The Odessa Record -

This Week in Odessa History

Pioneer picnic, German homesteaders declare loyalty to U.S., Wraspir is Conservation Farmer of Year


--Archival photo.

The 1968 Conservation Farmer for Odessa Soil and Water District, Duke Wraspir with Barbara, daughter Lori and three sons Doug, Dick and Darren.

100 years ago

The Odessa Record

June 21, 1918

Many picnic with pioneers: Odessa had somewhat of a deserted appearance at times this week, due to the absence of a goodly percentage of the people being in attendance at the Pioneers picnic which has been held annually for the past fifteen years on the Pioneers’ association grounds on upper Crab Creek about thirty miles east of this place.

The attendance on the opening day is reported to have been the smallest of any opening day since the early days of organization, but to one going there for the first time, it would appear if such was the case the lack of percentage could only be caused by an absence of transient patrons for practically every favorable camping place on the grounds appeared to be filled with tents in which people are residing who have come to take in the full three days’ session. A merry-go-round and ferris wheel are doing a good business and concessionnaires are in evidence everywhere and all appear to be thriving.

Ye editor and wife attended the opening day for the first time. Got there too late for the morning program, but witnessed some of the best races over seen in this section in the afternoon and also the ball game at which Odessa defeated Kennewai and made a clean sweep of all the games played for the season. The place abounds with shade and although it is somewhat dusty this dry season, there is an abundance of pure, ice-cold water so it is no wonder that large numbers of people from every walk of life go there annually to enjoy recreation and meet old time friends every year. The crowd the past two days are reported to be record breakers.

German Baptists pledge loyalty: Telegram assuring united support sent to pres.

The Pacific Conference of the German Baptist church which had just begun last week as The Record went to press, closed Sunday evening. All the meetings were well attended and the church was at times unable to hold the crowds that came to attend the evening preaching services.

Reports from the different churches represented at the conference showed an advance in all branches of church work and plans were laid for renewed interest for the new conference year.

One of the first moves on organization of the conference was the sending of the following telegram to President Wilson, assuring him of the loyalty and pledging him the united support of the people of all German Baptist churches represented:

Odessa, Wash., June 14, 1918, To His Excellency, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States,

Washington, D.C.:

The Pacific Conference of German Baptist churches in annual session assembled, at Odessa, Wash., has authorized its officers, by the unanimous vote of the accredited delegates from California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho, to express to you the unqualified loyalty of our people to the flag of our country.

Although the use of the German language in our church services is for the present a matter of necessity, we are hundred percent Americans.

Our young men are answering their country’s call in large numbers. Large sums of money are being given for the Red Cross, YMCA Army work and various other war purposes.

(Signed) Fred’k Hoffman,


F. I. Reichle, Secretary.

75 years ago

The Odessa Record

June 17, 1943

Furnished homes sought here: W. C. Raugust, chairman of the housing committee, reports that there is a demand for all the furnished homes obtainable in the community, largely from army personnel as homes for their wives, in an area adjacent to their duty stations.

We can get all the tenants desired, he stated, if some provision can be made to furnish the homes. All that is asked is simple furnishings, where the army man and his family would not be separated by too great a distance for visits.

People having available single rooms, group of rooms or furnished houses for rent should contact Mr. Raugust or George Schiewe, commercial club president, he states.

Attend Grand Lodge Meet at Wenatchee: David Weber, master of the Odessa Masonic lodge, left on Tuesday for Wenatchee, to attend the 86th annual communication of the Masonic grand lodge of Washington. All the hotels are filled and 150 registered in private homes through the chamber of commerce.

Deputy Grand Master Don F. Kizer is presiding in the absence of William J. Stedman, Tacoma, grand master, who is unable to attend because of war duties at Washington, D. C.

Accompanying Mr. Weber on the trip were Joe Vehrs and Cecil Lloyd, wardens of the Ritzville lodge.

50 years ago

The Odessa Record

June 20, 1968

‘Duke’ Wraspir named ‘68 conservation farmer: “Duke” Wraspir has been named 1968 Conservation Farmer for the Odessa Soil and Water Conservation District. Duke was named Conservation Farmer for the development and conservation of his farm at Moody.

Mr. Wraspir and his family moved on the 470 acre farm in the summer of 1963. In the last 5 years Duke has cleared 20 acres of sagebrush land. He has moved about 30,000 cubic yards of earth in straightening 1,900 ft. of Rocky Coulee channel. The channel work has been done with the assistance of ACP payments. Plans are to clear about 60 acres more and to straighten about 1700 ft more of the channel moving 35,000 cubic yards of earth. It is also planned to seed 30 acres of shallow cropland to Siberian wheatgrass.

The Wraspirs started with only about 40 acres more to be planted this fall. The 250 acres of dry sagebrush land has been left for wildlife. Pheasants are to be found year around. Chiselstubble mulch farming has been a constant part of Wraspirs’ farming operation. Mr. Wraspir has worked with the Soil Conservation District since taking over the farm and had a farm plan developed in 1964.

Duke has had the constant assistance of his wife, Barbara, and some help from his three boys, Doug, Dick, and Darren. Their little girl, Lori, is mother’s little helper. Duke spends his spare time working for Marvin Fink, a neighbor farmer.

The Conservation Farmer program is sponsored locally by the Odessa Soil and Water Conservation District and the Odessa Chamber of Commerce.

25 years ago

The Odessa Record

June 17, 1993

‘Ambassadors’ eager to publicize town: They know about Odessa now in Bellingham, Port Angeles and Toppenish, and soon the word will be spread to as far away as Norman, Okla.

When the 1993 edition of This Is Odessa, the recreation and vacation guide to the Channeled Scablands and the central Big Bend country, was published on March 27, The Odessa Record printed an appeal from the Odessa Economic Development Committee and the Odessa Chamber of Commerce for “ambassadors” to distribute copies in areas where they might be traveling.

Seven thousand copies of the community’s tourist guide were printed. Thirteen hundred copies were included as supplements in the May 27 issue of The Record. Every subscriber received one.

Apparently the appeal was effective and the guide was impressive. For the response has been tremendous to distribute copies of This Is Odessa to visitor information centers, restaurants and anywhere else travel literature is likely to be picked up has.


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