The Odessa Record -

This Week in Odessa History

Local fellow becomes Catholic priest; Independence Day is huge


Last updated 7/10/2017 at 9:02pm

100 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

July 6, 1917

Odessa boy ordained priest. “And I will go in to the altar of my God: to God who giveth joy to my youth.” These words of Holy Writ spoken by the Psalmist of old, were most deeply impressed upon the minds of all that attended the Tuesday morning service at the St. Joseph’s church when Rev. Paul Kucera of the Benedictine monastery at Lacey, Washington, sang his first solemn high mass at his old home church. Father Paul is the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Kucera of Odessa. He was ordained a priest of the Benedictine order, the oldest monastic order of the Catholic church, at St. Martin’s Abbey Chapel at Lacey, June 19 by the Right Reverend Edward J. O’Dea, D. D., but as a matter of preference he decided that his first public work for the master should be amid the scenes of his youth and among his many old time friends.

Candles glimmered, rose and fell to the organ’s prelude, when promptly at 10:30, the altar boys and priests appeared and ranged themselves in orderly rows before the alter. Then the celebrant of the mass, Father Paul, his assistant, Rev. Father Wolgang, prior of the monastery at Lacey; the master of ceremonies, Father Phillip of Odessa; the deacon, Father Bernard, director of St. Martin’s college at Lacey, and sub-deacon, Father J.B. Herrmann of Ritzville, clad in shimmering vestments commenced the preliminary ceremonies of the mass.

Later, there was a short sermon by Father Bernard. With a fine resonant delivery he painted a mental picture of the young man who separated himself from his parents and society to prepare for the priesthood. Of the grueling study and work he must do to pass examinations. Of the life of chastity, obedience and service, he must undergo, with his eyes fixed upon the chalice and altar before he could be entitled to take upon himself that priestly office and act a mediator between man and the divinity. He paid a glowing eulogy to the Catholic church which he said stands for the highest ideas of Christianity, society, democracy and good government, and pointed with pride that for five hundred years the Catholic church had neither granted nor recognized a single divorce among its members.

At the conclusion of the sermon Father Paul announced that it was customary for a priest after his first mass to offer his blessings upon all present so desiring, beginning with his nearest relatives and extending to all members of the congregation. His mother, father, grandmother, brothers and sisters were the first to present themselves at the altar to receive this boon and afterwards practically all the members of the church presented themselves for the worthy father’s benediction.

Only one part of the program was not carried out according to schedule. Father McAleer of Harrington had been chosen to fill at mass, the office of deacon, but an automobile breakdown on his way here delayed him so that the services were nearly over when he arrived and Father Bernard acted as a substitute to fill that important position.

The choir which was directed by Mrs. Joseph Janikula, who was also acted as organist, received much favorable comment for the musical ability displayed in singing the Latin Mass and in rendering the special offertory, “What returns shall I make to the Lord for all the things he has bestowed upon me.”

After the services everybody was invited to retire to the new Catholic Parish hall, which has just been completed by the members of the church to be used as a place to hold socials, meetings of societies, lectures, entertainment and a general center for young people activities, to partake of one of those bounteous dinners which the Catholic ladies have good reasons for being proud to serve. This dinner was served picnic style and was enjoyed by nearly 250 church members and invited guests that partook of their hospitality for their noonday meal.

Many come here to celebrate. Although there were people here from nearly all points on the Great Northern from Spokane to Quincy, a distance of 140 miles and a goodly representation from the north and south districts, the attendance at Odessa’s Fourth of July celebration was some what smaller than last year. There were probably as many visitors here on the Fourth as on any former one day celebration, but the number fell off appreciably yesterday but nevertheless the entire program was pulled off according to schedule.

With the exception of the opening feature, the parade, the celebration was a pronounced success. Although good prizes were offered and nice floats were entered by the Red Cross, Phil Herman, and Hy. Rieke, most people were either too busy or did not care to participate and there was so little competition that it is quite probable that there will be no more parades featured Lat future celebrations.

The rest of the program was appreciated by all. The Odessa Concert band, over twenty strong was on the job both days dispensing their best music. The races and ball games drew big crowds to the driving park, over 1000 attending the first day and people thronged First avenue each evening to witness the different foot sports that always furnish enjoyment for everybody.

Only one accident occurred during the two days. That was when Phillip Schlimmer’s little eight year old son was struck by some unknown person driving Ed Geissler’s Ford in front of Frick’s garage. The child was hurried to Dr. Ganson’s office and it was first thought that his injuries might be serious. Various rumors were scattered broadcast all the afternoon. One was that the child was dead, another that he had been taken to the hospital and the latest one that he was able to play upon the street. All these proved groundless and only one thing is definitely known – that is that his parents took him home near Wheeler where there is no telephone connection and have not called for further medical assistance, so it is reasonably sure that his condition is not thought dangerous. This accident occurred outside of the center of the business section which the city authorities had taken precaution to rope off so as to keep out all vehicles and prevent accidents of this kind.

The local Red Cross society won both the first and the grand prize for float in the parade, the second was taken by Phil Herman and the third by Hy. W. Rieke.

The Odessa baseball team defeated Kennewai 7 to 1 in a special game on the morning of the fourth and took the long end of two $100 purses, the first one Wednesday afternoon from Soap Lake with the score 12 to 2, and the second yesterday with Almira 6 to 4.

Local and personal.

The Moody Farmers Warehouse Co. is now known as Lenhart & Co., the name having been changed July first by Conrad Lenhart who purchased the business from the farmers last year but retained the old name until the year’s business had been cleaned up. The business will be conducted at the old stand at Moody station and the new firm will buy and sell grain, flour and feed, and will be under the management of Conrad Lenhart as in the past.

75 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

July 6, 1942

During the first six months of 1942 births of males led in Odessa, with 12 boys and 5 girls. Deaths through the same period included two males and three females, according to a report issued by the local registrar of vital statistics.

Milton Laib, son of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Laib, a student at the Yankton seminary, occupied the pulpit at the Pilgrim church on Sunday.

Odessa fireman will not burn weeds from the empty lots of Odessa this year, they announced. The decision was made after an examination of premises adjacent to the lots, where owners had failed to clean weeds from around their buildings, adding to the hazard of a general burning.

Claudia Dobson, Berwin Murray, Marge Wachter and Dorothy Totusek of Odessa are members of the 100th annual all-state high school music school at the State College of Washington.

Leland Boyk, former Davenport high school and Cheney college athlete, last year a teacher and assistant coach at Odessa, has enlisted in the army air corps at Geiger field.

Pvt. Danny Giese, with a tank destroyer group on the west combat zone, was lucky to draw a fourth of July weekend leave, to spend the day with his parents.

Proper equipment and brave action saved the large grain elevator of the Centennial Milling company at Odessa early this morning, when volunteers climbed through a mass of burning embers to the top of the structure, dragging a line of hose. The blaze, cause unknown, served as its own fire alarm, when ropes holding supporting weight on the “man way” burned through, dropping the weights and attracting the attention of night marshal Leonard Mills, who turned in the alarm.

50 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

July 6, 1967

Competes in County Fair Queen contest.

Miss Terry Deife, 4-H Princess from Odessa, will be competing with entrants from other communities of the county Saturday evening at Davenport in the Lincoln County Fair Queen contest.

The queen candidates will meet with judges at a banquet Saturday evening in Davenport prior to a Talent show scheduled at 8:00 at the fair buildings. A Queen’s dance will follow at 9:00.

Miss Deife, who was selected by 4-H club members from the Odessa area, has been in 4-H for six years. As of this fall she will have completed 28 projects, attended state conference three years, and competed at the state fair for three years. She has won 16 county awards, including the Seattle First National Bank grant to the State 4-H conference, given to the outstanding junior leader in the country.

Other princesses vying for the Queen’s role are: Debbie Evers, Almira; Marilee Roloff, Creston; Jeanne Bundy, Edwall; Sandi Zicha, Harrington; Susan Draper, Wilbur; Linda Garber, Reardan; Brenda Holderby, Davenport; and Barbie Sharpe, Sprague.

Music for the Talent show and dance will be provided by the Marijuana Trash, a six-man combo from Lewis and Clark high school, Spokane. Admission to the public for the show and dance will be 75 cents for adults and 50 cents for children.

County winners at State Grange meet noted; some go to national.

Lincoln County came home from the recent State Grange meeting happy and proud to be the winners of several important awards, it is reported.

In the National lectures contest Mrs. Bev Buddrius of Highland Grange in Almira, accompanied by Janice Campbell, was the winner of the “Best of Show” with her solo, “Happy Wander.” She enters the competition representing the State of Washington at the National contest in Syracuse, New York in November.

The family music group,”Donna and the Little Shavers,” won first this year at Centralia. The Schafers will also be in the National competition at Syracuse in November. They took second in the state last year. It will be up to the entire state, county and communities from which they come to help get these state winners to New York, it is stated.

Mondovi Grange at Reardan won first place in the Northeast District for their Grange history. To appreciate the history, one would have to read and see it. The group has many pictures and newspaper clippings put together to tell a wonderful story, it is reported.

Highland Grange won a lecture’s plaque for their 1966 achievements.

Canniwai Grange, Marlin, won the 100% paid-up dues award for nine years.

Odessa Grange was honored to have Mrs. Elizabeth Fink chosen as one of the top three cake bakers in the State. As a result she was called to Centralia to bake her cake before the judges.

Patty Douglas of Grand Coulee was first-place winner in the Junior cookie division. Hattie Schlimmer of Odessa took second in her National Grange afghan entry. She was the purple winner in Lincoln county and went on to win blue at state and second in national competition for edging and third in national for the doily.

Linda Schafer was one of the girls singing in the youth choir at the state session when they entertained the convention on Thursday. She was also one of the participants in a skit put on for the assembly.

The Lincoln county banquet was held on Thursday evening with 16 attending at Centralia. Somehow Lincoln Grange members had the sick bug. There were several who could not attend because of it.

An invitation was given to hold the 1968 convention in Spokane. It was accepted. Lincoln county will be assisting in the entertainment.

25 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

July 2, 1992

Harvest starts early this year.

The wheat harvest in the Odessa area was under way this week after one of the earliest starting dates for cutting on record.

A combination of late May frosts and hot, dry weather with near drought conditions throughout most of June seriously damaged wheat heads and hastened the ripening of the grain, particularly on dryland acreage. Rainfall during the growing season was far below average, although heavy April showers had been cause for optimism among farmers early on.

Leonard Lobe, who farms in the Batum area, brought the first load of wheat to the Odessa Union Warehouse Co-op’s Lauer elevator on Friday. “The first field we harvested was Morrow and it went 30 bushels, which is better than expected,” Lobe said.

Jack Scrupps was in the field cutting, too, and hauling to the Odessa Union Warehouse Jantz station.

Myrl Miller began cutting Lujane on Tuesday, “I dont really want to guess the bushels just yet, but the quality of the crop looks good,” Miller stated. Jay Scrupps also began cutting on Tuesday.

Ironically, rain and cool temperatures--exactly what was wanted a month ago, halted harvest operations on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“No yields or quality has been reported to us as of yet,” said Mark Cronrath, assistant manager of the Odessa Trading Company.

“We just took in our first load at Warden last Friday,” he said. “It looks as though there could be some surprises out there, but no definite forecast for the crops can be made right now.”

Conditions are spotty, Conrath said. Much of the irrigated wheat, which has not yet fully ripened, appears to have fared well during the growing season.

“It may be a mixture of good and bad,” said Conrath. “By the end of this week or early next week we hope to know more.”

But yields and test weights are expected to be below average over all.

“What wheat we’ve seen so far is weighing light and looking a little shriveled,” said Odessa Union Warehouse manager Marvin Greenwalt. He added that this was only a preliminary observation, as not enough wheat has yet been delivered to make a determination on yield averages.

Volga German descendent’s seen as link.

Researchers of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease believe there may be a link between dependents of Volga Germans afflicted with the brain disorder and a mutant gene carried by their ancestors in Russia more than 100 years ago.

The Spokane Spokesman Review in a front-page article by Eric Sorensen reported that a Russian historian, Igor Pleve, and a University of Washington neurologist, Thomas Bird, were to meet this week to discuss Pleve’s finding on the possible high incidence rate of Alzheimer’s among Germans in the Volga settlements of Frank and Walter during the early 1800’s.

It is believed by researchers that persons of Volga German origin now living here may be carrying the Alzheimer’s gene. The family the George Kissler, a Volga German settler in Odessa at the beginning of the century, is the subject of the University of Washington’s study into a genetic link to Alzheimer’s disease.

Reubin Kissler, of Spokane, an Odessa native and son of George Kissler, was interviewed for The Spokesman- Review article, relating how his father, two of his brothers and his sister had been victims of the disease.


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