The Odessa Record -

Whimsy from 100 years ago, moon landing in 1969, heat wave in 1994

Series: This Week In Odessa History | Story 3

100 years ago

The Odessa Record

July 27, 1919

News updates: A poultry salesman has been making the area, selling his product at $5.00 a gallon. The spray has proved unreliable.

A railroad man that has been working at Nemo says he knows just the place to banish Kaiser Bill Hohensollen. Nemo is uninhabited, hotter than hades and miles to water in any direction. How times have changed. A couple of years ago the Odessa men looked at Nemo as an oasis in a desert, and when stricken with an unconquerable thirst, invariably went to Nemo to have is assuaged and came away relieved. Sometimes they brought jugs, cases or barrels.

Gus Weber and John Schoonover have resumed their place on the concert band orchestra which is to furnish music for the alumni show. Others on the orchestra include “Slats” Wachter, Mrs. John Schoonover, Herman Jasmann and Harold Ottestad.

The Odessa Union Warehouse company has purchased the Farmers warehouse at Irby.

Lincoln county has hired a motorcycle policeman to rid the county of speeders and justices have been requested to show no leniency.

Three foreigners, who had refused to go to work in harvest, were ordered to leave town. They started for Lind and on the way two attacked the other and robbed him of $118.

Mayor and Mrs. H.C. Phillips and the children are spending their vacation at Houser Lake.

Mrs. Walker and daughter of Spokane arrived to take charge of the Davies Cafe.

George Trejbal returned Friday from Camp Lewis, discharged after a year overseas.

A band of gypsies traveling in several covered wagons hit town Wednesday and proceeded to pick up a little silver via the fortune telling route.

The wage scale places sack sewers at $5.50 and threshing labor at $4.50.

75 years ago

The Odessa Record

July 27, 1944

Engagement has been announced: Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Weber and Marlin have announced the engagement and forthcoming marriage of their daughter, Clara, to Harvey Haase, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Haase of Odessa. No definite date has been set for the wedding.

Water fight base of court action: B.J. Lyons, pioneer farmer of the Odessa area, was found not guilty of a justice court complaint charging him with using vulgar and indecent language, following a trial in the justice court in Davenport, July 19.

The charge against Mr. Lyons was filed by David Hardung, a neighbor, who charged the language was used during an argument over water rights to Crab creek. Witnesses who testified included Lloyd King, A. A. King, F.B. Totusek, Robert Lyons and B.J. Lyons of Odessa and Sergeant Roderick Lyons, recently returned from New Guinea and now at the Fort George Wright convalescent center.

Attorney J.D. McCallum of Davenport appeared for Mr. Lyons and Prosecuting Attorney Paul Phillips represented the state.

Marie Dorothy Homburg: Mrs. Marie Dorothy Homburg, 73, widow of the late Jacob Homburg, was buried from the St. Matthews Congregational church on Tuesday afternoon, following her death Saturday at the Ritzville hospital, where she had been under treatment the past 23 days.

Marie D. Zeiler was born at Frank, Russia, October 20, 1870, and in 1890 was married to Jacob Homburg. Eleven children were born, four and the husband preceding her in death.

In 1900 the family came to America, making their home at Walla Walla and later to the ranch at Odessa. In 1930 her husband died and she has made her home with her son, Jake, until death. When she was taken ill she went to the home of a daughter, Mrs. Reuben Fink, for care and finally to the hospital.

Survivors include two sons, Samuel and Jake of Odessa; five daughters, Mrs. John Gettman, Wenatchee; Mrs. Jacob F. Kissler, Mrs. Reuben Fink, Mrs. Clarence Krell, Odessa; Mrs. Lonnie Pritchard, San Francisco; 17 grandchildren; one sister, Mrs. Katie Heimbigner, Puyallup; two brothers, Jacob Zeiler, Odessa, and Conrad Zeiler of Hardine, Mont.

50 years ago

The Odessa Record

July 24, 1969

Man steps on moon’s surface: An American, Neil A. Armstrong, 38, of Wapakoneta, Ohio, was the first man to step onto the moon. The act took place at 7:56 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time, Sunday, July 20, 1969. The event was witnessed via television by a world-wide audience.

Man first landed on the moon at 1:18 p.m. PDT, Sunday, July 20, in the spacecraft Eagle. Two Americans, Armstrong, and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., 39, were in the craft. Both “walked on the moon”, Aldrin following Armstrong by 20 minutes.

Astronauts making the lunar flight in the Apollo 11 command ship Columbia were Civilian Armstrong, Air Force Colonel Aldrin, and Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Collins, 38. Launch from earth took place at 6:32 a.m. PDT, Wednesday, July 16, 1969. A 363-foot Saturn 5 rocket put the spacecraft on its path to the moon.

Purpose of the flight, after attaining lunar orbit, was for Armstrong and Aldrin to make man’s first landing on the moon –– a feat accomplished. They set up scientific experiments, gathered soil samples, erected the United States flag, and talked to the President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, by telephone from his office in Washington, D.C. Landing sight was the Sea of Tranquility.

In a moment of high tension Monday morning, the ascent engine on the Eagle fired at 10:54 a.m. PDT, sending the craft, Armstrong and Aldrin, into a long orbital path which culminated in a rendezvous docking at 2:35 p.m. PDT with the Apollo 11 command ship and its pilot, Collins, orbiting 69 miles over the moon.

At 9:57 p.m. PDT Monday, while on the backside of the moon and after having transferred rock boxes and personnel from the Eagle before jettisoning the craft, the Astronauts fired the Columbia’s big engine for 2 minutes, 29 seconds to send them on a great arc of 240,000 miles back to earth. The craft was out of radio contact with an anxious earth citizenry when the lunar firing took place.

Apollo 11 is aiming for a splashdown about 1,200 miles southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii, shortly before 10 a.m. today (Thursday). President Nixon will be on the aircraft carrier USS Hornet to greet the history-making astronauts. Flight duration: eight days, 3 hours and 19 minutes.

Ric Thompson is injured in accident: Ric Thompson, who was injured in a motorcycle accident last Wednesday, July 16, is recovering in the hospital in Odessa, according to his mother, Mrs. Melvin C. Kiehn.

The accident happened just south of the driveway leading to Dr. Kenneth Gudgel’s home on the highway to Ritzville. While going around a curve, Ric’s kickstand hit the pavement, and he skidded 80’ before piling into a hog fence. The motorcycle flew another 60’ before coming to a halt. Ric received cuts, bruises and abrasions, his mother said, but had no broken bones.

A carload of girls, who were in the vicinity at the time, reported the accident. Wanda Zeiler went for an ambulance while Jodee Hardung administered first aid to Ric. He expects to be released from the hospital within the next week.

25 years ago

The Odessa Record

July 21, 1994

Heat wave leaves trail of problems: By Linda Gustafson

Is there any relief in sight from these temperatures of 90° to 106°? Where’s the breeze when we need it? Where’s the shade? Where’s an air conditioner? Where’s the lake? These are only a few of the questions being asked after several weeks of high temperatures that have left many people cranky and tired and wanting some reprieve from the heat.

On July 7 the temperature rose to 90°. Only two days since then has it been in the high 80s. For the past week, the temperature has hovered around 100° and above, the highest being 106°. Of course, that temperature will be debated by the farmers who are cutting their wheat. Some say the temperature at the farm was 107 while others commented that inside the trucks, while sitting in the field waiting for the wheat to be cut, it was 115°. At the Ruff elevator the thermometer rose to 112°. The wheat registered a 118° according to one harvester who had a thermometer that tells the temperature while thrashing the wheat.

For the farmers trying to get their wheat cut, this weather is what they call perfect for cutting. Of course, those are usually the farmers who are sitting inside an air-conditioned cab on the combine while the wife, son, daughter or hired man sits in a non-air-conditioned truck.

Eastern Washington is not the only area in the state hit with high temperatures. Western Washington set new records this past week as the temperatures rose to 100° in Seattle.

Air conditioners are running all day and night as the temperatures are not cooling down in the evenings.

The heat has taken its toll on businesses. Denny’s Thrift had two refrigeration units break down because they couldn’t handle the hot weather beating against the building. Their ice machine quit on them, but was quickly repaired.

On Sunday, there was a mass exit from Odessa as people headed for the river or lakes to just sit in the water. Sunburns were apparent on Monday.

A comment was made by a local citizen that as he was driving south of Odessa last Friday, that wherever there was shade from the telephone poles, that was where the birds were sitting.

The boat launch areas on the Columbia River and the Spokane were filled with Odessa people heading out on the water and to the beaches. The river is down this year, making for lots of beach areas. The only way to maneuver the sand was to wear shoes, run fast for shade or wet the sand down as you ran for an umbrella.

For harvest time, the town is pretty quiet when noon rolls around. People are getting up early to do their shopping or run errands. After 11 a.m. they are back in their homes in front of the fans.

Is there a reprieve in sight? The weather forecast says it should cool off into the high 80s and low 90s. With that cooling with come some thunder showers and unfortunately the chance for lightning storms and fires.

Sunday evening Odessa was hit with a dust storm, while Davenport had lightning and small fires and an eighth of an inch of rain.

The community and the farmers have been lucky that there hasn’t been any big fires in the Odessa area this year. Everything is tinder dry and ready to burn. Let’s hope that with lots of precautions, there won’t be any major fires in this area.

Odessa Union buying three units of UGG: The Odessa Union Warehouse Cooperative has leased with the option to buy the grain handling facilities of United Grain Growers in Harrington, Mohler and Downs.

The three stations were closed early last week, but as of Monday were again receiving wheat. A shortage of operating capital to get through the current harvest season was seen as the reason for UGG’s divesting itself of tis last remaining holdings.

Lease of the elevators in Harrington, Mohler and Downs and a 26-car unit train facility in Harrington were effective on Monday, said OUW manager Marvin Greenwalt. Negotiations were completed last Friday. The option to buy these assets is expected to be exercised by mid-September, he said. The purchase does not include the building housing UGG’s main office in Harrington.

OUW has competing grain handling operations at all three locations, including a unit train facility at Harrington. Greenwalt said three persons would be added to the OUW staff in Harrington, bringing the total number of permanent employees to six.

Rumors of UGG’s impending sale of all of its assets had been heard for the past two weeks, although as late as July 15 directors of the cooperative said at a growers’ meeting in Harrington that a viable option for the company to continue to operate would be found and that UGG would be around for many years. UGG management had declined to respond to media queries about its plans.

A week before the meeting, Waterville-based Central Washington Grain Growers announced it was leasing with option to buy UGG’s facilities at Creston, Wilbur, Sherman, Wheatridge and Govan, with 2.6 million bushels of storage involved.

At the same time, negotiations were under way for the purchase of the Edens, Sprague and Edwall facilities of UGG by Ritzville Warehouse Company and the Lancaster elevator by St. John Grain Growers. Davenport Union Warehouse is taking over UGG’s Bluestem elevator.

At the July 15 meeting, UGG directors and management attributed part of the cooperative’s financial difficulties to the bankruptcy of one of its grain buyers, which defaulted on payments. UGG’s lenders were unwilling to extend operating loans, leaving the firm without capital to keep its facilities open during this year’s harvest.

UGG was established in 1930.

OUW, established in 1913 and a cooperative since 1961, presently has grain stations at Odessa, Irby, Jantz, Lamona, Lauer, Reiman, Schoonover, Ephrata, Packard, Downs, Mohler, Harrington, Davenport and Egypt.

Acquisition of UGG’s Harrington, Mohler and Downs facilities will add 2,279,000 bushels of capacity, bringing OUW’s total storage capacity to 12,362,000 bushels, Greenwalt said.


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