said Minnie. Ed had called his nephew, Okanogan County District Court Judge Gene McLean. Reports the judge: “He said they’d decided to get married that day and they wanted me to marry them. I asked them, ‘Do you have a license?’ and he said, ‘Do we need a license?’” Not only did they need a license, but state law required that they wait three days after applying for it. By then the word was out. “Over at the (senior) center, it was the main subject they had to talk about,” said Ed. The wedding was a simple ceremony witnessed by the judge’s wife and Ed’s longtime friend, Gobel Pitzer. But the excitement continued even while the newlyweds tried to honeymoon. “No matter where we went on our honeymoon, we met somebody from home. It seemed they all knew about it before we

and Ed McLean were recently married in a Ah... Minnie quiet ceremony that since then has turned into the young talk of the town. love – Chronicle photo did,” said Minnie. They had planned on a romantic boat trip to Stehekin, but the weather turned against them. They drove to Wenatchee in Ed’s American Motor “Rebel,” which he bought new in 1970. “The traffic was so terrible, we thought we ought to get out of that town,” said Ed. They headed for Douglas County so Ed could show Minnie the land of his roots. He’d been the next-to-the-last postmaster of Mold, Wash., before the post office there was closed. With the $1,800 he saved from that job, he bought 1,600 acres of farmland in 1935. His older brother advised him against it, but he countered that “it would never get any cheaper.” He was right. He sold it for $93,000 when he retired to Omak. Life’s been good to him that way, Ed says with cheerful gratitude. “Every turn of my hand seemed to turn to money.” Minnie was raised in Brewster, the daughter of Andrew Jackson Alexander, who brought his family to the Okanogan in 1902. She hasn’t traveled as much as Ed has, so she’s still holding out for that honeymoon trip to Stehekin. Meanwhile, they have their work cut out for them, combining two households of more than 180 years of living.

“Have you ever tried to live in two houses at once?” exclaimed Minnie. “Everything you want here is down there and everything down there is up here.” They decided to live in Ed’s house because of its wide-open view of Omak’s Main Street. “I told her, when we get tired of looking at each other, we can look out the window,” chuckled Ed. Dapper and lively, neither looks a day over 60. They display the kind of energy Ed demonstrated for 10 years straight as champion grain sack sewer at the North Central Washington Fair. His trophies still have a place of honor on the mantle. He quit the competition in 1978 — not because he slowed down but because he doesn’t get to that fair anymore, Ed insists. “You can’t find anybody in the senior class to beat me,” he boasts unashamedly. “I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts, I’ll give anybody a race for their money in sewing sacks.” Dollars to doughnuts, Ed and Minnie will give anybody a race for happy marriages, too. “We weren’t doing it to make a show,” observed Minnie. “We’re just having fun.” “I keep telling her,” Ed concluded, “if my Melvina and her Hank knew, they would be very happy.”

Ice jams blocked both the Okanogan and Ice blocks Similkameen rivers in January of 1984, causing rivers some flooding. Crews broke up some of the blockage.

– Chronicle photo

Tiny, alert People-dog saves family from fire Jan. 15, 1981 John and Jody Cook are not complaining too much these days about the fact that their small dog insists on sleeping on the bed of a family member, a habit that until recently they found annoying. The dog, a black Chihuahua and terrier mix called People (because she thinks she is), probably prevented the loss of the Cook house by fire January 7 when she awakened her family at 3 a.m. The dog’s wild barking and whining aroused the Cooks’ 14-yearold daughter Becky, asleep in an upstairs bedroom. Becky, realizing that something was wrong, followed the agitated canine downstairs to find the lower rooms filled with smoke. The youngster alerted her parents and brother, Bart. The Cooks traced the cause of smoke to the basement, where a water heater connection had shorted out, coming into contact with some discarded fabric. Quickly, they carried the pile of smoldering material outside where, an instant later, it burst into flames. With the danger disposed of, the Cook family coolly turned attention to opening doors and windows to let the smoke escape. “We hated to call the fire department at 3 o’clock in the morning just to clear out the smoke,” Cook said. The Cooks, whose home is about a mile south of Okanogan on the Colville Reservation, are operators of the J and J Smoke Shop. “If it hadn’t been for People,” Jody remarked, “we might not have a house.” People had no comment.

1984 continued July 28 – Opening ceremonies for the Los Angeles Olympics does not include the Soviet Union, which boycotted the event as recourse for the U.S. boycotting the 1980 Moscow games. Aug. 1 – Twisp mill burns to the ground. Sept. 26 – Sandy Thrasher named Stampede Queen. Oct. 3 – Okanogan TV releases first signal on Oct. 17, Channel 31. Oct. 10 – $200,000 in federal grants received to start a migrant/farmworkers’ clinic, now Family Health Centers. Nov. – Reagan beats Mondale in another landslide victory for president. 1985 Jan. 1 – Dr. Charles Benson retires after 45 years of practicing optometry. April 24 – Jennifer Gonzales named Omak Junior Miss for 1985. May 14 – John E. Maley, long-time businessman dies. May 20 – The Chronicle celebrates 75 years. May 31 – Sally Goldmark, wife of Sen. John Goldmark, dies. June 12 – Okanogan PUD celebrated 40 years. June 16 – Fire destroys The Riverview Hotel, a fixture at the foot of Okanogan’s Pine Street for years. July 1 – Family Medical Center, Omak’s largest group of general practitioners, becomes a part of Wenatchee Valley Clinic. July 24 – Illegally planted bass found in Chopaka Lake. Aug. 7 – Charles Coupe Kerr, long-time North Central Washington newspaperman, dies. Aug. 14 – Gabe Marcellay on Sir Charge takes the Suicide Race title. Aug. 21 – Mathew J. “Bughouse” Dick, accomplished bronc rider, Suicide Racer and stickgame champion, dies at age 76. Sept. 4 – A firestorm blackened 30,000 acres in Okanogan County. Sept. 11 – Inky The Chronicle cat joins the staff. Sept. 21 – Sarah Beeman chosen Omak Stampede 1986. Oct. 14 – Ross McNett, 30-year president of BilesColeman, dies at age 89. He relished being on a first name basis in town. Nov. 19 – The first meeting in six years between the U.S. and Soviet Union occurs in Geneva, Switzerland, with Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. Nov. 27 – A blaze destroys the Damskov Auto Sales building. Dec. 15 – Fire levels Brewster’s Magi Fruit Warehouse. 1986 Jan. 2 – The first baby of 1986 is Jered Elijah Smyre. Jan. 20 – The first Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed as a federal holiday. Jan. 28 – The Challenger space shuttle explodes after lift-off, killing six astronauts and one teacher aboard. Feb. 10 – Joe Kelsey, 75, Tonasket, long-time Omak Stampede stock contractor dies. May 21 – Fire levels the new S&J Lumber Company south of Tonasket. Aug. 13 – Larry Chaney aboard Moose wins the Suicide Race title. Aug. 20 – John Andrist celebrates 25 years with The Chronicle. Oct. 11 – Tracy Smith crowned Omak Stampede Queen 1987. Nov. 3 – The first report of Iran-Contra affair rises, showing money from arms sales distributed to Iran were diverted to fund Nicaraguan contra rebels. Nov. 12 – The entire collection of Ladd’s Studio negatives, starting from 1949, given to the Okanogan County Historical Society.

Continued 78 (Continuedon onpage Page 4)


TIMELINE 1986 continued Dec. 24 – A lighted cross placed atop Shellrock Point. Dec. 24 – Omak’s Don McCormack starts instructing the art of catching with the Philadelphia Phillies. 1987 Jan. 7 – Jody Wooten crowned Miss Rodeo Washington. March 4 – Omak High School girls basketball heads to state. May 6 – Fire destroys Maley’s store in Omak. June 3 – Okanogan boys high school tennis team wins the state title. June 3 – John Maple, Tonasket, wins the state title in the 400-meter dash. Aug. 12 – Near the end of the Iran-Contra hearings, Reagan admits that policies went astray, but denies knowledge that funds were being diverted to rebels. Oct. 3 – Dawn Sullivant named Miss Omak Stampede 1988. Oct. 7 – A 7,000-acre fire charred the Malott hills. Oct. 19 – Black Monday crash sees a 22.6 percent drop in the New York Stock Exchange. Nov. 4 – Victor Lesamiz Sr., a pioneer Okanogan Valley cattle and sheep rancher, dies at 96. Dec. 8 – The U.S. and Soviet Union sign the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty to dismantle 1,752 U.S. and 859 Soviet Union missiles with a 3003,400 mile range. 1988 Jan. 6 – A fatal crash, tavern fire and vehicular assault mar the New Year weekend. Jan. 11 – World War II fighter pilot ace and county native Gregory “Pappy” Boyington dies in Fresno, Calif. Jan. 13 – Tribe announces $3 million plan to buy 20 more houseboats on Lake Roosevelt. Feb. 3 – Omak Stampede Queen Sarah Beeman named Miss Rodeo Washington. Feb. 3 – Modulars to replace the burned down North Elementary School trucked in, despite one getting in an accident. Feb. 10 – Omak Free Methodist Church burned; officials suspect same arsonists that burned North Elementary. Feb. 17 – Arsonist finishes the job at Omak Free Methodist Church, then also burns down Omak Presbyterian Church. March 2 – Adrian Julius Howe arrested, accused of triple arson for North school and two churches. He pleads innocent, but later admits his guilt. (See Story Page 1) May 4 – 1.4 million illegal aliens meet amnesty application deadline; about 71 percent estimated to be from Mexico. May 11 – Richard Johnson becomes Okanogan’s school superintendent, a job he still has. May 18 – Omak School District reveals plans for a new North, middle school multi-purpose room and auditorium, estimated at $8.7 million. June 1 – The Okanogan County Fair includes a rodeo for the first time. June 8 – Biggest cocaine bust nets 4 pounds and five arrests. June 22 – Twisp’s Confluence Gallery opens, originally housed with Twisp Pastries and Savories. June 29 – Okanogan disbands its police force, contracting with county for services. July 13 – Stores open at the new Omache Shopping Center, including SprouseReitz, Pay Less Drug and Safeway. Burger King announces plans to move in. Aug. 17 – Written petitions protest showing “The Last Temptation of Christ” film at local theaters, threatening a one-year boycott if the film shows.

Continued 79 (Continuedon onpage Page 5)


Two dozen jailed after protest in Okanogan July 13, 1988 A premeditated assault July 5 on Okanogan National Forest headquarters left 24 members of the Earth First! environmental movement bruised, skinned and behind bars. “It doesn’t get any bigger than this,” said one smiling Earth First! activist standing among 75100 protestors. It was the largest assembly ever by the group, the protestors said. The protestors drummed and chanted outside workers’ windows, threw cow dung in front of doors and off the roof, and wrote slogans and placed stickers on the building, windows and sidewalks. Other protestors raised an Earth First! banner with the U.S. flag, strong timber boundary marker tape around the building and stuffed manure in air conditioners, which were later turned off. The actions, said several protestors, were reflective of how they, along with wilderness and wildlife, were being treated in the forest by Forest Service policies. Prior to the Okanogan assault, an Earth First! camp-out brought about 500 sympathetic followers to the Colville National Forest north of Republic. A result of that meeting was the arrival of several carloads of Earth First! protestors around 1 p.m. at the forest service building in Okanogan. “It’s a tradition to take action after a meeting,” said George Draffan, who calls himself an Earth First! activist. He said the Okanogan office was targeted for protest because it was the only one in the state the group hadn’t picketed.

Earth First!

Protestors block police as they attempt to arrest and remove two demonstrators. – Chronicle photo

Doors are locked Protestors were met with locked doors since forest service personnel had been forewarned of the gathering by a reporter. Okanogan County Sheriff Jim Weed and several deputies greeted the protestors as well. “Some employees were frightened at first, not knowing

what to expect,” said Mike Johnson, forest service planning officer. “Some were concerned about the manure and littering. Others were amused.” “It’s certainly their right to express their feelings about management of the forest, and I guess this is their way to make a point,” Johnson said.

Johnson said his main concern was the safety of employees and demonstrators, and protection of government property. To that end, Johnson said he brought in two federal agents, Bill McConnell from Colville and Ben Hull from Wenatchee for “security and advice. “It takes only one person to incite something much worse,” said McConnell. Two are arrested It was the alleged destruction of property – writing slogans on private property – that brought the arrest of a woman about a half-hour into the demonstration. A man was also arrested and accused of obstructing a police officer during the woman’s arrest. When deputies attempted to transport the two, other protestors surrounded the vehicle. Chanting “Let them go,” the protestors sat in the vehicle’s path, effectively blocking it and any other traffic from leaving the parking lot. Weed explained to the protestors that he wanted only to take the two to the sheriff’s office, write them tickets and release them. Someone suggested Weed release the two if the woman’s slogans, which they said were written in watercolor paint, would wash off. Another protester yelled, “No compromise. Let’s chain ourselves to the car. No deals.” “It doesn’t do any good to speak, they’ve already decided what they want,” said Weed, who moments later stalked into the forest service building. There he made a few telephone calls and lined up more than two

dozen officers to help with the siege, including State Patrol troopers, and officers from Omak, Brewster, Pateros and Twisp. Tension between officers and protesters began to mount around 3:30 p.m. when some forest service employees attempted to leave. They were taunted and finally blocked by the protesters. Shortly after 4 p.m., after a cloudburst had dampened protesters and deputies alike, Weed told the protesters they had five minutes to decide if they wanted to let vehicles and employees leave. Otherwise they would be arrested for obstructing an officer and failing to disperse from the forest service area. The demonstrators formed a circle and discussed their options. The group was still meeting when officers began arresting those not leaving. They drug limp protestors across the asphalt to a dozen waiting patrol cars. The remaining protestors on the roof were removed around 5 p.m. by the Omak Fire Department’s hook and ladder truck. “The purpose of the arrest was not to harass these people,” said Weed afterward. “The arrests were to free up forest service people to go home and our people to take their prisoners to jail. “Taking forest service people hostage in their own compound, that was more than I wanted to put up with,” said Weed. Weed didn’t need the 120 jail beds he’d lined up earlier. Two dozen protestors were arrested and charged. A 25th protestor was arrested but released when no charge was filed. Note: Protestors were released two days later.

Designer apples may mean smiles for the Okanogan May 29, 1985 Remember the snickers when “designer jeans” were introduced? But the designers got the last laugh, not to mention plenty of profit. That may be why nobody’s laughing over “Designer Apples,” a new, patented product aimed at sweeping the gift and gourmet food market. The apples could also bring broad smiles to the Okanogan Valley, where they were developed in a top-secret project

Red delicious designer Apples are a new product from the Okanogan that could bring multi-million dollar annual revenues. Designer Apples are the initial product of Apple Attractions, Inc., an Omak company founded by former Omak High School Agriculture teacher David Guthrie, 34. Guthrie developed a process of putting greetings and pictures on apples — anything from Santa Claus to “I Love You” — without

chemicals or artificial coloring. He’s already got buyers, such as Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and the Frederick and Nelson Department Store chain, even though the apples will probably retail for $4.95 apiece, he says. Guthrie says he expects to sell one million Designer Apples this year, which means $2.3 million in revenue and dozes of new jobs in the Okanogan. “Our concept is to make this valley the home of the Designer Apples,” Guthrie said in an interview May 27. “Designer Apples are gift fruit with the message and design capabilities of greeting cards, healthier for you than candy, and last much longer than flowers,” sys an Apple Attraction news release. The Japanese have been experimenting with “monogrammed” fruit since atleast 1955, Guthrie said. But their process is complex, costly, very labor intensive and not always with satisfactory results. Guthrie evolved his own approach, still somewhat labor intensive, but with more uniform results. Both concepts are based on the fact that light turns apples red. In Japan, as the fruit grows, bags with designs cut out of them are placed on each apple. Trees are stripped of half their leaves, aluminum foil is placed beneath them to intensify the sunlight, and the farmer hopes the light falls correctly to create the design. Guthrie also uses a bag — one that he devised and patented — but he covers his apples

completely. He thins his trees to one apple per spur, and at harvest time ends up with a large creamcolored apple. Then the label is applied to the apple. It is bathed in light for specific frequencies and degrees to turn the unlabeled portion red.

Cowboy bites the dust

The apples also can be placed directly in controlled storage for later “labeling” or custom design work as orders are placed. Two years ago working very secretively in a hidden orchard, Guthrie developed his prototype apples. With last year’s crop, he

Omak saddle bronc rider Kelly Knapp gets a taste of terra firma as Kunaki rids itself of the unwated rider at

had a finished product ready to show potential investors. He raised $130,000 to finance the initial development. Those costs included hiring 11 patent attorneys to guarantee that his ideas and methods won’t be grabbed by somebody else.

Tonasket Rodeo May 17, 1981 – Chronicle photo

Colvilles accept $4.6 million settlement from feds Oct. 30, 1980 NESPELEM — Members of the Colville Confederated Tribes have agreed to accept $4.6 million from the U.S. government, ending longstanding claims over fishery and mineral losses and mismanagement of earlier claim awards. In a general meeting Oct. 25, tribal members voted 1001-23 to accept $3,397,874 compensating for the loss of up-stream fishing with the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam and for mineral losses due to non-Indian mining on the reservation. The vote was 129-2 to accept $1,213,027.79 in money lost when the government failed to

invest earlier claim awards at the going rate of interest. The settlement would equal roughly $650 per tribal member after 10 percent lawyers fees are deducted and if the payments are distributed on a per capita basis, said Al Aubertin, tribal Business Council Chairman. A later hearing will be on how the settlements are to be distributed. The settlement was recommended by the Washington law firm of Weissbrodt and Weissbrodt, which has been representing the Colvilles in their claims against the federal government for 30 years. Abe Weissbrodt admitted to the tribal members that he is

“unhappy” with the fisheries award. But the tribes are on unsteady legal grounds for pursuing it further, he said. Not only could the tribes lose the fisheries award in litigation, but would face an “offset” claim from the U.S. government for $7,389,949.61, he said. The government, which contends it spent that amount “gratuitously” for the benefit of the Colvilles in protecting reservation forests, has agreed to drop that claims as part of the settlement, Weissbrodt said. Ernie Clark was the only Business Council member to speak against the claims settlement and acknowledged that he probably represented a

minority point of view. He said he felt the settlement would hurt future negotiations over the power claims and future efforts to seek legislation providing annual payments to the tribes for federal use of land and water on the reservation. “The benefits of the Columbia River are worth billions, not millions,” Clark argued. The fisheries claim appeared the weakest prospect for litigation, according to the attorney’s report. The Indians Claim Commission entered an interlocutory decision (which means not a final decision) awarding the tribes $3,257,083 for fisheries damage caused by

the dam. The commission awarded nothing for claims for damage due to excessive fishing downstream. A mineral award of $140,791 is related mainly to gold mined by the Chinese and others from banks and bars of the Columbia during a period dating back more than 100 years. Establishing that amount was difficult because of sparse records of the amount and value of minerals that were removed, the attorneys said. The third settlement, of $1,213,027.79, for mismanagement of tribal funds is “in the nature of a windfall for the tribes,” said Weissbrodt.

Hundreds say goodbye to slain tribal officer Sept. 3, 1986 About 275 uniformed officers were among some 600 persons who attended funeral services for Colville Tribal Police Sgt. Louis A. Millard at the Nespelem Community Center Sept. 2 Millard, 31, died Aug. 27 in the line of duty, shot in the neck at the home of Elmer McGinnis in Nespelem. McGinnis, 64, and his son, 37-year-old Patrick Hoffman of Keller, have been charged with first-degree murder of a federal officer. During his nearly 10 years with the tribal force, Millard was cited for achievements as a police officer. On Dec. 17, 1985, he was awarded a certificate of achievement for “outstanding service and duty in Indian law enforcement” because of his actions ending an armed confrontation in Omak the previous year. On Dec. 29, 1984, a 19-yearold man fired at police and sheriff’s deputies from his home in Omak. In the home with him was an infant child. After about a three-hour standoff, the man asked to talk with a tribal police officer. Millard volunteered and took the man into custody without further

incident. Attending Millard’s funeral were representatives from city police and county sheriff’s departments from throughout the area, the Washington State Patrol, Bureau of Indian Affairs special agents from Washington and Oregon, FBI agents from the Spokane regional office and Indian tribal officers from Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Also present were U.S. Attorney for Eastern Washington John Lamp and assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks. An honor guard from the Bellingham Police Department escorted the casket. Colville tribal officers serving as pall bearers were Chet Clark, Lynn Cox, Joe Nomee, Gary Carden, Kenneth Gorr, Melvin Finley and Chief of Police Harry Smiskin. Father Jake Morton of St. Mary’s Mission and the Rev. George Crook, a volunteer chaplain for the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Department, conducted graveside services at the Nespelem Catholic Cemetery. The American flag and a crucifix were presented to Millard’s 4-year-old son, Joshua. After the concluding services,

Two face murder charges in death of police officer

Sgt. Louis A. Millard people stood in line to throw a handful of dirt on the casket and pay final tribute. Mary Ann Timentwa Sampson sang hymns and said Catholic prayers in the Okanogan Indian language. Millard was born Sept. 30, 1954, in Omak and graduated from Omak High School June 1, 1973. He joined the tribal police force in November 1976. Millard, James Anderson and Emmett Shade were sworn into office by the late Lucy Covington, the first and only woman to chair the tribal Business Council. Millard was promoted to sergeant in 1980.

Sept. 3, 1986 NESPELEM — Two men have been charged with firstdegree murder in the wake of a Nespelem shoot-out that left a Colville Tribal Police Officer dead and two other injured. Dead is Sgt. Louis A. Millard, 31, Keller. The Omak native died at the scene of a gun battle the morning of Aug. 27. Injured were Assistant Chief John Dick and Officer Chester Clark. Dick was shot in the shoulder and spent several days at Coulee Community Hospital in Grand Coulee. He was released Aug. 29. Clark was hit in the thumb by a bullet but returned to work Aug. 27. Elmer McGinnis, 64, Nespelem, and his son, Patrick Hoffman, 37, Keller, were charged with first-degree murder of a federal officer Aug. 28 in federal district court in Spokane, said assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks. Hoffman made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Smithmoore P. Myers

Aug. 29, and was advised of the charges and his constitutional rights, Hicks said. He remained in custody pending a detention hearing Sept. 2. Spokane attorney Frank Bartolletta was appointed by the court to represent Hoffman. McGinnis remains in serious condition at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was charged but has not made an initial appearance because he is hospitalized, Hicks said. Another man, Gary Bray, is being held in the Okanogan County Jail and may face charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, Hicks said. Tribal Police Chief Harry Smiskin said it appears Bray, 46, was not involved in the shooting but apparently was in the area. Hicks said McGinnis and Hoffman were charged by complaint but must be formally indicted by a federal grand jury, which could make additional charges against the two. He declined to discuss further details of the case.

Omak honors vets with park Park named after surprised vet May 23, 1984 Buell Stephens was helping Omak player Ray Treiber unveil the sign at the new East Side Park Veterans Memorial May 19 when he saw a familiar name in letters several inches high: “Buell Stephens Veterans Park.” Stephens was too astonished to react until finally the mayor asked him: “Well, how do you like the sign?” “Fine,” Stephens beamed. “Just fine.” The surprise naming of the park was a highlight in the Saturday morning ceremony to dedicate the flagpole and memorial gardens. The small park within a park was designed to honor veterans who have sacrificed in the service of their country. Stephens, himself a veteran and one of the major instigators in developing the park, has devoted a large share of his life to helping other veterans. He volunteered for 15 years as the American Legion services officer for the area, helping veterans and their families through red tape to gain the benefits they had earned. He received a national American Legion citation for his efforts. Stephens, 70, was born in Doniphan, Mo., and served in the U.S. Army in World War II and saw combat as an infantry sergeant in France, Italy and Germany. After the war, he went to work in the oil fields. He was forced to quit that rugged work in 1963 after he learned he suffered from Buergers Disease. The disease, which is a circulatory problem, required the amputation of both his legs. He and wife Norma moved to

Veteran Buell Stephens Omak, where they began the Stephens Answering Service. They retired in 1981, turning the business over to their daughter and her husband, Barbara and Ronald Ham, who is retired from the Air Force. In addition to his veteran activities, Stephens served on the Omak City Council for one year in the early 1980s. One of his pet dreams was completion of the flagpole project that he had begun during the Bicentennial. The emphasis during the dedication ceremony, which drew 60 to 75 people, was on Vietnam veterans. The two main speakers both saw action in Vietnam. They included state Representative Steve Fuhrman and Mike Vouri of the state Office of Veterans Affairs. Omak City Attorney Mick Howe was master of ceremonies and military march music was provided by the Village Green Marching Society.

...Omak Wood Products is now employee-owned (Continued from (Continued fromPage Page75) 1) After that came fees to legal firms and the banking firms. “After all that, we even had some left over to begin operating the new company,” said Princehouse. “We issued our first checks the next day.” The purchase puts 60 percent of the stock into the ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) and 30 percent into high-yield bonds. Sir James Goldsmith, previous owner, retained 10 percent of the stock in the new company. The purchase of Omak Wood Products by its employees set several “firsts.” It is one of the

first-ever employee buy-outs of an operating, profitable company. It is one of the firstever all-debt financed buyouts. It is one of the largest financed buyouts of a union-led purchase since Weirton Steel was purchased by its employees four years ago. The purchase is also the largest challenge, and biggest thrill, Omak Wood Products employees have faced, Princehouse suggested. Asked about reactions around the plant after he’d returned from New York, Princehouse said, “Just a lot of smiles. Everyone is smiling.”

J.P. Judd hits the mud

J.P. Judd, Okanogan, finds hanging onto a rollicking calf a difficult feat during the Okanogan Days Junior

Rodeo June 5. Judd would eventually hit the mud and not score in the event. – Chronicle photo

Study explores Omak bridge July 31, 1980 A proposal on how to do an Omak Bridge replacement feasability study must be drawn out before the study can be funded, the state Legislative Transportation Committee has decided. Nine members of the joint House-Senate Committee traveled to Omak July 25 to examine the Central Avenue Bridge and to hold a public hearing on whether a study on the structure should be done. After hearing testimony, Rep. John Martinis, chairman of the committee, said the Department of Transportation should put together a proposal on widening or reconstructing the bridge at its present location. “That’s probably the feasible project,” he said. The legislators agreed that there is a problem with the 56year-old bridge but noted that dropping gasoline sales have decreased DOT funds and, in turn money available for feasibility studies and new construction. Dave Swanson of the DOT said in 1979 dollars widening the

bridge would cost in “in excess of $1 million.” He added that the cost of widening the present bridge would be about as much as a new bridge on the same site. The committee came to Omak in response to a fundseeking trek to Olympia made last February by a group of Omak citizens. They contend that the bridge is unsafe because of its angled approach and narrow lanes. Before the hearing, at Omak’s City Hall, committee members toured the bridge. A mock traffic jam between an Omak school bus and a Crown Zellerbach logging truck was staged to give committee members an idea of why local people are concerned about the structure. The truck’s wheels scraped the south sidewalk while about a foot separated the two vehicles. Much of the hearing testimony centered on the narrowness and angled approach. “The bridge was built in the days of the Model T, before semi-trucks,” Omak Mayor Clarence Nash told the

legislators. Because Crown Zellerbach and the East Elementary School are across the river, many logging trucks and school buses must cross the bridge each day, the committee was told. Stampede President Dick Wilkie said logging trucks make about 60 trips a day across the bridge. Many of Omak’s retail commodities are trucked out of Spokane and mush cross the bridge, he added. Emmit Aston, Omak, retired Biles-Coleman logger, echoed Wilkie’s concern for logging trucks. “I watched the bridge being built. It is a concern of the management of Crown Z and was a concern for BilesColeman. “Our policy at Biles-Coleman was to warn drivers many, many times” about the bridge. Aston said he feels most logging in the next 10 years will be done on the west side of the river. “In the next 15-20 years there will be twice as many logging trucks. Every day we wait to correct the problem, the greater the hazards will be.”

Female judge makes local history April 10, 1985 King County Superior Court Judge Mary Wicks Brucker made a little bit of courtroom history last week by being the first woman judge to preside in Okanogan County Superior Court. She made a little bit more history by being the first offspring of an Okanogan County Superior Court judge to sit on that bench.

Brucker’s father, the late Joe Wicks, was judge from 1947 until 1961. Finally, to keep it all in the family, Brucker was taking the place of her brother-in-law, Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Jim Thomas, who was presiding in King County. Even though she is a veteran on the bench, Judge Brucker

found it all a little nerve wracking. “These lawyers have known me since I was a child,” she said. “It’s intimidating to be in a position of having to make decisions with people who have known you since back when.” She credits her parents with giving her the self confidence to attain a judgeship – to this day a rarity for a woman.

TIMELINE 1988 continued Aug. 17 – Joeanna Trevino named Stampede Indian Encampment princess. Oct. 19 – Ground broken for $11.2 million Omak School District projects. Oct. 19 – Alicia Gann named Miss Omak Stampede. Nov. 8 – Reagan’s vicepresident, George Herbert Walker Bush, wins the presidential election. Nov. 16 – 12-year-old girl survives the shooting that kills her mother and step-father and burned her house to the ground. 1989 Jan. 4 – Employees take over ownership of Omak Wood Products. (See Story Page 1) Jan. 4 – Omak PAC fund exceeds $100,000 goal. Feb. 1 – Colville Indian Precision Pine gets $4 million efficiency upgrade. March 24 – The Exxon Valdez crashes in Prince William Sound off the coast of Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of oil, which spread over 45 miles. It was the largest spill in the U.S. up to that time. April 5 – Fire guts the Omak Free Methodist Church six weeks before its construction is complete. Fire is blamed on an oily rag. April 5 – Theresa Visser named Omak Junior Miss. April 19 – Ground breaking held for new Omak Presbyterian Church. May 17 – An earthquake 10 miles below Malott registers 4.4; shake felt as far away as Ephrata and Mazama. Sept. 20 – Local World War II hero Buell Stephens dies. Aug. 10 – Army General Colin Powell becomes the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first black man to earn the position. Nov. 9 – After 38 years, the Berlin Wall begins to crumble as traffic is allowed across. One day later, crowds dismantle the wall almost completely. Nov. 29 – $11.2 million Omak School District facilities are dedicated – North Elementary, expansion of East Elementary, Middle School multi-purpose room and Performing Arts Center. Nov. 29 – Melissa Ames, 17, Okanogan, crowned Miss Professional Washington Rodeo Association. Nov. 29 – Chronicle Print Shop sells to Earl and Dianne Gray and becomes Earl Gray Printing. Dec. 10 – Debut concert at PAC fills the house. Dec. 13 – Free Methodist Church dedicates its new building, the same as stands today. 1990 Jan. 3 – The Chronicle opens in its new (and current) location. Jan. 3 – Inchelium School Principal Neal Kirby is named 7th District Representative after Rep. Tom Bristow resigns. Jan. 10 – Clara and Delmar Howe share their experiences about their three and a half weeks in San Francisco, helping with the earthquake relief. Feb. 7 – Central Committee of Soviet Community Party gives up its monopoly of power, signaling the end of the Cold War is near. March 7 – Colville Tribe takes its first steps toward getting casino-type gambling in the area. March 7 – Ross McCormack, best known for his local involvement in baseball, dies. April 18 – Suicide Racer Jim Marchand killed in Wellpinit horse race when mount throws him and another horse tramples him. April 24 – The Hubble space telescope is launched, becoming operational one month later. May 2 – Omak Presbyterian Church dedicates its new building, the same as today.


Has Big Jim’s era ended? Depth is the key element to Aug. 20, 1981 Big Jim, one of the winningest horses in Suicide Race history, was among the missing at this year’s race – for the second year. Whether the 21-year-old powerhouse ever appears in the daredevil event again depends on his owner, who remains disgruntled by race registration procedures. Owner Leo Bruce missed registering his horse last year because of confusion over the rules. Still miffed about last year’s snafu, he said in a telephone interview from his home near Colville last week, “I would have raced Big Jim if there had been a guarantee they’d let my horse run.” Bruce claims there was a conspiracy among horse owners last year to keep him from knowing about the registration deadline so Big Jim would be out of the race. Big Jim, who is more than 17 hands high, began his Suicide Race career in 1966 and according to Chronicle records, has claimed 20 victories. That’s second best only to Brownie, the legendary hose raced for years by Alex Dick. Mike Perry rode Big Jim in 1966, winning both races (only two were run then), with Brownie coming in second. Owner Mel Bay rode Big Jim to a third consecutive victory on

Saturday night, 1967, but didn’t race him for the second heat, on Sunday. Later Kenny Smith, Riverside, bought Big Jim for a reported $1,000 and with Mervel Allen up, the horse won five straight races, sweeping the two runs in 1968 and all three in 1969 — the first year the Stampede moved to a three day rodeo. Don Wood bought the horse next, getting a pair of second place finishes in 1970, three wins in 1971 and two more each in 1972 and 1973. Bruce bought him and swept all three 1974 races. Injuries held Big Jim out of the 1975 race, and he returned in 1976 for two second place finishes. Gary Waters rode the big horse to a victory in 1978 and Kerry Carden, this year’s cleansweep champion jockey, was the last to guide Big Jim to the victory line with one win in 1979. What may have been Big Jim’s final win was the first for Carden, just 15 years old then. By now, says Bruce, the horse is getting pretty old for the strenuous race. “I may just bring him down for one race next year because people like to see him,” the owner said.

boost Omak to state top

BIG JIM After Bruce’s ardent vows last year that Jim would be back in 1981, a lot of people were expecting to see him this year. Bruce claims he was not notified about the registration process and deadline last year. When he arrived with the horse, registration was closed. Stampede officials deny Bruce’s allegation that there’s a conspiracy against Big Jim. Stampede President Dick Wilkie last year said race officials would have let the horse run if other owners had agreed. When Big Jim is retired — if he has not already been — he will continue to be used as a saddle horse and for trail rides, Bruce said.

June 1, 1985 EAST WENATCHEE — Depth proved to be the key element that allowed the Pioneer girls’ track team to nail down its first State Class A championship May 27-28 at Eastmont High School. And, while Omak was sewing up the top spot, the Tonasket girls’ team captured the second place trophy, proving that the caliber of competition in the Caribou Trail League is among the toughest in the state. “It was a total team championship,” said Omak Coach Gary Smith. “Without a doubt this is the strongest team we’ve had in the six years I’ve been coaching.” The girls’ team has made a steady climb to the top, placing sixth in 1980, fourth in 1981 and second last year. While other teams were wilting under temperatures in the high 90s at the two-day meet, Smith said the Pioneers were compiling 12 “key points” from the efforts of Posey Edwards, Patty Finley and Wendy Ayers. Edwards placed third in the discus (111-11), Finley took fourth in the 800-meter dash (2:21.4), while Ayers placed fifth in the 400 (1:00.7). Many athletes, after running in the blistering heat, doused themselves with cool water or

1985 Omak girls track champions

1985’s Omak girls track champions: Back row Mary Lamb, Patty Finley, Cookie Hansen, Tina Mussleman, Deanna George, Coach Gary Smith; Front row Wendy Ayers, Posey Edwards, Cami Smith, Kim Brown.

buried their heads under wet towels. The heat did take its toll on Cami Smith and Mary Lamb, both important point producers in past meets. Smith failed to qualify for the finals in the 400meter dash the first day and Lamb, who was bothered by bruised heels and a strained thigh from the long jump competition, didn’t place in the high jump. Last year, Smith placed fourth in the 400 and Lamb won the

high jump. After the first day of competition, the coach had predicted that the team would need a third or fourth place finish by Lamb in the high jump to win the state title. He also said Carroll would be the team to beat. He added that his team’s firstday performances in the relays were “beyond my expectations.” That proved to be a very timely insight to the Pioneers’ formula for the championship.

He was a fast boy with a stiff left Car buffs tackle Bonneville Flat March 17, 1982 CONCONULLY — “Someday, and I won’t live to see it, this place is gonna pop up again. There are a lot of mines around here, and they’re good mines.” That’s Bob Gibson, Conconully native and soon to be named the town’s honorary marshal, predicting a booming future. He can stand on the front porch of his small home in Conconully and point where a big office building and spacious home once stood. He figures the town will fight its way back to prominence. But then, Gibson’s always been one to relish a good fight. He will be honored at the Conconully Chamber of Commerce banquet Saturday night, but it won’t be his first round as a local celebrity. He was famous at tough Bobby Gibson, eastern Washington bantamweight champion of the 1930s. He started fighting in 1928 at age 20, a bit too old, he says now. You couldn’t really make a career of fighting then. There wasn’t much money in it, not to mention that it wasn’t legal. “But I got some money from the beginning, or I wouldn’t have kept at it,” he grins. His first fight paid $5 and was scheduled because he made the mistake of dating a fighter’s girlfriend. “Her boyfriend threatened to beat me up, so I said, ‘Set the time and place and we’ll see what we can do.”’ “As luck would have it,” says Gibson, “I won. He was not a real good fighter, and neither was I.” Nevertheless, Gibson kept winning. When he retired from the ring in 1935 (by which time professional fighting had been legalized), he had tallied 53 wins, three losses and three draws. The

sports writers loved him calling him “one of the best and fastest” with a “willingness to fight” and “cleverness.” He was headlined as a “fast boy with a stiff left.” One writer complained that the main go of one smoker was a disappointment because Gibson “completely outclassed” his opponent, Young Riley, “ending the fight in the second round with a right uppercut that started from the floor and ended just on the point of Riley’s chin.” The writers eventually got their wish when Gibson mixed it up with a scrapper from Spokane. The two were described as “like a couple of buzz saws with sledge hammer attachments,” His eye swollen shut from an early punch, Gibson took out his opponent in the fifth round. Predicted one sports writer: “Gibson in each appearance is showing a form that is bound to make him one of the most feared bantams on the Pacific Coast. This writer has witnessed California’s best boys in this division, and there is no one who can punch with this little midget in the ring.” Gibson started out as a bantam at 118 pounds and moved his way up to featherweight at 125. He “barnstormed” around the state and into California and Idaho. But “Omak was the best fight town in the state,” he says. “You could make more money fighting in Omak than any place in the state.” He was never able to stray for long from the place where he was born. Gibson’s father came from North Carolina to homestead on Silver Hill in 1901. The elder Gibson turned from homesteading to driving freight and working for the Okanogan Irrigation District. Bob Gibson

Fighter BOBBY GIBSON was born Nov. 11, 1908, next to the youngest in a family of six boys and one girl. When Gibson gave up fighting, he worked for the Forest Service for several years as a packer. Meantime he met the daughter of another Okanogan County pioneer family, Victoria DeVon, who was Conconully’s school principal. They married in 1939 and established the general store in Conconully that they would operate for 30 years and raised three children. The family still has the Sun Tan Trailer Court in Conconully, but Gibson, always an outdoorsman, admits to enjoying retirement from the store. “I got tired of it, cooped up day after day,” he says. At 73, he’s still as lightweight and wiry as the local sports hero of the 30s. Yes, he’ll admit he was a hero, but adds, “I don’t know why I was entitled, but that was the way it was.”

Oct. 8, 1981 BREWSTER — In the 33year history of Bonneville Speed Week, racing’s foremost competition for the straight-line land speed records, it appears no Washingtonian has ever taken a streamliner to the Utah event. Until this year. Two Brewster men, Richard Thomason and Ed Tradup in a cigar-shaped streamliner named “Maverick,” competed for one week, Sept. 20-27. “There never has been a streamline car from Washington, as far as we can tell,” said Thomason. He and Tradup were after the current world record for their car class — 229.01 mph — set by Californian Jim Lattin in 1980. Speed Week rules insist that a car be driven faster that the existing record to qualify for a try at breaking the record. Then the car must be driven two ways through timing traps and the average time becomes the official effort toward making a new world speed record. The centerpiece of their competition came on the fourth day of Speed Week, when Tradup took Maverick through one mile-long timing trap at an average of 207 mph and another at 227.7 mph. That was just three mph short of qualifying for a try at the world speed record. At the time, Tradup was trying for his 200 mph or “Class A” license. “I encountered a steering problem. I was steering with my left hand at one o’clock and my right at seven o’clock” on the butterfly-style steering wheel, said Tradup. “It didn’t feel right

Car made to break record

Ed Tradup (left) and Richard Thomason show off their creation, Maverick, built to break the world’s record of 229.01 mph. – Chronicle photo

with my hands crossed up so I shut it down.” “I thought we had the next day,” to try for the record, said Tradup. “If we had the last day, oh, I’m sure we could have made the record. Even so, “It was a nice ride,” he said. “It was like pitching a nohitter and still losing,” said Thomason. And there’s no money involved for those who manage to set a record. “We do it for the glory of God,” said Thomason. This is the duo’s first venture into designing and racing a car for a land speed record. Both men do, however, have

racing backgrounds. Thomason has raced motorcycles the past five years, while Tradup has 15 years of drag racing behind him. “We talked about it (land speed racing) for about three years,” said Thomason. During that time the men made several visits to the salt flats to observe. About this time last year Tradup picked up a Popular Science magazine and got the idea for Maverick’s body. “Lo and behold, there was a bicycle in there that two men had human powered to over 60 mph,” said Tradup. The men had used a special lightweight body to make their bicycle aerodynamically sound.

Eyeing a stuntman’s career, racer performs for TV crew July 31, 1980 If exposure is a key to success in show business, then Suicide Racer Casey Nissen should be a step ahead of the crowd when he pursues a career as a stuntman. Nissen, who has appeared on “Big Blue Marble” and a National Geographic special, was performing again for television recently. He took a run down the Suicide Hill July 15 before an amazed film crew from “The American Trail” show. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” exclaimed show host Don Jacks, as he stared after the daring rider from Nespelem hurdling down the dusty Suicide Hill incline. And that’s a mouthful from a guy who flies all over the country in search of interesting


personalities. But it was all in a day’s work for 21-year-old Nissen, a Suicide Racer since age 16, who says he likes “anything that has to do with a thrill.” Besides Suicide Racing, Nissen gets his thrills from doing motorcycle stunts and sky diving. In exchange for his filmed ride, Nissen was put in touch with the owner or a stuntman’s school in Phoenix, Ariz. The school was one of the many stops on “The American Trail.” The only thing that scares Nissen about the Suicide Race, he confessed to the crew, is falling off and being trampled by other horses. Nissen didn’t have to worry about that in his solo ride before the camera. The real peril that day lay at

the bottom of the treacherous hill in the deep water of the Okanogan River. Nissen on Maestrol, his uncle Fred Leskinen’s mount, splashed halfway across the river before the horse lost it’s footing. The horse floundered and both went under. They came up, sank and floated to the top again before horse and jockey parted ways. Both swam safely to opposite banks. Nissen’s story is on of the 260 the crew will record from May to September. The show, a 3 ½-minute filler for use between programs, will be expanding to the West coast in its third year this fall, says Jacks. It may grow to a half-hour program in a year.

Away we go!

Nissen leaps over the Suicide Hill for the cameras.

– Chronicle photo


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1990s A Decade of

Challenge Dealing with yet another war in the Persian Gulf and a nationally known missing child case, the Okanogan Valley went through many difficult changes in the 1990s.

After firefighters quelled this January blaze in Malott, icicles grew from the water dripping down the walls. Firefighters returned when the fire reignited.

Tonasket students break ground for the new elementary, middle and high school expansions in spring 1995.

Tornadoes during the summer of 1997 tore up trees, roofs and a couple outbuildings.


May 20, 1990 – May 19, 2000

Established in aa Ten Ten-Part Series EstablishedMay May20, 20,1910 1910 •- Ninth Ninth in Part Series

TIMELINE 1990 July 2 – County mourns the loss of David P. Smith, Brewster. He had been a high school basketball star, a member of state championship teams which won three years straight, and a professional rodeo calfroping champion. July 7 – Okanogan Bingo Casino opened. July 23 – Malott Post Office celebrates 100 years. July 28 – Kevin Crisp, Okanogan, is a celebrity batboy for the Seattle Mariners. Aug. 2 – Iraq invades Kuwait. Four days later, the United Nations begins a trade embargo against Iraq. Oct. 24 – Arsonist Adrian Howe’s appeal is denied. Nov. 19 – A United Nations resolution demands Iraq withdraw from Kuwait by Jan. 15 or face military intervention. Dec. 22 – After a lifetime battle with Cystic Fibrosis, Jennifer Harrison, 18, Omak, succumbed to the disease. 1991 Jan. 9 – Price Motors, Omak, celebrates 70 years in business. Jan. 17 – Operation Desert Storm commences. Feb. 27 – Gulf War ends one day after Iraq withdraws and sets oil fields on fire as troops leave. March 13 – Joe Berney, Okanogan, claims the Washington State King of the Hill Snowmobiling title. March 21 – Indian language teacher and tribal Elder William Charley dies. April 26 – Pierre “Pete” Joseph, WWII veteran and former prisoner of war, dies. June 16 – Bruce Wilson, 70, a respected historian, newspaper publisher and political statesman, dies. Aug. 21 – Jason Jackson, Nespelem, places second in bareback riding during the National High School Rodeo Finals. Sept. 18 – Precision Pine saw mill workers strike. Oct. 12 – JoAnn Bock, Riverside, is crowned Miss Omak Stampede 1992. Nov. 13 – Omak Boys cross country team wins second straight state title. Nov. 20 – Okanogan High School girls volleyball win the state class A crown. Nov. 27 – The United Nations establishes peacekeeping forces in Yugoslavia. Dec. 11 – Wade Leslie, son of a Chesaw cowboy, received a perfect score of 100 in the bull riding at Central Point, Ore. This record goes unbroken. Dec. 18 – Kathy Cockrum, Omak, receives a heart transplant. 1992 Jan. 8 – Redistricting for 12th and 7th Legislative Districts separates Omak and Okanogan, adding the southern portions to the 12th. Jan. 8 – David Lee Flippen, Brewster, is the first baby of 1992. Jan. 22 – New Okanogan elementary school named after Virginia Grainger, pioneer school teacher. Jan. 26 – Russian leader Boris Yeltsin announces the nation will stop targeting U.S. cities with nuclear weapons. March 4 – 200 gather to discuss a gold mine on Buckhorn Mountain, which Crown Resources hopes to open in 1994. May 5 – The 27th Amendment passes, 202 years after its initial proposal by James Madison, barring Congress from giving itself mid-term or retroactive raises.

(Continued on on Page Page 2) 84) (Continued

Hot air balloons float looking over the City of Omak in March 1990. This view looks north, with East Side Park on the far right. Balloons over Omak

– Chronicle photo

Girl still missing Sept. 28, 1994 A search expanded statewide last week for a 9-year-old Aeneas Valley girl reported missing Sept. 18. Penny Lynn Davis, described as being four feet, three inches tall and weighing 65 pounds, was last seen walking by a creek about 200 yards from her home Saturday evening, said Sheriff Jim Weed. The blonde, hazel-eyed girl was reported missing at 12:20 a.m. Sunday morning. She was last seen around 6 p.m., said Weed. Deputies, including a tracking dog, firefighters and ambulance members from Tonasket, friends and family combed the Patterson Creek drainage until Sunday afternoon. No trace of the girl was found in hills surrounding her home a mile up Aeneas Valley Road from Highway 20. The search switched to Tonasket after investigators learned Davis and another 11year-old girl both had once skipped school together, said

Weed. Davis was not located with the older girl, said Weed. A request for information on the missing girl was broadcast by KOMW radio on Sunday. Other media was notified Monday. All tips thus far have proved fruitless, said Weed. “We’ve checked all leads and found nothing but dead ends,” said Weed.

Girl’s remains identified as Penny Davis July 12, 1995 The waiting is over. Three months after seeking a DNA test, results came back last week confirming the remains of a young girl found in McLaughlin Canyon March 28 were those of Penny Lynn Davis, Aeneas Valley. Although the test positively identifies the remains, investigators continue working

on a cause of death and on identifying a suspect. A nationwide search, aided by several missing child organizations, came up empty. A break in the search came when a hiker found a jawbone in the canyon south of Tonasket. Searchers dug about a foot to unearth remains which roughly fit the description of Davis in height, age (from dental inspection) and hair color. But not until a DNA test was completed could investigators say positively that the decomposed remains were those of Davis. The test compared DNA taken from the remains with Dana Davis, the girl’s mother. Dana Davis was unavailable for comment. She was in Tacoma visiting relatives and arranging burial of her daughter, said her fiancé, who gave his name only as Tony. He was staying at the Davis residence, watching Dana Davis’ other three children. Penny Davis was a favorite of her grandfather, who lives in (Continued on Page 2)

Okanogan wins state 1A title Dec. 4, 1999 Okanogan High School brought home its first-ever state football championship, pounding out a 28-0 win over Kalama Dec. 4 in the Tacoma Dome. The victory avenged a 14-6 championship loss to Kalama a year earlier. “I never thought we’d shut them out,” said coach Denny Neely, whose team finished the season at 13-0. “This is great for the seniors. We’ve got the ball.” Okanogan came out fast, unlike its slow starts the past two weeks. “We stuffed them,” said lineman Tyler Neely. “We just wore them down.” Okanogan won the coin toss and as it’s done all year, gave the other team the option of offense or defense. And like every team this year, Kalama choose to receive. Kalama lost six yards on its

first two plays, then connected on a 21-yard pass to midfield. Perhaps getting greedy, Kalama tried another pass which was intercepted by Landon Martin at Okanogan’s 28. Okanogan then marched down the field to score, using 10 plays to cover 72 yards in a little over four minutes. Keys to the drive included a third-down catch by Dustin Heindselman for 12 yards, a 22yard pass to Bryan Attridge on third and nine, and an 11-yard gain by Will Derting to Kalama’s eight. After Derting bulled to Kalama’s five, Attridge took a pitch and scampered into the end zone. Eric Carlton booted the first of four straight extra points. Okanogan stuffed Kalama on its next series, with the Chinooks unable to convert on a third and one and then a fourth and one.

A bright spot for Okanogan on offense was a dandy 17-yard pass to Shawn Townsend (two catches, 22 yards). Okanogan quarterback and punter Jordan Horner kept Kalama boxed in near its goal line with accurate punts. At halftime, the statistics showed a close game. While the Bulldogs gained 103 yards on the ground and another 111 yards through the air, Kalama lost five yards on the ground and gained but 18 yards through the air. “I’d never believe we could’ve bottled up that option of theirs like that,” said coach Neely. “We like hitting. You hit with us, you’ll have fun.” Derting could believe it. “Defense is fun to do,” said Derting. “Everyone likes to fly to the ball. They were quick, but we were quicker.” (See onPage Page88) 6) (See picture picture on

Hoisting a tribute to graduates

Okanogan High School raises a U.S. flag with multiple yellow flags, marked with the names of all graduates fighting in the Gulf War. – Chronicle photo

Glued to TV, those left behind wait and worry Jan. 23, 1991 War is tough not only on those who do the actual fighting, but also on those left behind at home. Dozens of Okanogan County parents and spouses are learning this the hard way as they wait and worry about their loved ones in Saudi Arabia. On the whole, most seem to be holding up well, though their voices are strained and filled with emotion. And, for the most part, they support the United States’ action in the Persian Gulf war. Some admit only to supporting President Bush’s actions because to do otherwise would be a betrayal of their loved one. They spend as much time as possible before their television sets, mostly tuned to CNN, to learn the latest developments. And they spend a lot of time praying. “I consider myself a Christian. I have to say, ‘Lord, it’s in your hands.’ I’m just going to pray,” said Omak resident Louise Richter, whose son, Jeff, is in the Air Navy. She said her son believes in

what the United States is doing, so she supports U.S. actions. “It’s better than having Hussein come over here and do what he did in Kuwait,” she said. Sandee Saxe, Omak, took Jan. 17 – the day after the invasion – off from her job as a special education teacher at East Omak Elementary School. She wanted to spend the day praying. “I was hoping we wouldn’t go to war. I was hoping Saddam would pull out,” Saxe said. “I didn’t want it to happen, but now that it did, I support it.” Her son, Tory, is an operating room technician in Riyadh. She is one of the few parents who know where their sons are. Many parents have a general idea: Somewhere near the border with Kuwait, but they just don’t know for sure. Some haven’t heard from their sons or spouses in several weeks, which adds to the strain they are under. But phone calls are getting through, and the brief conversations are calming to those left behind. Two of Okanogan resident Edna Taylor’s sons, Michael and (ContinuedononPage Page84) 2) (Continued


Chronicle 1990s staff:

John E. Andrist, owner, publisher 1976-1996

Mary Koch, co-publisher 1979-1996

Judy Z. Smith, publisher 1996-2008 Eagle Newspapers, owner 1996Dee Camp News Editor ‘79-

Al Camp

...Young girl’s killer confesses (Continued from (Continued from Page Page83) 1) Toledo. She might be buried in Toledo or in Okanogna County, said Tony. When the remains were excavated, no direct cause of death was apparent, such as a bullet or stab wound, said Undersheriff Mike Murray. Several tests remain outstanding, said Murray, who said cause of death may never be released. He said the girl did not die of natural causes. Of the more than 100 people interviewed in the case, only one remains of interest to investigators, said Murray. That’s Jack Owen Spillman III, who once lived with the Davis family and apparently was in the area when Penny Davis disappeared. Spillman is in the Chelan County Jail accused of two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the April slayings of Rita Huffman, 48, and her daughter, Mandy, 15, in East Wenatchee. Dana Davis disputed Spillman as being a possible suspect, saying he was not prone to violence. “Jack is the kind of person who will walk away from an argument,” Davis said shortly after Spillman’s arrest. “That’s not the kind of person who would brutally kill somebody.”

Spillman admits to killing girl in Aeneas Valley May 1, 1996 Jack Owen Spillman III, 26, the prime suspect in the death of 9-year-old Aeneas Valley resident Penny Lynn Davis, pleaded guilty April 29 to three counts of first-degree murder – including that of Davis. Spillman was charged with

the April 13, 1995, deaths of East Wenatchee residents Rita Huffman, 48, and her daughter, Amanda Huffman, 15. Okanogan County law officials said he was a person of interest in the Sept. 17, 1994, disappearance of Davis, whose body was found by hikers March 28, 1995, in a shallow grave in McLaughlin Canyon, a few miles from her home. Her disappearance was the subject of a nationwide search that involved police agencies, volunteers, several missing children organizations and psychics. Okanogan County Sheriff Jim Weed said he and Prosecutor Rick Weber were informed by the Douglas County Prosecutor’s Office the morning of Monday, April 29, that Spillman had agreed to plead guilty to Davis’ death. He also agreed to plead guilty to aggravated first-degree murder for Rita Huffman’s death and first-degree murder in the death of her daughter. No charges had been filed against Spillman in Okanogan County because officials were awaiting the outcome of the Huffman case. That trial had not yet started. “We’d been working on this for a while,” said Weber. “We found out Monday morning that the defense had accepted our offer.” “What made it so freaky is that we’d held off charging until the Wenatchee cases were completed,” Weed said. “But he apparently wanted to get away from (the possibility of) the death penalty in Okanogan County so he agreed to plead.” Spillman’s admission to involvement in all three deaths was “wrapped up in one bargain,” Weed said. Meanwhile, Weed drove to the Aeneas Valley to inform Dana Davis, Penny’s mother, of

A Hero Remembered

PENNY LYNN DAVIS the developments. She waived her right to be present, even though she was offered transportation to and from Wenatchee. “She was pretty tearful,” he said. “She’d hoped it wasn’t true. She’d considered him to be a close friend.” Spillman had been a house guest at the Davis home off and on for several months in 1994 before heading to Wenatchee that summer to look for work, Dana Davis said in an interview last spring. He’d also assisted in the search after Penny Davis was reported missing. The day Davis disappeared, Spillman was at a “kegger” party in the general vicinity of the Davis residence, said Weber’s filing in Douglas on probably cause. Witnesses said Spillman left for about five hours. When he returned to the party his clothes were covered with mud and he appeared very upset about something, said the filing. Spillman received a life sentence without parole for Rita Huffman’s death, an additional 70 years for Mandy Huffman’s death and 46 ½ years for Davis.

Sports Editor ‘79-

Centennial staff: Publisher: Roger Harnack Section editor: Sheila Corson Managing editor: Dee Camp Advertising: Lynn Hoover Research/design: Julie Bock Elizabeth Widel Special Thanks to: Okanogan County Historical Society

TIMELINE 1992 continued May 27 – Kmart signs an agreement with Omache Shopping Center, plans a mid-1993 opening. June 3 – Walmart announces plans for a store and a spring 1993 opening. July 8 – The Red Cross honors Chad Sheets, 16, who saved a 5-year-old from drowning in a pool. Sept. 2 – New Virginia Grainger School opens. Oct. 14 – Elizabeth Widel named Omak Citizen of the Year. Nov. 3 – William Jefferson Clinton wins the presidential election. Nov. 18 – Dick Wilkie named to Stampede Hall of Fame. Nov. 18 – President Bush signs a bill to add the Chief Joseph gravesite, Nespelem, to the Nez Perce National Historic Park. Nov. 25 – Omak girls win state cross-country; Omak boys place second. Dec. 9 – Kmart announces it will not build a store in Omak.

(Continued Page3)85) (Continued on on Page


Equal opportunity ‘cafeteria’

Gertrude has a few adopted babies. Gertrude, the cow, owned by Tim and Rita Jensen, is nursing two calves and three

lambs. Only one calf is hers. Rita Jensen said she no longer has to milk the cow. – Chronicle photo

...Loved ones wait for Gulf War’s end (Continued from (Continued from Page Page83) 1) William, are in Saudi Arabi, and a third, Ron Potter, wants to go. Potter is involved in Army intelligence in Germany and may not be allowed to transfer – at least that’s what his mother says she hopes. She, like most mothers, is philosophical about the situation: “I wish I didn’t have my sons involved, but I guess every mother feels that way.” Her sentiments were echoed by Omak resident Bea Gregg, whose son, William Herber, is a tank gunner. “It is so hard if you have somebody there, but yes, I do, I do,” support the U.S. military action, she said. “But I don’t speak with a motherly heart. I say what my son would want me to say.” Traci Braarud, Omak, was one of the few people contacted who was outspoken in opposition to the Persian Gulf war. “I support my husband and I support every single troop there, but I don’t support our president,” she said. Her husband, Josh, is a

“I wish I didn’t have my sons involved, but I guess every mother feels that.” – Edna Taylor

combat engineer who has been in Saudi Arabia since August. “I just can’t support a war,” she said. “Sure the man has to be taken from power, but there are other ways to do it.” David Landers, Omak, served in Vietnam for four years. His son Richard is half Vietnamese. “Twenty years later I have to think about a kid I brought from a war zone who is now in a war zone,” he said. The elder Landers supports U.S. actions. “I really don’t think they had an alternative at this point,” he said. “I think it’s more than one person attacking a neighbor. It had the potential of one person attempting to take control of the world’s economy.” Virginia Thomason, Okanogan, admitted to “a few bad moments” the night of Jan. 16, when she heard Dhahran had been bombed by Iraq. Her son, Joseph, is based at Dhahran.

That turned out to be a training exercise, she said. Names of area soldiers in the conflict: • William J. Herber, Army 82nd Airborne. • Brett Neely, Army 21st Field Artillery. • Jeff Richter, Air Navy. • John Kelsch, Marines. • Rick Howell, Army. • Michael Wade Stover, 101st paratrooper. • Jesse Moore, Army 82nd Airborne. • David Corrigan, Army. • Richard Landers, Navy. • Donald Small, Army. • Leonard Henry II, Navy. • Tory Saxe, 50th General Hospital Unit. • Dan Clark, Navy. • William Ingram, Marines. • Paul Burbank, Navy. • Donnie St. John, Army. • Jason Capps, Marines. • William O. Taylor, Jr., Army. • Michael J. Taylor, Army. • Brian Somers, Army. • James Webster, Army. • Joshua Braarud, Army 82nd Airborne.

Officer Don Eddy speaks at slain Officer Mike Marshall’s funeral, March 30. – Chronicle photo

Omak Police officer killed March 25, 1998 Flags flew at half mast and black ribbons were tied to lamp posts, cars and home in the hours and days following the fatal shooting of Omak Police Officer Mike Marshall March 25. Marshall, 43, Okanogan, died in Seattle at 3:18 a.m. Thursday, March 26, about five hours after being shot. He and officer Don Eddy were trying to disarm a man suspected of attempting to break into a room at the Stampede Motel on Fourth Avenue in Omak. Officer Don Eddy, 36, Omak, was shot in the leg during the scuffle with Juan Duarte Gonzales, 41, Okanogan, said Okanogan County Sheriff Jim Weed. Eddy was treated at MidValley Hospital, Omak, and visited the police station Friday. Gonzales was wounded and remained hospitalized and under surveillance at Harborview Medical Center, Seattle. He is under guard but is not officially under arrest, said Weed.

Marshall remembered as family man March 25, 1998 “He was a hero to us a long time ago,” said cousin, James Miller. “He stayed in his hometown, he took care of his family, his values gave purpose and meaning to life – he loved life.” Full police honors marked his funeral Monday, March 30, in the Omak High School gymnasium. Interment followed at Okanogan Valley Memorial Gardens. “Mike was a hometown boy,” said Tommye Robbins, Omak Police Clerk. “We grew up together — went to school together.” He was born in Omak May 27, 1954. He graduated from Omak High School in 1972. He graduated from Spokane Community College in 1976 and married Rhea Reynolds May 7, 1977. Mr. Marshall lived in Omak with his wife, Rhea, son John Mac, 16, and daughter, Jessica, 14.

Full police funeral draws thousands April 1, 1998 A shocked and saddened community laid to rest Omak Police Officer Mike Marshall March 30 during a funeral and graveside service befitting a hero. Marshall died after being shot when he and Officer Don Eddy were called to remove an unwanted man from the Stampede Motel, Omak. “I could always count on Mike,” said Eddy, who spoke at Marshall’s memorial service. “I counted on him the night he followed me into that dark alley. He paid with his life. “Why I am on this earth I do not know,” said Eddy. “Why the bullet missed me and hit Mike….” Marshall was struck in the head by a single bullet. Eddy returned fire, hitting the suspect. Eddy was shot in the leg. Eddy managed to handcuff the suspect, who attempted to flee, then called for help and performed CPR on Marshall despite his own leg wound.

“He was my own older brother even though I have two natural sisters,” said Eddy. Eddy described his partner as a competent officer, a confidant, someone who could be counted on for help in time of need, someone who could diffuse a situation with a word or look, someone who “felt privileged to protect your streets. “I will honor his name to my dying breath,” Eddy told the estimated 2,500 to 2,800 people. Omak Police Sgt. Frank Rogers brought out the mischievous side of Marshall during his tribute. “He was a fishing fanatic,” said Rogers. “He wore his bass pro shop pin on his uniform for a while before having to take it off. “He made the weakest coffee you ever tasted,” recalled Rogers. Rogers then presented a white plastic pipe, with silver duct tape on one end. One end of the pipe, said Rogers, went into Marshall’s uniform shirt. The other was taped to the air-conditioning duct in his police vehicle. “He looked like an astronaut as he cruised around town,” said Rogers. Marshall was described by Rogers as a trooper, a “Silver Fox” — the name Marshall gave to his gray-haired self — someone who had beaten cancer several years earlier, a friend, partner and hero, said Rogers. Rogers, who has six sisters, said Marshall also had been like a brother to him. Gary Schreckengost described a seven-day, nonguided fishing trip to Alaska with Marshall. The trip included several humorous encounters with bears hungry for their latest catch, and mosquitoes hungry for their bodies. “He was my brother, an uncle to my kids,” said Schreckengost. “We loved him.” The Rev. Neil Jolin painted a picture of Marshall often hidden to the public, of a religious man, one devoted as much to his family as to the church. Jolin recalled Marshall being at a Bible study the night before he died. “He (Marshall) had the ultimate security of peace through his faith in Christ, said Jolin. At the end of the funeral, Marshall’s widow, Rhea, placed a single flower on her husband’s casket, starting the processional of family, close friends and area law enforcement officers to the stage for a hand-on-casket ending. A highly coordinated procession headed from the high school south on Ash and back north on Main, led by several motorcycles and followed by hundreds of police vehicles. Ladder trucks from Omak and Chelan Fire Departments created an arch into the cemetery with a U.S. flag at the apex. The Rev. Terrence Madden, chaplain for the Omak Police Department, led the ceremony. Flags were presented by the honor guard to each member of Marshall’s family. At the end, a hush came over several hundred who braved cold, damp weather to attend, as a broadcast was made. “404?” “404?” “404, out of service but not forgotten,” said a voice over the police frequency. When all were gone, Marshall’s son, John Mac, placed his hand on his father’s casket and said a silent prayer.


John E. Andrist

People Decade

Few people have their own commemorative mugs. Serving as publisher of the Omak Chronicle for 20 years, John E. Andrist left an indelible mark on the community. When a debilitating stroke hit him Dec. 2, 1993, he spent several months in the hospital recovering. Shortly after returning home, on June 18, 1994, the community held the John E. Andrist Appreciation Day, replete with the aforementioned commemorative mugs, T-shirts, parade, silent auction, plane flyover, dinner fundraiser and more. The community raised money for the JEA Equipment Fund towards medical equipment costs. Councilwoman Donna Short said if $500 was raised, she’d ride a horse in the parade, dressed like Lady Godiva. More than $600 came in (see below). Because of his service as former president and trustee of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, Andrist received a $25,400 check from the group towards the purchase of a handicapped-accessible van. Andrist and wife, Mary Koch, also enjoyed the revival of the Village Green Marching Society, which they had both been a part of. Omak and Okanogan both declared the day “JEA Appreciation Day.” Andrist died Sept. 25, 2007, after years of updates in The Chronicle from Koch, who wrote a weekly column, “Surviving the Stroke.”

of the

“Cactus” Jack Miller

Best known for his involvement with the Omak Stampede, “Cactus” Jack Miller gained great renown during his service. He was on the Omak Stampede board for 21 years, 10 of those serving as the president. His presidency ran through the thick of the animal rights activism against the annual rodeo event. Miller had his own rodeo history, starting as a bareback and saddle bronc rider until taking up wild horse racing. He earned many belt buckles for his trips to the dust. His nickname came during his time as a radio personality, where he also spent time as the station manager. Later, he opened his own Farmer’s Insurance office in Omak. He also kept up in high school sports, serving as referee for hundreds of games in Okanogan County. A veteran, Miller served in the U.S. Army during Vietnam from 1969-1970. A 1996 quadruple bypass slowed him down for a while. In those later years, Miller took up traveling, visiting several European countries as well as other parts of the U.S. Miller died of a heart attack Nov. 19, 2002.

Donna Short

A well-known, long-time community activist, Donna Short, 84, broke records for the longest time serving on Omak City Council, and turned some heads in the process. (For instance, at right is Short dressed as Lady Godiva, riding a horse in the JEA Appreciation Day - she hadn’t ridden in 45 years.) She started on the City Council in 1965 and put in 40 years (taking a few years off in the middle) until finally stepping down in 2010. She was the longest-serving councilmember anyone knows of, and might have set a state record, although that was never confirmed. She also served on the Omak Stampede board for 20 years, and is now an honorary member and a recipient of the Stampede Hall of Fame statuette (at right). Short still keeps busy in community groups and clubs, hoping to see the next generation rise up and serve.

Kin of Frank Matsura make pilgrimage from Japan July 15, 1992 When photographer Frank Matsura was buried in the Okanogan Cemetery in 1913, the community turned out for the largest funeral in its history. But not until this week – nearly 80 years later – were members of Matsura’s own family able to come from Japan to lay flowers at his tombstone. “My heart is so full, I don’t have words,” said 80-year-old Fuku Okami of Tokyo. She was one of four Matsura relatives who made the pilgrimage July 13 to the Okanogan Valley. In a quiet visit to the cemetery, the family was joined by former Okanogan resident Addie Mitchell McMillan, who for many years had tended Matsura’s grave. At a reception at the Okanogan museum, the family gave the Okanogan County Historical Society a $500 donation to be used for preserving and maintaining its collection of Matsura photographs. A talented artist beloved by the community, Matsura died from tuberculosis at about age 39. His photographs of Okanogan County in the early 1900s went largely unnoticed for decades. In 1981, author JoAnn Roe

wrote about the mystery of his life. A sampling of his photos was published in her book, “Frank Matsura, Frontier Photographer.” The book, later reprinted in Japanese, was greeted with excitement in Japan. A television report ultimately brought Roe in contact with the long-lost relatives of the bachelor photographer. As the relatives learned about Matsura and his legacy, Okami was especially moved to learn of McMillan’s faithful care of Matsura’s grave. McMillan was only 3 when Matsura died, but he was a good friend of her family’s. She heard stories of the photographer throughout her childhood, and, since his gravesite was near that of her parents’, she continued to honor him. Okami, an English teacher, wrote to thank this unknown friend of a relative she had never met. The two, now both in their 80s, struck up a close friendship through the mails. McMillan lives in Wenatchee now and is no longer able to decorate the grave. But she and husband Fred returned to Okanogan Monday to meet her friend, finally, face to face. There were hugs and tears of joy. “This is a dream come true,” said Okami.

Long Time Coming

Fuku Okami bows in front of Frank Matsura’s gravestone while long-time grave caretaker Addie Mitchell McMillan

Of the family delegation, the two closest relatives to Matsura were Okami and Iwao Semba, cousins living in Tokyo. They are descended from Matsura’s brother. For Semba, the visit was an opportunity not only to honor an ancestor but to examine the life’s work of a fellow professional. Semba is a highly-regarded professional photographer in Tokyo.

(standing left) and Matsura relative Iwao Semba look on. – Chronicle photo

He was impressed by the photos in the museum collection and, like many other photographers who have reviewed Matsura’s work, expressed amazement over the young man’s achievements with primitive, turn-of-the-century equipment. With the cousins were Semba’s wife, Yuri, and daughter Mitsue Takahashi, who lives in Santa Monica, Calif. They were

accompanied by author Roe, who lives in Bellingham, and her husband Ernie Burkhart. The family’s brief visit included a drive to Conconully, where Matsura first lived when he came to the county in 1903. They also met a real American cowboy – rancher Buzz Berney of Conconully – who accommodatingly dressed in full regalia of chaps and six-gun.

Roy and Ray Wilson celebrate 90 years as twin brothers July 2, 1997 REPUBLIC – Until they were in the fifth grade, people had a hard time telling Ray and Roy Wilson apart. They were playing stickball one day at school and Ray Wilson had a couple of his front teeth knocked out with a pitchfork handle. “After I got my teeth knocked out with that pitchfork handle, well then, I had some gold teeth,” Ray said. “It left stubs. They put the gold ones on there.” Clad in a red-checkered flannel shirt and hat, he sat shaded from the sun next to his twin brother under a patio table umbrella. Roy is staying at the Ferry County Memorial Hospital in Republic while recuperating from a broken leg. The Wilson brothers will celebrate their 90th birthday today, July 2. A potluck dinner and party is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday, July 5, at the home of Al and Ruthann Wilson in the Chewiliken Valley.

Ray and Roy Wilson were born July 2, 1907, to Henry and Mertie Wilson in the Chewiliken Valley. Their parents’ homestead remains in the family. “He kicked me out first,” Ray said, running his hand along the arm of his chair and grinning. “I weighed three and a half pounds, he weighed four. He’s always been ahead of me until now.” Since their parents didn’t have any modern technological devices to help keep them warm, such as an incubator, Ray and Roy Wilson slept in the woodstove with the door open for a week or two. “There was no hospital in 1907,” Ray said, adding they never knew if their mother and father expected twins. Someone went to fetch a doctor, but by the time he was able to arrive from Riverside, the boys were already four hours old. The two of them grew up in the Chewiliken Valley, where they returned to ranch for several years as adults.

“We were 8 years old before we went to school because we were too little to ride horseback,” Ray said, adding the one-room school house was two and a half miles away. In 1920, they moved with their parents and two siblings, a younger brother and sister, to Tonasket in order to be closer to school, said Ray. Their father got a range permit in the early 1900s to run cattle in the national forest. Neither Ray nor Roy remembered switching places at school or at home as a joke on family or friends. As they’ve aged together, they still share many of the same characteristics. A friendliness in their eyes is one of the most prominent. Ray said one distinct difference between them is that Roy can witch water. “I can do it if he holds on to one of my arms. He has enough power to where I can do it,” but Ray said alone he simply has “no

suction at all.” Another difference between them is Ray is ambidextrous. “I wanted to write left handed and the damn school teacher wouldn’t let me,” he said. “I don’t write good either way now.” Ray married Nona Cole and they had four children. He has 15 grandchildren, 36 greatgrandchildren and six greatgreat-grandchildren. “When you get married at 16 or 17, it seems like they just keep coming along,” Ray said with a chuckle. “The sooner you start the more you’re liable to have.” In 1945, Roy married Audrey Zybilski and they raised three children and a grandson. Roy has five grandchildren. After selling their ranch, Roy and Audrey Wilson bought a cattle ranch in Curlew. Ray and Nona Wilson bought an orchard near Tonasket. Ray and Roy operated their threshing machine throughout the county, threshing areas in Chesaw, Pine Creek and Tunk

Valley. They also were state Grange members. While twins didn’t run in the family, Ray said his wife, Nona, was a twin. Her mother and father were both twins, too. “Nona could tell (who was who) whether she’d seen us or not,” Ray said. “She could tell by the way we walked. When we come in the house, she could hear us walk and know which was which.” Ray and Roy looked at each other and pondered what is the best part about having a twin. Roy said with a smile, “I don’t really know.” Looking back over their years together, the Wilson brothers both agreed they got along pretty well. After both their wives died, the twins lived together again until Roy broke his leg. “I’m going to stay here until I get good enough to go home,” he said. When his brother told him their birthday party was Saturday, July 5, he said, “well then, I’ll probably make it.”

1993 Jan. 1 – Jack Beeman, Loomis, receives a heart transplant. Jan. 13 – The Elvis Presley postage stamp makes its debut at the Omak Post Office. Jan. 24 – Fire destroys United Methodist Church in Twisp. Feb. 24 – Chris Pruitt, Omak, wins the state class A/B 158-pound wrestling title. Feb. 26 – The World Trade Center is bombed by Islamic terrorists when a van explodes near the north tower, killing six and wounding 1,000. Feb. 28 – Fifty-one day Waco standoff begins when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms tries to arrest cult leader David Koresh. It ends April 19 when cult members start a fire that kills 75 of them, including Koresh. Aug. 1 – Schalow’s Grocery and Hardware closes its doors after 50 years. Sept. 29 – Rosettie’s, a long-time Omak business, liquidates after 40 years. Sept. 30 – Okanogan Highlands Barter Faire celebrates 20 years. Nov. 12 – Omak McDonalds opens. Dec. 8 – Chronicle copublisher, John E. Andrist, remains hospitalized after suffering a devastating stroke. 1994 Jan. 1 – The North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement goes into effect for free trade across Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Jan. 12 - $4,000 reward is offered for tree spikers. Jan. 31 – Okanogan teacher, Linda Strom, honored as teacher of the month by KHQ-TV , Spokane, and Eastern Washington University, Cheney. Feb. 19 – Jeramy Price, Okanogan, wins the state wrestling class A/B title for 158 pounds. March 17 – Water meters installed in Omak. May 7 – John E. Andrist returns to Omak after months in the hospital. May 11 – Fire destroys the historic Salmon Meadows Lodge. June 4 – The Colville Confederated Tribe opens Mill Bay Casino in Manson. June 8 – Brenda Smith, a teacher at Virginia Grainger Elementary School in Okanogan, retires after 30 year of teaching. June 18 – John E. Andrist Appreciation Day held. June 23 – Dr. Jim Bone retires from Wenatchee Valley Clinic after 31 years in medical practice. Aug. 24 – Main Street Market opens in Omak. Sept. 14 – For the first time since 1904, the World Series is cancelled because of a players’ strike. Sept. 28 – Fire destroys the Tel Star Apartments in Omak. Oct. 5 – Hamilton Farm Equipment celebrates 60 years in Okanogan. Oct. 8 – The United Nations tells Iraq to withdraw its troops from the Kuwaiti border and cooperate with weapons inspectors. Withdrawals begin Oct. 15. Oct. 12 – Jeanne Wood named Miss Omak Stampede 1995. Dec. 7 – Two Omak High School honor students arrested for a bombing at the Omak High School. 1995 Jan. 1 – The World Trade Organization is created with 76 nations. Jan. 11 – Jesse Leander Abrahamson is the first baby of 1995. Jan. 25 – Racie McKee, Omak, wins National Instructional Assistant of the

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TIMELINE 1995 continued March 29 – Andrea Howard named Omak Junior Miss. April 19 – Anarchists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols explode bombs outside the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Okla., killing 168 people. April 26 – Colville Tribal Bingo Casino opens in Okanogan. May 31 – Joe Redthunder, long-time tribal leader, dies at 87. June 21 – Armed Forces orders Brewster American Legion to dismantle its display missile after discovering low-level radioactive material was used in its construction. July 21 – Three Hoffpauir children drown when their van rolls into the Columbia River at Beebe Bridge as parents use restrooms. Oct. 18 – Brewster teacher Julie Rawson receives Milken Family Foundation National Educator award with a $25,000 prize. Oct. 18 – Jackie Beeman named Miss Omak Stampede 1995. Oct. 25 – Nursing shortage forces closure of Mid-Valley Hospital's ICU. Nov. 8 – Omak girls win state cross-country title. Nov. 15 – Ed Thiele and Homer Carter named to Stampede Hall of Fame. Dec. 6 – Bert Aveldson, the first Miss Omak Stampede, dies at 79. Dec. 13 – Having recently read through his Boy Scout manual, William Donnor, 12, saves his sister Rachel, 14, by administering the Heimlich maneuver. Dec. 13 – Theresa Fancher, 16, qualifies for the national blind ski team. 1996 April 13 – Construction begins on the Okanogan Firehall Museum. May 8 – Train derails near Brewster. June 15 – Fire destroys the former Spokane Lumber Mill south of Tonasket. June 20 – The Okanogan Livestock Market celebrates 50 years of business. July 5 – In Scotland, Dolly the sheep is the first mammal to be cloned. July 31 – Jim Smith takes The Chronicle helm after being purchased by Eagle Newspapers, Inc. of Salem, Ore. Aug. 28 – A 12,000-acre fire blackens Omak Mountain. Sept. 18 – Judy Zelmer Smith joins The Chronicle as publisher. Oct. 3 – Moses George, 90, Colville tribal elder and former council member, dies. Nov. 5 – President Clinton wins re-election. 1997 Jan. 8 – Jose Garcia, Jr., is the first baby of 1997. March 5 – Omak Wood Products declares bankruptcy. March 26 – Okanogan PUD begins acquiring easements for the PaterosTwisp transmission line. May 7 – Omak Clinic moves to its location off U.S. Highway 97, Omak. May 21 – Elizabeth Widel marks her 2,000th column. May 21 – Runoff begins small flooding throughout the county after a heavy winter. June 4 – The Chronicle Web site goes online. Sept. 3 – Tornadoes rip through the county. Sept. 17 – Elizabeth Widel earns the Dixie Lee Bradley Award for her longtime service in journalism. Sept. 24 – Colville Tribe celebrates 125 years of the reservation. Oct. 29 – Iraq states it will

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Runaway truck slams into school Sept. 12, 1990 A runaway truck slammed into Okanogan’s Virginia Grainger Elementary Monday morning, causing extensive damage to the building and several parked cars, but school officials were thankful no children were injured. Just about any other morning, the heavily damaged music room would have been full of youngsters, said Principal Dean Radke. But when the truck hit, music teacher Connie Nearents was teaching music to Malott students. Students in the adjacent gymnasium were not injured. Sheriff’s deputy Mark Huson said truck driver Harold Harsin, 47, Moses Lake, reported that the truck’s engine quit as Harsin geared down for his descent of Orchard Grade. That caused the vehicle’s air brakes and power steering to fail. Harsin, who was trapped in his truck temporarily, told the deputy that he managed to restart the engine, but could not negotiate the 90-degree corner just outside the school. Harsin was taken to Mid-Valley Hospital for observation. The truck jumped a sidewalk, tore out chain-link fencing and flattened two students’ bicycles before plowing into the school. Bricks, glass and miscellaneous rubble were strewn on the

ground. Harsin’s truck, which was hauling water, also damaged five parked vehicles. Most extensively damaged was a van belonging to Cliff Miller’s Computer Products. Miller, from Yakima, was inside the building servicing computer equipment, said Radke. Much of his equipment was in the school, but the rest in the van and may have been damaged. The passenger side of the van was ripped away. The van, which had been parked perpendicular to the street, came to rest parallel to the street, as did Harsin’s truck. Also damaged were vehicles belonging to teachers Gordon Pitts, Kim Grattan and Steve Chamberlin and substitute teacher Melody Myers. Inside the building, Grattan’s fourth grade physical education class had been sitting in the gym when the truck hit. Radke said Grattan thought at first the rumbling and crashing was an earthquake. She hurried the youngsters to the other end of the gym. A wall separating the gym from the music room buckled and several window and doorframes were shifted. In the music room, glass and plaster littered the floor and wall lath was exposed. Several musical

Runaway truck aftermath

Inside, music room is littered with debris from the runaway truck, Sept. 12 – Chronicle photo

instruments, a typewriter and other items were damaged. District insurance agent Bob Grandy arrived shortly after crews from Lifeline Ambulance and the Omak and Okanogan fire departments. He, district superintendent Richard Johnson and Radke toured the damaged rooms, then cordoned off the area.

Dove’s mournful songs recall winged warrior May 29, 1991 DULEY LAKE — Evenings now are filled with the soft, sad sound of mourning doves’ songs. Some years ago, an injured mourning dove was given to my then 10-year-old daughter. Chris promptly named the bird Stanley, in honor of the donor, wrapped it in a cloth and carried it home. Its chances of survival seemed slim. Victim of a dove-hunter’s gun, its head was bloody, one eye was gone and only a part of the left wing remained. Stanley’s new home was a hamster cage (from which the previous resident had long since escaped) in Chris’ room. Despite his pitiful condition, Stanley was a warrior. Unlike some birds, he had no desire to become domesticated and, in fact, though he lived with us for nearly four years, he never surrendered. He did, however, make his peace with Chris. After weeks of flinging himself wildly about the cage at the approach of any

human, he finally allowed his roommate to become his friend. Any strange finger poked into his cage threw him into a fury, and he would rush to attack. An irritable little bird, he would sometimes deliver a sharp blow with his beak even to the hand that fed him. Much of the time, he simply withdrew to the far side of his cage, ignoring human activity. Eventually, he felt secure enough to hop onto Chris’s outreached finger, but this occurred only when Stanley was in one of his rare good moods. Stanley could not be beguiled by offers of special food nor by promises of a visit to the outside world. No amount of coaxing could convince him to do other than what he wanted to do. Months passed. Then, one morning when the house was quiet, we heard an unexpected sound. Stanley was singing. After that first time, he sang almost every day, mostly in the morning and evenings. But, Stanley-like, he refused to become an entertainer.

Apparently, he sang only for his own enjoyment. ` If we entered his room during his song, he would immediately ruffle up and become a silent, morose little bird, glowering up at us with his one bright eye. Sometimes, Chris would take him outside, where he seemed to enjoy hopping on the grass and occasionally listening to other bird songs. Mostly, though, he preferred the privacy of his own room. As it turned out, we had not done Stanley any big favor by saving him from certain death by predators in the wild. One of the family cats slipped unobserved into Chris’s room one day and silenced Stanley’s song. Chris, of course, was devastated, and all of us missed our little warrior. Now, when that lovely haunting song drifts through the evening, we often stop to listen. We still think of it as Stanley’s song. Chris is the daughter of Pat Spence, who wrote columns for The Chronicle for many year.

Thanks, Dad

Indebted for lifetime June 20, 1990 No dad could have received a better Father’s Day present than William Zacherle Sr. received last weekend. It wasn’t even one of Zacherle’s 11 children, 34 grandchildren or 39 great-grandchildren who gave it to him. The present came from Wenatchee Valley College. Zacherle won the coveted “most supportive partner” award at the North Campus graduation June 16. The competition was stiff. The award is based on letters written by graduates who nominate the person who made it most possible for them to succeed. Luella Rehmke nominated her husband, Jim: Grace Massey nominated her husband, Wayne; Larry Newton nominated his wife, Marjorie; Gerri LaMonte nominated her mother Rene Shaw; and Kathy Lisenbey listed a delegation of family and friends. But it was Theresa Zacherle Felix who caught the judges’ attention when she wrote a letter about her dad. “I dropped out of high school as a teenage mother,” she explained.

“I was unemployed and having difficult times. My dad encouraged me to go back to school and make something of my life. I went back receiving my high school diploma.” But Theresa’s dad wasn’t done yet. He kept encouraging her. She enrolled at Wenatchee Valley College because it was close to home. My dad always believed in me even when I doubted myself,” she wrote. “There were times when I’d get tired of listening to … “When I was your age…” ‘I now realize that was his way of encouraging me to pursue my educational dreams. “He served as a constant companion to me and my children. If I had to pay a salary for all of his hours of working helping me and my children, I would be indebted for a lifetime. He has spent the last two years helping me get through college. “He has been my daycare provider, my bank loan specialist, my personal counselor, my taxi, my companion and best friend. Whenever I needed to study, do

reports, go to the library or cram for exams, my Dad always understood and always was so patient and helpful. “He is so strong at supporting his children’s education. He always wanted his children to take advantage of the opportunities that were available.” When the prize was announced and his name called, a stunned William Zacherle Sr. slowly climbed to the stage, accompanied by applause and cheers of “Way to go, Dad!” He got a plaque and from his daughter, in her graduate’s black robe and mortarboard, a big hug. He’s still not done. She plans to attend Eastern Washington University and get her teacher’s credentials. “I never could have made it without my father,” she wrote. “To me, he is my greatest professor, teacher and administrator because he is my educational advocate. He is the backbone to my success. He nurtured me and is my roots. He’s my dad. “Thanks, Dad, I love you.”

Structural inspectors were called in to assess the damage. Power was cut to the wing as a precaution. Students were served hot lunches from the hallway and a refrigeration unit was moved out of the gym. “It’s going to be very, very difficult to work around this,” said Radke.

Space already is tight in the 53-year-old building and loss of the music room and gym — only temporarily — will be difficult to deal with, he said. The music room was hit by a truck a few years ago, Radke recalled. In the incident, which happened on a weekend, a parked truck’s brake let go and sent the truck into the building.

Tonasket breaks ground on new school complex Feb. 1, 1995 TONASKET – Ground was broken at the site of the new and remodeled school project in Tonasket Jan. 25 during a ceremony attended by the entire district student body, staff, administration and crowds of community members. Handling the shovels to turn the first scoops of dirt were school board president Andy Jones, Tonasket Mayor Tom Fancher, district superintendent Randy Hauff, high school student body president Brock Sutton, middle school ASB president Sam Buchert and elementary school representative Marie Salazar. Site work for the $13,126,700 project, to be built by Lydig

Construction of Spokane, will begin today, Feb. 1. The project includes a new 56,000-square-foot elementary school, 72,000 square feet of new middle and high school areas, and 30,000 square feet of remodeled high school and middle school space. According to a description of the new facilities provided by the Tonasket School District, the new elementary school and the middle/high school are to be situated close to each other on the existing site. Site development will include asphalt paving for all parking lots, roads and bus pick-up and drop-off locations. Landscaping around the facilities will include an automated irrigation system.

Riverside passes law requiring people to own guns June 22, 1999 The town of Riverside has attracted considerable attention with the adoption of an ordinance which requires head of households to maintain a firearm with ammunition. The town council June 14 adopted the ordinance in response to new state regulations which take effect July 1. Riverside’s new ordinance was based on one adopted at Kennesaw, Ga., a town of about 3,500 people about 20 miles from Atlanta. Exempt under the ordinance are those heads of household suffering a physical disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm, or those who conscientiously oppose firearms as a result of religious doctrine on personal beliefs or persons convicted of a felony. Riverside tends to do things differently anyways, said council member Chuck Everts. “We tend to be outspoken.” The ordinance is about as strong in the opposite direction of state regulations, which lay down new restrictions on carrying firearms, Everts said. “People read into things what they want. I don’t believe it’s going to force anybody to do it,” Everts said. Requiring people to own firearms would be about as enforceable as preventing people from carrying them, as the sate is proposing, he said.

Some changes were made to the original ordinance to exempt those people who do not wish to own a firearm, he said. But passing the ordinance was done quickly, he said. “Everybody was pretty well in agreement of what it stood for,” Everts said. Mayor David Schwilke is the owner of Dave’s Gun & Pawn, Riverside. Whether the mayor’s business might present a conflict of interest was not considered or discussed, he said. None of the council members thought of it that way, he said. The ordinance, following on the heels of an ordinance adopted by Okanogan County Commissioners, exempts the town from new regulations under one section of the Youth Violence Act, which deals with the carrying of firearms. Provisions of the Riverside ordinance include: • The people of Riverside will be able to exercise the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. • Any person living or traveling through the town will be allowed to carry a firearm openly and freely throughout the town. • Any person living or traveling through the town will be allowed to carry guns in gun racks, to and from the gun range and anywhere else within the town.

Fire destroys historic Winthrop building Nov. 10, 1993 A cloud of smoke hung over Winthrop Saturday morning as business owners impacted by Friday night’s devastating fire in the Winthrop Emporium building met to discuss rebuilding. “We’ll definitely rebuild,” said Mike Bourn, a member of the partnership that owns the Emporium building. The oft-photographed cornerstone of Winthrop’s wild west architectural theme was ravaged by a fire of undetermined cause that burned out of control for three hours Nov. 5. The building housed seven stores. Despite initial fears the fire would consume the entire downtown with it picturesque buildings and wooden sidewalks, the blaze was stopped by a firewall between the Emporium and Sam’s Place, a restaurant. Sam’s Place suffered smoke damage from the firefighting efforts, but the next building down — the landmark Farmers’ State Bank — escaped unscathed. There were no injuries.

Emporium fire was arson, agencies say Nov. 17, 1993 Charred building samples and other evidence have been sent to

Curious onlookers peer into the burnedout shell of the Emporium, keystone of Winthrop’s early western motif. the San Francisco laboratory of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for testing in the wake of the determination that a Nov. 5 fire at the Winthrop

Overhead, the famous bell tower sags backward. The now-silenced bell, which sounded daily at noon, will ring again

Emporium building was set. The arson determination was made Nov. 11 after ATF agents spent four days sifting through the remains of the Emporium and

when the building is rebuilt. — Chronicle photo

Tenderfoot buildings, said ATF spokesman Jim Provencher, Seattle. Seven businesses were destroyed in the blaze. Provencher said the ATF team

determined the fire was intentionally set. Testing at the ATF lab “will confirm a lot as to how this fire was set,” Provencher said.

And the race goes on. Suicide Race 1993

Judge steps on PAWS Sept. 21, 1994 Okanogan County’s two District Court judges acted properly when they rejected an animal rights group’s attempt a year ago to bring animal cruelty charges against Omak Stampede President “Cactus” Jack Miller, a Chelan County Superior Court Judge ruled Sept. 19. The ruling also means Miller can’t be charged in Okanogan County District Court by the Progressive Animal Welfare Society with animal cruelty in the 1992 deaths of two Suicide Race horses. Judge T.W. “Chip” Small ruled that PAWS and its agent, Mitchell Fox, did not follow a state law in attempting to bring animal cruelty charges against Miller in July 1993. PAWS alleged Miller, as Stampede President, was responsible for the deaths of the two horses during practice runs prior to the 1992 Suicide Race. Small did not rule on the merits of PAWS’ allegations, but instead ruled the King County-based animal group did not have the authority to file criminal charges in Okanogan County. Law overhauled The law in question has since been overhauled by the Legislature and several key provisions, including the under which PAWS acted, have been changed, said Okanogan County Prosecutor Barnett Kalikow. Miller, who was not at the Sept. 19 hearing, said he is glad he won’t have to go to court and

defend himself, but added, “I did want to show people how ridiculous the charges were.” He said he was not present when the first horse died and that the horse did not have permission to practice on the Suicide Hill. Miller said he told the owner of the second horse the animal “didn’t look good. I recommended he not put him in the water.” Fox, PAWS’ animal issues director, attempted in July 1993 to charge Miller with two counts of causing injury to animals for gain of amusement and one count of conspiracy to cause injury to animals for gain or amusement. The attempted filing came just before the one-year statute of limitations expired and three weeks before the 1993 Stampede. Fox cited a state law that allowed criminal animal cruelty complaints to be brought by a citizen member of an organization such as PAWS, provided certain conditions were met. Fox mailed paperwork to Okanogan County District Court and the court clerk’s office logged it in and assigned a case number Friday, July 1993. Later that day, then-Okanogan County Prosecutor Mike McNeff filed a motion for dismissal. The following Monday, Judges Chris Culp and Dave Edwards ruled PAWS had no authority to file a complaint in District Court. PAWS attorney John Rodabaugh was informed by letter.

Out of business

Omak Police officer Sean Isaac boosts Sgt. Frank Rogers on his shoulders as the pair put “Out of Business” notice on a house following a series of drug arrests Aug. 7,

1991. The home’s owner, who with others faces several drug charges in Okanogan County Superior Court. — Chronicle photo

OWP shuts its doors; sale deal pending June 3, 1998 Machinery is silent and employees at Omak Wood Products have said their goodbyes. “It was like the ending of “Seinfeld” said Jon Millard, referring to the closure of the company’s plywood plant Friday, May 29. “To me, it was an end of part of my life and the beginning of another,” said Millard, who worked in the plywood plant 21 years. Millard was one of the employee-owned mill’s approximately 470 employees. More than 100 people were laid off in December when Okanogan County’s largest private employer curtailed its sawmill operations. Everyone else followed when the plywood

operation shut down Friday. Company officials say they hope the shutdown is only temporary and that someone will purchase the mill. Reorganization under Chapter 11 Bankruptcy continues. The company filed a volunteer Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in March 1997. Since then, the company has been operating under a series of cash installment agreements — money the company has to spend from funds generated in sales — with the U.S. Bank of Washington. Chapter 11, the most common form of bankruptcy, frees a company from the threat of creditors’ lawsuits while it reorganizes its finances. “Everything is shut down,” said Jim Aher, president and

chief executive officer. The mill’s powerhouse was shut down Sunday, May 31. On Thursday, May 28, Millard said employees saved the last piece of plywood made and signed their names all over it. Across the top, red, spraypainted letters read: “Last panel sawed.” Millard said in his two decades at the mill there have been a lot of good and bad times, but the good times far outweigh the bad. “We were like family,” he said. While Aher said he’s disappointed the company wasn’t able to work through its problems, he said he hopes another firm will purchase the mill and keep some kind of operations at the plant and supply jobs to the community.

TIMELINE 1997 continued Oct. 29 – Iraq threatens to shoot down U-2 inspection planes. Nov. 12 – The first fullcolor photo appears in The Chronicle. Dec. 3 – After multiple recounts, the Riverside mayoral race is decided by a coin flip - Eugene Layton defeats Ralph Kruse. 1998 Jan. 1 – Rowan Strong Post, Twisp, is the first baby of 1998. Jan. 26 – Monica Lewinsky scandal begins. Feb. 21 – Marc Eylar and Rohan Theobald of Okanogan and Martin Mitchell of Tonasket all take state wrestling titles. Feb. 23 – Osama bin Laden announces a jihad against Jews and Crusaders. March 4 – Okanogan Choir earns Jazz first place award at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho. June 3 – Omak Wood Products shuts doors. Aug. 7 – Attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa kill 224 and injure 4,500. Sept. 29 – U.S. Congress passes the Iraq Liberation Act, saying it wants to remove Saddam Hussein from power and form a democracy in his place. Oct. 29 – Astronaut John Glenn, 77, becomes the oldest astronaut in space. 1999 Jan. 1 – New currency the Euro in introduced. Jan. 3 – The first baby of Okanogan County is Makayla LaJean Andrews. Feb. 12 – President Clinton is acquitted by the U.S. Senate in the Lewinsky scandal. Feb. 20 – Matt Tuller of Liberty Bell and Brad Zabreznik of Tonasket win state wrestling titles. Martin Mitchell of Tonasket won his second title in a row. March 3 – Bramer’s Hardware, a downtown Omak fixture for 61 years, goes out of business. April 10 – Subway in Omak opens. May 3 – A series of Oklahoma tornadoes kill 38 and set the fastest wind speed record of 318 mph. May 26 – Ted and Ola Kammers celebrate 70 years of marriage. June 26 – Omak businessman and community volunteer, Mike Lampe, 49, dies. Aug. 12 –15 Colville Tribe boycotts the Omak Stampede and WorldFamous Suicide Race. The Suicide Race is cancelled due to concerns of potential violence. Sept. 8 – Pontiac Ridge gets telephone service. Sept. 25 – Fire sweeps through the Chiliwist. Nov. 6 – Matt Harriman and Emily Turner win crosscountry titles. 2000 Jan. 17 – Long-time businessman Bud Damskov dies. He owned and operated Damskov Auto Sales in Omak. Feb 16 – Charles Benson, long-time civic volunteer and optometrist dies. Feb. 3 – Jury finds Juan Duarte Gonzales guilty of officer Mike Marshall’s murder. Feb. 19 – Courtney and Andrew Tuller of Liberty Bell; Eli Super and Martin Mitchell win state wrestling titles. This was Martin Mitchell’s third straight title. April 8 – 22-year-old Adam Christopher Neely, Winthrop, one of 19 Marines killed in the crash of an MV-22 Osprey aircraft in Marana, Ariz. April 18 – Michael Blake appointed Mayor of Okanogan.


Headed to Nagano —

Fancher earns spot on U.S. Paralympic team Feb. 18, 1998 Bring on the disabled Olympics event and, next season, the U.S. National Disabled Team for Omak Theresa Fancher. Both selections are dreams come true for the bubbly, legally blind skier who will graduate this spring from Omak High School. Fancher, 18, was asked Saturday to be the United States’ lone blind woman on its Paralympic team, which competes in Nagano, Japan, following the regular Olympics. “I told them I might be able to find the time, we were joking about it,” said Fancher, who will compete with her guide, J.P. Wolfenden of Christchurch, New Zealand. Fancher and Wolfenden leave Feb. 28, plan to stay a day in Hawaii, then compete in Japan. They return March 15. Prior to skiing in the disabled Olympics. Fancher will compete in the Columbia Crest Cup in Winter Park, Colo. Feb. 19-22. “The Paralympic coach said he’d been watching us very closely at the World Cup, and said we’d been doing extremely well, “said Fancher. Official announcement of the Paralympic team was to made on Wednesday. Fancher’s success during the World Cup/Europa Cup in Breckenridge, Colo., elevated her to the team. The same effort also put her on top of the list to join the U.S. National Disabled team next season. She finished with two golds, a Silver and a bronze medal at Breckenridge. Fancher also did well in the Western National and Huntsman Cup earlier this season. Fancher’s main competition will be European blind skiers, who have tremendous support and are very competitive. Fancher competed against Europeans last year in the European blind Championships

in Spain. She was fourth early before falling and hurting a knee, which required surgery. “I think I will be right there with them,” said Fancher, whose Paralympic trip will be paid for by the United States Ski and Snowboard Association. This season Fancher has defeated blind skiers from Canada and New Zealand. But at Breckenridge, her abilities shined through. During the downhill, she zipped past her guide when he attempted to slow for a very sharp turn. “There was a big pitch and a left turn,” said Fancher. “We knew we were going to get separated. We practiced that. The first time he caught wind in his jacket to slow down. He did not expect me to come up so fast.” As Fancher passed, her guide skied straight down the hill and picked her up two gates later. The whole time Fancher was skiing around 50 mph through the gates with no one near her. “My top speed was 62 to 68 mph,” said Fancher. “My average was 46 mph on the course. “The Loup Loup and Sitzmark brought me up well,” said Fancher, who used to ski the hills regularly, without a guide, having memorized various runs. Later in the week, she earned a silver medal in the giant slalom, despite her guide falling off the course. “We were going down a really steep pitch,” said Fancher. “He looked back to see me and threw his shoulder off. “He did a hip bounce and stood up really quickly,” said

THERESA FANCHER Fancher. Though she stopped for him, she still finished with a silver. She also earned a gold in the Super G and a bronze in the slalom in the women’s blind division. The head of the U.S. National Disabled Ski Team also notified her last week that they want Fancher on their team. Rules, however, keep officials from adding her this season. Fancher was expected to be announced to the team in April for the next season. Fancher’s success comes with a new guide, Wolfenden, who lost his previous guide job when his skier went back to her original guide. Wolfenden, 20, is the youngest guide in New Zealand with both a disabled instructor’s permit and level one instructor’s permit,” said Fancher. “He’s an excellent guide,” Fancher said, who said she was lucky to pick up such an experienced guide. “The U.S. team has been a goal for the last two years,” said Fancher. “Nagano was more of a surprise for me. I didn’t think it would happen.

Chicago Collects Call

MICHAEL CALL June 12, 1991 SEATTLE – A lot of Tiger fans will be switching allegiance to the White Sox, at least on the national level, since Tonasket’s Michael Call was selected by Chicago in the 20th round of the major league amateur draft June 4. “I called everybody up,” said Call, after learning he’d been drafted. A right-hander for the University of Washington, Call got pro scouts’ attention with two sterling years of relief for the Huskies. The road to the majors got rocky several times for Call. After earning first-team allopponent honors in the Caribou Trail League in 1987, Call didn’t receive a scholarship offer and walked on at Spokane Community College. Call led the Sasquatches to


the Northwest Community College championships his sophomore year, collected 10 saves and was named the firstteam on the NWAACC and an Eastern Region all-star team. Next stop was the Huskies, where Call set a school and PAC-10 North record with 13 saves in 13 opportunities. Still no calls came from the pros even though Call went 2-0 with a 1.34 earned run average. Call wrapped up his senior year with six saves, a 1.55 ERA and a better than 3-to-1 strikeout-towalk ratio. He was named to the all-PAC-10 first team, allDistrict IV team and the NorPAC tournament squad. Numbers and honors finally caught the eye of Chicago coaches, who snapped up Call ton the 20th of more than 70 round. “I’m headed to a mini-camp in Sarasota, Fla.,” said Call, interviewed by telephone between final exams. They’re going to evaluate me and possibly make me a starter. If they do, they’ll teach me a new pitch, a slider or a forkball. Call used his three pitches — a circle change, curve and fast ball — to strike out 43 in 46 ½ innings this spring for the UW. “I need one more pitch,” said Call. “My curve ball is not all that great. It’s average at best.” After rookie ball, Call, could

get a call to the short season class A New York-Penn League before returning to college next fall for two classes leading to an economics degree. Call is the son of Dan and Carol Didra, Loomis and Deena and Tom Call, Tonasket.

Game? What game?

Shortstop Don Truitt looks on helplessly as his donkey takes a scratch break during a Red Cross sponsored donkey softball game Sept. 29, 1996, in Omak.

Unfazed, Truitt joined the donkey for a back-scratching roll in the dirt. — Chronicle photo

Expos draft Romine; pitcher headed south June 30, 1993 When Omak’s Jason Romine isn’t umpiring Little League games or pitching for his American Legion team, he’s fielding phone calls from the Montreal Expos. Romine, a powerful righthanded pitcher, was drafted by the Expos in 26th round of Major League Baseball’s spring draft. His mother, Delrene Romine, says Montreal officials are in contact every couple days to check on Romine’s arm. They also are completing registration for Romine at Mendocino Community College in California. Romine should fit right in. Dale Hagy of Ephrata is an assistant coach. Hagy’s brother, Dean, transferred from Big Bend Community College this spring. And Okanogan’s Lance Manning will also attend the college located in north California near the Pacific Ocean. “It’s going to be fun,’ said Romine, who plans to ride with Manning to school after Stampede weekend in August. Montreal wants Romine to get

a year of experience at Mendocino under coaches with whom the Expos have close ties. Montreal is expected to sign Romine after next spring’s season. Romine and his mother heard many kind words from scouts, who continued to attend and watch his games. Though they were told by several scouts Romine could go as high as the fifth to 10th round of the draft, his being taken in the middle rounds of the 50-plus round draft was disappointing but not totally unexpected. “You hear so many things,” said Delrene, who said she’s learning more and more each day about baseball. “The (the scouts) always say nice things.” The pitcher Romine currently is playing American Legion baseball with a regional all-star team coached by Mike “Skid” Brown and Tom McCormack.

JASON ROMINE The team, composed of players from Omak, Okanogan and Lake Roosevelt High Schools, finished fourth at Coeur d’ Alene last weekend. Romine, 18, is the son of Delrene Romine, Omak, and Kelly Romine, Portland.

1999 Okanogan State 1A Football Champions

Okanogan’s 1999 state 1A football champions

Team members include (not in order) Alan Stout, Malcolm Copple, Shawn Townsend, Milo Marcille, Stephen Rawson, Jordan Horner, Bryan Attridge, Justin Wilson, Landon Martin, Bryon Goetz, Justin Tonasket, Eric Carlton, Jason Buchanan, Matt Roberts, Will

Derting, Jamie Schreckengost, Jesse Rehm, John Swartsel, Chris Blayne, Nate Stout, Scott Todd, Brent Craig, Aaron Dickinson, Jeremy Duran, Tyler Neely, Cory Munson, Matt Webster, Darren Goetz, Jon Norman, Nick Fletcher, Jeremy Watt, Dustin Heindselman,

David Best, Jake Rehm, David Steele, Stuart Robertson, Shawn Best Jr., Robert Bright. Head coach, Denny Neely. Assistant coachs, Jim Wood, Brad McGaha, Sterling Jones and Dory Jones. Manager, Ray Hobbs. — Chronicle photo

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2000s A Decade of

Change As Sept. 11, 2001, changed the nation, several major fires changed the landscape of Okanogan County. Major murder trials peppered the decade. The biggest change in business came with the opening of the Buckhorn gold mine. Firefighters build a line for the Tripod Fire in August 2006.

A camera crew and other media members descend into the main shaft at the Buckhorn Mountain gold mine in October 2008.


May 20, 2000 – May 19, 2010

Chronicle photo

A 2010 Autumn view of Omak from the top of Kermel Grade shows the city spreading from north to south and east to west past orchards on the flats.

TIMELINE 2000 Aug. 30 – Elma Curry, long-time music teacher and accomplished pianist dies at age 74. Nov. 7 – George W. Bush and Al Gore are at a near dead-heat after the presidential election, with Florida as the turning point. Nov. 7 – Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes the first former first lady to win public office when she is elected as a senator in New York. Dec. 6 – Colville Tribal Enterprise Corp. is named one of the state’s top minority-owned businesses. Dec. 29 – Sen. George Sellar, R-East Wenatchee, dies of cancer at age 71. 2001 Jan. 6 – After multiple recounts and a court decision, George W. Bush is declared president. March 1 – Okanogan County Sheriff Jim Weed resigns. Feb. 17 – Martin Mitchell, Tonasket, wins his fourth straight state wrestling title. Derek Williams and Tony Call, Tonasket; Nick Lucas, Oroville; and Brent Bise, Brewster also win state wrestling titles. March 3 – Brewster High School girls win their second straight 1A basketball title. April 2 – Regal Fruit Cooperative, Tonasket, closes its doors after 53 years. April 11 – Dennis Cockrum, Omak, named Pharmacist of the Year for Eastern Washington. April 18 – Okanogan County PUD worker, Roger Mills, 21, is killed in a fall. May 16 – Colville Tribal Enterprise Corp. offers $6.4 million for the Omak mill. June 13 – Cody Gunn, Brewster, selected in 21st round by St. Louis Cardinals. Sept. 11 – Terrorists hijack four planes, crashing them into the Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania, killing thousands and bringing about the “war on terrorism.” Sept. 18 – Antrax attacks on public officials begin. Oct. 7 – The War on Terrorism is launched in Afghanistan. Oct. 31 – Lampe Jeweler’s will close by the end of the year.

Continued (Continuedon onpage Page94 2)

Terrorist attacks strike nation Hijacked planes crash, kill hundreds Sept. 19, 2001 The Sept. 11 attacks that reduced the World Trade Center’s twin towers to rubble and left a gaping hole in the Pentagon touched Okanogan County residents deeply, as they did people across the country. Four commercial aircraft – two each from American Airlines and United Airlines – were hijacked that morning and used as missiles to attack the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. One airliner crashed in a field near Johnstown, Pa., after passengers apparently fought with the hijackers. In the Okanogan, residents heeded President Bush’s call to

fly the flag and quickly cleaned out local stores’ supplies. Those who didn’t have flags displayed everything from red, white and blue kites and wind socks to ribbons and bunting. Grand Coulee Dam and Chief Joseph Dam were placed on alert, as were law enforcement agencies. Nespelem and Grand Coulee Dam school districts and Paschal Sherman Indian School dismissed students early on the day of the attacks. Schools still in session gave students the opportunity to discuss the day’s events, but many did not have formal discussions, according to Omak and Okanogan school officials. Counselors were available and, later in the week, some assemblies were held. Throughout the week people gathered in churches to pray for President Bush and in hopes that

the country’s strength and freedom can be safeguarded and never taken for granted. Friday, Sept. 14, was declared a national day of prayer and remembrance, with a moment of silence at 12:29 p.m., followed by ringing of church bells at 12:31. Evening vigils, many by candlelight, also were held. Among those who gathered to pray were members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, who met during the noon hour Sept. 14 to join the Rev. Chuck Peterson in a special prayer. “Today is a national day of mourning for the thousands of people who died in New York and Washington, D.C., whose lives were snuffed out so suddenly and tragically,” said Peterson. “In our faith we can let those people go back to God. It’s a comforting thought.” Hundreds are dead and some

5,000 people remain missing. American Red Cross volunteers have delivered food and drinks to victims, firefighters, police officers and rescue workers. Okanogan County residents joined the effort as volunteers set up booths in stores, collected at football games and sent checks. Students in Frank Piscopo’s class at North Omak Elementary baked brownies and sold them to raise money for the Red Cross. Teachers Kathy Arbury at North and Anita Hardy at East passed out red, white and blue ribbons. Omak and Okanogan student leaders joined with Okanogan County Treasurer’s Office volunteers to raise $614 from fans gathered Friday night for the schools’ annual football game. Band members from the two rivals joined at midfield to play “America the Beautiful.”

Thirtymile Fire claims four lives Three fires merge, firefighters slain July 18, 2001 A trio of wild fires, one of which was deadly, brought an army of firefighers into Okanogan County the week of July 9. As of Tuesday morning, July 17, the Thirtymile Fire north of Winthrop in the Chewuch River drainage was 35 percent contained and covered 10,000 acres. The Libby South Fire, near Carlton in the Methow Valley, was 95 percent contained late Monday and had blackened more than 3,800 acres. To the east, the Dam Tower Fire on the Colville Indian Reservation between Coulee Dam and Elmer City topped 3,000 acres and was 100 percent contained. Four Forest Service firefighters were killed July 10 when the campfire-caused blaze they were mopping up exploded and trapped their fire crew. They and 10 other firefighters deployed their protective shelters in an effort to save themselves and two hikers caught in the conflagration that became the Thirtymile Fire. The hikers and four other firefighters were injured. Individual funerals for the four firefighters are being held. A memorial service for all four will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 24, at the Sun Dome in Yakima. Initial findings by a national investigation team indicated the crew was caught when conditions changed and the fire suddenly blew up.

The same night, fans at the Tonasket-Oroville football game found red, white and blue ribbons in their programs. Like their counterparts at the OmakOkanogan game, they held a moment of silence. The North Cascades chapter of the American Red Cross was inundated with calls Sept. 11 from people wanting to donate blood or contact loved ones in the New York and Washington, D.C., areas affected by the attacks. On the financial front, stock markets nationwide were closed from Tuesday until Monday, Sept. 17, in the longest trading disruption since the Depression. Monday was the New York Stock Exchange’s busiest trading day on record, with 2.2 billion shares traded. On the Nasdaq, 2.1 billion shares were traded. Transportation stocks – and

SeeSept. Sept. 11 11Page Page94 2 See

Buckhorn opens Kinross gold mine begins production

Chronicle photo

Forest Service personnel pause at the Thirtymile Fire memorial dedication on July 11, 2002. “There was no significant wind or frontal weather event associated with the dramatic change in fire behavior,” the team indicated in a July 16 statement. “The prolonged drought, high temperatures and low humidity combined with the very dry forest fuels to create an explosive, highintensity fire.” Fourteen firefighters, part of a 21-person crew working in the area, deployed their shelters. A separate team is investigating the deaths to try

and determine what went wrong so measures can be taken to prevent similar deaths. After the deaths, all firefighters were pulled off the fire, which raged north into the Pasayten Wilderness and west to the Thunder Mountain burn area. Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office led a search and rescue mission Thursday afternoon to clear hikers out of the Pasayten. To the south, sheriff’s office personnel advised Libby Creek residents to evacuate July 9.

About 25 families evacuated but were back in their homes later that night. The Red Cross set up a shelter at the Methow Valley Community Center. On the reservation, the Dam Tower Fire began near a Coulee Dam city water tower. It raced across sagebrush and scattered pines, coming within a quartermile of some homes. An electrical storm that hit the area the night of July 12-13 touched off more than two dozen additional fires, none of which grew larger than 15 acres.

Oct. 15, 2008 The gold tucked inside Buckhorn Mountain near Chesaw soon will be seeing the light of day when production begins later this month. Canadian-based Kinross Gold Corp. will mine gold from the mountain. Officials and invited guests marked the opening of the Buckhorn Mine Oct. 8. The company provided lunch, speeches and tours to a couple hundred community leaders and dignitaries, including U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Buckhorn Mine is expected to operate for seven to nine years and produce a fiscal gain of $5.5 million to local and state governments, according to a Kinross information sheet. The construction payroll was about $8 million and the estimated annual payroll during operation is estimated at $15 million, according to Kinross. About $5.3 million will be spent locally on goods and services during each year of the mine’s operation, according to company estimates. Tye Burt, chief executive officer of Kinross, said Buckhorn is the third new mine for Kinross this year. Burt said the company looked at the future of mining as it designed the Buckhorn Mine. The company wanted to leave a small footprint on the environment,

See SeeBuckhorn BuckhornPage Page96 4


Chronicle 2000s staff:

Judy Z. Smith, publisher 1996-2008

Alex Paul, publisher 2008

Roger Harnack, publisher 2008-present Eagle Newspapers, owner 1996-present Dee Camp News Editor 1979-present

Al Camp Sports Editor 1981-present

Centennial staff: Publisher: Roger Harnack Section editor: Sheila Corson Managing editor: Dee Camp Advertising: Lynn Hoover Research/design: Julie Bock Elizabeth Widel Special Thanks to: Okanogan County Historical Society

TIMELINE 2001 Continued Dec. 19 – Clara Neal, 90, who served the city of Omak for 50 years as clerk and then as a councilwoman, dies. 2002 Jan. 2 – Long time Omak attorney Earl Nansen, 85, dies. Jan. 9 – Dustin Pfitzer, Omak, chosen to carry the Olympic torch relay for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Feb. 8 – Olympic Games take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, despite increased security concerns. Feb. 20 – Shane Innes, Lake Roosevelt, and Derek Williams, Tonasket, win state wrestling titles. March 3 – Omak Warriors, specail olympian basketball team brought home a gold medal for the second year in a row. Continued on (Continued onpage Page 95 3)


Comic strip becomes film Local’s cartoons become animated May 10, 2006 When T. Lewis moved to Omak 12 years ago, he was pretty obscure, drawing children’s book illustrations and a comic strip that only Europeans would have recognized. One year later, he and writer Michael Fry of Buda, Texas, created a group of forest misfits that quickly grew readers. On May 19, Lewis and Fry’s characters will come to life on the silver screen in Dreamworks’ “Over the Hedge.” The strip, which appears in 200 newspapers across the country and is growing, is based on a group of creatures invading suburbia, including a slew of people’s homes, for all the creature comforts forest animals could want. Jim Cox – a screenwriter based in Los Angeles, but originally from Spokane, who cowrote the screenplays for “Fern Gully,” “Oliver and Company” and “The Rescuers Down Under” – saw the comic strip in the Los Angeles Times. Cox e-mailed Lewis and Fry about getting together and putting together a script. Lewis, Fry and Cox went to all the major studios hoping that the project would get a bite. Three studios – Fox, Dreamworks and Jim Hensen Co. – felt the project had some merits, which brought about a bidding war for the right to the film option, said Lewis. Eventually, Fox won the rights and hired the trio to come up with a script. But because of turnovers in the company, the project lost its champion, according to Lewis. At the same time, Dreamworks principal Jeffrey Katzenberg, who had seen the original pitch for the adaptation, looked for a way to get the property to Dreamworks. “Katzenberg always wanted it,” said Lewis. “It was told to us

Chronicle photo

T. Lewis works on a new “Over the Hedge” comic. later by his assistant that Katzenberg told her, ‘Fox will never make that film and I will.’ “ Finally, in 2000, Dreamworks purchased the project from Fox and immediately put it into accelerated development. Lewis has been traveling to Hollywood to attend cast premieres and even made his way across the pond to watch as the soundtrack was recorded in London, but it’s Omak to which Lewis returns. “I love it here. I wouldn’t change anything. I love Omak,” said Lewis, who lives in Omak with his wife, Phylicia, and their son, Chandler. “I’m sure that a lot of people out there, maybe my own family, assume that because they’re making a movie of my comic strip that I would be rich and famous,” said Lewis. “What I’m relying on is increased circulation for the strip,” he said. “This is like a $120 million advertisement for a comic strip.” In the movie, Bruce Willis will take on the role of R.J. and his lovable thievery.

“The funny thing is Bruce Willis is somebody I fantasized as being R.J,” said Lewis. “My son Chandler was watching ‘Die Hard 2’ and there was Bruce Willis doing his Bruce Willis thing,” he said. “I went ‘Oh. He would be perfect for a lovable scamp.’ He’s always at odds with authority and yet he’s very appealing.” R.J.’s fellow members in the “Boyz in the Wood” are being voiced by Garry Shandling and Steve Carrel. But it was the casting of William Shatner as the possum that made Lewis think about how incredible the movie was. “If you’d have told the 12-yearold me that I’d be doing a comic strip – No. 1, that would have been great, fantastic,” he said. “I couldn’t wait to grow up and do that. But if you told me that there’d be a movie of it and have Capt. Kirk in it . . . jeepers creepers, it’s just too cool,” said Lewis. The voice cast also includes Wanda Sykes, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Alison Janey, Avril Lavigne and Nick Nolte.

Lost letter resurfaces after 30 years Jan. 21, 2004 Ralph Weitman received a letter last week wishing him a happy new year, mentioning what an exciting time it is to be an American and how, with the Vietnam War finally over, “we may all be able to come together again as a people.” “I feel lucky to live in a time when all seems new,” Junior Weller of Grand Rapids, Mich., wrote to Weitman. “President Nixon’s recent visit to China is a big step for both countries, and every day there is a new invention that will make life better or at least more fun. My boys can’t get enough of some game called ‘Pong’ at the local supermarket.” The letter, dated Jan. 3, 1973, was mailed 30 years ago but got lost at the post office in Grand Rapids until last week, when somebody at the post office found it. Weitman said the original envelope remained sealed. It was faded yellow around the edges,

like it had been on a window sill or some place partially in the sun. “Maybe it slipped behind something 30 years ago and landed in a window sill and nobody knew it was there until somebody was cleaning the post office and found it,” Weitman said. However the letter got lost, Weitman, owner of Okanogan Truck and Tractor, said he enjoyed getting the letter – even though it did take the post office 30 years to deliver it. “Better late than never,” he said. At first, he thought the letter was a hoax, so he took it to the Okanogan post office and showed it to postmaster Larry Hill. Hill confirmed its legitimacy and told Weitman that when the postal service finds a lost or damaged letter, the agency does its best to deliver the letter, no matter how old it is. Weitman described Junior Weller as a business acquaintance

who operated an auto parts wholesale company. He sent the letter in part to announce a new business, Weller Truck Parts, he opened in 1973. Weitman purchased Okanogan Truck and Tractor from his former employers in 1966. He said the letter brought back memories of a time when he, like Weller, had his whole life ahead of him and was full of hope for the future. Prophetically, the last paragraph of the letter said, “I firmly believe that you will appreciate our way of doing business whether now or 30 years from now. I’ve enclosed a line sheet about our product and a holiday picture of my four boys. Who knows, maybe someday they will become involved in the business.” Today, the young Weller boys are in their 40s and 50s and some of them are running the business, as the letter predicted.

Sept. Page Sept. 11 11 From From Page 931

his childhood, was killed May 12 by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, Iraq. He was 26. Shaver moved to Omak in 1988 and attended school in Omak until spring 1996. He moved to Newport and graduated from Newport High School in 1997. “He said it was so hard to be over there in a threedimensional urban war where you have to be alert 24/7, but he still volunteered to go out with the medical team to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people,” said his family. “He was doing it for his family. He was going to Iraq because he believed in his loved ones having freedom and to make sure we were safe here, and no matter what, it was all worth it for that.” Because of Shaver’s love of education, his family established the Jeff Shaver Memorial Fund to help fund a scholarship. Donations can be made at any Bank of America branch.

Iraq fighting to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt. Jason C. Cook, 25, Okanogan, died Aug. 21 from injuries received from enemy action while he was fighting in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, according to the Department of Defense. Cook was born Oct. 11, 1978, and graduated from Okanogan High School in 1997. In 1996 he transferred from Lake Washington High School in the Seattle area and attended Okanogan High School, according to Okanogan district records. Cook joined the Marine Corps Oct. 14, 1997, and at the time of his death was listed as an assault guided missleman assigned to the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. During a distinguished military career, Cook’s personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps commendation medal, joint service achievement medal, combat action ribbon, Marine Corps good conduct medal, national defense service medal, global war on terrorism expeditionary medal and sea service deployment ribbon.

specifically airlines – took a big hit, with the Dow Jones transportation average off 15 percent. Across the country, the travel industry took a big blow. The attacks led the Federal Aviation Administration to order all flights grounded. Many flights were diverted to Canada. The U.S.-Mexican border was closed Sept. 11, and security was tightened along the U.S.-Canadian border. By Friday, Sept. 14, delays at the Oroville border crossing were down, but security remained high. All commercial and general air traffic was grounded, with Omak Municipal Airport and Okanogan Legion Airport joining their larger counterparts in closing down. Sullivan said at least 10 people from Okanogan County were stranded when all commercial flights were grounded Sept. 11-14.

First soldier with Omak grad killed area ties dies in Iraq in Iraq battle May 26, 2004 Sgt. Jeffrey Ross Shaver, who lived in Omak for part of

Aug. 25, 2004 A second soldier with ties to Okanogan County died in

Omak gives belated diploma to veteran Dec. 2, 2009 OMAK — At age 84 and a half, Leonard Paulsen, Tonasket, may not be Omak’s oldest high school graduate, but he surely waited the longest to get his diploma. To avoid being drafted into the Army, Paulsen enlisted in the Navy in 1943, dropping out of high school at age 17. He received his sheepskin during the Omak School Board meeting Nov. 24. Several of his family members attended the event, as did Wilford Schreckengast, Okanogan. A few weeks ago, Paulsen read in The Chronicle about how Schreckengast, 79, was awarded his diploma by Okanogan High School on Nov. 11. Schreckengat, a Korean War veteran, had discovered a law that allows veterans who have served during wartime to apply for a diploma. With the urging of his wife, Nellie, a cousin of Schreckengast’s wife, Donna, Paulsen set up a meeting with Omak Superintendent Arthur Himmler. After hearing Paulsen’s story, Himmler immediately scheduled a diploma-awarding ceremony. After visiting at least 20 ports of call from Australia to Asia to South Africa, Paulsen was in China in 1946 after World War II ended. He returned to Omak and asked for a diploma, but the superintendent declined on the basis of Paulsen’s attendance record.

Pedestrian finds $500,000 in backpack March 10, 2004 Okanogan County sheriff’s deputies seized just under half a million dollars in cash March 5 after a pedestrian located the money in a backpack near Ellisforde. Okanogan County sheriff Frank Rogers said the cash was seized as suspected drug money. They maintained surveillance on it until it was picked up by a 35-year-old Oroville man. The man was stopped by deputies as he drove away from the location with the backpack in his vehicle, Rogers said. He was booked on suspicion of money laundering. “We would love to talk to the individual who left the money if he is willing to come talk to us,” said Rogers.

Agencies debate who gets lost money March 24, 2004 The question of who will wind up with nearly $500,000 found in a backpack near Oroville came up during a break at a special meeting of the Okanogan County commissioners March 19. Commissioner Craig Vejraska said there could be many fingers in the pie before the 45-day deadline for filing claims on the money expires. “It would be nice if the county could get a little piece to help balance the budget, but I think the chances of that are slim to nil,” Vejraska said. Ernie Gahimer, chief criminal deputy, said he doesn’t expect any agency other than the sheriff’s office to claim to the money. “The money, if it is forfeited, will go into the sheriff’s drug fund to fight drugs,” said Gahimer. Gahimer said it’s not possible under state law for the commissioners to get the money. So far, two claims have been filed under two different statutes, Gahimer said. The individual who discovered the money and turned it over to the sheriff’s office filed one type of claim under found property statutes, Gahimer said. David Lee Taber Jr., 45, Oroville, has been charged with money laundering. After the money was found, the sheriff’s office put other items in the backpack and placed back where it was found.

Wauconda could sell to Australian couple April 7, 2010 WAUCONDA — The community’s business district – its cafe and store – has been sold on eBay for $370,601. The bidding for Wauconda ended at 1:14 p.m. Friday, April 2. A Seattle TV station reported that the winning bidders were a couple from Healesville, Australia. After a 30-day eBay auction, 34 bidders placed 112 bids, and the winning bid was placed at 2:38 p.m. Wednesday, March 31. The auction included the Wauconda restaurant/bar/grill, a gas station/convenience store established in 1898, a governmentleased post office, a four-acre owner’s ranch and the original, 100year-old homestead log cabin. The store sits on state Highway 20, and more than 10,000 cars per day travel the route during the summer, the auction said The Okanogan County tax sifter lists the property with an assessed value of $184,800. According to auction information, the winning bidder had until 5 p.m. Monday, April 5, to wire a 5 percent cash deposit to an escrow account. Editor’s Note: Wauconda’s original sale did not go through, but instead sold to another couple living in Western Washington who own it now. –The Chronicle

Omak man dies July 6, 2005 Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. today, July 6, for Spc. Brian Charles Harrison, who died in an accident at an Army Ranger training session at Fort Benning, Ga., June 29. The service will be at the Omak Performing Arts Center. Harrison, Omak, recently visited family Harrison and friends for a week in late June and returned to Fort Benning June 26. He was born Dec. 18, 1977, in Spokane to Dean and Julie (Lambert) Harrison, and lived most of his life in Omak. He attended school in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Omak, and took classes at Wenatchee Valley College and Shoreline Community College. Harrison joined the Army in 2001 and had been assigned to an Army Ranger Special Forces unit based out of Fort Benning. Harrison was training at the time of his death to be ready for deployments, his family said. He previously was deployed

to two fronts on the war on terror: Afghanistan and Iraq. Harrison received the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Army service and overseas service ribbons.

Omak grad hurt July 20, 2005 A former Omak athlete recently talked in an unemotional monotone from a Colorado hospital about how a sniper shattered his left arm in June while he was stationed in Iraq. Brian Lawrence – 16 years removed from Omak High School, where he lettered in football, wrestling and track – will spend the next nine to 12 months recovering after being shot while rescuing four Iraqi soldiers. The Army has recommended him for a Bronze Star with valor and two Purple Hearts. He was shot in the arm and also took a bullet that split his chin. “I would take two more bullets to save four lives,” said Lawrence.


Mary Henrie

People Decade

A long-time cheerleader of Omak (she’s even worn the costume in a parade), Mary Henrie has had her hand in more organizations in the city than maybe anyone can remember. She is a founding member of the Wenatchee Valley College Board of Trustees, now an emeritus member. The Omak campus dedicated its Mary Henrie Friendship Hall to her. She spent years bringing about Dalton-Klessig Park in north Omak for senior citizens. She has a tree dedicated to her in the Omak Civic League Park for her service on the tree board. She spent years in the Omak Chamber of Commerce, several of those as president. In 2008, she was inducted into the Omak Stampede Hall of Fame for her contributions. Other involvement: Pioneer Club for the Omak Library, Omak Planning Commission, Hotel/motel committee and constant encouraging and helping in various Omak events. She now has a chair at Omak City Council with her name on it - literally. She and husband, Gene, started Gene’s Harvest Foods, which now is owned by their sons, Bob and Mike Henrie. Now in her 80s, Henrie continues to be an influence and inspiration for various aspects of the community.

of the

Bob Baggett

Richard Johnson

A living example of what can happen when a person turns their life around, Chaplain Bob Baggett encourages inmates daily at the Okanogan County Correctional Facility. He and wife, Charlotte, moved to Omak to pastor the Nazarene Church in 1980. Shortly thereafter, he started volunteering at the jail. For many of those years, he has put in 10- to 12hour days volunteering, helping to meet the spiritual and physical needs of inmates. As chaplain, he provides Bibles, chats, prayer times, etc. Much of the rest of his time is spent gathering donations for the inmates. In the last several years, Baggett has raised up to a quarter-million dollars in donations each year. He might be most known for his Christmas packages for inmates each year. He gathers about 200 packages, including socks and underwear to games and books for the inmates, then distributes them with a “Merry Christmas! Santa’s here!” during Christmas week. Baggett was honored in September 2010 with an 80th birthday party, thrown by coworkers and friends. Baggett has said he will continue until he no longer can, but so far his three heart attacks and diabetes haven’t been able to catch up with him.

Most school superintendents across the nation last about 3.6 years. Okanogan School District Richard Johnson is at 22 years...and counting. When he marked 20 years in 2008, Johnson said he planned on staying in the job so long as he still had the “spark.” “I'll stay as long as I get up in the morning and feel excited about coming to work,” he said. Johnson, 58, has had many ups and downs over the years, especially with budget cuts and school emergencies. The scariest time? Johnson had to search through the rubble at the old Virginia Grainger building after a truck barreled into the music room. Thankfully, he never found any injured children or staff because all had been out of the damage zone. When he came in 1988, he had already put in 13 years as a teacher, principal and superintendent in Idaho. His son, Roy, has been following a bit in his father’s footsteps, being the director of the juvenile detention schooling program and lately becoming an administrative intern in the district. Johnson said the students make the job what it is. “Every day I'm proud of them,” he said.

Boy saves drowning girl June 8, 2005 Salina Hines, Okanogan, says she thought her son was in trouble when she received a phone call from a stranger about her boy’s behavior at Omak Lake. It turned out Chayse Wiggins, 11, was to be praised, not punished. The fifth-grader from Virginia Grainger Elementary School is being hailed a hero for saving a girl from drowning in Omak Lake on the St. Mary’s Mission side May 28. According to Hines, an 8-yearold girl from Omak wandered out into the lake and lost her floatie. The girl’s mother said she was sitting on shore right next to the lake when the incident happened. She said she asked the girl to stay where she could stand, but she wandered too far out and fell off her floatie. Before the mother could get to the girl, Wiggins grabbed her and brought her to shore. “He didn’t even bat an eye — it was just instant for him to go over there and pull her out,” said the woman, who declined to be

identified. “As far as I’m concerned, God put him there to help my daughter.” She called Hines to express her gratitude. “Chayse has three brothers and he’s second to the oldest,” said Hines. “He’s actually pretty mischievous, but he has a really good heart and he’s very kind.” Hines said her son began swimming lessons when he was 2, and that he loves all types of outdoor activities including fishing, camping, hiking and swimming. Not only did Wiggins pull the youngster to shore May 28, he went back out in search of her goggles. He was able to find them. Wiggins, easy to spot with his bright red Mohawk haircut, says what he did at the lake was “no big deal,” but his family members think it is. “When I got the message on the answering machine from that little girl’s mother I thought, ‘Oh great, what did he do, dunk someone?’ When I heard what happened, I was so proud of him,” said his mom.

Drum song honors son Jersey of slain basketball player retired at ceremony Dec. 5, 2007 The No. 21 jersey of former Omak player Bryson Marchand was retired Nov. 29 during a special ceremony between games with Liberty Bell. Marchand was 15 when he died in a vehicle accident June 15 after playing as a freshman on the Pioneer Marchand basketball team last winter. His parents, Benny and Alana, along with other family members accepted a shadow box with the player’s picture, jersey and feather. Benny Marchand at the start and end of the ceremony sang and drummed. He told the audience the first song was a sad one, and the last song a joyful one. He said he learned the last song with others after 21 days in a sweat lodge on Ferry Street to honor his son’s No. 21 jersey. He said the final song could lift a spirit and give strength. Those also at the dedication included Stephanie Lelone and Dean Nicholson, who represented Colville Tribes

TANF youth program. They presented the retired jersey. Also donating to the shadow box was Chelan High School Summer Tournament, DeeDee Friedlander and Jill Saunders of Moran’s Photography photos. Lynn Palmanteer-Holder presented a Bryson E. Marchand Athletic Excellence Award that was sponsored by Holder Water Systems, Palmanteer Step’A’Loop and Don Kruse Electric. Uniform patches were by Embroidery outfitters and Barb Pearson. “As for the ceremony, I hope it spoke for itself,” said Omak coach Duane Erickson, who also spoke. “Bryson was a special young man that needed to be honored for who he was,” said the coach. “We spent a lot of time of planning and preparing for this night. My hope is that it was as special as it needed to be.” In his first year with Omak, Marchand and his red-topped shoes used speed to work a way into a starting role. He averaged 8.5 points a game, scoring in double figures 10 times. He hit 18 points twice, and was a feared outside three-point shooter as well as someone who could drive to the basket before dishing off to an open player. “He worked hard, didn’t say much, did not complain and just went out and played,” said Erickson after the 5-10 guard’s death.

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High winds made the ears of Bella, a nine-week-old beagle, fly horizontally at The Plex in Okanogan during a youth baseball tournament.

Cattlewomen honor Jean Berney Feb. 11, 2004 Jean Berney, Conconully, was named outstanding CattleWoman of the year Jan. 29 during the annual meeting of American National CattleWomen in Phoenix, Ariz. “This award may have gone to me, but I had a lot of support from other CattleWomen, and a lot of family support,” said Berney. “Without them this wouldn’t have been possible.” In a letter nominating Berney for the national award, Rita Heinlen, Okanogan, said Berney served as president of the Washington CattleWomen in 1990 when the National Beef Cookoff was held in Bellevue. She also served three years on the National Beef Cookoff committee, and served two terms on the National Beef Board, where she held positions on the public relations, nutrition and health committees. Over the years, Berney

participated in six National Beef Cookoffs, and served on numerous national committees including beef education, beef promotion and legislation. Locally, she received the agriculture person of the year award in 1993 from the Omak Chamber of Commerce, and has served as beef promotion chairwoman for the Okanogan County CattleWomen. “Even if Jean were not a chairman, or given responsibilities, she would continue to promote beef,” said Heinlen. “She educates herself, researches new products and seeks current information regarding beef. Berney’s love of cooking and nutritional education goes back to her childhood, when she joined 4-H at age 10. From that beginning she went on to attend Washington State University, where she was named WSU outstanding 4-H girl while

she was working toward a degree in home economics. She graduated in 1958. She said her interest in cattle didn’t blossom until 1957 when she married a young rancher named Buzz Berney in her junior year of college. After graduating from college the couple returned to the Okanogan Valley and established a home on the Berney Family Ranch, where they raised four sons. Berney is the daughter of Fred Rickard (a member of the Colville Tribe), and Donna Mae LaFonso Rickard (a member of the Mechoopda Tribe). She acquired 900 acres of rangeland on the Colville Indian Reservation in 1963 and established her own herd of cattle, which carry her personal brand. “Jean doesn’t know a stranger, has no pretenses, is armed with facts and knowledge, and truly enjoys promoting beef,” Heinlen said.

Former Omak man called hero in Alaska May 16, 2001 A former Omak man who once rode bulls, and as a child kept owls and snakes in his room, thwarted a knife-wielding attacker at an elementary school May 7 in Anchorage, Alaska. Jeff Harriman, whose brother, Kim Harriman, still lives in Omak, was being hailed as a hero after knocking aside the attacker as he started to slash the throat of an 8-year-old boy at Mount View Elementary School. The boy, whose face was cut in

the encounter, survived, as did three other children whose throats were cut earlier at the school by the attacker. An Anchorage Daily News story said Harriman’s action to knock aside the attacker may have saved the boy’s life and allowed a teacher time to get other children out of the room. Kim Harriman said his brother, a teacher at the school, used a plastic tub to ward off the attacker while protecting the wounded boy.

Jeff Harriman, 50, and other teachers kept the 33-year-old attacker occupied and held up in the room until police arrived. Kim Harriman said as the attack progressed to a classroom, kids fled and dove under desks as trained at the school if there was an attacker. Kim Harriman described his older brother as being typical, a tough older brother who was an Eagle Scout, rode bulls, played football and basketball at Omak High School.

2002 Continued June 16 – Alex Dick, 83, who notched the most Suicide Race victories, dies. July 11 – A memorial for four firefighters who died in the Thirtymile Fire is unveiled. July 15 – A starling emergency is declared in Okanogan County. July 28 – Sabrina Lay, Omak, finishes second in barrel racing at the National High School Rodeo Finals. Aug. 7 – After 30 years of business, Jack Hopkins sells his Omak appliance store to Trent LaDoux. Aug. 10 – Leroy Abrahamson, aboard Ruben, wins the King of the Hill title for the Suicide Race. Nov. 8 – The U.N. votes to force Saddam Hussein and Iraq to disarm or face serious consequences. 2003 Jan. 8 – Mary Lou Peterson is sworn-in as the first female Okanogan County commissioner. Jan. 8 – Kaitlynne Cecelia Maree Daniel, Omak, is the year’s first baby. Jan. 15 – Commissioners disband the 16-member Fair Advisory Board and form a 7-member Parks and Recreation Board. Jan. 22 – The Okanogan Livestock Market closes after 60-plus years. Jan. 29 – “Band of Brothers” movie portrays the story of Easy Company, including one of the 15 surviving members Earl McClung, Inchelium. Feb. 1 – The Space Shuttle Columbia explodes upon re-entry, killing all seven astronauts aboard. Feb. 12 – Okanogan County Commissioners declare a state of emergency over the cougar population. March 12 – Brewster boys and girls both take first in state basketball. March 19 – The war in Iraq commences. April 2 – Shana Matlock is Omak’s Junior Miss. May 14 – The Okanogan School District closes the 100-year-old-plus Malott school. June 4 – Undersheriff Matthew Lane and rescue pilot Rudy Ohlund die in a rescue mission airplane crash for the Ferry County Sheriff Office. July 9 – Groups protest the Okanogan PUD management. Commissioner Don Johnson accuses the staff of illegal actions. July 23 – The Okanogan Crestview fire burns three orchards and five houses. Another fire nears St. Mary’s Mission and Paschal Sherman Indian School. Sept. 10 – Libby Baker is named Okanogan County Fair Queen. Oct. 15 – A new $31 million border crossing between Oroville and Osoyoos opens. Oct. 29 – Record rainfall wipes out portions of state Highway 20. Nov. 12 – Karmen Beeman and Edie Longfellow are named to the Omak Stampede Hall of Fame. Dec. 10 – Okanogan’s new $3.8 million Oak Street bridge opens. Dec. 13 – Saddam Hussein is captured. Dec. 24 – Republic 15year-old Jessica Rose Shores is found in Texas after disappearing Oct. 17. She was found with abductor Stephen Recker, recognized by a dog catcher who had seen her missing person’s flyer. Dec. 31 – A Canadian cow brings in mad cow disease in Washington – locals don’t expect longlasting affects for the industry. Continued (Continuedon onpage Page96 4)


TIMELINE 2004 Feb. 21 – Clyde Pock honored by Okanogan County Officials Association for 50 years of service as a sports official. March 26 – Hamilton Farm Equipment, Okanogan, celebrates 70 years in business. June 5 – Okanogan Presbyterian Church celebrates 100 years. June 5 – Al’s IGA, Tonasket, celebrates 35 years in business. Aug. 25 – Harrison Jewelers, downtown Omak, celebrates 50 years. Nov. 2 – President Bush is re-elected. Dec. 26 – A 9.3 magnitude earthquake creates a massive tsunami, striking from Sri Lanka to Indonesia, killing 290,000. 2005 March 27 – A fire destroys Lee Frank’s store in Tonasket. May 16 – The newly built Paschal Sherman Indian School opens. Aug. 14 – Tyler Peasley, aboard Ruben, wins the Suicide Race overall title. Aug. 29 – The Sonshine Cross atop Shellrock Point is twisted nearly to the ground by a windstorm. Aug. 29 – Hurricane Katrina strikes the Gulf Coast, causing the deaths of 1,300 people and massive flooding from Alabama to Louisiana. Nov. 25 – Long time Omak Stampede bullfighter, Dwayne Hargo, is hospitalized with an aneurysm. 2006 Jan. 4 – Gabrilla Studen is the first baby. Feb. 1 – Jon Gabriel and Yolanda Eleuteria DeVon are found guilty of killing her 22month-old toddler. Feb. 8 – The Okanogan PUD selects route two on a 2-1 vote for the Pateros-toTwisp transmission line. April 19 – Several landowners and environmental groups sue the PUD over its route selection. May 10 – The county drops its proposal to turn the old armory into a jail. May 24 – Sudden melting and runoff causes flash floods. William L. Burton, 19, is swept away from his truck in Sinlahekin Creek and found dead several days later. June 7 – Chief Joseph Dam celebrates its 50th anniversary. July 5 – Portions of the Colville Indian Plywood and Veneer mill are destroyed by fire. The rest is saved by quick action by firefighters. Aug. 2 – The Tripod Fire grows outside Conconully. Aug. 30 – Gov. Christine Gregoire visits Conconully to discuss the Tripod Fire, the West Coast’s largest wildland fire. She declares a state of emergency. Oct. 4 – Damage from Tripod is estimated at $75 million, with rehabilitation estimated to cost $28 million. Oct. 11 – Hannah McDaniel is named Omak Stampede Queen. Nov. 7 – Both Houses of Congress swing back to Democratic control. Nov. 29 – Okanogan PUD wins its case against environmental activists and landowners over the Paterosto-Twisp line proposal. Dec. 27 – The crew boss of the 2001 Thirtymile Fire is charged with manslaughter and making false statements regarding the deaths of four firefighters. 2007 Jan. 4 – Nancy Pelosi becomes the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House.

Continued (Continuedon onpage Page97 5)


Tonasket woman killed

Chronicle photo

Officers remove the casket of Ferry County Undersheriff Matthew Lane at his funeral.

Two perish in rescue June 4, 2003 Two members of the Ferry County Sheriff’s Office died Friday, May 30, when their plane crashed on Sherman Pass during a search and rescue mission. Dead are undersheriff Matthew Lane and search and rescue pilot Rudy Ohlund. Lane and Ohlund were searching for the woman when their four-seat, single-engine Lane Cessna 172 crashed in a power line right of way about 200 yards north of Highway 20. The woman for whom they were searching Ohlund apparently left the car of a companion Thursday night and disappeared into the woods. She was located, unharmed, Friday evening. According to a statement from the Ferry County Sheriff’s Office, the cause of the crash has not been determined. An investigation into the crash is under way and involves the National Transportation Safety Board and the Ferry County Sheriff’s Office. Lane was known for his hard work and for working his way up through the police ranks, said those who knew him. He spent four years with the Republic Police Department and the last 13 years with the sheriff’s office. He was injured in the line of duty in 1999 when he was shot in

the cheek . “Matt and I had a good working relationship,” recalled Republic Police chief Nick Merritt. “He was a fine officer, a good undersheriff and loving father.” Lane leaves behind a wife and two daughters. Ohlund was coordinator of Ferry County Search and Rescue for the last five years. June 11, 2003 Republic paid its last respects to fallen search and rescue members Matthew Lane and Rudy Ohlund in separate memorial services last week. A service for Lane was held June 5 at the Republic High School football stadium. Approximately 2,000 community members and officers from around the Northwest and Canada gathered. The Rev. Greg Perkins of Liberty Baptist Church officiated. Perkins recalled that Lane had a strong desire to be the best and spent his life trying to make a difference in other people’s lives. He loved being involved and serving his community, and wasn’t shy about voicing his opinion and standing up for what he believed in. He was known to be a devoted husband to his wife, Virginia, and a loving father to his two daughters, Marcella and Kacie. “Marcella and Kacie can say that ‘my Dad was the best dad’,” said Perkins. He told the girls that they have permission to say that “their Dad was the best” and if anyone disagrees the 1,000 cops present would back them up. The service included presentation of Lane’s badge to his wife, ringing of the bell to declare an officer down, “Taps” and “Amazing Grace.” The American flag that was

draped on Lane’s casket was folded and presented to his wife and daughters. The service concluded with one last call from dispatch that moved the crowd to tears. “Republic Adam 2 . . . Republic Adam 2,” called dispatch. “Republic Adam 2 out of service. Not forgotten.” Graveside services for Rudy Ohlund were held June 7 at the Republic Cemetery with the Republic Eagles officiating and assisted by the American Legion. The service began with a three-plane fly-over followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Hundreds of community members gathered in a circle at the gravesite to remember Ohlund’s life, his devotion to the City of Republic, and what a good neighbor and friend he was. According to the officiator, Ohlund was active in the community airport and took charge of the airport’s hangar maintenance and snow removal. He was instrumental in getting two landing lights installed and the runway numbered. He helped organized the yearly fly-in at the airport. Ohlund had a love for music. He enjoyed playing guitar and singing songs at different events around Republic and would drive to Colville weekly to perform for a group of retired folks. He had a strong enthusiasm for search and rescue and would volunteer for missions outside of Ferry County. “We are all going to miss him,” said the officiator. “He has left a giant gap in the area that might never be filled.” The service concluded with the playing of “Taps” and the singing of “Amazing Grace.”

From Buckhorn Page 931 Buckhorn From Page demonstrate efficiency and have community cooperation, all of which Burt said were achieved. “Although we have larger mines,” he said, “we don’t have a better mine than this one.” Burt said the 180 new jobs created by the Buckhorn project would bring in between $13 million and $14 million in annual payroll. Burt and Roberts presented a plaque dedicating the mine to “the people who entrust Kinross with their capital, livelihoods, communities and environment.” Mine superintendent Doug Moore led groups down the main portal into the mine, where the light slowly disappeared. Visitors were equipped with hard hats and flashlights. Within the 12-foot wide tunnels are strung electrical wires (at 4,160 volts) and air and water piping. One pipe sucks out the bad air and particles and blows it outside of the tunnels. What looks like metal netting helps hold up all the ceilings. So far, the mine goes about 800 feet down at the deepest in the main portal, Moore said. The upper portal goes about 1,150 feet down. About 4,000 feet of development has been done into the mountain. The operation’s 30 underground miners are crosscutting the ore now, so that production will be coming in soon, Moore said. When full production hits, miners will haul 1,000 tons of ore per day, he said. With all the mining comes a lot of water usage, which led to one of the biggest concerns from opponents of the mine: Water quality. Down the hill from the main portal lies the water treatment

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A tour group emerges from the main shaft of Buckhorn Mountain mine. facility, a $3 million project to bring water to drinking water levels by clearing out impurities, according to company officials. Some of impurities are naturally existing, such as lead and arsenic, said environmental engineer Richard Salopek. Others are increased by mining activity, including nitrates and ammonia coming from explosives. If the levels are below the hazardous waste mark, the waste water will be transported to ponds where the impurities will settle to the bottom, the water will evaporate and the sediment below will be taken away, he explained. If hazardous levels exist, then licensed hazardous waste removers will take it away and dispose of it properly, he said. Under many regulations through the Clean Water Act, Salopek said Kinross has reached above and beyond in its requirements. He said his

impression is that Kinross strives to set a high precedent for mining activities. David Kliegman, executive director of the Okanogan Highlands Alliance, led the fight against the mine for nearly two decades. He attended the opening. “OHA still has many concerns regarding the mine,” said Kliegman in a statement. “You can’t develop a large industrial facility on top of a mountain and not have problems. How the company deals with problems is what will make a difference. “So far the company has been responsive to OHA’s concerns and addressed problems as they have risen,” Kliegman continued. “We are hopeful that the company will maintain the highest standards to protect the environment. OHA will continue to keep a close eye on this mine’s operations for a very long time.”

May 19, 2010 OKANOGAN — Reverberations from the death of a pregnant Tonasket woman will be felt for a long time, as told by family members in a packed courtroom May 11 for the sentencing of “Tonasket” Tansy Fay-Arwen Mathis, 30, and David Eugene Richards, 34. Mathis, a mother of seven, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the stabbing death of the pregnant Michelle L. Kitterman. Kitterman was stabbed 39 times March 1, 2009, with a weapon described as an ice pick and left on the side of snowy, muddy Stalder Road about 14.5 miles southwest of Kitterman Tonasket. Richards, her accomplice, was sentenced to 22 years that included four years for a deadly weapon enhancement. The pair from Spokane were found guilty April 22 following a three-week trial. “Dear judge, please make Mathis and Richards realize the trauma and grief they have put on our family,” Michelle’s mother, Tracy Kitterman, told the court. “Also, make them realize the trauma that they have had on so many people.” “The crime in this case is one of the most egregious that we’ve had,” Okanogan County Prosecutor Karl Sloan said during sentencing. “The impact on so many, frankly, is remarkable by its depth and breadth,” Chelan County Judge T.W. “Chip” Small said. “Michelle was loved by many, many people. Her life touched so many, many more than what regular folks do. So that the fact the court has been educated in that, helps the court in determining the severity of the conduct.

“In addition, what cannot be ignored and obviously cannot be forgotten is the heinous, horrific, depraved manner of this conduct,” Small said. “To leave Michelle and her (unborn) son by the side of the road to die, completely disregarding human life in a manner that’s just incomprehensive to this court.” At the trial, Mathis was found guilty of aggravated first-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter of an unborn child, first-degree kidnapping and tampering with evidence. Richards was found guilty of second-degree murder and firstdegree manslaughter of an unborn quick child. “Miss Mathis has struggled with her demons in life, being a child sex abuse survivor, her drug addiction, she has become a person of faith, and that would be all that we have to say at this time,” Mathis’ attorney, Steve Graham said. Brent “Hollywood” Lane Phillips, 39, Spokane, testified in the trial as part of a plea agreement that included the state recommending a sentence of 26 years on reduced charges of firstdegree murder-premeditated murder, first-degree manslaughter of an unborn child, tampering with evidence and first-degree kidnapping. Phillips said Mathis initially stabbed Kitterman in the abdomen five times before giving him the pick and telling him to finish her. Phillips testified how he repeatedly stabbed Kitterman including the fatal, 5-inch wound in her back. Mathis, Richards and Phillips all testified they used and were dealers of methamphetamine. A fourth defendant, Lacey Kae Hirst-Pavek, 35, Crumbacher, is scheduled to go to trial July 6 on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter for allegedly getting Mathis to find people to rough up Kitterman and cause her to lose the baby. Editor’s Note: Hirst-Pavek was convicted in the murder of Kitterman in November 2010.

Cold case solved? Bauer murder suspect arrested OMAK — Are you sitting down? Nick Adams, Portland, Ore., asked his brother, Frank, that question over the phone Feb. 2. Frank thought a family member had died. He was wrong. That Tuesday, Frank Adams and his wife, Joyce, relived March 6, 1998 – the day Frank and Nick’s mother, Sandy Bauer, 51, was found raped and strangled to death. They relived what it was like to tell their children that Grandma wasn’t coming back. During the call, Nick told Frank that Kelly E. Small, 47, Omak, was arrested as a suspect. It was the first arrest in the case after nearly 12 years of waiting. Small heard anticipated charges Feb. 3 in the Bauer case and in the 2006 rape and attempted homicide of a now79-year-old woman. Frank and Joyce and their daughter, Ambrosa, 18, were in the courtroom. Frank said the family had expected nothing would ever happen, that the case was unsolvable. “I thought about it every day of my life,” Frank said. Needing closure “For the last 11 years, 11 months and two days we have been living in fear,” Joyce said Feb. 3 after the court hearing. The family has always expected that whoever killed Bauer would kill again. They started locking their doors. Joyce said the family found it hard to trust anyone. “We could be talking to the person who killed her and never know,” she said. Frank and Joyce said they feel terrible it took another woman’s and another family’s suffering before police could get enough evidence for an arrest. The 2006 attempted homicide brought in evidence to link the two cases, including DNA evidence, that allegedly identified Small. “I’m so sorry that woman and her family went through so much,” Joyce said through sobs. “But she did what we

needed. She’s a hero.” Without the evidence she provided, there wouldn’t have been an arrest, Frank said. Now that there is a suspect and there will be a trial, they said they are beginning to find closure. “I want him to realize how much he hurt our family, (the other victim’s) family and his own family,” Ambrosa said. The only question they have for Bauer’s killer is, “why?” The detective In 2006, the Adams family moved back to Omak from Bend, Ore. They had lived in Omak in their childhood and moved to Bend for work, Frank said. But they missed home. Ambrosa wrote a letter to The Chronicle soon after they moved back. It ran in the Nov. 15, 2006, edition. She said she wrote it to try to bring the awareness back because it felt like no one cared. “It seems like an eternity, but only eight years ago someone really close to me was murdered,” she wrote. “That was my grandmother, Sandy Bauer. At the time, I was only 6 years old and in kindergarten. Now, I am 14 years old and go to Okanogan High School as a freshman. They still have not found her murderer. Has she rested in peace for the last eight years? No, she has not.” When Jeff Koplin became a detective for the Omak Police Department in April 2009, one of his first assignments was the Bauer case. Up until then, the family had lost faith in police. But Frank said Koplin made things happen. “Jeff Koplin is a hell of a guy,” Frank said. The Small family Meanwhile, another family is reeling with their father and husband behind bars. The Adamses said they feel bad for the Small family. Small is married and has two adult children. Some of the family members were in court Wednesday. “Our world yesterday was getting put back together and their world was shattered,” Joyce said. “We’re past revenge,” Joyce said. “We want justice. We want peace.”


Baker scores 1,000 basketball points Dec. 18, 2002 Ashley Baker last week became just the fifth player in Omak High School girls’ basketball history to score more than 1,000 points in a career. Baker finished with 1,037 points after three games last week, reported coach Duane Erickson, who said the count was unofficial. His count and that of the Wenatchee World differed by eight points. “I will be double checking that,” said Erickson of Baker, who is fifth in all-time scoring for Omak. The school record is held by Tanya Smith at 1,814. Jenny Kerr is second all time with 1,315 points. Shae McCormack is fourth at 1,128 and Tauni Lisenbey is fourth at 1,109.

Finch doesn’t flinch; rides to victory July 11, 2001 Omak resident Dick Finch added his second national road race championship since turning 60 by winning the title for those ages 65-69 July 9 in Spokane. Finch, 65, was one of 18 riders from around the United States who covered two laps of a 17-mile course near Spokane Community College. The race, which started at 8:30 a.m., finished on Fort Wright Drive with about 15 of the original riders still in a pack. The rider who had won a criterium two days earlier was near the lead of the pack when a leg cramped and he came to a near halt. “He almost stopped and the guy in front of me almost hit him,” said Finch. “Everybody dodged right but I went left and was alone. I thought I had to go, so I started up the hill so they couldn’t draft me.”

‘Small town’ ump calls state games June 6, 2007 Keith Kladnik, Omak, represented the Okanogan County Umpires Association for the first time as umpire at the state level for 3A and 4A baseball games this spring. This was the first time a “small town” umpire worked the big school championship games, which were played at Safeco Field in Seattle May 25-26, he said. Kladnik Kladnik, 54, began umpiring in 1975. He’s been umping in Okanogan County for 17 years. This was his 10th time to be selected to work at the state level. His previous assignments were at the 2A, 1A and B levels.

9-year-old works for national competition Dec. 18, 2002 Dylan Green, Omak, finished first in a regional NFL Gatorade Punt, Pass and Kick competition Dec. 8 prior to the Seahawks game in Seattle. The top five scores from Alaska, Montana, Oregon, Idaho and Washington competed. Conditions were wet, with some competitors having problems hanging onto the ball in the pass competition. Punt, pass and kick competition features both distance and accuracy. Green, 9, now waits to see if he qualifies among the top finishers nationally. If he does, he will receive an all-expense paid trip to compete for the national title in January at the AFC playoff game. Green’s parents, Darrell and Mitzy Green, said their son especially enjoyed a hug he received from a Philadelphia Eagles player, and the Seahawk mascot, Blitz.

Omak hoop team nabs special gold March 14, 2001 An Omak Special Olympics basketball team took the gold medal March 3-4 at the state Special Olympics basketball tournament. Omak edged Vancouver Panthers 29-24 for the gold. The Omak Warriors fell in their first game to the same Panthers by nine points. The team bounced back and won 35-9 over South Kitsap Outlaws and 29-5 over Seattle Parks Sharks. In the finals, Omak won 24-23 in the first match of the doubleelimination tournament. In the finals Omak prevailed by five points. This is the first year basketball has been played in the Omak area by Special Olympic players, reports Sherri Fought. “They all did an outstanding job and all of their hard work paid off,” said Fought. “Thank you to our supporters who showed up to cheer us on, all of the volunteers who came to practice and helped get our team ready and North Elementary School for the use of their gym for practice.

Whitworth Hall of Fame inducts Buchert Sept. 29, 2004 SPOKANE — The late Wayne Buchert, Tonasket, will be inducted into Whitworth College’s Heritage Gallery Hall of Fame Sept. Oct. 2. Buchert, a football All-American, was joined by basketball AllAmerican Nate Dunham, Almira, and the 1965 men’s cross country team in the hall of fame. Buchert was one of two Pirate players named to the initial NAIA All-American football team in 1954, culminating an outstanding career as a halfback. During his senior season in 1954, Buchert also was named AP Little All-American, All-Pacific Coast and AllEvergreen Conference after leading the Pirates to a perfect 8-0 season. He also was awarded the Snyder Inspiration Award by his teammates that season. As a junior in 1953 he was named AllEvergreen Conference and All-Pacific Coast after the Pirates finished with a record of 7-1. Even as a sophomore in 1952 Buchert was selected second team All-Evergreen Conference when the Pirates went 4-3-1. Upon graduation in 1955, Buchert went on to play football for the Marine Corps. He worked for the Immigration and Naturalization Service for more than 20 years. Buchert passed away in December 1988 after a battle with bone cancer.

Derting named co-captain for WSU football April 28, 2004 PULLMAN — Will Derting, Okanogan, is one of four players named as team captains for Washington State University’s 2004 football team. Derting, a junior, joins other co-captains – seniors Sam Lightbody and Hamza Abdullah and sophomore Josh Swogger – in being named by head coach Bill Doba. “We entered the spring season looking for guys on both sides of the ball to emerge leadership-wise,” Doba said. “We think we have found them in Sam Lightbody and Josh Swogger offensively, and Hamza Abdullah and Will Derting on the other side. Derting established himself as one of the top linebackers in the Pac-10 in 2003, racking up 86 tackles, including 12 behind the line and 7.5 sacks. He earned first team All-Pac-10 honors and was twice named the conference’s defensive player of the week. “It’s a great honor to be named team captain,” said Derting. “We have a lot of big shoes to fill in terms of leadership and I hope I can be one of the guys that can step up and help do that.”

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Team members include but not in order: Nicholas Brown, Willy Bessette, Lawrence McDonald, Brandt Kaemingk, Nathan Neddo, Curtis Hurlbert, Brady Gariano, Kash Menta, Mike Moore, Ryan Cate, Chris Allen, Matt Nearents, Jacob Nicholson, Ian McLelland, Andrew Bjur, Jason Thompson, Shane Pyper, Michael Veliz, Liam Arellano, Danny Robbins, Jose Sanchez, Jordan BensonPiscopo, Brock Belgarde, Tyler Wells, Eric Schmidt, Lucas Butler, Charlie Bessette, Sunder RilingAldridge, Aaron Wells, Owen Saugee, Dereck Desjardins, Luke Richter, Chris Striggow. Head coach: Galen Kaemingk. Assistant coaches: John Sackman, Bryan Behymer, Kip Apple, Steve Springer, Jason Romine, Eric Cantlon, Gary Reese. Managers: Brennen Kaemingk, Matt Howe, Josh Rhodes.

Pioneers take state crown Dec. 6, 2000 TACOMA — A record six interceptions by Curtis Hurlbert paved the way for Omak High School to bring home the class 2A football championship Dec. 2. Hurlbert mirrored his teammates, who out-leaped, out-hustled and out-played Meridian to win 30-14 at the Tacoma Dome. “We’re really happy with the way the kids behaved themselves,” said Omak coach

Galen Kaemingk, whose team finished at 11-2. “It was a nice storybook season.” The victory ended defending champion Meridian’s 27-game winning streak, by far the longest in the state. The unheralded Pioneers, who were not ranked by the AP heading into post-season play, caused 10 turnovers - seven interceptions and three fumbles. “At least for me, personally, when nobody expects it, it’s so

much sweeter,” said Kaemingk of winning the state crown. “We had no ranking all year long. We got on a roll as a team. We didn’t have the extra pressure, like Okanogan, of being No. 1.” “I just went up to their quarterback and said, ‘Man, haven’t you learned yet?’ “ said Bensen-Piscopo in an interview with The News Tribune in Tacoma. “I think at the end we were tired, but a little fresher than they were,” said the coach.

‘Dogs reclaim state baseball title May 31, 2000 YAKIMA — Okanogan High School’s baseball team returned home last weekend with its first state pennant since 1979 after topping Friday Harbor 4-3 in 10 innings and, in the title tilt, stopping Brewster 13-1 in five innings. The Bulldogs used impeccable defense to earn the championship, committing only one error in 15 innings – that being a ball that got under an infielder’s glove. Though no most valuable player award was given, it could have gone to Bryce Chamberlin. The 6-1 junior did it all at

state. Against Friday Harbor, Chamberlin struck out 16, several times whiffing batters to get his team out of trouble with runners aboard. “Our kids did not want to lose,” said Howe. The coach said two big plays kept the Bulldogs in contention. Horner barehanded a ground ball and threw to first for an important out. Dustin Heindselman swept up a low throw off the base and then tagged a runner as he passed late in the game. “Our defense this weekend was superb, (the) best they’ve

played all year,” said Howe. In the championship game, and after throwing about 160 pitches a night earlier, Chamberlin responded by drilling a home run over the centerfield fence. The ball cleared the high wall and the street behind the wall, well over 400 feet. The quick, fast victory over Brewster avenged a 22-5 blasting by the Bears in the state title game two years earlier, when a 10-run rule apparently was not in effect. “Our kids worked hard all year,” said Howe. “They deserve this. They’re a great bunch of kids.”

Pock honored for 50 years as referee Feb. 21, 2004 Clyde O. Pock figures in the past 50 years he’s officiated 2,500 games involving 10,000 kids and called 18,000 fouls, “two of which were correct.” Pock was honored Feb. 21 by the Okanogan County Referees Association for 50 years of officiating high school sports. As official scorekeeper, he sat courtside during all four 1A district finals and consolation games. He said he’d rather have been on the court calling a game. At 75, he still officiates football, volleyball, basketball and softball. Game announcer Hank Rawson, Okanogan, gave a little background on Pock before a packed house at Dawson Gym during halftime of the district girls’ basketball game between Tonasket and Brewster. Along with calling numerous games at the local level, Rawson noted that Pock has officiated three state football games, five state volleyball tournaments and

state softball. “He’s been in every gym in Okanogan County,” said Rawson. He said he’s known Pock for more Pock than 40 years, first as a teacher. Pock later served as Okanogan High School principal; he still substitutes occasionally. Rawson recalled that, as a ninth-grader, he went to Pock’s Okanogan High School geometry class just after the announcement that President Kennedy had been assassinated. “He helped us through that,” Rawson recalled. In 1993-94 Pock received the Washington Secondary School Athletic Administrators’ Association awards, Rawson noted. Pock and his wife, Colleen, stood at center court as Rawson

paid tribute, and Okanogan athletic director Steve Chamberlin and former Omak athletic director Jim Brucker presented a golden whistle trophy, plaque, embroidered jacket and a dozen roses. Pock also received a polo shirt with his name on the front and “50 years of fun on the run” on the back. Pock said “the kids made me stay” with officiating. “Hopefully I’ve aided some kid to mature” by making a call and enforcing the rules, he said. Of 16 Caribou Trail League basketball coaches, 13 played ball in the valley “and I called fouls on all of them, including Gary Smith,” said Pock, nodding toward the Tonasket girls’ coach seated on the bench nearby. Smith played for Pateros. Pock offered thanks to his wife of 55 years for her persistence and insistence. “She was after me until I said yes and it was the best call I ever made,” he said.

Emotions high in Omak win after father’s loss Jan. 17, 2001 An emotionally drained Omak High School boys’ basketball team downed Cashmere 74-57 Jan. 13 at home. Braden Draggoo – who played the game in honor of his dad, Richard, who died in a vehicle accident Jan. 9 – tied the school scoring record with 38 points. The school record initially was set by Bill Cottrell, Jr., in 1969. Coach Rocky Verbeck said he knew Draggoo tied the record, but was unable to announce the feat courtside since the Cashmere girls immediately after the game started their warm-ups. The basketball “just came, they were not forcing it in to him,” said the coach. The effort expended by Draggoo was no more apparent than late in the game, as he sliced down the lane toward the hoop with Cashmere players bumping

him. Bent over and stumbling forward, he shot blindly underhanded. As Draggoo flew out of bounds, the shot went up and softly through the net. After the game, Draggoo fell to the floor in front of the bench. His team, and at least one Cashmere player, congratulated him. Draggoo also had 13 rebounds and six assists. The team finished with 21 assists. Cashmere closed to 49-43 to start the fourth but never could get closer. ••• Before the Omak boys’ basketball game against Cashmere Jan. 13 at home, Mark Milner read a poem by Braden Draggoo in honor of Draggoo’s dad, Richard, who died in a vehicle accident a few days earlier.

A wreath and poster, with pictures of Richard Draggoo and family, was placed in the bleachers where he often sat to watch games. The poem read: “In honor of my dad, I would like to dedicate tonight’s game and poem to him. “You’re my best friend, my dad, through good times and bad, “My friend, my buddy, through happy and sad, “Beside me, you stand, beside me you walk, you’re there to listen, you’re there to talk, with happiness, with smiles, with pain and tears. “I know you’ll be there throughout the years! “You are my dad, my best friend, my buddy, my example, and I am grateful for the time I had with you, 18 short years. “And I will miss you greatly. “Love, your son, Braden.”

2007 Jan. 18 – The Home Depot opens in Omak. Jan. 24 – Elizabeth Widel’s 2,500th column was published in The Chronicle. Feb. 17 – Omak’s Drew Walter and Derrick Green; Oroville’s Matt Kostelnik; Republic’s Ryn Rollins, J.J. Gubler and Jordan Hancock; and Liberty Bell’s Beau Stevie all win state wrestling titles. April 4 – Bain Crofoot, a life-long county resident who served three terms as county assessor, dies. May 2 – Bill Higgins, superintendent of the Nespelem School District, named National Indian Education Principal of the Year by the Catching the Dream Foundation. June 15 – Bryson Marchand, 15, Omak Pioneer athlete, dies in vehicle accident. July 14 – Veranda Beach Cottages open in Oroville. Aug. 22 – Omak’s First Presbyterian Church celebrated 100 years. Sept. 25 – Former Chronicle owner/publisher John E. Andrist dies at 75. 2008 Jan. 9 – Xochithl Gonzalez, Bridgeport, is the first baby born in the county. Jan. 30 – Woman dies in Lyman Lake house fire. Feb. 13 – The Conservation District discusses buying the Food Depot building and opening it for local agricultural use. Feb. 13 – Chronicle news editor Dee Camp returns home after several weeks in the hospital. Feb. 20 – Republic takes the state B wrestling crown with five championships, Jordan Hancock, Ryn Rollins, J.J. Gubler, Scotty Bacon and Landis Mills. Feb. 27 – Okanogan School District hosts an open house for its remodeled middle school, gym and more. March 12 – Omak begins condemnation of Omak Feed Store property to make way for a wider intersection. April 2 – Ferry County PUD worker William Knutz, 37, killed while removing a tree. April 16 – Francis Orozco, Rocky Timentwa and Mose Ives win National Science Fair for their study of Omak Creek health. May 7 – Thirtymile Fire crew boss pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter and making false statements. May 7 – Alex Paul becomes Chronicle copublisher, leading up to Judy Z. Smith’s retirement. May 28 – Omak Mayor Dale Sparber dies of a heart attack. Cindy Gagne becomes the first female mayor. May 28 – The Tonasket Skate Park is completed after nine years of fundraising and planning. July 2 – Heritage University closes its Omak campus. July 9 – Lightning sets a fire on Jackass Butte, threatening Okanogan homes and businesses. July 23 – Construction on the new tribal casino is halted when human remains are found on the site in East Omak. July 30 – Richard Johnson marks 20 years as Okanogan School District superintendent. Aug. 13 – Columbia River fire blackens 20,000 acres on the reservation. Aug. 13 – Loren Marchand, on Taz, sweeps all Suicide races. Aug. 17 – Michael Phelps sets an Olympic record by winning eight gold medals. Continued (Continuedon onpage Page98 6)


TIMELINE 2008 Continued Aug. 27 – Omak High School’s remodel and new vocational building is dedicated. Sept. 10 – Michelle Demmitt is crowned Okanogan County Fair Queen. Oct. 1 – Wauconda townsite is put up for sale on e-Bay. Oct. 1 – The Omak Stampede Arena is recycled as it is torn down. Oct. 3 – The $700 billion federal bailout bill is signed. Oct. 8 – Amanda Emerson is named Omak Stampede Queen. Oct. 15 – Buckhorn mine opens near Chesaw after years of studies and planning. Nov. 4 – Barack Obama is elected the first Black president. Dec. 17 – State education budget cuts lead to the layoffs of Wenatchee Valley College–Omak’s Dean Mary Doherty and other staff and eventually to the proposal to end the nursing program. Students protests. Dec. 29 – Roger Harnack becomes Chronicle publisher. 2009 Jan. 16 – The Collville Indian Plywood and Veneer mill stops production of plywood; 230 laid off. Jan. 22 – Fire destroys Sully’s in Loomis. Feb. 5 – The Chronicle unveils its new design. March 1 – Michelle Kitterman found dead on Stalder Road outside Tonasket. April 15 – Tea Party protests spring up across the nation. May 27 – Rachel Blakemore, Omak, heads to Scipp’s National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. June 1 – The H1N1 “swine flu” virus is named a global pandemic. June 17 – Larry Gibson, former Omak wrestling coach, inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame. Aug. 9 – Taz, ridden by Loren Marchand, wins overall Suicide Race title. Aug. 21 – Fire destroys two homes in the Oden Road area southwest of Okanogan. Sept. 30 – Michelle Demmitt named Omak Stampede Queen. Nov. 11 – The “Swine Flu” claims an adult life in Okanogan County. Dec. 9 – Okanogan’s Fire Department turns100 years old. Dec. 20 – After battling leukemia for six years of his life, Parker Brown, 8, loses his battle. The community mourns. 2010 Jan. 6 – Former Omak man, Vauhgn EagleBear, appears on Showtime in a standup comedian special, “Goin’ Native.” Feb. 24 - Republic has five wrestlers win state titles, Gilbert Maycumber, Kyle Kirkendall, Levi Larson, Scotty Bacon, Ryn Rollins and Tonasket’s Keegan McComick April 20 – A British Petroleum oil rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and leading to the largest oil spill in the history of the U.S., devastating the environment and economies of neighboring states. April 26 – Sol Horner, a 1998 Okanogan High School graduate picks up a sports Emmy for his work on a show about NASCAR. May 19 – Two of four defendants in Michelle Kitterman murder trial sentenced. Tansy Fae-Arven Mathis, mother of seven, sentenced to life without parole. David Eugene Richards sentenced to 22 years. Third defendant Brent “Hollywood” Lane Phillips pleaded guilty, incurring a 26 year sentence.


Fire destroys Okanogan homes July 23, 2003 A fire that swept up a hillside behind Okanogan High School destroyed several, heavily damaged two others and kept firefighters busy overnight July 16. Officials with the North Cascades chapter of the American Red Cross were notified of the fire around 3:30 p.m. By 4 p.m. five volunteers were stationed at the Okanogan United Methodist Church making sandwiches and checking on those who had lost homes. Disaster chair H. Cindy Cole, Oroville, said her volunteers checked with those living in the destroyed or damaged homes to see if any needs could be filled. One volunteer, Pamela Brigham, watched the fire burn up the hillside to the west of the school’s OK sign. “It just really flew up to the top of the hill,” said Brigham, who watched from the second floor of the downtown post office. She said the fire torched the first house it touched very fast, then swung around one house, leaving it untouched only to destroyed another home. The fire did this again, leaving one house but destroying another. “It had a mind of its own,” said Brigham, who then went to the church to volunteer. Sheriff Frank Rogers, who estimated the fire at 200 acres around 9 p.m., said he got an up-close view of the fire. Rogers, deputy Dave Woods and Colville Tribal Police Department officer Gary Miller sped to a home owned by Dennis Morris that was one of the first to catch fire. “It came right over us and the house,” said Rogers, who said the officers were trying to evacuate a woman from the home. “It went poof, went into the attic. Then all hell broke

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Planes spread fire retardant and water over the Crestview area while homes wait for the flames to reach them. loose.” Rogers and the officers took turns manning fire hose in the area until more firefighters reached the fire. Fire crews were toned from all over the county. A crew from Oroville said it arrived around 4 p.m. The crew was off the fire after 9 p.m. “We got our sandwiches,” said a tired crew member. “We’re just waiting to go home.” ••• While the Okanogan fire was being mopped up July 17, Okanogan County Sheriff Office detectives and deputies sifted through evidence near where the fire started. Sheriff Frank Rogers said the fire was human-caused, though he would not specify exactly how it started. Investigators could be seen collecting evidence of a burned area behind a home below the Dennis Morris residence the morning of July 17. Rogers credited the quick

response of bombers dropping retardant for saving many homes. ••• As flames engulfed Okanogan County clerk Jackie Bradley’s house on Crestview Drive in Okanogan, two relatives who came to help fight the fire emerged from the house carrying two jewelry boxes and a drawer of photographs. Her nephew, Mac McLean, was heading home for a one-day rest after fighting fires in the Oroville area for seven days when he got word that his aunt’s house was in the path of a raging wildfire. “When I got to my aunt Jackie’s house, I told my aunt and my mom to get the hoses and start wetting down the trees,” said McLean. “I started digging a fire line around until the neighbor’s trees caught on fire. “A 50-foot flame leaped at me and my mom,” he said. “At that point I told her to get my

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Residents watch helplessly as fire consumes another home. aunt, get in the cars and get out of there while I ran into the house to salvage what I could.” Gordon Hennigs, Okanogan fire chief, said the first call for the fire came in about 3 p.m. and by 6 p.m. it had burned more than 300 acres and was heading in a northerly direction into the hills and orchard area above Okanogan and Omak. The fire apparently started behind a home near the southwest end of town and quickly raced through a field of dry brush and grass near Okanogan High School. The fire, fanned by wind gusts, raced up into the Highland Drive-Viewmont Drive neighborhood in a matter of minutes. Twelve-year-old Liz Rosas,

Okanogan, was cooling off in a back yard wading pool with her friend, Tasha Hayner, when they saw the fire racing up the hill toward the first of six homes burned in the flames. Robin Schrock said he watched the flames burn six homes in the neighborhood. He said the first house that burned belonged to Dennis Morris. Next the flames engulfed Richard Manning’s house, then the flames engulfed the homes of Dee Sass, Stephen Devenport, Jackie Bradley and the home of his son, Robb Schrock. “We’ve got pretty much every fire district between Pateros and the Canadian border helping us fight this thing,” said Hennigs.

Quakes shake, entertain Seattle, Okanogan quakes leave marks

Tripod Fire July 2006

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Helicopters dump water on the Tripod Fire, which threatened Conconully for weeks in July 2006. (Right) Trees are engulfed in flames as firefighters tried to hold the line for the town. The fire torched more than 120,000 acres, prompting a visit from Gov. Christine Gregoire, who declared a state of emergency.

Active search suspended for flood victim July 25, 2001 CHESAW — An active search ended last weekend for a Chesaw woman swept away in a flash flood on Tonasket Creek east of Oroville July 12. Searchers spent last weekend combing the 12-mile stretch of the creek from the point Charlotte Shanning’s car was swept into the creek to Oroville. Shanning and her granddaughter, Amber, 9, were driving east on Oroville-Toroda Creek Road when the woman’s vehicle got caught in water, rocks and debris flowing over the road. Murray said the vehicle went

off the road, which later was undercut and washed away from the storm water. As the vehicle went off the road, Shanning unbuckled the girl’s seat belt and pushed her from the vehicle. The girl was found the next day covered with mud, said sheriff Mike Murray. On Saturday, July 21, 42 searchers swept the entire creek looking for the 56-year-old woman. On Sunday, eight dog teams worked the top eight miles of the creek. The dogs are trained to sniff out people, said Murray. The sheriff said an active search for Shanning has now concluded.

Cadaver-sniffing dogs will be brought back to the area in about a month, he said. Last week, an inmate crew dug up around a bus and around the area where Shanning’s vehicle was located in a pile of boulders. Both areas received “hits” from earlier dog searches, Murray said. Shanning could well be buried under tons of boulders and silt that flowed down the creek after several inches of rain fell in a short period of time, he indicated. Murray said poles used to poke the sandy areas often went three feet or deeper without finding rock.

March 7, 2001 The “Rattle in Seattle” Feb. 28 left more tales and jokes than damage in Okanogan County. An earthquake registering 6.8 magnitude hit western Washington Feb. 28 at 10:55 a.m., leaving billions of dollars in damage and several hundred injuries, most of them minor. One death was attributed to the quake. The only damage reported locally were additional hairline cracks to the walls of the gym and six classrooms at Bridgeport High School, according to school district superintendent Gene Schmidt. “There are many little line cracks that appeared in the buildings at our high school,” said Schmidt. “We went from two cracks to 30.” The additional cracks caused the school to close the gym until John Evans of Architects West and Dick Attwood, Attwood Engineering, could inspect the buildings. They found the buildings to be structurally intact and allowed use within hours. Bridgeport is reported to have the most intense shaking locally, with reports to the U.S. Geological Society rating it at a magnitude of 5. Residents in Omak, Okanogan, Oroville and Brewster reported feeling the rolling-motioned earthquake at an estimated 4 magnitude. People in Tonasket, Winthrop and Twisp reported to have felt shaking at a magnitude of 3, the same as in Spokane, according to the USGS. Grand Coulee rated a 2. Magnitude 5 shaking is described as moderate, 4 as light and 3 as weak. Light damage may occur at a level 5 earthquake, according to the USGS. What the earthquake left behind more than damage were memories. People enjoyed talking about what they were doing, where they were and how they noticed that it was an earthquake. Many reported a woozy, nauseated feeling. The capitol dome was cracked and several other state buildings, including the governor’s mansion, also were

damaged. The quake was centered about 30 miles underground and about 30 miles southeast of Seattle, just offshore from Olympia. Grand Coulee and Salmon Creek dams were not affected by the earthquake, according to the state. Damage did appear at Cascades Dam on Lake Youngs, which sustained a 500-foot crack, and a dam at McNeil Island Correctional Facility showed small cracks. The earthquake also left damage to highways 101, 302, 99 and Interstate 405, with repairs now nearly complete, according to the state. Boeing Airport reported damage to its runway, while Sea-Tac International Airport lost the use of its air traffic control tower. A portable facility was brought in. Estimates of damage to SeaTac are at $30 million and $80 million to the highways. Jan. 7, 2004 Okanogan County officials were alerted to an earthquake Dec. 26 when three callers from the Loomis area reported a loud explosion and the ground shaking. An earthquake of 3.4 magnitude occurred around 2:07 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake was .4 kilometer deep and was centered about 24 miles north of Okanogan, according to USGS and the sheriff’s office. A fire official in Loomis reported hearing a loud explosion and two other callers reported similar noises. Sheriff’s officials contacted state emergency officials and learned about the quake. A deputy went to Oroville and looped around through Loomis to check for damage. No damage was reported. A state trooper also could not find any damage in the area, but did remove a few basketball-sized rocks from the road near Palmer Lake, sheriff’s reports say. Various roads and bridges also were checked, with no damage found, sheriff’s reports indicated. A micro earthquake of magnitude 1.5 occurred Monday, Dec. 29, about 15 miles southeast of Republic, according to the USGS. It was five miles deep.

Aaron Carden, on Patch, takes a flying leap from the Suicide Race hill into the Okanogan River. This 2008 photograph has won several awards.

A firefighter is silhouetted by a January 2008 housefire that left a family homeless.

The December 2007 Polar Plunge at Okanogan High School brought some strong reactions for a good cause.

Koyama, a cougar cub rescued in Inchelium in December 2006, was transported to the San Diego Zoo, where she still abides.

A dog isn’t sure what to think about this turtle at an area pet event in 2008.


Ben Ross

Virginia Grainger Frank Matsura

Clarence P. Scates

Afterword Eyes shining with wonder, fingers blackened by newspaper dust, I was honored to delve into the depths of the history presented by my predecessors at The Chronicle. Last April, with our 100th birthday a month away, I started this journey of revelation with right-hand researcher Julie Bock to create the “Chronicles of the Okanogan.” Several other staff members helped with copyediting, research, advice, etc., but without Julie, this baby would never have been born. Either at the Okanogan County Historical Society headquarters or at The Chronicle office, we started with the May 20, 1910, edition and looked through every paper – that’s right, every paper – until May 19, 2010. You might have done the math already – 52 papers a year for 100 years, that’s 5,200 papers. But here’s a curve ball – we published twice weekly for several years, too. Suffice it to say, several thousand papers were laughed over, cried over and marveled over, etc. There were laughs. There were tears. And there was a sense of marvel over the folks who went before, laying the foundation for the community we now live in. I have a new appreciation for the people who literally poured their blood and sweat into our cities and towns, forests and orchards and major projects (Grand Coulee Dam comes to mind) that we take for granted each day. I complain about roadkill on the streets. They complained about their horse’s leg getting broken in mud ruts after a bad rain and potentially ending their livelihood because everything depended on that horse. I complain when my water or sewer system has a problem. They had outhouses. Hello? Other things I envy about them: The independence of being the first to dig in that spade and start a new life. The excitement of setting up a homestead you plan on passing to generations to come. The hope of a fresh start. Previously, when visiting a cemetery, I wouldn’t recognize any names except for the person I came to visit. Now, I see familiar names peppering the landscape, tributes to the people who impacted our county and had been forgotten by people like me. Not any more. When the snow melts once again and reveals the earth beneath, Julie and I plan on taking a trip to several local cemeteries and remembering the people who changed this valley, and some who changed much more than that. We stand on a timeline, looking back at legends, the stuff of novels and movies and ghostly tales and family stories at Grandpa’s. And we thought this area was boring. Did you know the Methow Valley and the north Okanogan County both tried to separate into their own counties (Methow and Cosgrove counties, respectively)? It was quite a heated debate. If we weren’t fighting over separating, we were fighting over leadership – who gets the county seat? Ruby? Conconully? Riverside? Omak? Okanogan did not have an easy win. Did you know Riverside was once the booming metropolis of the area? How? Steamboats, my friend. The town was a fantastic port until the railroad came. I never realized the sacrifice this area made, especially in World War II. The community gave double (maybe triple) what the government asked of it financially, and gave 75 sons as well. That may have been the first time my historical diving left me in tears – when publisher Frank Emert wrote of the death of his son, Winston, in the war. We have a beautiful, amazing, wonderful heritage that continues in the hearts and hopes of the people here today. We see ourselves as small, are constantly reminded of our poverty and regularly battle with a depressed economy and lack of resources. But as an Omak-born girl myself, I came back here for the community and have been enamored by our history. When I grow up, I want to be a member of the historical society so that the generations before me are never forgotten, so we learn their lessons of strength and perseverance, so we know that there are others who have paved the way and we are not alone in the journey. Thank you to all who paved the way, and to all who are laying the stones today for future generations to walk.

Julie Bock

George Ladd

Elizabeth Widel

Harley Heath

Bruce A. Wilson

Sincerest thanks,

Sheila Corson Section Editor Donna Short

Sheila Corson Mary Henrie


Celebrating Community . . . Celebrating Service . . . Celebrating the beginning of another 100 years!

Chronicle building, 1910

Chronicle, 618 Okoma Drive, 2010

Chronicle staff 2010

618 Okoma Drive, Omak • 509-826-1110 • 800-572-3446

“Chronicles of the Okanogan” takes a look back at the last century from The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle’s inaugural edition on May 20, 1910, to its 100th anniversary edition on May 19, 2010. This book is a compilation of special sections published in The Chronicle from May 2010 to February 2011 highlighting each decade throughout its 100 years. The stories herein appear as they did when originally written, although some have been edited for length, spelling and grammar. Each story gives a unique perspective on local life as international, national and area events shaped the Okanogan Valley.

Produced by

The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle

Profile for The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle newspaper

Chronicles of the Okanogan  

A look at the history of Okanogan County and the city of Omak as told by reporters and editors of The Chronicle newspaper. The book reflects...

Chronicles of the Okanogan  

A look at the history of Okanogan County and the city of Omak as told by reporters and editors of The Chronicle newspaper. The book reflects...