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Harrington News

Harrington council, reunion, research


City Council

The Harrington City Council met May 13. Of the three candidates who applied to fill the summer position for the city crew, only one was interviewed. The hiring of Justin Carnahan was approved.

Abatement notices were sent to citizens with overgrown yards. All recipients have made progress with cleanup, but some violations will take longer to bring into compliance. Some citizens are annoyed with yards that remain a fire hazard. But since no formal complaint was made, the owner was not notified.The council attempted to enlist the citizens to work with the council to bring the city up to the level of the ordinances.

A citizen said it is unfair that a compliant citizen pays his dog fees and follows the city ordinances but others are not compelled to do so. The annual dog license fee is due the end of May.

Maintenance at the cemetery was reviewed and progress is being made. Dan Fromm still wants to obtain the lots and trailer next to his property that are not in compliance with city ordinances, but the owners are not responding to correspondence from the city.

Council members were informed that May 21 will be the inspection of the city park and cemetery. Other topics of discussion were potholes in streets, negotiations with Avista on the property line, cracked cement in the ditch and the debate over pulling weeds versus chemical control.

Opera House

Saturday, May 30, at 3 p.m., the Harrington Church of the Nazarene will host a music recital by the Harrington Opera House music students taught by Heather Safe and Becky Hardy. A list of the pupils was not available.

Monday, June 1, is the date of the next meeting of the Society at which time a decision will be made on a date for a magician’s performance.

Shields reunion

On Memorial weekend, time was set aside for the descendants of John and Mary E. (Rooney) Shields to meet in St. Francis Cemetery in Harrington and then congregate in the social room of St. Francis of Assissi church for a pot luck dinner. Mary Rooney was born in 1865 in County Tipperary, Ireland and came to the U.S. at age 15. Her family made several moves prior to her marriage in Iowa to John Shields in 1883. Their family moved to Washington State in 1901 and purchased the Dave Yarwood farm near Mohler. They were blessed with 10 children: Edward, Will, Mike, Jim, Joe, Mary, Alice and Kate, and two (Hugh and Margaret) who failed to survive. John died in 1918 when visiting in Valerie, Iowa. Mary and John had enjoyed their Silver Wedding Anniversary, celebrated November 25, 1908 while living in Mohler. Mary died at her home in Granger in 1939.

At the reunion Margaret Shields Lyons brought with her a large frame containing eight photos, the first showing the 6 surviving children in 1958, the second showing all the descendants of the six adult children, and a photo each of the six children with his or her descendants. Several of the descendants of John and Mary Shields presently have five generations living, as does Margaret Lyons. The Shields daughters married into the families of Runyan (Kate), Huber (Mary), and Urton (Alice). Lyons also brought a thick photo album of her family photos, history and news items. Her daughter, Nancy Doubleday, brought her to the reunion and enjoyed sharing the experiences of gathering and preserving the family lore.

Katherine Stout from Yakima also shared a viewing of her photo album of the Urton family members: Fred H. Urton (1891-1932) and his wife Alice Shields, who died in 1947. They were married seven years prior to Fred’s death, and Alice was left with three children to raise. Of interest to Harrington history buffs, Fred Urton and his brother Earl were partners in the Banner Meat company at Davenport and later at Harrington. A photo of Fred’s wedding day had them in a Davenport Feed wagon in front of a Motor Company building, which did not closely resemble any of the remaining historic buildings in Harrington. She shared photos of the Banner Meat company building, inside and out, and also a Banner Meat wagon making its rounds.

Following the potluck dinner, the older set visited in the social room and the younger were escorted to the Harrington City Park where climbing on the monkey bars provided great entertainment. By 4:30 p.m. most were on the road home, having decorated graves of ancestors, and socialized with the extended family. It was perfect weather for outdoor activities. The Shields family members graciously thanked Jim and Jo Gooley for helping make the reunion a success by opening the room for them to rest indoors after traveling long distances to get to Harrington. Margaret Lyons, now 95, is preparing to rest before heading to Montana for her Hecker family reunion, a name also familiar in Harrington’s past.

Father Augustine DeNoble

The Harrington Library received a request from Father Augustine DeNoble of Mt. Angel Abbey, St. Benedict, Oregon regarding a former Harrington citizen, Mrs. Frank Kloft, who was buried in St. Francis Cemetery in Harrington in 1904. Her tombstone is an iron cross which is barely legible. Dorothea was born in July 1881 and married Frank Kloft prior to coming to the Harrington area. They owned N ½ N ½ of Sec 22 and N ½ S ½ Sec 22 in Twp 22 Range 36, property later owned by the Schwab family. At the time of her death she was the mother of three children: Joseph 7, Mary Rose 3, and William John 2. She died from heart failure from a continued attack of typhoid fever. In 1905, Frank Kloft was the director of the Liberty School District while John Unbewust was clerk. At that time the children listed their address as in Section 14. Locally, her maiden name is not known. A copy of the Harrington History of St Francis of Assissi church, compiled by Marge Womach, was sent to Father Augustine for preservation in his library.


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