Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877



November 21, 2019

125 years ago

The Commoner

Nov. 23, 1894

Burglars tried to blow up the safe of the Bank of Rosalia during Wednesday night, but the safe stood the test and the money of the bank was not reached. When Manager J. P. Wells arrived at the bank yesterday morning, he found that the vault had been entered through the floor, and that safe-crackers had tried three charges of nitro-glycerine on the burglar-proof safe without effect. The only thing missed from the vault was a tin box containing some private papers and notes, belonging to one of the bank's stock-holders. There is no clue to the burglars. This is a warning note to the banks of Whitman County.

100 years ago

The Colfax Commoner

Nov. 14, 1919

The Colfax commercial club went on record Wednesday in favor of the improvement of the Endicott Road. The line starts at Winona, runs thru Endicott and connects with the state road a short distance west of Colfax. The people living at Diamond, Winona and Endicott have been asking for the improvement of this road for a number of years.

The question was before the board of county commissioners just before the war started and the farmers and others interested in the construction of the road left the matter as it was until after the ending of the war.

Over the Endicott Road passes the greatest wheat traffic in this section of the state. This is a statement made by a number of the farmers and was substantiated by Commissioner P.M. Price. Mr. Price is commissioner from the third district and many of the farmers claim that this road was promised them almost a year ago. Just who made the promise is not known, but every one concedes that the road is greatly needed and that it is needed at once.

75 years ago

The Colfax Gazette-Commoner

Nov. 17, 1944

Working smoothly and expertly, thieves believed to be members of a black market gang, stole five of the 11 slot machines at the Colfax Athletic club early Sunday morning and all the money they contained.

Familiar with the exact kind of loot desired, the burglars took only the more valuable machines, loading them into a motor vehicle of undetermined type which had been backed up to the alley door of the club, located between Canyon and Stevens streets.

Stolen were one 25 cent and four nickel machines, valued from $2,000 to $2,500 and the coin play of two nights, estimated conservatively to have been from $300 to $400. Left behind were one quarter, one dime and two nickel machines and two not in operation and which were out of sight.

50 years ago

The Colfax Gazette

Nov. 20, 1969

Road crews have found themselves “hanging over the edge” in a widening project on the Hole in the Ground road (No. 325) on the north side of Rock creek. The project involves blasting a 65-foots rock bluff to widen about 500 feet of the road from eight and one-half feet to 20 feet, according to I. (Rusty) Whitmore, county maintenance engineer.

A crane was moved through a farm yard to the top of the bluff and drilling crews were suspended over the edge of the bank. Whitmore said approximately two tons of explosives will be used on the project. Crews hanging over the edge of the rock were suspended from 40 to 50 feet.

The rock bank will be cut back 10 to 12 feet. Fill on the opposite side of the road will also allow more space for wider vehicles. When completed in about two weeks, the road will provide one of the most scenic routes in the county, Whitmore said. It provides access across the top of Rock Lake to routes on each side of the lake.


Harvey Downey, Colfax barber, established a new record at Wheatland Lanes last Thursday night when he bowled 285, 10 strikes in a row and five pins on the 11th ball.

“I don't know how I did it, my legs felt like two pieces of rubber when I threw the last ball,” he recalled.

The previous record of 279 was established a short time after Wheatland Lanes opened 11 years ago by “Curly” Birr and was tied several years ago by Jerry Miller of Oakesdale. A perfect score of 300 would require the bowler to score 12 strikes in a row.

Downey, who has been bowling for about 20 years, scored 640 for the three-game series in COP league competition, bowling for the Colfax Grain Growers Thursday night. On the team with him that night, were Larry Plowman, Leroy Schweitzer, Whitey Krom and Dale Hall, who was substituting for Bob Olson.

25 years ago

Whitman County Gazette

Nov. 24, 1994

The 102-year-old Binnard Building in downtown Colfax is scheduled to come down next week. Its demolition will end a decade-long controversy on the fate of the vacant building which was once part of the bustling downtown scene in Colfax.

Demolition contractor Mike Noder was in Colfax Tuesday to make preliminary arrangements for the demolition. Noder said he plans to start work on the first stage of the operation Monday. The project could take from two weeks to a month, depending on the weather and the amount of salvage required by the structure.

Noder and his brother, Mo, operate MoMike Demolition and Salvage in Spokane. Among other projects, the firm had the contract this summer for the demolition of the Endicott School building.

10 years ago

Whitman County Gazette

Nov. 19, 2009

Whitman County commissioners declared a swine flu state of emergency Monday morning. Fran Martin, county health department director, said the emergency declaration allows people other than doctors and nurse practitioners to administer vaccines for the H1N1 swine flu virus.

“We're finding that we're working our heads and tails off in trying to administer injections, and we're losing ground on our regular work,” said Martin.

Martin said local EMS personnel and pharmacy and veterinary students at WSU will likely be trained to administer the vaccine.

She added county officials are organizing immunization clinics through fire districts in each community.


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