Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Good Old Days: March 14, 2019


March 14, 2019

125 years ago

The Commoner, March 9, 1894

About fifty people of all parties, attended the populist meeting at the court house last Friday evening. The speakers who were advertised to appear were Ahira Manring, of Garfield, and William McDonald, of Oakesdale. Mr. Manring was not present, and no excuse was made for his absence.

Mr. McDonald had the whole time to himself, and he talked on a wide range of subjects for two long hours. He discussed the aims and objects of the silver federation, which, he said, were strictly religious. The Bible land law and the Bible money law were in its foundation. The speaker quoted from Exodus several passages, among which were verses 25 and 26, chapter XX11...

Paying interest was in open violation of the United State constitution, because congress was in duty bound to supply enough money to meet the demand of the people.


The mass-meeting last Saturday afternoon packed the great hall of the courthouse. All parties were represented. The assemblage was a mighty one, and indications are that its work will be a great boon to Whitman County.

William McDonald moved that the convention appoint a committee of nine men--three democrats, three republicans and three populists--to examine the records of this county and report whether or not anything illegal has been done by the county commissioners, and that said committee make public a report of their findings. If they shall find nothing wrong, those officials shall receive the benefit; if they have done wrong, then there must be recourse to law.


George S. Parker, was arraigned in the superior court at 10 o'clock Tuesday morning, on the information charging him with the murder of A.B. Cooper.

Parker looks like the personification of distrust. He steered his eyes about the court house, in the manner of a watch dog, and seemed to spend his time while he sat before the bench, in studying the faces of those about him.

After reading the information, Prosecuting Attorney Pickrell turned to the prisoner and asked, "Is George S. Parker your true name?"

The defendant simply observed, "That's the name I go by."

"Is that your true name?" repeated the prosecutor.

"That name will do," said Parker, and it probably will.


Unreported until now: Eugene Ritter, age nine, was committed to the state reform school for training and reformation by Superior Court Judge E. H. Sullivan, March 10, 1894. Ritter was found guilty of incorrigibility and deemed fit to be sent to the state reform school at Chehalis.

Ritter had been convicted in justice court by Justice H.W. Zimmerman and a transcript was presented to Judge Sullivan.

Footnote: Ritter was the grandfather of present Superior Court Judge Gary Libey.

100 years ago

The Colfax Commoner, March 7, 1919

The members of the commercial club reversed their action of a week ago and went on record as favoring the "principles of a league of nations." This action was taken only after C. F. Voorhees had made a splendid talk on the evils of war, in which he pointed out, that the war had cost the nations ten million dead and a debt of 84 billions of dollars.

The question of aiding the returning soldiers to secure employment came up and it was decided that every member of the club should be considered a committee of one to help any soldier secure work.


W. E. McCroskey of Palouse and F. L. Stotler have formed a new law firm which will be know as McCroskey & Stotler. The new firm will maintain their offices over the First Savings and Trust Bank building, located on Main street. Mr. McCroskey has resided in Palouse for the last 28 years where he has been engaged in the practice of law.

75 years ago

The Colfax Gazette-Commoner, March 10, 1944

Approximately 1400 hay hands will be needed for the coming season in addition to those now in sight, according to a farm labor summary compiled by the county agent's office with the cooperation of the Triple-A office during the recent sign-up of farm plan sheets.

The summary showed that there are 1800 workers now on farms and available throughout the year.

Available for spring work, but not now on farms, are 403 hands, for haying, 489, and for the grain harvest, 572.


Thirty-six property owners in Colfax and 15 within a radius of eight miles of town have been ordered by the county weed control department to remove common barberry bushes and hedges by May 1.

A recently completed survey showed that there are 107 bushes and five hedges in town and 86 bushes and one hedge in the surrounding rural region that must be eradicated.


Returning home this week from Olympia where he stood with a strong republican bloc and conservative democrats in hold the extraordinary legislative session to the task for which it was specifically called, passage of the soldiers' vote bill, Senator Ernest C. Huntley was chagrined to learn that 30.6 per cent of the rural adult population of the county is ineligible to vote in the next election.

After voting for appropriation bills of $68,000 in legislative costs and $170,000 to administer the soldiers' vote bill to be given all men and women in the armed and civilian services outside the United States the right of franchise, Senator Huntley was perturbed to find that only 69.4 per cent of the rural population is qualified to vote in the same election.

Senator Huntley stated that upon checking the records at the county auditor's office Monday he found that 1,786 persons had lost their permanent registration because of failure to vote in the last election.

50 years ago

The Colfax Gazette, March 6, 1969

Plans for expansion into the marina business and construction of a new building on the corner of Main and North streets were announced this week by Joe Henderson, general manager of Arrow Machinery Co.

The 60x120-ft. building of steel, glass and stone will be erected on the site of a wooden building that was torn town earlier this week. Arrow Machinery recently purchased the entire block occupied by the Great Northern railway depot, yards and warehouses, all of which are being torn town.

The building will provide headquarters for a marina, auto parts firm and machine shop, with part of the remaining area to be improved for parking space.


Five Negro students from Washington state university were placed on probation and sentenced to weekends in jail after pleading guilty in superior court to assault charges. The court decision ignited the student protest which was held in Colfax over the weekend.

Placed on one year probation and sentenced to 30 days in the county jail on a third degree assault conviction were ______ Smith, 21, Norristown, Pa.; ________Thomas, 21, Austin, Texas; and __________ Henderson, 18, Seattle.

Placed on three years probation and sentenced to 90 days in jail were _______Daisy, 18, Seattle, and __________ Walker, 18, Los Angeles. They were found guilty of second-degree assault as a result of firing a shotgun and rifle during the incident.

The sentences stem from a Jan. 15 fracas at the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity in Pullman. Prosecutor Philip Faris told the court the fight at the AGR house started with an earlier clash between Henderson and members of the AGR fraternity intramural basketball team.


Whitman county law officers and officials are hoping for a calm weekend to contract with the events last weekend when negro and white college students protested sentences of five WSU students and kept the five from starting their first weekend in the county jail.

The protest resulted in the arrest of 42 of the students after a 22 hour session in which they held the five would-be prisoners in two Colfax churches. The five were finally booked into the jail at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Sheriff C.A. (Mike) Humphreys, who received a dozen red roses from the students Monday for "keeping his cool" during the demonstration, said he hopes things will stay quiet when the five students report back to jail Friday for another weekend stay.

25 years ago

Whitman County Gazette, March 10, 1994

Even in dog years, Assessor Robert Repp has been with the county a long time.

Repp will retire as assessor at the end of this year, concluding a 44-year stint in the courthouse.

"It seems like a long time ago in some ways, and in some ways it seems like yesterday," Repp said.


Two of the five juveniles suspected in connection with he recent Pullman "drive-by" shooting were charged in Whitman County Juvenile Court on Tuesday.

The remaining three are still free pending further investigation. None of the remaining three youths have been detained or formally charged.

Three youths are suspected of firing several shots, one of which hit Aaron Dittmer, 21, of Pullman.

A bullet struck Dittmer in the head while he was looking out the bedroom window of his house on Cityview Street. He received only superficial injuries.

10 years ago

Whitman County Gazette, March 5, 2009

Hinrichs Trading Co. will open its Legacy seed plant near Pullman next Tuesday, March 11. Owner Phil Hinrichs said the new plant is the height of modern chickpea seed treating technology, and represents a step forward for the long-time family business.


Four Rosalia area youngsters were the winners of the Gazette's 2009 First Buttercup competition. The buttercups were found last Wednesday, Feb. 25, near the Widman mailbox in Awtskin Canyon west of Rosalia.


In its effort to trim as much as 18 percent from its budget, Washington State University is eyeing massive cuts in its extension agency as a source of savings.

While nothing is set in stone, the university was asked by the state senate to put together two budget scenarios. One of those would account for a 12 percent spending cut, and the other would be an 18 percent reduction.


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