History


The Governor Will be Here — O.R. & N. Grants Reduced Rates

The Leader, Weston, Oregon May 11, 1906

The O.R. & N. Co. has granted an open rate of one and a third fare for the Twelfth Annual Reunion of Umatilla County Pioneers at Weston May 31, June 1-2. The rate applies to points west of Baker City, east of The Dalles and south of Starbuck, inclusive. Visitors buy their round trip tickets when they start and do not have to bother with certificates.

Governor Chamberlain has written definitely that he will accept the committee’s invitation to deliver an address on Saturday, “political day”. Local republicans are in correspondence with the state central committee to secure the presence of their candidate for governor on the same occasion.

Negotiations are in progress with Prof. Goda, a well-known aeronaut for a balloon ascension and parachute drop each day of the reunion.

Johnson’s Concert Orchestra of Pendleton has been engaged to furnish music for the reunion program and to give evening concerts at the pavilion. The orchestra will consist of eight of Pendleton’s best musicians.

Chairman Barnes of the grounds committee will let out by contract the work of hauling mountain trees for street decoration.

The sports committee is negotiating for baseball games between the Walla Walla Boosters and Athena Yellow Kids.

Handsome badges, 500 in number have been received by C.B. Williamson, chairman of the badge committee and are already selling fast. On the button is a minute photograph of a group of pioneers who assembled last year at the pavilion.

(But the Annual Reunion was cancelled at the last minute….)

Disastrous Floods–
Pine Creek Higher at Weston Than Ever Known Before
The Leader, Weston, Oregon June 1, 1906

The flood at Weston Tuesday and Wednesday entailed a damage to the city of at least five thousand dollars, perhaps more and to individuals a total loss that will also reach well into the thousands.

Pine Creek was higher than ever known before since this region was first settled by the white men.

We have had floods before but compared to this they were as a Skye terrior to a raging lion.

The rain began Sunday in the mountains and Monday at Weston. After a continuous rainfall of 48 hours, with rain still descending, Weston Wednesday morning was experience the worst floods in its history. Much damage had been done the day before. Then the creek began to subside and hoe was entertained that the worst was over. Still the rain descended steadily throughout the afternoon and night. Next morning Main Street was the bed of a river 100 feet in width that had escaped form the main channel.

Roaring, tearing, foaming the creek itself–a turgid, muddy, ugly torrent–faced madly along sweeping everything from its path. Outhouses and barns along the banks were swept away; huge logs and bridge timbers came drifting down, tossed about like jackstraws by the angry current. Business holdings built over the creek bed were endangered and their occupants moved everything portable while men with hoods and poles and ropes fought with the flood, dislodging driftwood and debris from beneath the threatened buildings. In water to their waists three men toiled and struggled for hours and their efforts were partially rewarded.

Four Town Bridges Gone

Four town bridges have been swept away, including the Main street bridge built with stone bulkheads which cost $1200 when last constructed. This has been several times rebuilt and has cost perhaps $3000. Several county bridges above and below town are on their way to the Columbia, a mass of wreckage. Every footbridge crossing the stream, but one was carried away by the current. The city’s water mains at several creek crossings were torn out, and Weston will be fore some time without a water supply.

The William Roesch building, a two-story frame occupied downstairs by C.H. Walters’ saloon and upstairs by this lodging house, suffered much damage by the flood. Here energetic effort was directed toward keeping the channel clear beneath the building. Finally Wednesday morning, the rear of it began to droop and the occupant moved out all his goods. The creek commenced to subside just as the building threatened to collapse.

The Brandt buildings on the north side of Main Street stood the flood well until Wednesday when they began to settle. Sim J. Culley was occupied to move his large stock of groceries and gents furnishings, entailing heavy expense. The post office, Blair & Wood’s real estate office and Cliff Culley’s ice cream parlors were also threatened and all the contents were carried away to safer quarters.

J.M. Ashworth’s carpenter shop on Water street broke in two in the middle the rear half fallilng into the stream. Allan Garnett’s harness shop adjoining was partially swept away, and Baker & Son’s paint shop was wholly destroyed. Cellars were flooded and much minor damage and discomfort caused.

Similar floods occurred on Dry Creek and Little Dry Creek and in some instances people abandoned their homes. Marion O’Harra, living on Pine Creek two miles above town, moved out of his flooded farm house into a smaller building on higher ground which he built as a place of refuge in case of cloud burst or flood. The county bridge above Hargett’s was swept away just as the mountain mail carrier, John Johnson was crossing, and he had a narrow escape. Several other people had close calls while working with the flood in town, but no loss of life occurred.

Pioneers’ Reunion Abandoned

The Umatilla County Pioneer’s Reunion scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week had of course be to be abandoned. Everything had been arranged for the event and the town expected a host of visitors. Carraco with his steam swing and Professor Goda with his balloon had arrived and are among the losers in the general misfortune. Johnson’s orchestra and other attractions secured for the event were notified not to come. It is possible that the program arranged for the reunion will be presented July 3d and 4th or 4th and 5th. If the town can get in ship shape by that time, or at a Harvest Festival in the fall.

The town bridges destroyed were located on Main street, Broad street near Mrs. Reynolds residence. Wallace street near the flouring mill, and Franklin street near the Bralley residence.

Four other bridges escaped, but are in a more or less damaged condition.

Public bridges in every part of the county were washed away including several on the Walla Walla and Umatilla rivers. Not a bridge is left on McKay and Birch creeks. The total loss to the county is estimated at $10,000 by Commissioner Gilliland.

Part of the flume at the electric light plant on the Walla Walla river was washed out, and towns served by the company, including Weston are left in darkness.

The blacksmith shop at Price Bros. farm on Dry creek floated down stream.

The Weston brickyard was damaged to the extent of $300 or $400.

A week ore more will elapse before the waterworks system here is again in running order.

The total precipitation at Weston was 5 3/4 inches and on the mountain about 10 inches, bucket measurement. The government record here was 5.68 inches.

 

Successful Reunion
The Leader, Weston, Oregon    June 6, 1941

Clouds and rain did not keep people away from the 49th annual reunion of the Umatilla County Pioneer association. Friday drew the largest first-day attendance in years, and Saturday also the streets were thronged with smiling visitors. With brighter weather the little old burg would scarcely have contained the crowds. One big reason people like to come here, evidently isth they do not have to move far to see each other and seeing each other is the biggest reason they have for coming.

Bringing the Mac Hi bank in full uniform, Neil Best post, American Legion, of Milton-Freewater, conducted impressive memorial exercises Friday forenoon. The post speaker, Rev. J.A. McKee of Milton, gave a feeling and appropriate address.

The outstanding feature Friday afternoon was the coronation of Queen Mary Alice (Mrs. Mary Alice Nelson of Athena) regally and beautifully conducted under auspices of the Athena Study Club. The queen’s grandchildren and one great grandchild were in her imposing entourage. Rev. F.C. Wissenbach of Pendleton gave an inspiring memorial address, lightened with humorous anecdotes.

Will M. Peterson, veteran member of the Pendleton bar, was elected president Saturday. He will thus be presiding officer next year on the occasion of the golden jubilee, or 50th annual reunion. That this will be made a gala event as announced from the platform. Other officers chosen are Walter Rayborn of Weston, vice-president; S.A. Barnes of Weston, treasurer; T.A Lieuellen of Adams, secretary.

Despite threatening skies, attendance was large, filling the pavilion. Earl Snell, who made the annual address, was heard with absorbing attention. He paid eloquent tribute to the pioneers and told the need was.

The Golden Jubilee
The Leader, Weston, Oregon   June 5, 1942

The golden jubilee reunion of The Umatilla County Pioneers Association May 29 and 30 at Weston was largely attended and proved to be a delightful and memorable occasion.

Walter Rayborn, vice president, presided in the absence of President Will M. Peterson of Pendleton, who is ill. Cecil M. Sly, president of Weston Chamber of Commerce, responded to the address of welcome Friday by Mayor H. Goodwin.

Friday afternoon’s program was high-lighted by a beautiful and impressive ceremony — the coronation of Queen Susan I (Mrs. Susan Coe of Milton.) Senator Lew Wallace of Portland gave an able address.

Memorial exercises by Neil Best Post, American Legion, of Milton-Freewater contributed much to Saturday’s program. The audience listened with absorbed attention to an admirable annual address by Rev. Earle P. Cochran of Pendleton. The Ted Roy group from Pendleton took over Saturday afternoon, with Ralph Laumeister as master of ceremonies and gave a varied and entertaining program which charmed and amused an audience filling every seat in the large pavilion and overflowing at the edges.

In snappy uniforms of scarlet and black, Mac hi band of Milton-Freewater helped both days with stirring music.

The old reunion steam-roller was in good working order, and the following slat of association officers as put through without delay.

Walter Rayborn of Weston, president; Lawrence Lieuellen of Adams, vice president; S.A. Barnes of Weston secretary; T.A. Lieuellen of Adams, treasurer.

An Indian team from the Umatilla reservation defeated an all-star aggregation Saturday in a loosely-played but amusing baseball game, 16 to 8

Large crowds found diversion in street sports.