Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Good Old Days: June 11, 2020


125 years ago

The Commoner

June 7, 1895

G. W. Case, Jr., of Union precinct was in the city this week. He reported that although the squirrels were working great damage, grain fields in a majority of cases were looking well, and orchards were in fine shape, the frost not having hurt any fruit, except on John Eaton's place, beyond Rock Lake, where all the fruit was killed. Mr. Case says he has concluded to engage in diversified farming. He has only a hundred acres in grain, wheat, barley and rye, the latter being nearly ready to cut. But he has 20 acres in beans, 16 acres in corn and 12 acres in potatoes, besides a big patch of other garden truck. These coupled with his fine meadows, a bunch of cattle and a small drove of hogs will ensure him a decent livelihood, something that the last few years with 600 and 700 acres in wheat did not do.


The Silver Federation picnic at Cedar Creek on Wednesday was one of the most interesting events of the year. About 800 persons were in attendance, the crowd being almost exclusively members of the Federation. By arrangement with the citizens of Palouse, it was arranged that Palouse should be given the afternoon to discuss sugar beets, and particularly the proposition for a beet sugar factory at Palouse. Populist speeches were made by Hen. Neal Cheatham and Hon. L. C. Crow, who explained their political beliefs and unbeliefs. At the conclusion of their addresses C. T. Cross, the Palouse banker, announced that a grand sugar beet and beet sugar barbecue would be held at Sunnyside, in Palouse, on Friday, June 14, when an ox would be roasted whole and fed to the assembled multitude. Wm. Goodyear of the Palouse News was then introduced and made an interesting and instructive address upon the subject of the beet sugar industry. State Senator Crow also spoke on the same subject, and alluding to the present attempt of Palouse to obtain the erection of a factory, said he had examined into the plan of the Palouse people and was certain that carried out it would greatly benefit the entire county. The subscription list was read over, and some canvassing was done.

Later in the afternoon the picnickers enjoyed a baseball game and dancing.

100 years ago

The Colfax Commoner

June 4, 1920

The members of the commercial club went on record as favoring the closing of the stores in the city Friday afternoon during the hours from 2 to 3:30. This is the hour in which the funeral of the late Jas. A Perkins funeral is held and the members of the club will attend the funeral in a body.

The mayor of the city will be asked to issue a proclamation closing the business places in the city during the hours of the funeral services of Mr. Perkins, who is known as the Father of Colfax.

O. C. Glaser reported that the committee had not definitely located a landing sight for an aeroplane field, but were in communication with one or two property owners and a definite report could not be given until another two weeks. There is a desirable site on the Heidenreich ranch, he said, but the owner of the property is not anxious to lease the required acreage, but there is some hopes of securing this site. The committee was given further time in which to select a site and the matter was given first place on the business calendar.


The county commissioners let the contract for the construction of the Oakesdale-Garfield road at a special meeting which was held at the courthouse Tuesday morning. The contract calls for the grading and graveling of the 11 odd miles of road and the work is to be completed this year.

The contract went to the Highway Construction Company at a bid of $79,047.26. The commissioners accepted the bid and a contract for the construction of the road was signed up by both the contractor, Chas. L. MacKenzie and the board of county commissioners.

The road is not a heavy grade and there are few deep cuts to be made. There was only one bid submitted and it proved to be much lower than was expected by the commissioners.

75 years ago

The Colfax Gazette-Commoner

June 8, 1945

Despite the help provided by a war bond show and community rally at the Rose theatre Wednesday night, Colfax is bogging down in its drive to meet its $800,000 Seventh War Loan quota and is running behind Pullman in its cross-country race to reach the goal first, local workers report.

Sales, especially of small denomination E bonds picked up at banks and post offices Wednesday and also at a special sales booth opened at the Rose theatre Wednesday evening, but even so, Colfax was still struggling to reach its first quarter of a million dollars in sales as the Gazette-commoner went to press Thursday, leaving the city more than $550,000 short of its goal, with less than half the time in the drive still left. Meanwhile, Pullman, beaten by Colfax by a thin margin in the Sixth War Loan drive, proudly went over the halfway mark and started on the last pull toward its goal of $880,000, proud and confident that the college town would win easily this time.

Meanwhile, to add to the gloom of the local bond sales picture, City Chairman J. E. Moore was spending the week at the Bryant & Weisman clinic fighting off stomach difficulties that began last Saturday with a fainting spell.


County commissioners protest that $230 an acre is too high, the amount desired by E. A. Stravens for 117 acre of the old Colfax airport site, and they vow they will resort to condemnation proceedings before paying at that rate for the 158 acres which is needed for a number two airport.

There is a $40,000 item in the '46 preliminary budget for purchase of an airport site, but the commissioners say that does not mean that much will necessarily be spent. Forty-one acres owned by Mrs. Willsey is also in the plot desired.

The docket of accomplishments is light for the June 4-5 meeting of the commissioners at Colfax, the records show. Palmer Trimble, manager of the Garfield Grain & Warehouse company, was given permission, under restrictions, to encroach on the right-of-way at Elberton.

50 years ago

The Colfax Gazette

June 4, 1970

A labor force expected to total 1,000 men will be involved with the construction of Lower Granite dam when the project reaches its peak in 18 to 24 months. Ben W. Molle, resident engineer, and P. K. Mitchell, business manager of Lower Granite Contractors, said the labor force will grow to the maximum and remain at its peak, gradually tapering off as the five-year project comes to a close. Molle said the peak labor force would probably continue for 18 months at the project.

Mitchell told the Gazette Wednesday 35 persons were now on the payroll at the dam. Work has started on access roads and site preparation, Mitchell said. Most of the construction workers will be living in Lewiston, Clarkston, Colfax and Pomeroy, Mitchell said.

One of the first construction steps will involve building a temporary steel access bridge across the Snake river from the Whitman County side to the corps headquarters on the south side of the river, Molle said. Lower Granite contractors have temporary quarters near the corps office.

The bridge will mean quick access to workers living in Colfax, Pullman and Moscow areas.


Members of the Colfax park board are aiming at next week for opening the Colfax Municipal pool. Opening of the pool, first set for three weeks ago, has been delayed by a leakage problem, according to Councilman William Tempel, head of the park committee.

Tempel said the pool had developed a leak during the final month of operation last summer. Repairs made after the closure last year failed to stop the leaks, Tempel said. The contractor was called to the scene when leaks continued after a trial filling this season.

Tempel said the leaks were probably caused by the severe 1968-69 winter.

Lem Long, who has been working for the city at the pool, told the city council Monday the leakage was rated at 14 gallons a minute. He said sealing around an intake pipe was suspected.

25 years ago

Whitman County Gazette

June 8, 1995

A state budget crunch could cut down on the number of state plows at work in the highway district next winter. A long-time practice of hiring temporary drivers for the plows could be dropped.

Tom Nichols, Colfax area superintendent for the Department of Transportation, says that the state usually hires 20 workers. He said that these extras are hired because there are not enough permanent employees to fill all the positions. Nichols said most of the temporaries are farmers, and other people who work seasonal jobs.

“Some of these workers have been with us for a number of years,” he said.

Currently there are 28 full-time employees working on the highways in the district. If none of the temporaries are hired this winter the usual winter work force will be cut by some 40 percent.


Gene Kasper of the Port of Wilma Fire Department asked Whitman County Port Commissioners last Thursday to approve purchase of a fire boat for the port.

Kasper said the boat's total price would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $50,000 to $55,000.

The need for a new fire boat at the port came when the City of Lewiston decided to no longer support funding for their boat, the Karl Prehn. Port officials to date have depended on the Lewiston fire boat for coverage. With the Prehn's impending departure, the Wilma port across the river will lack fire boat coverage.

Kasper is currently trying to achieve an agreement between five parties to finance the boat, the parties being the cities of Clarkston and Lewiston, and the ports of Whitman, Clarkston and Lewiston.

10 years ago

Whitman County Gazette

June 10, 2010

Whitman County's incumbent elected officials lined up behind computers in Auditor Eunice Coker's office Monday morning to file for re-election.

This year was the first that candidate filing was done online, changing historic lineup of officials doing paperwork at the auditor's counter.

All incumbents but District 3 County Commissioner Michael Largent had filed for new terms as of press time Wednesday. Largent told the Gazette he is going to run for a second term, but just had not filed yet.

Up for election this year are Assessor Joe Reynolds, Auditor Coker, Clerk Shirley Bafus, Coroner Pete Martin, District Court Judge Douglas Robinson, Prosecutor Denis Tracy, Sheriff Brett Myers and Treasurer Bob Lothspeich.


With an eye on creating housing for young, working families, Community Action Center in Pullman just purchased an acre of land at Palouse.

Four new homes will be built on the site, according to Dale Miller, CAC housing program manager.

The land is in Palouse on Palouse Cove Road near the CAC senior housing facility. A contractor for the project has not yet been selected.

CAC has a similar housing development in Colfax in the Hauser Addition. Two houses are complete and occupied, and two have foundations and are expected to be finished this summer. The houses at Colfax are modular units which were moved onto foundations.


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