The Odessa Record -

This Week in Odessa History

Irby fire destroys business and home 100


Last week’s history column included a picture of local volunteers Leslie Fink and Rhonda Kuch painting. The article that should have accompanied the picture unfortunately hit the cutting room floor for lack of space. The story was from 25 years ago and had to do with the new pool that had just been built, and the volunteers were painting the interior of the dressing rooms. The entire column for 25 years ago can be read on The Odessa Record’s website, issue of May 18, 2017, at

100 years ago

The Odessa Record

May 25, 1917

Irby fire. Irby had a fire Sunday night that wiped out its only store and also took one of the best residences of the place belonging to F.V. King. The fire started about 10:30 p.m. and had made such headway before it was discovered that there was no hope of saving it and the family of Mr. Krause, which lived over the store barely escaped the flames in their night clothes, one of their children’s nighties scorched on the way out. The F.V. King home which was in line of the flames went next and only heroic work by the Irby bucket brigade saved the Edwards & Bradford residence which got hot enough for it to burn off the paint and draw the pitch from the siding.

E.B. Smith, proprietor of the store lost about $10,000 in his store building and stock, on which he had $6,000 in insurance. The King residence was worth about $1,500 and is reported to have been insured. It is not thought that Mr. Smith will continue business and the Edwards & Bradford company have made arrangements to at least temporarily handle a line of general staples for the Irby public. The origin of the fire is unknown.

With the bowlers. A summer league bowling team has been organized by local bowlers with six two-men teams in the field. The entries are as follows: The Union Warehouse team, which is represented by Sol Reimann and C.N. Clark; the Barbers, Frank Snyder and Art Kunkel; the Hardware, F.J. and L.A. Guth; the Odessa Cafe, Frank Cordick and Than Kelly; Luher & Kemp, W.H. Luher and G.B. Kemp; Michaelsen & Koth, J.C. Michaelsen and Ed Koth. The games of the league were scheduled to begin last night and continue with two games a week per team for six weeks. These teams are quite evenly matched and should make an interesting contest.

75 years ago

The Odessa Record

May 22, 1942

Farm tour to be Wednesday. A joint tour of Odessa ranches, with farmers and merchants visiting points of general interest, will be staged by the Odessa Commercial club Wednesday afternoon. The trip will start with the club luncheon at the Odessa Bakery and Cafe and will visit interesting farms throughout the area selected.

Working on arrangements for the tour are the business stimulation committee, Al Wagner, Al Wolfe, H.H. Strate, H.J. Weigand, Nile Graham and T.C. Anderson, and the agricultural committee, H.G. Heimbigner, David Weber, Con Walter, Jr., George Schafer and Fred W. Heimbigner.

The tour will concentrate on farm bulking systems, visiting as many of these as feasible. Outstanding wheat fields, irrigation systems, erosion control, farm homes, water systems, electrical set-ups, and other farm features are to be viewed.

Tennis team honored. The Odessa high school tennis squad, champions of Lincoln-Adams counties, were honor guests at the commercial club banquet on Wednesday, where the trophy they won and the individual medals were presented.

Students participating included Colleen Oliver, Arthur Derr, Lowell Flemmer, Bernice Lenhart, Margery Raugust, Eleanor Schauerman, Weldon Goede and Weldon Weber. Presentation was made by the team coach, Superintendent L.W. Lee.

The trophy, which was given in care of Miss Colleen Oliver, honorary captain, was the seventh consecutive trophy won by Odessa tennis teams.

50 years ago

The Odessa Record

May 25, 1967

Four Tigers to state meet. Forey Walter left everyone gasping with awe Saturday at the Northeast District track meet on East Valley’s track with performances those privileged to witness will never forget! He started his day modestly by qualifying for state competition in the javelin throw by capturing third place with a throw of 168’ 11 1/2”.

His second performance, the 100-yard dash, brought everyone to their feet, it is reported, as he blasted for a 9:65 record on the excellent track.

Forey’s third effort, the 220-yard dash, was simply fabulous, Coach Leland Boyk states, as he smashed his own 21.7 straightaway record set in 1965 by blistering the cinder around the curve in 21.45 seconds.

These two accomplishments will probably be recorded on the sheets for several decades. These are top college times.

Walter’s fourth performance was the final leg of the 800-yard relay on which Forey covered the final 220 yards in 20.2 seconds (unofficial, running start) to come from behind and carry the speedy Tigers relay team to a win, to the state meet this week, and to a tie for the district record in 1 minute 33.3 seconds.

Forey will represent Odessa in four events at Ellensburg at the State ‘A’ track meet this weekend. He will be defending his state titles in the 100 and 220.

Barry Heimbigner, Jim Evavold, Tom Schafer and Forey performed flawlessly throughout the 880 relay, the coach reports, each member accomplishing his maximum. They will be the targets of seven other relay teams, the cream of the state, and these four determined men will give them a battle!

Scouts pick rocks at golf course. Fifteen Odessa Boy Scouts made a clean-sweep of the Odessa Golf Course Saturday, picking several pickup loads of protruding rocks from the greens and fairways. Two pickups were used, a group of scouts working with each unit, particularly on the upper, more rocky fairways.

Mowing of the area took place as soon as the area had been cleared.

Participating scouts were: Mike Braun, Kenny Gudgel, David Keller, Doug Hemmerling, Doug Meek, Dean Michaelsen, Richard Roberts, Lynn Schmidt, Ron Smith, Jim Wacker, Mark Wagner, Randy Wagner, Mike Wenzel and Russ Winfrey.

25 years ago

The Odessa Record

May 21, 1992

Presenting the diplomas to the seniors will be superintendent Gordon Wallace and Bill Schlimmer, member of the school board of directors.

Following the diploma presentation there will be a two-minute group photo session for parents and friends. The program will close with benediction, followed by the recessional.

This year there will be no receiving line outside the gym as has been the custom in past years. Graduates have chosen instead to greet those in attendance at their tables in the school’s multipurpose room. Class members have extended an invitation to all who wish to meet them there.


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