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Good Old Days: August 6, 2020

Series: Good Old Days | Story 3

August 6, 2020

125 years ago

The Commoner

August 9, 1895

War broke out among the farmers in the vicinity of Johnson on Friday evening last, resulting in the going away of Chas. Parks, Owen Horton, W.H. Gillespie and James Ellis, who were camped on the Lewis farms about three miles from Johnson, as agents of C.A. Leighton.

To tell the story from the beginning, on July 20 the sheriff sold over 600 acres of land belonging to George W., Jesse H., and H.J. Lewis, on foreclosure of mortgage, for about $700. The land was bought in by the mortgagee, C.A. Leighton.

On July 27, Leighton, through his attorney, before Judge Moore, moved that the sale be confirmed, among the other things alleging that the crop was ready go harvest. The motion was denied. Messrs. Parks, Horton, Gillespie and Ellis on July 29, were taken to the land, and as alleged by Leighton, entered into peaceful possession of the land and growing crop.

The Lewises and their tenants did not look upon the matter in the same light. The presence of the four agents was irksome to the tenants and their families, and due notification of that fact was made to the agents several times a day. On Thursday, two of the tenants drove into one of the grain fields to begin heading, and Agent Gillespie, following instructions, warned them not to begin cutting the grain, which was claimed as belonging to the mortgage purchaser. No attention was paid to the warning, and the header hummed cheerily on. Mr. Gillespie continued to warn them, and as regularly the tenants continued to disregard that warning.

Things went on this way until Friday. Agents Parks and Horton were located at one place, while the other two were camped in the grain field half a mile or so away. About 10:30 that night the first named two were awakened by a crowd of twenty five determined-looking men. Parks and Horton were notified that it was time for them to go, and they were induced to pack their blankets and walk to Ewartsville that night, coming to Colfax on Saturday morning. Gillespie and Ellis, who were sleeping among the thorn trees on the edge of the grain field, were awakened about midnight, by the passage of a crowd of men, who where hunting their resting place, and passed within ten feet of them without discovering their bed. After the crowd had passed, Gillespie and Ellis dressed quietly, and crossed the road to another grain field. After remaining in hiding there for some time, the two young men struck out, walking through the night until sunrise, when they reached Pullman and breakfast. The crowd that awoke Parks and Horton made no attempt at concealment, and although they said no harm was intended, each was armed with a whip or quirt. No other weapons were shown.

100 years ago

The Colfax Commoner

August 6, 1920

The Inland train was wrecked last Thursday night and the passengers were brought in by automobiles. The wreck was caused by the train running into a bunch of cattle, which occurred at Blackwell. The smoker was thrown off a thirty-foot bridge and the front end went down into the ditch. The rear end was held in an upright position by the coupling that held the smoking car to the rear coach. The passengers were shaken up and bruised but none of them were greatly injured.

Father Leroux was a passenger on the train and he occupied a seat with Thos. Oliver, who was returning home from a six week’s vacation in California. Mr. Oliver said that when the coach started down tressle, it gave him a creepy feeling and he is convinced that this feeling was general among the passengers on the car.

Had the couplings which held the two cars together broken, many of the passengers would have been seriously injured. The trainmen have complained all summer in regard to the number of loose stock that is allowed to run on the railroad right-of-way, which is a source of danger to themselves as well as the traveling public.

75 years ago

The Colfax Gazette-Commoner

August 3, 1945

Plans are being made by W.R. Goodrich, chamber of commerce president, for a luncheon at the Colfax hotel Saturday noon for three Englishmen who will be in Whitman County Friday and Saturday for the purpose of making an inspection of farm buildings.

The Englishmen, one of whom is said to be of the nobility, will arrive in Pullman sometime Friday. Saturday morning, in company with County Agent Troy Lindley and Prog. L.J. Smith, head of the department of agricultural engineering, Washington State College, the visitors will inspect buildings on several farms near Colfax, beginning about 9 a.m. at the R.H. Morrell place at Mockonema.

After lunch, the party will return to Pullman and an afternoon visit to several farms in that vicinity will be made, ending with dinner at the Lindsey Staley farm.


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