The Odessa Record -

Harrington news

Event signs discussed, early newspapers


December 28, 2017


Development Authority

The Harrington Public Development Authority met December 19, with the following present: Heather Slack, president, Jay Kane, Paul Charlton, Jay Gossett, Jill Plaskon, Bunny Haugan, Marge Womach, Tim Tipton, Cherie MacClellan, Dillon Haas, Margie Hall (Lincoln Co. EDC) and Josh Steward.

Gossett related to the group that another quote had been received for the sign which the Authority is planning to buy to place on the west edge of town to announce events. The new quote is slightly cheaper and has some variations and is a type of aluminum composite. No decision was made between the two companies’ offers. The insert panels may cost $590 each; separate panels for the various events, i.e., Cruizin’ Harrington, Fall Festival, or 4th of July. These insert panels with the one proposal would slide into place and with the other would bolt into place. Comments were made that the Authority could seek donations from the other groups in town in support of the panels/functions that they might want to advertise.

Margie Hall reported to the Authority that the Economic Development Council had received a call from Senator Maralyn Chase (32nd District, Edmonds) who stated that she will serve as chair of the Senate Economic Development & Trade Committee for the 2018 legislative session. In response to a news release by Hall, Chase was calling to invite those involved in the Harrington Public Development Authority’s 2015-16 broadband project to speak during a Committee Broadband Hearing in January.

Hall’s original release focused on millennial involvement in Harrington at the present time. The Authority discussed the origins of Iverson making broadband available into the entire downtown district, the role that Allen Barth played with his community enthusiasm, and the number of millennials involved in the Chamber of Commerce, the Authority and city government. Other topics included how profitable it can be to telecommute from Harrington, the advantages of living in a small community with such a good educational system, the economic advantage of life on the east side of the mountains.

Good support was offered Hall. The Harrington Authority will make a presentation via the Internet to the Broadband Hearing, plans of which are still being developed.

Historic personality

As early as 1885 Harrington had a newspaper printed in town. “Leading and Pioneer Journal of the Big Bend Country: The Harrington Times, County Official Paper. Devoted to the Development of Lincoln County. $3.00 Per Annum (in advance). Harrington, Washington Territory” (on a bill located in the probate records of Light Bearden). From 1886 to 1894 there is little evidence of Harrington having a local paper. The Harrington Kicker (by A.B. Grace) was thriving from 1894 to 1896 with challenge coming from the Harrington Leader (M.P. Stephens) in 1894 and in 1896 by the Harrington Independent published by Middaugh & Moore. In 1896, a small paper The Banner appeared and disappeared only to reappear in July. The Banner, when in print, was published by Sam E. DeRackin, and was highly political in its comments. Born in 1861 in South Carolina, he was fairly prominent in the political arena at Sprague, living there at the time of his marriage in 1892 to Miss Jennie Evans. He ran a small paper there, the Daily Mail, in partnership with L.F. Williams. Once Williams retired, DeRackin cut the paper to a “weekly” Mail. In partnership again with A.J. Lacey, he devoted the paper to the Populist party. In 1895 DeRackin was appointed to the office of sheriff of Lincoln County to fill the unexpired term of Sheriff Williams, and he soon gave up his interest in the Mail.

The Banner was originally The People’s Banner, a weekly Populist paper, printed in Davenport in late 1895 by C.H. Scott. In February 1896, DeRackin (retired from Sheriff) purchased the paper, found that Davenport was not as supportive to him as he was accustomed to in Sprague, and in August he moved his plant to Harrington, where he continued under the name Harrington Banner. DeRackin was very involved in the heated contest for the location of the county seat. By the end of the election in 1896, he ceased publishing the paper.

While he was sheriff he made the news in the Davenport paper, The Lincoln County Times, where the following report was found: “The Sheriff’s Escapade. In the last issue of the Mail Sheriff DeRackin denies that he got drunk at a dance hall in Spokane and flourished a revolver, for which he was taken in charge by a police officer. His denial is weak, however, in the face of the evidence brought against him by officers and spectators who were present at the place. A graphic account was published in three of the Spokane papers the following day.

In 1896, he was involved in some heated discourse in the local papers: “That Canary Bird. Ed. Times.—If readers who are so unfortunate as to have the Banner, will glance down the first column of second page to the very little paragraph of the issue of Sept 3rd in the very little paper edited in the little town of Harrington, will find a pen picture of the very little editor, S.E. DeRackin – just as he looked to Davenport people, and he being justly apprised of the fact fled ‘pinning on feathers’ to his present abode, and passes himself off for a bird—a canary bird. Now a bird can’t fly so far but what its tail will follow. All who knew Mr. SED before he espoused his present work, still known him—know how long his will remain true to a cause.”

By October 1896, Mrs. Jennie DeRackin of Sprague was granted a divorce for non-support; they had one daughter, Mary. Vicious attacks were hurled at DeRackin by other writers of the day, calling him a wretch and a liar. This did not hinder DeRackin much, although finding a consistent trail of him in the news was not possible. In December 1898, he is found as the editor of the San Juan News, published at Puerto Rico. It was a four-page, six-column sheet and issued thrice a week. In 1899, for the 4th of July, it was 32 pages, the “biggest thing ever produced in Porto Rico.” In January 1900, Mrs. Sam DeRackin was about to leave for the Philippines to join her husband, who contemplated starting a paper at Manila, but received notice that he had given up his project and intended to return to this state. Upon return, there was a “rumor afloat that Sam DeRackin is to start a paper somewhere in the county” at which time he was now considered “a bright newspaper man, and we are told swings a hot pen, but after the large enterprises that he has been at the head of in that line, we hardly believe he will be contented to run a small paper in a small place.”


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