The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

Pioneer Portraits


Ten Years Ago

July 19, 2007

Grain growers in the Touchet Valley and surrounding countryside should be harvesting in full swing by this weekend. Throughout this week, local farmers started cutting to get the 2007 harvest under way, said J.E. McCaw, manager of the local branch of Northwest Grain Growers. An early sense of this year’s crop indicate that yield ranges from fair to excellent, McCaw said, though reports of yields have shown a wide range.

Less than 20 years after the first settlers came to the Touchet Valley in 1859, the forebears of the Zuger family arrived and carved their claim out of the grassy hills, a claim that has persevered for five generations and 130 years of continuous stewardship of the land. It’s an accomplishment not many families can claim, and fifth-generation farmer Greg H. Zuger this year will have help from his sons and daughter, possibly carrying on the family tradition to a sixth generation.

Twenty-Five Years Ago

July 16, 1992

Waitsburg Ambulance Service has purchased an ambulance from Walla Walla County Fire District #5 in Burbank for $2,000. The rig, a one-ton 1978 GMC is a full-size, modular ambulance, needs a new engine and local ambulance officials plan to buy a new 454 GMC engine in it at a cost of about $2,400. Jack Otterson, president of the ambulance board, said the new ambulance was a deal the board could not pass up.

Fred and Rose Harris who lived and farmed in the Waitsburg area for 50 years observed their golden wedding anniversary at a small family dinner at the Walla Walla Elks Club on June 6.

At the State Grange Convention held in Sunnyside, June 15-19, Heather Ferguson, 14, Jason Crawford, 14, and Dorothy Hazelbaker, 20, did very well in the youth competition department. Heather and Jason won “Outstanding Teenager” (14-15 year old) awards and Dorothy Hazelbaker was awarded “Outstanding Young Granger.” Rick and Terry Ferguson were the “Young Boosters of the Year.” All are members of Waitsburg Grange #1.

Fifty Years Ago

July 13, 1967

Paul Hofer reported Tuesday morning that the Coppei Creek was down to a trickle. Paul said that in all the years he has lived in Waitsburg, he has never seen the creek so low. He said it wasn’t a quarter of an inch deep by his place.

Mrs. Helmut Schmeiser, the former Dwyla Donohue of Dayton, and former sixth grade teacher in Waitsburg, will leave Nov. 1 with the Vienna Chamber Choir of Vienna, Australia on a 100 performance world tour.

Seventy-Five Years Ago

July 17, 1942

An early morning fire at the Oscar Porter ranch below town Sunday destroyed a hog house, some stock, a machine shed, the header part of the combine and the barn.

Four birthdays were celebrated Sunday at the Miles Brunton home in Waitsburg. Most honored guest was year-old Judy Brunton, daughter of the Miles Bruntons. Miss Barbara Sweazy was another honored guest, as was Miles and Melvin Brunton, as their birthdays all fall on July 12.

Stores in Waitsburg are expected to participate in American Heroes Day by reaching a new high volume in the sales of war stamps.

One Hundred Years Ago

July 20, 1917

There is no question but that the excessive heat of the past week accompanied some days with the dreaded north wind has already done much damage to this year’s crop, even in this favored wheat belt.

Dick Roberts and family, Art Dixon and family, and Arthur Bateman and family, composed a party which spent Sunday at Thayer’s Mill on the Touchet.

Will Keve of Jasper Mountain has joined the Navy and is now at Mare Island, Cal. He wrote of viewing the wreck of the great explosion there a few days ago.

John Clodius’ buggy team got frightened at an auto Saturday evening and ran away tipping the buggy over and smashing the top, seat and dash board and skinned the team up some, but did not hurt the harness much. Fortunately no one was hurt.

One Hundred Twenty-Five Years Ago

July 15, 1892

Born near this city, July 11, to Mr. and Mrs. Ad E. Clark, an eight pound daughter.

A.W. Philips was in the city on Thursday. He is still quite lame, the result of his accident four weeks ago, when a wagon upset with him and jammed him up badly.

Duncan Clark’s female minstrel show played in this city on Monday night to a very small audience; but the audience was as large as the merits of the show demanded.

Some of our mountain campers say that fish do not bite very well this season, but that mosquitoes make up the deficiency.

Again we make our annual request for a red-headed girl to keep flies off a lazy editor. Come quick!


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