The Odessa Record -

This Week in Odessa History

From banking to Chamber banquet to health care, many issues the same


January 18, 2018

--Archival photos.

100 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

January 18, 1918

Federal Reserve Bank for Odessa: The Farmers and Merchants Bank has just received notification that it has been admitted to membership in the Federal Reserve System, the strongest banking system of the United States. In addition to the examination of the state of Washington, it now comes under the supervision of the United States Government and the bank can avail itself of the liberal re-discount privileges offered by the system; the facilities afforded by the bank's customers, being thereby greatly increased, and additional new safety thrown around the entire management.

New farmers telephone company: A new farmers telephone company which will be known as the Eagle Springs Farmers Telephone company was organized at a farmers meeting Saturday at the Union State Bank. The line will be an extension of what used to be known as the Mills line, now owned by Edward Schendall and will extend up to the Eagle Springs company. The organizers of the new company are S.B. Prudden. Tom Weber, Fred Hemmerling and T.dB. Wolverton.

75 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

January 21, 1943

Frozen pipes on Sunday brought sudden death to Henry Guttschmidt, young Wheeler rancher, who was burned to death by exploding gasoline.

Below zero weather descended upon the area suddenly during the weekend, catching home owners and car operators unprepared. When stores opened on Monday morning they were found with windows frosted, water pipes frozen in many cases. At Moores, where part of the water system had frozen a pipe broke while thawing on Monday evening and discharged a flow of water onto stocks displayed on one counter.

Denise Larson Murray, head of the Odessa school's vocal music department will present her singers in a farewell concert on Tuesday night, having tendered her resignation in order to attend Columbia University college of music. Assisting will be the high school band, under the direction of Carver Whelchel.

R.E. Beringer, state game protector, has announced to sportsmen that it will be unlawful for any persons to have any migratory game birds in storage after January 23.

Mrs. D.C. Roloff returned from Spokane on Monday, where she had gone on Friday, to see her daughter, Lilllian, receive her cap at the St. Luke's nurse training school.

Mayor Grover C. Schoonover of Harrington slipped on ice while crossing the street near his home Saturday and fell, breaking his right ankle. He was taken to a Spokane hospital Sunday. He was former Odessa postmaster and a long time resident here.

Mayor Jantz announced his library board appointments for the coming year to include Mrs. E.M. Bartalamay, Mrs. E.D. Heimbigner, Miss Marge Minnehan, Mrs. H.F. Ottestad and Mrs. George Schiewe.

Jonnie Giese, third class aviation machinists mate in the United States navy, spent the weekend in Odessa on furlough. He also visited relatives at Davenport and Rocklyn, before returning to his station in Florida.

Ed Delzer writes from Gowan Field, Boise, that the boys of his outfit are now restricted, while they determine the illness of one of the members.

Harry Wolsborn, somewhere in Australia, has been promoted to staff sergeant, effective January 1, states word received by Mrs. Wolsborn.

Fred Frank, who has been employed at Seattle, is with the United States army, and is now stationed at St. Petersburg, Florida.

Bill Wraspir, Pasco, and his brother-in-law, Clyde Pope, also stationed at Pasco, spent Wednesday afternoon in Odessa.

50 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

January 18, 1968

Good turnout at Annual Chamber Banquet Saturday: One hundred twenty-three diners attended the annual Odessa Chamber of Commerce banquet Saturday evening at the elementary school cafeteria. A Swiss steak dinner, prepared by the school cooks and served by high school girls, was enjoyed by the members and guests.

Merlin Traylor, master of ceremonies, introduced those seated at the head table. Pres. Clinton Thompson and his mother, Rev. and Mrs. John A. Birchard, Incoming President, and Mrs. Merle Janke, Mrs. Traylor and the guest speaker, Karl Bachman, Washington Water Power Co. Other introductions included the past presidents present.

Prior to the address, the group was entertained by Donna and the Little Shavers who presented their competition numbers used at the National Grange meeting and others–all well received. The group has added a bass guitar, acquired from winnings at the Grange competition.

Speaking on "Economic Miracle or Economic Fiasco," the Spokane man indicated that America could become a third-rate power in spite of its riches or greatness. In a century of exciting technological progress, in a period when the U.S. has bailed out 2/3rds of the world after World War II without lowering its security, the public can be very apathetic, he said. Too many treasure money and material things over spiritual and human concerns. The speaker cited a number of ex-great nations which died of core rot.

A better understanding of our basic economic principles is needed, Bachman stated. We need to rid ourselves of the fallacious notion politics and economics don't mix. He said they can't be separated. A better acquaintance with the basic principles of our system of government are needed.

The necessity of profit was stressed by the speaker. There is a lack of understanding of the meaning of the word. It is a legitimate cost of doing business, he stated. Profit is the payment for the use of production tools. It's essential to our economy. By ignoring this principle we may run over the goose that lays the golden egg.

Bachman urged the chamber assemblage to use the ballot box and the market place to shore up the future of our nation.

President Thompson gave a brief summary of the activities of the chamber during the past year. He was presented a plaque from the chamber in recognition of his efforts.

New officers introduced were Merle L. Janke, president; Larry A. Mills, vice president; Laurence Libsack, secretary-treasurer; Alvin Wacker and Keith Bieber, directors.

A plaque for Lewis Kagele, named 1967 Conservation Farmer by the local Soil Conservation district, was also presented. Marvin Fink accepted in his behalf.

Don Evavold expressed thanks to the Chamber, to businessmen and others responsible for the fine response to the 4-H Lincoln county fair steer sale, and the support of other 4-H activities.

Rev. Hausauer retires from Wenz Company: The Rev. Albert Hausauer is retiring this week from his work with the Wenz Tractor and Implement company, after 22 years with the firm.

The Rev. and Mrs. Hausauer came to Odessa in the year of 1939, where Rev. Hausauer served the Pilgrim Congregational church. In 1945 his health failed and he was advised by his doctor to do some physical work. The Pilgrim church had merged with the St. Matthews church about this time, so he resigned his resident pastorate.

In December, 1945, he started work the Wenz company that had just started. He was one of three employees. Later he was parts manager for the Odessa Implement company. In 1956 this company was sold to Wenz Tractor, and Mr. Hausauer was a share holder and parts manager of the Wenz Tractor & Implement Company for 12 years. The firm had tripled its employees during this time.

Rev. Hausauer also served various churches during this time, which kept him busy. He still serves the Marlin Zion United Church of Christ, and is interim minister of the United Church of Christ at Quincy.

He now plans to have more time for his church work, and for his leisure plans.

In his work as relief pastor in various churches, he served the Marlin Presbyterian church for several years, in addition to the Zion church there. He assisted local pastors during their vacation periods.

25 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

January 21, 1992

Health care on way back in Odessa: A special levy which voters in Lincoln Hospital District #1 will be asked to approve on February 2 would provide $360,000 to go toward the maintenance and operation of Odessa Memorial Hospital, the Odessa Clinic and the Odessa Convalescent Center.

The levy, collectible next year, is the lowest which the district has asked since 1988. That year, voters approved a $210,000 levy. And in each of the following years they voted for levies of $375,000 or more, with those of 1990 and 1991 each being for $398,000.

The hospital commissioners and administration not only depend on those levies for the district's survival, but they also took out tax anticipation notes, borrowing on the next year's expected levy, to keep Odessa's health care facilities operating.

The district's financial picture has changed in the past year. Hospital district administrator Carol Schott looks at the situation with guarded optimism, although she is delighted with the progress that has been made in the past six months.

Last year's tax anticipation note for $280,000 has been paid off, and it is believed that another note will not have to be sought this year.

The district's brighter financial outlook this year has resulted from a much greater utilization of its health care services in the last six months, Schott said this week.

The arrival last August of Dr. Linda Powell as the community's permanent physician has been the chief factor in the turn-around at the hospital and the clinic. For nearly a year, Odessa had relied on interim physicians, some of whom could remain on duty here for less than a month.

The number of patient visits at the clinic dwindled during the first half of the year to about 400 a month, Schott said. Since the arrival of Dr. Powell, they now average close to 550 a month.

They 1992 closed out with 5,999 patient visits, an all-time high, and reflecting the surge of activity during the last quarter.

The number of hospital outpatients showed an even more remarkable rise, up to 3,340 from the previous year's 2,615 and the highest number in the past 10 years.

Swing bed occupancy, at 1,649, was up sharply in 1992 to a level higher than it had ever been before in the eight years that they have been in use.

Despite the favorable year-end report, the forthcoming levy is still necessary, Schott said. She cited three ongoing factors which seriously impact the financial stability of small rural health care centers such as Odessa's.

--Medicare, Medicaid and other third party payers continue to lower their reimbursements, and write-offs are higher than ever before.

--Health care reforms are mandating health benefits for employees and dependents, and the state and federal governments are attempting to reduce their deficits by cutting reimbursements to small rural health care facilities.

--The age of Odessa's facility and equipment involves increased upkeep and the possibility of sizeable replacement and maintenance costs. As the facility is mostly depreciated, increased Medicare rates for on-going capital improvements are not allowed.

The special levy which the district seeks in February is a small burden in comparison with the cost of traveling out of town for medical care, Schott said. Taxes would be $3.39 per $1,000 valuation.

As an example, according to a fact sheet which the hospital district recently released, the levy would assess $118.65 on a $35,000 home.

By comparison, for a family of five, driving 80 miles-- to Spokane, for example-- for one medical office visit, using IRS mileage allowance for calculation, the cost would be $224. This does not include meals and other expenses the family might incur while out of town.

Roof of Jugend Garten collapses: Under the weight of wet snow which fell throughout the night on Tuesday, the roof of the Jugend Garten at 7 East First Avenue collapsed on Wednesday morning.

The incident occurred just before press time, so The Record could not provide photo coverage for this report.

There were no injuries. Some cars and a boat were stored inside, but it was not known what the extent of damage was, if any.

The Jugend Garten was formerly known as the Luiten building, and for years it served as an automobile dealership, garage and repair shop.

Country Companies, of which Bill Schlimmer is the agent, had an office located in the building. Schlimmer had removed the contents from the office by late morning.

The Jugend Garten was the scene of youth activities during Deutschesfest and at other times of the year was used as a parking garage.


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