This Week in Odessa History

Harvest news, wildfires, this and that

 

Lewis Kagele (seated) 1967 Conservation Farmer of the Year, is shown with his family at their farm house west of Odessa. Mrs. Kagele is seated at right. The children, from left, are: Clark, Susan and Jack.

100 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

July 27, 1917

Guard against grain fires.

Representative E.L. Farnsworth has asked the Record to publish this week a few suggestions offered by State Insurance Commissioner H.O. Fishback as the best means for guarding against fires which might destroy either standing grain or that stacked or being threshed. At this time when the loss of a single bushel of grain may mean hunger for some one dependent upon the bushel for sustenance, it will be well for Odessa farmers to follow these instructions:

"A hay strip at least fifteen feet wide should be cut along all highways and dividing large tracts. Where conditions permit, this strip should also be plowed as a further fire guard. This will prevent fires along the road caused by carelessness and is a great help in preventing fires from spreading over large areas.

The sacks of grain should be promptly gathered and if not immediately hauled to warehouse should be placed in piles and protected the same as around settings.

Fifteen feet of clear space should be prepared surrounding settings. This should be done by plowing where practical or by cutting all stubble down to the ground and clearing all inflammable matter from the clear space.

Smoking by threshing crews should be strictly prohibited while in the fields, unless within 12 feet of the engine while at setting, or in some other safe place specially designed. The use of safety matches should be required. This is important as the dropping of a match may cause great destruction. Fire fighting equipment for combines: One 2 1/2 gallon chemical and one Pyrene or similar type of extinguisher; a box containing about 20 wet sacks, which should be kept wet at all times: two or three sharp pointed shovels.


Harvest has begun.

Cooler weather has prevailed during the past week, but there has only been a trace of rain. In fact rain at this time would do no particular good in the immediate Odessa country, except to help the roads, as what remains of the wheat crop is made and harvest will be on in earnest next week.

Reports from those who have begun harvesting with combines or threshing direct from the header indicate that the estimates that there would be only about half a crop will not be far from right. Some report as high as a 15-bushel yield, others 10 and a few are still predicting that their yield will be less than that. One thing is certain, some of those that are cutting are getting No. 1 wheat, which is most encouraging. The poorest looking wheat appears to be exceeding expectations, while much of that which looked best two or three weeks ago is badly shriveled and disappointing many. Only a few transient harvest hands have appeared for work but here will not be the demand for men there was in former years, for in addition to the light crops which require some less help, between 60 and 70 Odessa farmers, fearing a help famine this season, purchased combined harvesters, which, with what machines were in the country, relieves greatly the help problem. Still wages are very high and from $3 to $4 a day is being paid for ordinary help, while machine men are asking from $8 to $12 a day. In order to accommodate their farmer patrons, Odessa business houses have abolished the 6 p.m. closing hour during harvest season as in former years and are remaining open as long as there is any business.

75 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

July 27, 1942

Conrad Stroh, Jr., farmer of the southeast section, received a broken leg Sunday while changing a tire when the tire tool slipped and dropped him to the ground. Mr. Stroh had finished about half of his harvest.

Lee Lightbody working on the William Geissler combine crew, dropped his billfold into the machine during the week end, and was pleased to see it go through the machine, the bill fold mangled with the currency unharmed. A dime and car key failed to come through.

Vandals entered the high school building on Monday night and attempted to force their way through the door of the former principal's office by prying, but failed. The damage was discovered Tuesday morning by E.E. Newland, superintendent.

Dan Borgens was the first to report completion of his harvest work, finishing Tuesday on a field of 200 acres that went 35 bushels to the acre. He has gone to work for a neighbor, Jacob Maier.

Con Gies, retiring rancher of the southwest country, has purchased the Reuben Melcher home and will move to town. Mr. and Mrs. Melcher will visit for a time at Waterville and then go to Portland to work in defense industries. Mr. Melcher has resigned his position as school janitor here.

The Rev. and Mrs. Marcus Rieke of San Antonio, Texas, where Mr. Rieke was chaplain in the Lutheran service center for two years, are visiting Mr. and Mrs. Hy. Rieke at Cashmere. Mr. Rieke will leave September 1 to become head of the Luther League of the American Lutheran church, with offices at Columbus, Ohio.

As early as Monday a vast storage pile started to take form on the lots adjoining the Odessa Union Warehouse company elevators as farm trucks continued bringing wheat, even with existing facilities crowded to the brim.

Louis Frederick, north area farmer, reports that grasshoppers are threatening 30 acres of oats at his place and are starting to move into his garden. Chickens have had their fill of the "hoppers" and ignore them.

W.C. Raugust, manager of the Odessa Trading Company, is filing for state representative from the eighth district, Lincoln, Adams and Ferry counties, on the Republican ticket, he announced Wednesday.

Nath Lobe reports finding a new comb on Monday morning beside his gasoline wagon in a field a short distance from his home. Since it is a very new comb, Mr. Lobe would greatly appreciate it if the owner will call for it, he states.

A flying nail struck Emil Roth in the eye on Saturday, breaking one lens of his glasses. He was working on an elevator building job at Washtucna. He had the glass particles removed there and on Monday went to Spokane to see an eye specialist.

A large rat was killed on the main street of Odessa on Monday night, the first of its kind to be found here in recent years. Rats have become a problem in the Lauer district and at other points of the farming area.

Torrential showers, brought in during a violent thunder and lightening storm, put a temporary stop to harvesting in this area last night. The rainfall was patchy, striking with violence at certain areas including down town Odessa and missing other localities. The brief storm brought an unofficial total of .84 inch of rainfall.

Help was scarce at the Bugan store on Saturday with Paul Gross suffering from an arm operation, Weldon Goede ill with blood poisoning, and Nile Grasham, manager, suffering from a carbuncle on the hand. Lawrence Kissler was the only employee about to do his full share of the work.

Pfc. Walter Weber of Camp Sutton, North Carolina, sends a hello to all his friends, and states that he is fine. He reads the Record each week and it seems good to get the home town paper. "I never did read a paper clear through like I read that one, and enjoy every bit of it."

50 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

July 27, 1967

Lewis Kagele named conservation farmer of the year.

Lewis W. Kagele has been named 1967 Conservation Farmer of the year by the Supervisors of the Odessa Soil and Water Conservation District. The nomination is the first of its kind for the local Conservation District.

Kagele, who farms and ranches but a few miles west of Odessa, signed with the District in 1958. He had been having difficulty in controlling the light, the shallow soils of the 1120-acre farm. With little moisture farm yields were low, generally. Crops were blowing out.

A farm plan was developed in 1959. Field-size trial plantings were made in cooperation with the Plant Materials Center of the Soil Conservation Service and Washington State University. A total of 320 acres was seeded to grass and put in the soil bank.

A more recent conservation step was the installation of an irrigation system from a well in 1962. Currently, 80 acres of alfalfa are being irrigated on the home place along with 370 acres of Gaines winter wheat.

In addition to the farm, Lewis is associated with his brother, Jim, in a cattle operation on about 9,300 acres of rangeland, on which 400 cattle are run. Good conversation management practices are followed in this operation, too, which has 150 acres of irrigated pasture land. Crested Wheatgrass has been seeded on marginal cropland and cleared areas. Sagebrush is being controlled by spraying. A rotation deferred grazing system is utilized.

Assisting the 1967 Conservation Farmer of the Year are the members of his family; Darlene, his wife, who helped develop the farmstead in the over 20-year residence there; Jack, 20, a student at Central Washington State College, Ellensburg; Susan, 17, Odessa high school senior and Clark, 12, in junior high.

Wins at State Jaycee junior track meet.

Forey Walter, Odessa's three-time state A high school champion, easily won both sprints in the fifth Washington State Jaycee Junior Champs Track Meet Saturday at Tacoma and joined Casey Carrigan, Dave Fox, Fred Swendsen and Pat Deneen as spearheads of the state's national team.

Walter, sponsored by the Spokane Jaycees in the University of Puget Sound competition, was unpressed in breezing to 10-flat, 22-flat victories in the 100 and 200.

The victories earned him, and all other Senior Division winners a trip to the National Junior Champs, Aug. 24-26 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Walter has to yield top star billing to a pair of underclassmen who won single events, Orting's Casey Carrigan, the amazing sophomore competition for the host Lakewood Jaycees, who pole vaulted 15-feet, and Wapato's Dave Fox, who won a sizzling 880 in 1:55.7.

Spokane wound up second with 32 points to Lakewood's 56 on over-all scoring.

Extending his victory string to 49 consecutive 220s and 39 straight 100s, Walter is now the target of every opponent, Coach Leland Boyk states. His three-year record is now 50 of 53 100s and 49 of 49 220s, a total of 99 victories in 102 races.

Forey will represent Odessa and the Spokane Track club in a Seattle meet, the Pacific NW AAU championships, on August 5. On August 19, he runs in Vancouver, B.C., in an International meet with his Washington State teammates who will fly to Des Moines the following week, Boyk states.

Discuss sewer system ideas with town council.

Two representatives of the Lincoln County Health department and two representatives of the Odessa Planning board met to discuss possible methods of developing sewage collection and disposal for Odessa.

Representing the health department were W.A. Van Leuven and Tom Haggarty. They were present at the council meeting at the request of the local planning board.

The health department officials listed some ground rules for establishing a sewage collection and disposal system for towns such as Odessa. They also gave information as to where funds might be available on a state or federal basis, if requested, for planning and developing of such a program.

The visitors suggested that a lagoon-type disposal system be utilized here as they require little maintenance as compared to more elaborate installations.

Many questions were asked by council members in a thorough discussion of the subject at hand. Earlier the council had requested that the newly-organized Odessa planning board investigate the matter of a potential sewer system for the town. The meeting with the council was a follow-up to that request.

25 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

July 23, 1992

Gordon Neale appointed principal of Odessa schools.

Gordon Neale, who for the past nine years has been the music director and instructor of the Odessa schools, has been appointed K-12 principal of the school system, Superintendent Steve Smedley has announced.

Neale's appointment was approved unanimously by members of the Odessa School Board at their meeting Monday night. He succeeds Leo Hutchins in the principal's position.

Hutchins' resignation and release from his contract with the Odessa School District was accepted by the board earlier during the same meeting. The action released Hutchins to accept a position in the Reardan School District.

Before coming to the Odessa schools in 1983, Neale was the msuic instructor and band director at Selkirk High School, which serves northern Pend Orielle County. He held that position for two years, took a two-year leave to engage in private business, and then returned to Selkirk for 10 years.

Earlier he had been the director of instrumental music of the Westminster Elementary School District in Westminster, Calif.

Acknowledged for his talent as a music instructor, Neale last February received the coveted annual award of the Washington Music Educator Association as the Outstanding Music Educator of Eastern Washington.

The award cited Neale for having achieved outstanding performance with groups he has worked with and taught, for actively participating in leadership of music education in eastern Washington and for exhibiting life-long commitment through music.

Neale has been active in civic affairs of the community, including membership in the Odessa Lions Club and the Oom Pas and Mas Band. He is chairman of bands for the Deutschesfest, in charge of adjudication and awards, and for many years has been master of ceremonies of the Fest's Ugly Beard Contest.

Neale received his B.A. degree from Whitworth College and a master's degree in education from Eastern Washington University. He also pursued studies in education at California State University at Long Beach and at Pepperdine University.

He was also elected to the executive board of the Washington Music Educators Association, a position he will now resign as he is no longer in the music educators field. He will, however, continue to serve on the state music committee of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

Neale's wife, Virginia, is an aide in special education in the Odessa schools. They are members of the Heritage United Church of Christ. The Neales have three grown sons, Dave, Ken and Brian.

Smedley said that applications would soon be received for a replacement for the music instructor's position in Odessa.

Figures of German boys, girls will welcome visitors.

By now most people have noticed the German girls and boys which are at all four entrances to town and in front of the Community Center. These were the project of Allen, Mike and Joyce Kuest.

While returning home from a trip to see the fall colors in the New England states, Joyce and Allen Kuest stopped at Concordia, Mo.

As they entered Concordia, they saw on each street corner an eight-foot-high German girl and German boy who welcomed people into their community.

They asked people if they could get the pattern for these figures but no one would sell them the pattern, so they took pictures and asked Janet Heimbigner to draw the figures on an 8x4-foot piece of plywood.

After Janet got all 10 of the figures drawn, Mike and Allen Kuest went to work cutting each character out.

Now the fun began. Each one of these people had to be painted with many coats of paint. These are four coats of white paint on each figure. Then the colors are added from the facial tones to the outfits. Two coats of the colored paint was used.

The details for the faces was done by Janet. It was recommended that a sealer spray not be put on the figures as it would cause painting problems in the future if touch-ups were necessary.

Helen Dashiell did the art work on the suspenders and along the border of the skirts.

Tracy Walter and Joyce painted on the outfits and the hair colors. These figures have curly to straight hair with many different shades of color. The outfits are bright and eye catching.

Allen and Mike attached each of these figured with a couple of 4x4s which are buried so they can withstand the Odessa windstorms. Mike, Allen and Joyce started the project on Tuesday morning and by mid-afternoon they were all in place with many comments being made in their favor.

These volunteers deserve a pat on the back for just seeing an idea and taking on the task to make it a part of the community.

Friendly figures-- Five pairs of German boys and girls made their appearance around Odessa this week. This couple stands in front of the Community Center. The wooden figures are a project of Allen, Mike and Joyce Kuest.

 

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