The Odessa Record -

Harrington news

The war memorial, ancestry research, council business


--Photos courtesy of Karen Robertson.

The World War I memorial in Harrington is shown in its garden-like setting.

War memorial

Recent interest has been shown in the war memorial that was erected in 1926 for Armistice Day by the American Legion Post No. 95, Magnolia Rebekah No. 123, IOOF No. 160 and the Harrington Woman's Club "In Memory of Those Who Gave Their Lives In The World War. George A. Armstrong, Floyd K. Hinshaw, Wesley W. Miller, Charles S. Scott and George D. Witt." A huge celebration took place. All the businesses closed for the event, and the streets were decorated. The first part of the program was held at the school auditorium. The high school orchestra played, prayers and poems were presented and an address was given by George W. Sommers, a Spokane attorney.

The celebration moved from the school to the old city hall, where it continued. Mrs. J.E. Kriegler, president of the Woman's Club, gave a long address, and Jim Goodwin gave a "brief but effective dedicatory address." Mrs. S.H. Miller laid a wreath of flowers at the foot of the stone. "E.L. Makey, in charge of the firing squad, unveiled the stone and the firing squad fired three volleys. The stone is of granite and was erected on the grass lawn north of the city hall. Its stands over six feet high and weighs about four tons." (Citizen: 11-12-1926)


The Dave Schwabs came to Harrington City Hall asking if anyone knew anything about early residents Adolph Schwab and family. They had it timed perfectly, as they appeared on a Tuesday afternoon when the Harrington Library was open. Dave said they were just starting a trip looking for information on ancestors and were going to the mid-west. He was pleased to see the properties in the 1911 atlas that Adolph owned: land in Sections 15, 22, and 35 in Twp 22 Range 36, farming more than 1,240 acres. Since the family was an integral part of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, they were pleased to obtain a copy of the church history. Dave was as thrilled to see the Gooley surname as he was to see the Schwab name.

Harrington City Council

The Harrington City Council met May 10 at 7:30 p.m. with the following present: Mayor Dillon Haas, Mike Cronrath, Levi Schenk, Rick Becker, Peter Davenport (councilmen), Bunny Haugan (clerk), Scott McGowan (maintenance) and visitors: Brent Wilday, Jay Gossett, Cade Clark, Madison Charlton, Paul Charlton, Amy Foley, Karen Allen, Marge Womach, Randy Behrens, and Tonelee McCaffery. Councilman Justin Slack attended by internet remote.

McGowan gave the maintenance report, stating that Dean Schoenfelder's excavating would be finished May 10 with the water line trench. The city crew will finish with laying the pipe bedding, compacting, charging the line and sampling. He made mention of a city water line that had been hit by construction crews. The city had to fix it, and the damages were listed. He stated that the service lines will be connected after the bacteria test is complete. It takes 24 hours to get the bacteria test back.

Regarding the cemetery, McGowan emphasized the plan to have the cemetery at its best before Memorial Day. By then, a third cutting will be completed. Before Cruizin' Harrington on May 20, he plans to have the streets swept and have the flower pots placed in their normal summer locations. With the changes to the water lines, Mayor Haas requested that McGowan record the changes and place the new information on the water line map. McGowan responded that he will also take photos. In part of the digging, the crews found an old 4 inch wooden line.

Randy Behrens, on behalf of the Lions Club, proposed that the City and Lions Club jointly construct a 24x24 building in the southeast corner of the cemetery at a cost of approximately $12,000 with the Lions also providing all the labor. This building would be used to store flags, equipment and other items needed by either organization. For the cemetery, it would include mower, picnic tables, benches, etc. The cost and the space would be shared equally. There would be a cement pad poured for the building to sit on, as it is necessary for the building to be rodent-proof. Questions were raised as to the legal boundaries of the cemetery. Mention was made that since the cemetery is outside the city limits, the building permit would need to come from the county. By comparison, the present building is 12x20 and currently houses the mechanism for the cemetery sprinkler system. Issue was made of the liability of the workers on cemetery land, but this did not seem to be a problem, since the Lions Club did the work at the city park with a signed agreement. The mayor stated that funds could be available from the Cemetery Improvement Fund. In previous meetings, this Cemetery Improvement Fund had been planned for the purchase of an additional niche or two. Wilbert Vault had quoted a price of $18,000 for two niches several years ago. The fund currently has nearly $30,000 accumulated over a period of 25 years. No vote was taken until more plans are available. Councilman Cronrath offered to obtain more information and bring it to the June meeting.

Amy Foley and Karen Allen (chair and co-chair, respectively) of the Harrington Historic Preservation Commission presented a list of proposed changes to their by-laws, looking for the council's approval. These changes included limiting the number of consecutive terms that a person could serve in a position, reducing the 3-year term to a 2-year term and changing the monthly meetings to quarterly meetings. Mention was made of the original ordinance by which the HHPC was formed, but the ordinance was not read. The Council approved the organization making the necessary changes.

Mayor Dillon Haas prepared a list of duties or a job description for a potential code enforcement officer. These included yearly hours worked, an estimate of compensation and an estimated cost to the city, should the city hire a code enforcement person. It would be necessary to have an inter-local agreement with Lincoln County to use and process filing through the district court. The council felt that more information was needed regarding potential fees, increases in the budget and court costs before they could make a decision.

The pre-construction meeting for the Second Street project is scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 11 at city hall to finalize the necessary documents. Contractor Wm. Winkler will start on May 22. The council voted 4-0 to allow Mayor Haas to sign the contract with Winkler and the Notice to Proceed. (Later, the meeting was held, attended in addition to the principals by Peter Davenport and Rick Becker.)

The former Opera House Square, now referred to as the vacant lot on Willis and Third, will have a suggestion box for citizens to fill out during Cruizin' Harrington, regarding the potential use of the property. It was stated that the suggestions for the property must be in compliance with the Historic District plans.

The Green Waste Program continues to be an issue for the town to adjust to. The county transfer station will provide at no charge a 24-yard container for green waste from May 16-19. It will be located at the corner of Linden and Third Street. Mayor Haas stated that there are no used bins available for purchase. The actual quarantine line is east of Hwy. 28, and west of the highway is not in quarantine. The city will pursue the possibility of getting a permit from DOE to burn green waste. This would be a financial savings to the city.

A close-up view of the plaque bearing the names of Harrington men lost in that conflict.

The mayor spoke with Bill Knox, the property manager for McGregor. After many years of leasing from the city the property across Highway 28, they are now vacating the lease. The property currently has an approximate 50x80 building on the property that McGregor owns. The city is considering their options with this property. No decisions were made.

The mayor requested help from the council in getting the necessary identification and addresses of the residents for the income survey. The income survey will determine our eligibility to apply for Community Development Block Grants to improve the infrastructure of our community. Councilman Slack and Becker volunteered to help with processing the initial start-up details.

Upcoming training opportunities, the annual report, and grant completion days were reviewed. Mention was made that councilmen Becker and Cronrath are up for election this year, as is city treasurer Tera Cronrath. An air of sadness fell upon the council, as Becker indicated that he may not run again, having been on the council since 1997. Filing is May 15-19.


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