The Odessa Record -

This Week in Odessa History

Hemmerling buys hotel, Raugust in state legislature, town vision and goals


March 22, 2018

100 years ago

The Odessa Record

March 22, 1918

Odessa Hotel changes hands. Christ Hemmerling is new owner. Took possession Tuesday. Steam heat will be installed and other modern improvements made: An important business change which will be of material benefit to the town took place in Odessa the first of the week when Christ Hemmerling purchased the Odessa Hotel from Mrs. Mary B. Eddy, who has been proprietress of that hostelry for several years past.

Mr. Hemmerling assumed charge of his new property Tuesday and will assume active management of same. It is his intention to repaint and decorate the interior and also install steam heat as well as to fit up the dining room and make other improvements which will make it an up-to-date hotel building something that Odessa has needed for years.

Mr. Hemmerling is not an experienced hotel man, but has the reputation of usually making a success of whatever he undertakes. He first started catering to the public last summer when he built a modern apartment house with extra rooms on Liberty hill near the school house. Many people prophesied that it was a venture that would not pay, but it proved so successful that he felt like going into business on a larger scale and purchased the hotel. It is his intention to use any rooms that may not be occupied by the Odessa public at the apartment for overflow transient trade at the hotel.

The site of the Odessa Hotel is considered by many the best location in town for hotel purposes so the new proprietor will undoubtedly enjoy a splendid patronage by the time he has all of his business pains worked out.

Bury Mrs. Dobson at Spokane: Seldom is it an editor’s duty to record a death so unexpected or one that cast so dark a gloom over the entire community as that of Mrs. C.C. Dobson who died at her home just east of town last Friday morning, at 4:40 o’clock of eclampsia following childbirth.

Mrs. Dobson was well known by practically every person in Odessa. She came here as a child and budded into promising womanhood. As a girl she was of a cheerful disposition and her bright and winning way won her a wide circle of friends. About three years ago she married C.C. Dobson and showed herself a woman of heroic mould with strong home instincts, a kind mother and faithful helpmeet to her husband, whom she leaves with two small children to mourn her loss.

75 years ago

The Odessa Record

March 25, 1943

Raugust tells of legislature: W.C. Raugust, in a short talk before the commercial club on Wednesday, explained some of the workings of the legislative session. He told of the agreement of members that the Senate would handle new road bills one term, while the House handled appropriations, alternating this each term.

This year, with the Senate in charge the road bills entered through the House were combined with others on the Senate floor, resulting in the omnibus bill which the groups passed.

Repeated requests from farmers that a veterinarian be secured to devote at least part time service to the community, was referred to the agricultural committee.

Infant child passes, funeral at Cashmere: Richard Eugene Ramm, two months old son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Ramm of Elmer City, and grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Gottlieb Ramm of Odessa, passed away at the Mason City hospital Saturday morning, where it had been sick for eight days with pneumonia.

The funeral was held at Cashmere, with the Rev. Mr. Oestrich of Cashmere Lutheran church officiating. Burial was in the Cashmere cemetery.

Mr. and Mrs. Gottlieb Ramm and son, LaVern, and Mrs. Richard Delzer attended the funeral from here.

Joe C. Laney takes masonic degrees: The Odessa Masonic lodge gave the third degree to Joe. C. Laney on Tuesday night, with David Weber, master, handling the work. At the meeting preceding a past masters’ team gave the same degree to Eldon Heimbigner.

50 years ago

The Odessa Record

March 21, 1968

Announce new power co. man at Chamber: The successor to Bill Jessett, who will be retiring as a Washington Water Power company employee next month, was announced at Wednesday’s chamber of commerce meeting. Succeeding Jessett on May 1 will be Dave Wacker, a former Odessa resident, who has worked for the power company in various eastern Washington locations in recent years.

Committee meeting for the Welcome group was announced for Monday at noon at Smith’s cafe by Al Wacker, chairman. The Easter Egg Hunt committee was appointed by Pres. Merle Janke. A Small Business Administration meeting in Spokane was announced with representatives being Co. Comm. Fred Stehr, Ray Gilbertson, Bob Zacher and Keith Bieber.

Board adopts 1968-69 calendar, one resignation is accepted: At the last school board meeting the board adopted the school calendar for the 1968-69 school year.

The 68-69 calendar calls for school to begin August 27th and to be dismissed on May 29. It is in other ways just like the present calendar with holidays, etc., to be observed in the same manner.

The board accepted the resignation of Mr. Oscar Undeberg with regret. Mr. Undeberg’s resignation will be effective at the close of this school year.

It was decided to place the Kindergarten Proposal on the ballot at the next school election in order that the voters of the district might make their wishes known to the board.

This decision was based on the information that even though the first year can be financed entirely from state funds for kindergarten, that in future years this might not be true.

It was decided to go ahead with the paving project in the elementary yard if arrangements can be made.

It was further decided to let bids for a 28-passenger school bus to be delivered in August for the start of the next school year.

Town Council: The Odessa town council met Monday evening at which time a variety of projects were discussed by the Mayor and Council, most of which relate to the fact that spring is here.

The council will ask permission of the property owner to paint the fire-seared east wall of the burned-out Odessa Food Center building.

A four-inch water line and hydrant will be placed along 4th Avenue West to improve water service and pressure in that area of Odessa.

The council approved the sale of the 25 feet of vacant ground on the west side of the present city hall to the investors from URM food stores who plan construction of a new grocery here this spring. The area will be utilized for parking, it is reported.

The town is in the process of vacating a portion of the alley and street northwest of the city hall, also as part of the grocery store installation.

Committeemen of the council are investigating the possibility of buying a used State Highway department grader which would be utilized to better maintain Odessa streets and alleys, the Mayor indicates.

Early next month it is expected that the street oiling contractor will again be in town to surface the Avenue from the school gymnasium to the hotel on 4th as well as other bad spots on 4th avenue and around town. Work is also anticipated in the school parking lot and at the Grange Supply.

Improvements at the town’s airport are also under consideration, the Mayor reports. If some federal aid becomes available it is hoped that a 300-foot runway can be blacktopped to provide landing for a greater variety of airplanes. The Odessa Farmer Service organization has poured a slab for an office at the airport, which they hope to complete very soon.

Hiring of personnel for the swimming pool is again a concern of the council and a new method of chlorinating the water is being considered. A machine is available which chlorinates by gas rather than liquid, which would cut the annual cost of operation considerably. Council members have visited Lind where such an installation has been made.

25 years ago

The Odessa Record

March 18, 1993

In report on town’s visions and goals, opinions vary on priorities for growth: Opinions are varied among Odessa residents on the direction the community should take in determining its future.

This is brought out in the executive summary, or final report, on a survey conducted last fall by the Odessa Economic Development Committee and the Town of Odessa to find out what residents thought the town’s visions and goals ought to be.

A report on the survey was presented Tuesday at the meeting of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce by Carol Riesenberg. assistant director of Washington State University’s Small Business Development Center.

Among its most significant findings, the survey showed that improvements to Odessa’s water system, including the installation of a sewer, and improvements of streets and sidewalks were of the highest priority to residents. Providing jobs for young people, helping existing businesses grow and attracting new businesses to Odessa were the preferred economic development techniques.

Odessa residents feel that the quality of living will best be preserved by providing more local job options and preserving farming and ranching opportunities. Encouraging local businesses to capture tourist dollars was the highest priority concerning tourism development, residents felt.

Medical services, including the clinic, hospital, nursing home and pharmacy, were regarded to be of great importance to Odessa residents. Among them, there was a greater demand for college courses in Odessa than for adult-enrichment programs.

Surprisingly, a fine restaurant led the list of new or additional businesses which residents preferred. This was followed by a fabric store, a yard maintenance service and a car wash.

The study had been coordinated by project director Ann Herdrick of the Odessa EDC, and the data gathered in the survey were analyzed and compiled by the Small Business Development Center for the report which Riesenberg presented at the Chamber meeting.

To gather the data, questionnaires were distributed among all the households in town, which numbered 413, and 185 households in rural Odessa, all within the limits of the Odessa school district.

Students of Odessa High School who are FBLA members delivered and collected the questionnaires in town, while the rural households received theirs in the mail. Seventy-two percent of those asked to participate in the survey completed and returned the questionnaire.

For the purposes of the survey, Odessa was divided into six neighborhoods, denoted by color-coded questionnaires which residents were given. The Purple neighborhood was all of the area north of the Burlington Northern tracks within the town limits. The Yellow neighborhood extended south from the Burlington Northern tracks and west from Division Street. The Pink neighborhood represented central Odessa, bounded by Division Street on the west, Fourth Street on the East, the Burlington Northern tracks on the north and the town limits on the south. The Gold neighborhood included the western section of the town, and the White neighborhood was the peripheral area outside the town limits. The Blue neighborhood was the designation for rural Odessa.

While the survey showed that, in general, the community holds the same opinion on visions and goals, there were varied opinions among the neighborhoods on some of the community services.

Householders ranked 10 community infrastructure projects, with the sewer system given first priority and airport improvements at the bottom of the list. Sixty-one percent ranked the sewer system as their first priority.

But the sewer system received different rankings from one neighborhood to the next. It received the highest priority from respondents living in the Blue neighborhood, the rural residents, but a lower priority from residents in the Purple neighborhood, those living north of the Burlington Northern tracks.

Another significant difference in responses among neighborhoods dealt with housing rehabilitation. Respondents in the Gold neighborhood, the west side of Odessa, placed more emphasis on housing rehabilitation than those of other neighborhoods. Those in the Purple neighborhood had the least interest in this topic.

Responses varied by neighborhood concerning the priority placed on recruiting retirement population to settle in Odessa. Those in the Gold, Blue and White neighborhoods placed a higher priority on retirement population recruitment.

In addition to revealing Odessa’s visions and goals, the survey brings out some interesting demographic data about the town.

Seven out of 10 households are occupied by just one or two people. There is a significant difference in the average number of persons per household by neighborhood. In the White neighborhood, 38 percent of the households are occupied by only one resident, but in the Blue neighborhood (rural Odessa) only 10 percent of the households were occupied by only one person.

The average household occupancy in Odessa is 2.1 persons, which Riesenberg said corresponds with averages in other communities in eastern Washington. Forty percent of the households in Odessa reported one or more residents were 65 years of age or more. They numbered 231 out of a total 920 persons living in all of the respondent households covered in the survey.

Ninety-seven percent of the respondents said they live in Odessa the year around. The 3 percent who live here part time reside in the area for six to eight months of the year.

Thirty-five respondents, or 8.7 percent, said that one or more household residents who were currently looking for work were unable to find a job. This represented 44 individuals. Thirty-three respondents, or 7.7 percent said that one or more persons in their household were looking for full-time work but were able to find only part-time work.

Twenty-three respondents, or 5.4 percent, reported that one or more members of their household received public assistance totaled 45.

Some of the Chamber members who heard the report, question the accuracy of the public assistance figures, stating that they believed the number has risen considerably since the survey was made.

One of the purposes of the survey was to determine whether Odessa could meet the eligibility requirements to receive Washington State Community Block Grant funding. To qualify, communities must show that at least 50 percent of households are in the low-income bracket. The survey showed that 214 households, or 52.6 percent, of Odessa households were in that category. Households in the White, Yellow and Purple neighborhoods were more likely to fall below the listed figure than those in other neighborhoods, the survey showed. Seventy-one percent in the White neighborhood reported income below the listed figure, while only 25 percent in the Pink neighborhood said they had income below these figures.


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